• Beth Hildebrand

Holy Smokes!

Just our family was on vacation together last week…a long overdue one. And a fine place to go where *dreams come true*!

Joy was swirling all around, even though I was not on the ride. I unfortunately cannot ride a lot of rides at amusement parks because my head and stomach keep swirling around after the ride is over and that’s not much fun. I find joy in watching the rest of the family enjoying the thrill.


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On this sunny and 70* afternoon, as the teacup ride swirls around and around and around and around, I turn to look elsewhere before I get dizzy. But off in the distance I see some other swirling going on in the sky.

There was an airplane beautifully swirling in the sky for everyone at the park to see. The pilot was giving a gift of promises. The pilot was giving this gift to someone that means the world to him/her. The pilot was giving this gift to people from around the world that were in this park all together. The pilot was giving this gift to me, too.

When I looked at the clear blue sky, the pilot had been writing words and leaving them in the sky for everyone to read. That pilot is a writer and a disciple and a follower and must be experiencing what it’s really like where dreams come true.

The first word I saw I couldn’t decipher because the clouds had stretched out and were no longer readable. But the next word was as clear as the blue sky “JESUS” and I could tell the next word being formed “LOVES” and with assurance would finish off with a “U”.


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Was that first word I couldn’t decipher the name of the pilot’s friend who he/she so desperately wanted to know and experience God’s promises and love?

Holy smokes!

Would you do something that extravagant to grab the heart of someone who needs to know Jesus? Would you do something so HUGE so when your friend or family member looks up into the heavens when life is tough, he/she will read in big white and pure letters, “FRIEND JESUS LOVES U” (you fill in the blank with your name!)


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I loved watching people as they turned the corner and looked up to read the art of words floating in the sky and then they would called out to who they were with and pointed towards the words in amazement. Even some others were like me and took a picture of it.

That really made me ask myself, “When have I gone out of my way to tell someone about Jesus?” “When have I intentionally shared my story to help share the love of Jesus with others who so desperately need and deep down want to know and experience?” But how huge? Huge is different for each person. For some, huge might be to have an airplane write the words high and big! For others, it might be a huge thing just to come out of the Christian closet and share his/her story with someone who needs to hear it.


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And then a couple of days later, the pilot was back writing in the sky again. This time he shared the promise that “JESUS FORGIVES” and the guidance to “TRUST JESUS”. Thanking God for the gift of the airplane pilot who witnessed to people from all over the world that sunny afternoon and for the gift of the huge reminder with simple words that I need to be intentional.

Thankful for these last week:

#1180 gift unexpected – seeing wild peacocks at the beach!


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#1181 walking on the beach on a warm January morning with the family


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#1182 kids looking for seashell

#1183 daughter “hearing the ocean” in the conch shell she found


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#1184 gift that might never have been: family vacation if not for a friend who so kindly invited us as her guests at Disney.


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#1185 the bus drivers

#1186 the brilliance and creativity and imagination


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#1187 the art of design

#1188 daughter brave enough to ride a ride and getting off it with a smile on her face and wanting to ride it again. overcoming a fear.

#1189 evening with friends at Disney

#1190 a gift in the sky – the airplane pilot who witnessed to people from all over the world that sunny afternoon

#1191 the gift of the huge reminder with simple words that I need to be intentional.

#1192 the beautiful landscapes at the parks


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#1193 a bed at the end of a long day on your feet

#1194 gift before 9am – fog lifting from lake in FL

#1195 gift before noon – working on 1000 joy digital album in car on ride home

#1196 gift after dark – we arrived home safe and a fun family vacation

#1197 friends who took care our dog and home for us!

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