God Always Has a Better (Travel) Plan!

 

fish-skeleton-312089Nothing beats a fresh NYC bagel, on a Saturday morning, on your way to the Bahamas!

Nothing.  Nothing.  Except maybe everything when you pray first, wait on God, and always go along with his plans.  Especially when they change!

However, we have to initiate some kind of plan so He knows at least we are trying to move life forward…

It’s like the joke about the guy who keeps praying to God about winning the Lottery.  But he never does.  Finally, God responds, “The least you could do is buy the ticket.”

And it’s remembering, God always answers our prayers.  Always.  It’s just that his answers consist of:  yes, no, wait, or I have something better for you.  That’s exactly what I remind myself when I don’t win lotto!  (note to self: remember, I didn’t win, because God wants me to have something more!  Sometimes 2 Million is not enough, so I’ll wait…)

And that’s why I am eating a fresh everything bagel with melty oozy cream cheese on my way to the Bahamas!

This past October was to mark the 10 year passage of my friend’s death and battle with Cancer, and my struggle to survive the grieving process.  Since he died on Columbus Day, I promised myself to always set out to discover something new.  Anything.  Anything, besides staying home and crying.  However, most years passed unceremoniously.  But there was a year the weather was ironically beautiful for October and I went for a bike ride and discovered free kayaking on the Hudson River.  It was a fun adventure, full of adrenaline and paddling, instead of drowning in tears.

Then I discovered a 3-day sail on the Tall Ship, Liberty Clipper, a newly renovated gaff-rigged schooner.    The original plan was to sail from NYC to Baltimore/Portsmouth.

A simple 3-day sail to mark the passing decade I struggled to move forward.  The trip would have been me, tolerating the cold and demanding conditions, solo.

However, a week before the sail I called the office and spoke with Dennis, I told him, “I think I am sea sick.”

Dennis replied, “You can’t be sea sick, you are not on the boat yet.”

I replied, “I know.  I know.  But I think I am sea sick already.”  Again, Dennis sort of laughed, and insisted, “You can’t be sea sick, you are not even on board yet.”

I considered, I might be nervous or excited, so we reviewed my packing:  ski pants, warm coat, warm hats, gloves, layers and thermal underwear and the foul weather gear.

However, a few days later Dennis called back and informed me we were sailing straight into hurricane Mathew.  The sail was cancelled.  I hung up the phone, and accepted I was back to plan A for the weekend— stay home and cry.  However, within a few hours I was invited to a 3-day sail up the Hudson River to Bannerman’s Castle.  Quickly my mind was distracted to re-pack for mild conditions and planning the necessary provisions.

The story doesn’t end there.  It’s just starting…when I returned home, Dennis, from Liberty Fleet calls to offer a compensation for the cancellation, “A week in the Bahamas!”

I discovered how small I think.  I planned a convenient weekend sail to commemorate life.  I believe I was divinely upgraded to sunshine, sunsets, moonrises, moonsets, snorkeling, stargazing, paddle boarding, and kayaking in the Caribbean for a week, with new friends!  Amazing, how God always has a better travel plan than anything we plan for ourselves.

I arrived to explore downtown Nassau during the first week of Lent.  So I started with a Bahamian breakfast of Grits and Tuna.  Lunch was the Conch Chowder with a shot of peppered sherry, of course.  I walked around and discovered a wonderful statue of Christopher Columbus and how his voyage came after 8 years of seeking patronage and then launched a new era in world history.  I should have taken a selfie with that statue.

I embarked on the 125-foot Liberty Clipper, and before we even set sail, the crew led an excursion to the local fish fry.  Under the bridge to the Atlantis, we were treated to fresh Conch Salad.  Giving up filet mignon always has it’s unexpected rewards.

The passengers and crew were an amazing group of people to sail and eat with.  We feasted on Grits with Shrimp one day and grilled Mahi Mahi another day.  Our final Captain’s dinner was a lobster tail feast, of course!

We also caught a super fresh Mackerel and the crew made ceviche with cucumbers and mango.

My cabin was unexpectedly and divinely upgraded and I spent a week swimming in blue water, sinking my toes into pink sand and talking with all the other sailors about their travel experiences and adventures…

On the way home from the airport I stopped off in Astoria and celebrated the successful sail and my perfect packing- sunblock, sundresses, bathing suits and flip flops.   I enjoyed a delicious whole grilled bronzini fish and discovered fried sardines are delicious!  They definitely were not from the can.

I called Mom to tell her (almost all) the details—and I added, “But, I got bit by a bug.”  Immediately she insisted, “Go to the hospital.”  Just as quick I replied, “Go to the hospital!  No way!  I’ve got to to go to the airport…I got bit by the travel bug!”

 

Jeremiah 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

 

SANTA AND THE SAD SNOWMAN!

 

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What do you want for Christmas?
What do you need for Christmas?
What happens when Santa doesn’t have the gifts we really need?
(But knows someone who does??)

Gifts like, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, courage, companionship, joy, gentleness, purpose, creativity, generosity, rest and energy?

As a children’s Author, I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas story. The real Christmas story. A true Christmas story. A story I could share.

Now I have two! The story I can tell adults and the published book for children and families.

God gave it to me, the first week of advent. I had the idea. God gave me the story. Truly! The story for adults is the fact that, when you shut out the world’s consumerism and just sit in the candle light, God blesses us with his gifts. Things happen. Amazing things. Unexplainable blessings.

Advent is basically 4 candles for the weeks before December 25. Google it! And get yourself 3 purple candles and one pink candle. Sitting still every night in this Christmas season is where the magic is happening…I always shut the lights off first. Then, the light from one match reminds me, Christ came to illuminate the dark world. In lieu of a lighter, I always use matches. Each one reminding me to be grateful for an individual who has brought light into my life. Like Frank and My Mom who help with my books.

Remember, in the North Pole, Santa only has gifts that we can make, buy, borrow, or steal! What does Santa do when he doesn’t have the gifts we really need? He goes to church. He writes a letter to God. And remembers it’s Jesus’ Birthday and bakes a birthday cake!

That’s advent: the preparation and commemoration of the birth of Christ!

What do you do, to ask for the gifts you NEED? What do you do to celebrate Jesus’ birthday?

Santa and the Sad Snowman is a true story! It’s about snow children, Snowbully and Snowbella who ask for things like courage, compassion and self-control. But Santa doesn’t have those gifts. Only God can give them to us. Just ask.

Don’t wait for Christmas. It’s advent now.

Mathew 21:22
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Mathew 7:7
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

Galatians 5:22
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

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CRAP-CAP CALAVERA: Dias de los Muertos, candy skulls and a skull poem

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CALAVERA-POEM: CRAP CAP,  by Tamara Royal

He said he had, “More time than money.” Yet generously shared his cash with many.

Until his bout with with cancer.

The pain killers constipated him
Until an interns overdose of laxatives
Sent him rushing to grab his baseball hats rim

Which quickly became known as the crap cap shitter!!

Before that, his own skull was fast to side-step many blows
Back in the day, on the piers of NYC’s only way
He was known to be just as quick on his toes

His spirit still fights as the Kingpin
In the blue corner of his Grandsons boxing
While in his old abode, his ashes are supposedly resting


Calaveras are satirical poems written and recited for Day of the Dead/All Souls day.  The tradition found in Mexico and Spain were part of The Dance of Death, by Michael Wolgemut (1493) which reminds us we are all mortal.

Therefore, it’s probably best to remember to pray before we are dead!!

Deuterononmy 30:19

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

Deuteronomy 30:19


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Tamara Royal, aka AuntyT Children’s Author, is hosting a FREE Family Event in NYC

Exclusively at WordUp Community Bookshop, 2113 Amsterdam Avenue @ W165th St

Coffee, Costumes, Storytelling and more…

Don’t miss your chance to make a GLITTER-EYED GHOST!!

She will be reading  her children’s book, THE GHOST WHO GOT STUCK IN A TREE

vector-zebra_zyka1jwu_lSponsored by the K.O.G.

 

Punch the devil in the face

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By Tamara Royal

The EMT were in their seats. The paparazzi was ready. Security was standing tall. The judges had their ringside presence.

The hottest ring girls were holding the round cards as high as possible. Exuding as much sex appeal as possible, while focusing on reminding us fight fans, family and friends how many more rounds we have left to pray.

New trophies were on display for the taking, and the Championship Belts were being handled as if they were silver platters getting ready to serve those who have everything it takes to fight the hardest. To fight the smartest. And to fight the longest.

To fight for the most precious thing. Life. Their own life and the lives of those who fought till death— parents who struggled with illness; grandparents who battled cancer, and coaches who fight despite the challenges.

And everyone of us that fight off disappointment, despair, sadness and negativity.

And those who fight to stay sober, and those who fight to stay cleaner than the department of health.

Why would anyone get punched in the face for a living? Actually, we are all, always taking a beating in some way. The pains are irrelevant. Compared to the main thing that matters and motivates us—the significance of clarifying and defining why we do what we do.

Fisticuffs, brains against brains, the battles within, or our war between good and evil.

Don’t mistake the true battle is the one in our minds, and make no mistake about it we all have to fight to survive. Fight to to overcome. Fight, in order to thrive. Fight, in order to win.

Understand Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

And do not confuse loosing with learning. We are never loosing as long as we are always learning. God has his own plan for each one of us.

Jeremiah 20:11, reminds us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

We are never loosing, as long as are we are fighting; learning and leaning on our power, might and strength from God.

To fight the good fight, is to understand exactly what James C. Collins, declares, “Good is the enemy of great.”

Fighting every round of the good fight is a constant bout with determination. As we train physically, it is crucial to train our mind. The mind, controls the body.

Our fight makes us stronger in the faith. James wrote “For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:3)

Listen to 1 Timothy 6:12, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

Life and truth are worth fighting for. Fight. Fight back. And learn to side-step and duck the punches.

Remember, “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be still.” (Ex 14:14) Which also reminds us the best fighting position is on our knees, praying.

Believe Timothy 1:17, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-discipline.”

Become great, and be able to declare, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

_________________________

Inspired by Marquez Rhodes.

NYABC New York Amateur Boxing Championships
KRISTIAN VASQUEZ’S RING KING PROMOTIONS
Saturday, August 20th 2016
UPSKY Long Island Hotel

Invisible dog faith

 April First.  Don’t be a fool.

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2 Corinthians 5:7   For we live by faith not by site.

 Hebrews 11:1  Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

HUGE thank you and gratitude to Model, Andrea Miller and Actor, Cristina Doikas, who have walked with me, in difficult times.

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