“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” 

Lisa and I live in Northern Florida and, no surprise, there are lots of lizards who live here too. 

Some people don’t care much for reptiles of any variety, but I particularly enjoy the small lizards that live in my neighborhood. Besides being entertaining, they are also quite useful, spending their days out in the garden eating gnats, mosquitoes and other tiny flying pests. There are at least half a dozen of them who have taken up permanent residence in our little screened-in patio. Gnat-hunting is very fruitful out there and they are hilarious to watch.

This morning I was sitting at my desk and I heard a soft rustling sound. Lo and behold, one of my little scaly yardmates had found his way into the house and had taken up residence here in my little corner of the living room on my desk. Mercy. 

It took a huge amount of effort on my part to chase the little bugger down, pick him up and then deposit him back out on the porch. This process ended up being a wonderful object lesson for me so I decided to share it. 

I did not intend to harm this tiny creature in any way, I was only interested in his well-being. If I allowed him to remain in the house, he would have starved to death, but he responded to me as if I were a mortal threat. Finally, I cornered him against the sliding glass door. Freedom was in sight for him, only a few millimeters away, but it may as well have been a million miles. A door needed to be opened for him to gain his freedom and I was the only one who could open that door. 

The way I finally was able to pick him up without damaging him (they are very small and fragile) is by allowing him to bite me. I gently touched the end of his little snout and, instinctively and out of fear, he bit down on my finger tip and wouldn’t let go. They have no teeth to speak of and are far too small to cause any pain, so this experience was almost completely humorous. It was cute, but it was also quite pitiful to carry him out to Lisa’s bromeliad plant on the porch and then watch him dangling from my fingertip, freedom just an inch away, but fear still clamping his little jaws down tight on the finger of his rescuer. He’d only responded to all of my efforts to save him with fear and actually lashed out defensively against the one who rescued him and saved his tiny life. Does this sound at all familiar to you?

I don’t think I’m going to explain this parable, but if you have any questions or observations, I’d love to yak about it! I got a lot out of this experience, but I realize that I can sometimes be pretty weird. 

We are both doing well and enjoying our life here in Florida. Besides the joy of living so close to the beach, our little family circle has grown and matured and blesses both of us all the time. Our spiritual daughter Keri is a constant source of love and encouragement. The above photo is the only one I have of all three of us right now. It’s from a year ago.

Lisa’s health continues to prosper, post-cancer, and her emotional health and confidence grows steadily as the months pass. It is wonderful for me to see. She is still working four days a week at the same frame shop and art gallery and continues to sell original paintings and handmade cards on a regular basis. 

I just finished the first draft of a new novel called The Door. It’s a sequel to my book called The Portal and I’ve had a really great time discovering this story the past few weeks. If you haven’t read The Portal and are interested but can’t afford it, let me know. I will send you a free pdf. The Portal is an interesting historical novel about how Christianity ended the Viking age, focusing on a Danish King named Harald Bluetooth.

Information about all of my books can be found here: RUSSELL'S BOOKS

My Zoom meetings and other virtual activities continue to expand. This week I’ve had meetings in Italy, France, Kazakhstan, Switzerland and several places here in the USA and I probably can’t really explain how rewarding it always is for me. In the process of connecting to some missionary friends I have in France, I received some profound ministry this week. Steve and I have been meeting regularly on Zoom for a few years now and their ministry to me occurred spontaneously and was immediately effective. They are both amazing, faith-filled missionaries with many really cool Kingdom stories, so I love connecting with Steve, normally on a weekly basis.

Lisa and I are looking at house sitting opportunities in Europe again! WooHoo! I found a really cool possibility in western France for two weeks in October and the English couple who own the place offered us the gig right after I applied for it. That was pretty surprising. Normally, it will take a little more deliberation to get the offer, but they looked at our experience and our wonderful reviews on the house sitting website and made a quick decision. We will have a video chat with this couple tomorrow and then decide one way or the other. They have goats, donkeys, chickens and dogs so it will be a bit of work, but that really isn’t a problem. Lisa and I have cared for all of those animals and more over the years. The below photos are from one of our first house sitting jobs at a “mini-farm” in Bend about 5 years ago.

In addition to the house sitting possibilities, I am once again seeking God about a ministry trip this coming fall. Switzerland, France and Italy are my primary destination goals, but there are other considerations too, so I’m trying to sort it all out. If anyone has any impressions about this subject, please let me know. I was looking at airfare prices yesterday and noticed that, right now, there are some really good deals to Europe available in the fall, so I would love to act on that while prices are still so reasonable. 

I can’t relate how meaningful your feedback has been. It’s so nice to know that people actually take the time to read these ramblings of mine and then, actually get something out of them. Thank you! www.rcederberg.com rcederberg@gmail.com


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