Welcome To The gspn.tv Community Blog!

Here at the Generally Speaking Production Network, our main goal is to produce entertaining, educational, encouraging, and inspirational podcasts. This blog is one of the places that we turn to communicate between podcast episodes. Of course you can follow Cliff on Twitter or Facebook. Stephanie is on Twitter and Facebook as well.

Project #MeanEggRush Coming Saturday, May 7th, 2011

by Cliff Ravenscraft on April 26, 2011

in Blog

Hey folks, Stephanie and I have been working, behind the scenes, on a brand new podcast that we are about ready to launch. We have given this new project the code name #MeanEggRush.

I can tell you that this new podcast is a part of our plans to get back into the production of our entertainment based podcasting. Though, like the Twilight Saga Podcast, this podcast will not be devoted to television show, but will be another podcast devoted to a chapter by chapter review of a popular books series.

I say popular, but the funny thing is that I had never heard of the series prior to Stephanie telling me about it just over a week ago. After doing some investigation and getting over a bit of initial skepticism, I'm happy to announce that we have already started to read the first book of the series and have already recorded the first episode with a second episode to be recorded as early as today.

We both feel like this is going to be a show that a very large percentage of the community will enjoy. If you hate secrets and simply can't wait until Saturday, May 7th, I have great news. We actually reveal what this secret project is in episode 047 of the Twilight Saga Podcast where we finally got around to recording our review of the final few chapters of Breaking Dawn. That podcast episode will be released on Monday, May 2nd at 5am Eastern Time.

We sincerely hope that the community will climb on board and enjoy this journey with us. Be on the look out for the new show to launch on our site on the 7th!

UPDATE: We released this episode a week early! Check out http://HungerGamesPodcast.com.

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Folks, I've been wondering what I would write in this blog post and as the time comes to type the words, I am at a loss for what to write.

Amy Wright is an amazing woman. Stephanie and I were introduced to Amy through our Lost Podcast not too long after we entered the podcasting world. She was one of the earliest gspn.tv community members, even before we started to call it a community.

Since we've been podcasting, we have held several meetups where folks from all over the United States and even parts of Europe have traveled all the way to Northern Kentucky just to get to meet friends that they've made in the gspn.tv community face to face for the first time. What many people may not be aware of, is that these meetups got started due to the inspiration of Amy Wright from Chattanooga, Tennessee and another long time friend of the gspn.tv community, Kim Fenolio.

Amy wrote to me and said that she, and her friend Holly Fe de Leon would be willing to make the trip to Northern Kentucky if we were to put together some sort of meetup. Up to that point, I still was not aware of just how meaningful the community of gspn.tv was in people's lives. However, that first meetup was all I needed to let me know that we had something more than just another podcast going on. We had friends from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee come to that very first meetup!

That afternoon, Saturday, March 17th, 2007, Stephanie and I had the opportunity to sit down to have lunch with Amy, Holly, and Holly's husband, Gemree. Since this time, Amy has been a constant source of encouragement and support to our entire family and to the entire gspn.tv community.

Over the years, our post office box has received a pretty steady flow of greetings cards, from Amy, for the various seasons and occasionally those came with enclosed gifts as indicated by this email here:

Amy and I have exchanged countless emails over the years and she has always been among the first to write a word of encouragement when we would share any sort of difficult news in one of our podcasts.

When we decided to start the Plus Membership program after making podcasting our full-time career, Amy was among the first people to sign up to support the content and community of gspn.tv. Not only that, but Amy actually sponsored the Plus Membership of another community member for an entire year.

One of the things that I learned about Amy is that she has suffered from Ulcerative Colitis for the past 20 years. It is for this reason that Amy's been on my prayer list more than any other gspn.tv community member.

Last month, Amy's doctors suspected that she may have cancer on her ovaries and said they wouldn't know more until they were able to perform surgery. The surgery was scheduled and all of Amy's friends eagerly awaited word that the surgery was successful and that any cancer she might have would have been completely removed.

However, our hearts sank as we read a status update on her facebook profile, I believe posted by a family member, that read… “Out of surgery now. The cancer is much greater then they thought. Opened her up took what they had too. Chemo to follow but its incurable.”

Since then, Amy's been surrounded by friends and family. Friends from the gspn.tv community have sent flowers, posted comments on her facebook profile and have prayed for her daily.

In this photo here, Amy's friend Holly took the time not just to visit but also to paint her toe nails. I think this photo demonstrates true friendship at it's core.

About a week and a half ago, I read Amy's update that stated that she's been moved to hospice and I had sent an email to her asking if there was anything I could do or say to communicate to the community. I didn't know what to say and I told her that I hoped my email was not out of line. She wrote back and said… “You are not out of line in any way Cliff! I am still working on getting a full update out there to my twitter/fb and all other friends! I didn't want you to think I was ignorning ur email! I will get something together by Monday morning!”

So I've been waiting for this update to come through so that I would know what to communicate to you, the gspn.tv community. The update came this evening, on Easter Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 8:15pm. Here's what Amy posted:

So, gspn.tv community, I come before each and every one of you and beg of you to please lift up our dear friend, Amy Wright, that she may continue to feel the presence of God and His arms around her as she awaits the time where she will enter into an eternal presence of the Living God. I also ask that you pray for all of Amy's friends and family during this very difficult time as well.

If you are a friend of Amy's on Facebook, you can leave her a comment on her profile by clicking here. If you are not connected with her there, you can send her your love by sending a message on Twitter using @QueenAmy83.

Amy, we love you so much! We all look forward to seeing you again in the biggest gspn.tv meetup ever!

Update: Friday, April 29th 12:16pm
This morning, I received word that Amy has gone home to be with The Lord. Amy will certainly live on in the hearts of all the lives that she has touched in so many wonderful ways. I know that so many of us look forward to the day when we will be reunited with her in Eternity In Christ.

Update, Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011:
Some have asked if there were any way to send a card or note to Amy's family. I've followed up and I'm told that anything that is sent to Grace Baptist Church, sent to the attention of her parents, those cards and notes would get delivered to them. Here's the address:

Attn: Kathy & Paul Wright
c/o Grace Baptist Church
7815 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, Tn 37421


Below is a link to other gspn.tv community members who have blogged about how Amy had touched their lives. If you are a gspn.tv community member who has written a blog post about Amy, please email me at [email protected] and I will also link to your blog post here:

Blog Post From Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
Blog Post From AlisonL
Blog Post From AngelSteph
Blog Post From Geoff Gentry
Blog Post From Edith Baker

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Sponsor For Family From The Heart Major One Day Sale!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on April 23, 2011

in Blog


Hey folks, I just wanted to let everyone know that Mardel.com, our sponsor for Family From The Heart is having a major sale TODAY!

The sale is for 25% off all Bibles, books, software, and kids DVDs and is happening all day today, Saturday, April 23rd.

This sale has been a pretty big hit with the gspn.tv community in the past due to the fact that when you use our promo code “GSPN” in the shopping cart, you get an ADDITIONAL 10% off! To take advantage of this great sale, just head over to http://Mardel.com and be sure to add our promo code “GSPN” into that shopping cart!

Please do feel free to share our promo code with all your friends and family! It's a great way for them to save some money on these types of purchases and to say thank you to Mardel.com for sponsoring Family From The Heart for three and a half years!

Happy Easter from the Ravenscraft Family!

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Soul Surfer Movie Review

by Cliff Ravenscraft on April 11, 2011

in Blog

Stephanie and I were given press screening tickets to preview Soul Surfer a few weeks back, before the movie was officially released. In spite of the fact that we had hears many wonderful things about this movie, we didn't take that opportunity to see the movie due to a schedule conflict.

It wasn't until I read a review posted by Wayne Joy on our gspn.tv community site that I wanted to go see this movie. The review that Wayne gave was so good that it made it seem worth the $50 it would cost to take our family of five to go to the theater to see this movie.

So was the movie worth it? Check out this video review that Stephanie and I did with the kids:

If you are interested in the technical aspects of the video that we created above, check out this post about the equipment used to make it.

Here are some movie trailers for Soul Surfer:

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As my wife was walking out the door today, something had occurred to me. Today is April 11th. It was on this date, sixteen years ago, that I was first officially introduced to Stephanie as the result of her calling me to ask me if I would go to a school prom with her.

If you want to hear how I shared the story of how we met four years ago, you should listen to the podcast that was then called My Crazy Life episode 092 starting exactly. I recommend that you start at 13minutes and 30 seconds into the episode where this topic begins. I'll paste an audio player below to allow you to listen to that episode from four years ago.

My Crazy Life Episode 092 – Start at 13:30
[audio:http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TS-10453.mp3]

Now after that episode was released, Stephanie wanted to share “Her Side of The Story” about how we met. So we fired up the podcasting gear the very next day and recorded episode 093. I'll paste a player for that episode here as well.

My Crazy Life Episode 093 – Stephanie's Side of The Story!
[audio:http://recordings.talkshoe.com/TS-10454.mp3]

The morning after I talked with Stephanie for the very first time, I decided to start a new journal. I'm not going to share all the super cheesy stuff. However, I am going to share some bits and pieces from my journal sixteen years ago.

7:34am Well, today I ma going to begin a new journal. I have not written in what seems like forever now. I have wanted to start back for some time now, but never had a true reason to begin again. What what is the reason now? Well, I guess you could say it is Stephanie Renee Snow…

…Well, I had totally made up my mind. Under any circumstances, the answer was NO! I was not going to take Stephanie to the prom. Well that was the plan until last night when I was on my way out to meet Kirt to play some pool. As I was walking out the door, the phone rang and it was Stephanie.

Our conversation was short but basically she just told me who she was and asked if I would go to the prom with her. And well… I told her some of the issues that I had thought about and that I really didn't have to time to go into it at the time since I was late getting out the door, as it was, to go meet Kirt. I asked her to call me later and we would talk about it and I would give her a definite answer.

Well, as I left the house, my first though was anger. I was mad that Mandy and Kirt did not listen to me and still had Stephanie call me. But the more I thought about it, I was kind of impressed that Stephanie would have the courage to call me and ask. I think that is what changed my mind.

… I called Stephanie. We talked from 11:15pm to 12:30am. It was amazing. She felt the same way as I did about her dad knowing and the best part is that we have almost everything in common. I actually like her a lot. So who knows? We are going out this Friday night. And next Wednesday, we are going to go get my tux. And we have already made a lot of plans to go out in the future.

I feel there is no doubt that we are going to like each other. There was just too much that seemed to be pulling us together and after we got off the phone late last night. I KNEW that things are looking good!

Since then, I have been thinking about her constantly!

Well there you have it. My first “This Day In History” blog post! It's fun to look back and see that the thing that caused me to fall in love with her at first is still one of her greatest strengths today.

It's that courage and boldness to take action on the things she wants that has brought so many wonderful things into our lives. It was this quality in her that convinced me to be bold and courageous enough to quit my career in insurance and the pursue podcasting full-time. I have an AMAZING, COURAGEOUS, BOLD, and BEAUTIFUL WOMAN as my wife!

I thank God every day for bringing Stephanie into my life sixteen years ago!

One Last Thing From That Journal Post…
Here's one more thing that I thought would be fun to post from that journal regarding our first phone conversation….

We have a lot in common. She is going to be a teacher as well. She wants to teach math though.

You see, when I met Stephanie, I was a History major in college and at the time, I thought that I was going to eventually become a History teacher. However, I had only chosen that major and path because nothing else seemed appealing to me at the time. I simply knew that I wanted to “teach” people. Today, I am very much a “teacher.” I am actually a very well paid teacher/consultant/coach.

However, what stands out to me most about this portion of my old journal is Stephanie's early desire and dream of becoming a “teacher.” One could argue that Stephanie's been teaching our children since Meagan was born. I would agree with that statement. However, when it comes to role of providing children with an “education” in the position of a “teacher,” it's so amazing that sixteen years later, she will officially begin that role as we begin our family's homeschooling journey this August with Matthew.

I don't know where this journey will lead us. But one thing I've learned over the last sixteen years is that God has amazing plans for our lives and that we simply must trust in Him and enjoy the journey one day at a time.

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My New Withings Wifi Enabled Digital Scale

by Cliff Ravenscraft on March 17, 2011

in Blog

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about my new Withings wifi enabled digital scale (Affiliate Link). As many of you know, I've been on a journey of pursuing a more balanced healthy lifestyle for the past year and a half. Since then, I've lost approximately 50 pounds. However, I still have quite a ways to go until I get to my goal weight.

The cold winter months made it difficult for me to enjoy my favorite “Intentional Physical Activity” which is walking outside. Now that Spring weather is here and the birds are singing once again, I've been hitting the pavement once again.

Until now, I'd been using an old analog scale where the needle bounces all over the place and the actually numbers on the scale are not clearly labeled. Instead, you just get a bunch of notches between numbers like the scale pictured here. This would make it hard to actually see exactly which line the needle was pointing to unless you inspected closer. As I would lean forward, the needle would move. I hated my old scale!

I had heard about the Withings wifi scale a long time ago from Leo Laporte. Leo has actually set up a special Twitter account that is automatically updated with his progress toward his goal every time he steps on the scale. That's right, he steps on the scale and a Tweet goes out within seconds. You can also set this to post to Facebook as well. I don't currently have plans to share my weigh ins with Twitter or Facebook, but you never know, I might!

I do, however, have my Withings wifi scale set automatically update my RunKeeper.com account so that my RunKeeper app on my iPhone is always up to date. This allows the application to provide me with more accurate calorie burn numbers when I'm out for my walking and jogging activities.

I also have the scale automatically update my LoseIt.com account. LoseIt.com is where I track all my goals related to physical fitness. This is where I do share my weigh in information with those I've added as friends on the LoseIt.com service. All I do is step on the scale, and within seconds, the scale sends my information to my Withings account on their servers and that account INSTANTLY updates both my RunKeeper.com and LoseIt.com accounts. The Withings account can actually sync this data most all of online physical fitness and calorie tracking sites out there.

I knew that I wanted a digital scale. I wanted a scale that would easily be set to “0” without me trying to fumble around with a hand turned dial every morning. I wanted a scale that would show my weight down to the 10th of a pound.

Previously, if the needle on my old scale pointed to the middle of what “looked like” the “notches” that represented 224 and 225 pounds, I would simply track my weight for that day as 225. However, with my Withings scale, if I weighed in last week at 225.1 and I weigh in today at 224.6, then I can CELEBRATE that I had lost a HALF A POUND! On my analog scale, I would have been bummed to see that I had made no progress, still weighing in at 225 pounds.

The cool things is that the Withings wifi scale also tracks your BMI as well as your body's fat mass and lean mass weight. Let me explain why I am so excited by this.

Yesterday, I walked/jogged a total of six miles and made excellent choices regarding the foods that I had and ended the day with a pretty decent calorie deficit. When I got on the scale this morning, I was hoping that I would see that I may have dropped as much as one or two tenths of a pound. However, I had gone from 222.2 pounds up to 222.3 pounds. I had gained a total of one tenth of a pound.

Though I so excited when I opened up my Withings iPhone Application (which is free by the way) to find that I had gone from 67.2 pounds of fat down to 65.5 pounds of fat. This means that I LOST 1.7 pounds of fat and my lean body mass increased by 1.8 pounds, netting an overall weight gain of one tenth of a pound. Do you see how having this additional information can be motivational?

I love my new scale. If you are interested in purchasing a Withings Wifi Enabled Scale, you can click on any of the highlighted links where the name of the scale is mentioned. These are affiliate links to the scale on Amazon and gspn.tv will earn a small commission from each person who uses any of these links to purchase.

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Video Footage From The No More Mondays Cruise

by Cliff Ravenscraft on February 28, 2011

in Blog

Words can not begin to express how much fun our entire family had on Dan Miller's No More Mondays Cruise. It took us three years to get to the place where we could afford to do something like this.

In hindsight, this trip was a major investment in, not only our business, but our family as well. Over the course of eleven days, this journey changed the dynamics of our family and provided life lessons that could only be experienced hands on, rather than being read about in a book.

The following footage is about 21 minutes in length. A majority of the photography and video footage was done by our three children who are ages 11, 9, and 5. Please keep this in mind when you encounter portions of the video that may not be as steady as you would like.

Please feel free to leave comments for the kids in the comments section below. They will be reading your posts as you leave them and may even respond.

Update: Here's another video done Joel Boggess and his wife, Dr. Pei Kang from http://4pointscoaching.com.

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Why I’m Glad That Cell Phones Have Great Video Cameras!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on February 26, 2011

in Blog

I really enjoyed watching this short little video on YouTube.

If you listen closely, you can hear the captain say…

“Folks, the space shuttle is going off the right side of the aircraft right now. Those of you on the right side of the aircraft, you can see the space shuttle. People on the left side of the aircraft, you can probably see people on the right side of the aircraft looking at the space shuttle.”

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026 Community Voice – Andy Lehman

by Cliff Ravenscraft on February 3, 2011

in Blog, The Community Voice

In this episode of the Community Voice Podcast, I interview Andy Lehman, husband, father of three, podcaster, and geocacher.

You can find Andy’s geocaching podcast at http://geocachingpodcast.com. You can also find his Becoming A Better Dad podcast at http://betterdadpodcast.com.

Of course, we encourage you to leave Andy a comment on his online community profile at http://goo.gl/By2sT.

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This episode of the Community Voice Podcast is the recording for our first gspn.tv Community Conference Call for 2011. The main topic of the call is our goals and plans for 2011. We plan to have these community calls once a month. To see a list of scheduled gspn.tv community events, be sure to check out http://gspncommunity.com/events.

In this call, we talked with the following people:
Jenn Davis – http://goo.gl/67Q7w
Byron Friday – http://goo.gl/q2skw
Edith Baker – http://goo.gl/CoT3p
Rob Williams – http://goo.gl/nfiOy
David Doufour – http://goo.gl/MIKa9
Maggie Mack – http://goo.gl/b248T
Kylie Mac – http://goo.gl/LMdQ1
Mike aka MediaCastGuy – http://goo.gl/xReUu
Kim Landwehr – http://goo.gl/UMF4H
Bruce Turner – http://goo.gl/XP32b
Karen Richard – No Link Yet. :)

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Benefits I’ve Noticed From Reading God’s Word Daily
In this episode of the Almost Daily Devotional, I share my thoughts on what it’s been like to actually wake up early every single morning and make reading God’s Word the first thing I do each day, for an entire month.

PLEASE UNDERSTAND that I’m not sharing this information to show off on just how spiritual I am. In fact, in the episode, I openly admit that I’ve neglected spending time alone with God a majority of my Christian life.

What Reading God’s Word Daily Hasn’t Done For Me:

  • It hasn’t magically overhauled my prayer life.
  • It hasn’t magically taken away all my fears and anxiety over God’s provision.
  • It hasn’t magically fixed my schedule.
  • It hasn’t magically given me self discipline to stay focused on work tasks and to get in my daily physical activity.
  • Reading God’s Word Daily for one month does have it’s benefits, but I want to point out that simply reading God’s Word daily for on month isn’t going to fix every aspect of our life.

What Reading God’s Word Daily Has Done For Me:

  • It’s helping to reignite a desire to have a more fervent prayer life.
  • It’s helped remind me that I NEED TO not be so fearful and anxious and that I Should Trust God’s provision for my every need. (Matthew 6:33)
  • It’s helped me discover that I don’t have enough margin in my schedule and is inspiring me to make necessary changes.
  • It’s helped me to realize that I need to be more disciplined and focused. I want to be a good steward of the resource of time that God has given me.
  • It’s helped me to put God first and to see just how far out of whack my priorities have been.
  • It’s helped give me a desire to spend more time with my wife and kids and less time working on my business. (I’m a workaholic)
  • I am LESS stressed than I was before.
  • I’m more easy going.
  • I am more reverent and respectful of God.
  • I am more aware of God’s ever-presence.
  • I’ve been able to resist sins that used to easily entangle me.

Tips on what has helped me in reading God’s Word Daily:

  • I tried reading from a different translation that was different from what I use when I study the Bible.
  • I didn’t get too hung up on the things that I didn’t understand.
  • I didn’t follow a “Bible Reading Plan” though I’m not against them.
  • I started reading in Romans and went through Revelations
  • I then started John, and then will read Matthew, Mark, Luke, & Acts

Verses that help encourage the reading of God’s Word:

  • Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  • John 8:31-32 – Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • Joshua 1:8 – Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
  • Matthew 4:4 – ‘People do not live by bread alone,but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
  • Romans 15:4 – And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

If you enjoy this content, would you consider supporting the content and community of gspn.tv by becoming a gspn.tv Plus Member? Visit https://gspn.tv/plus for details.

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Interview With Candace Cameron Bure, Author of Reshaping It All

by Stephanie Ravenscraft on January 29, 2011

in Blog

Update: Click Here For Interview
Okay, so I am so excited about the news that I am about to share with you. Many of you know that I am reading Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure and it is completely “reshaping” my life. The principles that she lists in her book are not just for weight-loss. They can be applied to any goal or change you want to achieve.

Here are some of the ways the book is changing my life. First, I am remembering that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am being reminded that when I put Him first and seek to fill my spirit with His word and teachings that my desires (especially those for food) will come in line with His desires for my life.

On Friday Feb 4th at 5pm Cliff and I have the incredible honor of interviewing Candance on a special episode of Family From the Heart. Once again we owe a debt of gratitude to our sponsor, Mardel.com.

We will not be recording Family From the Heart during our normal time slot on Thursday time slot this week. We will be broadcasting the interview live on our site at https://gspn.tv/live, this Friday, at 5 pm est.

I know that several ladies from our community have been inspired to purchase this book based upon the things that I’ve shared. As you’re reading the book this week, if you come up with any questions or comments that you would like to communicate to Candace, I would like to invite you to call them in to our voicemail feedback hotline at 859-795-4067. Please try to keep questions and comments to 60 seconds or less. We will attempt to include as many of the community’s calls as possible.

We hope you'll be able to join us as we broadcast the interview live. If you are planning to attend, please let us know by giving us your RSVP on the gspn.tv community site.

Thank you!
Stephanie

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024 Community Voice – James Dibben

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 28, 2011

in Blog, The Community Voice

In this episode we introduce you to James Dibben. James and his wife have been married for 20 years. They have four daughters. James shares a unique story about how he and his wife grew their family.

James entered into the world of podcasting with his own podcasting network that can be found at http://Bluecollarradionetwork.com.

I hope that everyone comes away encouraged by our conversation with James, as you hear his story of the ups and downs that his family has faced, you can still hear the confidence and joy in his voice and in his words. Be sure take a movement and say hello to James on the gspn.tv community site at http://goo.gl/RcAWA.

Right-Click Here To Download The MP3

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The Ted Williams Story
By now, most people who would listen to this episode of the Almost Daily Devotional have heard about the Ted Williams story.

The original video: http://goo.gl/3itKO
The Interview Video: http://goo.gl/Pfqrd

From the streets of Columbus to baring witness to the year of providence. I love seeing God at work in the life of Ted Williams and I hope that you will join me in praying that he will be able to remain faithful in seeking God first in everything.

Are you acknowledging God Daily?
I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.” (Luke 12:8 NIV)

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33)

Right-Click Here To Download

If you enjoy this content, would you consider supporting the content and community of gspn.tv by becoming a gspn.tv Plus Member? Visit https://gspn.tv/plus for details.

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Expect Obstacles And Do Not Worry About Tomorrow

by Stephanie Ravenscraft on January 21, 2011

in Blog

We all have things we want….the desires of our heart. Whether that be the daily schedule going smoothly, not yelling at the kids, getting a workout in or remembering to speak my husbands love language. Or on a bigger scale….losing weight, becoming a blogger or proving that you can be successful without a college degree.

We all have that list of wants and it is inevitable that we will hit obstacles along the way. It is how we deal with those obstacles that will determine our outcome.

I am finding that expecting obstacles is a great way to deal with them. Now I don’t walk around with a “waiting for the shoe to drop” mentality. But I do expect that things are going to pop up sometimes. Snow days, birthday cake, writers block, anything that distracts me from my goal.

This post for example, I was getting so caught up in saying something important that I was overlooking just being honest. I don’t have all the answers and I don’t need to.

So here is what I am learning on this journey that is my life. I have a plan or I’m making a plan to reach my goals. I am breaking my goals down into step by step actions to get me to completion. I expect successes and failures along the way, thankful for the failures that will teach me and grow my character.

And above all else, I know that His mercies are new every morning. My Lord has created a fresh start for me each day. Every morning I can put my feet on the floor knowing that I am starting new.

I find it so exciting and thrilling that it’s completely acceptable to end the day recording my successes and failures, knowing that tomorrow is a new day. A clean slate. Not letting myself get caught up in the “what ifs” of tomorrow. Scripture tells me “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34).


Join the community at http://gspncommunity.com

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023 Community Voice – Chanda Stegall

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 20, 2011

in Blog, The Community Voice


Chanda has been a gspn.tv Plus Member since November 24th, 2008. Join Stephanie and I as we get to know a little bit more about Chanda. Be sure to check out out her business website at http://fcscreations.com. You can also connect with Chanda on the gspn.tv online community site by visting her profile page at http://goo.gl/y0Ihh

Right-Click Here To Download The MP3

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In this episode, I share two verses from scripture that, if were were to live them out daily, would radically improve all aspects of our lives.

As a podcast and new media consultant, I’ve noticed that a lot of people are interested in reproducing much of the success that I’ve had in building a loyal community around the podcast content that I’ve created.

The problem with a lot of social media marketing is that there is often too much marketing involved and not really enough social. Many people attempt to reconcile this with a “formula” feeling as though if they spend enough time interacting with folks, by simply joining the conversation, then they can then expect results from the marketing aspects of the equation.

The problem is that most of these formulas leave out a major variable. The variable that is often overlooked is the motive behind the desire to be social. If you are giving for the purpose of getting something in return, it is not likely that you’ll receive the same benefits that I’ve personally achieve in social media. You’d be using a different formula.

There’s nothing wrong with marketing, even in social media. There is nothing wrong with earning a leaving from the work that you do and promoting it. I’ve certainly pushed the boundaries at times of what is “too much” marketing. Each time, though, my core community keeps me in check and I get back to the heart of the matter.

If you do plan to market anything to the folks that you are in relationship with. Please consider taking the following scripture references into account when creating your formula for success.

Philippians 2:2-4 (New Living Translation)
…Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

1 Thessalonians 2:5 (New Living Translation)
…we were not pretending to be your friends just to get your money!

I pray that this thought will be helpful in wrapping your mind about what’s most important in social media. RELATIONSHIPS!

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If you enjoy this content, would you consider supporting the content and community of gspn.tv by becoming a gspn.tv Plus Member? Visit https://gspn.tv/plus for details.

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Plus Membership Changes As of January 2011

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 17, 2011

in Blog

Dear Friends,

What started out as a hobby in December of 2005 has radically changed our lives and the lives of many people around the world. Back then, we would have never dreamed we would be where we are today. One thing is for certain, Stephanie and I have felt the calling to share our lives online in a very authentic way in an effort to bring entertainment, education, inspiration, and encouragement to anyone who would listen.

As the amount of content that we felt led to share grew, we found that the community around the content grew as well. We knew that there were two main things that we wanted to do with gspn.tv. First, we wanted to continue to provide high quality, consistent content people could count on. Second, we wanted to build a community where Stephanie and I are directly involved with those who listen to our shows as well as provide multiple tools and opportunities for our community to connect to each other based upon shared passions.

In January of 2008, Stephanie and I took a huge leap of faith by making the decision for me to leave my career in insurance behind so that we could pursue podcasting and new media work full time as a career. So many wonderful things have happened since then. We are especially grateful for the additional co-hosts that have joined us and allowed us to extend the range of our content that we produce. And we are most excited about the growth of the gspn.tv community and the amazing stories of true friendships have been built and are being built.

From March of 2008 through December 2010, gspn.tv Plus Membership was designed in such a way that many of our shows offered one episode per month that was available to everyone for free, and those who had become a gspn.tv Plus Member, by paying $10/month, had access to special rss feeds and a website that provided every episode of every podcast that we produced.

On January 10th, 2011, I published Episode 486 of Pursuing A Balanced Life that explained why I felt a very strong urge to make every episode, of every show we produce, available to everyone in the world for free. I would strongly urge you to listen to that episode to hear the full story of how Plus Membership got started and how it turned into what it is today.

So what is Plus Membership Today?
Plus Membership is all about supporting the entertaining, educational, encouraging, and inspirational content that is produced on a weekly basis. It is also all about “Joining The Community.” By this, we mean to invite you to connect with other people, from around the world, who share your same passions, to build authentic friendships that make a positive difference in your life.

What are the Benefits of Becoming A Plus Members & Joining The Community?

  • The good feeling that comes with knowing that you're supporting the entertaining, educational, encouraging, and inspirational content that we produce here at gspn.tv and that your support makes it possible for us to make every episode, of every podcast available, to everyone, free of charge.
  • You are given access to the gspn.tv online community found at gspncommunity.com, a place where you can establish and build amazing friendships with other folks around shared passions.
  • Monthly Plus Member conference calls. These conference calls will vary in topic and will be interactive, giving you the ability to participate both in a live chat room as well as the ability to call in and participate in the discussion. For those who are not able to attend these calls live, the recordings will be made available in a section on the gspn.tv online community website.
  • As a gspn.tv Plus Member, you'll have access to the complete podcast archives going all the way back to December of 2005.
  • Plus members will also receive a discount on the gspn.tv community meetups.
  • gspn.tv Plus Members have the opportunity to be introduced to the community via an interview on the Community Voice Podcast.

How Much Does Plus Membership Cost?
That's completely up to you! It has been the support of our Plus Members that has allowed us to devote the time and resources necessary to produce all the content that we've produced and to provide rich environments for community growth.

From this point forward, the cost of Plus Membership will be completely up to our Plus Members! The recommended contribution is $10 per month. However, there are options for lower and higher monthly contributions. There is also an option to make a one-time contribution of any sized amount as often as you desire. Technically speaking, you could become a gspn.tv Plus Member for a low as a single $1 contribution.

You see, at the heart of the matter, we do not want to hinder anyone from being able to fully participate in the gspn.tv community. If you make a financial contribution of any amount, you ARE a gspn.tv Plus Member…. FOR LIFE!

That's right! Your Plus Membership DOES NOT Expire! Let's say that you contributed $10 per month for eight months two years ago but then had to stop for whatever reason. We want you to know that your contributions for those eight months were extremely valuable to us and that contribution allowed us to produce content and grow this community during that period of time as a result. For this, we are very thankful!

Note: Monthly recurring contributions are set up through paypal. One-time contributions can be made by credit card or via PayPal. If neither of these options work for you, please email me at [email protected] to discuss other payment options.


Plus Membership Monthly Contribution




 

To make a one-time contribution of any amount, please use this button:
Add to Cart

 

Do You Still Have Questions About Plus Membership?
If you still have any sort of questions, please check out our gspn.tv Plus Membership FAQ page!

 

Check out what some of our existing Plus Members are saying below:

Audio Testimonials


Jenny H. from Rochester, New York[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/JennyH.mp3]


Chrstine Peel-Malkoff, New York, NY[audio:https://gspn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/christinetestimonial.mp3]


Darrell Darnell – Oklahoma City, OK[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/DarrellDarnellTestimonial.mp3]


Murphy from Louisiana[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Murphy.mp3]


Mary from Minnesota[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Mary-Soukup.mp3]


Anne T. from Germany[audio:https://gspn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/annetestimonial.mp3]


Richi, Gessertshausen, Germany[audio:http://media.libsyn.com/media/gspn/Richi-Germany-Testimonial.mp3]


Aaron Benedict, Brooklyn, NY[audio:https://gspn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/aaronbenedict-testinmonial.mp3]


Willie Gillis, Memphis, TN[audio:https://gspn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/williegillis-testimonial.mp3]


Karen Richard, Worcester, MA[audio:https://gspn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/karenrichardtestimonial.mp3]


Chris Oatley – Los Angeles, CA[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Chris-Oatley.mp3]


Wayne Henderson – Southern California[audio:https://gspn.tv/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/testimonywaynehenderson.mp3]


Michaela Walsh – Melbourne Australia[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/MichaelaWalshTestimonial.mp3]


Jaime from Burbank, Califonia[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Testimony-Jaime.mp3]


Tessa Lowe – England, UK (A Humorous Approach!)[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Tessa-Lowe-LOST.mp3]


Michelle From Texas[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Michelle-Texas.mp3]


Michael Dean[audio:https://gspn.tv/plustestimonials/Michael-Dean.mp3]

 
 
Written Testimonials

Cliff and Stephanie,

Murphy and I wanted to thank you for your advice on Dave Ramsey. We are on week 5 of Financial Peace University at a local church and we already have our $1,000 baby emergency fund and we have paid off one credit card.

We still have a long way to go, but you have inspired us to get our finances in line and become debt free!

Mary Martin

Hi Cliff,
Couldn't wait till 2010!! So I went ahead and got my plus membership n boy am I having fun with all the wonderful content that you provide….it was worth the investment!! I'm still waiting for the edirol to arrive in the mail n am drooling over the PR-40!! I still haven't added any furniture to the office so the echo is killing me..who knows I might just end up recording in my closet! lol
TC n God Bless
Fahad

As for my deciding to become a plus member …. I stumbled across your LOST podcast a few months ago and fell in love with it. So I subscribed to that. Then I had to research what you guys were all about because you mentioned some other podcasts that you guys do. I was thrilled when I discovered that not only were you guys LOST fans, but Christians, too! So I started listening (and also subsribed) to the almost daily devotional. Love that, too, btw!

Anyway, I feel like I can just never get enough, and I figured since this is your life, your livlihood in fact, and $10 a month is not too much to give to someone who gives so much….
So thats the short of it.

Looking forward to hearing more from you guys!

Marie H.

It's impossible to think of how greatly you have influenced my life. I learned podcasting from you for crying out loud. You and Steph are a constant support and encouragement and I thank God for giving you to us. Your deep wisdom, your contagious enthusiasm, your irrevocable faith and genuine love for all of us are just a few of the remarkable qualities of you and your lovely wife. Thanks for demonstrating good parenting for those of us who may not have had such good parents, for demonstrating faith in trials, for demonstrating strength and fidelity in marriage. Thanks for building all of this on a foundation of love for people and for your community here. You are fuel for our creative fires. I only hope we can be the same for you. God bless the Ravenscrafts!

-Chris Oatley

Cliff,

I have been thinking about becoming a gspn Plus Member for a while and today I finally took the step and love getting every episode of “my” podcasts.. ;o) Also 10$ a month is really not that much for all the entertainment I get. I started listening to the Grey's podcast for quite some time ago. Now I am also subscribing to the Private Practice, Lost and Full Time Mom podcast and who knows, maybe I will find time to add even more podcasts to listen to while driving to and from work. I am not able to attend the live sessions as I live in Denmark and usually are sleeping while you are recording, but I enjoy listening to them afterwards.

Thank you for doing what you do and keep up the good work.

-Kjersti N

…As listeners we also feel that we are co-creating the shows. After my first feedback on About The Church, I was astonished how you not only discussed my questions quite openly and authentically, but also took the conversation forward for at least the next 5 weeks, still essentially following the line of questioning I'd initiated. I actually felt like I'd set the agenda for over a month of podcasting, with personal responses and encouragement from two compassionate men of my own generation. And moreover, I felt like I'd had an impact on your lives as well. If that's not going to persuade me to support your business financially, I don't know what is.

-Tess L.

Dearest Cliff and Stephanie;

I think I have spoken to you about how I have gotten my son Conor into Lost. Well, in the beginning of the summer I downloaded all of the previous Lost Podcasts so Conor could listen and I could keep up to speed. In the morning he puts my I-pod on our Bose docking station and we listen while I make our breakfast.

This morning we listened to the show where you talked about a listener in Hong Kong who probably speaks “hong kongese”. Stephanie then dead panned “Um, that would be Chinese Mr. World Traveler.” Well, Conor and I were laughing soo hard. Conor was laughing such a deep right from the toes laughter.

It reminded me of when he was a little boy and we used to tickle him. Thank-you Cliff and Stephanie!

Once again your podcasts have brought me such joy, and happiness. I just don't know what I would do without you!!!

When I pray tonight know that I will be praying to keep your family in my life forever. I must get to KY one of these days!!!!

Karen

HI Cliff, I heard you a couple of months back when you were a guest on the App Show. I decided to check out gspn.tv, and am now listening to Almost Daily Devotional, About the Church, and Family from the Heart. I appreciate what you are doing and have been blessed because of it. Becoming a plus member is the least that I can do, and at only $10 a month, how can I not, that is a bargain, it's 2 coffees a month. Anyways, I really appreciate what you are doing, keep up the great work, and may God continue you bless you and your family and everything that you do.

Mitchell B

Hi Cliff & Stephanie,

I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful podcasts that you have put out for us to hear. They are so inspiring for me. Your words have helped me during very difficult times in my life. You have inspired me to be a better steward of the money that God has provided for my family. You have inspired me to want to just be who I am and let God work with in me.

There is so much more that you two have done for me, and I can't even put it into words. There is a special place in my heart for both of you, and I continue to keep you in my daily prayer life. Thank you for inspiring me in working out, eating right, and finding a community of wonderful people. You are truly blessed with what you are doing, and I do believe that you are doing what God is calling you to do because you are changing lives, like mine.

Thank you again,

Jenn Davis

Hi Cliff,

I am writing to you as a grateful GSPN Plus member who wants to say thank you for inspiring me to pursue my passion. I have been a plus member since almost the beginning of plus membership and was listening to many of your podcasts before that. I listened to you on your journey to quit insurance and pursue your passion, and I hold so much respect and admiration for you for being able to do this. It has inspired me to pursue my passion.

My passion is dogs, and it always has been. I have been involved in dog rescue, walking, and training most of my life and it is what I love to do. In June, I graduated college with a Psychology degree and had many of those what am I going to do with my life moments. I had not gone away for College, I lived at home with my family in New York City, and I am very close to my mom and sister. When I graduated, I knew I wanted to go into dog training and dog rescue, but I was scared. Many people told me I would not make money doing this, I should go to graduate school and pursue human psychology, but that is not what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do was take a 6 week course in San Francisco, CA, at the SF SPCA Academy for dog trainers, which is widely respected as the best dog training school in the country, but is also known as extremely hard and intensive. After filling out some lengthy applications, I was accepted to the program, but unsure if I wanted to go. It would mean leaving my mom, sister, and dogs for the longest period of time I had every been away from home, and it was an expensive course that would use up most of my savings. But dogs are my passion, and this is what I wanted to do, so I did it. I have done very well and tomorrow will graduate with honors. I have learned so much and had a great time, and have learned that I certainly can now pursue my passion. My mom is coming here tomorrow for my graduation and we will then spend the weekend exploring SF, I can't wait to see her even though I've had such a great time. I plan to come back out here in a few months to do an internship program.

So I just wanted to thank you for inspiring me to pursue my passion and follow what I love. I figured if you can do it, I can too. I love your podcasts and don't know what I would do without them, I need something to listen to while walking the 2 miles to and from the Academy as well as for my usual hour each morning at the gym. Congrats on your motivation to get healthy as well. I am a bit of a health fanatic and a runner, and I love that you have decided to pursue a healthy life. I fully support all of your efforts with eating healthy and walking and I love that you never say you are on a diet- you have changed your way of life, which is how it should be. While I don't usually have time to participate in live shows or on message boards, don't spend much time on the computer at all other than quick e-mail and loading podcasts on my ipod, know that I am listening and being inspired. Keep pursuing your passion and keep getting healthy!

Thanks for doing what you do,
Melissa

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022 Community Voice – Jonathan Nation

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 13, 2011

in Blog, The Community Voice


The community voice is back and I am delighted to relaunch it by introducing you to Jonathan Nation. In this episode you’ll learn how I met Jonathan and how we’ve developed an pretty amazing friendship over the past three years. I count it a privilege to know and have Jonathan, and his wife Helen, as friends.

My favorite part of the Community Voice Podcast is that I get to introduce you to other wonderful folks in the community. You see, Jonathan has been a part of the gspn.tv community for years. Now, the next time you see him online, you’ll be able to know who you’re chatting with.

Links To Discover More About Jonathan:
http://JonathanNation.com
http://JonathanNation.com/twitter
JonathanNation.com/fb
http://AllyNation.com
http://StartingCube.com

Right-Click Here To Download The MP3

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Well friends, it seems that I've been facing one major decision after the other. In this episode, I am finally at a place where I feel that I can comfortably share what has been on my mind as it relates to the future of gspn.tv Plus Membership.

This show is exactly one hour in length. I recognize that not everyone out there has an interest in the regular content of the Pursuing A Balanced Life Podcast. However, I want to encourage everyone out there, if you enjoy any of our gspn.tv shows and want to know about some major changes that are just ahead for our community, you should listen to this episode.

After you get a chance to listen, feel free to leave a comment here on this post! You can provide audio feedback for the podcast by calling the voice mail feedback line directly at 859-795-4067. You can also email an audio file to [email protected].

Don't forget to tweet about your pursuit of a balanced life, joining us in the #PABL campaign.

Right-Click Here To Download MP3 Version of this Free Episode

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My Favorite Things about Losing 72 pounds

by Stephanie Ravenscraft on January 7, 2011

in Blog

When I first thought about writing this blog, I thought it would be ten things. I just couldn't think of three more, although I’m sure they are there. So, in no particular order, my 7 favorite things of having lost 72 pounds.

1. The way my kids see me.
I love knowing that my kids see me as healthy. I remember as a kid being so worried about my mom because she smokes or my dad knowing he is overweight. And honestly I still do. So to have taken this worry away from my kids means the world to me.

The first time they referred to my old self as “fat mom”, they were concerned about getting into trouble. We have a strict no “put down” rule in our house. But it made me realize that that is what they thought. And they were delighted that I was not fat anymore. So with sensitivity to those around us that are still overweight, I gave my kids permission to call my old self “fat mom”.

It helps me remember that I don’t want to be that again and one of the reason I lost weight to begin with was to be there for my kids. I asked each of them this morning what their favorite part about me not being “fat mom” anymore is and here are their responses.

Matthew – I don’t walk as slow anymore and I can run and play, which I couldn't do before.
Meagan – She can borrow my shirts.
McKenna- I don’t look like a watermelon anymore.

I love my kids and pray that I am able to instill healthy views of food into them and that they never struggle with obesity.

2. Buying a size 6 and SKINNY Jeans!!!!!
Really do I need to say more. At my biggest I wore a size 18, or squeezed myself into a 16 in denial that I needed bigger pants. I have been dressing to hide my body since I was 17. It feels so good to be able to dress the trendy look.

3. Tying my shoes.
Now here is where you can say it’s the small things that matter. I always put my foot on a chair to tie my shoes. Bending over would make me dizzy or was just uncomfortable because my belly was in the way. The first time I bent over to tie my shoes was a milestone for me.

4. Borrowing Clothes from friends, Or rather a friend. [click to continue…]

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Join Cliff & Stephanie on the No More Mondays Cruise!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on January 7, 2011

in Blog

UPDATE: We have already gone on the cruise and here are some videos:

Words can not begin to express how much fun our entire family had on Dan Miller's No More Mondays Cruise. It took us three years to get to the place where we could afford to do something like this.

In hindsight, this trip was a major investment in, not only our business, but our family as well. Over the course of eleven days, this journey changed the dynamics of our family and provided life lessons that could only be experienced hands on, rather than being read about in a book.

The following footage is about 21 minutes in length. A majority of the photography and video footage was done by our three children who are ages 11, 9, and 5. Please keep this in mind when you encounter portions of the video that may not be as steady as you would like.

Please feel free to leave comments for the kids in the comments section below. They will be reading your posts as you leave them and may even respond.

Update: Here's another video done Joel Boggess and his wife, Dr. Pei Kang from http://4pointscoaching.com.


Not sure what to do for Valentine's Day? There is nothing more romantic than exotic beaches and a beautiful cruise where you are pampered and get to indulge in some of the best culinary experiences you could imagine. Add to that, world-famous speakers and a business tax write-off and you are having the ultimate vacation!

February 13-20, 2011

This cruise was put together by Dan Miller, author of 48 Days To The Work You Love and No More Mondays. Dan has been one of Cliff's greatest sources of inspiration when it comes to the mindset of doing what you love for a living. You can check out Cliff's entire series of podcast episodes that he did back when he first read 48 Days To The Work You Love. You can also hear an episode where Cliff shared how one of his dreams came true, when Dan not only became a client, but also a friend.

On this cruise, you'll get the pleasure of visiting not one, but three gorgeous ports – San Juan, Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Phillipsburg, St. Maarten.

The Celebrity Solstice:
We'll be traveling aboard the Celebrity Solstice, a beautiful ship with it's meticulous attention to detail that elevates service to new heights of pampering. I've been told that you'll have a stateroom attendant who greets you by name, a server who remembers your love of Pinot Noir, and a freshly manicured half-acre grass lawn — the only one at sea.

Click Play on the audio player below to hear where we had Dan Miller as our guest on a recent episode of Family From The Heart. We introduce Dan in the episode at about 12 minutes and 30 seconds into the recording if you want to forward right to that part.
[audio:http://traffic.libsyn.com/gspn/FFTH143-CruisingWithClifAndStephanie.mp3]


 
Our Cruise Intinerary [click to continue…]

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