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Some stairways lead to heaven or so its been said. Others lead to health.

The stairs in the picture are Jocelyn and my secret to weight control.

Let me explain.

We enjoyed a 10-night Eastern Caribbean cruise at the start of January. I know. I know. We’re not trying to provoke envy.

10-night cruises are affectionately known as “10 pounders.” One pound of weight gain for every day on board. 10lbs of weight gain is easy to understand when you have continuous access to pizza, tacos, nachos, burritos, hotdogs, chips, cookies, cheesecake, donuts, fries, burgers, milkshakes, sandwiches, steak, shrimp cocktails, roast beef, and ICE CREAM.

And how much weight did we gain upon return?

When we left I weighed in at 168.4 My goal was to return home at the same weight.

I won’t share Jocelyn’s weight because that’s not mine to share.

Stairways and Steps

We chose to only take the stairs. That’s right. No elevator use.

The ship had 16 decks. The restaurants were on the 16th deck and the 5th deck. Our cabin was on the 8th deck.

When we arrived with our four pieces of luggage we carried them up 10 flights of stairs because our cabin wasn’t ready. We carried them to the restaurant where we had lunch. And it was there we met Keith and Penny from Columbus, Ohio. More on this couple later.

Then we walked down seven flights of stairs to check into our cabin.

Over the 10 days of our cruise we averaged 52 flights of stairs each day.

In addition we walked everywhere. On board. On excursions. In total, we walked over 48 miles in a fairly small footprint of space. Some days we exceeded 25,000 steps.

Did all the walking pay off?

When I got home I weighed in at…


Regardless of the weight change, the discipline of stairs and steps was healthy. We proved to ourselves we could do it. Yay us.

And yay to Keith and Penny. They sat down beside us in the restaurant because seating was very limited. We struck up a conversation with them, shared hometowns, pieces of family info, and a mutual enjoyment of cruising. He was a retired mailman and she was an accountant. And then Penny mentioned a life change. Jocelyn asked her about her story.

Penny proceeded to share that forty years ago she learned about Jesus. By her own admission, she was rough around the edges and so was Keith. No church background or belief in God. A friend invited her to church, she heard the gospel and surrendered her life to Jesus. Keith followed shortly after.

They had no idea we were Christians or that I was a pastor. Jocelyn thanked Penny for sharing her story and asked her if she was always so open to talking about Jesus with strangers. Penny response was profound.

She said, “We’ve been doing this for 40 years. Isn’t that what all Christians are supposed to do?”


And there you have it. We took the stairs as a healthy discipline. And my weight? 170.0 on the night we returned. So our 10 pounder turned into a 1.6 pounder. The work was worth it. I didn’t reach my goal but we came home healthier. And happier.

I think that’s how Penny and Keith feel. They shared their story about Jesus because sharing is a healthy and life-giving discipline. They hoped to present a stairway to Jesus for us to climb. Through their efforts many others have been introduced to Jesus.

Has someone shared Jesus with you recently? Are you building stairways to faith for others? Please leave a comment below.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


  • Julie MacKenzie says:

    I enjoyed your story about your cruise experience. My Aunt & Uncle used to go on several every year & it was a “10 pounder” for my Uncle. Every time he came back, his belt was no longer useful. LOL! But, as soon as he went back to his normal eating habits, he lost the weight. My Aunt never had an issue. More disciplined…obviously. But, she advised that I should experience one. I have never “cruised”…just because I don’t feel good about being surrounded by water. I have a fear about drowning & would never purposely put myself in that situation. I can swim, but not good enough to keep myself afloat if I had to wait to be saved. I would be “shark bait”. I did see the movie “Jaws” when I was a teenager. LOL! So glad you enjoyed your vacation. I will stick to being a “landlubber”. Thank you for sharing your blog Pastor Bob. ❤️ I always enjoy reading it. Keep on, keeping on.

  • Bob Jones says:

    “Shark bait.” That reminds me of Finding Nemo. Ha! The great thing about a cruise ship is there is such stability you think you are in a hotel. Thanks for reading AND commenting, Julie.

  • Julie MacKenzie says:

    “Fish are our friends”. LOL! Have a great weekend.

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