Central Florida: A Review

downtown orlando

by John Ellis

My family and I have lived in Central Florida for a little over 2 months, so, of course, it’s time for a review. A review filled with hot-takes, because a hot-take-less review is no fun.

Florida is essentially 3 states: Northern Florida, including the Panhandle where I grew up. Central Florida, where my family now resides after spending 6 years in the D.C. area (referred to as the DMV for District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia). South Florida, a magical place where I want to move although I realize deep inside of me that I don’t really want to live there.

An argument can be made that the state is really 4 states, with the Florida Keys being the fourth. However, I view the Keys as the real Florida that the other 3 sections strive to be but fall short of.

Even though I recognize that the Keys are superior to the rest of the state, having grown up in Florida, I love all of it and am happy to be home. That being said, every section has its strengths and weaknesses. There are things about Central Florida that I like and dislike. There is also some overlap between this area and the part of Florida I grew up in. The overall personality is the same. The smell is the same (except for those times as a kid when the wind was blowing the wrong way out of Cantonment). The seafood is just as delicious and plentiful. It’s all Florida, but I’m currently sitting in the middle of the state. So, below are some of my likes and dislikes about the region after 2 months as a resident of the Orlando area.

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Make Finding a Church a Priority When Moving


by John Ellis

Moving to a new city and/or state is often stressful, yet it also brings the excitement of newness and adventure. Whatever excitement exists, though, is quickly overshadowed by the mountain of stuff to get done. With all the whirling parts involved in changing residences, moving is basically a full-time job. While packing and planning for the move, checking off items on the to-do list frequently reveals that the to-do list is incomplete; the list seemingly never gets shorter, only longer. More boxes are needed, forgotten closets that are crammed full of stuff are discovered, yard sales and utilities and doctors and schools and the DMV and changing your address and on-and-on-and-on, and no matter how organized and prepared you are, it will inevitably be revealed that you forgot something.

Sadly, one thing that many Christians fail to account for when moving from one area to another is church. The thought process is frequently that a new church can be found upon arrival. That is a mistake – possibly a tragic mistake.

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