Silver Anniversary Voyage

Posted by on Jun 3, 2016 in Blog |

Silver Anniversary Voyage Blog June 11, Day 10: Roma After breakfast in the hotel, we crossed the plaza to the Pantheon and saw its interior for the 3rd time in our lives and each time saw something different and were lifted to a higher level. The structure, the oldest in Rome and one of the oldest standing structures in the world was built in 126 A. D. by Emperor Hadrian. Inside the Pantheon, among others, are the tombs of the Renaissance artist Raphael and the king you unified Italy,...

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Posted by on May 16, 2016 in Blog |

I just watched, with great sadness, a report on CNN about the occupation of Maloula, the Christian community I have visiting and wrote about in The Last Page. ISIS took over Maloula in late, 2013, something I did not know, (though I had been monitoring that situation). They remained 6 months and were ousted by the Christians who chose to remain. In the six months of their occupation, ISIS damaged the convent Tekla (a prominent feature in the novel) and abducted 13 nuns. They marred numerous...

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Sermon Preached at St. Luke UMC 4/10/16

Posted by on Apr 10, 2016 in Blog |

The Christian Faith and Politics: A Holy Alliance Will you join me in the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and our country. I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Scripture: “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, THE KING OF THE JEWS…and the sign was written in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin. (John 19:19-20)...

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New Zealand Journal Day 9

Posted by on Mar 1, 2016 in Blog |

New Zealand Journal Day 9 After breakfast we spent the morning and part of the afternoon on a harbor nature cruise gratis per one of the managers of the cruise. When she learned we were guests in Akaroa she insisted Sandi and I, along with Jackie Bone, be her guests. The morning began overcast but the sun broke through at times spilling light over the surrounding volcanic mountainous terrain. Akaroa Bay was once a volcanic crater pierced by the sea which flooded in creating the large and...

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New Zealand Journal Day 8

Posted by on Feb 28, 2016 in Blog |

New Zealand Journal Day 8 We awoke to another day of perfect fall weather and checked out of The Settles, one of the nicest lodgings Sandi and I have had in years traveling abroad. The manager even changed a hundred dollars for me and gave me the best rate yet: $100 for $140 NZ. We ate breakfast at one of the sidewalk cafes in quaint downtown Hanmer. The main drag reminded us of a quiet a Gatlinburg before it became noisy and gaudy. After breakfast, we followed Jackie to an  art shop where she...

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New Zealand Journal Days 6 and 7

Posted by on Feb 26, 2016 in Blog |

New Zealand Journal Day 6 We arose at 6 a.m. to a stunning sunrise in Napier, Hawkes Bay. After a light breakfast, compliments of Te Pania our lovely hotel, we packed for the long 4/5 hour drive to Wellington. Along the way south on State Hwy 2 the Ruahine Mountain Range (Rocky Mountain style) flanked us on the west and rolling brown/green hills on the east (Smokey Mountain style) as we followed the Classic Wine Trail passing through picturesque small towns that could have been cut from post...

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New Zealand Journal Day 6

Posted by on Feb 25, 2016 in Blog |

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New Zealand Journal Day 5

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Blog |

We departed Taupo after a splendid stay at the Hilton overlooking the town and mammoth lake. The drive was easy, a straight shot on Hwy 5 into Napier, an art decor seaport on the Pacific. Descending from the mountains onto the coastal plain, the scenery along the way was lush with miles of pine forests and varieties of conifers including Norfolk pine and blue spruce. We drove through valleys as green as though we might have been traveling across Ireland contrasted with brown hues, signs of...

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New Zealand Journal Day 4

Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Blog |

New Zealand, Day 4, February 23 After a fabulous breakfast, we departed Rotorua. The one hour drive to Taupo was marked by frequent thermal vapor sitings, lush countryside, sculptured hills from the Jurrasic glacial period (like one sees in northern Scotland), herds of sheep and dairy cattle, cliffs of loess (sediment from the great glaciers) that one sees around Vicksburg and Natchez, and vistas of unparalleled beauty. The Hilton, our destination, is situated on a hilltop overlooking Lake...

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New Zealand Journal Day 3

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016 in Blog, Uncategorized |

Day 3 February 22 We arose 7:30 and ate a scrumptious breakfast before trying some adventure. We struck out to find Paradise Valley several miles from Rotorua, a type of zoo with live New Zealand animals. We enjoyed seeing the lovely New Zealand countryside. After some wrong turns, we found the zoo only to learn it would cost $30 per person to see animals we had seen in their natural habitat in Africa a couple of years ago. We switched gears and a Maroi Cultural and Thermal park called Te Puia...

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