Are We Living Like We Are Saved

Are We Living Like We Are Saved

Jesus tells his listeners they are β€œthe Salt of the Earth.”  Who are these people gathered around Jesus listening to his Sermon on the Mount?  They are carpenters, masons, laborers, farmers, slaves, the poor, the ill, the infirm and the oppressed.  They are people working hard in their daily lives doing their best to take care of their families in a time when society is divided into two groups: those who have; and people those who have are taking from.  This monument is located in the Glen DooLough Valley of western Ireland. In 1849 a group of about 600 cold and starving people seeking aid because of the famine traveled 10 miles from Louisburgh to Delphi where the English administrators denied them help.   They arrived at lunchtime interrupting the meal and were told to return the next day.  The monument is a memorial to those perished in the journey.  Each year a walk is held commemorating the 100s of poor Irish died during the 1849 trek. 

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That Special Gift

That Special Gift

December 5, Hawaiian Village, Ventura.  This is the spot where our apartment stood.  According to the reports, when the fire stuck around midnight it was moving at approximately a football field per second.  We had about 15 minutes from the time Priscilla woke me up until we had to leave.  Now I understand in part the confusion which grasps people in emergencies.  It is like everything is happening in a dream.  You are moving solely on automatic not really thinking through your actions.  We grabbed what we thought we might need like medications, computers, billfolds and phones.  It is not until later that we had a chance to look at what we had saved and are surprised by what we took.

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Will We Be Ready When The Time Comes

Will We Be Ready When The Time Comes

We see a cloudbank forming on the horizon and our thoughts immediately turn to destruction and despair.  We anxiously watch as the dark wall of mist moves across the water approaching the shore and finally rolls across the beach moving inland.  The next day the sun shines brightly and we give a sigh of relief and smile realizing that the cycle has once again turned.  Life is a series of cycles.  If we are ready we can take comfort in knowing that nothing lasts forever.

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We Have To Step Out Of The Boat

We Have To Step Out Of The Boat

This was the view from our window at the Altarocca Wine Resort overlooking rows of grapes.  Altarocca Wine Resort, Orvieto, Italy.   God provides for us in great bounty in all seasons, but we have to be ready to do our part.  Italy is famous for its grapes which make spectacular wines and table fruits.  More importantly the people of Italy have a close connection to their agricultural heritage working with their hands and using all the earth has to offer.  Especially tasty are the breads, cheeses, pates, prosciutto and other cured meats. 

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We Are People Of Our Time

We Are People Of Our Time

NEARLY 6,000 YEARS AGO THE HUNTER-GATHER STONE AGE INHABITANTS OF ENGLAND STARTED BUILDING STONE CIRCLES.  THERE ARE NEARLY 1,300 STONE CIRCLES LOCATED THROUGHOUT THE BRITISH ISLES.    WE ARE NOT SURE OF THEIR SIGNIFICANCE OR USE BUT WE CAN APPRECIATE THE EXPENDITURE OF TIME, ENERGY AND MATERIALS IT TOOK TO MOVE THE STONES AND ARRANGE THEM IN THEIR SPECIFIC CONFIGURATION.  THESE STONES ARE AT CASTLERIGG STONE CIRCLE ON THE EDGE OF KESWICK, CUMBRIA, NORTH WEST ENGLAND.  SITUATED ON THE TOP OF A VERY STEEP HILL, THE LARGEST OF THE 40 STONES IN THE OUTER CIRCLE (10 STONES IN THE INNER CIRCLE) IS ABOUT 16 TONS AND 7 FEET TALL.  THESE BUILDERS WERE A DIFFERENT PEOPLE FROM US WITH DIFFERENT PRIORITIES, BUT WE KNOW STONE CIRCLES WERE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THEIR LIVES.

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When Society Shuddered

When Society Shuddered

STANDING IN SAINT CHAPELLE, LIKE ALL VISITORS, I WAS CAUGHT UP IN THE VERTICAL LINES AND THE STRETCH OF STAINED GLASS REACHING UP TO AND SEEMING TO TOUCH HEAVEN.  IF A BUILDING CAN HONOR GOD, THIS HAS TO BE IT.  BUILT BY LOUIS IX IN THE 13TH CENTURY TO HOUSE HIS RELICS (I.E.. CHRIST'S CROWN OF THORNS) IT WAS BUILT IN A TIME WHEN MOST PEOPLE WERE ILLITERATE, AND IN ORDER TO FEEL THE GLORY, SUPERIORITY, AND POWER OF GOD....WELL SOMETHING WAS REQUIRED TO STIMULATE THAT FEELING AND ARCHITECTURE WAS AN ANSWER.  THE MIDDLE AGES WERE A ROUGH TIME FOR THE CHURCH CAUGHT IN POLITICS AND SOCIAL UNREST, IT WAS HARD TO KEEP FOCUSED, BUT BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS HELPED.  TODAY BECAUSE OF THE DIVIDED NATURE OF OUR POLITICAL LANDSCAPE THE CHURCH IS AGAIN IN DANGER OF OUTSIDE INFLUENCES WHICH COULD HAVE A DEVASTATING IMPACT ON ITS MISSION.  WE DO NOT HAVE THE MAJESTY OR THE SPACIOUSNESS OF THE CATHEDRALS OF FRANCE (Saint Chapelle in Paris), BUT WE DO HAVE OUR INTEGRITY TO GOD'S WORD AND A DESIRE TO DO HIS WORK.

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