Showing posts from September, 2008

Ephesus, the Greatest City of Asia Minor

The next stop on our cruise was the ancient city of Ephesus. There used to be a port right next to it, but over the centuries the Aegean Sea has receded about 9 kilometers, so we pulled into the near port/tourist city of Kusadasi, Turkey. Ephesus is still a beautiful city even though it has been reduced down to little more than facades and piles of rock. It was the "New York City" of ancient Asia Minor, with a large government, about 250,000 citizens, and thriving business/trade. I can definitely see why Paul spent 3 years of his ministry in that city. It would have been a beautiful sight to see during the time of the Roman Empire. The top picture is the Library of Celsus, the third largest library of antiquity. It would have housed around 12,000 scrolls and documents. It's beautiful 2-story facade is still standing majestically over the main street of the city. I can only imagine that Paul spent some time in this library studying history, philosophy, and theology - he

I'm a proud uncle - Twice again!

I almost forgot to add, last week before we set out for our cruise, my oldest sister gave birth to 2 beautiful fraternal twins, Ryan and Alyna. Everything went well, and both she and her children are doing very well at home. Thanks for all the prayers.

Greek Isle Cruise - 1st Stop: Mykonos

Mykonos Island: famous for its windmills, picturesque sunsets, whitewashed buildings, domed chapels, tourist shops, and store owners who give bad directions. Mykonos may not be as well known as Santorini, but it is definitely as pretty and fun to walk around. This was our first stop on the cruise, Friday afternoon, and we were able to just get off the boat and explore the town for about 4 hours. Everyone was so relaxed and happy to be there. We were sent on a wild goose chase trying to find the actual windmills due to bad directions given by a local shop owner. I think his exact instructions for us were, "Go straight, left, right, left." We ended up walking up this huge hill for about a quarter mile further than we needed to go, but we finally got it figured out with the help of a French guy who was running past us. But as you can see, the Island of Mykonos is absolutely beautiful. Just another testamony of the power of God and the artistic nature of mankind.

The Acropolis; Athens, Greece

Yesterday, Sunday, we visited the Acropolis, which was the religious center of Athens. It is set on top of a hill right in the middle of the city. It is home to the Parthenon (the Temple of Athena), and the Erectheum (the Temple of Poseidon and Athena). There is also a smaller Temple of Athena Nike near the entrance. This place was huge. It's obvious why the ancient Athenians chose this sight - from the hill you can see the entire city, and from almost anywhere in the city, you can see the Acropolis. It was awesome seeing the real Parthenon, especially since I've seen the Parthenon replica in Nashville several times. The real Parthenon is incredible simply because of the sheer size of it and everything around it. The Athenians held spared no expense in creating this beautiful place of worship and wonder. We also got to see the Areopagus, or Mars Hill, and the Agora. This is where the day to day life of the Athenians took place. This is where Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle

Temple of Poseidon; Sounion, Greece

Saturday evening was our first group trip We went down to Sounion, Greece, which is the southernmost tip of the peninsula of the Attica region, and there we toured our first of many temples of the semester. The Temple of Poseidon was built on a hill which drops of to the Aegean Sea. It is supposed to be one of the most beautiful spots in all of Greece to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, there was a thick haze rolling in right as the sun was setting. It was still beautiful, just not to its full potential. Poseidon was the mythological god of the sea. From this point, the ancient Greeks would look out to the sea and watch for approaching enemies. They would come to this temple and offer sacrifices to Poseidon for safe voyage by sea. They tried very hard to appease Poseidon, since he was the second in command of all the Olympic gods because he was the brother o Zeus. I just can't help but think back to the many times in which Yahweh showed His power over the waters: parting the Red

What day is it again?

So we all arrived here safely in Porto Rafti, Greece, but let me say that flying to Europe is not fun. We woke up around 6am on Wednesday to leave by 7:15 so we could eat breakfast with Katelyn's brother, Brandon, in Murfreesboro. After breakfast, we headed to the airport and arrived 3 hours early, which was about an hour and a half too soon. We met up with a couple other guys from our group at the airport and finally let Nashville around 12:55pm. We got to Detroit around 3:45 (eastern time), and boarded the next flight close to 5:00. From Detroit, we flew to Amsterdam. I had never flown over the ocean nor overnight before and I did them both on this flight. It was only about a six hour flight, but we jumped ahead 7 hours, which by this time I was way to tired to figure that one out. During the flight we were served dinner and breakfast. It was strange. I only got about an hour or two of sleep at the most. Then we arrived in Amsterdam around 6:30am local time, and we got to

So long, and thanks for all the fish

So, I've been neglecting this blog pretty severely this summer. Life just got in the way. But I should begin to start posting more often in lieu of my trip to Greece for the semester. This will be a way of keeping people up to date (as best I can) on how things are going and where we are. Katelyn and I are leaving tomorrow, September 10, with the rest of our group from Harding to make our way to Porto Rafti, Greece, about 30 minutes outside of Athens. During our time there we will be touring the rest of Greece, Egypt, Israel, and we will be taking a Mediterranean cruise, stopping in Ephesus. It's going to be the trip of a lifetime, and I will try and keep you updated with pictures and summaries of our trips. Keep us in your prayers that we may be kept safe everywhere we go, and especially pray for a peaceful situation in Israel and Egypt. The semester officially ends December 5, but we will be flying out of London on the 18th after 13 days of backpacking through Italy, Fran