Tag Archives: cruise

{Day 2} It All Started with a Western Caribbean Cruise…

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:6 (NASB)

It all started with a Western Caribbean cruise in February. You know, the one I said I would write about, but never did. Yeah. That one. At the Coxen Hole port on Roatan Island, Honduras, to be exact.

Beyond the beautiful beaches (and oh my, beautiful is an understatement!), as we wandered into the local community near the port on a mission to find a Bojangles (that we never did locate…), it was in the faces of curious children, in the glances of store owners, in the laundry hanging on clotheslines, in the street traffic, in the everyday reality of local culture … poverty, brokenness, and need.

But not just a practical need (though there was that, too) … it was a need for hope, it was a need for truth, it was a need for a Savior.

And as I left that port to get back on the ship, I began to feel the weight of conviction, of confusion, and of my own brokenness.

What could I do to meet such a vast, extensive need?

How could anything I have to offer ever be adequate?

And why did the Lord interrupt my vacation for crying out loud?!

But the prompting of the Holy Spirit was there. And it demanded a response.

Photo of the Week: Eight

I’ve had almost no energy to invest in blogging anything of consequence this week, so rather than trying to force a post with minimal quality, I pretty much just took the week off. Regular posting will resume next week. Until then, another photo from Roatan because that place was gorgeous! Seriously, check out at that water!

Greece: Athens and the Cruise

Are you tired of hearing about my trip to Greece yet?

Well, give me two more days (literally, today and tomorrow), and my official re-cap posts will be complete.  Though I can’t necessarily guarantee that I’ll never mention Greece (or Paul’s Letters for that matter) again.  I feel quite certain that there are more stories and photos to be shared sporadically over the next few months in one form or another.

But if you’d rather abandon ship for a couple of days and skip straight to looking through more photos, feel free to friend me on Facebook and look through my Greece album instead. Just don’t forget to come back here next week!

After leaving Thessaloniki and traveling through the countryside, we arrived in Athens on Thursday evening where we stayed for the weekend before boarding the cruise ship, the Louis Majesty, on Monday morning.

While in Athens, we toured a couple of museums (I’ll spare you those details), visited the ancient agora (more on that in the next post…), attended a Sunday morning service at the Greek Evangelical Church (which was an awesome experience!), and of course, hiked up to the Acropolis and Mar’s Hills.

Oh, and did I mention that our hotel in Athens (the Philippos Hotel…which was a fabulous hotel with incredibly friendly employees…even if our brown blankets did mysteriously disappear one night only to reappear the next night) was just a couple of blocks away from the Acropolis and the Plaka (the shopping district)?  I took this photo one night after dinner right around the corner from our hotel. . .a breathtaking view!

Then from my audible sigh of contentment on the first day while sitting in the lounge at the front of the ship on the 9th deck, reading Scripture, overlooking the expanse of the sea, and watching islands pass by on both sides…

…to the gloriously perfect moment on the last day sitting on the 10th deck in complete silence, getting lost in my thoughts, and reveling in my love for the peaceful, calming, reflective, and vast nature of the sea, we were cruising through the Aegean.

Day 1: Mykonos.

Mykonos was beautiful.

And some of my favorite photos from the entire trip are from Mykonos.

Day 2: Ephesus and Patmos. My alarm went off at 5:17am (and trust me, it felt as early as it sounds), so we would have enough time to get ready and disembark for Ephesus, but you’ll have to read the next post for the details.

Day 3: Rhodes.

We stayed at Rhodes all day, so we had plenty of time to tour a castle, head to the beach for a quick swim in the Aegean, eat lunch at a restaurant overlooking one of the town squares, walk through the shops in the old town…

…and then head to an internet cafe for drinks where one of these parrots decided to join us at our table by climbing up the side of my chair.  No worries.  He was friendly. . .loud, but friendly.

Day 4: Crete and Santorini.

On Crete (which is the 5th largest island), we visited the Church of St. Titus…

…and then a couple of us made a quick stop at Starbucks.  I didn’t get anything, though.  I know, shocking!  (Seriously, I’m a huge Starbucks fan!)  But in all fairness, we didn’t have a whole lot of time.

And with that, we come to the last stop on the cruise (and this post): Santorini.

Jet Lagged and Processing…

My body may still be slightly fatigued from jet lag and my mind may still be processing the experiences of the past few weeks…but today…I am grateful.

Grateful for the opportunity to walk in Paul’s footsteps throughout Greece (and Ephesus), grateful for the prayers that surrounded the trip, grateful for the courage to take a risk, grateful for the perseverance to see it through, grateful for the renewed longing and love for Scripture, grateful for the conviction to more passionately pursue and imitate Christ, and grateful for a wonderful couple who, through their faithfulness to God’s calling in the founding of Footstep Ministries, made this experience possible.

As I continue to edit my photos and read through my written thoughts concerning my experiences in Greece while studying Paul’s New Testament Letters, I find my words to be empty…lacking…inadequate.

Yet in some seemingly futile attempt to transition slowly back to routine, to consider the richness of my experiences, to acknowledge the growth and change from all that I saw and heard in such a short time, I am reminded of the question I found myself pondering as we hiked down from John’s grotto on the Island of Patmos.

After walking through (and singing in) the cave where Orthodox tradition indicates John received his vision, then sitting in a nearby amphitheater overlooking the harbor area as our professor outlined the powerful details and themes of the book of Revelation where that vision is recorded, on the way back to the tender boats that would take us back to the cruise ship, my question was this:

How do I come back from that place of reflection and make sense of the routine?

And although the routine no longer involves deciding which buffet to try for dinner, in essence, in this moment the question remains the same.

In some ways, I already know that the visits to Biblical and historical sites were humbling and inspiring, that I will never read certain passages of Scripture the same again, and that I am forever changed. Still in other ways, it seems that recognizing and processing the true impact of these experiences has only just begun. . .