One idea I have for the resurrected Toward Hope blog is to use this as a place to write general letters to my children about life. From time to time, I will address them with thoughts they can perhaps read one day and know me better as a result.
These are my sons. My boys are a handful of work and blessing all in the same bundle. They bring me much joy and lead me to the end of myself in good ways. They have led me to conversion points in my life more than any sermon has and when I need forgiveness, they pour it over me like soothing ointment on a wound. My sons are a gift from God that are here to receive their own life and be a constant blessing to everyone they share life with. It’s truly my privilege to care for them in these formative years. I often look for God in their eyes and encounter Him there while in full rapture of wonder and delight.
As a photographer my desire is to reflect the best in people and tell their stories. As a hack theologian, I long to find the link to life on earth as it is in heaven. The camera helps me do that.
OK, I know I have been blog silent for some time…I still feel like I have little to say. But I thought I’d point you to the complete flickr set of all our vacation photos.
Yesterday we spent the day being overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the Colosseum. This architectural masterpiece is nothing less than amazing and even it’s ruined state did well to inform us of just how vast and large the Roman Empire was. We learned that not many (if any) Christians died there; they were executed at the Circus Maximus and the Colosseum was reserved for gladiator fights and animal shows. The columns of St Peter’s were made with salvaged marble from the Colosseum once the games ceased.
The Forum and Palentine Hill were also quite amazing. Learning about the history of Rome was interesting and the ruins were impressive. It did leave much for us to imagine as to what the original town looked like…I think we’ll buy one of those “Rome then and Now” books that has helpful overlays to help fill the gaps. Anyways, here is the Flickr set with ample pictures for you to see…
Tomorrow we are off for an early Christianity and Catacombs tour….
On our second day in Rome we visited the Vatican. The ornate texture of the place is grand in it’s vastness and caused sensory overload. The art work contained therein can vault one back in time to feel like a part of the history that produced it. As I said yesterday, pictures hardly do this place justice. As I stood beneath the glorious canvass of the Sistine Chapel, I was overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. It was later in St Peter’s Basilica that Michelangelo’s Pieta caused me to pause and consider the cost of discipleship.
We had a guide named Ann from Through Eternity Tours that did a fabulous job giving insight into the history of all we saw. Her commentary kept all interested and I would definitely recommend her services to anyone making the trek to the Vatican. After the Vatican, we stopped by the gelato place outside the walls that Ann recommended and four 5 euros Christiene and I indulged in the best and biggest gelato cone we’d ever had. It’s worth the 30 minute trek back for more.
Here are the pictures we took yesterday. I created a new “Rome Collection” on Flickr.
If you are ever at the Vatican, walk the Copola!
Here we are! Freshly jet-lagged as a result 15 hours of flying, we managed to meander into the city for some pizza at the oldest pizzaria in Rome. After dinner we wandered through the Quirinal area that is host to the magnificent Trevi Fountain. I can’t begin to tell you how surreal the intersection of history and modern culture is in this beautiful city. Ancient wonders are scattered throughout rome and jump out at you as you pop around corners. Pictures hardly do the city justice. There is a deeper layer of interaction as one stands before the artifacts in this city with all senses in play.
Here is a collection of pictures from our first day. I’ve uploaded them to my Flickr account. Enjoy!
I finally registered for a Flickr Pro account and will be updating pictures often. I rather like the site’s capabilities and it gives me a creative outlet to share my pictures with family and friends. I am still familiarizing myself with all the features of the site and am impressed so far. You’ll notice to the left a collage of pictures. You can access them by clicking on them, or simple follow this link to my pics.
This morning on our way out to Langley to see our financial planner, we were stunned by the beauty of Mt Baker as the sun cast rays onto it and the wind blew snow off the peak. Because of the lighting and such, this mountain seemed closer to us today than ever before. Luckily I had my camera. We pulled over and I took some shots. I adjusted some of them to get some different looks. What do you think?
At Christmas we got a Cannon Rebel XT D-SLR kit for an insane deal and since then I have started dabbling in a little photography. It’s taken some time and practice learning how to make the camera work like I want it to, but I think I am picking up on the lingo and functionality well enough to find my way around in most ways. Here are some pics I’ve taken: