Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Kabobs and statues

We spent a few nights at Kusadashi.  During the day, we would take day trips.

After our trip to the harbour at Miletus (previous post), we divided up and went to a couple of restaurants to eat.

We had flat bread, kabobs and meatballs.  And fries too.  The restaurant owner was very accommodating and continued to bring us food.

We went to the burial place of the apostle John.

The baptistery.  Looks like a keyhole in the floor.  In 1st century Christianity, there would have been 3 immersions - in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

A basilica was built atop the burial place.  Here is a model of it.

Belgin pointed out storks to us.
Look!  Babies!

We then went to a museum at Selcuk, near Ephesus.  There were storks there also!

A young boy was selling wooden "flutes".  It only cost $2 and I wanted to help him.  I told him I would buy one if we could take a picture with him.  He smiled real big!

At the museum

Emperor Augustus, the founder of the Roman Empire and its first emperor.
It was this Caesar Augustus who ordered a census to be taken 
that sent Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem. 

Tiberius was the adopted son of Augustus.

Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Goddess Artemis

"The Ephesian Artemis was a “mother earth” deity emphasizing fertility and reproduction. Many of her images have been unearthed; the rows upon rows of breasts, totally covering her upper body, depict the power of Artemis to nourish the world. The many priests employed in the temple performed animal sacrifices, and the many priestesses, in keeping with the fertility theme, engaged in ritual prostitution. All of this made the Artemis temple in Ephesus a popular tourist attraction in the Roman world.

As the followers of Artemis noticed the difference Paul’s preaching was having in their city, “there arose a great disturbance about the Way” (Acts 19:23). A silversmith named Demetrius called a meeting of his guild and said, “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business [selling Artemis shrines]. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty” (verses 25–27). In his speech, Demetrius paid lip service to the “majesty” of Artemis, but his real motivation was evident—he was losing business as people stopped buying his idolatrous trinkets.

Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen stirred up the city into a riotous frenzy, shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” (Acts 19:28). They led a mob to find Paul and, not finding him, grabbed two of Paul’s traveling companions and dragged them to the theater. There the mob continued shouting the praise of Artemis for about two hours (verse 34). They were only quieted when the city clerk gained an audience and reminded the mob they were breaking Roman law in disturbing the peace (verse 40).

Paul soon left Ephesus to continue his third missionary journey. But a church had been established. In the center of Artemis worship, in a city known for paganism, immorality, and greed, the light of Jesus Christ shone brightly. Despite the enemy’s intimidation, the church thrived." - (

I can't imagine the work it took to chisel these statues.  An artist looked at a block of marble and could see something he could make from it.  That's what God does with us.  He chisels at us - sometimes it hurts!! - and He makes us into His work.

In the still air the music lies unheard;
  In the rough marble beauty hides unseen;
To make the music and the beauty needs
   The master's touch, the sculptor's chisel keen.

Great Master, touch us with Your skillful hands;
     Let not the music that is in us die!
Great Sculpter, hew and polish us; nor let,
     Hidden and lost, Your form within us lie!
Streams in the Desert

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Miletus in Turkey

From Acts 20 - The day after that we sailed to Miletus. Paul had decided to sail on past Ephesus, because he did not want to spend too much time in Asia. He was in a hurry and wanted to be in Jerusalem in time for Pentecost.

The Spirit had warned Paul that he would suffer but that he should not avoid it, but be prepared.

There is an inscription on the seat that says "seating of the God fearers" or "the place of the Jews who are God fearers".  There are 3 spelling errors.  Either written by a pagan or a Jew who didn't know how to spell.


The inscription on the wall to the arch angel shows that 
there was angel worship going on in Miletus.

From Miletus, Paul sent a message for the church leaders at Ephesus to come and meet with him.

When they arrived, he encouraged them and warned them.
 "I don’t know what will happen to me in Jerusalem, but I must obey God’s Spirit and go there.  In every city I visit, I am told by the Holy Spirit that I will be put in jail and will be in trouble in Jerusalem.  But I don’t care what happens to me, as long as I finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do." 
" I know that after I am gone, others will come like fierce wolves to attack you.   Some of your own people will tell lies to win over the Lord’s followers.  Be on your guard!  I now place you in God’s care. Remember the message about his great kindness!"

He warned them to beware of the wolves.  He knew the tactics of false teachers.  He'd been a wolf himself!

The Church is God's plan.  The devil is out there to destroy God's plan.  Sheep are helpless.  Sheep are on the menu.  Wolves are everywhere!  (It could be a junior high math teacher or a false preacher) We need a Shepherd.  "My sheep hear My voice."  Listen to the Shepherd, not to false wolves.

This is the ancient harbour where Paul met the saints from Ephesus.
Although silted in now, the Aegean Sea came all the way in in Paul's day.  Now it is 7 miles out!
After Paul had finished speaking, he knelt down with all of them and prayed.  Everyone cried and hugged and kissed him.  They were especially sad because Paul had told them, “You will never see me again.”
Then they went with him to the ship.

Belgin fed a stray puppy and gained a follower!

We continued on our way to Kusadashi.  Some interesting things we saw on the way. 

This actually is a very LARGE shopping cart.  Not a cart in the foreground.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

zoom zooming in Branson

Saturday morning, while the grownups began to pack up the vans (check-out was 10am), I reviewed the story of Moses with the children.   We also went over the 10 Commandments in a simple version.

 Since one of the plagues on Egypt was frogs, I also had a lesson about frogs.

Frogs change from tadpoals to frogs.
And Jesus helps us change on the inside -
to become loving and kind.
More like Him!

Lesson time was followed by a search for some frogs that had been hidden around the place.

 Like most 4 year-olds, Claire likes bandaids.  There is no real boo-boo.

A little outside play time while we were deciding what to do for the rest of the morning.

We decided to head into town for some fun with race cars.

                                           It was threatening to rain.
                                            Let's get this race going!

Speed demon Sophia
 wish this hadn't turned out fuzzy but Jill's expression was so funny, I had to post anyway!

  Here she comes again!
  Hannah passes up her folks too!
 We let the children each play inside for a little

 They won a few points and got Papa a little magic wand!
We went to Chile's for lunch

It began to rain as we ate.
So glad we were able to do our outdoor plans.

Then it was time to say our good-byes and go back -
 Josh's family to Arkansas and us to Kansas.

It is a LONG trip

We played a game where we would pick a number between 1 & 10.
We would count the vehicles we would pass.
The one with your # was your future car.

"I sure hope I don't get a semi!" said Hannah.
And that's exactly what she got!

Another game we played -
if your name was a food, what would it be?

Beef Jerkey

If you know us, can you guess who is who?

Claire played with my phone and we got a few interesting photos.

A fun short vacation!