Great Awakening Travel Journal-Day 2

The Boston Common-enjoying the journey

Today was a free day of sorts. I wanted to mix in some shopping, along with hitting on our Great Awakening theme. I collect fountain pens, so I decided to start the day with a trip to Bromfield Pen Shop, but when I arrived at the store, everything was boxed up and the guy in charge said they were moving up the street to a new location, and it would be two weeks before they could sell any pens. Bummer.

I then headed toward the Boston Public Library where they keep the Thomas Prince collection, which includes books from his library, as well as his correspondence. It was going to be a trek, but it seemed a worthy quest for a chance to see the actual letters and remnants of the library of this distinguished figure from the Great Awakening.

So, I walked the 30 minutes to the Boston Public Library. As I neared the library, I noticed a beautiful old church on the other side of Boylston Street; not just any church but the Old South Church! I started reading the plaque on the building, and it noted Benjamin Franklin and Sam Adams worshipped here. Then I read that this building was built in 1875, which by my reckoning is about 100 years after Franklin and Adams were roaming the streets of Boston. I’m guessing the “here” referred to the congregation. I went in and took a quick look, but I didn’t come here to see 1875; I came here to see 1740. Ugh.

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The Banana Apologetic

There has been a lot written, beginning with Darwin, about how the existence of the monkey proves man could have developed without God.

I think those who make such arguments have skipped a few steps. Specifically, they have skipped over the banana. Man is complex to be sure, but he is flawed. The banana is perfect, and if the banana is perfect it, never should have survived.

First, the banana is the perfect size. It fits perfectly into one’s hand, regardless of the size of one’s hand, and it’s slight curvature makes it easier to hold. The banana is the ultimate hand fruit.

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An Unexpected Air Adventure

So, today The Wife and I got back on a plane for the first time since the pandemic started. This was no small task given that we binge-watched twelve seasons of Mayday and Air Disasters during the pandemic and both swore we would never get on a plane again. But as I mentioned in a prior post, if the GSB team has any chance of making it to Italy in September, we have to get back on the horse and see if we can still ride.

So, we are in the security line, and I’m unloading my computer bag, my belt, my shoes and emptying my pockets in the plastic bins on the security belt and couldn’t remember whether I had to remove my watch. After all, it had been 15 months since I had done this. So, I held up my arm with my watch on it for one of the TSA’s finest to see, gesturing. In response, he says, “Did I say remove your watch? On second thought, is that a Rolex?” Mildly funny. I retort,  “Well I’ve been felt up so many times on the other side of the scanner, I just assumed you’d want me to take it off also.”

I then make my way through the porno scanner, and Seinfeld’s partner pulls me aside and gives me the pat down. And, he was good, real good. He caught me with some chapstick and a microfiber cloth to clean my glasses in my pockets. Not exactly a box-cutter or a shoe bomb, but we can all fly safer now knowing people with chapped lips and dirty glasses will not be able to get past our nation’s first line of terrorism defense.

Notwithstanding this poor start to our trip, I was still optimistic. While standing at the gate ready to board, the pilot walks up and the gate attendant says to the pilot, “Are you going to depart on time?” The pilot says, “I don’t know. Are you going to get them boarded on time.” This is not the sort of interaction and teamwork that inspires confidence in those of us who are getting ready to be jammed into a tin can and shoved through the air at 500 miles per hour, but I shrug it off. I just figure the TSA and the flight crew are still a little rusty as a result of the pandemic.

When I get on the plane, I see Eric Gordon is sitting behind me. If you don’t know, Eric Gordon plays for the NBA’s Houston Rockets. How good is he? Well, the Rockets paid him $17M this year. So, we chat a little because I am from Bloomington, Indiana and played basketball in college, and Eric played college ball in Bloomington at Indiana University. We chat about his restaurant in Bloomington, Bobby Knight, and Kelvin Sampson

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Viking Travel Journal––Day 14

Our ship docked in Isafjordur

Paradise started in a garden (Genesis 1-3), but it end in a city (Revelation 21:2).

Maybe that’s why I am a city boy.

Because I am a city boy I keep hoping to find something interesting in the towns where we dock, and I keep coming up empty.

This is the primary difference between a European river or sea cruise and one to Iceland or Alaska. In Europe, each town has layers of history; Iceland and Alaska are about beautiful scenery.

Isafjordur was much like Flam, Geiranger, and Seydisfjordur, except it was 39 degrees Fahrenheit…yes, 39 degrees in the middle of summer. It’s hard to appreciate the scenery when your teeth are chattering. And did I mention it was windy?

I had prodded Ann at one of our earlier cold and windy towns to say to our tour guide who lived there, “No offense but why would anyone want to live here?” I stressed to Ann the importance of the “No offense” part (I had seen The Ballad of Ricky Bobby). Ann, who is normally game for a good dare declined. Continue reading “Viking Travel Journal––Day 14”

Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Epilogue

Leaving the ship

We’ve been home now for a few days, and I am trying to get back into the work mindset.

I’m dealing with personnel problems in my law firm, reading through hundreds of emails that came in while I was gone, and trying to organize all that is ahead of me and needs to be done over the next thirty days.

Thoughts of the pagan Picts, Columba and St. Patrick, and marauding Vikings, which were front and center a week ago have been pushed to the background, crowded out by the ever present concerns of life.

What I love about our GSB tours, including the one we just finished, is the opportunity to study Kingdom history and its players to learn how we should live as Kingdom citizens today.

If, as Shakespeare wrote 500 years ago, the past is prologue, we have much to learn. Continue reading “Scotch-Irish Cruise Journal—Epilogue”