Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back in the Saddle & More Pictures

After a two-week break after my trip, second semester started this week.  Like the last one, this semester promises busy and challenging but informative and helpful.  I’m looking forward to all of my classes:

  Discipleship & Teaching in North American Culture


  Old Testament Prophetic Literature

  New Testament Letters

  Systematic Theology II

In addition to these five courses, I also continue to meet with a mentoring group and a vocational mentor, as well as participate in Friendship Ministries each Tuesday evening.  I’m also starting some initial planning for my ten-week internship later this summer – thinking about sermon planning and even attending a church meeting or two in order to be able to hit the ground running in June.

This week I had the privilege of speaking to the sixth graders at Grand Rapids Christian Middle School about my recent travels to Turkey and Greece.  Shortly after I got back home, Zachary informed me that his class was studying ancient civilizations in school and he had been asked to research the Greek gods and goddesses.  I told him I lots of pictures of temples dedicated to gods and goddesses that he could use.  I decided to take it a step further and ask his teacher if she’d like me to share what I saw and learned with the whole class.  She thought that was a good idea, so last Tuesday I did that.

The kids seemed to enjoy the presentation and I enjoyed putting it together.  It forced me to sort through my pictures in a timely fashion and think critically about how to best use them in a way that would be helpful to others.  After some thought, I ended up with about 50 pictures that we ran through in about 40 minutes.  It was fast-paced, but fun.  I hope to do something similar with our bible study group next Sunday night as well.

One of the things I wanted to leave with the kids is a sense of the fact that even though we are far removed from it all – the Bible really does speak of real people and real places.  Here are just a few of the biblical places we visited along with their biblical references:


The Island of Samothrace as seen from Neapolis in the Aegean Sea.  Acts 16:11 says Paul stopped here on his way to Neapolis.Island of Samostrace


The possible prison at Phillipi where Paul and Silas were jailed in Acts 16:23:



Acts 17:1 says Paul passed through Amphipolis on his way to Thessalonica.  Amphipolis was famous for two colossal lion statues that guarded the entrance to the city.  This is one of them:

Lion monument of Amphipolis


In Acts 16:19, while in Athens, Paul is brought to a meeting of the “Aeropagus”.  This was either a group of people or a place.  If it is, in fact, a place this large rock in front of the modern city is known as the Aeropagus, or ‘Mars Hill’ where this meeting may have been held:

View of the Aeropagus rom the Acropolis in Athens


Acts 19:23-41 recounts the story of a riot in Ephesus, caused by the preaching of Paul and his companions, at which the citizens stormed the theatre shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians”.  This is the theatre in Ephesus where that riot took place (sorry about the big-blue crane…that wasn’t there in Paul’s day!):

View of the main theatre in Ephesus