Monday, July 28, 2014

Medieval Town of Yvoire

The medieval town of Yvoire is one of the most beautiful fishing villages of France located 28 km from Geneva.  It is facing the crystal blue waters of  Lake Geneva or the French call it Lac Leman.
The streets are filled with artists and craftsmen of the Chablais region.
I discovered this adorable antique shop and found an oil painting for my collection
Hanging baskets full of fresh flowers are at every street corner
This walled fishing port dates back to the 14th century.

A french 14th century castle is fun to explore. It was built between 1306 and 1311 by Amadeus V, a famous count of Savoy.  He must have been part of the Savoy family who ruled the Chillon Castle.  It was protected by a moat and a drawbridge. The gardens surrounding the castle are beautiful.display of colorful flowers.
 My favorite place was the church of Saint Pancras.  It dates back from the eleventh century when it was much smaller.  I felt a strong peace as I entered this sacred space built for a fourteen year old martyr who died for his faith in 303,   As a Roman citizen he was asked to perform a sacrifice to the Romans gods.  Diocletian, the emperor of Rome was impressed with the boy's determination to resist so tempted him with wealth and power.  He chose courage and was beheaded for standing up for his savior on May 12th 303 A. D. Pancras is one of the patron saints of children.  He represents innocence and faith in childhood.  His name is from ancient greek and mean "the most powerful."
As I sat in the pew I reflected on my surroundings. 
At the alter was a beautiful painting of Jesus walking on the water.
The story is from Matthew 14:22-33.
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.  After he had dismissed them he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.  Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, waking on the lake.  When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified.  "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. 
ButJesus immediately said to them; "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
"Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water."
"Come," he said
Then Peter got down out of the boat, waked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, 
"Lord save me!"
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.  
"You of little faith," he said,
"Why did you doubt?"
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Then those sho were in the boat worshiped him, saying, Truly you are the 

Son of God."
Bridging the Gap as a sacrificial lamb for our sins.
On the ceiling is a parable of Jesus.
Mary with her carpenter son.
Beautiful stain glass tell a story of peace and forgiveness.
The steeple shined like a bright light.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Chillon Castle in Montreux, Switzerland

Chillon Castle overlooks crystal clear blue waters of  Lake Geneva in Switzerland near the border of France.  The Savoy family chose their location on a rocky inlet  nestled under the Alps for protection.  The medieval style lets you imagine Disney films with a princess waving her golden long locks calling for her prince to come.  Three noble families lived in the castle to shape its thousand year history.
The castle is the number one tourist attraction in Switzerland with 330,000 visitors each year.  The French call Lake Geneva Lac Leman.   The lake forms a natural moat with an old drawbridge to raise for defense.  
At first the castle had twenty five little buildings but over time they were connected through passageways.
Deep in the cellar they stored food and supplies in oak barrels.

The castle was located in a perfect place for trade and charged tolls for the chance to carry goods on the routes around the fortress.  The power of controlling supplies to all of Europe gave the families of Chillon stability.  

Supplies were needed to feed guests to the castle at a large banquet.  Peter Savoy built the three spiky towers along the lakeside view.  The Savoy family didn't live at the castle all year because they needed to travel to  make sure their lands were safe.
The Savoy's were in control from 1150 to 1536.  They moved their administration to Chamberly in the 14th century and let the castle be used as a place to store prisoners.     In 1536 the Bernese family came to free the prisoners as in many political changes it was a hope for freedom.    But the castle was still used to hold prisoners.
From the dungeon there was a little window with bars with a view of refreshing Lake Geneva.  Lord Byron made the castle famous by writing a poem from the prisoner's point of view.  
Prisoner of Chillon Castle
There are seven pillars of Gothic mould,
in Chillon's dungeons deep and old,
There are seven columns, massy and grey,
Dim with a dull imprison'd ray,
A sunbeam which hath lost its way,
And through the crevice and the cleft
Of the thick wall is fallen and left;
Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
Like a marsh's meteor lamp;
And in each pillar there is a ring,
And in each ring there is a chain;
That iron is a cankering thing,
For in these limbs its teeth remain,
With marks that will not wear away,
Till I have done with this new day,
Which now is painful to these eyes,
Which have not seen the sun to rise
For years I cannot count them o'er,
I lost their long and heavy score
When my last brother droop'd and died,
And I lay living by his side.

Lord Byron, 1816
Perhaps the princess of the castle thought of the prisoners below in the cold, dark, damp, lonely dungeon.  She saw the same blue waters from the castle window.  So close but so far from being able to help.  Maybe she sneaked
them food to stay alive as the servants were cooking on an open flame.  As she lay in bed thinking of her day she prayed for the prisoners below sleeping on a hard damp floor of cold stone.  Its not that different today when so many are blessed with safe homes  but know some are less fortunate and must stay in a prison for political injustice.

Imaginations run wild as time intersects the past with reminders of a different era where rulers controlled many subjects.  Each had a task or job to perform to keep the kingdom strong.  

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 238th Birthday USA

Happy 238th Birthday USA

Our country was founded on divine intervention from people who sought God's will and wanted a better life for their families.


A group of people fled England to the Netherlands for religious freedom.  They were called separatists because their views didn't agree with the Church of England.  It was illegal not to attend the official Church of England and the punishment was prison.  They lived in Holland for several years but felt they were loosing their cultural identity and language.  So the leaders came up with a plan of going to America where they could have their own land, laws, and freedom.  In 1620 one hundred and twenty one men, women and children of faith in a better life stepped upon the Mayflower and Speedwell on a voyage to cross the Atlantic Ocean.  The Speedwell wasn't so speedy and the main beam caused it to crack but they didn't give up.  They sailed on with the Mayflower to the new land.

Land was sighted  on November 9, 1620 after sixty-five days on crowded ships.  Psalm 100 was read as a prayer of Thanksgiving.

"Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!  Serve the Lord with gladness.  Come before His presence with singing.  Know that the Lord, He is God;  It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter into His gates with thanksgiving.  And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good.  His mercy is everlasting.  And His truth endures to all generations.

The Mayflower Compact was created for the general good of the Colony.  It organized them into a body of choice and  was ratified by a majority rule.  John Carver was elected as the first governor to lead the people of the new land.   The Mayflower Compact is known for the seed of democracy and called the first written constitution.

During the cold winter the women laid on top of their children to keep them warm in the night.  Many of the women died but the children lived because of their sacrifice..  Men quickly tried to build shelter.  Half of the pilgrims died the first winter.  But they believed in the call to a land of freedom where they don't have to go to prison for worshiping the way they choose.   Spring came and Squanto and other Indians helped them plant with fish so their crops can grow.  The colony survived and we know it now as Massachusetts.

George Washington

George Washington felt called of God.  In fact the Indians saw he had a profound destiny because their weapons somehow did not kill him.  He traveled ten miles to attend church.  He had private devotions in his library both morning and evening.  A nephew of Washington found him kneeling with an open Bible before him.

Washington's leadership  helped to win the war of Independence from England but after the war he encouraged Americans to believe by quoting

.....the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy Nation.
The faith of our founding fathers gave us favor with God.  People are still wanting to come to America for freedom and hope of a better life.  Let us not take for granted we live in the best country in the world.  Happy Birthday USA.  

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A Mothers Story Ducks In My Pool

Read a Mothers Story called Ducks In My Pool

Available at Barnes and Nobel Nook


Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

John 10: 2-10
The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a strangers voice.  Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.  Therefore Jesus said again,

"Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I am the good Shepard.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen

The earth shouts for joy Jesus is Risen
Our Lord suffered on the cross as a sacrificial lamb for our sins
He is our blood offering
Just like Abraham was willing to sacrifice Issac
on the alter he built for God
Jesus is our sacrificial lamb

Our sins can be forgiven when we call upon His name
Because the price has been paid
When Jesus hung on the cross
and said it is finished
He conquered evil
He conquered death
He conquered fear
He conquered anger

When we call call upon His name in faith
The Holy Spirit comes
Love Joy and Peace replaces
Love Comes with a roaring wind
Love SHOUTs to the creation of the world
I have paid a price for your sins
Because I love you
I am the word
I became flesh
I give you everlasting life
We can live together for an eternity
Because you believe in Me

On one side of the Sand Dollar
A Poinsettia symbolizes Christmas
Turn over the Sand Dollar
The Easter Lily appears
Its God's reminder to us

God's plan has been etched
On a sea creature
Living in the ocean
Rushing up to shore
For you to discover
Discover Faith
Believe in the Risen Son
A Dove of Peace will envelope your soul
Peace that passes understanding
You will know you were bought with a price
God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit
Will live with you forever
Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be Saved

John 11:25-26
Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life.
He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Romans  1: 4-5
And Jesus Christ our Lord was shown to  be the Son of God when God Powerfully raised him from the dead by means of the Holy Spirit.  Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.

Romans 6: 8-11
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3 :10-12
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,
becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.  Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus Christ took hold of me.

I Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection fo Jesus Christ from the dead..

Matthew 27:50-53
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his Spirit.  At That moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.   The earth shook and the rocks split.  The tombs broke open and the bodies of the holy people who had died were raised to life.  They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

Matthew 28: 1-10
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.  There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.  His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.  The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, " Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified.  He is not here; he has risen, just as the said.  Come and see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples; He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you in Galilee.  There you will see him
 Now I have told you.

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.  Suddenly Jesus met them.  Greetings, he said.  They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him.  Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid.  Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Texas Bluebonnets Blooming Spring 2014

Texas Bluebonnets adorn the hills with a blue carpet of loveliness.  Mothers and dads grabbed their cameras to capture their beautiful child with the background of Texas landscape.  Bikers came to ride the Bluebonnet Trail map provided by the gracious Ennis Garden Club.  They want the world to see how beautiful Texas can be in the spring. Some brought a chair for the perfect picture.  Beige haystacks of grain lay peacefully in the fields of blue.  Roads are busy with cars lining up to see the burst of color. White fences section off Texas farms of horses and cows grazing on delicious wildflowers.  Pops of coral bluebonnets add beauty to the fresh sprouts of green grass.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Grocery List of Ninety Two Year Old

Grocery List of Ninety Two Year Old Mom

What does the grocery list of my ninety-two year year old mom say about her?  First of all if she lived to ninety-two it might be a good idea to take notice of what she eats.  Raisin Bran has been on her shopping list since I was a kid.  Each morning she starts out the day with bran and raisins are a bonus.  Graham crackers are delicious dipped in milk.  They are a cross between a cookie and a biscuit.  She loves Oscar Mayer Salami between two slices of bread, with real  mayonnaise not light or artificial.  Two dozen eggs are on her list each time because they are pure and full of vitamins.  It might bring back the  memory of getting eggs each morning from the angry hen.

Grocery lists can be considered a primary source.  It was handwritten by my mom and tells she likes simple things.  What is not on the list is coke or any kind of soda.  She feels they are not  good for the stomach.  She chooses things that are natural, such as eggs.  When I go shopping with my mom she can buy all she needs for under a hundred dollars.  It would be interesting to compare other shopping lists to see if they are similar for an age group.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ducks Are Back

My neighbor called me up and said, "Come out in the front yard, the ducks are back."
I quickly grabbed my Zony and went outside to see Momma and Daddy Duck again.  They returned for spring to splash in the creek a half mile from our home.  They remembered me and let me take another photo.

"Hi old friends," I whispered to them.  "I made a book about your ducklings.  I told how you built a nest in our backyard year after year.  I wrote how you have been together for over fifteen years, maybe longer.  I know you probably miss the duckling days when they swam in my pool to learn how to dabble for insects.  You were a good Momma and taught them well.  Your ducklings are probably raising their own families now.  I know you must be proud Daddy Duck."

They listened to my soft voice as if they understood every word.  We have a bond now.  They know I care about their lives and look forward to seeing them year after year.  It gives me a since of comfort knowing nature shows the cycle of life.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Immanuel God is With Us

For unto us a child is born,  unto us a son is given; 
and the government shall be upon his shoulders
And his name shall be called Wonderful,
the mighty God,
the everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.