Supermarkets are truly amazing places to shop. There is almost nothing of daily need that can’t be found there and occasionally, one can even find food. On a recent, fact-finding shopping trip, I netted some of the following items: · Fresh Fruit: blackberries, strawberries, oranges, and lemons. · Fresh Bread: a whole grain, heavy and rich loaf. · Fresh Cheese: a wedge of flavorful Jarlsberg. · Fresh Vegetables: several ears of corn, still in the husk, a potato, some fresh… Read more

“Je suis désolé. Je ne parle pas français.” This is the phrase I memorized: “I am sorry. I do not speak French.” I said this many times on my recent trip to France. For the most part, my apology did not bring about a sympathetic response. French people expect people to speak French. Period. And while many do speak English, there was an expectation that I would have also sought to learn their language. I did give myself a quick… Read more

This will be the last post for this trip. Tomorrow is my last day here, and I will be doing “kid duty” again as Adriana needs to go back to Paris to finish getting her travel visa. Then it is time to pack. We will leave very early Wednesday morning so I can catch my plane. For the first time today, I cared for Joshua without his parents present. After the first few bad moments were over, we settled in… Read more

OK, the question has been, “How can I spend two weeks in France just 100 km from Paris and not see Paris itself?” Since it was becoming clear that I was in danger of doing that very thing, today, Sunday, April 6, became the day to remedy the problem. Although we had originally planned for all to go, it turned very chilly overnight and snow was predicted, so at the last minute, just Jonathan and I went. As we entered… Read more

Saturday was Jonathan’s 31st birthday and Adriana was absolutely determined to surprise him with a party and an American-style cookout. This party took a week in planning, unbelievable coordination, many hands to help, and much trust the people would keep it secret. The big fly in the ointment is that Jonathan decided on Friday that he wanted to taken me and the family to Paris on Saturday so I could see the city, and Adriana just had to agree to… Read more

Friday in France The day started hard. Both the children were restless during the night, especially Samuel. Little sleep for anyone and we all gave up around 6 a.m. Adriana and I had said that we’d walk together to the village at 6:45 to get some fresh crossaints and a baguette from the bakery, but it was clear that she couldn’t leave the fussy Samuel. So I threw on some clothes and left the house. The sky was turning light… Read more

Initial Impressions I’m in France, about 80 km south of Paris. Here, in a small hunting cottage originally built in the 1700’s, I’m watching (and helping where I can) Adriana care for a 22 month old and a four month old in a house that was never designed with “kid-safety” in mind. About a 100 yards from this cottage is the estate house, built some time in the 1800’s. Beautiful, white stone with numerous outbuildings, including a greenhouse. To get… Read more

We are in the season of Easter. This is time in the church year where we put special emphasis on living the life of those who have seen and celebrated the Resurrection. We’ve gone through the deep sadness of Good Friday. Many attended Holy Week services or took time personally to acknowledge the darkness of human nature that insists on killing the good and celebrating the wicked. On Easter Sunday morning, people thronged into churches all over the world to… Read more

I have a number of houseplants, probably too many. Each has a history, mostly gifts, some rescues from my mother who habitually kills every plant that comes near her. I bought for myself only two of them to put in an office. One of those was a small ficus tree. I nearly killed it in the office and ended up bringing it home to rejuvenate it. It is now over six feet tall, with large spreading branches. Most of the… Read more

Well, yes it is sometimes. Entered into with a spirit of willingness and openness, time in church can mean that the spirit of God bores a hole all the way into the center of our beings. Oh—perhaps you didn’t mean THAT kind of “bore” with the phrase “church is boring.” Instead it meant, “I’m not being entertained in church.” Hmmm—definitely truth there as well. Although some churches do have “entertaining” worship services, the church really isn’t in the entertainment business…. Read more

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