Today's outing was to the religious sites of Cairo. We viewed a Coptic Christian Church (the hanging church as it's called is built over an old Roman fort). The picture here was taken during the morning service. Notice the shaft of light coming down from the ceiling and illuminating the woman praying on the bench. Now talk about lighting effect-can God do spectacular work or what?
It’s been a quiet trip so far--until last night here in Alexandria. All of our rooms face the Sea for a scenic view and also a grand spot to listen to the Ramadan party below. It didn’t begin until 11PM or so, and oh the loud, loud music that was coming from below. Needless to say it was a restless night’s sleep.
The only other sign of Ramadan for us has been the altered schedule. Many of the sites we are trying to see are closing earlier than usual so that people can get home to their families and friends.
Our tour guide was somewhere last night and he said it was interesting to watch everyone gather together, ready to eat, as they awaited the signal to break the day’s fast. Then they jumped in to eat. END DAY
The air was thick and choking-with the grit of the dirt and the smell of burning trash. We knew we were in trouble when the Japanese tourists got off at one spot with surgical masks on. Groups like these are use to smog in their cities--not me.
The pictures you see are a correct representation of the color of the sky today. We were glad to get into the hotel and stay away from outside.
Today’s trip was to the ancient city of Alexandria. Visits to the catacombs which date from 2 B.C. and to the temple site of one of the Gods led us to the final stop at the Alexandria Library. Once home to 700K books in the ancient world, this library is moving back to collect most of the information that it lost in two ancient fires. It was impressive.
The hotel here is nice and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea--but who could see with all of this sand.
Today was one of the longest days of the trip so far. We have officially been here a week and now in the next 4 days we’ll be in 3 different hotel stays. So moving your luggage around and around gets a little bit tiresome.
We really enjoyed the boat ride down the Nile. If you’ve seen any of the ships that do the same thing on the Mississippi, then you’ll know the size ship we were one. I think it held 73 people or so. A nice size place for us and it was certainly good to come back to your stuff already unpacked after a long hot day.
We left early this morning to see the Aswan Dam. It was built in the 1930’s as a way to capture the power of the Nile and to regulate the flooding of the Nile. It was huge and impressive.
Our flight to Abu-Simbel was short--only 40 minutes. It seemed that only people who were going to the Monument there were on the plane. I saw many of the same faces on the return flight that I had seen this morning on the inital flight.
Abu-Simbel is the monument that most of us have seen on the cover of our High School history books. It was moved about 200m when the Aswan Dam was built (it’s original site is now under water). It was hot there--probably close to 100’ and we quickly melted under the sun.
Our return flight to Cairo made a stop in Aswan but we didn’t have to get back off the plane. We arrived in Cairo around 4:00. To the hotel for a nice HOT shower and then some supper and another lecture on Alexandria where we are heading today.
Blogger is being particular over here. I can’t seem to upload photos--so please forgive the text only blog. I’m trying--but it ain’t going. End day.
Another early morning departure from our port city. The waters were especially choppy this morning and I could tell that the waves were a little larger because it felt like the boat was being slammed on my side of the ship.
The travel on the Nile has become the safest and fastest way to see these sites on the Nile. Since some violence occurred here in 1997 it has become more difficult to travel inland by road and so these ships seem to be the best and safest way to travel.
We went to the Temple of Isis this morning. This temple was like the others and I’m seeing similarity between the temples. The same stories seem to be showing up over and over again. At least I’m learning what to look for and understanding thy hyroglyphics a little more.
Again the crowds are big here and we quickly learned to avoid the small rooms with no air ventilation and such. We were back to the boat by 11 AM.
On schedule this afternoon is a trip by Felucca to a Nubian village to meet the people and see their life style and to Ride a camel. More to come.
We had a quick breakfast and then off to the Temple of Horus (the bird God). It was quickly hotter and more crowded. The further south we have traveled we have seen the temperature rise. With more crowds in the temples, the humidity has become more intense. So much so that my sister was overcome with the heat. She went weak and we had to sit her down. She had been sick earlier in the week and we think she was dehydrated. On this trip fortunately we have had medical professionals along with us. They quickly cooled her down and got fluids into her.
We got back to the boat and immediately set sail for the town of Komo Ohmbo where the temple of the Crocodile God is built. There we encountered another hoard of people as we saw the temple at dusk. Truly a beautiful temple, but there were just so many people there.
We came back to the boat to have a Galybala party. The men wore the traditional dress (yes I have one and ask me when I’m going to wear it again?). We had a great time and did some group games and listened to some Nubian music.
All in a day--the temple, the party and the people. End day.
We began the morning with a visit to the large temple of Karnak (built to the God Amon (the Sun God) on the opposite end of the city. They once were joined by an avenue of Sphinx (the animal body-man faced animal) that allowed for the Gods to come together during a festival of fertility during the spring (the goddess Mut and the God Amon were responsible for the fertility of the Nile and the land)
Karnack was another amazing architetural feat. I couldn’t believe the height of the columns in the inner court. Much of the symbolism of the temple is the same as the Biblical temple model (outer court, inner court, holy of holies).
After a morning at Karnack we returned to the boat to set sail on the Nile. An afternoon of sailing brought us down the Nile which is lush with green lands and farms. The people were along the banks of the Nile today swimming and spending an afternoon together. Many of them hollered and waved at us as we past along. I guess the most shocking site was seeing the people bathe along the Nile. (I didn’t look at them long!--honeslty!)
We arrived at the Esna Locks around 5:00 PM or so. The last time this trip took place in March it took them 12 hours to get throught the locks. Let me explain that you are basically held captive in the Nile and are incessantly barraged by the Feluca captains who are trying to get you to by their wares along the Nile. We didn’t encounter this because we moved through the Locks within about 2 hours and moored for the evening at Esna.
The night was capped off by the crew of the ship doing a Native Nubian dance night for us in the lounge. It was festive to say the least.
However, my sister had come down with the crud I had the day before. As she had taken care of me the day before, it was my turn to help her through the day. I knew it was going to be tough because we were going to be outside much of the morning. Here in Egypt you can get going by 6 AM and the heat is bearable. However by 8:00 it is approaching the upper 80’s and 90’s.
We made it to the temple of Hatsheput and enjoyed the cool breeze of the morning and then it was on to the Valley of The Kings, where most of the Egyptian Kings/Queens were buried in their tombs (think King Tut). It was extremely hot and dry in the area and you had to walk a good bit to get to the areas where we were to see the tombs.
My sister made it to the first tomb (the tomb of King Ramses 3--and we made it to a point in the inner tomb and then she had to turn and head back up (it was hot and “aromatic” if you know what I mean. She headed back to the bus to sleep until we returned about 2 hours later.
I ventured on and saw three more tombs: King Ramses 6, a tomb for King and Queen?, and Ramses 2. All of it was very interesting and educational. I had to acknowledge that I was never very interested in Egyptian mythology and hieroglyphics--but now I am. It’s artistry is all so amazing. How was this ancient civilization able to master these skills and with such precision in their repetition. I’ll never know.
The rest of the day was spent getting on to the boat and getting ready to set sail.
We took an evening tour of the Luxor Temple (built to the Goddess Mut--the God of the Water). Seeing this massive temples at night was inspiring.
Thursday evening I noticed that I was feeling a little bit “rocky” in my stomach. This turned into full scale war in my tummy during the night. I was chilled and achy. But you have to solider on and I kept on going to the next day’s activites.
The Friday schedule was pretty light. We only had Cairo Museum. However, I didn’t know that the Cairo Museum was completely unairconditioned. It was hot in there!
I made it through that ordeal and finally decided to stay on the bus (air conditioned) during the lunch hour. It was then that I really decided that I was sick.
When the group returned to the bus they said I was white as a sheet. They gave me some magical pills that help “antiseptic” the stomach of the bad microbes that were waring with my good ones. Within about 20 minutes I was feeling better, but oh so weak. I slept in the airport and waited to board our trip to Luxor.
Needless to say when we got to Luxor about 5PM my aim and goal was to get to the bed as fast as I could. I was asleep by 6:30 PM and didn’t awake until the phone call at 4:45 AM.
You won’t see many pictures from this day. 1) They didn’t allow pics inside the Cairo Musuem and 2) I didn’t feel like taking any.
In preparation for our next series, I found this nifty little program that will allow you to take photos (any pics--yours or ones off the web) and create a photo mosaic. It takes the color tones from your pictures and recreates your "initial" photo to create the mosaic in small tiles.
Pretty cool! Try it out.
Because of Your Love (Baloche)
From The Inside Out (Houston)
Scripture Readings (The One Another passages from Scripture)
You Are My King (Foote)
Morning Message-Brad Gartman (Brad grew up in our church and is co-pastor CHURCH AT THE SPRINGS in Houston, Tx. He was here this week to talk to our leadership and church about Small Group (Community) Ministry that begins in a week here)
From The Inside Out (Reprise)
Knowing You (Kendrick)You Gave Your Life Away (Baloche)
Congreagational Take Away:
We always try to think of something (if appropriate) that we can give away at the end of the service to reinforce the teaching of the day. Today we gave away Mason Jars-filled with a cookie receipe. The instructions were for the people to take the receipe and do one of two things with it. (1). Make the receipe of cookies and include a tall glass of tea with it and take it to a neighbor. (2) Fill the jar with the ingredients (layered--kinda like a sand scultpure) and take it to a neighbor to share about community.
We also launched our next Series promo THE BIG PICTURE with 4X4 glossy cards with the logo and series information on it. We instructed them to take them to work and to give them out all week long as we get ready for this 14 week series of God's Plan for The Ages. I got them from PS PRINT for $134--2500 of them!! We're also starting a blog for this series.
Why are we asking Matt Damon about politics? Why should we care what Matt Damon has to say about the presidential race? Does Matt have expertise in the area of politics anymore than the regular Joe? Nope!
It's just the Hollywood mystique that we've attached to these movie stars. Yes, he can have an opinion, but why put it on video or TV just because he's a star.
"I need to know if she believes that dinosaurs were here 4000 years ago? I need to know that because she'll have the nuclear codes." What?
I'm just saying.....
Below are pictures of the memorial and descirptions of the site.
Elegant in its self-supporting form, the memorial unit is at once a glowing light pool, a cantilevered bench and a place for the permanent inscription of each victim's name.
Majesty (Martin Smith)---we haven't done this one in almost 2 years. I forgot how good it is--and how high it is. Really hard for the Bass (Men) to sing.
Message-Enemy of Community (however, our Pastor and his wife are currently at the ER waiting on the birth of their daughter--so our Spiritual Formations pastor stepped in and talked about Community groups
From the Inside Out (Houston)--second week on this one too! We're staying a little longer on songs so people can own them.
The Power of Your Love
Introduction of New Members--12 new members in the last month.
This post is part of Sunday Set List over on Fred McKinnon's site.
Ok all you UT folks--this has gone too far. This DVD is geared at families with young children, training them in the ways of Austin.
Our son, Daniel, has quite the memory when it comes to money. He remembers all the times that we didn't pay him for his chores; everytime that the tooth fairy forgot to pay for his tooth.
So, we're heading to the mall for Labor Day and he's anxiously awaiting a trip to Game Stop to see the latest and greatest. He has his mind set on some game and is busily calculating how much money he has in some foreign bank account somewhere.
I'm driving the car and he's talking to us about this "owed" money and when he thinks that we're not listening intently enough to him he blurts out "It's My Money and I Need It Now".
We just all stop and look at each other and bust out laughing. He's been watching too much TV!
Thanks to Dorothy for pointing this out.
HT: Milestone Worship