Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Through the Eyes of a Child

My youngest child, Ian, will be 3 in September. I wonder what he will remember about this trip to Ireland. I tried to get several pictures of him. He has some great, funny expressions. He loves trains and planes, especially Thomas the Tank Engine and Jay-Jay. We found a train museum in a pub (where else!?!) and he loved it. Here are a few pictures of the little guy enjoying his trip to Ireland.

Brazil Mission Trip

Friday morning I will be heading down to Brazil as part of a team of 11 from my church. There will be 20 people total on the trip. We will be building a church in Luzilandia, Brazil. This will be the 10th time God has sent me to Brazil to work with Christian Missions Unlimited (CMU) building churches. I am excited about the trip and will share pictures and stories with you upon my return.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Killarney is a city at the gateway to the Ring of Kerry and the Killarney National Park. There is a nice cathedral in the city with two fun sites that take up most of your day: Muckross House and Ross Castle.

Muckross House (bottom picture) can be toured and has extensive gardens. We enjoyed the outside as much as the inside. They grow Brazilian rhubarb that has enormous leaves. We had to stand Ian under a leaf to have perspective of the size!

Ross Castle was refurbished about 10 years. They have done a great job of putting it back together as it once may have been. Because of the burdonsome taxes levied upon the Irish by the English, the castle went into ruin during the early 1800's. They were given a roof tax (based on the square footage of the roof). If they didn't have the money, the roof was taken off. Without the roof, it did not take long for the castle to fall into ruin.

Innisfallen Island is the site of a 6th century monastery. Brian Buru, the first high king of Ireland, was educated here and the Innisfallen Annals were written during the 11th - 12th centuries. This is about a mile by boat from Ross Castle and is a beautiful little island.

The monastic sites were my favorite part of the trip. These Irish monks preserved the scriptures and ancient writings during a time when Europe could not read or write. I always try tp imagine what life was like within the monastery.


Even though the year is half over, these pertain to the rest of the year as much as the first half.

1. The Bible will still have the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ballyliffin Golf Club

Dad and I were to play golf at the northern most course in Ireland. Due to car problems, we could not play, but we stopped by the course to take pictures. Dad was a little intimidated by the course! The course is named after the rocky island which you can see in the distance. We passed a driving range with sheep. Hit 3 sheep and win a prize!

Rock of Cashel

This is the Rock of Cashel, the high seat of the Irish Kings. It is on a high hill and can see 50 miles in every direction on a clear day. It was also a monestary. The oldest building on the site was built in the 9th century. It was used up to the early 1800's until there was a hurricane that hit the island and knocked a chunk of the castle off. That's the picture on the top. The middle picture is the church and bottom is a view from town. The bishop decided that he would build a new cathedral in the town instead of on top of the hill.

A High Cross

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

World Cup Sockey

After watching about 20 matches of the World Cup, I realized that these guys could not play any other sport. They are too fragile, too wimpy, too French (except for the African nations). These guys dive and roll around as if a limb had been severed.

I propose that they lace up skates, flood the pitch with water and play on ice with no extra padding. They can wear the shin guards, but still in shorts and jerseys. This would eliminate diving, dangerous kicks and tackling from behind. Hockey players lose teeth, get sticthes and return to the ice. Let's call it sockey and see who headbutts whom.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The miraculous life of Jonathan Swain

I don't know if you have read this article about a baby that contracted AIDs and is now a 23 year old man with a wife and child. Awesome reading.

Ireland, Part 3

The Ring of Beara is another peninsula similar to Kerry, just as beautiful and yet, less traveled. The town of Bantry is nearby and is a beautiful coastal town. Bantry is where St. Brendan the Navigator set off too seek lands to the west. While in Bantry, we toured Bantry House which was significant for protecting Ireland from a French naval invasion. A sunken French ship has been found off the coast and an exhibit is being created at the house.

I forgot to mention that we visited Derrynane House in Kerry. This is where Daniel O'Connell, the liberator of Ireland, lived. He was the George Washington or Thomas Jefferson of Ireland. It was pretty cool seeing the "Proclomation" which is their declaration of independence from England.

Tomorrow will be the Rock of Cashel.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ireland, Part 2

The next day we drove down to Co. Kerry, which is the region of Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Ring of Berra and the Killarney National Park. We stayed in a farmhouse, the Knocknaman House. This farmhouse was on a v ery narrow, one-lane (two-way) lane. This made my dad a bit nervous! He said I drove too fast! It was about 5K out of the small village of Milltown. We looked for Bunratty Castle but circled too many roundabouts and went off to do other things.

The next day we drove around the Ring of Kerry. This was beautiful. It is a peninsula that has quaint little villages, beautiful coastline and several ring forts and iron-age sites. There are a lot of fishing boats of which Ian loved to see. The weather was overcast, misty and windy. We wished it was clearer and less windy. I could spend a whole week in this area, taking my town exploring the little villages, the old churches and the ancient sites.

Tomorrow will be the Ring of Berra

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ireland Recap

Four weeks ago today I left for Ireland with my family, my dad and the inlaws, 7 in all. We flew in to Shannon, arriving about 7:30 Saturday morning. After getting our rental car and dropping off the luggage at our B&B, we drove off to an area called the Burren. This is a strange geographical area of Ireland that supports little vegetation. Other than some scrub brush and a few grassy spots with wild flowers, the whole area is mainly rocky terrain. There are a lot of caves and iron age ring forts, but these forts would have been hard to live in since there was nothing to grow and few animals to hunt.

The fun thing about this day was the driving. The roads in the burren are very narrow and it was a road rally day. We had detours everywhere which put us on even narrower roads. We even came upon one of the race cars. He was not happy since we were blocking the road.

We visited Alwee Cave, which was interesting but not worth the price of admission. There were bones of a bear found in the cave, which is interesting since there hasn't been a bear in Ireland in several millenia.

We made our way back to the village and ate the best fish and chips on the trip at the Mill Pub.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Failte - You are Welcome

Failte - Welcome. (The phonetic pronunciation is fall-cha.) This is the greeting wherever you go in Ireland. When you walk up to someone's home or church they greet you with, "You're welcome." The 3 weeks in Ireland were wonderful and we have picked out the region to live in. I will post more with pictures, but I just wanted to let you know I am back and you are are welcome whenever you visit this blog.