29 February 2012

Tortola and Virgin Gorda

< Dominican Republic | Index | No later items >

We visited the islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda today. We enjoyed the morning exploring the capital, Road Town. In the afternoon we visited an unusual beach scattered with big granite boulders.

The coastline of TortolaWe arrived in the British Virgin Islands and docked at Road Town on the south of Tortola.

We spent the morning in the town, walking along the main road from the harbour and then Waterfront Drive, Main Street and Pickenin Street up to St George's Episcopal Church.

Retracing our steps we stopped at the bakery for a cookie and some water, fed cookie crumbs to a hen and her three chicks, visited the museum, and bought and posted a card for Megan and our Tuesday evening Small Group.

28 February 2012

Dominican Republic

< Day at sea | Index | Tortola and Virgin Gorda >

We were ferried by tender boats to a small island near Samana in the Dominican Republic. We also spent some time relaxing on the ship. Having been ashore today, we're looking forward to some interesting visits to other islands during the rest of the cruise.

Several of the ship's lifeboats were used
Today was our first landfall in the Caribbean, at Samana on the south coast of a long peninsula in the north-east of the island.

After breakfast we decided to visit the town of Samana and then transfer later to Cayo Levantado where there's a tourist beach. But we changed our minds, instead staying aboard the ship and relaxing with a good read, having a light lunch in the Garden Restaurant, and then getting the tender to the Cayo.

27 February 2012

Day at sea

< Join the cruise and sail | Index | Dominican Republic >

Our first full day at sea took us further south and east. There was plenty to do and see, exploring the ship, an art auction, enjoying a restaurant meal, entertainment in the theatre, chatting with other passengers, and of course reading.

The art auction The ship headed east and south all last night and all of today, putting on the miles. The sea was quite choppy today, Atlantic weather rather than Caribbean weather.

We spent the day reading, chatting, learning our way around the ship, and investigating an art auction. I have no idea how much artwork was sold, but the display was busy as you can see in the photo.

We ended the day eating at the Aqua Restaurant this time. The menu is the same as the Venetian but the decor and lighting is more relaxed and pleasant. Like the Venetian it is a large space filling the ship's entire beam.

26 February 2012

Join the cruise and sail

< Fly to Miami | Index | Day at sea >

Today we boarded our ship, the 'Norwegian Dawn' and sailed out of Miami towards the south and east. The rest of the day we were busy exploring the ship and eating our first two meals on board.

The Norwegian Dawn I managed to adjust to the time difference without a problem, going to bed a little early and waking up around 07:00 local time. We relaxed in our room, reading and writing. We had to vacate the room at 11:00 but the shuttle to the ship left at 11:30 so that was very acceptable timing.

In the hotel lobby we met several others aiming for cruises. We chatted with Doug and Diane who were sailing on the Norwegian Pearl and he gave me his email address, hoping to keep in touch with us. We boarded our cruise ship, the Norwegian Dawn, after one of the longest queuing experiences ever, about two hours. Our ship was on its first outing after a refit and the computerised boarding systems were new. Much of the delay may have been due to lack of familiarity with  the new system.

25 February 2012

Fly to Miami

< St Neots to Heathrow | Index | Join the cruise and sail >

We arrive at our hotel in Miami, tired but looking forward to exploring the cruise ship tomorrow. The eleven hour flight felt longer and the hotel was disappointing - but we're on our way!

The view from our hotel windowWe slept well but were up early as our flight with Delta was mid morning. The shuttle bus took us to Heathrow Terminal 4 and so to check in and an 11 hour flight to Miami. Somehow they'd given us seats that were not together, but the cabin crew sorted that out for us.

There's not a lot to say about an 11 hour flight (except it seems longer). I watched Dr Zhivago for the second time (the first time was when it was originally released back in the late 1960s)

I read some more of Ross Rhode's book 'Viral Jesus' and enjoyed it immensely. Dozed a bit, read a bit, listened to Igor Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, read a bit, dozed a bit.

24 February 2012

St Neots to Heathrow

< No earlier items | Index | Fly to Miami >

This was the beginning of the holiday - drive to the airport. All that will be needed in the morning is a ten minute transfer to departures, check in our luggage, and clear security. Our hotel was amazing, far better than we'd expected.

This might not seem much like a holiday, but Donna was home from work and won't need to go back until next month - so it is a holiday!

We ate a quick meal, completed packing the bags, said goodbye to Truffles (our elderly black cat), and headed off.

We decided to use the A1(M) instead of the M1 as there are extensive roadworks on the M1. It soon turned out that the M25 also had roadworks that we'd have missed if we'd used the M1. This is Britain, there are roadworks everywhere!

Donna had booked a night at the Heathrow Holiday Inn, a special deal that included parking while we are away. Airport parking is expensive and our cheap deal meant we got the overnight stay at very little cost. As you can see from the photo of the lobby on their website, this is a very plush hotel indeed. We were astonished to find rooms on offer at £130 per night at the full rate. We paid considerably less with a couple of weeks parking thrown in. It was a great deal!

< No earlier items | Index | Fly to Miami >

23 February 2012

Caribbean/Florida 2012 - INDEX

< Cornwall 2011 | Index | No later items >

Sailing ship off St KittsWe flew from Heathrow to Miami, Florida. We then boarded a cruise and island-hopped in the Caribbean for ten days, returning to Miami.

From there we caught a train to Lake Worth and spent nearly a week with our friends Steph and Earl.

This index will take you to the individual daily posts.


  • Friday 24th February - St Neots to Heathrow
  • Saturday 25th February - Fly to Miami
  • Sunday 26th February - Join the cruise and sail
  • Monday 27th February - Day at sea
  • Tuesday 28th February - Dominican Republic
  • Wednesday 29th February -Tortola and Virgin Gorda
  • Thursday 1st March - St Martin's
  • Friday 2nd March - Antigua
  • Saturday 3rd March - Barbados
  • Sunday 4th March - St Kitts
  • Monday 5th March - Day at sea
  • Tuesday 6th March - Day at sea
  • Wednesday 7th March - Dock in Miami, train to Lake Worth
  • Thursday 8th March - 
  • Friday 9th March - 
  • Saturday 10th March - 
  • Sunday 11th March - 
  • Monday 12th March - Train to Miami and fly out
  • Tuesday 13th March - Arrive at Heathrow and drive home

< Cornwall 2011 | Index | No later items >

Oneness and reconciliation

< The centrality of Christ | Index | New and old in church life >

This time we focus on oneness with Christ and reconciliation with one another. In the previous post we considered oneness in the church. Reconciliation underlies and leads to this, without it the church will remain disjointed.

I and the Father are oneContinuing the series based on revelation at Coventry, this week we look at the second topic - 'Oneness with Jesus and in church life, reconciliation'.

As we saw last time, Jesus really is building his church. We need to seize this as a source of supreme hope and comfort at a time when men and women (more often men) have been inclined to take control.

Last time we considered the centrality of Christ. We also took a look at the requirement for unity in the church which his centrality demands.

This time we will look at unity again, but this time unity with Christ rather than unity with one another. Both are essential, of course.

22 February 2012

From the archives...

Sometimes it's fun to look back. Here's what I was blogging in February in previous years. From trouble in the Middle East to ancient photographs.

The archivesA year ago - The trouble was starting in Libya a year ago, just as it now has in Syria. As we thought and prayed for the people and government of Libya a year ago, so we should also do for Syria now.

COMMENT: How things have moved on! History will not repeat itself, the situation in Syria is different, probably far more dangerous internationally than the upheavals in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. We can also now pray for the development of stable democracies in those countries, it's not a foregone conclusion for any of them. Don't forget the smaller countries too - Dubai and Yemen for example.

21 February 2012

Greening the city

This article considers ways of improving the city or town environment. There are some big projects here, growing trees and plants in the heart of our urban world. But there are also ways forward for smaller groups to run projects for themselves, right where they live.

Built to support a vertical forestCities already have parks, private gardens, urban farms, landscaped roadside verges and large buildings with atria containing tropical plants, but what else can we do to bring greenery into the city? There are some surprisingly innovative ideas out there.

Milan's 'Bosco verticale' project is currently under construction and will consist of two residential towers supporting ornamental woodland and shrubbery.

New York's Highline converted railway line has become a much-loved green space for walking and relaxing right in the heart of the city. It was inspired by an earlier project in Paris, the 'Promenade Plantée'.

20 February 2012

Review Award - Chris Duffet

< Living to please God | Index | No later items >

Our second 'Review Award' goes to Chris Duffett. He richly deserves it for his lively, fun and very different blog called 'be the light'. A very special blog from a very special guy - both focussed on sharing Jesus.

be the lightChris lives within a few miles of me in the East of England. We've met several times but not as often as I'd like. His blog is called 'be the light'.

The first time I went to visit him he was baking bread and we shared some straight from the oven with butter, cold meat and salad. Scrumptious!

Chris is a baptist, meets with a local church in Bedfordshire, and is very active in sharing the good news about Jesus in some unusual ways. Visit the blog and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Why I like the blog - I have to say right away that the thing I most like is the sheer, abundant, happy life and energy of this site. And that is a good description of Chris himself. He describes some of his city centre adventures with us - always fun, always unexpected, always exciting. And he meets people everywhere he goes, making no distinction on grounds of appearance but blessing everyone in some very inventive ways.

19 February 2012

Coventry Cathedral - INDEX

(See indexes on other topics)

The new and old cathedrals are connected In November and December 2011 I began to feel Father wanted me to travel to Coventry and visit the Cathedral and that he would speak to me as I did so. I made the visit on 9th December and he did indeed show me a variety of things on that day.

This index page collects together a series of posts about the visit, what was revealed, and how the revelation has gelled and developed since then.

  1. Coventry Cathedral - Visiting the old and new cathedrals
  2. Hearing from the Spirit in Coventry - Truth poured out like a flowing stream
  3. The centrality of Christ - What does it mean for Jesus to be central in our lives
  4. Oneness and reconciliation - We are all one, in and through Christ
  5. New and old in church life - How the two relate and benefit one another

18 February 2012

Snowdrops in the rain - INDEX

(Click the photo for a larger view)

Snowdrops in the rain at Moggerhanger - 
Photo taken 20th February 2011

Moggerhanger Park has a fine collection of naturalised snowdrops in its areas of woodland. Last year I was able to capture a photo of these beautiful flowers liberally coated with raindrops.

See some other image posts (scroll down when the page loads).

17 February 2012

The centrality of Christ

< Hearing from the Spirit in Coventry | Index | Oneness and reconciliation >

This article returns to the results of visiting Coventry Cathedral late last year and considers some aspects of  what it means for Jesus to be central in our lives. It's all about him.

The tapestry of Christ at Coventry Back in December I posted some reflections on my visit to Coventry Cathedral. I always intended to revisit those thoughts and now I'm beginning to see how it all fits into the bigger picture.

Jesus really is building his church, just as he promised he would. I'm seeing it now much more clearly.

I'm seeing it in what is happening in my own life and I'm seeing it in what others are writing, saying and doing. This is so exciting!

Here are the topics from the previous post in this series. I'm going to expand on the first one this time.

14 February 2012

Has the Bible been modified?

If we are to trust the Bible we need to know that it faithfully reproduces what was written by the original authors almost two thousand years ago, or earlier. It turns out that the Bible stands up to scrutiny better than any other ancient book.

Damaged papyrus of Matthew's gospel The Bible is not really a book in the normal sense, rather it is a library of books written at different times and by different authors. Some versions of the Bible may include or exclude particular books for a variety of reasons.

But what can we say of the accuracy by which the books have been copied over the years and centuries since they were originally written? And how do the books of the Bible compare in terms of reliability with, say, Plato or Aristotle, Caesar or Cicero?

Surprisingly, we have a great deal of evidence for the reliability of both Old and New Testament books. Far more than we do for any of those other ancient books.

This is well-summarised in a web document by Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry (CARM).  Here's a claim made on that web page. Take a look at the page itself for the supporting argument.
The New Testament documents are better-preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings. Because they are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy... and they are very consistent.

13 February 2012

Review Award - Rhoda

< No earlier items | Index | Be the light >

It's time for the first 'Review Award' which goes to Rhoda's delightfully titled 'Living to Please God'. Why does she get the first of these? Because she sparked the idea recently so she deserves it!

Living to Please GodRhoda lives in Wales and has a blog called 'Living to Please God'.

Her husband is an American missionary leading a local church; they have a young family that Rhoda is home-schooling. That must be quite a challenge! She somehow finds time to write about many things including church, family, blogging, holiness and more - but all of them are rooted and centred on Christ.

Why I like the blog - That consistent Christ focus is one of the reasons I like Rhoda's writing. Another is her propensity for kindness and gentleness with her readers, even when writing on difficult or challenging topics, although she doesn't shy away from dealing with those issues. For a good example of this look at 'The dangers of questioning the Bible'.

12 February 2012

The AAJ Review Award - INDEX

(See indexes on other topics)

Awarding a review and a badge to other bloggers seems like a good idea. It will be fun to do and will help link blogs together. Hopefully this and other schemes will encourage a developing sense of community.

The 'Review Award' is a new idea, sparked by a comment on one of my recent posts. It was really encouraging to receive an award, in fact it made me grin from ear to ear! And that's good; we should encourage one another.


Hopefully, review awards will help other bloggers by encouraging them, drawing new visitors to take a look, and strengthening the blogging community in general.

I like the idea of providing a badge and I'll start with the simple design displayed here - we'll see how it goes.

You can view recent awards, or pick from the list below (most recent awards are at the top).

2012


11 February 2012

Beech tree in the snow - IMAGE

(Click the photo for a larger view)

The beech tree in our neighbour's garden - 
Photo taken 10th February 2012

This beech tree grows next door but the branches cross high over our fence. With a fresh snow fall yesterday and a beautiful blue sky, what a glorious sight it is! If you enlarge it you can make out some of last year's beechmast husks still clinging on.

Click the 'image' label below to see other image posts.

10 February 2012

Index to themed articles

This post lists the series indexes on 'Journeys of heart and mind'. Each index collects articles on a theme, often written over a period of time.

An early indexFrom time to time I write a series of themed articles, and usually I provide an index article to make it easy to find the entire set. Now that there are several such indexes it seems time to make 'an index of indexes' - and this is it.

Alternatively you can view all the indexes as one, long page; the link for this is always available on the 'About' page (scroll down part way to find 'INDEX' in the 'Topics' list). But the brief alphabetical list below will often be more convenient.

So here it is...

04 February 2012

Praying for Britain

Some of us are thinking we should begin praying for Britain, for England, and for our local area. Megan first suggested the idea after reading John Richard's prophecy (item 4 in the list below).

A boat on Galilee, a good place to pray!Recently we've become aware of a series of events related to prayer for Britain. They're listed here in the order in which we heard about them. However, it was item 4 that provoked our interest in prayer.
  1. Prophetic opinion from Clifford Hill that there is a five year 'window of opportunity' for the church in the UK, there would now be about three years of this window left.
  2. Some thoughts from Clifford Hill, Wolfgang Simson, and Peter Farmer in the Millenials Meeting at Moggerhanger Park.
  3. A word from Mark Stibbe concerning the 'seven pillars of society'. There are details of the seven pillars online. It's an idea that goes back to the 1970s.
  4. prophecy from John Richards
  5. A second prophecy from Lance Lambert

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