Category Archives: UMC

Great Christmas Present Ideas

OK, Christmas will be here before you know it and even folks who do not celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ, will still participate in gift exchanges.  What to gift? That can be a difficult question. Did you know that my photography can become your gift and in many shapes and forms, not just a 8×10 glossy (although you can do that too). 

Here are some examples of a few of the products you can purchase and solve your Christmas dilemma. 

Tote bags are always handy for trips to the beach and just running daily errands. Here are two examples.

Lily Tote Bag Bull Island Tote Bag

Coffee Cups are available to two sizes.

 

Coffee Cup

Greeting Cards are always a hit and you can order as few as one!

Greeting Card

 

Everyone has a cell phone these days, and who wouldn’t like a unique cell phone protective cover?

Phone Case

Throw pillows can add to the decor of any home. Throw Pillow

In addition to regular prints you can get canvas prints, acrylic prints, or even wood prints as shown here.

Wood Print

How do yo get these fabulous items? In the header at the top of this page, click on “Purchase”. or simply go to InletImages.com and find the images you want. Happy shopping and thank you for your continued support!

Also posted in Christmas, huntington beach, inlet images, marshwalk, murrells inlet, Night photography, photography

Belin Memorial UMC Garden

I am a member of Belin (pronounced Blaine) Memorial United Methodist Church. It sits right on the inlet of Murrells Inlet and is quite a famous landmark. There is a garden area between the Family Life Center and the cemetery and this garden is tended to by a group of volunteers. These gardening volunteers do a wonderful job year round. 

Although it is still February I was surprised with all the color in our garden. Several different varieties of daffodils, gerbia daisys, and other assorted colorful blooms. 

Pictured below are some of the Gerbia Daisys I found there. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

(click on image for larger view)

yellow gerbias

 

#murrellsinlet, #belin, #discoversc, #southcarolina, #canon, #myrtlebeach, #mymyrtlebeach, 

Also posted in Belin, flowers, garden, murrells inlet, outdoor, photography, South Carolina

Footsteps of Paul Part Ten

Today is the last day of our trip. Tomorrow we endure a long flight home but today we will enjoy sightseeing with a Local Guide in Athens, the most important city in ancient Greece and famed for its culture, learning, and great philosophers.

Our tour today includes a visit to Mars Hill, the Acropolis and the Ancient Agora.
Mars Hill, or as it is also known, Areopagus, is a bare marble hill next to the Acropolis and is where the historic sermon about the “unknown god” was delivered. (Acts 17:15-34). The Ancient Agora is where Apostle Paul met and spoke to the Epicureans and Stoic Philosophers (Acts17:17-18),

We will then cruise through some of the City Highlights of Athens seeing: the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament Bldg. and the Panathenaikon Olympic Stadium.
The Panathenaikon Stadium, also called Kallimarmaron, is near the heart of the city of Athens. It dates back to ancient times, when it was a venue hosting athletic events for the Panathenaic Games.

I hope you enjoyed living our tour through these blog posts. This will be the last of this series. Thank you!

Click on any image for larger view:

 

Parthenon

Parthenon

Mars Hill

Mars Hill

Odeum of Herodes Atticus

Odeum of Herodes Atticus

Porch of the Caryatids

Porch of the Caryatids

The Erechtheion (and Empie)

The Erechtheion (and Empie)

Temple of Athena Nike

Temple of Athena Nike

Column Detail

Column Detail

Overhead Detail

Overhead Detail

Panathenaikon Stadium

Panathenaikon Stadium

Also posted in Greece, methodist, Paul, photography, travel

Footsteps of Paul Part Nine

After docking back at Pireaus, we continued to the ancient site of Corinth for a guided visit of the excavations where Apostle Paul worked for 18 months with tent makers Aquila and Priscilla.

Here the remaining columns of the Temple of Apollo are the primary structures left standing.  However, we also saw the Bema where the Roman proconsul Gallio would likely have sat when he showed complete indifference to the accusations brought against Paul (Acts 18:12-16).

In Paul’s time, Corinth had developed into a major government and commerce center of that region. It was a large cosmopolitan city, with a estimated mixed population of 400,000 people – Romans, Greeks, and Jews. Athens always led as the classic Greek city of intellectual and architectural wonders, but Corinth was where “real life” of the time happened. Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul around the time when Paul became very active in the region.

 

Site Sign

Site Sign

Acropolis of Corinth

Acropolis of Corinth

Temple of Apollo

Temple of Apollo

Museum Courtyard

Museum Courtyard

Horse Head

Horse Head

Mosaic

Mosaic

Part of Market Area

Part of Market Area

Roman Era Statue

Roman Era Statue

Roman Battle Scene

Roman Battle Scene

Don't remember who this is.

Don’t remember who this is.

Roman Art

Roman Art

Roman-Art-at-Corinth-web

Corinth Theater

Corinth Theater

Also posted in Greece, Paul, photography, travel

Footsteps of Paul Part Eight

Our next stop on the Footsteps of Paul Tour was a place Paul probably did not visit. We enjoyed it anyway!

Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century B.C.E., forever shaping its rugged landscape and villages. The whitewashed, cubist houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). They overlook the clear Aegean and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles.

Santorini is the most popular island in Greece. It may be the most popular island in the world. There are few travel destinations that combine beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery, ancient cities, amazing restaurants, some of the world’s best wine, and an active volcano. But Santorini has all this and more.

Click on any image for larger view:

We took cable car to top, others hiked up!

We took cable car to top, others hiked up!

Everything is perched on the hillside.

Everything is perched on the hillside.

Cable Cars

Cable Cars

Some homes are built into the hillside. Prime real estate.

Some homes are built into the hillside. Prime real estate.

Can you imagine  having this view everyday?

Can you imagine having this view everyday?

We made it to the top!

We made it to the top!

One of many towers.

One of many towers.

Clock tower

Clock tower

Local shop

Local shop

So pretty!

So pretty!

Sounds like a plan!

Sounds like a plan!

Also posted in Greece, methodist, Paul, photography, travel

Footsteps of Paul Part Seven

This afternoon, on our Footsteps of Paul tour, we continued your cruise to Patmos, one of the Sporades. A small rugged island of the Icarian Sea, part of the Aegean. The scene of John’s banishment (by Domitian), where he “was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day.” The rocky solitude suited the sublime nature of the Revelation. On a hill in the southern half of the island is the monastery of John the divine, and the traditional grotto of his receiving the Apocalypse. We got to enter into the monastery and see some of the oldest Biblical manuscripts, including the Purple Codex.

In the middle ages called Palmosa from its palms; now there is but one, and the island has resumed its old name Patmo or Patino. It is unvisited by Turks, without any mosque, and saddled with moderate tribute, free from piracy, slavery, and any police but their own.

We were also able to see the famed Windmills of Patmos. Two of these windmills on a hill just below Hora village were built in 1588 (the third in 1863), when the relatively new technology spread throughout Europe. In the 1950s the windmills were abandoned and became derelict. Since 2009 the windmills have been restored for use as an example of conservation, alternative technology, as a cultural and educational resource and tourist attraction.

Click on any image for larger view:

Patmos Panorama

Patmos Panorama

Looking back on our cruise ship

Looking back on our cruise ship

Mosaic of John dictating his revelation to his scribe.

Mosaic of John dictating his revelation to his scribe.

Windmills of Patmos

Windmills of Patmos

Also posted in Greece, Paul, photography, travel, Turkey

Footsteps of Paul Part Six

Today we docked in the Turkish port of Kusadasi. Once the ship was cleared by customs, we boarded a tour bus with a wonderful tour guide who called himself “Oz”. He had been born and raised in Kusadasi and was knowledgable and proud of his heritage.

This western quarter of Turkey was called Asia Minor during the Roman period, and Ephesus was its largest city. When Paul arrived in Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila greeted him, introduced him to the congregation that met at their house and briefed him on the status of the local movement. According to Acts, Ephesus had believers who had been baptized by disciples of John the Baptist and followed a teacher named Apollos. He had since left Ephesus for Corinth, with a letter of introduction from Aquila and Priscilla. The Ephesus community knew the teachings of Jesus, but had not heard Paul’s message of the holy spirit. Similar variations, and sometimes rivalry, must have marked many early congregations, varying by teacher, local tradition, and communications with other cities. In his circuit of travels, Paul tried to establish some continuity. Paul would spend three years in Ephesus, and may have been imprisoned for some of that time. His letters indicate that he made visits to Corinth during his stay. And, as in Corinth, Paul earned his keep working as a tentmaker when he could, and depended on the support of his congregations when he could not. With this support he was able to spread his message even while under arrest.

This afternoon we continued our cruise to Patmos, the “Jerusalem of the Aegean,” where we enjoyed an excursion to the MONASTERY OF ST. JOHN and to the CAVE OF THE APOCALYPSE, where John the Evangelist dictated the Book of the Revelation during his exile. This will be the subject of Part Seven!

Our ship in Kusadasi

Our ship in Kusadasi

Looking out at the commercial Agora

Looking out at the commercial Agora

Water Distribution Pipes

Water Distribution Pipes

Bath of Varius

Bath of Varius

Entrance to the Odeum

Entrance to the Odeum

Fountain of Pollio

Fountain of Pollio

Odeon

Odeon

Prytaneion

Prytaneion

Domitian Temple

Domitian Temple

The Domitian Temple

The Domitian Temple

Near Hercules gate

Near Hercules gate

Ceretes Street

Ceretes Street

Curetes Street leading to library

Curetes Street leading to library

Mosaic floor along Curetes Street

Mosaic floor along Curetes Street

Mosaic floor along Curetes Street

Mosaic floor along Curetes Street

Celsus Library

Celsus Library

Detail work at Celsus Library

Detail work at Celsus Library

Detail in excavated column

Detail in excavated column

Statue at Celsus Library

Statue at Celsus Library

Also posted in Greece, photography, travel, Turkey

Footsteps of Paul Part Three

Our next stop was the site of the ancient city of Philippi, which caught me by surprise.  The site is not nearly as developed as some of the other sites we visited.  With the exception of a few places cordoned off for active excavation, we were allowed to roam freely across the site.  What is remarkable about ancient Philippi is the number of very large Christian churches built around the fifth century.

Philippi has had its share of fame. It was built along the ancient Roman trade route called the Via Egnatia, which stretched from Rome to Constantinople (Istanbul).  Remains of this route can still be found in the northern Greek region of Macedonia.  About the year 50 AD, a new era was about to dawn on this city. Christianity had been spreading rapidly across the Middle East, down to Africa, and up through Asia Minor. One of Christianity’s foremost missionaries, the Apostle Paul, was in Troas (formerly Troy)– just across the water from Neapolis (present day Kavala). At night, Paul received a vision telling him to “step over into Macedonia and help us”.

Paul along with Luke and Silas got on a boat and made the trip, passing the island of Samothrace and then on to Neapolis.  Taking the Via Egnatia, Paul and his companions travelled the 15 kilometers further to Philippi. It was Philippi that had the claim of being the first European city to hear the message of Christianity.

Philippi also entertained great names of history like Mark Antony, Octavian, Brutus and Cassius as they faced off in the marshlands west of Ancient Philippi in the “Battle of Philippi”. This city was known as being the gateway to Europe and it is not surprising that Philippi played a large role in changing the direction of the Roman Republic.

Philippi is also interesting from a Christian perspective. Here you can follow in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul as Christianity was first spread to Europe through Philippi.

Our guide introduced us specifically to the octagonal church of St. Paul with its magnificent mosaic floor, complete with the signature of the artist! We were also able to see where Paul had been imprisoned.

The difference between Thessaloniki and Philippi could hardly be more stark.  One has grown into a massive living city; the other is an abandoned ruin.

We continued on to Kalambaka (Meteora) where we had dinner and stayed the night at Hotel Meteoritis . Along the way we caught glimpses of the Meteora Monasteries that we would visit the next day!  That’s next in Part 4!

Overview of Philippi

Overview of Philippi

Ancient Theater

Ancient Theater

The Agora (market place)

The Agora (market place)

Looking across the Agora

Looking across the Agora

Almost 2,000 year old mosaic floor

Almost 2,000 year old mosaic floor

Pauls Prison (?)

Pauls Prison (?)

Ruins at Philippi

Ruins at Philippi

Pieces of ruins found at Philippi

Pieces of ruins found at Philippi

Part of the Via Egnatia

Part of the Via Egnatia

Also posted in Greece, Paul, photography

Footsteps of Paul Part Two

We began the morning in Thessaloniki.  Thessaloniki is a massive Greek port city on the site of the ancient city of Thessalonica.  It has been constantly inhabited since ancient times passing through the hands of the Byazantine and Ottoman empires.  Today it is the second largest city in Greece and the largest university town in Greece, as well.

One of the monuments we saw is the White Tower, an Ottoman reconstruction of an earlier Byzantine structure.  At one time it was a notorious prison painted white to cover the blood stains running down its walls.  Today it is a modern museum of Thessalonica.

The next stop was Philippi. Philippi owes its name to Philip of Macedon (father of Alexander the Great) who took it from the Thracians and named it after himself. We began our visit with a stop at a traditional site for the baptism of Lydia, one of the first converts in Europe after Paul crossed over from Asia Minor (Acts 16:11-15). The spot on the “river” (actually not much more than a stream) is prominently marked and also on site is a Greek Orthodox church in her honor. While we were there we wittnessed the baptism of a number of people. Mike climbed down into the river and several of us were able to “reaffirm” our own Baptisims.

Our next stop was the site of the ancient city of Philippi, and this is where we will pick up on Part Three! Stay Tuned!

Click any image for larger view.

The White Tower

The White Tower

Church of St Lydia

Church of St Lydia

Greek Orthodox Gathering at River for Baptism

Greek Orthodox Gathering at River for Baptism

Orthodox Priest

Orthodox Priest

Orthodox Priest

Orthodox Priest

Overall View of paintings inside Lydia's Church

Overall View of paintings inside Lydia’s Church

Overhead paintings

Overhead paintings

Overhead paintings

Overhead paintings

More paintings inside Lydia's Church

More paintings inside Lydia’s Church

Lydia

Lydia

Paul

Paul

Wall painting inside Lydia's church

Wall painting inside Lydia’s church

Wall painting showing Paul and Lydia by the river.

Wall painting showing Paul and Lydia by the river.

Also posted in Greece, Paul, photography, travel

Footsteps of Paul Part One

Liz and I recently joined a group of folks (mostly from our church) going to Greece & Turkey on a “Footsteps of Paul” tour. The trip was led by our pastor and friend Mike Alexander. This is the first of several posts describing our wonderful trip.

We began our trip at the airport in Myrtle Beach, SC. From there we flew to Philadelphia, PA and transferred to a flight bound for Athens, Greece.

After an 11 hour flight to Athens, we got off the plane only to grab our bags, go through customs and stow our bags on a bus headed for Thessaloniki. We would see our bags again later that evening. We, however, boarded another plane and flew to Thessaloniki where we boarded a tour bus and began the journey to Veria (Berea of the New Testament).

Berea is where Paul and Silas were sent by friends after being accused of treason in Thessalonika. There is very little left of the ancient town of Berea although modern Beria is a thriving city on the same spot. However, we know Paul visited and we know he preached the Gospel to the local community and we know the Bereans were particularly receptive (Acts 17:10-14).

There is a relatively recent monument to Paul’s ministry there, and the iconography is accessible even to people unaccustomed to interpreting it. The central component is a full-scale icon of the apostle Paul standing above a set of ancient steps discovered somewhere in the vicinity of Berea. A separate panel to the left depicts Paul’s vision summoning him to Macedonia, complete with the Greek quotation, “Come to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:6-10). Another panel on the right depicts Paul preaching and the Bereans studying scripture.

After a short stop in Beria, we were back on the road where our final destination for the day would be Thessaloniki, ancient Thessalonica.

Click on any of the images for a larger view:

Mix of old and new in Berea. Taken from inside tour bus.

Mix of old and new in Berea. Taken from inside tour bus.

Plaque near the Bema of the Apostle Paul.

Plaque near the Bema of the Apostle Paul.

Empie Gasque at the alter of the Apostle Paul.

Empie Gasque at the alter of the Apostle Paul.

Greg Hill at the alter of the Apostle Paul.

Greg Hill at the alter of the Apostle Paul.

Mike Alexander at the alter of the Apostle Paul.

Mike Alexander at the alter of the Apostle Paul.

Rosemary Hill at the Alter of the Apostle Paul.

Rosemary Hill at the Alter of the Apostle Paul.

Monument to the Apostle Paul.

Monument to the Apostle Paul.

Mosaic of Paul preaching to the noble Bereans.

Mosaic of Paul preaching to the noble Bereans.

Mosaic of Paul receiving the Macedonian call.

Mosaic of Paul receiving the Macedonian call.

Mosiac of the Apostle Paul preaching in Berea.

Mosiac of the Apostle Paul preaching in Berea.

Mosiac in the overhead the the Alter of the Apostle Paul. Sometimes you have to look up for the picture!

Mosiac in the overhead the the Alter of the Apostle Paul. Sometimes you have to look up for the picture!

Also posted in Greece, Paul, photography, travel