Something Else To Celebrate Today

So today is Halloween. It’s just now beginning to be celebrated here in Europe. Megan and I are in Trieste, Italy (the closest airport to where we were in Slovenia) for our early flight back to Belgium tomorrow. Tonight we had a humorously stereotypical Italian dinner of calzones, tiramisu, and cappuccinos; all the while there were little witches, ghosts and ghouls running around the pizzeria. While Halloween is celebrated a little here in Europe, oddly enough, something else actually claims the day: the reformation.

In Slovenia, October 31 is a national holiday celebrating the day when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517. Can you believe that happened almost 500 years ago? I think most would agree that Luther was not going on an anti-Catholic campaign; his goal was not to create a new “religion” or even a denomination, but to draw people to Christ. One of his main complaints was that the church was falsely telling its members that entry into heaven could be purchased for the right price. This enraged Luther, who stood firmly on what the Bible says – that faith in Christ alone will make men clean in the eyes of God, and therefore acceptable into heaven. 500 years later, we face, in many ways, the same battle. The target may not be as easy as the selling of indulgences, but in many ways men condense God into “religion” and often try to work for approval, status, and even salvation. There is nothing we could ever do to earn approval in God’s sight, yet he offers to completely free us of our bondage to evil if we would turn from the ways of the world to him. There’s something about our human nature that feels this is too easy, and the toiling goes on…

In Slovenia, the celebration of the reformation is often tied to one man, Primoz Trubar. Most of our work in Slovenia this past week centered around Trubar and the legacy he has left after almost 500 years. I’m going to post a little more about Trubar in the next few days because his story is too interesting to not be told. Until then, celebrate reformation – not Protestantism, Catholicism, or any other methods or structures created by men. Celebrate what God has done for us: rather than giving us the dreadful punishment we deserve, he sent his son – perfect and holy – to bear the full load of our punishment so that we could stand before God – not only after death, but NOW - and say that the price has been paid in full and that we’ve been purchased with a price that no man could ever repay.

If that isn’t reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.


Our breakfasts here have been awesome, and Clay really went for it yesterday morning with a plate of donuts. I think we probably keep our innkeeper laughing at us from the kitchen.

Beautiful day again!

Oh, and Phil, we found the perfect house for you guys...

Just walk through that gate, and you have your own steps down to the lake. Maybe everyone that reads this could go in on this dream house with us :)

On our walk around the lake we saw several of these little fountains diverting natural streams from the mountains.

Can you believe people just go about their normal lives here? Do you think that that Slovene woman pondered the beauty of her surroundings as she hung her laundry out to dry? It makes me wonder what beauty we take for granted in our own lives. Things become so day-to-day, you know?

Something traditional about the Slovene people is how orderly they are, exhibited even in the way they stack their firewood. I especially like this example, because they have made their woodpile a decorative element of their home. I love it. How cool to make use of the things that we have to use anyways in such a beautiful way.

Another thing making this region a magical land is the portion sizes! Sheesh! Even in Texas we have never seen burgers so big! And they weren't even burgers- Clay's had these little sausages on it, and mine was very interesting and good. I don't remember what it was called, but it was ground beef with ham, cheese, and sauteed onions stuffed into the middle of it. Basically an omelet with ground beef around the outside instead of egg :) I had it without the bread, and it was so good! I may try it when we get home.

Our view at lunch. Wowsers.

We have made some great friends on this trip, young and old.

These are some of our new favorite people. We'll miss you guys!



In Slovenia, there actually ARE chestnuts roasting on an open fire....

Also, Slovenia is where the cutest woman in Europe lives. I watched her buzz about the streets all morning. Could this be where Mary Poppins ended up??

I love him.

We arrived in Bohinj last night, and were overwhelmed by the incredible beauty.

We woke up and our hearts almost stopped. Are you kidding me??! It's gorgeous!

Clay stood in this spot for a long time with his jaw dropped just taking it all in.


Skipping rocks... the international pastime.

Clay was so happy.

We are overwhelmed with Slovenia. Who knew???


Birthday in Slovenia

If you had told me I would be spending my 26th birthday in Slovenia, I probably would have laughed at you and asked you where the heck that was :) What a treat to see so much of this world lately! We are thankful for every second of it!

The mountains have been eluding us here- lots of rain and fog.

BUT, we entered church this morning to this sight:

And exited to this:

We love our job.

I decided to pretend that the after church coffee/snacktime was really a birthday party. It was awesome.

Our friends dropped us off in Ljubljana for an evening on the town.

I love these street lights! They are like huge lamps! I think the make a walk along the river magical.

Here's to 26 years! I thank God for what he's done, what he's doing, and what he'll do. I certainly would never have imagined being here on this day. There are times when I think being so far away from those that I know and love is absolutely ludicrous! This I have learned concerning plans: man makes his plans, but it is God who directs his steps. And thanks be to him for putting us on this path. It's hard to be sure, but the reward of seeing him ever more clearly is worth all that there is to give. To the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!


A day.

Today began with a press conference...

...then coffee- notice the blankets they set out for chilly patrons- so considerate!

Beautiful Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The day ended with a lecture...

...and giant Slovene cake.


5 hours in Italy and then Slovenia

We flew into Trieste, Italy on our way to Slovenia and had to wait a little while for our bus. It is fun to be in Italy no matter how short your time there is!

Pepi's Buffet was... interesting. I am pretty sure the pork plate included tongue. And the bathroom had a toilet that was nothing but a hole in the floor. We will remember Pepi's for a good long while.

We spotted a jellyfish, and it mesmerized us with its creepiness.

Random: snake-skinned toilets

Today was our first full day in Slovenia, and I joined one of our friends here at one of the local stores. First off, this store was huge! It was also wonderful. The only thing that kept me from leaving with a cart-full was knowing that we are already over our RyanAir weight limit.

A few interesting things found at this store were: a) A cane complete with bell, flask, and a drinking glass.

b) The hugest wooden spoons I have ever seen sold commercially. (Cajun gumbo spoons don't count)

c) A very definite Yankee Candle rip-off. I was really excited there for a minute.

d) A full-size jungle of animal robots in the gardening section. They moved and made noises and freaked me out a little.

So far, Slovenia is a strange and wonderful place :) We did a little filming tonight, and hit the road again tomorrow for a long day of shooting!