Category Archives: My Photos

The People of Egypt (Pt. 2)

Finally, I’m done editing the over 5,000 pictures I took on our trip to Egypt and Italy in April! It only took 4 weeks! So, in the coming days, I’ll be posting some of my favorites.

I probably won’t post many scenery shots – although I took a lot of those. My primary photography focus when traveling internationally is to capture pictures of people – being people. So, enjoy this next set of pictures of the people of Egypt. You can click on each picture to make them bigger.

The People of Egypt (Pt. 1)

Finally, I’m done editing the over 5,000 pictures I took on our trip to Egypt and Italy in April! It only took 4 weeks! So, in the coming days, I’ll be posting some of my favorites.

I probably won’t post many scenery shots – although I took a lot of those. My primary focus when traveling internationally is to capture pictures of people – being people. So, enjoy these first few pictures of the people of Egypt. You can click on each picture to make them bigger.

The Big Island

Michelle and I just returned from a week on the Big Island of Hawaii. Michelle had never been to the Hawaiian Islands before. I had 2 layovers in O’Ahu on my way to and from Guam 25 years ago when I spent the summer on Guam doing my college communications internship with Trans World Radio. My layover in Honolulu on the way out consisted of a night in a hotel and an attempted trip to Pearl Harbor that landed me at the gate of the military base and not the tourist site. Never saw it. On the way back, I went to Waikiki Beach for a few hours, accidentally fell asleep on the beach, and flew home horribly sun burnt. So, my Hawaiian experiences thus far have not been good! This trip was different.

 
First of all, I was there with my wife. That’s always a good thing as I remember being 21 years old on Waikiki Beach and feeling horribly alone as I watched young couples enjoying their romance in tropical paradise.

Secondly, this was a vacation – not a layover, so we had a chance to really explore the beauty of the island. (You can click on each picture for a better look.)

 
Our resort was located in Kona, which is on the west side of the island where the sun shines 350 days a year and the average temperature year-round is 85 degrees. That was nice! Here is the view from our balcony on the 4th floor.

 
On one of the days, we drove across the island (about 75 miles) to Hilo – where it rains a lot. And it did. All day. But, the moisture produces incredible waterfalls and plush green forests, and on our way there, we drove under a 13,000+ ft. mountain peak that was snow covered. Here are a few pictures of our day in Hilo – including visiting an active volcano, that when the clouds lifted, volcanic fire and lava could be seen.

 
One of the things we were really excited to do there was zip-line. There is a zip-line course on the north end of the island that takes you through a dense forest anywhere from 65 to 110 feet high. Michelle was really stoked to do this, and I was very encouraging of her stokedness…but inside, I was pretty apprehensive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the thrill of a good zip-line, but it’s standing on the small and packed tree stands that get me. Our group had 7 zippers and 2 guides, so at times, there were 9 of us standing on each small tree stand. We were securely fastened to the line at all times, but standing on the edge of these stands looking 100 feet down was a bit of a challenge for me. I survived – yea even thrived – but some of the high parts were really high! Here are some pictures.

 
And of course, it wouldn’t be Hawaii without the beaches. On the Big Island, there are some very diverse beaches – from rocky, lava beaches to soft sandy beaches. We spent time at both. The lava beaches were not as good for swimming, but the scenery and wildlife there were amazing. And the sandy beaches were incredible for swimming and boogie boarding, but the waves were pretty wicked at times. Take a look.

Lava Beach

 
Sandy Beach

 
There was a luau almost every night at our resort, and even though Michelle and I didn’t splurge to do the meal before (too expensive) we did get to see the show afterward – and it was pretty amazing. We could see (and hear) it from our balcony, and other than a few trees in the way, we had a great seat.

 
And finally, perhaps our favorite thing of all about our Hawaiian experience was watching the sunset every night. At our resort, we had a front row seat to the beauty. We actually made sure to be back at the resort each evening to see it. Pictures don’t do it justice, but this was the best I could do.

Sabbatical: Day 1

Day one. A Sunday. It was weird not getting up this morning and doing my final preparation to lead worship and preach at Foothills. This is going to take some getting used to…

My in-laws are in town, so all of my kids and grandbabies came over for brunch. We watched football together, and then after the Steelers victory, Michelle and I took her parents on a beautiful drive to Chimayo, NM where we visited the El Santuario de Chimayó – a Roman Catholic church built in the early 1800’s.  The Christmas lights were still up making the already beautiful location even more beautiful.

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After spending some time looking around, we drove over to the Rancho de Chimayo restaurant for dinner. This is the second time Michelle and I had been there having taken the elderly couple Michelle cares for there a couple months ago. The ambiance was wonderful and the food excellent. When we walked out of the restaurant, we were greeted with a fresh dusting of snow. A perfect ending to a wonderful evening.

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Dreaming of Northern New Mexico

I was in Northern New Mexico this past weekend, and I took some pictures of my dream house and my dream church there. You can click on each picture to see them enlarged.

My dream house in Taos, NM. Looks like the roof needs some work, but just look at the setting!

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My dream church in Pojoaque, NM. I don’t think they’d have me as it’s a Catholic Church, but the building and setting is exhilarating!

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Van Wert, OH

I’m spending the new year in my hometown of Van Wert, OH, and yesterday was a rare sunny day here.  Driving around, I noticed how beautiful some of the buildings were in the sunlight, so I grabbed my camera.  Glad I did, because it’s cloudy again today!  Here are some of the beautiful buildings that make up my hometown.

This is my childhood home where my mom has lived for over 40 years.

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Two blocks down from the house stands the beautiful Brumback library.

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The county courthouse, built in 1874, stands in the center of town.

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Here are a few of the beautiful churches in town.

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There are also beautiful old homes in town like this one…

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When I was a kid, the downtown was full of business and activity. It’s not like it once was, but there it’s still quaint.

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One of the big employers in town is Central Mutual Insurance which boasts a beautiful building and property.

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Recently, a large portion of my old high school was torn down and replaced by a new building outside of town. However, the football stadium built in the early 1900’s still remains and is used in the middle of the town.

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This building is not beautiful, but it is cool. No one believes me when I say that my hometown has a drive-thru convenience store. Well, here it is…

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Christmas Tree Hunt 2015

Our annual Christmas tree hunt tradition continued this year with a trip to the Jemez Mountains with the Smith family.  This tradition started in the early 2000’s when our kids were little, but now our kids bring their kids along.  Here are some pictures from this year’s adventure. You can click on each picture to make them larger.

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