Friday, July 29, 2016

An Atlantic Sunset

Sunset pictures are beautiful.

Ocean pictures are beautiful.

Psalm 69:
30 I will praise God's name with song and exalt Him with thanksgiving. 
31 That will please the Lord more than an ox, more than a bull with horns and hooves. 
32 The humble will see it and rejoice. You who seek God, take heart! 
33 For the Lord listens to the needy and does not despise His own who are prisoners. 
34 Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them, 

So that makes pictures of the ocean at sunset extra beautiful!

Walking down to the rocks

Sitting on the rocks to take pictures of the waves crashing on the rocks.

We were at the Atlantic on the Portugal shore near the Fort of São Francisco do Queijo.

The moon rising over the fort
It was a wonderful night - the weather was perfect, the Portuguese were all watching Portugal play soccer on the big screen at the beach so we pretty much had the beach to ourselves.

The photographers had a great time on the beach taking sunset pictures. 

Here's a picture of one of the photographers taking a picture of another photographer who is setting up a picture of other photographers on the beach.

Here's the picture that was set up. 
Photography by Lisa Kemmer

Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Inside the Clergy Church - Dentro a Igreja dos Clérigos

I've already posted about the famous tower in Porto, torre dos clerigos . It is the bell tower to the beautiful Clergy (or Clerics) Church.

Tower Photo by Christopher Hooper
The inside of the church is gorgeous!

We happened to come in from the tower side at the balcony level. A wedding had just ended and we heard a violin playing with the organ. I got a tiny 2 second video clip of their music. 

Isn't it incredible? There are pipes on each side of the nave help for my Baptist friends.
The organ console is under the pipes you see here.

 Here is a view of the altar area from the balcony. It's difficult to grasp the scale of the room from these pictures.

Those little statues aren't little at all. Here are some closer shots of them.
St. Phillip
Look at what Phillip had to say about Jesus.

There are two great stories about Philip in Acts 8.

Philip wanted everyone to know about Jesus.

3Acts 8:35 Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus. 
Atos 8:35 Então Filipe, começando com aquela passagem da Escritura, anunciou-lhe as boas-novas de Jesus.

This is Saint Peter. He is one of the most famous of Jesus' disciples.

Here's part of what he said about Jesus. 
Matthew 16:15“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” 
Mateus 16:15 “E vocês?”, perguntou ele. “Quem vocês dizem que eu sou?” 
16 Simão Pedro respondeu: “Tu és o Cristo, o Filho do Deus vivo”.

 He also wrote two of the books in the New Testament, 1 Peter and 2 Peter.
 1 Peter  1 Pedro 2 Peter 2 Pedro
1 Peter 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
1 Pedro 1:3 Bendito seja o Deus e Pai de nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo! Conforme a sua grande misericórdia, ele nos regenerou para uma esperança viva, por meio da ressurreição de Jesus Cristo dentre os mortos,

Here are some more pictures from the interior of this incredible church.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Market Day

 I wasn't anticipating being really excited about going to a market, but once we got to this market in Porto, we all scattered in different directions with our cameras clicking away. The colors were so vibrant and everything looked so fresh and beautiful. I was so excited when I saw the pictures on my computer. Your mouth can't help but water when you look at all this delicious fresh food!
 But then, I got to thinking...I didn't even stop to look at any of it. I didn't smell the fruit, or buy some to taste it. Was it really as juicy and as wonderful as I made it out to be in my head? I didn't stop to touch and feel them. Were they ripe, or did they need a little more time? Were there any bad spots in them, or were they perfect?
This made me think of our walk with God as a follower of Christ. We can portray ourselves to the world as colorful and vibrant, ripe and perfect for the choosing. But, what happens if someone stops to truly look at us and study us? What will they see if they look inside us, turn us over in their hands. Will we be stiff and dry, picked too soon? Or rotten on the inside?
When we choose to follow Christ, we have to fill ourselves daily with His word, let Him water our soul with His perfect love. We have to know His word, so we can bear good fruit. We have to trust in Him to prune the rotten away. And then, when His timing is perfect (for we alone can never be perfect), He will pick us and let us share the good fruit with others around us.

My prayer is that those we met in Porto, and all those I come in contact with, can learn that Jesus is the Good Fruit and that they can taste all that He has to offer. Don't pass Him over or just admire Him as you walk by.
I pray that I can be more intentional in all my relationships: that they may bear good fruit. That I can trust Him more to allow His work to happen through me.

John 15:2-5

Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

João 15:2-5
Ele corta todos os ramos que em mim não dão fruto, e limpa os que dão fruto, para que deem ainda mais. Vocês já estão limpos pelo ensino que eu vos deixei. Permaneçam em mim, que eu permaneço em vós. Um ramo não pode dar fruto por si só, se não estiver unido à videira. Por isso, não podem dar fruto se não estiverem unidos a mim. Eu sou a videira e vós os ramos. Aquele que estiver unido comigo dá muito fruto porque sem mim nada podem fazer.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Torre dos Clerigos - The Clerics Tower

You see it from all around the city - at least the old city.

It stands 76 meters tall (about 250 feet) and was the tallest building in Portugal 
for hundreds of years. 

Maybe they had Psalm 61 in mind when they designed this beautiful strong tower.

Psalm 61:1 Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. 
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 
3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.

Salmos 61:1
 Ouve o meu clamor, ó Deus, atenta para a 
minha oração. 

2 Desde os confins da terra eu clamo a ti, com o coração abatido
; põe-me para a rocha que é mais alta do que eu. 

3 Pois tu tens sido o meu refúgio, 
uma torre forte contra o inimigo. 

It is on the West end of the Clerics' Church - A Igreja dos Clerigos. 
Both the tower and the church are in classic Baroque style. 

Construction of the tower was from 1754-1763. It was the bell tower 
for the church which was built about 20 years before it.

After winding your way up 240 steps you'll reach an area where you can walk around 
and get a 360 degree view of the city.

Chris and I at the top!

The view of Porto from the top of the tower is incredible!

Rio Douro

Our friends waited for us at one of the cafes below.
(Just under the tree to the right of the cut out triangle.)

Around the top of the tower they have markers to tell you what buildings you are seeing in the distance and then they had this one that compares the height of the Clerics Tower to other famous tall buildings. The Clerics Tower is the first little building on the marker.

I'll share pictures of the inside of the church in another post
(It is gorgeous inside).

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Swallows of Portugal - As andorinhas do Portugal.

You find them all over Porto - and from what I've read, all over Portugal. Pretty little black ceramic swallows. As andorinhas are in the beautiful ceramic shops, gift shops (tourist shops) and are sold by street vendors all over Porto. They are everywhere! I've seen them each time that I've traveled to Porto. This year I couldn't resist them anymore.

2 of the 7 swallows that are now in Tennessee!
I did a little research about the swallows of Portugal. (Which means I googled and read some posts. ha!) And it looks like a ceramic/pottery artist named Bordallo Pinheiro made the first ceramic swallows in the late 1800s.
You can read more about him here - Bordallo Pinheiro

The swallows are migratory birds that return to the same place each year. They love the sunny countryside of beautiful Portugal. Because they mate for life and always return to the same location each year they became a symbol of love, devotion, family and home.

There's a hallway in my house where I've painted a tree - a family tree I suppose - and in that tree I've hung pictures of my seven grandchildren. While in Porto this June I bought 7 ceramic swallows to fly through the family tree reminding everyone of the love and devotion we have as a family.

Do you see all seven swallows?
 The swallows also reminded me of something Jesus said.

Aren't two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent. 
But even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
 Don't be afraid therefore; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Não se vendem dois passarinhos por um asse? e nenhum deles cairá em terra sem a vontade de vosso Pai.
 E até mesmo os cabelos da vossa cabeça estão todos contados.
 Não temais, pois; mais valeis vós do que muitos passarinhos. Mateus 10:29-31

Monday, June 27, 2016

Beautiful Architecture

The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Psalm 95:5

Seu é o mar, pois ele o fez, e as suas mãos formaram a serra terra seca. Salmos 95:5

These are just two of many pictures that I took while over in Portugal. These have to be two of my favorite due to the architecture. Seeing all the beautiful work that was created by someone left me awestruck. Seeing this work reminded me that God created everything on earth and even gave the people who designed and built these structures the talents to do so. The details on every building in the city as well as the details of the bridge are so amazing and beautifully done. God took the time to place every detail on earth and that is something I try and praise him for every day.