Holy week tueThis cave is very famous. The  “Halle der Circe”  is a part of the cave Eiskogelhöhle  in Austria. It boasts the  highest-lying touristic cave in the world (2100 m alt.). With proper lighting the permanent ice in the hall shines in beautiful blue tones, which add enchantment atmosphere to the frozen hall.

“The crowd responded, “We understood from Scripture that the Messiah would live forever. How can you say the Son of Man will die? Just who is this Son of Man, anyway?”

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.”

After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.”

Scripture Reference: John 20:34-36, New Living Translation

Image Credit: Peter Gedei

March 21

The lighthouse in Chania Harbor, Crete, Greece, which was built by the Venetians (1595-1601), was placed among the 21 most famous lighthouses in the world. It has an open-flame torch and it still serves a beacon for all in the surrounding area.

 

 “Take a good look at my servant.
    I’m backing him to the hilt.
He’s the one I chose,
    and I couldn’t be more pleased with him.
I’ve bathed him with my Spirit, my life.
    He’ll set everything right among the nations.
He won’t call attention to what he does
    with loud speeches or gaudy parades.
He won’t brush aside the bruised and the hurt
    and he won’t disregard the small and insignificant,
    but he’ll steadily and firmly set things right.
He won’t tire out and quit. He won’t be stopped
    until he’s finished his work—to set things right on earth.
Far-flung ocean islands
    wait expectantly for his teaching.”

God’s Message,

the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies,

    laid out the earth and all that grows from it,
Who breathes life into earth’s people,
    makes them alive with his own life:
“I am God. I have called you to live right and well.
    I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe.
I have set you among my people to bind them to me,
    and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations,
To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light:
    opening blind eyes,
    releasing prisoners from dungeons,
    emptying the dark prisons.
I am God. That’s my name.
    I don’t franchise my glory,
    don’t endorse the no-god idols.
Take note: The earlier predictions of judgment have been fulfilled.
    I’m announcing the new salvation work.
Before it bursts on the scene,
    I’m telling you all about it.”

Scripture Reference: Isaiah 42:1-9, The Message

Image Credit: Peter LaPlaca

Mar 20

Stonehenge is pictured above, and before you wonder why today’s entry is using a “pagan” item to be paired with scripture, let me remind you that today is the first day of Spring for 2016. Many believe that Stonehenge was a place marking significant rituals and events in Celtic culture, especially for the solstice days. I believe it wasn’t constructed casually, but with great intention. I also believe it is a perfect photo for this, Palm Sunday, as we recall the words of Jesus that “even the stones will shout out.” It will be a long trek this week.

How often creation already knows what we have failed to see.

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

Scripture Reference: Luke 19:28-40, NRSV

Image Credit: Amary, for British Telegraph

March 19

A “casual stroll on the farm” afforded this photographer the opportunity to make this photo of a frosty and colorful scene in Vӧlkermarkt, located in the Austrian province of Carinthia. In part because of its more than 200 lakes and captivating landscapes, Carinthia is known as the “Austrian Riviera.”

“[God] with your finger you opened up springs and creeks, and dried up the wild floodwaters. You own the day, you own the night; you put stars and sun in place. You laid out the four corners of earth, shaped the seasons of summer and winter.”

Scripture Reference: Psalm 74:15-17, The Message

Image Credit: Sonia Sokhi

March 18

The European ExoMars orbiter mission got underway on Monday, March 14. And it is a perfect time to get a chance to see Mars in the night sky, just before dawn. This mosaic portrait of Mars taken by an orbiting spacecraft show the grandest canyon in the entire solar system, Valles Marineris, at the center.

“All the buried dead are in torment, and all who’ve been drowned in the deep, deep sea. Hell is ripped open before God, graveyards dug up and exposed. He spreads the skies over unformed space, hangs the earth out in empty space. He pours water into cumulus cloud-bags and the bags don’t burst. He makes the moon wax and wane, putting it through its phases. He draws the horizon out over the ocean, sets a boundary between light and darkness. Thunder crashes and rumbles in the skies. Listen! It’s God raising his voice! By his power he stills sea storms, by his wisdom he tames sea monsters. With one breath he clears the sky, with one finger he crushes the sea serpent. And this is only the beginning, a mere whisper of his rule. Whatever would we do if he really raised his voice!”

Scripture Reference: Job 26: 5-14, The Message

Photo Credit: Nasa/JPL

March 17

At the West End of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Ireland is the Saint Patrick’s window, which tells the story of the life of Saint Patrick in 39 different images, from his kidnapping from Wales to his death in Ireland. St. Patrick helped to bring Christianity to Ireland.

“Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our Master Jesus to arrive on the scene for the Finale. And not only that, but God himself is right alongside to keep you steady andon track until things are all wrapped up by Jesus. God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.”

Scripture Reference: 1 Corinthians 1:7-9, The Message

Image Credit: Donald Tong

March 16There are downsides to landfill living: This European white stork got itself stuck in a plastic bag in Spain. But why? Well it seems these birds are no longer migrating from their Africa wintering grounds and are staying year-round in Spain and Portugal because they’ve developed an addiction to junk food at landfills.

“Hey there! All who are thirsty,
    come to the water!
Are you penniless?
    Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
    Buy without money—everything’s free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
    your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
    fill yourself with only the finest.
Pay attention, come close now,
    listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.
I’m making a lasting covenant commitment with you,
    the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love.
I set him up as a witness to the nations,
    made him a prince and leader of the nations,
And now I’m doing it to you:
    You’ll summon nations you’ve never heard of,
and nations who’ve never heard of you
    will come running to you
Because of me, your God,
    because The Holy of Israel has honored you.”

Scripture Reference: Isaiah 55:1-5, The Message

Image Credit: John Cancalosi & National Geographic

March 15

Guardian Angels first made an appearance on the New York subway in 1979 in an attempt to quell rising levels of violence. As in all of New York, crime was rampant in the subway in the 1970s. Thefts, robberies, shootings and killings became more frequent. The subway cars were very often graffiti-painted or vandalism-damaged both inside and outside.

As the New York City Police Department was completely overwhelmed, the public reacted with unease, and the subway was deliberately avoided. It was not until the 1990s that the crime in the city and its subway declined significantly and the Guardians Angels became no longer necessary.

“Mercy. May Your mercy come to me, O God, for my soul is safe within You, the guardian of my life. I will seek protection in the shade of Your wings until the destruction has passed.”

Scripture Reference: Psalm 57:1, The Voice

Image Credit: Bruce Davidson

 

image

On March 14, 1958 the first Gold Record was awarded to Perry Como for “Catch A Falling Star.” The RIAA’s next honoree was Laurie London for “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands.” And while Elvis Presley was the third artist to receive such an honor (for “Hard Headed Woman” in August 1958), his single Gold Record through the end of 1961 had him tied on the RIAA’s list with Lawrence Welk (whose “Calcutta” was certified Gold in February 1961).

“What a beautiful thing, God, to give thanks,to sing an anthem to you, the High God!To announce your love each daybreak,sing your faithful presence all through the night,Accompanied by dulcimer and harp,the full-bodied music of strings.”

Scripture Reference: Psalm 92:1-3, The Message

Image Credit: Perry Como Records

 March 12

Gandhi at Dandi, South Gujarat, picking salt on the beach at the end of the Salt March, 5 April 1930. Behind him is his second son Manilal Gandhi and Methuen Petit.

On March 12,  1930 Mohandas Gandhi set out from Sabarmati with 78 followers on a 241-mile march to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea. There, Gandhi and his supporters were to defy British policy by making salt from seawater. All along the way, Gandhi addressed large crowds, and with each passing day an increasing number of people joined the salt satyagraha. By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, Gandhi was at the head of a crowd of tens of thousands. Gandhi spoke and led prayers and early the next morning walked down to the sea to make salt.

Civil disobedience broke out all across India, soon involving millions of Indians, and British authorities arrested more than 60,000 people. Gandhi himself was arrested on May 5.

“God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”

Scripture Reference: Matthew 5:7-10, New Living Translation

Image Credit: Unknown, Public Domain, India