Category Archives: Travel

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“And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”
1 Samuel 30:6 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: From Carmel to Ziklag

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Building Bigger Barns

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Even the bears couldn’t hoard nature’s bountiful berries.

“They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.”
1 Samuel 25:16 KJV

“But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

“So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
Luke 12:20, 21 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: Nabal and Abigail

A Date with History: Thursday Doors

Baguettes, crêpes, funicular, everything maple—these few words describe my second visit to Quebec City that enabled me to retrace some fond memories from a high school trip. Those include seeing huge banners everywhere stating “Oui” or “Non” as Quebec province pondered sovereignty from Canada. Another was looking up, up, up at the fascinating architecture of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. A take home treasure was a hand-drawn horse poster purchased in Old Quebec City.

On this recent trip, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac was covered in scaffolding; instead, I looked up, up, up for the ice machine sign on our hotel floor, after pantomiming my search for ice for two maids who only spoke French. The Parliament gardens were meticulously groomed and bursting with color; I particularly enjoyed the herb gardens. No one wanted to hear me speak the French I had practiced for months, and many asked me: “How’s my English?”

A “first” ride on the Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec took me down to the Quartier Petit Champlain on Saturday. A bit disappointing to see half-hearted flurries swirling through the giant snow globe; did the machine feel a summer’s heat? Earlier that day, we had wished a winter trip as we discovered the toboggan slide (Les Glissades de la Terrasse) near the Promenade des Gouverneurs.

As I exited the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires church, I noticed a man’s t-shirt that said “born and raised in Santa Cruz.” Not wanting to make a geography assumption, I looked closer, and “Northern California” was printed above this text. Me? Born in California, I visited my grandparents in Santa Cruz for many of my childhood years—a gentle faith reminder on a Sabbath day so far from home. Riding back up to my family, I spotted my “first” black—not gray, not brown, not red—squirrel scrambling through the treetops.

“The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.
The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.”
Psalm 16:5, 6 KJV

Back in the States, I can’t stop thinking of ways to use maple syrup, maple sugar and maple crème in baking muffins and such, all the while mumbling French phrases back at Mr. Duolingo. I find myself buying a cheddar and caramel popcorn mix that closely resembles the maple cheddar mix we enjoyed in Old Quebec. I watch the sunlight and breeze play with the leaves on our oaks and pines, and I remember.

I took this at the end of my morning stroll from the Plains of Abraham, along the Promenade des Gouverneurs, and then following the Old Quebec City wall back towards Rue Saint-Jean.

rue sainte-ursule

Rue Sainte-Ursule.

I noticed “Le Foyer” in stone above this door, and thought it rather unique to “announce” an entrance to a building. Then I thought perhaps it could be a family surname. I did a quick internet search: common occupations in Canada for the Foyer family included shoemaker, tailor, and varnisher. The other clue: The red “HI Canada” flag which turns out to be a sign for Hostel International Canada; and this building is, in fact, Auberge Internationale de Québec on Rue Sainte-Ursule in Old Quebec City. This isn’t the main entrance; but I don’t know where this door leads. Could this be the hostel where we stayed in high school?

hostel international canada old quebec city

Auberge Internationale de Québec.

bibliothèque claire-martin

Bibliothèque Claire-Martin, Rue Saint-Jean.

The green patina roof marked this library in the view from our hotel window.

bibliothèque claire-martin

Bibliothèque Claire-Martin, Rue Saint-Jean.

Join the fascinating search for doors of all shapes and sizes!

Echoes of Mercy*

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The beauty of flight refreshed Montana; exhausted from trying the newest bicycle model on the prairie trail.

“And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God.”
1 Samuel 23:16 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: Vengeance and Mercy

*“Blessed Assurance” by Fanny Crosby

Song of Refuge

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Amidst the hustle of the city, nature found a refuge on the banks of Wolf Creek.


“I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 142:5 KJV

“Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.”
Psalm 59:17 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: From Friend to Fugitive

Deadly Defiance

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Skipping stones helped Montana decide whether to cross the flooded Great Miami.

“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”
1 Samuel 17:45 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: Ginormous Faith

dolce; con anima*

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Creation sings.


“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord;

So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”
2 Chronicles 5:13, 14 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: Spirit-Filled Music

*sweetly; with spirit

Too Many Red Barns

Armchair Travel: Inside Out

Inside Out

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Susanna chose the gnarly winter squash over the smooth zucchini to add to her pumpkin pie.

“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 KJV

Inspired by: The Shepherd King: Life Lessons from David

“O Brother, Be Faithful”

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“Eternity’s years shall tell for thy faithfulness now,”

“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth.”
3 John 1:3 KJV

Inspired by: “O Brother, Be Faithful”