Monday, July 31, 2006

Junior Youth Retreat, part 2, Water Slide

The following photos are all from the water slide activity at my church's Junior Youth Retreat held this past weekend July 28-30.

The above photo is actually from the fishing activity but shows most of the water slide on the right side of the picture.

Making the Splash

Unofficial Slide Ride Raters in the Background

Above and Below: More Slide Splashes

Youth Running Back Up for another Slide

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Junior Youth Retreat, part 1

This weekend July 28-30, I participated in our church's junior youth retreat in a country location about an hour and a half to two hours Northwest of our church. It was a great weekend with good kids and adults who know how to have both fun and learning.

This is a group picture of the junior youth displaying a tribute they composed for our associate pastor who is an integral part of our church's youth program.

Saturday afternoon, we went swimming, tubing, and paddleboating in the lake below our large cabin. To the left on the picture, you can see just a small part of a long water slide that ends in the lake. I will be posting more pictures of this and other activities in later posts. The water slide is a highlight of the weekend.

There are a number of free times during the weekend for the youth. In this picture, the youth are playing Apples to Apples. Other free time activities included volleyball, carpet ball, and much more. There also were a number of organized recreational activities that will be featured in another post.

During the weekend, we also had Bible studies on the topic of truth. In each of the Bible studies, there was both large group and small group times. The picture above was one of the small groups from Friday evening working at listing things that were true for everybody in their small group.

Early Saturday morning was fishing time. Some came down to fish and some came down just to enjoy the early morning quiet.

And of course no weekend retreat is complete without it's delicious food. The picture is that of Saturday lunch of taco salad and soft shell.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tohickon Creek, No. 1, Part 2, Mushrooms

Tuesday afternoon when I was hiking along and near the Tohickon Creek in Plumstead and Tinicum Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, I encountered a number of different kinds of mushrooms. Mushrooms fascinate me; but unfortunately my other priorities prevent me from identifying their names. Nevertheless I enjoy their colors and shapes and perhaps many of you will be able to do so likewise. If you know their identities, please feel free to share that in the comment section. And maybe we all can learn just a bit more together.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tohickon Creek, No. 1, Part 1

The Tohickon Creek area over in Plumstead and Tinicum Townships, Bucks County, Pennsylvania is almost like holy land and God's country to me. I have many good memories there from childhood on up. It is a place I return to when I need solace and when celebration is in order. I was there yesterday.

At this precise location in Ralph Stover State Park along the Tohickon Creek, I remember many a summertime family swim and picnic. Coming here for a swim and a picnic was a frequent Saturday evening activity. I also remember bringing a New York City Fresh Air child hosted by our family here for a swim. He could not enjoy it as well as us though because he wasn't use to the sharp rocks and stones like us. Of course in the summertime we always went barefoot on the home farm so our feet were tough.

At one place not far from the creek are these rolling meadows. This picture was taken from just inside the edge of a woods looking out. In this transition zone, one can hear and see many birds especially in the morning or evenings.

Here's the path going along the creek's edge.

Here I'm in the woods with a deer in the background.

A window view of the Tohickon Creek

Sunday, July 23, 2006


Bikemovement is a group of Mennonite young adults biking coast to coast across the United States from July 10 through August 25 this summer. Through this ride, they plan to engage in a bridge building dialogue about their perspectives and vision for the church. To further this dialogue, they will be stopping for conversations with the people of a number of churches along the way. A part of their vision is for the church to transition from institution to movement.

Were I just a bit younger (I'm in my upper forties), I would want to be riding with them. Also as a part of this ride, Bikemovement is seeking to raise $50,000 to enable youth from the global South to attend the 2009 Global Youth Summit at Mennonite World Conference in Paraguay. The goal of this fundraising is to enable the youth of the global South to share their vision for the international church. More about that later. For now enjoy the pictures and comments below.

Here is the Bikemovement team picture just before
they begin the venture from the Oregon Pacific shore line.

Here's the team consulting a map along the way.

A team picture on the road in Oregon

Hospitality enjoyed along the way in Idaho

Group time - sharing personal life stories

Conversation with Hyde Park Mennonite Fellowship in Idaho

Sun over an Idaho river

For those who want to learn more, do visit the Bikemovement web site. There among other things are an interactive Bikemovement team journal, a forum for general discussion, a large and growing photo album, and instructions for donating to their Global Youth Summit project.

All pictures on this post were used with the permission of Bikemovement. They are a small sample of what is in their online photo album.

Boy, I wish I was with them! :) The adventure, the mission, the dialogue, the team building, the outdoors.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Texas Hill Country

In early May of 1997, I spent a couple days in the Hill Country of Texas. I was spellbound by the beauty of the spring flowers, rivers, and hills.

In above picture, I believe these were sunflowers
growing along the edge of some river pasture lands.

I passed many a meadow aglow with colors to satisfy the soul.

And along the way I came upon Enchanted Rock State Park
which was a wonderful place to stretch one's legs.

For those who might wonder where the Texas Hill Country area is located, briefly it lies west and northwest of Austin and San Antonio for quite a distance. You can click here for a map.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


For the next two weeks or so, my blog posting and visiting may be rather limited. My schedule has somehow become super full. BUT I'LL BE BACK!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Maine Scenes, No. 10, Quoddy Head

These two pictures were taken at Quoddy Head State Park which is the Northeastern most point of both Maine and the United States.

In the photo above, the bluffs in the background are a part of Grand Manan Island which is a part of Canada. And in the photo below is one of the pretty lighthouses of Maine.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Peace Valley Park, No. 10, Part 3, Another View

Below are some more photos from my July 4th morning hike at Peace Valley Park near Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Nature has such diversity as this post will continue to show. It is this diversity that helps to make nature and this park so fascinating to me.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Playing Upwards

After church today, I stopped at Mom and Dad's for dinner and an afternoon of playing table games. Dinner was good - chicken patties, cooked potatoes, vegetable, and homemade applesauce for the main course with apple tart and banana pudding for dessert. The first game we played after dinner was Upwards. Dad won. And after that we played Rummykub which I won just barely. Below are two pictures from the Upwards game.

In the above photo, Mom and Dad are pondering possible word plays. Dad's right arm is resting on the old Scrabble dictionary from which we find words that we would never think of or we find that what we thought was an acronym is actually accepted as a word on a rare occasion. The picture below was taken just before the last word was played. Words can intersect with other words up to five squares high and the higher the letter square the more points one earns.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Peace Valley Park, No. 10, Part 2, Fungae

Tuesday morning, July 4, I went for a hike at Peace Valley Park near Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In the previous post, I showed some wildflowers; this post is specializing in wild fungae.

The picture above shows the top side; the one below shows the bottom side. Both have their own glory. I love the milky white of the bottom.

Some brightly colored mushrooms

I love the contrasting browns on this fungae.

Another mushroom - above and below :)