Dear Faith Friends,

The hiking has turned hot and dusty, testing our will and tenacity, and our sunscreen.

We left Crete, for four smaller islands.  Santorini was chilly enough at night that we had to go back for more clothes.  But, Serifos – which we just left – and Sifnos, where we are headed to, are blistering.  Even the locals say it is too hot.  Paths are devoid of shade and everything is uphill or down.

We keep walking, step by step, to appreciate all there is to see – a plant I everyone has seen but has no name for, an old man riding his donkey home laden with goods, stone walls built hundred of years ago, red lava cliffs and black sand.  The chilly waters of the Aegean Sea, down below, go a long way to restoring our good humor.

This isn’t a hardship, of course, but a gift.  Yet, it is a training of sorts for taking what is and living into it with delight and curiosity, because it is what God has set before you.

Paul loved the congregation in Philippi, in the north of Greece (where it may have been cooler), encouraging them to keep moving forward in faith, no matter the circumstance, rejoicing in the presence of a living God.  I tramp on with his hymn singing in my heart, for this time and for you.

Blessings on the journey,

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say: rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near…The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  – Philippians 4:4-7