being in the rain forest, one of the things that we were awed by in costa rica was the range of vegetation and color and flowers. for one thing, the world there is green. green is everywhere. whatever is not sky is basically green, decorated with bits of colorful flowers and birds. the world seems to be teeming with life, like the earth can barely contain all the energy bursting forth from it. it is truly awesome. here are some of our pics of the flora we found in costa rica.
in our church, we are continuing with a series called "letters from Jesus," in which we are looking at the seven letters in the beginning of revelation addressed to seven churches in asia. we are imagining what it would be like if we were to receive a hand-written letter from Jesus to our church. what would it say? how would we be encouraged? how would we be challenged? we've looked at three of the letters now. this week we looked at the letter to the church in pergamum. the letter to them includes some harsh criticism of some of their behavior, but it also says that Christ understands how difficult their situation is. and in case they feel like they are stuck in their sinfulness, Jesus says something amazing to them: i will give you a new name. the world gives us so many names, doesn't it? our parents, of course, give us our birth names. but the naming doesn't stop there. it continues right on through elementary school, high school, and into t