VENICE/ROME/SIENA 3/17-4/1/2019


We did so much in a half day yesterday including history lessons in the beginning and development of the Venetian Republic.  St, Marks Square and pursuant buildings and attachments including the Florian Cafe, the oldest coffee house in Europe. It’s good but you know you are in trouble when the waiters wear Tux’s.  We also walked back across Venice to the Rialto Bridge and caught a water taxi back to the train station and then walked around to our hotel, Hotel Hesperia, a wonderful little family hotel.  They are friends with our guide Diana.  


Today we traverse the Lagoon by boat. That will be picturesque.
On to the adventure. 
I’m thinking we can bring a group of hardy souls next year. Maybe 30-40.  Use public transportation, etc.  we will see.


Numbers 26:51

In summary, the registered troops of all Israel numbered 601,730.

Our wonderful God and Father is an involved Deity, the One true God who delights in the detail of His creation. Amazing stories in the Old Testament that detail the names, number and specific activities of the Lord’s people.

We today if we are saved are the Lord’s people.  We are not replacing Israel we are made a part of the Lord’s people. The Father in the Son has brought us who were far away, near.  Praise the Lord God Almighty we belong to Him and He knows everything about us.

Before we get too elated let me remind you that His grace and mercy are renewed each day for us and He is pursuing us with His grace and mercy and pursuing the Lost with His grace and mercy.

Our God revels in the details of His creation. He named every star and there are multiplied billions of stars. He know the number of hairs on our head. For some of us there aren’t many left.

Thank you Lord Jesus for providing salvation, what we need and cannot earn in God’s family.



Canareggio Canal to Lagoon then across to the Armenian Monastery where the leader united this group of monks with the Catholic Church. Small group of monks. Very nice facility with an amazing library.

7 Armenian monks and 4 Novices

Community 300 years old.

300 monks total. Over 300 years. Most Armenians are members of Armenian Apostolic Church.




Lord hear me, I am in need of You

I desire your answer

As You bend down to listen

I know you hear me

I know my needs are often selfish

Point me in the right direction


Lord hear me

I need answers to my fears

Direction for my cares

When I’m in trouble I know You listen


Lord hear me

You are my God

I desperately seek to serve You

Underscore my surrender

Help me to listen to you



Venice. Morning TU-3/19/19

Thanks for your prayers. Journeys are always problematical-different beds, different sounds and in Venice the challenges of walking over so many bridges.

I can not describe the beauty of the setting sun over this marvelous island.  The joy of riding the boats up and down the canals. It is fun.

I think we’ve made some headway on how to do Venice inexpensively. Diana is a tremendous resource for planning. Blanca is watching and learning. Corey is equally involved in the travel process. They make a great team.


Ps 89:17

You are their glorious strength.   It pleases you to make us strong.


I’m reminded again of how intimately involved the Lord is in our daily lives. We are never alone, never at our wits end and never without His comfort.

All of us have faced many challenging days and today is no exception. His promise is that He rejoices to give us His strength. I thank the Lord that He does.

Each one of us is today facing challenges.  Seek to permit the Lord to give you His strength.


Wish each one of you were with us. Monday was a very special day.

Oh yes, was cold and rainy but we walked the city and had a great boat ride from the train station around to the Gondola shop. I’ll get the name later and insert in tomorrow’s note.


I love business and to talk with Hellene about her 5th generation family business of building gondolas was great. She is an impressive young lady and Diana is a friend of the family. She was very nice and after his a short said that I was very much like her grandfather. Not sure what she meant but I took it as a compliment. This came from me helping her to focus the camera.

Building a gondola is a challenging business and takes quite some time to complete. They built gondolas for the Savoy family and that gondola is on display at the Doges Palace.

We walked all the way across Venice which isn’t so far but has maybe 100 bridges (it sure seemed like that) to cross!!!!! 


We had lunch at Rosa Salva (1879) which is a local, very local bakery and cafeteria. Mostly locals grabbing a quick lunch. It was crowded, loud and great. The food was excellent. We had dessert and coffee at the counter. Just great.

We spent quite some time at the Doges Palace. The history is so different than the rest of Europe up until the Hapsburgs arrive.

I am so grateful to be able to see and hear about this precious city that so entwines with our own personal walk In Christ. Their businesses spread the Gospel even when their work wasn’t. The Lord can use anyone and anything to spread the Gospel.


We’ve made several program changes due to weather. It was wet and cold yesterday but the day ended dry. We ate at Gam Gam again last night. It is really a good restaurant. It’s in the Jewish Ghetto.


Jimmy led us further into Mark as we looked at the words of Jesus. I got to bed last night at 10 and had a great nights sleep.


Let me say again that I know some of you are facing big challenges today. As Dr Price often says when his prayer alerts arrive before 6 am that he has already prayed for my day. I want you to know that I have already prayed for your day and by the time you arise I will have already walked most of your day. The Lord bless you and keep you. Life is precious and you are so precious to Him. One more thing, it is the greatest of joys to travel with two saints of God like Jim Dukes and Jim Parker. They are both wonderful leaders, teachers, churchmen and friends. Also please remember Diana Cugola and her precious family. We had the privilege of having dinner with her family Sunday night. They are outstanding. Her oldest son is in med school, her youngest in junior high and her husband is an engineer. Diana goes the extra mile to connect us with the people of Venice. Today we will visit a foundry which I am looking forward to. .


TUESDAY- 3/19/19-End of the Day


It was the best of times….  the beginning of “Our Town” and you know the rest!  Well the truth is as we meet artisan’s and locals the city of Venice becomes much more our town.

Our hotel is owned by two sisters. They run a clean, comfortable and nice little hotel right on the banks of the Cannaregio Canal. This is one of the six districts of Venice and is the northernmost of those six. We are 10 minutes from the train station and really close to everything.

The only real difficulty in Venice is that they have 464 Bridges. Anywhere you walk you have to cross most of them.

The people that live in Venice face a myriad of challenges. For example, they cannot leave garbage in front of their building. The Sea Gulls attack plastic bags and make a mess. Therefore when the garbage person (they have men and women picking up garbage) comes they ring your doorbell and you immediately bring your garbage down. That seems awfully expensive to do it that way but that solved a lot of problems. Everything that is delivered is by an individual in a cart. We even passed a delivery person with his push cart loaded down with Amazon and special delivery stuff.

Beautiful day. Very windy and chilly but it’s perfect for walking.

We are just across the Canal from the Jewish Ghetto.

A few facts as I heard them:

Ghetto (foundry) in Venetian language and the place where the Jews were permitted to live in 1516. They were Free by day but their area was locked at night.

2 groups of Ashkenazi Jews and 1 group of Sephardic Jews in Venice.

They could be Moneylenders, doctors or used cloths sellers and were not permitted to join the guilds in Europe.

Today 250 Jews in Venice and 200 Jews on the Mainland.

One active Synagogue-Sephardic

2nd inactive Synagogue. Canton (corner). 1672

Before war 1,200 Jews.

Today Ghetto has a totally different meaning than originally the foundry area.  It is an area of a city where a minority group lives.


We traversed all of the Jewish Ghetto which isn’t large.  This is an amazing place. I love this area.


We walked across the Ghetto and out the north side across to Campo di Mori and saw where Diana’s grandmother lived right on the canal. She grew up in this area and shared with us some about her family.


More walking over to Campo De La Madonna D L’ Orto and to the Madonna Church there. This church dates from the 1400’s and is a Gothic Architecture.

It has an apse full of Tintoretto paintings.

  1. The Last Judgement (1563, right), Tintoretto
  2. Idolatry of Golden Calf (1563, left), Tintoretto
  3. Peter’s Vision of the Cross (1550–1553) Left, Tintoretto.
  4. Above: Cardinal virtues: Justice and Temperance, half-dome of apse: Decollation of St Paul (1550–1553), right side of apse, Tintoretto
  5. Above: Cardinal virtues: Prudence and Strength, Tintoretto

There are many other important paintings of several important artists but I was just overwhelmed with the Tintoretto’s. Tintoretto is the nickname of Jacobo Robusti.

Whew.  That was a great experience. I was just thinking of the  unbelievable value of these paintings. Irreplaceable. BTW we have stopped in many churches already to see certain things but so far none have been this important. We will do more. Oh and Tintoretto is buried in this church. His house in Venice was just two doors up from Diana’s grandmother.

Lunch time and we ate at the Library Bistro. It was okay. Different. We had a good time laughing and talking. I know we’ve probably driven Diana daft with all of our talking and questions.

The afternoon stop is the Artistic Foundry Valese. Oh my this is the last foundry in Venice and they have a reputation that reaches far beyond Venice. I could rattle on about this more than you want to read. It was very good. Nice folks.

From the foundry we walked a few steps to the north shore. We could see the Italian Alps, the airport, Murano and the Cemetery Island. 

We walked back to the hotel and ended our day around 4pm. I was worn out. I think everyone else could have gone more but I couldn’t.

Jimmy led us thru Mark 4:1-20. Lots of good conversation.


In Romans 8:1 the Lord declares us not guilty.  There is no condemnation for those of us IN CHRIST.

In 2Corinthians 5: 21 it says that God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be declared not guilty with God through Christ.

Therefore if we believe in Christ we can be confident in our relationship with the Lord. He is on our side. We are His and He will never leave us.


It’s been another long day. Pray for my friend Cornelius Tilton’s wife as they work hard to bring her thru a stroke she had today.  Praying for Both of them.

Pray for our seminary campus and our new president whoever that is. Pray for our trustees at NOBTS and our faculty and staff.

Pray for PEF-Lifesongs Radio and Israel Student Pilgrimages.

Pray for MissionLab, spring break students and then in the summer. 

Truthfully there so much we need to pray for.

Pray for a dear friend who will have a valve replacement.

Thank you.



Wed. 3/20/19.  Venice

Relaxed start today. I think we have worn ourselves out and tomorrow we catch the Italo to Rome, and have to leave the hotel a 7:15am. (More about that tomorrow)

Cold today. We left Hotel Hesperia at 10am and walked to Termini and caught the Vaporetto 2 to San George Major.

Facade of Saint George Major, San Giorgio Maggiore on Giudecca island, Venice in the style of a Grecian Temple. Building begun in 1566 by Andrea Palladio, finished in1610 by Scamazzio who designed the facade. Houses two paintings by Tintoretto, “The Harvest of Manna” and “The Last Supper” plus works by Sebastiano Ricci, Carpaccio and Campagna.

Significant facility with an elevator up to the bell tower which we took. 360 views absolutely stunning.

We crossed the Grand Canal by boat to San Marco and walked thru to Rosa Salva for lunch. Along the way we discussed about 20 buildings that Diana shared their history. It’s amazing the info that a great guide has and San Marco and environs has a long, long history.

Lunch at Salva’s was super crowded again. I had a salad with Mozzarella and Brussel sprouts. We all chose the fruit squares for dessert with cafe reg plus Jimmy needed to also check out the coconut macaroon.

We wound our way thru the streets and alleys of Venice. Amazing. How do you ever figure out your way?  Diana said follow the signs to the major event and relate where you are to that.

We caught the boat over the Grand Canal to go to Scuola Grande di San Rocco.   It has 65 canvases by Tintoretto and the Announciation by Titian. We spent quite some time here just going from picture to picture. San Rocco is a fellowship that provides for the poor and gives the rank and file some level of strength to deal with the government.


The Frari church was just around the corner. It’s amazing how quickly things can change. Diana was helping a senior person and the lady had a fit and fell in it. Later when we left the coffee shop (yes we stopped for gelato -even though it was cold and coffee to warm up-all in one block) Diana again helped the lady and she was very thankful as she couldn’t open the door. She never apologized for being ugly but I’m not sure she knew where she was.


We got to the Frari Church a block later. Basilica di Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, usually just called the Frari, is a church located in the Campo dei Frari at the heart of the San Polo district of Venice, Italy. One of the most prominent churches in the city, it has the status of a minor basilica. The church is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary.  Venetian Gothic In appearance and built of brick.

The interior is notable for a large number of very grand wall monuments to distinguished Venetians buried in the church, including a number of Doges and the painter Titian. Many of these are important works in the history of Venetian sculpture, and the many paintings include two large and important altarpieces by Titian, the Assumption of the Virgin on the high altar and the Pesaro Madonna. It also contains the only rood screen still in place in Venice.

There is a significant work by Donatello-St John the Baptist. I like the set-up in this church. Just very gentle to me.

We left the church and walked to the nearest boat and crossed the Grand Canal back to our hotel.

Both Carolina and Martina were there and we chatted with them and Diana. We bid Diana good-bye. Had dinner at Casa Bonita and Bible Study In Mark 5-the red letters of Jesus. Jim Parker left for Israel at 5am. He is touring with Tom Harrison. We left for Rome at 7:15am and we are on the Italo cruising at 180km. It is smooth.


3/21/19.   Thursday.  ROMA

we left the hotel at 7:15am. They had breakfast out so we had some coffee and croissants.

The walk around to Termini took about 15 min and we waited on the Italo train-found it and loaded. There was an initial confusion about seats but it all worked out. At times this train gets up to 200kph. Fast. It’s comfortable and 4 hours to Rome.

Demetria’s associate picked us up at Termini and took us around to the Hotel Lancelot. Calypso, Lubna’s oldest daughter was working the front desk and checked us into our room.

First stop, Naumachia, for pizza.  Adam found this place 20 years ago and it has become one of our favorite lunch places.

This was not a pressure day.  Jimmy worked. Blanca and Corey explored. I read and took an afternoon nap.  It was a superb day in Rome.


Dinner tonight at the Lancelot was a typical outstanding meal. Farris outdoes himself every night. He is a superb chef.  This is a very comfortable relaxing hotel just a few blocks up from the Colosseum.

Beautiful night. Off to bed.



3/22/19. FRIDAY.   ROMA-ROME


THE weather couldn’t be more beautiful.  Just perfect.  While Venice was quite chilly and cold at the end of each day ROME has been spectacular.

We started slow today taking a late breakfast and Bible Study continuing in Mark-Teachings of Jesus. Excellent. J. Dukes is superb.

We’ve been working on an Italy trip for students. Travel, especially focused travel, can enhance the educational process. But if it isn’t inexpensive few students can afford it.

I think I’ve got it worked out to do 10 day trip, Venice, Florence and Rome for 1,650 land cost plus air. I will work with Ron Cansler and see if this can work. If you want to do any travel always remember to contact Ron to help you work it out. I can get you his contacts if needed.


Phil and Melissa arrived mid-morning. We all walked up to Labicana and took the # 3 tram all the way to Trastevere and then back.  That was 1 1/2 hours. We saw a lot of Rome including crossing the Tiber. I hadn’t ridden that tram so it helped me to connect the dots on the trams.

I’m using an app called Moovit. Very good on public transportation.

We had a quick lunch at Naumachia and then up to San Giovanni in Laterno.

This is the seat of the Pope. It is the oldest church in Rome, gifted by Constantine in 313ad. Pope’s were crowned there until 1870 and the Pope lives there in the Lateran Palace until the 1,300’s when they moved back from Avignon. Amazing Cathedral. 

We meant to visit the Sacred Steps across the street in the Popes private Chapel but it was closed. We will have to get back there.

We are using multiple buses to get places and so far it’s worked perfect. I love Moovit. We took two busses to get to Trevi Fountain. It was cleaned last year and it was beautiful, beautiful!  I’ve posted pictures on Facebook.

From Trevi Fountain we caught a bus up the hill to St Mary Major.

St Mary Major is also a Papal Basilica and is the only major Church in Rome that is still in its original form. 

We walked up the street to Pasticceria Regoli and met Carla. She had completed her touring for the day and met us for coffee and cakes.  Actually profiteroles!

A great time was had by all. So good to see Carla.  She will meet us at St Peter’s tomorrow at 4 to take us thru the Basilica.

Caught a bus and headed home. Another excellent day.

Dinner was uniquely superb as only Faris can do.

Oh and Calypso, Faris’ niece and his sister Lubna’s daughter is helping out at the Lancelot on the front desk.  She is a licensed mid-wife and is quite in demand.

This place is so nice. If you ever come to Rome you need to stay here. Great!


3/23/19.  SATURDAY. ROME

The weather has been spectacular. It is just beautiful.  Spoiler -this was a 15,750 step day for me.

We walked from our hotel by the Colosseum and up the hill to St Peter in Chains. This is a titular church built in the fifth century to display the chains that held St Peter in Jerusalem. Also there is a significant statute of Moses by Michelangelo.  Beautiful basilica. Long walk up the hill and now back down the hill to have lunch at Naumachia for the third tine this week. Paper thin wood fired oven pizza. Marvelous.

We kicked everything into high gear. We quickly walked over to Labicana and caught #16 bus up to Manzoni and then Line A of the metro to Spagna.

The Spanish Steps are significant. On the right is the Shelley/Keats house and on the same side behind the steps is a great restaurant.

(The Spanish Steps are a set of steps in Rome, Italy, climbing a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna at the base and Piazza Trinità dei Monti, dominated by the Trinità dei Monti church at the top.)

They got their name because at one time the Spanish Embassy was located in the Spanish Piazza.

We all looked at the shops for the wealthy on the Via Condotti.

We turned north and walked the four blocks up to the Piazza del Popolo. This was a northern entrance to the city. On the southern side of the Piazza are the twin churches.  Across the Piazza where the Via Corso enters from the north thru the impressive walls and gate structure is an unassuming, quiet little church that Bernini  did work in and Bramante built the apse. But that’s not the important thing: they have two Caravaggio paintings. In the quiet cove on the right hangs the Conversion of St Paul and on the left the Crucifixion of St Peter. AMAZING.  We upset the security guy by coming in the back of the chapel but I smoothed his feathers and had him smiling before we left. “I used my best Italian.”

We exited thru the gates and walked over to the Flaminia Subway stop and rode up to Ottoviano and walked from there the 6 blocks to St Peter’s Basilica. Oh my-easily 500 people ahead of us in the line but we got in the line and forged ahead. Carla arrived just as we were ready to clear the barrier and we all walked in together with the thousands that were there. Carla led us thru St Peters in two hours. That was great. She is phenomenal and we greatly appreciated her.

It’s been a long day. We walked back to the bus terminal and caught the 81 bus back to Claudio/Colosseo and made it back to the Lancelot in time for dinner.

Lots of pictures on my Facebook page.  I will also put up pics and these stories on


3/24/19. SUNDAY. ROME


We left the hotel, after breakfast and Bible Study In Mark, at 10am. We caught the #85 bus planning to get off on The Second stop on Via Corso but that was not to be. There was a foot race and a Global Warming protest/parade. We detoured all the way around, passing the balcony in Piazzia Venezia where Mussolini gave some speeches in Rome, and thought we had it made as they shuttered the entrance to Via Corso so we got off and walked the 8 blocks to Trevi Fountain for one more view of this beautiful fountain.

We cut across town east to west to my favorite coffee shop Tazza D’Oro. It’s in the front of the Pantheon.  We had coffee and by-passed the Pantheon to go up the street to the Minerva Church that has the elephant holding and Egyptian obelisk-all done by Bernini.

Inside this Dominican Church is a sculpture by Michelangelo: Christ the Redeemer or Christ Carrying the Cross, a marble statue located to the left of the main altar.  Beautiful church.

We walked back a block to the Pantheon. The Pantheon is a former Roman temple, now a church, on the site of an earlier temple built by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus. It was completed by Hadrian and dedicated about 126 AD.  It has the world’s largest unreinforced concrete roof with an oculus in the center.

Lunch time and we are near the Enoteca Cul De Sac. Small, very small wonderful Italian restaurant. They make their own pasta and the bread is outstanding.

We had to walk back to the Piazza Navona, an ancient racetrack that is now the location of 20 restaurants, a huge church and three fountains.


(Piazza Navona is a square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones, and hence it was known as “Circus Agonalis”.)

The Fountain of the Four Rivers topped by an Egyptian Obelisk by Bernini is in the center of Piazza Navona. (1.Ganges in India, 2.Nile in Africa, 3.Danube in Europe 4.Rio de la Plata in South America. )

We walked to the Campo di Fiore, the field of flowers long ago, now a flea market then across to the Jewish Ghetto and from there around to catch the 81 bus back to the Lancelot.

Dinner was vegetable lasagna, and I had red rice, and veggies.

Great meal. Outstanding day. We crossed the heart of medieval Rome. Great day.







Proud, fierce and focused

A Roman was most envied


Engineers of renown

Roads built to tame a world

Bridges spanning any obstacle

Order out of chaos

A hard life led by hard men


They were great adapters

You may have discovered it

The Romans made it better

There armies were ferocious

Their buildings majestic


Nothing could stand in their way

Except themselves

Their decadence renowned

Destroyed their strength

One day it fell to the ground


The glory of Rome no more

Hard times less their empire

The northerners ruled Rome

Their empire had no home

This place once known as Rome


Clay Corvin


3/25/19. Monday.  Rome

Focus of life. Jesus or self. Mark very clear in Chapt 9 how important people are and how important servanthood is. Important for us to see how we make changes by serving others.


San Clemente is first stop. One of the earliest churches in Rome. Destroyed in the Middle Ages by French troops and rebuilt around 1,300.  Down below are the foundations of earlier churches and evidence of worship by Roman gladiators and warriors.


It is a marvelous representation of medieval work and worship in the current church.


The Colosseum was our next objective. We entered onto the floor of this amazing achievement. Overwhelming.  Beautiful. Breathtaking. So many things one can say about the Colosseum.

The Roman Colosseum or Coliseum, originally known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, was commisioned in AD 72 by Emperor Vespasian. It was completed by his son, Titus, in 80, with later improvements by Domitian.

It is located just east of the Forum and was built to a practical design, with its 80 arched entrances allowing easy access to 55,000 spectators, who were seated according to rank. Titus looted the Temple in Jerusalem and the gold from the Temple provided a lot of the money to build the Colosseum.

It operates nearly 500 years and was run longer under Christians than the Roman Pagans.

We stopped for lunch. Excellent as always.

After lunch we renewed our assault on Ancient Rome beginning at the Titus Arch, up the Palatine Hill then back down to the Sacred Way and thru the ancient Roman Forum.

I love going thru there. It’s history in 3D.

The Romans had a well developed society that went from brave and hard to weak and debauched.  As they ignored the needs of the poor and lower middle class of their community and focused on wealth and acquiring that wealth by any method they began to deteriorate.

The Middle Ages and the influence of the people from the north and the rise of Christianity of a sort were not kind to Italy as indeed it was difficult for all of Europe. We will save that conversation for another time.

Have I told you how good the coffee is in Rome?  Amazing coffee.


Another great, great day. The weather continues to bless us.


Who has a God like our God?

His work in Rome was against the hardest of the world. They had money, power and prestige and yet once begun it only took 250 years to spread around the Mediterranean.

What a joy to know the Lord.

Today has great promise as everyday does. We walk by faith now but one day face to face we will see His way.







Sin speaks

From the depths of our heart

Calling us to do our own thing

Go where you want to go

Think what you want to think


God calls us to discipline

Thief steal no more

Liar tell the truth

Adulterer stop, now


It’s a difficult situation

We find ourselves in

Strength and courage are rewarded

Discipline is heavily criticized


Lord why?

Why do we sin so much?

Satan gets us started

Then we sin on our own


I cry out to the Lord

I am drowning in a sea of sin

The Lord responds

Take my hand-together we will win


Clay Corvin

Walking and thinking in Rome




3/26/19. TUESDAY. ROME

Wet, chilly, rainy day. We toured the city 360 today. Identified some places we want to go to and back to.

Lower step day as we used a bus all morning. We came back to the hotel at 2pm. It was still raining so we took a nap. I had 3 phone calls and finally gave up. I got 30 minutes. But it was superb.

I hope your day is going well. I’m praying for each of you.

Our trip to Italy is to ferret out certain opportunities and to add this destination as an Early Christian History to our travel program.  Prayerfully I think we have it. 

This is a great, great experience.  I’m not nearly as concerned about ever getting the chance to come back as I am concerned to get you here.  Life is so quick and we must purposely be about His business. Come to Italy!  See for yourself what has shaped your faith.  See Who the great artists of the Renaissance were and why that have stirred so many Christians over the centuries.

Come go with us in October 2020.  Come to Italy-you will be glad you did.





You’ve heard your master’s voice

Come follow me

You know He’s speaking to you

It takes your choice

Be glad


The Gospel is His calling

Would that all might come

Many are there to hear from you

You are His choice

Be Glad


Now we know so little

Even the brightest miss out

Jesus came to forgive us

His Word is our concern

Be glad


Today is all we have

Tomorrow never comes

Speak the truth of Jesus

With love and concern

Be glad


Those that hear may spurn you

Some choose to spit

Still they must hear about

The God whose love we need

Be glad


Happy are the children

That do what Christ has done

Caring for others

Sharing God’s Word

Be Glad


One day soon

Today will fly away

You will stand in His presence

Well done He will say

Be glad


Clay Corvin

Rome-Hotel Lancelot



3/27/19.  WEDNESDAY. SIENA a city in central Italy’s Tuscany region, was our touring goal today.

we left the hotel and Demetrio picked us up. Carla was with him and would be joining us for the day.

Siena challenged Florence for supremacy and lost. Their city is situated on three hills and is where banking began in Italy. It’s also partly responsible for double entry accounting.

Siena, is distinguished by its medieval brick buildings. The fan-shaped central square, Piazza del Campo, is the site of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Gothic town hall, and Torre del Mangia, a slender 14th-century tower with sweeping views from its distinctive white crown. The city’s 17 historic “contrade” (districts) extend outward from the piazza.  The Contrade’s use animals and birds to represent their district. Hence the turtle, the wolf, etc.

one must be careful to choose a ridge to cross the city or you will find yourself going down and up serious steep hills.

Our tour starts at the Basilica of St Catherine. They have St Catherine’s head and finger. These relics have been cherished since the Dominican Church installed them in late 1461 AD.  St Catherine was there daily when the church was being built in front of her neighborhood in Siena in 1226.

This is an excellent medieval church. They do not permit pictures. Oh well.

We walked all the way across Siena to the Duomo.  Siena Cathedral (Italian: Duomo di Siena) is a medieval church in Siena, Italy, dedicated from its earliest days as a Roman Catholic Marian church. Completed in 1348 this most beautiful of medieval churches was planned to be more than twice as large as it is but Siena fell on hard times and their original aggressive plan wasn’t completed.

I must say that this is one of my favorite churches. The exterior and interiors are decorated in white and greenish-black marble in alternating stripes, black and white being the symbolic colors of Siena.  Stunning. Most pleasing to the eyes and quite encouraging.

The 56 etched and inlaid marble panels were designed by 40 of the

leading artists between 1369 and 1547, all from Siena except for Bernardino di Betto, known as Pinturicchio who was Umbrian. Completion of the designs took six centuries, the last ones finished in the 1800s. Today, the mosaic panels in the nave and aisles are usually uncovered although protected from passing feet by barriers, but the most precious ones are under the apse and in the transepts and these are generally protected by special flooring since this is where people sit for mass; these are only uncovered in honor of the Palio and a pair of months during the year, often in September and October.

The oldest designs are those in the center near the entrance – the Wheel of Fortune and the Sienese Wolf Surrounded by Symbols of Allied Cities, which dates back to 1369.

This is a Basilica to linger in. It’s just beautiful.

We turn our steps towards Il  Campo where the Palio is held.

The Palio is the most important event in Siena, taking place on July 2 and August 16 every year. In the Palio, the various Sienese “contrade”, or areas in which the city is divided, challenge each other in a passionate horse race in the heart of the city in the Piazza del Campo.  Only ten horses and they choose by straw the 10 of 17 Contrade that will compete.

The 17 Contrade which still exist today are: the Eagle, Snail, Wave, Panther, Forest, Tortoise, Owl, Unicorn, Shell, Tower, Ram, Caterpillar, Dragon, Giraffe, Porcupine, She-Wolf and the Goose.


We had lunch at a small place just off Il Campo.

Back to the hotel just in time for dinner.


3/28/19. Thursday. ROME. The word is that what the barbarians didn’t steal in the fall of Rome the Barberini’s did!


Another spectacular day. Part of our group went to the Catacombs. I went to the Colosseum and then the hop on hop off around Rome. I got off at the top of the Via Veneto.   Via Vittorio Veneto, is one of the most famous, elegant, and expensive streets of Rome. The street is named after the Battle of Vittorio Veneto (1918), a decisive Italian victory of WW 1. Federico Fellini’s classic film La Dolce Vita (1960) was mostly centered on the Via Veneto area.


The street was built in the 1880s, during a real estate boom subsequent to the annexation of Rome to the new Kingdom of Italy. In the 1950s and 60s, Via Veneto acquired international fame as the centre of la dolce vita (“the sweet life”), when its bars and restaurants attracted Hollywood stars and jet set personalities such as Audrey Hepburn, Anita Ekberg, Anna Magnani, Gary Cooper, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams, Jean Cocteau and Coco Chanel.[1] The 1960 film La Dolce Vita by Federico Fellini immortalized Via Veneto’s hyperactive lifestyle, lights, and crawling stream of honking traffic. Some of Rome’s most renowned cafés and five star hotels, like Café de Paris, Harry’s Bar, Regina Hotel Baglioni, and The Westin Excelsior, Rome, are located in Via Veneto.[2][3] The Embassy of the United States, housed in Palazzo Margherita, is located along the avenue.  Also the Hard Rock Cafe.


We did visit Piazza Barberini and the Bee Fountain.


A light day and tomorrow the Vatican.

Let me know if I Can help you plan an Italy trip. ([email protected])


7 Things About the 2nd Coming

  1. Jesus is coming
  2. He is coming personally
  3. Don’t know when coming
  4. Doesn’t matter when he comes. He’s coming for you in your lifetime
  5. He will gather his own to him and judge the wicked
  6. The first coming more important than 2nd Coming
  7. We know what to do til he comes. Love God, love our neighbor


3/29/19.  FRIDAY.  ROME


Beautiful day dawns crisp and sunny. We leave the Lancelot at 8AM to make an 8:45AM appointment at the Vatican.  We used UBer Black and it worked smoothly.

I have been using public transportation which has worked fine when we didn’t have strict times to meet. Today we used UBER because it’s rush hour and we needed to be across town at a specific time.

The Vatican Museum is huge. Just huge!  We did the Garden Tour first which familiarizes is with the Vatican State then we toured the Museum beginning with the Pinacoteca and then thru the museum.   So many good artists and a few great artists. We spent all morning there and then a late lunch at Feliziana’s just a few blocks from the Vatican. We called an Uber Black to take the 7 of us to Piazza Navona visiting the 4 Rivers Fountain, the history, the feud between Bernini and Borromini, and the two smaller fountains in the Piazza.

Our next stop just a few steps from the Piazza was the Church of St Louis of the French in which there are 3 of Caravaggio’s paintings: the calling of Saint Matthew, the Life of Saint Matthew and the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew. 3 stupendous paintings by the Baroque Master.


Walk around to St Eustachio’s for their Grand Caffe. Excellent coffee drink. We skipped the gelato here and we were off to the Pantheon.

Carla toured us through this most beautiful of Roman buildings with the largest pores concrete roof in the world and the ocular opening in the center of the roof.

My favorite coffee shop, Tazza D’Oro is just across the Piazza.

My feet feel like lead weights but we’ve got a few more steps to get to Carla’s favorite Gelato near Piazza Colonna.  Now we are into forced march because I AM FORCING MY FEET TO GO.  We walk across Rome and towards Piazza del Popolo then across to the Spanish Steps.  Mostly the steps are there for people to have a place to sit and the steps are filled with people.  Next stop is a cab and we found an honest cab driver.  He took us straightway to the Lancelot.

Jimmy led us in Bible Study.

Dinner at 7:30. Salmon.

At the end of dinner, we surprised Margaret Davison with a birthday cake/ice cream, lights out as the cake was brought in and we sing happy birthday. Really surprised her.  Off to bed. Worn out.



We left the Lancelot about 9:15am. We will try to cram a lot into today because Jim, Margaret and Sarah Davison will leave very early Sunday morning. They had a great trip with their church in Greece and they were here in Tome with us for two days – Friday and Saturday. So we are retracing some of our steps today.

So much of early Christian history revolves around the Titular (early church in 4th Century) Churches of Rome so our first stop is San Clemente. It is a medieval church built over a church from the early 400’s built over Clements’s house which was built over buildings dating before the time of Christ and possibly even pagan worship related to the gladiators even earlier.

They don’t permit pictures in the church and we adhered to their edict.

We finished at San Clemente and walked up San Giovanni in Laterno to the Baptistry of the Lateran Church. It was the first baptistry in a church built and put in use in 324 AD. For some time it was the only baptistry in Rome and the Pope who lived at the church baptized all of those who came for immersion baptism.

The Lateran Church was built by Constantin and was the first church built in Rome. Dedicated 324 AD it was used as the Pope’s residence until the 1400’s.  Upon their return from Avignon the Pope’s moved over to St Peter’s. The current church was built in the 1100’s replacing the original structure.

We found a great little coffee shop across the street. Coffee, CARLA tried their little sandwiches and Corey had gelato. Excellent coffee.  The best Crema of any coffee shop I’ve been in. The coffee of Rome is superb. Also the food is amazing.  It is too good. Pasta, fish, veggies, French fries, salads, and desserts are just delectable.  Good in other words.

Back to our activities.

We recrossed the street and went thru St John Lateran.

This was the first church in Christendom. Queen Helena had gone to Israel. She was a Christian and Constantine decided to approve Christianity and wanted to build a place of worship for them. He chose to build on the Lateran property (seized by Nero from the Lateran’s for treason) at the southern edge of the city. It was out of sight of the many pagan worshippers who lived in Rome. History or legend says that Constantine had a death bed conversion to Christ.

The Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran, – is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome in the city of Rome and serves as the seat of the Roman Pontiff.  It s the oldest and highest ranking of the four papal major basilicas, giving it the unique title of “archbasilica”. Because it is the oldest public church in the city of Rome, it is the oldest and most important basilica of the Western world, and houses the cathedra of the Roman bishop, it has the title of ecumenical mother church of the Catholic faithful.  The current facility was completed in 1735 but remember that this church at this location was consecrated in 334AD.

It is stately inside and lends itself to an austerity of presence that I find good. It is a worshipful place.


A husband and wife tied their cute medium to small dog to the traffic railing outside as we were entering. He barked a lot because he didn’t want the owners to leave him outside.  Corey, Blanca and several others rubbed his head and played with him and he loved it. I found it funny that others would walk by him barking and shush him as though he understood what they said.  Dog shussers! 

Our stop after leaving the church was across the street.

The Scala Sancta, or Holy Stairs, are white marble steps encased in wooden ones. According to Catholic Tradition, they form the staircase which once led to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem and which, therefore, were sanctified by the footsteps of Jesus Christ during His Passion. The marble stairs are visible through openings in the wooden risers. Their translation from Jerusalem to the Lateran Palace in the 4th century is credited to St. Empress Helena.

Martin Luther was climbing these stairs on his knees and half-way up realized that the just shall live by faith-stood up and left the building. This marked the beginning of the Protestant reformation. Just a note, Baptist were never Protestants. We have always been Baptists.

A quick lunch and we headed across town to St Paul Outside the Walls of Rome.

The Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, commonly known as St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, is one of Rome’s four ancient, papal, major basilicas, along with the basilicas of St. John in the Lateran, St. Peter’s, and St. Mary Major.

At the beginning of the 4th century, with the end of the persecutions and the promulgation of the Edicts of Tolerance in favour of Christianity, Emperor Constantine ordered the excavation of the cella memoriae, the place where Christians venerated the memory of Saint Paul the Apostle, beheaded under Nero around 65-67 A.D. Above his grave, located along the Ostiense Way, about two kilometers outside the Aurelian Walls surrounding Rome, Constantine built a Basilica which was consecrated by Pope Sylvester in 324.

On the night of July 15, 1823, a fire destroyed this unique testimony to the Paleo-Christian, Byzantine, Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Basilica was reconstructed identically to what it had been before, utilizing all the elements which had survived the fire. In 1840 Pope Gregory XVI consecrated the Altar of the Confession and the Transept.

It is a beautiful building. It’s vast and the repairs from the fire were well done. Statutes, mosaics, paintings, a picture of each pope painted in plaster adorn the building throughout. They have a coffee shop that does excellent coffee.

Our next stop was St Peter’s Basilica.  Wow. A long line. A very long line but we got thru the security check in about 45 minutes.

Carla guides us thru this vast, huge, great church.  I noted that per the size written on the floor one could get at least 2 and maybe 2 1/2 Hagia Sophia’s inside St Peter’s. Huge!  I took another picture of the Pieta. Walked thru as much of the vast building as we could. A lot of it was cordoned off for worship services. Statutes, mosaics, frescoes, gold, etc.  filled the church.  It is an inviting interior.  I love it.

Next stop the Trevi Fountain. Oh my, the traffic but our driver did a really good job of navigating the crowds.

The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and several others. Standing 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. In recent times as much as 3,000 Euros per day were found in the Fountain.

Our driver waited for us to take pictures and throw a coin in the Fountain then we continued our trip to the Lancelot. It was a very full day.

Bible study and dinner and off to bed. We lose an hour tonight as we SPRING FORWARD into Daylight Savings time.







Jesus is coming

We hear Him approaching

Prepare the way for our Lord

Jesus is coming, soon


Jesus is coming

Not an emissary

Not an archangel

Not an army

He is coming


We don’t know the year

We don’t know the day

We don’t know the hour

Jesus is coming

He is coming soon


It doesn’t matter when He comes

We are to be ready now

He is coming for you

Jesus is coming, soon


Jesus is coming for His own

We belong to Him

We belong to Him forever

He will gather us close

Judging the wicked

Taking us with Him

Jesus is coming soon


Jesus  came to die for our sin

His first coming most important

Now He is coming again

This second time for Us

Jesus is coming soon


We know what to do

Until He returns

Love God, Love one another

Jesus is coming soon


Clay Corvin. 3/31/19.  Rome, Italy. Hotel Lancelot






Sunday-Monday.  Rome

Two days. To think. To wander through Central Rome.

We are completing our Italy Pilgrimage and will return home on Tuesday, April 2. 


Sunday was an off-day. We had worship first thing and then a casual walk around our neighborhood and lunch with Don & Trisha Richard and Carla. We met them at Naumachia and had a quick meal so they could return to their group.  We met before dinner for evening Bible Study, led by Dr Dukes.


Monday was a goodbye Rome day. We took the bus to the Spanish Steps, then visited Trevi Fountain, a local gelato stand, walked across central Rome to the Pantheon and then Piazza Navona. We met Don, Trish and Carla at Cul-du-Sac for lunch.

After lunch we tried to visit the French Church, but it was closed until 3:30pm.

We stopped for an espresso at Tazza D’Oro by the Pantheon and then walked over to Via Corso and caught the 85 bus back to the Hotel Lancelot.

We had our final Bible Study. Dinner at 7:30pm at the Lancelot with Mrs. Khan and Faris. Typically great meal.

Homeward bound. Our pilgrimage was excellent. What a privilege.

Thank you for traveling with us.




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