Blessings of the Light That Can Never Be Extinguished

In the beginning the Word already existed.

The Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

He existed in the beginning with God.

God created everything through him,

and nothing was created except through him.

The Word gave life to everything that was created,

and his life brought light to everyone.

The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness can never extinguish it.

John 1:1-5

(Aegean Sea sunset)

Blessings of Jesus’ Answers

But the other criminal protested,

“Don’t you fear God 

even when you have been sentenced to die?

We deserve to die for our crimes,

but this man hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Then he said,

“Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

And Jesus replied,

“I assure you,

today you will be with me in paradise.”

Luke 23:40-43

(Restaurant Orizontes on Lycabettus Hill, Athens, Greece)

Blessings of Waiting Confidently For Jesus To Return

“And there will be strange signs 

in the sun, moon, and stars.

And here on earth the nations will be in turmoil,

perplexed by the roaring seas and strange tides.

People will be terrified

at what they see coming upon the earth,

for the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

Then everyone will see the Son of Man

coming on a cloud with power and great glory.

So when all these things begin to happen,

stand and look up,

for your salvation is near!”

Luke 21:25-28

(The Acropolis, Athens, Greece)

Blessings of Understanding What Jesus Is Saying

One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus

so he could touch and bless them.

But when the disciples saw this,

they scolded the parents for bothering him.

Then Jesus called for the children

and said to the disciples,

“Let the children come to me.

Don’t stop them!

for the Kingdom of God belongs to those

who are like these children.

I tell you the truth,

anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God

like a child

will never enter it.”

Luke 18:15-17

(Sunrise over the Aegean Sea)

Blessings of Knowing Our Place Before God

“Two men went to the Temple to pray.

One was a Pharisee,

and the other was a despised tax collector.

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer:

‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—

cheaters, sinners, adulterers.

I’m certainly not like that tax collector!

I fast twice a week,

and I give you a tenth of my income.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance

and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed.

Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow,


‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

I tell you, this sinner, 

not the Pharisee,

returned home justified before God.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,

and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

Blessings of Holding To Your Faith In Prayer

One day Jesus told his disciples

a story to show that they should always pray

and never give up.

“There was a judge in a certain city,”

he said,

“who neither feared God nor cared about people.

A widow of that city came to him repeatedly,


‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’

The judge ignored her for a while,

but finally he said to himself,

‘I don’t fear God or care about people,

but this woman is driving me crazy.

I’m going to see that she gets justice,

because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

Then the Lord said,

“Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.

…don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people

who cry out to him day and night?

…But when the Son of Man returns,

how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

Luke 18:1-8

(Staircase in Hotel Bretagne, Athens, Greece)

Blessings of Living As If Jesus Were Returning Today

Then he said to his disciples,

“The time is coming

when you will long to see the day

when the Son of Man returns,

but you won’t see it.

People will tell you, 

‘Look, there is the Son of Man,’

or ‘Here he is,’

but don’t go out and follow them.

For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky

from one end to the other,

so it will be on the day when the Son of Man comes.

…it will be like it was in Noah’s day.

And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot.

…it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day

when the Son of Man is revealed.”

Luke 17:22-24, 26, 28, 30

(Steps to Mars Hill where Paul preached in Athens, Greece)