Thursday August 2, 2018

1 Timothy 4:4-6 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed.

Today Johannes arranged for us to visit Eisenach, in Thuringia Germany. He drove us there since he was going to pick up his granddaughter for the week and he dropped us off at Wartburg Castle, the first German castle built 1,000 years ago during the feudal period in Central Europe (according to legend it dates back to 1067) and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. This castle was absolutely beautiful. Built upon a hilltop overlooking the village of Eisenach, it was the home to Saint Elisabeth and once provided a refuge for the exiled Martin Luther who translated the Bible into German there. We were able to view famous paintings by Lucas Cranach and priceless original tapestries and furniture. Other sites in Eisenach are the J.S. Bach Haus and Martin Luther Haus, though we did not tour either of these. We attempted to be responsible with our tired children and catch the early train back to Schönebeck, which turned into a hilarious adventure. Our planned trip would have gotten back to Schönebeck at 18:00, plenty of time for dinner, showers, and a reasonable bedtime for the kids (since we were up at 6:15 in the morning). We caught our first train from Eisenach to Erfurt with no problem. Then after waiting 45 minutes for our “late” train, we realized that the train had been cancelled and the next train wouldn’t get us into Schönebeck until 22:00. So we had 2 options, get upset and angry and take the next train at 21:30 or laugh, get some dinner in Erfurt, and then take the next train at 19:30. We opted for the latter of the two. We ended up having amazing pizza and caught the train 19:30 train, which ended up being 45 minutes late, but thankfully not cancelled. As we boarded the train we thought that our adventure was going to end smoothly, arrive home late, but still manageable. What we didn’t realize was how slow this last train into Schönebeck was. Lucia soon fell asleep on me as I melted from the hot temperatures outside and the little space heater that was pressed against me. Several times the train stopped short of the platform to just wait and then two stops before ours, the train started to go backwards, heading in the same direction from which we just came. I don’t think we would’ve been too worried except for the fact that two folks riding with us seemed utterly confused and it also didn’t seem that this was the first time they rode this train. But we finally made it back home and the wonderful Johannes was there to greet us at the train station so we didn’t have to make the 20 minute walk with the tired children. I am not sure how this whole day really relates to the days scripture, but I guess what I will take away from all of this is that no matter how much we plan something, it is not up to us and our best made plans are left up to him. He will get us where he wants us, when he wants us to be there, and how he wants us to get there…we just have to be willing to go along for the ride, whatever that looks like!

And on a different note, Katie was awesome and sent some great pictures of Gumdrop.

Here are some pics from Wartburg Castle and the town of Eisenach.

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