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My wife and I just returned from Rome.  No, not the one in Georgia, the one in Italy.  We will remember this time for the rest of our lives.

My wife and I are so, so thankful for our time together, for those that helped make it possible, and for a church that understands that marriage is the most important human relationship we have.

Marriage takes God, time, and intentionality.  (In fact, the next weekend series we are kicking off after Easter is going to be on marriage & dating!)

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I’ll be dropping some memories over the few couple weeks on our trip.  I’ll start with the Colosseum.  My mental image is drawn directly from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator.  (To this day, I kneel down like Maximus before preaching any message to rub dirt on my hands.)  🙂

  • Probably the most easily recognized monument in Rome
  • Built on the spot of Nero’s personal lake
  • Seated 50,000
  • Retractable canvas roof staffed by sailors
  • 80 Entrances
  • Tickets were freely distributed
  • Seating by class
  • Snack stations included fried dormice
  • Events
    • Morning – Animal vs. Animal
    • Midday – People vs. Animal
    • Afternoon – People vs. People
  • Perfume sprayers tried to cover the stench

Standing there in a structure so famous, so infamous, gave me and my wife pause.  It must have deafening for all 50,000 people to be "in full throat" for the main event.  It was amazing, standing there looking out over the place where countless people had lost their lives in mortal combat and where the blood-lust of Roman citizens was satiated.

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I thought of the story of Perpetua and Felicity (though they were martyred in Egypt, not Rome).

Wow.

P.S. I ship out for Managua, Nicaragua with our missions team from Grace tomorrow morning (in a few hours).  We are helping a church in El Salvador called Vida Nueva plant a church in Managua.