Athens: Derek and Rebekah’s Excellent Adventure, Day One

The Parthenon, Athens

Question: Define “Epic Adventure?” Answer: Four continents (North America, Europe, Africa and Asia); countess World Heritage sites (including The Acropolis, the Great Pyramids, Petra, Caesarea, Megiddo…); climbing Mount Sinai; and much, much more.

My goal this week is to invite you all along for the ride. But hold on, it’s going to a wild one!

OFF-LINE FOR 14 DAYS! The big challenge, now that we’re back from this year’s Epic Adventure Number One, is going to be my response to the question, “Please catch us up on your travels in your blog?”

First off, we didn’t make the decision to spend two full weeks “off the grid” lightly. But, by the time we reached Cairo, Rebekah and I both realized that we needed to immerse ourselves in the experience and disconnect from everything “other.” That meant no phone, Internet, facebook, email, blog or text messages.

But I’m already ahead of myself. Before Cairo was Athens. And Athens meant a chance to explore the Acropolis on a beautiful clear day. So We’ll begin there.

Mars Hill, from the Acropolis

MARS HILL: When you stand on Mars Hill, three things come immediately to mind:

First is the testimony of Paul, when he introduced a new way of thinking to the residents of Athens. So Paul stood up in front of the council and said, “People of Athens, I see that you are very religious. As I was going through your city and looking at the things you worship, I found an altar with the words, ‘To an Unknown God’. You worship this God, but you don’t really know him. So I want to tell you about him.” (Acts 17:22-23)

The second is The Acropolis, which includes the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. The architecture dates to The Golden Age of Athens. It’s impossible to wander around the site without getting a sense of life between 460 and 430 BC. And, in a theme repeated daily throughout our Great Adventure, Rebekah and I were nowhere near ready to return to our bus at the end of the day. There is so much to learn, so much to process, so much to enrich our experience and our understanding…

Rebekah on Mars Hill, overlooking the city

Lastly, the view of Athens from Mars Hill is spectacular. The ancient metropolis lay gleaming under the bright Mediterranean sun. Ten million people living out their lives under the stress of a crumbling economy… but at the same time in the shadow of one of the great civilizations in history. The view gave me both pause and hope. And the message from Paul resonated: “I was going through your city and looking at the things you worship….”

WORSHIP: Paul put his finger on the most pressing contemporary issue of his day, and it’s exactly the same question we’re grappling with here in the United States. The things we worship. Right now, coming out of the Christmas rush and into a new 2012, is a great opportunity to make a decision regarding worship.

What are we striving for? What do we long for? What do we devote our time and attention to attain/obtain….? And then, once we acknowledge what dominates our allegiance, does all our attention and intention lead to satisfaction?

Like Paul, I’d like to introduce us to the Living God. I want to tell you all about him.

The Temple of Zeus, Athens

FOLLOW THE TRAVELS: We’re going to travel to a lot of amazing locations together over the next couple of weeks. Please check in daily for a new set of photographs and a few words about what God has been up to in my heart and mind.

Peace and Promise – DEREK


  1. So filled with happiness that two of my favorite
    People got the opportunity to take this amazing adventure!! Can’t wait to experience it through your words and pictures!!!


  2. I can’t wait to travel with you, learn, from you, and enjoy your trip . Looking forward to each day. Hope Rebekah is beginning to mend.


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