There were four intellectual and spiritual things that deeply impacted me on this trip; the first one being the deep sense of history and respect for history that I acquired. I have always loved learning and studying history. I find the events and the people of the past utterly fascinating, but I honestly had no true concept of the age of the world until this trip. We saw simple buildings that were older than the greatest and most grand buildings in our country. Americans consider anything since 1990 "modern." Europeans consider anything from 1800 "modern." We walked down cobblestone streets that are older than our entire country. That just boggled my mind. And the coolest thing to me thorough all of it was that God was the same then as He is now. On May 17, I addressed this in my journal.
Here I sit, in Holy Trinity Church - about 100 yards from Shakespeare's grave - and I'm completely overwhelmed with the holiness and the everlastingness of God. For hundreds of years, people have gathered in this place to worship the same God that I worship now. Our styles are completely different, as are our lifestyles, but He's the same. And even though people have been singing His praises since the dawn of time, no one has exhausted all the praise that he deserves. It's inconceivable to me that He hasn't changed at all. Nothing about His character has changed in all of this time.
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...m forgiving us. Only the one who paid the ransom can set the captives free. In essence, these people are putting their hope and faith in empty rituals and dead religion that has not set them free and revolutionized their lives and restored them to the Sacred Romance, but has enslaved them.
While the two weeks that I spent in Europe have deeply impacted me, it's difficult for me to articulate exactly what I learned. I have a feeling that many of the things that I learned will come back to me years from now. I'll be crying out to God for one of the youths in my youth ministry and God will whisper, "But Kristen, we've already been through this. Remember what I told you in Bath Abbey?" Or "Remember what I told you on Omaha Beach?" I am so thankful and honored that I was able to experience all that I've experienced and I know I will treasure the memories forever.
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