Tag Archives: Italy

Crying In Verona

Katie, is traveling with the Bryan College Choir in Europe this summer. She is thoroughly enjoying getting the opportunity to sing in extraordinary places, the likes of which most of us only dream of visiting.

Her first stop was in Venice, Italy, where they spent a couple of days.

By the canals in Venice

The next stop, the best I can tell, was Verona.

Katie in Verona, Italy.

Below is a picture she sent from inside the Arena di Verona (a miniature version of the coliseum in Rome).

But more than just visiting incredibly beautiful historic sites, Katie has had the chance to minister to many unbelievers with the art of music – Christian music. And it is this ministry – the real reason why the Bryan College Choir is there – that ultimately led Katie to send the following message via Facebook Messenger.

Sang at a nursing home today. I cried and cried. This is virtually a zero-zone. There are almost no Christians in this region. The place we were at today said that every time evangelicals come there is a peace that follows, but they still don’t know Him…
Two of my friends and myself had to just stop and weep and pray. We huddled together and each prayed that God would leave an impression and a witness with them as we left..
I feel like a real missionary here. Even though I don’t know that people are accepting Christ, I know that He is working. Even though these people are atheist, I can see that they are receptive…
I could easily come back and live here as a Christ-worker.

THAT was exactly the response I was hoping for! THAT is what a true believer in Jesus Christ, one who has an actual relationship with Him, when they get to experience something of what the Apostle Paul experienced when he observed while waiting on his friends in Athens (Acts 17:16). His spirit was “stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.”

Wherever God ultimately leads my daughter, my prayer is that this trip will stir up in her a greater zeal for sharing the Gospel that brings hope and peace, the kind the world – wherever you are in it – cannot provide.

In the meantime, may our hearts be broken, and may we fall to our knees in prayer, weeping, when we consider the those who do not know Jesus.

It’s what “Christ-workers” do.

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Filed under Christianity, Countries, Jesus, Witnessing

Anthony’s Appetite

OK, so here’s something different…..food…..the kind I eat.

Well, I won’t say that it is all that I eat.  What I will say is that over the last week or so I have had a few culinary delights that I would like to share – not literally, of course.

If I had a seperate blog, I might just become a food critic.  That would be fun.  The only problem is that my weight would get completely out of hand, my cholesterol would go through the roof, and my bank account would be depleted.  Being Andrew Zimmer must be fun.

I love coffee. I love coffee.  Did I say I love coffee?  If I had the choice to just sit down and have a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze for a while, it would NOT be at Starbucks.  Why?  Too dang expensive and the only black coffee they ever sell (usually) is Pike’s Peak.  I hate that stuff.  It’s just too bold – and they say it’s medium.  No, for just a good cup of coffee in a relaxed friendly atmostphere, just go to Cracker Barrel.  That’s right, that over-priced, country-style tourist trap that sells pretty good home-cooked-like food.  I love Cracker Barrel.  Their coffee is not intense, but smooth and always predictable.  Besides, you get FREE REFILLS!

Coffee at Cracker Barrel


Now, when it comes to dessert, I have a favorite to which nothing can compare.  I have even driven all the way from Kentucky just to have a slice.  What is it?  It is the closest thing to pie perfection that could ever be created.  It is LEMON ICE BOX PIE from The Country Place Restaurant.  Folks, don’t let anyone fool you, there is no substitute for this to-die-for dessert of the gods.  As a matter of fact, the last pastor’s breakfast for Hamilton County Baptists was held at The Country Place Restaurant.  I did not order bacon and eggs, nor biscuits and gravy, I ordered a cup of coffee (free refills) and LEMON ICE BOX PIE!  I love the creamy, heavy texture, and the graham cracker crumb crust.  The topping is substantial and a perfect complement to the filling which is, I think, loaded with Eagle Brand milk.  Sweet, creamy, and lemony.  You HAVE to have coffee with it.

Lemon Ice Box Pie at The Country Place

If you want to go to some place a little out of the way, but different, why don’t you try Flavors of Italy.  This is a neat little place in Soddy Daisy, Tn.  It is family-owned and the husband, which is the main chef, is literally from Italy (they even go back there every year).  Eating at this little restaurant (www.flavorsofitaly.org) is like eating at their house.  They have menu, but the real menu us the one they bring and place on a stand next to your table – written on a dry-erase board.  Everything is prepared fresh daily.  There are things that are on the menu that you won’t get at Olive Garden or Provino’s.  Valerie and I went there for lunch the other day, and man, what a dessert we had!

Italian Cream Cake at Flavors of Italy

Flavors of Italy has a wonderful Italian Cream cake that literally “takes the cake.”  Drizzled with raspberry sauce and garnished with raspberries and a little sprig of some kind of of flower, the presentation was lovely.  This cake was tall, generous, home-made, well presented and very, very good.  What’s even better, it was only about $5.  Well worth it.  And oh, I would seriously recommend the Italian espresso.  I could have drunk several of those – no bite, smooth, rich, and wonderful without sugar.  It all looked so good I couldn’t wait to eat before I took the picture.

What a Dilly


Of course, you may be thinking that all I eat is desserts.  Well, both of the ones I have just mentioned are better than the “real” food that I had at the Piccadilly.   I was forced by my wife to buy a “dilly meal.”  Let me tell you something, the food wouldn’t have been so bad if the coffee cups had been clean (which is why I ended up getting a foam cup); if the coffee had been worth drinking; if the booth backs had not been dirty; and if the percentage of elderly to youth had been less than 95-5.  I did not get a dessert, because that would have cost too much.  I did get to try one of the kid’s chocolate pudding, the kind that is supposed to look like mud under the gummy worms.  Fruity chocolate – yum.

I think that nothing is better than home-made cornbread.

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Filed under Christian Living, Food, General Observations