Wow! The Island of Kosrae

In First Fury, Ann’s ship, the Christopher Mitchell, stops at the island of Kosrae, known at the time as Strong’s Island. Then, as now, it was also called “the island of the sleeping lady” because of its shape. It is off the regular tourist routes and largely unspoiled.

One of Kosrae’s greatest attractions is the clear, clean ocean. Underwater visibility averages around 200 feet. As an additional attraction to divers, living coral reefs completely surround the island. Some sources say these reefs are thousands of years old.

The ruins of Lelu, like the statues of Easter Island, are one of the marvels of the Pacific. These ruins are remnants of a royal city that was surrounded by walls 20 feet high. Archaeologists estimate the construction took several hundred years and was finished about 1400 A.D.

From the middle of the 19th century, missionaries had a great influence on the culture. Neither drugs nor alcohol are a problem; visitors must dress modestly; and no activities are allowed on Sundays.

In First Fury, while sitting atop one of the walls, Ann’s romantic nature takes over. What kind of reaction would you expect from seamen who see her as a boy of 16 or 17?

Find out more about Kosrae at http://www.kosrae.com/.

Baptists and the Pilgrims Were “Related”

In early 17th century England, the “Non-Conformists” of Scrooby and Gainsborough met together; the towns are separated by only about 13 miles. Partly because of persecution, the two groups eventually met separately. In 1608, the Gainsborough dissenters left for the Netherlands to avoid the continual harassment by English officials…their goal was to discern the Lord’s will in their lives. Many left family in England since they planned to return. A short time later, the Scrooby dissenters joined their “brothers and sisters” in the Netherlands. Having come to different views on a number of issues, including baptism, the Scrooby group, led by John Robinson, eventually moved on to Leiden, leaving the Gainsborough believers in Amsterdam led by Thomas Helwys. John Robinson and his followers became the Pilgrims. Thomas Helwys and some 11 or 12 of his followers returned to England and started what was arguably the first Baptist church–Ye Baptist Church in Spitalfield.

The Romance of a Milk Sea

Have you seen “The Life of Pi” yet?

A few years ago, Sandy and I went on an astronomy focused cruise. At night, all the ship’s bow lights were turned off. Standing at the railing in the bow, the only lights were the stars; all else was darkness. In Whale Hunt, Nelson Cole Haley described a “milk sea.” He stood enthralled in the black of night as the sea began to glow and sparkle even more than the star-spangled sky. It started almost imperceptibly with the luminescence growing until the ship float in a sea of stars. A pod of dolphins jumped and swam in the glowing water, spreading streaks of light in their wake. True or false? Tall tale or fact?

In First Fury, Ann experiences the romance of “milk sea.” But, as a woman seen only as a boy amidst men on a whaling ship, how can she react to the man she…loves?

In the “Life of Pi,” Pi experiences a “milk sea.” When you see it, you may wonder, as did I, if such a thing is possible. You can find out more at:

http://lubbers-line.blogspot.com/2005/10/bioluminescent-organisms-milk-sea.html

How Important Is God’s Word To You?

I read about William in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. (In preparing this update, I also saw that WikiPedia now has a page on William Hunter.) The 16th century was a time of persecution. The English monarchy felt they had the responsibility to maintain the purity of God’s church on Earth. When Catholics ruled, Protestants suffered. When Protestants ruled, Catholics were persecuted. William lived during the reign of Queen Mary, a Catholic. To hold to the belief of a protestant, as did William, was not a safe conviction. Often, people changed their professed faith based on who ruled the nation. William, at age 19, had a choice to make. Would he stand up for his right to believe as he wished? Or, faced with being burned at the stake, would he recant and live as a Catholic until the political winds changed? How strongly do you hold to your beliefs? Could you choose death by burning rather than compromising what you believe to be true? How important is God’s Word to you?

From Leonard Busher to Roger Williams, our early Baptist forefathers held to the notion that “forced worship” was “spiritual rape.” Do you hold as strong a view?

See the slide show for pictures related to William Hunter in Brentwood, England.