Friday, November 30, 2012

Esther 4:5-16: Impossible dreams are just that, until you decide to act upon them. If you don't, you are sleepwalking through life. Esther would say this to you: It is time to stop dreaming. Time to wake up. Time to act. The time is now. The place is here! The person is you! With the help of God. This is a Wekivaword.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jude 1:24-25: Have you felt as if your personal life has become a bit of a desert? Dry and dusty, and not much in the way of beauty? Maybe, just maybe, a bit of praise of Jesus is called for. Remember, “Just a little praise is like water in the desert.” Praise Jesus. It is good to praise Him. It is good for you. And it is a good witness, for others. This is a Wekivaword.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

PSALM 37:23-24 – God is holding your hand, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

COLOSSIANS 3:15 – Let Christ’s peace control you, today and every day. This is a Wekivaword.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Jeremiah 29:1 1 – Trust and entrust your future to God, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

PSALM 118:24 – Rejoice in this day that the Lord has made. This is a Wekivaword.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

PSALM 147:3 – Let God heal your hurts, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Red Bag Program and Response

Wekiva Presbyterian Church has a heart for those who are hungry.  We have long collected food on the fourth Sunday of every month to benefit those who are in need in our part of Seminole and Orange Counties. 

The bins that you see are part of that effort, as church members bring their monthly gifts of food to share.  Recently, our Mission Committee decided to partner with our nearest elementary school, Forest City Elementary, in the Seminole County School District's "Red Bag" Program. 

Sunday was food collection Sunday (a week early to happen before Thanksgiving).  Yes, the two bins were filled to overflowing and round both sides and even in the back.  This is heartening, especially here in the part of Florida where the recession has taken such a great toll, by way of families being displaced due to parental loss of income. 

Christians know that when we provide a gift in Jesus' name, it is one of the ways that we say "Thank You" to God.

What better way to start Thanksgiving week.

ROMANS 15:13 – Be open to the joy God is bringing you, this day. This is a Wekivaword.

Monday, November 19, 2012

“Nothing can separate me from God’s love that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:39 This is a Wekivaword.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Isaiah 11:3-4: People may judge by what we see. God looks upon the heart, and God “judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). When God looks at you, today, God looks upon your heart in all its ranges, knowing you more deeply than you know yourself. Show Him your love and faithfulness. This is a Wekivaword.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

1 John 5:14 - Today, ask according to God’s will. God hears you. This is a Wekivaword.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Gal 5:22-23 Let the Holy Spirit fill and guide you and you will see more and more fruit of the Spirit in your own life. This is a Wekivaword.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 – If you have stopped praying, start. If you have been praying, keep it up! This is a Wekivaword.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why is the news always the same, even though the names change...?
This week, it is the Famous General.
Last week, it was the Famous Biker.
They need to go on a soul searching retreat and ponder the phrase:
"Sic transit gloria mundi."
Or write it on the blackboard 500 times.
“God satisfies me when I am thirsty and fills me with good things when I am hungry.” Psalm 107:9 This is a Wekivaword.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sacred Arts at The Presbyterian Center

The Presbyterian Center in Louisville has a marvelous collection of artwork to lift the spirit as well as please the senses.  It is a stimulating environment for those who visit and for the Presbyterian Church (USA) staff members who work there.  Here are a few examples of what you might find at any turn...

“I keep God’s words in my heart. They are health to my whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22 This is a Wekivaword.

Monday, November 12, 2012

21C Museum Hotel - Louisville

 The 21C Museum Hotel in Louisville is definitely a destination location, from its sign's stunning graphics (above), to the amazing collection of art on display.  Below. a suspended face moves like Foucault's Pendulum over another face. 

 The interactive installation, above, has falling letters that spell out a message if you manage to catch enough of them, as Scott is doing.  Or you can simply bounce them into the air to watch them fall again.  Below, the exterior of the hotel boasts penguins on the roof and a huge replica of Michelangelo's David, in gold, out front.

A sculpture of a tornado is made from debris from actual tornadoes (above); below, the hotel boasts a stretch Lincoln totally encrusted in marbles, in case you have lost some of yours...

Candace and Judy pose with the hotel's mascot red penguin.  Yes, they are wearing tiaras.  Therein lies a great story...

Looking at Louisville

If you step out of The Brown Hotel, you are in the part of town where there are very interesting theater and other buildings.  Above you can see the beautiful architectural terracotta work on the front of one of them (I wonder if it is by the Gates Pottery?).  Below, the sign of the Ohio Theater is still striking against the blue of the sky.  The Art Deco style Ohio Theatre opened during 1941. Seating was listed at 900. It was located next door to the larger Kentucky Theatre. The Ohio Theatre closed as a motion picture venue in 1965.  The facade and marquee of the building are all that remain of this theatre today, along with its large “Ohio” vertical sign.

Above, what was once the Kentucky Theater is now Theater Square Marketplace; below, across the street is Theater Square.

Lunch was at the BBC, no not the one in London.  Judy is at our table, above.  Below, she is giving a high five to one of the statues that are in the Theater Square.  Who is that man?  He looks like Harry Truman...

Above and below, Judy strikes sevearl poses with Mr. Brown of The Brown Hotel, and his little dog, too.  The little dog's name is "Woozem", by the way.  Woozem was a rescue dog, he had been in a circus act before he moved into The Brown. Local legend has it that if you pat Woozem, you are sure to return to The Brown for another happy stay.  The sculpture is by Raymond Graf.

Here are some great glimpses of The Louisville Clock...The Louisville Clock (or Derby Clock) is a 40-foot high ornamental clock designed by Barney Bright to look like a gigantic wind-up toy, incorporating themes of Kentucky culture, especially the Kentucky Derby horse race.  It has bumped from here to there in Louisville since its creation, but it seems perfectly situated in Theater Square. 

Above, The Brown Hotel as seen from Theater Square. 
Caudill, Rowlett & Scott, an architectural firm from Houston, designed the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts with assistance from the Design and Construction Department of Humana Inc.  Above and below are exterior photos of the Center...

Nearby buildings are reflected in the Center's curtain walls in these photos.
And the Center is reflected in the windows of these vintage storefronts, above.  Below are a series of photos taken inside the Center, where we attended a reception on Saturday afternoon:

Above is a view of the Humana Building by architect Michael Graves, through the Atrium windows of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts.
Among the works in the Atrium or Lobby are (above), "The Coloured Gates of Louisville (The Inevitable Return of the Indefatigable Dr. Fay)", 1988, by John Chamberlain (Born 1927, American), a work of painted automotive steel over chrome (18' x 33'9" x 2'6"). Below is a sculpture called "Night Wave: Moon", 1984, by Louise Nevelson, (1900-1986), of black painted wood (the entire work measures 12' x 35' x 20").

Judy, Candace and Scott stand alongside a sculpture by Jean Dubuffet, called "Faribolus" or is it "Perceval"?

The Brown Hotel - Louisville, Kentucky

The Moderators Conference was held at The Brown Hotel, a venerable grand hotel dating to 1923.  I had never been there before.  Having arrived late in the evening, and having checked into my room, I immediately went down to the Lobby to take some photos.  I am glad I did, since we were super busy throughout the Conference.  The Brown Hotel has a great double height Lobby with a Mezzanine that surrounds three sides, so these arches and balconies are the upper portion of the Lobby from which one can look down and see the whole expanse.  Above, a pair of vintage wing chairs that look as if FDR and Eleanor are about to settle in and have a chat, fireside or not.  Below, a long view of the Lobby from one end of the Mezzanine.
The Brown was built in 1923 at a cost of $4 million by lumberman and capatlist J. Graham Brown, and designed by St. Louis architect Preston J. Bradshaw. The hotel was a magnet for many prominent guests and celebrities during the 1920s through the 1950s.  It closed in 1971 soon after the 1969 death of its founder, and was for many years the headquarters for the Board of Education.  Renovated and reopened, it welcomes today's guests as graciously as it did the notables of the past who have stopped here down the decades...On any given night you might have rubbed elbows at the Brown with Bing Crosby, Liberace, Bob Hope, the Gish sisters, Mary Pickford and Buddy Rogers, Helen Hayes,Gene Krupa, Fanny Brice, Robert Young, Gene Autry, Don Ameche, John Daly, Eva Marie Saint, Eddie Cantor, Harry Truman, or Elizabeth Taylor. As a young man, Victor Mature was an elevator opperator at the Brown; George Gobel got his start in the Bluegrass Room (where we Presbyterians had our meals).  At Derby Time, The Brown was a living ‘Who’s Who’ ranging from Walter Huston, Irene Dunne, Sammy Sneed, Walt and Lil Disney, Fifi D’Orsay, and Beulah Bondi, to Lum ‘n’ Abner, and the Duke of Windsor, among others.  (If you don't recognize some of the names, look them up!)

The other end of the Mezzanine is shown above, with its lovely Adam style carpeting.  Below is a detail of the Mezzanine railing.  In the 1920s architects designed all of these elaborate details for their buildings, or selected from a vast range of suppliers of fittings for interiors.  It would be difficult to design or fabricate architectural elements such as these, nowadays.

Above is a glimpse of the Lobby from the Mezzanine, by which one begins to get an impression of its size.  Below is a view looking the length of the Lobby, with a cozy chess table set up in the foreground.

Above is a closer view of the Lobby from the chess table; below is looking down at one of several seating groupings in the Lobby.

Above is an "across the Mezzanine" view toward the elevator.
J. Graham Brown who built the 293-room, 16-story hotel at 335 W. Broadway in 1923 and lived there in a penthouse apartment until his death, believed in providing supreme customer service. His ghost is said to put in an appearance especially during busy time s such as Derby Time. Mr. Brown surveys the lobby from his favorite spot, under an arch on the mezzanine grasping the railing, keeping a watchful eye on things to make sure patrons have all of their needs met. Employees have reported looking eye to eye with Mr. Brown before he vanishes from sight. Upon seeing the hotelier’s fleeting image, employees also report smelling the fragrant scent of Brown’s cigar smoke.

Below, another view looking down at the Lobby from the Mezzanine. 

A number of interesting works of art are displayed throughout the public spaces of The Brown Hotel; above shows one of a pair of gigantic vases.  Below, one can see a close up of the ceiling details--the colors used throughout the hotel are warm and inviting.

Here are several views of The Crystal Ballroom, aptly named, in which we had our plenaries.  Again, the Adam or Federal Style prevails.  It is a room not unlike the East Room at The White House.

Fresh flowers were displayed here and there throughout the public areas of the hotel as seen above and below.

Above, one of the wall sconces in The Crystal Ballroom creates a charming pattern of light and shadow; below, a view of one of the smaller meeting rooms, The Louisville Room
Judy joined me on Friday midday and was able to sample "The Hot Brown" in the hotel's restaurant--I missed out on that because those who were in the Conference dined together in The Bluegrass Room. 

How was our stay?  Delightful in every way.  The staff members were courteous, and with all those guests, remembered our names and, wonder of wonders, even remembered the somewhat unusual way we spell our last name--amazing! 

The people at the desk, in the halls, in the dining rooms, and wherever we happened to be seemed to be enjoying their duties at the hotel and were helpful and thoughtful throughout our stay.  We look forward to a return visit to The Brown Hotel and to Louisville.