Genesis 1:31
"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." (New International Version-NIV)

Truly Gods vast creation, landscape, wildlife and man is beautiful beyond description.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Family Visit 4/21 - 4/25/2018

During the period indicated in the title my aunt Dorcas Diven Curtis and her daughter Dixie Curtis Sharpe came to visit me. This visit was previously planned but had to be postponed so I was thrilled for them to come this year.  They arrived about lunch time on the 21st and after a quick snack I took them to Krohn Conservatory to see the butterfly exhibit. After great care in preparing the night before like charging the camera battery, extra battery and that the data card was in the camera guess what I forgot to take the camera with me. We had a great time of hoping a butterfly would light on us or on the cards we were holding. I did have a butterfly light on my head for a few minutes. Following the tour of the butterflies we visited the gift shop where Dorcas purchased some beautiful framed butterflies and after we got home she gave a plaque to me which is shown below which indicates that life began in a garden.

On the 22nd we attended church at my church Liberty Heights Church followed by lunch at Taziki's a new Mediterranean cafe that just recently opened. We were joined by my friend Jim McGruder. The food was delicious and good choices.    

On the 23rd I took Annabel to day boarding while we went to the Ark Encounter. Annabel got a bath, toe nail trim and a hair cut. I could not get over how white she actually is when she is cleaned up.

Unfortunately it was a rainy nasty day so we had to hurry to get inside and were unable to walk around the exterior of the Ark. I have been through it many times and I still find new things they have added. For lunch we went to the main cafe Emzara's Kitchen which is named after Noah's wife. They have an outstanding cafeteria style lunch. A good selection of hot foods, salads and deserts. They have added new DVD that is shown constantly inside the Ark with plenty of log bench to sit on and rest your weary feet and legs. One of the main attractions they have added is the "Overnight Adventure ". Some of their material asks the question " Have you ever wondered what happens at the Ark Encounter after the building closes and the lights go out?" Well you can find out. They now offer you the opportunity to spend the night in the Ark. I don't know if they leave all the bird and animal and crashing water sounds on at night after everyone has left but I can imagine it could get rather spooky and would be a wonderful experience.
This is a photograph of Emzara's Kitchen taken Jul 12, 2016

 This is a photo taken August 14, 2017 which shows the ramp along the side of the Ark which leads to the entrance door through which Noah, his family and all the animals used to get into the Ark. The tall structure in the background is one of the zip line towers.
This is a photo taken August 14, 2017 which shows some of the animals in pairs walking toward the ramp along the side of the Ark which leads to the entrance door through which Noah, his family and all the animals used to get into the Ark.

All of the wonderful and beautiful work they have done on the Ark each time I have visited it there are two items that strike home with me and  I never get them out of my mind. First is the individual, family or group who just walk (no rush ) through the exhibits without stopping to read or study what the exhibit is all about. I grant you they may be pressed for time but they wasted their money and can only say they came and saw the Ark. The second item is the depiction of the door in the Ark and the significance it had for Noah's day and for us as well.
 Dorcas and Dixie in front of the Ark door. God told Noah to build an Ark and gave him specifications such as size. God told Noah he was going to flood the earth and wipe out all of wicked humanity. He told Noah to make one door for the Ark which God himself would shut after Noah, his family and all the animals that were to be saved were on board. While the wicked world outside of the Ark perished this door represented Gods  justice and mercy as those inside were saved. What people who rush past this exhibit miss is the point that Jesus is our Ark and door of salvation. Jesus said in John 10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved..." Noah and his family went through one door to be saved so we must go through the door, Jesus to be saved. Just like those outside the Ark perished anyone outside of Jesus Christ will perish.
 Dorcas and Dixie in front of the Ark door.
A couple standing in front of the Ark door but look what is visible above their heads. I stood and watched many couples having their photographs taken in front of the Ark door who never noticed the cross presented in lights on the door. The depiction of the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified giving his life as the ultimate sacrifice to cover our sins.

On the 24th we visited the Creation Museum and unfortunately the weather was not any better than the day before so we did not get to go through the botanical gardens. We visited several displays then hurried back to try and catch the 9:30 Planetarium show which was about to start and we had not purchased our tickets yet. The attendant permitted us to enter without tickets and said we could go buy them after seeing the show. This is one of the great things about this facility and that is they are customer oriented. I did go buy our tickets. We had a good lunch in Noah's Cafe and then visited all the areas of the Creation Museum we had not yet seen. I asked Dorcas what she enjoyed the most at the Creation Museum and she said it was the Planetarium show. I also asked Dorcas what she enjoyed the most at the Ark and she said it was how natural the skin tones are on the human figures. They both commented on how spectacular both attractions are and how much they enjoyed getting to see them. I was unable to talk Dorcas or Dixie into a zip line ride at either the Ark or the Creation Museum. Just like the Ark they continue to add attraction. They now offer a night at the museum. The overnight program begins with a late arrival after the museum has closed for the day. It includes a flashlight tour through the darkened museum, a snack, and several entertaining and educational videos. After spending the night sleeping in the museum you have breakfast in Noah's Cafe, see an early planetarium show then tour the museum.

Dorcas and Dixie at entrance to Creation Museum

After a good nights rest and sleep Dorcas and Dixie headed for Pigeon Ford and on back to Arkansas. I so much enjoyed their visit and the opportunity to escort them through the Ark and Creation Museum.

You can see my earlier postings on the Ark and Creation Museum and my travels by visiting my blog which can be found at Grandpa Bill and Black Beauty Travel Or Grandpa Bill And Lady Blue Travel  Once there search index ( over 300 ) of older postings.Since May 1912 I have visited numerous National Parks and many Presidential Libraries and Museums and many other historic locations.  As always comments are welcome.

Remember as I always say God loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Ark Encounter, 8/14/2017

Ark Encounter
During the period August 12 through 16 Phil and Cindy Allen from Fort Smith, Arkansas came to visit me.  Cindy was Janice, my oldest daughter's room mate at the University of Arkansas. Among the reasons for the visit was to see the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum. They had planned to visit last year but had to cancel due to health issue with Phil. On the 14th as you can see from the photograph above we visited the Ark the life size Replica of the Ark which God instructed Noah and his family to build. I have seen it several times but I love going back because they are always adding new details. Some of the new details that were beautiful this year was finishing a lot of the landscaping and it was magnificent. Also, in the main cafe area they last year basically had a fast food restaurant with burgers etc. and now they have a wonderful buffet with a great salad and desert bar. All you can eat for one price according to age. The food was a major new feature.The following photos show some of the landscaping.
 This is the view after you get off of the bus which brings you from the parking lot to the Ark. The landscaping around the pond is beautiful.
  These large pots filled with banana plants, sweet potato vines and various grasses ring the arrival area. I am going to try and duplicate some of this next year at my home.
 As you walk from the arrival area to the Ark entrance one path takes you around the pond and here you can see some of the water plants, the gorgeous bronze wax leaf begonia and other plants. They have made wonderful use of dark colored coleus. Notice you can see pairs of animals headed toward the entrance of the Ark. Remember God brought the animals to the Ark. Noah did not have to go out and find them. Also in the background you can see the base of one of the many zip line towers.
 More flower beds along the path to the Ark entrance. The two structures in the back ground are not specifically identified but they look like they might be for birds. Will have to wait until next year to find out.
 Ops, this young lady stepped into the shot. Here there is a long serpentine path that leads to the Ark entrance and it is planted on both sides much as you see here.
 Banana plants along trail to Ark entrance.
 Banana plants along trail to Ark entrance. Notes there are some tall blooming Canna plants that are beautiful.
 Plants along the trail
 Plants along the trail
Plants along the trail. I do not know what the blue flower is on the left but it was beautiful. Past the fence you can see the base of another zip line tower.

In previous posting about the Ark I have shown numerous photos of various animals but at that time many of the creatures were not identified. The following  are many of those creatures properly identified. Note each is listed as a "KIND".

 The Caseid Kind
 The Caseid Kind

Don't know what happened to the identifying sign. 
 Aren't they lovely.
See Comments. Dr. Allen advised this pair of non identified extinct reptiles is Scutosaurus, one of the early big reptiles (Anapside, Pareiasaures) they were preyed by mammalian reptiles like Gorgonopsides and some think they could be very far relatives of the ancestors of tortoises, but it's still in debate. 
 The Isitiodactylid Kind
 Looks like all bones, joints and wings. Nicknamed Duck-billed Pterosaurs for the shape of their beaks.
 The Azhdarchid Kind
 Watch out he has his eye on you.
 The Bear Kind
 Shown here is the Agriotherium
 The Sloth Kind
 Shown is the Hapalops Sloth.
 The Deer Kind
 Shown is the Heteroprox Deer.
 The Pig Kind
                                       Shown is the Platygomus.
 One of the most common asked question is how were the clean and unclean animals selected. Noah did not go out and round up the animals God had them come to Noah. Did Noah at that point select which were clean and unclean and was the distinction the same for Noah as it was for Moses. 
 The Alligator Kind
 Alligators. Also note the way they were watered and fed. You have to remember all creatures were plant and seed eaters until after the flood and at that point God removed that restriction and some became "meat" eaters.
 The Hyena Kind
 Shown is the Ictitherium
 The Cynoghathid Kind
 Shown is the Cynognathus meaning "dog jaw".
 The Pakicetid Kind
 Shown is the Pakicetus
 The Thylasocmilid kind
 Shown is the Thylacosmilus
 The Simosuchus Kind
 Shown is the Simosushus.
 The Magraucheniid Kind
 Shown is the Theosodon.
 The Silesaur Kind.
 Shown is the Silesaurus
 The Entelodont Kind.
 Shown is the Archaeotherium
 The Cattle Kind
 Shown is the Miotragocerus
 The Rhinoceros Kind
 Shown is the Trigonias. These guys were the Unicorns on the Ark.
 The Pachycephalosaur Kind
 Shown is the Pachycephalosaurus ( What a name )
 The Giraffe Kind
 Shown is the Shansitherium
 The Horse Kind
 Shown is Mesohippus
 The Hippoptamus Kind
 Shown is Choeropsis
 The Stegosaur Kind
 Shown is Hesperosaurus
 Shown is Hesperosaurus
 The Spinosaur Kind
 Shown is Baryonyx
 The Tyrannosaur Kind 
Shown is Tyrannosaurus
 Shown is Tyrannosaurus
 Shown is Tyrannosaurus
 The Chalicothere Kind
 Shown is Anisodon
 The Stahleckeriid Kind
 Shown is Placerias and one of Noah's family members handing food into the cage.
 The Rebbachisaur Kind
 Shown is Nigersaurus
                                             Shown is Nigersaurus

In our society today with all the turmoil, political scandals and corruption as well as political correction and moral decay of our society we are often times concerned about making comments about the condition of our world. Holy God has now and had no such concerns about stating his concerns or position on any subject matter. After all he was the creator of everything and as such it is his right to tell it like it is. He did that in the bible where in the King James Bible we find the book of  Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5,6,7 and 8 which read as follows" verse 5 - The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of his thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 - And it repented the Lord  that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 - So the Lord said, " I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, the fowls of the air--for it repenteth me  that I have made them." 8-- But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord."

Then in Verse 9 through 22 we find the following: " 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with the God.10. Noah begat three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth. 11. The earth was corrupt before God, and the was filled with violence. 12. And God looked upon the earth, and behold it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. 13. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them and behold, I  destroy  them with the earth. 14. Make thee an ark of gopher wood,  rooms shall thou make in the ark and shalt  pitch it within and without with pitch. 15. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of; The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, and the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. 16. A window shall thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shall thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shall thou make it." And in Chapter 7, verse 7 we find: 7-- And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him."

The following photos of displays in the ark that attempt to depict some of the depravity of man which led God to destroy mankind and the earth. In previous posting in this blog I have shown many other photos of man's depravity.

See the crowd watching and cheering the slaughter of the people below.

More of the same notice the wild animal about to attack the people.
             More of the same notice the wild animal about to attack the people.
People offering sacrifices to an idol god.
          In this photograph you will notice the sacrifice is a small child ( baby ).

Question and observation: I often think and wonder  how close God is to judging mankind and earth again only this time by fire. Just remember that God made a covenant with Noah that he would never again destroy the world with a flood, He said that in the future the rainbow would be a sign of his covenant. Think of this every time you see a rainbow.

Remember as I always say as I  close God loves you and so do I.

Grandpa Bill