Hi folks.  That was a longer break than I expected from the diary.  Well, the Christmas season turned out to be more hectic and exhausting than I thought.  We all got sick, we had car problems, and we've had multiple computer problems, we were off the internet for a while during our travels--and all of that kept me off the diary for longer than I had planned.  Well, we're back now.

Prior to Christmas, we traveled down to one of our churches in Southern Germany (Pforzheim) to visit the congregation.  Whenever we have free time, we will be trying to visit various German Church of God congregations just to encourage them and thank them for letting us live in their beautiful country.  This time it was Pforzheim, which is a very strong church pastored by a 33 year old friend of mine.  I love the youth group there and I probably know more people in that church than any other--so it was nice to visit them.  Great to see young leadership emerging also.

On the way down, we stopped in Rothenburg, Germany which is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Germany.  It's a town that is surrounded by castle walls and sits on a hill overlooking a valley.  It was gorgeous.  All three of us loved it there and we definitely plan to go back.

In the first picture below, we are walking along the castle walls.

It is a medieval town dating back to about 1400 AD.  It was a major stop on a couple of the trade routes that crossed Germany in medieval times.  But it was ransacked a couple of times and bombed in World War II.  In the picture above (on the Right) you see a man drinking a large mug of beer.  The story has it that the town was going to be pillaged once but the invading army said that if any citizen of the town could drink a large glass of beer without swallowing once, the town would be saved.  The former mayor took up the challenge and drank the mug of beer without swallowing and the town was saved.  So today, at noon, everyday in the center town square, you can see the clock tower re-enact that famous moment (that probably never happened).