Friday, August 31, 2012

Wrong Envelopes, Wrong Bible Version

Today I finally found time to start writing Thank You notes for all the wonderful gifts we received for our anniversary, though we interrupted that task in favor of going to Toast Of The Town for lunch (someone who knows it's our favorite place outside of Quincy Market gave us a gift certificate). We needed to buy more invitation size envelopes at Walgreen's anyway.

Half-way to Toast Of The Town, I realized it was much too hot for us to be out, so we turned back to Shaw's Plaza, pretty certain we could find invitation size envelopes at Rite Aid. Instead, we found business size envelopes, standard size envelopes and air conditioning. So we tried Shaw's, but came out of there with one can of vegetarian baked beans and two cans of turkey chili. So we confidently entered the Postal Center, absolutely sure of finding invitation size envelopes, only to discover we were absolutely wrong.

We came home, had lunch, and logged on to Amazon for instructions on returning the electronic Bible I'd bought John for our anniversary. I'd ordered one with the English Standard Version, but they sent a Catholic version. As usual, I'd had it sent to my Personal Care Attendant's house for safe-keeping, and since she's Jewish she had no idea that translations matter.So yesterday I bought John a Kindle at Sears to allow him do download all the Bibles and Bible Study tools he wants, thinking I'd simply return the electronic Bible for a refund.

Except Amazon only offers exchanges with this particular item. We tried to contact Customer Services, but kept getting looped back to forms wanting us to explain why we needed to speak with Customer Services. After the third loop, we gave up, deciding we'll try to resell it to recoup some of the money.

But hey...I've got two cans of turkey chili waiting for me, so I guess the day wasn't a total loss.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

If We Love Him, We Won't Offer Him Cake

After Sunday's party, a friend from church brought us a huge portion of our anniversary cake. It's a beautiful yellow cake, and quite delicious.

Problem is--it's more than John and I can eat. We have a friend who would, without a doubt, be more than willing to help us finish it, and I'd dearly love to share it with him. Sadly, this man has diabetes. Such being the case, John and I believe it's actually more loving to withhold the cake from him.

Our decision certainly doesn't feel loving! As a matter of fact, I feel as if  we're being quite selfish, and I keep trying to come up with a way we could justify offering him a piece. But I always return to the fact that all that sugar would send his levels through the roof. What could possibility be loving about setting him up for a diabetic coma? Clearly, a decision that looks selfish and unloving is, in reality, an example of how deeply John and I really do love this man.

This cake sharing dilemma reminds me of how the world accuses Christians, and by extension God, of being unloving. Because He asks us to deny ourselves things that, from our perspective, seem good and desirable, He appears unloving. More accurately, Christians who insist on upholding His standards are routinely accused of being hate-mongers.

Yet the Lord created the world, and consequently knows how it best operates. Furthermore, He created everything primarily for His pleasure, and in His generosity allows us to experience pleasure in His creation. Specifically, He designed human sexuality, and He's delighted when we express that sexuality within the context of monogamous, opposite sex marriage.

His parameters sound so restrictive to our 21st Century ears! So unloving, we think. What about people with same sex attractions? What about people who are attracted to more than one person, or who don't feel ready for a legal commitment? Isn't it unloving to exclude such people from the joys of sexual expression?

We, with our limited human understanding, undoubtedly feel as if it's more loving to tolerate a variety of sexual relationships, but perhaps the Lord restricts sex to opposite sex marriage because He loves us enough to protect us from sexually transmitted diseases, unstable relationships and problems that (in our humanness) we can't understand. Just as John and I want to withhold our cake from our diabetic friend.

Monday, August 27, 2012


Yesterday, our church blessed us with a beautiful anniversary party, so we repeated our dance--this time with a surprise ending:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Roses and Champagne And Dancing--Oh My!

The Spirit of Boston harbor cruise turned out to be the most wonderful way possible for John and me to celebrate our tenth anniversary yesterday. In honor of the occasion, we dressed up in some of our nicest clothes.

Our table had been prepared, complete with six beautiful red roses and (alcohol removed) champagne!

At precisely noon, the ship left its dock, beginning the two-hour voyage around Boston Harbor. We saw many familiar places, but from a different perspective. How interesting to see what John and I call the "Arched Building" (John's favorite) and the Custom House clock tower (my favorite) in the same view!

As the ship approached the North End, I spotted the steeple of Old North Church.

The view of Charestown was especially exciting, allowing John to photograph The U.S.S. Constitution and The Bunker Hill Monument together.

I had one complaint about the food: there was absolutely too much! Green salad. Pasta salad. Potato salad. Roast chicken. Baked beans (after all, it's the Spirit of Boston). Roasted potatoes. Macaroni and cheese. Steamed mussels. And then, the best part: Lobster! All followed by assorted pastries.

The highlight of the cruise was dancing to Shania Twain's Still The One, which has special meaning to us!

We spent the last part of our cruise on the deck, where we got to see one of the Harbor Islands.

We enjoyed the sun, as well as each other, praising the Lord for the wonderful 10 years He's given us as man and wife.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Brief Setting Of Context

Today, I'd planned to blog in detail about the Gay Christians Movement, and specifically how it exemplifies the disturbing trend of evangelicals interpreting by personal experience rather than interpreting personal experience by Scripture. The Gay Christians Movement, you see, is merely one symptom of the general decay in the post-modern Church, not an isolated problem. It is tempting for heterosexuals to self-righteously wag out straight fingers at those who attempt to wrap the Bible around their homosexuality, conveniently "forgetting" our own attempts to conform God's Word to our agendas.

Alas, I got carried away with reading other blogs, and time slipped away from me. Saturday, I plan to post photos from tomorrow's anniversary celebration in Boston, and Monday I'd like to post more photos from the party at church. Hopefully Tuesday I'll get back to the Gay Christians Movement. Meanwhile, let's stay in the mindset that we all have logs in our eyes.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Husbands, Love Your Wives

Ten years of marriage may not make me an expert on marital bliss, although my ego would like think otherwise. To be perfectly honest, the success of our marriage has little to do with me, a great deal to do with John, and everything to do with the Lord Jesus Christ.

John exhibits the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as described in Galatians 5:22-23:

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (ESV)
He's not flawless in these qualities, mind you, but  I have never seen anybody else manifest them as consistently and genuinely as he does. Remember, we're pretty much together 24/7, so  I'd see it better than anyone if this fruit wasn't in him. But John is a man who loves the Lord, obeys His Word, and surrenders to the Holy Spirit. Again, he doesn't do so perfectly, but his life exudes a Christlikeness that makes his relationship with the Lord unmistakably obvious. Simply put, the Holy Spirit lives in him.

In obedience to Ephesians 5:25, John endeavors to love me as Christ loves the Church. Here, I am talking about a love that, even though it most definitely includes romantic elements, goes far beyond romance in its emulation of God's love. Perfectly, no. Yet when I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, I can readily see ways that my husband demonstrates agape love toward me.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. ~~1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (ESV)

In and of himself, John couldn't love in the manner 1 Corinthians describes love, and he'd be the first to admit his incapacity to do so. He draws his ability to love me from the Lord, allowing Scripture to guide him in his conduct. The Holy Spirit empowers him to put Scripture into practice. Thankfully, John is more than willing to conform to the Word of God.

Monday, August 20, 2012

In the Beginning, There Was An Online Forum

This coming Friday, John and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. It's been the most wonderful decade of my life, and we're both still amazed that the Lord brought us together. Have I ever told the story of how we met here?

Back in 1998, John was scrolling through an online forum for disabled people who were interested in dating, and saw a post I'd made insisting that sex should be reserved for marriage. As you can imagine, that comment drew a fair amount of ridicule, but I stood firm. John suspected that I might be a Christian, and excitedly wrote me an email to encourage my stand for purity. To his disappointment, however, I'd set specific filters on that email account which prevented his message from reaching my inbox.

A few weeks later, I posted in that forum again, mentioning a chat room for disabled singles. While I'm a bit ashamed of my involvement in that particular chat room, I am amazed at how the Sovereign God used it one February evening by bringing John (despite his decided hatred of chat rooms) into that room. We chatted for an hour, I guess talking so much about the Lord that everyone else left.

A few nights later, John meandered into the chat room again. And again a few nights after that. He'd gotten the impression, since I'd mentioned having attended Calvary Chapel, that I lived in the Greater Boston Area, and was disappointed to learn that I lived in California. (A long-distance relationship didn't fit his plans.) Yet he continued chatting with me and emailing me (I no longer had him blocked.)

On Father's Day that year, he phoned me for the first time. I can remember being eager to leave the church picnic (usually one of my favorite annual events on the church calendar) to go home and receive his call! In September, we exchanged birthday gifts, followed by Christmas gifts in December (and his off-hand reference to me as his girlfriend), and then more gifts on Valentine's Day. On March 31, 1999 he finally told me that he loved me.

I made my first visit to see John in October of 1999, figuring that if the chemistry wasn't there "in real life," at least I'd get to see Boston. But indeed, the chemistry was even stronger when we were face-to-face, and I cried on the flight back to San Francisco because I didn't want to leave him. I came back in June of 2000. Although he didn't propose, he gave me my first taste of the Old Granary Burial Ground, Boston Common and the Public Garden. Before my third visit in June 2001, I warned him that if nothing happened, it would be my last trip. Little did I know that he'd planned all along to propose on the third visit!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Straight Logs and Gay Specks

Heterosexual Christians need humility in declaring the truth that homosexuality is sinful. Unless we first acknowledge our own sins, sexual and otherwise, the homosexual community (and gay Christians in particular) will rightly point to our hypocrisies as reason not to take us seriously.

Jesus Himself taught that we must correct our own sin as a prerequisite for correcting those in others.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you. ~~Mathew 7:1-6

Verse 1, of course, is a favorite among those who willfully sin, and they would have the passage stop at that point. In ignoring the following five verses, they can pretend that they are immune from judgment...that any judgment we might pass is false. But, in wrenching this verse away from its context, they completely miss the Lord's meaning.

Once we confess and repent of our own sins (as we should do continually), we can clearly see the sins of others, and can even discern who the pigs and dogs are. Obviously, then, Jesus allows some level of judging, but called us to judge our own sins first.

And, my fellow Christians, we certainly have lots of logs to remove from our own eyes! As I've prayed about my friends who now label themselves as gay Christians, I've gone through a difficult season of facing my own sinfulness. I've even questioned my salvation, which I believe is good as long as I return to the fact that I can claim righteousness only through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. I've learned that obedience to the Lord doesn't earn salvation, but it's the only proper response to the grace of God.

So, please note that I have no desire to judge anybody from a posture of self-righteousness. I'm not righteous in myself, and I never will be. Rather, as Jesus helps me renounce my sin, I desire to encourage Christians who struggle with same sex attractions that they don't have to embrace homosexuality as their identity. Hopefully, as the Lord works to help me overcome my sins, I can encourage even those who feel trapped in homosexuality.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Am Angry. You Are Gay.

As I begin my examination of gay Christians, I must first deal with the argument that heterosexuals, having never experienced the suffering that engulfs people with same sex attractions, lack the ability to fully identify with homosexuals. That deficit, consequently, should disqualify heterosexuals from offering any critique. I'm sure that any gay Christians who end up reading my posts on this topic will question my right to challenge their assertion that they can celebrate their sexual orientation in conjunction with a right relationship with the Lord. I understand such questioning, but I believe I can answer it.

First of all, let me draw from my experience as a physically disabled person. I could very easily dismiss any suggestions, advice or criticisms I receive from able-bodied people, basing my rejection of their remarks completely on the fact that their ability to walk and use their hands renders them incapable (or at least morally unqualified) to comment on my handling of my disability and the various issues that arise from it. Yet I've had friends with tremendous insight (including one who recently stated on his blog that heterosexuals do not have the capacity to understand homosexuals) who have articulated my struggles with disability in ways that helped me understand myself. All I needed was the humility to accept their wisdom.

Any life-dominating circumstance can deceive us into thinking that those outside of our experience simply can't relate to our struggles and emotions. But when we assign uniqueness to ourselves, mentally singing, "Nobody Knows The Troubles I Seen," we demonstrate an arrogance that insulates us from outside correction. We lose the awareness that all humans essentially battle the same problem of wanting God to operate according to our terms and expectations.

Homosexuality, however, is no different from any other condition that entices us to rebel against God's commandments. I agree that no one deliberately chooses to feel same sex attractions. But neither did I choose my proclivity toward anger, worry, lust, complaining, greed, selfishness, pride and egotism. Could I justify any one of my besetting sins with the claim that I was born that way? Of course I was born that way!

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me. ~~Psalm 51:5 (ESV)

The New Testament makes it painfully clear than sin is intrinsic to the human condition.

“None is righteous, no, not one;
     no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”
  “Their throat is an open grave;
    they use their tongues to deceive.”
“The venom of asps is under their lips.”
      “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”
  “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
     in their paths are ruin and misery,
 and the way of peace they have not known.”
      “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” ~~Romans 3:10-18 (ESV)

So, in the sense that each of us is born with sinful inclinations, I must concede that homosexuals are born that way, just as I was born angry. Like them, I struggle with deep emotional compulsions that the Lord commands me to control through the power of His Holy Spirit. I fail often, as I yield to temptation rather than obeying Him, and sometimes I want to embrace my anger as righteous indignation. Surely doing so would allow me to enjoy my fits of rage...

Well, probably not.

But can you see that my struggle with anger (an emotion deeply ingrained in my personality) isn't all that different from a struggle with homosexuality. I never chose to have an angry disposition, but I sadly grieve the Holy Spirit every time I choose to express it. Therefore, I am on a level playing field with all sinners...including homosexuals. They have access to the same grace of God to resist temptation that I have. Instead of dismissing my understanding of Scripture just because my temptations manifest themselves differently, maybe they ought to see me as a fellow sinner who knows that Jesus can transform all of us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Step One Into The Question Of Gay Christians

For about a year now, I've been following discussions by so-called Gay Christians and Ex-Ex-Gays, as well as attempts by Exodus International to respond to these people. Having served for twelve years with an ex-gay ministry called Love In Action (which, due to allegations made by its former director, has changed its name and distanced itself from its own history), I have been profoundly troubled to see people I've loved and respected for decades now agreeing with the world that God can't transform people with homosexual inclinations.

The conversation, of course, is huge, covering many facets. Sitting here, I sense my inability to adequately address even half the issues that have been raised by all the blogs I've read in the past 14 or so months. Additionally, I spent much of that year pouring over Scripture, examining all the passages on homosexuality that I leaned on during my tenure at Love In Action. And I just viewed an hour-long video of a 21-year-old gay Christian seemingly exposit six Bible passages on homosexuality, turning them completely around to say that God sanctions loving, committed same sex relationships. Furthermore, this is the second time I've devoted a year to investigating the claims of pro-gay theology, having done so in 1987 when a very close friend left Love In Action to join a gay church.

I question my ability to enter this discussion, not because I'm ignorant about the topic, nor because I'm heterosexual (though many gay Christians would insist that my heterosexuality categorically disqualifies me from having valid points to make), but rather because more skillful writers than I have already argued more eloquently in favor of the clear teaching of Scripture on this matter than could I. Physically, typing the depth of argument necessary to defend the Biblical position that homosexuality is not acceptable Christian practice would be ambitious for me, with those who disagree mistaking my brevity for a lack of knowledge.

Yet I am going to tackle this issue in subsequent posts, not because I regard homosexuality as a "sin above all sins" (it's not), but because the rising notion that Christians can embrace homosexual behavior is fast becoming one of the most visible ways that the Church is acquiescing to worldly values. Dear friends, whom I love passionately, are falling into deception, taking others with them, and my heart breaks over their rebellion.

My posts won't be sequential, especially with our anniversary coming up, followed by John's birthday and then by mine. But they will become frequent. This matter has caused me many sleepless nights, as well as triggering countless tears, and I'm ready to deal with it publicly. Please, though, as you read through my future posts, keep the bigger picture, the one that has dominated this blog for six years, in mind: the integrity of Scripture. Homosexuality is merely one symptom  of evangelicals manipulating God's Word to justify sin, and all of us need to come away from these posts willing to repent of our own sin.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Holy Intolerance

Jesus told His followers:

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. ~~John 15:18-19 (ESV)

Sadly, the evangelical church of the 21st Century seems to have forgotten His words, sometimes expressing shock and dismay that mainstream media, liberal politicians, the university system and public schools overwhelming display blatant hostility toward anything remotely connected with Christianity. And, while Christians absolutely should stand firm for Biblical morals and principles, seeking to preserve the type of culture that (at least outwardly) adheres to those values, we really shouldn't be surprised by the world's animosity toward us. They hate us, pure and simply, because we remind them of His holy intolerance for sin.

Certainly, the culture is increasingly bullying Christians, and none of us enjoys it. Furthermore, we grieve to see our American government, in its painfully obvious attempts to appease homosexual activists, Planned Parenthood, environmentalists and other groups, enact laws and render judicial decisions  designed to erode Christianity's influence. Yet Christians must understand that our marginalization from the Public Square is actually an indication that we successfully reflect the Lord Jesus Christ!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Another Triumphant Return

John got home at 6:30 yesterday evening. He's tired (hospitals aren't exactly conducive to sleep), as well as weak from spending six days in bed. but he's totally delighted to be home! Thank you you for all your prayers, and a special Thank You to each of the Brookville Baptist Church ladies who came to assist me (or made calls to line up help) while he was away. Brookville really is a "church where Jesus is Lord and people are loved!"

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Good News!

John went to the bathroom! Of course, now he's very weak, so he's not sure when he can come home (I'll definitely need help for lunch and dinner Saturday), but we're rejoicing!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Slow But Steady Progress For John

I called the hospital this morning, and John's nurse said John wanted me to call his phone. He still has the tube down his nose and throat, so he understandably didn't want to talk long. The biggest reason to praise the Lord is that he got some good sleep last night (so evidently the pulmonary therapist successfully configured his ventilator mask and the nose tube).

The tube has been decompressing things well. He's passed some gas, which is an excellent sign. He's receiving nourishment through IV for now, but as soon as he passes stool they'll take the tube out and start him on solid food. Shortly thereafter, he can come home. His Primary Care Physician wants him fully recovered in time for us to enjoy our anniversary taking the Spirit of Boston cruise on the 24th (and the party at church on the 26th). Thank you for all your prayers.

The Lord has provided ladies to help me with meals, including two of my PCAs. As I type, the only slot left is lunch tomorrow. I slept well last night, though I'm still quite tired (Seven hours really wasn't enough after 40 hours of being awake.) I miss my husband, though!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

John Back In The Hospital

Last night John couldn't move his bowels, and experienced abdominal pain and bloating. After drinking some water, he began vomiting clear fluids at 10-minute intervals. Finally we decided to call 911 for an ambulance, and he was transported to Mass General Hospital at about 1:00 a.m. His cousin Janet came, got me dressed, and drove me to the hospital.

We were in ER until 11:30, where they determined that he has an intestinal blockage. To treat it, they put a tube down his throat and into his stomach to drain him and help things move along. This tube made it painful for him to use the ventilator mask that allows him to sleep. Of course, he was exhausted, so not being able to sleep was difficult for him.

At 11:30, he was admitted to ICU, and the pulmonary therapist said she'd work on finding a way for him to use his mask so he can sleep. They expect it to take a few days for him to go to the bathroom. Once he accomplishes that task, he can get that tube out of his nose and come home.

I need help with dinner tomorrow, lunch and dinner Thursday, and lunch and dinner Friday. Let me know if any of you can help. As always, we need and appreciate your prayers.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Complete With Catchy Title--No Assembly Required

As John noted last night, blogging is hard work. Success at it requires consistency, meaning regularity and (to a lesser degree) frequency, thus calling the blogger to view it as a commitment. In addition, the writing must be good, the subject matter interesting, and post titles catchy.

Since John and I have been given a shortened summer, due to his lengthy hospitalization and subsequent recovery, my blogging has taken a back seat to all the activities that we want to enjoy before the next onslaught of doctor visits (not to mention the approaching winter). I'd expect the flurry of activity, although diminishing the frequency of my posts, to give me fresh ideas. In some ways, I believe it has. But then I sit in front of my computer trying to recapture the wonderful ideas that entertain me at 4:00 in the morning.

And so, this meager excuse for a blog post at least keeps up momentum, since we'll be going to Boston tomorrow. I hope I've dazzled you with some clever phrases, if nothing else. Perhaps Wednesday, I'll regale you with tales from our excursion, complete with John's photographs. After all, I've made a commitment to this blog!

Friday, August 3, 2012

God Is Our Buddy?

Several years ago, we interviewed a woman to work as my Personal Care Attendant. We informed her that we are Christians, and therefore she'd be working in an environment where the Lord Jesus Christ would be spoken of often and without apology.

"Oh that's fine," she answered, "God and I are buddies!"

Suffice it to say that, as she worked for us, it became evident that she had a relationship with a god of her own making rather than with the God depicted in Scripture. Her god ignored sin, or, more precisely, didn't really impose on her any possibility that she might be capable of committing sin. Instead, her god existed to let her enjoy feelings of spirituality, however she chose to express them.

As evangelicals today increasingly depend on spiritual experiences and interpret the Bible through their experience, we as a Church run the danger of exchanging the true God for a god created in whatever image suits our fancy. This substitution, while it certainly feels good, reduces the Sovereign God from the Lord who has uncontested authority over us (because we are His creation) down to a submissive cosmic bellboy. And that exchange most assuredly ought not to be made!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

1773 Meets 2012

About a year ago, John and I found a kiosk across the water from where the new Boston Tea Party Ships And Museum was being reconstructed. We spoke with the gentleman who was manning the kiosk, telling him how John proposed to me at that very site on June 21, 2001 (three weeks before the old Museum burned down from a lightening strike). Upon hearing our story, he took our names and email addresses.

A day or two later, John received the following email:

Hello John !
I am in receipt of a note from Rodger D-------- (sales rep. for Old Town Trolley Tours) First I want to congratulate you on your proposal to Debbie Lynne on June 21, 2001 at the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum. AND Happy 10th anniversary !!

I am very pleased to tell you that the new Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum will be 100% ADA accessible. For the first time guests in wheel chairs will be able to go  on board the deck of one of the tall ships (Elenore) and participate in the “dumping of the tea”. There will also be an audio visual exhibit on the top deck so guests can get a tour of the cargo hold, below the top deck (this is the only area that it was impossible to accommodate wheel chair access) The video presentation of the cargo hold may even be better than going down into the cargo hold !

John, I hope you and Debbie will visit us again when we re-open next June. I would love for the both of you to come as my VIP guests and tell me what you think of the new experience. Thanks again for your comments and thoughts. All of us at Historic Tours of America and the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum are looking forward to a great Grand Opening. SPF

 Shawn P. Ford
Vice President, Executive Director
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Of course, little details like John's heart attack and colon cancer surgery prevented us from going to the Museum anywhere near the Grand Opening, but yesterday we finished lunch much earlier than usual, so we decided to take Mr. Ford up on his extremely gracious offer. As the photograph below shows, the gang planks are indeed wheelchair accessible, in contrast to the gang planks at Rowe's Wharf that kept us from inquiring about taking a cruise on the Odyssey for our tenth wedding anniversary later this month,

The Boston Tea Party Ships And Museum tour began, just as did the actual Tea Party in 1773, in a Meeting House (though this one bore little resemblance to Old South Meeting House). An interpreter portrayed Samuel Adams, stirring up the crowd with invective accusations against King George III of England, eliciting shouts of "Fie!" when he mentioned the king and "Huzzah!" when he proposed rebellion.

From the Meeting House, we boarded The Eleanor, a replica of one of the three ships that bore tea from England. Replicas of The Beaver and The Dartmouth are also there. John and I were able to wheel on to the vessel easily, although the video presentation of the lower deck that Mr. Ford mentioned in his email to John won't be operative until sometime next week. Still, I was completely satisfied with the experience.

Our guide, who wonderfully portrayed a Portuguese immigrant (freed slave, most likely) named John Peters, then showed us the real Griffiin's Wharf (where, of course, the Boston Tea Party occurred).

At that point, we entered the Museum, where taking photographs is not permitted. In the first room, we watched an amazing 3D holograph of two women, a Loyalist and a Patriot, discussing the implication of having pitched the tea overboard. John honestly couldn't tell whether or not they were performing live until (almost a bit like Star Trek) they vanished.

The next room showcased the Robinson Half Chest, one of only two surviving tea chests from the Boston Tea Party. Its over two century journey, which took it west for several generations, was shared through audio recordings. The opposite wall bore replicas of famous portraits of the time, many of which I recognized from the Museum of Fine Arts. Suddenly, however, the portraits of King George III and Samuel Adams embarked on a debate--more actors obviously bringing them to life.

We then moved to the Minuteman Theater to view a wrap-around film recreating the 1775 battles of Concord and Lexington. The scene of Paul Revere riding through the countryside shouting, "The Regulars are out!" amused me by its accuracy, on the one hand, to have him call them "the Regulars" instead of "the British" (the Colonists considered themselves British) and the inaccuracy of him shouting the warning when he really went quietly to designated homes.

The tour concluded with a visit to Abigail's Tea Room, where Shawn Ford personally seated us at a table beneath Abigail Adams' portrait (how did he know that I'm nuts about Abigail Adams?) where we sipped complementary tea, I hope we thanked him enough for a truly delightful afternoon.


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