August 30, 2004


For those of you who aren't watching the Republican National Convention, you are missing out on quite a display of eloquent speeches and patriotic revelry. I personally enjoy the occasional reminder of why I believe what I do. Every so often I need that little boost that conferences and conventions so adequately provide. And the RNC is no exception.

Senator McCain was brilliant last night. He is unbelievably articulate, weaving his words so beautifully together to create a masterpiece of a speech. I had to study numerous speeches when I was in college, and my favorites inevitably fell somewhere before the 1960's (spare some of JFK's and all of Ronald Reagan's speeches). But rarely did I ever find contemporary speeches that moved me and could hold up to the standard set by masters such as Lincoln, FDR, Churchill and others. However, McCain's speech last night truly was reminiscent of better times, rhetorically speaking. I was moved to tears at points and simply inspired the rest. I also appreciated the fact that he never acknowledged John Kerry in his speech. The more we stray from the disgusting, vitriolic hate speech that the left is so guilty of, the better. Senator McCain is quite a man. I have a feeling that he's the one to watch for the Republican ticket in '08.

One of my more favorite moments came when the entire place stood up and very vocally proclaimed "Four More Years!!" to Michael Moore. Normally I am uncomfortable with any emotional display by a mass of people, but last night I was thrilled. That man needs to hear from intelligent people that they have no respect for him and are purposed to re-elect the best man for the job, George W. Bush. End of story.

Rudy Giuliani was brilliant! He is so charismatic. I whole heartedly enjoyed his speech, though it was long. I appreciated his absolute forthrightness regarding the mainstream media's coverage, or lack thereof, of events such as the persecution of African Christians in the Sudan. His honesty was quite refreshing among the throng of political correctness over Islam that has hounded our nation since 9/11. Though I still think that someone needs to publicly acknowledge the fact that the Qu'ran in fact not only allows for but encourages the forceful oppression of non-believers, making the murder of them an option. It is technically not a religion of peace, and I, for one, am sick of hearing politicians from both sides of the aisle try to convince me otherwise. It needs reform. But enough of that.

I would encourage all of you to watch what you can of the next three nights of the RNC. It is truly exciting and might serve as a good push into the deep end for those of you who desire to be politically savvy but have never had too much motivation or opportunity. This is your chance. Take it.


Posted by Portia at 10:29 PM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2004

Mi Dispiace

Wanna see the most awkward picture ever? Here ya go...

This is in front of Trafalgar Square in London. I insisted upon standing in between the women awkwardly positioned behind me, but Marty, who is on my left wouldn't have it. She insisted more loudly that I stand in front of her. I suspected it would look like the most conceited, bizarre picture ever, and my suspicions were right! It looks like I won't settle for anything less than center stage, which is true, but no one really needs to know that. :) So kidding about all that....kind of :)

My apologies for not writing for so long. To be honest, I haven't really been ready to write about my trip. It was so amazing and I had seen so many sites in such a short time that I really needed to process it all. I still am, but I'm ready to blog again. I'll be posting more pictures of my trip shortly. I promised Rachael I wouldn't post any pics from Italy until she got back and we told all our stories together. I don't want to steal her thunder. She is in Paris right now and will return on Tuesday. I'm so excited to see her again. She truly was the perfect traveling companion. I can't imagine what this trip would have been like without her. Rachael, I love you!! :)

I'm not sure that I will blog a whole lot about my trip. However, I will make sure to have very detailed captions with all of the pictures, like I already have with the pictures of England. I just don't think I can say much more on paper. It's similar to when you break a bone and the whole world asks you individually, "What happened?" Eventually, you get so tired of talking about how you broke it. While I would have prefered writing about it and refering people to this page, it didn't happen that way. I've been mobbed by people at church and my students so much that I've truly exhausted my story telling abilities and simply cannot speak of it anymore :) Well, it's not that bad.

Most likely, I'll bring up the subject naturally. When something jogs my memory of the trip, I'll mention it, but other than that, if you want specific questions answered, email me and I'll do my best.

I hope you all are well. Hope y'all are reading up on the latest shenanigans (spelling?) that the Kerry people are pulling. This should be an interesting few months coming up. Pay close attention or you'll miss something. Read articles on,, and others. Ann Coulter always keeps me laughing. Just her titles get me rolling. Stay informed!!

Until then...Go Bush!

Posted by Portia at 01:20 AM | Comments (2)

August 19, 2004

Pictures at last

I've begun the upload of England pictures for your viewing pleasure. I haven't had the time to post comments to all of them, nor have I uploaded nearly all of the pictures from Oxford and London, but here's something to tide you over. Check back frequently in the next few days, and I'm sure you'll see improvements.

(Click on the photo album entitled, "England" on the left hand column of the page.)

Until then...Enjoy!

Posted by Portia at 01:06 PM | Comments (1)

August 13, 2004

Lewis Seminar

I will be posting pictures, and details of those pictures, of my week at Oxford to my blog this weekend. I haven't had time to upload them yet, and I am kind of missing some memory cards (please pray I find them), but I believe I'll have more time this weekend to do such activities.

As of now, I'm desperately trying to get over jet lag. I feel like I got hit by a train. I am actively willing my fingers to type. I have so many music gigs this weekend. Tonight I play at my regular gig, Beacon. Tomorrow, I play at a wedding. Sunday, I lead worship for our college group. Talk about the life of a musician...get off a plane and start playing. But I wouldn't have it any other way. :)

So, I'll be updating my blog in careful detail very shortly. I don't want to leave my back home supporters hanging, and I don't want to disappoint my fellow seminar participants. Check back by Sunday; if I don't have something by then, you may begin harrassing me. :)

See ya soon,

Posted by Portia at 11:43 AM | Comments (1)

August 07, 2004

Weatherful Wonder

Today I walked around Oxford for the last time in what will be a while. Walking around was like saying goodbye to a very old friend that you've wanted to see for a long time but only could for a short period of time. It was really sad, but beautiful, as you can see above. I took this while I was walking near Magdalen College (Lewis's old stomping grounds).

Tomorrow, I go to London to visit Rachael, if I can find her. And I plan on going to Soul Survivor Watford tomorrow evening. I'm so excited!! I hope Mike Pilavachi is there, but I honestly won't be too disappointed if he's not...just being there will be great.

I have to go now, but here's a picture of Warwick Castle, where I was yesterday. We climbed up the highest tower (really scary) and took some photos. It was incredible. I have so much more to say, but have to eat.

See you soon!


Me and Mallory atop Guy's Tower...yes, that's its real name.

Posted by Portia at 11:47 AM | Comments (1)

August 05, 2004

Stow in the Wold

So, today our Lewis clan ventured into the Cotswolds, which I have to say is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to. It was so serene and really other wordly. It's easy to see why so many authors and poets write about seasons and beautiful scenery, and other worlds full of magic for that matter. So, I've decided that if I really decide to go into writing, I will have to have a house out here. It's just plain inspiring here.

Yesterday, we went to London. We saw Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and a wonderful show of Les Mis. The London cast is said to be the best, and now I know what all the hype is about. They were wonderful. I was moved to tears countless times. What a wonderful story and wonderful music. Of course, my camera decided to be stubborn and not work once we got our first glimpse of the palace, but that's life.

Here are some pictures of the Cotswolds....

A typical backyard garden in the Cotswolds. So gorgeous.

Here are some friends and me at some Norman ruins in a town called Stow in the Wold. The structure, which I think is an old church or castle is over 500 years old. It was great. The girls are Meredith and Mallory. We're having so much fun.

Posted by Portia at 02:28 PM | Comments (5)

August 04, 2004

To a good man


Today is the 19th birthday of my youngest brother, Peter (on the right in the picture). I haven't had time to find an egreeting for him yet (there's a crowd waiting to use the computer at the lab and we have to eat soon), so I thought I might as well blog about it.

Peter, you're the greatest youngest brother a girl could ask for. You have quite a group of admirers here as I've been bragging about you since I arrived in Europe. Thanks for being patient with me when I've been the farthest from it with you. Thank you for being humble when I was proud. But mostly, thank you for being you. I'm so proud of the man you're becoming and I look forward to deepening our friendship in trials and joy as you grow in the things of the Lord.

I'm thinking about you today and praying the Lord pours out blessing and favor and promises on you this day, the first of your 19th year. Happy Birthday, Pedro. I love you and am infinitely proud of you.

You're proud big sister,

Posted by Portia at 11:29 AM | Comments (2)

August 03, 2004

I had a good title...

Words escape me right now. Wait a minute, that's not possible. Rephrase. Good words escape me right now. I honestly had a really catchy title that was inspired by our most recent session on Lewis, but for the life of me, I cannot remember it. So, pictures say a thousand words. I'll let them do the talking, though I'll narrate just a bit.

A few more pics from Rome. I have so many good pictures, but you all can't see them until I can tell you what they are. But here's a pic of the prison that Peter, Paul and Silas were all thrown in at various times. Peter and Paul were never imprisoned together here, to my knowledge. It was eerie being there. It is so small in there and they were dropped in from a hole in the ceiling. It's basically a round, stone room. Of course, the church had to build a gaudy altar to Peter, but I'll get over that...I wish my pic weren't so blurry, but I didn't want to use flash. Okay, long enough explanation...peters_prison

Here is a picture of me at the Borghese Gallery. This was the most beautiful garden we had seen in all of Italy. I'm sure there are more out there, but we didn't see them. It was stunning. So, funny story behind this picture. I was smiling, then I was about to say something to Rach and it looks like I was trying to do a sexy pose. However, any sexiness is ruined by how my belt makes it look like i have a spare tire, and by my massive sun burn. much for Italian goddess. I swear I don't have a spare tire...especially with all the walking I've been doing, I don't think I've ever had more tone. :)

Finally, a picture for my mom. This is the rose garden at Cambridge's Magdalene College, the school in which Lewis had the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature. We had a lovely time at Cambridge today and I knew my mom would go nuts over some of the roses there. So, Mutti, here's a picture I took just for you. Hope you like it. Love you!
More to come later. Lots more to come...believe me. I'll have all my pictures up after I get back. I have hundreds, and I'm not exaggerating. I probably have 600 photos so far. :) And you're all going to have to watch a slide show of every last one :) (evil laughter)

Posted by Portia at 03:11 PM | Comments (3)

August 02, 2004

Tea Time in England

A view of a bridge leading to Blenheim Palace. To walk around the whole perimeter of the property is more than 8 miles. That should give some idea of the magnitude of this place. It was amazing.

Well, as you can imagine, I continue to have the time of my life in beautiful Oxford. I absolutely love it here. I could live quite comfortably here, and if you visit, you'll say the same thing.

Today, we sojourned to The Kilns: C.S. Lewis's home. It was beautiful and inspiring and full of awe. I can't begin to describe the sentiments that go through me since I've arrived. I have dreamed about these moments since I was a little girl, and to have those dreams fulfilled (much sooner than I imagined) is simply incredible. Enough waxing emotional...onto the photos.

The picture below is me and a new friend Mallory from Houston, Texas. She's great and we're having a blast together. Here, we're at his pond.

Later today, a small group of us went to Blenheim Palace, home of the Dukes of Malborough and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill. I really enjoyed this palace and the beautiful English gardens....very well kept, as you can imagine.

Me and Mallory again. This was in the West wing backyard garden. Wow...enough said.

Finally, we saw Love's Labours Lost tonight in Wyndham College's Open Air Theatre. So much fun, though I am exhausted now. This country is truly beautiful and the people have been nothing short of wonderful. Oh! And the tea and scones are to die for. Love them! It's so fun to stop at that time and have tea. It is actually the time of day I start to get tired and need some caffeine so it's perfect.

Well, time for sleepy. Talk to you soon,

One more picture...a candid one of us at Lewis's old pub, The Eagle and the Child.

Posted by Portia at 04:17 PM | Comments (8)

Long time comin

Hey Everyone! I know I haven't posted in a long time, but there's a reason for that. One, I haven't had much internet access in a few days. Two, I haven't figured out how to upload pictures on the ones I do have access to now. And, three, my program is so structured that I haven't had time, and once I do, I'm far too exhausted to come down to the computer lab and write.

Anyhow, I have to go up to the next session but I thought I'd let everyone know that I'm having a wonderful time learning about Lewis, modernism, postmodernism, apologetics, etc. Last night we went to Magdalen College and had a tour led by an Australian Rhodes Scholar...kind of funny. Early Sunday, we went to a service at C.S. Lewis's parish. It was truly wonderful. There were several parts in which I got teary eyed. The sincerity and humility of the pastors there was so refreshing compared to the other churches we had seen in Italy. I also loved simply listening to their voices while they gave communion or the sermon. The way they articulate their sentiments here is so wonderful. I had a smile on my face the whole time the pastor was preaching. I'm sure he thought I was a dumb blonde :)

Speaking of dumb blonde, I have a few stories. Last night, one of the older British women overseeing the program was talking to me about Italy. She had lived there for two years so we were swapping experiences. She asked me, after about a 5 minute break from our conversation, how I liked the pasta. Okay, here's the thing. The way the British say pasta is "pastor". It has a long 'a' on the end and a slight 'r' after it. So, I proceeded to tell her how much I loved the morning service. She began laughing and said we were talking "cross purposes." and explained to me that she asked about the Italian food. I laughed so hard and felt so stupid. If you know me well, you've heard my "soup or salad" story. If you don't know me that well, or that long, ask someone who does. It was a very real flashback to that time of my life :)

Anyhow, I've gotta go. Cheers! (sorry if there were any typos in this post. I don't have time to check them.)

Posted by Portia at 01:07 AM | Comments (0)