Monday, June 30, 2014

Running the Race

During our travels in Greece, our Biblical Tours guides spoke of the Isthmian Games, biannual competitive events held the years before and after the Olympic Games. Scholars believe Paul was in Corinth during the Isthmian Games of 51 or 53 AD,  since Paul was in Corinth for 18 months, ending during the term of Roman Proconsul Gallio. The "Gallio Inscription," identified in Delphi in 1903, offers a historical record of Gallio's term, dating it to 52 to 53 AD.

Archaeologists have found remains of several stadiums and a hippodrome in Ishthmia, on the narrow isthmus between the mainland of Greece and the Peloponnesian Peninsula. Although the games were miles from the center of Corinth, there have been no discoveries of housing in Isthmia adequate for the crowds that converged to participate and watch the games, which would explain why tentmakers Priscilla and Aquila, and Paul himself, were able to find work in an urban center like Corinth.

As a tentmaker, Paul may have had an economic interest in the games, and there’s a strong argument that he timed his visit in Corinth to coincide with the games, but he also saw in the games metaphors for a purposeful life. He spoke of “running the race," "fighting the fight,”  "winning the prize."

Beyond that, he saw what could be accomplished through physical discipline, and was willing to exercise physical discipline to accomplish spiritual ends. I had seen those little maps in the backs of our Bibles: “Paul’s Missionary Journeys.” But seeing those miles unfold in the real terrain of hilly, rocky Greece, we quickly realized that Paul would have needed to be a fit, active, tireless man, able and willing to face hard conditions and long dusty miles to accomplish the goals he pursued.
I wonder how many ministers today consider physical fitness an essential attribute for the life of ministry?

And how many of us are fully convinced of the Latin aphorism: “Mens sana in corpore sano” ("Healthy mind in healthy body”)?

Our church has been considering the interplay of faith, food, fitness, friends, and focus as small groups work their way through The Daniel Plan, a program created by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church to address his concern about the trend toward obesity in his own congregation. 

The Plan offers insight into diet and exercise, stresses the need for accountability and partnership in meeting goals, and puts physical health into context with emotional, spiritual, even social health.

I’ve been watching a version of this in my own small circle of friends.

Kate Alleman, Finish Strong NSC
Two years ago, I attended my first reunion of women I’d worked with at a girls' camp back in the seventies. One of those women, Kate Alleman, has packed several careers into the intervening years: four years in the army, 21 years in the FBI, and a new direction as personal trainer. When we talked two years ago, she noted politely that many of us weren’t in the same good shape we'd been in during those long, activity-filled days at camp years ago. And she wondered why it's so easy to be neglectful of our physical health.

We talked then, and again this weekend, about the dangerously fractured view of the world so pervasive in our current culture. We divide physical health from spiritual health, emotional health from economic health, in ways that are themselves symptomatic of our deep dis-ease. 

Reading Paul’s letters, I see his certainty that health is never realized in division. We are part of one another, old and young, rich and poor. Spiritual health is demonstrated in economic generosity; physical health is necessary for accomplishment of spiritual goals.

In an essay entitled Health is Wholeness Wendell Berry laments:  
From our constant and increasing concerns about health, you can tell how seriously diseased we are. Health, as we may remember from at least some of the days of our youth, is at once wholeness and a kind of unconsciousness. Disease (dis-ease), on the contrary, makes us conscious not only of the state of our health but of the division of our bodies and our world into parts. . . .
 In the present age of the world, disintegration and division, isolation and suffering seem to have overwhelmed us. . .  .
Kate’s response to the question of division was to invite our group to see physical health as part of wise stewardship of the days we’ve been given. She invited us to prepare for a 5k or 1 mile reunion run, offering long-distance coaching and encouragement.

In the past two years, members of our reunion group have lost over two hundred pounds, begun walking or running our way to better health, and are learning what it means to offer support and encouragement to one another in the quest for a broader view of stewardship. 

That's me on the left, and Beth, mother of six, on the right
So yes, I did participated again in Kate’s 5K event, running most of the first mile and half, encouraged on my way the last mile or so by another very fit new/old friend, Beth.

But I need to do better. 

Much as I hate running, I need to find some way to keep myself in shape so I have the energy and endurance to finish strong.

I just downloaded an app Kate recommends:

And I’m exploring The Daniel Plan website, thinking about ways to re-frame my thinking, retool my menus, and re-prioritize my time. 

I’m puzzling over my relationship to both food and fitness, trying to sort out the messages I've absorbed about nurture, food, bodies, love, value, health, wholeness.

And wondering about this notion of Wendell Berry's: that health implies membership in both community and creation. I think he might be right. 
I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.
 . . . I believe that the community - in the fullest sense: a place and all its creatures - is the smallest unit of health and that to speak of the health of an isolated individual is a contradiction in terms. (Wendell Berry, Health is Wholeness)

This is the seventh in a series, Texts in Context, revisting two formative weeks spent in Greece in March 2014Earlier posts: 

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Just click on   __comments below to see the comment option.  

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Fragments on Philopappos Hill

During my time in central Athens, I was surprised to find a lush, green space in the very heart of the city, bounded by a series of hills.

The Acropolis is the most famous of those hills, and the most densely constructed, laden as it is with Parthenon, Propylaea, Erechtheum and a series of temples to Athena, Zeus, and others.

Just east of the Acropolis, and much lower, is Mars Hill, or Areopagos, the Hill of Justice, an open, wind-swept rock looking up toward the Acropolis and out across the east and south of the city.

Pnyx is north of Mars Hill. Once densely populated, all that remains is an eroded stone platform with steps carved in its side.  

Further north is Hill of the Nymphs, topped by an observatory jarringly out of place when viewed from fields of wildflowers and ruins.

West of all these hills, taller by far, is Philopappos Hill, or Mouseoin, the Hill of the Muses. 

On my first day wandering in Athens, I explored the lower regions of all five hills, then sat a while on Mars Hill, watching the magpies sailing through the trees below.

Another morning, I walked up a trail to Pnyx and sat on a bench looking out toward the sea. A woman and her elderly mother shared the bench with me, and we had a friendly conversation that consisted of mostly nods and smiles, while the woman tried to help her mother understand that although I greeted them with “Yassas,” clearly, I couldn’t speak Greek.

My last free morning in Athens I decided I’d head to the top of Philopappos. The forecast promised rain, so I put my small umbrella in my bird bag, grabbed my binoculars and camera, and bought a coffee and croissant at the small coffee shop near our hotel before heading up Dionysiou Areopagitou, the pedestrianized street along the south base of the Acropolis.

Just as I reached the walkway leading up Philopappos, a school bus pulled up beside me and disgorged a merry crowd of middle school students who swarmed around me then separated into twos and threes, disappearing in every direction.

I noticed several packs of boys heading up the main trail, laughing and shoving, and decided to take a different route. I was hoping to see some birds along the way and that seemed unlikely in the wake of so much adolescent energy.

I wandered down along the ancient Koile road, dating back to at least 600 BC, and sat a while on the edge of a rock-cut terrace, part of the remains of a thriving community nearly three thousand years ago. Then I climbed one of the rock-cut staircases and started up the weaving paths toward the monument to Julius Antiochus Philopappos, erected around 114 AD.

Everywhere I went there were signs of normal urban life: a jogger crunching along the gravel path past the graffiti-embellished rocks that once were walls of shops and homes, dog walkers, lone shoppers carrying plastic sacks, occasional pairs of those middle school students, sitting and talking on a comfortable ledge or strolling lazily along.

Halfway up the hill I turned a corner and came across a rock-paved space with a picnic table and a good view toward the sea. A balding man looked up from his morning paper, nodded, then went back to reading.

Along the ridge approaching the peak, I noticed three things:

An interesting pattern of rock and ceramic fragments embedded in the path.

The start of rain, as the clouds darkened and thunder rolled in the distance.

And then, an odd banging noise, somewhere nearby, and the familiar sound of young teen boys shouting.

I pulled out my umbrella and hurried on. I was soon in the clearing at the base of the monument, where I found the cause of the banging I’d heard: a dozen or so boys were trying to wedge themselves into one of the metal guardhouses that dot the Athenian hills. The banging was an attempt to close the door; the shouting was the noise of those outside, still trying to wedge themselves in to escape the now pelting rain.

Just past the monument, an open rock face looked out over the Parthenon, Parthenon Museum, and the outstretched city. I stood a moment on the slippery rock, snapped a few photos, then hurried on, rain dripping all around me.

There were more patterns in the paving in the path. What had seemed like an isolated piece of spontaneous art was clearly part of a larger pattern. As the rain slowed to a drizzle, I paused to take photos, impressed by the whimsical variations in an overarching theme.

Not far down the hill I came to an interesting series of terraces, walls, and stone benches. The walls were part of the Diateichisma, fortification built in the 4th century BC, then periodically rebuilt, repaired, and kept in use until medieval times.

The terraces and benches seemed to honor the walls, to incorporate them, in the same way the paving had incorporated bits of rock and shards of broken pots.  I paused for a minute to admire the design and to note the view out toward the Parthenon, then stepped out of the way of a torrent of boys careening down the hill, shouting an energetic call and response as they vanished through the trees.

The trail ended opposite a church that bore the now unmistakeable design that had shaped the paving, benches and terraces. My guide books had said little about Philopappos Hill, nothing at all about the church, but I found a small plaque nearby that gave a hint of explanation: 
Dimitri Pikionis, an inspired architect, city planner, artist, set designer and thinker executed the landscaping of the archaeological area around the Acropolis, Philopappos’ Hill and St. Demetrios Loumbardiaris between 1951 and 1957. . . . He integrated the remains of the ancient habitations that were on the site. [The work] was done without preplanning, on site, using skilled craftsmen. 
Intrigued, I’ve since done more research on Pikionis. He taught architecture for years at the Athens Polytechnicum but completed few projects of his own: six houses, a school, a theater, a playground, an apartment building.

His influence, though, extends far beyond that. His work was organic – closely attuned to the landscape, careful to integrate historic and environmental features. He was insistent on using only native plants long before that idea was common.

A memorial written by one o f his students describes the way he both challenged and trusted the teams that worked on the Philopappos project, first clarifying the plan and offering vision, then “resting on a small stool, he let them free.”

What I know of Dimitri Pikionis is what I saw in the work on Philopappos Hill: a joyful energy, a whimsical reuse of historical fragments, an insistence on local context. And, apparently, a willingness to trust others with the vision – to allow an organic expansion of the work, beyond his personal reach.

In thinking of him, I find myself thinking of the Apostle Paul, whose footsteps we traced in the days just after my encounter with Pikionis’ work.

Paul did his best to embed the good news of God’s kingdom into the contexts where he traveled, quoting and repositioning bits of philosophy and popular wisdom he encountered on the way, doing his best to show a greater design, then entrusting the message to others on as he traveled on again.

I sometimes consider my own work fragmentary – gardens planted and left for someone else, projects half-done abruptly set aside. I feel a bit like Paul, planning to go one way, then directed somewhere else, investing in one place and time, then stepping away, forced to trust the work to others.

Pikionis’ work on Philopappos Hill reminds and encourages me: we are part of a pattern begun long before us, reaching far beyond us.

Our best work isn’t a grand structure, like the Parthenon, or some grand marble temple. 

It’s smaller, more organic, and in it's own way, more lasting:

Vision shared.

Next generation trained.

Fragments rearranged, and offered to others, in a context that brings new understanding, and invites others into joy. 

This is the sixth in a series, Texts in Context, revisting two formative weeks spent in Greece in March 2014Earlier posts: 

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Just click on   __comments below to see the comment option.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Life Lesson from Lydia

Father’s Day has come and gone, and I find myself thinking about the messages loving fathers give their daughters:

Be yourself.

Find your voice.

Use your gifts wisely.

I grew up without a father, and the messages I heard sounded a little different:

Be quiet.

Don’t ask questions.

Understand your place, and make sure you stay in it.

Those were supposedly messages from my loving heavenly father, carefully, consistently communicated by my church community.

This month’s Synchroblog topic is “What do you wish you knew 10 or 20 years ago? If you could go back 10 or 20 years and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?”
Voula Kalapoda of BiblicalTours.Gr in Philippi

What I wish I knew is that a loving parent celebrates each child’s uniqueness.

Longs to help gifts develop fully.

Looks for ways to see potential put to use.

In March my husband Whitney and I traveled in Northern Greece with our new friend and wonderful Biblical Tours guide, Voula Kalapoda. We spent time in Philippi, walked along the river where Lydia encountered the Apostle Paul, stood on the tile floor where historians believe the first house church met, traced the expansion of that house into an octagonal meeting place, then into a larger structure.

Somehow, I had not realized that Lydia was the first European convert, that the church in her home was the first Christian church in Europe
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts:16:13-15)
Voula put that short passage into context for us, explaining that the Jews built their synagogues near water, but that no synagogue could be built if there weren’t at least ten men. So the fact that the women were gathered to pray by the river suggests there was no synagogue, no strong Jewish community.

Instead, there was a non-Jewish woman from Thyratira, in nearby Turkey, a woman active in trade, head of her own household.

Reading Luke’s simple account of the interaction, picturing the quiet scene by the rapid, narrow river, I think of how differently it might have gone:

Paul, seeing no men to interact with, could have walked off in search of a more fitting audience.

Krenides River outside the walls of Philippi
Or, after talking with the women, he might have insisted they go bring their husbands or male representatives to find out more.

He could have refused Lydia’s hospitality.

Moved on to the next city.

Note the hint of hesitation when Lydia invites them to her house: 
When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.
The word translated in the New International Version as “invited”, “parekalesenis,” in other places is rendered “begged”, "besought," "urged." Literally, it means, “exhorted," or "constrained,” far more assertive than a simple invitation.

And the word translated “persuaded,” the Greek “parebiasato,” means “to force contrary to (nature), i.e. compel (by entreaty) -- constrain.”

Luke’s account suggests that Paul’s first inclination would have been to say no to the idea of basing his ministry in Lydia’s home, but he heard and was moved by her energetic appeal.

The text says “we stayed several days” in Philippi. That stay included an overnight in prison, then a brief visit back to Lydia’s house: 
After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left. (Acts 16:40)
Apparently that young church was growing fast, if there were already brothers and sisters to encourage.

But I find myself wondering: how many other entreaties have been ignored, or dismissed, in other places, by leaders less willing to be constrained?

How many churches died before they started, because a woman’s gifts were overlooked, or a woman’s hospitality refused?

As a child, I worshiped in a denomination which allowed women missionaries to plant churches in Africa, but wouldn't let those same missionaries speak from the pulpit in their churches back home.
Possible site of the first church in Philippi; an octagonal church,
then larger temple, built over what may have been Lydia's home

As a young woman, I attended a retreat on the gifts of the spirit, and after faithfully filling out the simple survey I was given, was told I couldn’t possibly have the gifts my survey said I had: Leadership? Teaching? The seminarian summoned to set me straight assured me I had made a mistake.

There have been more times than I can count when I’ve seen women’s gifts offered, and rejected.

When my own gifts were discounted.

When I’ve felt called to step forward, and then told, firmly, to step back.

What’s lost when our energies are spent wrestling with the millennium-old questions:

Why would God give gifts he doesn’t want us to use?

Why would he call us to teach, lead, speak, when those who confidently assert his will are certain we should sit in silence?

Trace back through the history of the church and there are stories of women blazing like the stars of Philippians 2:15.

But how many more women hid their light under a bushel out of deference to the voices that said “go ahead and shine, but not here, not now, not this way, not that.”

How many have stuffed down the anger that grows, uninvited, when offerings are rejected, or second-guessed, when thoughts tentatively expressed are swept aside, or interrupted, when attempts to be obedient to the deepest inner callings are dismissed as misguided, inappropriate, rebellious.

And how many more have run from the church, the faith, from God himself, rather than listen to the endless, fruitless arguments about who is greater, who is less, who gets to lead, who has to follow.

What I’d like to say to my younger self, to my lovely, strong, spirited daughters, granddaughter, nieces, cousins, friends, is this: Be who God made you to be. In freedom. And with joy.

walls and steps of Philippi
But it’s not that easy.

So instead, I say this: learn early to hear and know God’s voice.

Spend time in his word, in prayer, in listening.

Pay attention to the spirit behind the voices you hear.

Learn to recognize pride, control, self-righteousness, envy.

Be led by mercy, grace, and love.

When the first answer is no, don’t be afraid to ask again.

Like Lydia, be ready to “urge, exhort, constrain.”

When someone steps on your toe, forgive and keep on walking.

When someone slams a door in your face, grieve, regroup, and look for another door.

Envision a church making full use of all its gifts, all its members, male and female, young and old, creatively, wisely, freely, with joy.

Don’t let anger, or grief, or fear shut you down, close you out, or cloud your mind.

Hold firm to the knowledge that you are a well-loved daughter, knit together with care for purposes far beyond those imagined by anyone eager to define you by what you’re not allowed to do.
 I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:16-19)

This is the fifth in a series, Texts in Context, revisting two formative weeks spent in Greece in March 2014Earlier posts: 

It's also part of the June Synchroblog, "If I Could Tell Myself One Thing." Other links are posted below:

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Just click on   __comments below to see the comment option.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Covering Shaven Heads

Standing outside the small museum in Corinth, looking up at the imposing Acrocorinth, I listened to our guide Costos Tsevas describing the context of social life in the period of the Apostle Paul’s visit.
Biblical Tours

While the temple of Aphrodite on the summit of the Acrocorinth was destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC, fertility rituals enacted with temple prostitutes continued in the main city, in and around the agora, the center of public life.

Costos described the sandals of prostitutes, engraved on the bottom to leave the word “ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΕΙ AKOLOUTHEI” ("Follow me") imprinted in the dust.

That was one form of advertisement, Costos said softly.

Another was more visible from a distance: shaven heads.

Suddenly we were in a discussion of a passage translators have described as one of the most complex and opaque in scripture, one that has prompted endless controversy and discussion: 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, the basis for centuries of rules about head coverings and women's hair length.

Think, Costos said. 

If a woman was, or had been, a prostitute, with shaven head, how would she cover that? 

It would take a long time for her hair to grow back, and in the meantime, she would be treated differently. If she hid her head, but others didn’t, everyone would know, and her shame would follow her.

What Paul is saying is that if a woman with shaven hair will be shamed, then all the women, shaven or not, should hide their heads, so no one can see which women have short hair and which don’t.

Not as a punishment, or rule, but out of love for the women with shaven heads.

I’m paraphrasing his argument – I have scribbled notes, and terrible handwriting.

But the idea was clear.

Paul was arguing for covered heads for all women to shield some of them from shame.


And out of love.

I’ve heard that passage argued endlessly: why women should wear hats in church. Or veils.

Why women should have long hair.

Or wear their hair up, or down.

Commentators argue that Paul was referring to the Greek traditions regarding male and female headcoverings.

Or Roman.

Or Hebrew.

None of those references would make much sense: male Jews wore coverings in services, not women.

So maybe Paul is talking about hairstyles, not head coverings?

Amazing – and sad – to track back and see the convoluted reasoning that has so often yielded an unshakeable rule someone else should live by.

No explanation I ever heard or read made reference to love.

I always wondered: why would Paul talk about freedom, about rights, unity, equality, about not being bound by the customs of those around us, then turn around and tell women to cover their heads?

Why would he say we’re one in Christ, neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, slave or free, then belabor the difference in a strange, convoluted way?

Costos’ explanation was the first I’d ever heard that put that troubling passage into context with the chapters that follow:

In chapter 12: “the parts we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty.”

And chapter 13: “love is not self-seeking. Always protects.”

I found myself wondering: how would a woman with beautiful long hair respond to the idea of covering her hair for the sake of a shaven former slave?

What would be a corresponding sacrifice, today?

The next day, on the steps of the Acropolis in Athens, I asked Costos about his interpretation. Did he have sources? Something further I could read?


He smiled.

“If you know the scripture, and you know Corinth, and you speak Greek, it’s obvious.”

Since then, reading through commentaries, exegesis, translations, discussions, I’m struck by the difficulty of putting certain texts in context.

This one in particular.

The word translated “covering”, katakalu/ptomai, is only used three times in the New Testament: twice in verse 6 and once in verse 7. It means, literally, to cover completely, to hide. The word translated “covering” in v. 15 is something different: peribo/laion. Used only once in the Bible.
Words used so specifically are hard to translate.

So are words used metaphorically – as in the word “head”, kephale, used repeatedly in this chapter.  Does “head” mean leader? Source? Or something else?

There’s also the problem of quotation: there were no quotation marks in koine Greek. Throughout 1 Corinthians, Paul quotes opinions presented as fact, then dismantles them. In chapters 6, 7, 8, and 10 quotation marks have been added to show that Paul was addressing opinions expressed by members of the Corinthian church. Was he doing the same here?

And then there’s the problem of chiasm: ideas presented in inverted sequence, to emphasis similarity or difference.

If the passage itself is a chiasm,does that suggest Paul is offering the point of view of some in the Corinthian church, then shifting to an alternative view?

A   (2-3) Introduction
B       (4-7) 'woman,' 'uncovered,' 'to pray,' 'man,' 'glory'
C           (8a) not 'man from woman'
D               (8b) 'woman from man'
E                   (9a) not 'man on account of woman'
F                       (9b) 'woman on account of man'
x                           (10) For this reason, and because of the angels, the
                            woman ought to have liberty over her head.
F'                       (11a) 'Neither woman apart from man'
E'                   (11b) 'nor man apart from woman'
D'               (12a) "just as the woman is from the man'
C'           (12b) 'thus also the man is through the woman'
B'       (13-15) 'woman,' 'uncovered,' 'to pray,' 'man,' 'glory'
A'   (16) Conclusion

Margaret Mowczko, of Christians for Biblical Equality Australia, offers a readable summary of some of these difficulties, adding two more: 

Some translations add a word “sign” in verse 10. There’s a big difference between 
 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. (NIV)  OR - for this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels. (ASV) 
 Another oddity in translation: the word “toioutos,” translated everywhere else in scripture as “such,” is  translated in some versions of verse 16 as “other”: 
If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.  (NIV) 
Compare that to : 
 But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. (ASV)
I confess, there are some passages in scripture I hold a bit at arm’s length: it’s not clear what they mean, various attempts at translation have introduced ideas not necessarily present in the original, and they’ve been used coercively in ways that I consider antithetical to the larger themes surrounding them.

Others, less committed to reading and understanding, see such passages as an excuse to jettison the whole enterprise. Why bother, if no one knows what it means, or it seems to contradict itself? Why bother, if the whole thing is just an excuse to add on rules?

I'd argue that most of the Bible is very clear, and that it's worth wrestling with these passages, while not making them the center of our daily faith and practice. 

Costos’ interpretation here, to me, is as plausible as any other I’ve read, and harmonizes far more with the themes Paul explores elsewhere: unity, freedom, grace, sacrificial love. 

So – I’m back to wondering. Who are the members of my own congregation who sit on the margins, and what changes could we make that would dissolve the difference, protect the weaker member, and bring us into greater unity?  

This is the fourth in a series, Texts in Context, revisiting two weeks spent in Greece.
Earlier posts: 
Texts in Context: Yassas!
Proclaim Freedom 
As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Just click on   __comments below to see the comment option.