Bethlehem PA The 91 ft Moravian Star on South Mountain in the background
The New Hope Ivyland Station New Hope PA
by Terrence G. Clark
The headline sounds either like the title of an American Jewish folk song, a well-planned out pilgrimage, or a coffee break discussion. In reality, none of them. It could also be the words out of Joseph’s (Jesus’ step-daddy) diary, or his question to God after his obedience.
November is our month, my wife and mine, beginning with her birthday, her mother’s, my mother’s, two grandkids, a bunch of other relatives, and near the end---mine. Of course, there is Thanksgiving Day. It is also the month, some years ago, to her, I proposed.
We usually take several get away days, during the month, to refresh, reflect, and just enjoy each other’s company. Schedule only allowed for a weekend this year, and that early in into the month. We decided on a day trip. We both love the turning colors of Autumn and thought to head northwest. The first stop--- New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Some bridges were made to cross, some crosses were made to be looked upon
The Town Sits On The Edge Of Bucks County And Found On The Map Right Off The Chin Of Old Man New Jersey. Its Advertisement Posts It As---A Small Town With A Big City Feel. Still, Neither Of Us Knew Much About The Borough. Our Adventure There Centered On A Train Ride.
The Old New Hope And Ivyland Railroad Sponsors Daily Tours. Attractions Take Passengers On Seasonal And Themed Excursions, Such As A---Murder Mystery, Sunday Brunch, And Birthday Party Package. During The Christmas Holiday Season, There’s A Polar Express Tour. The Fall Foliage tour, which we took, was a rugged ride, through the colors of the woodlands of North Eastern, PA.---a two
My wife and I on a New Hope journey
and a half hours journey, south, to the Wycombe station and back. The tour was okay. It may have been somewhat better a weekend or so earlier. The November trees were not as full. All in all, a pleasant journey. Something different as well, always the opportunity to reflect and symbolize life. The train rocked, swayed, and tilted, but stayed on track, reaching its destination, carrying others along. It occasionally stopped along the way. We didn’t know why, but would resumed eventually, giving us more time, I gather, just to enjoy the scenery. The return route a little more intense of hues. The angle of the sun, shifted, illuminated the burnt sienna, golden yellow, rusty red, and glowing green the more.
The Beauty Of Autumn
Beautiful on both sides of the bridge
After the ride, we walked the streets of New Hope. A river town packed with shops, parlors, restaurant and other eateries. We walked through stores with many unique displays of jewelry, clothing, toiletries, oils, and spices. Many were items not seen or available in typical retail and malls.
We stopped at a French bakery, reminisce of New Orleans. We enjoyed French pumpkin pie and a pastry cone filled with cream cheese and pistachio while sitting outside of the shop---down a small alley. We walked with the crowds over the two-lane New Hope-Lambertville Bridge, by way of Bridge Street, over the Delaware River, into New Jersey. It was an enjoyable day. My wife loves the small town atmosphere, the shops, the people and strolling along---so do I.
Next on the schedule was to spend the Sunday in the Poconos, about an hour and a half away. I hadn’t confirmed reservations for a place to stay, feeling adventuresome, and hoping for an open room at a cabin, we had stayed before. My “winging it” didn’t roll out, as I had planned. We called while sitting in the station parking lot. It was still booked. One that was left was twice the price. The daylight was ending. There weren’t any other hotels available in that area. Our search for a New Hope lodging was unsuccessful as well. Believing God, we Googled a hotel chain in which we were comfortable. The results yielded one in the direction of the Poconos, but not quite as far---
Nothing unusually stood out to me at the moment. I made the reservation and set the GPS. Then, it dawned. I found myself staring in the Gloryland---the invisible realm where I often hear God speak. We were going to spend the beginning of November in Bethlehem.
The Irony---This is where I traveled a year ago.
The difference---Last year it was “in the little town of”---nestled upon mountains of Israel, south of Jerusalem, in the Middle East in the---Holy Lands. And now it seemed, a year later, the Lord had arranged for me to spend some time there again. Interestingly, in this Bethlehem, nestled in the Lehigh Valley and on the sides of the South Mountain. In accordance, with the city of Micah 5:2, Matthews 2, and Luke 2--- there is a star to guide travelers. It sets upon the mountain. A Moravian star, 91 feet in height, seen from afar, lit every night of the year.
It takes a village
Yeah we know---three days before election day
Mrs Clark getting ideas for her porch
About eight years ago, while on business, traveling to Bethlehem PA, on company business, my wife called me on my cell phone. She didn’t know I was traversing that day. She asked me, where I was?
I replied, “Bethlehem.”
There was a pause. I responded---“Pennsylvania, I’m in Bethlehem PA.”
“Oh,” she said---dismissing thoughts of my translation to Israel by the Spirit. My wife didn’t go with my on my field journey to the Mid-East biblical town. it wasn't her vision for 2015. Perhaps next time, her thoughts. Unbeknownst, to the two of us, one year later---I would take her to Bethlehem. I love God’s ironies or better still, his prophetic signature. I know it was Him who planned our November outing from New Hope to Bethlehem. Scripture says---
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:6)
As for our planning, we went for the room in the Inn.
In Israel, the little town of Bethlehem--silently she lay