Trip Start May 14, 2012
7Trip End May 28, 2012
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Our journey to Ephesus started at the port city Kusadasi where we exited our ferry and went through Turkey's customs. We stayed one night in the city got on a tour bus and headed away from the Aegean Sea into the ancient ruins of Ephesus.
Ephesus became one of the most prominent cities for Christianity in the second century. Ephesus was extremely important in early Christianity because of its central location along the coast of Asia Minor and, the belief that Ephesus attracted so many Christian leaders, such as John, Paul, Timothy, even the Virgin Mary. (Ephesus also claims to be the finial place where Mary, mother of Jesus, lived.) Ephesus is located in a valley. It is protected by hills on the side. The hills in ancient times would have helped protect the city from attacks
Paul's letter to the Ephesians is unlike most of the his letters to other cities. In this particular letter, Paul writes to praise the Ephesians for how far they have come in their faith. He is basically telling them to keep up the good work and that they are a model city of faith for other cities to strive to become like. However, Paul also tells them not to stray from their current path because he worked so hard to send them in the right direction. So, it seems that Paul is legitimately pleased with the Ephesians but at the same time he doesn't want them to mess things up and make him look bad. Paul also tells the Ephesians that it is not simply enough to just worship God and have faith. They must spread their faith and the word of God across the lands and be soldiers in faith for the Lord. In closing, Paul tells them "Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth and having put on the breast plate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace: in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.