As I walked, I worshipped and waited. Worshipped God with some beautiful music, like More Than by Hillsong. And waited on God, to listen to his voice, to hear Him speaking into my life. I built an altar along a rocky, dusty road on a hot afternoon to remember that particular moment when God touched my heart. There were many such moments. This slideshow is part 2 of my trip.


These are some of the best pictures from my Camino trip, set to music, which I used in my report to Calvary Church last weekend. The music is from Todd Agnew and called Lay It Down. It was one of the songs I listened to as I walked and dreamed about the day I would no longer have to carry a 22-pound backpack. It reminds me of the invitation we have from Jesus to lay our heavy burdens down at his feet.

Swinging Incense

On my last day in Santiago I attended the Pilgrim’s Mass. The church was crowded, and the priest greeted us in several different languages. A nun led us in worship with her crystal-clear voice, accompanied by a booming organ. Many actually sang!

After the blessing, about 5 men grabbed this 50 kilo censer (times 2.2 = 110 pounds) called the Botafumeiro and lit the incense. It is a huge, silver-plated incense burner, and it started smoking immediately. It is used each day during this one particular mass, and the crowds come out to see it. It was once used to make more bearable the strong BO (body odor) of pilgrims coming into the cathedral after a long walk!! I guess this church does NOT have a “perfume-free” section!

Anyway, these men grabbed the 3-foot high censer, and using a 35 meter long rope (about 100 feet), they tugged and pulled and caused it to swing back and forth through the transept (the cross-part of the cross-shaped church). As the nun sings, the censer goes higher and higher. Amazing. It has twice overshot and ended up outside the church. If anyone got in the way, it would take off their head. I am sure that is part of the buzz of excitement in the air!

Check it out!

Espina de Cristo

Beautiful, originally uploaded by martinbruce54.

Amy had a great description of this flower.  It is called a Passion Flower.

“Passion” does not refer to love, but to the Christian theological icon of the passion of Christ on the cross. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries discovered this flower and adopted its unique physical structures, particularly the numbers of its various parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus Christ and especially the Crucifixion. For example: the radial filaments which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower were taken to represent the Crown of Thorns. The ten petals and sepals can represent the ten faithful apostles. The top 3 stigmata can represent the 3 nails and the lower 5 anthers the 5 wounds. The flower has been given names related to this symbolism throughout Europe since that time. In Spain, it is known as Espina de Cristo (Christ’s Thorn).

Paco Bruce

Paco Bruce, originally uploaded by martinbruce54.

This is how I looked AFTER the visit to the barbershop. I am going for the Hulk Hogan look. Now I am heading to the tattoo shop for some nice art work on my biceps, and then an earring of some sort.

Hope you like my new look! Spain has revolutionized my life.

No longer Pastor Bruce…..just call me Paco Bruce!

Before Look with Marco

Before Look with Marco, originally uploaded by martinbruce54.

This is how I looked BEFORE I went to the barbershop in Naples.

I arrived just before midnight in Rome on Monday night, and Marco and some of our friends came and picked me up. First thing this morning we headed to the shop where I knew the barber.

The beard was itchy and white and made me look a LOT older..time to take it off!

I am standing with Marco Scarpati, pastor of the Arzano church.  Marco is one of the men I helped disciple during our 13 years in Italy, along with Genny Carleo, and they are now both pastors in the two churches that were founded here.  I actually lived in Arzano, and now that I have left, a daughter church was started there and Marco is the pastor!  I am staying with Marco and Maria, and Maria was one of Debbie’s good friends.

Cowboy Ralf

Cowboy Ralf, originally uploaded by martinbruce54.

Ralf was looking forward to this moment the entire trip. He set up at 7 p.m. and waited for the sunset, then sat around and enjoyed the view late into the evening.

Ralf, you should have been a cowboy!