This morning I made a slight error of judgment here in Ljubljana. I went out for a few minutes and sat down to have coffee when three drunken young people sat at the next table. I chatted a bit, they invited me to join them and then I offered to buy a round thinking coffee but they opted for Jack Daniels. The conversation ensued, talking about a fuzzy sort of “spirituality” and they seemed to take a liking to me until I mentioned “Jesus.”
All were raised Roman Catholics but now adamantly claimed to be atheists (but still pray to Mary) became unraveled with anger – cursing and immediate dismissal. One (I complimented him by saying he looked like Johnny Depp) rose up in disgust and left the table. It may have been the alcohol but I was saddened that they had no clear idea of who the real Jesus of the New Testament is. They were unwilling to hear even a word about the subject. They had no idea that he would be a good friend of their tattoos and dreadlocks. They only have the impossible to please, distant Jesus of the halo and stained glass window. Their preconceptions gave me not even a sliver of opportunity to unpack the authentic Jesus. This is tough ground. People have been so vaccinated with religion and superstition that they cannot contract the real thing. Roman Catholicism will undoubtedly have to answer for this catastrophe. These people have been taught the most ridiculous things concerning God and hardly a single one of them has any working knowledge of the New Testament. It is uphill every inch of the way.
Beautiful architecture, clothing you can’t afford and spectacular design on a dime….this is Ljubljana
When you talk to them so many complain that it was better under Tito. I don’t think so. I was first in Slovenia almost fifteen years ago when in some villages you could not but milk or bread except on Wednesdays and Fridays and sometimes, not at all. Even though, under Tito, you had no raining days (that’s true) and everyone had a job to go to by assignment people were stuck with few options. Yes, they will agree, the shops are full of beautiful things but only 1% of the population can afford any of these stylish luxuries.
Arriving in the city at about 7 PM with a head cold, Chris took me to my hotel and got me settled in where I went right to bed. I slept at least eleven or more hours and woke up on Saturday morning at around six. I got showered and dressed went down to the restaurant at 7, took in an amazing breakfast then headed out for an early morning walk with my camera in hand. Ljubljana is an amazingly charming, old world capital with wonderful architecture. Not only is the architecture beautiful but interiors can be very creative and attractive. Except for the Yugo automobile, I find the Slovenian and former Yugoslavian peoples to be very creative, good at both art and design.
I don’t usually show off my hotel but it is pretty special when I step up my stay to a 3-Star. In Ljubljana, I usually stay above the church in the library on a mattress on the floor. Here at TheCity Hotel, I have two rooms and an amazing breakfast included for only 68 euro a night. That’s just about $100 in US funds. So I have four nights here and loving it.
I went out the front door only to discover that I can never avoid the Norwegians! Their embassy is located across the street.
Note: Jehovah’s Witnesses in Italy are much larger than protestant evangelicals. Perhaps only Islam and Occultism is larger.
I am now in Ljubljana and it took most of the day by train and car from Milan. As I arrived at the Milan train station early I had about forty minutes to engage the three Jehovah’s Witnesses at their Watchtower stand. I can only say it was not a good day for the JW’s. In fact, and this has never happened before, I countered everything so well that when I looked at what appeared to a “Newby” who had been intensely listening and told her to “get out now – it is a mind control cult”, she handed her magazines to the spokesperson and walked away. Perhaps she was late for work but by the way she listened, I don’t think so.
It didn’t end there. By divine providence a fair haired young man and his wife (I think his wife but who can tell anymore) spoke to me in Italian and took the reserved seats next to me. They turned out to be Israeli’s living in Milan. Now how do you think this ride went??? They got off at Padua and I went on to Mestre but I had a good time teaching Judaism to my Jewish friends. Pray for Nir and Inbal.
I just spent about fifty euro on six American service men on day leave from Ariano here in Ljubljana for the day. They were thrilled that someone would take a minute to extend a thanks for their service and buy them dessert. The group came over to my table and each one shook my hand personally and thanked me to which I simply said, “The Lord Jesus has been good to me.” One young man from Hickory, North Carolina, went out, came back in and said, “Sir, I just want to thank you and tell you, the Lord Jesus has been good to me too.”