The Heart of the Evangelical Crisis

Featured Photo above is of a Mandinka Potter in the Makasutu Forest of The Gambia, West Africa using an old foot-treadle potter’s wheel. Scripture is my addition to a favorite photo from my 3 years in The Gambia, a print of which hangs in my bedroom here.

Though I dropped my paid subscription to Christianity Today, I continue to get the free CT Newsletter and just read this article that speaks to my desire for a new church and new identity: The Heart of the Evangelical Crisis. I hope the link works for you to read it. Like other writers on the subject, he does not have all the answers, but describes the problem in an interesting way that rings true with much of my life experiences.

While serving as a missionary in The Gambia, West Africa, I soon quit calling myself a “Christian,” a “Baptist” or an “Evangelical” as I related to Muslim friends calling myself “A Follower of Jesus.” The difference in our relationships was amazing with a new label and I found other reasons for the title when I returned to the states for the first 12 years of my retirement and even now while living as an expat American Retiree in the Roman Catholic Costa Rica. I’m a follower of Jesus!   🙂

The primary focus of this blog is retirement in Costa Rica, my love of nature and especially the birds here in Costa Rica, but occasionally I feel the need to speak my deep feelings about what I consider a crisis in America today, for which I partly blame Southern Baptists (the largest of the Evangelicals) for whom I worked my total adult working life. I now have no pride in those years, even though the denomination was different when I started. I apologize to the readers whom I offend when I speak like this, but it is a sincere concern of mine that I feel compelled to express at times. We who follow Jesus cannot allow the “Republican Trump America” of today to define Christianity! Far from it!

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 

Matthew 16:24-26

And it was accentuated by this morning’s Bible reading in The Message, Matthew 7:13-29 titled “Being and Doing,” a sort of warning to us believers.
WWJD?
¡Pura vida!

Nature as Art!

“Nature as Art” is what I called my little retirement hobby photo business from around 2004 to 2008, selling art photos out of 3 galleries in Nashville and in Arts & Crafts Fairs all over Tennessee and thrice out-of-state. It was fun at first but soon became hard work with back aches from lifting boxes and tent set-up, etc. and bottom line was my “hobby” was costing me more money than I was making! +Back aches! So I quit in 2008 and had no more back aches! Here’s a slideshow of some of my shows in 2006-2007, my peak year:

Nature as Art: Charlie Doggett Photography 2007

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One of my current efforts is to get all my old favored photos preserved in my online gallery as my only backup in the “cloud.” I have added the old sales photos from my computer organized by the sizes I printed them for sale back then. You can look at them and/or order prints from the SmugMug connected quality vendors, just like you can with any of my Costa Rica photos.   🙂

When you click “BUY” at the bottom right of an opened photo you choose first “Paper Prints” or “Wall Art.” The latter menu includes metal images, my new favorite and they have my old favorite of canvas. Check it out on an image you like from these old Tennessee photos with the most options appearing on the popular sizes back then of 8×10, 8.5×11, and 11×14:

Pre-Costa Rica ART PHOTOS   (New gallery)

Or always my Costa Rica photos at:
Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA

I’m not reviving this memory for money with only a $1 markup on an order credited to me. But as a service for anyone who likes to decorate with photo art, especially Nature as Art!  🙂  Their print options are high-quality and cheaper than I could sell them in my business back then!   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

The Adventure of New Places

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain

And many of you know that Mark Twain’s spirit is my spirit. I have visited more than 60 places in Costa Rica and intend to continue until I have visited every park, refuge and reserve along with lodges and hotels that offer birding and nature adventures. The feature photo is my cell phone shot at the Beach Break Hotel in nearby Jaco Beach when the Nashville FBC Group was here.

And what is different about this week is I am going close to home, an hour’s drive away to Hotel Punta Leona with their own private nature reserve and they promise many birds including the Scarlet Macaw they provide nesting boxes for (like Tambor Tropical Resort I’ve already visited). As long as I have the promised WiFi connection I will be doing nightly posts from Punta Leona the rest of this week. Get ready for adventure near my quiet town of Atenas!

I finally figured out how to copy Google Maps via a PDF file converted to jpg. This shows the 1 hour drive from my house to Punta Leona. CLICK to enlarge. Note that I will pass by Tarcoles River & Carara National Park, both good birding places that I can visit from the hotel if desired.

And I have three more similar nature hotels scheduled close to Atenas this year with Macaw Lodge in June, Villa Caletas in July along with a repeat of nearby Xandari Nature Resort. There is adventure close to home!   🙂

¡Hasta mañana de Punta Leona!

See my Punta Leona Trip Gallery

And visit the Hotel Punta Leona Website for more about this nature place!

¡Pura Vida!

 

Bonus Articles for People Planning to Retire in Costa Rica

These Are the Economies With the Most (and Least) Efficient Health Care

This article is about what you get for what you pay for in healthcare. Though not #1, Costa Rica is in the top 25 countries for efficient healthcare (based mostly on our public healthcare) while the U.S. is next to last with only Bulgaria being worse. Some rich expats here from the states still swear healthcare is better there and fly back for every little thing, since money is no problem for them.

The closest public hospital to me is in Alajuela. I spent 2 nights here for my angiogram. Español es necesario!

The rest of us expats have found excellent healthcare here at a fraction of the cost of the states when using private doctors/services (maybe averaging around 1/4 the cost of stateside) and some of us save even more by mixing public healthcare (free though I pay a required tax for it) and private healthcare for which I must pay cash since I dropped my expensive private health insurance here. Yet it is quicker and sometimes more expedient than public healthcare. As shared in earlier posts I use a mixture of both and for private care I belong to a medical discount group called “MediSmart.”.

-o-

The most popular Costa Rica Made Cookies are called “Chiky” and come in many flavors and styles from the most popular chocolate cream-filled to strawberry, lemon, banano and even the tea-time crispy wafers. Mmmm good! The Link above is to Christopher Howard’s article and here is the English-language website of the cookie company here in Costa Rica:

https://pozuelo.com/en/marcas/chikky/

What If I Die in Costa Rica?

OK – not a happy thought! So for those who don’t want to think about it, I have another post today on why we are happier in Costa Rica!   🙂 This is one of those articles for readers planning to retire here.   Since I expect to spend the rest of my life here, I should plan for death here.

First, most expats living here will need two wills, one in Costa Rica and one in their home country. I already had a very detailed will in my home country, the United States, but now I am in the process of a slight update of it (I got rid of all my stuff.) AND creating a Costa Rica Will (which I should have done earlier). Since I own no property or even a car here (just personal effects in my house), my will is simpler than most expats living here. A house, a piece of land, a car, etc. located here must be covered in a Costa Rica Will, not your stateside or home country will. As the Boy Scout motto says:

“Be Prepared”

I keep a notebook in my house with all the instructions for what to do when I die or am disabled with copies of my 2 wills, powers of attorneys and other important documents. If someone finds me dead in my house, they will hopefully also find this notebook and follow the instructions.

MY COSTA RICA WILL covers everything in this country including:
FIRST, MY BODY which I am donating to science at the University of Costa Rica Anatomy Department (easy for everyone else).   🙂
SECOND, ANY BANK ACCOUNTS here which for me is just one where my SS Check is deposited for housing expenses. A Costa Rica Bank account needs a Costa Rica Will. Any other money accounts a person has here would be the same.
THIRD, MY PERSONAL EFFECTS here will be handled by Costa Rica law and I’m giving my son or sister 30 days to come here and claim anything they want (computer,  cameras, artwork, photos, books, clothing & very little furniture). Hogar de Vida (a local children’s home) gets what my family does not claim (in person here) and/or Hogar de Vida is 3rd in line for all personal effects. They can use the stuff or sell in a yard sale as they wish.
FOURTH, AN APOSTILLE DEATH CERTIFICATE(S) will be sent by my CR Attorney (or in some cases by the U.S. Embassy?) to my attorney in Nashville who will need it to execute my will there. Standard procedures.

MY UNITED STATES WILL covers everything related to me in the United States:
FIRST, MY BANK ACCOUNTS there
SECOND, MY RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS
THIRD, MY ONE TINY LIFE INSURANCE POLICY
FOURTH, DISPERSING ANY BALANCES ACCORDING TO THAT WILL

If I owned property in the states, it would be included above also. I don’t. I have greatly simplified by life in my final years. I have two attorneys (Costa Rica & Nashville) in touch with each other now so they have a plan to handle my death. When I die, it is all up to them in their respective countries. In my case they are also Executors of my two wills and Powers of Attorney, for me in their respective countries.

As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death.
~Leonardo da Vinci

¡Pura Vida!   —   Even in death!

A Weekly Blog Post?

A Change in the Blog . . .

I am thinking about a purpose and need for this blog, my goals, and what the 20 to 100 actual readers per day want to see here.  (Tell me!)

As I re-evaluate the blog I see it in danger of becoming a personal journal, more about me than my original purpose of “How to Retire in Costa Rica” or now about “Being Retired in Costa Rica.” My retirement hobbies of travel, birding and photography don’t speak to all, but that’s a given.

Beginning this coming weekend, my new “trial approach” is to post only one weekly, quality article on Friday, Saturday or Sunday (flexible day).  I will seek to:

  1. Use fewer/better photos with a gallery link for those wanting more.

  2. Try for shorter, easier to read posts. This is already too long!   🙂

  3. Try to include some “inspiration” though not always my purpose.

  4. Try to improve my photography so one photo says it all!

Please Give Your Input  —  Reader Survey

Use the Comments box below or email saying:

  • Keel-billed Toucan on my Terrace

    What subjects you would like me to include?

  • What you think of a weekly approach?
  • Do you read this for information or photos?
  • Are your interests (1) Retirement in CR?  (2) Costa Rica in general?  (3) Nature photography?  (4) Travel?  (5) Birding?   or  (6) Keeping up with me?

If your prefer a private message click Contact on top menu to email me.

 ¡Pura Vida!

The Penalty of Too Much Sun

And Mostly When a Child

20181223_101136-A-WEB

is what the Dermatologist says about the cause of skin cancer. But he also says if I continue to get too much sun it will make it worse, so my two wide-brim hats and 60 SPF Sunscreen, called El Protector Solar here or informally  protección de sol.  I dislike it but when I know I will be in the sun much, I use the sunscreen now and wear my big hat everytime I go out!

SKIN CANCER SURGERY ON MY FACE THIS TIME

The only other skin cancer removed was from my arm a month or two ago and it was comparatively easy with a lot more skin on the arm. Sorry if the photo below grosses you out, but I was really surprised at how much this facial growth had grown with this big of a scar or “more than 15 stitches” said the doctor, though I counted more like 20 or 21 in the photo. My eye is partially swollen and partially closed but it will get back to normal soon. I went back to the doctor the day after surgery (Wed) and he changed the bandage which I will permanently remove Thursday. Air helps healing. And he prescribed a cream I put on it twice a day for at least two weeks when I see him again for a checkup, after my next photography trip of course!   🙂   I have to keep my priorities straight you know!

MOHS SURGERY

It was Mohs surgery Tuesday which the link describes or basically it is a pathologist there with the surgeon doing biopsies on every bit removed until there is no sign of cancer. With this he is now more certain he got all the cancer and didn’t remove too much “good skin” which is more limited on the face. He was prepared to graft a piece of skin from my cheek if necessary, but thankfully it was not. And in two weeks or so I will be back to normal with a noticeable scar on my face. No problem! Just call me “Scarface.”   🙂

That’s Life!     –    ¡Así es la vida!

¡Pura Vida!

 

And tomorrow I will go back to sharing more from my great trip to Maquenque Eco Lodge!    (Link is to the Gallery)

And oh yeah, that sunset photo above is one I made at Arenal Volcano National Park. After all, this article is mostly about the sun!   🙂

Old Man Hat Required Now

My dermatologist (after 2 skin cancers) says I have to wear a wide-brim hat everytime I go out along with sunscreen. Bummer – but here’s my first one (a Dorfman Pacific Safari Hat) which is like what a neighbor wears everyday, so I won’t be alone!   🙂   Then with a Christmas gift certificate I ordered a Panama Jack Safari Hat which might be more stylish. The price you pay living close to the equator!   ¡Pura Vida!

Merry Christmas!

Keel-billed Toucan visiting for breakfast – my home terrace one morning.

HAPPY, HAPPY – – – to you and your family, friends, and communities this Christmas! While some of you enjoy a White Christmas, I will be enjoying the beaches and rainforests of Manuel Antonio National Park and the private Wildlife Refuge of Si Como No Resort there.   – – – HAPPY, HAPPY!    🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Adventures of the Brig Charles Doggett

When Lee Holloway introduced me to and gave me a copy of the 1931 historical adventures storybook Yankee Ships in Pirate Waters by Rupert Sargent Holland back in the early 1970’s while at The Brotherhood Commission, I had no idea how far it would lead in my future research of an 1800’s ship with my name.

For a long time I have had the research website on The Ship Charles Doggett  (the definitive website on the ship) and along the way discovered the relationships of the ship to Nashville and a friend there who is a descendant of the ship’s captain, William Driver. Driver is buried in Nashville. (Click above link for more info.) Also while there I learned of the U.S. Flag first being called “Old Glory” while flying on the Brig Charles Doggett with the actual flag at The Smithsonian Institute National Museum in Washington, DC. My web page above tells exciting stories of the flag, especially during the Civil War in a Confederate State Capital.

Then later I learned that it was this ship that rescued the survivors of “Mutiny on the Bounty.” Wow! The stories go on and are many and exciting as presented in this one 48-page Chapter 7 of the 1931 book Yankee Ships in Pirate Waters by Rupert Sargent Holland. 

As I have always intended to do, I finally scanned or used a print shop in Atenas to scan the pages of the stories for me. I now include those pages here. The chapter on The Charles Doggett is titled “Children of the Sun” and was introduced with this summary:  “How the men of the ‘Charles Doggett’ angered a witch-doctor, fought Fiji cannibals, and saved a sister-ship from yellow pirates in the gulf of Tongking.” You can read the stories online here now at Chapter 7: Children of the Sun. A fun read! And just one more bit of valuable information on this website.    🙂

The Header above is the book title page and . . .

Here’s the first page:

Continue reading at Chapter 7: Children of the Sun.

¡Pura Vida!

Rancho Humo: The Book

Check out the free electronic preview of all pages of my latest Costa Rica photo book at: http://www.blurb.com/b/9079446-rancho-humo  or click the book cover image below. Use “full screen mode” to best see these photo pages. I think my books & photos are getting a little better.  🙂

Front Cover of Book  –  click for preview
Back Cover of Book  –  click to see larger

 

Charlie Doggett – Retired in Costa Rica

¡Pura Vida!