Sunday, December 13, 2009

What Happened to Colt?

If the BCS isn't bad enough, the Heisman voting had to come along to demonstrate all that is wrong with college football.
Tonight's travesty: Mark Ingram is NOT the number one running back in the nation. He's #12 in rushing yards per game, 26th in scoring and 31st in all purpose yards. He had his best game ever against Florida last week, and Alabama will be playing in the national championship, but along the way they had to beat such powerhouses as North Texas, Florida International, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Auburn which combined for a 26 win - 34 loss season. By the way, Ingram did not rush for even 100 yards in any of these games. (San Antonio Express-News, Dec. 12, 2009, pg. 6D)
Sorry to be bitter, but Colt McCoy IS the winningest quarterback in the history of college football and though he didn't have the game of his career against Nebraska last week, he did lead his team to victory AND a spot in the BCS national championship bowl. This in addition to leading his team to an undefeated season with some outstanding games along the way in what is arguably one of the top two or three conferences in the nation. He won the Maxwell and the Walter Camp awards for player of the year, but he comes in 3rd in the Heisman vote? What!? Politically correct sportswriters cannot see past the last game of the season, don't understand season statistics and generally hate anyone from Texas (and that includes you Aggies too).
Go Horns! Beat Alabama and Mark Ingram!

Monday, November 9, 2009

How Do We Pray for a Crazed Killer?

This morning I received an email from a member of our church. It contained both as confession and a question that many are probably asking today, although most would not venture to voice it publicly. Though emails do not have inflection, I caught a hint of despair and confusion which I knew warranted immediate attention, so I prayerfully wrote out a response. The confession, the question and even the emotion of the email are most likely things many Christians are struggling with today. I asked my parishioner for permission to share the email and my response with you. I hope the few minutes it takes for you read this blog entry will be worth your time and help in your own personal struggle concerning this issue. Your responses are welcomed.

The email read:

Bro. Mitch,

I have a question.
How do you pray for this monster that murdered all these people on the military base, the fact that he is even still alive?
Is it wrong to wish he would have died or were dead? What a horrible thing for me to even say. God already knows what I am thinking, so I can not pretend the thought did not enter my brain.

Signed by Parishioner

My response (expanded somewhat from the original);

Your question is one all Christians deal with from time to time, even if we’re unwilling to admit it. For you to be honest with God is the first step. Like the man who came to Jesus with a son suffering from demon possession, we need to say to God, “I believe, but help my unbelief.”

Our goal is to see people through the eyes of Jesus and to love people as He loves them. U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan is really no different than any one of the Roman soldiers who nailed Jesus to the cross. They had bought into the lies of the Roman government and church leaders but Jesus looked at them and said, “Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” Muslim extremists have bought into the lies of Eastern culture and the Muslim faith. They too are lost and are in need of the Savior. Actually, the Roman soldiers and this crazed killer are just like each of us once were. The Bible asserts, "All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." The Message Bible paraphrases Paul's reminder to the church in this way: "It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. [2] You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. [3] We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us." (Ephes. 2:1-3 )

You see, Satan is alive and well. He has a grip on the lives of Muslim extremists, but we must also remember that most of the "good old boys" we share life with on a daily basis are just as lost as they are. God sees all people, including Major Hasan with the same eyes and loves them with the same heart He sees and loves you with. As God's children we must remember that there is always hope in Jesus Christ. Don't forget that Paul's reminder to the church didn't end in verse three. It continued, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, [5] made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved." (Ephes. 2:4-5)

We can only pray that the senseless violence will stop and that all people, including Muslims like Major Hasan, will realize that the man on the cross gave His life for them. One of the thieves crucified next to Christ realized who Jesus was, confessed Him as Lord, and even in the waning moments of his life, his sins were forgiven. Until that final breath is taken, there is hope. There is hope for Major Hasan and his hope is only in Christ Jesus. Pray that someone will have the opportunity and boldnessto share the gospel with him and that he too will be saved. And, when you don't want to pray for his salvation because he "doesn't deserve it" remember, neither did you!

Now, there is one other thing of great importance to remember. The thief crucified next to Jesus, though forgiven, still had to pay his debt to society. Salvation does not relieve us from the consequences of our sin and Major Hasan will pay society for the heinous acts which he committed, whether or not he repents of his sin.

We are to pray for Major Hasan who committed this deadly act, understanding that Christ died for him just like He did for us. We can also rightly pray that the laws of our land will be upheld and that he will swiftly pay his debt to society. We need to pray for the surviving victims and the families of all of the dead and injured. Pray that many who have ignored Christ, or put off making a decision to accept Him, will see this as a wake-up call, realizing that life is short and the day of salvation is now. Pray for the Christians of Killeen and surrounding towns as they minister in the name of Jesus Christ and pray for yourself, that God will grant you peace that is beyond understanding, even in times like these.

I hope this blog entry has helped you and my prayer for you is the same as that prayed by the Apostle Paul for the church in Ephesis found in Ephes. 1:18 : "I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you..."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A freind of mine posted a photo of a Lion Fish on her Facebook site. These fish are very harmful to the Carribean reefs and are not indigenous to the area. They have been introduced by people buying them for their aquariums then releasing them, either in the Gulf of Mexico or the Carribean. Either way, they end up in the warm waters of the Carribean and on the reefs there. They eat the roe and fry of the reef fish and they have no natural preditors on the Carribean reefs. Dive masters in Cozumel have received instructions to capture and kill all that they find. An effort is underway in the US to outlaw the possession and/or sale of these distructive fish. Guess where my friend took her photo. You guessed it, in a local pet shop aquarium!

Here are a couple of photos of Lion Fish I took in Cozumel this summer.
This first one is of a lion fish hiding under a small shelf of coral.
These next two photos are of our dive master, Julio, holding a captured Lion Fish. It has been bagged to be taken to the surface and disposed of .

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day #2 in the life of Drew Pellerin
Actually, this first photo was taken on day one, but Grandpa was relucant to share it before now. The sign on the window of the Nursery says "Do Not Take Photos Through The Window". When my sister was born two and a half years ago, Grandpa almost got kicked out of the hospital for breaking the rules. Can you believe he's a preacher? Anyway, he accidently tripped while walking up to the window to see me and as he fell the camera went off and Poof, this picture was taken.
This is mommy showing off a pretty handmade quilt Ms. Barbara Engelman made for me. It matches my room which is a monkey motif. Thank you Ms. Barbara, we love the quilt!
This is how I spend most of my time. Snoozing!
He I am with my Gram and big sister, Ashtyn.
Here's my proud grandparents, Gram and Grandpa with Ashtyn and me.
This is my cousin Thatcher and Double A (Aunt Angela).
Grandpa brought me my first fishing rod and I can't wait to try it out.

Yesterday afternoon at 3:16, our daughter Laura Pellerin, gave birth to Andrew Charles Pellerin, 7lbs 6 oz and 20 inches long. He and mommy are doing wonderfully well. His daddy, Bobby, and big sister, Ashtyn are also doing well and very excited. Here are a few photos of Drew, our third grandchild (second grandson). I guess you could say Gram and Grandpa are pretty proud, also. Enjoy the photos!
Mr. Drew Pellerin
Mommy and Drew
Big Sister, Ashtyn, and Baby Drew

Daddy, Big Sister and Drew

Gram and Drew

Nana and Drew

Grandmother and Drew

Grandpa and Drew

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Whimpy Parents

There was a time, not too many years ago, when schools and other organizations designed to meet the needs of children never considered having activities which conflicted with church attendance. Not so anymore! Why, you ask? Well, I think the answer is simple: We have a bunch of whimpy parents who, though they profess to be followers of Jesus Christ, are afraid to stand up to the Satanic influences of society. I thank God that a long time before I became a pastor, my wife stood up in meetings of the Seguin Youth Basketball Association and the Seguin Youth Soccer Association and said "NO!" to playing or practicing on Sunday's. It was interesting that all it took was one person of conviction to stand and say "no" to see many others join in. As the wave of support for no Sunday practice or games grew, both organizations backed down and Sunday was protected as "the Lord's day".

Not all churches met on Sunday evenings, and many do not today, but Christians of many faiths banded together with an understanding that Sunday belonged to the Lord.
Even those who did not meet on Sunday evenings remembered that God said, "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy." Why? Because they respected one another.

Today, whimpy parents have forgotten how to say "no", both to the organizations and to their own children. Today, schools and organizations never think twice about having events on Sunday. It's no longer the Lord's day, but "family day", or "fun day." I'm pretty sure the Bible hasn't changed and that God still sees it as His day.

Whimpy parents, learn to say "no" again. Dave Ramsey gives some great instructions: "Place your tongue just behind your upper front teeth. With a nasal "n" sound, exhale slowly while moving your tongue down and your lips into a circular shape. Keep doing this until you hear it...'.......Nnnnnoooooooo."

By the way, once you catch on, you can stop being a whimp toward your own children as well. You can begin to say it to them too. "Nnnnnooooooooo."

Got it? Now try it!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Missions - My Take On It All

There is rarely a week that goes by that I do not receive at least one request for assistance from some well meaning, biblically based missions ministry. They run the gambit in personality and style. They focus their ministries on building churches, assisting in disaster relief efforts, starting and maintaining orphanages, sending medical teams to combat AIDS, or any one of a thousand other missions. All are good and well-meaning missions. I have no doubt that most people involved in these ministries have a divine calling and real passion for their particular ministries, but I generally choose not to support them financially. I have been criticized for this on many occasions and some believe I am uncaring or lack sympathy for those who are hurting in our world. In fact, I am offended by those nay sayers. They generally insinuate that my position is founded upon little thought or prayer. That could not be farther from the truth. So, today I am sharing my reasoning for supporting Southern Baptist ministries and missions. I share from my heart to yours.

Long before I was ever born, the church began to realize that the Great Commission was given not just to the eleven apostles, but to the entire church. The importance of missions and evangelism began to grow in importance. In May 1845 two hundred ninety-three Baptists met together in Augusta, Georgia and formed the Southern Baptist Convention. Since then, Southern Baptists have had their fair share of squabbles, disagreements and even some downright failures, but to be where they are today, they must have done something right as well, I won’t go into a lengthy history of the Southern Baptist Convention here, but I believe God has had His hand on Southern Baptists down through the years.

In the early days of the Convention, and even before, each ministry segment of the convention was pretty much on its own, particularly when it came to funding. The Foreign Mission Board, the Home Mission Board, the publishing arm, and others all were self funded. All of these entities were called “Societies” and each society was busy raising funds for their own work, even at the expense of the others. It seemed as if they were often working against one another, rather than with one another. As the work of God’s kingdom grew, this societal method for funding became ambiguous, cumbersome and less effective in carrying out the total ministry of the church. In 1925 the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a simple but profound change in the way it funds ministries, both at home and around the world. They called it the Cooperative Program. Simply stated, churches and agencies would begin to cooperate with one another in their funding strategies. Local churches would send funds to their respective state conventions, who in turn would retain a percentage for state missions and ministry funding, then send the rest on to the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC would then divide the money among all of its ministry and mission agencies in accordance with directions received from its executive committee. This committee was, and still is, made up of members from every state convention. No longer were individual ministry or missions agencies allowed to solicit direct funding from the churches. For these last eighty-four years the Cooperative Program has worked magnificently well, and it is a major reason that I have elected to be a Southern Baptist.

I believe in the way we, as Southern Baptist’s do missions and ministry. I believe that when we cooperate together to carry out the great commission, we can accomplish far more than any of us could alone. Southern Baptists’ have, over the past eighty-four years led the way in evangelism and missions. Our missionaries, both at home and abroad, never have to worry about how they will be funded. They do not have to return home every few months to beg for more money. They never have to fret over health or life insurance. They can sleep in peace knowing that their children will be educated. When there is a problem, they know that there is a strong agency behind them with a competent, trustworthy team to support them. They can spend their time, all of it, doing the ministry they were called to, without worrying about their personal needs. They know that when Bibles are needed, they’ll be there. If an automobile, or boat, or even and an airplane is needed to accomplish their mission, it will be made available. The Cooperative Program isn’t perfect, but it is the best financial strategy God has ever given. Why, because it’s Biblical. God has instructed each of us to “bring the tithe into the storehouse.” That is, we are to bring a portion of what He has given to us (10 percent of our growth) to His church, so that it can do the ministry He has called it to do. The same principle has been applied to the conventions ministry and mission, and it works better than any thing else because it is a Biblical principle.

I grew up in a Southern Baptist church, but as an adult I can choose to be a part of any denomination I desire, or none at all. I choose to be a Southern Baptist because I like the way we do missions! We have our faults, but mission support is not one of them. I support our missionaries for two major reasons. First, because they are depending on me. As a Southern Baptist, I have made a commitment to them and I plan to remain true to that commitment. This is also a major reason I rarely support other mission sending agencies or independent missionaries.

The second is equally important: Southern Baptist missionaries are held highly accountable. There is a structured system in place to both select the most highly qualified applicants for missionary service, and to monitor their activity once on the mission field. Southern Baptist missionaries are held accountable in their personal lives, their financial lives and in their ministries. I know that the money I, or my church gives to Southern Baptist work will be used in a manner that is uplifting to the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that our missionaries are held to a higher standard than many other agency missionaries are, and I appreciate that. While the Southern Baptist Convention is a huge organization, my church and I still have a voice and a vote in what takes place. Southern Baptist missionaries are OUR missionaries and they are accountable to US, and I like that. So, I will continue to support Southern Baptist mission and ministry causes above and before all others.

There are an abundance of wonderful ministries out there, but if you are a Southern Baptist, I would encourage you to support your own first. Give your tithe through your local church and celebrate the Cooperative Program. It’s our lifeline to world missions.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Kid's and Grandkid's, A Whirlwind Trip

Well, we made one of our famous 32 hour trips to see our family in the Ft. Worth area. We all met in Keller, including my mom, and had a great time! Here are a few photos I wanted to share.
A couple of quick slides before the rain began.
Grandma C gave baby Drew a new monkey blanket for his bed.
Gram made this beautiful crocheted blanket for baby Drew. She made one for Thatcher and Ashtyn when they were born, so now all three have a special keepsake.Gram gets one of many double hugs that made the trip all worth while.Gram made Ashtyn a special blanket for her baby doll. It matches the one Gram made for her when she was born.Grandmother is helping Thatcher open his special gift, a new bull dozer.After lunch on Saturday, Gram and mommies went shopping so Grandpa, daddies and kids went to Cabela's. We got to see some very big fish!Thatch and Ash enjoyed looking at the stuffed animals.Wow! Look at the size of those trout. There almost as big as the ones Grandmother caught a couple of weeks ago!Ashtyn isn't sure if she's a princess or Tinker Bell, or what, but she said she didn't like this dress. I think she'd rather wear a basketball uniform.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 Remembering The Day

9-11-01 It's a day we'll always remember. Where were you when you first heard the news that day? You remember exactly, don't you? It impacted your life. It's burned into you memory. Now, the big question. Where were you when you met Jesus Christ and invited Him into your life? Don't remember? Must not have happened.

When you meet the King of kings, you'll know it, and never forget. On this day of remembrance, remember the attacks on America. Remember those who gave their lives in the attacks. Remember the men and women serving in our armed forces. But, also make this a day when you remember the most impacting death ever: the death of Jesus Christ. America has risen from the ashes of 9-11-01, but even more dramatically Jesus Christ has risen from the dead!

So, as you remember 9-11-01 also remember the day of your salvation. Give God thanks today that even in your sin, He loved you and gave himself for you. If you've never accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, take a moment and pray. Ask God to forgive you of your sin. Turn from your sinful ways and turn to His word, the Bible, for His divine direction. As God moves in your life, it will be a day you will never forget. It will be a day that impacts not only your life here on earth, but for all eternity.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Questions of Forgiveness and Judgement

Thank you who follow my blog. I agree with much that has been said and thank everyone for their comments (and Bill for finally signing up).

One problem that I often see as a pastor is Christians who know they have messed up never really ask for forgiveness. They assume that they haven't hurt anyone, or a least only a limited few. They may ask God for forgiveness and maybe the limited few, but they never consider that their actions often have far reaching effects. Extended family, church friends, and even fellow workers may have had their lives impacted by a negative decision or action of another, but we tend to ignore their pain. We hide behind our pride and never say, "I really messed up. Please forgive me for hurting you." We simply ignore the pain we've caused others and go into denial mode. We become paranoid that others are talking about us and run for cover. We may leave the church, break fellowship with relatives, or even move to another town to escape the feelings of guilt, when all that may have been necessary is to ask for forgiveness. I believe most are willing to forgive, and don't need to know all the gory details. A simple statement of repentance and request for forgiveness is usually enough. It might go something like this, "You know, I really messed up. I know I've hurt you and I am truly sorry. I ask you to forgive me and pray for me as I walk through this difficult time."
Other times I have seen Christians try to forgive those whom have hurt them, and the forgiveness is ignored or unaccepted. The lifeline is thrown out and the sinking Christian is so overcome by guilt, pride, or whatever that they are unwilling to reach out an take hold. The Christian offering forgiveness is then in a dilemma. Do I continue to try and forgive while being ignored, or do I simply give up and move on? Unfortunately, it is usually the latter.

Concerning judgement, we are not to judge the pagan. God alone knows the heart. However, the New Testament clearly teaches that the church is to maintain a high level of accountability among those claiming to be God's children. Speaking of Christians, Jesus said "By their fruit you will recognize them." (Mat. 7:20) We are accountable to one another for the fruit we bear. We are also accountable by the life we lead. Paul speaks judgmentally toward members of the church at Corinth in 2 Cor. 12: 20-21. Also, 1 Cor. 5 speaks directly to this issue. Please take time to read it in its entirety, but Paul completes this chapter with these words "What business is it of min to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you." In Acts 5, Ananias and Sapphira (both were a part of the church) were admonished by Peter for their behavior. To the young pastor, Titus, Paul warned, "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him." (Titus 3:10)

Of course, the accountability we are to hold each other to is tempered by repentance and forgiveness. 2 Cor. 2:7-8 teaches that we must be ready to "forgive and comfort" those who repent so that they'll not be "overwhelmed by excessive sorrow" and that we should reaffirm our love for them. Galatians 1:1-2 says that when we have judged a fellow Christian, we should seek to restore them gently. In Thessalonians 5:15 Paul teaches that we should "never pay back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other."

So yes, we are to judge one another (hold one another accountable), not to our standards, but to God's. His word, the Bible is our standard of living. All of us fall short, but when we do we need to hold one another accountable: in a loving manner; striving toward forgiveness; and motivated by restoration.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Question of Forgiveness

From My Heart to Yours---

It happens quite often. One person says something, does something, or fails to act a certain preconceived way and someone else is offended. Suddenly, best friends are at odds with one another. Many times this senerio leads to hurt feelings, anger and downright hostility. We expect this in worldly settings; but in the church? Is this an expectation that we have of those who have been miraciously forgiven and birthed into the family of Almighty God? Unfortunantly, it happens in our church families on a regular basis.

Here are a couple of observations from one who has been a pastor for almost two decades. First, it is almost impossible to motivate those who have been offended to approach the situation from a Biblical model. In Matthew 18 Jesus said, "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But, if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church..." (vs. 15-17)

In my tenure as a pastor, I have noticed that most Christians find it easier to complain behind the back of those involved or simply ignore the conflit even exists than to walk through this Biblical model. Neither of these preceived resolutions are right, nor Biblical. The correct proceedure for dealing with conflict within the church is clearly stated by our Lord in the passage found in Matthew 18.

When a Christian is motivated to follow Christ's admonition, it is troubling to see that a second breech of Christian life usually takes place. Again, as a pastor it has been my observation through the years that when one Christian approaches another with a heart bent toward conflict resolution, the second party is usually not willing to listen. Rather than resolution, the outcome is more likely to be greater conflict. Someone it seems, always becomes defensive. Rather than having a heart of forgiveness and resolution, a heart of bitterness rises. This is when anger and hostility begin to penetrate the lives of those who have been called to holiness. It is during this time that the effectiveness of witness is diminished or lost. It is now when the joy of our salvation is stolen away by the decitfulness and deception of the devil. Wonderful Christian servants have had their ministry and testimony destroyed by this tactic of Satan. Some have left the fellowship of the church, never to return, simply because they were too proud to face truth, deal with reality and forgive in a manner similar to the way God had always forgiven them.

Of course, people of our day are not the first to face these frustrations. Even before the first New Testament church was formed, Christ was dealing with these issues. His own apostles didn't understand his teachings concerning conflict resolution, so immediately they came to him and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven?" (Matthew 18:21)

You see, the fact is we don't like to forgive. We'd rather sulk in our own self pity and hibernate in our own cavern of unmercifulness. We'd rather throw away all of the joy of salvation than to follow the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus knew we wouldn't want to confront one another with the differences we might have. So, he made it very simple as he responded to Peter and the apostles, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven."

If every Christian could grasp this simple command and live accordingly, we'd never have to confront one another. We'd simply forgive and move on with our lives, loving one another with all of the compassion of our Lord. But, Jesus didn't leave it there. He then told a parable about a lord who forgave his servants, but one of the servants was then unwilling to follow the lord's example. The servant refused to forgive a neighbor of a simple debt. When the lord heard of the servant's unwillingess to follow his example, the lord "in anger turned him over to the jailers to be tortured..."

Then Jesus gave us this stern warning, "This is how the heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." (emphasis mine, Mat. 18:23-35)

What part of this teaching do we not understand?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Diving Cousins

Well, it's been a year since these pictures were taken while in Cozumel, but you can see that our grandkids are following in the footsteps, or fin kicks, of Gram and Grandpa.
They are water lovers and have already begun their diving adventures.
In these photos they are 1 1/2 years old.
Thatcher (l) and Ashtyn (r) make Cozumel even more beautiful.
Thatcher, with mommy and daddy, on his first dive.
Ashtyn, with her mommy and daddy, on her first dive.
(I think mommy is hurting.)
Just after completing his safety stop, Thatcher breaks the surface.

Ashtyn says, "I think I like this scuba diving thing."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Leading Children To Faith In Jesus Christ

Often I am approached by parents who ask me to sit down with their children and share with them how they can come to faith in Jesus Christ. While I love to lead others to Christ, and always want to visit with those who have professed faith in Christ prior to their baptism, I would much rather parents personally lead their children to Jesus. Most of the time parents are reluctant because they are afraid they'll say the wrong thing or they simply don't know how to go about it. Here is a link that will help you share Jesus with your children. It encompasses some of the same methods that I have used over the years and is easy to understand. I encourage you to check it out.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Divers in the Deep

People have asked, "we love the photos, but how do we know that you and Reva really even dive? We don't see any photos of the two of you." The centurion said to Jesus, "I believe, but help my unbelief."
Well, I guess you'll just have to trust us, but here are a couple of photos to help your unbelief.
This is Reva on our checkout dive in front of the Baracuda Hotel in Cozumel.
This is me, Mitch, diving on Columbia Deep Reef.
This is our divemaster, Julio, wearing his new brightly colored wet suit (so we can identify him easily) diving on Dalila Reef.

Cozumel 2009

Reva and I had the privilege of vacationing in one of our favorite places in all the world, Cozumel, Mexico. Our thanks to David Hammer, owner of Casa Martillo ( and Apple Applegate, proprietor of Dive Paradise ( for making this a week to remember. Of course we'd be remiss if we didn't give a big thank you to Julio, our dive-master extraordinaire. We've been diving with Julio for five years now and highly recommend him if you're headed to Cozumel. Fifteen dives in seven days yielded many mediocre photographs, some that are okay, and a few that turned out pretty good. We hope you enjoy looking at them as much as we did taking them.
All were taken with a Canon SD1200IS with built in flash.

Here we are at Popeye's. The best shrimp cocktail on the island.

We're on the windward side of the island. Check out the sign.

Turtle on Columbia Shallows Reef

Splendid Toad Fish found only on the reefs of Cozumel.
This one was found at the San Francisco Wall.
Spotted Drum Fish (adult) at Punta Tuniche (Rocky Point) Reef.
Beautiful Sponge at Columbia Deep

The "Deadliest Catch" Nice Crab on Columbia Shallows Reef.

Beautiful Color on Delila Reef

Octopus settled down in its hole on Dalila Reef

Reva's favorite fish. A Squirrel Fish. "They're so ugly, they're cute," she says.

I think this may be a type of Rabbit Fish, but not sure. Anyone out there who recognizes it, please let me know. Photo was taken on the French Lady Reef.

Seascape at the French Lady Reef

Queen Angel Fish on Palancar Bricks Reef.
Spotted Eagle Ray gliding over the sands next to Palancar Bricks Reef.

Look closely or you may miss the file fish at the top of San Francisco Wall.

Here's a Lion Fish. They are said to be taking over the reefs and if not controlled quickly they will wipe out all reef fish. They are not indigenous to the Caribbean and have no real predators there. They've been brought in via the ballasts of cargo ships and dumped. All dive-masters are now carrying plastic bags and trying to catch them. They are poison, so you can't touch them. Julio says he is saving them to make ceveche for his mother-in-law!

The sponge is coming back beautifully at Santa Rosa Wall.

A Red Hind blends in with the sponge and coral on Santa Rosa Wall.

Can you find the sea horse hiding at Villa Blanca Reef?

Long Nose Sea Horse on the sands beside Tormentos Reef. Very unusual to see them out in the open like this.
One Eyed Butterfly Fish on Tormentos Reef

Black & White Spotted Moray Eel on Tormentos Reef