The Queen’s Garden

I watched a documentary called The Queen’s Garden. 

It was all about Queen Elizabeth II’s garden at Buckingham Palace. 

Talk about a beautiful place!

There are hundreds of species of birds and woodland creatures in the garden. Not to mention thousands of species of bugs and fungi. 

And, of course, the garden is home to hundreds of various flowers.

Two of the flowers were actually created to commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and her 70th birthday. 

Another cool tidbit is that Queen Elizabeth has four beehives and several acres of mulberry bushes, which supply honey and berries for the royal family.

The garden is 40 acres and is one of the most beautiful sites in London. 

What I was most fascinated by is the history behind the garden–it goes all the back to Henry VIII! 

Can you imagine growing up with such a beautiful site as your playground?

English history has always intrigued me and The Queen’s Garden is well worth the watch. 

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A Redeemed Mind

I found some old history papers from college. Lots of memories came back! 

The rush of reaching the page requirements and thinking of the most academic way of saying something without sounding too boring.

What I remembered most is how much I enjoyed writing those papers. Every paper was an adventure–and I never minded the research, either. 

All of that reading and digging…

I was stretched in many ways during college, ways that I often miss now that I’ve graduated.

Of course, Rhema presents it’s own challenges. My spirit man is getting a real workout! The coolest thing is seeing how my time in a more “academic” setting is helping me now that I’m in Bible school.

The mind and the spirit are powerful when used together. 

Many don’t see it this way, but it’s true. It reminds me of a quote by R.C. Sproul:

An unlearned Christian is no match for a learned skeptic. 

Christians must be able to accurately discuss what they believe with others.

Notice that I didn’t say defend because I don’t believe it’s our job to defend the Scriptures. They have stood the test of time and can defend themselves. 

For the most part, people aren’t attacking the Bible–they just want you to explain it to them.

Most Christians, however, are quite terrible at engaging in conversations about their beliefs. They don’t know the scriptures, are not well read, and are downright mean in their approach to healthy discussions about faith. 

You can be a learned Christian and not:

  • Carry around a large family Bible
  • Talk in esoteric terms
  • Go to Bible school or seminary

 

Christians need to know that they don’t have to check their brains at the door when they accept Christ. 

No, no! Your redeemed mind is a valuable asset in the Kingdom of God.

 

The Giver

The Giver is a wonderful book. It’s a must read for kids and parents alike. 

I remember when it was part of the curriculum for our 5th grade class (at least I think it was 5th grade?).

A few years ago, The Giver was adapted into a movie and it really does the book justice. 

What intrigues me most about the story is how it approaches history and its affect on community. 

A world without color, without memory of the past, is unfathomable to me. 

A world without deep feelings and emotions sounds like a great idea, but it strips us of what it means to be human. 

These are not easy topics for a young adult fiction book to tackle!

Lois Lowry’s ability as an author to talk about tough, complex issues in a way that kids can understand amazes me. 

To watch Jonas, filled with the hopeful optimism of youth, bring history back to his world was an exciting journey to see on screen–just as much as it was to read!

I highly recommend the book and the movie. Just be prepared afterwards to think about the world and your part in it. 

I walked away with the same sense of awe after reading the book as I did when I watched the movie. 

Thoughts on Manor House 

I checked out Manor House from the library. 

If you’ve ever watched Downton Abbey or Upstairs Downstairs then you’d probably enjoy this show. 

It’s a reality show where a group of people volunteer to live for 3 months following 20th century Edwardian societal rules. 

The upper crust live the high life, but the staff? They’re struggling to cope under the strain of the workload. 

It’s hard for me as a young person in the 21st century to understand the rigors of the working class at that time…

Imagine working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for pennies per hour (servants were paid a lump sum per year).

Of course, times were different and that was a decent wage. The servants were also given shelter and food everyday, which was better than most people enjoyed. 

I appreciate history; however, I’m so glad to live in the 21st century!

Comedians and Cars

I’m a Seinfeld fan. The show is funny to me because it’s about nothing, which is how most days go, right?

It captures the story of “mundane” days. Maybe I’m giving the show too much credit, but I really enjoy it. 

Jerry Seinfeld’s newest show is also one of my favorites! It’s called Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. 

The show is literally about Jerry Seinfeld picking up various comedians in cool, vintage cars to grab a cup of coffee. 

When comedians hang out, you see the brains of comedy. You also laugh a lot. 

I’m not a big car person, but I enjoy learning about vintage cars. The history behind them fascinates me. 

For this reason, Jay Leno’s Garage is another show I enjoy. 

Comedians and cars…two things that apparently go together well. 

Who knew?

Give these shows a watch and let me know what you think. 

Christmas memories

Today I ate a Christmas burrito. 

My dad came up with the concept as a fun way to eat leftovers. 

Well, he learned about the English’s version called Bubble and Squeak from our friends, the Vospers. 

The idea of putting it in a tortilla was his own. 

We spent the day packing and purging after a small basement flood on Christmas night. (It came a bad storm that afternoon, which led to an overflow of water on our property.)

No worries, though, because it’s all been cleaned up now. Nothing major was lost to water damage. 

As tiring as the process has been, I’ve enjoyed working with my family and being around our house. 

My favorite part of the day was when my dad found an old journal from his 6th grade year. We read the entries aloud at lunchtime.

Let’s just say that my dad’s always been a funny guy. The journal was filled with pictures, misspelled words, and all the cuteness that comes with childhood. 

I’m not an overly sentimental, let’s keep everything kind of person, but finding this journal has me thinking:

We ought to keep some things from every part of our life. It’ll make for some great conversations later. 

Safety vs. Risk

The key word in terrorism is terror and the purpose of terror is to put fear in our hearts. 
The debate over the Syrian refugees really has me thinking….

Maybe all the articles and videos about ISIS turning us against the refugees isn’t that far off. 

Let’s look at the facts:

  1. Most of the terrorists were European nationals
  2. ISIS magazines and videos state that they want the Muslim world to hate the West
  3. The other outbreaks of ISIS related activity following the Paris attacks should not to be surprised since the point is evoking terror (and it worked so well the first time)
  4. Most of Europe–and now America–is not helping the refugees. 

With these facts in mind, is terrorism winning?

Our culture continues to respond exactly the way the enemy wants. 

Instead of talking out solutions, governors are making rash statements that lack  empathy and reek of platform building stances.  

These actions remind me of our nation’s–and the world’s history. 

Hasty judgment is prevailing. 

Ignoring the suffering refugees will not make this problem disappear. I recognize the concerns about safety. I want to be safe too. 

I’m torn, though, because helping the refugees means there’s a risk involved….

But isn’t there always a risk involved?

I don’t claim to have all the answers. The reason I’m writing this out is to think this issue through. 

I’m just wondering if our concerns and fears about safety are allowing the tenets of terrorism to prevail. 

What are your thoughts on this topic?