Monday, June 26, 2017

A Trip To Virginia - Part 2

Aloha friends!
How have you been? Here's the second part about our trip to Virginia. Enjoy!
The morning of May 22nd (Monday) found us meeting the group at Hopkins Green in Lexington, Virginia. Everyone received earphones so we could all listen to Mr. Potter speak as he led the tour around the city. The first place he led us to was the Lexington Presbyterian Church where he talked about Thomas Jackson's affiliation with that church. In fact, it was at that church that he started a Sunday school for black slaves.
 The next stop was Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson's house where a tour was given. I wasn't able to get very many pictures of the inside of the house, but here's one of the outside that I found online.
This typical Federal-style town house, with a later stone addition, was the home of Thomas Jonathan Jackson and his wife, Mary Anna. They lived here with five of their six slaves before the Civil War. After her husband's death in 1863, Mrs. Jackson kept the house as a rental property until 1906. She sold it to the United Daughters of the Confederation to use as a community hospital. The house served as Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital for nearly fifty years and underwent many changes before becoming a museum. 
The Jackson house was restored in 1979 to look as it did when the Jacksons lived here, and underwent additional renovations in 2004. 
 There was a sizeable garden in the back of the house with strawberries plants that were ripe with berries, as well as many beautiful flowering plants.

  After finishing the tour at the Jackson house, the group walked a few blocks away to the cemetery where Thomas Jackson is buried. Notice the lemons in front of the monument-Jackson really liked them.
 Here's a little history: Thomas Jackson is best known for his leadership of Confederate troops during the American Civil War, and especially for his celebrated Valley Campaign of 1862. Thomas Jackson was a country boy from (West) Virginia who became a graduate of the United States Military Academy and a hero of the Mexican War. In 1851 Major Jackson came to Lexington to teach Natural Philosophy at the Virginia Military Institute. Jackson left Lexington in April 1861, at the outbreak of war, and never returned alive. General Jackson's leadership earned him the admiration of his troops and lasting fame. He was fatally wounded on May 2, 1863, after he collaborated with General Robert E. Lee to achieve victory at the battle of Chancellorsville. Jackson's body was brought back to Lexington for burial. 
Moving on..... 
 A couple miles away was Washington and Lee University.
 We sat inside Lee chapel, which was constructed at the request of Lee while he was president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) after the Civil War, and listened as the curator talked a little about the building and its history. The following pictures are of Robert Lee and George Washington, and the marble sculpture of Robert Lee.  

 This marble sculpture of Robert E. Lee taking a nap on the battlefield was created by Edward Valentine.

There were many plaques on the wall like the one above and I asked about them. The historian of the museum told me the history of this particular plaque. Kiffin Yates Rockwell was the first American pilot to shoot down a German plane in World War I.

This room located in the church was Lee's study.

The Virginia Military Institute was just down the street from Washington and Lee University.

The four cannons in front of the Institute were named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John by Col. William Nelson Pendleton and the seminary students. They were donated to VMI by President Zachary Taylor in 1850. 
After leaving VMI, we attended a small ice cream social hosted by one of the families who had been on the previous tour.

Hopefully I'll be able to share part 3 very soon. I had originally planned to add the historical information we learned on the trip in these posts, but sadly, the notebook I took notes in was lost. 

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Praying With Eyes Wide Open ~ Book Review

Hello Friends!
I apologize I have been rather absent on the blog lately. June has been such a busy month and our Wi-Fi hasn't been working properly right now, so the posts may be a bit sporadic. I have a book review to share today, which I hope you enjoy.
"Praying With Eyes Wide Open" 
By: Sherry Harney
 About the book: 
Often we view prayer as an activity reserved for a certain time, in a certain place, offered in a specific way. But Scripture encourages us to pray continually. This exhortation is an opportunity for prayer to permeate every aspect of our lives--when we're alone or in a crowd, when it's quiet and when it's chaotic, when we feel like it and when we don't.
Praying with Eyes Wide Open shows us how to make continuous prayer a natural part of our lives rather than something on our daily spiritual checklist. It helps us encounter God in new ways as we learn to 
- open our eyes to see his presence and the world around us
- open our ears to hear his voice
- open our hearts to experience freedom and power as we pray
- and open our lives as we pray for and with others

Do you want a richer, more transformative prayer life? This fresh take on conversing with your Creator is just what you need.

"Praying With Eyes Wide Open" was a really good book. The author divided this book into four sections: Praying With Eyes Wide Open, Praying With Ears Wide Open, Praying With Hearts Wide Open, and Praying With Lives Wide Open. Each chapter includes four small topics. My favorite sections in Praying With Hearts Wide Open were "The Father is Fond of You", "Warfare Prayer", and "Replace Worry With Prayer." Sometimes we Christians just come to God with our requests and have just a monologue with Him. But we need to have a dialogue with God because He is our Father. And because He is our Father, He likes spending time and talking with us. One of the quotes I really liked in the section on "Replace Worry With Prayer" was this. "Thankfulness is one of the keys to overcome the power of worry." Everything is in God's hands, and we can be thankful He has everything under control, even things we don't understand.
Sometimes it's necessary to pray with our eyes closed, but when we pray with our eyes wide open, we can pray anytime during the day, even in the midst of our busy schedules. I also liked how it suggested using landmarks to remind yourself to pray. For example, if you drive past an unsaved relative's house every day, you can pray for their salvation as you pass it.
This was such an encouraging book that challenged me to pray more, and not just pray with my eyes closed. But pray with my eyes, ears, heart, and life wide open.
The author used plenty of Scripture references, which I appreciate, but they were quoted from the NIV, which I didn't care for. I give this book 4 stars. 

*I was given a free copy of this book from Baker Books.*

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Summer Devotions Pursuit Challenge

Loving the Lord Ministries is once again hosting their yearly summer devotions pursuit challenge-a special time of seeking Jesus from June 1st-August 31st.
Even though it started on June 1st, it's not too late to join! You can easily make up the time for the past 3 days. Here are the rules:

Who: You and Jesus
Where: Wherever you are
When: June 1st-August 31st

What is involved?
-Spend at least 15 minutes a day in devotions with the Lord. Your devotions can include: prayer, Bible reading, and study. (Do at least 5 minutes of Bible reading during this time.)
-Memorizing 1 verse a week and recite it to your accountability partner
-Choose and contact an accountability partner at least once every 2 weeks to check up on daily devotions and memorizing. If you don't get all 15 minutes in on one day, you can make them up the following day, or by the end of the week. At the end of the week, you should have a total of at least 105 minutes. You must be caught up with all your memorizing by the end of each month.
...and an amazing summer with Jesus! You can print off this chart to keep track of your time and memorized Bible verses. Click here to print the chart.

Reward: (optional) When you complete the Summer Pursuit Challenge, you send in your chart by September 7th, and you receive a special surprise package in the mail, in addition to the best reward of knowing Jesus better!

I hope you will join me for an amazing summer of pursuing Christ, growing deeper in your relationship with Jesus, and experiencing His sweet goodness every day. He will meet with you-and you'll never be the same.

For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.
~Psalm 107:9~