words :: books :: ideas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Concerning Horses

"Do you give the horse his might?
Do you clothes his neck with a mane?
Do you make him leap like the locust?
His majestic snorting is terrifying.
He paws in the valley and exults in his strength..."
- Job 39:19-21

"His delight is not in the strength of the horse...
but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love."
-Psalm 147:10-11

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let It Snow

Most of the students left to travel or have gone home for Christmas. Here at the castle, it is only those who will stay over winter break to work as staff for the holiday conferences. Last week, as all the students packed and cleaned for the break, we were delighted by a flurry of snow. That flurry was just the sneak preview. This morning we awoke to the real thing coming down. It continued all morning leaving us with this:

I feel like I live in Narnia.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

To the Ruins

[directions in the form of prepositional phrases.]

Out the gate,
Up the road,
Over the fence,
Onto the footpath,
Between the branches,
Through the mud,
Across the field,
Toward the horses,
Beside the hedge,
Past the dirt mounds,
Along the trail,
Around the bend,
Into the yard,
Near the shed,
Until the stream,
Beyond the bridge,
[turn at the bathtub,]
By the sheep,
Atop the hill,
Amid the trees,
To the ruins.

[of what, we are not certain.]

Thankful for a Saturday of sunshine and good company.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


It was a good day.

[Thanks for being our chauffeur and photographer, Norbert.]

Complete with staying up until midnight the night before, waking up to a sign that read, "Happy Birthday, Hannah!", many similar wishes at breakfast and throughout the day [plenty of hugs too], opening parcels from the fam and presents from the roommates, a seminar on finances during which I was crowned with a lovely tiara [and not allowed to remove it nearly the entire day], lunch at The White Eagle [BBQ chicken, chips, and salad], Cricket practice in the afternoon [no new bruises, which is great because I still have some from last week], standing on my chair while everybody sagn to me at tea [they nearly forgot], finding notes and gifts every time I checked my pigeon hole [which was frequently], practicing the Christmas programme [knitting during the scenes without me], "baking" in the microwave [digestives and Mars Bars!], talking with the family, watching You've Got Mail, and staying up until midnight again.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Queue Up

Sometimes, the cows stand in a row.

Sometimes, the sheep do too.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Back

Thanksgiving is a different sort of celebration this year. I am in a foreign land that doesn’t observe the American holiday. I am apart from my family. Many of the traditions will not take place today. Lectures took place as normal. In many ways, it feels just like another day.
This divergence from my usual festivity is difficult, but it is also good. The change and lack of traditions makes me think more about the reason to celebrate. I have so many reasons to be thankful.
Especially this reason:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Capernwray Panthers

I never thought I could like a sport more than Ultimate Frisbee, but Cricket may be that sport.
Bat and Ball
I am officially on one of two school teams, the Capernwray Panthers. We lost the match last night to the top team in our league, but did win our first game.

The Wicket.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Clock Towers of Edinburgh

This is for you, Lady Greenleaf. Every time I see a clock tower I think of you.

Actually, just about everything makes me think of you. Tea, knitting, slippers, houndstooth coats (and goats), detectives, swords, cowboys, squirrels with accents, firearms, castles, books, boots, Texas, etc.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Morning and Evening

The castle I live in technically isn't a castle--it's a manor. This, however, is a real castle.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Where I Need To Be

There is a Gary Allan song entitled something along the lines of “Right Where I Need To Be.” Today, that is exactly where I am.

If ever I doubt God’s plan for my year at Capernwray, I have simply to recall “the wondrous works that He has done” (Psalm 105:5).

It was about a year and a half ago that I really decided I wanted to attend Bible School at Capernwray Hall. The idea had wandered on the outskirts of my mind for some time before then, but I’d never seriously considered it could happen.

Ten months ago I applied, asking God that if He wanted me to attend, He would allow me to be accepted. In January, I received the response.

All through the next months, I was uncertain if I would actually be able to go. It simply did not look possible. I considered whether I should wait a year. I spent many nights wrestling with what would be the best decision. Continually, I had to refocus my attention.

Even two weeks before my flight was scheduled to leave, I did not know if it would be possible. The 26th of September, I knew would be an important day. Either I would be in England, or I would be wishing I was.

In the end, God arranged every detail. And here I am.

Honestly, I don’t think there is any place in the world that I would rather be. There is such joy in knowing I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Lot Of...

My English teacher told me not to use the phrase 'a lot.' But I am going to anyway. A lot.

Here in England, there is a lot of grey sky. We have a lot of rain. We also have a lot of sunshine. Sometimes we have a lot of rainbows. Compared to many, I don't have a lot of roommates. Above are two-thirds of them. They are from Canada. There are a lot of Canadians here. There are also a lot of people from the US.

There is a lot of green here. There are a lot of hills. There are a lot of stone walls. There are a lot of sheep. And a lot of cows. But mostly a lot of sheep.

I like this place a lot.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

And I'll Dedicate This One To...

...the Lady Greenleaf.

You are welcome to come visit me in this very green place (and write a novel under a tree).

Let's visit English castles and wear Texan boots.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Live...


Well, technically I live under here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


I am off on one! I now live with 180 students from around the world. In a castle. On a hill. In England. With lots of sheep.

Expect pictures soon.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Student Visa

As you probably know, I'm attending Bible School in England this year. Because I am going to be studying in the UK for an extended period of time, I need a Student Visa.

After sending in my Visa application around three weeks ago, I received an email from the
British Consulate last Thursday stating that it had been received. They said the application had been entered into their system, but that it might be ten business days before it was assessed--due to the high volume of applications, it might be longer. Ten business days from last Thursday is the day my flight leaves for England.

Needless to say, I've been praying about it for the past several days and seeking to trust Him in the midst of my worries.

On Sunday, the elders at church and several friends joined me in prayer about my Visa. One prayed that it would come "tomorrow" (Monday), but I don't actually need it until the 24th and didn't expect it. Upon arriving home from work yesterday, however, I discovered another email from the British Consulate. They said that my Visa had been issued and would be sent to me directly. This evening, I opened a package with my approved Student Visa.

"Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!" - Psalm 34:3

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Hopes and Dreams

In stories, a girl should be careful about which boy she hates, because she'll probably end up falling in love with him. That's the way it worked for Anne Shirley. Miss Elizabeth Bennet was not too fond of Mr. Darcy at first either.

I occasionally encounter people who imply that God always works in the same manner. A girl seems to think that because she wants to become a missionary in China, God will send her to Chile [which, by the way, is where you should start if you want to dig to China]. She hopes to do one thing, so expects God will have her do something else. It is almost as if God is "out to get her."

Certainly, at times God has us do things we would not at first want. We grow through such opportunities. He can change our hearts and give us new desires.

This is not, however, always the way God works.

Sometimes God fulfills our dreams. He may use us in areas of service for which we have long hoped. God has satisfied a number of my desires of late. From traveling to Texas, to serving with Worldview Academy, to the anticipation of school in England, God is granting my wishes.

In some stories, the girl falls in love with...well, the boy she has always been in love with.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cricket, The Wonder Dog

March 13, 1995 - June 18, 2009
You were my favorite dog.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A mí me gusta español

For a translation in English, see below.
En enero, empecé estudiar español. Aprendiendo español me da una vista más grande de Dios.
El Dios yo sirvio es el Dios del mundo todo. Entiende cada idioma nosotros hablamos en esta tierra. Aunque leo las palabras de él en inglés, Jesús no habló inglés cuando vivó en la tierra. Pero ahora, él comprende cuando hablo en inglés. Comprende cuando hablo español también.
A veces, me gusta rezar en español. Generalmente, digo solamente, «Gracias para mi familia o esta comida.» Todavía, pienso lo a él le gusta.
Para una traducción en español, vea arriba.
In January, I began to study Spanish. Learning Spanish is giving me a bigger view of God.
The God I serve is the God of the whole world. He understands every language we speak on this earth. Although I read His words in English, Jesus did not speak English when He lived on earth. But now, He understands when I speak English. He understands when I speak Spanish as well.
Sometimes, I like to pray in Spanish. Generally, I only say, "Thank You for my family or this food." Still, I think it is pleasing to Him.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Read These

Please Note: This list is not complete, nor does it pretend to be. As they are discovered, more books will be added.
» Paradise Lost by John Milton
This book stretched my reading abilities like none before it. Written by a blind man in the 17th century, this 10, 560 line epic poem recounts the first several chapters of Genesis.
» To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Prior to reading this book, I did not understand that some people hate others based merely on the colour of their skin. It opened my eyes to the realities and horrors of racism. Harper Lee writes with a compelling Southern style.
» Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
One of the most moving books I have ever read, this book also touches on the subject of racism. For a short review, read my post entitled Comfort in Desolation.
» The Complete Father Brown by G.K. Chesterton
Chesterton's prose is like poetry to me. His manner of writing is simply excellent. The Father Brown mysteries are intriguing and delightful. The plain little priest with the brilliant detecting mind is a protagonist in short stories worth reading.
» Heaven by Randy Alcorn
Each of Randy Alcorn's works renews in me a longing for Heaven and eternity with the Person for whom I was created. Biblically answering questions I had never even thought of, this book made Heaven and the New Earth more of a reality for me.
» The Slumber of Christianity by Ted Dekker
Ted Dekker is known for his fast paced thrillers. I enjoyed a number of his earlier works, but stopped reading his novels because they got too graphic and gross. This non-fiction, however, encourages Christians to become excited about eternity with Jesus Christ. As the subtitle states, it "Awaken[s] a Passion for Heaven on Earth."

P.S. There are two books that every so often, I accidentally read again. When I see either Follow My Leader (by James Garfield) or Year of the Black Pony (by Walt Morey) sitting on the shelf as I contemplate my next read, I pick the book up with great danger to myself. I may start out simply flipping though the pages, recalling fond memories of reading them throughout my youth. Soon I am engrossed. Whereas most of the books listed on this page are intended for a bit more advanced reader, these two are children's books. I have probably read each one four or five times.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Crashing of Thunder

I just heard a severe weather warning for the first time in my remembrance. Grey clouds fill the sky overhead. The pines around my house sway in the strong winds. There is no rain yet, but the air is filled with swirling dust. Dead leaves left among the boughs blow across the deck.

It’s just after 5 o’clock on a June afternoon, and it’s already growing dark. When the lights in my bedroom blink, I tell my sister to turn off our desktop computers. A few heavy drops of rain begin to fall. This morning when we had a short shower, the songbirds rejoiced in the trees. No birds sing now.

I hear the first thunder growling from the south. The rain is uncertain; it pauses, then pours down for a couple minutes, coming and going. The thunder is growing closer. At last, the first flash of lightning illumines the sky. A moment later, thunder follows. Sirens wail not far away.

The rain now is what might be called a downpour. The cool shower cleanses the air, washing away the heat of the past several days. Its refreshing scent floods through my open window. Small rivers begin to form at the edges of the street. Another flash. One, one-thousand; two, one-thousand; three, one-thousand… I count to six before the thunder crashes. The booming lasts for nearly another six seconds.

I listen to more sirens, this time coming from the opposite direction. The distinct sound of a fire engine’s horn reminds me of the danger brought with this storm. I heard on the radio that a boy was struck with lightning last night.

A train whistle blows. It repeats itself again and again, gradually fading in the distance.
The sky lightens as coming nearly to a complete halt, the rain merely patters now. Several birds chirp, eager perhaps for the feast of worms that will surface.


Honestly, I fear yet delight in storms. Their power excites me. My favorite thing to do during thunderstorms is read the last few chapters of Job and the passages in the gospels where Jesus calms the storm. The elements may be mighty, but He is mightier still.
“He covers his hands with the lightning
and commands it to strike the mark.
Its crashing declares his presence…”
- Job 36:32-33

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Lone Star State

I have not posted in quite a long time. I am, however, doing so now. Although I generally reserve this blog for rather serious topics, I have considered for some time deviating from this pattern. As the name of this blog denotes, it is a place to record remembrances. As stated before, I am doing so now.

Bicycling home from school thirteen days ago, I discovered a message on our answering machine. In typical extended-family style, my grandma bought—unbeknownst to me—a ticket for me to fly to Austin the next Tuesday.

"Why?" you may ask.

A few days earlier, I had learned from my cousin’s blog that she would be accompanying our grandma from California to Texas for a week to visit our aunt and uncle. Naturally, I commented asking if I could come too. The cousin mentioned the comment to Grandma and Aunt. Apparently the answer was yes, as I’m sitting in Austin at the moment.

Doing something one has hoped for a long time to do can sometimes be disappointing as the imagination may create higher expectations than can be feasibly met. Not so now. Contrarily, I am more in love with Texas since visiting than ever I was in the past. The last few days have been some of the best I can recall.

This week has been filled from boot toes to the brim of a cowboy hat with such adventures as long drives to Fredericksburg, lobbying at the state capitol, attempting to whistle on lilac leaves, Texas Two-Steppin’ at the Broken Spoke, drinking tea while watching ridiculous movies, trying on $1,000+ cowboy boots, remembering the Alamo from within its walls, attending Cowboy Church, and eating barbecue. Lots and lots of barbecue.

I pretty much have the best family ever. Also, really cool boots.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

   Of late, I have been coming more fully to the realization that God is God of the whole earth. He is not just a local deity; rather, Jesus "ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation" (Revelation 5:9).

   Next year I am going to go to a school in a different country full of people from all over the world. We may be from various continents, but we have something in common: Jesus. And ultimately, our citizenship is in the same country: Heaven.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It Came.

As I sat at my desk, studiously completing my algebra homework, I heard the familiar thump of the mailbox closing—the postman delivering letters. I considered getting up, then thought better. No, the letter I’m waiting for won’t arrive for another week. I continued solving the equation before me.

Some time later, my mother appeared at the bedroom door, distributing the mail. She handed me an envelope. It was the size of envelope that contains an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper folded in half. The postmark was foreign. This was the envelope.

A prayer in my heart, I reached for my knife and slit the envelope along the end. I withdrew the letter. Tears pooled in my eyes as I gazed at three words: Official Acceptance Letter.

That’s right, I’m going to Capernwray.