We Booked It

On Saturday we finally clicked on the purchase button for our flights to and from England come September. That first step is always the hardest for me. Now, Lord willing, we’ll be on that plane heading to London Heathrow in September. We also booked an apartment in the Jericho area of North Oxford for 11 nights. 2 bedrooms, full kitchen and living space.

The last time we were in Oxford was in July of 2014. We were only there for several hours and we talked about how much more there was to see and do in this college town and how we’d love to return. We planned our time in Oxford around an Open Day for the Colleges.

We’ll see what is blooming in September compared to July.

Besides Oxford we are venturing back to Canterbury for 2 nights. The photo above is of Dear and me in Canterbury in 1973 or 1974. We will be staying on the Cathedral grounds this time around. From Heathrow we’ll travel to Canterbury and then after 2 nights travel to Oxford for our 11 night stay there. While in Oxford we will explore some neighboring areas on some day trips by bus or train. We are not renting a car.

Update: A woman’s prerogative to change her mind. In thinking about jetlag we are changing our plans and not traveling to Canterbury on this trip. Just thinking about the tube/train and hours it would take was daunting to my brain. We are choosing someplace on the Oxford side of Heathrow to travel to and enjoy for the first two days, instead.

We are excited and Dear is feeling the pressure to finish the construction of his shop by September. Now I’ll look into booking tours of places like “The Kilns” and also some walking tours. We are planning on signing up for a tour with “Go Cotswolds”, too. Decisions, decisions…

So here are some quotes from C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dorothy Sayers, G.K. Chesterton, all who spent some time in Oxford. There is a Library in Oxford that houses a G.K. Chesterton Collection that we hope to visit.

From Letters to Malcolm, by C.S. Lewis;

“If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart.” And equally, if our heart flatter us, God is greater than our heart. I sometimes pray not for self-knowledge in general but for just so much self-knowledge at the moment as I can bear and use at the moment; the little daily dose.

Have we any reason to suppose that total self-knowledge, if it were given us, would be for our good? Children and fools, we are told, should never look at half-done work; and we are not yet, I trust, even half-done. You and I wouldn’t, at all stages, think it wise to tell a pupil exactly what we thought of his quality. It is much more important that he would know what to do next…

The unfinished picture would so like to jump off the easel and have a look at itself!”

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song over hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”~J.R.R.Tolkien

“He admires, but he won’t clap, which must be very discouraging” Dorothy Sayers in her book, Documents in the Case. This speaks to me on how important spoken or written encouragement is.

“Man is more himself, man is more manlike, when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.” G.K. Chesterton

Enjoy the last week of February!

Thoughtful Thursday

On Tuesday we met with the pastor and deacons of First Baptist Colville to give our testimonies for consideration for church membership. I rewrote my testimony to share with the deacons.

Nestled close to  Kings Canyon National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada is the Youth Camp that I was able to attend in 1963, 1965 and 1967. I was 12, 14, and 16 during these wilderness adventures.

I was raised in a family who attended church regularly and often, very religious. The church I was raised in gave me the impression that because I was Russian and a member of their church that I had an exclusive connection with God. What I learned at Bible Camp was that the only exclusive connection I could have to God was through Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. Being Russian and being a part of my father’s religion did not give me a direct link to God. In 1963 at Hume Lake while listening to a speaker talk about Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross to save sinners I was moved to step out and become a follower of Jesus. God’s plan of salvation was exclusively through his perfect son Jesus, who is fully God and came to earth to live a perfect life among us and be the perfect sacrifice for our sins. I knew I was one of those sinners and I needed a Savior. This decision began a journey of ups and downs, highs and lows, but a journey forward with my God and Savior. When I began my new life following Jesus I was clothed with His righteousness and reconciled to God. I continue on this walk, never perfectly but with God’s grace I carry on. He will be teaching me by His Holy Spirit all the days of my life. My God and Savior is and will be faithful to see me through all of my life on this earth and I look forward with the Hope of seeing Him face to face in heaven. During this same year, 1963, my father began his journey of following Jesus after hearing Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum share the truth of Jesus Christ and why He came to earth over 2000 years ago. 1963 was an epic year for me and my family. For my father and me we became part of God’s movement of love and grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My mother was a follower of Jesus when she married my father. My two older sisters had started following Jesus before my father and me.

I’ll share this verse that Billy Graham proclaims in every interview I’ve ever heard him give. John 14:6 (ESV) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

High School scanned4HUME LAKE CHRISTIAN CAMP 1967

Fresh quotes from my reading this week and a quote from Dorothy Sayers that I read on Thistle Cove Farm blog:

“It is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but men to Christ.” ~ Dorothy Sayers

Form Piper, Taste and See:

“We should continually look to the cross and the work of God in Christ because this is where God makes the light of the gospel shine. If we become excessively introspective and analyze our emotions too much, we will sink into hopeless doubts because the self-authenticating light shines not from within us, but from Christ in the gospel. We must look outside ourselves to Christ and his work if we hope to have assurance sustained inside ourselves.”

Second, we should continually pray for God to enlighten the eyes of our hearts.

Third, we should express our trust in Christ by loving each other.”

1 John 3:14 ~ We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”

Hope you have time to pause and consider what God has done for you on this Thoughtful Thursday.

It’s All About Books…

Hay on Wye 013You know you are in Wales when you start seeing signs in English and Welsh and of course the Welsh is listed first. We traveled from Ross-on-Wye to Hay-on Wye which is situated in the southern part of Wales.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye1Hay-on-Wye is the town of books. We have always enjoyed spending time in used book stores so visiting this town was a no-brainer.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye3Murder and Mayhem was the only bookstore that we bought a book in. We found a paperback by Dorothy Sayers who is a famous British author and a friend of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye2The town was easy to see in a day and we enjoyed our time there but it’s not one of the towns we’d want to take the time to re-visit.

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2014-07-12 Hay on WyeWe enjoyed a wonderful cup of coffee and a scone with clotted cream and strawberry jam at Oscar’s. Delicious!

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Hay on Wye 051The day we visited Hay we ended up enjoying a local flea market and also visiting thrift stores, besides enjoying the used book stores.

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye4

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye5

2014-07-12 Hay on Wye6The drive to and from Hay-on-Wye was filled with lovely views. We stopped at a grocery store on the way home to buy some take-away complete meals to warm up at Eastview.

2014-07-12 take away dinne1Next up on our time in this part of England would be a trip to Hereford to see the Cathedral.

How was your last weekend of Summer? We were busy at this old house. Dear is almost done with the “fixes” in our bathroom and soon I’ll be sharing the finished project with you and thankfully no Murder or Mayhem was involved except reading a fine murder mystery to escape it all.