Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Happenings of the Month: August 2016

Happenings of the Month Aug 2016

Entertainment of the Month:

  • Movies/TV

Ben-Hur. I am so excited about this movie, people. It came out the 19th, I saw it shortly thereafter, and it was fabulous.

Funny story, actually: the power went out all across our area right near the end of the movie, meaning I didn't get to see the last part. I've never experienced that before. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the film. Ben-Hur is based on a book written in 1880. It's a classic that I fully intend to read now. It was, in fact, so popular, that a play, a silent movie, and a film have all been made from it. The most famous is the 1959 movie that went on to win huge acclaim and several awards. This latest movie was not intended to be a remake of the 1959 version but rather a different approach to the story from the book. Ben-Hur tells the story of two brothers, Judean prince Judah Ben-Hur (played by Jack Huston) and adopted Roman Messala Severus (played by Toby Kebbell). Torn apart by a terrible choice, the love between them warps to hatred, and Judah is out for revenge. Interwoven with the Crucifixion of Jesus, though, this story is about forgiveness, redemption, and unconditional love. There is a lot of material that I wish had been expanded, and I think it could have benefitted from being longer. Nonetheless, I was deeply moved by the story and have every intention of seeing it again.

  • Books

I'm not usually into classic mystery novels, but Rules of Murder, written by Julianna Deering in a style that hearkens back to that era, absolutely captured my heart. In 1930's England, Drew Farthering has little to concern him. He's got plenty of money, an opening at his father's company when he wants it, and good friend in his pal Nick, the butler's son. His only worry is his mother's reputation and the seeming blindness of his stepfather. When two people are murdered at the Farthering home, though, Drew finds himself embroiled in an ever-escalating mystery. With the help of Nick and American Madeline Parker, he's determined to solve the case, but what he finds may turn his whole world upside down. I was pulled into the pages of this story from the beginning, with its excellent twists, loveable characters, witty dialogue, and a subtle and organic faith element. It manages to be lighthearted and deep all at the same time, and I look forward to the rest of the series.

In an entirely different style, I also really enjoyed Secret Heroes of World War II, by Eric Chaline. It gave quick features on a bunch of different behind-the-scenes heroes of WWII, from scientists like Enrico Fermi to secret agents like Christine Granville to pilots like Douglas Bader. I love stuff about WWII, and this book, written in a very likeable style, gave me a great introduction to a lot of people and operations that I didn't know about.

  • Music

"Ceasefire" - for King and Country – 1) I love for King and Country, and this is an awesome song, and 2) this is what convinced me that I wanted to see Ben-Hur. I've basically had it on repeat for the last week.

"Afraid" - Tenth Avenue North – This song tackles the issue of fear and how we don't have to be afraid, because we have a sure Hope.

"When She Loved Me" - BYU Vocal Point – Though this song is originally from Toy Story 2, this feels like an entirely different song to me. Nonetheless, it's still a haunting melody full of beautiful harmonies.

My Life This Month:

Back to school. Yay! Back to school. Yikes! Though I didn't get back to college classes until this week, this month has nonetheless been filled with getting ready for and stressing about it. This included scrambling for a properly-colored notebook at the store, repacking my emergency bag, and buying so many textbooks. The start of school was then filled with hunting for a parking space, having my hair whipped about by a vicious wind, feeling my backpack strap snap and fall to the ground, and experiencing a bit of a panic attack after Anatomy and Physiology. A stressful day, for sure. It did have its highlights, though. I'm taking History (yay!!!), and ASL turned out to be wonderful and not nearly as scary as I was anticipating.

The other day, my sister and I went off-roading (of a sort), and, frankly, I was not convinced we were going to make it home. I was terrified. My reactions, unfortunately, did nothing to help my sister, but I was scared. By the grace of God, we did make it out unharmed. I even got some gorgeous pictures.

My small group just started using a new format, more-Bible and discussion-focused, and I'm really enjoying it so far. I've missed having depth of discussion there, and now I think we might have found a good start. It's nice to have a sense of belonging again. I've struggled with that, though, so we'll see if it stays.

Other Web Happenings:

9 "Church Approved" Sins that Plague Your Life | Frank Powell – A convicting look at the things Christians let slip by as "little sins"

Year of A Thousand Words: Live | Gillian Bronte Adams – In this highly encouraging post, Gillian wants to live fully in every moment, and she wishes the same for the rest of us.

Writing Contest: Light and Darkness | The Ink Loft – In case you missed it, I’m hosting a writing contest! I want to see stories that utilize shadow and light, darkness and bright, to heighten a story.

So, tell me, how was August for you? Read any good books? See any good movies? Did you go back to school? Tell me about it in the comments!


  1. I'm getting ready to teach this upcoming school year...including some of the biggest online classes I've had so far!

    I also read Vinegar Girl and loved it.

    1. Yikes! You're teaching online classes? What kind?

      Hmm, I haven't heard of Vinegar Girl. What's it about?

  2. Ooh, you're learning ASL? I just started doing an online course in that. It's fabulous.

    I don't think I read anything in August. o.o

    We started school on the first of August. xP It's been a bit stressful, but... Good. *nods*

    1. Forgive my reaction, but you're learning ASL via an online class? Do you have video interaction of some kind? This is my third semester of ASL, and, trust me, it requires an immense amount of interaction and practice. That being said, I really love it. I hope you do, too!

      Haha, I totally know how that happens!

      I can relate on the stress front! I'm glad you're finding the positive, though. I'm finally starting to. :)

      Thanks so much for commenting!

    2. Yeah. xP It doesn't have interaction with me, exactly, but it's videos of an instructor teaching one of his students, with a bunch of extra quizzes and material.
      I like it quite a bit. xP I don't expect to be fluent in ASL when I'm finished with this website (lifeprint.com) but it's a start!

      That's good. :-) It's hard to appreciate some school. xP

    3. Fascinating. I definitely encourage you to take advantage of any and all opportunities to sign. Teaching your siblings is super helpful! :D

  3. Ben Hur! I've seen the '59 film, and I've listened to the audio drama from Focus on the Family. I need to read the book sometime. Secret Heroes of WWII also sounds like something I need to read!
    While we're on the topic of reading, I finished two books these last few weeks of August: Call the Midwife and 20000 Leagues under the Sea! I had previously been in a reading rut, but then I took a holiday and internet hiatus.

    1. I own that radio drama! I'm planning to listen to it pretty soon. Right now I'm listening to Les Miserables. Yeah, I really enjoyed the WWII book. :)

      Interesting! I haven't read either one of those. Did you like them?

    2. I'm listening to Oliver Twist via the online episodes. Focus does such an amazing job with their radio dramas!

      I loved Call the Midwife, but 20000 Leagues under the Sea wasn't quite my favourite. I accidentally bought the abridged version.

    3. They really do! I'd like to get ahold of more. Huh, Oliver Twist was one of those books that I slogged through at points (mostly because of excessive description) but actually ended up enjoying.

      There's a BBC series based on Call the Midwife, right? I've wanted to see it. Have you? Oh no, not the abridged version! I think that happened to me with Pride and Prejudice. I'm getting ready to read the full version, actually. I haven't really gotten into Jules Verne, but I own a couple of his books, so I'll be reading them eventually. :D

    4. I haven't seen the BBC series, but it would be interesting to see how it compares with the book.
      Abridged books annoy me to no end. I have seen an abridged version of Les Miserables that looked only a cm or so thick! It's just not right!

    5. Oh my, I can't even imagine what they would cut to make it that thin! :D


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