Ziphen Central

Seeking Wisdom and Sublimity

Stratford-upon-Avon, England

Church of the Holy Trinity

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Along the River Avon in eastern England lies a peaceful town called Stratford-upon-Avon, presumably given that name to distinguish is from other, less interesting Stratfords, such as Stratford, Texas. (I am joking, of course!) I got to visit this town when I was in England four years ago, and took some pictures, which I you can see in the linked photo album. Stratford-upon-Avon is best known as the hometown of William Shakespeare, and we got to visit his birthplace, as well as another house he lived in, if I remember right (I hesitate to make any definitive statements about Shakespeare since I have forgotten most of what I learned that day). We also visited the “Church of the Holy Trinity” which houses Shakespeare’s tomb, over which this interesting rhyme is placed:

Good friend, for Jesus’ sake forbear
To dig the dust enclosèd here.
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And cursed be he that moves my bones.

I don’t know that Shakespeare himself wrote the rhyme, but so far it has worked! Some less prestigious souls were buried outside in the churchyard, making for a very interesting place to explore indeed.

One thing I noticed in these old buildings was that the doorways were often quite low. Apparently people back then were shorter (or at least shorter than me) and they’ve even had to put a warning sign on a lintel in one house that says “Mind your head.” All this and more you can see in the photos. Enjoy!

Go to photo album

Posted on 9 October 2014 by Mashkioya
Filed under: photography,United Kingdom

Living the Dream

Samaras

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been almost two years since I graduated from college, packed my earthly belongings in the back of my pickup (at least the essential ones), and was transplanted in the faraway state of Georgia. This new life has had its ups and downs, and I certainly haven’t accomplished everything I would like do have done by this point, but overall it’s been pretty great.

One thing most people don’t know is that living in Gwinnett County, Georgia was a dream of mine. I’m one who often daydreams, and before I even sent in my résumé for a job that didn’t even exist yet, I was dreaming about how cool it would be to live in this area. I was looking up potential places to live, and the nearest places to hike. I was enchanted by the thought of living somewhere where Korean is a major language, where there are numerous pine trees even in the city, and where there was a loving congregation of the Lord’s people. I thought about all the things I would do if I had a place of my own, and the new friends I would make. I loved the thought of having a job that would align with my degree, but yet be entirely dedicated to the Lord’s work. And although I certainly haven’t taken much advantage of it, one of the major selling points was knowing that the mountains were less than two hours away!

Whenever I dream of possibilities, I get excited, so it was no surprise that I thought nothing of jumping in the car and making a weekend trip down to Georgia just for an interview. And great was my joy when I was offered the job, and had two job offers to choose from! After much deliberation (I am the one who had full intentions of returning to Texas after college) I turned down the other job offer, accepted this one, and spent a full week (!) at home after graduation before pursuing my dream.

The reason I’m recounting this now is because I need a reminder. Even the most thrilling life becomes humdrum after a while, and I’ve felt down and without motivation more times than I’d like to admit. So maybe I need to renew my outlook on life, reminding myself how special my current situation truly is! There is no need to long for things that are not mine, or feel burdened by responsibilities.

God has put me in a place full of opportunities, and I’m living the dream! It’s time to take advantage of it and fully enjoy where I am in life, and I encourage you to do the same. There’s no harm in dreaming of future possibilities, but don’t do it so much that you lose sight of where you are right here, right now.

Posted on 5 May 2014 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Life updates,wisdom

iOS: How to Change Google Maps to a Different Language than the System Setting

Google MapsWe break from our regular programming to give you something that may or may not be useful. In fact, the main purpose of my writing this post is to help guide forlorn web wanderers who are looking for a solution to a very unique problem, now that I’ve figured it out myself.

You see, I live in the United States, where most all the street names are in English, and I use Google Maps on my iPhone 4 to give me turn-by-turn voice directions as I drive around town. However, being the multilingual person that I am, I really wanted to have my iPhone interface in a different language, namely Korean. It seemed like Google Maps could only be in the system language, which is a bummer, because there is not even a Korean voice available. However, after much tweaking, I found a solution! (Please note that I did this on a Mac, but it should work fine on Windows too.)

So how did I do it? It’s easy enough: (keep reading)

Posted on 12 March 2014 by Mashkioya
Filed under: technology

Goodwin Cemetery

leroyI like cemeteries. Call me morbid if you like, but there’s nothing like strolling past headstones and trying to decipher worn epitaphs to put things into perspective and remind me of my mortality. As I look at people’s names and the dates of their birth and death, I can’t help but wonder about what went in-between, and the circumstances surrounding their deaths. What happened to the two teenage brothers buried near their parents, who died within days of each other? One hundred and fifty years ago, who were the mourning people who gathered around when a woman was laid to rest below this stone vault?

On New Year’s Day I visited a cemetery that I had passed many times before as I walked to and from work. It’s located just beside one of the major highways through town, and unless commuters are particularly unobservant, I’m sure many of them see it every day. And although now it’s in a busy suburban area, it harks back to a simpler time, when the highway was just a dirt road, and the city was only a small town in the former Cherokee territory.

Although this cemetery has been kept up, mowed around, and so forth, time has certainly taken its toll. The oldest grave, from 1837, is missing the original stone, and many of the headstones lie broken and fallen despite being the last relic and often glorious monument to the person lying beneath. (keep reading)

Posted on 21 January 2014 by Mashkioya
Filed under: miscellany

Laundry Room Evangelism

I had noticed him reading his newspaper when I brought my clothes to put in the washer, but being the introvert that I am, I hadn’t spoken to the middle-aged Mexican gentleman. To my surprise, when I came back to move my clothes to the dryer, he spoke to me.

“Are your clothes still in there?” he asked me in Spanish. I replied that they were, ready for drying, and then he said “So you speak Spanish?” I told him yes, and from there a (mostly one sided) conversation started, in which he asked me if I go to church, asked me about my job, lamented his lack of ability in English, talked about his daughter in Mexico who has been studying nursing, and told me about three manifestations of the Holy Spirit that he said he had had. I listened politely with interest, and after telling all that in detail, he said “My faith used to be really strong after all that–now it’s not so much any more. My wife has been sick for twelve years, and as much as I pray to God, he hasn’t answered me.” I told him how for us humans, our perspective is so small, but God is in control, and in His omniscience He knows what he’s doing. We mustn’t lose faith in Him when things don’t go the way we think they should. (keep reading)

Posted on 17 January 2014 by Mashkioya
Filed under: Christianity

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