Bible, Family, Life, Museum of the Bible, Travel, Uncategorized

“Welcome to New York… It’s been waiting for you”

December 22, 2015

I love hearing Taylor Swift welcome me home to NYC every time I land. Maybe someday I’ll even get to meet her. After all, we do live in the same city now – as well as 8.5 million other people (but at least there’s a chance?)

Now that I have lived in Manhattan for a month, here are the top 5 things I have learned about life here:

  1. Sirens are constantly going off.
    • It is surprising how quickly you begin to tune them out.
  2. New Yorkers are actually very nice.
    • In the first few days living in our apartment, we met so many people in our building that were excited for us and sincerely welcoming. It really made a difference and put us at ease.
    • Although New Yorkers can be nice, don’t mess with them if it is rush hour, or in a crowded touristy area.
  3. People sleep on the subway more often than I would expect.
    • In almost every other subway ride, I see a person sleeping. One guy even fell asleep mid-text message. He kept almost dropping his phone as his hand’s grip slowly loosened when he drifted to deeper and deeper sleep. (I was tempted to take his phone and carry on the conversation with whoever he was texting.)
  4. Living near an express subway stop is fantastic.
    • The subway stops every five to ten streets or so, but on the express train it will skip a few stops and only stop every twenty streets or so. Hopping on the express subway and avoiding the local stops = joy. It saves precious time.
  5. Chick-fil-A is a hit.
    • In September we began praying about whether or not to make this move. I felt like we were supposed to move, but I really just wanted a sign to solidify the decision. Not too long after that, we read Chick-fil-A was opening its first store in Manhattan. If that’s not a sign, I do not know what is.
    • As long as I am in a city with a Chick-fil-A, I can survive. We went to their store during our first week here, and it was PACKED. I think they are going to do alright in this city.

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On a more personal note, here is one thing I have learned about myself so far:

I’ve learned to appreciate my relationships and community more. For the first time in my life, I am living in a place where I can count on my two hands the number of people that know my name. Born and raised in Oklahoma City, and never living further than a 45-minute radius from where I was born, I have always been surrounded by family and long-standing friendships. New York is such a different experience since I don’t have quick, easy availability to those friends and family members.

A few highlights of our time in the city so far are definitely our Museum of the Bible (MOTB) events. During our first few weeks, MOTB hosted two events. This provided a great opportunity to introduce the vision of the museum with some wonderful people. Michael and I were also excited about the timing of the events, because it meant we got to meet people, hoping that we could make a few new friends!

As always, the museum events were fabulous. Our events planning team members always do an amazing job at making each event special. Here are a few photos of the evening:

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We also loved going to our new friend Scott Harrison’s event – a charity ball for Charity: Water at the Met. It was spectacular.

http://adammason.com

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One month in, and, New York, you do not disappoint.

It’s a new soundtrack, I can dance to this beat forevermore. The lights are so bright, but they never blind me. (“Welcome to New York” – Taylor Swift, 1989)

-LM

 

Bible, Museum of the Bible, Teaching, The Green Collection, Uncategorized, Work

More Than a Museum: Research

October 6, 2015

Logos Group with Greens square

“What is the best use of our growing collection?” – This was a question for the Green Collection leadership five years ago when we were just a few months into collecting artifacts. More specifically, we were asking, “If we were to begin programs around it, what would be among those with the most significance?”

In my previous post “More than a Museum,” I gave a high-level view of the Museum of the Bible and our four main initiatives. Here, I want to share a more in-depth look at one of those: our research initiatives.

Perhaps these seem like simple questions we were asking with a significant collection already in place when it was just a few thousand items, long before the current count of 40,000 plus items related to the biblical text and its transmission. During this early stage in forming the Green Collection, we realized that our answers could possibly impact lives in the future. When there were only four of us—another curator, two scholars, and me—a dream began to form:

“We could have an important role in helping to train the next generation of biblical text scholars.”

Although we didn’t know this collection’s future, and certainly didn’t fully anticipate the explosive years ahead developing into plans for the Washington, DC, site for the museum, we had glimpses of major things ahead. Throughout those early months, we had the conviction that scholarly research would be an important part of our programs, and the fulcrum of all that was ahead.

This is when conversations about a program called the Green Scholars Initiative (GSI) began. Dr. Jerry Pattengale developed and eventually executed this new research program. Its central idea remains in place: assigning various collection pieces to scholars (all with terminal degrees) and their students for high-level research. A team of over twenty senior and distinguished scholars came to this initiative, and provided assistance in their areas of expertise. These scholars also were the core lecturers among more than 100 videotaped presentations in various cities, with some at the Vatican, Israeli museums, Oxford and Cambridge universities, and in Cuba.

Establishing GSI has been an amazing and fast-paced journey, with the program starting only five years ago with just an idea and a few scholars. Today GSI is a robust network of over 60 scholars and dozens of projects. We have also successfully completed four summer institute conferences, and are looking to expand the program next summer. Publications are in process, students are being mentored, and GSI scholarship opportunities are being highlighted on many participating university campuses. We’ve also made some major discoveries, including the earliest Jewish proto-prayer book and some of the earliest astronomical sketches and texts, and a few of the earliest attestations to biblical passages and classical texts. The GSI program provides a substantial foundation for many of the things we do at Museum of the Bible. For this reason, we will have a research hub in the new DC facility called the Green Scholars Institute.

Of the many projects we have going on in GSI, my favorite is the work on the Codex Climaci Rescriptus (CCR). This is not only a fascinating piece, but I got to be involved (in a small way!) with part of the project early on. CCR is a palimpsest, and I got to take part in imaging the manuscript with multispectral imaging (MSI) a few years ago before the research got underway. In studying this manuscript, one of the incredible discoveries so far has been the identification of some early astronomical drawings. With greater access to the underlying layers of text through MSI, scholars found 1,500-year-old drawings of constellations on this manuscript. Ongoing research is being done on the CCR text at Tyndale House, Cambridge.

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The Bible touches millions of people in different ways, and the vast majority of people are not Bible scholars. Against this backdrop, someone might ask, “Why does research matter?” or “Why should Museum of the Bible make scholarship one of its top priorities?” If you don’t consider yourself a scholar, or haven’t spent much or any of your life and money working toward a master’s degree or PhD, you may question why research is such an important part of Museum of the Bible. In an effort to connect the thoughts of the scholars to the public, I conducted an office survey.

I daily rub shoulders with a host of scholars from a wide variety of fields among the staff at our home base in OKC, which has grown to nearly seventy. In addition, we regularly host research teams and visiting scholars. With such access to these brilliant minds, I figured I would informally inquire about their views on biblical research and scholarship. With the help of  our Director of the Green Collection, Dr. David Trobisch, and his efficient summary of the points I found in my survey, here are the common responses.

Three things: Scholars are blind, scholars learn through comparison, and scholars create consensus by communicating with each other.

 

  1. Scholars are blind. We cannot experience past events directly, we have to do so indirectly. Even when we examine evidence, we cannot always see the significance. For example, we don’t understand ancient calendars and ancient currency the way we understand our own. We are like blind men and women stumbling through a forest.
  2. Scholars learn by comparing the unknown with the known. Because we cannot find answers to our questions by looking directly at our object of interest, we compare the new evidence with evidence that we have already placed in a context. We understand by relating the unknown to the known. The better we paint the overall picture, the easier it is for us to understand a new piece of evidence.
  3. Scholars create consensus by communicating with each other. We strive for objectivity by verifying and accepting the experiences of our colleagues as if they are our own. If an experience is not shared, it is irrelevant to the scholarly discourse. This is why publishing is such an essential part of scholarship and science. The German language does not differentiate between scholarship and science: both are called Wissenschaft. The word references a methodological approach to observations and theory: ein Vorgang, der Wissen schafft.

Perhaps there’s nothing earth-shattering here, but this little exercise proved affirming. For these reasons, and more, I am excited about the Green Scholars Initiative. It is important, the program has grown quickly, and it is continuing to develop and grow with Dr. Michael Holmes‘ current leadership.

To keep up with the Green Scholars Initiative, check into our Museum of the Bible newsroom for updated press releases like this exciting announcement: Green Scholars Initiative Honors Young Biblical Scholars. You can also find free lectures on our Museum of the Bible You Tube Channel.

-LM

Life, Museum of the Bible, Travel

Top 3 Things Every Traveler Should Do Before A Trip

September 28, 2015

This year my travel schedule has really ramped up. I love getting to meet people all over the country and world, and telling them about what is going on with Museum of the Bible. As I have taken on more frequent flyer miles, I have found that it’s helpful to have a good pre-travel routine. Before I get on my flight, here is my must-do routine:

 

  1. Think ahead

I like to be well-prepared for a trip. But I hate packing. I always feel like I’m forgetting something. I usually remember all of the important things, but I’m still prone to forget the obvious things every once in a while! Just last week I forgot to bring any makeup on a trip to NYC! Yikes!

Packing

In planning for the airport, I like to make sure I know what’s in my carry-on. Here are some questions I always ask myself:

  • Is my carry-on easy for me to manage? I like to bring a carry-on with wheels so that my shoulder doesn’t get tired from carrying the bag around.
  • Can I pack everything into one carry-on suitcase so that all I need is my boarding pass and I am ready to go? If not, is there anything I can eliminate for the trip?
  • Are there easy accessible pockets in my travel bag for my cell phones, photo ID, and boarding pass? I like a bag with external zippered pockets to hold these essentials.
  • Are my liquids in my checked bag or in a quart-sized bag that is easy to get to in my carry-on at security?
  • Are my shoes easy to take off/put on at the security station?
  • Do I have an extra layer—sweater, jacket, or hoodie—for when (not if, but when!) I get cold on the flight? I almost always wear this sweater when I travel.

 

These questions are helpful as I am packing and figuring out what to wear before heading to the airport.

 

  1. Prepare for Check-in & Security

I like to have my record locator at hand for a swift check-in, and I often have to check a bag. Helpful tip: Try to lock the bag with a TSA approved lock. I’ve learned this the hard way through a bad experience of having jewelry stolen out of my bag. 🙁

 

Then it is time for security. With these easy steps, I’m ready to go!

  • I have my shoes ready to come off, and my outer layers and liquids bag ready to go in a bin.
  • My laptop is out of the bag and in its own bin.
  • At the security belt, I put my shoes through first so that I can put them right away on the other side. No one likes to be barefoot in an airport, am I right? Then my purse, followed by my laptop so I can grab it and put it back in my carry-on, which goes through last.

 

  1. Get ready for the flight

I always like to have a water bottle handy when traveling. Being in airplanes can dehydrate you, so I recommend carrying a bottle of H2O. The first thing I do after going through security is to buy a water bottle! You won’t be sorry about this. If you don’t want to purchase one, bring an empty bottle through security, and fill it at a fountain on the other side. It’s that easy!

 

After all of this, I head to my gate, check for any last emails or text messages I might need to respond to, and wait to board! I always carry a book or something to read, too.

Airport sitting

What are your travel tips? Anything I should consider adding or changing to my routine? I would love to hear from you, even if it’s a horror story of one of your bad travel experiences. 😉

#Wheelsup

-LM

Airport boarding

Brunch, Church, Friends, Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Brunch: Jacob’s Pickles NYC

September 24, 2015

“Welcome to New York, it’s been waiting for you…” –Taylor Swift

It was a gorgeous Sunday morning in the upper west side of Manhattan. I was in the city to visit a few friends. We had just gotten out of a Sunday morning service and needed a place to brunch. That is when we discovered Jacob’s Pickles.

Walking in, I immediately fell in love with the adorable atmosphere. It is a mix of modern warehouse and urban farmhouse décor. (Does that even make sense?…oh well.)

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JP Bar

It was quiet that first day we visited, which is rare. This place has become even more popular since I first discovered it. Every time that I have gone back during normal meal hours, it is pretty busy. If you’re worried about getting in without a wait, you might want to make a reservation.

coffee cup at JP

We ordered our coffees and started sipping. It was so nice to be able to catch up with my squad. These women became some of my closest friends at college. We were in the same sorority, and have a lot of shared memories. These are the women that were my roomies, that tried to teach me how to dance (sorry C and J, I’m still working on it), and were there to listen to me when I was going through a hard season. Now that we have gone our separate ways, it is a treasure when we get together. (To get to know this group of my friends, you can check out one of my first blog posts, which I wrote about them the week we graduated.)

It makes me smile just thinking of that sweet time.

 

I ordered the French toast the first time. And, yes, I have ordered that exact same dish every time I have gone back. I’ve even gone twice in one week, and ordered the French toast both times. I know there are so many places in NYC that are amazing that I should try, but goodness, it’s hard to pass up Jacob’s Pickles. Yum.

Their French toast is unique. Jacob’s Pickles has amazing biscuits, and they use their biscuits for the toast. I guess the “toast” in French toast should actually be “biscuit,” but whatever. The flaky biscuits are savory and crumbly. With some of Jacob’s Pickles sweet, dark syrup on top, it is truly a delight to eat.

 

One thing about their French toast I love, is the amount of strawberries they put on top. Often when I order something with berries on top, I get two strawberries, or five blueberries total. Not this place. They are not skimpy with the fresh strawberries they pile on their heavenly French toast style biscuits.

 

Their orange juice is fresh-squeezed and tasty. It is good if you are looking to load up on vitamin C and are willing to dish out a few bucks for it. Jacob’s coffee is not the world’s best cup of coffee, but it is a solid cup of coffee.

 

I guess this shop still holds the title to “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”.

If you are looking for the world’s best coffee and can’t find Buddy’s shop, you may consider checking out some of these recommendations of the best coffee in NYC. (I digress… But I personally love Stumptown!)

 

If you’re in Manhattan, I am telling you to check out Jacob’s Pickles. I hear their pickles are actually good, too. If you try them, let me know what you think.

 

Where should I go next time I am in NYC? As loyal as my little heart is to Jacob’s Pickles, I do like trying new places. Let me know what you suggest in the city that never sleeps.

 

-LM

Me then at JP

Brunch, Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Lake Tahoe

September 18, 2015

Have you ever been to Lake Tahoe? I just went for the first time, and LOVED it!

Michael and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary at the beginning of August. To celebrate, we decided to take a trip over the long Labor Day weekend, and we chose Lake Tahoe as our destination.

Our schedule included some sleeping in, taking naps, sitting on the beach, getting in the water via paddle boarding and kayaking, going up the mountain for the scenery and hiking, and checking out some of the cute local restaurants and coffee spots. It was ideal.

Taking the time to reflect on the many transitions this year has held for us so far was just what we needed.

With that being said, let me show you the memories we made while in Lake Tahoe.

Day 1:

The first was only a half day, but we made the most of it by checking out the beach, catching a nice dinner, and enjoying the fire pit.

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Day 2:

We wanted to check out South Lake Tahoe, so we got up early and went down to Emerald Bay to see the sunrise. It. Was. Amazing.

Then we went over to the Heavenly Gondola and went up to the highest peak in the area. The altitude was killer for this Oklahoma girl. I was already out of breath just from walking, so we kept our “hike” pretty mild.

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Taking a break from hiking, we also enjoyed playing corn hole. (Michael won.)

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We also had the chance to witness a proposal at the top of the mountain! (She said yes!)

We finished off the day with a nice lunch by the beach, some reading at a coffee shop, an early dinner, and then we were asleep before 9:00pm!

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Day 3:

A number of people recommended a restaurant called The Log Cabin, so we got up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast before heading to a river for some fly fishing. This breakfast was good! And their coffee was the best I had while in Tahoe.

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The rest of the day was spent at the hotel. We had fun paddle boarding and kayaking before dinner.

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It ended with s’mores and sweatpants by the fire. A perfect way to end the day!

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Day 4:

By day four we had explored as much as we wanted to, and were ready to just sit at the hotel all day! We got breakfast at the resort, did more reading on the beach, kayaking again, and just hanging out until going back down to South Lake for dinner at the restaurant with my FAVORITE view: Edgewood.

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I should take some time here to tell you my most embarrassing moment of the trip. It of course happened at Edgewood, which was the nicest restaurant we ate at.

Michael and I were seated in a one-sided semi-circle booth, so we could cuddle up next to each other and not be accused of being a “same-side-sitting” couple.  It was just the only way.

During the appetizer, I accidentally pulled on the table cloth, and ALMOST spilled both of my drinks. (This place was the kind of place that gave you your iced tea AND a water.) Thankfully, it was a close call, but I didn’t actually spill.

Five minutes later though, somehow I managed to do the exact same thing, but this time I wasn’t as lucky. Two full glasses of water and tea actually flew all over the table, seat, and me. Oops.

I guess I did it so gracefully that our waiter didn’t even notice. Unfortunately, the tables around defiantly heard the crash, and were giving side glances to check out the disaster while I cleaned up.

Because half of the booth was wet, I had to scoot way over to Michael’s side. (Maybe I actually spilled the drinks on purpose for the excuse to be closer to my hubby.) Thankfully the rest of the meal was less eventful, and we enjoyed watching the sunset together cuddle up rather close in that half wet, half dry booth.

Watching the sun set over that lake was one of my favorite memories. It was beautiful.

Lake Tahoe, I like you. I hope I will be seeing you again some day.

What are some of your favorite vacations spots? Any suggestions I should add to me dream list of places to visit? I would love to hear from you!

-LM

P.S. If you are ready to start planning your own vacation, consider planning ahead for Washington D.C. in 2017. You can have your chance to win a free trip to our Museum of the Bible grand opening by entering in our sweepstakes! Good luck!

Bible, Life, Travel

Real Life vs. Social Life: #NoFilter

August 17, 2015

Social Life: We are living it up with amazing coffee and working in Denver!
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Real Life: Why am I making that horrible face? Anything for the artsy social pic.
Real Life

I think social media is really cool. I use it a lot. I think there are many benefits with social media. One thing I think is a downfall with social, though, is the ability for people to show what their life is really like. It is so easy to let your Facebook timeline to present the kind of life you want people to think you have. It is definitely tempting for me to put out the best image about my life and how I want people to see me. It’s human nature. Most of us want others to think well of us, and many of us are afraid of being really known in fear of being found out as uninteresting, broken, imperfect, etc.

I have to say, my feed is often filled with posts about the exciting adventures, cool travels, and the interesting people I get to meet. I am very grateful for the path God has brought me on, and grateful for his grace in my life. Nevertheless, I definitely am showing the highlights. We don’t always post the unappealing or ugly things that happen in our lives. We also don’t (usually) make posts about the average, everyday mundane things going on (unless it’s another picture of my coffee—which you know I love!).

#CoffeeOfLaurensInstagram

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So, I’ll just go ahead and let you know that I am without a doubt imperfect, broken, often uninteresting, and more (or so much less). I am impatient with people when I am in LA traffic. I struggle with feeling entitled when boarding an airplane and I don’t get priority because I’m on an airline that I don’t have status with. I snap at my husband when I am stressed prior to going on stage or TV. I think more about myself than I should and not enough about others. I don’t look put together all of the time as much as I wish I did. And on and on and on.

What I love is the beautiful gift of grace from God that allows me to have peace in the midst of my mess. Anything I’ve done well, I can only credit to my heavenly Father. I am forever grateful that the Bible tells me that I am completely loved by him. This is one of the ways the Bible has impacted me. I love the Bible, and love that for a living I get to invite others to engage with this book.

Grateful,
-LM

Social Life: We are cute sisters bonding over donuts!
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Real Life: Feeling sick after these donuts.
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Museum of the Bible, The Green Collection, Uncategorized, Work

Rock the Desert 2015

August 11, 2015

When you are getting heat warnings on your weather app, but still spending 12 hours outside in the heat, you know you must be at Rock the Desert.

It is quite an event to behold. Thousands of people coming out to the desert in 100+ degree weather to watch Christian artists perform all throughout the day.

Museum of the Bible had the chance to be there as one of the sponsors, and we had a great time.

Some of the highlights of being a part of this event are pictured below.

First, we had to get our tent all set up, and it looked awesome:

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People loved our free photo booth:
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Including our team
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Our team did NOT like the dangerous fire ants. Three of us experienced fire ant attacks, and it was not fun. But all in all, we dominated those ants. #AntsWontWin #KristineisaBoss

We had to try very hard to stay hydrated. We gave out a ton of water to everyone that came through out tent. I personally drank about 50 bottles of Museum of the Bible water. The Museum has good water.
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Did a few interviews to let people know what we were doing at Rock the Desert. (Yikes! Live TV is always a little intimidating!)
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We were excited to see Building 429 come by our place!
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The stage was awesome.
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Until we had to go on it. Then it didn’t seem as cool, just a lot scary. (Michael owns the stage. I am working on it…)
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But we survived, and then we got to be backstage between Andy Mineo and Lecrae. So it was well worth it. (Those are two of my favorite artists!!)
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Mineo!
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Lecrae!
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Museum of the Bible gave away this amazing guitar signed by all the artists- and Abby was our winner!!
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After all the work, we got to sit and enjoy hearing Lecrae close out the weekend. It was very American. He sang “Welcome to America”, with fireworks going off in the background, a big american flag as the backdrop to the stage, and security officers listening from their horses. #Merica
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Thanks for having us, Rock the Desert! It was quite a memorable weekend. #LovetheBible

-LM

Bible, Museum of the Bible, The Green Collection, Work

More than a Museum

July 30, 2015

Can you remember what it was like to be at the beginning of a grand adventure, and not even realize it at the time? Maybe you were moving to a new state. Maybe your adventure was getting married. Or maybe you were taking the plunge and starting your own business.

Jumping into a new and unknown path can be exciting. When you having no idea what lies ahead of you, it can also feel daunting.

I embarked on a particular adventure a little over five years ago.

I was fresh out of college, a year into marriage, and eager to join my dad, Steve Green, on the unforeseen adventure of caring for artifacts that my family had started to accumulate. It was my first full-time job since I got my degree in Classics. I had no idea what stepping into this job would entail or what it might become.

If I had known then where we would be now, I may have thought twice before taking the job. Being involved in the process of building an artifact collection and a museum from scratch is a wild ride. A lot of work goes into building a museum. Not only are we building a museum, we are simultaneously building massive projects as essential initiatives of the museum. When I stepped into this new world called Museum of the Bible, we were two employees deep and a couple of thousand artifacts wide. Things have changed dramatically since then.

The collection started with just a few acquisitions in 2009. Within a few years, it became one of the largest in private hands. With the collection, came a path for founding Museum of the Bible.

It is challenging to communicate all that goes on under the umbrella of Museum of the Bible. Here is a quick overview of the four main buckets making up Museum of the Bible.

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  1. The Museum
  • This is a big one. If you have only heard a little bit about Museum of the Bible, then it is probably something involving our Washington, DC, site. In the fall of 2017, Museum of the Bible is opening a permanent museum just two blocks from the National Mall. And this is only two years away, so start planning ahead for your trip to DC because you definitely want to check this out! This museum is going to be top-of-the-line in interaction, technology, and engagement for people with various levels of Bible knowledge and all kinds of interests.

  1. Traveling Exhibits
  • We have a number of traveling exhibits under our belts already, and there are more to come! So far, our domestic exhibit Passages has been to six different cities: Oklahoma City (OK), Charlotte (NC), Atlanta (GA), Colorado Springs (CO), Springfield (MO), and, currently, Santa Clarita (CA). As far as international exhibits go, we have exhibited at the Vatican twice (2012 and 2014), and presented special exhibits in Israel, Cuba, and Argentina. You can follow Museum of the Bible on social media to see where we might go next—there are some awesome possibilities on the docket.

  1. Research
  • Research is integral to who we are and foundational for our work. Through the Green Scholars Initiative, we partner with established scholars, as well as new and upcoming scholars, and provide access to the incredible artifacts in our holdings for ongoing research and scholarship. Research of our artifacts is important because it allows us to understand better the collection, history, and the Bible. It is important for us to see excellent scholarship done with the collection, as well as mentoring young students as developing scholars. We currently doing research on about sixty projects, including studies on our Dead Sea Scroll fragments, the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, papyri, manuscripts, and more.

Education

  1. Education
  • Almost everyone agrees that education is important and beneficial to society. Museum of the Bible is no different, and desires to promote education. The book we display, research, and teach about has been a significant text for millennia. It is important to know this book in order to understand many things, like Western culture. For this reason, and more, we are creating a high school level curriculum about the Bible. This is a high quality, technologically advanced curriculum that is already being used in schools in Israel, and will go to many other countries in the future.

This is just a little glimpse into some of the highlights happening at Museum of the Bible. There are more projects going on that I don’t have time to write about now. If you are interested, you can follow me, or @museumofBible, for updates on these and other projects (including our recently announced archaeological dig!)

Expect to see a series of posts from me sharing more in-depth about these projects, and what excites me most about each one.

Stay tuned,

-LM

Brunch, Life

I am the Champion of Waffles

July 20, 2015
Waffle Champion Door - always a pleasant sight.

Waffle Champion door – always a pleasant sight.

hello! 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – brunch is a treasured Saturday ritual for me. I’ve been on a nice streak lately where I’ve gotten to enjoy brunch in OKC the past three or four Saturdays in a row- it has been awesome!

I love being in OKC. It is home.

I also love that OKC has a growing supply of local restaurants, and many of them do brunch quite well. Today I will highlight one of my favorite local brunch spots in all of Oklahoma:

Waffle Champion.

You already know what this place is king of: waffles.

Who doesn’t love a good waffle? Everyone loves waffles, and let me tell you – these waffles are GOOD. No, they are GREAT.

I have never had a waffle with such a perfect mix of amazing texture that is so fluffy and soft yet also the perfect taste of light sweetness and bread-y delight. Waffle Champion’s batter is just impressive. It really is something.

My go-to order is the regular waffle, with fresh berries on top. It is to die for. My mouth is watering just thinking about them. This picture isn’t going to help.

Waffles CLose up

WC has all different types of food options with the word “waffle” in it- traditional waffles with toppings and syrup, craft waffle sandwiches, even loaded waffle French fries. If you are looking for a healthy treat, this may not be your place. They do have soup and salad options, but it will be hard to stick with a healthy option when you walk in and smell the sweet buttery aroma of their batter baking in the waffle machines all lined in a row.

So, if you are ready to have a “cheat day”, or just don’t care, then I suggest you stop what you are doing right now and head on over to this waffle lovers heaven on earth. (As long as it’s Tues-Sun, 7am-2pm… their hours don’t leave a lot of option for me except for the weekend!)

I always appreciate fun drink options wherever my brunch taste buds may take me. WC has a nice selection including handcrafted sodas, cold press juice, milkshakes with Roxy’s local ice-cream, elemental coffee and other typical brunch place drinks.

Where WC isn’t lacking for fantastic food, they could, in my opinion, use a better atmosphere. Unless you like the fast pace, bustling, loud setting. The shop itself is quite small, so the line is almost always out the door any time I go on Saturday. Thankfully they have a well-organized system of getting people through the line and getting guests a table. Still, if you were planning to sit and sip on your coffee, you may plan to sip a little faster as you stare at the line of people waiting for a table and a waffle. In my experience, the line doesn’t slow down until well after 1pm most Saturdays.

The latest addition to WC is their outside seating option. This is new in the past few months. It has helped to add a few more tables as well as offer a quieter seating option. The tables are shaded, so even in the summer months it isn’t bad as far as the heat goes (especially if you are there early).

All in all, this place is one of my top two favorites for local brunch in OKC. If you haven’t tried it yet, make it a priority. Keep in mind their hours as well as the fact that parking can be tricky. It is well worth it though.

Maybe I’ll see you there

http://www.wafflechampion.com/

One of our MANY brunch dates at WC

One of our MANY brunch dates at WC

Bible, Hobby Lobby, Work

My Reflections on the Supreme Court Ruling

June 30, 2015

SCOTUS

June 30, 2014 changed our nation and my family forever. For me, the week leading up to that day was one of the most anxiety filled weeks I can remember.

 

My family was in a lawsuit against the HHS mandate because of how it would impact our privately owned company, Hobby Lobby. My family waited not so patiently at the end of June for the Supreme Court ruling.

 

Because of the significance of the case, we knew the ruling would likely come at the end of the SCOTUS term. I tried to seem calm, cool, and collected, but my mind wrestled with fear about the possible outcomes of the case. In the midst of this uncertainty, I was afraid, but I knew that I could trust God with the future.

 

Journeying to the Supreme Court to live out our deeply held religious beliefs was never something our family imagined doing. We did not desire the media attention placed upon us. It was discouraging to see the amount of misleading information concerning our case spread, but what made this difficult journey easier for my family was having each other. We were in the prayers of many, and constantly received notes of encouragement and care. It was a blessing to know and to hear about those around the world praying with us. I will never be able to return enough thanks to them.

 

Today is the anniversary of that ruling handed down by SCOTUS. I have been reflecting on our experience, and thought I would share a bit out of my prayer journal from one year ago today.

 

June 30, 2014 I wrote:

“…it still just seems surreal, but I am so grateful for the win! Thank you Jesus! You are good no matter what- whether win or loss- but I am so grateful for the favorable outcome. I want You to be glorified in everything through this. I pray that we would move forward in ways that honor you. God I don’t know what you are going to do with my family or with our company, but we place it in your hands again. And God I pray for love and compassion for those who may not agree with us. Amen.”

 

Looking back over this past year, it seems like this ruling happened so long ago. Time seemed to move slowly in the midst of the storm, but quickly now that we are on the other side. Our family business is one of the things I hold onto as most important to me. Throughout the journey, I had to come to the place where I was willing to open my hands and let go of Hobby Lobby. I had completely surrendered it to God. It is a lesson I will cherish forever. Our family does not own Hobby Lobby. We are only stewards of the things God has given to us.

-L. A. Green McAfee

 

Photos are from Oral Argument day at the Supreme Court (March 25, 2014)

Waiting to go in to the Supreme Court for Oral Argument

Waiting to go in to the Supreme Court for Oral Argument

Walking down the steps after Oral Argument

Walking down the steps after Oral Argument

"We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey" -Barbara Green (Grandma)

“We are grateful to God and to those who have supported us on this difficult journey” -Barbara Green (Grandma)

www.hobbylobbycase.com