Anne Frank House Tours

Touring the Anne Frank annex and museum was very emotional for me.  I’ll share more about that in the next post, but first I’ll explain the logistics.  You don’t enter the house from the original front door, but through the museum next door.  However, you do enter the “secret annex” through the famous moving bookcase and use various steep stairways.  You can see all the rooms the families used, including the attic.  Original photos and magazine clippings of Anne are on the wall of her room.  I hadn’t realized Anne used three different notebooks, as well as the original red and white checked diary; or that she also wrote separate stories and poems (in what she called “The Tales Book”), personal notes, a book of quotations, and an unfinished novel on loose sheets of paper called “The Secret Annex.”  These are available to see in the museum, as are many items belonging to the Frank family — photo albums, artwork, paperwork, receipts, tickets, and other items.  In addition, you can learn more about the amazing, loving people who helped the families while they were in hiding.  One of the special places is the wall where the Franks kept track of Margot and Anne’s heights; it makes it all so real and sad when you see something like that.

If you go to the house, I highly recommend arranging for tickets well ahead of time.  Since we travel on standby flights (and aren’t certain of reaching our destination), we didn’t purchase tickets ahead of time, but were able to get them (for later use in the week) by arriving super early one day and waiting for over an hour or two.  Waiting for hours won’t guarantee you’ll get a ticket, either, of course.  So plan ahead if you can.

Though we weren’t able to take photos in the annex, you can see photos online; but the best option is to walk through the entire building on their website in 3D.  It’s a little difficult to navigate, but once you realize that movements are opposite of what you expect, it should work well for you as it did for me.  Click here where it says “Go straight inside.”

The Anne Frank house has huge international connections.  Otto Frank, Anne’s father, wanted it to become an International Youth Center, and it is.  Their website says:

It would be a place for dialogue, where young people could gather; a place serving as a warning from the past, but focused on the future..Now young people from around the world gather here every summer to participate in meetings and debates. They stay in the adjacent dormitories, which the University of Amsterdam students are contractually obliged to give up for two months during the summer…

In addition to hosting youth conferences, Anne Frank House also began offering lectures and courses. This resulted in a regular series of study meetings led by Rabi Yehuda Ashkenazi that created a dialogue between Judaism and Christianity. The meetings attracted priests, ministers, rabbis and members of the public alike.

It was at this time that Anne Frank House also began hosting cultural evenings showcasing literature, poetry and classical music, which where primarily held downstairs at Prinsengracht 265. Those who performed at these musical evenings were usually students from the Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam.

In addition, the family lived at an apartment at Merwedeplein 37 in Amsterdam before going into hiding, and this apartment is also owned and used by the Anne Frank House.  I found this quote from their website to be very interesting:

The Anne Frank House is the new owner of Anne Frank’s former home on the Merwedeplein square in Amsterdam. Its purpose remains the same: the apartment offers accommodation to writers from around the world who cannot work freely in their own countries. The Frank family lived in the apartment at Merwedeplein 37 II from December 1933 until July 1942. Anne first wrote in her diary, which she was given for her thirteenth birthday on 12 June 1942, in the apartment. Three weeks later the family went into hiding.  [November 16, 2017]

I highly encourage you to visit the Anne Frank House if given the opportunity.  Allow plenty of time to view all the rooms, exhibits, films and gift shop.  There are many books available to purchase that tell more of the story of Anne Frank and her friends and family.

This video is excellent too; it doesn’t show all the rooms that the above 3D experience shows, but it’s really good.

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Three Questions and Three Answers

Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?  –Luke 24:26

Michael Card, a Christian musician and author, has some amazing thoughts about the crucifixion.  This very articulate writer has 37 albums, 27 books, and over 19 #1 hits.  And yet his goal in life has always been to “simply and quietly teach the Bible.”  I love his writing; it’s powerful in his unique, close relationship with our Lord.  He wrote the delightful book, Joy in the Journey, from which the following quotes came as he explained his song-writing process for one piece in particular.  These words are profound, in my opinion.

The trappings of the crucifixion had always puzzled me.  Why was it necessary that a close friend betray Jesus?  Why the crown of thorns, that grim tribute to humor?  Why the cross–wasn’t there some other way for him to die?  I had been playing with those three questions, trying to make them sound lyrical, in other words trying to make them sound pretty.  But they aren’t pretty questions.

I had finished three verses of a song incorporating the questions.  I had planned to write one chorus which would answer all three.  That proved to be as impossible as the questions themselves.  So I did the only thing a committed seeker of the Truth could do:  I gave up and put them away in a drawer!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  –Hebrews 12:2

Weeks after I gave up and put away my three song verses, I was awakened in the night with three separate choruses going through my mind, something that had never happened before and has never happened since.  To my trilogy of vain, cynical questions the Lord gave three unexpected answers:

Why did it have to be a friend?  Because only a friend comes close enough to cause such pain.

Why the thorny crown?  Because  in this life, the only kind of crown the world would give such a Lover is a crown of thorns.

Why did it have to be a cross?  Because the cross is the place for a thief.  And Jesus had come to steal the world’s heart away.

Now each time I listen to the song, I hear two separate voices:  my own pessimistic voice asking the meaningless why questions, and another gentler Voice speaking the wonderful answers.  –Michael Card

 

Shout for Joy!

I’m taking a short break again from the posts on Amsterdam, but never fear, I will return to them in a couple of weeks, because there’s much more to share!  I also have tons of great quotes in my journals that need to be shared, so here are some from my “Word of the Year” — “Joy.”

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn — shout for joy before the Lord, the King.  Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.  Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.  –Psalm 98:4-8 (NIV)

Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.  –Matthew 25:21 (NLT)

The “stars that do shine” and the rest of creation around us have all been embraced by different groups as idols to worship.  After all, they are beautiful gifts from God.  But their beauty is only a shadow of His beauty.  If embracing them gives a certain joy, how much more joy would come from embracing Him!  –Michael Card, Joy in the Journey, 1/18

 

 

Smile at Pain

Finally, for the use of my Word of the Year in this week’s blog posts, I have several quotes using the word “cast” from various authors:

O Love Divine, that stooped to share our sharpest pain, our bitterest tear; on you we cast each earth-born care, we smile at pain when you are near.  — Oliver W. Holmes

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, only lean upon His Word; Thou wilt soon have cause to bless His unchanging faithfulness.  — Anonymous

Cast your burden on him in the same way that the ship in a storm casts her burden upon the anchor; which holds on to its sure fixing place.  — J. M. Neale

I feel ashamed as I send forth these very defective teachings; I can only cast them on the love of my fellow Christians, and of our God.  May He use them to draw us all to Himself, to learn in practice and experience the blessed art of waiting only upon God.  — Andrew Murray

Through the mystery of the atonement, that soul that avails itself of that atonement–the soul that throws (casts) itself out on that atonement–for that soul the moral situation has changed.  God has not changed, but the sinner’s moral situation has changed.  –A. W. Tozer

 

Encouragement

Here are more of the quotes that encouraged me while recovering from a bike accident this summer.  Sometimes encouragement comes from a book, from something a family member shares, or from a post on Facebook.  These quotes were just what I needed to hear:

He gives the best, and brings sweetness out of that which is harsh, forbidding, and wholly unpromising.  –Derek Kidner

Faith is not primarily a function of how you feel.  Faith is living out and believing what truth is despite what you feel.  –Timothy Keller

To avoid facing our low sense of worth, we try to compensate by building self-esteem.  Self-esteem is a way to be in control of our image in order to protect our sense of something missing within our hearts.  Through self-esteem, achievements are a way of creating hope.  Esteem for self rises and falls based upon the grade of our last performance.  Sadly, we forget that our value is inherent at birth.  –Chip Dodd, The Voice of the Heart, pg. 29

Never stop believing.  Miracles happen every day. –Unknown

 

Regeneration

Here is a word we don’t hear often–“regeneration.”  I was surprised to come across it in my devotions. I saw it in the writings of A. W. Tozer (1897-1963).  The book I’m reading is called My Daily Pursuit.  The forward is by Ravi Zacharias, and he says this about Tozer:

The profound realization that God could be known personally drew me, with sincerity and determination, to plumb the depths of that claim…A few short years later, I encountered, through the writings, the distinctive pastoral voice of A. W. Tozer, who expounded on the grandest of all themes to which the human mind could ascend and the heart could embrace:  the study of God Himself.  Tozer’s voice was unique in his era, and I read and reread many of his books.  Works such as The Pursuit of God and The Knowledge of the Holy opened up vistas that were life-transforming.  Those truths were timely for me and timeless for anyone hungry to know God.  So, his words still speak with power and tenderness today, leaving me with the twin passions of fulfillment and legitimate hunger…Tozer gives us the right kind of pause to learn the value of deep reflection on noble truths.  –Ravi Zacharias, quoted in A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 7-8

So now let’s look at this word “regeneration” that is heard so seldom today.  I think there are great truths to be considered here and this first quote is very touching to consider:

A new father goes to the hospital to see his first baby.  He goes to the window to look at all of the babies, but what he is looking for is one that looks like him.  The babies may be cute, but he has no interest in any of them except his own.  When he sees his own baby, what he is looking for is himself.  The little baby has his ears, his nose, his eyes and so forth.  The thing that drove him to that little baby is his own image in that baby.  The thing to draw God to us is His image in us.  Sin has destroyed it.  Regeneration puts it back in.  Now that man in Christ can have communion and fellowship with the Father of whose image he is.  –A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 188

Now, if the word “regeneration” isn’t enough of an unfamiliar word, take a look now at “compatibility,” “communion,” “congruity,” “atonement,” and a word that I think Tozer made up–“feelingly!”  It all makes complete sense when you put them together and understand his point:

One of the great Bible truths we should revel in is that the newest convert born again today, has a degree of moral likeness to God, which gives him a measure of compatibility.  Heaven is a place of complete compatibility.  Sin introduced an incompatibility between God and the sinner.  Sin disrupts the communion between God and man.  Sin introduces that quality which throws men and God out of accord with each other.  As it is, there is no accord, no congruity.  But when that sinner believes in the blood atonement, which is trust in Christ, and is justified in heaven and regenerated on earth, there is complete compatibility and communion…That compatibility allows God to draw feelingly near to the man or women, and it makes communion morally consistent.  –A. W. Tozer, My Daily Pursuit, pg. 186

Abba Father, through regeneration I have come back to the place where Thee can see in me Thy blessed divine image.  How I praise Thee through Jesus Christ my Savior!  Amen.  –A. W. Tozer,  My Daily Pursuit, pg. 188

History

I’m continuing with great quotes this week — there are so many right now in my life!  God is so faithful to keep them coming, and I’d like to pass them on to you, as they’ve been a huge encouragement to me.

History is of no use if we don’t remember it. The rich heritage of God’s mighty works gives neither insight nor inspiration if we are ignorant of it.”  –Eugene Peterson

As Christians, we see the acts of God in history as an essential part of our faith.  We make a mistake if we think that Christianity is based solely on the catechisms and the teachings of Jesus (the Beatitudes, etc.).  Christianity is rooted in history.  We believe that our life is critically affected by things that happened in the past.  Old Testament history shows God at work for his people.  The promises God made to his people were fulfilled in historical events.  That’s why it was important for Jewish parents to keep reminding their children of them through stories and through historical psalms like Psalm 77, 78, 81 and 83.  These examples of God’s acting on behalf of his people give new generations, including our own, hope that God will continue to act for us.  In this way, we see history truly as his story.  —One Year Book of Psalms, 6/24

When Israel out of Egypt came

They left the proud oppressors Land

Supported by the great I AM,

Safe in the hollow of His hand

–Charles Wesley