Share Four Somethings—The Fire Next Time {A Book a Day 24}
—Grace & Truth Linkup

Near the end of each month, I share four somethings at Jennifer’s linkup: what I’m loving, reading, learning, and eating. 

And my last month’s One Second Everyday video . . . 

[click here if you can’t see the video]

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What I’m Loving


Jeff and I finally got to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC a few months ago, shortly after its 6-year anniversary. It’s the largest and most comprehensive museum exclusively dedicated to telling the African American story.

Museum of African American History and Culture

It was all the things I expected it to be . . . heart-wrenching, terrifying, sobering, and in the end, inspiring. It’s still hard for me to put into words the depth of emotion and thoughts it stirred in me.

I highly recommend this masterpiece of a museum.  

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What I’m Reading 


On the second floor of the museum, I was delighted to see the museum’s book exhibit.

It included this book that I finally read and recommend now to you: The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

“The great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it… History is literally present in all that we do.”
– James Baldwin

The Fire Next Time

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What I’m Learning


I already knew this, but the museum was a great reminder of this lesson I don’t want to forget: The truth of history needs to be remembered and told in the present, even when it hurts.

Maybe especially when it hurts.

Sadly, The Fire Next Time still feels oddly relevant to our current climate of racial tension in the United States.

And it’s 60 years old.

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What I’m Eating


The museum has a large restaurant inside it, Sweet Home Café. It serves African-American dishes in four dining stations: North States, Creole Coast, Agricultural South and Western Range.

Jeff and I ate from the Agricultural South section: pulled pork BBQ, cornbread, and mac and cheese, a meal we might also eat on any given day at home. It was delicious.

What’s a favorite museum you’ve visited? Have you been to the National Museum of African American History and Culture? 

Share in the comments.

You are on Day #24 of the February series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

Table of Contents - A Book a Day

Platonic” {Book 23}

Cultish” {Book 25}


Grace & Truth Featured Post

Jesus said what’s most important is love (Matthew 22:37-40). So Cami challenges us about our stuff, the things we love, in this week’s featured post. She said her stuff and busyness often hindered her from fulfilling the greatest commands of loving God and loving others as herself.

Cami asks in her post, “Have you ever thought of minimalism as helping you live a life more like Jesus?”

Read all of Cami’s post here, then share your own blog links below.

3 Ways Minimalism Helps Us Live Like Jesus

Review the rules here about adding your most recent Christian Living posts and how to be the Featured Post. Visit all four hosts social media here or websites here: Maree Dee, Lisa notes, Lauren Sparks, Tammy Kennington.

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28 thoughts on “Share Four Somethings—The Fire Next Time {A Book a Day 24}
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Debbie Wilson

    Lisa, you impress me with all you accomplish. I’d like to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. I visited the holocaust museum in Jerusalem. Those parts of history are not easy to take in, but necessary.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I can only imagine all the heartache you felt when you visited the holocaust museum in Jerusalem! We went to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum also while we were in DC, and it was horrific. 🙁 But yes, necessary to witness to help prevent a next time.

  2. Lynn

    Gosh, I liked seeing the spring-like weather you have! The budding tree is beautiful! You can tell I am craving spring weather! I think my favourite museum is in Jasper National Park (Alberta). It is very small, but tells the big story of the Alberta Rocky Mountains becoming a destination. One time I received a tour of the archives which was special experience (that was on my bucket list).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, remember to remember. Some things I’d rather forget (and some things are good to forget!). 🙂 But our country’s history isn’t one of them. Thanks for stopping in, Lisa!

  3. Jerralea Winn Miller

    “History is literally present in all that we do.” How foolish we are to ignore it or pretend it never happened.

    This is the second time I’ve seen a recommendation to read Cami’s blog about minimalism. I better check it out!

  4. Barbara Harper

    I always love your one-second-a-day videos. It was fun to see your grandson pushing the meal cart. He’s getting so big!

    That does sound like a sobering but inspiring museum. So true that history is present in all we do.

    We’ve never been to DC, though my husband would like to go some time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Our little grandson is definitely growing up so fast. He’s been such a joy in our lives in every way. Having never had sons, I’m getting a taste of what you already know having raised sons. 🙂

  5. Ann Adams

    I honestly didn’t know this museum existed. Thank you for sharing your experience. My favorite museums are the Smithsonian Museums (it’s been nearly thirty years since I last visited though), but the one museum that still haunts me today is the Holocaust Museum in DC – my family and I visited the day it opened. At the end of the tour, you see a floor full of shoes that once belonged to actual Jewish people.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      This museum is actually one of the Smithsonian Museums too! It’s only 6 years old so it wasn’t there the last time we visited DC either (which also was years and years ago). We did get to visit the Holocaust Museum also on our trip last fall and you’re right that it is haunting. 🙁 The shoes made an impression on me, too. Lord, have mercy on us all. The things humans can do to each other is frightening.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for this encouragement about the videos, Linda. There are days when I think I’ll just stop, but I enjoy looking back at the older videos too much to stop now! My future self will thank me if I keep going. 🙂

  6. Jolene

    I have never met a museum that I didn’t like. I am a substitute teacher and former homeschool Mom whose kids roll their eyes at their Mom’s excitement at any form or fashion of learning opportunity. I will put “The Fire Next Time” on my want to read list.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love that attitude of loving museums, Jolene. 🙂 I’m a former homeschool mom too, and we definitely put in lots of hours at museums. I find them far more interesting now that I’m an adult than when I was a child, but then again, I think they’re creating museums in more enjoyable ways now.

  7. Lory @ Entering the Enchanted Castle

    I went to a museum too! It was nothing like as huge and important as the one you went to, but I was still so glad to get out of the house and see some beautiful art.

    I do really need to read The Fire Next Time. It’s sometimes depressing to think about how some things seem not to change, but let’s keep in mind also what HAS changed. For example, the existence of the museum itself is a triumph. And so, too, all the incredible Black authors whose works we can read today, thanks to the pioneering work of Baldwin and others. We’re seeing quite a bit of backlash at the moment, but the progress will continue.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      The museum you visited sounded like such a delicious feast for the eyes and soul, Lory. Those are important too. You’re right that we need to keep in mind that we have made progress, even if not as much as we’d like. Steps forward, even small ones, don’t need to be negated. I need that reminder to keep from getting discouraged. Thanks.

  8. Joanne

    That museum visit sounds wonderful and so powerful! I think it’s sad that we teach so much watered down history in our schools and make it so dry and boring when in reality studying history and the truth of the events as they unfolded is often a bit hurtful and should be fully engaging.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Exactly. I didn’t like history when I was in school, but I think one reason was because it was taught in such a dry way. Nowadays we have more interesting sources that bring it to light in engaging ways, albeit often painful ones, that can help us understand more. The newest challenge seems to remaining open to teaching all of history instead of watering it down, as you say. 🙁

  9. Cathy

    It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a museum. But one that really affected me was the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. It’s hard to say I loved it, but it just really made the history of the Holocaust so real. It’s so hard to believe that people can treat other people that way.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, Cathy! We visited the Holocaust Museum the day before the African American Museum last fall. Both museums were huge punches to the gut that I won’t soon forget. As painful as they are, though, I’m glad we have reminders that these things did happen so that we can bear witness to the harm and learn from them.

  10. Cindy Davis

    I have been to DC many times, but have not been to that museum. I love that you were able to center your whole post around it. I can see where the book is still relevant, we still have a LONG way to go for racial equality.

  11. Jennifer

    I had no idea this museum had a cafe inside. Hmm (I suppose most of them do but never really thought about it). I will definitely have to check it out. Glad you so enjoyed your visit!

  12. David

    That’s an impressive-looking museum. I remember reading about it when it opened. The Jewish museum in Berlin is a strong one: half about Jewish life in Berlin before the mid-20th century and half, in a special building, about the Holocaust. The grounds of the museum included original railway lines that used to lead to the camps.

    I see you doing jigsaws! We are moving and one of the essential pieces of furniture in the new place is a coffee table specially for jigsaws.

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