Monday, 28 July 2008

Quick Update

I'm moved into my new place and I really, really, really like it! It's not too big and not too small, so it's just right!

The only fly in my ointment: no internet access until August 10. That's, like, forever!

I'll try to check in before then and write a real post on some things I've been thinking about whenever I'm close enough to a computer with enough time.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Still Moving...

We brought most of the stuff over to the apartment this evening. It went faster than I thought it would, and we got all the furniture and most of the other stuff in one load. All that's left for tomorrow is stuff I need tonight, stuff I don't want to lose and have to sort through boxes for, and a bit of very fragile and important stuff. I'm looking around my room (from the floor since we took all the furniture; I'll sleep in the guest room tonight) and I think that this is about as much stuff as I had when I moved out here. There was maybe another suitcase, but that's about it. I still don't know where it all came from!

Tomorrow morning we will move the rest of the stuff and I will have officially moved into my own apartment. Then all I have to do is unpack.

I don't know when I'll have internet access; hopefully it won't take too long! Of course there's always the library, but I won't have one as close as I do now. Well, I'll survive!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Getting Ready to Move

My room does not really look like my room anymore. Most of the stuff is packed and either in the hall or the dining room, ready to lug into cars and off to the new apartment. I can see 3 books in my room (actually there are a few more in my backpack). The bookcases are empty and most of them have been moved out. Most of what's left to pack are clothes and last minute bits of stuff. It's very strange and empty.

We went to the apartment last night because I got the keys yesterday and I wanted to show it off a bit. It really is a nice little place with lots of kitchen cupboards, a balcony with a door from the living room and another one from my bedroom, and a little laundry room. We took the first few boxes then. There was a real mix of stuff thanks to my "put it wherever it fits" style of packing: books, files, paper cups, Christmas tree lights, coasters, a stuffed kitten, and some office supplies, to name a few! Today and tomorrow my current landlady brought/will bring a load of stuff while I'm at work and Thursday night I've borrowed a friend's van and her husband to move the big furniture. Friday is officially moving day, though, and that's when I'll be in my new place for real.

I'm nervous and excited and tired...I really don't like packing!

Friday, 11 July 2008

Wrapping Up and a Confession

Today was the last day of classes. This has been the most wonderful week. I have learned so much and been challenged on so many points. I've learned how much I don't know and how much I have to learn. I've also learned the beginning of how to learn more.

I am not ready to go home. Usually at the end of being away I switch into "can't wait to go home" mode. It's not happening this time. I have been so happy here. This has been the best week ever. You know how sometimes you can wait and long for something and build it up so much there's no way it can match your expectations and, as good as the reality is, it's a bit of a letdown? I was a bit afraid that this would be like. It wasn't. It was everything I hoped for and then some.

But, in the morning, I must leave. Work and other responsibilities await me. And home is good. I will be back in my own church on Sunday with my flock of babies to teach. I am happy there too. I wish I could be in both places.

Oh, and the confession: I went back to the bookstore and bought 3 more books.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Quick Thoughts

American coke isn't as good as Canadian coke.

It was actually quite nice outside today; not too hot with an occasional cool wind.

I went to the campus bookstore and managed to leave with only 2 new books.

I have to write a paper tonight.

The Master's College is my new favourite place!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Bits of Stuff

Someone did the conversion for me today and told me that it was 38 degrees outside. Translation: way too hot! Our classroom was too chilly yesterday (we can't find any way to control the temp) so we opened all the windows and doors to balance out the A/C and then again this morning; by the end of the morning it was feeling pretty good and we were able to start closing doors and windows again!

We got ID photos today and library cards. Of course there really isn't time to check out, read, and return books; not if I'm going to keep up with classes and the homework.

Speaking of homework: we had a historical context paper due yesterday for hermeneutics. Abner returned them today. He gave us two marks: the one the paper deserved and the one we actually got. Because it was our first paper and we're still learning what's expected he was lenient about the marking but he wanted us to know where we needed to improve. Which is pretty cool since it improved my mark significantly!

The food here is really good and there is a lot of it. For example: today for lunch I had salad, a hot dog, and enchiladas. I did not have other types of salad, french fries, broccoli, pork wraps, beans, or whatever else was there (I know there was one more dish, but I forget what). Then, just in case we starve between meals, there's the snack room. It has coffee, tea, water, cold drinks, granola bars, cookies, chips, chocolate, fruit, bagels, veggies, goldfish crackers.....Abner says he once moved his class into the snack room!

Our class only has 9 students (in fact hermeneutics only has 8 since one girl is only taking the one class). The Biblical Counseling program has about 30 first year students, but Biblical Studies is relatively new. I guess in later summers the classes may be smaller because not everyone will take the same classes every year; after all, I'm only here for a week but one guy is here for all 3 weeks so next summer I'll be taking some of the classes he's taking in the next 2 weeks. I like the smallness of it though. It's easier to get to know people, although 4 of our students commute so they aren't here in the evenings. And a lot of the people I have meals with and stuff are from Biblical Counseling.

I still love it here.

Monday, 7 July 2008

First Day of Classes

I love being a student. I love being in classes, listening, taking notes, learning and learning and learning. It was a long day and by the end I was so tired I could hardly think but it is completely worth it.

This morning I had Introduction to Biblical Studies with Dr Paul Thorsell. Dr Thorsell is in his early 50's and is a very good teacher. We have class notes that he follows fairly well but he will get off on occasion to illustrate a point and he expands on the notes as well. He walks around some when he teaches and sits on the edge of the desk when he's answering questions. So far it's mostly lecture but he stops to make sure we're all understanding and he's okay with interruptions for clarification.

In the afternoon I have Hermeneutics with Abner Chou. Abner is very different; he's younger, to start with (not yet 30; it's a bit strange to learn that I'm older than my teacher) and more animated. He uses illustrations, analogies, and hastily drawn pictures, charts, diagrams, etc. as he teaches. Abner is more informal but very passionate about the truth and the Bible. I'm not sure which one I prefer as I am learning well from both of them.

I am so happy that I came and I thank God all the time for letting me be here. The days are long and tiring but the teaching is so good I don't think I'll ever get enough.

Favourite quote (during a story about a minister totally misusing scripture):
"You're wielding a double-edged sword and waving it around like it's a butter knife."

Sunday, 6 July 2008

The Master's College

My first thought is that it is way too hot here! And the dorms are at the top of a very steep hill (everything else, of course, is at the bottom). But it's amazing. From my window I can see the hills and the mountains in the distance. It's not at all like home, which of course is flat; also, it's so much drier here so the colours are different; more muted, I think, yellows and darker green with bits of brighter green here and there. The houses that I can see are all yellowish with red roofs.

I've met a lot of people, mostly from the states of course, but another Canadian, one from the Dominican Republic, and a woman from Japan who figures that about the time she gets over jet lag it will be time to go home! We talk a lot about homes and families and programs (it seems most people are in Biblical Counseling; so far we've only found 4 of us in Biblical Studies). Some people are on the "suicide track" (a.k.a. the very intense 2 year plan); the rest of us are working on completing in 4 to 6 years instead!

They don't serve meals on Saturdays (and the only official Sunday meal is breakfast but we stopped for lunch after church and there's a welcome banquet tonight) so, since most of us arrived in the afternoon we were hungry by evening! We were waiting for the shuttle bus driver to ask if he would drop us off in town on his way through and pick us up on the way back (it's a bit of a walk; not so bad going but uphill all the way back) when another guy came over to see if anyone wanted to go get some food; he had driven (he lives about 6 hours away) and had a car and knew a good pizza place. A group of us went with him and he's right: it is really good pizza! We brought a couple back for the others as well so everyone got fed.

This morning we went to Grace Community Church. I was hoping to hear John MacArthur preach but he's on vacation; Phil Johnson (the chief of the Pyromaniacs; see the link to the side) preached instead; he talked about Ephesians 2:8-10. It was really good stuff. The church is huge; I think their choir is bigger than our entire church! That was for first service; during second service we went to one of the fellowship groups; I ended up in Crossroads, the college and young adults (official ages: 18-25, so I decided to be 25 again!) which was interesting. They were definitely young adult oriented with the praise band and mostly praise songs (but they sang one hymn; let me tell you, though, "O For a Thousand Tongues" sounds somewhat different with drums and electric guitars than it does with an organ). The songs, though, were good songs with good doctrine and they didn't sing the choruses 6 times over (you know the type I mean) and the speaker was really good. He talked about Paul before King Agrippa and about being able to give a testimony that highlights salvation. It was a good morning.

So now most people are finishing homework or having some down time. Most of us are still tired from travel and we didn't all sleep well last night (one girl kept waking up sweating and then finally thought "hey, I bet that thing under the window turns on"). In an hour or so we have a tour of the campus and then the welcome banquet. Tomorrow classes start and I can't wait! If I have time and energy I'll try to keep you all updated!

Friday, 4 July 2008


Library books have been returned.
The paper is written, rewritten, proof read, and printed.
Books have been sorted for the garage sale.
Laundry is done (we have water again).
Bags are packed.

I cannot believe it is finally time. I have wanted Bible college since I was 17. I have wanted The Master's College for a year. I thought it would not happen. I prayed, and then I prayed more, and one by one the obstacles fell. It has been so amazing watching God work. I still pray, often, for wisdom and ability and knowledge and the desire to study when I want to play. I think, if I could not get into school without God's help, I won't get through it without Him. I pray that I will always remember why I'm doing this: to know Him and to serve Him more and better.

And in about 8 hours I will leave the house for a week of classes. It is finally time. I am ready.

Getting Ready to Leave

Okay, so I'm leaving for school in the morning and all I have to do is check my paper for any glaring errors, go to the library, finish going through books to determine which ones will make it into the garage sale, do laundry, pack....

And, hey, did I mention that the hot water heater is broken? And that until the guy comes later today (and no one knows when) we have no water because the cold water is shut off too so that means no laundry and no packing and I'll end up doing it in the middle of the night and I don't like having my plans messed up when I'm this busy! And I don't like having so much to do and feeling that I'm wasting the day because I can't do it all. Plus it means other people are grumpy because they can't plan their day either because they have to wait for the guy to show up. Yeah, it's fun stuff around here.

It's shaping up to be a stressful day. I think I'll go hide somewhere until the water is back and everyone is happy again. Maybe at the library, eh?

So if you have a minute today, pray for me. I'm stressed and excited and worried about what school will be like and basically a mix of emotions. I like structure and plans and knowing what to expect so, yeah, this is a bit rough.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

3 days

I have been waiting since I was 17 to go to Bible College and now I leave in 3 days!!!!! In a sense, of course, I've been 'attending' since I started the work in March but next week I will actually be on campus in classes learning from professors.

Okay, I have a paper to finish before I leave so I'd better go write.

Hey, did I mention I'm going to school?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

What I Wish People Would Understand

Actually, there are a lot of things, but this one is about me right now...

Yes, I am going to school in California next week. And you all respond the same way: like I should be more excited about California than about school; that school is secondary to the joy of the location, and it's really just an excuse for a little vacation.

Listen to me, people:
  1. I will be in classes from 8:30 - 12:30 and then from 1:30 - 5:30. After that there's homework. This is not some vacation on the beach type of trip. Yes, there will be time to relax but not to do all the touristy stuff you all think I'm going to do and recommend that I do. It's school, people. It means work.
  2. I don't mind the work. I have waited for 16 years to go to Bible college and now I get to go and I plan to take advantage of every bit of learning I can get.
  3. I don't like heat. I am happiest when it's in the mid-20's. Right now in Santa Clarita it's in the 30's. This is very hot to this northerner. I do not function well when it's very hot. I find it very tiring.
  4. I did not choose the school for its location. I chose it for its teachings and for the program.

Okay, I feel better now. I know there will still be people who have already made up their minds about how this is really a vacation and I'll spend more time on the beaches than in class. That, they think, is what they would do, and they certainly don't believe me when I try to explain any of the above (if they even listen). I think that they are judging me based on what they would do. Me, I am counting down the days until I can finally be at school.

(4 days until I leave)