Tuesday, 30 September 2008

27 Days

I have 2 papers due in October. Long papers; the 30 page or more type.

If anyone needs me, I'll be hiding out reading and writing and rewriting and eating goldfish crackers and yelling in frustration because all the books have a different opinion and I will never survive this!!!

The last paper is due in 27 days, 1 hour, and 59 minutes (according to my computer clock).

In 28 days I will rejoin civilization.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Slowing Down

I've gotten into the habit of living life fast. I'm always in a hurry to get here or there, afraid of being late or wasting time or something. And, for the record, I am in favour of being on time and using time wisely. I think, though, that it becomes so much a habit that it's hard to slow down and I think it's important to slow down or life becomes too overwhelming and I stop sleeping properly and feel that I'm falling even further behind.....sort of like the past few weeks. At the very least I need to be in less of a hurry to get to places like the store or the library; there's no need to rush.

I know of 3 ways to slow down.
1. Get worn out and so exhausted that I couldn't rush even if I wanted to. This works but I don't recommend it! Not only is it bad for your health, it's also very discouraging and frustrating.

2. Consciously walk more slowly. I do that sometimes, usually when I'm on vacation and I realize that I'm walking very quickly (I-might-miss-the-bus speed) through a park. It takes some focus and reminders to myself to breath slowly and relax.

3. Borrow small children. That's what I did today; I had a 5-year old and a 3-year old come to play. I was able to relax and just play with them (happily ignoring the pile of research books shoved off to the side). Later we went for a walk with the skipping ropes and stopped to look at whatever caught their eye (they've never come to visit before so it was all new). It took 2 hours to walk to McDonalds (15 minutes alone when the lights are against me), eat lunch and walk back. Then we played more, cleaned up, and watched VeggieTales. They've gone home now but my mind is in "relax and slow down" mode.

It's funny: for me, having the kids is my time off to slow down and relax. For the parents, giving me the kids is their time off to slow down and relax! It's really a win-win situation.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008


Ever since the beginning of summer I've been waiting for life to slow down enough for me to catch up. Every time I think it's about to settle down, something else happens.

First there was school and moving; then things started happening at work: a teacher was put on bed rest and quit, another teacher kept getting sick (when she lost her voice half way through her shift we knew it was for real), I was teaching twice the number of hours I am supposed to plus trying to keep up with my regular work....but through it all we knew that it wouldn't last forever and summer would end.

Then there was that terrible week when the 2 teachers were out sick, my director was out sick on day and at the hospital waiting on her dad's surgery the next day, and then my grandmother died, and I was trying to cope at work, and then I made a very quick trip home for the funeral...but summer would end soon and life would relax.

And then it was September but instead of things returning to normal they picked up weirdness when I was "needed" in other centres around the city (with intense commutes but that's a post for another day) 2 days a week. And there was still schoolwork to be done. And somehow I managed to keep up (prayer...lots and lots of prayer).

This morning I got an email from my friend Jude. Her father died on Monday. He was in his late 70s and had been sick on and off (mostly complications due to the diabetes) for a long time. The first time I met him, probably close to 6 years ago (not too long after I moved to Edmonton) he learned that both my grandfathers died many years back. Having no grandfathers was not right, so he declared himself to be my grandpa. I loved Grandpa; he was a character! And now my heart hurts again. And I'm still praying for the strength for each day.

And I wonder: how much more does He think I can handle?

Friday, 12 September 2008

Library Cards

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that today I acquired my 4th library card. Understand, that's the 4th currently valid library card, not 4th ever (I've had more than 4 at various times in the past but not 4 at once).

I know that some of you don't think there's anything great about that. The rest of you, though, understand the joy of having access to that many books!

The list:
1. Edmonton Public Library card...of course! I had that one on the 3rd day after moving here!
2. The Master's College library card....acquired early in July, and mostly useless when I'm not down there (although they will send me books if I really need them).
3. The Alberta Library (TAL) card....it allows me access to most libraries in Alberta, including the University of Alberta, which is the only place I've used it so far.
4. Taylor University College and Seminary library card....which does not accept any TAL card and requires external borrowers to pay ($15.00/6 months or $25.00/year) and is my most recently acquired card.

Life is good.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Journal Article Titles

I'm in the depths of looking for on-line journal articles for my paper on 2 Peter (I need at least 20 sources; so far I have 11). I have stumbled upon the archives for Journal of Higher Criticism and I feel the need to share some of the titles of the articles with you.

"From Lower Criticism to Higher Criticism: Joseph Priestley and the Use of Conjectural Emendation"

"Pentacostal Mutterings and Evangelical Blandishments"

"St. Ignatius: The Insidious Pragmatism of the Episkopoi of Rome and the Rise of Christianity"

"The Owen Hypothesis: An Essay Showing That it was Henry Owen Who First Formulated the So-called 'Griesbach Hypothesis'"

"Identification of the Bethany Youth in the Secret Gospel of Mark with other Figures Found in Mark and John,"

"Gunkel Versus Wellhausen: The Unfinished Task of the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule"

So...does anyone understand any of those?

Saturday, 6 September 2008


I've finished my paper on the book of Nehemiah. It was an immense relief to submit it and be done! Now, of course, I have to start on the next one.

The Nehemiah paper looked at issues of authorship, date, canonicity, etc. I was talking to a couple of friends when I was finishing it up and mentioned that I had a point in the essay that I hadn't backed up and I was trying to find the reference. It wasn't a major point but it did involve the question of authorship. One of them asked a very logical question: "Does it matter if we know who wrote Nehemiah?"

No, not really. Nehemiah is not ususally a "make it or break it" point for a person's faith. You don't hear salvation stories that include "Well, I was reading Nehemiah...."

But...if I was going to undermine Christianity, to convince people that there is no God and that the Bible isn't true, I wouldn't start with the big stuff; I wouldn't ask them to prove that God exists. Nope, I would start off small, maybe with a book like Nehemiah, one that seems less important.

It goes like this: well, we really don't know who wrote Nehemiah; it was probably written long after Nehemiah died; historical sources (i.e. non-biblical) show that whoever wrote it got history wrong (side note: when you hear this, check the sources yourself and see how old they are; more recent archeological findings actually prove the truth of biblical stories, etc, that were once deemed hisorically inaccurate or impossible); therefore you can't really trust this part of the Bible......and it slips doubt into the reliability of this part of the Bible which eventually leads to doubting the Bible as a whole....and the job is done.

And so Nehemiah may become a "make it or break it" point after all.