Tuesday, 28 July 2009

What I'm NOT Reading

I'm starting preliminary research for my essays today. Step one is to see if the public library has anything useful. Usually I can get some general information from them and use the bibliographies is those books to find better books elsewhere. From there I'll move on to inter-library loans and then the university library.

Anyway, I entered "New Testament" as my search term and found a couple books that I will definitely not be reading:

The yoga of Jesus : understanding the hidden teachings of the gospels : selections from the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda 1st ed. Yogananda, Paramahansa, 1893-1952.

Jesus, interrupted : revealing the hidden contradictions in the Bible (and why we don't know about them) 1st ed. Ehrman, Bart D.
(Side note: can anyone find the problem with that title?)

The first book claims that Jesus knew and taught yoga (a claim of which I am highly skeptical). The second book, based in its description on Amazon and the reader comments, is pure heresy. It claims that Jesus, Matthew, John, and someone else, were all writing about different religions.

So that's what I'm not reading. I'm going to check whether or not they have anything worth reading.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Thinking About Stuff

There was a time when I just accepted life the way it was. I went along with everything and never really put a lot of deep thought into what people were saying or teaching.

Now people are making me think. The elders at my church are the worst (or best) for this. They won't let me sit back and accept everything and they won't just give me answers (well, they will if I really can't figure it out). For example, there was a song we sung in church that one of the elders had a bit of an issue with and he wouldn't tell me what, he just asked me why the line was a problem...and I had to think...and I knew the answer! Which was kind of nice, actually!

The thing is, I'm doing it all the time now. I do it when we're singing in church and when I'm listening to sermons, even sermons by people I trust completely. And sometimes I disagree with what I hear. Sometimes I disagree with what the elders tell me (but don't tell them!). Actually, they're okay with disagreement. It's hardest for me because I'm sure they must be right and I'm not always good at verbalizing my point and I still think people will laugh at me because they either won't understand me or I'll be wrong (which is unfair to the people who have never laughed at me). There are people that it is safe to disagree with out loud.

Okay...back to the point...

It's good, this habit of thinking things through, even if it's work. Even if I agree with most of what I hear, which I do. It keeps me from getting lazy and from possibly letting untruths leak through when I don't expect it. So maybe I should thank the people who make me think.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Back at Masters

Yesterday afternoon I arrived back at The Masters College for my annual week of classes. Suddenly all those hours spent doing homework seem worth the effort for this one, glorious, happy week of being with other students and with teachers and learning.

I think coming back was even better than coming the first time. This year there was no uncertainty or wondering what it would be like. It was like coming home. The campus is familiar and I know so many people and it feels right. No matter who is around we can just talk and catch up and share stories and laugh and be together easily. Or we can sit around working or reading or whatever with only occasional bits of conversation here and there and that's okay too.

Tomorrow I start classes. Tomorrow will be a happy day too.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Happy Henday!

You didn't know that tomorrow is Henday? It's a very important day that we set aside to celebrate chickens, a very important part of our diet. After all, they provide us with eggs and... well... chicken. Surely you plan to celebrate!

Perhaps an explanation is in order. Sunday evening a friend and her 6 year old son were driving me home from church when we crossed Anthony Henday Drive. The boy pointed out the Henday and then asked what a Henday is. His mom was nice enough to tell him that it was named after a person. I told him that it was the day set aside to celebrate chickens. He liked my version better (go figure). He laughed and asked when Henday is. I didn't know, so I asked him what he thought and he said "Friday." Then he asked how we celebrate Henday so his mom and I asked him what he thought (I should really think about the details before saying whatever comes to mind).

He wanted fireworks high up in the sky and balloons on the roof of the house. We convinced him that the celebration had to involve chickens, like drawing pictures of chickens or eating chicken. He agreed, adding that we can eat eggs too and sugar (all his celebrations have to involve sugar in some form).

I've already apologised to his mom for telling him about Henday. I hope he forgets, but he assures me that he won't, so I suspect they may be celebrating Henday soon. Well, as long as he stays away from fireworks it should be all good!

Happy Henday everyone!

Saturday, 11 July 2009


Too often when people say they are sorry or apologize, what they want is not forgiveness but for you to brush their sin away as if it never happened (I'm sure there's a single word for that but I don't know it). They want everything to be okay again with no consequences or restitution or even real repentance.

I think forgiveness has become just a word sometimes. You see it when tragedies occur, like school shootings, and immediately people start forgiving the perpetrators. First, I'm not sure you can forgive someone for what he has done to someone else; second, this sort of "forgiveness" allows the person to side-step repentance or even apologies. He's already been forgiven so there is no need to even acknowledge guilt.

I think that for forgiveness to be real, repentance must also be real. It includes admitting that there was sin and hurt and this needs to be dealt with. Otherwise it becomes meaningless.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Bits and Pieces

The first full week of summer classes is over at work. I'm so tired....every year I forget how tiring the first week or two can be. After that things settle down, there are fewer new students, and time flies. It's still busy, but I adjust to it.

Some of the tired may be from the concert last night! A group of friends and I went to see Kenny Chesney and it ended very late. There were a couple of minor opening acts, then Taylor Swift, then (finally) Kenny Chesney! It was amazing.

In 8 days I'm leaving for school! I'm so excited (although I have a pile of homework to do still). Five full days of classes and being with people who understand why I'm there! The teaching and the fellowship are both great.

My friend Sarah is coming tomorrow night. She used to attend my church until she moved away for work. She's heard that our pastor isn't well and is finally able to make time to come visit. Sarah and I don't see each other often and we don't talk or email often but we have one of those friendships that can just pick up again when we see each other.

That sums up my life right now.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Simple Logic

I was reviewing the alphabet with our youngest student (she's not yet five). She got stuck on one letter and told me she had to think about it. She explained it like this:

"I need to think about it. If I can't think of it, then I'll have no idea what it is."

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The List

A couple years ago at a work retreat we were encouraged to make a list of 100 things we want to do before we die. It was one of those "you can do/be whatever you want if you just believe in yourself and think positively" things. Anyway, eventually I tried to make a list (I only got to 86 things) and put it aside.

A couple weeks ago I was looking at the list again. What struck me is how completely self-centered it is. That makes sense, right? It is a list of what I want to do. And there was nothing bad on the list. But it bothered me that everything on there was to make me happy and bring me glory. That isn't supposed to be my goal in life; it's supposed to be to serve God and glorify Him.

So I tossed the list. I'm not sure what exactly I should want to do before I die, only that it has to focus on what God desires: obedience, service, sacrifice.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

O Canada

I was over at challies.com and learned some things about our national anthem. When I learned it in French I never actually learned the words or what they mean. I just learned to sing it based on how it sounds. Here are the actual words translated into English:

O Canada! Home of our ancestors,
Your brow is wreathed with glorious garlands!
Just as your arm knows how to wield the sword,
It also knows how to bear the cross;
Your history is an epic
Of the most brilliant feats.
And your valour steeped in faith
Will protect our homes and our rights;
Will protect our homes and our rights.

I really doesn't resemble the English version at all, does it? So, when we mix the two, which has become very popular, we end up with this:

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
Just as your arm knows how to wield the sword,
It also knows how to bear the cross;
Your history is an epic
Of the most brilliant feats.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

It's a bit too militaristic and proud for a Canadian anthem, don't you think?