Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Global Warming

You know, normally I don't care what celebrities say about the issues of the day. In my world, celebrity does not equal expert.

Today I will make an exception. Pat Sajak has a very good solution for man-made global warming. Go read it.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Random Thoughts from Today's Classes

As copied and pasted directly from my file marked "thoughts" where I add things I want to remember, bits of stuff to think about, or stuff that pops into my head that doesn't really belong in my notes....

Sounds: the typing of a dozen laptops; whispered conversations; people shifting; pages being turned; the AC blowing away (but not too cold today; it must have used up all its cold on Tuesday when we all nearly froze to death)

Abraham was accustomed to believe….shows a pattern of belief….and it is counted as righteousness

Why does he not plug the computer in at the start instead of waiting until the battery is about dead?

Know the sources of the Scriptures you use and you will need to use to explain things to people.

We come here to learn how to communicate to people who don’t know.

By Thursday afternoon, my brain is too tired to understand Ezekiel, and Daniel may do me in.

Every class needs a bit of a know-it-all, although ours is actually a really nice guy; he just answers questions rather verbosely!

Sometimes, when we read someone, we need to let the person speak to explain what he really means.

Based on conversations during the break, I don’t think many of us are focusing well today. The disadvantage of taking notes on the computer is the wealth of distractions right in front of us.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Further Notes from School

Today we got through Genesis 1-11. We have two days to finish the Pentateuch. We're part way through Ezekiel; we may finish the major prophets by Friday, but the minor prophets are not going to happen. On the other hand, we learned about making proper Chinese food, so it's all good.

Studying at night after a day of classes may not be the best idea...I don't think the sacrificial system was meant to be funny, but when you talk about scooping out the innards of the animals...and add sound effects...and have to explain to one of the guys that the bull is, by definition, a male...

We found a way to teach everyone the plagues in order:
2 with water: blood and frogs
2 to annoy people: gnats (or lice) and flies
2 to affect living creatures: dead cattle and boils
2 to destroy the land: hail and locusts
1 for the greatest gods, the sun and moon: darkness
and then death of the first born

We're also working on the Day of Atonement, which seems to include a lot of sacrifices and baths.

We learned the 10 commands forward and backward:
The first 5 we know forward: no other Gods, no idols, no taking God's name in vain, Sabbath, honor your parents.
The last 5 we know backwards, because of David who....
coveted his neighbor's wife, lied about everything, stole her, committed adultery, and had her husband murdered.

Finally, there is the Tabernacle: gold inside, bronze outside, blue and purple linen, goat hair coverings.

And now you, too, are ready for tomorrow's quiz.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Further to "But" as the Happiest Conjunction

Ephesians 2:1-7:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Do you see that? We were dead, and children of wrath, and if you read the first three verses, there was no hope for us.

But God….the most beautiful words! But God….for no reason of our own, only because of His great love and mercy, made us alive, and He gives not only life but grace and kindness and everything that we don’t deserve.

Everywhere: we are sinners deserving wrath and eternal judgment….but God saves us anyway.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Notes from School

1. There are 13 people in each of my classes: 12 guys and me. To be exact (and to squelch any comments from people who still want to marry me off): 8 married guys, 1 guy from Ukraine, and 3 guys who are at least 10 years younger than me (actually, so is the guy from Ukraine).

2. Dr. Boyd's quizzes are not too bad (at least the first one wasn't). They are just basic content quizzes, which is easy for the first 2 chapter of Genesis, but might be more challenging for later books.

3. Dr. Wong is my new favourite person because he decided not to give us the quizzes on Rosscup's book, but to just have us read it (we all already read it) and he'll tell the Biblical Studies office we all get 100%.

4. Most of Dr. Wong's class was about the papers and how to do research and what he wants. We really didn't do much on the prophets. He did, however, give us all 10 questions that will be on the final and started giving us notes on them. I think he wants everyone to pass the class! He takes his role as teacher very seriously, and is determined to give us the skills and tools we need to be successful.

5. It's really nice being back in school, surrounded by students who want to learn. It's also nice seeing everyone again.

A Comparison

Yesterday I was at Grace Community Church (aka John MacArthur's Church, also GCC). I was thinking about how it compares to my home church, Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Edmonton (GRBC).

First, size:
If we had the same sized choir, with the orchestra, music minister, and pastor at home as they do here, there would be about 30 people, max, left in the pews...and they would all be children. I have no idea how many people attend GCC. You need to consider that only half the people are in the service at once; the rest are in Sunday School classes. They switch for second service (well, some of them do for sure; I don't know about all of them). The Sunday School class we attended seemed to be about as large as our congregation on a regular Sunday, although again minus the children. Plus, we meet in a few rooms in the basement of a hotel; GCC has a whole complex with a sanctuary, chapel, information booth, gym, Sunday School building, courtyard, and book store, plus whatever else I've never seen.

Next, music:
In the service, the choir sings alone about as much as the congregation sings. It's straight hymns, which is okay by me. I would prefer to sing more, though. In Sunday School we sing a bit more (Sunday School is more of a service, but more informal) and there are more modern hymns (like praise choruses only with better lyrics). Between the two services, then, we get a lot of what I hear (and sing) at home. It's nice.

Most importantly, the message:
The sermon in the big service could have been preached by a certain elder at my church: it was about God's wrath and justice. It was very, very good. He talked about sin and how God doesn't mark on a curve but on a pass/fail, and about hell. He tied it into our need to reach the lost because God's wrath is real and hell is a real place. He also talked about 1 John 2:1-2, about how we have an intercessor who bore God's wrath for us, so we have reason to rejoice. In Sunday School they are going though the requirements of an elder in 2 Timothy, which we have also done a year or so ago.

Conclusions:
I like GCC; it's interesting to see how a very big church runs and see how much is the same as our small church, just on a larger scale; plus, they have a bookstore! Still, I love my own church best, probably because I belong there and I know and love the people.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

From the Kids

Here is today's story, courtesy of my students:

One of my grade 4 boys was working with a multiplication wrap-up for fun (he actually does reading with us but prefers math). For the uninitiated: wrap-ups have a row of questions on one side and a row of answers on the other and you wrap a string around them, matching questions and answers; there are lines of the back and if the string covers the lines properly, you got them all right. Got it? Good.

Back to the student: he was cheating by wrapping it from the back, simply matching the lines. When I told him he was cheating, he said, "That's how we do it in my country." From there we get the following conversation:

Me: Dude, you're from Canada. This is your country.

Student 2: Maybe his country is India [a reasonable guess].

Student 1: No, my country is Australia.

Student 2: Oh yeah? Well speak Australi-ish.

Student 1: I bet you can't speak Australi-ish.

Student 2: Well I'm not from there.

Student 1: Well I'm the president of Australia.

Of course you are, dear. In your own little world.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

To Think About

In reading Matthew Henry's commentary (on Jonah 3:1-4), I came upon this:

"We should be alarmed if we were sure not to live a month, yet we are careless, though we are not sure to live a day."

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Canada Day

Today is July 1st, so I am supposed to be posting about Canada and how wonderful it is and how much I love it.

Canada is a wonderful country.

I love Canada.

Good enough? Okay, some details: I love that it's so big, and that there are oceans and mountains and forests and prairies (I think God did a very good job when He made Canada), and that our colours are red and white (I love red).

That's it. I'm very busy with the minor prophets right now. Furthermore, I am in Alberta and Alberta did not become a province and officially join confederation until September 1, 2005. Someone remind me at the end of August, and I'll give you the official, patriotic, I-love-my-country post then.