Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Friendships

Today I was downloading a lot of books, chapters, whatever from a friend from school. Another friend scanned them when we were down in California (he was only taking the morning class and we were quite happy to have him do some of our research for us in the afternoons!). After I downloaded the files, I decided to save the emails as well as a sort of back up, and also to make the research accessible when I'm not at home. To do this I created another file in my hotmail account. When I did that, I noticed the files that were there and started glancing through them at the emails I thought were worth saving.

Some of the files had emails from many years back, from in and around my university days. I saw names I had almost forgotten from friends that are mostly just memories now. I haven't seen some of them since those days and haven't heard from them in almost as long. Even the ones I've reconnected with on facebook are not really friends; they are friendships based on shared memories only. Yet, once upon a time, we were friends for a season. It seemed a bit sad at first, that we could be friends and then become little more than memories. Then I kept looking and found other names: people I knew that far back and still know today, and it set me to thinking more.

Here's what I think: God gives us friends at different times and for different purposes. Some friends are only ever intended to be for a season, whether for their sake or for ours or both. And when that time is over, we move on and become memories. It isn't a bad thing; it's just the way life is. Other people stay in our lives, sometimes coming and going, but always based on more than just memories: we share today with them. Either way, God has a reason and we need to enjoy and cherish and love our friends while we have them.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Exams

Yay, exams are done! I only had to write two of them this year, which isn't so bad (one year I had 4).

The first one took me 7 1/2 hours. Actually, 7 hours of exam writing and reading (it was open book) and trying to remember stuff and staring at the screen hoping words would appear. The other 1/2 hour was lunch time. I have a very good proctor: he set me up at the computer and then left me alone until it was time to feed me! The exam was on creation and covenant and covered most of the Pentateuch ("most of" because the only questions on Numbers and Deuteronomy,which we didn't really cover in class, were with other choices so I wrote on something else). It wasn't a bad exam. There were a couple really easy questions, like "what are the essential qualities of an Old Testament theology?" which, granted, doesn't seem easy, but right in my notes was the title "essential qualities of an Old Testament theology" with a list underneath it!

The other exam was a nice, normal 2 1/2 hour exam. It was on prophets and prophecy and had 10 questions that the prof had already given us; he had also gone over the components of a good answer for each question. Really, it was a matter of remembering all the points! Some questions only needed 2 sentences to answer; others needed 3-6 points to prove the answer. I did the first 6 questions in 45 minutes and then needed another 45 minutes for questions 7 and 8! I finished with time to go back over my answers, correcting the grammar, clarifying points and adding details; then I had time to skim through Psalms to find a reference I wanted to use (it was in Psalm 110), and still had 9 minutes to spare. Not a bad exam, really. Then the elder (aka proctor) helped me go through his library to find anything I might need for my research papers and then fed me supper (you see why he's a good proctor?).

Next week I start writing papers. The first one is due September 6, then every 2 weeks after that (actually, there's only a week between papers 3 and 4 and three weeks between papers 4 and 5), plus 2 papers for the other class. Everything will be done by the end of October.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Other Thoughts from the Week at School

A history of covenant people = a history of covenant failure

Beware of extreme allegorical interpretations and extreme pragmatic explanations

Question: why am I even trying to understand the 70 7’s in Daniel? It’s Friday afternoon at the end of a long week of learning (that oddly enough seemed to fly by) and I’m trying to understand numbers….yeah, it’s not going to happen. Actually, I’m okay with “they refer to years” and “they start at 444 or 445 B.C.” but now we’re getting into “how do the years carry down to Christ” and I’ve actually avoided this question 3 times and certainly don’t intend to try puzzling through it today.

The advantage to a small class is that I can use 3 desks if I decide I need them…and I decided that I need them!