Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Psalm 73

I'm memorizing Psalm 73 this summer. The author (Asaph) and I understand each other (or would if he wasn't dead). Sometimes it's hard to see the wicked prosper and seem to have no difficulties. It's hard to remember that God will judge them and that belonging to Him is a million times better than any earthly stuff.

I've decided to memorize it slowly. I could learn it in a week or so if I really tried, but I want to know it fully, and to think about it carefully. To that end, I'm doing 3 verses a week (except the last week, when I will learn 4 (but I already know 2 of them)).

To start....

Surely God is good to Israel,
To those who are pure in heart!
But as for me, my feet came close to stumbling,
My steps had almost slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

There it is: an acknowledgement of God's goodness, of the Psalmist's sins, and of the reason for the sins. What encourages me, though is "came close" and "almost". It didn't quite happen, and I think that's because God takes care of His people even when we sin. We don't quite fall away.

More next week....

Monday, 27 June 2011


I am very pleased to announce that I have completed all the pre-session work, and with time to spare. The last reading statement is due on Friday, but I knew that this would be a very long week so I read a LOT over the weekend. Now I'm free until classes start, 3 weeks from today.

I am, as always, looking forward to being at school and to being a student again, even if just for a week (I know I'm a student now, but being in classes is different). It's a combination of learning all day, catching up with people I only see once a year, being surrounded by other students who understand my desire to be there, and freedom. For one week I'm a college student again with no huge adult responsibilities. It's busy, but it's so much fun.

I leave in 2 weeks and 5 day.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Church Library

Exactly 3 months and 1 day ago a friend and I sat down and decided the vision statement and mission statement for our potential church library. After it was approved by the elders, we started collecting and sorting and categorizing and fixing and organizing books.

The church library opened today to absolutely no fanfare since the pastor forgot to announce it. Granted, the church bulletin did have a small announcement, but I don't think people actually read the bulletin; they just use it for sermon notes and doodling (and writing Bible location quizzes for small, bored children, but that may be just me).

Anyway, most of the people who knew the library was opening were people I had been talking to about it, and most of the people who came to check out books were children (maybe I need to talk to adults more). There were adults there, but a lot of them seemed to have been dragged in by children who wanted to check out books but needed a parent with them (grade 6 and under need to be accompanied by a parent (which is a good rule since one of the boys came with his dad and chose the movie "Through Gates of Splendor" which I was later told has nudity but I don't feel responsible for potentially corrupting him (new church library motto: "Encouraging Adults and Corrupting Children"))).

Still, there was some business, and I'll get the pastor to remember to announce it next week. Plus, I finally get to be a proper librarian: I checked out books, recommended books, and discussed books. It is every bit as wonderful as I though it would be when I was young and dreaming of being a librarian.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

In Which I Book a Plane Ticket

Today I booked my ticket for California. I'm going to school the same week as one of my friends and we've been watching the flights as the prices went up (to $500 one way before taxes) and down again. Since we leave in 23 days, we were really running out of time. Finally we decided that we'd wait to see what WestJet's Blue Ticket Thursday sale was and then book. The sale was only for Canada, but.....the non stop flight to LA was well under $300 and the flight back was under $200 so the total was low enough, and if we waited any longer the prices were going to go back up (especially on the flight back, which only had 2 seats). I decided to book, emailed my friend and told her to book, and started the process.

Have I ever told you about my internet issues at work? I have a terrible internet connection. I'm pretty sure the modem is dying, but I can't do anything about it because Telus won't just come and fix it; instead, they ask questions I can't answer. Anyway. Today was the worst internet day yet (by the end of the day I couldn't coax it into working long enough to send an email).

Okay, back to the story. I started to book the ticket. The internet went down. Then it was back up. I got a bit further. The internet went down. I tried to enter payment information. The internet went down. I was ready to enter my MasterCard access code (once I chose a new one since I never, ever remember what it is). The internet went down. The entire transaction timed out. I started over.

Fun times. I did it all over again (except that for a change I remembered my MasterCard access code), and the internet kept going down. I was frustrated and tired and finally reached the end...and the internet went down. The flight didn't go through. I started over.

This time I switched to the computer by the modem so I could watch the lights (three steady lights and not much blinking means the internet is working). At each step, I waited until the internet was working before moving on. I almost reached the end....and the seat I wanted was gone. No more cheap seat. I had to start over.

By then I was ready to cry or yell or something. After some moments of frustration, I tried praying... because God is sovereign over all things even the internet and flights and WestJet and even when I don't understand and I was frustrated and annoyed and tired and would He please keep the internet working because I need the ticket please, please, please!

I started over, with a slightly higher price (about $40) and finally reached the end. Confirmation popped up on my screen, the ticket was booked, and did I want to print the page. The problem is, that computer won't always print. Instead of trying to print, I opened another window and checked email to see if the confirmation was there so I could print it at home.

And that, friends, is when I learned that one of those earlier attempts that hadn't worked (and had never been confirmed) had, in fact, worked. I now held 2 tickets to California.

I considered crying, breaking the computer, throwing a temper tantrum....and resorted to prayer again, and then finally laughed (a bit; it was only sort-of funny, but it was one of those times when it was laugh or yell (or break something)).

Once the internet was working again, I found the WestJet number in one of the emails and called (and got put on hold, although they will take your number and call you back when your turn comes, but I decided to wait). I put the phone on speaker (I was using my cell) and read my book until the internet came back up. Then I went back to the confirmation page on the WestJet sight (which I had never closed) and hit the refund button. Then the internet went down. I waited. Finally I was able to confirm that I wanted a refund on the flight.

About the time the refund was confirmed, the WestJet lady came on the phone. I told her that I thought I had fixed things, but could she check for me. I told her my story and she sympathized and laughed with me (telling it was funnier than living it) and told me that she never tries to navigate the on-line booking. She assured me that I only had one ticket booked, that the other ticket had been refunded. She said that she wanted to mess with me and tell me that I was confirmed to fly from Newfoundland to Tampa Bay, but she was nice and confirmed that I am indeed flying direct to LA on July 16th.

Next time maybe I'll just call to book.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Sleepovers

The sleepovers are over, and both I and my apartment survived and are on our way to recovery!

The first one, two Fridays ago, was the "little girls" from my Sunday School class. In the end only 4 were able to attend, which made it very quiet. It was a miserable evening outside so we couldn't rent movies, but between what I had and what one of them brought, we were well stocked. One girl also brought the game Life, which I generally find tedious. It's much, much better late at night with 4 rather tired, giggly girls! Then they decided that they were tired and I should put on some nice, quiet music so they could fall asleep. That's how, at the not-so-late hour of 11:30 (well, not late for sleepovers) they were all sprawled around my living room falling asleep to the sounds of Beethoven.

The second sleepover, this past Friday, was an entirely different story! These were my "big girls" from the Junior High class (well, one is in grade 10, but the rest are all grade 7 or 9). They, of course, are too old for kids movies and silly things like sleeping. Except that they really enjoyed "Gnomeo and Juliet" (my choice: they initially objected but only because they didn't get to choose...poor babies). Their choices tend to be chick flicks, which bore me. I also have to say "NO" to most of their choices for various reasons. In the end, they chose "The Back-up Plan" and some other movie (there's a baby, and 2 guardians who don't like each other....). I had to stop "The Back-up Plan" at least twice so we could talk about all the things that were wrong with it (God's plan for families does not include purposely getting pregnant when single; when a guy invites you to the farm or cabin or whatever, he has only one thing in mind....). It's really, really hard to find appropriate movies that the girls want to watch. Anyway, these girls went to sleep at around 2:30 (a couple of them before that, but one won't admit how early she fell asleep!), and slept until 9:30. It wasn't bad, really.

That's my tale of sleepovers.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Praise You in this Storm - Casting Crowns

Sometimes I hear the opinion that if Christians really trusted God and had enough faith then everything would be okay and we'd never, ever be depressed, even mildly.

I don't think trusting God makes everything good. I think it's still possible to find life really tough and sometimes too big. The trust and faith, though: that's why we can praise God in the midst of it all.

Friday, 3 June 2011

This is what I read today: an article about a 10 year old girl.
(Read it before you read any further....but know that it isn't happy.)

When I read it, I didn't cry. I was angry instead: at her family (she has a chance for a better life), at whoever would buy her, and at the people who support the child sex trade. And then I was angry at my life, at myself, for still being here instead of being there doing something. Every time I read something like this, I want to go and help these children, but I don't know how. And I know it's not time yet, I still have school, I have a purpose here as well, etc, etc. So I wait and I pray and I research so when the time comes, I know who is out there helping. Still, it leaves me frustrated and impatient and wanting to gather up all the children and make everything okay.

I wonder, too, how many more articles I can read and stories I can hear before it all starts to sound the same and to sound old, like I've heard it all before. I wonder, is there a point where my brain won't want to hear another story and my heart won't be able to cope with the sorrow and pain and I'll stop listening or caring. I pray that never happens; I know it will feel better but it means they'll win again and one day no one will do anything. That day must not come.

And now I'm at home and soon my Sunday School girls will show up for a sleepover and I think, they're all about that age, and their biggest concerns are about what movie we'll watch, and they take a loving family and an education and a future for granted, and I'm so thankful on their behalf.

And so this evening I'll watch them play and laugh at them and be happy, and for a little while I won't think about all the children who aren't allowed a childhood. For a little while the world will be okay.