Monday, 30 July 2012

Trying For Words

The past couple weeks have been a time of intense emotion for me. Ever since my Worship and Wisdom class, I've been trying to deal with thoughts and emotions that are too big for me to grasp. I haven't spoken much about it before now because I still don't really know that words. In fact, it was only yesterday that I even tried to find the words. I'm still not really sure.

This is what I know: the more I've been studying and learning about God and who He is (as Father, Son, and  Holy Spirit, sometimes together and sometimes as individuals), the greater God has been for me. I've seen glimpses of His glory, of how far above me He is, but it's always been parts of Him. The rest I've been able to keep sort of manageable.

Not anymore. Suddenly I can't keep God nice and manageable; He's too much, too great, too glorious. You know why the Bible says to fear the Lord? Because when you actually see how great He is and how tiny you are, fear is a proper response. This is God and we cannot control Him (and for someone with control issues you can imagine how well I'm dealing with this). No wonder Isaiah was undone and John fell down as if dead. I'm having enough trouble without having to see God.

And yet, at the same time, it's very, very wonderful and there isn't enough of me to worship God the way He deserves. I don't even know how to worship Him. I don't know how to respond.

That's where I'm at right now. I'm going to try working out my thoughts and feelings over the next however long it takes. Hopefully it will make some sense.


Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Dealing with Myself

Sometimes I look at myself and I don't like what I see. I can be very demanding and pushy and insist that people see things my way right now. I conveniently ignore the fact that it might have taken me weeks or months to understand something; if I get it, so should everyone else, right? So why can't we just do things my way since of course I know best.

There's an issue at church with my junior church kids that needs to be sorted out (it has to do with music and stuff; the details aren't important here). I'm pretty sure that I'm right in what I want, but at the same time I might not be going about things the best way. I want to pound my view into their heads so that they see things the way I do (I also have some control issues).

Tonight I finally did the right thing. I acknowledged that I might not deal with this the best way and I asked for help. At the very least, I said, I need someone to bring some balance so I don't go too far in an attempt to rectify the situation, and someone to keep me from saying things that I may need to repent for later. I think that, with help, things will go more smoothly.

Still, it was not nice looking so clearly at myself. I am so far from where I should be.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Random Stuff

Today was not a bad day at work, especially given that it was my first day back after a week away.
I miss school. I should be doing homework.
Some car in my parking lot was being towed as I returned home this evening.
Today my desk calendar told me how to remove a tick.
My computer is way, way faster now that the IT guy cleaned it up.
I have a book that I bought for a friend last month. I should mail it soon.
I'm averaging around 7 books a month this year, not counting rereading the Little House books and some others quick reads.
I have a huge stack of books waiting to be read.
I should probably be doing the ironing as long as I'm not doing homework.
I pruned my plant at work today. It was trying to take over my office, but was also dying at the top in some places. It looks better now.
This is superhero week at work.
I also have a pile of junior church lessons to write.
And Sunday School lessons to set up.
I should get off the computer and get to work.
Of course, all the work is on the computer, so I can't really get off the computer.
I love Canada because....



Thursday, 12 July 2012

My Computer

My laptop has been giving me issues for some time now. It crashes now and then and it takes forever to start up. In fact, it's been slow at starting up from the beginning and I'm inclined to blame the friend who helped me get it started. Something he put in from the start messed things up.

Anyway...yesterday was very bad. At the end of classes, when I shut it down, it crashed. Later in the evening I tried turning it on. It got into a "scanning all systems" loop that found errors and then found them again...eventually it started, though. I left it on last night and it ran the virus scan. This morning I found that somehow I had acquired 4 "issues" so I hit the "quarantine" button. The computer crashed again. It gave me a lot of troubles starting up again, and eventually I unplugged it to bring it with me to breakfast. At breakfast, after I tried a couple more times, it eventually started up again. I packed it up (without turning it off) and brought it to the classroom so I could check if the "issues" had been dealt with. By the time I got to the classroom, the battery had died and I had to start it up again. It refused; all I got was a message that the start-up or something was corrupted or not there and the computer could not start.

This was a bit of a problem since at the end of each morning class we have time to type up our notes. The professor was very understanding and at note-typing he allowed me to leave to see if IT could do anything. This was about 11:30 (class ends at 12:30). I finally found the computer services building only to learn that they open at 1:00. Yeah. I used my free time to get some paperwork done at the international student office and then check email and such in the library. Lunch was at 12:30 and at 12:55 I was back looking for an IT guy.

He was a very nice guy who listened to me, looked at my computer, and told me that he didn't know how much he could do but he would try. I understood that it was really broken and old and needed to be replaced, but I only needed it to last a few more days! In the end he was able to get past the "I will not start" page (by pressing buttons and making it beep loudly and in different tones). Then he explained that all he could do was reformat my hard drive (I think that's the right term) and that everything would go back to the original settings. Translations: I would lose everything, but I could use the computer again.

Because of the issues I'd been having, I had backed up most of my church and school notes (as well as several other, random files) onto a separate storage device not long before I left for school. Last night I had also emailed myself most of the notes I had taken this week and I knew that I could get the rest from someone, so I told him to go ahead and do it. He checked with me twice, and again when the computer wanted him to confirm that this was the desired action.

I had to get to class before it was done so I came back during our first break (because they close before we finish classes, and I have wonderful professors; when I explained that I had to go to IT for my computer and might be a couple minutes late getting back, the prof was totally okay with it and just talked with the class until I returned). The IT guy was downloading an anti-virus for me (because of course I lost that too) so that I could get wireless access (the system won't let you in without an approved anti-virus).

And now my computer works again. I'm missing some stuff and I had to download Open Office since I lost Windows, but that's fine. The best part is, whatever was slowing down my computer is also gone! Now I no longer have the world's slowest laptop, so I figure I'll just be thankful for that and the IT guy!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Research

Sometimes I ask questions about Scripture that don't have easy answers. I often get the response, "Well, we can't really know for sure, so why bother?" The attitude is that there are some questions that we should just leave alone and not take the time to ponder.

A lot of the time I don't ask questions now because no one else seems interested in the things that interest me and no one else wants to think about them. I still want to research and learn and understand as much as I can  but so many people try to convince me to let things go.

Today this idea came up in class, along with a reason for trying.There are so many things that we don’t understand and maybe we never will, but as we search for answers we learn to know God more and learn other things that we had never thought about. The more we look, the more we understand about God and His Word and often about ourselves.


Research is good. Learning is fun. I think that I'll keep looking for answers even if no one else cares to come along for the ride.

Monday, 9 July 2012

School!

I love being a student! Today was the first day of classes for the summer and already I think the week will be too short.

Details....in the morning I have Worship and Wisdom. There are 9 people registered for the class: 6 guys and 3 girls (and 2 extra guys: one is here to help his brother-in-law, who is disabled and in a wheelchair; the other is just sitting in for at least some of the classes). It's an amazing class and in 4 hours we were given a lot to think about! Dr. Harris gives us only one break, but lets us go 15 minutes early if we want. The class runs from 8:30-12:30. At 11:30 we wrap up and then break into smaller groups for prayer. After that, we type up our notes (he wants us to take notes on paper first, then type them up, to help our retention). There won't be a exam since he just wants us to have the knowledge where we can access it, not necessarily memorize it.

In the afternoon I have Life, Ministry, and Theology of Paul with Dr. Wong. Here we have 6 guys and 2 girls. Dr. Wong spent much of today explaining the other assignments and making sure we were on track. He also gave us the exam questions (I don't think he takes exams very seriously). He also told us that if we listen and take good notes, then we can do well on the exam; after all, we're telling him what he taught us and he won't give himself a poor mark!

Right now I'm so tired!

Monday, 2 July 2012

In Honour of Canada Day

The Hunger Wars

This is my week between finishing pre-session work (yay!) and heading off to school. I consider it a "free reading week" meaning that there's nothing to research and I don't feel any obligation to learn anything. It's also the busiest week of the year at work, so I don't really have the extra energy for deep and insightful anyway. All of that to say...I finally had time to read The Hunger Games.

Before I give you my take on the book, let me remind you: I only read The Hunger Games, not the other books in the series. I plan to read them, but I borrowed the first one from one of my teachers, so that's all I have right now. Also, I do not plan to watch the movie. To do justice to the book, it will have to be very violent and I don't want to watch children killing children.

Some people have said that it's the most wonderful book ever, and others hate it. I don't fall into either camp. (Side note: What is with people and their extremes? Why label everything "the best" or "the worst"? How do they even decide?) It's not the best book ever written, but it's a good book. I enjoyed the story. It did seem rather predictable in parts, but I'm reading it as an adult who has read a lot of fiction; I think most children won't be as likely to see things coming (although if they realize that there are 2 more books, they might figure out who has to win the games). Even then, there were parts that surprised me not so much in what happened but in how it happened. It's well written, the characters are fairly well developed (hopefully more of the supporting characters are developed further in the other books) and the story makes sense: stuff happens for a reason. I liked it. It's pretty classic underdog literature.

This is what I thought about as I read it: The games take place in a future North America. There is the capitol region (around the Rockies) and the 12 districts (who have to supply a boy and a girl for the games every year and then act like they're enjoying it all, as opposed to those in the capitol who don't have to provide children and actually do enjoy it all). It's punishment for the rebellion of the districts, helps keep people in line, and provides extra food for the winners and their district (many of whom are always underfed, especially those furthest from the capitol...like the main character, from district 12). This has been going on for seventy-four years. And it seems that no one has ever tried to stop it, no one has done anything about the poverty and starvation in the poorer districts, no one has protested the entertainment of making children kill children.

Yes, I get that it's just a book and it's fiction. I also get that maybe people have tried to change things and failed (there are faint hints of potential rebellion in the first book) and this will come up more in the other books (actually, I understand that this will happen in the third book at least). It just seemed very sad that someone could imagine a future North America where no one cared enough to do anything.

Aside from that: it's a good book, and I have no issues with my nieces and nephews reading it.