Category Archives: Studying

Two More to Go

Tonight I e-mailed off my final paper in Church History I.  Greek final was written on Monday and so half of my classes are now finished for this semester.  It feels good.

Of course I am still finishing up the last two of my online classes.  Two research papers, one book review and one final exam.  That is still enough to keep me glued to the books for the next three weeks.

Out of my reading tonight comes this quote from Basil of Caesarea:

” A single plant, a blade of grass is sufficient to occupy all your intelligence in the contemplation of the skill which produced it”

 

Hoping we begin to see some blades of grass soon – although there is a marvelous lot of wonder to be seen in ice-coated branches.

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Filed under Quotes, seminary experiences, Studying

Nine more days – but who’s counting

These days I practically live in my carrel at the library.  Although, truth be told, I went out this morning to a seminary women’ brunch and had some great conversation and some very delicious cinnamon buns. So it is not all, 100% work.  I still eat and do laundry too.

But, things are coming down to the wire.  In nine days I write my Greek final.  I’m almost past caring how I do – but if you know me you know that means I still care way too much.

I turned in my next to last Church History I essay and today I completed a good chunk of my research paper for that class. My essay was on the devotio moderna and the Brothers and Sisters of the Common Life.  Such a fascinating group of people – spanned about 300 years. Died out with the Reformation and with the printing press since they mostly earned their living by copying books. Their raparia were journals they kept of devotional sayings and of how they lived out their faith in the midst of daily life trying to imitate the early church. Most people have heard of The Imitation of Christ – this is the group out of which came such writings.

Now I’m on to the Christological controversy between Nestorius and Cyril.  Poor Nestorius was likely more misunderstood than a real heretic.  And Cyril was more a bully than a saint I’m afraid. Hope I can wrap this one up by Monday.

Then with a deadline of May 9,  I will only have 2 book reviews, 1 ten page essay, 1 more twelve page research paper and one more final and this year will be done!

Hoping it doesn’t finish me off.

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Filed under seminary experiences, Studying, Theology, Writings

Black and White – Winter is still here.

I just set a new header picture and realize it looks very stark – black and white – winter is still here.  It is not a black and white picture just the world is black and white since the last snowfall.  Before it was beginning to feel and look like spring – streets mostly melted clear and the ground showing through the ice.  Winter seems to have set in again.  This is Saskatchewan I guess.

I have been spending a huge amount of time in the Archibald Library.  Last night I was there till it closed at ten.  My head was so tired by the time I got home.  Sometimes in spite of being so tired it is hard to sleep and that was the case last night.  Had to wake up in time for an on-line class; which I did.  But as the discussion with the prof went on, I realized how much I still need to learn – all about how Luther and Calvin and the Anabaptists and the Catholics understood justification, and the sacraments and the idea of free will.  Very heady stuff.  Made my head spin anyway.

Then back to the library to slog away at my Greek exegesis paper.  Till 6.

But since it is Friday (isn’t this the day one is supposed to let loose and have fun?) I spent the evening doing something I consider fun.  I went back to the library to read some of my poetry in an evening event designed to showcase the writing arts.  Shared my reflection on Psalm 62:9, which you can read below.  Its not new but it makes me want to be done all this studying so I can get back to doing things I love.  Well, I do love studying a bit.  I guess.

Psalm 62:9 (NLT)

From the greatest to the lowliest –
All are nothing in his sight.
If you weigh them on the scales,
They are lighter than a puff of air.

Small Breaths

A puff of air
No more,
Scarcely even a breath,
Our days are nothing.
We are born.
We live,
Hardly even a small breath
Exhaled quickly
For the Divine.
Then we are still.

Yet, he esteems
Us; small
Breaths. Gathering us he
Raises a current.
Zephyrs trusted
To carry
Gossamer seeds. Moving them
To good soil;
O Breath of God
Your breath in us.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, seminary experiences, Studying, Writings

Almost

I look outside my window and snow is falling. Inside I sit in my room between my desk and the small table I brought to supplement working space. I am studying for a quiz today in Greek. Principle parts. I do not like principle parts. They are the first person forms of the most common forms of the Greek verbs. I have gone over and over them and y would think that they would stick. But they do not. At least not very well.

Last night I took a break.  St Aiden’s, where I attend church while down south here, had an evening of story and song.  The “Inklings” they call it although the setting is not very pubish.  I volunteered to read a couple of my poems.  Then I also realized that Bob Currie, Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate was also reading a poem.(He is a regular member at St Aiden’s) a bit intimidating to read one of my amateur efforts in front of him.  But he gave me a thumbs up after the first one so I guess I passed that test.

Not quite as much fun studying for the Greek quiz today.  I would rather be in front of my fireplace at home with a cup of hot chocolate reading a good book – in English.

Instead – well it is strong coffee, no fireplace and Greek verbs.

Almost done for this semester though. Final exam on Thursday afternoon. Then it is home to my fireplace and Christmas preparations.

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff, Studying

And Here I am, Far from Home

It’s Friday night and here I sit in my room, Greek texts out, reviewing for a quiz on Monday.  I’ve been doing this most of the day off and on.  Yesterday too.  Well, actually, I rode on my bike over to the library both days and worked at this same subject there for a few hours.  And I watched a bit of TV. The woman I am living with has a little white dog so I also walked it around the block so it could use the outdoor facilities.  The fresh air did my mind no harm.  Having my head stuck in a book is beginning to feel very restrictive.

I know all this will pass – if I indeed do pass these Greek classes.  And others have before me so there is some hope.  I hang on to this hope as my brain fills up with participles and verb tenses.

Caronport is a weird sort of little town.  An island of protestant conservatism. There isn’t much to do here but study.  The Husky station has a Subway and a little restaurant and food store attached.  One can buy eggs and milk and bread and other essentials like ice cream but that is about it for eating or retail establishments.  On the plus side of the town’s report card – no one would think of stealing a bike so no need to lock it up.  Unlocked doors also feel a bit weird – trusting strangers with unprotected possessions.

Lord forbid that there should be a pub.  I think one has to smuggle strong drink in behind these unlocked doors!  Think I may just conceal a bottle of wine in my suitcase next trip down from PA. I could use a glass right now.

The town is very flat.  This is a bonus when riding a bike but I keep looking for some place of beauty – some site to feast one’s eyes on.  Some people seem to put a great effort into their yards but there is little in the way of natural beauty.  Until one looks at the sky and the horizon at sunset.  God seems to have stored up all the missed beauty from the flat landscape and poured it out into colour on the horizon both to greet and to bid farewell to the day.  And so as I sit in the morning by my window talking to God, I give him special thanks for this beauty which he paints above me.  “Let my soul rise to meet you, as the day rises to meet the sun.” And as I say those words I remember that God is a constant presence – my unfailing companion – even in this time away from so many people and things that I love. The sun continues to rise; God continues to be my God; I continue to search for more of him.

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Filed under Day to Day, Dealing with stuff, prayer, Reflections, Studying, Travels

St. Lucia Day

Went up to Birdies’s this morning.  Some traditions, even if they started later in life, are a good thing.  She decided that she could carry on for one more year.  Goodness knows she has earned her rest from this but we keep showing up and she feeds us.

We had no lovely young Swedish maiden with a crown of lights on her head this year but there were cardamom buns and cheese and good coffee.

Then I went and exercised faithfully to offset the extra calories. 

Now I should be studying form exam in the morning but it is very hard to get into a studying kind of mood.  Must though.

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Filed under Christmas, church, Studying

Another turn around the loop

Every day of this new gig of mine up in Edmonton feels as if it is another loop of a high speed roller coaster ride.  I step into the seat and strap myself in as I leave PA. That first day of five and a half hours of travel is just the warm up.  At this point there is just me and my bags in the seat.  But the next day we pick up speed and hit the top of the next loop by noon.  From that dizzying height we start on the really wild part of the ride and by the time we hit bottom at full speed I am wondering if I will survive the pace. 

Today the loop was smaller.  I had a traveller with me for the uphill ride this morning, another joined me in the afternoon and the rest of the day was mostly a breeze.  Getting an order of service ready seemed pretty tame. 

Tomorrow we head around another loop in this three week ride.  A long loop anticipated and the speeds may exceed that of Monday.  No, maybe nothing can beat that.

Its good.  Its exhausting.  It seems as if God shows up around every bend in his incredible ways. 

Now, if I didn’t have a long paper and a final exam looming in the next few weeks it would be perfect.

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Let the Holidays Begin

I have just uploaded my final paper for the New Testament class I have been taking.  This last assignment was a doozy – an exegesis of Heb.6:1-8.  Now even my computer thinks it is supposed to write in Greek!  I keep having to correct it and remind it that its default is English – Please. 

Anyway, it is done.  Now I am free to do all the preparations I need to do before Christmas.  Tomorrow we go buy a tree and set that up.  I must take out my pork and get it ready for tourtiere.  There are many items on the grocery list to go shopping for.  And then I must sort out the gifts and see what I am still missing.  Leo’s arrived yesterday.  I do love on-line shopping.

Yesterday was a particularly good day at our house.  Rachelle called – she was promoted to manager of her store.  Sara got her acceptance letter to SAIT for Respiratory Therapy. Zaka came over for a sleep over and got to play Wii mini-golf with Grandpa and Nan.  Nan made his first ever foray into the world of haute cuisine – Brownies for his class potluck.  And I was putting the finishing touches on my paper.

Today, I am indulging in some of the many treats at the office as I write this.  Too many of those by far.  I hope I don’t gain too many pounds over the next two weeks.  I plan to enjoy those two weeks anyway.

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Filed under Christmas, Day to Day, Family, grandchildren, Studying

Life is good

Here I am in the “great”city of Winnipeg enjoying the weather.  It is actually a couple of degrees warmer than PA was when I left and they don’t have the beauty of our snow either.  So far the boots have been unnecessary. (In winter, I think the baggage allowance on airlines should increase – it takes a lot of room to pack along boots,winter coats, scarves and mitts.)

The Church planter conference that I am at – re:CALL – is as good as I expected.  Maybe better.  You can check out what is going on here.   I’ve been to workshops by Karen Wilk: Learning to Live in the Neighbourhood for Transformation and Shari Russell: First Nations and today I think I will attend the one by Christine Pohl: Recovering Hospitality as Christian Tradition.  Good stuff.

It been a really busy couple of days.  All the Covenant folks kind of hang out together too and that is great.  I do sort of feel a bit like the grandmother to this group – not that they make me feel old or anything.  It is really great to be with so many young leaders of the church.  Getting together with Marc and Dixie, LT(well he’s not Cov. but we like him) new folks from Ontario as well as the Winnipeg gang and other pastors from across Canada is always fun.  Jamie obligingly signed a copy of his book, The Cost of Community which I brought along  for that very reason.  I just wish I had more time to read the fun stuff they were selling on the table outside the meeting place!

I am anticipating enjoying the rest of my week as well.  I will be in ECCC board meetings for the next few days, then a committee meeting Saturday, will worship with the folks at Faith Covenant Sunday morning, at Little Flowers Sunday evening, run out to Otterburne to get the inside story on the trailer life of a seminary student.  I have to find some time to shop for a gift for my 4 year old grandaughter too since I miss her big party on Saturday.  In between all, I have to keep up with my class and start work on my exegesis paper. 

Life is good.  No shortage of things to do.

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Filed under Books and Articles, church, grandchildren, Ministry, Studying, Travels

Whew!

This week is crammed with stuff to get done. 

Half way there. 

So far: Sunday – the usual worship practice church and Sunday School class.
Monday – Halloween.  Took Nan for his road test and YEAH he got his licence!  The evening was spent getting up and down and going to the door to hand out treats, then back to the computer to finish posting for my class.
Tuesday – Grandson’s 6th birthday.  No party this day but I did cram in a shopping trip to pick up his Wii.  Then worship practice following a full day of Bread ministry, staff meeting, school volunteering and choosing some songs for Sunday.  I am the leader this week.  Prep for the Kids Klub craft.
Wednesday – a meeting and lunch for the School Dental Programme with the Saskatoon program in Rosthern, prep for kids Klub, hair appointment, then Kids Klub itself.  Got home, took out the garbage and here I am at the computer trying to think worshipful thoughts and put together Sunday’s service. 

The rest of the week won’t be less busy I’m afraid.  Work at the dental office tomorrow and Friday.  Soup on Saturday and I will be helping make soup.  Somewhere in here I am supposed to be studying, reading on Ephesians and Colossians and thinking some thoughtful thoughts on those two books. 

I wish I could say that next week will be better.   But Monday is already full of chores to do plus the delayed Birthday party.

Meanwhile, I carry on.

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Filed under church, Day to Day, Family, grandchildren, Ministry, Studying, Worship events