Thursday, July 20, 2006
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Tomorrow is my last day of classes and my last exam for IBS (Institute of Biblical Studies).
I'm writing this as a "break" from my reading/studying binge.
Reflections on Florida, my time spent in Florida and the US at large:
- it's hot
- I've seen more cops here than I ever have - possibly in my life
- the food portions in restaurants are generally gargantuan
- it's common to crank up the a/c to ensure that you will get sick from the outdoor/indoor temperature extremes
- I like eating out
- people drive slower
- people drive slowly in the fast lane
- Americans know how to shop!!!
- Southern Baptist Theological Seminary seems like a great place to study and get solid theological teaching
- Fuller Theological Seminary doesn't hold to the inerrancy of the Bible
- having a/c in your car is generally preferable
- Disney World is not just a park; it is literally it's own little world - Magic Kingdom is the park!
- Timeshare presentations are tricky and persuasive
- don't assume the sunscreen you put on 2 hours before sweating in a car is going to protect you for 4 hours at a beach on a goregeously sunny day
- I hate toll roads
- if you run a toll a blaring siren goes off, but no one comes after you with guns blazing
- God is so very gracious
- Panera Bread is quite possibly my favourite place to chill - it's better than Starbucks (in my opinion)
- reading Systematic Theology takes longer than I usually anticipate
On that note I need to get back at it!
Sunday, July 16, 2006
My eyes soaked up all the pastel colours fading into each other on my left.
Turquoise, indigo, violet, lavender fading into aquamarine, mint green and buttercup yellow. Burnt sienna, pale salmon and peach all sandwiched in the middle.
To my right the masterpiece is filled with grand strokes of light and large, plump clouds.
As if making a mark, a harsh line of gold, zigs and zags between the horizon and clouds above.
The sky is filled with enough pinks and peaches to satisfy an 8 year old girl.
There is one huge puffy cloud, it's edges are kissed with a bright pink.
There is another long, dark, slightly ominous-looking cloud. It too is kissed with edges of pink. Such a dramatic difference. The darkness combined with hints of a flirt.
And then...it was all gone. The sky wiped clean for a new, and just as glorious masterpiece today.
I cannot do justice with my words to your brilliance and majesty O Lord.
"Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise."
Friday, July 14, 2006
At the mall I finally saw the much talked-about Mary Jane Crocs.
I tried on a pair.
I didn't really like them.
I think they would be better if they didn't have the two straps - just like a slip-on ballerina shoe. If they had been like that I probably would have bought them.
But I didn't.
Hooray for crocs!
Well, if there's anything that can cheer me up it's treats!
So here's July's treat pick!
Now I know that many people don't like these, but if you're a lover of sugar and marshmallows than you should agree with me that marshmallow peanuts (or as I've recently heard them called, Circus Peanuts) are delicious! You could also go with the marshmallow bananas. Mmm...I love these sugary delights. So soft and chewy and even better a day or two of exposure to air - stale Circus Peanuts. Does it get any better?
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I never knew such a thing existed as a Fondue Restaurant.
Let the drooling begin.
We invited Dawn & Eric to "fellowship" with us at The Melting Pot. It all started with "The Big Night Out" beginning with a sharp cheddar cheese fondue with bread (white and pumpernickel), veggies, chips and granny smith apples.
Next was salad - I wasn't too impressed with my slimy oniony strawberry almond salad. But that was ok since you don't go to The Melting Pot for salad!
After the salad was the Fondue Feast - MEAT! We had tiger shrimp, chicken, teriyaki beef, tenderloin, pork, and ravioli (It was good!). Oh and a whole plate of veggies: potatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, zuchini. Not to mention all the different sauces you could combine and add to the deliciously cooked meat...blue cheese, teriyaki, bbq, chipotle, curry, and a delicious buttery/cream cheese and herb thing to melt over the veggies!
We stuffed our faces and our bellies to overflowing.
And the piece de resistence was the coconut chocolate fondue with brownies, strawberries, cheesecake, poundcake, bananas, marshmallows and pineapples to dip to our hearts content.
We left after 2.5 hours having laughed a lot, talked a lot, ATE a lot and created a great memory with our good friends.
Yay for new friends!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
It was really great to just dialogue and discuss things from the roles of men and women to the roles our intellect and our emotions play in learning and studying. When Jamie referred a book to David, he went on to John Piper's site and found the "quote of the day" from his palm pilot. It was so applicable to what we were talking about (in regards to intellect and emotion) that I was just struck by how God was just giving us all a reminder about the ultimate aim of study and learning in regards to theology and Christianity. Here's what the quote was:
"The task of all Christian scholarship--not just biblical studies--is to study reality as a manifestation of God's glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it."(Pleasures of God, pg. 298)
To study reality as a manifestation of God's glory. To savour the beauty of God in it.
That's what I'm here in Florida to do. My seminary courses should cause me to savour the beauty of God in all that I learn and study. The things I learn with my intellect should flow to my emotions and actions.
Doing flows from Being.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
"In all of these situations (understanding more than fellow Christians or those in leadership even) it would be very easy to adopt an attitude of pride or superiority toward others who have not made such a study (the study of systematic theology). But how ugly it would be if anyone were to use this knowledge of God's Word simply to win arguements or to put down a fellow Christian in conversation, or to make another believer feel insignificant in the Lord's work."
and this is where I felt conviction; "James' counsel is good for us at this point: 'Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger, for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God' (James 1:19-20).
Learning and understanding more and more from the Word should not puff me up, but should lead me to humility and love.
How grateful I am to God that He has given me His Word and that it is indeed "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Heb. 4:12)
And what a privilege it is to be taught under people who love God and love His Word and desire to help me to understand what His Word says so that my life may change to reflect more and more of Christ and His Glory.
Monday, July 10, 2006
Our new "semester" just started today and the class we (Jamie and I) are taking is called God, Bible, Holy Spirit and our prof is Bruce Ware from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
What a great speaker! I was totally captivated and the two hours felt like 30 minutes.
The way he communicates really pumped me up and helped me to understand some of these more complex doctrines.
Today we learned about Revelation. I really enjoy learning the meanings of words and how they came to be. My favourite word that we learned about today was Inspiration. Inspiration comes from the Greek (?) word theopneustos. Theos meaning God and pneumo meaning spirit/wind/breath. So "inspiration" literally means God-breathed. I think I knew that before but to just go through it so carefully and extensively really hit the meaning home for me.
I also appreciate when speakers are passionate about what they are teaching. It means a lot to hear that what he's speaking on for the next two weeks are his favourite subjects to speak on and learn about.
And one thing that I will need to keep in the forefront is something called Verbal Plenary Inspiration. The reason I find this so important is with all the emergent literature (Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, etc.) and so many doctrines being shoved by the wayside in favour of being politically correct or catering to people who find the gospel offensive (...umm) Verbal Plenary Inspiration is something important to hold to. Verbal meaning the actual language of the Bible (words, grammar, syntax, etc.) and Plenary meaning all of the Bible. The whole phrase means that all of the Bible in the exact language in which is was written is inspired.
Ok...so that's my educational rantings for today.
To sum up: I'm really excited about the next two weeks and I look forward to growing in my knowledge of the Bible and Christian doctrines. But more importantly I look forward to growing in my faith and confidence in the Bible and in God.
Tuesday, July 4, 2006
I could not believe how many people were there - apparently 150,000 were gathered for this early celebration of Independance Day!
Well, I was not disappointed. The fireworks were probably the best I've ever seen - in my life.
I heard Americans know how to do fireworks and it's true.
And after all was said and done and we all had a bit of patriotism infused into our very being we made our way back to our hotel.
Jamie remarked that it made him think of the Exodus of the Israelites.
As we all crowded down the streets that went up and down hills you could see the "mass of humanity" all walking to their cars. It was pretty incredible to think that what we experienced was similar to what the Israelites went through.
Well...minus the paved roads.
And the lights.
And the bikes.
And plus a few animals.
Well, more or less the same thing.
Another thought that was discussed by the four of us was how much money the US pours into things exactly like the 4th of July fireworks (I would guess millions - country-wide), and all the space exploration (easily billions of dollars) that NASA does...it's pretty crazy.
Speaking of NASA, we were actually able to see the Discovery shuttle launch today. It was from a distance and through some clouds, but still...to see that little rocket with a blaze of bright orange fire behind it was something. Even if it's just to say that I was there for the shuttle launch.
Ok. So those are my thoughts.
I would post pictures (there are some great ones of the fireworks) but unfortunately we forgot the USB cable for our digital camera at home and so I will have to post some pics in a few weeks I think. Stay tuned for a link to my photo blog when I get the pics up.
Today Jamie and I carpooled with Dawn and Eric (some fantastic staff from UWO) and on our way home from dinner (a fantastic free bbq) we pulled into a gas station. Just as we did so, a cop in front of us had put on his lights to pull over the car in front of HIM.
So as we drove up the driveway of the gas station, we watched the car signal right; turn right but not stop. The driver just kept going at a somewhat slow pace. He/She then proceeded to do a u-turn and then SPEED off, make an illegal left turn and try and outrun the cop! The cop, of course, sped after the fiend and we didn't see what happened after that but it sure was exciting!
I've never seen someone try and get away from a cop!
What a fool.
We mused as to what this person's crime might be.
a) since it was July 4th this person might have been drinking/under the influence
b) they might have had drugs
c) they might have been speeding (but honestly...take the ticket and be done with it...you'll get it far worse trouble if you avoid arrest!)
Either way, it was pretty entertaining. I wanted Eric to follow them, but he was out of gas. Too bad.
Oh Florida...what more can you hold for us?
Sunday, July 2, 2006
Fiasco number uno was probably wrong-way-on-the-highway fiasco.
Oh wait a second...we have to pay a toll. Stink.
So there we sat in the little green civic for about 3 minutes just laughing and saying to each other, "What are we supposed to do?" There was no one in site. No other cars. No people, not even any animals (not sure what they would do for us...)
Nope. They were fine. HOWEVER...the big red STOP light started flashing and a loud siren went off - kind of like when convicts escape from prison.
So I did a u-turn and got on the ramp to get on the 528 East. And of course, another toll was required to get ON the highway.
Another red flashing light and a loud convicts-are-escaping siren and we were back on our way to Cocoa beach.
A normal 1 hour trip on the way there (minus the wrong-way-on-the-highway fiasco) took 3.5 hours to get home.
Especially while driving a standard car.
In 90 degree heat.