Sunday, 16 December 2007

Carla's Kids


No, I'm not a parent. By the title, I mean my Sunday School class. I've helped out teaching different Sunday School classes for the past few years, and done things like leading day camp groups, but this is the first year I can officially call a Sunday School class mine. First graders rock! Unfortunately, Evan isn't in this picture - he wasn't there that day. Seated left to right around the table, we have Isaiah, Tyler, Esther, Rachel, Eli, and Keagan. I love those kids!

Isaiah, though being only six years old, is quite knowledgeable in theological matters, already. It came up in class discussion one day that "God will save you". I clarified that that didn't mean you would never get hurt. Sometimes really bad, really scary things happen, and God doesn't promise you'll be okay. Isaiah picked it up from there and explained that what God saved us from was "having to jump into the lava", and how He did it - Jesus' death and resurrection. We can discuss how literally the metaphor of the fiery, lava-filled pit should be taken, but it was really refreshing to hear someone understand that Jesus is not all about life enhancement, but about a loophole in the scheme of divine justice. Sure, Jesus is concerned about this life, but in the end, eternity is going to hugely outweigh whatever happens in this life.

Not all of our class discussions are of that magnitude of course. Let me close with a quote from one of the less substantial conversations:

Tyler: Maybe the battery will work if you lick it.
Class: Yeah! Lick it! Lick it!
Me: No, I'm not going to lick a battery!
Class: Lick it! Lick it!
Tyler: I'll lick it for you.

(In case you were wondering, no, I do not allow battery-licking in my classroom.)

Thursday, 13 December 2007

12 Days of Battle

Okay, here's a Christmas song my brother and I wrote today. Although I've finished Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones several times, he's now got me hooked on Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword. So, this, here, is a tribute to the game. See if you can guess the tune.

On the twelfth day of battle, my captain gave to me:
12 S-ranked weapons
11 bolting tomes
10 gleaming shamshirs
9 bards a-playing
8 snipers firing
7 wyverns roaring
6 angelic robes
5 guilding rings
4 blue gems
3 supports
2 tomahawks
And a healer and a vulnerary.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Vanessa and the Monkey

Yay! I got the first letter from my sponsor girl yesterday! Her name is Ana Vanessa Mariona Gonzalez, but she goes by Vanessa. Seven years old, and the cutest thing. She lives in El Salvador. I'm slightly confused though, because Compassion says her birthday is October 27, and she said it was February 6. And I'm pretty sure, slight though my knowledge of Spanish be, that she said she had twin uncles who were younger than her, not twin aunts, like the translator wrote.

I'll try and post a picture of her once I feel like getting off my lazy behind and walking to the scanner.

Spent yesterday at my cousin Aimee's dorm in U of C, and as a result have officially decided that my alter ego is now Super Ninja Monkey. And best of luck to you, my dear cousin, if getting those Christmas lights to stay up.

Nothing more to say. I was really just posting for the sake of posting. If I'm not struck with some lightning bolt of inspiration soon, my next post will be on Stargate, I think.

In honour of the random game we played at the dorm last night, I shall leave you with a completely random quote:

"For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks." Terry Pratchett

Friday, 9 November 2007

Words from the Wise

SOOO, as I stated formerly, my life pretty much revolves around school these days. Here are a few gems from my Theology class this morning, all uttered by the prof:

"YHWH is an amalgam of the gods of the middle east."

"The Trinity as the concept we see today did not arise until about the fourth century, as an interpretation of the Greek texts. That's not what the original New Testament means at all."

"The Bible is a literary truth, not a historical truth."

"We can't say ours is the only way, and that it never changes, and that we know it all. Of course it changes! It changes all the time!"

"The Pope is absolutizing something that is only a part of the piece."

Anyone know how to deal with these?

Blackwolf: There are many paths to the same place. Trust me.
Hotchner: Just so you know, you sound like a fortune cookie.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Ponoka for Plato?

Okay, so I don't really have much to say right now, I just felt like I had to write another post before everyone assumes this blog is dead.

Let's see... what to discuss? Since my life currently revolves around school:

Plato's Republic is a hoot. The guy was crackers. I like his other stuff, but the Republic is just amusing. See what you think.

"Our women Guardians must strip for exercise, then - their excellence will be all the clothes they need."

"We must, if we are to be consistent, and if we're to have a real pedigree herd, mate the best of our men with the best of our women as often as possible, and the inferior men with the inferior women as seldom as possible, and bring up only the offspring of the best. And no one but the Rulers must know what is happening, if we are to avoid dissension in our Guardian herd."

"So we must arrange statutory festivals in which our brides and bridegrooms will be brought together... and we shall have to devise an ingenious system of drawing lots, so that our inferior Guardians can, at each mating festival, blame the lot and not the Rulers."

Adeimantus: But one might almost describe your Guardians as a set of hired mercenaries quartered in the city with nothing to do but perpetual guard-duty.

Socrates (representing Plato): Yes, and what is more, they do it for their keep only, and get no pay over and above it like other men, so that they can't go for a holiday abroad on their own if they want to...

"Then is there any human activity at which men aren't far better in all these respect than women? We need not waste time over exceptions like weaving and various cooking operations, at which women are thought to be experts, and get badly laughed at if a man does them better."

I don't think I've every giggled so much reading philosophy or philosophic commentaries as I did reading this. At least they say Plato likely wasn't being entirely serious in putting all this forth as an actual political suggestion...

"Philosophy: unintelligible answers to insoluble problems." Henry Brooks Adams

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Loving LOTR

Okay, so this is almost precisely how my dad and I said Lord of the Rings should end, only we said it about a year ago! And what do you know, someone else thought the same and made a spoof about it. I feel like they stole our idea, even though we technically never patented it... At any rate, I laughed so hard when I saw this.

One word of caution: Boromir moons Sauron, so if cartoons mooning evil monsters disturbs you, close your eyes for a moment after "You suck".



One of my favourite quotes from the (real) movie:

Pippin: I didn't think it would end this way.

Gandalf: End? No, the journey doesn't end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass. And then you see it...

Pippin: What? Gandalf? See what?

Gandalf: White shores... and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

Pippin: Well, that isn't so bad.

Gandalf: No, no it isn't.

Monday, 8 October 2007

A Few VIPs

Well, it's been far too long since I've updated. I'll have to make this quick, but I must pay tribute to the people who traveled with me to Peru:

Diane! No, the devious glint in her eye is not a figment of your imagination. She's definitely a people-person (I probably got to know her the best).

Larissa - from Brazil. She helped us out quite a bit, and her stories are awesome! Vikki - well, there definitely would have been more culture shock had she not primed us on what was going to happen. It was really nice having some who knew what was going on around.

Shaun, Our Fearless Leader! You never knew what to expect with Shaun - he started off pretty quiet, but wasn't so much by the end.

Becky! My other roomie. Easy to talk to, and definitely a prayer warrior. I'm glad we were in the same house.

Jill - my roomie and baggage-mate! Probably the best sound-girl in all of Peru.

Kelsy! One of the team leaders. She had the seat of the chair, I was on the armrest - hence the awkward position. She enjoyed ribbing me a bit, but I didn't mind at all. A very astute people observer/analyzer...

Kelli - half cracked, but a good egg. If you were ever in a bad mood, just listening to her giggle hysterically would cheer you up. And she would be giggling hysterically.

Edward! I'm surprised he made it out without getting killed. His exploits were oft talked about. He got along really well with us girls, and also with the Peruvians. *Confession - I picked up most of my Spanish from him*

Joanie - soft-spoken, very sweet, and good at giving hugs. I'm not actually strangling her in this picture - I like her too much to do that.

Jessica! Probably the most fearless of us girls. She made me jump off the cliff into the waterfall - she knows how to have fun :-)

Everyone - you guys all rocked! And it was awesome to serve with you. Can't say much more than that.

“You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends.'” Anonymous

Friday, 31 August 2007

Founded on Faith

I still plan to introduce you to my Peru team members, but that will happen next post, because there's something here I have to share.


I was reading over the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the very first thing it says is "Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law". What does that mean? It's just a little blurb meaning the writers think the Charter is in agreement with God's laws.

But it also means that Canada is not founded upon principles of multiculturalism, or environmentalism, or peacekeeping. Canada is only founded upon those principles so far as they don't go against "principles that recognize the supremacy of God."

While I think Canadian law sure has some problems, it's nice to know that it is, at least in writing, trying to recognize who the real Ruler is.

Any thoughts?

"Sin rules until grace dethrones it." Anonymous

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Mi Familia Peruano

A few more people you must meet if you ever happen to find yourself wandering about Tarapoto, Peru:


Raquel - Actually, Raquel isn't in Peru right now; she's in the States at Bible School for four years. (After that, who knows where she'll be) She was our translator for the programs. When you first meet her, you think that she's all quiet and reserved. Then you learn the truth. I like her better the way she is :-) We were dance partners for the song "Monte de Zion". I'd belt out lines like "I don't know how to sing this song, but it doesn't matter, because the audience can't tell that I'm singing English, anyway," during the song, which would crack her up. I think we fed off of each other's energy. We'd always be laughing really hard by the end as we screamed out "FIESTA!!" probably twice as loud as anyone doing the dance. I miss her.


Margarita - Gianella's mom. We didn't really understand much of what each other were saying, but everyone understands laughter. Margarita and I really clicked. Whether she was calling me a troublemaker (travajesa in Spanish, though I'm sure that's not spelled right) for taking pictures of her house, trying to demonstrate very animatedly that there would be no water at a certain time, or telling me the names of all the parts of the dead chicken she was cooking for us were, we always ended up laughing. She knew me affectionately as Carlita. I'm really glad that I got to stay in her home...


Mariela - The youngest sister of Jean Pierre and Renato. Mariela and I made up a clapping game which became somewhat popular. When we went out for ice cream I tied one end of my magic rope to my wrist, and the other on hers, and called it a leash. She got a big kick out of that. She was sick with major headaches a lot of the time, but when she wasn't, she loved hanging out with us, and I sure loved having her around.

Melanie - Mariela's older sister. A very pretty girl. It was sometimes dangerous to go near her because we had a bit of a poking/tickling war going on between the two of us, but we were good friends. She was very eager to learn the actions to the Spanish songs we sang.

Oh... there are more! But I can't write about all of them, or you'll surely get bored. Doris would give back massages and candy to us, and Jany saved me from the cockroach... the games Heber and I played... but to be fair, I MUST mention the rest of the Fowler family (I've already mentioned Marcos).



Delwin and Techy, along with their kids, Marcos, Lucas, and Sarah were our hosts, and what wonderful hosts they were. I can't say much more than that. Many thanks and hugs to them all. I miss them so bad....

I fear you must sit through one more post of this, because I've yet to tell you about me team. After that, I'll either recount my favourite Peru memories, or get on with other posts.

Because it was so commonly repeated in Peru: "Embrace me!" - Dante, to multiple girls (he didn't want them to fall off his motocycle, and didn't quite understand why this got some giggles in reply)

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Peruanos - En Mi Corazon Por Siempre

There are a few people I met in Peru that I have to tell you about, because it feels so strange that I know these people from way far away, and no one else here can relate.

Renato - One of my adopted little brothers. He accidentally deleted all my pictures halfway through the trip, but that only seemed to break down a wall and we were better friends after that. We had some fun trying to juggle together. I taught him how to say "Come here, you nut" and got him hooked on cards. He didn't smile much for pictures, though. I had to poke him on this one to get him to grin. He gave me a bracelet as we were saying goodbye in the airport. I can't imagine how the trip would have been without him.

Jean Pierre - The elder brother of Renato, and another of my adopted brothers. He learned rather quickly that I'm big on hugs, and would always give a little laugh when I went in for one, but would give them to me anyways. We were a bit like student and teacher, helping each other learn how to speak and read each other's languages. It must have taken him upwards of twenty tries before he could remember the letter "y" in English (I was teaching him the English alphabet in this picture). I think I'll always miss him.

Marcos - My youngest adopted brother. He has fuzzy hair. Although only eight years of age, a capable translator for all of us monolinguals. The day we were going to leave he asked me "Where will you be now, tomorrow?" I said probably still in airports. Then he asked "What about tomorrow tomorrow?" I said probably in Calgary, or thereabouts (VTI Lodge). Then he asked where I would be after that. Still Calgary, said I. And he asked again, and another time for good measure, before I stopped and asked a question of my own. "Marcos, are you just trying to get me to say when I'll be back in Peru?" He looked rather sheepish and nodded with a "yeahh..." My heart melted.

Gianella - My adopted little sister. She cheats at cards, so you have to watch her, but she's so awesome. Almost every night when I got back from Delwin and Techy's, she would ask me if I wanted to play cards. And after we were through playing cards, or on the nights when we didn't play, we would get involved in some bizarre "conversations" (mostly about pterodactyls, octopuses, and whether there was running water or not) that would have everyone laughing. I was crying by the time I hugged her goodbye at the airport. She broke down and started crying, too. Man, I love her.

Dante - A good friend. We enjoyed many thumb wrestles together (almost all of which I won), and some games of hot hands (I didn't fare so well with that). With him being an almost English speaker, we were able to have some real conversations, too. He took me on a few motorcycle rides through the city, which were lots of fun, despite me burning my leg on the second one. Here's a picture of him after Diane and I painted him up with achiote. He brought sunglasses to the airport, anticipating that he would want them to cover up his tears when he was saying goodbye to everyone. I was crying pretty hard, too.

For fear of boring you, I shan't list any more today, but there are many more people that I must tribute before I can put Peru posts to rest.

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value: rather it is one of those things which give value to survival." C. S. Lewis

Friday, 17 August 2007

Terremotos Galore

Sigh...

It's ironic that almost as soon as I get home from Peru, it's rocked by these massive earthquakes that haven't been a problem in that area for years.

It turns out it's a LOT worse than was originally reported. There have been several earthquakes with tons of aftershocks. The original earthquake was felt even as far north as Tarapoto, despite the epicenter being closer to Lima. Hundreds of people are dead. At least none of my friends, but some of them are pretty worried because another earthquake is being predicted.

Please pray.

***********

Father Mulcahy: Good news, everybody, no more wounded!
Potter: Thank heaven.
Father Mulcahy: And the Manager thereof.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

The Ganso is Still Home...





























1) A scenic shot of Peru 2) Some girls I spent a lot of time dancing around with 3) My host family and me - Juan, Juan's mom, Grecia, Margarita, me, Gianella, Jany 4) The red truck we rode everywhere in 5) Performing "Light of the World" 6) Me and my fuzzy-haired Marcos

And so my list continues, even though no one has commented on my previous post yet.

In Peru:

24. There is no such thing as a clothes dryer. Gotta love clothes lines - out of windows, on roofs, in carports...
25. The windows don't have glass, just a screen.
26. While in Peru, if you leave a belonging out in the open, it is no longer just yours, it is now ours. This includes water bottles.
27. The guys all smell good - that is, they all wear the perfect amount of cologne.
28. Actually, Peruvian guys - even the young ones - are just preppy in general. Fourteen-year-olds taking combs with them when they go out? Not often in Canada.
29. While we're talking about guys, they're much more open, emotionally, in Peru. Also quite charming, and much more forward. (Some pros, some cons)
30. Gringo is not an offensive term in Peru, simply the term they all call you by. Nevertheless, correct them. Gringos are American. We are Canadian, and therefore Gansos (geese).
31. Ladies, make like a bag of apples and don't respond in any manner to the multitude of whistles and catcalls issued forth by the Peruvian males.
32. When it rains, it goes "BOOM" and starts to pour, instead of starting light and getting heavier.
33. Every village has a plaza.
34. Every plaza has a large decorative water fountain in the middle.
35. The water fountains never have any water in them.
36. Unlike Alberta, Peru is not rat-free.
37. The Spanish word for cockroach is cucaracha.
38. Geckos on your roof and walls are actually kinda cool.
39. The dirt in Peru is not clean dirt, unlike in most of Canada.
40. Peruvian timekeeping is always late. Always. Arrive late, leave late. Count on it.
41. There is no such thing as hot running water. Shower in the cold. If there is running water.
42. The milk is all "whole". It's ok for cereal, but tastes gross otherwise.
43. Peru is people/relationship oriented, unlike Canada, which is work/goal oriented.
44. It starts to get dark at about five in the afternoon.
45. It hits about 35 degrees (Celsius) at ten in the morning.
46. The garbage truck comes on whatever day it feels like, whatever time of day it feels like. (Like a thief in the night, to turn it into an object lesson) Always be ready for the blaring horn announcing the approach of the garbage truck!

I have just become aware that a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Peru today. It lasted over a minute, and some buildings in Lima were damaged, and some towns around Lima had blackouts. Tsunami warnings have been issued. Tarapoto, where I was, is a fair distance away from Lima, and so my friends are almost certainly ok, but it scared me a little bit. Heber, the wonderful guy who cooked for us lives in Lima, so it'll be nice if I can find out how he is...

Quoting our host missionary, Delwin Fowler, on how to eat: "God created hands before He created forks."

My mom had to remind me to eat my chicken with a fork and knife today. Apparently I've become more Peruvian than I first thought :-)

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

The Ganso is Home...





























1) Blowing balloons 2) Margarita and the chicken 3) Margarita and the ingiri 4) Raquel and I 5) Jean Pierre and I 6) Some girls and me... it was at a program. For those fives, I only remember the names Adriana and Geraldine.

I have returned safely from Peru! Did you miss me? There is so much to tell that I don't really have any idea how to go about telling. Therefore, I shall start with a list of thing about Peru that are obviously foreign to Canadians:

1. In Peru, don't flush your toilet paper. Put it in the garbage.
2. In fact, don't even expect there to be toilet paper. Bring your own.
3. Do NOT drink the water!
4. The fruit juice is actually fruit juice, not sugar-water.
5. You kiss strangers both hello and goodbye, but you don't actually have to kiss - just go cheek to cheek and make the sound. And only on one side of the face, not both.
6. Houses tend to lack walls and roofing in some places. It's all very open.
7. It's chicken and rice to eat, everyday, for as long as you're there....
8. The dogs and the chickens enjoy running about the street - watch your step.
9. Pedestrians have no right of way on any streets - I say it again: watch your step!
10. Do not wear socks on red wax floors, unless you wish to have pink socks.
11. As long as you're in Peru, you can hug a kid without having to worry about getting sued by the parents.
12. Some Peruvians can live without running water - but heaven forbid that they be without cable TV!
13. Peruvian kids are almost all extremely outgoing, yet simultaneously terribly afraid of being on stage.
14. You can ride everywhere in the back of the truck! Just not actually on top of the cab.
15. Speed limits are either non-existent or entirely ignored.
16. A stop sign means yield.
17. Motocars or motorcycles are the choice modes of transportation.
18. In addition to rice and chicken, you eat a lot of ingiri - known in English as plantain.
19. Back to chicken - if you desire to eat a chicken, you must first hack off its head and feet.
20. The rain gutters are predictably HUGE!
21. The Peruvian educational system expects a lot more from the kids than the Canadian or American ones do.
22. Black tarantulas will kill you. Brown ones only severely injure.
23. Soccer is called football.

That's good for now. I'll continue the list next post. It's good to be home, but I miss the people so bad....

To quote a friend from Peru, because it's funny:
Vikki: Ah! Smell my hand! Pepe sprayed cologne on me - now I smell like a man!
Dante: (smells Vikki's hand) Hm - smell like man. (smells Vikki's hair) Mm - smell like woman.

More on Peru soon!

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Off Wandering


Off wandering through exotic lands with gorgeous flora and lush greenery - the unfamiliar, sparkling, night-time constellations, making new friends, soaking up the sun... refraining from eating any raw fruit... forcing down malaria medication... sweating buckets...

The Wanderer, yours truly, shall live up to her name and go on a little adventure tomorrow. Namely, I shall head to training camp (boot camp, as my mom dubs it) for the Peru missions trip with VTI. I will be gone until mid-August, so there won't likely be any blog updates until then. But don't forget about me, and be sure to come back and check this place again come the new school year! I'm having some problems with the scant amount we're allowed to take. I have a hunch that I won't be taking many, if any, pleasure items. It's mostly a stage ministry, which means I will be... doing things on a stage. Let you know more about that when I return. Many prayers would be appreciated!

Looking forward to the trip, and looking forward to the return (for I doubtless will be homesick... or people-sick, at any rate)! Many thanks to everyone who has sponsored me!

No awesome Peruvian quotes come to mind, so I'll do the next closest thing: travel. I love Corner Gas.

Brent: Want me to fill it up?
Man: Sure. You know I've never driven across Saskatchewan before.
Brent: Well, you still haven't really. About halfway to go yet.
Man: Sure is flat.
Brent: How do you mean?
Man: You know, flat. Nothing to see.
Brent: What do you mean, like topographically? Hey Hank, this guy says Saskatchewan is flat.
Hank: How do you mean?
Brent: Topographically I guess. He says there's nothin' to see.
Hank: There's lots to see. There's nothin' to block your view.
Brent: There's lots to see. Nothin' to block your view. Like the mountains back there. They're uh... Well, what the h***? I could've sworn there was a big mountain range back there. Juttin' up into the sky all purple and majestic. I must be thinkin' of a postcard I saw or somethin'. Hey, it is kinda flat, thanks for pointin' that out.
Man: You guys always this sarcastic?
Brent: There's nothin' else to do.

P.S. Sorry I have to miss your birthday, BJ!

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Peeved With Promotions





I don't usually listen to the radio, either because I don't have the motivation to drown out whatever my sister is playing (with the exception of that one German punk rock song.... ICH WILL!!!***spit spit***), or because I find the radio song choices either distastful or boring. Recently, however, the CD in the van was skipping, so I turned it on to Shine FM, the Christian station here in Alberta. The songs were ok. The commercials, however, sure rubbed me the wrong way.

I understand the need to play commercials, because that's how a radio station makes its money. And I can understand it using promotional tactics aimed toward a more Christian audience than a station, say like Jack or CJ. But when it starts using lines like "Your body is a temple; why pollute it?" to introduce an organic food sale, or "Bring God into your mortgage" to promote a certain lawyer... umm... does anyone else have a problem with that?

God is God, not something to be commercialized! The idea behind these ads is to use God or aspects of the Faith to bring in money to some individual or organization. God as a means toward your own end. Having Christmas so commercialized is bad enough, but now, all of what's holy? This can't be right! Salvation is a gift from God, not a tool to help you sell things. I don't believe the people who made those commercials were trying to be disrespectful, but I'm peeved, nonetheless. What kind of sick, consumer driven culture are we that we dare use the sacred to lure in more customers?

To use a line like "Jesus told us to help the orphans" in a sponsor-the-kid campaign - that I can live with. But a "This product is more godly than this other product, so buy your stuff from me" just doesn't sit well, like the common "I'm a Christian, so it's better to hire me than someone else."

Well then, what about the mass marketing of the Nativity and Passion movies, which I love? While the fact that Hollywood produced them only for a profit is disgruntling, selling a rendition of those stories on DVD is a little different from using God to sell a product that would otherwise be considered "neutral" in terms of Christian/non-Christian standing. Go ahead and sell "Christian" things, but don't cheapen the gift of salvation buy turning it into a promotional tactic.

And now, to entirely reverse the situation, I saw a brochure for a seminary with the slogan "Seminary - your way". Ppft. Please. That's right, forget God, it's only about what I want, apparently.

Because it shows what I'm talking about:
Kodak sells film, but they don't advertise film. They advertise memories.” Theodore Parker

"They sell fruit, but they don't advertise fruit. They advertise Christian living."

Let what is godly speak for itself.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

I've Been Tagged

My friend Emily tagged me on her blog, so now I apparently have no choice but to share seven random facts about me that you might not know. No promises, here. If you already know them, suck it up, sorry.

1. I have a sponsor kid from El Salvador named Ana Vanessa Mariona Gonzalez. She is currently seven years old and an absolute CUTIE!

2. I shop like a guy, apparently: find it, buy it. Very little comparing prices or window shopping for me. And it's definitely not something I'll ever make a hobby out of!

3. I am creating my own language which is, for lack of a better name, currently called Rhunic. See my sidebar, where I give a few example phrases. It's got its own form of artistic writing, too.

4. I enjoy playing Texas Hold 'Em (although I've never used real money...)

5. I am thinking of maybe, perhaps, just possibly getting into psychology for a formal career.

6. I'm not symmetrical. The right side of me is higher than my left; don't know how, whether it's my legs or shoulders or what, but I'm crooked, apparently. I can't tell, but the people at dance noticed it several times. Just ask my friend Sarah over at The Greenwood Musings. It's weird, really.

7. My little brother played me at chess and beat me the first game in four turns. The second game took him all of five.

Now I tag seven people? Sheesh, I don't know if seven people read this. But then again, it streams onto my Facebook account, so maybe they'll respond: favourite sister Brianna, second-cousin Kristin, college-mate Danielle, good friend Sarah, church friend Robyn, long-lost friend Jaclyn, and little sister's best friend's older sister Mikayla because I know she spends a lot of time on Facebook.

And now, moving on to other things. Work at Timmy's isn't too bad. There was one super-rude old guy who I had to serve last shift, but it was all ok because I found his repeated self-righteous exclamation of "G**, the manners in this place!" rather funny. I have to clean my uniform again, but I'm washing it so frequently that I'm not sure there's enough other stuff in the house to justify another wash load. And I must correct a spelling mistake I've been making: it's cappuccino, not cappucino.

We had an awesome Father's Day. I wrote Dad his card in binary, and we played a whole bunch of games (I didn't win anything), which was tons of fun. And we watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. The theology in that movie is hilarious. You'da thunk they'd at least do a little research before saying things like "The Israelites put the broken pieces of the Ten Commandments into the Ark..." and "The Bible tells of it leveling mountains and wasting entire regions," and "Didn't you ever go to Sunday School?" in the same breath. We laughed. And whoever thought that a falling statue would kill every snake in a snake pit? And Indy must have some muscles to be able to shove huge hunks of concrete around like that.

That's all for now. Peru in two weeks! Woot!

A rather random quote today:
My significant other at the moment is myself. That's what happens when you suffer from multipersonality disorder and self-obsession.” Joaquin Phoenix

Monday, 11 June 2007

The Meaning of Christian

Most of you who know me know that occasionally I randomly depart from the topic of conversation and say "I wonder where the phrase ______ came from." Or "I wonder what the etymology of _______ is." It's one of my more obvious quirks.

Today the word in question is Christian, because it means something different to basically everyone.

One site I found makes some interesting claims. Apparently, Christian is derived from the same word as cretin, and the word Christian was used before Jesus by Pagan religions. At any rate, if the site has any truth in it, the word Christian never really held any special meaning, which is kind of nice to know, because I hate to see good words go down the drain.

Whatever it entailed originally, "Christian" now means either everything or nothing. Some usages I've heard recently:
1. Canadian.
2. White, or in particular Anglo-Saxon.
3. Moral, nice person (whatever "moral" now means...)
4. Narrow-minded fundamentalist bigot.
5. Someone who holds some sort of belief about Jesus.
5. Creationist.
6. Someone who believes Jesus saves, but other things do, too.
7. Someone who believe God is all love and no justice.
8. Someone who believes God is all justice and no love.
9. Nazi.
10. Ku Klux Klan member.
11. And the list goes on...

Pretty much, as far as I can tell, "Christian" means anything you want it to except, most of the time, "Satanist" (which I'm sure also has several meanings, some of which might be reconcilable to one or more meanings of Christian). Some people might argue that atheists can't be labelled Christian, but with the whole "moral, nice person" thing going, I don't see why not.

Hmm. So much for being a Christian. What a useless term. It's no wonder why so many Jesus followers in other countries and even people of my own generation are distancing themselves from the word. I, myself, am hesitant to call myself a Christian.

I think it's time we came up with a new word. Any ideas?

You've doubtless heard this quote before:
"We're Christians by faith, not by genre." Tim Foreman

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Coffee Crazy Calgary

Well, my friends, I have come to greatly appreciate the art of writing over the past two/three weeks. As of yet, I still have not recovered my voice, and it is really starting to grind on my nerves. I'm sure everyone at work thinks I always wheeze and croak when I speak. I shall be very very thankful once (or if) my voice ever decides to return to me.

Meanwhile, I have been working eight hour shifts at Tim Hortons for this past week, now. (As an aside, the guy's name was Tim Horton. So shouldn't it be Tim Horton's possessive, not Tim Hortons plural?) They're long shifts, and don't leave me much time for getting everything else done, which is causing a bit of stress, because I have a lot to do before July rolls around! Peru will be awesome... provided I can pull myself together enough to be ready to leave...

Otherwise, Timmy's has been not bad. I brew more pots of coffee in one day than my parents have brewed in their lifetimes combined, and make so many ice cappucinos that I can't help but wonder if the consumption of all that ice is contributing to global warming. My coworkers are for the most part, very congenial. I'm making some friends, although it'd be a lot easier to do if I could actually speak to them. Yesterday I was making all the beverages for the cars that came through the drive-thru. It was pretty fun, actually, keeps me on my toes. But considering the number of Tim Hortons in the city, and the number of other fast-food joints, I didn't expect to be going steady at it for four and a half hours. Where do all those people come from? There are many, many coffee addicts in this city. I mean seriously... it can't be a good thing (except for the coffee houses, of course). I am so glad that my coffee intake is limited to the inhalation of the pleasant aroma, not the ingestion of the vile stuff itself.

So that's just a bit of an update to let you know what I've been up to recently.

"I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee." Flash Rosenberg

"I think if I were a woman I'd wear coffee as a perfume." John Van Druten

Deja Brew: The feeling that you've had this coffee before.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Eliot vs. Aragorn

T. S. Eliot wrote a poem entitled The Hollow Men. I quote for you here the fifth section:

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea and the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

----------------------------------

Honestly? One part of me, the dramatic part, shivers with glee at something so tragic and, well, because I'm too lazy to check a thesaurus, dramatic. Taking the children's song like that, and inserting it into something so dark and hopeless.... pretty potent. But the other part of me thinks what?

I think it's sick. Eliot takes the Lord's Prayer, which Christ, Himself, taught us, and rips it apart. Now with hermaneutics and all that, one could say Eliot wasn't trying to make any point at all, and that this can be interpreted any way one likes. I'll reject that ridiculous notion and say that Eliot was trying to say, "Look. In the end, everything flies apart. Even the Supernatural. Everything becomes completely and utterly meaningless. It doesn't even become meaningless with a flourish; it just fades." Accept your fate: a hollow end, if you will, after the title.

If the Lord's Prayer becomes so meaningless you can't even finish it, then what does that entail for the rest of creation?

While it does seem to me a lot of the time that the world is going out with a whimper, not a bang, this poem is just wrong. I'm sorry, it's wrong. God's realm will not fall apart. The Lord's Prayer will never become meaningless. And so there's really no reason to waste any more time entertaining such thoughts, however beautifully they may be written.

It's a wonder that Eliot managed to stay alive long enough to write that. With such hopelessness, I don't understand why more people don't commit suicide. Then again, I suppose death would be meaningless, too, so why bother? Just fade away, like Eliot implies....

OK. Let's go onto to something more cheery. I like Aragorn's speech from Lord of the Rings a little better. It's like it was made as a rebuke for Eliot:

I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. The day may come when the courage of Men fails; when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship; but it is not this day - an hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the Age of Man comes crashing down - but it is not this day!!! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth -
I bid you stand! Men of the West!

Except I would make two tiny changes. 1) Replace Men of the West with Men of the Light, and 2) make a note that in my version, Man means followers of the Son of Man.

'Tis all.

P.S. I added two new blog links, so make sure you check them out.

Monday, 28 May 2007

An Uncommon? Conversation

Mom had her big MYC (Music for Young Children) recitals today, so that went until about nine-thirty. Meals at our house have pretty much broken down into snacks whenever you feel like them, so Brianna and I opted to run out for some fast food after the recitals were over. While Brianna was in Wendy's, I zipped over to McDonalds. Upon arriving inside, I had to wait about a minute before anyone was ready to serve me because they were busy on drive-thru. Here's an exchange of our conversation:

Me: Hi. I'd like two cheeseburgers and a small fry, please.
Clerk: Is that everything?
Me: Yes, thanks.
Clerk: To stay or to go?
Me: To go.
Clerk: That'll be four (something or other)
*** I give him the money, he gives me change***
Clerk: It'll be just a moment.
Me: OK.
*** after another minute he comes back with the food***

Do you see anything at all odd about that conversation? Anything at all? I don't. But as he was handing me the food this is what he said: "I just wanted to thank you because you've done something for me today that not many people have done. You've shown me some respect. So to thank you I bumped up your fry order."

I asked him "What? Why aren't they?", and he said he didn't know, but that not many people did today.

What?! He appeared completely sincere -I mean he certainly wasn't flirting or anything. The guy just seemed to be so glad to meet someone who treated him like a human being. Isn't that sad? I did nothing at all special. I was just normal. Is the world so far gone that common politeness goes entirely down the drain so that normal behaviour seems stellar?

Wow. I hope his day picks up for him. And don't let me ever catch any one of you being rude to someone just because they happen to be behind a counter or working somewhere. That kind of behaviour just makes me sick. If you can't treat fellow humans with common decency, then stay home. You're not wanted.

“I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” Jackie Robinson

“Men are respectable only as they respect.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

P.S. I lost my voice for about five days, but it's coming back now. Tomorrow will be my first real day on the job at Timmy's. Brianna and Justin are back from YC. That's all.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Indisposed

Ugggghhhh....

Sick. It feels like there's a golf ball stuck in my throat, and I'm hot/cold (can't really tell which). The contents of my nose are of a really gooey consistency, but that's probably way too much information.

Job training at Timmy's so far has been quite boring, but there was an interesting section where I was taught all about the incredible depths that people will go to retrieve a little cup of bitter-tasting gunk called coffee. Actually, I should note that Tim Hortons makes very good quality coffee. I suppose I'm just a little less enthusiastic than I should be because I'm so sick... (yes, yes, blame it on the illness).

So anyway, I've been mostly defending my castle today, as my brother puts it (Fire Emblem). Yesterday we went to see Julie in her school's musical production of Little Women. She made an excellent hag!

Speaking of illnesses and blaming everything on them:
'My doctor says that I have a malformed public duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre,' he muttered to himself, 'and that I am therefore excused from saving Universes.'” Douglas Adams

Ha! Although I, personally, am lacking mostly of iron, so I don't align with magnetic north. Hence my navigational problems.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Update!

Wow! Ok, so it's been a while since I updated. Sorry about that! Tomorrow I go for job training at Tim Horton's (affectionately known as Timmy's), so today is probably about the last "free" day of my life.

Going back to the whole "kids are eco-crimes" thing, I read in a magazine recently that the government is scared women in general aren't having enough babies to support the global population or economy. The theme of the article was "what will it take to make you breed?" You've got to love how the two views are the complete anti-theses of each other.

I have about a million support letters to send out so I can get money to go to Peru this summer. I'm pretty excited. I wanted to go to Malawi, but things didn't come together for that one on the part of VTI, so it's Peru instead, which, I must admit, is still really cool.

Did a major overhaul of my bedroom this week. You can actually see the floor, now. Last night we played Texas Hold 'Em with Dad. I didn't win this time, but I plan to next time around. And we watched the movie Clue, so that's what I'll quote, because I have nothing better to say:

Wadsworth: But what about your first husband? He disappeared under, shall we say, 'mysterious' circumstances.
Mrs. White: Well, that was his job. He was an illusionist.
Wadsworth: But he never reappeared.
Mrs. White: Ah - he wasn't a very good illusionist.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Truly Random

Some Truly Random Musings of the Wanderer:

1. It is near impossible to buy shorts that hang to your knees without ballooning out on the sides.

2. The Wanderer needs to buy many stamps and batteries, because she procrastinates badly if she doesn't have them.

3. Bianca is actually quite a nice name. And Leah. For a guy, Raphael isn't too bad; neither is Gabe.

4. Band-aids are a necessity.

5. It's very hard to make a list of 75 people to ask for financial support from, even if you're getting money to go on a mission's trip.

6. People who always say "Boy, this is awkward" get really annoying, fast. It's called silence. If you want to break the silence, say something intelligent, or at least amusing.

7. Welshies are the cutest breed of dog, ever.

8. The music from The Chronicles of Narnia is very easy to get stuck in your head. At least it's sort of ethereal sounding. I like it.

9. The Wanderer has yet to do devotions today. She bought a new study Bible recently, which she is quite happy about. Yay, footnotes!

10. Spiderman 3 makes a nice point about people always beeing able to make a choice between right and wrong. It misses the mark, though, on the repeated claim that Peter Parker is a "good person". (See the Good Person test)

11. GAH! I must find a job and start making money soon! And get the stuff for VTI together before they boot me off the mission's team!

12. Yesterday was Mother's Day. I love my mommy.

13. Mackenzie didn't come to Sunday School yesterday, but her twin brother did. I wonder why, and what that implies.

14. I haven't been witnessing at all recently. This is starting to grate on my nerves. Must... share... gospel. I feel like I'm wasting time, here....

15. I don't know how guys get by without purses.

"The only noodles we have are potatoes?" Justin, my brother, upon me showing him the "noodles" I was going to make for supper. Hey, the potatoes LOOKED like noodles to me, ok?

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

A Difficult Reconciliation

So here's a little something I've been pondering lately:

Statement 1) All human beings are of equal worth and value.
Statement 2) Evolution is true.

How are these two statements reconcilable?
*PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT RACIST. I AM PRESENTING A HYPOTHETICAL ARGUMENT*

If the place human beings have arrived at truly is due to the evolutionary process and natural selection, then wouldn't some races of human beings be intellectually and physically superior to others? And if they're superior intellectually and physically, then why are they not worth more? Wouldn't they be more valuable? Survival of the fittest.

The only ways that I can see the two statements being reconcilable to each other are to say that a) all people have souls, which are all of equal worth at all times. This would mitigate all other differences, since the value of the soul would trump all other determiners.

Or b) say that souls have nothing to do with it, and absolutely everything is equal in value, regardless of disparity in abilities. This would equate houseflies and dirt to human beings.

Option one has a problem, in that how do you draw a distinction between a human and a chimpanzee well enough to ascertain that one should have a soul, and the other not? If Evolution happened, then why would one thing receive a soul, and not the next? You have to draw the line somewhere, but it's difficult to do without being arbitrary. If you don't draw a line, then really, you're just restating option number two.

Option number two may be logically sound, but most people like to think they're worth a little more than pond scum.

Let me repeat, I believe God created human beings are equal, regardless of race, intellect, and physical ability. And while I'm not glued to believing in Evolution, I'm not throwing out the process, either. And I definitely believe that I'm worth more than the dirt. So then... how does that work? I guess God drew the line somewhere.... Hmmm...I'll have to think on that.

"All the evolution we know of proceeds from the vague to the definite." Charles Sanders Pierce.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Kids are Eco-crimes?

I read in the newspaper today an article about - guess what - the environment. It seems the only newsworthy items recently have to do with celebrities and global warming. I'm sick of it. Anyway, this particular article stated that it's an eco-crime for a couple to have more than two kids, because having a third child or more increases carbon emissions by some order of magnitude.

Nevermind that the Canadian population is already only sustaining its numbers because of immigrants. Nevermind that the North American culture will collapse once there's not enough people around to maintain it. Nevermind that if this is the mentality, abortion and abandoned babies will increase. We MUST reduce carbon emissions, at ALL costs.

Maybe they think if North Americans and Europeans have fewer babies, and the races involved diminish - third world countries sure won't slow their growth rates at all, but simply immigrate to North America and Europe so carbon emissions won't change - then the all around quality of human life will get better. But I doubt it. This, I think, simply has to do with the environment trumping humanity again. So much for God's commission to Adam to "Rule the earth".

Hey. Why don't we just phase out the human race like those nut jobs I mentioned before?

I can't think about this anymore, because it makes me so angry. I feel like running off, getting married and having 17 kids just to spite these environmentalists. Well, ok. Maybe that'd be a little painful. I'll have to re-think that, but MOVING ON NOW, my quote shall quite pointedly and purposefully have nothing whatsoever to do with this issue:

We are no longer the knights who say ni! We are now the knights who say ekki-ekki-ekki-pitang-zoom-boing!” from Monty Python

Thursday, 3 May 2007

A Post for Justin


WELL... I've been pretty much hooked on the game Fire Emblem: the Sacred Stones for a while now, thanks to my brother. The other day he was like "When are you going to write about Fire Emblem on your blog?"... sooooo here it is (happy, J-man?). And that's a screen shot just to the left, of Princess Eirika and General Seth. Usually Justin's telling me what to do, but he had a dream last night that I was the tactician, telling HIM what to do. He was somewhat confused and alarmed by that, but I was rather flattered.

Some of Carla's random thoughts on Fire Emblem:
1. I must remember to use vulneraries. They exist for a reason.
2. Sethy-Wethy-Poo is a hottie.
3. Ephraim is usually pretty good, but he's being a bit lousy this time around. The prince needs hand-out stats!
4. Neimi, Amelia, and Lute ROCK!
5. Axes beat lances beat swords beat axes, and dark beats anima beats light beats dark.
6. Ewan and Ross are actually the same age, but Ross is about eighteen times larger, and needs to put a shirt on.
7. Franz and Amelia are the cutest couple ever.
8. I am very glad I can speed things up with the space bar.
9. The last chapter I beat, I beat BY MYSELF. Justin only showed up as I had one dude left to dispatch.
10. Don't forget Lute's bolting spell next chapter. (like JUSTIN did last time around!)
11. Justin and I have a tendency to shriek at the same time, which greatly annoys my sister.

Well, that's about it. The worldview of the game is very much "WE can defeat evil", which is a little sad, because evil can't be truly defeated without God, but I like the game, anyway.

Seeing as this entire post was about something pointless, I might as well finish it off with a few quotes from the same pointless source:

Colm: Hey you, have you seen a scary-looking woman?
Marisa: Is she your sister?

Dozla: Ah! What do I do? Wait. Just think. I must have run across something like this before. When Princess L'Arachel was a babe, and she would begin to cry... She would tug on my beard! That would always make her happy. C'mon, lassie, grab a handful of my beard and give it a good, strong yank!

Gilliam (big buff dude weighing about two-hundred pounds in sheer muscle): Whenever I'm training, people start to avoid me. It's not just that. Even animals run away from me when I'm at it.
Neimi (little lithe girl with bobbed pink hair): And you're just... You're just staring into the distance?
Gilliam: Yes. Standing perfectly still, staring into the distance.
Neimi: Maybe it's... because you look scary... I used to get that a lot. Cormag [ferocious and scarred warrior who has the guts to ride a dragon-like wyvern] said I was frightening him. He thought I was angry at him.
Gilliam: I look... scary? Hm... I have refined my scare to intimidate my foes in battle. You may have a point. No wonder people get scared when they see me glowering into the distance. You know, I might almost consider it a compliment of my knightly prowess!
Neimi: I have an idea... Perhaps if you smile, it might not be so scary.
Gilliam: ... Like this?
Neimi: ...
Gilliam: It's still scary, isn't it?
Neimi: Uh... Maybe it's because you're crossing your arms. How about... holding some flowers instead? That might help.
Gilliam: You want me to stare into the distance... smiling... and holding flowers?
Neimi: I think that would look good...

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

To Preach or Not to Preach? part II

This is in continuance of my last post. There was a letter sent by a Lawrence Irwin to City Light News about the issue. I can't find it on their website, but I have it sitting in hardcopy on my lap, so I'd like to quote a few lines, if you'd so allow me:

"...the Judge's decision a couple of weeks ago was not a judgement against us. It was that she decided to not make a decision, between the City of Calgary and Street Church... So at this time there is no court decision to stop Street Church from using amplification."

"To this day bylaw officers have not proven that Street Church has broken the noise bylaw. We have been given a decibel meter which measures the sound level, so we are making sure every time we are out ministering that we are within legal range."

"The tickets... are not valid. One ticket was for parking in the park but we have a valid permit for 2007... the head of Parks personally told me we could park one vehicle in the park. The other ticket was for jumping the curb, but they chained off the only entrance to the park, so there was no alternative."

"...we have tried without amplification at Triangle Park, and it is almost impossible to get the message across with two major roads running adjacent to the park."

"The traffic alone has been measured at 60 decibels. This is why we need a small amount of amplification to communicate..."

Hmmm... I'm not liking this situation either way. One way you have the Christians being stubborn rule-breakers, the other way you have the City taking out the Christians just because they're Christians. I still don't know exactly what's happening, but I suppose it could use a lot of prayer!

On a lighter note, I did two exams today - English and Philosophy - which means I have only one more to go. Yay! And also, my passport arrived this morning, only two weeks after I applied for it - Wow! My picture is something scary, but at least I have it.

Though I don't know what Terry Pratchett was talking about, I thought it applied to evangelism (amongst other things) pretty well - in particular, what could very well be going on with Pawlowski right now.

“It's not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren't doing.” Terry Pratchett

Monday, 30 April 2007

To Preach or Not to Preach?


Or maybe to just turn down the volume?

OK, so I thought I would comment on this situation in Calgary. There is an open air preacher that sets up downtown on a pretty regular basis. Things had been going pretty well, until some people complained that his amps were breaking sound bylaws and were, quite frankly, really annoying to the to people who lived in the area. Ah, tempers flared, including the preacher's. The man in question, Art Pawlowski, is holding to his claim that no sound restrictions were being broken, and that it's the message people are opposed to, not the noise. Apparently, he says that he's willing to go to jail if that's what it takes to get the message through to people. The news reports say that city officials have been trying to hit a compromise with him, but that he's refusing. That's him (on the right) arguing with the bylaw officer in the picture.

Here I'm thinking "Dude, they can hear you from across the river, plain as day. Turn down the speakers!" I may be all for his message, I don't know. From his quotes, he sounds somewhat... abrasive. But whether he's in the right or wrong in claiming he should be allowed this amps... well... if it were some Muslim call to prayer being issued above and beyond the sound bylaws, I'd be more than miffed. As Christians, we need to follow the laws, unless they go directly against what God teaches. And He never said that we must use speakers.

I suppose I don't know whether he actually was breaking sound bylaws or not. The media has a way of twisting things to be seen from a certain bias, so I won't be committal either way. Art Pawlowski is adamant that he was not breaking laws. Most other people are adamant that he was. But if they can hear him from the other side of the river, I'm guessing he probably was. If that's the case, my advice to Pawlowski would be "Apologize and turn down the speakers, then carry on." If not, and this is a case of the city rejecting the message, then my advice would be "shake the dust off your feet and move on." Sometimes it's worth going to jail over an issue, but I'm not sure that this is one of them. More good, I think, can be done if he just takes his ministry elsewhere.

You can read an article on it here and here if you've missed it in the papers.

That's all. Still waiting on VTI and exams (three left!). I might be getting a job for a few months, doing yard work. Yippee! (Surprisingly, that's actually not very sarcastic).

I don't remember who said this, but I thought it pretty fitting considering the topic of this post: "Great witness is ruined by not remembering to return the Tupperware."

Monday, 23 April 2007

Summer Begins!

Well, not really, but it feels like it.

It's beautiful today! The sun is shining, the snow is melted, the air is still... I don't really know why I'm sitting here at my computer. I feel like pulling out one of those muskoka chairs from the shed and reading those great books I got for my grad! And maybe taking a walk. Well, that is, so long as my nose doesn't fall off. I'm fighting a cold, but the allergy medication is helping. Can you believe I can't swallow even one of those dinky little things without water?

WOO WOO WOO! (That's not really how I speak, but it makes me laugh, so there) Today was the last day of classes! It's actually sad in a way. I'm going to miss that Philosophy class with Howard. He said that our class was the best introductory level philosophy course he'd ever taught :-) Danielle and I made some cookies with pictures of chairs on them for the final day, as well as signs lobbying for the rights of chairs (long standing inside joke if you weren't already aware). Now I just have to figure out what in the world I'm doing for classes next year and start some major studying for exams!

VTI is looking into my application, so it looks like I might be going off this summer. My friend Emily is off to Israel pretty quick, and Sarah's heading to England, and Kate to Mexico, my family minus me (assuming I'm in Malawi or Peru) to Colorado... what an adventurous lot we're all being this year!

As far as careers are concerned, currently I'm thinking something along the lines of psychology, but that could be painful to get a degree in, not to mention a job, considering how secular a field it is... sigh. I just don't know what to do. Well, first things first, I guess. I still need to spend all those gift certificates I got for my birthday! Can't complain there, really.

All in all, life is good, although given the seven sociology readings I have to do before the 26th, I might be singing a different tune before long.

A quote by Bertrand Russell I thought Danielle would like: “The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.“

And in terms of direction: "Hopelessly lost, but making good time..." :-)

God bless.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Chatting with the Chaplain

Well.... I've really got very little to report at the moment. It's snowing - again.

On Wednesday I talked to the chaplain of my school to try to see what she believes about God. She appears to believe in Universal Salvation - not in that Hindus and Bhuddists, for example, go to heaven, but that their souls never die or go to hell. Once their wandering souls repent, then they'll be allowed into heaven. I brought up a few verses with her, like the one about the sheep and the goats going to His right hand and His left, and how He says over and over "I will judge". There's another thing I should have brought up - the Bible talks about His wrath to come. Not His wrath that would have come if Jesus hadn't died, but the wrath to come. So someone's going to be receiving it. And also, she did mention that works were required to be "saved" - not sure saved from what - but how can a soul without a body do works?

You've probably heard this one before: “I try to keep an open mind, but not so open that my brains fall out.” Harold T. Stone

Anyway, I've got to finish breakfast and go to school. It's winding down really fast, here!
God bless,
Carla

“All the interests of my reason, speculative as well as practical, combine in the three following questions: 1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope?” Immanuel Kant

I think that a lot of people forget about the last one, and really hope/hold out for too much. Let's hope I'm just being pessimistic.

Monday, 16 April 2007

My Week in a Nutshell


a) the line behind me at the passport office, and b) Lisa and Margaret, my line buddies


Well, I'm seriously considering renaming this blog "The Sunday School Chronicles", because that seems to be my most common topic. This Sunday we made goop with the kids. I was a little concerned that they'd get it all over their clothes, but they were pretty good about it. I love the second graders!

Or perhaps the "School Schedule Chronicles". I managed to get my Philosophy and Astronomy essays done on time, and my English project is ready to be handed in, so now I've only got to worry about writing my Grammar essay before tomorrow. Last week started after a long weekend, then the class before Grammar was cancelled, so my pattern recognition and internal schedule were thrown off. Wouldn't you know that I just plumb forgot I had Grammar and didn't realize I had missed it until the next day, sitting in Philosophy class. AHHHH! So I emailed my prof, and she just laughed and said that the essay was due next week. Thank goodness I didn't miss anything uber important!

On Thursday I stood in line at the passport office for 2.5 hours, which, surprisingly, was actually quite fun. Upon arriving at the passport office, Cameron, a guy from church, drove by and spotted me, so he stopped to talk for a while. Once he left, Dad showed up to bring me my lunch. Once he left, the ladies in front of me in line and I hit it off and spent the rest of the time joking around and laughing. We didn't exchange names until we were actually inside the building, so they just called me "College Girl", which I felt was a rather prestigious position. I didn't get up the nerve to actually witness to them, but I did give them some tracts. I don't know exactly what they thought of them, but they didn't start spitting on me or anything, and were quite appreciative, especially for the tract with the one-liners. You can pray for them - Margaret and Lisa. I should be getting my passport back within about a month, so that's somewhat of a relief - for a while I thought my summer plans were completely shot. Now I just have to send in the VTI form and choose between Malawi and Peru for a missions trip.

Again, nothing very deep, because I don't have time at the moment, but I hope to get something of substance into this thing again, soon.

“If you look like your passport photo you're too ill to travel.” Joe Pasquale

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Deadlines

AAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH! Tomorrow my English assignment is due, but there had BETTER be an extension granted on that because our prof missed the TWO most recent classes, keeping us from getting back our rough drafts! And I have to do a major revamping of my philosophy essay (and hopefully take it to the learning center), and write an astronomy essay. BY MONDAY.

Oh, help.

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” Douglas Adams

edited to add: And now I have a grammar essay due Tuesday!

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Easter Sunday


He is risen!

This is Mackenzie and Brayden and Jillian on Palm Sunday (last week).

I taught grade 2 Sunday School today for Sarah, because she was out dancing at another church today. It went pretty well. I love those kids (there were only five of them today). We got onto this tangent by a long string of topics: one of the girls, Naomi, said her grandma was married at 17 and had kids when she was 18, 19, 20, 22, and 23. (I think I got that right) I said that freaked me out because I was 18. Then she asked me who my boyfriend was and I said I didn't have one. She seemed quite incredulous, along with the rest, which included Brayden, who uttered an exclaimation of shock. Naomi said "Well, you should have a boyfriend by now." There was much giggling as she then proceeded to say things along the lines of "Well, you must like someone. Who do you have a crush on?" etc. etc. I changed the topic pretty quick :-) But don't worry, that was NOT the main focus of Sunday School, as we talked all about the Easter Story and why Jesus died and how He's such a good friend. And when it was over, Andrea gave me a chocolate egg. How sweet of her :-)

Some friends that we don't see a lot came over for lunch today, so that was good. We had a discussion on the Ten Commandments and the "Commandment status" of "Keep the Sabbath Day Holy".

And Lent is over!

Oh, and my passport is expired. So if I want to go a missions trip this summer, that's going to be one nightmare to get fixed before the departure date. I'm pretty bummed about that.

I can't find any good quotes relating to either boyfriends or Easter, the two most dominant topics in this post, so I'll just stick something completely random here:

“Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.” C.S. Lewis

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Do Nice People Go To Heaven?

I'd recommend that you zip on over to Focus on the Family at Oneplace.com and listen to Do Nice People Go To Heaven - it takes not quite half-an-hour to listen to, assuming you aren't too terribly computer challenged and can't figure out how to make it play, in which case I won't try to predict how long it will take you. The speaker is Jay Carty, and despite the topic he's dealing with, he makes the message pretty funny.

Now I really have to get down to doing homework... and chores... blah.

Tomorrow is EASTER! I'm glad of that. The Good Friday church service was something of a "to be continued" style, ending with the sound of nails being hammered. I'm ready for part 2.

Quote (echoing the image of saving the girl from the car in the message I told you to listen to):
"I'd rather have people hate me with the knowledge that I tried to save them." Keith Green

Thursday, 5 April 2007

General Life

Ee-hah! (That's the feminine version of yee-haw) Just a short post today. Dad took me to Swiss Chalet for my birthday dinner yesterday. I had some ribs and fries, Dad had chicken and a caesar salad. The waitress who took our order wasn't the same one to deliver the food, so when our food arrived, she naturally assumed that Dad had the ribs and I had the chicken. (Men = hearty food, Women = salad) I was amused by that.

Then we darted off to Chinook mall because I had a few gift cards I needed to spend. I bought a CD player for my room and an mp3 player that you can hook up to it. I left a tract with both the waitress and the manager who sold me the music stuff. They were both really friendly.

Another class at school was cancelled today. It seems like all the profs are either sick or pretending to be. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for Sociology this afternoon!

And because I mentioned tracts, and I love evangelism quotes:
"Let the victors when they come, When the forts of folly fall, Find thy body near the wall." Alfred Buxton

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

In That Moment

Would he have time for a speech? As the Hound seized him, in view of ten or twenty or thirty million people, mightn't he sum up his entire life in the last week in one single phrase or a word that would stay with them long after the Hound had turned, clenching him in its metal-plier jaws, and trotted off in darkness, while the camera remained stationary, watching the creature dwindle in the distance— a splendid fade-out! What could he say in a single word, a few words, that would sear all their faces and wake them up?“ from Fahrenheit 451

What would I say? What would you say? Do you have anything worth saying? In that final moment, what will be most important? What would this culture expect?

A final defiance? I define my own existence! Obviously.
A statement of sacrifice? For tolerance! Life well wasted.
A cry of regret? Noooo.... Or perhaps one of terror?
A muttering of dismay? Not like this, not like this. No, no, not like that.
A challenge? Bring it on! You have no idea...
An encouragement? The world shall continue! To what purpose?
An apology? I'm sorry, oh, I'm so sorry... Tell them what for.
A last farewell? Don't forget me! Dust to dust.
A warning? You'll pay! Someone already did. You missed it.
A reflection? Why? Why didn't you ask that sooner?
A victory cry? You're next! How benevolent.
A commission? Remember rights of the individual! How commendable.

What would you say?

A final defiance? It's not over!
A statement of sacrifice? I die for Truth!
A cry of regret? God, more time to teach...
A muttering of dismay? Forgive them for this.
A challenge? Stand firm!
An encouragement? It'll soon be over.
An apology? I'm sorry, but I must leave you now.
A last farewell? Go with God!
A warning? You must repent!
A reflection? It wasn't wasted!
A victory cry? God is still good!
A commission? Remember God! Remember Truth!

Without being morbid about it, what would you say? Would your last words matter? If this were tomorrow, what would they be?

"It is better to lose your life than waste it." John Piper