Sep 30, 2006

a few scattered thoughts...

as you can imagine, i've been reading a whole lot, and with that comes the privelege of stumbling across some amazing quotes... so i'll be adding any noteable quotes to our random quote generator on the right side of the blog... and when i add one, i'll also share it with you via a blog post...

"The Christian gospel has sometimes been made the tool of an imperialism, and of that we have to repent. But at its heart it is the denial of all imperialism, for at its center there is the cross where all imperialisms are humbled and we are invited to find the center of human unity in the One who was made nothing so that all might be one. The very heart of the biblical vision for the unity of humankind is that its center is not an imperial power but the slain Lamb." - Lesslie Newbigin, The Gospel in a Pluralist Society

and the second quote won't make the quote generator, unfortunately, but is still worth sharing. it was my prof's response to a question related to the idea to the subjectivity of canonizing the Bible in the early church age, and even the subjectivity of intepreting the Bible, really asking how we know our tradition is right, and how can you really come to terms with some of these things...

My prof's response:
"It has been said that sausage and theology are two things you don't want to watch being made."


Sep 28, 2006

a prayer

one: God of the journey,
as you accompanied Abraham and Sarah,
stand by us this day.
The journey is long and winding;
fortify us with hope for a promised land

all: O God, the journey is long;
strengthen our steps this day...

one: O God, the journey is indeed long
and our steps falter along the way.
At times we become fatigued
as we encounter frustrations and opposition.
At times we lose hope and direction

all: O God, the journey is long;
strengthen our steps this day...

one: Lord, there are times we are tempted
to turn back, even to a life of slavery.
There are times we want to stop
with our journey half completed.
Sometimes we want to proclaim a rest stop
as our ultimate goal.

all: O God, the journey is long;
strengthen our steps this day...

one: Lord, fill us with strength and eagerness
for the road ahead.
Make us unwilling to settle for the slavery of our past
Make us unwilling to settle for the desert of our present.
Be our pillar of cloud and fire,
leading us on to your country.
Be our future, challenging us
with excellence and beauty,
and bringing us to where all people
will bless themselves by your name
and dwell in your peace.

all: O God, the journey is long;
strengthen our steps this day...

(a prayer read at Regent chapel) (author unknown)

Sep 25, 2006

a long awaited reunion with the nellis family...

i finally got to meet uncle phil, auntie ruth, and my good buddy sylas!
(and it was nice for mommy and daddy to meet sylas and see phil and ruth after 2 years!)

Sep 21, 2006

please tell me i'm not the only one...

2 ways to tell you are a grad student (or just very busy)...

1) a couple times in the past 2 weeks i've crawled into bed and said, "shoot, i forgot to shower today."
2) i have noticed that lately i have developed the habit of walking around with my fly down. (either my mind is elsewhere or i'm too rushed to take time to zip? who knows.)

Lord help me.

ps- and help those who have to be near an unshowered, unzipped, unshaven me.

on being human...

so after 2 weeks of class i'm feeling overwhelmed in both the positive and negative senses of the word. i'm taking Intro to New Testament Greek, which in many ways is totally kicking my [hind-quarters] and i come away from that class wondering, "What the heck am i doing here?"... i'm waiting to settle into a good groove with that one... the first two weeks there is a lot of information dumped on you all at once. but then i have the opportunity later in the day to be in a class called Christian Thought and Culture I... this class is blowing me away. first of all, the format is amazing... there is a different lecturer each day (choice regent faculty) who are speaking within their realm of expertise. not only are they giving their best in the lecture because their lives are devoted to the subject on which they speak, but they are speaking in front of another 6 or 7 regent professors as well which, i'm sure, provides a little more motivation to be on their "A" game... so this class tracks Christian thought (as the name suggests) from the early church ages until the reformation and we have had some amazing lectures already. (and the class not only consists of lectures, but mandatory weekly tutorial sessions led by a professor that consist of about 12 students discussing and grappling together with the reading and lecture from the previous week.) needless to say, i'm thoroughly enjoying the class and am being stretched in amazing ways already.

today we focused a lot on the greco-roman philosophies that were dominant during the time that Jesus walked the earth and throughout the first couple of centuries, while the early church was being established. it's amazing to see how Gnosticism has affected our beliefs as Christians, even to this day. (namely the dualism of soul and body, and the elevation of the soul over the body)... and i guess it's true: i've always elevated "soul" over "body"... it was argued today that this is a Gnostic thought and that they two can't even be separated (monism)... interesting fodder for thought, that's for sure.

anyway, along the course of our tutorial discussion, our prof brought a poem to our attention that i think deserves sharing...

On Being Human

Angelic minds, they say, by simple intelligence
Behold the Forms of nature. They discern
Unerringly the Archtypes, all the verities
Which mortals lack or indirectly learn.
Transparent in primordial truth, unvarying,
Pure Earthness and right Stonehood from their clear,
High eminence are seen; unveiled, the seminal
Huge Principles appear.

The Tree-ness of the tree they know-the meaning of
Arboreal life, how from earth's salty lap
The solar beam uplifts it; all the holiness
Enacted by leaves' fall and rising sap;

But never an angel knows the knife-edged severance
Of sun from shadow where the trees begin,
The blessed cool at every pore caressing us
-An angel has no skin.

They see the Form of Air; but mortals breathing it
Drink the whole summer down into the breast.
The lavish pinks, the field new-mown, the ravishing
Sea-smells, the wood-fire smoke that whispers Rest.
The tremor on the rippled pool of memory
That from each smell in widening circles goes,
The pleasure and the pang --can angels measure it?
An angel has no nose.

The nourishing of life, and how it flourishes
On death, and why, they utterly know; but not
The hill-born, earthy spring, the dark cold bilberries.
The ripe peach from the southern wall still hot
Full-bellied tankards foamy-topped, the delicate
Half-lyric lamb, a new loaf's billowy curves,
Nor porridge, nor the tingling taste of oranges.
—An angel has no nerves.

Far richer they! I know the senses' witchery
Guards us like air, from heavens too big to see;
Imminent death to man that barb'd sublimity
And dazzling edge of beauty unsheathed would be.
Yet here, within this tiny, charmed interior,
This parlour of the brain, their Maker shares
With living men some secrets in a privacy
Forever ours, not theirs.

C S Lewis

there is a certain beauty in being human, isn't there? i mean, in having bodies... each one distinct, beautiful, and significant. and Christ chose to be embodied as a human...
anyway, i'm still processing.
any thoughts?

Sep 12, 2006

another update...

Just a quick update... Noah had his first day with his sitter today, Michelle, and her daughter Madeline. They played so great together and all went very smoothly. We are so so thankful for how well this has worked out, God has been so sweet to us!
Aaron started classes today, and dropped one class. We have already been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the load on both of us and felt this was the best thing to do. Aaron is still considered a full time student but taking a lighter load. We feel so at peace about this and have decided we really need to remember we want this to be as much of a sabbatical as it can be. Aaron really enjoyed his classes and going to chapel.
I am going through orientation for my new job right now which is going really well. The only thing is my back is very sore? - I have never had a sore back before and am now able to sympathize with those who have! IT SUCKS!!! please pray for healing... i can't imagine doing a 12 hour shift next week if it doesn't get better.

All in all things are good! Slowly getting settled... we all road the bus yesterday and survived. Was actually pretty fun! Noah loved it! That's it for now. Miss you all!

Sep 10, 2006

our new pad...

1 little monkey jumping on the bed!

Hi Everyone!!!! Let me take you on a tour of my new house!!!

This is the front. Our house is the first 2 floors and the courtyard is all for me... well except for the bbq. Daddy has been trying to get me to laugh "roaring" the bbq... but noone can do it quite like grandpa!

Around the corner is another courtyard where all the kids in the community come to play. I have met some new friends there! (With lil' irish and english accents :)

This is where mommy and daddy cook my food! Not much other than cheese sandwiches lately, but that will change now because all the pots and pans came yesterday!!!

Mommy says this is daddy's new wife (the study).... but she is just kidding! (haha) - smart boy!!!

I wonder what daddy will think about pictures of him sleeping all over the internet?

Well that's it for now... lots of room for visitors and I miss you all lots... so start saving your pennies and we'll see ya soon! Virtual hugs for now!

Sep 7, 2006

we've done a lot in a week...

well, it's now been pretty much a week since lyd, noah, and i arrived here in vancouver. we pulled up to our new place with anxiety and anticipation, feeling ambivalent toward this new adventure that lies ahead of us. as i'm typing i just thought, "wow, has it only been a week? we've done so much!" i guess time flies when you pack so much into your day/week/life...

so what has happened since we've been here? let me highlight a few things...

lydia's best friend, jen, met us here on Friday when we came to our new place and we did a lot of sightseeing with her, which was a great time. she was visiting friends elsewhere in BC and decided to come help us unpack for a few days. thanks, jen, for the offer-- but we quickly learned that it would be nothing more than an empty offer as it's been a week and the movers still haven't arrived with our stuff. our belongings are supposed to be arriving on saturday. i've never wanted to see my bedsheets more than i do now. we have been fortunate, however, to be in a place that is partly furnished (we have appliances, couches, beds... enough to get by) and are constantly asking ourselves, "what can we cook for dinner that would not involve any appliance other than a microwave or oven, doesn't use pots/pans or baking dishes, and can be eaten with plastic utensils?" if you figure out an answer to that riddle that doesn't begin with "P" and end in "izza", let us know.

orientation has been amazing at Regent. from tuesday through thursday we sat in the chapel with probably about 100-150 other newbies at Regent (i say "we" because one thing we llove about Regent is that it is a family-oriented community and they provided childcare for families so spouses could attend the orientation as well) and listened to all of Regent's profs share their personal stories, what classes they were teaching, and felt the passion with which they spoke. i feel both blessed and intimidated to be studying under such scholarly and spiritual followers of Christ. the orientation also consisted of worship times that were fantastic, and a lot more "get to know the school" type of things. we also learned how to use the library for research and i quickly learned that i had completely faked my way through undergrad, never having used the library in any way it was intended to be used. i'm not sure i can do the same here...

we're living at St. Andrew's Hall and have been able to connect with some other families here. one particular family is from Ireland with a son a little older than noah, and another family we met is from England with an older daughter and a son around noah's age. Our neighbours moved here from Taiwan a few weeks ago with their 14 year old son. The dad, JZ (yes, we live next door to JZ!) will be studying at Regent. This place is great for families, because the entire courtyard at this townhouse is completely overrun by toys. it's toddler heaven... slides, a play stove, tricycles, balls, you name it. we have taken advantage of that a few times...

we signed up for a community group today, which will meet on tuesdays after chapel. we're both really looking forward to tuesdays, as we have weekly chapel, community groups, and then those who are interested stay around and eat soup and bread together... it's great to be in a place that is intentional about developing a relational environment.

i bought my books for all my classes yesterday and came home a little overwhelmed. 16 books for this semester... and the semester is 13 weeks long. i'm no mathematician, but between reading, tests, learning greek, and writing papers-- i think i may be kinda busy this semester. i'm definitely excited to be reading these books though. they look like fantastic reads, though some of them may be a slower read than others.

i think that's it for us now... sorry about all the details... i know there are a few out there who are interested in all the ins and outs... for the rest of you, just skim or skip this post and no offence will be taken!

Sep 4, 2006

Visiting the Walkers....

1. Daddy with Peyton
2. Ethan and Noah
3. Jace, Noah, Ethan
4. Cuddle time with the twins :)

Sep 2, 2006

in awe of the beauty...

We went for a stroll today to the ocean. These pictures are taken at wreck beach which is a mere 5 min walk from our house (not including the CRAZY stairs down... which are a workout to say the least!!!)
We arrived in Vancouver yesterday and are so pleased with our new home. We are anxious to get our stuff, but have recieved news it won't make it here until the 8th.
We will post some new pixs of the house soon... but not until our things are here and we have nicholsonized it!!!
Lydia's best friend Jen is visiting until Monday.
Noah is doing so well, and we are so excited to establish home for him again.
p.s. did i mention wreck beach is a nudist beach?