Sunday, January 29, 2006

Carpentry weekend

It wasn't quite how I anticipated things going, but yesterday was a wonderful day. Magda went to a series of talks about the meaning of being a presbytera, given here on campus by several presbyteras and a couple of priests. She seems to have enjoyed it greatly and I'm hoping she will post on it at some point.

In the mean time, I stayed home and re-organized the bedroom closet, complete with buying wood, measuring and cutting to make two sets of shelves. Things that I have learned:

  • I enjoy working with wood
  • If the wood is not bent, I can do a decent job
  • I need to pay more attention to the quality of the wood when buying it
  • If I ever do something like this for a permanent home, it will be a week's project, rather than a day's.

In other words, the shelves are done, but it took a lot of adjusting for bent planks on one of the two sets of shelves and my joints are stiff from all the vibration they had to put up with yesterday.

Friday, January 27, 2006


There is a definite difference between knowing something cognitively and actually having that knowledge be a part of your being. As a Christian, perhaps the most telling difference between the two is the difference between the knowledge that Christ was crucified and risen, and actually feeling His presence in your life.

This past Monday in our class Christ in the OT we were talking about Christianity and Judaism. The professor mentioned that there are a number of rabbinic texts which speak of two comings of the Messiah: one in humility and one in glory. The nuances of the two comings/appearances may vary, but the essence is present in a number of writings. In any case, the professor's point, was that the main difference between Judaism and Christianity is which coming is being awaited. Both religions are in a state of expectation, only for us as Christians, the humble Messiah has come in the presence of Christ and we were given glimpses of glory in His resurrection.

At that point it hit me. I had read that the early Christian community was very much eschatologically focused, expecting the return of Jesus. But it wasn't something that was part of my being, something that I felt, rather than knowing. Somehow at that point, when I heard it explained in those terms, I began to realize the expectant quality of Christianity. We believe in the risen Christ and we believe that those who die believing in Him will live in Him. Just as importantly, however, we believe in and expect His return in glory.


On a different note, my wife and I are watching the third season of the Dick van Dyke show on DVD. After a couple of episodes it dawned on me why it is one of my favorite sitcoms: in so many different ways, Magda and I are Rob and Laura Petrie.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

New semester

Just a quick update, now that the new semester has gotten under way. It still looks like a busy semester, though hopefully not as busy as the last one: Greek 2b, OT Exegesis: Psalms, Christ in the OT, Canon Law, Hospital Ministry for a total of 16.5 hours. Just as during the last two semesters, I'll be putting up notes on the classes on my wiki in case anyone is interested in seeing what we're learning.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Question of the Day

Courtesy of the lovely wife who, after we had our new car blessed, asked:

Are you allowed to use the wipers on holy water?


Friday, January 06, 2006

Hospital Ministry

One of the most humbling experiences so far has been my hospital ministry. It is, at times, very difficult to face people whose entire lives have been turned upside down by illness or accident. It is just as difficult to encounter the patients who want to have nothing to do with people who in any way represent God. And then there are the other people, who bring inspiration not just for now, but for a long time to come; the people who remain hopeful and faithful despite long stays in the hospital, despite hardships and difficulties. In those cases, their presence is as much a ministry to me as my presence is to them and I can only thank God for showing me through them examples of faith.