Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Fishing Weekend

So... my vacation was about to really start.

Yes, I was off from work since Monday (with the exception of two critical meetings) and I spent it doing a lot and a lot of things. Biking, running some errands, catching up on some paperwork, trying to get the tax people happy etc. I had a full day dedicated to ministry-related things as well.

Didn't feel like a vacation, really.

That being said, I still had some fun. Notably, I watched The Count of Monte Cristo and Holst's Planets, a DVD done by the BBC. I love my library!

But, moving in for the fun part.

On Saturday morning, around 9:30 or so, my dad arrives from Québec City and picks me up. I barely had the time to pack.
We go up North, in Lakeview, for a family party. Thing is... we forgot to gas earlier in the travel and there isn't any gas station in sight... remember, we are NOT in a urban area... no cellphone coverage (at least not with my provider), one store per town, lots and lots of shacks by the lakes, and I doubt you'll have a high-speed internet connection anywhere over there. Its a different world... two hours of driving from you!
We got directions and managed to find a gas station. On the way there, in Montcalm, we saw a fire station with a library. The library part seeming smaller than my apartment. I was wondering if I had a personal library bigger than the entire town... although they must have a high book density in that little facility.
We got to the family party, with a full tank of gas, and enjoyed ourselves. In the evening, we went to settle ourselves at the Pourvoirie des Quatres Chênes, in Huberdeau. The chalet we used was comfy enough, although not super hot (actually better than expected).
Comes Sunday morning... it rains. I spend some time with God in prayer and reading my Bible. I have time because we're having a lot of rain. So, afterwards, my dad and I play cards for a while, we chat. I ask him a lot of questions about himself... kind of catching up with all the adolescence we kinda skipped.
The rain goes to drizzle and then stops, and we start preparing ourselves for fishing: put the boat on the lake, get the rods ready, dress up, etc. And then, the heavy rain comes back, and so we wait more.
Another accalmy comes, and we get on the water, from 11:00 to 16:00 or so. The rain had come back at that point. So we just enjoyed the feeling of peace and calm on the lake, letting our lines drag in the water as the electric motor was propelling us slowly, with a beep from the sonar every now and then. We ate supper, chatted some more, then we split, reading. I guess we blew our quota of words for the day or something.
In the end, I opent he TV and watch a show on Katrina by Découverte.
We both go to bed early, feeling tired.
Monday morning comes and we have sun! I take a prayer walk by the lake. At first, I see the vapour from the lake dancing in the sun. I hear no sound, almost. Then the birds start singing, and the mosquitos start liking me... so I finish my quiet time in the shack where I won't be eaten alive.
My dad didn't wait me and he was on the lake already. When I was ready to join him, he fetched me on the side and we continued until around 11:00 or so, as our battery was dying. It was a slow pack and lunch, chatting more. On the way back, I slept for a while, and worked through a conflictual relationship with a brother, found some Scriptures related to the situation, etc.
The overall experience was very good to me. I got to tune out for a few days from my techy world, tune in to nature (those who know me know how much I love that), get to know my dad a bit more, and have a moment where my brain is effectively on "pause".
Now, I'm at my parent's place... far from a lot of things worrying me, and fully planning to care as little about them as possible until I'm back on Friday :)

Friday, August 25, 2006

Interesting Argument in Favour of Paulinian Autorship of Pastoral Epistles

You probably faced someone already who told you that some parts of the Bible were fake...

Some scholars will say that, but with fancier words... and one of their likely tarted will be 1 Timothy, 2nd Timothy and Titus (known as the Pastoral Epistles).

I read something interesting that I stumbled upon by chance today, a websie dedicated to their study. Its author has a blog and brings some interesting arguments against the claim of stylistic difference between the unanimously agreed Pauline corpus and the Pastorals. Warning: I didn't double-check his facts though.

So, there you go Rumors of Pseudonymity Greatly Exaggerated

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm on Vacation

My dear beloved readers... I'm sorry I did not blog that much recently. I was working hard at work trying to tie loose ends so that things wouldn't be too bad when I'd be gone in vacation, which is the state I'm in now.

Its really really good to be able to have a nap in the middle of the afternoon on a Monday when you feel like it!

What happened on the way to this blessed time?

Lets look at things from the reverse order...
Sunday was my last time taking care of the babies at church. I did the communion message for all the folks doing the babysitting. The rest of my time was dedicated to recovering (sleepwise). In the evening, I joined others at Rockaberry's to celebrate the upcoming departure of our campus ministry leader, a close friend of mine. I had a Toblerone pie... way too many calories for my own good.
Saturday, I started having a special time with God. I walked up the hill next door and let one worry after another on the side of the road (the pink flowers for love, that tree for my ministry, etc.). On top, I read a few chapters of Job, prayed only about God and my relationship with him. Going back, I started praying for all those things I let by. It was a good experience, one that I'll repeat for sure! I then attended a wedding of two members of the congregation, and then denied myself to have a mini date with sisters to a restaurant. I was too tired and too cash-strapped to really want to, but I felt it was the thing to do. I wanted to encourage that sister for so long. In the end, she's the one who did most of the encouraging!!! After, I went home, got some sleep, and then met my date for the wedding reception (actually, the latter part of the reception, I was not invited to the whole thing). We came in for desserts and the dancing and we had lots and lots of fun. There are rumours that say that I do, indeed, dance... don't be misled by such things ;)
On Wednesday, we had a brother coming for the US that preached a powerful message about prayer that shocked me deep. I felt I was trying to get all the benefits of a relationship with God without the most important part... being close to Him. My prayer and my repentance now is focused around that. Please join me in prayer.
Workwise, we did enough progress so that my coworkers will be able to work on two papers and get them mostly ready by the time I come back. I'll just have to put in a finishing touch before submission. Yay!
That's an OK summary. I hope this keeps you in context!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Contre les Chats

Funny advertising parody. As a sidenote, I looooooooooooooooove cats.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Guide for Geek's Girlfriends

Some friends told me about this website Saturday... both in French and English. Mandatory reading for my future wife!

En français: copinedegeek
In English: geekgirlfriend

I do admit that some of it is using stereotypes... but only so much!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Something to think, something to smile

Disclaimer: I don't hate people from India. I just liked how the video was portraying the living conditions (although in an exagerated way) of some of the poorest there.

Go see The Singhsons!

Also, this is interesting, although sad... both the newscast and the person interviewed went overboard. It starts with a weirdly framed question (asking to justify... that's not his role to do that), and a very condescending reply. Still, when you cut through the name-calling, this guy has interesting information on the conflict in Lebanon.

Monday, August 7, 2006

Lebanon + Bible + Friendship :)

I guess that's the best way to summarize my weekend.

I had two Bible studies scheduled during the weekend, but one guy was a no-show. The second study went quite well and I'm praying about it.

I spend the evening with a couple from the church. We ate in the park together, attempted to go to a free outdoors feature of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, but couldn't (just a way way way too long file). We then retreated to their place and watched Hidalgo together. Interesting movie for sure, and its hardly believable to be a real story.

On Sunday, I prepared a few passages so that I could get everybody involved in the upcoming campus camping weekend... to find out that MORE people were cancelling. So we'll be moving the event. Still, that was really annoying, and far from the 'may your yes be yes'. People who know me know that I don't like broken commitments.
I arrived late for the Kid's Class volunteers message, and then we had more kids than normal with less people than normal to deal with them. So, we adapted, and I can say that my babies kept me busy :)
Seriously, I'm starting to like them, although I'm not fluent in "baby-speak' just yet...

After, I went with a few other Christians to a march for peace in Lebanon. I read in the morning paper that 15 000 were in this march. I felt like I was a citizen!

Then, I got right on time for the leader's meeting and the following BBQ to celebrate the birthdays of two of our leaders. I helped with the cooking too, and I can safely say that I didn't loose my BBQing skills after all that time :)
Back home, I called a sister outside of Montreal while I was cleaning the bathroom... there is a virtue into turning a chore into pleasure :)

Other than that, my week has been pretty uneventful.
I am thinking of when I'll take vacation, and I'm not decided yet. I am feeling the need for it in an increasing measure.
My reading on Emotional Intelligence is really helping me be able to pick my emotions/moods better, and I think I'm getting a bit better at reading body language. I'm not at the point of be able to be emotionally detached in difficult situations yet, but it'll happen.
For those of you who wonder why I read that, there are two things:
a) a lot of the things associated with emotional intelligence related to godly character (think patience and self-control)
b) I was suggested to build those skills up before I start leading the campus ministry of my church in the fall. I see this as an opportunity to test myself on wheter or not I should pursue my dream of being a minister (eventually, at least), and I need those skills (and indestructible time management) so that my experience doesn't leave me burnt out and drained.
So, I guess I'm setting myself up for accelerated character growth, eh?