30 June 2006

my sister's wedding

Life's been a bit busy lately. I should be working diligently on my thesis, [and I've been doing some of that (at some point in time, a blog entry will be dedicated solely to my thesis),] but other things keep distracting me. Most of which are good. Like a class, some work, a visit home, an upcoming visit with a former colleague from my school in Ukraine, an upcoming trip to New York, a camping trip to Algonquin to plan, moving home and to Amsterdam, a paper to finish for that class, and well, just regular life stuff.

And most recently, and probably most importantly, this past Saturday, my younger sister, Janice, got married. it was a beautiful day and lots of fun. The following are some of the pictures that I've downloaded from my Aunt's site. I might have more some other time if I hunt them down from my family, but I'll put them up on a new entry.
My sister Janice and her husband, Hugh, outside of his parents' place in Chatham.

The wedding party - My youngest sister (Emily) is the matron of honour and on the other side of me is my cousin, Jolene. The other two females are friends of Janice.

My playing piano during the wedding ceremony.

Emily and her husband, Danny.

My brother Brian in the process of moving the flowers from the church to the reception.

My parents telling stories of Janice at the reception.

And a final picture just because I can.

If you want to see more, you can visit my Aunt's photo album.

08 June 2006

bs-ing as the fruit of my Seminary education

n.b. i'd define bs as that which I do when i don't really know the answer, but give an answer anyway.

For the past three days, I have been working as an assistant in training for a Bible software program that I don't own and won't buy (mostly because it only works on microsoft windows, which tends to have odd things happen inexplicably - and this software copies this tendency). I was given a-couple-of-hours training in it a number of years ago, use the software at school frequently enough, and read the seminar training manual on Friday, but that hardly qualifies me as an expert (doing trouble-shooting!) for a three day seminar on the program. yet, there i was, getting to paid to share what I knew.

sure, i understand computers and computer programs most of the time (what i do not understand is why i can follow certain commands and get what I want, and then on another computer with the exact same program, set up everything the same, follow the exact same commands and have it not work). And the training was very much related to using and understanding Greek and Hebrew. And i do very much understand Hebrew (I've graded Hebrew classes for the person running the seminar for the last 3 years). And except for the fact that I can't parse a greek verb, i understand what to do with Greek - and why it matters.

Yet even with those qualifications, i felt like i spent a lot of time bs-ing. I was calm and gracious and sounded like i knew what i was doing - and most of the time it appeared that i did.

how to 'bs' well is one very important thing that i have learned at Seminary.

and the reason that the Sem has taught me to bs well is that it has provided me the education to speak intelligently about so much of the Bible, theology, worship, pastoral care, preaching, the biblical languages and more. so my "bs," (as i still call it), instead of being just my ideas, is the result of valuable input from a lot of books and a lot of wise people over the past few years.

and so..
- i can feel like i do not know the answer to a question and yet in my attempt to respond, i wander onto the answer that is being looked for.
- i can put together a decent paper without too much effort - and have the audacity to believe i can get a 75-page thesis mostly written this summer.
- i can train people to pass the Hebrew language exam, as long as you follow these steps and spend some time practicing reading it. and with a lot of effort on their part and some of God's grace, the people who've come to me because they desparately need to pass somehow manage to do so. and i get to be part of that.
- i have been taught where to look for answers and who to ask, so that even if i don't know right now, i can find out soon enough so that it looks like i must have known quite a bit all along.
- i can stand in front of a class teaching even though i've got so much to learn myself.

so yeah, Seminary has taught me how to bs well: even if i don't feel like i know that much and have to 'bs' an answer, it turns out much of the time to be closer to a helpful answer than i might have ever expected when i started this whole school thing.