Sunday, April 09, 2006

Just as random, but less silly.

Hello everyone. One week of school left, and one week of exams (three in three days – better than December’s four in two days). I can’t believe it. I have to write a paper and read for NT and study. And maintain a balanced lifestyle. That’s the hard part. The next two weeks of my life are highly scheduled; every hour goes toward reading, papering and studying, if I’m not already in class, in transit, eating or sleeping. I’m becoming increasingly thankful for Sabbath Sundays. Today has been a brain-saver for me. It’s nice to do things that don’t involve thought. Say, for example, blogging.

No, I do put some thought into these things. Kudos to Andrea, by the way, for introducing me to RSS, whatever that stands for. All I know is that I now do not have to check everyone’s blogs endlessly to see if they updated. If you look at my list of links to other blogs, on the right side menu, it tells you who has recently updated their blogs! Isn’t that wonderful? I’ll have to figure out new ways to waste time now…

Following up on last week’s story about Danice and the earthworms, this week I too have had the experience of a strange event happen twice in a short period of time. Nothing to do with earthworms though, as far as I know. Two times (Friday and this morning) a different person on my bus has been arrested and handcuffed by the police. This morning was particularly weird because the policemen stormed the bus and dragged the guy out, and had his face down on the pavement… I’m starting to feel like it’s illegal to ride the bus. They’ll be coming for me next. Ah, how I long for the boring bus days of Saskatoon, when the most dangerous experience was lack of oxygen due to crowdedness, or frostbite due to bus lateness.

I decided to take advantage of a tour of the UBC Botanical Gardens this week, even though I was too busy. I’m glad I did. Magnolia trees are truly something – when the huge pink petals fall, they look like leaves. Ah, Magnoliaceae. I also learned how to identify a Rhododendron (Ericaceae). I’m going to have to go back when everything is blooming. Sorry, Matt, I didn’t get any good photos of the gardens, but as a consolation, I’ll put one here of a magnolia flower on a tree near Regent. This flower is about the size of my hand. My next decision is whether or not to go on a bird walk with the Vancouver Natural History Society (of which I am a new member) on Saturday morning, when I should really be studying…

Speaking of birds, I’ve been slightly obsessed with eagles this week, since I talked to Peter Harris, who runs A Rocha (check them out – the world’s only international Christian conservation organization – He told me about a website that has a live video feed of an eagle’s nest, and it’s incredible, because the mother eagle sits on it pretty much non-stop. The eaglets are going to hatch at the end of April. You can find the video at

My own eagles (my own beach’s eagles) have been quite active down at the Rock lately – here’s a picture of Lex Jr. in the light.

I’ve also witnessed the comeback of Spencer the seal, which is very exciting. And I’ve been taking a lot of pictures of the sun rising over Vancouver, because I’m getting up so early to get work done. By the way, does anyone know if taking pictures of the sun ruins digital cameras?

Ah, sun. Guess what? I actually got a mild sunburn on my face on Wednesday because of sitting out in the sun. Isn’t that fantastic? A sunburn in the first week of April?

Today I watched Rain Man for the first time, and I thought of Jon Erik. The Poppery.

So Lent is almost over, and I’m excited to listen to music again. Yesterday, I discovered a music-less way to block out the noise of the TV in the living room – nature sounds on internet streaming radio. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier. What could be more conducive to reading than the chirping of little birds and rushing water? Although, for about an hour it played “Wind Chimes,” which, as Christine can testify, almost drove me up the wall. I suppose I could have just turned it off… Speaking of Lent, today is Palm Sunday. I hear the Gospel Choir at Emmanuel rocked the house today- wish I could have been there, especially since my best friend, sister and brother were pretty much da bomb (da balm) of the whole thing.

Well, if you’ve made it this far through the randomness, I suppose I should give you something a little more deep and substantial. I have been moved this week, several times, by visions of the new earth, of the apocalypse. Don't worry, I'm not going to get all Left Behind on you. It all started with Darrell Johnson, a prof of mine, who challenged us to “soak in” Revelation 21 and 22 every day for a week. Then he did an incredible lecture on those chapters where he showed that the new earth, the city of God, will be the very Temple of His presence, that Heaven will in a sense merge with earth, and the staggering implications of seeing the Face of God, which Moses was never allowed to do. He spoke so powerfully and hopefully, and at the end he broke into “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King…”, and we all joined in, but I could hardly sing, I was so choked up with joy. It sounds corny, but it wasn’t – God’s presence was there, and I swear I was getting the tiniest taste of what this kind of kingdom existence might mean. Darrell’s big point was that our vision of the future shapes the way we live in the present. I hope this does.

And over the last couple days I’ve been reading Jurgen Moltmann’s “Trinity and the Kingdom”, which is the most theologically dense book I’ve ever read, but just as powerful as Darrell in communicating a vision of a passionate God who has only given us a glimpse of what He has in store for us. Whoever thought a guy named Jurgen could change my life? I’ve been sitting on my bed, absolutely overwhelmed by phrases like this:

“All people and things then partake of the inner-trinitarian life of God. They join in the responding love of the Son and will thereby become the joy of the Father’s blissful love. Then the triune God is at home in his world, and his world exists out of his inexhaustible glory. This is the eternal feast of heaven and earth. This is the dance of the redeemed. This is the laughter of the universe.”

That’s what I’m going to try to carry with me this week, to keep me on track. Set your eyes on the things that are above…


caricature said...

ah, Jon Erik... what a boy. I actually also thought of Rain Man the first time i ever met him...

ALSO! A Rocha is great! i met 2 of their members last summer - they did a very cool "appreciate nature as christians" talk to our staff at camp - the whole "God Moment" thing in everyday nature. i really liked them... very worthwhile organization from what i've gathered.

anyway -hope the exams go well, and we'll see you soon :)


Anonymous said...

Well I must say Beth, I was hoping for more pictures! ;) Just giving you a bad time of course. If you want to see the pics I took, they are posted here.

I hope the rest of your studies go well! If you need any more blogging distractions and need help with such things (RSS and the like), let me know. ;)

Yay for Magnolias!

Alan Brehm said...

I, too, have found Moltmann to be a source of inspiration. I first read "The Church in the Power of the Spirit" for a class in 1986! I went back and started reading through all his major works, beginning with "Theology of Hope," about 4 years ago. I'm close to finishing the 6th of 9!

I would offer a suggestion, if I may--"The Church in the Power of the Spirit" is probably more readable than "Trinity and the Kingdom." In fact, I would say TatK is probably the most difficult of Moltmann's books I've read up to date.

"Crucified God" is also pretty readable, as is "The Way of Jesus Christ," the one I'm working on now.

Hope this helps!

Check out my blog--

Anonymous said...

You're into Jurgen now. Yeah! Trinity and the Kingdom was also a stretch for me, but there is so much richness and depth in Moltmann that one has to keep going.

I'd love to hear Darrell Johnson sometime. You should ask him about coming to Emmanuel for a weekend sometime.