Reading over break

As I’m now signed-in back at good ‘ole BJU, Christmas break is officially over. Work at ITS starts tomorrow and classes start Thursday. However, Christmas Break was not without profit. In addition to completing a 2000 piece puzzle, installing Windows 7 in VMware Fusion (twice, due to some issues), besting family member’s scores in Wii Fit, and helping my brother beat Mario Bros. Wii, I was able to get in some reading I’d been wanting to do. (Although I did do all of the things in the above list, their degree of profitability varies 😛 ) But anyway, back to reading.  Below is a list a books in the order I read them with some comments.

Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World

(171 pages + appendices) (Amazon Link)
Edited by C. J. Mahaney, with chapters written by Craig Cabaniss, Bob Kauflin, Dave Harvey, and Jeff Purswell

Worldliness cover imageI enjoyed this little book. Mahaney and the other contributors use the illustration of the Jefferson Bible to make the point that Christians are often guilty of mentally if not literally clipping out parts of the Bible that deal with the sin of worldliness.  Worldliness is viewed as non-conformity to an outside set of a rules and restrictions, rather than a heart issue of putting the things we love above Jesus Christ.  Thus, as long we match up with our “checklist,” we ignore passages that deal with worldliness, mentally clipping them out of our Bible. Throughout the book, the authors present hard questions to practical issues of worldliness (media, music, stuff, clothes) that force one to re-evaluate his decisions in light of his love for Christ. Mahaney correctly makes the point that this self-centered heart attitude can not be defeated by self-effort, but only by the power of Christ, which was demonstrated on the cross.  The book includes a short study guide in the back which makes it helpful for a small group or discipleship study.

Ivanhoe

(Project Gutenberg Link)
Sir Walter Scott

This is a classic work of fiction loosely based on historical events following the King’s Crusade.  One of my favorite books. This was a re-read, but enjoyable nonetheless, as there are always things in a book of this length that you don’t pick up on the first time.  If you’ve only seen a movie or read an abridged version (i.e. the Wishbone version does not count 😛 ), I highly recommend you spend the time to read the full, unabridged version.  Another note about this book: I read this using the Stanza app for my iPod touch. Highly impressed with this free app.  As the parent company is now owned by Amazon, hopefully both this app and the Kindle app will only get better.

The Shack

(256 pages) (Amazon Link)
Wm. Paul Young

The Shack book coverThis book has been ably reviewed by others (Dan Olinger, Tim Challies, etc.) and I won’t be saying anything they haven’t. I was initially skeptical whether or not it would be worth my time to read this book, but I found the reading more profitable than I anticipated. Obviously the book is well-written. Obviously there are theological errors with the book.  Primary being the rather one-sided presentation of the “goodness” of God (love, forgiveness, patience, etc.) almost the exclusion of his “greatness” (holiness, justice, glory, etc.).  The author would argue that it was not his point to present a full picture of God and the character in the book (Mack) needed the emphasis on God’s goodness rather than his greatness. Perhaps. However, this is the inherent problem with creating a picture of God. Any picture we create will fall short because He is incomprehensible.  This might be excusable, except for that fact that by creating a false image of God, we violate the 2nd commandment. C.S. Lewis says something helpful in regard to this issue, but I’m too lazy to go look it up in The Screwtape Letters (Letter 4) in relation to prayer. Screwtape (head demon) tells his nephew (lesser demon) that when humans pray they pray to a composite object they call God composed of “ridiculous ingredients.”  Screwtape is ok with this type of prayer as long as human prayers are never directed “not to what I think Thou art but to what Thou knowest Thyself to be.” In other words, we need to be aware that any picture we create of God, even in our minds is most likely, if not certainly, inaccurate.  Overall, the book is helpful in making you think about your own preconceptions of God which quite probably are also false and thus also violations of the 2nd commandment.  This book may also be helpful on two other fronts. 1) Point of contact with many unbelievers who have read it and have questions (My mom had such an opportunity for a conversation the other week.) 2) Helpful to you in ministering to the “Mack’s” in your life by getting an idea of their false conception of God and how it needs to be biblically corrected

Wayback

(320 pages) (Amazon Link)
Sam Batterman

Wayback book coverThis was an excellent example of Christian historical science-fiction, for lack of a better term. Quick summary: A well-funded U.S. thinktank finds out about a Nazi secret-weapons program that attempted to create a method to travel back in time. The group succeeds where the Nazis failed. However, after failed attempts to reach 100,000 B.C., a team of specialists in various fields decides to make a trip to 2,300 B.C., just before the biblical Noah’s flood. What they find and document, if revealed to the public, would radically change widely accepted theories about world history.  However, a terrorist organization has also discovered the existence of this time machine and plan to use it for their own nefarious purposes. Batterman has done an excellent job of making a believable rendition of young-earth, world-wide flood, biblical history.  This is due in part to help from the scientists at Answers in Genesis.  I have a few small quibbles (mostly due to my own geeky views of time-travel and the ability to change history), but overall this is an excellent book. One of the characters in the book (an intially skeptical atheist) does raise an interesting question about time-travel from a biblical perspective, in relation to what time-travel and the ability to document important biblical events does to faith.  In other words, say for example it were truly possible for a individual to travel back to say, A.D. 30 and take photographs and video of the resurrection of Christ or even bring back a piece of the real burial shroud, thus establishing it as a historical fact beyond doubt by anyone, what would that do to faith?  Obviously there is more to salvation that faith in a historical event, but I look forward to seeing how this and other issues are dealt with in any future books. (Aside: Finally something put out by a Microsoft employee that’s enjoyable! jk :) )

Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape our Practice

(307 pages including appendix) (Amazon Link)
Bryan Chapell

Christ-Centered Worship book coverHaving greatly enjoyed and profited from Christ-Centered Preaching, also by Bryan Chapell, I’ve been looking forward to reading this book.  Chapell did not disappoint. His goal in this book is to help ministry leaders re-align their worship services around the themes of gospel.  He begins by a historical survey of orders of worship or liturgies from Medieval times, through the Reformation, up to the present day.  He demonstrates how all of these, as well as several biblical examples of worship are ordered in respect to the gospel.  He traces the themes of Adoration, Confession, Assurance, Thanksgiving, Petition and Intercession, Instruction, Communion/Fellowship, and Charge and Blessing through each of these examples of worship and shows how they relate. For example, Adoration – recognition of the greatness of God – leads to an accurate view of our own sinfulness which in results in Confession; because God is always ready to forgive those who have contritely confessed their sin we have Assurance of his grace and pardon which should cause us to respond with Thanksgiving, and so on… He discusses the importance and relation of each of these themes to the gospel.  He also includes various examples of different ways each of these themes could be communicated through a service (choir, congregational singing, prayer, preaching, offering, etc.).  In the back some resources are listed to help with locating suitable means to express these themes.  I think this book is a great complement to Gary Reimer’s book, The Glory Due His Name: What God says about worship.  While Reimers focuses on the elements of worship God requires (Preparation, Praise, Prayer, Presentation, and Preaching), Chapell shows how each of these elements can be used to communicate the gospel God desires. Another one of Chapell’s goal is to show how a biblical, gospel centered approach to worship avoids many of “worship wars” prevalent in churches today, often caused by a desire to hold to traditional practices or implement modern ones.  Although I would not agree with all of the applications Chapell draws, and I doubt he would expect me to, there is much in this book that is very helpful.

Anyone else read anything interesting or helpful recently you’d care to comment on?  You know where to do it.

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Snow Leopard First Impressions

Well, my copy of Snow Leopard finally came the morning of the first day of classes, and as I didn’t have any classes until the afternoon, I took advantage of that last window of time to get it installed. The installation went smoothly and took just over an hour on my late 2007 model of the MacBook Pro.

Snow Leopard in my opinion has lived up to its claims of faster boot/shut down time, increased disk space, more eye candy, etc. Btw, speaking of increased disk space, the increase is not as large as it initially appears. Before I installed Snow Leopard, Finder reported 32.28 GB of free space on my hard drive. When I finished, it reported 49.14 GB. Sweet, I gained 16.86 GB’s! Not quite… Although Snow Leopard does remove a lot of legacy code used by the older PPC architecture, they also changed how GB (and KB and MB) are calculated. The easiest way to explain this is what consumers see as the discrepancy between what hard drive vendors report the size of a disk as and the size it appears to your computer. For example, I recently bought what was advertised as a 1 TB (1000 GB) external drive. However, Finder on my mac only reported it to be about 909 GB. Hey! Aren’t I getting gypped 91 GB? Not really. Computers and hard drive vendors measure KBs, etc differently. To a hard drive vendor (and most consumers) a kilobyte is 1000 bytes, a megabyte is a 1000 kb, etc. But to a computer, which use a binary (base 2) system of calculating, a kilobyte is 1024 bytes, a megabyte is 1024 kb, etc. (The technical term for these units of measurement is a mebi-, gibibyte abbreviated MiB, GiB, but hardly anyone calls them that.)

Ok, if i lost you somewhere in there among all those bytes, let me explain why that is significant. The reason is because Snow Leopard changes that. Instead of using the binary system where a kilobyte = 1024 bytes, it uses the base 10 system where a kilobyte = 1000 bytes. So although it looks like i saved 16.86 GB, in actuality I only gained 14.48 GB going by the new system or 13.49 GiB going by the old system. Still a significant savings. Clear as mud? Ok, moving on.

I’ll finish up this post write an additional post later with some of the things I really like about Snow Leopard, but first I’m going to deal with some of the quirks i ran into due to software that had not been updated to work with Apple’s new big cat, etc.

Upon first reboot, I was greeted with a couple boxes asking me to find System Events.app. This is obviously a system app, and was changed in Snow Leopard. I quickly googled and found it was located at /System/Library/CoreServices/ and selected it. I believe the culprit apps that were asking for it were Caffeine and Isolator. These are free apps that run in the menu bar. Caffeine keeps your mac from going to sleep, and Isolator puts a background behind the current window, preventing any other windows or items on the desktop from being distracting.

As I attempted to find the location of System Events.app, I was met numerous times with a box from PlugSuit.app that needed me to authenticate. PlugSuit.app is used by an app called Afloat, which allows you to set transparency of Cocoa windows and force a certain window to always be on top. It appears this app is not compatible with Snow Leopard, and they provide instructions on their website of how to disable Afloat to stop the requests for authentication.

Next up were a couple Apple Mail plugins that notify me when I receive new mail, Growl Mail and MailUnread Menu.  I wasn’t terribly surprised to find them incompatible as Mail is known for breaking these plugin bundles whenever it updates.  I was able to find a script that could communicate with Growl through use of a rule, so I am still notified about new mail.   That script can be found here

The biggie that didn’t work that I was concerned about was Quicksilver.  Thankfully all that was involved was installing the new version and trashing the preferences folder (located at ~/Library/Application Support/Quicksiver).  Some of the plugins still do not work with the latest version (such as the Services Menu plugin) but hopefully they will be updated soon.  Let me just put in a plug for Quicksilver while i’m at it.  Quicksilver is much more than a application launcher or file finder.  If that were all it were, I would pass because Spotlight does that very well.  Quicksilver’s strength is being able to do anything you can think of on the computer, with the keyboard.  Say i have a file on my desktop and it needs to be put on a folder some where in Documents, with Quicksilver, all i need to do is click on the file , invoke QS (or invoke QS and type the name of the file), tab, type “m” (for move), tab, and type the name of the folder I want to move it to.  And it can do a lot more than this like, control itunes, append the selected text to a file, etc. For more information see here and here.

Another app that didn’t work completely was Logos, the most extensive Bible software available for Mac.  However, a quick check for updates, and we were on our way.

A third app was Reader Notifier, another menubar app.  This one checks updates on Google Reader.  Again, a check for updates, solved this as well.

Although this wasn’t a serious problem, I was annoyed by the fact that Snow Leopard breaks all 3rd party screensavers, of which i have several.  Thankfully, my favorite one, Skyrocket a fireworks screensaver, has been updated for Snow Leopard (and probably many of the others will be soon).  What’s cool about Skyrocket that I haven’t see with other screensavers is that you can control it from the keyboard to create your own fireworks show.  You can also control the camera the views the show as well.  Pretty neat. (It is also available for Windows and Linux, as it’s OpenGL)

This next error was brought to my attention by a friend as I don’t use this particular feature, but it appears that afp network shares do not seem to work correctly.  I was using smb shares, so it didn’t really affect me, but a quirk, nonetheless.

Two final things.  I like tweaking how my mac looks, so I installed Docker, to change the default appearance of the dock and Drawers for stacks (see TUAW writeup here)  Since Snow Leopard restored the default appearance of the Dock, all I needed to do was open Docker, change the preferences to what i preferred and apply them.  For drawers, I needed to add the .app suffix to my drawer file, change Display as to Folder, then back to Stack, and I was good to go.

Well, as this post has gotten rather long, I’ll actually post what I like best about Snow Leopard in a later post…

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if problems

This is definitely one for the geek files, so if multi-condition PHP if statements mean nothing to you, feel free to move along.  I won’t be offended.

Ok, just geeks left?  Good, here we go.

Last night I was trying to correct a syntax error and came across a helpful way to determine if all the parentheses in my if statement matched each other.  Basically how it works is like this.  Start counting each parenthesis in your statement. Each time you see an open parenthesis you increase your count by 1 and each time you see a close parenthesis you decrease your count by 1.  Let me illustrate:

// 12                 1    23   4           3      2    3      4                3210
if (($condition1 != $a) || ((len($condition2) == $b) && (!isset($_POST['submit'])))) {

Don’t know if that helps you or not, but as the editor i was using (online) didn’t have a syntax checker, it helped me a great deal.

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What’s new

Well, back in 2005 it seems i started a fairly consistent tradition of posting what classes I’ll be taking in the upcoming semester, and since we’re all about tradition (not necessarily), here we go.  Hopefully this will be the last personal update post for while, and later posts will have more substance.  Also, if the previous post went over your head or just plain bored you with the technical jargon, this one will be more understandable.

Anyway this semester begins my 7th year at BJU.  I’ve so far received a B.A. and a M.A. in Bible, and am now pursuing a M.Div (Master of Divinity, also referred to as a master of infinity 😛 ).  All of the classes from my M.A. carry over to my M.Div. so I’m not technically just staring the M.Div., however it will take several more years to finish.  So this semester I will be taking the following classes:

  • OT 701 – Hebrew Exegesis I  (commonly referred to as 3rd semester Hebrew), taught by Dr. Bell
  • NT 616 – Exposition of Paul’s Shorter Epistles (1 & 2 Thessalonians; Prison Epsitles, Pastoral Epistles), taught by Dr. Minnick
  • CH 601 – Church History, taught by Dr. Cook

In all, 9 credits, which toward the upper end of my limit as GA.  I’ll still be working as a GA in the “Media Center,” now known as Instructional Technology Services (ITS), which is now a department of the new Academic Success Center (ASC). My coworker thought it would be fun to answer the phone with “ASC, ITS, Andy” (which, of course, sounds like, “Ask, it’s Andy”).  I don’t think we’ll do that though. 😛

I’ll also continue to serve in the ESL (English as a Second Language) ministry at Cornerstone Baptist Church, where I attend.

Ok, enough personal stuff for now.  The rest of that can be relegated to facebook.

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So what happened?

Any regular readers of my blog (all 3 of you) which used to be located at http://andy.xhtmlpro.com, might be wondering what’s with the snazzy new domain name.  Well…. a couple of things.

First, xhtmlpro.com, where I previously hosted my blog was my the home of my web development/design company.  Our company did some realignment this summer, and now exists at http://waldenwebdev.com.  Xhtmlpro was too unwieldy of a name for those not familiar with web design and coding and such, and since we primarily market ourselves to churches and other Christian ministries, most of which aren’t familiar with terms like xhtml, we (my brother and I) decided we needed to charge our name and branding.  It also gave us an opportunity to redesign our site which needed a facelift.  (Btw, xhtmlpro.com is for sale, if anyone is interested. It would be a great domain for, say, those that convert Photoshop layouts to web templates.) So all that is to explain why I’m not still at andy.xhtmlpro.com.

But why not at say, andy.waldenwebdev.com? Well, the main reason is i thought it would be good to go ahead and get my own exclusive domain.  Not that i’m really concerned someone else will snatch up andyanglea.com (afaik, i am the only one in the world), but I can do other geeky things with it too, like setting up Google Apps for your domain, email server, backup/storage, roll your own URL cruncher, etc.

Now if you’re wordpress savvy and read my previous post, you might be wondering why i had to get my old posts from google cache, as wordpress has an export function in the control panel.  Well, I would have loved to do that, but due to some shenanigans by our web hosting company, that was not an option.  (Short version, they took down xhtmlpro.com before they said they would.)  As you might guess, this site is not hosted by that company.  Depending on how the service goes, I’ll reveal who that is sometime down the road. If you’re really curious, you can look at my whois record. So far so good, and I technically have more than I did with my previous host (storage, bandwidth, etc) for about half the cost.  Next up, the semesterly (or yearly) life update…

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Back online…

Welcome to the new location of Andy’s blog, http://andyanglea.com!  Most of my previous posts (expect for Wilds updates / SPP letters) have been restored thanks to Google cache, including some that used to hang out on an old blog I abandoned in 2005 when we created xhtmlpro.com.

I don’t what it is about this weekend, but as I was re-entering my old posts, i realized that a large portion of them come from the week/weekend of Aug. 20something.  So I guess this continues the tradition.  Hopefully, I’ll have more posts here in between Aug. 20somethings than I have in the past…

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Stop the BB’s!

No, this is not a rant against BB guns. :P I was reading in Colossians 1 this morning, and I learned something that was a blessing to me, and since the point of this blog is to share what I’m learning (manthano – i am learning) I thought I would share it.

In one of my undergrad classes, an adjunct teacher (who happens to be a pastor), challenged us that our prayers for others should be more than “BB” prayers. What’s a “BB” prayer, you ask? You know, “bless ‘em, be with ‘em.”1 So if we aren’t to pray “BB” prayers, how should we pray for other believers? In Colossians 1 where I was reading this morning, Paul recounts how he prayed for the Colossians. So let’s look at his prayer, and perhaps use it as a model to frame our prayers for brothers and sisters in Christ. [Ok, so maybe I’ve lapsed into preaching.. too bad, Bible majors are prone to do that :) ] There are a lot of references in the rest of this post, but you should just be able to hover over them and they should show up in a little box.

Paul tells the Colossians that he began his prayer with thanksgiving for two specific things about the Colossians (Col. 1:3). In Col. 1:4-6, he tells them that he is thankful for their faith in Christ, that is, their salvation, and also for the evidence of that salvation. The primary evidence is their love to all the saints or other believers, but it also shows itself in their hope of heaven (Col. 1:5) and the work of the gospel in their lives in bearing fruit. So in applying Paul’s prayer, when we pray for other believers we should thank God for their salvation and the evidence we see of that salvation, again, primarily love toward other believers (John 13:35; 1 John 4:7-8, etc.). But also their expectancy of heaven, or as it’s often put, their “living in light of eternity” and the fruit that has appeared in their lives through the power of the gospel.

Col. 1:7-8 are kind of a parenthesis while Paul expresses his appreciation for the ministry of Epaphras in presenting the gospel to them originally. (Remember, Paul has never visited the Colossian church.) He only knows about them through their pastor Epaphras whom he’s met there in prison.

Paul continues the recounting of His prayer in Col. 1:9, this time focusing on the requests he has made to God for them. In Col. 1:9-14 there appear to be four primary requests. The first request is that they might be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, or in other words that they might know God’s will. This is not necessarily talking about what might be called the future will of God (things like who am I going to marry, where will I go to college, what ministry does God want me to have, etc.) although it certainly applies, but I believe Paul is more specifically referring to the present will of God. He’s referring to things like abstinence from immorality (1 Thess. 4:13), refusing to conform to the world (Rom. 12:2), serving God wholeheartedly (Eph. 6:6), counseling believers, not taking vengeance, following what is good, always rejoicing, always praying, giving thanks for everything, being sensitive to the Spirit, having a good attitude toward preaching, being discerning, not doing anything that might look like evil (1 Thess. 5:14-22), submitting to every ordinance of man (1 Pet. 2:13-15), possibly enduring suffering (1 Pet. 3:17; 1 Pet. 4:19), and not living to please self (1 Pet. 4:2). And this list isn’t exhaustive by any means.

Paul’s second request is not only that they would know God’s will but also that they would obey it, or “walk worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:10). He gives three ways they can do that. One, do what fully pleases God. What is pleasing to God? A couple quick examples are obeying parents (Col. 3:20) and sacrificial giving (Phil. 4:18), but there are many more. Two, bear fruit through good works. We know what fruit is. The Bible tells us of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22-23 and the essential virtues of the Christ-centered life in 2 Peter 1:5-8 (hmm… somebody ought to write a book about that…). And it’s through their works that they demonstrate that fruit. Three, increase in their knowledge of God, or as I often put it, grow in their relationship with God.

But how are they or anyone else going to do all this? Paul’s third request — that they might be strengthened with His glorious power. Obviously they can’t obey God’s will, do what pleases Him on their own (Phil. 2:13). And this glorious power has some side benefits, you might say. It results in joyful patience and endurance. When they know that it’s God doing it, and not them, they don’t have to worry about it, which bring joy rather than frustration. They can patiently endure because they know He is in control and will accomplish His will in His time.

Paul’s final request is that the Colossians might also give thanks to the Father for what He has done in their lives. Paul mentions 3 specific things that they should give thanks for: their eternal inheritance (Col 1:12), their deliverance from the realm of darkness and deliverance to the realm of the Son (Col. 1:13), and their redemption and forgiveness (Col. 1:14). We are to pray that other believers would be thankful that God has given them a home in heaven, that He has delivered them from Satan and delivered them to His Son, and that through His Son He has redeemed and forgiven them.

A lot better than “bless ‘em and be with ‘em.” :) Here’s a brief outline of Paul’s prayer.

Thank You for… (Col. 1:4-6)
saving them (v. 4a)
the evidence I see of Your saving them (v. 4b-6)
love for others (v. 4b)
hope of heaven (v. 5a)
the gospel bearing fruit (v. 5b-6)
Help them to… (Col. 1:9-14)
Know Your will (Col. 1:9)
Obey Your will (Col. 1:10)
by doing what pleases You
by bearing fruit
by growing in their relationship with You
Depend on your strength that produces joyful patience and endurance (Col. 1:11)
Thank You (Col. 1:12-14)
for their home in heaven (Col. 1:12)
for their deliverance from Satan and deliverance to Your Son (Col. 1:13)
for their redemption and forgiveness (Col. 1:14)

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Hello, I’m a Mac…

Yes, i couldn’t update my blog on my life without mentioning that i’ve seen the light (or least drank the koolaid) and got a Mac.  With the help of some left over graduation and Christmas money, i bought a 15? 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro with 2GB of RAM, currently running OS X 10.5.2 Leopard.  I ordered at the beginning of December, and it was awaiting me when i arrived home for Christmas break.  So i’ve used it all this semester and been quite pleased with it.

There were several things I wasn’t sure I was going to like about it, but either the aroma exuding from the package caused me to forget all of that or they weren’t as bad as i thought they would be.  For example, I was previously a ThinkPad user, and was in love with the little red eraser trackpoint and had never had much success with the trackpad. So I was afraid i would have difficulty adjusting to the MacBook Pro’s trackpad.  But i’ve been using it without a hitch pretty much from day one.  It’s much more “intelligent” than trackpad’s i’ve used in the past with only moving or clicking when i want it to.  I love the 2-finger scrolling, in fact it annoys me when it doesn’t work on the Dells in the Media Center :)

I obviously still use Windows at work, and I actually dual-boot Vista via BootCamp and VMWare Fusion (once Logos for Mac gets completed that may change…)  I’m still pretty much of an Apple n00b but i’m planning on delving into AppleScript and Objective-C this summer as time allows (XCode is sweet!).  I may also add a triple-boot option of Ubuntu Hardy Heron, we’ll see how it goes…

If anyone else out this is thinking about switching and you have any questions, fire away in the comments.

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I’m Back!

Wow…. seeing as the title of my last post was “life as a GA” i think that the gap between that and this post (almost 9 mo) tells you more about GA life than the post.  But now that classes are over and exams are finished I’ve managed to find a space of time to update you (all 5 or 6 you that read this) on what’s going on.

As i said, exams are done, and it appears I’ve managed to keep my 4.0 this semester, thanks to Dr. Bell’s crazy “Bell Curve” as we refer to it (cutoff for an A is 84, for a B, 72?, etc.)  I’m told a non-ten-point grading scale is common in grad school, but i’m still not used to it.  Oh yeah, since i didn’t post my customary “here’s what I’m taking this semester” post at the beginning of last semester my classes were Preacher Boys – History and Philosophy of Preaching with Dr. Minnick, Systematic Theology II with Dr. Olinger, and Old Testament Introduction with Dr. Bell (and no, Introduction does not indicate that it is an introductory level course.  It’s actually a technical term that refers to the background and history of the Old Testament, rather than its content. Themes, dates, critical views, authorship, integrity, that sort of thing.)  And as i said, God enabled me to get an A in all of them. Yay!

Work has been busy too.  Although i enjoy my job at the Media Center, at times it does get a bit hectic.  Yesterday, for example, I checked out equipment for faculty and students, did some web design, burned several CD’s, tunneled through a pile of email, answered various questions from faculty and students, continued development work on a new checkout system for materials, and tidied up some in preparation for the end of the semester.  I’m looking forward to the break this summer. :)

Speaking of this summer, I will again be counseling at the WILDS (i really don’t know we always capitalize it, it’s not an acronym, i guess we’re always excited and shout it) for my third summer.  This year as the camp has a patriotic theme, I will be on the Bull Moose party (white) as the head of the Varmint cabin. All the cabin names are take-offs of states (e.g. Steakus, Nascar-olina, Monsoona, Misery, etc.).  That begins with staff training week at the beginning of June.  Prior to that I will be working for Shank Door / Doors Express for three weeks, after visiting my girlfriend and her family in Canada after commencement.  Got all that? Commencement is Saturday (May 3), then Canada for a week, home in PA for 3 weeks, then the WILDS for 11 weeks, and then back here in BJland in the middle of August.  Hopefully I’ll post some more in there between now and then.

Well, this post is more than long enough now, so I’ll put anything else i wanted to say in another post.

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Life as a GA

Well, it’s that time of year again. Classes officially started today. Of course, I’ve already been down here at BJU since Aug 11, since work started the 13th. This semester brings a new perspective/challenge, as I’m now a part time student, and a part time faculty member. Basically as some of my friends and I have boiled it down… when it’s advantageous for the University for you to be a student, you’re a student; and when it’s advantageous for the University for you to be faculty, you’re faculty. I’m enjoying it so far, and I look forward to what God will teach me through it.

My “faculty” position is a bit unique. Although I’m classified as a “teaching graduate assistant (ga),” I don’t teach any classes. However I do work for the school of education in the Media Center. The Media Center is a multimedia and resource lab on the second floor of the Alumni building. The MC is also in charge of distributing the multimedia equipment (laptops, projectors, monitors, etc) that the teachers use in the classroom. So my job is some kind of a cross between an IT technician, computer lab assistant, and tutor. The way I like to refer to it is “I get to help students and work with computers!” both of which i love.

Anyway, without further ado, here are this semester’s classes.

  • Hom 634 – Expository Sermon Preparation – Dr. Reimers
  • OT 633 – Biblical Hermeneutics – Dr. Hankins
  • CMn 651 – Christian Discipleship (Grad preacher boys) – Dr. Berg (we’ll be going through Changed into His Image)
  • Th 601 – Systematic Theology – Dr. Bell (lots and lots of reading)

That makes a total of 9 credits to which I add 27.5 hours of work in the Media Center. At least it’s 9 month GAship, so I have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the summer off :)

I will also hopefully have some opportunity to work with the teens at Faith Baptist Church, and I’ll probably continue ministering at Shepherd’s Care assisted living center, some too. All in all, it looks like a busy semester… well, that’s normal. :)

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