Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Summer Reading

Summer break is almost here (1 1/2 weeks to go!), and I find myself, for the first time in many years, with a time when I can plan to do some heavy reading. Now plans, as they always are, often come to naught, but I have a list of books that I'm taking to Europe with me and fully intend to read. If you've ever read any of them, and have anything to say about it, please let me know. So without further ado, my ambitious summer reading list:
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
  • Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed: The Story of Chambon-sur-le-Ligne by Phillip Hallie
  • The Politics of Repentance by André Trocmé
  • Jesus and the Nonviolent Revolution by André Trocmé
  • Angels and Donkeys by André Trocmé
  • Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
  • Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis
  • The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
  • The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Ethics by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Psalms: The Prayerbook of the Bible by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • By the Rivers of Babylon: 15 Sermons by Kaj Munk
  • Four Plays by Kaj Munk
  • The Epistle of James by Zane Hodges
  • The Epistles of John by Zane Hodges
  • For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn
17, yes 17 books. But I must inform my dear readers, before they think me too ridiculously ambitious or more intellectual than I am: many of these books are not as in-depth as others. One at least is a children's book (Angels and Donkeys). Others are quite short or are a collection of shorter works (both of the Psalms and Kaj Munk's books). The two Hodges books are meant to be utilized along with a study of those Biblical books, so they will be read along with Scripture. So while it may take me a week to read The Cost of Discipleship or Surprised by Joy, I should (hopefully) be able to get through all or most of these books before I return at the beginning of August. And if I do not, then I shall have a leg-up on my Christmas Break reading!

For my extremely sharp readers out there I have a trivia question: What do the first 14 books have in common?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

And We're Back

Wow, more than a month since my last post. I did warn everyone that I was bad at these types of things. Anyway, I think we're back on the air. I'll just explain my absence for this entry.

First was spring break. Yes, spring break started on Good Friday. I did not get to go home for either Easter of the break, as I instead went to St. Louis on a missions trip. It wasn't like any other missions trip I've been on. It was sponsored by InterVarsity, and it was very much a Social Justice type organization and mission. We worked with students from three other schools, which was great fun. My group painted a local widow's windows and then finished the carpeting at a church. It always strikes me as strange how fun those types of "chores" can be when done in company of friends. We had a lot of fun chatting and sharing with each other about our own lives, but we also finished both before the week was up.

The highlight of spring break was going to an English/French church there in St. Louis for Easter service. St. Louis is the 2nd biggest refugee city in the United States (behind some city in California, I think). Many of the refugees begin to form communities throughout the city, and we worked very close to the French speaking community. Before someone asks, I should clarify that these French-speaking people are mostly from west Africa. There really aren't a lot of refugees from France or Quebec. :)

I fully intended to post on my excursion when I returned, but I woke up the morning after our return (Saturday) with a sore throat and headache. Yes, the flu. I slept a lot that weekend and tried to get over it. Monday I felt a lot better, but that soon changed. Monday evening I got to experience the worst sore throat in my entire life. I couldn't sleep because every time I swallowed if felt like someone was slitting my throat. Not that I actually know how it feels to have a slit throat; it felt like I imagine a slit throat must feel like. After a whole long hoopdela (about 2 weeks) with our campus clinic in which they insisted that I simply had the flu and most definitely did not have a bacterial infection (even though my tonsils were about twice the size of normal), I finally went to a real medical facility where they told me that, indeed, I DID have a bacterial infection. They put me on antibiotics, and I started feeling better within a day. It was a good lesson on why socialized medicine is evil. I clearly had tonsillitis, but they simply assumed I was taking advantage of free health care and so offered me little.

After recovering from that, I had 2 weeks of class that I had missed. I ran for crazy for another week and a half trying to line everything out. My teachers were all very considerate and helpful. I did finally finish everything in time.

Next week is the last week of classes. I'm super excited about that. I like some of my classes, but I'm ready to move on. So after next week (or I suppose it is this week) comes finals. Graduation is on Sunday, and I'm going to try to go because many of my friends are graduating. I've never been before. Then I have to get out of my room before 12:00 Sunday night/Monday morning. Which is fine because I'm heading home where I'll be for whatever is left of Sunday and leave for Texas on Monday to visit grandparents. My grandmother had a storm at her house and there's a lot of clean-up for all of us to do.

Unfortunately, I won't be able to help out more than a day and a half because I fly out of Dallas/Ft. Worth on that Wednesday (May 14th) for Amsterdam. If you're keeping track, you'll understand that this means I'll have to be basically backed for this trip before I leave school. That's going to be fun. Anyway, I'm going to be visiting a family there in Amsterdam. I met the mother of this family last year when I was in Scotland for a week at our Chr-stian retreat. Before we all went our separate way, she invited me to her home whenever I next came to Europe. Well, this is my next trip to Europe, and I'm really looking forward to it. She's promised to show me around Amsterdam and give me a taste of the "Dutch life". I guess that means I get to pay for everything myself. :)

After a lovely weekend in Amsterdam, I head to Brussels for my 10 week internship. Yes, in case anyone was wondering, I am super excited about this. G-d has been so faithful to bring everything together even when I couldn't because of sickness, business, or just lack of motivation. One of my biggest worries was housing while I'm there, but He has provided a house-sitting/dog-sitting job that will allow me to stay in Brussels for free. Yes, free. He is certainly good, isn't He?

This is long enough by now, and I'm quite sure you are getting bored of reading with no pictures. I'll post more (hopefully) later this week.