Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Albert's Update 25/3/14

Lake Michigan 
It's been a while. At least you can be reassured that the reason that I haven't written for a while is because I have had my head in the books! My dear wife has very rightly been on my case, so here is an update of my studies so far.

The Semester began with an intensive on Church planting. This was an interesting course that looked at the ins and out of church planting. This course was taken by Rev Danny Hyde. For the course we had to read a text that he had written "Planting, Watering, Growing: Planting Confessionally Reformed Churches in the 21st Century." (No I was not paid to endorse the book!)
While Church Planting is something that I support fully, I would like to begin my pastoral career in an established church, at least in the first instance (Much to the relief of Hanneke).

I am taking a full load this Semester, which means lots of work to complete. For New Testament we are looking at the Pauline Epistles. Rather than taking a book by book approach we are looking at the overall themes through his epistles. We are required to read through all of the epistles as part of our required reading, as well as having completed an isagogics exam. We have been looking at the two age concept that undergirds his writings, and we are currently learning about Christ's eschatological accomplishment. (Big words I know, I had to Google them myself as well!)

For Old Testament we are look at Revelation in the Period of the Monarchy. We have flown through 1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings, and are just beginning to get our feet wet in Isaiah. I am looking at Isaiah 52 and 53 for an exegetical paper, and will be writing a sermon on 1 Kings 6:8-23. We have to preach the sermon in class, which is always a daunting task, a tough audience. I have a Hebrew Exam on 1 Kings 20-22 this Friday.

In Doctrinal Studies we studying Pneumatology, the Work of the Holy Spirit. We have looked at the person of the Holy Spirit, and are now working our way through the ordo salutis, the order of salvation. Lot's to learn, and a mid-term exam on Thursday.

In Church History we have just passed through Medieval Church, and are beginning to look at the Reformers. Last week was Zwingli. An exam for this subject last week went pretty well, although there was a lot of material to cover. 

That's all the subjects, but for each of them are papers to write, as well as sermons for the Old and New Testament classes.

I have completed all my preaching requirements for this year, and will probably not do many more. Having said that I am beginning Spring Break at the end of this week, with a trip to Calgary to preach at the same church where I was last year. Combine that with taking Chapel on Wednesday it is a busy week.

I also had the opportunity to spend a day in prison last week Monday. Danville Prison in Illinois has a Reformed Seminary. But I'll write a separate blog post on that sometime in the next couple of weeks.

For now it is back to Hebrew translation and vocabulary review. 

Hopefully the next update will be a little sooner than the next one…


Friday, March 21, 2014

Holiday 2013 Photo Essay - Part 3 - Washington DC,

On Saturday we explored the National Mall. There is so much to say on 'The National Mall'. A very short summary is that its a place where there a lot of memorials to some of the early Presidents and wars. Also in this area are a lot of Smithsonians (Museums) of all sorts of things. All of the Smithsonians and Memorials are free. The girls did Junior Ranger badges for some of the Memorials. There is quite a bit of American History here. Here are some webpages to look at if you like more info: National ParksThe National Mall. So while Albert and the girls looked at the Memorials I visited the International Spy Museum. I really enjoyed visiting the Museum and while I would have loved to see all the memorials as well, I couldn't do it all, so Spy Museum it was :). One interesting fact about the cold war in particular was that the 'enemy' always tried to be one step ahead of the other (ie Russia and the USA) in the spying game, always looking for innovative ways to 'spy'! Albert and the girls had a blast also, doing the educational stuff :). 

A '007'Car

This was fascinating 'spy' object, a gift school children
gave to the President which had a 'bug' inside it, very clever
Another '007' car
They had a display of all the gadgets of the 'Bond' movies.
The gardens were gorgeous!
Mama and Elizabeth thought of you!
The Capitol and the lawn
Zara having a well deserved rest
Apollo 11 (the real deal)
(What another Air and Space Museum?)
(Number 3 for the summer!!)
You could touch a 'moon rock'!
The Capitol again
Cooling off our feet in a pretty fountain!
ohh, how sweet
(The building at the back is the National Archive Building
where the original Constitution is held)
Very cool 'fake' tree
This Museum had the original
USA flag which was pretty cool!
The White House
(Albert and the girls had walked to it but Albert graciously
drove by there for me so that I could see it in person!)
Girls and Albert in front of The White House!
FBI building plus the flags see below

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial National Memorial

Korean War Memorial

Washington Monument
(It was being repaired so we were unable to go in)
Lincoln Memorial

The Reflection Pool between the
Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument
WWII Memorial

Washington Monument
The White House
The White House in close up.
Grace actually took at lot of the photos in this post as I took my camera to the Spy Museum. I also had to ask her what the Memorials/Monuments were :). I've linked (red lettering) the relevant Memorials/Monuments should you wish to know more about each. Phew that concludes Washington DC, onto Philadelphia next :).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Holiday 2013 Photo Essay - Part 2 - Arlington Cemetery

After the Steve F Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum we visited the Arlington Cemetery. We were (still are but at later time in) studying American History and this is quite an icon in the history of America. I was quite surprised on how much of an 'attraction' this was. It is still an active cemetery.They have a car parking building (which you have to pay for), extensive signage, information centers, tours and a changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. If you like more information please visit the website on the changing of the guard here, it's quite detailed and I'm glad we had a chance to watch it. All the acres of graves was quite unreal and I was touched by the lives lost in war. It's kind of real when you see white crosses for miles. We visited the grave of J F Kennedy as well. It was a hot day and so only 'saw' the things we really wanted to see, it wasn't a great day for a stroll around the cemetery. 

Memorial Amphitheater
Happy Couple :)

More graves, every direction you look there are more.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Soldier on watch
(Notice the 'brown spots' that is
where they walk and do their 'change of the guard') 
Change over of the guard
Map of the Cemetery

JF Kennedy graveside
One of the quotes from JF Kennedy around his gravesite
"And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you but what together we can do for the freedom of man." 
I quite like this quote, something to think about!

Washington Memorial

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Holiday 2013 Photo Essay Part 1 - Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center

Here is our visit the Steven F Udvar-Hazy Center in photo form. Enjoy!

One of the sculptures at the entrance
 Donald D. Engen Observation Tower
(Kate in the foreground)

 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Albert's favorite airplane, any guesses? 

Can you see the re-entry marks? 
Notice all the numbers on each panel.
Each panel has its own number
Some big engines!!
It was hard to get the whole shuttle into one photo!

Question for students, What was the Enola Gay?
Kate at the Observation tower.
(can you spot our car? top right!)
Louis this one is for you! 
Albert's favorite plane is a 

The Enola Gay "On 6 August 1945, during the final stages of World War II, it became the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb."