Monday, June 26, 2006


Going to Manila this weekend meant that I wasn't totally prepared for class today. Tiffany had to go to the market, and I was struggling to finish a PowerPoint for missions class while keeping Elijah entertained. They ring the bells about 10 minutes early, so I was really pretty stressed. I got it done just after Tiff came home, and I got to class almost on time. I guess it's a good thing that I have that class on our back porch.

Today, we discussed the first chapter of Acts. I've made the point before in other venues that Acts 1:8 seems to indicate that one of the primary purposes for the giving of the Holy Spirit is to empower us for witness. Our tradition has often perhaps overemphasized the purifying work of the Spirit to the detriment of His empowering work. We talked a little bit about what Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth mean to us today in the Philippines, both geographically and culturally. I had each of the students state their cultural background (a bit of an eye-opener, actually) and then think of another Philippine tribe that was similar yet different and then of another tribe that was very different. I hope that I'm instilling in them at least a bit of the idea that God's plan from the beginning was a universal faith. I can't always tell, but I think they're starting to get it. We'll see how much of it sticks come exam time, or more importantly, when they're out in the pastorate.

I had to go to the bank to withdraw some missions funds to pay for my airline tickets. While I was in Urdaneta, I also needed to pick up some baby wash. I decided that I had time to get a massage while I was there. I think my masseuse was also running the front desk, so it took longer than usual. Then I ran over to the supermarket to get the baby wash. I picked it up and went to the "8 items or less" lane. This is perhaps the most abused idea in the Philippines. The people in front of me had a cart. Two spaces farther up in line was a lady who had maybe "80 items or less." After fuming for a while, I finally went up to that lady and asked her if I could go ahead of her, since I only had one item. She agreed. Then the cash register tape was messed up, so anyhow . . . an hour late getting home for lunch.

I finished up my notes on Plato for philosophy class, but I didn't get to him today. I decided that I would give my students a little oral quiz to see how they were tracking with my lectures. There were 15 questions, and the scores ranged from 2 to 15, with an average a little bit over 8. So, either I need to make some adjustments or they do. We talked about Socrates' apology, trial and death today. I can't agree with everything Socrates said and did maybe, but I think I agree with his central theses: "The unexamined life is not worth living" and to live virtuously is the highest good.

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