That night we had a nice visit with our old friends [the friendship is old, none of us are;)] Marg and Frank. They were babysitting their first grandchild nearby in Petersburg at their son's house/mansion. Marg is pretty excited about her new grandmother role.
On Sunday night we decided to check out the Alpha Marriage Course that is being offered at church. It mainly consists of viewing video segments about various aspects of the marriage relationship and then interspersing it with short discussion times for the couple to interact (just the two of us, not in a whole group). Some of the talking on screen can seem a little long, but there are good ideas shared and Beth & I sure enjoyed the chance to talk together. One of the ideas that came out of that time was that I saw the need to be of 'more practical help' so I tried to be more conscious of that this week (and of course I always had to mention how I was being 'a practical help').
We found out last week that Mom has developed pneumonia for the first time in her life. She did get onto an antibiotic pretty quickly and is feeling better now. But she did need to stay cooped up for quite a few days.
Christianity Today rereleased an interesting article about Jobs from earlier this year that ties in well with the book I'm currently reading, 'Colossians Remixed'. Both show how our culture today puts so much hope in technology to save us. I know that Steve Jobs embraced Buddhism later in life, but I found it interesting that he had been confirmed as a Lutheran (like me!).
Friday, after school, Beth and I went over to Alison's to put up some pictures and stuff for her and Julie. It was nice to be able to help out and it all went pretty smoothly too (for a guy who is somewhat handyman-challenged). I was also glad to be able to attend both of our small group gatherings this week.
I finished listening to the audioversion of Rob Bell's controversial 'Love Wins', which is ostensibly a book about hell (and heaven). I found it thought-provoking and would like to download it to read it in print, highlighting and studying his ideas more closely. I also completed reading Doug Pagitt's 'A Christianity Worth Believing', which I think did a better job explaining some of the concepts Brian McLaren is promoting through his 'A New Kind of Christianity'. Doug's book is great (he gave it out for free at his session at the Wild Goose Festival back in June) and if it doesn't come out in an audiobook format I may have to record it myself (to share with others). The reading I've been doing in the last month or more is really making me look at my beliefs and opening me up to some new ways of thinking about faith. It was nice to get together with our friends Carla and Dave this past Tuesday to talk about some of this stuff as Dave has read many of the same books.
I've enjoyed listening to some of the CBC Laugh Out Loud Podcasts the last couple of weeks. Many of the comedians featured are indeed pretty funny. I have to be careful though when listening to this stuff while working out at the gym as my laughter sometimes affects my ability to lift weights.I've also been listening through Bruce Cockburn's discography (at least the 25 or so albums I have on my iPod) many mornings at school, along with Randy Stonehill's "Spirit Walk", the Keaggy/Stonehill collaboration "Mystery Highway", and a free Bill Mallonee download "Last Days, Early Mars" which ended up being a compilation of many songs I already know (still excellent though).