Today was an unexpectedly Kool day. Not that I expected it to be bad or boring or any other negative thing. It’s just that I didn’t expect it to be quite so good.
I started off with that brilliant cream (with coffee) that I was looking forward to (we’ve been drinking “half and half” in our coffee, which is around 10% milk fat, but there’s “coffee cream” which is 18%… I’ll definitely be getting me some of that!)… So I had a coffee and did some Bible reading. I’ve been enjoying being in somewhat more of a regular routine with reading the Word and drinking coffee – this is what I would always do back home.
Today our hostess took us to some more of the sites around Mission and nearby Abbotsford. We started off at the Mission Farmers Markets (remember it’s Saturday here). These were pretty nifty and we bought a few things for dinner here including some carrots that were orange, purple and white. Whilst certainly being worthwhile going to, these markets were pretty small. So we also went to “Wong’s Market” and “Lepps Market”. Wong’s was situated in the middle of a bunch of corn fields. Whilst I’m fairly anti mono-cultures (planting just one thing in a field) it was Kool to see this kind of thing, it does look pretty nice even if it’s not the greatest way of farming.
We then went to a MCC store (basically a “Salvo’s” but run by the Mennonites) where I bought a book on the beliefs and practices of Mennonites. We then went on to a Christian bookstore. We had a bit of a look here for a scholarly edition of the Greek New Testament that I have been seeking called the “Nestle-Aland 28th Edition”. I had fairly little faith that they would have it… BUT THEY DID!!! I ended up not getting this one, but found a book of very similar style that was even better! Praise the Lord… I’m actually SO excited!
After getting a few more ingredients at Lepp’s (a bit more of a boutique market) we returned home for some toasted sandwiches, which my stomach informed me were quite welcome. Just after we drove in the drive way our host (who had been at home) told us that he had just scared away a bear!!! WE MISSED IT!!!
Next on the agenda was going to “Westminster Abbey”… …. ….. yup, you read right – Westminster Abbey. Long have you been deceived into thinking that Westminster was in England… well… okay you’re right, but there’s another one right here in Mission. We were informed that the abbey is west of minster and thus is called Westminster Abbey. This was a beautiful structure. It’s located on a working cattle property which the folks who go to/live at the seminary run and it’s in the middle of an amazingly picturesque setting on top of a hill looking over Mission and Abbotsford – in fact you can even see Mount Baker which is in ‘merica from it.
When we walked in the door of the church building the choir was just starting to practice, they certainly sung beautifully. We watched them for 2-3 songs whilst looking around the sanctuary and enjoying the sun coming through the painted glass windows (yes painted as opposed to stained). After this we went for a walk through a forrest to a lookout located on the property and then into one of the other rooms in the abbey. Whilst this experience was all quite Kool, it was hard for me to get over the major doctrinal differences between Protestant Christianity (which, speaking broadly, is what I would classify myself as i.e. a Protestant) and Roman Catholicism. To be very brief a true Roman Catholic doesn’t believe that one is saved merely by God’s grace (as Protestants do) but by God’s grace and works (i.e. things that you do to somehow merit God’s favour). There are many “side issues” that I am willing to put to the side (albeit with some healthy debate at times!) but this is foundational to the Christian Gospel and the message of the Bible.
After this we went for a walk in one of the parks in Mission which was beautifully manicured. Though much of our walk took us through one of the forests there where there was supposedly a bear present… but we still didn’t see it!
After the park we came home where the smell of my wife’s dinner which had been simmering away in a “crock-pot” was filling the house. Dinner was delicious, the cheese we had after dinner was also tasty and desert was also taaaaassty!
Off to a Mennonite Church with our hosts tomorrow – very excited!
God bless y’all.