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Old 09-26-2002, 09:12 AM   #1
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switzerland, studies, and sula's update

Hello everyone,

It has been quite a while since I stopped in and I miss you and this place, specifically this forum. Today I have a bit of free time and the computer is open, so I thought I'd try to quickly catch you up on what I have been doing and studying etc. as this particular forum is probably the best place for people who would understand it.

As most of you know, I am in Europe for about five months, some of it devoted to travel, but most of my time is being spent in living in a Christian community in the Alps known as L'Abri. It is hard to explain what exactly it is, but I shall give it my best shot. The place was started by the Christian writer/philospher/theologian Francis Schaeffer about fifty years ago as a safe place where anyone having questions about Christianity, life, etc. could come and devote some time to study and be in a place that was open to those kinds of questions. The goal here is very holistic...one of the things I love so much about it is that faith is seen as completely compatible with all areas of life: music, art, philosophy, science, etc. and not just "religion" to be stuck in its own compartment.

I am currently living in a big chalet with about 30 other students overlooking the Rhone River valley. Each day we all help out with the chores to keep the community running (like cooking and cleaning and such) and the other half of the day is spent studying your individual topic. The staff here live in other chalets nearby and we have lunch meals with them where we discuss whatever topic someone wishes to bring up for the duration of the meal. Twice a week we have lectures and discussions...for example, yesterday we watched a BBC series on modern art and had a discussion afterwards about it, tomorrow will be a discussion on "irony and the law of diminishing returns".

I personally have been trying to get at the core beliefs of Christianity in my own studies...trying to separate the "religion" of my youth from the reality that Jesus lived and preached. I am reading books on a variety of topics from philosophy and apologetics to ecology, film and art, and the other week I read "Crime and Punishment" by Dostoyevsky (probably one of THE best books I have ever read...do yourself a favor and pick it up). I have also been doing some study on issues regarding women in the church and that has been really good as well.

Next week we are having a theme week about Art. There is going to be a guest lecturer who is giving two talks...one on "imagination" and the other (oh i cannot wait for this) "U2 and the search for spiritual reality"!!!! There will also be some drama workshops and a performance night (I will be playing the piano to accompany a friend of mine who is going to do some ballet). So needless to say, I am quite looking forward to it. On the U2 subject, they are very well known and respected not only by a lot of the students who come here but by the staff as well. So that is really cool. I have earned a reputation as being the hardest of the hardcore tho (gee, wonder why) and am having fun disseminating bootlegs to be listened to, etc.

So that is basically what is up with me. I am hoping to get in this forum more often and perhaps start some discussions based on the issues I am studying right now. We shall see. But I did want to share with all of you what is going on in my life right now and also ask that you pray for me that I would really get a lot out of my time here.

miss you all. hugs!

sula
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Old 09-26-2002, 09:19 AM   #2
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Hi Sula-I miss you around here!

Well, it sure sounds like you already are getting so much out of your time there-I am VERY impressed The Christian community sounds wonderful.

I'm enjoying your e-mails about your trip..I haven't replied because I didn't want to bother you. I'm glad you're enjoying it so much. Take care, and stay safe. Hope to see some pretty pics when you get back.

and prayers
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Old 09-26-2002, 10:11 AM   #3
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Sula! It sounds so wonderful! I'm seriously looking into doing this sometime in the future...

I think it would be a great idea to discuss some of the things you're exploring at L'Abri!

Can't wait for further updates!
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Old 09-26-2002, 10:29 AM   #4
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Hey sis...get back here, this place is too much for one person to handle! I'm kidding...we miss you around here, but I know your exactly where you suppose to be, and I take comfort in that. Have you enjoyed your updates as well, particularly this one...love and hugs.

Chris
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Old 09-26-2002, 11:16 AM   #5
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Hi Sula! Wonderful to hear from you! We miss you around here.

I hope you are having an amazing time and are soaking up as much as you can of your experience. I'll be thinking & praying for you. It is encouraging to see someone I admire take part in a retreat like L'Abri (and i haven't forgotten that there is one a mere few minutes from me). It must be beautiful in Switzerland!

Take copius notes on the U2 subject.. that should be very interesting & enlightening. I love how they are a beacon for us even in our spiritual life.


Carrie
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Old 09-26-2002, 11:46 AM   #6
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Hi Sula, Im glad to hear that you are having a wonderful time. From what I read that place sounds very interesting and even something that I might be interested in if I had the money to be able to go there. Please keep us update on everything!

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Old 09-26-2002, 03:49 PM   #7
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yes chris, you have it so rough here modding.





hey sula, next time we're in minnesota let's get together eh?
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Old 09-27-2002, 08:27 PM   #8
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Big Grin glad i lurked in here today

it all sounds wonderful, exciting and illuminating

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Old 09-28-2002, 12:29 AM   #9
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I will start keeping you in my prayers, B.


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Old 09-28-2002, 08:32 AM   #10
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Can barely wait for you to arrive!

do you think paradise really exists
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Old 09-28-2002, 09:46 AM   #11
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Its all good, Crime and Punishment is a masterpiece...
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Old 10-08-2002, 08:43 AM   #12
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Hey Sula, thanks for sharing. Your stories are truly inspiring. Interference misses you.

Anyway, I'll pray for you and that your experience there will continue to be enriching.
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Old 10-08-2002, 07:19 PM   #13
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Hi Sula! Everyone's right....we/Interland miss you lots! Wonderful update about your trip, it sounds fantastic. What a pleasure to be able to delve into your spiritual life like that and be able to have time to READ BOOKS, something that I for one, have neglected too much.

Glad you are enjoying yourself at L'abri....I'm also looking forward to seeing your gorgeous pictures when you return (and hopefully more updates before then).

Hope you will rest, relax, renew, and restore your body, mind and soul....

___
i'm rather envious, y'know!
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