I give all credit for this witty title to my sister, Rachel, who is visiting me here in the Couv.

Yes, today we recognize the life and death of Melba, who turned out to be a svelte, black roof rat about the length of my fingertips to my elbow (including her long tail). Since I am always first to rise in the morning, I was first on the scene. Method of death was the good old mousetrap, which we've had set for a couple of months now. Melba just got a little too cocky, I suppose. Thought she was invincible. I decided to be brave and put her, with the trap, in a bag, and I was such a wimp - my hands were trembling. I've seen hundreds of dead rats in the lab, much uglier than she. But those rats' heads were not crushed. Anyway, it remains to be seen whether she had any friends in the walls.

I've had a wonderful week with Rach. I made her do grad school things with me, like coming to my classes, going to a Regent party, walking around Stanley Park, watching Dave Matthews and Jack Johnson DVDs, watching intelligent movies, hanging out with a prof's child, eating Ethiopian food and gelato, and ordering pizza. Also, we've had the mission to find her a one-of-a-kind Grade 12 grad dress, chocolate brown (for you Americans, in Canada, we don't have prom, we just have grad, but we still dress up.) Tomorrow we head to New West, to bridal avenue, to continue the quest. And then tomorrow night, she leaves. She leaves me to finish a paper and write a Hebrew test. I will most likely be up all night... I'm not good at writing papers efficiently.

One anecdote from our day... we were in the Stanley Park parking lot, and a car pulled up beside us and the guy inside said, "Do you know where we can get some bud?" I thought he might mean Budweiser beer, but I wasn't sure about the singular use of "bud". I said, "Huh?" He said, "Weed." I understand that slang. I said, "I don't know, man, but I suggest you kick the drugs and get hooked on the Holy Spirit." No, I didn't really say that. Actually, I said, "Sorry." So I have officially been asked for drugs in the Couv. Danice says it's a momentous occasion.

Thank you all for commenting about church unity. I will have to think of more issues to address on here. I agree with what you're all saying about diversity in worship - I would never want to have us all singing or responding to God in the same way, I'm all about flavors. I guess what I'm less sure about is diversity in doctrine, in theology. My prof told us yesterday that there are 200 000 Protestant denominations. Here's a rather provocative quote from Lesslie Newbigin's book, "Foolishness to the Greeks":

"It is the common observation of sociologists of religion that denominationalism is the religious aspect of secularization... The denomination provides a shelter for those who have made the same choice. It is thus in principle unable to confront the state and society as a whole with the claim with which Jesus confronted Pilate - the claim of the truth... It follows that neither a denomination separately nor all the denominations linked together in some kind of federal unity or "reconciled diversity" can be the agents of a missionary confrontation with our culture, for the simple reason that they are themselves the outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual surrender to the ideology of our culture. They cannot confront our culture with the witness of the truth since even for themselves they do not claim to be more than associations of individuals who share the same private opinions."

What do you think? Do denominations represent our culture's individualistic "shopping mall" approach? Keep the conversation going.

Rachel gives a shout out to Les-ball - she misses you lots. I give a shout out to CK. I love you, come soon.