Friday, June 8, 2018

Outstanding String Musician

Last night was my youngest's final Elementary School strings concert. On to Middle School next year! At the end of the concert, she received the Outstanding String Musician trophy from her director. Yeah! Quite the accomplishment. She also has already auditioned for the Middle School orchestra and has been placed in the top group there. Well done, daughter Peasant! :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

New Chapter

Hope you all had a good weekend and Memorial Day. I spent yesterday helping my newly-minted-college-graduate son (see previous entry for pics of that!) move into his new apartment. He is now living about 30 minutes west of us, close to where he will be working. He found a nice, new apartment building. It kind of has an industrial feel in the hallways of the building, but the interior is nice and modern. Wide hallways, high ceilings. He chose well.

I forgot to take any pictures! We were too busy carrying and putting together furniture. But we got it almost all done and now he just basically has some boxes left to unpack and to settle in. He still has a few weeks to do so before starting his new job. So all-in-all, a good day for us as we begin a new chapter in our lives.

I suppose all parents go through it, but now we have a house much too big for what we need! Five years ago, we moved into a larger house, primarily because we needed a dedicated space for my father who was moving in with us. He stayed with us for about three years before beginning to need more care than we could provide. So he moved to a Memory Care place very close to us. We still go see him every day, but he is no longer in our house. I was able to move my study/office from the basement up to the room he used to occupy.

Now with my son moved out, another room has freed up. My college-aged daughter is also mostly out of the house, having an off-campus apartment where she spends most of her time, even when school is not in session. We've kept her room largely in tact, but soon it will be open, too. So, we can set up a guest room or two, or maybe now move my wife's desk up from the basement into one of those rooms for her office. That might be nice for her.

We'll still get to see our son every week (or mostly) in church - that'll be nice. And we still have our youngest daughter home for six more years before she is ready for college - that'll help keep us young! :-)

Some people say changes like this are sad - and I guess they are a little. When I see pictures of my kids when they were little and remember those days, there's a twinge. But these are good days, too. Happy days, proud days, to see your children grow and mature and become their own person. And I look forward to seeing how my son continues to grow and develop and become his own man in the future. His apartment and furnishings are already much nicer than mine were starting out! :-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


This weekend we were up in Springfield, MA for the graduation of my son from Western New England University. He received a BS in Computer Engineering and won the award for the highest GPA in his major. It was a very nice weekend. Here are some pictures and a little video of his receiving his degree . . .

With my daughters and sister,
waiting for the College of Engineering awards presentation to begin . . .
(Yes, my wife was there! She was on the other side of me.)

(The family photo with everyone together is on someone else's phone!
I'll post when I receive it. ;-)

One of the cool things they did at the end of the commencement was that all the professors formed two lines down the aisle for all the new graduates to walk down between, as a last tribute to them as they depart. That's what this picture shows, though it's probably hard to tell. It was cool though. :-)

Here's the video of Rob getting his degree . . .

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Walk-Run-Ride for Life Update

Thank you to everyone who sponsored me and our Lutherans for Life team for the Walk-Run-Ride for Life this year. The event was a great success!

The Lutherans for Life team raised $3,045, which was good enough for 4th place in the team competition . . . only $15 short of 2nd place! (If only we'd had one more sponsor . . . :-)

Personally, you all exceeded my goal of $1,000 and sponsored me for $1,320!

And overall, the goal was to raise $70,000 for the Pregnancy Center, but your generosity rocketed the money received to $81,000!

So thank you again for all who showed the love of Christ and help the fathers, mothers, and babies here in Northern Virginia. And look for us again next year, and maybe we can put the Lutherans on top in speaking for and support LIFE!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

+ Rest in Peace, My Brother +

Well, another brother in office in my District has been called home to glory, though this one not quite as unexpected.

Picture from 90th birthday party

Luther was over 90 years old, yet still actively serving his congregation as their sole pastor! He just refused to retire and wanted to keep serving his flock. And he faithfully did, though his health had its ups and downs, as you would expect. He was truly a kind and gentle soul, and a great example and role model for a young pastor like me when I came into the District.

At our District Convention, we had our Service of Memorial for all those in the District who had died the last triennium on Saturday night. Well, on Sunday morning we all heard the news that God had called Luther home that very night. Great sadness, yet also great joy in knowing that our brother now rests from his labors.

Sadly, just like my last brother's funeral, I won't be able to attend this one either. My schedule is too tight and the cost just too much. I keep expecting flights from DC to Chicago to be cheap, but they aren't anymore - at least, not last minute ones. So rest in peace, my brother. I will see you again on the Last Day.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

District Convention - Day 4

Today we finished up all the convention business. Had some more elections, considered all the resolutions, and heard the final reports. It was a long day, but good to get everything done - that means I can leave earlier than expected tomorrow and get home sooner! :-)

Yesterday was the Synodical President's report and Q&A session. He's a good speaker. Not many questions asked him. Last night was the Memorial Service for those from the District who died this past triennium - including one of our District President Emeriti. His wife was able to come up from Florida to be with us for the service and it was good to see her again.

Lots of folks had to leave a little early yesterday and so won't be here today - that's too bad. But good reasons. So, two services today with brunch in between, then the long drive home. It'll be good to get home and get some rest!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

District Convention - Days 2-3

Day two here in Cleveland was Day 1 of the Convention. The Board met in the morning and spent the afternoon connecting with people and preparing for the convention. My lay delegate had his pre-seminary interview (which he passed and was accepted later that day). But the day was spent mostly in conversation and preparation. The Opening Service was Thursday night and went well. Stayed up WAY too late talking and visiting, so was pretty tired for . . .

Day 2 of the Convention. Began by passing a revision of the District by-laws, which went much smoother and quicker than expected, honestly, probably because people hadn't read them and weren't prepared. After that, reports from the District President, Vice Presidents and Circuit Visitors were all quickly taken care of, so our Circuit Forums could meet - each circuit electing their Circuit Visitor for the next three years, and then also their delegates and alternate delegates for the Synodical Convention next year. As expected, I was re-elected as Circuit Visitor, but then (not so expected) I was also elected as the delegate to the Synodical Convention.

After lunch, we were able to begin the elections - a whole day ahead of time, according to the schedule. (Though we really aren't following the schedule at all!) But everything has been going quicker than scheduled. First, we elected a new District President. That in itself wasn't shocking, but that it was on the first ballot was quite unexpected. Yes, I was on the ballot, but did not expect to be elected - I was working hard for the man who did win, Rev. Waldemar Vinovskis. He is a good choice and will do a good job. It was a shocking moment for the Convention and it took a little bit for them to catch their breath. After that, the VP elections then went smoothly, two of the three on the first ballot.

During the elections we heard a bunch of reports and also passed the District Work Program (read: budget) for the next three years. Then came dinner (we eat WAY too much here!) and the closing service. The evening was spent in fellowship and conversation - not as late as the first night, but still wanted to get to sleep a little sooner than I did!

The service thus far have been good. The guys who have preached have done a good job. Tomorrow will be the rest of the elections, the Synodical President's report, and resolutions.