Sunday, March 29, 2009


Well, I'm done. Toast. Some folks at church and I had a friendly bracket competition for the NCAA basketball championship. Until this weekend, I was in the lead. However, I missed the entire Final Four - all of them! I had Louisville, who played an absolutely horrible game today; Memphis, who got torched by Missouri; Oklahoma, who lost to North Carolina; and Pittsburgh, who got beat by Villanova last night. The good news is that I am a BIG Villanova fan! So even thought my bracket is shot, I am happy Villanova won! Go Cats!

PS - This is the 100th post on my blog. Who'd have thunk it?

New Humanistic Temples

As I was driving home from church today, I heard a report on the radio that some Funeral Homes are beginning to branch out in an effort to expand their business. What are they doing? Weddings! The story noted that "for funerals you need pall bearers, and for weddings you need groomsmen" - a need not so very different! Plus, many funeral homes have the facilities - chapels - for the service. Is this a trend that will catch on? Who knows. But it seems to me that here is the rise of yet another "do-it-yourself, define-it-yourself" church. A humanistic temple, where God can be whoever you want him to be.

Sermon Trend

Well, in my sermon last week, I mentioned "poopy diapers" (speaking of the good work of fulfilling our vocation as a father or mother). This week, I used the phrase "the vomit of our sins" to describe the mess of sin we often find ourselves in. One of my dear members pointed this out to me after the service today. I guess I'll have to clean up my sermon for next week! :-)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Your Voice Needed!

Many people are aware that President Obama is in the process of rescinding a regulation from late in the Bush administration allowing health-care workers to refuse to provide "services" (read: abortion) based on moral objections.

What many do not realize is that the required public comment phase began March 10 and ends April 9. It is also very difficult to find the link to provide such comment. Click here for the link and let your voice be heard! Tell our current administration that it is wrong to force people to act against conscience. And please pass this along, that many folks may express their concern with this proposed change.

Breaking the Silence

Well, I haven't felt inspired to write anything here for a while, but just so y'all know that I'm still alive, here are a couple of good pieces to read, written by brother pastors.

First, from Pastor Weedon.

Second, from Pastor Peterson.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blueberries, Part II

Sigh. Well, it didn't take the squirrels long! Yesterday - one day after planting my little blueberry plants - I saw a squirrel eating the leaves off of them! Argh! Maybe I could understand if there were some berries, but the leaves! Please! Let us have something!

So, we are trying the ol' cayenne pepper . . . maybe that will keep them away for a little while. We'll see. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Since moving to Virginia, we haven’t had a lot of success with our gardens and getting things to grow. In fact, it has been pretty dismal for us. But this year we’re trying something different - blueberry bushes! We found a pack of four different varieties, which produce throughout the summer, and yesterday we put them in the ground where we used to plant our squirrel feeders - uh, I mean, tomatoes. We have a raspberry bush in the same area that does pretty well - hopefully the blueberries will prosper there. We got them in the ground yesterday, so now we’ll see . . . I’m dreaming of some fresh blueberry pie, but what will probably happen is that if they grow, what the birds don’t eat my children will eat right off the bush! (That’s what happens to the raspberries.) That’s okay - at least they will be growing.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Good news! I received notification in the mail today that I am the recipient of a half tuition scholarship for my Ph.D. studies at Catholic University. I was hoping that I would receive something, so I am well pleased - especially since I am going to be only a part-time student. Scholarships are usually reserved for full-time students.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Changin' Times

Monday: 6 inches of snow.

Tuesday: single digit temperatures.

Saturday: high temperature near 70!

Welcome to Virginia.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

From Pastor Neuhaus

A good quote from the late Richard John Neuhaus read in the Forum Letter I just received - a tribute edition to this theological thinker, containing some snippets of his writings.

The future of Lutheranism

"If the Lutheran Church has a future, it will be as the Lutheran Church. It will not be as imitation Baptists, Presbyterians, or anything else. If people are to become, remain, and rejoice in being Lutheran, it is because they understand the distinctively Lutheran way of being a Christian. Being Lutheran is an evangelical catholic and catholic evangelical way of being in unity with the entire Church of Christ. The present state of American Lutheranism is not just "not satisfactory." It is a sickness unto death. The alternative is not beating the drums to revive flagging spirits, nor is it to move evangelism a few notches up on the bureaucratic agenda. The alternative is renewal - theological, pastoral, sacramental, catechetical.  . . .  There is no guarantee that a Lutheran Church that is excitingly and distinctively Lutheran would reverse the dismal membership figures, although there is good reason to believe that it might. But at least there would be more purpose and integrity in going down with the ship." (Dec. 1986)

Monday, March 2, 2009

In Like a Lion

Well, March is here and it's coming in like a lion! Lots of snow here and all along the east coast. We have probably 6-7 inches on the ground. Schools closed. Very pretty outside.

I like snow, and like having a good snowstorm or two every winter. Yet last winter and this we have had next to no snow. :-( I was getting worried that I would miss out this year as well . . . until today. I'll have to go sledding with the kids later!