Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Morning Coffee

Well, most of the Christmas hubbub is past. Things are settling down a bit and I am looking forward to getting a lot done these next two months, especially with regard to my schoolwork. Some thoughts on this Monday morn . . .

+ My Eagles made the playoffs! Quite an exciting game last night as they beat the Cowboys 24-22. They are a fun team to watch and their game against the Saints on Saturday night should be good. Lots of good, young players too. Hopefully that means many more years of success.  :-)

+ New Years Eve tomorrow night. I'm not a party sort of guy. We will have an Evening Prayer for the Close of the Year, and then I am thinking of lighting a fire and doing a puzzle with my wife. A nice, quiet, relaxing evening. (And yes, it will be our first fire in our new house! I've never had a fireplace before and we had a chimney sweep come over to clean it out, check it out, and educate me on its use.)

+ Christmas services were again small and intimate this year. Here in the DC area, most people are from somewhere else, so the place empties out this time of year. I know it, but I don't think I will ever get used to it.

+ We got some good games for Christmas! One is called Telestrations, which is like the game "telephone" (passing a message down a line of people) but with drawing. Hilarious! Produced some really funny interpretations and laughs. The other was called Perpetual Commotion, a card game where everyone is trying to get rid of their cards at the same time. Lots of fun. Can get rough. But you can change the rules slightly here and there to make it even. We played these a lot. Good times.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Good Day

Yesterday was my Christmas shopping day. Apart from the items I had ordered online and which were soon to arrive in the mail, yesterday was spent driving around and looking for the elusive present or two - and to find them at the right price! It was an exhausting day at the end of which I had a raging headache, but I managed to find what I was looking for. So I was pleased. I may need to go out Monday to get a thing or two, but should be mostly set now.

Today, however, is a completely different day! Today I am sitting in my living room, looking at our tree, drinking tea, listening to classical Christmas music, and writing Christmas meditations and sermons. It is relaxing and refreshing, not exhausting, and so much joy in the Word! And if I can get enough done today, the next number of days will be spent with family and church family, rejoicing in the gifts of God with them, and as the gifts of God they are to me.

Perfect!  :-)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Birthday Pictures

This week was my birthday. Yes, I am officially old! Here are a couple of pictures . . .

Beef Stroganoff for dinner! (On special birthday plate)

Grandpa and Pastor Peasant with "Yule Log Ice Cream Cake"
(Yellow cake rolled around peppermint ice cream and covered in chocolate!)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Photos

The Peasant Family Christmas Photo

And this next photo, just because my daughter wanted me to post it . . .

(I'm not angry . . . this is supposed to be my over-the-shoulder, sultry look . . .
Guess I picked the right profession!  :-)

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Very Busy Week

Well, one of the busiest weeks of the year is again past for me. Many people think that Holy Week is the hardest week of the year for Pastors with all the extra services, but I actually think this time of the year is tougher. During Lent and Holy Week there are lots of services, but not as many outside activities and obligations. I can focus on the services and sermons and its actually quite enjoyable. But during Advent, there are not only some extra services, but a great many other things that demand attention - from Christmas concerts, Annual Voters Meetings, Caroling, Open House, Decorating, Neighborhood events, Christmas Letters, and more. This past week in particular always seems to be the worst of it. So now, while I still need to buy presents for the family, I can breathe a little easier and focus on the last days until Christmas.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I Hate Misinformation

I hate misinformation. I hate it when a web site tells you one price, but when you try to purchase that, you get a different price. The latest example is Staples, whose web site tells you that you can get 501 color copies for 0.34 per copy. However, when you try to upload a file and actually place such an order, the price is 0.44 per copy - a 33% difference. If you go to the store, the price is even higher. If you ask the personnel at the store, they will tell you the web site will give you the discount. NO, NO IT WON'T! But they won't believe a poor schlub like me. What do I know anyway? Argh! I don't want to pay more, so they lost my business and I can't get what I want done. Very frustrating.

Thanks for listening to me vent!  :-)

Would Anyone Notice?

Would anyone notice if you just disappeared? Would anyone care? Of course, your family and friends would notice and care, but most of us are quite unknown outside of this. There are only a few folks like Nelson Mandela, whose death a world mourns. Many people come and go every day quietly and anonymously.

So it is also in the cyber-sphere. Web Sites, Blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds come and go and few notice. They disappear into the ether and we go on with our lives. For (perhaps) all the work that went into them, they were hardly noticed.

So I was greatly encouraged and gratified that when our church web site went away for a time, people noticed. I received quite a number of e-mails asking about the sermon archive in particular, from pastors, vicars, and laymen, asking when it might be restored. It was missed. That's nice to know! For all the work that goes into creating and then maintaining a web site, you have to wonder: Is anyone looking at it? Is anyone using it? Does anyone care? It's nice to know that the answer is yes.

I started archiving my sermons like this - and there are now some 11 years of sermons on the site - not because I consider myself such a great preacher, but because I greatly appreciated other pastors who did this. Some weeks sermons come easily and writing them is a joy. Other weeks sermons are quite difficult and writing them is quite arduous. Those weeks, I was (and still am!) truly blessed to be able to go and read how other pastors have preached the text and get ideas from them. These often kick-start my mind and get my thoughts flowing. My hope was that by posting my sermons in the same way, I could do so for others as well.

I am still working on rebuilding the archive - 11 years is a lot of sermons to have to convert into the right formats and upload! - but its coming along. Advent and Christmas is complete, and hopefully Epiphany will be soon too. Little by little. But at least I know it's worth it.

Monday, December 9, 2013


It's been a while since I last posted. This is hands down the busiest time of the year for me. But I'll get caught up on a few things . . .

Here is Thanksgiving dinner at my house. My older daughter Sarah (foreground) in the one taking the picture for us. The woman in the Fordham Law sweatshirt is my sister Cindy, and you can see my father at the head of the table. It was a very good feast!