Saturday, February 27, 2016


A couple of pictures for you today . . .

Here is our friendly neighborhood fox in our backyard.

This is a picture I took yesterday in Richmond, VA. We were there for my daughter's violin audition at VCU. She has now auditioned at both Temple and VCU and we are waiting to hear from them. But I thought this picture was just too good to pass up!

And just a friendly piece of advice: if you're ever in Richmond, go eat lunch at Carytown Burgers and Fries. It's not far from VCU and is a total dive, but it has great burgers! I got the "Pancho Villa" - a burger with salsa and guacamole, along with the usual lettuce, tomato, and onion - fabulous. And they have a great many specialty burgers like this, and the price wasn't too bad either. So if you like burgers . . .

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Silver Key

My daughter received a Silver Key award last night for her photography portfolio in a regional art competition. She definitely inherited her artistic abilities from my mother, not me! Her portfolio will now advance to a national competition. We were very impressed by the level of art displayed last night - these kids got talent! The portfolios which received Gold Key awards were offered $15K scholarships to the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. I'm not sure Sarah would have wanted to go there anyway. :-) But that's how good these kids are.

Anyway, here's a couple of pictures:

Sarah with her friend Luis. One of her pictures is above her right shoulder. 

Here is the picture, a bit closer. Her name and award at lower right. It really is a very cool picture - this doesn't really do it justice.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Significant Deaths

It is quite easy when a person of significance dies to panic or overstate how critical and dire things now are. Think of what Israel must have experienced and thought when Moses died. How about when Luther died? In my own Church, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, there was the death of our then-president Al Barry. And now Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia. The wages of sin is death and death is going to take all people. The question is: how do we react and respond?

I like what a co-worker of mine said, way back when I worked with computers and before I ever had an inkling of becoming a pastor: The cemetery is filled with people the world couldn't live without!

It seems to me that panic is a rather faithless response. Yes, the death of Scalia is significant, but we were facing difficult moral dilemmas even with him on the bench. And what history has shown us is that God raises up new leaders to take the mantel of the ones who are taken from us. Joshua for Moses, Elisha for Elijah, and Chemnitz, Gerhard, and others after Luther. And we are often the stronger for it. For going through times of uncertainty can strengthen our faith, our resolve, and our prayers. It is not that we do nothing, but that we do what we are given to do, ask what we can do, and trust that God is still on His throne. With Christ and His Spirit, we do, after all, have a peace which passes understanding.

So no matter what happens to the Supreme Court - or the election later this year as well - we will continue to preach and teach the truth in our church, as parents to our children, and speak to friends and neighbors of the confidence that we have. For the one person the world truly couldn't live without? He's not in a cemetery, but risen, alive, and ruling all things for the good of His Church. Even when it might not seem like it. He is.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Back Home

Back home after the meeting with the brother pastors in my circuit. I always enjoy being with my brothers, though the time was too short. We had some good conversation, good preaching, good learning. The threat of bad weather kept some at home, but hopefully we'll all be back together again in April.

The drive home was pretty easy. It snowed pretty good as I drove through Delaware, but didn't stick to the road. No traffic jams; that was nice. Now to finish preparing for the service tonight . . .

Monday, February 8, 2016

On the Road Again

Off to my Circuit Pastors Conference in Bound Brook, NJ, not too far outside New York City. I enjoy getting together with my brothers, though the great number of vacancies we have at this time has driven the numbers down. But little by little they are being filled, so in the future we'll have a bigger group. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, too, and the driving will be smooth. :-)