Saturday, January 28, 2017

March for Life 2017

Another great March for Life this year. It is such a joyous (and important) day. A bunch of folks from my church went and I met friends from all over the country as well. Notice all that different states represented . . .

Here are some pictures:

Young ladies from my church with a friend they met at a Higher Things conference from Illinois.

GMU student and organizer of our campus ministry Bible study there, with another wonderful lady from my church.

LCMS President Harrison leading us in prayer before the March.

More folks (two wonderful families) from my church.
They let their kids have off from school to come to his great learning experience!

Dr. Wenthe, past president of our Ft. Wayne seminary (Indiana), and Pastor Linthicum from Maryland.

Pastor Beinke from Connecticut (a friend of mine when I was in NY and now my sister's pastor).

Pastor Zill, head of our Synod's LCMSU program (lives in New Mexico).

Folks from my church again . . . :-)

Pastor Grewe from New Jersey (who I had the privilege of installing this past summer).

Pastor Shultanis, a neighboring pastor.

Nancy Nus, a good friend from Wyoming.

Pastor Lange, president of the Kansas District (and my Greek teacher at seminary when he was a graduate student).

Pastor Espinosa from California and adjunct professor at Concordia, Irvine.

Pastor Jagow, another neighboring pastor from here in Virginia (I also knew him in NY).

Peter, who I got to know as a student at Patrick Henry college, and who is now at Concordia, Seward (Nebraska) studying to be a Lutheran school teacher.

So how many states is that? And I didn't even get all the pictures I wanted (my pastor friend from Michigan, another state, for example).

It's easy for me to go, living right here in Washington, but for all these folks to come from all over the country is something pretty special. So come next year! It really is a wonderful time and important to keep standing up and speaking up for life. (And you might just get an attractive lime green hat!)

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inauguration Weekend

I enjoy watching the inaugurations of presidents. I enjoy watching the funerals as well. The careful ceremony, the details, the seriousness are impressive. I was happy with a couple of others things as well. First of all, that the inaugural address was short! Only 16 minutes. Say what you have to say and sit down. Excellent. Just don't like it when presidents drone on and on for 45 minutes or more.

Second, the inaugural parade was . . . a real parade! I just hate the Thanksgiving Day parades on television now, both from New York and from Philadelphia. They're not parades anymore - all they show are the production pieces, the singing and dancing, and you don't really get to see much of the real parade. Well, this was a parade. A real one. Bands playing and marching by. I liked that.

Third, the prayers at the inauguration were overtly Christian. (Except for the Jewish rabbi, who, of course, wasn't.) But of the others (three at the beginning and two others at the end) none tip-toed around praying to the FATHER (and offending feminists) nor praying in JESUS name (and offending other religions). Refreshing.

However, that good was quite undone with the abomination called a prayer service at the National Cathedral this morning. Represented were six or seven religions and I don't know how many Christian denominations. Below is a list of the participants:

  • Carlyle Begay – Navajo Nation
  • Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of Washington – Episcopal Church
  • James B. Magness, Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries – Episcopal Church
  • Randall Marshall Hollerith, Dean, Washington National Cathedral – Episcopal Church
  • Cantor Mikhail Manevich – Washington Hebrew Congregation
  • Rabbi Fred Raskind – Temple Bet Yam, St. Augustine Florida
  • Alveda King – Pastoral associate, Priests for Life, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Harry Jackson – Hope Christian Church, Beltsville, Maryland
  • Narayanachar L. Dialakote – Sri Siva Vishnu Temple, Lanham, Maryland
  • D. Todd Christofferson, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Imam Mohamed Magid – All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, Sterling, Virginia
  • Sajid Tarar – Baltimore, Maryland
  • Greg Laurie – Harvest Christian Fellowship, Riverside, California
  • Jack Graham – Prestonwood Baptist Church, Plano, Texas
  • His Eminence Geron Archbishop Demetrios of America – Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
  • Rosemarie Logan Duncan, Canon of Worship, Washington National Cathedral – Episcopal Church
  • David Jeremiah – Shadow Mountain Community Church, El Cajon, California
  • Ronnie Floyd – Cross Church, Springdale, Arkansas
  • David Swanson – First Presbyterian Church, Orlando, Florida
  • Jesse Singh – Chairman of the Board of Sikh Associations of Baltimore, Maryland
  • Ian McIlraith – Soka Gakkai International - USA, Los Angeles, California
  • Anthony Vance – National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States
  • Cissie Graham Lynch – Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • Ramiro Pena – Christ the King Baptist Church, Waco, Texas
  • Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C. – Roman Catholic Church
  • Darrell Scott – New Spirit Revival Center, Cleveland Heights, Ohio
It just doesn't do anyone any good to pretend we're all the same and all praying to the same God. The plain and simple fact is that we're not. These different religions and denominations are different for a reason - because they believe and teach different things! Contradictory things. And those difference matter. This is not just a list of different motivational speakers (although that's sometimes all people think religion is), these are people who all claim to be speaking an eternal truth. And I'm sorry, they're not all correct. If Baha'ism is correct, then the others are wrong. If Islam is the truth, then Christianity is a lie. The best way to "coexist" is not to pretend we're all the same, but to understand that we're not and talk to each other on that basis.

So, we'll see what happens now, when the crowds empty out. How will Mr. Trump be as a president? I am hopeful. He (as all presidents) is in my prayers. To the only one, true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Just to be clear :-)

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Went to the LCMSU Campus Ministry Conference this week with some college students from my church. It was a well-done conference and close enough to us (Univ. of Maryland) that it was easy for us to attend this year. I was also able to make some new contacts and so maybe have the chance to help some summer interns who will be in this area this summer.