The Pastor Challenge


The Pastor Challenge

The Assist Pregnancy Center's Walk-Run-Ride for Life is coming up in May and this year I am challenging myself in order to challenge all of you! I am challenging myself to ride a "Metric Century" (100 kilometers) in four hours, and if I can ride farther than I ever have at one time before, I challenge all of you to support me more than ever before. I set my goal this year at $5,000, and our team (Lutherans for Life) at $7,500! If I can do it, you can do it. Assist helps so many mothers and babies, and they are expanding their facility to help even more - and so need our help more than ever, especially coming out of this pandemic. So please help! CLICK HERE to go to my sponsor page to sponsor me, or you can sponsor anyone else who joins the team, or the team as a whole.

Will you step up to the challenge??

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Preaching


Two items about preaching:

First, Issues, Etc chose my sermon from this past Sunday (Advent 1) for their "Sermon critique" segment on Monday. Happily, they did not equate it to something from Joel Osteen! Besides being quite humbled and honored at their selection, I think even more it shows that it must have been a slow weekend for sermons being posted . . .  :-)

Second, check out this post by Pastor Hans Fiene. He addresses the topic of predictability in preaching. Is predictability good or bad? His take is quite interesting. Take a look and post a comment.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving

Well, back from our usual whirlwind thanksgiving! After the Divine Service on Wednesday night, we drive up to my-laws in NJ - arriving very late - and spend Thanksgiving Day with them. Then Friday morning, down to my Father in Philadelphia, and then Saturday home again. As I said, it's always a bit of a whirlwind, but a good one. Good to see all the parents again. And, in honor of Pastor Weedon, I will communicate the fact that my wife was undefeated in cards! She had several different partners, but always ended up on the winning side.

Now we plunge into the season of Advent - a season I absolutely love. Dr. Gene Veith asked about the ending of one church year and the beginning of another, and why there isn't more of a definitive break marking the official last day of the church year. I think one reason is that the origin and development of the church year, and of the season of Advent in particular, was very fluid and very regional. There was no one way to do Advent for a long time. But I also think this is helpful in this way: Advent continues the focus of the end of the church year even as we transition to the beginning of a new one. And so the fact that it just kind of flows together I think it good, actually. It helps us remember that Advent is much more and much bigger than just "getting ready for Christmas."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Feeding the Birds

I thought that while we're feasting on bird for Thanksgiving, I would give the birds we feed at our backyard feeder their due! I am pleased that though I just put it back up on Friday, already many of our birds have returned! Here are the birds we typically get:




Carolina Wren










Tufted Titmouse



Chickadee








Common Sparrow








Cardinal










Junco








Downy Woodpecker








Golden Finch
(though in winter not
as bright as colorful as
this one!)








House Finch






These guys haven't made an appearance yet, but I'm sure they will!




Blue Jay










Red-headed Woodpecker






And these guys I wish would not come around! (But I know they will!) They can clean out my feeder in no time!




Grackle (yes, he's as mean as he looks!)







Starling





And, of course, this guy keeps coming to steal our seed, too! But most of the time we can keep him off the feeder . . . it's not easy though!













If we get any other visitors, I'll make sure to update!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Learning to Think Differently

"And there was evening and there was morning, the first day."

Thus begins the creation account in Genesis. The day begins with the evening and ends with the daylight. This is quite the opposite of how we usually think. Typically, morning begins the day, we work (or go to school) all day, and then rest and recover at night. But in the biblical way of thinking, the night comes first. Thinking this way, it is not we who work first (and then recover at night) - rather, God works first, preparing us for the work of the day which follows.

This is the pattern of all our relationship with God. God first, then me. He works, then I work. He speaks, then I speak. He gives, I receive. And so, too, with the day. There is evening and then morning. God's work, then my work. I rather like thinking this way. It seems to put things in their right place.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

All Saints Day

Did I ever say how much I love All Saints Day (which my church will observe today)? One of the absolute high points in the Church Year for me.


Somewhere in that great crowd of saints around the altar (on the unseen side!) is my dear mother, cancer having taken her physical life, my brother who died at 2 weeks old, and all the saints from my churches whose bodies I had the honor of laying to rest in this world. I think of them all on this day, and rejoice that they are not dead, but alive in the Lord.

I also visited a man with a brain injury yesterday, soon to be a member of my congregation, for we will receive him when we receive his family into membership. He needs 24 hour care, but he, too, is a saint! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, though struggling mightily here on earth. How good to know. How great a Saviour!

Oh, blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia! Alleluia!