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??

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

Some Good Quotes

Some good quotes from the Church Fathers that I recently read:

From Cyprian: "The Ancient Church Fathers had an acutely honed sacramental sense. Wherever Scripture intimated anything related to the sacramental elements or practice, they read the text sacramentally. Their lives were arranged around pulpit, font, and altar. These were sources of life for them, because from them flowed the Word of God. These means, then, were seen everywhere in that Word. We would be blessed to learn this from them."

(Do we have trouble reading and interpreting the Scriptures this way today because our lives are not "arranged around pulpit, font, and altar" but around other things?)

From Ambrose: "Christians should never fear the trial of repentance. We should never seek to plead to a lesser charge than our full guilt. We are not trying to avoid punishment, because the punishment for our sins has been laid on the back of the only Son of God. To delay or avoid repentance is tantamount to denying the completeness and perfection of Christ's work. He is rushing toward us, offering us the pledge of His mercy; why should we be reluctant? He offered Himself into death, even for enemies."

("He is rushing toward us." Picture that! And so is avoiding repentance to dodge Christ "rushing at us" with His forgiveness like dodging a dodge ball? Do we see Christ rushing at us as good news [to be received repenting of our sins] or bad news [to be dodged by professions of innocence]?)

Both quotations from: A Year with the Church Fathers by CPH, a companion book to the Treasury of Daily Prayer. I highly recommend this book!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another Semester Put to Bed

Yes, yesterday I completed another semester of school. Submitted my last paper and now can relax a bit. I would like to have one more class with my Directed Research professor (kind of like an independent study research class but one-on-one with a professor) but that may not be possible. We'll see how our schedules jive before Christmas. Overall it was a good semester. Difficult, but good. Seemed like my church responsibilities increased a little and pushed me. I always try to put my church duties first and so felt like I was often playing catch-up with school, but it worked out. So today I will drive into school and return a couple bags of books that I had checked out of the library!

I now have three classes left. Two in the Spring and then one more next Fall. Over those two semesters I'll finish up my language requirements, and then its onto comps and the dissertation. So still a lot of work to go! But for right now, the focus turns to Christmas sermons, bulletins, hymns, and finishing up family things. I think I am going to enjoy the next week or so . . . reading, writing, and soaking in the end of Advent and the beginning of Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

What Warms a Pastor's Heart II . . .

. . . an annual congregational voters meeting that is a joy to attend. Run by a good and dedicated board of laymen, with a good mix of seriousness and humor, respect for everyone, and with all on the same page. The only blip we had was an incorrect budget included in the annual report. But you know what happened? Humor! No upset or suspicion, just one member calling out: "We have to pass the budget to know what's in the budget!" (No, it wasn't MR. Pelosi!) I thank God for this congregation, and for the honor and privilege of being their pastor.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

What Warms a Pastor's Heart . . .

. . . is when you receive a phone call from a catechumen from your previous church whom you confirmed 13 years ago (and haven't heard from since, since we now live a distance away) who tells you she is getting married and was thinking about you and all that you did for her, who still remembers her catechism, how much effort was put into her, how much you cared, what a rough stretch in her life that was, and how she would not be the person she is today without that. Makes it all worth it. That one will get me through a lot. :-)