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??

Monday, September 24, 2012

Say What?

"O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?"  [1 Corinthians 15:55]

I read those words yesterday afternoon, sitting beside a man being kept alive by all kinds of life-support equipment. What audacity! Mocking our great enemy death and defying it, even as it was taking the life of one of my dear sheep. But that is the confidence we have in Christ. Even at such moments of sadness, we have great confidence in Christ's resurrection and victory over death. That monster did not win yesterday, life did. THE Life did. Christ did. Mike's baptism was fulfilled and he was taken home. Yesterday, Mike did not live a life that ended in death - he died a death that ended in life.

And so we sang yesterday, too. A lot. What wonderful comfort is in our hymns! We talked about which to sing at his funeral and came up with a list of about 20! All of which proclaimed Christ's victory over death - His victory that is our victory in Holy Baptism. Including this one:

Death, you cannot end my gladness:
I am baptized into Christ!
When I die, I leave all sadness
To inherit paradise!
Though I lie in dust and ashes
Faith's assurance brightly flashes:
Baptism has the strength divine
To make life immortal mine.  [LSB #594 v. 4]

One last thing, Saturday, September 29th, is the commemoration of St. Michael and All Angels. How cool a day would that be to have our Michael's funeral on? And to read these words: "And they have conquered him [satan] by the blood of the Lamb . . . " [Revelation 12:11]

Thanks be to God!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Noble Task

It is one of the greatest privileges and honors of a pastor to be with and escort one of his flock at the end of his or her life from this world to the next. It is also (for me) one of the hardest.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Replacement Refs

Replacement refs voting on a call?
I got to watch the Eagles-Ravens game yesterday, won by the Eagles! It was an exciting game, though greatly marred by the ineptitude of the replacement referees. They were simply terrible! I do not think they slanted the outcome of the game one way or the other - I'm talking about simple things, like, where to spot the ball. There was one point in the game that just got absurdly comical. The Eagles intercepted a pass and following that was a personal foul against the Ravens. The refs had to discuss at length where to place the ball - do they add on 15 yards from where the Eagles player was down, or from the spot of the personal foul?? I knew the answer to that in Elementary School! As a result, they spotted the ball in three different places before finally letting play resume. Good grief. Then there was not knowing how many yards offensive pass interference was, that holding close to the end zone is not the full distance of the penalty but "half the distance," and more. Simple stuff, but they kept messing it up, having to discuss, change, stop, restart . . . I'll bet they added 20 minutes to the length of the game going through all this. Terrible. Please, Mr. Goodell, bring back the real refs. Please.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just For Fun

The Commodification of Children

I heard it again on the radio the other day - that it costs so much to raise children these days that therefore many people are not having children. I've heard that before, lots of times, but this time it struck me: that's how we talk about TVs, and cars, and computers, and things like that. They cost too much so I'm not getting one. And so (in a way) children have become just another thing to "have." That saddens me. How far we have fallen from the Biblical thought of children being a gift from God when we simply think about whether we can afford them or not. Financial considerations are important, but it seems they have become the tail that wags the dog. I wonder if this is the result of abortion or a contributor to it. The thing is, most folks always find the money for the stuff they want and the vacations they want, but children . . . hmmm.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let Me Translate That For You . . .

Ever hear the old saying "Deeds not Creeds?"

Here's what that means: Law not Gospel.

That's deadly.

'Nuf said.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Death, School, and GMU

How's that for the title of a post?  :-)

The death was the death of my computer. My trusty (or formerly trusty!) MacBook died Monday afternoon. I took it to the Apple store Genius on Tuesday who could not get it to boot no matter what he tried. Probably the logic (mother) board, he said. I really wanted a new computer,but opted for the cheaper repair option - a flat rate to fix all that needed fixing. BUT, I agreed to this because the "genius" assured (but did not promise) me that I would get it back later that week - Thursday or Friday. To me, the time without it is more important than the money. So I said okay and off it went. But I still don't have it back and I'm very annoyed and frustrated at him. I really hope I get it back today!

Not having it made last week quite difficult as I had to find and port many things over to our new church laptop and use it for my computing needs. I am fortunate to have it and be able to do this, though it slowed me down greatly as it is a Windows machine. Just meant a busier week than normal.

Last week was also the start of classes at GMU which means the start of our Campus Ministry for the Fall. We had our kiosk there Monday and Wednesday and will begin Evening Prayer services on campus twice a month starting this Wednesday night. It is a ripe field, but one that has been quite difficult for us to crack.

My school also started last week. I have only one class - my last class! - this semester. There was really nothing being offered that I was really interested in, and since I had already fulfilled all my requirements, I opted for a history class: Topics in Medieval Spirituality. No professor was listed and none of the topics that might be covered were given. So when I went in on Thursday, I found out that it was a brand new professor (always a question mark) and the one and only topic was: St. Bernard and the New Monasticism.  :-(  Not really what I was hoping for. St. Bernard is last 12th century and I was hoping for topics closer to the time of the Reformation. But as I sat there doubting whether I wanted to stay in the class for the semester, I thought that maybe I could make it work since Bernard was one of Luther's favorite fathers. Also, we will be reading some of Bernard's sermons on Song of Songs, which should be interesting. So maybe it will be okay . . .

Finally, had our church Labor Day picnic yesterday. Though it threatened rain most of the day (keeping attendance down a little) we had no rain and a lot of fun. I was good and tired getting home last night! And you know, I like holidays - the problem is that by taking Monday off, I am now behind for the rest of the week!

Well, here's hoping that this week is better than last . . .