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, December 27, 2016


With Advent being as long as it can be this year, I was able to not stress too much the week before Christmas. That was a nice change. :-)  Had some hospital calls, shut-in visit and communions, classes, and the usual, along with a dentist visit to have a crown put on the tooth I broke, but all in all it was a good week and we had a good Christmas. My brother and sister will be with us this week, rounding out the festivities.

Attendance was a bit better than I expected at our Christmas services. You see, most of my folks leave the area for the holidays, so our services are smaller than usual. But we had a good turnout for both, along with some visitors and some annual visitors it was a joy to see again.

Here are some pictures for you . . .

Peasant family Christmas photo.

My greatest Christmas gift after my Saviour. :-)

Family selfie! [Sorry a little blurry :-( ]

My girls!

Mrs. and daughter Peasant playing Christmas music for Grandpa and the other folks at the memory care where he lives.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016


So things are moving forward. The first few weeks of December are always the busiest for me. Lots of folks think Lent is the busiest time of year for Pastors, but I think this time of year is busier because it has nearly as many services plus all the extra stuff the holidays brings - family stuff, school concerts, church caroling and annual meeting, open house, gifts, decorations, cards. During Lent and especially during Holy Week, I can kind of hole myself up and spend a lot of time in the Word. That is harder to do at this time of year. I enjoy it, though!

So now we are approaching the time I can relax a bit and enjoy Christmas. Most of the busyness will be over this weekend. Plus, my son is coming home from college today (on the train) and I am going to pick-up my daughter, so the whole family will be home tonight. :-)  My brother and sister will be here the week after Christmas, so a full house! It will be fun.

A couple pictures for you . . .

Everyday either my wife or I or both of us (together or separately) go to see Grandpa Peasant and we have devotions with him. Sometimes the cat, Danny Boy, joins us. On this day, he jumped up on the bed and as you can see, closed his eyes and folded his paws. :-)

Yesterday was a special treat for my father as one of his former pastors, Charles St-Onge, was in town and got to visit a bit. Pastor St-Onge will always have a special place in our hearts as he was the pastor who escorted my mother from this world to the next. 

A blessed remainder of Advent to you all!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Decision

About two months ago we moved my father into a Memory Care Home. It was not an easy decision. Ever since we discovered that he could no longer take care of himself or his house in Pennsylvania by himself, he had been living with us. We purchased a house with a suite on the main floor so he would not have to walk up and down steps. It was a pretty good arrangement and we were happy to have him with us, even if he often wished he were still on his own.

Grandpa Peasant with Danny Boy, the floor cat.
However, earlier this year his one working kidney failed and he went on hospice care. We though he had only days to live. But then his kidney started working again, he regained his health, and was taken off hospice. But he did not recover completely. He was weaker, his memory got decidedly worse, and so he needed more care, especially people to watch him during the night. For a while, we hired aides to come in and watch him while we slept, but he didn’t really like that, and we still had the burden of watching him during the day. He didn’t always need help, but we needed to be there and available, just in case.

After several months, we began to realize the impact this was having on us and our family. Still, shouldn’t a son be able to care for his father in his old age? So while my brother and sister began encouraging us to consider other care options, there was a level of uncertainy with me. He should be my responsibility.

What helped me think through this decision was the fact that while yes, I am his son and he my father, and that is a precious vocation and relationship, it is not the only one I have been given. I also have the vocation of father, and husband, and pastor. These people need my help, attention, and care as well. How can I balance all that? How can I care for my father and not shortchange the others? Those are not easy questions to answer. It is also difficult being a son when you’re also a caretaker.

So my brother, sister, wife, and I investigated a place close by and decided that the best way we could care for and love my father was to move him there. We approached him about it (for we would not have done it against his will) and he was okay with it. Of course, there was a period of adjustment for him, but he has settled into the routine there and is comfortable. Either my wife and I (or both of us) go to see him everyday and make sure we stay in close contact with him. We have devotions with him and make sure he knows he is loved. He doesn’t always remember our visits from one day to the next, but we live in the moment and enjoy them when we have them.

It has definitely taken a big stress off of us. I think we actually feel closer to him now that he is not in our home with us! That sounds weird, I know. 

So while it was not an easy decision, it was the right one. I know many people are probably struggling with the same decision. Know that you are in my prayers. And I hope that if you are and read this, maybe this will help you a little.

Friday, November 25, 2016


We had Thanksgiving dinner with my father in his memory care home. My wife's year-end holiday to work this year was Thanksgiving, so she couldn't be with us - she worked both Wednesday and Thursday nights and so was home sleeping. So we'll have our big feast on Friday and instead spent Thursday with my father, so it all worked out good. Two kids home from college and my sister came down to be with us, too. Here a picture . . .

Monday, November 21, 2016

Our Weekend Guest

We were privileged to have Pastor Martin Orende of the Lutheran Church of Kenya with us this weekend. He is in St. Louis studying for his STM. Since I preached at one of his congregations when I was in Kenya, I invited him to come and preach at my congregation here. Perhaps we'll be able to have him back next year as well. Here are a few pictures from the weekend . . .

At the foot of the Washington monument.

In front of the White House.

At the Smithsonian Air and Space museum.

In front of the US Capitol.

Presenting an icon of St. Athanasius after the Divine Service.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Last Night

Last night my family and I went down to Richmond to see my daughter at VCU and go to her first symphony orchestra concert. We hadn't seen her since dropping her off at school in August! We had a nice dinner together, followed by an even better concert. All the pieces were very interesting and performed very well. It was also fun watching my daughter play - she is every expressive in her playing and you can tell she really enjoys what she is doing. And that's not just true of the concert, but of her whole experience so far at school. She just seems happy. Warms a father's heart. :-)

Here's a couple of pictures. Now that I think of it, I wish I had taken one at dinner, but oh well. The close up picture stinks, but I'll post it anyway. She is 3rd stand 1st violin.

The entire symphony. Sarah is to the far left. As in . . .

Right in front of the harp.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Has It Been a Whole Month?

I know I haven't posted anything here for a bit . . . truth is that I've had some thoughts, just not much ambition to do so. Maybe I will soon. But as I looked at the calendar, it's been a whole month since I last posted! Yowzers!

I will tell you that we dropped off my older daughter at school last Saturday. She is a freshman at VCU in the music program. She is on the top (twelfth) floor of an older dorm. While she, my wife, and other daughter waited in line for the elevator, my son and I carried some of the stuff up all 12 flights of stairs! Good thing I'm in shape. :-) She seems happy and her roommate seems nice. I'm sure I'll have more updates as time goes by . . .

This weekend we will be taking my son back to school - back up to Massachusetts. That trip is a bit longer! He'll be a junior this year in Computer Engineering. He is still trying to decide if he wants to go more toward the hardware or software side of things. I guessing hardware, but we'll see. Since its a longer trip, we'll be making a mini-vacation of it, spending a few days after dropping him off away and relaxing a bit. It's not near enough, but better than nothing!

I've been trying to take it easy these last few weeks of August as well - no meetings or classes, though I am doing some other things. But it's nice not having to go out at night for a few weeks. I'm also trying to gear back up to jump back into my doctoral studies. I've been on a leave on absence for a bit, but will try to get my candidate exams done in the Spring. We'll see if I can swing it. :-)

Been busy also on the Circuit Visitor front - some problems to see to, but also the joy of several installations of new pastors. I even had the opportunity to preside at one of the installations - my first time.

What I have let slip this summer is work around the yard and the house. Hopefully I can get caught up on some of that soon . . .  But for now, getting ready for our mini-vacation! It will be really nice to be away and decompress a little.

Monday, July 25, 2016

I Should Have Known . . . and other thoughts on a Monday

In my sermon yesterday I used the example of a coral snake and a corn snake, two snakes that look alike, but one you don't want around (coral snake, poisonous) and one you do (corn snake (good and helpful). The point was that sometimes we see what God sends us as a coral snake (harmful) and not a corn shake (helpful). But Jesus promises that the Father gives only good gifts to His children - even if we cannot see aright.

Well, I guess I could have used a different example also - email. Sometimes you get an email that look fine, but turns out to be harmful. Sometimes its hard to tell the difference. It happened to me last night and I got tricked. Fortunately, what happened to me doesn't appear too malicious and was taken care of by a password change. It could have been worse. I should have known better. I usually do know better. Let your guard or better judgment down for one moment . . .

But that's how evil works, isn't it?

Today (after fixing my email problem and sending out apologetic emails to everyone who got a bad email from me!) was hymn picking day. I didn't get a far as I hoped, but did make progress. This is a tough time of year for picking hymns, for there are readings and Sundays that just no one has written hymns for! So it is quite difficult to try to select hymns that will fit the readings and strengthen the message of that Sunday. But if I can just get through October, it gets much easier for a while. Reformation, All Saints, End of the Church Year, Advent, Christmas - lots of good hymns to pick from then!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Vacation Bible School

Last week we held our Vacation Bible School. It is always a full, fun, and exhausting week. We have a lot of fun and the kids learn a lot. Here are so pictures for you:

Early arrivers playing a game:

Our teachers:


Learning activities:


More fun:

Offering - We collected $440 for The Hope Academy (a school for orphans) in Kenya!

Some of our children:

Our snack providers and preparers!

Thanks everybody who helped make it a great week!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Ain't It The Way

So last week while I was at Higher Things, the air conditioner in our home decided to stop working. Repairman cannot come until Friday. So this week? Yup - the hottest days of the year so far, every day in the 90s with high humidity. :-(

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


No, no, no!
Funerals are not about you. They're about Jesus.
They're not about what you have done, they're about what Jesus has done for you.
When you die, if I do your funeral, I will say what a horrible sinner you were, and that will not be a lie, and nothing you can do can change that.
But then I will also say that Jesus came to die for sinners, that He died for you, and that you are therefore His child, unworthy as you are, and an heir of everlasting life. And that will be the truth.

So I say let's make a t-shirt that says this: Jesus died and rose for you so the preacher won't have to lie at your funeral.
That's better.
And the truth.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Higher Things - Day 4 and the Ride Home

Well, the last day of Higher Things means wrapping up, packing, Matins, one final plenary, and one final Divine Service. So first, some fun at breakfast:

Higher Things potatoes!

Last morning grogginess.

During the week, all the groups were divided up into four teams to compete against each other for points. You could get points for sending in evaluations, winning free time activities, lots of ways. The four groups were named after the four living creatures of Revelation 4, which also represent the four Evangelists. We (the only church from Virginia!) were place into team Bos, the Ox. And during the announcements before the last plenary, lookie who won . . .

And below, some other conference information:

Then after lunch, packing, and loading the car, it was the closing Divine Service, at which my daughter played the violin.

Then time to start the drive home. We try to go a good way Friday night and so not leave too much left for Saturday. Well, being a holiday weekend, both times had plenty of traffic. We didn't get to bed until about 1 am on Friday night / Saturday morning, and then up and on the road again by 8:30. Finally landed home at 3 pm.

While in Tennessee, we saw this sign. They just have a way of saying things in the South!

And how tired? This tired!

But that means it was a good week! Lots of worship, lots of learning, lots of fun, but not a lot of sleep. There'll be time to catch up on that later. :-)

Next year, it looks like North Carolina for us - a bit closer to home! Looking forward to it already . . .

Friday, July 1, 2016

Higher Things - Day 3

My calves are sore. I can't remember the last time I had sore calves. I guess the last time I walked this much in a week. :-)

The day started, as usual, with breakfast . . .

No, this breakfast of champions was not MY breakfast! His or her identity will remain secret . . .

After Matins, we then had our final two breakaway sessions. I taught my second.

This picture doesn't do it justice. The room was really wide so you can only see about half the room here. If I knew how to take a picture while moving the camera (can't remember what that's called!) that would've been better. But this was a REALLY nice room to be in, and the second session went much better than the first.

I also met a couple of people here who had been on Morning Prayer with us from time to time. :-) That's always fun.

We also took some more group pictures:

Kitty also sang in the choir:

Pastor William Weedon was the plenary speaker today - nice to have him here. During free time, there was a "Find the Vicar" competition which was fun. Lots of planning and plotting going on with that one. Sadly, we didn't get to use Destry's duck tape to capture him, but still . . .

Also, as usual, I get to meet a lot of old pastor friends here:

Pastor Rock - basketball teammate

Pastors Phillips and Kieslowsky (Philly guy!)

Pastor Porath - another basketball teammate

Pastor Grams - former SELC guy

Dr. Fickenscher from the seminary

So one more day . . . A light schedule, but then the long drive home - losing an hour too! :-( But "Higher Things after dark" in the van, after dinner . . . every year I don't think I laugh as hard as I do at something during these times! But don't ask me to tell you about it. You have to be there. What happens in the van stays in the van! ;-)