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??

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

One of Those Days . . .

Please pardon me. My brain seems to be not working. Anything requiring thought is beyond me today. Check back tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2016

More Snow Pictures

Just some more pictures for you to enjoy . . .

I thought it interesting how the wind sculpted the snow on the roof next to the house.

Hasn't avalanched yet!

Yes, it's pretty deep!

The snow mountain next to our driveway . . . and I'm not done the driveway yet!
And see the mailbox? I still have to dig that out too. That one's gonna be tough.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Officially . . .

Blizzard update: The National Weather Service has my neighborhood at 23.5 inches of snow as of late last night. So yup, we got two feet. After Church "on the air" this morning, time to dig out . . .

And some pictures:

I posted this one yesterday morning . . .

Here's an update from this morning, after we knocked the snow off yesterday for the birds to be able to drink. (You can see where our "footprints" were!) The heater inside kept it from being completely submerged.

My back deck. That's my grill in the back, and an elevated garden box on the right.  :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

March for Life

I was not able to be at the March for Life this year as I attended the Theological Symposia at the Seminary in Ft. Wayne, IN and was driving home on Friday in an effort to beat the storm . . . but here's a good picture for you . . . and look what group is right at the front! (Check the front right of the picture.)  :-)

Preach the Word . . . In Season and Out of Season

Due to the weather, Saint Athanasius will not have Divine Service in Vienna tomorrow. The likelihood is that even if we could get to the church building, neither the driveway nor the parking lot will be plowed, and there may or may not be power.

HOWEVER, there WILL be preaching! We will have a brief and adapted order of Matins online at our regular time, 10:15 am. Click here to go to our web site and get instructions for how to log in and join us.

The Lord bless and keep you, especially safe as we await the end of the snowfall and begin digging out.

Morning Snow Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures from the overnight snow. So far we have about a foot. It's supposed to keep up pretty good all day today as well, so we'll see how much we finally get.

Looking out a kitchen window to our back deck. I just liked how the thin column of snow was balanced on top of the railing. 

Out the front window at our bird feeder. It didn't come out great, but this should be a busy place today!

Right below our bird feeder is our bird bath. Even though I have a lightbulb inside to keep the water from freezing, it was overwhelmed. I'll clear it off later today, but this one little fella was asking: "Water, please?" :-)

Symposia, Day 3 and Back Home

Well, the papers given continue to be a mixed bag - some good, some not so much. The banquet in the evening was nice, and I had some good conversations with the people at my table.

And yes, I was watching the weather. For those who wonder if I made it home, yes, I am home. I left Ft. Wayne at 5:00 am and managed to beat the storm mostly, driving only the last hour or so through the beginning of the snowfall. I returned my rental car, my wife picked me up, and then she left to go to work at the hospital. She was scheduled to work this weekend anyway, but will now just stay there through Monday or Tuesday to cover those who cannot make it in.

Here is a picture of me and my seminarians in front of the chapel. I was pleased George could make it from his vicarage and I could visit with them both. :-)

(Note: The Pastor's the only one not in a clerical!)

Also, still waiting for Teresa to give birth. Any day now! They were delighted with all the baby gifts I was able to bring out.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Symposia, Day 2

Sadly, meh. Again. Heard five papers yesterday, but the tendency has been to deliver ten minute papers in 60 minutes. Get to the point, please, and do some analysis, not just data collection and presentation. There were a couple of exceptions, papers worth listening to. Dr. Wenthe's actually ended too soon. He has a good ability to examine the culture and apply theology to it, but mid-paper was interrupted by a presentation - I wish one of the others had been interrupted instead! The second paper worth the price of admission was Dr. Rittgers. I have read his work before and he is very good and did not disappoint. He is an historian and has a good ability to deliver a tight, focused, and interesting paper. The others . . .

I did receive some good news yesterday. Modern Reformation Magazine is publishing my article in their March/April edition - an apologetic, of sorts, for the resurrection. I wrote it last year and hadn't heard much back from them, so wasn't sure. So glad my efforts there will be rewarded.

I've also been watching the winter storm moving into DC on Friday. I think I'll get home before most of it hits. Sadly, it is Ma Peasant's weekend to work, which means with the snow (if it comes as they say) we probably won't see her from Friday night until sometime on Sunday afternoon. :-(

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Symposia, Day 1

Well . . . Day 1 was rather pedestrian. I was hoping for more from the presentations. Saw a lot of folks and had some good conversations. Finally got to see the new library here as well. It's enormous! They will be able to grow into it. And it has some pretty nice views of the lake.

I am hoping today's presentations improve a bit . . .

Oh, and it's snowing here! But just a foretaste of what we're supposed to get in DC this weekend. We'll see what happens.  :-)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Ft. Wayne

Drove to Ft. Wayne today to attend the Theological Symposia at the Seminary here. I rented a car for the trip - got a Mazda 3. Not a bad car, it drove nice, but not the best mileage. That combined with a smallish gas tank meant I had to stop twice for gas. But, it's cheap in Ohio! I saw one place for $1.51/gal! Because today was a holiday, traffic was lighter than usual, which was nice. Drove through some snow squalls, but pretty easy overall. It's cold here, going down to near zero tonight. The symposia start tomorrow; looking forward it.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Recent Reading

When I ride my bike for exercise, I often read. I mount my bike on a magnetic resistance trainer in the basement and ride. Time on the bike there goes really slow unless I read. I'll read different things - theology, magazines, fiction, history - whatever I feel like. Recently, I finished two books . . .

The first was The Great Bridge by David McCullough, about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. It is not a short book, but very interesting. Although he does a bit more character development than I really care for, the details about how they constructed everything was worth the read. Especially fascinating was how they dug down into the ground below the river to provide a bedrock foundation for the towers. If you ever put a cup into water upside down so that the air in the cup kept the water out, that's basically how they did it! Except on a massively larger scale, and with means to lift the dirt and rocks out, change shifts of workers, and keep fresh air down there. I cannot wait to go to New York again and see the bridge with a whole new appreciation.

The second book I recently finished was The Immortal Nicholas by Glenn Beck. It was an okay book - just okay. I was expecting better. Beck wrote a fictional story to explain how St. Nicholas came to be. The story begins with the visit of the Wise Men to see Jesus and follows a man named Agios who went with them, becomes immortal, and after several centuries and meeting Nicholas of Myra, assumes the name of Nicholas and becomes the figure who is well-known today. There are some interesting tidbits in here - where Frankincense comes from, and the flight of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to Egypt. There are also some historical inaccuracies. If you're interested, it's worth a read - but get it from the library, don't buy it.

What's next? Probably the first book of C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy. I also got a couple of historical books for Christmas about the Founding Fathers and the Spies of the Revolution. I like reading history. But after the Lewis book, I'll probably go back to some theology for a while. I want to read some Sasse, finish a couple of Festschrifts I started before, and Lohe's The Pastor. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Reflections footer 2010 mission statement
Blue line
In your speech on January 5, you tearfully recalled the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary. You said, “Every time I think about those kids it gets me mad.” We are glad it makes you mad. It should make us all mad. Murder is horrible. The murder of children, however, touches the very depths of our souls.
We have a favor to ask you. The next time you think of those children and it makes you mad, we ask that you take just a minute to try to understand people like us a little better. Please know that we are not radical right-wing extremists. But, it is a matter of fact that since Sandy Hook approximately three million children in this country have lost their lives through abortion. Every time we think about those kids it gets us mad. Millions like us feel the same way. We do not blow up abortion facilities or shoot abortionists. But like you, we feel compelled to do something. Political fears seem to hold Congress hostage on the issue so we do what we can in legal protests, marches, political action, and, most importantly, by reaching out to women in crisis pregnancies and offering them real compassion and help.
You correctly noted how gun violence strips its victims of their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Every day, 2,800 innocent and defenseless children are stripped of those same rights as abortion violently rips them from their mothers’ wombs.
Mr. President, we hope against hope that your views on abortion change, though we suspect they are very deeply imbued. But we do ask that you use your deep-felt anger over the children of Sandy Hook and other victims of gun violence to strive to have some empathy for ordinary people like us who have the same deep-felt anger over the tragedy of abortion.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pet Peeves

Pet peeves on my mind today . . .

+ Warm winters - it's supposed to be cold! (We're actually cold today and tomorrow, but Christmas Eve at 70 degrees? Gimme a break!)

+ People who hit your car in the parking lot and drive away without leaving you a note, leaving you either with a repair bill or (probably) increased insurance cost.

+ Web pages which jump around with ads while loading, causing you to click on ads you don't want, which gives the page their revenue from the ad click but causing you to go places you don't want to go!

Got any you want to share?  :-)