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, February 20, 2017

In the Hospital Again

My father went back into the hospital. I got the call very late Thursday night (9th) / very early Friday morning. Fortunately, my wife was working that night, and double fortunate that they were fully staffed and it was a slow night! So she was able to leave her floor and go down and check on him in the emergency room. She spent the rest of that night going back and forth. You see, with my father's dementia, he doesn't understand what is happening and so needs someone there that he knows to keep him calm and resting.

So that meant that for as long as he was in the hospital, I stayed with him there during the day, while my wife spent the nights with him. It's not easy duty! And after a week, we were wearing out. Fortunately they released him on the 16th, and when I visited him on the 17th back in his memory care unit, he acted as if nothing had happened at all! He didn't remember being sick, being in the hospital, or ever being gone. It was business as usual. :-) One good thing about memory loss, I guess.

The bad thing was that I lost a week of study for my school exams. I really can't afford to lose time, but family has to come first. I was able to do some work in the hospital, but not much. Part of the problem is that he doesn't remember that he needs help and cannot physically do what he thinks he can. So if he has to go to the bathroom, he'll just toss off the sheets and think he can get up and go - but he can't! He needs help. Then five minutes later, he'll do it again - not remembering that just five minutes ago he needed help. And so it goes.

I am so appreciative of the ladies in the memory care where he lives. They take good care of him and work really hard. Whatever pay they get, they do not get paid nearly enough!

Happy Birthday

My wife's birthday was last Monday. We couldn't celebrate it that day because of our having to be with my father in the hospital. So we celebrated on Friday night instead. My daughter and I made a cake, and I made her homemade spinach manicotti, but instead of manicotti pasta, the cheese was wrapped in crespelles - a crepe-like pastry. Spinach is not my favorite, but my wife loved it. :-)

Here are a few pictures:

The new bike my sister and I got her. So much better than the old clunker she had been riding!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Post Flurry!

I have had a bunch of thoughts for posts, but not the time to put them up. So, I'll try to throw them up in the next day or two. Here are the first three . . .  Enjoy!

Old Testament "Christians"

A thought spurred from my reading the other day . . .

For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).

“All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink.” 

What does Paul mean by those statements? That all the Israelites ate and drank the same food and drink in the wilderness? Isn’t that kind of an obvious thing to say? 

But perhaps what Paul is saying is this: 

“All ate the same spiritual food [as us], and all drank the same spiritual drink [as us].”

This would fit the context of the next verse, then, which speaks of Christ. And Paul is making an important theological statement: that Old Testament Israel received Christ in His promises just as the Christians of Corinth. 

Maybe that’s obvious to you, but how important to know this: that Christ is present in His promises; that we receive Christ in His promises, wherever, whenever you live. Old Israel or New Israel, where the Word and promises of Christ are proclaimed and given, there He is given and there is the Church. 

So yes, the believers in the Old Testament were “Christians.”

Politics, Part 1

I very rarely post about politics, but I heard an interesting theory the other day as to why the political left seems to fight much harder and better than the political right. Yes, I know they both fight, but why does it seem that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi get their way more, or fight better, than Mitch McConnell and John Boehner? 

It’s because for the left (according to this theorist), government is the answer. Government is the solution to the problems that plague us. So they need to be in power in order to do the good they want to do. And so it is a much more important fight for them than for the right which see things in a much broader and multi-faceted perspective, and where private industry and small business is as much a part of the solution as government. And so a small government, politically right-leaning representative will not see the fight as critical as a left-leaning, big government advocate. And so won’t fight as hard.

That’s an interesting proposition. I’m sure it’s not the only answer, but I think there’s some merit to it. And I don’t say any of this (left or right) pejoratively - it’s just a different way of thinking and philiosophy.

Politics, Part 2

One things that bugs me is the seeming inability or unwillingness of some to clearly differentiate positions on some issues. Two examples:

1. Stem cell research. There are two different strands of this research going on: one using “adult” stem cells, which are available from any person, and the second using “embryonic” stem cells which come from the destruction of a baby boy or girl to use these cells that are harvested. If a person expresses concern or objection to embryonic stem cell research, that person is painted as “against stem cell research.” No! Just that one kind. Why is it so hard to make that distinction? Why does such a broad brush need to be used?

2. Immigration. This is a big issue right now, but why does everything have to be: you are either for or against immigration? Why can’t the argument be more nuanced, so that you can be for legal immigration, but against illegal immigration? Why is it all one or all the other?

Yes, I know perhaps some will do this for political reasons, but I think it’s bigger than that. Are we just that intellectually lazy?

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Good Quote

"For wherever they see the Lord's blood, devils flee and angels run together."
~ John Chrysostom