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??

Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving

A couple of pictures . . .


With my Dad earlier in the day.


Around our table just before we dug in.

And if you're interested, a link to the sermon I preached for Thanksgiving Eve.

Hope you are yours had as nice a day as we did!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Tired. Sore. Done!

This was my project that I completed yesterday:


I've been trying to improve the drainage around our house. Many of the downspouts simply go into the ground and I never knew where they came out! One day, I found one that didn't - it just dead-ended into dirt! So I fixed that one. Then I checked out this one and found it going into a "T," which I realized is the output of the sump pump, which I never knew where it actually went. (Was glad to find it!) Sadly, though, when I dug a little more, I found this section of pipe severely compromised. Some by roots (the culprits of which I dug up), but also but careless contractors who had crushed sections with their spades when they were digging. Argh! The section below the picture also has a spade intrusion into it, but I wasn't going to go digging that far, and the water seemed to flow okay past it. I think there may also be one farther up the line, but chose to leave that one as well for now. Hopefully, this will do the trick and all the water will happily flow away from our house. :-)

Friday, November 17, 2017

Retraction

mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

I apologize. I was wrong.

I wrote a rather snarky post yesterday about a news article on the doors at the new Museum of the Bible. The journalist wrote that they were "the first 80 lines of Genesis written in Latin in reverse," which I thought was an absurd thing to say. I thought a better explanation was that they were probably Hebrew, the original language of Genesis, which does read "in reverse," or right-to-left.

But they ARE, in fact, Latin written in reverse. They are supposed to be replicas of the printing plates  of the Gutenberg Bible.

So it turns out I am the stupid one.
I am the one who should have spent a little more time checking.
I am the one indicted.

I have deleted my snarky post and herewith take my shame. Hopefully I have learned something and will do better in the future.

And my apology to that journalist.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

An Open Letter to My Brother Pastors

Dear Brother Pastors,


I heard some stories again this week of pastors being (overly) critical of their brother pastors. I am sure that I have fallen into this as well, and for when I have, I ask your forgiveness.

I am kinda dense, so it has taken me a while to learn this, but brothers, we need each other! It's not easy being a pastor. You have demands, struggles, failures, get pulled in all different directions, and more, and who else can understand that best but your brothers in the office? We should be able to count on each other when we struggle - not have the added burden of worrying about what will my brothers think of me or say to me! And those critical words you spoke to your brother the other day? You might think them justified or not so bad, but they might have hurt worse than you imagine. 

I know we have disagreement about theology and practice. Those are important and I don't think we should minimize them. But why can't I love and support my brother that I have disagreements with? Why can't I help him through a rough patch? Why can't I be there for him when no one else will? I can. I need to. He needs me. I need him. And you know what? Maybe, just maybe, that kind of support will enable us to talk about the other stuff better.

So please, I plead: be there for your brothers in the office. Support them in their struggles, absolve them when their failures are weighing heavy on them, sympathize with them, be a friend. We can't afford not to, brothers. 

Please.


Monday, November 13, 2017

The Day Before . . .

Our congregation is having a joint Divine Service with Immanuel Lutheran Church in Alexandria this coming Sunday, so I do not believe I will be preaching. Nevertheless, I had some thoughts about this Sunday's pericope, the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). What do you think?

What do you think the three servants were doing the day before the master called them and gave them those talents? Going about their business, doing their work, all the regular things of life, right?

But the master interrupted all that with His gift. A divine interruption of their lives. Were the servants glad to be so interrupted? I don't know about you, but I usually don't like interruptions!

Well, the first two servants did what the master had gifted them to do. Didn't they have to stop what they were doing before, their regular life and work, to do something new and different? But, apparently, they saw the gift as an opportunity, and when the master returned, were glad to tell him the new things that they had done.

It was the third servant who did not want to be interrupted - and he let the master know it! He did not see what he had been given as a gift, but as a burden and an obligation. So he didn't do what his master had gifted him to do, but continued doing the old.

What is God gifting you with? How is He interrupting your life with something new and different, in order to bless you? Maybe it doesn't seem like a gift but more like an obligation. Are you resisting? Are you missing out on blessing because you aren't receiving what He's giving as a gift and with joy?

I think there's some good preaching stuff here. Maybe I'll get to use this in three years when the reading comes back again . . .

Wednesday, November 1, 2017