Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recently, I had sometime on my hands, so I decided to read Rob Bell'sLove Wins. I will start of by saying this: I will never get that time back.

I have heard a lot about this book. It made quite a splash when it came out a few months back and I, being a curious fellow, decided to give it a whirl. As a literary work, it is, to say the least lacking. Its written in a staccato, had-too-much-coffee-not-enough-toast-this-morning type prose. It was very easy to skim, it never truly grabbed me and pulled me in, which in the end was probably a good thing.

As for the theology, well, it was, to say the least, lacking. As I was reading/skimming the book John 10:1 kept coming to mind: "Truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in another way is, that man is a thief and a robber." Bell tries with great veracity and very little success to turn the head of the reader. His premise is basically
this: John 3:17, Jesus really didn't mean that. Nope, not at all, he was kind foolin, yeah. Srsly!

In short, he stops at John 3:169a. The whole bit about "whoever believes in me shall be should not perish but have eternal life" he just kind of pushes away. And John 3:17? Forget it, doesnt exist.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Fountain Square Brewery

It has been a while since I visited this little section of the cyberworld.  Unfortunately, my attention has been captured by facebook & twitter (you can follow me on twitter here: @loofrin) the 140 characters have stymied my writing.  That's sad to say, but its the truth.  I'm not saying that facebook and twitter are necessarily bad, matter of fact, I think they are fantastic and quite enjoy being a user of both, particularly twitter.  I never realized how powerful twitter is until I tweeted a couple negative things about a particular company, they contacted me directly in very quick order.

What I want to talk about today though is a brewery.  I like beer.  I enjoy beer.  I live near the Fountain Square/Garfield Park section of Indianapolis.  I love this area.  Garfield Park is the largest public park in Indianapolis.  It is just a beautiful place to go.  The Sunken Gardens and the green house are amazing.  I visited Garfield Park for the first time about a year ago and fell in love with it and decided that I would like to live in the area.  In April, I was able to fulfill that wish.  I live less than a mile from Garfield Park and enjoy waking to it from time to time to relax.

Fountain Square is very close to my heart.  Its sort of like, maybe, if I can use the term, Indianapolis' version of SOHO, I wouldn't call it Indianapolis' version of "the Village," that probably goes to Broad Ripple, maybe.  Fountain Square, back in the day, was the terminus for the horse drawn trolleys that meandered through Indianapolis.  Supposedly, there were a variety of big water fountains that were used to water the horses.  As far as I can tell there is only one fountain left.  I have actually used that fountain to quench my thirst from time to time.  Its good water.

Fountain Square was, at one time, a vibrant commercial area on the south side of Indianapolis, but, sadly, as happens often, it fell into hard times and then some squalor, but eventually, it started to turn around and became what it is today: if I may say so: a hipster haven.

I haven't forgotten about the brewery, I"m getting to it.  Hold your horses.  This is backstory.  Backstory is important.  You need backstory.

Fountain Square Brewery is a start up business.  It has been in business for roughly seven months, it is one of my favorite places and they brew the best beer I have ever had.  Yes, I said that.  I'll say it again.  They brew the best beer I've ever had.  They have an Amber beer that is pretty much heavenly.  As I type this, I am enjoying their Backyard Porter.  I can't say enough good things about their beer.  I had an opportunity to chat with one of the owner-partners today.  We talked for almost an hour about their philosophy of beer and such.  It turns out that the three partners are, in some fashion or another, are geeks and they look at brewing beer from the microbiology aspect.  They are scientists and chemists.  I don't mean to use "geek" in a pejorative manner, in fact, I use it in a celebratory manner!

I can't say enough good things about Fountain Square Brewery's beer.  Not a one of them is bad.  I tend to lean towards "amber" beers and darker beers, but their Pilsner is top notch and refreshing.  The Pale Ale is smooth and light.  Just what you want in a pale ale.  The porter, has wonderful chocolate start and a subtle coffee finish.  Their Amber, my favorite , maybe its because its called Preacher's Daughter Amber, is refreshing and clean.  It really is probably the best beer I have ever had.

So, yeah, I'm I'll be on the ramparts waving the Fountain Square Brewery flag.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

A lot has happened to me over the last months.  It is tough to quantify everything has happened in the last eight or nine months.  Nine months ago this week, my passed away after a short, but gallant fight against vicious form of  lymphoma.  It was a shock to lose my mom as quickly as I did.  She had been a the picture of health, at least as healthy as a 70 year old woman can be, but slowly, last summer she started to tire and get weird bruises on her arm, but she equated the tiredness to stress and some depression and the bruises to using 'too much aspirin," but, as summer faded into early autumn, she became more tired and was afraid she had slipped into a deeper depression.  So she went to the doctor and he prescribed her some antidepressant medication.  That made things worse.  The reaction to the medication was scary.  She was sick, couldn't eat and when she did she would get sick to her stomach.  She lost weight.  


She went back to the doctor and essentially demanded a blood test.  He gave her a blood and test and it was discovered she had an incredibly high white blood cell count.  The average person's white blood cell count is, if i remember correctly 5,000, mom's count was somewhere's upwards of 250,000.  To say she was thrown into the hospital is an understatement.  Her doctor, almost literally threw her bodily into the hospital.  She was in the hospital for the first time for two full weeks.

Long story short, mom was in the hospital two more times.  She died in the hospital on November 5, 2011.  she was a tough woman, she soldiered on the best she could.  That mantel cell was just too strong for her.

After she passed, I decided I had to move.  The house I was living in was, to say the least, much too big for me.  One person and a little cat in 2000 square feet is very much like a little green pea in a large tin can.  The beginning of April I moved from the house I'd lived in for almost ten years to a smaller, two story "town home' closer to Indianapolis.  This place is a bit too big for me, too, but it has a washer and dryer hookup, which is nice because I don't have to take my wash to a laundromat (bluch).

In May, I lost my job.  I was fired because I did something incredibly stupid and I'm not sure why I did it, but I did it and I admitted to it.  And I was fired.  At the beginning of June I started a new job: car salesman. Its not an easy gig, that's for sure.  I haven't made much money from selling, but I believe in the maxim that 80 percent is showing up.  I show up every day and try and learn something new.

With the year 2012 officially half over, I'm curious and a bit worried about what 2012 will look like in the rearview of 2013.

I have many good tools to get through next months, mainly Faith and Prayer.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Satan, you still lost

Rev Jeff Geske is a man of profound faith. I don't know the man, never met him. I have never even heard of his name until the other day when my Facebook Timeline exploded with horrible news that he and his family had been involved in a horrific auto accident that took the lives of his wife and two of his three children.

How can I make such a bold statement about someone I've never met and do not know? Its very simple, God seems to think so, too. Wait, stop, "hold the weddin," as Kinky Friedman would say. God thinks so, too? How in the world can I speak for God? I can't, but here's my reasoning: scripture tells us that God knows how much we can bear and Rev Geske, a confessing Lutheran who holds the Cross close and the resurrection of Jesus Christ closer knows has something to hold on to.

I don't understand why something like this happens. My first reaction to the news was "Why, how can God let something like this happen?" And for a split second, the olde how-can-a-loving-God-let-such-a-bad-thing-happen question did bubble to the surface, but then something interesting happened: my faith kicked in and all those doubts were washed away in an instant.

Faith in the pure truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Doctrine of Baptism kind of did "we got this, yo" to my Old Adam.

And then, yesterday, Rev. Charles Lehman posted this on his Facebook page:
"Thank you! I would like to thank everyone for the words and love shown to me during this most difficult time at the death of Laura and Joshua and Joy. I rejoice knowing that they are now in heaven with our Savior Jesus. I miss them so much, but I know that one great and glorious day, they will along with Jesus welcome me home to heaven. May this difficult time for me remind you and encourage you to continue to express your love to your family. They are so precious and truly a gift from God on loan to us. May God comfort you as He is comforting me. Never forget how much God loves you! John 3:16-17"

"Take comfort in the five most important words you can ever know which are, "Jesus died for my sins! Jesus loves you and so I ask and encourage you to love others and share His love, forgiveness, and salvation with them. Heaven is our home!"

His congregation is truly blest.

I can't imagine the heart pain that Rev. Geske is experiencing right now, but I can celebrate with him with the knowledge that his wife and children are in the Grace and celebrating life everlasting.

Satan, as hard as you tried, you still lost.

My prayers continue for physical healing for Rev. Geske and his son, but they also continue that he hold tight to the knowledge of Christ crucified. His faith is strong, rock solid. He is a spiritual role model for me.

Blessings to you Rev. Geske.

Eph 3:12, 14-21

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Mom's Funeral Sermon

Carolyn Lindner…Hebrews 13:14

What a blessing was this Christian lady! When the Lord our God begins to gather for Himself a covenant people, the Lord calls a man named Abraham. To this man the Lord God promises, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing. I will bless you in order that you may be a blessing. The Lord our God intends that to be a description of all of His people. It certainly is an apt description of Carolyn. She was blessed to be a blessing, and she was a blessing.

Through her marriage to Ernest Lindner, Carolyn became the wife of a pastor. Thus as he moved, accepting calls to serve in six different places, Carolyn, and you also Karl, also moved. Carolyn was a blessing in Lyndhurst, New Jersey and Roanoke, Virginia, in Peekskill, New York, and Accident, Maryland, in Houston, Texas and finally here in Greenwood, Indiana. In all those places she found numerous ways in which to be a blessing. Last week we completed with our older adults and the children of our Day School the filling of shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. For several years Carolyn helped organize and process this special benefit that through Samaritan’s Purse gives hope and joy and a shoebox of little gifts to children around the world. Blessings don’t necessarily come in large ways or in gigantic boxes. A small shoebox provides a tremendous blessing when you have little or nothing. We don’t always need to be doing the large projects or be seen standing in front and leading persons to be a blessing. Many of the things Carolyn did around here after the Lindners moved up from Texas were not the out-in-front of people kinds of things, but rather the smaller, behind-the-scenes kinds of things. But they are still blessings. As the Lord God directed Abraham, so he directs all His people: I will bless you that you might be a blessing. Carolyn was a blessing.

Carolyn was born in Bayonne, New Jersey and baptized at Grace Lutheran Church there. She was confirmed at St John’s Lutheran in Williston Park, New York, a village in Nassau County on Long Island. From there she graduated from Mineola High School and later earned a degree from Luther College in Teaneck, New Jersey. Those places all sound a little foreign to us Midwesterners, but Bayonne and Williston Park and Teaneck are all located around New York City. Carolyn was born and raised around “the city” as she called it. She loved the city. I’m not sure she would want to go back and live any more in the places she’d grown up in, because the city of New York and all those places have changed so much since the forties, fifties and sixties when she lived there, but she still loved the city.

God’s Word uses that picture to point us to Him and our heavenly home. The Word of our God reminds us that here in this place and in this life, we do not have an enduring city, but, says Hebrews 13:14 “we are looking for the city that is to come.” Says St Paul to the Philippians, “Our citizenship is in heaven, and we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”


Certainly it was our prayer and would have been our prayer that her mantle cell lymphoma would have responded to treatment better and her years here with you as family and with us as her Christian family might have lasted for a while longer. 71 years is not that old. Yet today’s newspaper will print the names of those who have died, some having lived significantly longer than Carolyn, others who lived quite a few years less than Carolyn. We do not know the number of our days. But we do know the promises of God. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, writes the psalmist, “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” That’s the city that is to come, the place we in faith are looking forward to as we dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

After services here at Calvary on Sunday, October 30th, I stopped by room 603 where Carolyn was hospitalized at St Francis Beech Grove. She’d been feeling discomfort and pain, and while trying to stay at home, it became necessary for her to be admitted back to St Francis. Though receiving medication it was obvious Carolyn still was most uncomfortable. Because of the medication she was dozing in and out during our brief visit, although she still tried to visit. One of the things she said during that brief visit was, I don’t know whether I’m going to get out of this place or not. She didn’t say it with fear; she didn’t say it with remorse or anxiety or regret. She just stated that from where she was in that bed and with the pain she had and the treatments she’d already been through, she just didn’t know if she’d get healthy enough to return home.

Carolyn, whether directly or indirectly, was already looking for the city that is to come. Carolyn was a Christian lady, a child of God, one who lived by faith and trusted in her Lord and Savior, just as we do. “God is our refuge and strength, declares Psalm 46, “an ever-present help in trouble.” In faith, and in the midst of her pain, she knew the one who is ever-present with His people, the Lord our God, our refuge and our strength. This is the One who led her through life, the One who fed her with His Word and with His Sacrament, the One who loved her with an everlasting love, the One who gathered her to Himself very suddenly last Saturday morning.

Born on May 6, 1940 Carolyn was the oldest daughter born to Harold and Edna (McVeigh) Scholz in Bayonne, New Jersey. This was a Christian family and Carolyn was made a member of the Lord’s family through the washing of baptism at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church there in Bayonne. As she was baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, the Lord God, her refuge and strength and her Good Shepherd proclaimed, You are mine now, Carolyn. You are a part of my family, this household of faith, this community of saints. I died for you, and through faith in me you are now part of my eternal family. Operation Grace Child brought to Carolyn by her heavenly Father.

Fourteen years later, having just celebrated her fourteenth birthday, standing before the congregation of God’s people at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran in Williston Park on Long Island, New York, Carolyn publicly professed this Christian faith as her own confession. She was confirmed on May 23, 1954 by Pastor Ernest Sherer. Carolyn’s confirmation verse is 1 Timothy 6:12: “Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”


The good fight of faith continued throughout Carolyn’s life for she lived by faith and walked with her Lord Jesus Christ. On August 8, 1971 she married Pastor Ernest Lindner, and son, Karl, was born to them on February 27, 1974. We gathered here on February 21, 2008 to give thanks to the Lord for the life and faith of Carolyn’s husband and your father, Karl. He also, as your mom, was in the 71st year of his life when he went home to be with his Lord and Savior.

That’s what we remember today, that we all are on a journey. As followers of Jesus Christ we believe that this not our final home. We look forward toward that city of God, that place called heaven where our Lord and Savior has set aside a place for all who trust and believe in him. In Revelation 21 we are given that picture of the city of God as that place where the Lord God comes to dwell with His people. He is in their midst, making all things new.

That day when Carolyn took hold of eternal life came on Saturday, but it was a gift that the Lord had bestowed upon her in His grace many years earlier and many times since then. This day, today, is not the final step in this life, and Carolyn knew that. The Lord had called her by His grace, washing her in the waters of regeneration and pouring His mercy, forgiveness and love upon her heart and life again and again. We take hold of eternal life because the Lord first takes hold of us through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus.


All of us will stand before the judgment seat of God. He will review all the days of our life. Our eternity in heaven or our eternity in hell rests at that point in His hands. There is nothing I can hide from Him, nothing I can change before Him. I have fallen short. I am guilty before the Almighty. We all have fallen short. We all are guilty before Him. This Christian lady knew that also.

That’s why she readily confessed Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, the One who forgives all our sins, the One who takes that guilt to himself on the cross at Calvary, the one who stands victorious on Easter morning and always as the conqueror of death and sin, the One who stands with all those who believe in Him when we stand before the judgment seat of God. Through faith in Christ alone we confidently proclaim-I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

We walk now in that same faith, clinging to Christ Jesus in faith and trust, knowing that through Him we shall be joined together once again as the saints above. Until then we rejoice in His blessing to us through His Son, for in Jesus Christ He continues to call us. He calls us to fight the good fight of faith. He calls us to take hold of the eternal life to which He has called us. He calls us to be a blessing even as He has blessed us to be His very own through Jesus Christ, our Savior. And in His precious name. Amen.

Friday, June 03, 2011

How'd This Happen?

I'm a little scared at the moment. That's not right, I'm not scared, scared, but more like, I don't know, freaked out...? Maybe. Not even that.

Here's what it is. I did the following today. I went to the bank and got money. I rented a DVD. And I got stamps. Here's how I did it. I went to the ATM and got the money, used my check card to get the money. I used Redboxfor the first time ever, gave them my email address, and swiped my check card. I went to the lobby of the post office, after hours, bought a "book" stamps, used my check card.

Here's the thing: absolutely no human contact, at all. None. That's just kind of scary. I guess it just hit me how today how really connected and disconnected we really are. How easy it is to spend money and not even realize I'm doing it. It doesn't seem to hurt as much when I swipe a plastic card instead of handing over a dead president. Geeze, I'm writing this blog, marveling at the world around me and not talking to any one. Just typing away. Maybe someone will read it, but what does that mean? No human contact.

I vaguely remember a time before ATMs. You needed cash for the weekend? You better get to the bank before end of business on Friday or out a luck, Chuck. Need stamps? Get thee to the Post Office and wait in line. You need a weekend's entertainment? Wanna rent a DVD (VHS, remember those?) Blockbuster down the street.... remember those?

I honestly do worry about the world and the generations coming. Will there be socialization at all?

I see cellphone-zombies walking, looking at their little screens. I'm guilty of it myself. i keep saying "I need to unplug" but I'm not really sure you can even really do that anymore. We've turned a corner, we really have. I don't know when or where, but we turned a corner. A corner that we can't unturn.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Library Self-Assessment

I read this article with great interest earlier today. It was written by one of the Library Science students here at IUPUI. She basically asks the question what do I want to do next? Read the post and you'll see there is more to it than that, but that's the gist.


I agree, when I was going through library school, I too asked myself "what kind of librarian do I want to be?" I bounced back and forth between public and academic. Through some happy accidents, I fell into the world of academic librarianship, for better or worse and found that I do enjoy the academic realm. There are parts of it that I don't like, but on the whole enjoy the atmosphere, mostly.

I find myself, almost four years after graduation (still struggeling to find the full time job) what type of librarian do I want to be. Part of the problem is this: when I was going to school I didn't get much, if any guidance. I went to my "advisor" and he threw a grey sheet of paper at me and said "here, follow this" and I was summarily dismissed. So, I followed that sheet of paper. I held onto it like a life raft. It was my guide.

When I was going to school the internet was really taking off, but my profs were still very much bookbound. I was taught how to use indexes and the like, databases were given a glance and Wikipedia was "of the Debil!"

I knew I wanted to be a reference librarian, so I took the reference classes. I didn't look much at the digital library classes, mainly because I didn't really understand what that meant, I've learned, but I didn't get much into them.

Library Science is exploding. It seems that there are more librarians out there now than ever before, to some degree this might not be an exaggeration. It doesn't help that there are not one, but two library science schools pumping us out in this state alone. This sounds like sour grapes, I'm sure, but its not-- it more frustration...

I keep up with trends via Twitter, you can find me @loofrin, through Facebook, and various other professional orgainzations (American Library Asssociation). Though, I'm honestly not sure what the ALA does, other than stomp its foot and get political from time to time. I'm a member, but grudgingly. I follow a variety of job boards, talk to librarians, and, on occasion, actually sit down and read "professional literature," but to do that I have to be well caffinated.

I learned a lot in library school, don't get me wrong, but I've had to do some scrambling to fill in the gaps and there are many. My self assement is this: I have a lot of work to do to get myself where I need to be.
The next few weeks and months are going to be very interesting and not necessarily in a good way; because of budget cuts my reference position is going to be fazed out. So, I'm a little at a loss as to what I'll be doing, but then there this scary little nugget that has been growing ever so slightly: maybe getting out of the library profession would be best. I've given it my best shot, done what I could and, to a degree have failed. I don't want to leave, but maybe that's the direction I need to go.

That thought saddens me. Truly. I've wanted to be a librarian since I was little, roughly the age of 12.

Maybe I need to take a break. Go back to selling books. Maybe I should do something crazy, like wait tables. I don't know.

I can say this, though, my faith is strong. I know its all going to work out. There is not telling where this may lead. One door is closing. Another will open.