Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Oranges and Apples...?

I've become worried about my father. He is becoming emotionally involved in the New Orleans destruction. He admitted this morning that he woke up last night and had a hard time going back to sleep because it was on his mind. He got the same way with the aftermath of 9/11. It probably sounds horrible of me to be worried about my father worrying about things like that, but to be honest stress like that isn't good for him. He has various health problems that are exasberated by stress. He was in the hospital in November and he was put under heavy sedation. He went into a very deep sleep and the nurses said he was talking about going to meetings in his sleep. When he finally came out of his deep sleep we asked him about it and he said he was dreaming about being a part of the 9/11 commission. I banned him from viewing any material about that for weeks afterwards.

The difference between 9/11 and Katrina is there was absolutely nothing we could do about Katrina. We might of been able to stop the hijackers, but this nature force of a hurricane can't do anything about that except get the Hell out of dodge.

I still haven't been able to get in contact with my friend Brandon who is a pastor in the Lousiana. I can never remember if he serves near Baton Rouge or New Orleans. Either way I'm sure he got some serious hurricane action. I'm more worried about his wife and unborn baby. I hope they got out and got far away. Very far away.

I don't know. I'm trying to wrap my brain around the whole thing. Here I am, safe and sound and enjoying beautiful weather in Indiana and down south they are trying to figure out how to boil water without electricity and or dry wood....

*walks away and looks to the sky with one word in his mind "why?"

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What Can I Say...

I've been watching the devastation from hurrican Katrina. Its shocking on so many levels. It makes me feel so small, so inconsequential. I haven't been able to get in contact with a friend from college who is a pastor in the Baton Rouge area. I've tried yesterday and today. The at least rings today. Yesterday, nothing. I'm particularly worried because his wife is 8.95 months pregnant. I'm praying a selfish prayer: that they are okay. Then, I pray for the rest.

The devestation is just crazy. This is an act of God. There is nothing more to say.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Doh! Won't They Ever Learn?

I just saw this on Intolerant Elle's blog. Defintely worth a look-see.

I wonder, are they planning an extension on St. Peter's Cathedral or trying to fill the coffers because of unseemly priest behavior? The questions abound.

Until next time.


Readings in Mark

Last night, before I went to bed I read a chapter or two from the book of Mark. There are parts of Mark that are shocking to me. Particularly chapter 11:12-14 where Jesus goes to a fig tree for a fig and doesn't find any so he "curses" the tree. A few verses later we see the fig tree again, withered and dead. I'm pretty sure this story is in at least one other Gospel (but I'm not sure which one-- Matthew, maybe?)

Here's why this section bothers me so much: I have a hard time rectifying this angry Jesus to the loving one that I have always been told about. It seems like such a little thing, doesn't it? A fig tree being out of season, why did Jesus get so mad? Further along in the chapter Jesus destroys the temple flee market, his anger again very open and public. (This one I can understand).

But the "fig tree incident" gives me pause. In the Catechism most answers begin with "We should fear and love God..." in this case "fear" is meant not as "being scared," but as being respectful. But with the "fig tree incident" I get a healthy dose of good old fashioned scared fear. I think it boils down to this: that fig tree didn't live up to the expectation that Jesus had for it. He wanted a fig, the fig tree couldn't provide it. Isn't that the same way with me? God wants perfection. I'm a sinner, a result of "the old Adam" I was born a sinful being. I am damaged before I get started.

But... and there is always a "but" when it comes to theology, right? There is a distinct and wonderful message at the end of chapter 11. Jesus turns the withered fig tree into an object lesson. An example of faith and prayer. Faith: that one big "get out of jail card" that we are given through Christ rears its beautiful head. Jesus says to his disciples: "Have faith in God, I tell you the truth, If anyone says to this moutain, "Go throw yourself into the sea," and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will hapepen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours..."

In my reading of the Book of Concord I have reached Article IV of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession. I started to read it last night, but I was just tired enough that I was reading words, but not making a connection. This article, about justification, is key to the whole. I'll read it closely when I am more awake.

How is your faith today?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Computer "Iss-ooos" Resolved

My browser was hijaced. It has been dealt with. My computer runs like a dream. May that blogging commence.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

God Save the Britons

Here's something that I thought Dan, over at Random Thoughts of a Confessional Lutheran would be all over, but I guess maybe he didn't hear about it. In that case I must take the mantle and run with it. This falls under the category of "I kid you not." It seems that the British government (our stalwart allies in thick and thin) have decided that the English have a bit o' drinkin problem. The Brits love their suds... it has been decided that they love them too much... it seems that Englanders are serious binge drinkiers and this cause many problems. You see, pubs close at set time-- 11:30 pm, I believe, so Britons drink too much too quickly and bounce of walls on the way home. So, how are they going to combat this? Allow the pubs to stay open longer. The thought is this: if the Queen's Subjects have a longer amount of time, they will drink the same amount, but over a longer period. Because of the abreviated hours of pubs of Britannica are "forced" to drink seven, eight, nine pints of ale in just a few short hours. Now, my friends I'm a beer drinker, but if I was drinking that much that quickly (or that much period) I would be, as the next govenor of Texas Kinky Friedman would say "be bugled to Jesus."

So, to review... Britons drink too much too quickly because the pubs close too soon. Problem fix? Let the pubs stay open longer... that sounds like a jolly good policy... when's the next plane to London leave?

Friday, August 19, 2005

Lutheran Reading

The other day I was in our little storage shed behind our house. I was rooting around in there to get the weedwacker to do some trim work on the lawn when I found a little grey book with red letters on it. The title Luther Discovers the Gospel, by Uuras Saarivaara (1951, Concordia Publishing House). It must be a book from my father's seminary days in Springfield, Illinois. So, as per usual I snagged the book and started reading it. I haven't gotten very far into it, sadly work, life, and sleep have gotten in the way. Matter of fact, I'll admit it freely, I'm about ten pages into the book. The author is comparing and contrasting Luther's views on Grace and Justification to those of Augustine. I think this little book will have to be read very closely and carefully.

In other news, I also received the new reader's edition Book of Concord through mail from Concordia Publishing House. I am a sucker for the Book of Concord. I find the book fascinating. I now have three editions of it. The red covered Tappert edition (copyright 1959) and the much newer thicker blue backed Kolb/Wengert edition (copyright 2000).

I am about halfway through the Augsburg Confession and I have learned a few things that I hadn't known already. I was quite pleased with the historical introduction in regards to how and why the Augsburg Confession came to be. Its going to take a little while, though, for me to get comfortable with the new BOC. My Tappert edition has been well used and written in. I've been using it since college (when I bought it because I had heard about it, but didn't know anything about it). The only thing I wish they had included in any of the BOC's I have is (in appendix form, perhaps) the 95 Theses in my Tappert edition I have them taped into the front, back, and end papers. I've always thought that it was important to have them so I know from whence all this came.

Earlier this week I finally finished reading Matthew. I was struck by Matt. 26:69-75 for the first time. Peter denies Jesus three times. I found myself reading it with my name instead of Peter's. And that hit me hard I know that I deny Jesus every day. The only thing that keeps me going in my Faith, hope and knowledge of Christ's forgiveness and Grace.

This has been a week of discovery for me and blessing innumerable. I often ask people "how's your faith?" (I like to cut to the matter quickly) I can ask myself that question right now and I'll say, at this moment, its pretty strong... 8 hours from now, I don't know, but right now: strong and steady.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

"I am a Book, Read Me"

You're The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!

by C.S. Lewis

You were just looking for some decent clothes when everything changed
quite dramatically. For the better or for the worse, it is still hard to tell. Now it
seems like winter will never end and you feel cursed. Soon there will be an epic
struggle between two forces in your life and you are very concerned about a betrayal
that could turn the balance. If this makes it sound like you're re-enacting Christian
theological events, that may or may not be coincidence. When in doubt, put your trust
in zoo animals.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Computer Woes...

I had enough. My computer has been doing strange things the last couple days, mainly not opening pages and then pages not repsonding. It became quite frustrating and aggrivating. So, I first took my computer to the Geek Squad in my local Best Buy and they told me that it would cast 162 bucks to give it a "diagnostic test" and that it would be about 12-15 days before I would get it back. I thought about that for a bit and decided against it.

So I then took it to another computer repair shop that we have used before and they would do it for 62 bucks and I can have it back by Friday or Saturday. I decided to go with the second offer.

I described what has been going on to the repair guy and he said it did sound like I had a virus on my computer (that didn't make me too happy).

I'm not thrilled about this whole computer virus thing, but well, what can a brother do about it. I have a virus scan and firewall on my computer, but I guess one snuck through... electronic bastard.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Okay, Here's a Question

What exactly is a "Confessinal Lutheran?" I haven't a clue. I believe in the creeds. I believe that through faith, sacrament, word, and grace I am made pure in God's eyes. I have read (most) of the Book of Concord and believe that the authors of that book got it right.

I'm really curious what a "confessional Lutheran" is.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Kickin Blogger in the Grill

I am quite frustrated. I haven't been able to leave comments on the blogs that I read for a day or two. I don't know and I'm wondering if any one else is having this problem. I click on the comments section so that I can read them, but also so that I can leave one all that happens is I get an hour glass spinning around and then this message "page not repsonding" and then I have to click the little X in the upper right hand corner and close the page. Its driving me nuts. I like to leave comments, I figure it this way: you take the time to write it and I take the time to read it, so it just seems fair that I should leave a little note telling you I was there. Its kind of like a tip for good service (never more then 15 percent, though... lol).

Any suggestions as to what I might be able to do to get this whole blogger thing to work properly would be appreciated. Take care

Yeah, I'm Still Here, Believe it or Not

I've been having a problem with blogger today. I haven't been able to read some of the blogs I like to read. For some reason the page displays, but gets stuck and I can't navigate through it. I get a "page not repsonding" message. I haven't a clue on how to fix it.

I haven't really written in here lately. I was on vacation last week (I went to a family reunion and then to NYC and then to Maryland), but that's not a really good escuse. I just haven't had much to write about here lately.

I ordered the new Book of Concord, Reader's Edition today. It appears to be kind of like the Self-study bible that Concordia Publishing House published back in the 80's. Its not badly priced. I had an opportunity to give it a look see when I visited the Rev. Wookie last week. I might as well get it, I have two other editions of the blasted thing. I still like the Tappert version better then the Kolb/Wengert version mainly because I'm more comfortable with it and I've done a lot of reading, underlining, notating, and highlighting in it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Diggin Around Semin-Ex

Today, before I left for class I had a sudden urge to look into the materials I have in regards to Seminex. For some reason, I have been ultra interested in this topic since I learned about it. Basically, in simple terms, students at Concordia Seminary in St Louis up and left over disagreements over theology and then, quite literally turned around and went back for lunch... so much for power to the people no delay, huh?

I don't much about it, but it was a big deal for a while. I can remember as a little kid hearing about it, but I didn't understand what it was. I was quite impressed with the amount of stuff I had, mainly I stole it from my dad... but he didn't seem to mind. I have convention proceedings from various conventions leading up to and after the great "schism," if you will. I have official Synod reports and I even have, I suppose, official "memories" from my father, but he was a bit removed from the whole thing. He was safely in New Jersey, he'd been out of seminary for 12 years, or so, but it was big enough that did effect in some ways, I'm sure.

There is a book, though I need to get, but I'm not sure what its called... all I know is that is by a guy whose first name was "Red," I think. I remember looking at it in the seminary's library at one time, but I haven't the foggiest what it was called.

For some reason I have been fascinated by this topic. It was such a big deal. The early part of the 80's was all about repairing the "damage" that was done. There are still some reverberations from the whole thing. My friend and fellow writer of another blog, Rev. Wookie's father was involved somehow.

Some day, I'd like to do a serious study of the whole affair. I'm curious to see what a few decades has done to the memory. Maybe, if I'm so moved I'll write a book about it (no one would read it, but that's okay).