Monday, November 19, 2007

Speaking the Truth

Timely discussion re the Mormon church going on at Rev. Engebretson's blog. Read the comments section, and you'll see perfect evidence of why full seminary education/training is so essential for those men called and ordained by our congregations.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Just in time for Reformation Day…

Got a letter this weekend “To the Parents of” from Student Services. The following quotes are from the letter; I just put them in their proper context.

Boom! (flit – flit) Boom – Rat-a-tat-a-tat (flit) – Boom! (flit – flit)

The praise drummers and liturgical dancers make their way through a small village, drawing a crowd after them. Pastor John Pretzel solemnly climbs the steps to the Town Square stage as a hush falls over the onlookers.

“Two students showed up to get their Care Packages. One beamed when she received her package. The other…..”

The crowd gasps as stagehands unfurl a horrific banner – a young woman tormented by the flames of “hell week” at Concordia, the little GPA demons stabbing her in the head with their pitchforks!

“The other, whose family had not reserved a package, immediately used her cell phone and called Mom with a plaintive ‘You didn’t send me a Care Package?’” A sad little pout crossed Pr. Pretzel’s features. “Because so many students receive Care Packages during exam time, it can hurt if a student is left out.”

But good ol’ Pretzel. He won’t let us down! “This year, we have a solution to make sure every student feels supported at this critical time*.”

And such a deal! For a mere twenty to fifty-five bucks you can buy indulgences – flavored coffee, hot chocolate, cookies, cereal, nuts, candies – “…tangible proof that the people students count on are thinking of them at exam time.”

And I’ll never forget his parting words. When your credit card through the coffer slides, another student through her finals glides.

My mom and dad must have done a good job of safeguarding me from peer pressure, because I'm not buying it. Neither the guilt, nor the Care Package. Sorry Concordia. Thanks to me, you will once again not be able "to hit the elisuve 100% parent participation."

*Not to be confused with a Critical Event! ™.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why not?

I thought this post by Fr. Hollywood (yes, I like reading his blog) was headed toward his asking “Why?” he’s still in the Missouri Synod. It’s a question I ask myself every day, and I was hoping he was going to answer it. In the comment section regarding Luther’s ongoing criticism of Rome, he notes, “By contrast, the LCMS can't burn anyone at the stake (though I suspect some of the DPs might be tempted, at least for a couple seconds). :-)”

Silly Father Hollywood! It takes too much time to get a burn permit. So in stead, they call it a bar-b-que and slow roast the pastor over a pit during several congregational meetings, then serve ‘im up at a voters’ assembly called for the purpose of rescinding his call.

You know…. Maybe those who have left just can’t resist yelling “fire” to those sitting in a Burning!(tm) building.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ponder anew....

This sermon from Father Beane made me realize that I’ve somehow thought of Jesus’ temptations in the desert after His Baptism as a one-time occurance – that after He overcame them with the Word of God, Satan no longer tempted him, or perhaps that He was no longer vulnerable to temptation after that. Here, Fr. Beane has painted a new picture for me. “Jesus, God in the flesh, is weeping over the City of Jerusalem. These are tears of profound sadness. What a great mystery the incarnation of God is! For Jesus is God, He is Almighty, He can change everything with the breath of a single word. And yet, He doesn’t.”

And what art work he's chosen to accompany his post! The gaping, black maw of the storm, full of prowling tooth and claw, is breathing this temptation into Jesus’ ear, poised to not only devour Jerusalem, but the King himself, should He succumb to it. While I sit here thinking, I realize that Satan was busy tempting Jesus right up until His death. I always considered the words of the mockers, “Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” to simply be a confirmation of their arrogant, hardened hearts. Yet their words, too, must have been tempting. And it seems to always the same temptation: to avoid paying the cost and escape God’s will. Pretty clever stuff, coming from one who surely wanted to avoid having to pay the cost (of having his head crushed) and escape God’s will.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Call the Doctor

I have read several reports of the ’07 convention, both in- and outside the blogosphere. It would seem that the huge carbuncle of schism festering on Missouri’s backside wasn’t lanced this year either, so the infection still rages. In our Fever!(TM), we babbled commendations for LSB out of one side of our mouth, while we screamed for diverse worship music out of the other. We passed a lot of gas about specific pastoral ministry, but never actually eliminated Word and Sacrament lay ministry. No, this pustule was merely poked with a needle and drained just enough to ease the pressure for another three (or will it be two?) years. As long as the infection goes unchecked, the body will continue to weaken.

Luther is remembered for saying, “Here I stand.” At the rate we’re going, the LCMS will be remembered for saying, “Here I sit, but only on one cheek.”

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A good exclamation point

There is only one thing that can keep a plant alive (and even growing) when it has shallow roots: a constant feeding of “Fertilizer!”.

Good post, Pastor Esget.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Three newsy tidbits

Father Hollywood received three newsy tidbits from the LCMS hierarchy.

Re: From the Circuit: What a relief that “Circle of Life” is a Twelve-Area Process, and not a Twelve-Step Program. I wonder if, like Ablaze! ™, it will eventually become a vision, movement, response, initiative, journey, concerted effort, ministry, call to action, focus, goal, opportunity, call, plan, or invitation? Just so long as it’s not a “program”. No, sir. Can’t have any of those in the synod. I also wonder if a Lion King costume party is part of the Humor-Creativity & Play process. It would be finger-snappin’ good time, singing the theme song and drinking Frank’s Fire Water© on tap.

Re: From the District: “Packaging” the Gospel is pretty “[sic]”. Spiritual care from Rev. Bev? Even more "[sic]".

Re: From the Synod: May I take a stab at the Reporter headline? “250 social servants needed”. “250 loaves of daily bread needed”. Or my favorite: “Looking for a new vocation spot this summer?” Why is it we can use “historic” terms like “Fan into Flame”, but we can't use the historic meaning of “missionary?”

Friday, April 13, 2007

This can't be good

Ever had a voters’ assembly (circuit, district, synodical) meeting where a group of these guys take over? It’s especially bad when they’re backed by this majority, and no help at all if this sums up your leadership. Anyone who survives one of these meetings deserves this.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

It's not too early

to think about VBS. You can adapt this "hit" movie for use as a skit, and click here for everything else you need. I think I'll skip the rattlesnake maraca pens though; I've never seen Lutherans rattlin' for God.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The exciting conclusion

Captain’s Personal Log, Stardate 0428.07. We’ve been on the planet’s surface for weeks now, and the situation remains unchanged. The crew is badly in need of R&R and I’ve got a headache.

“Captain, the Admiral is calling. He’s requesting your report.”

“Put him through to my quarters, Youth-Hurrah. I’ll take it there.”


“Admiral Kirkwood, it’s good to see you again.”

“You, too, Kirche. Well, let’s have it.”

“Admiral, we’ve done our best, but these people are very resistant. Lieutenant Youth-Hurrah managed to captivate a few of the younger inhabitants, but their parents sent them all running for higher things. Mr. Checkbook’s idea of innovation was to turn his aphaser! setting to kill, but even that didn’t aphase! them. Lieutenant Sue-Lue keeps asking if I need any help, and First Officer Spark lies in the fetal position in sick-bay, getting fat on plomeek soup, trying to realize his creativity!

“Jim, Jim…. Put all that aside for now. I have an offer for you. I want you here with me, on my personal staff. Whaddya say?”

“Leave my ship? But Admiral, don’t we already have a shortage of captains in the trenches, so to speak?”

“That’s the beauty of it, Jim. You’ll still be in command, but you’ll be supervising junior officers who‘ll be running the Enterprise, the Constitution, and the Reconciliation.”

“That’s quite a change, Admiral. Can I think about it?”

“Sure, Jim. No pressure. Take your time. I’ll call you back this afternoon. Kirkwood out.”

“Jim, what brings you to sick bay?”

“Dry Bones, ya got any more of that plomeek soup?”

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Sigh-fi it is!

Captain’s Log, Stardate 0401.07. Word from Starfleet brass has it that the fourth planet of the Loothronus system is dead. We’ve been sent to verify.

“Mr. Checkbook…”

“Aye, Kiptin?”

“Put us in standard orbit. Dry Bones, report to the bridge. Mr. Spark, you’re the science officer. What do you see on the big screen?”

Readings coming in now, Captain. Projections, zero; lyric output, zero; power poi… It’s dead, Jim.”

“Captain Kirche?”

“What is it, Youth-Hurrah?”

“I’m picking up a communication signal from the planet’s surface. It’s an older dialect, but still in our data base.”

“Put it on audio, Lieutenant.”

“We bidst thee welcome, Enterprise. Wouldst thou joinest us in our fellowship hall?”

“I’m the doctor around here, and that’s not the sound of death, Spark! Are you out of your Vulcan mind?’

“No, Doctor, I am quite within my mind. I have decided to cease my incessant internal purification and embrace my feelings.”

“Well, Spark, I’m proud of you!”

“And Doctor, need I remind you, Starfleet…

“I’m a doctor, not a bureaucrat!”

“… Regulatory By-Law 1783.725.36…”

“I’m a doctor, not a lawyer!”

“…sets current minimum population of 350 for high quality wor…

“I’m a doctor, not a census taker!”

“Gentlemen, can we continue this debate later? This situation calls for a landing party! “Spark, you and Checkbook are with me. And remember, aphaser! settings on stun only.”

“Don’t worry, Kiptin, they’ll be stunned all right!”

“Youth-Hurrah, inform Lieutenant Sue-Lue she’s got the com. Then report to the planet’s surface and join the party.”

“Yes, sir!! I’m always up for a party!”

We’ll be right back with more Star Track – Not Your Grandfather’s Generation!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Clean cup! Move down!

Starting fresh... The temps are warmer, the sky is clear and blue, and I’ve enjoyed a long nap. The grass has greened up, and so has my blog. Time to tidy up the nest.

Since that last post, some have been concerned for my mental state. I thank you, and I’m doing much better. Let’s just call that one “The Great Momentary Mouse Meltdown,” and let it go at that.

The topic of Sanctification crossed many blogs during the past several months, and I thought long and hard over it. Even did a little hand wringing. Then I noticed that its mention in my congregation’s Divine Services was much like the Holy Spirit’s work of Sanctification itself: quiet, always putting Christ and Him crucified in the foreground, hidden within our daily vocation. I heard encouragement and admonition to do good works in the collect, in the prayers of the church, in the hymns, and lo and behold, it was in the sermons, too.

I also see where the ashes of Wednesday blew in through the blogosphere window and were just as quickly swept back out again; anonymous blogging was both decried and defended; thanks to the Aardvark, I can’t stop singing the “lyrics” to Pachelbel’s cannon in D; and, while not a blog, it’s nice to see renewed activity over at the Consensus site.

Speaking of the Aardvark, I’ve been contemplating trying to add the great blog roll to my site, but have decided that your and my blogging purposes could be best served by simply linking you to Aardvark Alley itself, as well as the Lutheran Blog Roll.

Now with the housekeeping done, it’s time to relax and check out the TV guide….

Leave it to Cleaver – The Cleaver, embracing the tactics of Eddy, irritates his friends and family with monetary demands. (starring Hew Nowant and Bar-the Billingme)

Star Track – Not Your Grandfather’s Generation – A landing party encounters unexpected resistance from a dead planet. (starring original cast)

Let’s Market a Deal – Players are tempted to trade in their treasures for something of lesser value. (host Conway Baitenswitch)

Hmmm… a sit-con, sigh-fi, or game show…..