Saturday, December 31, 2005

If you get your posts in by 7 pm CST today, they'll make it into the Carnival. The deadline is being extended due to the season. There's still time to get your submissions in at lutherancarnival DOT gmail Dot com.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The home of Random Thoughts has moved temporarilly to Anchorage. There will be posts on how wacky the days are in the winter, and how wonderful it is to be here with Elle and her family and friends. Anyway, this is the reason why blogging hasn't been a priority for the past week.

Friday, December 23, 2005

After many months, the so-called "Blog of the Week" (more like "Blog of the Months") finally changed, and I changed it because I admire the writer of this blog. He was the man to open my eyes to vocation and how everything we do is important, no matter how medial we may think the task is. How truly wonderful it is to know we have faithful laymen like him that understand the faith and to express it as clearly as he has. So now I award the Blog of the Week to Dr. Gene Edward Veith's blog Cranach.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Note: Don't take this post too seriously.

One of the things that we often forget is Christ's humanity. We see all the stories about him turning water into wine, walking on water, and raising himself from the dead. He did all those things, and he is God incarnate, but what about his humanity and, not only that, the fact he was a man. No one can sit here and tell me that Christ didn't ever eat something that didn't sit well with him. You can't tell me that he never had gas at some point with his disciples. You can't tell me that Christ never told Peter, "Pull my finger." You can't tell me Peter didn't pull his finger, because Peter is Peter. Peter was always the first to do such things. You can't tell me that Jesus and 12 other guys sat around a campfire for three years and never told a fart joke. If our savior can toss tables around in the temple, he can tell fart jokes.

Remember this the next time you see a WWJD bracelet.
If you don't remember what old school me is like, you might not want to read this post below. If you do remember what I was like, read on. It's time for a little old school sarcasm, satire, and snobbery.

Router: You want all LCMS churches to have the same liturgical style? I'm confessional as well, but WHY would you want that?

Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among us, and celebrated with the highest reverence.--Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV, Bente and Dau

4. Exclusive use of doctrinally pure agenda, hymnbooks, and catechisms
in church and school.--LCMS Constitution, Article VI, Conditions of Membership

Lord forbid I actually want us to uphold the documents people sign. I mean, please. Don't we know by now that signatures aren't worth the pieces of paper we wipe with.

This is the stuff we all, one way or another, signed on to. It may be through your congregation or some of my readers signed the dotted lines themselves. If you don't like what you signed, quit saying your confessional or even Lutheran.

Do you expect our inner city churches to be the same liturgically as our rural churches? C'mon. I'm high church too, but you also must be relevant to the community. Jeezers!

Hmm, that must be why the pastor who I helped as a volunteer at the last National Youth Gathering served a church in Harlem, used page 15, and chanted in front of his black church. The gall of such statements. Do you know what the underlying message is when you say things like that? The people of Harlem are too stupid to get the liturgy. Whenever I hear people spout off about how, "We have to meet people where they are, so we have to change worship," what you are really saying in a not so clear way is that, "I'm a lazy ass and I don't want to teach people the liturgy and they're too stupid to learn it anyway." Thanks for the Christlike attitude.


Confessionals are on the right track, too bad you aren't a Confessional, you are a legalist pointing your finger to the speck in someone's eye when you have a plank sitting in your own.

Oh, so Mr. expert on what Harlem needs is now telling me I'm arrogant? Wow. And he calls himself confessional? Apparently, your lack of knowledge of the confessions, the constitution, and of what Harlem needs means I'm an arrogant ass. I'd gladly join a group called, say, the Axis of Assholes, but that name is already taken. How about this: rather than call me arrogant, you actually go back, read the confessions, and begin applying them to your life rather than wasting my time that could have been better spent looking for the next great fart joke. Being high church doesn't equal being confessional. Actually, all you Ablaze(TM)! types that read my blog can try to explain to me how you can support this "movement" (I had one of those a little after noon today) without committing vile, sinful acts to the confessions. Tell me how having no emphasis on the sacraments can spread the Gospel. Tell me how withholding money from our partner synods unless they participate is good stewardship. Heck, you can try to tell me where the hell the money actually is. Oh, and please tell me why everytime I read about it, I get this funny feeling and want to stick my hands up in the air and start shouting indecipherable sounds.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

While I was surfing around, trying to find backup to my claim Ablaze(TM)! encourages Gospel reductionism (a claim I stand by), I realized more than anything what ultimately bothers me about it than anything: it is asacramental. Oh yes, you can read about baptisms and other such stuff on the site, but the whole driving force behind this isn't conversion as much as just "getting the message out" in a somewhat haphazard way. If your missiology is asacramental, even remotely claiming it is Lutheran or can be Lutheran is preposterous.

The best post on what missions are and what they are not I have seen yet.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Many people will start typing something, then edit it, and then retype it, and reedit it, and hocus pocus the post comes up on their blog. The there are people like me, who think of some topic that makes them angry and then just lets loose. Rarely do they edit their posts and normally it's full of typos and the writing doesn't turn out quite as clean and logically sound as one might expect. I have typed posts out before and heavily edited them (I do that with every The Scheister article (don't tell anyone)), but normally I type what I want to say on the fly (this post, for instance).

I hope everyone contributed to the Lutheran Carnival this cycle. If you haven't, why not?

There are many posts here on the Lutheran blogsphere where I about wanted to pound my head in with a hammer because I, for some reason, can't figure out what the author is talking about. At times, I wish I was better read in the classics and literature. I wish I was better read in general. Much of my theological education started only seven years ago when I finally got a Book of Concord as a graduation present.

The fact is, however, English is not my strong suit and it never will be. When people tell me there is some deep significance to a book, I kind of scratch my head and wonder because, most of the time, I see the book in question as a good story and am clueless as to what I was supposed to see. This is from a kid who spent considerable time in parochial schools.

OK, to give those whose blogs sometimes speak above my level an example of what I am talking about, let me quote from a paper I am currently reading.

The direction in which synorogenic foreland carbonate platforms backstep is dependent on the orientation of the carbonate platform margin and reef facies tracts with respect to an advancing orogenic wedge. If a platform margin trend is subparallel to the axis of the orogenic wedge and its adjacent foredeep, the entire margin will backstop as the orogenic wedge advances toward the platform. (citation omitted). In contrast, if the platform margin is oriented at a high angle to the orogenic wedge and foredeep axis, backstepping will be highly diacronous. (citation omitted).
Quoted from Dorbrek, S. L., 1995, Synorogenic carbonate platforms and reefs in foreland basins: controls on stratigraphic evolution and platform/reef morphology, in Dorbrek, S. L. and Ross, G. M. eds., Stratigraphic evolution of foreland basins: Tulsa, SEPM Special Publication 52, p. 141

In case you are wondering, yes, I completely understand the above paragraph. Of course, context helps but I would be violating all sorts of copyrights if I did that. I am going to go finish this paper (it is quite interesting and riveting to me)and call my girlfriend soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I put in a 10 hour day today. Boy does that suck...

Joy to the world! Ablaze!(TM) has come!
Let people come in droves!
They all

O come O come our dear Ablaze!(TM)
And save our Synod from its haze
Of doctrine once taught O so pure
And bring the numbers in for sure
Rejoice! Rejoice! Our dear Ablaze!
And save our synod from its haze

O come some wisdom from a book
The Purpose-Driven majesty
Toss gospel on its head and shake
O what a mess of things we make
Rejoice! Rejoice! Our dear Ablaze!
And save our synod from its haze

I'll keep working on it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

My internet is back up, and I'll start posting regularly tomorrow. It's kind of hard to post when you don't have the internet up. I've also tried to do my shopping on Amazon, so that's taking much longer than I thought.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

So, one might ask why I have such a bad attitude about Ablaze(TM)? I have a few simple reasons why I don't care for this program, or most other programs for that matter.

First off, where in the world is the accountability? The money going for this seems to go into this Ablaze(TM) pile and just magically disappears into nothingness. I haven't seen anyone be accountable for how any of this money is spent, and nobody seems quite sure what the money is being spent on. This is how Benny Hinn should be running his accounting, not the LCMS. If anyone can come up with even a general accounting of how the money is being spent, I'll shut up about this. Until then, anyone who supports this should really be asking why this information is not available. Believe me, I looked.

Secondly, the LCMS is using participation in Ablaze(TM) as a gateway to distribute money. If you are the head of a tiny synod in the middle of nowhere and you are part of the ILC, the money the Synod once gave you from the goodness of its heart now comes with the condition of submitting reports so it can count them and say what a good little synod you are. How nice. What ever happened to the idea of the giving money to poorer churches because they are the Body of Christ and not because we want to force our missions program down their throats. You know, the Greek churches sent money to the church in Jerusalem because they had some great missions plan and they got the Church in Jerusalem to participate, right?

Finally, what makes us think this model is going to work? Seriously, we can going around telling people about Jesus, but unless they realize their depravity, It's not going to get very far. They don't want to count the whole of the law and gospel being preached, just the Gospel. What kind of message is that?Let's not preach the whole reason we need Christ, just the good parts.

I think tomorrow will be either ESL blogging or Ablaze(TM) carols. I'll see what kind of mood I am in.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You know, sometimes I wonder if I wasn't so harsh, if I would actually get through to people. I can't really change what I am. I did try to become a "kinder, gentler" blogger for a spell, but I realized that it wasn't meant to be. The reason behind it is because, when it comes to the LCMS, I am very unhappy with the direction the Synod has taken. This blog started off railing against the Synod and the politics being played by a certain District President (and friend of the ELCA since he decided to go commune at their altars) and his chief supporter and Synodical President (I may have to start saying NI! after their names as well) and the frustrations I was having with my then home church. It took a life of its own as the 2004 convention neared, and while this isn't quite the main focus of this blog now, I still keep up with it and occasionally post about it.

I've given a little thought to this and asked myself what kind of agenda is driving me (we all have agendas), I would list the following concerning the LCMS.

1) A return to the Word and Sacrament ministry, a ministry that will drive the culture, not bend to its every will.

2) Liturgical renewal, in the sense that I can go to an LCMS church anywhere and know what to expect. Right now, I can't go to a LCMS church without wondering if I will be confronted with high liturgical form or low liturgy-lite or wannabe Rick Warrens. We don't need to go back to page 5 and 15 (actually, I'd prefer if page 5 was burned and eviscerated from the minds of all LCMS church members). Pages 136, 158, and 178 would be OK.

3) Parents once again understanding their roles as the teachers of Lutheranism to their children. Too many expect Sunday School, VBS, and confirmation classes to get the job done and sin against their vocation by not passing on the faith themselves or by not educating themselves enough in the faith to even pass it on. This, as much as anything, is the reason why Lutheranism is in the crisis it is in.

4) Church discipline being used once again in a Biblical manner. And no, I don't mean District and Synodical Presidents, but also individual pastors and members. We do not use church discipline as a tool anymore, and it shows.

5) No more freaking positions. We have something like 14 or 15 called positions one can train for in the LCMS. It seems like every time we create a new title, we water down the Office of the Holy Ministry more and more.

These five points are just the starting point of my frustrations with my synod and with the many people within it. More than anything, the inconsistency within the LCMS drives me insane. I think tomorrow I'll shift my guns to Ablaze(TM) and give just a few reasons why I think the program needs to be burnt.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Lutheran Carnival XII is now up at Full Throttle and an Empty Gas Tank. Shame on me for not submitting a link. I need to get back to bugging everybody about submitting links. I'll start with myself.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Because you all know that, by my nature, I am maturely immature, I've just come up with another brilliant idea for another piece of satire (ed- What did you do? Shine a coprolite and call it a diamond? That would be really brilliant.{rollseyes}). This came to my mind as I was reading ELCA blogs. Anyway, I can take shots at a lot of mainline churches with this one, and make fun of Baptists at the same time. I just hope my execution of this idea is as good as the idea itself sounds. Anyway, I am going to listen to Bach's Magnificant and plot the silliness to come. Samuel Simon Schmucker will reappear shortly!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I read this post last night and about had an aneurysm. Ad hominen tu quoque is not an argument, but something a five year old will do when he gets into trouble. So President Barry had counting as part of his plan. Guess what: if he did implement such a thing, it is just as stupid of an idea as Ablaze(TM) is. What I remember of his plan was that it was "Get the message right Missouri! Get the message out Missouri!"

He asks what the problem with Ablaze(TM)? Two words: Gospel Reductionism. It is the same rotten theology that was being peddled by Seminex and others who seem to think that the law is something that can be ignored. Why is this? Ablaze(TM) encourages people to count times people proclaim the gospel to unbelievers. What is wrong with this? It doesn't encourage or even mention the proclamation of the law, which is just as important as the proclamation of the Gospel. Proclamation of the Gospel without the law is like near beer. Beer isn't beer without alcohol, and the Gospel isn't the Gospel without the Law. This isn't brain surgery, but simple Lutheran theology. The fact the current SP seems to have trouble with this and also has trouble with how to apply this to the mission field is disturbing. The fact so many Lutherans are also buying into this shows how a little leaven can ruin a whole lump or, in this case, Synod.

There is one other thing wrong with this: I don't have the burden of proof in this case. It is up to anyone who is doing something beyond what is handed down to us by the Church to prove he is right, not the other way around. It would do well for people to remember that, in most cases, us "ultra-conservatives" have 2000 years of history backing us up.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I am now blogging from my own Gateway laptop. This thing rocks. It has a widescreen for all those movies I like, a decent processor, and I am finally starting to get used to this thing. Anyway, now that I have this computer, blogging should once again become more frequent. I've had some thoughts on possible posts (gun control, thoughts on what is happening in Kansas, more ham radio and shortwave radio postings, aspects of theology that interest me, theology and science in general) and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface. I will be aiming for at least one post a day, and more if I can get the time to do it. I might even talk a little more about the petroleum industry in general.

Anyway, I'm still downloading junk for me to jam up my harddrive, but I think I will begin to remove crap I don't want. If anyone has any experience with OpenOffice, please leave a comment giving your general opinion of that program.

Tomorrow should be ESL blogging. Off to bed with me!

Monday, November 28, 2005

This is a reminder to get your entries to the Lutheran Carnival XII in by 7 pm CST (0100 Saturday GMT) on Friday, December 2. Full Throttle on an Empty Gas Tank is the next host, so be kind and send him your entries to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. Please continue to support the carnival with your entries.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

My dear lady is now off to home. Don't feel bad because I get to go see her soon. We had a short but lovely time together. I didn't lock her in the basement. I don't have anyone else. I love her, and if I get things figured out here, I think we will be married.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I have this extremely wonderful gal who I am sooooo in love with sleeping in the basement right now. It's so nice to see her, because I haven't seen her since July. Thank God for airplanes and cheap tickets.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate coughing? I've been going through this roller coaster where one day I'm not coughing much and the next day my lungs are trying to come up, then back to not coughing much. If this crap doesn't shut down soon, I might have to give in and go to the doctor. Uggg.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Rumors about my imminent demise are quite overblown. I am sick right now, but nothing that some cough drops and tea can't handle. I must say, however, that I am not sure at times whether I should be at work. I didn't make it to church yesterday.

Anyway, I want to remind everyone that all entries for Lutheran Carnival XI need to be in no later that 7pm CST on Friday. I've been a bad host because I've been fighting this bug since I put Carnival X up. Has I bothered to say being sick sucks?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I was thinking about the differences that Lutherans and Catholics have on a whole. Since the post about my great uncle's funeral mass, I know more people are reading my blog, and that many of those readers are Catholic. I thought I might introduce you all to a few differences between our respective churches you probably don't know about. Most Lutherans don't know about these either.

The Canon-- While the Council of Trent canonized the Apocrypha, as we call it, the Lutheran church still considers the books deuterocanonical. If you ask us what books are exactly canonical, I'll evade and dodge the question because none of our confessions say which books are canonical and which are not. There are lists of books that make up the Bible, and it is the Bible handed to us from Rome (we all acknowledge that). Chemnitz listed these books, including the Apocrypha. We are also free to argue about whether certain books that are not generally included in the canon should be. For instance, the more I read 1 Clement, the more I wonder if it should have been included.

Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification (JDDJ)-- If you ever wondered if Lutheranism as a whole signed on to this, the answer is a resounding "No." Rome was dealing with the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which my synod is not part of. As a matter of fact, many of the churches that belong to the LWF questioned the signing of this document. You basically signed a document that says you agree on justification with the more liberal wing of Lutheranism. It doesn't matter because both bodies made sure to write it in such a way as to be able to interpret it as they wish, which means Rome signed a worthless agreement. Anyway, the point is to say not every Lutheran agrees with that document, and I would have had a lot more respect for Rome if they would just told the LWF to piss off.

The three books that define Lutheranism-- There are three books that have always defined Lutheranism throughout the ages. The first is the Bible. The Second is the Book of Concord. The third is the hymnal. You can tell a lot about Lutheranism by the hymnals we use. The hymnals contain the propers, prayers, catechism, Psalms, orders of service and, of course, hymns. Lutheranism had a hymnal eight years before Luther wrote the Small Catechism. For instance, the horrors committed to many hymns in the new ELCA hymnal tells you a lot about the synod (most of it not good). You can also tell a lot about where the LCMS is at by our new hymnal (much better, but still some flaws). Lex ordandi, lex credendi.

By the way, it was the music with a quick look at the missalette or whatever you call that pitiful softbound book that contains hymns (a hymnal should be hardbound, one color, and contain a lot more that thing did) that convinced me that Catholicism is in trouble. What Catholicism needs in the USA is your version of Martin Franzman.

Thy Strong word didst cleave the darkness
At thy speaking it was done
For created light we thank thee
While thine ordered seasons run

Alleluia Alleluia
Praise to the whose light dost send!
Alleluia Alleluia
Alleluia without end

That, my friends, is a hymn.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hopefully I fixed the poll. I'll test it after posting this.

Update: It's not working, for some reason. I might just go without a poll for a bit.
I finally got around to creating a new poll for everyone to enjoy. As with last time, multiple answers are enabled. This time, I'm asking everyone what you think about what is going on in France. I would give my opinion, but anyone who has read my blog for any extended period of time knows what I think of the cheese-eating surrender monkeys. I have made my points clearly (and sometimes profanely) known. Comment all you want about it. Tell me I have my head shoved up my arse, or you can tell me what it would take for France to surrender. My guess is a tugboat.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

If you google the words dying well, you will find all sorts of things, from euthanasia supporters to spiritual advice to tips on spending your last days well. It goes on and on. What you don't see is people reminding us to live in our baptism, to live in daily repentance, to live the sacramental life, to live our lives in our vocations. All of these things help us to prepare to die well. Ultimately, however, as much as all the repentance, the Eucharist, and everything else I mentioned helps us, to die well is to cling to our baptism. If we cling to that gift given to us when our faith is formed, to have God's name placed upon us, we have nothing to fear. I remember the words of Christ when the sauducees confronted him about eternal life. He reminded them that they believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He also reminded them that He is God of the living, not the dead. So dying well is clinging to your baptism, through which is delivered all the gifts God wants to give us, chief of which is eternal life. Thus, dying well involves not believing you are dying, but dying to live. (HT Prof. Senkbeil)
Hornswaggled makes me laugh out loud. You can ask Elle. I found that post extremely amusing.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Have you ever posted something knowing that it could stir all sorts of crap up? I knew that last post would either bring in Catholics telling me they agreed with me or bring in Catholics who think Vatican II was a license to throw whatever musical choices they wanted into the Mass. I knew this when I posted. I also knew, from information posted very frequently elsewhere, that the music within the American arm of Catholicism was on a steep decline. I was honestly hoping that I would avoid it in my great uncle's funeral.

That being said, I don't want everybody to think it was all a bad experience. First off, I have never seen a bishop show up to any event involving my family. The former bishop, who was shipped off to Phoenix by the Pope to serve there, came back for the funeral. Secondly, it was a gathering of the family, which has been scattered quite far over the years because of jobs and life in general. Thirdly, I know he died well. I don't think many people understand the concept of a good death in this world now because we as a society try to hide death by embracing the cult of the young. While death is a consequence of original sin and was not originally meant to be, as Christians we need to reclaim the idea of dying well. Finally, the preaching ended up being better than I expected. His homily at the rosary, as a Lutheran, had a lot to be desired, but his homily at funeral mass was quite good. One of the main complaints we as Lutherans have against Catholicism is that the Gospel is often masked by other things, yet the Gospel was very clearly proclaimed in that homily.

I must say not all the music was bad. The Ave Maria set to Schulbert's setting is always a joy to the ears, even if the lyrics might give me fits. The Recessional Hymn (it wasn't called that, by the way) was How Great Thou Art, which seems to get sung at every funeral I go to. It was the recessional for my Grandfather's funeral, my Grandmother's funeral, and now my Great Uncle's funeral. It is a tear jerker for me now.

I do not know who was behind the musical decisions. If it was my family, I can forgive them because those who had to make these decisions also were in a lot of grief. If it was the priest or someone else, I'll fart in their general direction. After this mass, I will honestly say that if I were to embrace Rome or Constantinople (that's a big if, by the way), I'll take my chance crossing the Bosporus.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

When I was at my Great Uncle's funeral mass, I had a lot of thoughts go through my head. The one that popped up more than any was, "Wow. The Catholics are in as bad of shape music wise as much of Christendom." I'm sorry if I insult any of the two or three Catholic readers I may have, but whoever is doing your music needs to be drawn and quartered. I cannot believe that the church that brought us Gregorian Chant, Orlando de Lassus, Guillaume de Machaut, and others could allow such meaningless tripe to enter into its sacred halls. The problem wasn't the hymns, but the bloody settings. You would think they would try to find good and proper music to set their hymns to. It seemed like they just decided to put whatever tune to whatever hymn with absolutely no rhyme and reason. The tunes couldn't support the texts they were put to. I was sick hearing a "Song of Farwell" (they couldn't bother calling a hymn a hymn) trying to be supported by Old Onehundredth (think "Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow). I honestly think my great uncle deserved better.

Efited to correct spelling errors made after a long day.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm sorry i haven't been on top of this, but just today I finally went and looked at how many submmissions we have for Lutheran Carnival X and the number currently is three. You all know you have until Friday at 7 pm to get it all in. You also know if I don't think I have enough submissions, I shut this thing down for good.

Monday, October 31, 2005

I didn't mention it when my great uncle died almost a month ago. He's my mother's uncle, and I didn't know him very well. It was case where I was there more for my grandmother, my aunts, and my mom than anything. I don't think my great uncle had seen me since I was a toddler to be honest. I went to pay my respects and to be there for the people I love. Tonight came the news that my dad's uncle died earlier this morning. This is a little harder to take because I knew my father's uncle a little better. I can still see him stoically paying his respects to my grandfather at his funeral as I was crying uncontrollably. The last time I had the chance to talk to him was at the family reunion this past June. He had lost some weight because of the chemotherapy, but otherwise was fine. He was still actively semi-retired. From what I understand, he was still working last week. It just goes to show how quickly we can die, even when we feel OK and think everything's under control.

I know it's Reformation Day, but I'm not in the mood to post anything about it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


scroll to bottom to copy the html

IMDB's Top 100 Best Movies of All Time
generate this HTML for your own page at



Didn't See It/
Started It/
Finished It/
Hated It!


Godfather, The (1972)

Finished It


Shawshank Redemption, The (1994)


Godfather: Part II, The (1974)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)

Finished It


Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The (2002)

Finished It


Casablanca (1942)

Started It


Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The (2001)

Finished It


Schindler's List (1993)


Shichinin No Samurai [Seven Samurai] (1954)


Star Wars (1977)

Finished It


Citizen Kane (1941)

Finished It


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Finished It


Rear Window (1954)


Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Finished It


Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Finished It


Memento (2000)


Usual Suspects, The (1995)

Started It


Pulp Fiction (1994)

Finished It


North by Northwest (1959)


12 Angry Men (1957)


Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le [Amelie] (2001)

Finished It


Psycho (1960)


Lawrence of Arabia (1962)


Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il [The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly] (1966)

Finished It


Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)


It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Finished It


Goodfellas (1990)

Finished It


American Beauty (1999)

Hated It!


Vertigo (1958)


Sunset Blvd. (1950)


Matrix, The (1999)

Finished It


Apocalypse Now (1979)

Finished It


Pianist, The (2002)


To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Finished It


C'era una volta il West [Once Upon a Time in the West] (1968)

Finished It


Some Like It Hot (1959)


Third Man, The (1949)


Taxi Driver (1976)


Paths of Glory (1957)


Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi [Spirited Away] (2001)


Fight Club (1999)


Boot, Das (1981)

Finished It


Double Indemnity (1944)


L.A. Confidential (1997)


Chinatown (1974)


Singin' in the Rain (1952)


Maltese Falcon, The (1941)


M (1931)


Requiem for a Dream (2000)


Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)

Started It


All About Eve (1950)


Se7en (1995)

Finished It


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Finished It


Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Finished It


Cidade de Deus [City of God] (2002)


Raging Bull (1980)


Rashômon (1950)


Wizard of Oz, The (1939)

Finished It


Sting, The (1973)


Alien (1979)


American History X (1998)

Finished It


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Finished It


Léon (1994)


Vita è bella, La [Life is Beautiful] (1997)


Touch of Evil (1958)


Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)


2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)


Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948)


Great Escape, The (1963)

Finished It


Wo hu cang long [Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon] (2000)

Finished It


Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Finished It


Clockwork Orange, A (1971)

Finished It


Amadeus (1984)

Finished It


Modern Times (1936)


Ran (1985)


Annie Hall (1977)


Jaws (1975)

Finished It


On the Waterfront (1954)


Braveheart (1995)

Finished It


High Noon (1952)

Finished It


Apartment, The (1960)


Fargo (1996)

Finished It


Sixth Sense, The (1999)


Aliens (1986)


Shining, The (1980)


Strangers on a Train (1951)


Blade Runner (1982)

Finished It


Metropolis (1927)


Duck Soup (1933)


Finding Nemo (2003)

Finished It


Donnie Darko (2001)


General, The (1927)


City Lights (1931)


Princess Bride, The (1987)

Finished It


Toy Story 2 (1999)

Finished It


Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

Finished It


Great Dictator, The (1940)


Sjunde inseglet, Det [The Seventh Seal] (1957)


Lola rennt [Run Lola Run] (1998)

Which movies have you seen?

HT: Musical Ramblings.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I haven't had much time to blog about anything lately.

It appears that our Synodical President is in something of a bind with respect to this whole lawsuit thing. I haven't posted much on synodical politics lately because people seem to be beating me to it, but this story I haven't seen yet, at least in the circles I look at. President Kieschnick is now on his third lawyer. Right now, the Synod isn't saying squat about the lawsuit. It looks like some District Presidents are going to be deposed. Jesus First(NI!) is, of course, defending Kieschnick and doing some sort of fuzzy math I can't figure out. In case you're wondering, I've had more than enough math to understand what is going on with the numbers game, but even I couldn't figure out what the heck Jesus First(NI!) was trying to claim numbers wise. They must be using a different base than 10. Either that or they're just making it up as they go along.

The Schedule for the Lutheran Carnival is now up. We're looking for people to host the Carnival as well. We've already had one volunteer. I've had people also tell me they're willing to volunteer. I just need them to tell me what dates are good. Karl already has 11/20, so anything else that hasn't been claimed is up for grabs. I'll update the schedule tomorrow

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Patience isn't a virtue I have a lot of, but I find I have more than I thought I did when I teach ESL. Frustration can come easy and overtake you if you are not careful. One of the things I am learning is that if you work at explaining something hard enough, you can get through to your students. It can be a long and quite frustrating process, but once they understand what you are trying to do, they try their best to accomplish the task at hand. It's an interesting dynamic, yet it seems the only way we all learn is through this process of frustration, patience, and hard work. I feel exhausted after coming back from an ESL session, but I have a hard time saying much else gives me more satisfaction as a good night of teaching. I enjoy my job (even though I'm bored out of my mind right now, but that's besides the point.) ESL is a challenge to me. It's a challenge to help adults whose English skills are somewhere between nil to almost fluent and make them better English speakers. It is a challenge I relish, however.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I want to remind everyone that in 48 hours, your posts for the Lutheran Carnival need to be in. E-mail them to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com.

Now that we have that out of the way, we can get on to the important work. First off, for full disclosure, I am a proud member of the National Rifle Association. Secondly, this post is an example of what is wrong with England as a whole. John doesn't seem to realize that the police have no legal duty to protect any specific citizen because their job is to protect the city or county as a whole. If he would look it up, he would probably find the same holds true for the UK. I bet most people in the UK don't know that. The reason why I am attacking that is because the whole gun control mindset starts with the argument "The police are able to protect you" and go from there. The truth is they cannot protect you from an individual attacker that wants to do you harm. At best, they can be a deterrent.

Another point is that the poster from the Brady Campaign is disingenuous and doesn't accurately describe what the law in Florida actually does.

The "Castle Doctrine" simply says that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force against him.
It also removes the "duty to retreat" if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be.
Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.

All the lunacy about being able to shoot at crowds and some of the other stuff mentioned is pure garbage. If you're not threatening someone, you're not going to get shot. Honestly, the only thing this changes is having a option they already have become stronger. In application, people who can flee an attacker will still flee. Nothing really changed after concealed carry passed in 1987 except violent crime dropped and has been dropping ever since. While John talks about gun deaths, he conveniently ignored the fact that in ever other violent crime statistic, the UK has jumped ahead of the US. You're more likely to get raped in London than any major American city except the possibility of Washington DC. Washington DC has the strictest gun control laws in the country and also has the highest rates of violent crime and murder. Wonder why. One other fact John ignores is that the murder rate has been dropping in the US and rising in the UK. The irony is, in a quest to be civilized, the UK is becoming more and more uncivilized.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Tonight was the first night of ESL classes in our new place. We moved our classes to a local elementary school because more people could come then. Anyway, we've gone from 5-10 people on any given night to almost 30 people. This is kind of a jump, especially when you had three or four teachers working with that many people. Tonight I had six people of varying skill levels with me trying desperately from keeping the more advanced students from being bored and the beginning students from not understanding what you are trying to accomplish. Talk about a thin line. Anyway, it looks like I will be teaching the intermediate students next week. They are an interesting challenge. It consists of a lot of people who understand and know a lot of English but have a fear of speaking it. I think we'll be reading out loud a lot and doing a lot of speaking drills while continuing to add to their vocabulary.

Anyway, it's good to be teaching again, and it felt good to be speaking broken Spanish again. I somehow get through, even if I don't say it properly.

Anyway, if I mention the name of Miers, will I get a spike in people visiting my blog? Miers, Miers, Miers, Miers.

The more I learn about this woman, the less I like her. I may go so far to write Senator Brownback (who serves on the Judicial committee and is an honest conservative) and ask him to vote against her. If Bush was nominating her for a lower court, sure. I could see that. But not the Supreme Court. Miss Miers would do us all a big favor if she withdrew and allowed someone else to be nominated. I didn't vote for Bush for crap like this to happen.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Next time I try to take someone else's argument and explain it in my own terms, hit me and make me post the link.
I must take a little bit of time to reiterate my comments policy.

1) I need an email address. If you don't want to give it, then what you have to say isn't worth it.
2) Not giving an email risks being permanently banned from commenting.
3) Anonymous comments will get you permanently banned without a second thought.
4) Don't piss off the host.
5) There are exceptions to the above rules. Certain people (like Josh and Webcritter) can post without emails and I don't care.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lutheran Carnival VIII is now up. Go and thank Karl for his hard work. Also, thank you everyone who sent in a link or two. Keep it up!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

What is justice? It seems to me to be a goal worth reaching, but it often ends up becoming this ill-defined notion of equality and fairness that ends up turning justice into something it is not. For instance, in a race, as long as the rules are followed by all and strictly enforced, it is considered a fair race, irrespective of the skill of the racers and whether the Toyotas all get beaten by Hondas because the Hondas all have better gas mileage. Today, OU got blown out by Texas, but the game was fair because the rules were applied evenly. OU just sucked. How come in sports we can accept there are winners and losers but in life, many people seem unwilling to accept this fact and want to "even the playing field?" People are going to make stupid mistakes. Players will make a bad cut, turn the ball over, or foul at a bad time. People will screw up their lives, and there is nothing we can do about it. Many of us think that the loving thing to do is to allow the government to give people money and try to help people out. We reward people for fouling. This is stupid! Yet this is what people call "justice?" Bull. This is pure, unadulterated niceness and we need to realize that being nice and being loving are two separate things! You can't justify this kind of justice because it isn't justice but punishing those who played by the rules and rewarding those who foul. Let's quit calling this justice and call it what it is: weakness.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I occasionally feel the need to say certain things after reading other people's blogs. After reading a blog by an anonymous, I want everyone to know this: I am Lutheran because I am catholic. This point seems to go over the heads of certain groups of people who seem to think Walther is the end all for interpreting Scripture. Nothing makes me madder than Lutherans who seem to forget there was a faithful Church before "Lutheranism" came to the fore. We sometimes are Lutherans in Mormon clothing, ignoring everything that happened between Paul and the Reformation and thinking that, somehow, the Church in all her glory was missing for 15 centuries. Please. Some people ask why can't we be good Lutherans. I wonder why we can't be good catholics.

In other news, the deadline for submitting links to the Carnival has been extended to 11:59 PM CDT Saturday. So you have a little longer to get your posts in.
Since Blogger was down yesterday, I'm going to take the opportunity to remind everyone that submissions for the Lutheran Carnival are due tomorrow at 7PM CDT (British Bloggers should add six hours to that to get the proper time for you). I'm sure if you get them in sooner, our host would greatly appreciate it. Turnout has been good, but we could use a lot more participation from a lot of people who once contributed but haven't for a while *cough*. The last thing I want to do is pull out the hammer again.

Anyway, keep sending the links in and the Carnival will keep on trucking!

Monday, October 03, 2005

I've almost lost all faith in the President. Did anyone else go "who is that?" when he announced the Supreme Court nominee. I don't get it. If you wanted to write a book on how to piss off the base, look at what Bush is doing and emulate him perfectly.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Ooops. I haven't updated in a few days.

I would suggest monthly carnivals. Most of my posts lately have been garbage not worth linking to. "Carnival" suggests a big event that takes some kind of planning and/or preparation. Churning out a weekly or even biweekly post of reasonable quality is too much for most bloggers.

Josh, I would suggest that the reason why your posts haven't been all that good lately has less to do with your capability that you looking forward to December. Even so, while my posts haven't been great, I still have the ability to produce decent posts for the Carnival. Heck, this has been the home of the "Don't Rebuild New Orleans!" brigade. I'll continue to argue until,I am blue in the face that we're dumping money into a pit and trying to control things that eventually will not be controlled.

In other news, there are three links submitted so far to the Carnival. Remember, you can submit up to two links. You can also submit third party links for now. It has worked out OK so far. I would suggest not submitting links to anyone who you do not know very well, and I would also remind you to submit your links in the proper format.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

I have put up a new poll for everyone to vote on. Unlike my previous polls, on this one you can choose multiple answers. All this for a simple yes/no poll, you would figure. As we like to say, the exceptions proves (modern English: tests) the rule.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Thank the Swede for saving the Carnival. I know I laid the law down today, but I had to. I've talked to Elle, and we agree that the carnival should go biweekly and see if that helps everybody. That means Lutheran Carnival IX will happen on October 9, not October 2 as originally planned. Also, I think I need to end all suggested topics for posts. That hasn't seemed to help at all. I really do thank everybody who contributed to this carnival, even if because I gave you a guilt trip. Consider this, however. The people who volunteer do spend some time putting things together. Often, they go look for portraits of Christians who have come before, find a little information on this person, and put it all together with the links. It takes some creativity and some time to edit it into one cohesive whole. I don't want to burden a host with taking all this time and having only a few links to show for it. I'm completely unwilling to continue the carnival in such circumstances. If it is as bad next time as it was this time, I will not hesitate to shut the carnival down. All we need from you all is a couple minutes to fill out a little information because we will take most anything you might post about, whether it is about theology or not. If I can send in links about geology, you all can send in whatever you like.
Someone better step up in the next 10 minutes.
If you've been busy and you're juggling your life, but somehow, you have managed to put up a few posts on your blog, you might consider sending one of those posts in to the carnival. No excuses. It takes five minutes max to email the link and description. Everyone's busy. I'd rather see the carnival stay, but not with the minimal participation I've seen so far. If we can't get to 10 links, I don't even think it's worth saving. Period.

I'll consider going biweekly, but I told Brian to publish on Sunday, and he's either going to publish or there will be no carnival.
This is going to be simple. There are four submissions to the carnival as of now. If Brian doesn't get at least ten, I'm shutting the carnival down for good. I'm not going to waste my time and I'm not going to waste the hosts time in putting together a carnival no one wants to participate in. It's that simple. If you have a link you wish to submit send it using the proper format to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. You have until 7pm CDT to get them in. If Brian doesn't have 10 by then, I'm telling him not to bother.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

This past week of work for me has been incredibly enjoyable. I finally got to apply what I have been trained to do: look for oil and gas. I have to admit it is a tedious process. There was a time or two I wanted to stab my eyes out with a toothpick and bang my head against the wooden door of my office as I try to figure the geology out, which is never easy, but my coworkers said I haven't looked this happy in quite a while. I'm excited to talk to them and bounce my ideas off of them. I am a little more confident that I do know what I am doing, that I do know something about this planet, and that I can use that to find the energy this country needs more than ever to keep it running. The whole reason for this? The server went down at work, so I had time to work on this project at work rather than home, where a certain someone tends to take more of a priority. Anyway, I got a lot done. This is all a process to prove that I can produce prospects and make the company money.

Anyway, I can't talk about a lot of things I do at work because so much of it is confidential. That's the reason I don't blog much about work, discuss who I work with, and even where I work. It's better safe than sorry in this business, and I'd rather be safe.

I'm finding geology is taking more and more of a prominent role on my blog as I talk less and less about theology and synod politics. There are so many people who now say the same things I want to say, just much better. I guess geology is the one area where I can speak from authority and still be unique in this little segment of the blogsphere.

Speaking of geology, I wish to make a point about the fossil record. Anyone who tells you the fossil record proves evolution is engaging in a non-sequitur. Simply put, the fossil record doesn't prove neo-Darwinism, no matter how much they want it to. All the fossil record proves is faunal succession. That's it. The mechanism that drives faunal succession is a hypothesis to try to explain why we see faunal succession. Other means will be needed to prove such hypotheses. The fossil record just cannot bear the load of proving one mechanism over another.
The current number of Lutheran Carnival submissions is not what we would hope for. We really do appreciate it when you send in links to the carnival! We hope that you all would continue to make the carnival as interesting and diverse as possible. The wide variety of topics within the Lutheran Blogsphere help drive the carnival. I better stop this before it turns into a PBS pledge drive.
I've created a new poll for everyone to vote on right now. If you were wondering about the results of the last poll, Base Jumping won, but licking rocks should have won. Anyway, this poll is something of a preemptive strike, and I do have an opinion on this too, but you'll have to wait for it.

In case you're wondering, we are getting ready for Rita too. The county I live in has ordered thousands of sandbags. There's plenty of sand and mud to fill them up here, believe me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Monday, September 19, 2005

Avast! I wish to announce to ye all that there be a new host for the carnival this week. 'Tis Brian at Nonpareil. Send him some links or I'll make ye walk the plank. If ye need remindin' of the email address, send your links to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. Send them or I'll make ye shark bait. AAAARRRRRRRR!
Avast! This here is Pirate Jake the Dagger, yes, that Pirate Jake. Arrr! I stabbed so many land lubbers in the back that me mateys named me the dagger. There are two things me mateys and me hate: bilge rats and land lubbers. Arrrr! Let me get some grog from me bunghole. Arrr! If you don't know what a bunghole is matey, I'll make ye walk the plank.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

My pirate name is:

Dirty Davy Flint

You're the pirate everyone else wants to throw in the ocean -- not to get rid of you, you understand; just to get rid of the smell. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from
Lutheran Carnival VI is now up.
Tomorrow is International Talk like a Pirate Day. This blog will be celbrating by posting on a topic that will (hopefully) cause many of you to want to comment. All comments on my blog for posts on International Talk like a Pirate Day should also be like you are talking like a pirate. If you don't, I''ll make ye walk the plank.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

One more reason for me to not trust John H's and Chris W's "Auntie."

Blair attacks BBC over ‘anti-US bias’

HT Instapundit
Oklahoma is going to drive me to an early grave. Arrrrggggg. The offense is best described as schizo. The defense is playing well, but when you fumble seven times and give up three of them, you're going to lose.
This is getting silly. If you have something to contribute to the Lutheran Carnival, email the link to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. You can even contribute someone else's link this week! Send your link before 12 CDT today!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

As many of you know, this blog is just whatever I feel like on any given day. I must admit it was once much easier to blog when there were fewer Lutheran bloggers around. Heck, for a while, there was one pastor and a few laymen. We all just climbed into our niches and went on. Now, it can be tough to find something interesting to blog about because so many people blog about the stuff I used to cover. So, if you're wondering why there hasn't been much LCMS news lately, that's why. At this point, the only useful thing I have to say is that rebuilding New Orleans is stupid and leaving the Port there is even dumber.

Why you ask? If you look at a map of Louisiana, most of Southern Louisiana is on the Mississippi Delta. I'm sure now you're thinking I'm as crazy as a one-legged man trying to make hops. "Most of Southern Louisiana is swampland you idiot" I'm sure you're saying. Now it is, but much of what we call Southern Louisiana is various lobes of the Mississippi Delta. The fact that I'm talking about lobes of the delta should be setting off alarms in your head. This map should put to rest any doubts you may have. The river shifts. If the wonderful organization we call the Army Corps of Engineers hadn't messed with the river, we'd have a new delta lobe forming right now. Even with them messing with the river, they almost lost it in 1960s (I think it was 1967, but I don't remember and I can't seem to find any info on it at the moment). Anyway, the river will shift at some point, and no levee is going to stop it when it happens. Such is life. That also means New Orleans will go from a major transportation point to a useless mudhole. Not exactly a sunny prognostication for the city, is it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

We are now taking posts for Lutheran Carnival VI, hosted by Chaz. If you want to join this merry carnival, send your link (or a freind's link) to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. Chaz wants the posts by Saturday at Noon CDT.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

This is the best linkfest for 9/11 I have seen yet.
If you have thought about hosting the carnival, but have not emailed either Elle and I, please do. We currently have no one to host after Lutheran Carnival VI. It is an interesting experience. You get to read all the submissions beforehand (and reading the submissions takes up most of the time). If you are interested, email me at daniel dot sellers at gmail dot com.
Lutheran Carnival V is now up at Necessary Roughness. Thanks for hosting Dan!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

There are lots of things I would love to blog about. For instance, I would love to tell everyone about why you shouldn't ask me about why oil and gas prices have risen. I could also discuss another reason why New Orleans should be abandoned and why the port should be moved upriver. Of course, it involves a geomorphic explanation. I could also discuss my disappointment in University of Oklahoma football, my penchant for becoming a potty mouth when drinking and playing poker, the new store in Wichita called Gander Mountain (we couldn't manage a Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops). I could discuss who thought of putting a toilet seat on a 5 gallon bucket. I find this product quite amusing, especially the pocket for the reading material. This has "for guys only" written all over it. OK, maybe I've had too much fun reading the Cabela's catalog that came to me Friday, saying a percentage of everything I buy would go to the NRA Foundation. Which brings up another topic: why gun control is hitting what you aim at. I could have discussed that. I could have discussed my political ambitions, which includes a plan to reduce the number of lawyers, turning all farmland into hops fields, and sending Hillary on a fact-finding mission on the North slope, in the winter. I could have even discussed my Chargers and why the Faiders are perpetually overrated. I could also discuss why the Texas Shorthorns will be spanked by the Ohio State Luckeyes tomorrow and what a bunch of overrated yahoos Texas is.

Yeah, I could have written about all of that, and more. But I am distracted.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I went to get my lunch today. While standing in line, waiting for to get my sandwich at Quiznos, the guy standing behind me in line saw a guy he knew. They started talking and he asked the other guy why he was in town. The other guy said he was going through "diversity training."

Why do we have to train people to be diverse when it is well known that good manners equal good business? Are people so dumb that they can't realize that being polite and kind to one another leads to a good place to work? Are we so far gone as to think we cannot adjust to some of the realities of the world? People who I have talked to say diversity training didn't teach them anything that they didn't already know. They also said it bored them out of their minds. So, companies are paying for people to go training about something they already know, pays them to go to something they already know, and gets no productive work in return. What do you call this? A waste, that's what you call this. Add the politically correct garbage that is added to these programs, and you almost guarantee falling morale and an air of suspicion in the office. I am thankful I work for a company so small that we don't even think about crap like this, and guess what: it's a really good place to work. Imagine that. Of course, we know that we'll get fired if we say something stupid and offensive. It doesn't take diversity training to figure that out, and to figure out what is and isn't offensive.

Friday, September 02, 2005

I would encourage all my readers to please make a donation to LCMS World Relief. When our fellow brothers and sisters are in trouble, we help them. Whatever you might be able to afford, please give.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

One of the things I have is a KIOGA press kit. KIOGA stands for Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association, which covers just about every country except the majors that operate the Hugoton Gas Field, which is in Southeastern Kansas. Some of the more interesting stats are the differences in state taxes on top of the 18.4 cents per gallon. Alaska has the lowest taxes at 8 cents per gallon. Hawaii has the highest taxes at 36.3 cents per gallon. My fair state of Kansas has a tax of 25 cents per gallon. Wyoming's tax is 14 cents per gallon.

In case you are wondering about gas prices, consider you pay about $4.52 a gallon for Evion, $8.52 per gallon for a bottle of Budweiser, $19.68 a gallon for Scope, and $38.65 for Head & Shoulders Shampoo. Tobasco Sauce costs $63.36 a gallon. Jack Daniels (which can be used as gasoline in a pinch) costs $98.61 per gallon. Remy Martin Champagne costs $187.14 per gallon. Visine (get the red out) is a whopping $776.72 per gallon and the kicker is Flonase. If you use that, you're paying $14,763.45 per gallon. You might also like to know you're paying $2.25 a gallon for that Coke. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

As you all now know by now, New Orleans is mostly flooded and is turning into a demented version of Mad Max and I'm sure you've heard on the television and radio about how high the damage estimates are going to be. What I am about to say will be about as popular as a swarm of bees, but the geology and geomorphology must lead me to this conclusion. I don't think we should bother rebuilding New Orleans.

Yes, I said it. We shouldn't bother rebuilding it. When the city was founded in the 1700s by the French, they decided in their infinite wisdom to build on one of the most active deltas in the world. What does this mean? It means that the city will slowly sink. And it is. You see, when a sediment is deposited, whether it be silt, sand or mud, it isn't deposited in a very compact form. There's a lot of space between the grain, what geologists call porosity. As more sediment is piled on the existing sediment, the weight forces the rocks beneath it to slowly subside. As more sediment is deposited, the sediment beneath begins to compact and this add to the subsidence. Essentially, these two processes have depressed the city from its original above sea level position to below sea level. The fact that New Orleans is below sea level means that man has to intervene to stop nature by building levees to keep the water out. Having been to New Orleans 3 times, you walk up to the river. This is not way things should be. Depressions in a delta get filled. The levee broke and nature took over. It is currently depositing whatever solids are floating in the water all over the city. If we had let the depositional environment develop rather than halting it by levies, the city probably wouldn't exist in it's present form, but it wouldn't have flooded.

We spend millions of dollars operating the pumps that keep the city from drowning when it doesn't rain. We spend millions building and maintaining levies. All of this money is spent to fight a losing battle against the delta. This isn't exactly a smart use of resources. We could rebuild the city, but occurrences like this will become more common, as the city sinks further below sea level. If we are smart, we should consider New Orleans a lost cause and help the refugees settle somewhere else. We are going to be spending 50 billion plus on this storm and cleanup. How much will the next time be? I know this goes against everything our country believes in, but we should consider other options besides rebuilding the city. It might save us lives and money.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Saturday, August 27, 2005

While some may complain that my analogy between the church door Luther nailed his these to and a blog are not quite the same, but the same temptations can affect such a person. These temptations can affect those who write for a living, like people who write for magazines, people who write books, and people who write music. The temptation always hangs over us who blog. All of us can descend into a narcissistic self-love, patting ourselves on the back and saying how wonderful our writing is. And, of course, we can wallow in the love and accolades others give to us and tell ourselves how wonderful we are. Same difference.

With all of this, with our sinful nature getting in the way, we still manage to live in our vocation. By the grace of God, a bunch of sinners, stumbling, falling all over ourselves, and screwing things up along the way, manage to live our vocations. The world manages to continue to work. Imagine that. God works in spite of our sinfulness.

Anyway, I'm done talking about this. If you would like to submit a link to the Lutheran Carnival, go ahead and submit it to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. If you don't want to because you think it's a temptation, no one is saying you must.

There is the Gospel and there is the promotion of self. The two are antithetical. They are opposites. The Law is all about what I do. The Gospel is what Christ did and does for me.

I'm just going to assume that the pastor just became confused about the differences between the theology of glory & the theology of the cross and law & gospel.

Extra Thought: I find it ironic many of the people who complain about pride are all listed on the Lutheran Blog Directory. Just a thought.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

The latest article from The Scheister is now up. Preliminary descriptions include "Vile", "Very funny," and "Not vile enough." I think this is the most biting satire I have ever written.
I want to remind everyone to send your links for the Lutheran Carnival to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. If you need a reminder as to what format to submit your link in, go to How do I enter?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I hate it when you bite your tongue because you think it's the best course of action and let those with cooler heads fight your battles for you. Of course, when that doesn't work and the person in question responds with sarcasm, the weapon of choice on this blog is satire. In other words, look for the newest edition of The Scheister to emerge tomorrow. I'm sure Samuel Simon Schmucker can dig into the arguments and find some weaknesses.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lutheran Carnival II: Kyrie Eleison, Christe Eleison, Kyrie Eleison

Jakob Andreae

This is Jakob Andreae, another forgotten man in the history of Lutheranism, but a very important one. He was a contemporary of Chemnitz and an extremely important contributer to what became the Formula ofo Concord. You can read about him here. Thus, this carnival is in honor of another faithful servant of whom too few people know.

In case you are wondering what the theme for this carnival might be, look no further than the first word in the blog: random. I assigned all the emails I received a number based on when I received your email. Then, I wrote all the numbers on small pieces of paper and began pulling them out of a hat. Silly? Absolutely. Unnecessary? You bet. Keeping with this blog? Absolutely.

First up is Rev. Todd Peperkorn of The Lutheran Logomaniac who submitted the post Table Manners at the Lord's Altar. How should children (and their parents) behave at the Lord's Altar? This little article is a catechism for what to do, where, how and why it is important. It confesses Christ's presence in His Supper, and what this means for how we treat it.

The second post is by Stan Lemon at Confession of a Young Lutheran. His post The Dormition of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord is a meditation on the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It contemplates her role as an icon of the church and the deep incarnational significance of Christ dwelling within her womb. This post raised quite a bit of controversy (and not just on his blog). He also posted More on Mary, which clarifies on a particular phrase he wrote, "He gives us Himself in Mary, in the Word, in bread and wine, and in Water." His response clarifies what was meant by this statement and further explains the incarnational nature of our Lord and what it means for Him to take on our flesh.

Pr. Walter Snyder at Ask the Pastor gives us a post called Structure for Daily Prayer. Responding to a questioner's wandering mind, Pastor Snyder offers advice for keeping one's prayer life focused, full, and vital.

Jonathan of Jonathan's Christian Weekly gives us Ouija Boards. This is about the ouija board, a somewhat popular children's game which involves the apparent presence of a spirit communicating with the "players". A discussion with Biblical references follows. Just so you know, I have questions about one or two things he says.

Rachel at The Moose Report gives us a post called The time has come to post on Blended Worship. This post discusses the important points of a presentation at the WELS Worship Conference on blended worship given by Rev. James Tiefel, professor of Worship and Homiletics at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon.

Charles Lehman (AKA Chaz) of Drowning Myself Whenever I Can has a post called Christ fills the Old Testament. It is a brief essay attacking antiseptic Christless Old Testament interpretation and illustrating Christological interpretation of the Old Testament using the concept of seed.

An old friend from other places on the internet, Seminarian Ryan Fouts, and his blog Little Loci discusses the Theology of the Cross -- About Christian or the Christ? Luther's "Theology of the Cross" is one of the most misunderstood teachings of Lutheranism. Is the "Theology of the Cross" about our suffering, a therapeutic insight to "get us through" daily life's trials? No! It's all about Christ's self-revelation for us: it all goes through the cross!

Peterson of Cyberstones submits a post on The Golden Age of Missouri: Not Granpa's. He considers the current strength of the LCMS in light of her history and finds it better today than ever before.

I posted on the question What Exactly is a Confessional Lutheran? I did more rambling than answering the question, but I think it turned out OK.

Kelly of Kelly's Blog graces us with the post Garnet, for Evelyn. After winning first prize in the local exhibition with a poem she wrote some time ago, Kelly shares it with the blogsphere.

Bob Waters has a blog post so large, he built a whole new blog for it. His post called God Bless You is a response to a post from a week ago by Melancthon on What is Lutheranism.

Karl of Full Throttle & an Empty Gas Tank gives us a post on Lutheran Reading, Where he talks about what he's been reading and his initial thoughts about the new Book of Concord.

David of David Creates with Legos; God with Logos wants to see how far a simple question will go on the Carnival.

Pastor Klages of A Beggar At The Table gives us a post on Cerinthus
. He cracks open his e-copy of the Ante-Nicene Fathers to dig up the dirt on one of the earliest, yet littlest known, heretics.

Dan at Necessary Roughness writes Of Churches and PowerPoint. Some Confessional Lutherans are turned off by the use of PowerPoint as a rule. PowerPoint is just another visual aid, and done correctly, can be used to enhance services. Most people who use PowerPoint in worship services can benefit from pointers learned in delivering effective business presentations.

Pastor Mark Hasty at Coram Deo submits the post Division by Zero. It is an examination of the confessional concept that the preaching of repentance is a proclamation of the Gospel, NOT of the law.

Tim at Balaam's Ass talks about Wholesome Irrelevance. There is no room for conservative, liturgical, traditional Christians in the usual categories of American Protestantism (i.e., Fundamentalism and Liberalism). So where do we fit? Is the "otherworldliness" of confessional Lutheranism irrelevant in our modern world? And is that wholly a bad thing? Or are we, as D.G. Hart says, "wholesome[ly] irrelevan[t]"?

Greg Alms of Incarnatus Est has a post on The Three Births of Christians. The three births of Christians (birth, baptism and death) all show forth clearly the gift character of life as a child of God. God gives us birth; all is by grace.

Elle (a very cute lady, if I might say) of Intolerant Elle posts on her new Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord. Elle weighs in on her new copy of A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord.

Orycteropus of Aardvark Alley asks the question Luther Bigger than Oprah? A bit of Lutheran trivia moves Orycteropus to the throes of excursus on the influence Martin Luther had on the publishing world of his time.

Finally, Kathy of Kathy's Small Group Discussion Topics has The Story of the Two Swords. Kathy leads small group discussions for inmates at a county prison as a volunteer for Yokefellow Prison Ministry. This post is a story she uses to help the men think about having faith to the point of taking action and suffering for the belief.

That's it for now. The next Carnival will be hosted by IntolerantElle. On September 3, Aardvark Alley hosts, and on September 10, Necessary Roughness gets a chance to host. Beyond that, we are still looking for volunteers to host. If you would like to, you can email me at daniel DOT sellers AT gmail DOT com. The schedule will be updated at Lutheran Carnival. You can always find who is hosting on a particular week there.

Jakob Andreae,a different drawing