Thursday, March 31, 2005

I have wanted to post for a while about all the music I really hate. I just keep forgetting about it. I'll probably post it tonight, and I'm posting this as reminder to myself to post about all the people, groups, and bands I hate.

Monday, March 28, 2005

As some of you may have caught, the Blog of the Week has changed. Yes, IntolerantElle was finally trumped by Sceleratissimus Lutheranus. What would trump election coverage? Critiquing the Purpose Driven Life.

I also forgot to report on this:

March 22, 2005 ................... LCMSNews -- No. 18

Israel Izidor, Haiti church president, dies

Rev. Israel Izidor, president of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti, died of meningitis March 20 in Les Cayes, Haiti.

A funeral service for Izidor will be held Saturday, March 26, at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Les Cayes.

Izidor, 54, studied theology at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, from 1985 to 1987. He was ordained in 1992 and began mission work in Les Cayes that same year, hosting worship services and a school for 20 children in his home. Izidor also served as the founding president of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti.

The Haitian church body was officially recognized as sharing altar and pulpit fellowship with The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod in 2001, when delegates to the Synod's national convention in St. Louis voted unanimously to formalize that relationship.

Izidor was known for his enthusiasm and dedication to sharing the Gospel among Haitian people and around the world, according to Dr. Douglas Rutt, associate professor of pastoral ministry and missions at Concordia Theological Seminary and former area secretary for Latin America with LCMS World Mission.

Izidor "was a visionary leader who did the work of an evangelist with great joy and extraordinary zeal," Rutt said. The Haiti church body, he added, "will certainly sense the loss of a great leader and guiding light who has been an inspiration to many."

"Our hearts are heavy at the passing of this highly esteemed brother in Christ," said LCMS President Gerald B. Kieschnick. "President Izidor has led the church in Haiti during some difficult times, both for the church and for the country itself, which has known great strife. We pray that God will comfort and strengthen his wife and children in their grief, and we pray as well for all the members of our partner church in Haiti."

Izidor is survived by his wife, Leonie; children Yelline (Genet) Gelin, Ketura, Ezechias, and Israelson; three sisters -- Agnes Prophete, Jeanne Jean-Louis, and Anne Bartley; and four brothers -- Charles, Leonard, Fidel, and David. He was preceded in death by another brother, Leopold.

Condolences may be sent to the family at Rue Capital No. 144, Box 15, Les Cayes, Haiti, W.I.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sometimes, you run into stories too good to not blog about. This is one of those stories. This is right up Ron's alley and would make Erica's sister (Nick's wife) cry.
I wish everyone a most blessed day of the resurrection of our Lord.

I awoke at 4:30 this morning to usher the 6:00 service this morning. Yes, it's only about 1:30 here and I've been up almost 8 hours. It's time for a nap. I'm watching pseudo-scholars called The Jesus Seminar spouting forth about the resurrection and why the Bible cannot be saying what it says. It's kind of like me saying they are a bunch of twits and someone reading this 2000 years from now and saying that I couldn't have said they are a bunch of twits because I said that they are a bunch of twits because over here I called them dweebs and that's contradictory. Actually, what's contradictory is the twisting of logic that's used to justify these propositions.

In case you didn't realize, I've bottled up a lot of venom that I am now unleashing against anyone.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

The Devotion for Easter Morning is up.
Jesus First/Daystar(NI!) are at it again, this time calling for the head of the Robert Kuhn, past Acting President and Chairman of the Board of directors of the LCMS. What did Chairman Kuhn and the BOD do to create such a reaction? He actually dared to change (hold your breath) the LCMS' legal counsel. Yep, that's right. Jesus First/Daystar(NI!) wants a special convention because the BOD decided to get new lawyers. Oh, we couldn't convene a special convention when Benke was tearing this synod apart, but get new layers? Oh no! We can't have that!

This whole Terry Schivo thing is just getting ridiculous. Where in any Constitution does it say the judicial branch is supreme? This is quite confusing to me because, if anyone would bother reading The Federalist Papers, the judicial branch is actually supposed to be the weakest. The legislative and executive branches not only have the right but the responsibility to give the judicial branch the finger when they need to. What also pisses me off is that Judge Greer or Green or whatever the hell his name is (I really could care less) isn't rotting in jail right now for contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena. Don't sit around. Throw the guy in jail!

I haven't had a really good rant post in a while. I guess a good theology post is also long overdue.

For those of you, like me, who have been looking for resources to praying the Daily Office, I found a workable solution. The Lutheran Liturgical Prayer Brotherhood Prayer Book. Scroll down to see it. I might have to get one of these.

Duke still sucks. Enough said.

NASCAR Nextel Cup is running the Easter 500 this week, which is a fun way of saying they are taking the day off.

Finally, LCMS Delegate Report Shows President Manipulated 2004 Convention. What joy. How do you make sure to get reelected? Stack the deck, of course.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The devotion for Good Friday is up.
The best way to make sure a given blog doesn't make it into my "Blog of the Week" category is to promote your blog in the comments. The best way to make sure your probation continues to be extended indefinitely, especially when I was just about to let you off, is to post meaningless comments on my blog.

Maybe I am being a little harsh, but I am a contradiction. I do like people to comment, especially when they have something to say. I don't like comments that are either "Yeah! I like that!" or "WTF?" or any others of that ilk. As a matter of fact, the less people comment but the more thought they put into the comments they do make, the more likely I am to enjoy seeing their comments. The more people comment like the above examples, the more likely I am going to treat it as comment spam and just delete them all.

BTW, I am testing out comments on my long blog. In fairly short order, I will be posting a response to a Daystar(NI!) article there.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

For those who remember last year and what I did for Holy Week, I'm doing it again, updating which hymns I am using and also putting the collects up as well. Please feel free to use this as you wish for either your personal devotions or as family reading.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I found this very interesting. Key quote:

Frist's statement echoed comments by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who said late Friday that he intended to charge Greer with contempt of Congress.

"No little judge sitting in a state district court in Florida is going to usurp the authority of Congress," he complained.

It is better, however, for you to contact your Congressman and get Terri's Law passed.
All of the KU fans in the area are about ready to hang themselves. They are all wondering how the champions of the Big 12 could go down to a Patriot league team. It's simple: KU didn't make Bucknell play bad and allowed them to hang around. In a one and done tournament, if you let a weaker opponent hang around, they can rise up and bite you in the rear. You may win 9 out of 10 games you play, but it only takes that one game. It only takes one game.

The plan today is to sit around and watch basketball, including my Sooners playing Utah, a matchup that, in all honesty, breaks my heart. When I lived in Utah, I became a big Utah fan because no non-Mormon worth his weight would cheer for BYU.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Yesterday was International Eat an Animal for PETA Day. Tomorrow we celebrate the legacy of St. Patrick, one of the most cherished men in Christianity.

If you haven't realized it, I had to reset my poll because it went silly on me. Thus, if you voted earlier but haven't voted recently, your vote is now somewhere in the ether of the internet and quite possibly irretrievable. This is my nice, gentle way of saying you need to vote again. Vote Daily. Vote Often.

Monday, March 14, 2005

You scored 30 Mass, 44 Electronegativity, 33 Metal, and 0 Radioactivity!
Sweet! You're quirky and non-confrontational... but you are also highly dynamic in relationships. You're kinda that "anything to anyone" type, but you don't demand that people love you for it. You very much do you own thing... and probably by extention you're the only one who can do the things you do. You're rarely found alone, but you'd get along great with other people like yourself. You're probably the only element that should try to find a mate who is just like you. Oh, and too much of you in a high-pressure situation can make other people act drunk... or die.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 22% on Mass

You scored higher than 85% on Electroneg

You scored higher than 12% on Metal

You scored higher than 1% on Radioactivity
Link: The Which Chemical Element Am I Test written by effataigus on Ok Cupid

Saturday, March 12, 2005

I finally came to my sense and finally put a permanent link to the Ablaze!© Calculator. This little gem keeps track of where with respect to the goals set out by the Ablaze!© program and actually tells us a projected date of when we will tell 100 million people the good news. Of course, you don't have to sting these people with the law before telling them the gospel, which is gospel reductionism at its finest. Anyway, the current projected date is June 23, 3033 AD. We keep getting further and further behind as we go. In essence, the program is failing while groups like the LHF, which are actually doing some good, don't even come close to sniffing that kind of money. Do me and everybody else a favor: if you want to donate money to missions, donate it to the LHF and keep it out of the hands of our SP and his Ablaze!©-minded cronies.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Life is good. I was reading about the Council of Nicaea in the magazine Christian History. Lots of interesting stuff. You should get the issue if you can find it.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

There are some quizes where you just know the answer before you start:

Lord of the rings
J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings. You are
entertaining and imaginative, creating whole
new worlds around yourself. Well loved, you
have a whole league of imitators, none of which
is quite as profound as you are. Stories and
songs give a spark of joy in the middle of your
eternal battle with the forces of evil.

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hat tip: John H.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

My sister is doing well and, hopefully, this will take care of the knee problems she has been having. She is on crutches, but has been sitting up and hoping around the house on her crutches. Continued prayers for healing are appreciated. Thank you to everyone who prayed for her today. It means a lot to me.
I'm not normally one to do this, but if you all wouldn't mind, saying a quick prayer for my sister because she is close to going in for knee surgery today.


Monday, March 07, 2005

Some of you may know that our SP has sent out a "pastoral letter" recently announcing the formation of another blue ribbon panel to study the governance of the LCMS after trying to jam through an amendment that eventually failed. Well, if you haven't seen it, here it is with appropriate commentary.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Greetings in the Name of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world and Lord of the universe, through whom alone we receive forgiveness, life and salvation!

In Exodus 18, Jethro counseled Moses regarding the governance of God's chosen people. He advised appointment of able leaders to serve as judges among the people. "It will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all these people will go to their place in peace." (vv. 21-23) Those words are on my heart, "God will direct you ... and all these people will go to their place in peace."

Too bad he had his goons, errr, the CCM centralizing power for him. Otherwise, I might actually believe him.

This pastoral letter is written after much prayer and contemplation about how we work together, relate to one another, and govern ourselves as God's chosen people in our beloved Synod. My prayers have been for God to direct us, that "these people" (The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod) may "go to their place in peace" as servants in the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For over 34 years I have served our Lord in the LCMS. Like you, I have been truly blessed by our Synod's confession of forgiveness and salvation through faith in Christ alone. Yet in the past few years I have become deeply concerned about the internal disagreements that have weakened our witness to the oneness that is ours in Christ. Such disagreements have resulted in discord and disharmony among us and have been a focal point of national Synod conventions for many years.

Maybe if someone would have had the guts to discipline people like the signers of a Statement of 44, we might not be here. But we are. What, pray tell, does our SP have in mind?

One matter causing contention during and following the 2004 convention relates to the limits of authority of the Synod's Board of Directors. This was the subject of Proposed Constitutional Amendment A, which was adopted by a 71% affirmative vote at the convention. Then, in the post-convention ratification process, 56% of the congregations of the Synod cast ballots. The result was a 52% affirmation from the congregations that voted, which is less than the two-thirds vote required in the congregational ratification process for the amendment to become effective. Thus the current wording of that Article of the Constitution of the Synod remains unchanged.

Translation: Boo, hoo. I lost the vote to consolidate power even more.

These votes are now history, but one thing is obvious. There is not broad agreement in the Synod regarding this matter. During the past few months several written communications containing conflicting information and counsel regarding this proposed amendment were sent to congregations of the Synod by various individuals and groups. Those who supported and those who opposed the proposed constitutional amendment endeavored to persuade congregations why it should or should not be adopted. Pastors and people reported to their District Presidents confusion, consternation, and uncertainty regarding the issues at stake and how best their congregation might respond. The people were not at peace in their place!

Blatant power grabs have a way of causing disharmony, don't you think?

It is apparent from this issue and others as well, that our Synod is not experiencing the degree of harmony and unity we all desire. We in the LCMS are not of one mind regarding how we can and should function together in love as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Throughout our Synod's history, its system of structure and governance has been discussed and disputed, revised and reorganized, altered and amended. With honorable intentions, we continue attempting to enhance, simplify, clarify, or rectify the way we live and work together in carrying out the purposes of the Synod. Yet we still have significant confusion and disagreement about what the Synod really is, what it does, and how it most appropriately functions.

These issues concern me deeply. Under Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, we must ensure that the Synod, a humanly designed organization, carries out all its objectives, especially the first one, to "Conserve and promote the unity of the true faith (Eph. 4:3-6; 1 Cor. 1:10) .." (LCMS Constitution Article III). Agreements on how we live and work together must not foster division, but serve to build unity.

Throughout the history of the synod, we have changed the constitution so that it has become more ambiguous, nebulous, and, in general, open to interpretation thu8s allowing for his ascension to our own form of the papacy. Even so, this isn't a disagreement about how we should govern ourselves, but about accountability, and especially for his sinful approval of DP Benke's participation at Yankee Stadium and his unwillingness to repent such sinful behavior.

The Synod in convention (2004 Resolution 7-02A) directed creation of a committee to be appointed by the President and Board of Directors to review matters regarding "officer and board responsibilities." That committee, with its special and limited focus, has been appointed and is to report to the 2007 convention of the Synod.

Recent events, however, have convinced me that more than this is needed. There is a great need for a thorough and fundamental review of what our Synod is, how it is organized, and how it functions. What was first created as an organizational system for a Synod made up of a small number of congregations now struggles to serve more than 6,150 congregations.

Therefore I have decided to appoint a special Blue Ribbon Task Force on Synodical Structure and Governance to review comprehensively the very complex system by which our Synod operates. I will be asking this special task force to report its findings and recommendations to the 2007 Convention of the Synod. Please remember its important work in your prayers.

So, we're now going to have two committees working on the same problem at the same time. Is this why we had to cut half our missionary staff, to fund another committee? So you're going to chose a committee to say "give the SP more power." Like I can't see that coming for a thousand miles.

The glue that holds together the LCMS is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This Gospel is revealed in the Holy Scriptures, which we confess are the written Word of God and the only rule and norm of faith and of practice. We are bonded in our belief that the Lutheran Confessions are a true and unadulterated statement and exposition of the Word of God. Under Christ, our mission together must not be diminished by lack of understanding or agreement regarding our walking together in love as a Synod. The way we carry out our mission, which is God's mission, must be enhanced and supported by organizing and governing principles that are in harmony with the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my fervent prayer is that "God will direct" our beloved Synod to work in harmony for the good of God's mission in Christ. As the Scriptures declare, "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" (Psalm 133:1, ESV).

God's grace, mercy and peace be with you all!

You know, every time I try to give our SP the benefit of the doubt, he always disappoints me. I try to obey the Eighth Commandment with him, I really do, but I can only get burnt so many times by someone before you find speaking well of someone impossible, especially when speaking well of someone could cause grave harm to your neighbor. It's kind of like knowing there is a robber living in your neighborhood. Do you speak well of the robber, or do you warn your neighbors and tell the police so justice can be done. In the end, the more loving act has to be warning the neighbors and praying justice will be done.
First, the poll went nuts so I had to go back and redo it. Secondly, I really don't want to point it out because, well, I hate tooting my own horn, but, for some crazy reason, he decided to toot it for me. I am really uncomfortable with this stuff and, honestly, I don't talk a lot about what I myself do because it sounds so self-absorbed. I talk about me teaching ESL because I know more than a few people who read this blog have experience with it and you all sometimes email me or leave me tips. Other than that, besides maybe one or two mentions, I really try to keep to myself and make this blog as fun as possible to read.

Speaking of fun stuff, I have to talk about my hiney. You see, I, like many people, have a hiney. I really like my hiney. I think my hiney is cute, especially when I get to see it. My hiney sometimes makes sounds that tell me that it is doing just fine. How I wish many of you could have a hiney as wonderful as my hiney. No one should go through life without a hiney because, without a hiney, you have nothing to walk with. Oh, sure, you still have leg muscles, but walking with a hiney is so much easier than walking without one. So, in conclusion, I like my hiney and, if you have a hiney, you should like it and love it as well. So ends the insanity.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

As is my occasional custom, I changed the comment lines again. I didn't realize it, but I had the Spanish Inquisition lines up for over a year. This time, the lines are inspired by the Argument Clinic sketch.
Since I have many new readers and many of you haven't mined the archives, I'll occasionally bring up an old post or two which I think is still worthwhile and unleash it upon the unsuspecting "new" people who now read my blog. So, in that vein and with much fear and trembling, I bring back to you all a short essay I wrote and posted on this blog called those unwilling to use the binding key have no business using the loosing key.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I haven't blogged in a while.

I would encourage you to go Sceleratissimus Lutheranus and his series critiquing the Purpose-Driven Life.

Find it here, here, here, here, and here.

I also wanted to make sure to tell everyone the mole that was removed is benign. Thank God.