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.