Sunday, October 29, 2006

And so it ends...

You know, I never thought I might actually close this blog down, but the time has come. Marriage has created new responsibilities but also new opportunities. That being said, while this blog is going to no longer be updated, Random Intolerance is my new home. Elle would announce the same on her blog, but all the access info and software is on her computer, which is on the fritz. Hopefully you will hear more from my wife at the new site, and I'll post a little more. I'm not going to blow up this blog until I can figure out how to move all my posts (all 1043 of them) over to the new blog. Until then, this will serve as an archive of all my stuff. Please update all your blogrolls and bookmarks to reflect this change. Thanks to all my readers and I hope you'll follow me over to the new blog!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

24 Trailer

Random Thoughts goes video with the 24 trailer. Take a look. Heck, even John will want to see this. You have to watch a Toyota commerical (see Swede, Toyota has good taste in the shows it sponsors), and then hit the play button again to see the trailer.

Update: Video removed due to complaints.
My laptop at home still won't load blogger or any blogger sites. What in the world is going on? I tried dumping all my files and cookies. Nothing. I tried rebooting. Nothing. It's annoying not being able to read your own blog at home, where most of my ideas for posts come. Not that I have had a lot of ideas as of late, but the point still remains. If anyone has any clue as to what in thee world is going on, let me know.

Update: It's fixed now.

Monday, October 23, 2006

For some stinking reason, my own computer won't let me on to blogger. This is crap.

Lutheran Carnival XXXV is up at Theonomy. The next carnival host is The Markel Family. Posts are due by November 3rd. The carnival should be up on November 5th.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Midwest Beerfest was a success. We went, we drank, we did not drive home. You don't get drunk there unless you really try. Only one of us seemed to be trying, and it wasn't me. I paced myself and still only used half the tickets I had. Of course, going to the seminar added six more samples. My wife enjoyed the beer, I enjoyed the beer, and saw a friend I hadn't seen in a while. One of the local pastors showed up in his collar. Fun was had by all. Everybody came over to our apartment and we fed them. It allowed everybody to sober up. Everybody went home, and now I'm here typing.

The Chargers are playing the chefs tomorrow, it's a 12:00 start, and I have a potluck and voters meeting to go to. You can imagine how happy this is making me.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Posts for the Lutheran Carnival are due tomorrow at 7 pm CDT (0000 UTC Saturday). Please make sure to use the format.

Why is it the stuff you think no one will comment on gets tons of comments and the stuff you think will get comments doesn't?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The response to my idea of an online journal was underwhelming, so I'll let someone else eventually come up with the idea. I think I would write for it, but running something like that is just too much. Besides, the Lutheran Carnival is plenty for now.

Speaking of the Lutheran Carnival, posts are due Friday at 7 pm CDT. I am giving serious thought to making the posts due 0000 UTC Saturday so the time doesn't change on a worldwide basis. Of course, when we fall back, the time would change, but that's because UTC doesn't change.

Now that that's confused you, I must make note that at least one of the Lutheran reality TV junkies replied to my post with numbers. I would reply he should crunch the numbers between, say, January and May of last year and see how it turns out. The reason why I bring this up is because I could have been a major stooge for 24 last year, but I wasn't. I made a few posts reminding people that it was coming, but that was about it. Oh, and now I am part of an organization called Blogs for Bauer (proudly, I might add. I fully endorse them. Yes, that endorsement on the right sidebar is mine). I could have posted all 24, all the time, but I didn't because a) that's not what most of you want to hear about and b) complaints from a certain Englishman not to be named who was saying I was ruining plot lines for him during Season 4.

I endorse International Talk Like Jack Bauer Day.

The point is, I could turn this thing into Random Thoughts of 24 (with the occasional thigh shooting), but I don't. 24 is something I like, but it doesn't domineer my blog for the five months it's on. I could start my own separate blog if I wanted to do that. Maybe I should.

Anyway, enough complaining. I've decided the first non-Lutheran blog to become Blog of the Week (or longer) is Blogs for Bauer, because they alerted me to the 24 trailer. How many men does it take to stop Jack Bauer? I don't know, but it's more than a Chinese freighter has, I know that.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I haven't blogged much as of late, but that's because married life is keeping me busy. I am enjoying it. I have found it is much better than being single by a longshot.

One of the reasons for the paucity of posts is because I am no longer publicizing my struggles. I've just decided any problems I may or may not have will be discussed with my wife. I found talking to her is much easier than blogging about them.

That being said, I have a new pet peeve: reality TV blogging. Please people. If you want to watch the stuff, fine, but don't expect me to be reading your posts anymore. I've seen two good bloggers turn to mush because of reality TV.

It is a dangerous thing to be WELS and reading about magpies.

I have a new idea for something, but I just don't know if it is viable considering the participation we have for the Lutheran Carnival. That being said, however, I wondered if anybody would have any interest in writing for a "journal" of sorts. It would be a four times a year thing absolute maximum. More likely than not, once a year would probably be good. I was just thinking about this while reading the Daystar Journal (I do it so you don't have to), and I wondered what if bloggers decided to take write something substantial with references, and post it on the internet? I thought there might actually be a demand for such a thing. The only problem is that, while I have the idea, I don't think I could even remotely consider running it. I am Mr. Scientific, and I don't have a clue as to how theology journals are run. I know how to use a modified version of the APA method, and being comfortable with that, I would require such, thus driving everyone else mad but Kletos Sumboulos and I. Anyway, if you think this is a truly viable idea, let me know. Let me know if you think I'm off my rocker as well.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

I am frustrated. I haven't been the best at advertising carnival dates as of late, and it shows. Submissions are down. Nobody is reading the main carnival site. Basically, I am once again asking the question as to whether keeping this thing running is worth it. I need everybody's help. I need people to advertise the carnival. I need people to encourage their fellow bloggers to submit to the carnival. Considering the time the hosts and others have put into this, help me make it worth their time.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Have you ever been in a situation where you just can't seem to keep your foot out of your mouth? I sometimes get that way when it comes to church, especially when I get nostalgic for the LCMS. There are times I wonder whether or not I should go back and once again have all the things I miss. Then I normally remember all the things I don't miss, and my mind calms in the end. I do fight for some of what I miss, but I also found fighting can make you say things in a less than constructive manner.

It seems like a lot of bloggers have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Josh doesn't have a link on my blog since the first three or four months of my blog, when I didn't have links. He was the first blogger I linked to, and I'm very sorry some DPs can't stand the fact there are men out there who are not going to comprimise. I'm also sad to see Chaz suddenly disappear. It makes me glad that I'm out of the LCMS. Now if some WELS people see what I wrote ...

On a sad note, a fire in a hops wharehouse wiped out 4% of US hops production.

If you need to waste time, go here.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Motley Magpie is now updating their website, and they will post all twelve of their issues soon. Think Gottesdienst with a bad case of indigestion and a willingness to fart in the room just so you know it. Elle and I were discussing some of the articles in the first issue and we are now wondering how. There is nothing in that first issue that was anything close to being a reason to get thrown out of the WELS.

There is a passage in Ecclesiastes which says, "With much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief." (1:18, NIV)

It's tough to blog when you cannot talk about the things most on your mind.

Anyway, I have to go think some more about life, the universe, and everything.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

First, I need to catch up.

LC XXXI is now up at What Did Jesus Do and LC XXXII is up at Outer Rim Territories.

Secondly, posts for LC XXXIII are due tomorrow at 7 CDT (0000 UTC). Please use the format.

Thirdly, I have a lot of ideas for blog posts.

Fourthly, this blog was once upon a time a source not only news about the LCMS and commentary about the world, but also a place where I would place weird and obnoxious links. People would openly wonder where I would find this stuff. Now, my grandmother had to have three feet of her colon removed due to a blockage, so I went looking for products to, let's just say, make sure something like that doesn't happen to me. I think I found my salvation: Colonblow. For those who remember, an old SNL skit with Phil Hartman had an ad for a cereal called Colonblow. These guys are in the same spirit of the skit while peddling an actual product. The stuff apparently works, as the poop pics show.

Finally, I have one more thing to say about my earlier criticism of the Common Service in Christian Worship. In many ways, my criticism is, ironically, driven by an ecumenical spirit. While this may sound strange, the common service is just that, the common service that spans Lutheranism in America. It's also the one service almost all the confessional elements within Lutheranism can agree on. When the implosion of the LCMS finally happens, many will look towards their old friends in the WELS and the Synodical Conference is restored, whose service will be used by the new friends? The ELS and the LCMS have made much more conservative revisions to this service. Will they use the WELS service? It would be much easier for the WELS to revise their service to a more conservative form than for their partners to stomach the changes the WELS made to the service. More than anything, that is why I want to see the changes mentioned.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrrrrrr!!!!! So if ye don't want to walk the plank and end up in Davey Jones Locker, get yer pirate talk out, shiver me timbers, and show some piratitude! Arrrrr!!!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

I have no internet at home at the moment. Hopefully, when I come home on the 12th, there will be the internet awaiting me. What a lovely thought. I managed to survive a couple of weeks with little to no contact with the internet, the news, or blogs. It was a lovely time.

Yes, I dropped off the face of the earth and got married in Alaska. I was hoping to announce it to the world, but considering my sister-in-law planned the wedding and came close to going crazy in the process, I am fine with her announcing it. Two bloggers actually made it to the ceremony. Min2B managed to crawl out of bed after going to Hawaii to join us, and Chris Halverson also showed up for the service. It was a pleasure to meet both of you in person, and I hope next time there will be time for beer. If you gentlemen have any thoughts on the wedding, you are more than welcome to post them.

I do suggest if you ever get the chance to drive the Alaska Highway, do so. Just remember to have your shocks and struts tested before you head out. The part from Hains Junction to the US/Canadian border has a lot to be desired.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Lutheran Carnival posts are due this Friday. Email them to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com.
What fast food chain are you?
Your Result: You are Dairy Queen!!!

Deciding to offer the people the sweeter things in life, you provide the general public with a nice delicious flavor that is generally welcome only after the main event. Little do people know that you have sweetness in yourself, as well.

You are Subway!!!
You are Taco Bell!!!
You are Pizza Hut!!!
You are KFC!!!
You are McDonald's!!!
What fast food chain are you?
Which Pirate are you most like?
Your Result: You Are Most Like Barbossa!!

Not always the greatest to hang around with, but you have a presence about you that makes people want to know you. You are a born leader, even if you do sometimes abuse that power.

You Are Most Like Jack Sparrow!!
You Are Most Like Will Turner!!
You Are Most Like Elizabeth Swann!!
Which Pirate are you most like?
You have a 26% chance of going postal!

Good news! You're not very likely to kill your coworkers. You seem very well adjusted. You rock! Talk about those feelings!

How Likely Are You to Go Postal?
Create Your Own Quiz

Friday, August 11, 2006

I eliminated a link because, lo and behold, it is no longer a personal website but an advertisement for porn. Those guys swoop in and use any website they can get their hands on.

I have been reading some about WELS and worship and trying to figure out how the synod ended up where it is now and what might be done to improve the situation as it stands. It's not that WELS is in a bad place. I just think things could be made better. If I were on the WELS Commission of Worship, these are the changes I would make.

The Common Service (aka pg 5 & 15 (TLH) or DS I (LW))

First thing is make sure to show one is allowed to make the sign of the cross on oneself when invoking the triune name of God without being Catholic. It is OK to make the sign of the cross. I do it all the time at my new church. Fire and brimstone doesn't fall on my head when I do it. Purgatory doesn't swallow me up. They do have the right idea having the pastor face the altar rather than facing the congregation and making the sign of the cross.

The second thing is moving the Kyrie into the confession of sins. It shows that the liturgists in WELS need to do a better job of educating their people and pastors as to what the Kyrie is and why it is in the liturgy. The Kyrie is always one of those parts where the temptation to move it is there. We shouldn't.

Third, the verse is an opportunity for the congregation to sing praise to God. The pastor says it instead. I miss singing the verse.

Fourth, get rid of the translation of the Nicene Creed. It's bumbling, doesn't read well, and is gender neutral, which I dislike. There is no reason for our synod to use an ecumenical translation when we're not all that ecumenical.

Fifth, why did they move the offertory to before the offering? That's putting the cart before the horse.

Sixth, The Lord's Prayer is in the same place, communion or no communion. It's placed after the general prayer. It needs to be moved back to its proper role before the verba in the communion setting.

Finally, they need to bring back the majestic language in the Proper Preface. Singing "with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven" is better than "with all the saints on earth and the hosts of heaven."

Anyway, many of the complaints I have for the common service also hold for the other services. In the Service of Word and Sacrament, the Kyrie is where it is supposed to be. I just wish they had used the traditional language of the liturgy rather than inventing something new.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I just want to remind everyone that Lutheran Carnival XXX posts are due 7:00 pm CDT Friday. You really need to get them in on time because I will be busy this weekend. Then again, I have been busy every weekend as of late. And weekday.

I looked for the ELCA carnival this week. It seems to have failed. That actually saddens me. Believe it or not, I thought Walking the Midway had a lot of potential. If the circumstances were better, it might have taken off.

I hate allergies.

Kansas is hot this time of year.

Confessional Lutherans can become fundamentalists if we are not careful. People of all stripes can become fundamentalists. I believe there is such a thing as a progressive fundamentalist.

I need sleep.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Another excellent season of Music Theater Wichita is in the books, and another season of trying to watch the shows around women's big hair. What in the world possesses women to create the huge obnoxious hairstyles that block the views of those behind them. We're already a million miles from the stage in the balcony, and asking me to try to watch the action around that gigantic dome of hair you probably spent hours teasing into place is just that last straw. Ladies, if you don't want half you hair burned off your head, leave the hair down.

It appears the lawsuit is back on, at least according to Concord. Kieshnick may have opened himself up to this by settling the former lawsuit. This new twist has four members of the BOD taking count II of the original lawsuit and intervening. It appears they have the high-powered attorneys of Brian Cave, the group that put out the controversial opinion that started this in the first place. Knowing that both parties are dreadful sinners, there are one of two things that happened. The first is a little perplexing, but the second is, in military terms, beauitiful and yet so uttelry devious. The first explanation is that they saw the lawsuit failing and decided the second point was not solved to their satisfaction. This is the charitable explanation.

The second explanation is not charitable in the least. What it says is that the lawsuit filed by the Lutheran Concerns Association was a diversionary tactic in order to force a settlement on the part of Kiechnick. Once he settled, he opened himself to another lawsuit. He took the bait and led himself right into an ambush. This opinion is also held Concord (from whom I admittedly stole it).

The AC got fixed Monday afternoon. The stupid fan fell apart.
I am hosting the Lutheran Carnival over at the home site. If you have any submissions (we have a whole whopping one at the moment), send them to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com and we'll make sure to put them up. Participation has been down as of late, and I would love to see many of you who used to submit but now don't begin to submit posts again. Anyway, use the format and remember you can submit posts from other blogs (as long as the writers are Confessional Lutherans).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

As wedding bells get slowly but surely closer, I thought about my past two churches and what happened. I realized that the past two churches I was a member of had problems meeting my admittedly low expectations. What kind of expectations should we have of our pastors? I don't know about you, but I expect two simple things. First, the pastor must divide the Word of God rightly. Second, he must administer the sacraments rightly. In my first Church, they had problems with both, and in my second church, they had problems with the latter. That wasn't so much the female elder as the open communion.

By the way, I got a thing in the mail today from my old church. They are inviting me to a dinner. Thanks, but no thanks.

Anyway, I need to go to bed. I haven't gotten any sleep the last couple of nights because the A/C in the house went caplut.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Today was a breath of fresh air. I went to a voters meeting and it went well. One of the biggest things I noticed was that with an all male vote, things went quickly. Admittedly, the most discussion was repairing the roof, but we went through quickly, didn't ask too many questions, and nothing was discussed that got really nasty. I came out of the meeting in a surprisingly good mood, which differs quite a bit from what I normally feel after a voters meeting.

I am slowly becoming more and more impressed by the WELS as I get more familiar with the synod. For instance, this article shows how the hymnal, Christian Worship (CW), has helped WELS accept some things that it would have never accepted not to long ago. For instance, WELSians in the past had a deep dislike of chanting of any kind. One of the things CW did was get the people chanting the psalms, and also get them chanting period. It also is helping overcome some of the disdain towards the pastor chanting. So, for all the things that may annoy me sometimes, there are good things happening.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I looked and suddenly realized I have not written anything of any substance for a while now. It's not that I don't have anything to say. I have a lot to say. It's just when I get to a computer, I have often forgotten what I want to say.

I have been thinking a lot about marriage lately which should surprise none of you since I am to be wed soon enough. I think back to how exactly things transpired, and I believe it was good for both of us. One of the best things about meeting someone over the internet, for all the bad that it can cause, is that you really get to know the person and become attracted to them because of factors other than looks. What is a shock is meeting the person in the flesh for the first time. I don't think I ever mentioned exactly how scared I was when I first saw her. It didn't hit me until I landed and had to get off the plane. I ran to the nearest bar for some liquid courage and waited.

I don't want to tell the whole story, but a word of advice to anybody who is thinking about or is pursuing a relationship over the internet: it takes a while to adjust to the person in real life. It is a funny thing, especially since we knew each other so well because of the many conversations Elle and I had before we met. When I had to leave the last time I went up and visited, I broke down. We were praying Compline together and I had a hard time making it through the service without crying. It was hard. I decided that would be the last time we would be apart and not know when we would be together again. I guess there is still one last goodbye, but that isn't really a goodbye. It's more like see you later.

I've probably said enough for now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I have not been good and reminding everyone about this as of late, but I remembered tonight. Lutheran Carnival entries are due by 7 pm CDT (2400 UTC) tomorrow. If you have an entry, send it to lutherancarnival at gmail dot com. I'm sure Chaz will be happy to take it.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I apologize for not having responded to some of the comments made recently. In general, I don't respond to comments unless they are really good, very challenging, or they piss me off. When I do respond, I find writing a post to be the best way.

Remember what happened to 2/3 of the Magpies?

That's how WELS deals with people who want to be "catholic".

Caveat emptor!

I had no clue as to what the good Father was talking about, so I did a google search. For those (like me, for instance) who do not know what he was talking about, this little journal is what he is talking about. Apparently, it caused quite a stir within WELS, especially when you realize how small the synod actually is and how low church the synod acts. They called for chanting, weekly use of the Lord's Supper, and a host of other things that seem very normal to me but make most in the WELS creeped out. Would some of my fellow WELSians wonder about me when they see a crucifix hanging up on my wall? Probably.

I will take the warning to heart. You see, above all else, the weekly celebration of the Eucharist is on the top of my list of change. I believe if that changes, many other things will follow. I hope and pray.

But they'll have to acknowledge the divine institution of the Office of the Holy Ministry first... minor details like that, that are only there "so that we may obtain such faith" (AC V).

It's been a long time since the days of sending PMs on a bulletin board. Let me say something to you that I have heard from more than a few WELS pastors and maybe some in Missouri would agree. Both WELS and the LCMS say one thing but, overall, practice something else. WELS may in theory believe what it says, but in practice it all seems to be much more like the LCMS than any of you may realize. The LCMS has had a WELSian view of the OHM in her official practice since 1989. Lex ordandi, Lex credendi.

Indeed. And there is SO MUCH BETTER in the general Wichita area--Grace (LCMS) McPherson and Christ (LCMS) Hutchinson have been long time homes to many from Wichita, and they will be in the right place when Missouri finally completes its implosion, whereas the WELS will continue its self-satisfied slide until the few within her finally come out decades too late.

Pastor Stefanski, I did prayerfully consider going to Hutch for church. I also prayerfully considered my fiancee's view and some past baggage she carried with her. You neither know these things nor how they affected my decision. Things are not nearly as black and white as they may seem to you, and deciding to do what I did was so much tougher than you might think. As for the slide, it might happen, but I have good reason to believe such a thing has a very good shot at being reversed. Seeing many of the men coming out of WLC, I have good reason to be hopeful.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Eschatology is one of those topics that keeps coming up every once in a while. It is amazing how much time people spend thinking about the end and what is going to happen. Often times, they want to skip to the end and not give any thought to what happens when our own personal end comes. One of the things that Lutheranism is very strong on is personal eschatology, which deals with what happens to me. This doesn't tend to be emphasized in Dispensationalism, even though it is one of the most comforting doctrines to those in Christ.

I'm not here to discuss personal eschatology, however, but to discuss John and how John writes. Anyone who has read the Book of John knows how out of sequence some of the events seem to be when compared to the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). The clearing of the temple is early, rather than late. Things are all out of sequence. If you continue by reading 1 John, things start getting even wierder. He seemingly contradicts himself and continues to say the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. If you ever have the time, read 1 John in one sitting and note how many times he says the same thing. When we read Paul, we understand him because Paul, for all his Jewishness, still thought like a Westerner. John, on the other hand, thinks like a near Eastern man, and it shows. His ideas go in circles. He keeps telling us the same thing over and over again. We don't think like this. John wouldn't have been bothered if, when writing about Christ, he told the story out of sequence. It doesn't bother him that he thinks circularly.

It is here where we get to the question: how can a Dispensationalist think that the Apocalypse of St. John (Revelation) gives a linear time line when nothing else he has written resembles anything linear? A Dispensationalist commits the error of being a literalist while not being literal. A literal reading would take into account John's tendency to wonder and be non-linear. This isn't anything new. People have been looking to older writings to determine how to read newer writings by the same author for years. We do this with other Biblical writers. A Dispensationalist, however, doesn't let other writings by the same author to get in the way of a bad hermeneutic.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Having read some about the issues sweeping the ELS, I just have one question: why in the world are they going to civil war over this? We (the WELS and ELS) are in communion with the Ukrainian Lutheran Church, a church that practices the threefold division of the ministry. This is more radical than anything Rolf Preus may believe, but he has to go? I think it is safe to say that I am perplexed by the Doctrine of the Ministry in my new synod.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Being a new WELSian has been interesting. This past Sunday, people introduced themselves to me as former LCMSers gone WELS. The common theme was the whole SEMINEX controversy and what was going on during that time. I heard about Sunday School curriculums that blatantly said trust the SEMINEX leaders. I heard about people who were in a lot of pain. We discussed when we thought the LCMS would begin ordaining women. I say within the next 20-30 years, myself. The whole women as elders and as elected leaders in the congregation is a step towards this, no matter what people may think and say.

I have found I must adjust to a new mafia. Being the Godson and nephew of a pastor and a cousin of a DCE allows one to see the LCMS mafia in action. Yes, there is a LCMS mafia, and how you become a member of it is being either in the ministry or have family in the ministry. I have two degrees of separation between me and the First Vice President of the LCMS, and he probably doesn't know it. Everybody knows everybody. Now I am in a Synod where I know three pastors. I needed multiple pairs of limbs to count the number of LCMS pastors I know. Anyway, I now have to slowly weave myself into the WELS.

There is a culture shock. The Common Service is familiar, but there are enough tweaks to it to make it difficult to follow along without a hymnal. The newer services don't seem to have much in common with anything I know. That's just reality. I expected it.

Friday, June 23, 2006

I figured out what was going on. I didn't move sitemeter over to my new template. I forgot to move a lot of stuff (technocrati, blogwise, etc) over to my new template. Ooops.
Wow. I just looked at my numbers. Wow. I haven't seen numbers plummet like this since the stock market crashed in 1929. It is ugly. I went from 50 unique visitors to my blog on a bad day to single digits this past week. Ouch. Is there some reason why some of you are not visiting anymore, not like you're reading this anyway. Do you not like the new look? Do you not like the fact I am WELS now? What did I do wrong to lose you my readers?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

I admit that what I had to do while trying to sort things out wasn't the best solution. You might almost think of it as being in a state of confession against a congregation. Not the best solution, but the best I could do while trying to change the situation.

I am sure some of you were either disappointed that I have moved on. I haven't abandoned Lutheranism. I still will defend the Biblical truths proclaimed by the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. WELS is the best place for me to do it now, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. There are no ELS churches in the area (the nearest is in Carthage, Missouri, a four to five hour drive away and home to Precious Moments). I honestly admit the transition from one synod to another might be easier, buy I am slowly becoming more comfortable with the WELS. I can at least go from one WELS church to another and know what to expect. There isn't much diversity, which I appreciate. The LCMS is becoming too diverse. If you want to know what happens to a diverse church, look at the ECUSA. They're diversifying themselves out of existence.

Anyway, the lawsuit nobody wants to mention has been settled. I agree with the author of the piece, in general. I did not like the lawsuit, but it seems to have accomplished what it set out to do. The goals of the suit were good, but the suit itself wasn't. The fact there was a lawsuit filed, in a strange way, shows what a poor leader Kiechnick is. If you want to elect another moderate, fine. At least elect someone who can lead. The analogies comparing Kiechnick and outgoing ECUSA Presiding Bishop (must stop laughing) Frank Griswald are numerous. They are both politicians rather than leaders, and they both used less than honest methods to get their way.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXVI is now up at A Beggar at the Table. The next host of the Lutheran Carnival is yet to be determined, but you all might get lucky and I won't have to do it.
Ever since Elle and I started talking to each other, I wondered if this day might come sooner or later. I had a feeling I might end up taking the step I took today a long tome ago. I thought I might have to do this sooner or later, and I also realized that neither of us go where I was and raise a family. I would have liked to, and my Evangelical Catholic leanings really pull me towards places like my former church. It is too bad I could not remain there.

Anyway, I am now a member of a WELS congregation. Are there things about WELS that bug me? Yeah, but nothing like female elders. I think I would rather deal with these little things than have big issues hanging over my head. When I met with the pastor, most of my major questions to him and the Vicar had more to do with the liturgy than doctrinal concerns, even though I did ask about the Office of the Holy Ministry. I'm still not sure I completely understand it.

Anyway, this is now a WELS blog. I will still keep up with what concerns me about the LCMS, but no longer as a participant, but as a concerned observer. I still love and respect the synod that nurtured me though the first 30 years of my life, and I still have family within the synod. I'll just also have to add WELS issues to my plate now. I'll probably be the first WELS blogger pushing to make the synod more catholic.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.
This has now reached critical mass. I have no hosts for Lutheran Carnivals XXVII & XXVIII, which happen to be the next two carnivals. This means I am hosting the next two carnivals unless someone decides to step up and host. If you decide you want to host, contact me at daniel dot sellers at gmail dot com.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I am sure more than a few of you are wondering what the cryptic message I left Friday meant. I am sure a few of you know what I was talking about and are wondering what I might have left to say. For the first group, I need to explain myself. For those of you in the second group, I'm going to take the one point that seemed to hit home and expand on it to the point where it becomes painful.

If you've read some of what the Terrible Swede has said about what has happened at our church, you at least have some idea of what is going on. One of the things you must understand about Immanuel was that it was the liberal congregation in town. They started putting females into major roles within the church in 1991, with the direction and full blessing of the pastor at the time. When they submitted their revised constitution, the District rejected it because it allowed females in major leadership roles in the congregation, including elders. So, they elected female elders and went on happily and the District did squat about it. The pastor neither followed the rules of dissent (yes, there is a formal dissent process within the LCMS, believe it or not (see here for a take on the dissent process)) nor even attempted to do so, as far as can be seen. Of course, the feminism lead to all sorts of other problems within the congregation (pro women's ordination, pro-choice elements, and open communion) which also had consequences on the events to come. In any case, the pastor took a call. The vacancy pastor had the same views as the previous pastor, and so things continued until the current pastor was called two years after the previous pastor had left. He soon discovered what he had to deal with.

How did I end up there? The current pastor, for all his faults, is the most confessional pastor in the area. I got to know the pastor through various ULC (University Lutheran Center at Wichita State University) events, and at the Terrible Swede's wedding, where I was a groomsman. In any case, I joined the congregation not truly knowing all that had happened. It all came to a head at the voters meeting from hell in December 2004. Let's just say most of the elements that didn't like what pastor was doing left, many for ELCA congregations. Many of us figured this would be the end of all the problems. It was. For a while.

In Early May, I went off to see Elle in Alaska. One of the greatest things that ever happened to me has its roots in that trip. I mention it for two reasons: Elle is the main reason why I did what I will soon tell you, and I got a nasty cold from flying in airplanes for 8+ hours with people carrying colds. That cold kept me from the May 2005 voters meeting where a decision was made that forced me and my many friends into action.

When I joined, I was under the impression that female elders were a thing of the past and that Immanuel would not go down that road again as long as our pastor was there. That was the impression I had and I think my friends had, at least. Since I was sick, I did not go to the voters Meeting. Can you guess what happened at the voters meeting?

The consequences of her election were not noticed immediately. She did not assist in communion initially. By October, however, she was at the altar distributing the Blood of Christ and disturbing my friends and I. We brought our concerns to the pastor, who allowed us to commune separately after the service for a while. This was not a set up that most people liked. The Altar Guild didn't like it because it meant they had to wait to take the communion set down. We didn't like it because we liked communing with the rest of the Church. The Council didn't like it because we were making a statement that we were not part of the congregation (which we were). In essence, it was the best compromise that could be reached at the time.

My Uncle died in January this year. I told you all about what a rough time it was for me. What I didn't discuss was what added to the pain. Less than a week after burying my Uncle, I was in a meeting to discuss ESL with my pastor and a gentleman who taught with me and the head of the Social Concerns Board. After that meeting was over, Pastor asked the gentleman and I to stay for a bit and talk about what happened on the Women Elder front. Pastor had told us that he was working on solving this problem. Ultimately, what the council decided to do was resubmit the constitution with the changes made in 1991 and ask district what they needed to change to get the constitution approved. In a move that surprised everyone, the constitution that was not OK 15 years ago was suddenly OK. District approved it.

It was at this point wondering if all was lost. I was trying to decide what I wanted to do and how I was going to go about doing it. My decisions varied from wanting to just fade away to fighting. It was one day at work while I was thinking things through while scanning well logs into the computer that I realized what I was going to have to do. All the while, I made sure my conscience was clean. I had to practice selective fellowship. I just did not commune when she was up there, which was a lot. The elders were minus one elder, so whomever happened to be around to fill in did, and she was it most of the time. The council eventually asked those of us who did not like the practice to commune in the front pew. What that meant was communing like a person who could not come to the altar. I was willing to go along with it, but there was no woman elder there that Sunday, so I communed as a normal communicant. After discussing it with one of the others who did not like the practice, I decided not to go along with it because he was not comfortable with it. The council then asked us again to commune in the front pew. I never did get a straight answer to the question of whether it was a strong request or if they wanted to force us to do it. At that point, I stopped communing anytime she distributed. I no longer communed after church.

As I said in the preceding paragraph, I made a decision one day in March at work. I had to take into consideration my future spouse, any children God may bless us with, and my sanity. If it were just me, I would have stayed and fought. I had to take kids I didn't even have into consideration and asked myself if I could honestly take my future wife there when she has problems with what is going on and my kids through it? How can I catechise my kids in the truth while going somewhere that doesn't seem to want the truth to get in the way of their clique? I couldn't. It was time to go.

So here I am again, floating in Lutheran Limbo, praying that I made the right decision, and fervently praying for my former congregation and its pastor. A lot of damage happened because of this episode, and many people suffered because of it. Was it worth it?

If anyone out there says that it was worth it, you need to be hit with a 2x4 over the head. I saw how you all reacted when I said that this episode killed the ESL program. I saw the uncomfortable looks you all had when I asked how are you going to minister to the neighborhood without ESL. The Church is no longer building the relationships that need to be built with the neighborhood and the trust that will bring people to join. That all went when we left. I heard lots of talk discussing how we need to bring people in to increase the cash flow of the Church. What do you all think ESL is? It was a ministry tool to try to bring unchurched Hispanics into our congregation, help them to become faithful and active members of the church, and to help the church continue long after we were gone. What happens when the older members all die? How will the church continue? It isn't going to continue as Immanuel Lutheran Church, I can promise you that. The hope for the future is Immanuel Inglesia Luterano. The neighborhood you are in demands it. How are you going to grow without ESL? How is the church going to survive in the bario continuing to be an English-speaking congregation? It may sputter along for five, ten, maybe even twenty years. At some point, the reality of the situation must become clear, and unfortunately, it may already be too late.

Do you think any Hispanic will find female elders acceptable? If you think so, you are deluding yourself. You might be able to convince the females of it, but there is no way any Latin male would ever go for it. Machismo is a big part of life in the bario. Female elders just are not manly. Without the fathers, you have a one generation stay of the inevitable. Read the studies. Fathers have a much bigger influence on whether their children go to church than their mothers ever will. If dad goes to church, his children are much more likely to go. Not only that, they are conservative on social issues. That means they are pro-life.

What does this mean? A congregation in the perfect place to do Hispanic ministry is completely out of touch with the surrounding neighborhood and, by its actions, cut itself off from the community. Unless something drastic happens quickly, I am afraid Immanuel will die.

So what are my options? There are two different ones, but I will let you all wonder until Sunday. Then I will reveal what I am up to.
I just wrote a huge post and lost part of it because I forgot to save it as a draft and because I then forgot to cut and paste. It sucks.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

After this next carnival, we need two hosts for the carnival. If you are open to do the Carnival over the weekends of June 30th and July 14th, we can use you. Email me at daniel dot sellers at gmail dot com if you are interested in either date. The open dates are listed on this post.
I know many of you checked in after the meeting Sunday to see if I had anything to say. I have two words for you all: not yet. I have more to say, but it will be later.

Speaking of later, I am going to do a major overhaul of this blog and the blog template soon. I have a lot of rearranging and adding to do, so if you link to me, but I don't link to you, tell me please.

Kansas drivers suck. They won't let you merge, they don't know what a turn signal is, and the word freeway seems to mean someplace either to go 80 or 30.

How come every time I hear the song "Living After Midnight," I can't stop thinking about the fact Rob Halford is gay.

I bought a suit to get married in. I finally have a 100% wool suit. Every man needs at least one jet black wool suit.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXV: Witsunday is now up at Journalistic Jargon. You can continue thanking Ron for delaying the Carnival's appearance. Next up is Pr. Klages at A Beggar at the Table. The Lutheran Carnival is finally going international!

Friday, June 02, 2006

I've often been accused of being harder on my own than on those who are of other denominations. That is absolutely true. I will criticize much louder those who are in my own family than those who are outside my family. I hold them to a higher standard. So if you ever wonder why I have consistently railed against the LCMS while not saying a peep about the ECUSA or trying to cause havoc in the ELCA, it's because of this fact. I don't even let confessionals out of my crosshairs because we deserve criticism too. For instance, Josh is right about confessional Lutherans complaining about Ablaze!(TM) and then not living up to the great commission. We do a good job of criticizing, but not such a good job practicing what is being preached.

Time for me to hit the sack,

Monday, May 29, 2006

I just finished checking the email for Lutheran carnival submissions, and there hasn't been one yet. There was a piece of spam (actually, 149 pieces of spam) but no submissions. I urge you to get your submissions in by Friday at 7pm using the proper format. Mrs. T. Swede is hosting for the first time, so please send her stuff in so we aren't wasting her time. Also, I am still looking for hosts for Carnivals XXVII-XXIX. If you want to host, let me know.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I am so glad American Idol is over. Once the bad people are gone, I just lose interest. I guess you can call me a connoisseur of the bad. I enjoy bad poetry. William Topaz McGonagall is perhaps the best of the worst consistently. A Tragedy is considered to be the worst poem ever written in the English language. Don't believe me? Read it yourself. Alright. Want a sample?

Trust me. It gets much, much worse.

Thus, I look forward to next year's American Idol so that we can see the bad show their stuff.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A few of you haven't bothered to read the "Wanna Comment" link because I've had two anonymous commenters on my last confirmation post. In case you have forgotten, let me remind you what I do to anonymous posters.
Anonymous comments will get you permanently banned without a second thought.

I have done that. It's nothing personal. I hate anonymous comments. Period. If you want to question me and my ideas, fine. If you want to wonder why we hold to the Book of Concord, that's fine too. You can do it just as well with your name and email address out there for all the world to see.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I have been distracted since Elle arrived a week ago. It's not to say that there hasn't been time I could blog, but we've been busy. Expect blogging to not be quite so regular and to be much more random for a while. Who knows when I'll blog next? Who knows what I will blog about?

Monday, May 15, 2006

I reread the comments of my confirmation posts, and I realized almost all of them were exceptions to the rule rather than the rules themselves. Admittedly, those exceptions test the rule, but no one bothered to argue that what I pointed out is the way things should be. Many of you seem to think that I think the pastor has no role in the instruction of our youth. Our pastors are the pastors of our congregations, from the newly baptized infant to the oldest member. First and foremost, our pastors should encourage parents to take their responsibilities seriously. If that doesn't work, then they need to step in.

The parents should be teaching the children because that's the way it was meant to be. Honestly, if you all want to continue to argue all the maybees and things that might happen, go ahead. Before you think of the next excuse, remember this: instructing our youth isn't about teaching them how to live. Instructing our youth is about teaching them how to die.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I hate yardwork. I have allergies, and all yardwork does is turn my eyes red and makes me sneeze. As much as I hate yardwork, the most pointless part of yardwork is edging. Edging truly is the most pointless activity in the whole yardwork sphere. We have to make sure our lawns don't cover any of the beautiful concrete we poured. Nope, can't have that. They have to look like we are in control when, in reality, they spend more time and energy in than lawn than in doing things that are more important. I propose we go back to the original definition of lawn: a sheep pasture.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


Here we are at the next Lutheran Carnival. As I am scrounging up addresses and trying to put together a mailing list of family and friends, I take a some time to get the Carnival up. Yeah. Who am I kidding. I drank too much Friday, and spent most of Saturday playing "The Sims." Now I'm racing to get the Carnival up.

When you dig into the annals of Lutheranism within the United States, you find some interesting characters. While digging around for obscure theologians, I found an unobscure person. This man is famous within the realms of Lutheranism, but his story isn't told anymore. Who is this? Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg. The son of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, he accomplished a lot, including serving as the first Speaker of the House. Not too bad for a Lutheran Pastor.

The first post come from Frank at Putting Out the Fire. Titled We Only Believe in the Bible, he gives us his thoughts on the importance of the Confessions in response to those who say "We Only Believe In The Bible! Who are you to say what the Bible says?"

Chris Pluger (as opposed to all the other people named Chris in the Lutheran blogsphere. There are a few) of the blog Cafe Diem gives us Abide with Me where he reflects on a favorite hymn. Thanks to both Chris and Frank for their first-time contributions to the Carnival!

Kelly of Kelly's Blog gives us two posts. First we have Fascinating Little Comment on Ask the Pastor, where Following up on Pastor Snyder's excellent summary thoughts regarding the concept of an "age of accountability," Kelly notices that sometimes how a question is asked reveals something about how the nature of faith is understood. In her second entry, The Concept of "Children's Church", Kelly posits that today's practice of herding children away from the Divine Service into their own separate "mini-church" is often the result of viewing the Sunday service as a human work, not as a place where God distributes his gifts to all his people.

Dan of Necessary Roughness sends in two posts as well. His first entry, National Day of Prayer Tomorrow, a day before the National Day of Prayer on May 4, he looks at the prayer suggested on the National Day of Prayer website and offers some critique and alternative text. His second post, Rainbow Connection he adds a picture of a rainbow that he took outside his parents' house in Missouri, accompanied by God's promise never again to destroy all flesh on the earth.

John H., our British friend from Confessing Evangelical, sends in two of his posts. The first being Office Gossip, where he celebrates the "liturgical triumph" of the Church of England's new office book, Common Worship: Daily Prayer, pausing only to bemoan the lack of a (portable, modern English, non-Gregorian notation) Lutheran equivalent of similar quality. In his second entry, My Life as a Fool, his recent reading of/about Richard Dawkins leads him to recall his own days as an atheist, and how the arguments that sustained his atheism - very similar to those used by Dawkins - were not so much overcome as bypassed in his conversion back to the Christian faith.

Disgruntled World Citizen of Full Throttle and an Empty Gas Tank sends us two posts as well. His first, I Got This in the Mail Today, he discusses the best way to get a Qu'ran. Hey, it was free! His second post, Unveiled is an (opening?) salvo from him discussing the new "New"-hymnal of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod... and the uncomfortable feeling I got from the "marketing" campaign booklet that was received in the mail a few days ago.

Pr. Klages, Husband of Kelly, pastor in the LCC, and writer of the blog A Beggar at the Table, gets back to business with two posts. His first, part of his ongoing Anti-Brevary, Pricillian, he resumes his quest to discover the awful truth of heressies with this latest installment, in which he finds out more about the first executed heretic. In his second entry, Compiling a Compilation, he is looking for Christmas songs in all the wrong places. Can you help him?

Be Strong in the Grace sends in the post A Gift for my Son's First Communion. TKls2myhrt reflects on recent discussion in the confessional Lutheran blogosphere regarding the value of pastor-led confirmation programs. There also have been side arguments of the appropriate age of confirmands and the usefulness of confirming all kids at the same time. These arguments have intrigued, yet irritated TK. Probably because her household has been steeped in confirmation for the past three years.

Pr. Snyder of Ask the Pastor send two more posts in. In Pregnancy and Marriage, Rev. Snyder of Ask the Pastor responds to
a woman who doesn't want to marry until after she has the child she is carrying. He uses Scripture and logic to encourage her to marry quickly, even in a small civil ceremony, then save the larger celebration for a more appropriate time. He then examines the fallacy of an Age of Accountability in terms of salvation, emphasizing Original Sin and baptismal regeneration as arguments against such a concept.

The Aardvark of Aardvark Alley sends two hagiographies of Friedrich Wyneken, Pastor and Missionary and Frederick III, Elector of Saxony. Aardvark Alley provided several new hagiographies during the past fortnight. Among them are a couple of interest to Lutherans. He remembers Friedrich Wyneken, a founder of the LCMSand Elector Frederick the Wise of Saxony, Luther's protector and prince during the Reformation's early years.

Luther Library sends in the post The Blessings of Weekly Communion. Luther Library reviewer John bar Thunder examined and recommended The Blessings of Weekly Communion, a new book from Concordia Publishing House.

On the oops front, Vicar Chaz of Drowning Myself Whenever I Can sends in the post Sermon for Jubilate. Vicar Lehmann preaches a sermon that is strongly influenced by the recent death of a parishoner after a 12 year fight with leukemia. Sorry Vicar for missing your email.

Elle of IntolerantElle posts about CSI: Pawn Shop. The engagement ring she sent to me is missing. Who took it? Stay tuned.

Finally, I posted some more about confirmation. I give more reasons why I dislike the practice.

Nerd Heaven is the host of LutheranCarnival XXIV. Posts are due on May 19th. Send them in!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

First, I have neglected my duty as host of the next Lutheran Carnival to remind everyone to send in your submissions ASAP to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com using the submissions guidelines. All posts are due by midnight CDT (0500 UTC Saturday). Why midnight? I have no plans to work on it Friday night because I'm turning 30 and I'm going to be drinking. If you want to come, meet me a Buffalo Wild Wings.

Secondly, John H. writes about the lack of a high quality daily office in Lutheranism. It's not because one doesn't exist. It does, but most people don't know about it. There is a downside to this book: it's all Gregorian chant and Jacobean English. There is an upside too: it's all Gregorian chant and Jacobean English. And really, for what you get, the price isn't too bad. Anyway, there are Lutheran alternatives out there. Just don't expect Fortress Press, CPH, or NPH to be stumbling over themselves to produce something of this quality. I still haven't bought it, but I am seriously considering it since Elle and I are getting married. It would be nice to have the Office in such a great resource.

Finally, pictures of men with children drive women crazy.
This whole planning a wedding thing is getting very interesting.

First, we had to decide on the service itself. Now. I'm trying to figure out how to get everybody where they need to be when they need to be. Finally, I need to decide who gets invitations and who doesn't. It shouldn't be too difficult, right?

Friday, April 28, 2006

This is the funniest geology website I have seen. The funny thing is, almost every geologist would say most of this should be true. The interpretation of the last picture is the funniest of them all.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XXII is now up at Ask the Pastor. Thank Pastor Snyder for hosting while you are there.

The next host is Random Thoughts of a Confessional Lutheran. Remember you can go here to see who's hosting what when. By the way, there are still three spots open.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I think it's time to defend myself.

First thing, Pr. Todd Peperkorn wrote a post on hi blog called Confirmation in the Lutheran Church. This excellent summary describes confirmation throughout the history of the church. One of the most telling things is how confirmation made a comeback in Lutheranism during the age of pietism. Confirmation verses also came to being with pietism.

Secondly, rejecting confirmation does not mean no instruction should be given. On the contrary, children must be instructed in the faith to prepare them for the first communion. They must come to an understanding of the basics of the faith and show they are able to examine themselves. This should be instruction given by the parents with the help and support of the pastor. Again, we must encourage parents to pray with and teach their children. This also frees us from saying that everyone has their first communion at a certain age. Some kids might be able to come to the Lord's Table earlier than others, but we put on a "one size fits all" system. Kids who might be ready have to wait, and kids who aren't ready get sent to the table anyway. Parents and their pastor can make an informed decision about when they are ready to go to the Lord's Table, when they are ready. This will allow kids who are ready sooner to partake in the gifts of God, and those who may not be ready can continue to receive instruction.

When the defenders of the current system say that confirmation instruction is the only instruction these kids may get, I say that is part of the problem and the current system isn't helping at all. The current system allows for this! Dump your kid off at Sunday School, allow him to go to confirmation for two years, and the parents think they have done their job. The current system allows parents to be lazy. How, pray tell, is allowing this to happen part of the solution? How can you defend something that encourages the very behavior that we are trying to discourage?

Is no longer confirming kids radical? Yes. Are there other solutions to this problem without getting rid of confirmation? I don't know. Requiring parents to attend with their kids is one possibility. As much as I want to sit here and not trivialize my own confirmation (I did make a vow to stay faithful even until death), I sit here and wonder if my own confirmation was meaningless. Pietism had its way with me at that time.

If you are a parent not fulfilling your responsibilities at the moment, it's time for you to get cracking. Literally, it's now as easy as putting a CD on. If you are a parent and you are taking care of your responsibilities, even if you might be a little late in doing so, take heart. Be thankful that God is doing his good work for your children, even if it is hard work for them. You cannot undo what was done, but you can continue to be faithful, and learn from the past. I pray I can do half the job you all do.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Much of my relationship with Elle has been what people around here call bass ackwards. What I mean by that is that we have kind of done things in reverse. It seems like every major step we have taken has been out of wack with what people might have expected. We knew each other well before meeting, we didn't have our first date until four months into our relationship, and I knew she was the one before we met in person. So, it should come as no shock when I say we have set a date before I officially asked her to marry me. Much of the bass ackwardness of this relationship is due to the fact that everytime I fly to see her, I receive enough air miles to get a bump to first class. She has the ring (it is an heirloom of her family), it needs repairs, and I am 3000+ miles away. We need to get the ring repaired and resized. Not only that, we need to move her down here, plus our families need a much notice as possible for the weddings. Thus, bass ackwarness.

I need to get something off of my chest about confirmation: I think we should junk the rite. It was possibly one of the most meaningless rites of passage I have gone through, and that is exactly what it has turned into: a rite of passage. Confirmation classes and Sunday School are miserable excuses used by parents to not teach their children the faith. They figure Mrs. Higginsbottom and Pastor Sjovben will do it for them. Getting rid of confirmation will go a long way to fixing the situation. So what if grandma and mom are up in arms? They let things get out hand and didn't do anything about it. Blow up confirmation, kill Sunday School, and use all that extra time to teach the parents how to teach the kids.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

I need to find something really obnoxious to write an enormous post about. I used to be able to pound out an anti-Kieschnick rant with the best of them. Now, I don't care all that much. I used to read every piece of information on Ablaze(TM)! I could get my hands on. Now, I just want to ignore the world and relax. I used to be able to spit venom with the best of them. Now, it seems like all I want to do is drink beer and wait. Maybe I've gained more wisdom as time has gone by. Maybe Elle is being a calming influence on me. Maybe there's something else driving this bout of apathy. Maybe.

Anyway, I have other things to think about. I have a lot of planning that needs to be done, and soon. I need to find somewhere new to live. I need to get more aggressive at work. I need a lot of things.

I probably need to crawl between the sheets and get some zzzzzzzzz. Maybe I can find something to rant about tomorrow.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I have been keeping busy as of late. Life seems to be getting a little better recently. Heck, it can't get much worse. Right?

I've been having too many pity parties for myself lately, and I realized it when Dr. Veith was posting quotes from Forde's On Being a Theologian of the Cross. I was going "Woe is me," and struggling with God, but now I remembered I am just going to have to struggle for a while. Once I remembered that, I had peace which had been missing for a while. Nothing is more depressing than seeing you didn't learn your lesson the first time. Nothing is more joyful than relearning the lessons you forgot and reapplying them to your life. I guess I'll continue to be stubborn, but I also need to remember we are all guilty of sin and the bad things that happen are a result of it.

I hope you Easter went as well as mine, and I wish you all well these next 40 days of feasting.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Sorry I haven't posted at all this week. I wish you all well this Holy Weekend. I am sure I will have news on Easter.

Monday, April 10, 2006

For those wo remember, I posted small devotions for all the days in Holy Week last year. I thought I would direct you to them again for you all to use as you wish.

Palm Sunday (oops)

Monday of Holy Week

Tuesday of Holy Week

Wednesday of Holy Week

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Holy Saturday

Easter Sunday

Thursday, April 06, 2006

One of my well-kept secrets is that when I wake up in the morning, I awake to the sound of Christian radio ringing in my ears. Why do I do this? I do this because I want to get up, and when I'm hearing people piss me off, I tend to awake with a little more fervor and get going. I don't get nearly as mad as when I occasionally listen to National People's Radio and hear commentary being passed off as reporting (I've yelled at the radio at times), but I do wish to smack some sense into some of the preachers after listening to their pontificating on many subjects. This morning, as much as I put up with the late Dr. J. Vernon McGee's premillennialism, I often hang on to listen to Grace to You. This morning, I about wanted to take the pointed end of my hammer and destroy my radio. I would have yelled, but many of the people still sleeping would not have appreciated my enthusiasm for the subject.

There was just so much wrong about this sermon this morning that I really don't know where to begin. You know, with a name like "Grace to You," you would expect some sort of Gospel being proclaimed. Well, move over Gospel, because here comes the law. I do not know how John MacArthur did it, but he managed to condemn the pharisees while driving people to become pharisses themselves. Obey, obey, obey, obey, as if the love of our Lord Jesus isn't enough to move us to do good for our neighbor. Of course, he's preaching on whether or not someone is saved or not, and he's using the law as a weapon to put doubt into people's hearts. If you're not good enough and you're not obeying God you are deceiving yourself and you're not a Christian. If there is one good thing about this is that it isn't law lite or some other incarnation of a less than terrifying law. Heck, it probably would have scared me to death, except I have confidence in God's work in me, not my work.

So I went about my work today, scanning logs, digitizing log curves, trimming maps, and reading about siliciclastic tidal flats. Then I went to the Y and got pissed when some people hogged a weight machine. I went home, ate dinner, and now I lay in bed typing this post up on my laptop. Heck of a day John. I didn't manage to follow any of the beatitudes. Darn, I must not be saved. Of course, your decision theology always puts doubt into the hearts of believers, and they go around asking "Am I good enough?" I know I'm not good enough. Christ took care of that and, I know it might be beyond your comprehension John, but I did good for those around me. Those logs I scanned will help keep people warm in the winter, fuel your car so you can get to your job, and make money for my coworkers so we can all survive.

I would venture I did more good for people by doing my job than he did for his parishioners by preaching that sermon.

Friday, March 31, 2006

I was reading about layered mafic intrusions today because I am bored. I am reading it out of a petrology textbook over 20 years old. I bought it because my more modern petrology textbook sucks. Blatt et al can go suck a rotten egg as far as I'm concerned. Best's first edition is better than Blatt et al's current offering.

James Lee Wilson's Carbonate Facies in Geologic History is a must for anyone who deals with carbonates on a regular basis, like I do. Carbonate Sediments and their Diagenesis by Robin Bathurst is also a must have.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

You know, I am going nuts. I mean it. There is a lot of stuff that has happened to me over the past few months that I haven't discussed on this blog and probably won't discuss for a while, if ever. Some of this is just so screwed up that I really don't want to discuss it publicly, and the few who do know about all that is happening to me are not talking either. Well, in certain aspects, sort of.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Scheister is coming soon, and there will even be a commentary by an old Jewish man to go along with it. Basically, you're getting the whole package. It needs a little more editing and maybe a little more background, but it should make you all laugh.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Did the Russians give away our war plan?

The Return of Patriarchy

DeathStar and the new BoC.

Unless your head was buried in the sand (if it was, you better tell me if it was well or poorly sorted, rounded or angular, etc...), you have seen much of the Confessional Lutheran Blogsphere go absolutely crazy about the Doctrinal Review Board pulling its certification of the new Book of Concord (just called BoC from now on). Various hypotheses have appeared to explain this. I have now given a man you can have confidence in, a man whose integrity as a reporter is beyond reproach, a man who always gets to the bottom of a story no matter how much (expletive deleted) he has to wade through. Yes, I am talking about Samuel Simon Schmucker and The Scheister. No stone will remain unturned (or carefully looked over for ore), no lead remain unscrutinized, no bad geology joke will remain untold with Samuel Simon Schmucker on the job. Leave it to him to tell the whole story.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I wish to let it be known that I have only received four entries for the carnival. If you haven't taken the time to do so, grab your favorite beverage (be it hot or cold), sit down for a bit, and see what gems you can find in these older blogs. If you are having trouble figuring out where to look, here are a few suggestions.

The First British Lutheran Blog Ever
All the Fullness
Bunnie Diehl
Journalistic Jargon
Love and Blunder
Full Throttle and an Empty Gas Tank
Theology Geek
Terrible Swede
Necessary Roughness
Katie's Beer
The Moose Report
Beggars All

I do not know if this even begins to cover the possibilities.
I was playing with the Wayback Machine, preparing for the next Lutheran Carnival (hint hint) and I ran into an old post that truly demonstrates what kind of a blogger I was once upon a time.


Why do I still find this funny? You know, I thought I was beyond all the pettiness and stupidity. I guess I can be serious and discuss theology with the best of them, or I can be, well, the guy who says things like that.

Anyway, the Carnival is due this Friday. As a reminder, you can't submit your own stuff, but only the stuff of others that is dated no later than March 2005.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

What you do, do quickly is back and as feisty as ever. I have never been sure what to think about this blog. It reminded me of me a lot in my early days. That might be why I was one of the few people it seems in the Lutheran Blogshpere who is hesitant of accepting this blog. I have raised hell. I have called people out. I've been crude, rude, unsightly, and an ass, normally all at once. During this whole time, however, everybody has known who I am. I haven't been the most charitable to either Kieshnick or Benke. It's hard to be charitable when one admits he isn't much of a theologian (and we expect him to keep other theologians in line?) and the other constantly squats over altar and pulpit fellowship and takes a nice dump upon it. Maybe it will turn into a coprolite and then it will become interesting to me. Anyway, the point is you all know I said these things about them. If someone wants to bring the hammer down on me, there is plenty of opportunities to do it. As someone who does put his neck out there and waits for the chopping block to fall, I find the whole being anonymous thing to be annoying. Honestly, if your going to say inflammatory things and piss people off, at least put your name on the thing.

With that said, I am completely dumbfounded how LutherChik could confuse TK and me. She is a nice ELS lady from Minnesota, and I am an ass who attends a LCMS congregation in Kansas. She was the one who was polite, and I was the one who was being an ass. Do you see a pattern here? Her blogs are nice, and mine show what an ass I am. The fact you couldn't see what a gradeschooler could figure out probably should tell you and your copatriots to give up the "holier than thou" routine because you couldn't even figure out who "thou" is.

Friday, March 17, 2006

My dear Great Aunt had a wonderful church to belong to. It was what I always thought a Catholic Church should look like. There was a lot of artwork scattered throughout the church. Statues of Jesus and Mary predominated of course. This church also had some of the most beautiful stained glass I have ever seen. The apostles are all presented in this stained glass. In the evening, the sun shines in and lights up the glass, giving it a otherworldly appearance. This is an old Catholic Church built after a tornado ripped through this small town in 1911 and destroyed the original church. It is part of the old German Catholic farming community that sprung up in the area. The priest is an older gentleman, but a man who showed both love and mercy to my Great Aunt. She was baptized, given her first communion, confirmed, married, and buried in that church. That blows my mind.

As with her brother (my great uncle) before, she died well. She died clinging to her baptism and clinging to the crucifix. Along with my uncle, they all set an example for me as to how to die. As long as I die clinging to my baptism and to the hope set in front of me through the crucifix, I have nothing to fear from death. They all look forward to the life to come, as do I even now. I thank God for the faith he gave all of them.

I walked into the Church, and besides the stunning beauty of the Church as a whole (they don't build them like that anymore), there were honest to goodness hymnals. Yes, I saw big red books sitting in the pew racks. I was stunned. I opened it up and actually found the hours listed and I also found the mass in the hymnal. There were missalettes also in the pews, but I didn't see the letters OCP anywhere in this church.

The choir was a liturgical choir and the priest gave something resembling a law and gospel homily. I think it is quite difficult for anyone who preaches at a funeral to not preach the gospel at some point. One of the most shocking things at the graveside service was when we prayed for the next person in the group who will die. It brought it all home: God can call us home at anytime.

I came away from this funeral mass thinking much more highly of Rome than the prior funeral mass I had attended. Maybe it was the whole country church vs city church dichotomy that made things more comfortable for me. Maybe it was just the environment that made things wonderful. I think I can say this: God willing, I pray I won't have to attend another funeral mass for a while.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XIX is up at Be Strong in the Grace.

What are people saying about the LC?

Oh me..I may have spoken too soon. I checked out some of the past carnivals done by this group..some of them are a bit to the right of Atilla the Hun.--LoveisTruth

Those guys are mainly seminarians and Pastors from the LCMS. Not only that , they are part of the confessional movement. They are some hardcore people. From what I read in their blogs, The elca is not lutheran and 90% of the LCMS are not either. One is to liberal and the others are to Protestant. Honestly I think they want to crown themselves bishops. IMO.

There is useful information though, just to be fair.--thinkstoomuch

I've read through this "carnival" before. Waaaaay too scary for me.:-O (In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld in one classic Seinfeld episode, "That's one angry clown.")--tawonda

We're being compared to Atilla the Hun? I just thought we were people putting our ideas out there and trying to preserve 2000 years of catholic history. I also find it amusing they think all of us are disgruntled LCMS types. Maybe my girlfriend (who is WELS) might dispute that, along with the current LC host. She belongs to the ELS. Of course, some of our contributers come from Canada (LCC) and England (ELCE). What do I know? I'm only one of three snobby, stiff-necked, backwards laymen that run this thing. Oh yes, you heard me. I am a layman. There's no pastoral conspiracy, no clergy pulling the strings behind the scenes, nobody actually telling us how to run this thing. Rather, we have a group of laymen concerned about what people think about Lutheranism and willing shout to say there is a different way to be Lutheran besides the ELCA way.
How come death seems to be hovering around me and my family as of late? I had a great aunt die on Friday. Her rosary was today. I'll have a report about the funeral tomorrow.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The announcement post for LC XX is up. You need to read this post to see the new protocols implemented for this carnival only. Call it an experiment.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I saw Josh's comment on my last post, and it reminded me of something I know intrinsically but just don't think about all that much: blogging is hard. You don't know how many times I agonized about what to write about. There are days where the topics fall into your lap and you just write out your thoughts on the matter. There are other days where you know you have a list of about 20 things you want to write about and can't seem to remember any of them. Unfortunately, that is my situation most of the time. I try to remember all there great ideas I had in my head, but they just disappear into the void that is my brain, never to be seen. I have no idea why this happens now. It could be the fact that I've blogged about a lot of different things and I just have trouble finding creative things to blog about. There's also the fact that most people don't find the emplacement of granitic plutons all that exciting. I don't really find it all that exciting either. Mapping them is quite boring when it comes right down to it.

Anyway, I have this really crazy idea for LC XX. I'll just have to see if we (and I do mean we) can pull it off.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I occasionally like to wax poetic and think about "the good old days." OK, the "good old days" was where the total number of Confessional Lutheran blogs could be counted on two hands. Two years ago, the whole of the Confessional Lutheran blogsphere was contained in 10 blogs. How do I know this? Between Josh and I, we linked to every know Lutheran blog. Two years ago, there were 10 of us. Josh railed against Calvinism, The Swede hasn't changed much, Preacherman was the "pastor" of this group, Thomas was wondering if he was still Lutheran, Chris the Brit was the only guy in the UK blogging, Chris of All the Fullness was doing what he still does, just more regularly, Dave of "The Sick Soul" held out hope for the ELCA, (I wonder what happened to him), Neal of "Yeah" was the only WELS/ELS blog out there (I wonder why he's not blogging much), Keith A raged as only a chemist could, and I made sure Kieshnick and company didn't get too comfortable. There were 10 of us each with our own niches and well-defined roles. Now there are hundreds of Confessional Lutheran blogs. Not too far after February 2004 is when the blogsphere exploded. By the time 2005 rolled around, I couldn't keep up with all the blogs.
One of these days, I'll have to write up a history of this little niche of the internet.