Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Four days. Rather than the normal two day event that epitomizes most viewings/funerals, I went through each ceremony except the committal twice. Two viewings and two funerals. Double the pleasure, double the fun. I actually think this extended cycle helped, however. There were a lot of people who went to the first viewing, while not so many came to the second. It gave me time to be alone and pray in front of his body. It gave me time to vent, cry, and release a lot of the sadness I felt. I still feel sad, and I believe I will mourn him for quite a while. He was not only my uncle, but my Godfather and a man who helped me out more times than I can count and I will never be able to repay the kindness he has shown to me over all this time.

One of the things that gets said as comfort to us is that he is with his Lord now, and he rests in peace. That is true in one sense, but the fact our souls should have never been ripped away from our bodies in the first place tells us this is an uneasy peace. It is peace, but an incomplete peace that will only be soothed by the Lord returning again and restoring what should have never been torn. Let us never forget the fact that Christ is the resurrection and that, not heaven, will be our ultimate joy.

I almost lost it a couple times yesterday. The Nunc Dimittus got to me, as did the Proper Preface (the "all the company of heaven" part really got to me). It was a tough first service.

This has been a tough week. I am glad I am slowly but surely crawling out of the funk. I thank God for the wonderful family I have.

Monday, January 23, 2006

There was a death in my family this morning, so my blogging is going to be even more erratic than it has been as of late. Anyway, I would appreciate it if you all submit posts to the carnival at lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com. I hope you all have a wonderful week.

In paradisum deducant te Angeli; in tu adventu suscipiant te martyres, et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Ierusalem. Chorus angelorum te suscipiat, et cum Lazaro quondam paupere æternam habeas requiem.

RIP Uncle Glen

Friday, January 20, 2006


One of the many topics I could speak of but haven't is what happened to me in the three and a half years I lived in Spanish Fork, Utah. I have a unique perspective on the topic of persecution, and I know all my friends at my church went though all the same crap I went through. This isn't some, "Woe is me!" type of post, even though this thing could very easily descend into it. It's a post about how what looks nice and spotless on the outside is really more akin to hell on earth.

I have been through persecution. All of us might be able to say something like this. We maybe got yelled at by secular bigots or someone hurt our feelings because of our faith. Try to imagine, if you would, going to school and only knowing two or three people at school that even remotely believe the same thing as you. Imagine a constant pressure exerted on you by your friends to become like them. Imagine the mental games these kids of 10, 11, 12 years old play with you to try to bring you to their way of believing. Imagine being 10 and wanting to go to Church because it was one of the only places where you found relief. Imagine being in a religious version of 1984. This is what I went through for three and a half years.

I admit, there wasn't the beatings, the physical anguish, and murder that is what we normally associate with persecution. I was bullied, but that never amounted to much. The mental aspect was bad enough. It probably did do psychological damage to me. I have my ideas, but it is probably something better for him to evaluate rather than doing a self-diagnosis.

Throughout this, I had an excellent pastor to shepherd me through all of this. Pastor Stube is an excellent pastor, and if anyone is reading me in FT. Wayne, make sure to tell him I say hello. He gave me a gift more precious than the gold I panned the first time I was in Alaska: the liturgy. It is amazing how much comfort the liturgy can give to a child in pain. God's Word is powerful, and when the rubber really hits the road, you will find yourself falling back on that you remember. The liturgy is a powerful gift, and don't let any pastor tell you different.

Persecution does make you weaker and stronger at the same time. It makes you weak because of how little strength you realize you have, but you become strong because the faith in you clings all the more to Christ and his promises. It is a strange thing to look back on and see how strong my faith was and how dependent on God I actually was. One of the gifts of persecution is to give you the faith of a child.

I think this is all I wish to say about this topic for now. I may say more later. I may not. I think it is important to talk about these things. I'm just not sure how much I really wish to talk.

Crossposted at Here We Stand
A new list of hosts is now up at Lutheran Carnival. If you remember volunteering to host but can't remember when, this should remind you.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

I've been bad, but it is time to send in your entries for the Lutheran Carnival. This time, it is being hosted by the Terrible Swede. As usual, send your submissions to lutherancarnival AT gmail DOT com in the proper format. The Swede is a busy guy, so please write your descriptions in third person. Edit: I forgot to add the posts are due by 7pm CST on January 27th.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

In case you wonder, Dave Barry is obsessed with 24, and here is him liveblogging 24. If you want to, read it, and then read the comments. It's extremely funny. If I wasn't so infatuated with the show, I might find it funnier.

If you're not watching 24 right now, why aren't you? I don't want to spoil anything for you, but the first 10 minutes was awesome.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XV is now up at Drowning Myself Whenever I can. As you can see, Chaz wasn't kidding when he said he had to get this done before Symposia.
You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with QuizFarm.com

You know, it is kind of scary taking a quiz like this because you never quite know what a given persons definition of orthodoxy might be. Some of the questions seemed to be a little vague, so I am happy with the outcome. Maybe I should write a "What Type of Lutheran Are You?" quiz just to show how much of an ass I can be.
I've been back in Wichita since Tuesday afternoon, and I am so happy I got to visit Elle. She knows me so well, she even took me to a performance of Bach cantatas in an LCMS church while I was there. Too bad the church in question practiced open communion and had an ELCA hymnal supplement (HS 91) in their pews. They might have been able to get me up and actually attend there if those two things hadn't been painfully obvious. After seeing the extremely sad state of the LCMS churches in the area, I'll continue to attend WELS churches while up there and, if I end up moving, will join a WELS church there. After attending that cantata performance and seeing what is going on, I realized pietism might be easier to fight off than the do innovations that were taking place in that congregation. Of course, the District President of the Northwest District won't lift a finger because he seemingly likes what is going on and continues to nurture it, to the detriment of Lutheranism as a whole. Anyway, if you have read Lutheran Jargon for a while now, you will see I'm just confirming in Anchorage some of what he has seen happen in Fairbanks.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Ode to the Coprolite.

I rarely discuss geology, but when I do, it tends to be interesting to most of you. The best gift Elle gave me this Christmas is a Coprolite. If you go to the links, you will see that coprolites are fosilized dung. Now what would we use fosilized dung for? It gives us a general picture of the eating habits of the various animals that are around during the time of deposition of the given rocks. Some coprolites you wouldn't know what they were, but some look like this:

This looks bad, doesn't it? Let's take a closer look.

As far as I can tell, there are seed pods or some other bean-like structure in the coprolite, indicating a herbivore of some kind deposited this. However, being that details do not often show up in rocks unless they are wet, let me find the nearest water source so we can have a more detailed look.

OK, so that whole setup was just an excuse to put a picture of me licking fosilized poo up on my blog. However, those who live near me will need to see the coprolite, touch the coprolite, but licking it is purely optional.

Even with all the fun and games, this trace fossil is fascinating and definitely deserves to be displayed under the rear end of a fossil of a smaller herbivorous dinosaur.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One of the things you would never have expected from the Terrible Swede is that he rented the movie When Will I Be Loved starring Neve Campbell from the extremely masculine series Party of Five. I expect he forgot that he admitted renting this movie. Sorry, but how can I forget that he rented quite possibly one of the crappiest movies of 2004 for a shower scene that doesn't come even close to making up for the rest of the movie.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Submissions for Lutheran Carnival XV are now being taken. Email your links to lutherancarnival AT gmail Dot com and we'll make sure Chaz gets them. All posts are due by January 13, 2005 at 7 pm CST (0100 Saturday morning UTC or GMT for our overseas friends). Chaz is going to the Symposia at Ft Wayne, so there is absolutely no room for extending deadlines. The sooner you get your submissions in, the better. Also, if there is any email about carnival business or questions about the carnival, please don't send them to the lutheran carnival address. Send them to daniel Dot sellers AT gmail Dot com.