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.