Monday, December 27, 2010

Subject: Seniors' Texting Codes

ATD: At The Doctor's 
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair 
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
LWO: Lawrence Welk's On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner   
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up   
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WTP: Where's The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil

The Power of Twenty Dollar(s)

How far will the money go? A church follows the scriptural lesson.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Friday, December 03, 2010

Keeping Christ in Christmas (???)

I got a note on FB urging me to "Like" a website that wants us to keep Christ in  Christmas.  That website is selling stuff to Christians about this topic, urging them to "want" some merchandise shown there.  Here is my response, sent to their "contact us" link:
Regarding keeping Christ in Christmas: Isn't it about time for Christians to acknowledge that the secular parts of Christmas, i.e., the shopping, partying, scramble to spend money, "wanting" certain gifts, baking, decorating, etc. don't have anything to do with the Christ in Christmas? Christmas is about Jesus' birthday, about worshiping the Christ, the son of God, who brought salvation to us, undeserved. Do we decorate and party for a month before anybody else's birthday? Do we spend money on gifts for other people for any body else's birthday?  Do we use anybody else's birthday as an excuse to go over the top to sell stuff, your website included?

Lets acknowledge that most of what we call Christmas or Holiday or whatever, has nothing to do with the Christ who is in the real Christmas. Maybe we should call the church services, the pageant at church, and the intimate family gatherings CHRISTMAS. We can call the rest of the season, the fun stuff and the stressful get-the-gifts stuff, the Winter Holiday Season.  Nothing wrong with having fun, but lets not blame Christ for wanting to party.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dangers of flying.

Why haven't there been more warnings about all the radiation one is exposed to when flying high in the sky?  Or when mountain climbing?  Or when sun bathing?  I'd better just stay in my basement....Oh yeah, I forgot, my basement tested high for radon gas. (Truly.)  Might as well die and go to heaven.  Oh yeah, that is Up There where there is more radiation.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stole for Ordinary Time

We've been fortunate to have been on three trips lately, including two trips involving visiting family in other states.  I'm finally getting back to some blogging, and I'm doing this instead of watching the Vikings/Packer game.  Here is a stole I finished in July for our pastor's 5th anniversary of being at our church. More pictures of this stole and others are posted  HERE.  I'm trying to get Blogger to cooperate and post the full length picture, but so far that isn't working.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Why attend a "WORSHIP" service

There has been a good discussion about Lutheran Evangelism and the distinctiveness (or not) of Lutheran worship services over at Idle Ramblings. I posted this comment which I'm reposting here.

PS says: Just re-edited to fix a few phrases that were left out. I had major problems with editing this post this morning and I didn't find the problems until it came through in my email.

Perhaps we need to directly address the concept of WORSHIP with other people in the pews: Tell them directly what Sunday Morning is all about. We are there to worship, not to be entertained. "Special Music" should be chosen with that in mind, for example. We can worship with our heads even though our hearts are not in it. Worship takes some discipline. It doesn't need to be dreary, but it might take some work, especially on those Sundays when we feel our lives crashing down around us. We can be to taught that an emotional reaction can be worshipful in the proper context and mood, but that key changes to heighten the emotions of the crowd are not necessarily true worship (as I read about somewhere recently.) We can be teaching that attending worship each week is a discipline that is worthy of following, as compared to deciding each Sunday morning "just how we feel" about attending. I learned way back in 1972 about making the commitment to attend worship each week, rather than deciding each Sunday morning if I "feel" like attending. I've also learned that on those occasions when I don't "feel" like attending but I make myself go to church, I usually find something in the service that speaks to me directly.

All that said, it still IS great to also be FED on a Sunday morning during the worship service. I am fed by the scripture readings, the sermon, and the communion elements. The hymns can help me express my gratitude to God while they teach me about God's greatness and grace. Lutheran worship is participatory worship, which we don't get if we are just watching a TV service or attending an entertainment type worship.

We live in a time when people assume that they have to "feel good" all the time or what they are doing isn't worth their time and money. Jesus' message wasn't all about feeling good; some of what He preached could make us feel bad if we follow it completely. But He also brought a message of hope and salvation that will carry us through the long haul and THAT is why we worship on Sunday morning.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

How do candidates deal with being caught telling something that might be a lie?

Good essay here. I can't help but wonder how truth telling and apology are handled when the politician is a Christian vs when he/she isn't a Christian.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Iftar meal at the While House

 There have been some "waves" made by some policital talking heads about the iftar meal just held at the White House, as though this were some new event, just started by the current occupant.  A very quick web search turned up some interesting information on the history of this meal in our national public life.

United States

Iftar meals are often held at mosques, and Islamic communities, to which Muslim families are invited. Iftars are also commonly held at Muslim households as well. The United States Department of State holds an annual iftar dinner for community leaders from US society and faith groups as well as foreign policy officials.[1] The first President to attend an iftar was Thomas Jefferson.[2]

Also:  POTUS also talked about the history of Iftar in America, he said that the first iftar was held 200 years ago during the time of president Jefferson to the first muslim ambassador,a Tunisian ,he also talked about the oldest mosques built in seder rapid, Iowa. Pooler noticed few guests impressed with the info and heard one said, " oh,I didn't know that" .....
This is the second event that POTUS holds to celebrate with Muslims. Its a tradition started during the Clinton years and was followed during the Bush administration . President Bush hosted 8 iftars for each year he was in office.

White House Iftar

Tuesday, October 17 2006 @ 07:00 AM EDT

Contributed by: Muslim Military Members Webmaster

General NewsMembers of Washington, DC's diplomatic community joined with American citizens and military personnel to pray together prior to the White House Iftaar dinner 16 October 2006.
The event, hosted by President George W. Bush, was but one of many such dinners that brought together friends from around the world for an evening of fellowship during the Holy Month of Ramadan. More than 4,000 men and women who wear the cloth of our Nation and proudly defend Freedom are Muslim.

Friday, August 13, 2010

How should politics be handled in the church?

 This is an old article that talks about the role of a preacher/church in preaching about political issues and social issues, and various ways that churches might be involved in promoting causes. 

What issues do you think are appropriately talked about from the pulpit?  And what issues should a congregation promote and work for?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Guest or Host...Which is more Difficult?

At Bible Study today, we read and discussed Luke 10: 1 - 20, the Gospel lesson for July 4. Our discussion was wide ranging, but always having a thread of attachment to the core of the lesson: How do we go out? What do we show others when we go out? What are we encumbered by? How are we received?

How do we receive others? How do we treat those who are different? Are we afraid of strangers? How do we treat those people who show up at our door to preach to us? How do we know when we are in a situation where we can interact and help strangers and when should we be rightly afraid? When do we need to set boundaries? How do we show hospitality?

When we love others as ourselves, we need to make sure we are loving ourselves.

We discussed many instances where we or others we knew had to go into situations that were new or challenging. We discussed helping people who might be "strangers" or outsiders. We discussed changes in society and how these affect our willingness to help others or to minister to others.

Our pastor posed an interesting question: Which is more challenging or difficult for each of us: Showing hospitality to a stranger or going out into a new place, needing to rely on others?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Well from Hell... And What They're Not Saying

The Well from Hell

And what if this scenario is true? Will this be the end of civilization in the Gulf of Mexico as we know it?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Looking into the sin mirror

Hate the sin, but love the sinner? We know just what THIS usually refers to, but what about all those other commandments and teachings of the Bible and Jesus? Good discussion here by a pastor who just returned from the local assembly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

First Payroll Tax and First Health Care Bill

In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," authorizing the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandating privately employed sailors to purchase healthcare insurance.

This legislation also created America's first payroll tax, as a ship's owner was required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor's monthly pay and forward those receipts to the service, which in turn provided injured sailors hospital care. Failure to pay or account properly was discouraged by requiring a law violating owner or ship's captain to pay a 100 dollar fine.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Who speaks for "the people."

Which group of legislators speak for "the people?" Not "some of the people" but "the people." Worth reading and thinking about.

What real Americans think (?)

I liked this essay about the thinking and actions of real Americans that never makes the evening news.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

ST. Patrick Did you know the whole story?

Not being Irish or Catholic, I had never known the whole story of St. Patrick. Here he is called an early Liberation Theologian.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A voice now with the Lord

I've been reading the blog of Dr. John, retired Lutheran pastor, living in Wisconsin. He faithfully posted every day, reflecting on faith in life, sometimes commenting on politics, and also creating an imaginary world of fun, but often with a deep meaning. He wrote about his health struggles which often kept him confined, but he traveled the world through the internet.

Since there had been no blog post for a couple of weeks, I went to the last posting and read the comments, where it some blog friends reported that Dr. John, child of God, had moved on to heaven. I miss him. I can imagine that he was a wonderfully warm pastor in the churches he served, reflecting the love and grace of God that had changed his life.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ben Larson

Read about Ben Larson and be inspired while you share the grief of those who knew him.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Wonderland, which is rare around here this winter.

The first one was at 7:00 this morning, with a flash. Then I got the same tree with some daylight. You can see that the depth of the snow on the deck bench isn't all that great, given that this is late January.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Letting God off the Hook (???)

Richard Kauffman asks some good questions about the God of the Bible and why the destruction in Haiti happened.

And Debra Samuelson asks Is our Hope Lost? about the death of seminarian Ben Larson in Haiti.

Monday, January 18, 2010

When the Devil rides to work on a snow mobile.

OK, Dr. John, I'll play.

Completely copied from Dr. John:
It would replace the old “ When hell freezes over”.

It’s new. Its lighter. It has a better feel but it means the same thing.

Suppose, for example, you were a liberal Democrat and somebody asked are you going to vote for Sarah Palin in the next Presidential election?
You could respond “ Ya sure when the devil rides to work on a snow mobile.”

Or if you were a conservative Republican and somebody asked if you intended to vote for Obama the next time around.
You could respond “ Ya sure when the devil rides to work on a snow mobile.”

What I want to do is get the phrase out into general usage.
I need you to put it on your blog with a call to replace “ When Hell freezes over with it”
This is our chance to create an idiom.

Come join me.

Don't wait until " The Devil rides to work on a snow mobile."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Watching coverage of Haiti

I'm sort of compelled to watch the news.  I have to turn it off sometimes, especially if I'm eating.  Is that guilt or just sensitivity?  But I think it is important to be linked to the humanity in another place, another culture, another level of financial situations.  It is all too easy to get into a "blame the victim" mind set.  If people here could only realize that poor people almost always work harder than anybody they know here, they would be humbled.  They can only work with what they have.


In another context one time a friend said to me, "I did the best with what I had at the time."  That should be a life lesson for all of us.  It is Grace when we find out later that we've made mistakes.  It gives Hope in what we do now.  It should make us less judgmental about the lives other people live, wherever they are.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Pawlenty announces deal on Lake Vermilion state park | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ

Pawlenty announces deal on Lake Vermilion state park | Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ

This is a once in a life time opportunity to save a section of lake shore on one of the most beautiful lakes in the US. I'm glad that the political winds blew in the right direction to make this happen. It might never have happened without the politicians egos and the recession making the sale of the parcels to individuals not as likely.

I'm labeling this with God's world and Stewardship, for certainly those two are linked.

Lots on Lake Vermilion here.

Map here showing parks.

New Article here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake Relief

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked the island country of Haiti on Tuesday, January 12. Buildings are destroyed, the search for survivors is intense and the streets of Haiti are filled with people in shock and searching for loved ones among the rubble. ELCA Disaster Response partners have survived the quake and are already working to serve the people of Haiti.

Your help is needed today to bring immediate relief and continued hope for our brothers and sisters in Haiti. About 3 million people, one-third of Haiti’s population, were affected by this earthquake.

One hundred percent of your donation will be used for the relief efforts in Haiti.

Donate here.