Would you like to read more than stories of our kids? Visit the other blog.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Yes Yes Yes!

Kelly's blog, which I've been reading for about a month now, has a good post up about children's church.

I'm going to be bold here and get people mad, but I think that it is the work of Satan that has convinced us that it is a good idea to send our children away during the Divine Service. It isn't just a bad idea, but it is starving our children of the very Grace they need. Our children NEED to hear the Word of God, we should be teaching it to them at home, and they should absolutely be in the Divine Service receiving it.

Matthew 18:1-6

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5"And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. (emphasis mine)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The ODDEST thing happened yesterday

Angie the future Deaconess invited my family and I (in-laws and all) to go to a nearby church to see Cantorei from Fort Wayne. It was great. It was very moving, and they performed one of my favorite songs... The Te Deum to the melody from Jupiter by Holst.

Afterwards a woman came up to me and said, "Excuse me. Is your name Devona?"

I said, "Yes..."

"I read your blog!"

Apparently she recognized me from my picture.

I think I just about DIED of embarrassment. I was very flattered, but that was totally unexpected. I wasn't really sure how to respond.

So, Barb the Evil Genius (this was the woman's blog, by the way) it was nice to meet you. In fact I met three bloggers there that evening, and I'd like to say the same to all of you. :)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Theology for losers

To rise with the winners we must take our place on the cross with the biggest Loser of them all, the One who lost His life to save you, the One who denied Himself to embrace you, the One who exchanged His perfect life for your miserable sin and death, the One who was not ashamed to bear your shame in nakedness, to become your sin in His own sinless flesh so that in Him you might become the righteousness of God and be justified and have peace with God.

The world doesn’t understand this. We have to teach them. We have to show them. Lift high that shameful cross, with crucified Jesus hanging on it, and do not be ashamed of it. Eat the bread that is His Body and drink the cup that is His blood and so proclaim His death until He comes.

The world of winners will think you've lost your mind. And you have, along with your heart and soul and strength and all that you are. You’ve lost it all in Jesus; and losing it all in Him, you have gained it all forever.

- Rev. Cwirla.

You must listen to the whole sermon here. Many thanks to Beggars All for the link

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cultural brain damage

I am constrained by the thought that the decline of language may have proceeded so far that most people no longer perceive it as a problem. An analogy here might clarify what I mean. It is said that the brain is the only organ of our body that feels no pain and therefore does not know when it is injured. The brain does not regard brain damage as a problem. If we think of language as the brain of a civilization, then it is possible that severe language-damage may not be perceived by the social body as a problem. It is possible that we have adapted ourselves to disinformation, to Newspeak, to public-relations hype, to imagery disguised as thought, to picture newspapers and magazines, to religion revealed in the form of entertainment, to politics in the form of a thirty-second television commercial. In adapting ourselves, we come to accept the present situation as the only available standard, and conclude with Dr. Pangloss that this is the best of all possible worlds.

- Neil Postman, Conscientious Objections

Ah, the irony

We hosted some family at our new house for an Easter Egg hunt on Saturday. My dad and my stepmom came up to visit, which was very enjoyable.

My stepmom is both a vegetarian and Jewish.

Since Passover and Easter overlap this year I thought it would be nice to wish my stepmom a happy Passover, which I did...

While carving the ham.

(p.s. this really happened.)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Putting the Gospel in the here and now

Excellent post here by John H, in which he quotes Dick Lucas:

The Gospel is not the presentation of an idea, but the operation of a power.

This reflects the nature of God's Word, as opposed to ours: Our word at best merely communicates an idea, His creates a reality. God is such a magnificent story teller that when we hear His voice we cannot help but be made part of His True myth.

This makes the Word of God eminently practical: Seeing the Gospel as the "operation of a power" places it in the here-and-now, not in a far off realm of theory and principle. The Word is no proposition, couched in some Platonic realm of being and divorced from daily experience. Instead, it surrounds and intertwines with our life and breath. Dare I say, it becomes that life and breath.

The great danger we confessionals face is in divorcing belief in doctrine from its very real experience. We are rightly afraid of betraying our confessions, but we make the mistake of holding them at arm's length; rarely allowing them to penetrate our lives. This forces a dualism foreign to scripture: We push the truth of God outside of time and place, apprehended only by the intellect or the spirit. The body, and all of the mundane things that the body must attend to are left to flounder.

But the climax of this pilgrimage of faith we are on will not be in the death of our bodies and the freeing of our "inner selves", but in our real, tangible, physical resurrection. This perspective must guide is completely in line with an orthodox understanding of the soul. As Pastor Snyder writes in his post "That's the Spirit (and the Soul)!":

Most Bible translations use three different words for the Hebrew ruach and the Greek pneuma. Depending on context, you might read "breath," "wind," or "spirit" in the English text. When you realize this, it's easier to appreciate the interplay of words and actions in Scripture. For example, when God "breathed into Adam," you could say God "spirited" or "inspired" the lifeless figure, making him a "living creature."

He continues,

"Soul" likewise defies simple definition. It relates to life or being alive. When God made Adam and breathed into him, Adam became a "living soul"; many newer translations render "soul" as "creature" or "being." An important thing to note: Adam didn't receive a soul; he became one. Too often, we divorce body and soul, or think of one as central and the other as an attachment or an accessory. God here reminds us that to be fully human is to be an enfleshed soul possessed of the Holy Spirit. What we lost in Adam's fall, we received back in Christ's death and resurrection."

Doctrine takes life when I find my place inside it, as opposed to trimming it down to a set of theorems to be prooved or points to be debated. Though we cannot to create a theology of experiences, there must be a relationship between what we believe and the moment-by-moment lives we live. The Gospel was never meant to play by the rules that science invented. It has no place in the realm of mere proposition; it works much better as a mystery hidden in Word and Sacrament, worked out in fear and trembling in the here and now.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XI

is up at Necessary Roughness.

Next one is by my favorite blogging pastor, Xyrostom, or however he spells it. Or more commonly known: Ask the Pastor, with Pr. Snyder.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Papa has spoken

My dad informed me that I haven't put up any new pictures of Olivia in a while. Therefore I am in trouble. Here you go, Papa! It's Livi in her jammies and pink chair reading Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter.

And here's a good video of Olivia being a stubborn stubborn girl, stuck in a lazy susan.