Friday, September 26, 2008

What are you eating?

Some more brilliance from Chris Rosebrough over at www.extreme - check him out!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Don't Say...

Listen to this short clip about church growth actually causing shrinkage...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Well - I have been tagged by Pastor Wil Weedon ( What an interesting question to consider! I thank Pr. Weedon for making me think about it. Here it is:

What five people - past or present - inspire your spiritual life??Hmmm...OK, we know that our Lord Himself has to be at the top of the list, so He is assumed. Your five simply follow Him. In Lutheran circles, we will also presume "Fr. Martin of Wittenberg" as well. :-)So the five would be additional people who (humanly speaking) have greatly impacted your life of faith and love on this earth.

So, for me (in no particular order):

1. The Rev. Dr. Gerald Krispin - Now the president of Concordia Universtity College of Alberta in Edmonton and formerly a professor there. One of the most influential of my teachers. It was through his teaching in class, hallway, and later his home, that I was confronted with the true Gospel and a proper understanding of the Divine Service. I have never been the same since.

2. C.S. Lewis - Obviously only known through his writings. I was first introduced to him as a college student in The Screwtape Letters and then I read his biography (which had some similarities to my own life). Mere Christianity also was influential. While some of Lewis' theological positions may be problematic - there is much good here.

3. St. Augustine - I read his Confessions back in college and then took an online course through Notre Dame three years ago. The unflinching look at the deepest darkest parts of his soul was very influential to me as I read it in college. As I read it for the online course I kept thinking "He is so Lutheran!" :-)

4. The Rev. Dr. Norman Nagel - Only known through his many writings, sermons, Issues, etc interviews, and his many students. The first article I read of Dr. Nagel's was in second year college - "Closed Communion - In the Way of the Gospel, In the Way of the Law." I have read everything I can get my hands on by him. His nack for creating words that express the Gospel - genious!

5. Hermann Sasse - Only known through his writings. His passion and devotion for Confessional integrity inspires me. I still have much to learn from the man.

Briefly, also - The Rev. Dr. Ed Kettner (one of my seminary professors) and The Rev. Dr. Arthur Carl Piepkorn - who made me consider the ramifications of the catholicity of the Lutheran church.

That was fun! Thanks Pastor Weedon!

I tag: Pr. Alex Klages (; His wife Mrs. Kelly Klages (; Todd Guggenmos (; and Father Hollywood ( I can't wait to read their posts!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Drumbeat

Below is an excerpt from an excellent article on the site American Thinker - This is worth reading. Below is a sample.

The drumbeat. It's always there. Day and night. Rain or shine. Winter or Summer. Sunday or Monday. It comes at you from every direction. It comes over the TV, the radio, at work, at school, in music, in the newspapers, from the politicians, in conversation with others, even in church. It wears you down. It robs you of the will to resist its message. Even short-lived victories, which stop it briefly, leave you with the knowledge that it will return; each minor victory bound to be lost to the redoubled efforts of this patient and persistent force. You can't escape it. It never stops. It never gives up. It never ends. It rains upon you from every possible angle, from every possible source.
It's the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological, and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist, and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world. It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism.
It denies God, human exceptionalism, and the soul. We are reduced to Darwinian animals floundering in an amoral sea of meaninglessness. It is a product of the nihilistic, existentialist philosophical movement, which went hand in hand with modern art, atonal music, scientific materialism and modern physics, and the generally discordant nature of the twentieth century.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Song Within a Song

OK - here is another one. I like Gnarls Barkley. Not all of their stuff - but some of it is so unique and interesting. Anyway - as soon as I heard their song "Storm Coming" I had that familiar feeling that there was a song in there that I had already heard. It bugged me and it bugged me and it bugged me until I finally figured it out.

This may seem out there - but I am sure I am right. The underlying sound in "Storm Coming" sounds like Kim Wilde's 1980s tune "You Keep Me Hangin' On." Listen to the Kim Wilde song (enjoy the 80s flashback) especially nearer the end when the tempo picks up and then listen to the Gnarls Barkley tune (don't mind the video - just a Youtube offering). In "Storm Coming" at about 1:10 in - it kicks in most clearly but it is in the background throughout the song. I actually looked at the disc liner to see if they gave credit for sampling "You Keep Me Hangin' On" but there is nothing there. In "Storm Coming" the tempo is much faster - but I think it is there.

Do you hear it too?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There is No Counter-Culture!

This book The Rebel Sell by Heath and Potter (title in the US is A Nation of Rebels) has me thinking. I finished it a few weeks ago. While I found much of interest in this book I think the most intriguing and illuminating argument in the book is that there is simply no such thing as a "counter-culture." In fact, the argument is that the counter-culture has only aided the very consumerism which many in the counter-culture deplore. The "system" far from promoting generic homogeneity among people values distinction. It is the desire to be distinct which drives much consumerism. We are in a constant pursuit to be different than our neighbour, to have something no one else has, to have the "newest," "coolest," etc. The counter-culture only fosters such thinking.
The book also does an incredible job of tracing the roots of the development of the idea that there is an over-arching "System" imposing its will upon us and the rise of a "counter-culture" in the 60s and 70s. Nazism and propaganda, Marxism, and Freudian psychology all play an important part in these developments. One of the most illuminating thoughts from the books is simply that the idea that there is a "System" and a "Counter-culture" is simply accepted by most of us without reflection or critical thought. It has simply become the accepted world view. This book does a great job of asking the question: "Is this really so?" I also think the book does a great job of showing that it is not necessarily so and likely is not that way at all.
This is an incredible book and well worth reading. I am going to do more thinking regarding the counter culture and the "system." I think I will likely re-read the book one more time - partly because I enjoyed it so much - it is a FUN read as well.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Order in the Church

At the great blog Four and Twenty Blackbirds there has been discussion of late regarding some sort of rule or order within the LCMS that would help to promote unity of practice. This would not be an issue of fellowship within the LCMS - not a church within a church - but a voluntary association of pastors and congregations within the LCMS that agree to carry out the Ministry in a certain way. This would include the use of the liturgy, the practice of closed communion, and several other things. The percieved need for such a group has arisen from the wide variety of practice that one finds in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. While all claim to be LCMS not all practice across the LCMS is consistent.

This has got me thinking. What about in Lutheran Church-Canada? Could we benefit from something like this? Or would it be divisive? Or might it serve as an encouragement to be faithful and an example to others what a blessing unified practice can be to the Church? What would such a rule and Order in Lutheran Church-Canada look like?

I suggest a variation on what I read at Four and Twenty Blackbirds. This is merely a brainstorming type of proposal. It is a far more modest and less structured venture than what you find at the Blackbirds' site. Remember I am just "spitballing" here.

A Preamble (Off the Top of My Head)

All members of this society who agree to these rules are members of LCC or members of member congregations. The society would essentially be self regulating. Membership is purely voluntary. The society does not intend to impose its practices upon any others. Membership is not a sign of being "more faithful," "more confessional," etc. Membership in the society merely indicates a desire to carry out the Ministry in LCC in a uniform manner and receive support and guidance from others who desire the same. The society will not address issues of practice that are already addressed by membership in Synod (e.g. closed communion - while this is clearly the Synod's practice though widely disregarded - it will be assumed that as a matter of integrity a pastor and congregation of LCC will practice closed communion or be striving to do so).

1. All members agree to use only the Services out of TLH, LW, or LSB.

2. All members agree to use only the hymns that are found in TLH, LW, or LSB.

3. If your parish is presently using a hymnal other than TLH, LW, or LSB (e.g. LBW or heaven forbid Evangelical Lutheran Worhsip) you will actively seek to replace that hymnal with one of the above.

4. Every member will commit himself to praying each day at least one of the Daily Offices (e.g Matins, Vespers, or Compline). Perhaps it would be helpful here to encourage the use of the upcoming Treasury of Daily Prayer from CPH. That way all members of the society would be following the same daily readings, readings from the Confessions, etc.

5. All members will seek to make use of private Confession and Absolution and make themselves available to their parishoners for private confession and absolution.

6. The celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Communion each Sunday is encouraged.

Well, that is a start anyway. Any comments or suggestions?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

This is What I Am Talking About!

A great article that brings up a real issue that ought to be discussed during the election! No, not that election ... our election - the Canadian one.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Metallica's New Song and the 80s the truth is I was a Metallica fan way back in the day. I had all the albums - Kill 'em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice for All, Metallica. I really have not followed them since after their album in 1991 Metallica except when I watched the fascinating documentary film Some Kind of Monster.

I was driving home from Regina after a hospital call a couple weeks ago and the radio station played the new Metallica song The Day That Never Comes. Right away I thought there was something familiar about it - especially at the beginning of the song. I finally figured it out. The rif that begins at 1:16 in The Day That Never Comes is almost exactly the same as a
Martha and a Muffins song called Echo Beach. Check it out and tell me if I am right. I am.

See how productive I can be on vacation? Truth is I am always hearing other songs in new songs. Actually I have another one in a Gnarls Barkley song I'll show you in a while.

Monday, September 8, 2008

An Interesting Article

A most interesting article on Islam. I would be most interested in your comments.

On Staycation

Today we begin our staycation. We are going away this coming weekend - but until then we are just hanging around the house and doing things in the area. It will be a nice break.

There are TWO Monday Night Football games tonight - this is a very good thing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Makes me laugh...and cry.

As the title of this entry says...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Stand Up! Stand Up!

Sigh. from

Leaving things in the lap of the gods just got a whole lot easier – thanks to Nim Pot Centro De Textiles in Antigua, Guatemala. "Retailing at just under US $700 (£370), the chair's price probably reflects its pretensions to divinity," claims Irishman Matt Hamilton in his travelogue."Towards the back of the incense-enveloped shop" (where Matt and a fellow student Trish found this treasure on earth) "is the wood-carving section. It was to here Trish had brought me and where I now stood, transfixed by the awfulness of the store's most expensive chair."Surely not, Matt. Consider yourself honoured among men for being one of the first to behold a crouching Christ. The rest of us must now journey long to see that of which we have heard.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Very Important Article and a Personal Connection

Here is a very important article that every Canadian needs to read - and Americans will also find it helpful - if only in a preventive way...

So here is my personal connection to this story.

Whatcott is a man I have never met. However, when the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal found him guilty I read the record of their finding on the web. Listed as evidence against Mr. Whatcott were his quotation of some Scripture passages, the use of the term "sodomite" and some other ways in which he expressed his disagreement and dislike of the homosexual lifestyle. I wrote the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal requesting some help in understanding the finding and in particular why the Scripture passages and the term "sodomite" was found as hateful. I asked, with particular interest since I preach publicly each week, if the word "sodomite" was now an illegal word in Saskatchewan. I also asked if certain Scripture passages are now "off limits." I asked several other questions. I was not disagreeing with the Tribunal's findings nor defending Mr. Whatcott. I simply asked for some help in understanding the ramifications of the Tribunal's finding.

I was told that the Tribunal is a "quasi-judicial body" and if I wanted an opinion I needed to seek legal counsel. So basically - if I, a resident of Saskatchewan, want to have the finding of the Tribunal explained to me - I need to get a lawyer. Not satisfied with this I wrote back to the Tribunal asking to whom they were answerable. The answer was the provincial Minister of Justice. I then wrote him and was told the same thing - get a lawyer.

Is this the way it should be? A Tribunal can make decisions that may impact the lives of the residents of Saskatchewan and they are not answerable to anyone and need not explain their finding to anyone. If I preach on Romans 1 - is it a hate crime...I am not sure......I do not have the resources for a lawyer! What if I use the term sodomite - not that I do - but am I free to do so - who knows....

These Tribunals are dangerous. It is time for the Canadian people to recognize this. It is time to demand accountability.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Free Speech in Canada?

Check this out.

Not good. We need help.

Just Sharing the Pain....

Thanks to Pastor Paul McCain of CPH my eyes came upon this:

It hurts. I didn't want to be left alone in my pain so I am sharing it with you. Misery loves company. I was almost going to go into an enraged rant when I realized: what's the point? It's almost enough to make a guy give up. Pimp my Church! Are you kidding me? Seriously?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The NFL Season Begins...

I am a NFL nut. I have always loved the NFL. My favourite show since I was in Grade 2 - Monday Night Football. What did I want to be when I grew up: NFL Running Back (just like Walter Payton - my favourite player of all time). The poster on my wall: Walter "Sweetness" Payton carrying the ball through the line. I am a NFL nut. The season begins tomorrow night. I can't wait.
OK - what about the CFL you ask? Well I love the CFL too and especially the Saskacthewan Roughriders. I have been a hardcore Riders fan all my life. I have the T-shirts. I had the player cards growing up (seems to me you got the cards from the Co-op milk delivery man - is that right? Or was it from the Saskatoon city police officers?). Yes, I love the CFL.
But truthfully, the NFL is better. I can't get enough of it. And for the last few seasons I have been playing fantasy football (which inexplicably is not available for the CFL to my knowledge). I love it. During the NFL season there is football on from about 11am till about 11pm every Sunday. What could be better? Then there is the Monday night game. And later in the season we have games on Thursdays now. Then the playoffs. Then the Superbowl - it can't be beat.
The strange thing is that with my great love for the NFL I don't have a strong favourite team. I grew up loving the Chicago Bears. Payton and Singeltary. I always cheered for the Bears. I still do - sort of. But I have also always cheered for the Seattle Seahawks (that loss in the Superbowl hurt - the referees were biased or something). So I have a couple teams I cheer for - but the truth is I just love watching the game.
So - tomorrow night it all begins again. I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Treasury of Daily Prayer - My Pre-release Review

Concordia Publishing House has produced a new resource called the Treasury of Daily Prayer and it will be made available in late October. The editor of the volume (Rev. Scot Kinnaman) set up a Facebook page for this resource and I joined. After a while I noticed that some others had been given pre-release PDF versions of the Treasury and were publishing their reviews on their blogs etc (e.g. Rev. Wil Weedon). I sent a message on the Treasury Facebook page (jokingly) that I would be more than happy to give a Canadian perspective and review. Well, Rev. Kinnaman took me up on my offer! I have reviewed a massive PDF file of the Treasury in its draft form. The review was to be rather short - it is below.

The Treasury of Daily Prayer has the potential to radically improve the daily prayer lives of any who make use of it. With helpful material that introduces the purpose and procedure of daily prayer the Treasury will prove to be a great resource to introduce the practice into the lives of many. I can see the Treasury serving as something like a "virus" infecting the Lutheran church and beyond with the result of spreading the practice of daily prayer far more broadly than it is practiced at the present time. The Treasury will have a unifying effect as many will be reading the same lections each day - something Hermann Sasse once wished for among the Lutheran clergy. This may lead to discussion groups forming around the daily lections as well as conferences and conventions that will include praying the Offices as part of the schedule.

Finally, one more important point regarding the Treasury. As many have found, the practice of daily prayer and of praying the daily Offices is a blessing, but also a challenge at times. The challenge lies mainly in our flesh. We often allow any excuse to interfere. Often we find it too burdensome to go through several resources. The Treasury does a fine job of providing all the resources in one volume. I have made use of the materials for the last week and it is very simple to use. The "old Adam" will have far less to complain about if one makes the Treasury a regular part of their daily prayer life. I recommend The Treasury of Daily Prayer highly and I look forward to seeing how this resource will positively impact both clergy and laity alike.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hurricane Gustav Has Me Thinking...

Where I live I rarely face such severe weather as we see in some other areas of the world. Of course, you might consider -30 degrees in the winter severe - and it is - it can and will kill you - but I have never had to face the prospect of having to evacuate to save my life. I began thinking - I wonder how I would react if I had to "run for my life?"
I think for me it would depend a great deal upon who else was running with me. If I could be certain that my wife and children were with me - all else would be inconsequential. The rest is stuff. This is not to say that the stuff is not important - like the roof over your head and the ability to make a living, etc. I can only imagine the fear that would be involved leaving your house and not being certain it would be there for you when you return (especially if one does not have insurance). However, it is at those times and those situations where we hopefully can help each other out. We rely upon each other.
I pray for the safety of those in the path of Gustav. I pray for those already tragically impacted by Gustav. I pray that people can pull together and help those most in need.