Friday, January 16, 2009

The Fourth Annual St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preacher's Retreat

The fourth annual St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preacher’s Retreat will be held June 22-24, 2009 at St. Michael’s Retreat in Lumsden, SK. The theme for this year’s retreat is “The Living God and His Living Word.” This year’s speaker will be The Rev. David H. Petersen who is the pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, IN. Pastor Petersen is an editorial Associate and columnist for Higher Things: Dare to be Lutheran, an editor for Gottesdienst: A Quarterly Journal of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy, is a regular guest on the Issues, etc radio program hosted by Rev. Todd Wilken, has served as a guest lecturer at Luther Seminary in South Korea teaching in the area of Liturgics, and writes a widely read blog at
The annual retreat is arranged to provide a time for brothers in the Ministry to gather and discuss the art of preaching. Previous speakers include The Rev. William Cwirla, The Rev. Dr. John Nunes, and the Rev. Wil Weedon. The retreat includes several opportunities for hearing preaching in the opening Service on the first evening and Matins, Vespers, and Compline are prayed throughout the retreat. There is also ample time for relaxation and casual conversation left in the schedule. LCC and LCMS pastors and seminarians are welcome to attend.
For more information or to register please contact Pastor Mike Keith at or 306.332.5921. Visit the retreat’s website for more information and the audio files from previous retreats.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What I'm Reading

I have been trying for a few months to read Scaer's Law and Gospel and the Means of Grace but I forgot it at my in-law's at Thanksgiving and just have not got back into reading it. So, that will be next I think.

I just finished reading The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity by Leon J. Podles yesterday (Monday mornings I stay home and study/read - the congregation encouraged me in this several years ago when I presented the idea to them - praise God!). It is an interesting look at the issue of the relative proportion of men active in the Church. In most congregations the proportion of women is significantly higher than men. He investigates why this may be. I found the book at times to be too psychological and rather light on giving any ideas as to how to remedy the situation. However, it was a good book and it raised some interesting issues to consider.

I am now starting Why Men Hate Going to Church by David Murrow. It is along similar lines. I thought I would read it right after Podles' book to compare the two.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Robots and Football

I love football. I have been an avid fan of both the Canadian Football League and the National Football League since I was a young kid. In grade two I listed Monday Night Football as my favourite TV show. I like the CFL and cheer wildly for the Roughriders. However, the truth is, I have always been partial to the NFL. I simply love it.

But I hate the robot Fox has had for their football coverage the last few years. What does a dancing, jumping, and yesterday an inexplicably guitar playing robot, have to do with football? It just looks dumb. I can't figure it out. What is Fox thinking?

I am trying to figure out the thought process. Someone somewhere at some point thought to themselves and then had the nerve to speak it out loud - "You know what our football coverage really needs? A dancing robot in the lower corner of the screen when we go to break and when we come back and sometimes when we display statistics." And then, another group of people hearing this nonsense fall out this person's mouth must have thought, "Wow, that is a really good idea! Get on it!" And so now we have this robot. Remember, this is coming from the same group of people who put a blue dot on the puck and added a streak behind it when someone shot the puck. Someone thought that was a good idea also.

I love football and to be honest I think Fox does a good job and Joe and Troy are a good team for commentator and colour man. But the robot? Get rid of it. And the strongest argument I have against the robot - my wife, who has no interest and perhaps even slight contempt for the game of football - she thinks the robot is dumb too.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Van Troubles

We lease a 2007 Chevrolet Uplander. It is the most basic model. It is basically a box on wheels. It works. It gets the kids to and fro. It is a year and a half old. And yesterday on the way home from Calgary I get a message "A/C off to protect engine." It is -20 and we are on the highway. Not cool. It is cold and snowing and I have my wife and the three kids. However, I hit the Onstar button and they run a diagnostic while I am driving down the highway and they come up with a minor issue and tell me it is safe to continue driving. We stop at Medicine Hat for lunch and give the kids a chance to stretch. After lunch I go out to start the van to fill up with fuel and the van will hardly start. Finally it starts and an engine light comes on. I call Onstar again and they run another diagnostic and they tell me that a sensor is giving a strange reading but it is still safe to drive. So we do and we get home safe. A little nervous on the way and we made sure we did not stop the vehicle for the last 6 hours - but we got home.

After this experience I have two thoughts.

The van is a year and a half old and I should not be having these troubles. I am not impressed.

On the other hand - Onstar is totally cool. As far as I am concerned it paid for itself on the trip. Sure, I should not have had to deal with the problems but because of Onstar I got the family home safe and did not have to find a hotel and then get service somewhere the next day and then try and get home.

So, a message to GM. If you are still around in a couple years please make better vehicles - but make sure you keep Onstar!