A Break from Blogging…

I’m tired of blogging, at least for now.  My time, it appears, would be better spent reading or writing in other venues, so at least temporarily I’m taking a break.  Maybe for a week, maybe for a month, maybe forever.  I’ve got these words running through my head and can’t offer up an argument to refute them, so I’ll stop trying for now:

You’re caught up in the Internet,
you think it’s such a great asset,
but you’re wrong, wrong, wrong.
All that fiber optic gear
still cannot take away the fear
like an island song.

Thanks for the focus check, Jimmy…

A-musement (2 May)

It has been almost three months since we’ve had any a-musement around here!!! So here’s my favorite T-mobile commercial of all time…probably because I see this conversation happening around our dinner table in about 7 or 8 more years:

Disclaimer: I have no relation with T-mobile in any way, but they have the best commercials…

True Champions

Thank God there are some real role models left in the sports world…

I’ve railed against poor role models in sports in the not too recent past, but I saw this story today that gives me real hope. This event will doubtless fail to receive the amount of media attention it should, and those who read about these two ladies will soon likely forget the details of the story…but for what it’s worth, this is one story I shall not fail to ensure my children hear about. Here’s a teaser, but please read the whole story here:

Western Oregon senior Sara Tucholsky had never hit a home run in her career. Central Washington senior Mallory Holtman was already her school’s career leader in them. But when a twist of fate and a torn knee ligament brought them face to face with each other and face to face with the end of their playing days, they combined on a home run trot that celebrated the collective human spirit far more than individual athletic achievement.

These ladies are true champs, truly exhibiting the highest levels of sportsmanship, and truly worthy of the title, “Role Models”– Sara Tucholsky for her determination and Mallory Holtman for her selflessness. Thanks to you both! I wish I had the privilege of participating in your ‘Standing O’

Interesting Thoughts on Ascension Day

With respect to Reformed and Lutheran differences in understanding, Dr. Gene Veith has made some interesting observations about the significance of Christ’s ascension into heaven.  He writes:

It’s odd that the significance of Christ’s ascension is taken in two opposite ways: The Reformed say that it means Christ is ABSENT, no longer on earth, so that His real presence in the sacrament is impossible. Lutherans say that it means Christ, at the right hand of Power, His human nature assumed into the Holy Trinity, can now be omnipresent, so that He CAN be on every altar.

Much of this tracks directly to Calvin and Zwingli’s philosophical understanding (and presuppositions), which creates marked theological differences between Lutheran and Reformed theology.  Dr. Veith, without a doubt, has succinctly captured the essence of these differences and their consequences in his practical and easily understood words.

Differences Between Lutheranism and Evangelicalism

This morning (here), Josh has made some keen observations on the differences between Lutheranism and contemporary American Evangelicalism. While he specifically points out the differences as those between Lutheranism and ‘what goes on at a megachurch,’ his points are spot on with respect to the larger world of Evangelicalism as a whole. He discusses the flawed notion that the differences are merely liturgical ones and goes deeper into sacramental nature of Lutheran theology and how it affects EVERYTHING. Read it, mull it over, digest it…it’s definitely worth your time! Thanks, Josh!

An Ascension Day Confession

Lord Jesus, when you were about to depart into heaven, you lifted your hands in blessing and promised to be with us always.  Even though your word confirms your presence in our lives, we are a sinful people, in need of your forgiveness.  We confess that we have been indifferent and forgotten your blessing.  Instead, we have sought things of this earth.  We have focused on our own loneliness, though you have promised to be with us always.  You have promised to return, yet we have grown impatient and earthbound and fail to set our hearts on things above.  We have not always been a people of anticipation and need a return to joy.

During worship last night, I first made this confession and moved right on without giving it much more thought…but I ended up returning to this prayer for some serious meditation and realized that its words were indeed true!

How often have we forgotten the blessing of Jesus promised continual presence with us, opting to seek instead some perceived material ‘blessing’ as a sign of God’s favor?  What could be more of a true blessing than the very real, true presence of Immanuel in Word, Sacrament, and through union with the Holy Spirit?  Why are we so tempted to trade what is undeniably the best possible blessing for what appeals to our flesh but is really gaudy and fleeting?

How often have we lamented our own loneliness–in the sense of not being able to be with those we love (for whatever reason); despising co-workers; ignoring friends and family; or failing to spend time with God through Word and prayer–while all along failing to remember that Christ has promised never to leave or forsake us?  As believers indwelt by the very Spirit of God, we are never alone, yet we pile up self-pity much faster than we ever store up treasures in heaven.

How often have we focused like lasers on the temporal things (treasures, cares, burdens) of this world and neglected the things of heaven?  We can no more see many of our earthbound cares than we can see our Father’s kingdom, yet these temporary cares come to dominate us to the very core of our beings.  Why?

Lord Jesus, we do need a return to true joy, that joy which only comes from you by remembering that you have promised to be with us always and to one day return bodily in the manner in which you ascended so many years ago.  Make us ever mindful of what is our true joy, true fellowship, and true hope!