Saturday, May 30, 2009

Book order came from CPH

My May book order came this week from CPH (3 weeks travel time). When I saw all those Treasuries I realized how soon I would be out of them, since the receptionist wanted one right away and I'd given her one. Now I'm already down to 5. Several I think I will give to Bethel for their container to Kenya, which they are packing the next two weekends. So I panicked and ordered some more right away before the May special is over. (It's still May today. Almost last chance. Go for it. It better not go on sale right away again, or I'll be miffed.)

See, I even ordered some more of Bror's books. But they are not on sale this month! Next month the Book of Concord is on sale; see I bought them at the wrong time and now I think I have enough of them.

The CPH guys at the convention told me an interesting thing: there is so much self-publishing going on now with the internet, that there are many more materials easily available (for example, congregations developing their own Vacation Bible School material). CPH will get itself involved by reviewing and promoting them and taking only a small cut. The program has some sort of name, which I've forgotten. Sounds like a great idea, though.

Road trip in May: Edmonton-Vancouver

1. Huge areas burned along the Yellowhead several years ago.
2. Yellowhead highway after Jasper.
3. Top of the Roger's Pass.
4. Bear and cub in Revelstoke.
5. "Verkehrsknotenpunkt"--a wonderful German compound noun everyone can learn: a "traffic knot point". Revelstoke.
6. Top of the Kokahalla.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vancouver in May

We attended the ABC district convention of Lutheran Church Canada last weekend. The theme verse was Col. 3:17: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." At least, that was what Pres. Bugbee preached on in relation to the theme.

Dr. Carl Fickenscher gave the essay, which was on the actual theme: "His calling: To Faith...For Life. Romans 1:7"; but we missed Monday afternoon. Looking for it at the ABC website.

I see there are other talks by him available at the Wittenberg trail.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"ChurchNight" a la southern Germany

Yesterday, I was on a little tour of the internet (or maybe rather "detour"). Basically, I was trying to find something from Luther's commentary on the Sermon of the Mount, but had no success. (Last year I borrowed pastor's book and read it, and now I don't have it. This is what happens when you don't just buy a book. Then you don't have it when you want it. That will teach me to buy more books.) So, therefore, I ended up on places that were selling Luther's collected works on CD (well, who can read something like that on a computer screen? Anyone?) Well, the best deal for that was a German edition for 45.00 Euros. Nice. Maybe. Too much computer. But here is the site. You can get it for even cheaper other places. The point I am getting to from that site, called "churchnight", you can buy all kinds of Luther things (I note with chagrin, however, as Bror has pointed out, the cross they sell has a lovely dove on it.)

So what is "churchnight". It appears that various ev. Christian youth organizations try to promote reformation and church on the 31st of October as a youth event in church, to some degree to counterbalance the trend of introducing Halloween, which used to be completely foreign there.

Here is the promo video for "ChurchNight 09".

It's only 2 min. long. Translation: just a little below.

You may not like all the aesthetics and "Church Night" sounds lame in English (maybe "cool" in German), but it does combine the idea of "All Saints" and "Reformation" simply. Also, in the promo one hears little of substance. Jesus, sin, death and the devil don't make it onto the video much.

My thought is: maybe we can get into the habit of having something special for our youth on Reformation Day. (alert the reader: that was the topic sentence in case this is too meandering.)


First the German for those who are still practicing theirs.
Churchnight. Hell. Wach. Evangelisch.
Churchnight. Was ist das?
Young woman: Kreativ, mit viel Musik, mit Theater, mit vielen anderen Jugendlichen.
Wiel die Meisten halt denken nur alte Leute gehen in die Kirche. Aber so ist das nicht.

Woman: Die Chruchnight ist total cool. Weil jeder im Grunde genommen seine Ideen einbauen kann. Er sieht was dran ist. Die jungen Leute kriengen einen ganz neuen Eindruck von der Kirche, eine volle neue Eintrittskarte in die Kirche.

Young man: Churchnight ist bunt; es sind viele Menschen da. Gemeinschaft. Man lernt Neues kennen, erfaehrt Neues und Spannendes und wird unterhalten.

"31. Oktober. Martin Luther. Seine 95 Thesen. Geburtstag der evangelischen Kirche. Wir wollen kein Halloween. Wir wollen Reformation feiern. Nachdenken, froehlich sein.

Zwei gute Gruende zur Churchnight su gehen?
Young man: Das das Durchschnittsalter der Anwesenden eindeutig geringer ist als Sonntags morgens in der Kirche.
Young man: Weil es der 31.10. ist und man dann nichts zu tun hat.

Also, bis zur naechsten Churchnight.

Ok, now in English:

Churchnight. Bright. Awake. Evangelical (lutheran).
Churchnight. What is it?

young woman: Creative. With much music. With theatre. With many other young poeple.
Because so many think: only old people go to church and that's not true.

woman: Churchnight is totally cool because basically everyone can utilize his own ideas and see what it's all about. The young people gain a completely different impression of the church and a new way to enter it.

young man: Churchnight is colorful. There are a lot of people there. Fellowship. One gets to know many new things, experiences new, exciting and entertaining things.

31st of October. Martin Luther. His 95 thesis. Birthday of the evangelical (luth.) church.

We don't want Halloween. We want to celebrate the Reformation, we want to think, be joyful.
Two reasons to attend Churchnight?
young man: Because the average age of the attendee is significantly lower than on Sunday morning.
young man: Because it is the 31.10 and I don't have any other plans.

Well, then, til the next Churchnight!

What do you think? Some good ideas or not? What I find interesting is that the site also promotes a lot of Luther written materials to be used and sold on that day. In my days, I did not feel I had access to such.

Ok, comment. I won't be here for a little while, sorry. Tante Ilse: can't you comment, yet? What kinds of things might the SELK do? Do you have links for literature and catalogues? (You can just e-mail, too. Love, Brigitte).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The biggest little worrywart

Today we had a little boy in the chair; maybe he was 8 years old. I forget.

He was so frightened of the needle, if he had actually needed one we would probably have used the nitrous oxide. That generally works wonders.

I tried to distract him by engaging him in conversation, as he waited. The easiest topic today was the weather since we were getting more snow that, of course, melted as it hit the ground during the day. Well, this poor 8-year old: he had heard on the radio that this cold weather and snowing was most certainly a sign of the world practically coming to an end.

What a load to carry, needing a needle and the world coming to an end!

But this incident reminded me instantly of various childhood scares. When we were young we heard too much about world wars and of communist atrocities and potential nuclear holocausts. Then, when we lived in North America, we had Dr. Colticott with "If you love this planet." I don't remember how many teachers thought we should watch that in school. Then my own children. I don't know how many times Stefan was shown "An inconvenient truth" in school, in church youthgroup... Is this how every teacher is hip and relevant by scaring the wits out of children? What's the way around this?

I just told this boy, that they have been talking about the world coming to an end ever since I was a little girl and it has not ended yet (and see how old I look). In fact, he was pretty safe today. He did not need a needle and the world has not come to an end as of 9:00 pm, so far.

If I were his parent and had more time with him, of course, I would handle it differently. I like C.S. Lewis' reassurance. God will give you the strength you need when the time comes. You don't need it now. You don't even know what you need. But it will be there.

Or my Dad, who could be quite hilarious, would say: "Erstens kommt es anders, zweitens als man denkt." Which means: first of all, it comes differently, secondly, than you think. Which was just a strange way of saying things always turn out differently than anticipated.

The other saying he had was that the exact thing we fear seldom comes to pass, but something else will. This is actually comforting in the sense that many of the things we fear don't actually happen. My dad was a great guy, always gentle and a bon vivant. (His other favorite saying was: "Besser gut gelebt und doppelt so lange."-- Better live well and twice as long!")

my prairie crocus this morning

My only flower in the garden (except for a few dandelions) this morning before and after I brushed off the snow. At least there was precipitation. Many campers this weekend, camping in the cold, were also under fire ban. What fun!

Monday, May 18, 2009

The first flower in my garden, this weekend

This is a Prairie Crocus, otherwise known as the Pasqueflower. It is supposed to flower around Easter, hence the name Pasqueflower.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Luke 4:22

What exactly happened in Nazareth? In the Treasury we are reading Luke. This part of chapter 4 sticks in my head.

"All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. 'Isn't this Jospeh's son?' they asked." (Luke 4:22)

First we have the Good News of the Isaiah passage fulfilled in their hearing. And they liked that, at first. But then it seems they are not going to believe a word they are hearing. And why is that? And then Jesus tell them this harsh sounding thing and they are furious:
"I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his home town. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah's time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarphath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed--only Naaman the Syrian."

They were going to throw Jesus right off the cliff, but they did not dare. Can you imagine?

This is another passage, where we don't get any answer to our "why" questions. It was NOT that the people in Nazareth were not told. They were both told the Good News and they were also warned about not, not accepting it because they were too familiar with him. Neither worked even though hey were told so much. They rejected him. You can't fault Jesus. He tried both ways.

And then also, why only the one widow and only Namaan?

I notice these kinds of passages more these days. The only answer is: don't stumble on him. Build on him. Repent and believe and let the rest of it go.


Yesterday, I had a pleasurable trip out to Bruderheim to practice on the organ. I'm on for next Sunday, and now I'm on the roster, thanks to GARY (!). No, it's alright. I am really looking forward to playing regularly. (We have a pipeorgan. Not the one in the picture.)

It was nice to have the church and the organ to myself for a while. The organ and I made a lot of noise and tried out a few things. I also did a bit of singing. It sounded fantastic in the empty church. Great acoustics, that way.

(Anybody with unloved organ books, I'll gladly expand my library.)


White and green do not match. They are not opposite on the color wheel either. It just does not got together. (Snow, snow, go away, come again another month).

At the moment, we welcome all moisture, however. We had big fires in Sturgeon and Lamont county last week. Several houses burned down in the vicinity.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day visitors

Mother's day was, um, alright. Andrea made some things herself. Very beautifully done. Thanks to her. (XO)

I did not plan much beyond having the house acceptable and having a strawberry cake ready, thinking some visitors will show up.

And they did. Stefan's old friends came over unannounced with Mat's sister. That was very, very, very sweet of them. I have to give those kids credit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Paul Gerhardt's song for the burial of a child, in English translation

The grieving father comforts himself over his now departed, blessed son:

You still are mine and will remain mine.

(Who will contradict me?)

But, you are not mine alone;

the Lord of eternal days

has the most right to you.

He demands you from me,

you, o my son, my will,

the fullness of my heart and wishes.

Oh, if I could chose, I would chose you,

you little star of my soul,

above all the goods of the world.

I would wish for you above all.

I would say: Remain with me!

You shall be the glory of my house!

I would love you dearly to my dying day.

Thus speaks my heart and means it well,

but God means it even better.

Great is my love,

but God's is even greater.

I am a father--and nothing more.

But God is the head of all fathers.

He is the true fountain

from which we all spring--old or young.

I long for my son;

Still, the One who gave him to me,

wills that he should live before his throne in heaven.

I say: Alas, my light disappears.

God says: Welcome, dear child,

I want you to be with me and I myself will give you joy forever.

Oh, sweet comfort, oh beautiful word,

and more holy than we think!

With God there is no place for evil,

no accident, no illness,

no fear, no need, no sin;

with God, no one can suffer.

In God’s care and presence you will never be sad again.

We humans beings scheme very hard

to make our loved ones honorable.

We worry day and night

how we can lead them into a beautiful station in life.

Yet, rarely do things turn out

the way that we had planned them.

How many a young, pious blood,

is led astray most grievously,

through bad examples

and ends up living

not as a Christian should.

Then he will only earn God's wrath,

and on earth nothing but disdain.

The father with much sorrow,

ends up being ashamed of his child.

This I need not fear for my son

since he stands before God's face

and walks in Christ's garden,

has joy which is a wholesome joy,

and rests from all heartache.

He hears and sees the angels above

who protect us here below.

He hears the voices of angels;

his own little voice is joining in the singing.

He knows all wisdom and speaks of such things

which none of us below know yet,

and which we will not learn while here on earth,

no matter how we study with great labor.

Ah, if I could but stand from afar

and just listen in a little,

when your senses are raised up

to honor God's name

who is Holy, Holy, Holy,

in whom you also are made holy:

I know that I would also overflow with tears of joy.

Then I would say: stay there!

I won't complain anymore by saying:

Oh, my son, were you with me.

No! I would say: Come, oh, Elijah's chariot,

come and get me quickly

also to where my child

and so many dear souls,

speak of such wonderful things.

Now, it shall be YES and shall remain,

I will stop crying for you.

You live and are happy,

see the pure sunshine,

the sun of eternal joy and rest.

There live and stay now!

I will soon, God willing,

make my way, together with dear ones,

to the place where you are.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Paul Gerhardt statue picture

Gary kindly sent me this picture. Posted without permission, but I think it'll be alright.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I've been more distressed this week. Maybe it'll be a Paul Gerhard day. I went to Stefan's grave now that the snow is gone and shared a bouquet with him. Some from me for him and some from him for me. (Bror, he lies head to toe with some Erickson's, Gustave and Anna.)

The verse underneath Paul Gerhardt's stature says: "Befiehl du deine Wege und was dein Herze kraenkt, der allertreusten Pflege des, der den Himmel lenkt. Der Wolken, Luft und Winden gibt Wege, Lauf und Bahn, der wird auch Wege finden, da dein Fuss gehen kann."

In English: Commit your ways and what ever makes your heart sad to the most faithful care of the One who also steers the heavens. The One who gives paths to the clouds and airs and winds, will also find paths that you can walk on.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Paul Gerhardt, a song about marriage

I ended up translating this song first, because it was our wedding anniversary in Winnipeg. I have no idea if there is a melody for this song.

From my perspective, I would say that it is a lovely song and true, but also that marriage is so much harder than anticipated. I notice that Paul Gerhardt nowhere talks about wedded "bliss", just "wonder", or rather "miracle" (Wunder). All his nouns are so much better than "bliss"--skill, slave, nurture, grace. Yes, a miracle. I can go with that. God's doing, again.

"The wonder-filled estate of marriage."

Full of wonder, full of skill,
full of wisdom, full of strength,
full of gifts, of grace and favor,
full of salve, or comfort, nurture,
full of wonder, I say again
--is the yoke of chaste, married love.

Those two people, who never did know
each other before by sight,
who neither gave the faintest thought
--the hearts of these, their hands
--the Lord God ties together in a bond of love.

One man, here, fathers a child.
Another raises his.
Both children are driven in their
separate special paths
by a special wind.
But when the time arrives,
They become a well-formed pair.

In one place grows up a gifted son,
in another place a noble daughter,
one is the other's crown,
one is the other's rest,
one is the other's light,
but neither knows it yet.

This is how things remain-UNTIL
it pleases the One who holds the world in his lap:
at the right hour, He gives to each
what pleases him so well.
Then appears in work and deed
what has been in the Lord's deep, hidden counsel,
all this time.

Then choose Ahasverus' eyes
the quiet Esther for himself;
Providence leads Tobias
into the house of pious Sara.
David's quick determined will
fetches the intelligent Abigail.

Jacob flees from Esau's sword
and finds his dear own Rachel;
Joseph serves on foreign soil
and becomes Lord and husband of Asnath;
Moses asks for a daughter of Jethro,
so Ziproa becomes his own.

Each one finds and each one takes
what the Highest has selected for him.
What has been determined in heaven,
is what tends to happen on the earth.
And whatever happens in this manner
has been done very well, indeed.

Once in a while you might think,
that this or that could have been better.
But, just as darkness never reaches the light of sunshine
in the same manner, the mind of man
cannot fathom God's wisdom.

Leave together what God joins.
He knows what is best.
Our thinking is mistaken and deceives,
but His thoughts are free of error.
God's work has a firm footing
even when everything else may fail.

Watch the pious children,
who thus stand in the holy estate.
How so much God blesses them
How he so lets all the deeds of their hands
go to a good and blessed end.

The worthy glory of their virtue
stands in its fullest bloom.
Even if often, in places, the flower of love
removes itself like a fleeting shadow;
and even if often all faithfulness stops,
the faithfulness of these,here, is ever new.

Their love is always fresh, it gets even younger with time.
Love decorates their table
and sweetens every word.
Even in the midst of life's burdens and sorrows,
the heart finds rest in this love.

When things don't go as desired,
this love still can remain quiet.
It holds up well under the cross
and believes it is God's will.
It assures itself again with joy,
of the better future time ahead.

All the while, God's rich stream of blessings
feeds the bodies,
waters the spirit,
strengthens the foundation and the roof
of this house.
And whatever is small, little and humble,
He makes mighty, much and great.

Finally, when all is accomplished
what God has planned for his pious children in this world,
He will take them to his heaven
and will press them with great affection
to his very own mouth and breast.

So then remains still full of grace,
full of salve, of comfort, nurture,
full of wonder, full of skill,
full of wisdom, full of strength,
full of wonder, I say again:
remains the yoke of chaste married love.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Back from Cuba

Thankfully, Andrea is back safe and sound from Cuba. The flight was much delayed with unexpected refueling in Winnipeg on the way home. So we were all in Winnipeg in the last few days, our first and last times, most likely.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Shopping at Concordia Publishing House

The Treasury of Daily Prayer is on sale during May, see cyberbretheren blog (also sidebar).
I also find the new version of the Book of Concord very attractive and reasonably priced.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Winnipeg, Manitoba, beginning of May, also known as "Winterpeg". (However, Edmonton does not look much different, at the moment.) The Red River is just receding. Most of the walking paths downtown Winnipeg were under water. Martin and I had a very good trip last week and weekend to a conference for Concordia College.