Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reformation Day 2009

John 6:28, 29.

Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."

Pictures of Calgary and Canmore on Oct. 29. 09

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gone to Calgary for a bit

Last road trip before next spring, probably.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bavarian Hymnal

Just wanted to show how this particular hymnal cross-references hymns to the RC hymn book. Never seen that before. Everything with "oe" (ecumenical) is also in the "Gotteslob" book.

What do you think? I'm not sure what my point is. I'm not sure what their point is. My parents were always worried about sly ways to bring us back under the yoke of the papacy.

It may help dialogue and I think dialogue is good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miscelleaneous celebrations

Have been busy. Last week we went to two Oktoberfests, one at Bethel, where there must have been 400 people at least, the beer was served by the pitcher and the pastors put on skits in hilarious get-ups. The other one was in St. Michael and featured creative and intricate decorations, amazing food, a 8 piece live band, dancing and, amazingly, the Premier of the Province was there all night. We just about bumped into him on the dance floor. I have not partied this much in one week ever before, and certainly not this close to the head of the province.

I was sorely tempted to corner the Premier and do some lobbying either on the behalf of Concordia College or the laws surrounding driving in the province, but he did have body guards standing around discretely. Just joking. Well, the bodyguards were there. The Premier grew up 10 km from St. Michael and his relatives were some of the people who won prizes for selling the most tickets. Now, we know how he got there.

I did a lot of dancing, too, mostly with a young female adult from our church who lives in a group home. She never got tired of it, either, unlike some of the males. So, I always had a partner.

There were other adventures last week, which I'd love to talk about with some, but in person.

Also, it was Reformation Sunday. I don't have any great thoughts on that just this minute, except I enjoyed singing "Lord, keep us steadfast in Your Word." The electricity was sort of out in church (a few things worked), so we were cold and had to use the piano instead of the pipe organ.

You can find the song "Lord keep us steadfast In You Word." in English and in German at the "cyberhymnal",--which can quickly get on your nerves,(try it, you'll see what I mean). I, strangely could not find the song on YouTube, just numerous Bach and Buxtehude preludes to it.

But instead, I found this other hymn, sung so simply by this young man and loved it very much. (It also makes a good reformation hymn.) The words are very easy to understand. Wonderful song.

Lutheran Service Book has it just like this at #585. It says there that the first verse is by Melanchton. In my German hymnal it says by Melanchton after the "Vespera iam venit". The rest by Nicolaus Selnecker. This tune is supposed to be Luther's (in the English hymnal), but the German hymnal has "Lord keep us steadfast in Your Word" as the tune. Now, I get it (!), that's how this hymn came up on YouTube looking for "Lord keep us steadfast in Your Word." (Oh, the deep research, so late at night. Better, get to bed.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love Life Conference #4

The Love Life Conference is scheduled for Nov. 7th!!! That's very soon. We need to get all the pre-registrations in toute-suite. Yesterday! Thank you very much. See the poster again, below.

Swine flu

My sister's family in Canmore had the swine flu several days ago. They were very sick. My thin Japanese brother-in-law, who seems to live off green tea and fish, did not get it, as per usual. I would not mind getting vaccinated if I have time this week and if available.

This chart is not going to post properly. The second lines are the H1N1 flu symptoms. Thanks Leanne. Info in Alberta at

Know the Difference between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms

H1N1 Flu

Fever is rare with a cold.
Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

Chills are uncommon with a cold.
60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bible in China/Bartimaeus

I was looking for pictures of the healing of Bartimaeus on the internet and came to this very nice site of the United Bible Society. There is some interesting information about the printing of Bibles in China. The 15 images are also great.

Now someone enlighten me. If the site is copyrighted, what can one do or not do? Anyone can download the images, videos, stories easily. However, one should not try to profit from it, sell any of it. That's what would make sense to me. Is that the gist of it?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Speech is platinum

Found this in stuff I kept:

If silence is golden, then speech is platinum.

It spreads wisdom, dispels ignorance, ventilates grievances, stimulates curiosity, lightens the spirit, and lessens the fundamental loneliness of the soul.

Ian Struther

It takes so much guts to talk sometimes. Silence can be golden, but it can also be crud.

It takes a lot of guts to blog sometimes. If we say something wrong--it is forgivable! It's not the end of the world. We can talk about it. Correct me. Love me. Take a chance. We can talk because there is forgiveness when something goes wrong.

Read also Bror's post today. I thought about the image of the choke hold. Not being a wrestler or a sword-fighter, the images don't grab me instantaneously. The point is there is an uncontrollable power in the word. A good power in the Word of God. Don't try to escape it. Let it cut and choke and grab you and heal you and take away your "loneliness of the soul". It can be messy, but it's worth it. It's a good thing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Copying out another devotion

This one was sent via e-mail to a sick friend, so it was already typed. And now it's posted here without permission, but it is just a short excerpt from the lovely huge devotion book by Bo Giertz mentioned before. Get your own copy at CPH, it's only $8.00 at the moment and it has over 800 pages. An incredible value content and purchasing wise. (To Live with Christ.)

The Bible passage is the one where the friends let down their paralyzed friend through the roof and Jesus tells him that his sins are forgiven:
Mark 2:1-12

My son, your sins are forgiven. Mark 2:5

Bo Giertz writes.
How strange! Do you think this sick man and the people that carried him hoped to hear something else? Jesus saw their faith. It was as apparent as it could be. they had elbowed their way through the streets. the alley outside the house was so crowded with people they couldn't come any closer, so they climbed up onto one of the flat roofs near the house and carried their friend from roof to roof until they w3re right above the spot where Jesus was talking. There they tore away the plaster on the roof, removed the twigs and branches between the beams and created a hole big enough to allow them to lower the man down on his mattress. All of this with the assurance that the Man down there, the Master and Prophet, would help their sick friend.

Now Jesus tells him to be of good cheer. However, He doesn't say: "Be healed" or "Getup and walk." Instead, He says, "Your sins are forgiven."
When Jesus surprises us, it's always worthwhile to listen carefully and reflect. If we don't understand Him, it's usually because we're looking at things from the wrong perspective. We assume that the biggest issues in life are suffering, sickness, poverty, or injustice, and we think Jesus has come to put everything right or show us how we can make everything right. Jesus, however, shows us that behind all these big issues is a deeper reason, more serious damage, something that has to be straightened out first. That damage is evil itself, the power that defies God and destroys His creation. That power has forced itself into our lives and we see it everywhere--in our own egoistic nature, in the oppression and injustice that happens to others, in race discrimination, in class struggle, and in war. About all of this we say as it says in this parable: An adversary did this, and it's this ever present evil that has to be conquered in one way or another so we can come to grips with its consequences.

How do we do that? The first step is the restoration of the right relationship to God through the forgiveness of sins. The second step is coming to grips with suffering (sickness, temptation, injustice, or whatever it might be) either through Christ taking it way or through Christ giving us the power to carry it and transform it into a testimony and a victory in faith.

We'll be talking more in depth about this during the coming week.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, You, who have the power to forgive sins because You have carried all sin on Your back and made atonement for everything that went wrong, You can help us out of all our woe and torment that sometimes makes life so bitter. We pray that You lighten the yoke and relive us from the burdens in the way You think is est. If it is Your will, let all that is evil disappear. Let good health come instead of torment, and strength instead of helplessness. However, if You would rather give us Your power in the midst of our powerlessness, and Your peace in the midst of sickness and death, we will praise You even then for Your tremendous gift and thank You with all our heart. Amen.

I thought it was important for this sick person to remember the forgiveness of sins as it is for all of us. For me, today, I will go with the "Be of good cheer." I hope she does to, she has been bearing a sad fate for quite some time. You may say a prayer for her, unbeknown.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Interview with Uwe Siemon-Netto

Interview with Uwe Siemon-Netto on the White Horse Inn on Oct.18,2009.

LCC webcast on Sunday School Conference

Got this in my e-mail. I am glad, this is being broadcast. Yet I don't know if I'll be able to watch then. And I only got 3 day notice of this, otherwise I might have set the time aside. Recordings will be available later on. I'll be looking for them and hope they will be scrollable (if that's a word).

Sunday school conference webcast set for Saturday

KITCHENER – Want to learn more about devotional time, how to teach Sunday school students better or how to reclaim the family and its Christian environment?

On Saturday, October 24, LCC’s East District is sharing its Sunday School Teachers’ and Family Workshop online from Kitchener, Ont. You can watch the event live at between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m (EDT).

Here’s the schedule:
9 a.m. Opening Devotion
9:15 a.m. Keynote address The Family of God, Rev. Kurt Reinhardt
10:50 a.m. Teaching Students and Teachers, Rev. Richard Orlowski
Noon Family Devotional Time, Rev. Adrian Toms
2 p.m. Reclaiming the Family and its Christian Environment, Rev. Paul Pollex
3:10 p.m. Closing Devotions

Tune in to all or part of the webcast at Recordings of the presenters will be available online for further viewing.

For more information, contact Doris Schaeffer by e – mail at or by phone at 519-893-8328.

Other people's hobbies/ memories

Today I went to see a friend and was inducted into the worlds of her hobbies. (Thanks for showing me!) One is playing World of Warcraft online, which seems to be a huge occupation of many people around here. Her other world is one of scrap booking along with all the supplies, the new computerized cutting machines, etc. and, of course, the finished products, which are most lovely.

I think I will skip the World of Warcraft, best not to add one more thing to do in front of the screen, in my case, but the scrap booking I will have to do something with. I have stacks of books that contain all the report cards, paintings, awards... of the children. One could scan some of that in, or in my case, I like to photograph it with the appropriate camera, then one might reduce the number of books taking up an entire closet.

Tomorrow, someone is going to visit me to show me how to do it on the computer. Yes, I think computer scrap booking will be my preferred way. Don't know yet, how it works. I will make a memory book for Stefan, and while I am at it, I will also sort and produce something for Andrea. I think I'm ready.

Yesterday, I exercised (made my way to the freed up treadmill) to Stefan's Youtube videos ("nafetslooc" cool Stefan backwards) which I have on my i-pod. I groaned at the irony in the "Blanket of Ghosts" (Dustin Kensrue). It had not struck me before, though people had mentioned it to me. I think I did not pay attention, before. Maybe I couldn't. He'd only started singing and it was so good. The memory book will have to hold a CD.

Lyrics to Blanket Of Ghosts :
I've got a feeling, it's hard to explain
Feels like the devil rents a room in my brain
The things I'm ashamed of feel like dear old St Paul
The things that I wanna do, I don't do at all.

So bury me deep, cover me with snow
Wrap me in sleep, blanket of ghosts.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is so weak
I wanna kiss her lips, but I kiss her cheek
Just hear my request, give this one fair weight
Please take me home before it's too late.

Bury me deep, cover me with snow
Wrap me in sleep, blanket of ghosts

Wake me when it's spring time in heaven
When the tears are all wiped from my face
Wake me when it's spring time in heaven
When I'm strong enough to walk in that place
[ Blanket Of Ghosts Lyrics on ]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Alles ist eitel, du aber bleibst."

Below is a picture of my garden, this morning. Yesterday, I finally dug up the carrots. After the frost and snowfall, my family thought the carrots had gone into compost, but not so. Happily, they are still good.

The tall rhubarb spikes and all the flat leaves on the ground made me think of a song, a round in particular, that our mother used to sing with us girls. It's a little bit challenging but very lovely. Surprisingly, the video is available on Youtube. See below.

"Alles ist eitel; du aber bleibst, und wen du ins Buch des Lebens schreibst".

in English: "Everything is vain (meaningless, passes); but You remain, and whose name you write into the book of life."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Internet Broadcasts of Lutheran Sermons, etc.

Maybe I'm behind the times, but this is the first time I discovered a Lutheran Hour video on (coming from Though the sound does not match the video, you can at least scroll through the video.

I mention this because the Vancouver conference (ABC district) videos are not scrollable. I've mentioned this to people before. This google video set-up seems better than the site used on the district's web site (

Is this not better than the simulcasting that is being organized these days? I am thinking also about the Love Life Conference coming up Nov. 7th.

Watched another video. President Bugbee's installation service. This one is on YouTube. Of course, YouTube videos segments are not long enough, so the sermon has to be broken up.

I like listening to Rev. Bugbee. Notice, however, how Segment One has been viewed more than Segment Two. Overall, the view numbers could be higher. Where are we all? This broadcasting business has to be dealt with in a more consistent fashion, me thinks.

If I had to chose, which way I'd like to view these broadcasts, I'd go with the google video, where it is all in one piece and easily accessible anytime.

One more thought about about the district's website and LCC's website. They might at the top include some material that is outreach orientated. What if someone has come to the website, who wants to know about Jesus and Lutheran teaching and is new to this message? Will they easily find something that will help them?


Martin and I have been invited to attend a 13 week course of Griefshare, at Bethel Lutheran Church, Sherwood Park, starting tonight. The pastor sent a letter and a volunteer phoned us. We don't know anybody who has been through this series.


Someone said to me the other day: "Some of us are stubborn, and some of us are just

I thought that hit the nail pretty well on the head.

Someone else said: "Blessed are the flexible, they will not be bent out of shape."

Good thing to keep in mind.

Another one I like is on a poster with an elephant at my sister-in-law's: "A thick skin--is a gift of God." (Eine dicke Haut, ist ein Geschenk Gottes.)
quote of Konrad Adenauer, first chancellor of post-war Germany.

Not exactly Bible verses any of those, but insightful.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Exciting times/ getting rid of "things"

We have some wonderful news at our house. Andrea and Thomas are engaged and want to get married next July! Congratulations! We are delighted. We love you both and you will be always in our prayers.

Yesterday, we had an impromptu house full of friends. They even measured themselves against their growing up marks against the wall in the kitchen. We had dinner together.

A dear lady-friend, mother of one of Stefan's friends, was with me over the last several days to help me clean up and throw out things. In anticipation of this visit we got a whole bunch of cleaning and throwing out done ahead of time! Nothing like motivation and a deadline!

Well, my friend gave me a lot of parameters to go by when making decisions about keeping and tossing. They will help. She also said my place wasn't THAT bad, which was kind of her.

For example, Andrea was allowed to keep a box of various little medals (winning the Turkey Trott in grade 2, etc.) because it is "small" and reminds of work and accomplishment and thus is a lovely memory. OK.

The VHS tapes are all on their way out.

The topiaries are not acceptable in her mind. Those dried flowers have "really had it" and are probably "95% dust", she says.

I LIKE the old topiaries. This one pictured was made by one of my German students way back when. I have replaced the flowers over time from bouquets given to me... but I guess they could be considered 95% dust, as she said. (What did we have in that hymn the other day? "You alone are king, I'm just a wilting flower", and-- yes-- going to dust. Maybe I can keep the topiary to remind me of that??? A very nice devotional item? How about it. OK. Nice try. Maybe they'll go, soon.)

The biggest thing I learned is not to start your cleaning up by going out and buying more boxes. (Buying more boxes would have been my first instinct.) But, low-and-behold, as you throw things out you GAIN boxes! That was a maxim that held true (the more tossed, the more empty boxes). We also gained some laundry baskets. I suppose this IS the way to go. I am still adjusting my mind.

What my friend taught me also was that if you get rid of things you also get to acquire a few new things. When we dropped off at Goodwill, we also went in to have a look at the books. She warned me sternly, that if I got ONE book, we would be buying a Canadian Maple doughnut at the Tim Horton's. Well, that was not a threat, that was a deal! We got a book on the History of the Middle Ages, and we got the treat at the Timmies. Fun and teasing. Good stuff. Unforgettable. Thank you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catechism with Explanations available online here

A quick google lets one find the entire Luther's Small Catechism with Explanations right here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Early winter day

The dog was at the vet. She is dying. She is constantly licking and chewing the brick on the fireplace.

My friend is this very moment driving from Calgary in snowfall without winter tires.

Hubby already ditched the Honda today. Winter came too suddenly. We haven't put any winter tires on, yet. Everyone here should have winter tires. You know that! If not, phone us and we will tell you why.


I think I will start typing out the Catechism with Explanations. Hopefully, I don't need permission from anyone for that. I am more impressed with the Catechism all the time, the more I read on-line discussion and confusion. It is good work for me to type it out.

1> What is Christianity?

Christianity if the life and salvation God has given in and through Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 17:3 This is eternal life: that they may know You the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

Acts 11:26 The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

1 John 5:11-12 God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Note: Christianity was at first called "the Way" (Acts 9:2; 24:14, 22)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Blogging adventures

Cleaning is moving along. Friend coming over stay for a while. The path to the treadmill is cleared now. Perhaps we will use it.

Interesting thread I've been involved in. Interesting to me, at least. James Swan has kindly mentioned my Fabricated Luther series of posts in it. Paul McCain's answer is perhaps the most sensible one in the context.

I'll finish typing yesterday's devotion by Giertz, as well. It just finishes beautifully with a prayer one should think about.

There was a revival in Ephesus and many came forth and confessed what they had done. It's part of a true conversion to confess that one has lied, to make up for the damage one caused others, to as one's enemies for forgiveness, or to return things that one came into the possession of in a wrong way or kept out of negligence.

Among the things that emerged from the people in Ephesus were the superstitions that existed among this modern and enlightened people. Witchcraft and magic, which entails trying to control and benefit from covert powers, have always existed as a degenerate side of religion. They can be conquered only by a vibrant faith. In Europe these practices and superstitions were prevalent until the national revivals of the 1800s. They continue even today, and show signs of increasing and returning in new and different forms (such as amulets and horoscopes and belief in lucky and unlucky days). This is a natural consequence of the disappearance of a living faith. When Christ becomes our Savior, we see that this kind of fear for unknown forces and all attempts to appease them is just a lack of faith and idol worship.

Lord, reveal for me everything I should confess to others. Help me to make amends for everything I can. Lord, is there anything I've hidden and tried to forget that stands between us? If there is anyone who is suffering or mourning for my sake, Lord, show me the way to make it right again. and if I can't bless twofold whomever I've caused grief and injury to. You can turn evil into good and damage into profit. If this can happen through me, so be it, for Your name's sake.

I suppose it's also another item to keep in mind when blogging--not to inflict grief or injury.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blogging, the public ministry and Priscilla, and Bo Giertz

I am cleaning house, can you tell. (Did some already.)

In this house we read from the Giertz devotions periodically, truly, we do (To Live with Christ, CPH), never from the right place, though. Today we were on p. 640. Here we have a devotion on Acts 19:18 "Many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices."

Giertz writes:
...Ephesus, which is in ruins today, used to be the fourth largest city in the Roman Empire. There were already the beginnings of a church here under the leadership of the learned Apollos, who was instructed by the tent maker Aquila, or probably even more so by his wife, Priscilla. In the ancient church, everyone realized their duty to bring others to the faith. Only men appeared in public as teachers, according to the commandment of God, but in private it was not only a right by a duty for a christian--man or woman--to clearly show the way of God when someone found that another Christian lacked the necessary knowledge. this happened quite often. Many became disciples of Christ during His lifetime, then left Palestine. They weren't there at Easter or Pentecost. Maybe they were baptized by John in the Jordan River. Therefore, there may have been dedicated disciples who spoke of Jesus without having been baptized and without having heard the news of God fulfilling His promise of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Apollos was one of those disciples, along with the twelve men Paul met when he came to Ephesus. We see that they immediately were acknowledged as christian brothers, but at the same time it was made clear to them what was lacking, and they were grateful to find that out.

I've heard or read Bror make this distinction between the public ministry and what people like Priscilla were doing and we read it here in Giertz.

I think women can be super-good at correcting people. It must be from the child-rearing instinct and practice. However, men are not their children and it is better if a woman thinks twice about making a kerfuffle or scene about anything even in private.

Now, let's say we agree with this distinction. Women did not take the public role, but all Christians witnessed where ever they could. How does this distinction apply to say our current practice of blogging. Is it private or public? In a way it is privately in public. Nobody has to read it or take it seriously, nor does it necessarily get read at all or widely read, yet it could be.

Surprisingly, many of the very good theological blogs are apparently participated in by a lot of males. I am really glad to see it, quite heartened in fact. Often it seems the women are willing to do all the work in the church, but in theological discussion and debates, the men are very passionate in defending the Gospel and teaching. Very, very heartening.

I've also heard it said, that a blog of both male and female commenting helps people get the perspective of the opposite sex, which is something perhaps men in seminary have missed out on. Well, that could be. Dialogue is always good.

Where does that leave the women bloggers? No idea. Maybe they should be cleaning their houses. Ok, back to that. Blog again some other time.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gary sent me two hymns

Gary sent me two hymns as a present! Thank you very much.
Nice to see you today.

1. "Die gueldne Sonne" has always been everyone's favorite. (What's it in English?--Here it is: LSB 726, Evening and Morning, though only 4 verses) I think I know the whole thing by heart. THIS is what an organ should sound like: a pipe organ in a stone building. Electronic organ in a wood building is just nothing comparable. How the congregation always has to drag. First thing I learned was not to listen to it. Go for it and play the right speed.

2. Regarding the reed variation in the Berlin church: you are right it would be a nice change from bell choir at Christmas. I don't see what people like about bell choirs, though they can be fun to play in. Though, I think Martin would complain if he had to listen to this. But can't please them all. Opinions?

OK, Martin listened to it now. He said: "Gross!"
(My polite Japanese brother-in-law would say: "Not my favorite.")

Friday, October 9, 2009

Quoting Larry from the Old Adam

This is from Larry at the Old Adam. If I knew how I'd do a proper trackback. (Instruct me.) He also has his own blog.

"It’s also critical to see how Calvin versus Luther sees election in eternity. Because Calvin sees election in eternity “with a temporal component as to steps” if you will both “elections” are outside of Christ, the Son of God and the Word itself. It’s a necessity of asserting and insisting upon an election unto damnation. Something like this: In Phase I God chooses whom He will and will not save (out side of Christ, the Son of God and the Word – which is really non-sense). Then in Phase II Christ, the Son of God, the Word is set to the task to accomplish the selection/election in Phase I. Here we see Calvin outside of Christ and reaching up to see naked things of God. Once you necessitate an election to reprobation, which occurs outside of Christ of necessity, then you also drag the elect of salvation so chosen as well outside of Christ. And nothing could be further from the witness of Scripture."

This helps me with the whole unanswerable question about why do some believe and are saved and why do others not believe and are not saved. This is where Reason comes in as the "whore" as Luther says. In other contexts Reason it is not a "whore", but when it come to salvation, the word "whore" is not even strong enough.

Salvation is only by the cross. Jesus died for your sins. Rely on that.

If anything else made "sense" at all--it would be THAT that we rely on, and it would be false. So it is the "foolishness of the cross" that offends and saves. There is nothing else.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Abortion and Health Care Costs in Alberta

From Alberta Pro-Life

Campaign to de-fund abortion in Alberta Pro Life

In late August, Albertans learned that the provincial government has racked up a $7-billion dollar deficit. The day of the announcement happened to coincide with a meeting Alberta Pro-Life had with Premier Ed Stelmach’s Deputy Chief of Staff to discuss de-funding abortion under the Alberta Health Care insurance program. It was very timely. We were not making a pitch for money, rather showing the government a way of reducing $6-8 million per year. That’s how much the province paid last year for 12,195 abortions – virtually all of which were medically unnecessary. Less than 3% of abortions are required to save the life of the mother.

At a time when medically necessary procedures like MRI’s, the closing of acute care beds and long-term care beds, and other cut backs yet to be announced, it does not make sense to pay for abortions at taxpayers’ expense. We would like you to visit your MLA and ask that he/she support de-insuring abortion. Abortion is not a medical service, it is a booming business in Alberta. In the Capital Health Annual Report 2007-2008 The Women’s Health Options clinic (formerly the Mortgentaler Clinic) across the street from the Alberta Pro-Life office billed Alberta Health for a whopping $2,179,900 for pregnancy terminations. That is only 1 clinic in the province of Alberta. That does not include any of the abortions done at the Kensington Clinic or in any of the hospitals here in Alberta.

By now, every MLA in Alberta should have received the MLA Information Package prepared by Alberta Pro-Life. Our goal is to have every MLA in the province approached by as many constituents as possible to demand that abortion is de-insured. At a time when Alberta is experiencing its largest yearly deficit in its history, we have an opportune time to lobby to stop the cost of abortions being paid by taxpayers. If you are unsure who your Provincial MLA is, please go to contacts.cfm

Something else you can do…

Alberta Pro-Life hopes to move to the next step in our campaign for De-funding Abortion in Alberta. Our plan is to place a number of ads in various Alberta newspapers. As you know advertising is very expensive. If you find it in your heart to help out financially to help us get the word out about De-funding at this very crucial time, please forward cheques to Alberta Pro-Life, PO Box 11479, Edmonton, AB T5J 3K5 or call 1-877-880-5433

Church Bu
lletin Insert

For the month of October, 2009

Please consider inserting the following into your church bulletin for the month of October. NOW is the time. Our prayerful actions CAN make a difference when it comes


October is the month to pray, pray, pray. Alberta Pro-Life is in the midst of a provincial campaign, asking our MLAs to de-fund abortion in Alberta in 2009-10. Each year 1 in 5 Albertans are aborted with taxpayers’ money, with little thought to the damage it does to baby, mom and dad. Now is the time to de-fund this procedure, with so many proven harmful effects. Call your MLA and encourage them to take a stand – you can find their address at or call Alberta Pro-Life for more info 780-421-7747.

Bless you for speaking up on behalf of those who suffer as a result of abortion.

Blogging's top hits here

I do have a site meter on the blog and I will tell you what happens. When I'm in low blogging mode and not leaving comments somewhere else, there are about 10 readers per day and maybe 20 page loads, not counting my own when I'm fiddling with a post, or accidental traffic, or Google searches. Maybe average. I am surprised at who does read along and will mention it to me and who does not. People seem to either like the medium or not (or maybe the posts or not :)). It's nice to get comments. I appreciate them all. You don't feel like you exist in a vacuum. Sometimes the German aunts are there. Sometimes not. And so on and so it goes. Lot's of fun.

When I'm commenting a lot elsewhere, the count goes up a significantly. But I feel I need to limit myself, because I could probably blog all day, and have done that, too.

What is interesting from the site meter log is which entries attract people from Google searches. Recently, the "Motherhood Quotes" post started generating a lot of traffic. In that post was also a quote by Nancy Friday, whom I did not know about. But she must have written some interesting sexual stuff, as Google is bringing in some unusual connections (Islamabad via "masturbation techniques"--wrong blo-og!).

The other terms creating Google traffic are "Tilmann Riemenschneider", "Frankfurt airport" and the road trips mentioning cities and states. Occasionally something comes via Luther topics. The winner, however, is by far "Motherhood Quotes" and "Nancy Friday", which is all quotes and nothing I've written.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Catechism with Explanations/ Sample

(OK, enough whining. Been there, done that.)

For those who don't know this and for those who like to be reminded every day, here is everyone's favorite part of the Catechism. There are many favorite parts, but this is the mostest favorite. I've written this one out for strangers on airplanes, when the subject matter goes there. Of course, it is on the second article of the creed and on redemption. THE must know of all. I have met Christians who are strongly anti-all-creeds. But look at this. Is this not the best? And those, who don't know at all or not for sure, is this not the best?

The second article of the Apostle's Creed:

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell. The third day He rose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty. From thence He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Small Catechism: What does this mean?

I believe that Jesus Christ, true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the virgin Mary, is my Lord, who has redeemed me, a lost and condemned person, purchased and won me form all sins, from death, and from the power of the devil; not with gold or silver, but with His holy, precious blood and with His innocent suffering and death, that I may be His own and live under Him in His kingdom and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, just as He is risen from the dead, lives and reigns to all eternity.

This is most certainly true.

Well! Isn't that good? Do you believe it?
I do. It is most certainly true.

And it's not just made up because we like it. It is honest to goodness, historical fact. Nobody just made this up. When you really think about it, nobody would make this up. We make up all kind of stories, but never one like this. It would not have occurred to anyone.

I was thinking the same thing about the Ten Commandments when we were reading from Deuteronomy, yesterday. Who would come up with a list of things to do and not do and the most important part of it is to love God and have no other. This is foreign to us. Who would come up with this? Not we. Definitely not we.
So what do we get in the Explanations: we get 25 pages of Bible verses and summarizing.

Such as: point 124. on page 127:

What do you therefore confess about Jesus Christ, the God-man?

I believe that Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Redeemer, whom I love and serve with my whole life.

430--1 Cor. 6:20 "You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

Bible narrative: Thomas' confession (John 20:24)

The whole book goes like that with everything beautifully backed up. Nice, eh?

By the way, the 1. Cor. 6:20 really stuck in my mind. I always read it in context and having to do with sexual sin. But when you look at it more broadly, there are many other things we do or don't do that are or aren't honoring God with your body, such as doing your work and doing it right. The body is integral to our spiritual life. Anyways, you can go from one good thought to another.

9 months/ 2

Writing that yesterday made me feel worse. But it is good to keep a record. The other day I read over the old posts, and I realized I had forgotten lots of it and it was good to know, anyhow. I also phoned the other Mom and she cried on the phone. And I went to Gibbons choir and we practice songs for Remembrance Day. One song goes "Remember my voice, remember my song, remember..." I sit next to a lady who lost her husband, but we sang it alright. Actually, I think it was good.

On Sunday, we sang a hymn that fits here because it speaks our inability to understand and pray. Neither Martin nor I remember ever having sung it before. The "Morgenglanz" melody was nice, too:

LSB 773

Hear us, Father, when we pray, through Your Son and in Your Spirit. By Your Spirit's Word convey all that we through Christ inherit, that as baptized heirs we may truly pray.

When we know not what to say and our wounded souls are pleading, my Your Spirit, night and day, groan within us interceding; by His sighs, too deep for words, we are heard.

Jesus, advocate on high, sacrificed on Calvry's altar, through Your priestly blood we cry: hear our prayers, though they may falter; place them on Your Father's throne as your own.

By Your Spirit now attend to our prayers and supplications, as like incense they ascend to Your heav'nly habitations. May their fragrance waft above, God of love.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

9 months

It has been nine months, since Stefan's accident. We are still receiving flowers, condolence cards and late memorial donation notifications. (Thank you). We got some yesterday. But they make us cry, still. The cousins cry, the friends cry, the grandmas cry, the birthfamily cries.

Not all the time. Certainly not as often. But just as sadly or maybe more. And then we set each other off and it goes around.

Grandpa Lechelt (95) died this week. Funeral on Saturday. We are happy for him. He was a ready saint. There is not this desperate "why" question in everyone's mind, though death is always nasty. Grandpa Lechelt cried the hardest when Stefan died. He thought it should have been his own turn. It will be a poignant time for the family.

Why suffering? Why death? And why damnation, by the way? Reading Steve's blog on the Calvinist questions, make me connect to suffering. God is not to blame that some (or many) are lost. God is also not to blame for our suffering and accidents. But he is omnipotent and loving. There is seemingly a contradiction here. There is something we can't understand.

How do we deal with this not understanding?

Like any little child in the supermarket. You hold on tightly to the hand that's holding you and holler like mad when you feel lost. You can never find your own way. We might think we could, but we can't. Would we really know God's love and support and gracious redemption without suffering, losses and some being lost? Without fear and cross and Christ's scandalous death? All I know is where to go: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Alleluia. Alleluia."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Books we read along the way

Along the way, I read all of the explanations to the Small Catechism. I had never done that, nor do I remember anyone ever pointing out that resource. There are about 200 small pages of Bible verses and passages to go with each sentence and phrase in the Small Catechism! Behold! Hello! Someone told me the other day that the catechism is not in the Bible, why are we stuck on it? Well, there you go! Read the entire explanation and you will see how it is thoroughly biblical. It's not so much "Luther's" Small Catechism it is the "Bible's" Small Catechism.

The other thing I read was the Formula of Concord, mostly the Epitome and some of the long version (seeing from the Paul Gerhardt video that this was a crucial document).

I used to think Bror was a brilliant theologian. Now I know where he gets this stuff!!! :)

(How come I'm not interested in any light reading?)

(I think it's because I'm a "Lutheran"; anything "heavy" is actually "light" because of the clear Gospel light.)

The other book we both read (though we thought it might be too late for us, due to our advancing age, :)) was the "Love and Respect" book by Eggerichs. Mary gave that to us four years ago and we did not read it til now. There were two events that got me into it. One, I read on line where a Lutheran Pastor really recommended it highly as not some run-of-the-mill-how-to-book. Two, we were at the Alliance church the other day to hear Pastor Lang speak (his 17 year old son was shot in the Tabor school shooting about 10 years ago) and the church is advertising a four evening series of sessions on this Love and Respect book. Martin--like--almost--or did--agree to go to it. I think Mary heard it. Right Mary? Anyways, we read the book on the way. (See, Mary, it did good after all.)

Admittedly, I did not like the book right away. It is full of testimonials and things you think you know or almost a pitch to go to the seminars... But, it grew on me, a lot.

We need the getting beaten over the head with the two-by-four over and over again, if we've only been seeing our own side of the story. Wake up and look around! And look at yourself. We get this in the book. Repetitive but maybe we'll get it.

The anecdotal items are relevant and often moving. The author is a deep and caring and understanding enough man. Most of all, the material is thoroughly biblical. And Eggerichs finishes up with what we call the theology of the cross. You can try your very best and you still may not be "happy" in your marriage of "good-willed" people. In the end you are not going to do the right thing basically for your own happiness, you are doing it as unto the Lord. Very important two-by-four lesson for all the selfishness in our hearts.

Eggerichs does not counsel as to what to do in certain types of situations or how to enrich your marriage by doing this or that little activity. He does not go into abuse, etc. He deals with the fighting and/or unhappiness of people of more-or-less "good will". He brings out what biblical concepts apply.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Uwe Siemon-Netto in Calgary on "two kingdoms doctrine".

Communications from LCC. Would be neat to attend, since we've been reading his book.
Lutheran scholar at University of Calgary

LCMS Lutheran, Uwe Siemon-Netto, a journalist for 52 years, Lutheran scholar and founding director of the Center for Lutheran Theology and Public Life (CLTPL) will speak at the University of Calgary’s 2009 Peter Craigie Memorial Lecture, Tuesday, October 6, at 7:30 p.m. in the Husky Oil Great Hall, Rozsa Centre. His lecture Voters as priests—the Lutheran Paradox will explore the Lutheran ‘two kingdoms doctrine’

that provides sharp distinctions between the secular and spiritual realities in the lives of every Christian.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back from the U.S. of A.

Back safe and sound, thanks be to God, after over 4000 km in 9 days. Everything was wonderful. Thanks to our hosts! The picture is of Montana on the way home today. North of Livingston on the 89.