Friday, October 22, 2010

Darkness

Sometimes we walk in the valley of the shadow of death and it just doesn't feel like the Lord is near.

My son last night said something like this:

I just want to talk to Oma. I don't even need to see her, I just need to talk to her and now I won't until I die and that is just too long. I don't want to die, I want to stay living, but sometimes I want to die so that I can see her.

Every night we have a similar conversation at bed time.

We pray. I quote scripture to console him, but he wants her back at our home, cooking him breakfast, taking him to school and most of all listening to him ... which I am sorry to say I fall miserably short on.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Guilt and Heartbreak

The day before my grandmother died, I went into her room with the LSB and I read Psalms and matins to her, or was it the Compline. It was the Compline although it was morning. Hospice had given her a fair amount of morphine at that point and she would not respond to me.

Oh how I loved her.

I did not stay as long as I wanted. My wife and kids were home on a Saturday morning, and my wife's mom was in her last month of life as well, dying from pancreatic cancer.

Today it just came crushing in on me - I did not give her the time I owed her. I should have stayed until she died. I didn't.

I was with my mother in law until she died. Prayed the Our Father with her as she drew her last breaths. Saw my Father Confessor and her's commend her in her dying moments. Sang "Lamb of God Pure and Holy" after the spirit left her body. I saw it out. I stuck it out. I got our boys out of the house so that she could die. She so did not want to die with her precious grandsons in the house. I made sure pastor was there in time. I was faithful to the end for her and struggled through the nights between Christmas and Sylvester with her.

I did not suffer with my grandmother although she took us in at a young age and loved us.

I pray she forgives me of my cowardice. I pray the Lord forgives me as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Funeral Homily I wished I had Heard

Pr. Weedon has a true gift for this kind of thing

My grandmother died on St. Michael's Day 2009.

The sermon I heard a few days later was far less than Christ for my broken heart at losing the woman who raised me as her own.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I don’t have a Golden Voice, but I don’t have a Glass Chin either

I won’t call Dan from Necessary Roughness un-necessarily rough.

As the author and voice of the, loved by few, tolerated by many, loathed by some, Brothers of John the Steadfast commercials, I actually didn’t take that much offense to Dan’s article referenced above. I will paraphrase a Jeff Schwarz quote for the IE Comment Line, “I am a big boy, I can take it”. Hey, I used to play soccer with these guys until a Lt. named Charlie from England brought a rugby ball to practice and showed us what a real man’s sport is.

Ok, the 30 second spots are dated. When I hear them, sometimes I cringe, sometimes I am happy. I especially don’t like the “Fred and Barney” one. Sound quality is bad. The text is pretty witty though. Maybe not winsome, but witty.

My favorite that doesn’t get played much is the “I am Baptized” spot. “Three little words, so easy my three year old can say them.” But alas Baptism is not a critical event.

Another favorite was the spot for the 2009 Steadfast Lutherans annual conference: Rockin Sade’s “Smooth Operator” in the background for the first 10 seconds straight into a Lutheran chorale.

Just me and my copious collection of 1980’s music, my wife’s Mac, a Blue Microphone and Garage Band (all get a TM after them)! I always wanted to work Guns ‘N Roses “Novemeber Rain” into a spot, but I just couldn’t write the words because I was too enraptured listing to all 8 glorious minutes and 52 seconds of it..

And when it comes to Polemics and Rhetoric… I am LutherQuest trained and went on to write for the somewhat contentious and long dead Beggars All blog, which our beloved Pr. Wilken called his favorite blog back in 2007 or 2008 (I kept that episode as an MP3). So when I write copy, sometimes sarcasm comes to the fore. I know it can be offputting.

But back to my critic Dan from Necessary Roughness and I quote:
“What’s the message? Inferring a lot from the context of the commercial and the program that plays the commercial, one is to get the message that if you perceive the elders and pastor of your church, the district, or the LCMS as a Good Ol’ Boys club and you’re tired of that, you should check out the BJS. If your church is pitching Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Beth Moore, or some “gospel” that is really either life affirmations or “three steps to walking on water,” and you’re tired of that, you should check out the BJS.”

Great! He got it! That was exactly my intention. Isn’t this exactly the point of the New Lutheran Media? We are pushing and promoting an alternative Lutheran lifestyle that is certainly not my parents’ church. I don’t even think, at my age, it is my grandfather’s church. It is more like great grandfather’s if anything. Synod Inc. created a monster when it killed Issues, Etc. and it also opened the door to the dismantling of the Old Boys Club, which allows “Lutherans” to peddle the “haufen Mist” that is Joel, Rick and Beth. So yes, that was my message. If you are sick of the garbage I was brought up with, turn to the Brothers.

And more from referee Dan
“But that’s only if you’ve been paying attention to synodical politics, which most Lutherans don’t. To the great middle the commercial comes off as pretentious. “Perhaps you should buy Joel Osteen’s book and read it,” isn’t something I’d say to someone I’d want to be my friend. It’s the morbid humor of suffering brethren.”

When I wrote and produced the commercials, I was going for some “shock and Law”. I also know something about the demographics of the show the commercials were to be played on. I was going for the male 20 to 40 demographic that would love to reclaim some masculinity in the Church. I went edgy. Some people don’t like it. I know that and I did it anyway. There is a reason why God put me in the vocation of factory logistics rather than a pastoral office.

Pretension was not my objective. If anything I pictured my audience as some guy sitting next to me at the bar giving me grief about the engine oil on my white collar.

It has been a busy year for me and I failed to keep the ball rolling on timely commercials. I was getting better at the production part.

If anything Dan just pushed me out of my sabbatical (or lethargy)..

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's back and I don't know why!

I think, that if I don't start doing this, I will go crazy.

So, back to being the masked Luchadore of the Lutheran blogosphere it is.