this is no longer my blog

Saturday, November 27, 2004



I think I like Advent. It's the season of the church year where we wait and hope for the coming of Christ. In an entry from around last Easter I mentioned that Easter has always been my favorite church holiday because of the anthems and the celebrating that goes on. But the period of time that leads up to it is Lent, which is somber and dark, and people always feel like they need to give things up during Lent. And Lent ends with Good Friday, and when Jesus was crucified on Good Friday and the hopes and dreams of all of his friends and followers were crucified along with him. Of course we are Easter people and so we know what comes next in the story, but on that Good Friday no one knew what was to come in three days. All they knew is that their hope hung broken and bloody on that wooden cross.
But with Advent it was unexpected. People knew the prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures, and people hoped for that day to come, and with Christmas their hopes were fulfilled and the angels let people know it. And during the season of Advent we get all the excitement and the anticipation leading up to the nativity of Christ. And I don't really know where I'm going with this. I just sat down to write about what's been going on in my life the past couple days and I felt like I needed to write about Advent and why I like it. And really, we find ourselves in much the same shape that the people did before Jesus was born who were hoping for a Savior to come and deliver them. We live in a very broken world, battered by hatred and violence. We are in desperate need of a Savior. And we hope and anticipate the day when Immanuel will come and deliver us, when the Kingdom of God will be ushered in. When fear and pain and hate and sin will be no more...
Anyway, I need to get to bed. 8:00 is going to come pretty early tomorrow. God's peace!


just so you know...

if you unintentionally look at a high school girl while you are preaching your sermon at the exact same time that you are talking about how Jesus told us to "hang out with the outcast," she will notice. And she won't believe you when you say it wasn't intentional. But her mom might approve. And I'm pretty sure her little brother will, too.


interesting and fun

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)High
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Very Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test

i'm not sure about the level 8- fraudulent, malicious and panderers thing... i'm not sure i'd use any of those adjectives to describe myself... frankly i'm a wee bit troubled!

Friday, November 26, 2004


i am thankful for

nice people from my church who invite me to their house for thanksgiving and don't mind that i arrive there before any of the other guests arrive and leave after all of the other guests have left. and then they tell me i'm welcome to come back and even try to offer me a sandwich as i tell them that i need to leave.
(i know i said i was done with the last post, but i just needed to put this in)


daily reflections

Please forgive the lame title for today's entry. I couldn't think of anything else...
So an odd thing happened today. I had a bottle of mountain dew sitting on my computer desk here at home. It was about a quarter full and open, and flat (I had forgotten about it from the day before). I must have bumped the computer desk and the bottle was close enough to the edge that if fell, flipped upside down and landed directly on top of my open Nalgene water bottle which was sitting on the floor. It landed perfectly in the opening and stayed upright and emptied every drop of liquid into the water bottle. I was astonished.
And at work today nothing much happened. Although I guess there was another odd thing, although not as miraculously odd as the pop bottle incident. During my summer CPE (for those of you who don't know, or who may have wandered onto the site and don't know all of this seminary/religious education jargon CPE stands for Clinical Pastoral Education and is a time spent as a chaplain in a clinical setting like a hospital or a nursing home) I really bonded with my small group of CPE chaplain-mates. We had special codes on our beepers for times to take breaks and go get iced mochas, or we'd spend some time getting some fresh air on the roof together. We were fairly comfortable with each other by the end of the summer. But unfortunately we fell out of touch and I have not heard from any of them for quite sometime. Well, just last night I sat down at the computer and logged onto my msn messenger to see that one of them, "Maggie," had added me to her friend list. However, she was not online at the time. Well, today I logged on again to messenger to see if any of my friends were on and sure enough Maggie was on and we chatted for a bit. Well, not five minutes after I'm done chatting with Maggie then I get an e-mail from "Brother John." Now Brother John was a member of a Catholic religious community (hence the Brother that I've added) and usually I would just call him John and most other people always just called him John, but sometimes for fun I would call him Brother John. And he had sent out a mass e-mail telling everyone about his pastoral year in Zambia, Africa, which is where he's at now. So I got caught up on his life, too. So it was just kind of a strange coincidence that I heard from two of them on the same day.
Well, there was some other stuff that I had thought about writing about, but I'm tired and need to go to bed, but I think I might work a little bit more on my sermon for this weekend. I'm mostly done, just some finishing touches and tomorrow is Christmas decorating at church and I'm not sure how much time I'll have to work on it tomorrow, so I'd like to get it to the point where I feel it's preachable before then. So anyway, in the words of the amazing Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live (which she borrowed from the amazing Jane Curtain from the earlier seasons of SNL): Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004


giving thanks ecumenically

Tonight was our community Thanksgiving service, which I took part in (and by take part I mean read two lines at the beginning for the invocation). I am all for ecumenism (although I often find myself a Lutheran snob, and I try not to be) but there are a few observations I wanted to share with you.
1) I could not tell if the man leading the service was a pastor or a choir director. If he had not had "Pastor" before his name I would not have known. He seemed to think he was needed to direct the congregation with every hymn they sang. One hand firmly grasping the Methodist hymnal, the other reaching not quite the same range of motion of a choir director, but coming darn close.
2) What some of the area churches lack in denominational commitment, their pastors lack in theological meat.
3) I enjoyed both what the Catholic priest and the Baptist pastor had to say. They were not lacking in theology. I expected to agree with much of what Father Bob said. I was not quite expecting to agree so much with what the Baptist pastor said. But I found myself nodding in agreement with much of what she said.
4) The Lutherans were oddly absent. I was the only pastoral representative of the two Lutheran churches in town, and only two members of my congregation showed up. So much for my push for ecumenical relations.
5) The front of the Methodist church was horribly cluttered and poorly set up. I think it would be a good example in a book entitled "How not to arrange your altar area."
6) Methodists seem to be dealing with their clergy shortage by importing their's from Asia. At least that is what one would be led to believe, 2 out of 3 Methodist pastors were Asian women with very thick accents.
7) Even the promise of cookies and punch could not convince me to stay there any longer than I had to.
8) The only thing that kept me their the whole service was the fact that the only two members from my congregation sat directly behind me.
9) One of the nondenominational pastors quoted Bush in his little homily. I burped up a little vomit, but managed to not create a scene.
10) A cross above the altar can only look tacky when lit up from behind with a neon blue light. This goes hand in hand with #5.
11) The Lighthouse is a nondenominational youth center in town, I believe, and their youth were scheduled to sing tonight. Their youth consisted of one teenagerish boy playing a drum machine, the pastor who was a middle aged man and a middle aged woman, the two of which did most of the singing, another man playing the keyboard and then a high school aged girl who was supposed to be singing but her lips oddly stayed in almost the same position the whole song. She must have been demonstrating her ventriloquism.
12) There were no liturgical dancers. Who has a Thanksgiving service without liturgical dancers?

So there you have my observations of the community Thanksgiving service that I attended this evening. I was presented with the option of participating in the community thanksgiving service or planning and leading a Thanksgiving service at my church. I was told by a number of people that the turn-out for such a service is usually pretty sparse, and I already had a lot to work on with having to write a sermon and Supervising being on vacation this week... So I thought it would be easier to participate in the community thanksgiving service. I wish more people from my church had attended, but what can you do...
Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you take some time to remember and thank God for all the blessings in your life... and I know that if most of you were to make a list of all of the blessings in your life I, of course, would be near the top. And that is as it should be.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004


just so you know...

wild turkeys and crows are natural born enemies. Or at least that is what the scenario that unfolded on the church lawn this morning would suggest. Nothing beats walking to church in the morning to see a group of three wild turkeys sprinting across the lawn to attack the flock of unsuspecting crows. Sweeeeeeet!

Monday, November 22, 2004


hyper social

In a post a couple of months ago (this one, to be exact)I used the term "hypersocial" to describe myself. At that time I was unsure if it was a real word, or not, but regardless of it's legitimacy I still hold firm that it is a fairly apt description of me. So out of curiousity today I checked on to see if "hypersocial" was indeed a real word. So I did a search and it asked me if I meant "hypercholia," with the definition of this word being "A condition in which an abnormally large amount of bile is formed in the liver."
Although they share the same prefix, and many of the same letters after the prefix, I'm afraid that is where the similarities end, especially concerning me.
So hypersocial is NOT a real word, but it describes me.
And hypercholia IS a real word, and it does not.
(Yes, I know... I need to go to bed. And I am. Right now.)


just so you know...

if you find a stray chow mein noodle on your living room floor, and toss it in the toilet (for lack of a better place to put it at the time) and come back several hours later it will have grown to at least three times it's original size. In case you were wondering...

Sunday, November 21, 2004


if i close my eyes, the clowns will eat me

I was channel surfing this evening and I ran across a Cirque Du Soleil special. And I think I can safely say thanks to the Cirque I have a greater idea of what it must be like to be on an acid trip. Flashing lights. Swirling colors. People singing in unknown tongues. Brightly clad people flipping and spinning all over. Small children being tossed around. And what seemed like a clown mafia. Not sure if that would classify as a bad trip or not... Definitely interesting.
And I admit that I have a fear of heights, but even watching these two women do these dangerous stunts on a swing high in the air gave me that feeling in my stomach that I can get when I'm somewhere precarious. There was one point where one woman was sitting on the swing, and the other woman was hanging from her leg and the only parts of their bodies that were touching each other was one foot per piece. And there was not net! There were no harnesses! They were SWINGING! At least 25 feet in the air! Those french-canadians are kind of kooky.

I also thought you weekend wouldn't be complete without a list of the blunders that were commited this weekend. Saturday evening service was good. I don't remember any blunders that evening. But Sunday morning I woke up much later than I would like. I was in a rush most of the morning. When I'm rushing I tend to forget minor details like the wall/ceiling at the bottom of the stairway is low. I didn't remember that until I went barreling down the stairs to rush out the door to church and ran full force with my head into the ceiling. I'm sure it made a nice noise, but the stars flashing in my eyes distracted me. I think it affected my vision for some time, too, because the 8am service was blurry. So I'm sitting in my throne while Supervising is giving announcements when I come to the sudden realization that I have ONCE AGAIN forgotten my microphone. I silently swear, because shouting the "f-word" would be deemed extremely inappropriate at this juncture. So I quickly scan over the bulletin and try to find a good time to quickly escape out the back door, down the stairs, across the basement, up the stairs, and into the library/changing room to retrieve my microphone. The best time is during the first lesson. So after the announcements, confession, kyrie (luckily we did the Kyrie out of the With One Voice hymnal and when we do that we have "guest cantors" so I didn't have to do it) and the hymn of praise. So when the woman comes forward to read the lesson I stand up and quickly escape out the back door. I figure it's through the sacristy so people might just think that I'm getting something out of there (Oh, there's a blunder I forgot. On the Saturday service we forgot to move the usual book or worship and replace it with the With One Voice book of worship,so during the hymn of praise I had to take the green worship book and march into the sacristy and grab the WOV worship book). So I quickly run down the stairs, across the basement, up the stairs and into the library/changing room and grab my microphone and get it set up as I run out the door, down the stairs, across the basement and back up the stairs and make it into my throne before the end of the first lesson. I was proud of myself. So that was the last major blunder for that service.
The contemporary 10:30 service was a whole other deal. Both Supervising and I sing in the worship band. We usually have what we call "cheat sheets" on our music stands that have some of the parts of worship that are not in the bulletin but are on the big screen like the greeting, the confession and a few other things. I notice right before we were ready to start that we didn't have cheat sheets. Normally they are on the top of the keyboard which is right in front of the singers, so I walk down and look a the stacks of papers on the keyboard and not a one contains the cheat sheets. So I ask the keyboard player if she knew where they were. She said she didn't bring them with the rest of the stuff. (why not?!?!? she should know we need them!!!) So I go up to Supervising and say they are not there and keyboard player does not know where they are. He tells me to go check in the back. I run to the narthex and look all over. I check in the library/changing room. They are not there. I look all over. They are nowhere to be found. The worship band has begun singing already. I walk back up to the front and tell Supervising I could not find them. He shrugs. As he's getting ready to go out front to do announcements he tells me to check the top of the keyboard again. So I do. Keyboard player still doesn't know where they are. Worship band leader does not know where they are. I run back to the narthex again and look all over. Still no clue. So we decide that we are going to have to move to where we can see the screen. Supervising's idea is that we should move to the front of the congregation area so that we can turn around and see the screen. I remind him that I have to do the cross action with my hand during the greeting, so it wouldn't make much sense to do all of that business with my back to the congregation. So he says he'll go forward, I'll go backward. So after the opening song he goes down the stairs, I go up the stairs to behind the altar and I have to read all of my business backwards. Like if it were in a mirror. That is HARD! So things are going fine until it's time for the kids who took the first communion class recently to come up and receive first communion. So they are invited up with their families, and the kids get to use communion cups that they've decorated and Supervising reminds the adults that they will be communing by intinction. Okay, not everyone knows what intinction is (in case you are one of those, intinction is when you commune by dipping the wafer or bread into the chalice of wine or grape juice). I go to the very first lady (a grandma of one of the first communicants) and she still has her wafer. Right when I get up there with the chalices of wine and grape juice she pops it into her mouth. I look at her. She tells me she has no idea what she's doing. I tell her to hold on. I grab an extra wafer off of Supervising's tray and hand it to her. Just dip! I say. She does. I get to the next person, the son-in-law of the first woman and father of the communicant. He is a regular church attender. He knows that we usually commune through intinction. He has already eaten his wafer, but he is holding his newborn baby so he tells me just to keep going. His wife still have her wafer and she dips it. Well done. The next woman has already eaten her wafer. I get her another one. The next man has already eaten his wafer. He doesn't want a new one. The next man dips. The next woman has already eaten her wafer. She doesn't want a new one. The next woman dips. At least FOUR other people did not have wafers, they had already eaten them. I saw one woman put the wafer in her mouth and then take it back out. I ask her if she wants a new wafer. She says no she's fine. I'm glad she didn't try to dip it. And you know, I think all of this could have been solved by saying "The children will commune with their decorated cups. The adults will commune by intinction, which is dipping the wafer in the chalice of choice." A little more explanation, but oh well. And normally those participating in communion distribution commune first. This time we communed the first communers first. So I'm confused and before I've communed, and as the other communion assistants are coming up, I walk back down and join the band. Then the band goes to get in line for communion. I figure since I haven't had communion that I'd go down there and line up with them. As I'm standing in line I see supervising get confused because I'm not there to give him the wafer and say "Body of Christ, given for you" which is my normal role. So he almost forgets to do it, but then gives the tray to one of the assistants and she gives him the wafer. So I apologize to him as I receive my wafer when I go through the line. Then as I'm standing up with the band someone comes and grabs me and says they're having trouble with the computer, the power point has frozen or something like that. I say I have no idea, but I'll come and look at it. So I look at the computer, which is run by a parishionier sitting in the pew. Not only has the Power Point frozen up, but it has completely closed and I am looking at the desk top of the computer. I say I have no idea, but Supervising has just finished communion, I will go tell him. So I tell him, he tells me that I have to do the post-communion blessing and all that stuff, so he runs to check out the computer. I ask the congregation to rise for the post communion blessing and then I say "And now may the body and blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace." Then I look at the screen and I see that the prayer the congregation says after communion is actually called the post communion blessing, so THEN i say "Let us say together the post-communion blessing" and I think I heard chuckles. Could be paranoia. So we say the post communion blessing. Then we go down to sing the closing songs, and in the bulletin it says we're singing "Oh Lord our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth" and then "Soon and Very Soon" in that order. So that is how I set up the slide show. The worship leader has it arranged with "Soon and Very Soon" first. So the computer runner has to skip through the song I put first, granted it was only one slide, and gets to "Soon and Very Soon" so we sing that. Next comes "How Majestic is Your Name" or whatever it's title is which was before "Soon and Very Soon" but the computer runner advances to the next frame which is the benediction. So I make eye contact with his wife and mouth "No! Go back!" so she tells him and he backs it up to the right slide. So after the service, after everyone has shook our hands, we go back to the front to collect our stuff and the computer runner says to me "Did you organize the slides?" and I say "No" because I didn't organize a lot of them, but then I say "Oh yeah, I did some of them" so he says "Well the last two songs were in the wrong order" and I think "Am I not the one who told your wife to tell you to back up so we'd be at the right song? But I don't say that. I say "Yeah, I noticed that but the bulletin had them in the other order, and that is the order I used to put the slides in." He says "oh" or something similar.
So there you go. Sometimes I wonder why they keep me around. It doesn't seem like we can get through a service without me looking like a complete dope.
Anyway, my bruised head is sore. So I'm going to stop typing now.

Saturday, November 20, 2004


definite mixed emotions

As I was preparing for worship this evening, I grabbed one of our bulletins to double check something in the order of worship. I stopped in my tracks, however, when I saw the cover. It is Christ the King Sunday, so it is appropriate to have a picture of Jesus on the front. However what I saw surpassed my expectations. On the cover of this bulletin is the face of a brown Jesus! Not a caucasian Jesus as is often the case, but this Jesus was definitely brown skinned. I was ecstatic. I thought for once those bulletin publishers got it right.
But then I noticed something. Jesus has blue eyes. I don't know very many brown skinned Middle Eastern types with blue eyes... Do you? Maybe I'm just ignorant to the fact that blue eyes were a common trait for 1st century Jews. Or maybe Jesus, ever the fashion guru and trend-setter, was one of the first people to have colored contact lenses. Or maybe it's the publishers of this bulletin still clinging ever so tightly to the arrogant idea that Jesus represents white america, even if just in the eyes...
Or maybe I'm reading too much into this. That could definitely be the case...

Thursday, November 18, 2004


as the grains of wheat...

...once scattered on the hill, were gathered into one to become THE BREAD THAT I BAKED!!!
So bread baking is something that I have been interested in for a while... Just the act of taking all of these ingredients that aren't much good by themselves like flour and oil and yeast (i used sugar and honey, too, but those are definitely good to eat by themselves) and to use your hands to mix them together and produce a loaf of bread... It's just a rewarding project. So my loaf of newly baked bread is sitting on the kitchen counter cooling. I'm anxious to cut into it and see if I did a good job. It's not a perfectly shaped loaf like the mass produced loaves you buy from a store, but I don't think I'd want that. My loaf of bread has character. There's just something really gratifying about baking. I enjoy it a lot. Not to mention that now my house smells wonderful! Fresh baked bread.... mmmmmmmm....
Good thing I have all sorts of flour and sugar and honey and yeast and oil left over so that I can keep perfecting my bread baking skills. But for now I'm going to go see if my loaf of bread is cool enough to eat. I'll get back to you on the outcome!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


la dee da

So I've since learned that it was my domestic ineptitude and not the result of Pyrex slighting me. There was no good reason for righteous indignation, which is good, because I really didn't feel any. I'll just file this in my mental note file cabinet for the next time I buy cookware.
And I guess the tuna noodle casserole was a success. I brought it over straight out of the oven, and walked into the room where "Young at Heart" was meeting, and put the casserole on the table. The older women oohed and aahed and asked me if I was a good cook. I said I hoped so, and that I hoped my casserole was good. They giggled. Although they made a bigger deal about the pasta salad last time, they made the general comment that "Everything was very good." So at least they didn't say "Everything was very good except that tuna noodle casserole which kind of tasted like reheated dog vomit. Only worse." I was pleased that phrase was not said in my hearing. And I had considered making a double batch, because the recipe I followed that it served 5, and I knew that more people usually show up, but I thought I'd make up a single batch and see. And that casserole must serve 5 hungry people, because I fed 8 people (granted 4 of which were elderly women) and I still had more than half left. So I will be enjoying the delicacy that is tuna noodle casserole for a couple more meals.

So lately I've been thinking more and more about what kind of ministry I feel I am called to. Not ordained vs. non-ordained, because lately I've been leaning heavily in the ordained department. The whole presiding at the Eucharist gets to me. I heard someone refer to it as being the kid who wants to set the table and says a prayer for the family. I'm not the one that nourishes, but I get it ready so that people can come to the table and be nourished... Or at least I will be someday. I really like that imagery... Getting the table set up so that my brothers and sisters can come into the house from wherever they were and whatever they were doing, and sit together at the table as a family and be fed.
So yeah, it's not a question of ordination... It's a question of what do I feel called to do after that. Youth ministry has always been very prevalent in the foreground, and it seems like God is constantly putting that sort of ministry in my life. Especially here on internship, where the representative of my candidacy committee wanted me to have little to no youth ministry responsibilities. I get sent to a church where I'm in charge of eighth grade confirmation, with a pastor who knows my youth ministry past and wants to utilize my gifts in that area to provide support and guidance for the youth program, and then the youth director resigns and I'm asked to assume even more youth responsibilities. I guess I wasn't meant to NOT do youth ministry...
I've also been thinking a lot about campus ministry. Campus ministry was very important in my faith formation, and in my calling to become a pastor. I can still remember the day when, as a freshman in college, I stood outside the campus pastor's office, looking at a sign about a seminary visitation trip over an extended weekend. I had no real intention to go, I was just reading the sign to see what it said. But right at that moment Pastor Mike walks out of the office (that's his real name, folks!... Well, Mike... not Pastor. Pastor would be his title) and sees me reading the sign. "Mark! Are you thinking about going on the seminary trip?" he asks. Now I had nothing but love for Pastor Mike. He was a dynamic man who I was instantly drawn to, and who also was a big part in drawing me to the college that I chose. The fact that he was expressing interest in me going on this trip was exciting, so before I even knew what I was saying, the word "Sure..." tumbled from my lips. A big grin crossed Pastor Mike's face. "Great!" he exclaims. "Because I can really see some gifts in you in that area." And then he walked away to wherever he was headed originally. And I was left standing there, my mouth hanging open, a little taken aback, and wondering what just happened. And of course since Pastor Mike had seemed so excited about the idea of me going on that trip, there was no way I was going to back out and disappoint him. So it was on this seminary trip that I really allowed myself to consider becoming a pastor as an option in my life. And there are a lot more stories like that, of how Pastor Mike and then Pastor Joanne after him (yep, her real name too...) really nurtured my faith and my calling. And I was involved in other things like Lutheran Student Movement and various other campus ministry activities throughout my college years. Because it had such a life changing impact on me, I realize how important campus ministry is. Plus it's an exciting time in the lives of the people I would be ministering, too, and to offer the same sort of guidance and encouragement that Mike and Joanne were able to offer to me would be amazing. So I really feel like I could be being called in that direction.
And then there is also parish ministry (now I realize that the argument could be made that ordained youth ministry is parish ministry, and campus ministry is parish ministry because the campus is your parish... but I'm using the term "parish ministry" to describe the "typical" role of pastor... you know what I mean...). I definitely see many plusses in this type of ministry, and have really been enjoying many of the tasks and opportunities for ministry that I've been able to experience thus far. So I know that I can't rule that out, either.
And then I've been spending a lot of time on the emerging church website and looking at the various webpages of emerging/postmodern churches and I'm very intrigued by that sort of thing, too. The idea of something like a coffee shop/bakery/community center/Christian outreach sounds really exciting and invigorating and intriguing and amazing.
So yeah... Those are the thoughts that have been running through my head lately. Luckily I have the rest of my internship year and then my senior year to think about it some more. And chances are straight out of seminary I will most likely end up in a parish. And that could look like a solo pastor, or as an associate pastor. And I may or may not have responsibility over the youth program. The only way I could end up in a campus ministry is by ending up at a church where I had part time parish responsibilities and part time campus ministry responsibilities because of the ELCA's requirement of three years in the parish before being allowed to move on to specialized ministries (which is NOT something I'm going to get into right now). So that will give me more time to consider where God is calling me, and if the parish is the place for me.
Anyway, I've rambled on far too long about this. If you're reading and you made it this far, I congratulate you. But I'm done now.


what famous leader are YOU?

So I found this test on the internet where you can find out what famous world leader you are. Now I am a sucker for these kinds of tests, so of course I had to take it.

What Famous Leader Are You?
personality tests by

feel free to let me know what famous world leader YOU are!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


they manipulated the truth

Okay, this story reveals some domestic ineptitudes on my part, and also that I've been fraternizing with the enemy, but given the circumstances I think you will understand the latter one. I really have no excuse for the prior, although it is something I am working on.

So we have a potluck lunch tomorrow at church. With the "Young at Heart" group, which is about a group of ten retired aged members of the congregation, mostly older women and two older gentleman, plus Supervising, his wife and daughter, and me. I decided that I want to show the people that just because I am a single male does not mean I cannot prepare something for this, or any other, potluck. So last time I made a pasta salad (granted it came from a box), then for committee night potluck I made green bean casserole. So this time I decided to make tuna noodle casserole. It's quick and easy and OH SO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! But I forgot that I was planning on doing that until... ooooh... about 9:40 this evening. I then realized that I had none of the required ingredients (okay, I had a few) for tuna noodle casserole - namely the tuna and the noodles. So, where does one go at a quarter 'til 10 when one needs groceries? Well, a Hy-Vee or other 24 hour grocery store, of course. But what if one of those is not nearby (or at least is unknown to the person requiring the groceries at a quarter 'til 10)? Wal-Mart, of course! And God knows nearly EVERY community has a Wal-Mart or one within easy driving distance. So I decided I needed to go to Wal-Mart, or as a friend refers to it - Mordor. Granted I might not agree with some of their business practices or how they impact local businesses and communities when they move in, but in a pinch I sometimes have to put my morals aside to buy some stinkin' groceries.
So I went to Wal-Mart and was buying the necessary ingredients when it occured to me that I might not have a dish big enough to bake my casserole. So I thought I'd browse the cookware aisles and pick up something. I found a package of pyrex cookware that said it was a package of four pieces, and it was only about $12 so I thought for four pieces of cookware, that was a pretty good deal. It wasn't a very large package, but I figured I only needed something as big as the dish that was holding everything, so it didn't matter if the other pieces were smaller. So I went through the self check out line (no offense, but I often find it easier and more pleasant to check myself out than to have to deal with some of the people that work at this Wal-Mart). I came home and went through my groceries and opened the package of pyrex cookware and pulled out two casserole dishes. Hmm... I looked at the label. Sure enough it says "4 piece value pack." I'm perplexed... Was this false advertising? Could I be righteously indignant? Sure, it said four piece value pack on the outside, but really I only needed the one dish, and still $12 for the two dishes was a pretty good deal, but it was the PRINCIPLE of the matter!! It said 4 piece value pack and all it had was two casserole dishes and their lids... Wait a minute! 2 dishes + 2 lids= 4 pieces... Now, perhaps this is the point in the story that I show my domestic ineptitude (that and the fact that I did not have a piece of cookware large enough to make tuna noodle casserole...) but should lids really be considered pieces of a 4 piece value pack of cookware? Or did Pyrex manipulate the truth? Do I have the right to be righteously indignant over the fact that the wool was pulled over my eyes?
And now I'm nervous about making this tuna noodle casserole. Granted, it is by far towards the bottom of the list on the "List of recipes in order of difficulty," and if I were just cooking it for myself, it would be no big deal and if it didn't turn out exactly right I would just shrug my shoulders and put some more cheese and potato chips on it and eat it anyway. But I'm cooking for other people here, and these are not ordinary people, these are people that I feel as if I need to prove that I have the capacity to take care of and fend for myself. Some people have made "single male" cracks, whether it be about housekeeping or meal making... and I feel as if I need to prove that I am more than capable of cooking darn good food. And I know that they don't mean any harm by these jokes, and perhaps they are trying to find a way to connect with me, but that doesn't mean I don't want the opportunity to say something like "HA! You may think that because I'm a young single male that I lack any amount of domestic aptitude, but I cooked this tuna noodle casserole my damn self!! How do you like them apples? Yeah, that's what I thought! You can totally kiss my hairy, white arse!" At this point I would do a little dance on the table top, and then eat the creamed corn dish (that one of the women always brings and everyone loves) out of the dish using only my mouth (show us how a piggy eats!). That would show them!!
Anyway, it's getting close to my bed time... And I need to rest up so that I am energized enough to create the casserole masterpiece tomorrow. So I'm signing off for the night. Good night and God bless!!!


how to charm me, addendum

I guess I should add that you also need to get freaked out when you see your reflection in the unattached mirror of the chest of drawers that I'm helping to move, and you should get this "Oh my gosh, how did that other cat get into my house?!?" look on your face as you slowly back up into the kitchen, then let out a small squeak as you run/slink low to the ground back under the table.


how to charm me

First, play hard to get. Hide under the table and stare at me with your big, green eyes. Then, slowly venture closer until you finally let me touch you, at which point you surrender to my touch, flopping onto the ground in pure pleasure.

disclaimer: this only works if you are a cat.

Monday, November 15, 2004



Tonight was band practice for our contemporary service worship leaders. Now, I know it's my day off but I really enjoy a lot of the music that we sing, and also the people that participate in contemporary worship leadership, and so I usually make sure I make it over for this.
There are two high school girls that sing in the band and who are also very active in many other aspects of churchlife. They came to Fire last night, and invited a friend who has little to no church experience. Now, I didn't know this from the beginning, and I was afraid that she might be familiar with like those Christian groups that reach out to high school students like FCA or Campus Crusade for Christ or one of those, who seem a lot more Charismatic and fundamental than both my theology and I are. I was afraid I wouldn't be "Christian" enough for her.
Well, the two high school girls (these are also the two that laughed their butts off at me when I ran headfirst into my microphone in Tales of a bumblinging intern) showed up tonight for band practice, and we were chit-chatting about some stuff, and they told me that this new-girl loved our Bible study. They said she had never been to church before and was afraid that we wouldn't like her or be judgmental or many of those other things that church groups and church people are infamous for. But we joked and ate Little Debbie snack cakes, and I don't know if you would be able to find a more accepting group of kids. So hopefully she'll come back, and hopefully her experience will encourage some more of her more wary friends to come and check it out. That would be way cool.

In other news, today was a relatively lazy day. Slept in. Got my hairs cut. Drank some soda. Ate some junk food. Watched some tv. Didn't get any emergency calls. So really I don't have much to blog about. So I'm going to go back to watching some mindless tv. So, goodnight and have a pleasant tomorrow!

Sunday, November 14, 2004



Tonight was the first night that I assumed responsibility for the Sunday night senior high Bible Study... And I think it was the largest turn out they've had in a loooong time. I hadn't really prepared anything, because I wasn't sure what they had done in the past, or what the youth were looking for in the Bible study... Did they want something topical? Did they want to do in depth Bible study? Were they interested in something from a curriculum? It was really up in the air, because I wanted it to be something that they were interested in. So I brought a little notepad (in case I needed to write anything down), a pen (ditto), Little Debbie snack cakes, and the Augsburg Fortress catalog, in case they wanted to do something from a curriculum-type-thing.
So we gathered in my office first, and spent a couple of minutes looking at pictures on my computer screen saver that the previous intern had taken. Then we moved to the sanctuary, and the eight kids and I plopped ourselves on the floor up by the altar. I passed the snack cakes around, and then I asked them what they had done at Fire (the name of the Bible study) before. Sadly, they have not had a consistent youth director, and there are still hard feelings surrounding the previous two, and so a lot of things had fallen by the wayside. Fire was one of the things that had unfortunately fallen. The time was changed and publicity about the time change was minimal, so kids had shown up and no youth director had been there, only for the youth director to show up half an hour later and wait for the kids to show up, and they didn't. So kids fell out of the habit of going, and then it just kind of disappeared. So Supervising and I made an effort to publicize that Fire was resuming at its regular time, and I was going to be the temporary leader (although if we continue to have nights like this evening, I'm going to have a hard time giving it up if we get a new youth director).
Anyway, back to the story. One of the youth spoke up and said previously it had been kind of a hodge podge of things. They had gotten together and just kind of shared personal things, they'd gone through some of the less well known Old Testament books, it was really a laid back format, and just gave the kids a time to get together and talk about their lives and God. So I asked if that was something they wanted to continue, something a little less structured, and it seemed like that was the idea.
So they thought we should do "thought provoking questions" and I asked them if Adam and Eve had belly buttons... and we ended up talking about creation and evolution and whether they are mutually exclusive, and whether "seven days" really means "seven days" and if Adam and Eve were literal, and it never says that Adam and Eve were the only two created, they're just the only two mentioned... It was really kind of interesting. Then we talked about fate/destiny, and whether God has a definite plan for our lives and if we kind of just spend our lives journeying down that path, or if things just happen. Then someone brought up homosexuality and the whole group proved surprisingly accepting (in stark contrast to the 8th grade confirmation class I co-teach, which I believe really kind of shows the self differentiation that goes on between junior high and high school, and the high schoolers were able to form their own opinions and not mirror their parents' as much).
We ended up talking for two hours... Not always on topic, but all good discussions. I shared some fun stories from my life, which provided some laughter (the raccoon story was one, although they had already heard it... and my hamster/gerbil story, which they enjoyed... both stories include me imitating the animals, which they heartily enjoyed).
Of course part of the evening was spent with them talking about their lack of a consistent youth director, and how they decided they voted for me to fill the vacant role. Which led to a discussion of how they've decided I can't leave when my year is over. I reminded them that I've only been here almost three months, so they would definitely change their mind when the year was closer to be over... In an aside, this past week I've really bonded with a couple families, and a lot of the youth. And it's only been three months... That's really the one thing I hate about seminary. You build these relationships, and they're only temporary. Now, granted, the friendships I make AT seminary can be lifelong. It isn't a boundary issue to keep in touch once I leave seminary. But with my internship site, it's a totally different story, especially if they continue the internship program after I leave. If I work to continue relationships with people after I leave, then I'm hampering them from forming relationships with my successor, which is a vital part of the internship process. But by the nature of the work I'm doing here, I'm going to make some strong bonds. It's poopy. That's all I have to say. And really that's the nature of the beast, and that's going to be the story of my life in ministry. Oh well...
So, in other news, tomorrow is my day off. YIPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEE! Although Supervising is going on "retreat" for the day, so if any emergencies come up, I'm the man. So I guess it's good that I didn't have any major travel plans. Just a haircut... I need one. I think I'm going SHORT, basically because I'm tired of hair. Bald doesn't sound so bad at this point.
Okay... so that's enough for now. I seem to have processed enough for one night. So I will bid you all adieu, and I will finish drinking my water, and then hit the hay. Sleep in city here I come!!! WOOT WOOT!

Saturday, November 13, 2004


ain't that funny

i struggled with writing a sermon for this weekend. i spent a lot of time staring at the computer screen, playing computer games [whilst "taking a break" from sermon writing], lamenting that I had to write a sermon, realizing that due to my schedule for friday evening and saturday morning i didn't have as much time to procrastinate as normal. i was not excited about writing this sermon, and when i finally managed to squeeze one out i was not impressed. i was sure the pastor and the congregation would realize that i had produced something sub-par. i thought i'd just get some polite smiles and handshakes from parishioniers on their way out of the sanctuary.
ain't that funny.
so i was up preaching this sermon, and i thought i noticed kind of a hushed silence from the congregation. all eyes were on me (no one was sleeping, or reading the bulletin, or zoning out [if they were zoning out, at least they were zoning in my direction]). at one point in my sermon i even kind of got choked up, when i was talking about wars and nations rising against nations, because i thought of my brother stationed near fallujah, iraq. so maybe it was that i was preaching with more emotion than normal... i don't know. but i really felt like this sermon was coming from somewhere deep inside as i preaached it.
ain't that funny.
and far from polite smiles and handshakes i got some great feedback. one woman said "killer sermon" and on one of my sermon response sheets, someone wrote that it was one they would have liked to have heard more of. i was stunned. this was not the reaction i was expecting AT ALL. people actually liked this sermon that i was sure they were merely going to tolerate.
ain't that funny.
God works in mysterious ways, my friends... God can speak even through those things that we think are crap. God can take something that we're not proud of, and turn it into something meaningful. i was lucky enough to not just witness that this evening, but participate in it. to be a recipient. i'm pretty lucky.
ain't that funny.....

Thursday, November 11, 2004


i'm venting, here

Okay, so two things happened today that seem to happen a lot. And I know I really shouldn't let them get to me, but they do. They are both small things, but they happen enough that they've moved past annoying.
1. I'll start with this one because it pisses me off less than the other one. It has to do with my phone. I've gotten to the point where I don't answer my phone right away, because it's usually always telemarketers. If I answer the phone, 95% of the time it's someone wanting to sell me something. Occasionally someone leaves a message, at which point I will answer the phone. Although there have been times that I don't answer the phone, and the people don't leave a message, only to hear that someone over at the church was trying to get a hold of me. So, really this one is actually just kind of annoying. And now that I've typed it out, and thought about it, it seems really kind of trivial. But it's enough to make me say bad words at the phone.
2. This one has to do with hospital visits. The hospital in town has a front desk that is staffed with volunteers. The majority of these volunteers are older, retired women. Almost every time I come in and ask to see the clergy list (the sheet of paper where it lists all of the patients who listed a denomination when they checked in) they make some comment about how young I look. One woman just stared at me blankly until the second volunteer woman said "HE NEEDS THE CLERGY SHEET!" The first woman snapped out of her fog and said something along of the lines of that's what she thought I had said, but I just seemed so young, at which point the two had a conversation about whether or not I looked old enough to be a pastor as if I were not standing right there. The more often I've come to the hospital the less this has happened, although today I came to see if any members were hospitalized and there were again two volunteers at the desk. One was an older man who I've talked to before and who knows that I'm an intern pastor and is very friendly and we'll chat whenever I come. He told the other woman what I needed, and as I was looking at the sheet I could see the woman staring at my nametag. Then she loudly exclaims "YOU'RE a pastor?!?" I just smiled and said "I'm an intern pastor." She looked at me weird. "I'm a student pastor." I said to clarify for her. "Oh, I was going to say! You look like a college student." I just ignored that comment, although I could have said something like "Well, you look like a sun dried tomato." or "I'd rather look like a college student than a wrinkled old bat." or "Bite me, you nasty hag." But I refrained, and actually didn't think of any of those things until just now. So at this point, asking for the clergy list at the hospital front desk has become as about as enjoyable as wiping my ass with sandpaper.
Anyway, I'm done now. And I'm hungry. And I ran out of root beer, so it's borderline tragedy right now. So I'm just going to go and drink some chocolate milk, which is better for me in the long run, and wallow in my youthful good looks.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


how to charm me

Drive through restaurant drive-thrus and parking lots loudly singing the lyrics to inappropriate songs in a thick Indian accent.

(ps. i watch too much t.v.)


several days

Well, I haven't posted in a while and you wouldn't believe all of the stuff I have to share!!
First, I didn't post my weekly list of worship blunders, and boy, this one's a doozie! Saturday evening service went off fairly well. This is the beginning of our fall stewardship program, and we have temple talks at the beginning of every service, during the announcements. Well, the woman who was giving the one at the Saturday service asked when she was supposed to give the temple talk and I said after announcements, if pastor remembers... Well, sure enough he didn't. So when he finishes announcements and as he's coming up to sit in his throne, I walk over to him and point out that he didn't announce the temple talk. So really, that blunder was on his part. The 8:00 Sunday service went off without a hitch, but then came the 10:00 contemporary service, where we use power point for the liturgy and the songs and prayers and such. Well, because Supervising had been working on his sermon, I was the one in charge of getting the power point slideshow ready. Well, no one had told me that with the change of the church season that there were a number of things that were different. So I didn't change those things in the slideshow... But that doesn't mean they weren't done differently. Which doesn't mean that parishioners weren't sitting in the pews thinking "It says we respond to the prayer petitions with 'Lord, Have Mercy.' Why are they making us respond with 'Hear our Prayer'?" But it was a good thing that all of the songs were done right. And people seemed to take it all in stride. I was oblivious to the fact that anything was wrong until after communion, when I was up at the altar with Supervising. (Note: The power point projecter is a pretty cool set up. It is on a little shelf mounted to the wall behind the altar, but several feet to the left of the altar (left as in if you were facing the altar from the pews). It projects towards the congregation onto the back of a screen which lowers down about 15 feet in front of it. So it projects backwards onto the back of this screen so that it shows up frontwards to the congregation. Supervising and I can still see the screen, but everything is backwards). So we are standing up behind the altar and Supervising forgets to do the "And now may the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ strengthen you and keep you in his grace" bit, and I'm confused, so I ask him if it's my turn, and he says yes, but then he looks and sees the screen is different than what we have in front of us, so we start laughing, and finally I say we're going to say together the post-communion blessing, so Supervising and I have to read it backwards to read along with the congregation. Then the keyboardist plays the song that should have been played in between Supervising's bit and the post-communion blessing, but wasn't because Supervising didn't do his bit. So that makes us laugh more. The people that said anything said good things, and one woman mentioned that she liked it when we did improv church.
So those were the blunders this time. Then Tuesday evening we had the annual Chili Supper. That was truly an experience. It's advertised all over the community, so a lot of people show up. It officially starts at 5 but they start serving people at 4:30 because that is when people start showing up. So there was a steady stream from 4:30 on. I had a couple of easy jobs first. I started out delivering soup to the tables with Supervising. Then I went back into the kitchen and dried dishes. Then I was recruited to do the "take out" because people could buy soup to take home. That was not demanding at all. Then someone comes in to relieve me. So I went back out into the fellowship hall and mingled and tried to do something useful. So I started helping clear trash and dirty dishes. Well, then the high school girls manning the beverage cart (whose job is to push the cart around the fellowship hall and provide drinks to the people who sit down) needed to eat, so I took that over. HOLY COW THAT WAS THE MOST INSANELY HARD AND CHAOTIC JOB I HAVE EVER HAD! People get kind of cranky when they don't get their beverages in a speedy manner. And it's hard when there are 150 people and only one man and his beverage cart!! So I was wheeling that thing all over trying to meet the beverage needs of the people, while still finding time to socialize with the members. Here is an example of one interaction: The member I mentioned before who always gives me a good natured hard time about messing up in worship (thank you SWEET JESUS that he was not at the 10:30 Sunday service!) was there eating with his wife and another couple who are members of the church. He was giving me a hard time because they needed some refills while I was helping a table that had just sat down. Some other people came and helped me fill drinks. Well, after I was off beverage duty I came back around and he called me over and said "Now Mark, remember what I've told you. You do a good job, but you're not pretty." And I said something like "Gee, thanks." and then I asked if I could take their dirty dishes. He said I didn't need to do that and I said "Sure I can do that, I'm not doing anything else. And since I'm not pretty to look at I might as well be useful." They liked that and laughed a lot. Which proves that I AM INDEED FUNNY they just don't know how to handle it when I try to make jokes during announcements at church.)
Anyway, that's enough reading material for now.

Monday, November 08, 2004


united states of canada

Okay, so granted the religious implications of this picture aren't that cool, I still find it very hilarious. But then I guess it depends on what you mean by "religious" and what you use your "religion" for.

usofcanada Posted by Hello

You know... after all this bullcrap talk of "morals and values" and the "mandate" that has been given to the Bush administration, I think it was very fitting that the Gospel lesson in church was Luke's version of the Beattitudes. Blessed are the poor, the meek, the persecuted, the mourning... Their day is coming.
Now I'm not grouping myself in the poor, the meek or any of those other categories... Although granted I may sometimes fall into them, but I think it speaks a word of hope to those who feel most persecuted by the current administration. I think it says "Hold on. Your day is coming. Things might look bleak and hopeless, but the Kingdom of God is YOURS! Don't worry about this kingdom of man... this kingdom of bush... It's all going to fall away. It's all going to amount to a hill of beans in the end. The greater Kingdom is breaking in amongst us. Hold on to that hope."


i'm even more famous

So I was surfing the web, and looking at the webpage for Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp in Kalispell, MT and looking through the photos page, and I ran across some more pictures of my world famous "interrupting jokes." This time, rather than at a talent show, I was demonstrating them to the camp director. These pictures are much better than the ones previously posted, so I just thought they needed to be shared with my reading community. I am proud of these pictures, and must say I need to give mad props to the photographer... Who I also need to write a letter to, because she's written myself (and my partner Kathleen) a couple of letters since we've visited and I have been horrible at writing back, which won't surprise anyone who knows me. So, without further ado, here are the pictures:

First is a shot of me beginning to perform the interuppting gecko on the camp director, Brad. As you can see he is demonstrating the perfect "what the hell are you doing, freak?!?!?" reaction that this joke often elicits.

gecko1 Posted by Hello

Next is a great shot of my face during the joke, which many people say is what makes the joke hilarious. If I were to do the joke without the face, I guess it would just be creepy and sad. Now it's hilarious with an undertone of creepy and sad.

[editor's note: picture removed to retain some shred of anonymity. the previous picture is kind of blurry, so we here at the colony decided to keep it up to add some aesthetic value to this post.]

When I am famous, and win some award, I will be sure to thank only those who let me know they want to be thanked by leaving a comment in my comment box for this post.
So there.

Sunday, November 07, 2004


ordination exclamation united nation automation

So I attended the ordination. It was neat, and because it was a synod-wide event there were a lot of pastor types there. Four people were ordained, and I was the only intern that was in the procession. I saw several others in the mix of the congregation, and talked to one (who said she was very glad that she was only there in jeans), but I'm really glad I got the experience of actually participating in an ordination. The whole procession was really cool... We came up in our line from the basement, and the congregation started singing "For All The Saints" (which is one of my favorite hymns, although somewhat depressing to me, because my dad has said he wants it sung at his funeral... and we sang it at my Grandpa's funeral), and we processed in, and the pews were full. We walked up to the front and filled in the first two rows of pews on each side. It was neat to see a friend get ordained, and to run into a lot of people that I know. There was a bishop from our partner synod in Tanzania present, and that was neat, but they asked him to say a word of greeting from his synod... Now the service was plenty long on its own, but when you ask a bishop (of any nationality, really) to say a word of greeting then you know you're in for something not very short. And you wouldn't have been disappointed. It makes me think about the day two years from now when I will finally be up for ordination (assuming all goes well on my internship and senior year of seminary) and I just think it will be an amazing day. And I really enjoyed the multiple pastor ordination, which I had been very against before. I used to think that when I got ordained I wanted the ordination to be special, to have songs and prayers and a preacher that were meaningful to me... But really, ordination is not about me. It's about the call of God and the call of the Church and me responding to that call. It's about celebrating that call with the Body of Christ and (here's a part that's about me) rejoicing in the fact that I made it through candidacy and seminary and there was a church out there somewhere that wanted me. I really enjoyed that it was a synod-wide celebration, which resulted in more pastors present and more people in the congregation. So I'm really not against multiple person ordinations at this point, in fact I think it would ease the stress and pressure on me, to not be in charge of all of the particulars... Although I can really appreciate the idea of having someone who knows me and knows my story preach at my ordination, and to preach a sermon that speaks more directly to me, but I think all I would need are the people who have been meaningful in my faith journey there, and maybe my godfather or dad as my sponsor up front with me when i get that amazing red stole placed on my shoulders and they announce that I am now an ordained pastor and the people respond "Thanks be to God!" and break out in applause... It'll be cool. I'll probably cry.
Anyway, after the ordination I went downstairs to the fellowship hall and ate some food with Supervising and oh man... he's in the Adventures of Pastor Intern Mark in the Land of the Professional Leaders Conference, but I don't remember what his code name was... Anyway, he was there, too, and then the three of us went out for drinks afterwards and once again I was the recipient of free drinks. I love being an intern.
In other news, tomorrow is my day off. I am so excited and elated and happy that really I cannont find the words to explain it. Perhaps "Afrolicious" comes close, so I will leave that up. But now I am tired... so I'm going to go sit in front of the tv and contemplate going to bed.
Oh... at the ordination there was a woman who read the Gospel in Spanish... and I'm not entirely sure she knew what she was reading... I don't know a whole lot of Spanish but I know enough to know that she butchered some of the words and read it with little to no inflection. I silently wept for any of my Hispanic brothers and sisters who may have had the misfortune to be present and listen to that bastardization of their mother-tongue. Outloud I mocked her with the person next to me.
So in the spirit of that last paragraph I will close with this:
Vaya Con Dios!


explanation of absence

So, I'm sure some of you are wondering where the pictures for the 200th visitor blog party are... Well, they have not reached the blog due to a lack of motivation. I have just been busy with a lot of things at work, and outside of the scheduled work schedule, and so when I have had the time it would take to sit down and post all of the pictures I have, I'd much rather just sit down and breathe. And I really don't have the time right now because I'm getting ready to go to the ordination of a friend. I'm excited because I'm getting to vest for it. Although I won't wear an alb like all the ordained types will, I'll wear my alb and process in and sit with all the cool rostered types. I've never participated in an ordination from that position before. I'm excited. After church today my pastor asked if I wanted to vest or if I just wanted to go and sit with the congregation. I said I didn't know it was an option, I thought I had to sit with the congregation as I am not yet ordained. But he said no, I could vest. So that's cool. And my alb is in the dryer right now. It had a stain on it, that occured when my Lutheran Book of Worshipe met my belt buckle, with the alb in between. Some of the green from the LBW transferred onto my alb. So I had to wash it. Now it's drying. That's the usual order in the process of laundry-doing.
Well, I don't hear the dryer anymore... So I should go check it out.
So take care and keep on truckin'!

Friday, November 05, 2004


check it out

Very rarely do I come across a website/blog that has me laughing at every entry. I was fortunate enough to find one of those today... Luckily no one else was in the office while I was reading, otherwise they would have been afraid that the intern has gone insane, or thought that perhaps the intern was reading a blog rather than doing the expected work. I wouldn't want them to know that both are actually very true. Here is an excerpt from aforementioned blog:
How to Charm Me
Thursday, 04 November 2004
Introduce me to spicy buffalo wings, and by introduce I mean watch me eat 25 of them in less than three minutes. Oh, divine buffalo wing, where hast thou been lo these 29 years?

See what I mean? If you are interested in reading more of this woman's hilarious insights, I encourage you to do so. Check it out at Dooce.
Have a great day!

Thursday, November 04, 2004


stay tuned

The Amish girls have broken out the booze, so you know what that means?
It's almost time for the 200th visitor blog party!
Stay tuned!

ready? Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


visitor 199

I just saw that there have been 199 visitors to my blog... Get ready for the 200th visitor blog party!!
And just as another teaser, I've heard that Joan Rivers and her daughter will be hosting the red carpet portion of the evening. I know you are all on the edge of your seats with excitement!
Oh... and in closing BARAK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT IN 2008!


four more years

Well, it's official. Bush has been re-elected. Can't say I'm surprised, but can definitely say I'm extremely disappointed and disillusioned. I thought maybe people would react to the bad economy, the hateful amendment proposition, Iraq... But it seems his response to Sept. 11th was enough to carry him to victory. And Narvolaax did not even have the opportunity to rip off his face and reveal his diabolical plan. How unfortunate.
In other news, I heard a Democratic analyst on CNN say that Bush's re-election opens the door for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the Democratic candidate in 2008. And while it is still way too early to tell, as of right now she's the Democratic front runner. So is that good or bad? Does a woman stand a chance at being elected president, or would we just be handing the presidency over to another Republican? As much as I would like to think that Hillary would do an amazing job as president, and she would ideally have my full support (as of right now), but I don't know that I could support her if I knew she wouldn't even stand a chance.
Well... I'd like to elaborate more, but I've procrastinated from work enough, and I have to go to a staff meeting. So take care, and pray for the US!!!

Monday, November 01, 2004


tuesdays with Marky, chapter 2

So tomorrow morning is a Lutheran Men in Mission breakfast morning. Now, i shouldn't complain because chances are I'll get a free breakfast out of the deal, and it gives me a chance to get to know some of the older gentlemen of the congregation. But it IS ungodly early [by ungodly i do not mean "Not revering God, impious" or "sinful; wicked" but more "outrageous"] and God knows I do enjoy my sleep. But I never seem to get myself to bed at a decent hour. I always find so much stuff to do, like laundry (which I NEED to do right now because I just remembered my sheets are in the washing machine... poopy). Plus I'm hoping that more of the men than just "Tom" are there, because as pleasant as that last breakfast surprisingly turned out to be it would be nice to get to know some of the other guys. So we'll see. Chances are I might have something to add to chapter 2 after breakfast tomorrow.
Then we have the text study tomorrow morning, which is fun. Except for one of the other pastors is kind of... oh... this isn't the best word to describe him, but uptight. Always in a suit and tie, always thinks he needs to talk a lot... Doesn't share a sense of humor that the rest of us seem to have. And then, on days when I'm quiet, he'll make comments like "Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom" or "Keep your insights to yourself until you write your sermon, and then share it with me." Things like that. He usually doesn't stay as long as the rest of us, so it's not that big of a deal. [Putting my shallow attempts at niceness and diplomacy aside, I think he's a raging numb nuts... Ok, I'm done]
So, tomorrow is the big day for most people... Unless you've already sent in an absentee ballot. Hopefully tomorrow will mark the change of a regime. And although I really really really don't like George Bush... Sometimes I think Kerry's face looks fake, and that frightens me. Do you think if/when he's elected he'll get up to do his big acceptance speech and rip off his face and reveal that he's really Narvolaax the Malevolent from Planet X and he's here to take over our world and make us slaves for his peoples' dandelion farms (dandelions are essential for the survival of the citizens of Planet X, but due to over-development and pollution the dandelions are now extremely rare, and they need the not so destroyed environment of the earth to provide the necessary amounts of dandelions for the people of Planet X to survive...)? Chances are probably not, but it is still something I think about.
In other news, when I checked a couple of minutes ago the count was up to 181 registered visitors... So the party is about ready to happen. I bet you all can't wait. Now, I don't want to give too much away, but I heard that you can expect visits from RuPaul AND the Power Rangers... I know you're excited.
Anyway, that's enough babbling for me for a few hours. So good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.


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