Update for January and Early February

Plenty of things are happening now.

Drove my car via I-40/Route 66, about 1850 miles in four days.  Glad to be with my Prediger.

Yesterday, I went to a job fair in Glendale.  I arrived 2 hours early to queue up and when it opened, the line snaked around the stadium. Later, I found out that about 15000 job seekers showed up.

Got a phone call today, and I’ll be taking an exam tomorrow.  If I go well, I’ll start working at a call center.  Prayers, mojo, and wishes are appreciated.

The Valley of the Sun

The Prediger and I are now here in the Phoenix area, and we are doing well. We are in an 55+ retirement community and it’s very nice, despite the mostly cloudy and showers. Arizona state law allows at least one married person over 55 to rent from an age-restricted community, so it was no problem for us when we reserved a spot. The first day the neighbors invited us for a dinner party. After that, I went to the bingo session at the auditorium. Now I understood why the bingo lady in the “Super Sonic XL” Loud n Clear commercial was pissed when she missed that number. You MUST yell “Bingo” after the winning number is called.

Some of the neighbors invited me to church, but I mentioned that I prefer the “high church”/liturgical services. (I did not want to tell them that their theology is dodgy. A bad method in neighbor relations.) I care not for cracker-and-grape-juice symbolism. I want the Real Presence!

The Prediger enjoyed his first time yesterday at the Waffle House…that we ended up going there for dinner! Omelettes for the win!

This is the first of an ongoing series on my stint in Apache Junction. “The Youngest Snowbird” gets its name from my neighbors when they found out that I turned 30 recently. Stay tuned for later postings.

The Priestly Rule of Discipline by George Wollenburg

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The link to Pastor Wollenburg’s article is missing from it’s original site, so I’m posting it here. He was a good friend, so I wanted to keep one of his articles available so people can read it. And as an Inauguration Day bonus, here is an Obamicon version of Pastor George.


“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

I Peter 2:9

The word “priest” may sound a bit peculiar to our ears these days, but the royal priesthood is an office which the Lord God has bestowed upon those who are in Christ. As royal priests in the Kingdom of God, Christians are to offer “spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (I Peter 2:5). Indeed their very lives are to be “living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God” (Romans 12:1).

As disciples, Christ’s priests attend to the drowning of the sinful nature by recalling the Holy Baptism by which they have been cleansed and robed in the righteousness of Christ. These disciples live in the discipline which confesses transgressions to the Lord and then in forgiveness raises up holy hands in faith to God and in love to one’s neighbor.

The Rev. Dr. George F. Wollenburg has composed the following “Priestly Rule of Discipline” founded on the Ten Commandments to call priests to their duties of confession, thanksgiving, and praise. This priestly work overflows with the doxology which resounds in the Revelation of St. John [1:5b-6], “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

I.

My priests know that everything good comes from Me, that I have made them holy. Therefore they will not attach their hearts in love to the good things which I give them, instead of to Me. They will not defile themselves by loving things more than the Creator. Nor will they pollute themselves by seeking righteousness in their own hearts instead of in the Savior I have given them. They will not bring their own broken obedience to Me and offer it to Me as righteousness, instead of trusting in the promise of the forgiveness which I have given them through the blood of Christ. You shall have no other gods.

II.

My priests are holy. They have been cleansed from all defilement, from every pollution of sin. I have put my Holy Name on them. Therefore they will not defile themselves with the words that come out of their mouth, use my Holy Name to curse or to speak oaths which are frivolous and thus to make my Holy Name profane. They will call upon my Name in priestly prayer and glorify Me. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

III.

My priests know that I have sanctified time and made their moments and time holy. Therefore they will not look at the time which I have given them as a commodity to be used for their own pleasure. They will know that I sanctify them and make all their time sacred through my word and the righteousness which I put upon them in my holy sacraments. Therefore they will not so use up all the time I have given them in the pursuit of their self-chosen pleasure and works but they will set a priority in the use of time to worship Me, to give praise and thanksgiving, to open their ears to My Word. Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.

IV.

My priests know that I am the God who creates the orders and forms of government in this world to hold back the powers of chaos and disorder. They will know that disorder, chaos, and anarchy have their root in hell and come from the Evil One. They know that I have given them a family, that I establish my authority within the home, the church, and the community in which they live to hold back the powers of sin. They will not defile themselves by despising the order which I have created in the world by dishonoring father and mother, their family, their church and my pastors, or the rulers I have given them as my servants for their temporal good. You shall honor your father and your mother.

V.

My priests know that life is created by Me and is therefore sacred to Me. They will not defile themselves by the shedding of innocent blood, or by shortening and embittering the life of another. They will not pollute themselves by seeking to destroy with words or actions those to whom I have given life. Instead, My priests will continue to pray for, to intercede for all men, even those who are their enemies, and will do good to those who abuse them, just as I send rain upon the just and the unjust and cause the sun to shine upon the evil and the good. You shall not murder.

VI.

My priests know that their bodies are the temple and residence of My Holy Spirit. They know that I made them male and female and have given them the good gift of their sexuality to be used in holy sacrifice to their spouse in marriage. Therefore, my priests will not defile themselves by indulging their sexual desire merely for the sake of their own lustful pleasure, nor will they regard the spouse I have given them with dishonor and put away that spouse because they are not pleased with the spouse I have given them. My priests shall not defile their minds or bodies with any kind of sexual sin. You shall not commit adultery.

VII.

My priests know that I have given all that they have as a gift, that I make rich and I make poor. Therefore they will receive what they have from Me with thanks and will not look at that which I have given to another and seek to get for themselves what I have given to another. My priests will do honest work in order to serve their neighbor. They will be faithful in the stewardship of their possessions in order that My name might be great in the sight of the world. You shall not steal.

VIII.

My priests know that I have given them value and worth as a person, that it is not the result of their own achievement. They will know and understand that I have judged them in mercy and forgiveness and their their value is a gift. Therefore, they will not defile themselves by speaking ill of others, making themselves the judges of the value and worth of another, by calling them names, deceiving them, degrading them or destroying their good name in the eyes of others. Instead, they will seek justice for all who are wrongly judged, for the poor and the needy. They will defend the cause of the innocent and those who are abused. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

IX. & X.

My priests know that I give because I am good. Therefore they will not defile themselves by lusting for that which I have not given them. They will not look with envy at those to whom I have chosen to give more than I have given them. They will not surrender their hearts to the unholy desire to have what others have. Instead, they will rejoice in my goodness to their neighbor. They will offer to me thanksgiving and praise for the good which I give, not only to them, but also to those who live with them. You shall not covet.

Experience Weird Crap without LSD!

I was wondering whether I am a Paleo-Libertarian when I stumbled to this Boston Globe article of hacking the brain so you can experience mind-altering illusions without using controlled substances. (Thanks LewRockwell.com!)

Reminded me of that time in OSCON 08 when I tried on the Brain Machine goggles and saw weird things. I removed the goggles IMMEDIATELY as I hated the patterned flashing.

And for you…here is the Wonka Boat Freakout clip, complete with the infamous chicken head decapitation. How did the producers got away with showing that in a G-rated film, I do not know.

Farewell to Father Neuhaus

Wayne and I received word from Pastor McCain that Father Richard John Neuhaus died yesterday.  We were floored at the news.  Wayne remembered him as his friend and Seminary summer session roommate. He attended Neuhaus’ Catholic ordination service years ago.

I remember him as the catalyst that brought me and the Prediger together. At the 2002 Symposia, I was walking to class when I met Wayne along the way. He was there to see his roommate speak. I ditched class and hung out with Wayne. After that, we met Father Neuhaus. That was a good experience.

I will have to dig out the picture of him that I took from my files. Wayne and I agreed: Father Neuhaus was a brilliant man and right now he is experiencing the unity of the Church Triumphant.

Free Conference at my Church!

Redeemer Lutheran on Rudisill holds yearly liturgical conferences (St Michael’s, Lutheran Liturgy Brotherhood) in which we attend the Eucharist, discuss parts of the Liturgy, and ultimately learn how to explain to the laity about the meaning of the Liturgy.

On January 19th, the day before the Fort Wayne Symposia, Redeemer will host a Free Conference on the future of the LCMS.  Here is the information from Pr Petersen:

This is not really a conference. It is just a convenient time to gather, to be absolved, to hear God’s Word, to pray, to learn a few things about Gregorian chant and actually do it, and to also uphold and encourage one another in mutual consolation and with conversation. This is open to anyone interested. Our topic is the future of the LCMS.

9:30 – Private Confession available with Petersen in Redeemer’s chapel
10:30 Low Mass in the Chapel
11:00 – discussion of most significant controversy in the LCMS for the future / most significant current blindess of Confessional Lutheranism
12:30 – lunch – order in pizza, pitch in for costs
2:00 – discussion continues
3:30 – Gregorian choir practice/training with Beisel for the LLPB Vespers
4:30 – LLPB Vespers w/ Treasury Propers
5:30 – ???

There is no cost for this gathering. Dr. Burnell Eckardt and
Dr. Richard Stuckwisch will both give a 5-10 minute, informal speech on the topic to get us going in the morning. The conversation will be lightly moderated, but will remain informal.

More on the topic: What is the real issue dividing the LCMS today and how should we address it? In other words, if the last generation fought the battle for the Bible over inerrancy, what is the current battle, or more importantly, what is the next battle? Where do you see evidence of this? My assumption is that Church Growth and the Emergent movement are effects not causes. But how do we get to the heart of the matter. Do we have a strategy for catechizing the LCMS and our own parishes? Do we need one? Do we have an agenda?

Along these same lines, what is our current blindness? Consider how entire generations of the LCMS swore fidelity the Confessions but failed to actually practice private Confession and Absolution or work toward the weekly Eucharist. What blindness in us will shock future generations?

Have Yourself a Very Merry Boxing Day.

I hope you had a great Christmas yesterday. If not, let me say that I hope that the New Year is much better for you.

Since the Theologian household is composed of Mr Theologian, his wife and their doggie, our holiday is more quiet and less hectic. I would get some Chinese food, but several things prevented us from having Orange Chicken and fried rice. Preggie had a fall and his back ached. We were concerned that his implanted spinal cord stimulator has damage, so we went to his doctor and got a CT scan. Hopefully, NOTHING has happened. He could barely walk, so I did the errand work and cooked the meals and tidy up his working space. Taking care of him also meant that my proposed trip to see my older sister getting married was cancelled. Thankfully, they understood.

I made ourselves some spaghetti instead. I had the low digestable carb version by Dreamfield’s and he has the regular version. Yes, I’m back on the Atkins plan. I got along much better with that than any other eating plan. That’s also why we did not have the Chinese food like in A Christmas Story.

Today, I went to the after Christmas sales. Meh. They marked up the prices and then they discounted from there. There was no “Save an additional *foo* percent off the red tag price”, but off the original price. The only redeeming thing was that Lush was having a buy one get two offer. If you buy a piece of bulk soap, you get two bulk soaps or holiday items free. I purchased the creamy Sultana, the yummy Angel’s Delight, and the spicy citrus Gold Frankincense & Beer shower jelly for 7.50 total. There is no way that I want to buy them at retail price (about 24 bux), so I got them now. The Angel’s Delight smells like Hawaiian Punch. And the fine glitter in the jelly is fascinating to hold against a light, especially when view sideways so it looks like layers of sparkly strata.

Tomorrow I will put away the tree and the ornaments.

Ice Storm and Possible Outage

The ice storm we had knocked out the power from our neighbors across the street and our power lines are pulled down by broken icy tree branches. We still have power, but it is uncertain whether we will continue to have it. I’m typing this from my lappy as I do not want any rebooting from my desktop.

I called the electric company and hopefully they will fix this by Christmas Eve. The Fort Wayne area is affected by the storms, so it will take a while before they address our problem.

Some Good Things about this Recession

The Consumerist has an article entitled “I Love The Recession Because The Things That Suck Are Dying”.  Among the suck list: those glass tower condos that are taking over the neighborhood (I’m looking at you, Miami Beach!) and stores like Sharper Image, Circuit City and Linens n Things.  (Disclaimer: I had a sweet Samsung MP3 and OGG player that I got from CC, and Mr Theologian has been using the Panasonic shaver that he got from Sharper Image since 2004.  Best shaver ever.  Did not shop at LnT due to their selection.  Meh.)

For me…here is my list:

  • Nobody will look down at you if you prefer to eat at home.  All I need is Internet access for recipes.  Mr Theologian loves the Chicken Marsala I’ve made with veggies and pasta.
  • The McMansion building has halted in my town.
  • Gas prices went way down.
  • Threadless is having a killer inventory sale…5 buck t-shirts!
  • Ron Paul, the guys who hold to the tenets of Austrian School economics, and Libertarians are seeing their ideas in wider exposure.  I get way less “WTF” looks when I tell them that I’m libertarian politically and conservative theologically.
  • I can work better within Open Source as they offer low-cost and free (as in beer and/or freedom) solutions.  Forget paying cash for proprietary office suites when I can use Open Office for free.
  • I have time between gigs to improve my skills.  I’m planning to study for the Security+ exam when I finish my schooling this month.

How did the recession helped you?  Less credit card charging?  Better deals?  Less pressure (yes, it’s possible)?

I’ve pwn3d the Catholics! ;)

Once in a while, the guys at Catholic Answers would do this “Who Wants to Be an Apologist?” contest and listeners would answer questions about Catholic theology and two harder questions about other theology. With each correct question, winners would receive a 25 buck certificate to their bookstore, up to 100 dollars.

The Prediger would listen to 1250 AM Redeemer Radio daily as he can tolerate Catholic stuff much better than the Protestant stuff. Just don’t make him listen to the Rosary, lest you make him grouchy! When I heard that the contest will be on tonight, I prepared myself and read up for several minutes on liturgical and sacramental matters before calling in.

First question was a gimmie– what was the name of the angel who appeared to Mary? It was Gabriel. That’s 25 bux.

Second question was a liturgical question– what’s an ambo? It’s a lectern. Good thing I brushed up on logistics.

Third question was a Scholastic question about faith– does man rely on knowledge, feelings, or the community? I replied that “faith must be informed”, a common Catholic saying. 50 bux!

The fourth question was what was the largest Protestant church body. It was the Baptists. 75 bux!

And the final question…Which Protestant reformer was never a Catholic priest? John Calvin FTW! (He was a lawyer.)

Yay! I has WIN!

And now, I’ll get the 100 buck gc to their bookstore and get my husband some theological books. Because you can never get enough theological books.

Churchill, Toklas, and the Christmas Tree

Today is Winston Churchill’s birthday, and for the past several years, that marks the day that the Theologian household puts up the Christmas tree. The good thing about the 30th of November is that it’s after Thanksgiving. I do not like the Christmas creep in which the stores would decorate as early as Halloween and the holidays are jumbled up. Another good thing is that you can rest after you clean up Thanksgiving messes. Luckily, we did not have a mess to clean up as we went to a nice buffet near the Michigan border, and the location was at this river. Went to the market that Wednesday and compared to the harried crowds, I was mellow as I bought apples and muffins.

And speaking of mellow…here is this following video…and I thought of one special Left Coast Confessional when I saw this movie clip. Stoner movies are teh funney, but this one is more highbrow than most pot-based comedies.

Good thing it’s not your thing, man. Otherwise, we’ll be subjected to Half-Baked style dialogue like: “Have you read the Book of Concord? Yea? But did you ever read the Book of Concord… on weeeeed?”

The Writs of Carol Rutz, High Church Horseplayer