Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


The above word just gives me phonetic horrors to look at, but what else is there?

I said in previous posts that there seems to be a trend where evangelicals embrace orthodoxy. My church is a pretty good church for that. Sure, new members class is a survey class intended to summarize catechism class. But, *really* Pastor does preach some pretty straight from Concord doctrine.

For example, we spent several months on the 10 Commandments… we are spending several weeks on The Apostles Creed… things like that. One could be fairly critical of our church because we don’t chant liturgy or Pastor doesn’t preach on the particular week’s lectionary passage… but as someone who is new to Lutheran Confessions, such a format has been very helpful.

A life long Lutheran could say, “Well, of course Pastor is preaching from the catechism and confessions.” Where an Evangelical turned Lutheran could say, “Wow, I never thought of it like this, where does this come from?”

Pastor is particularly skilled at presenting a full meal. Those who can handle steak have their meet, while those of use eating mashed vegetables are learning to digest such things.

When I talk about the differences between Evangelicalism and Confessional Lutheranism, I naturally talk about Pastor and my church. My church is great because it is clear discipleship is a life long process.

As I have reviewed a couple of my posts, I wanted to make clear that my church isn’t neglecting the teachings of the Confessions, rather, it is subtle and makes a person want to learn more.

I started attending my LCMS church because my parents were new members. And I kept going because I thought, “Wow, this is great preaching.” And before I knew it, I was convinced that Jesus really is somehow present in sacrament. I still really can’t explain it, but I don’t think we will be able to until Heaven. And then, I thought, “Yeah, when Josh and I have children, they should be baptized.” I really couldn’t tell you why, but I trusted it was right… now I’m beginning to understand why.

When Pastor teaches, it is always Confessional Lutheran… but it is subtle and the Holy Spirit makes you want more… And it is a good way to catechize Evangelicals…

Confessions of Faith…

Why are doctrine and theology important? Let’s think of this as building a house. Christ is the foundation, and doctrine and theology are the frame work. Let’s say you want to install wall paper. One little flaw in the framing could ruin your entire room. So, why would someone not want proper framework?

Well, let’s start in the beginning… what is easier, telling people to ask Jesus into their hearts or going through a long discipleship process with a new Christian? What is less painful, telling someone they are a dirty rotten sinner or telling someone “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life?” What is more fulfilling, there is nothing you can do to be saved or work real hard for your eternal reward? What is easier to preach to a person in the 10/40 window, repent of your sins and you may die for your conversion or experience your best purposeful life right now? What is easier food for thought, deeds or creeds? What is more important, trying to get someone to vote for a pro-life candidate or holding the mirror of God’s law to their face?

It feels really good to be an evangelical… that is, until you realize you are a sinner. I have a pet sin. And this is not the forum for confession. But, it was easier for me to go to my evangelical church on Sunday, lead Bible Studies where I was not in account to a pastor or someone with a theological background, it was easy for me to work hard for “the cause” then it was for me to confess my sins.

People refuse to have a strong theological framework because they think they know more then the church fathers. People refuse to have a strong framework because they like doing things on their own. People refuse to have a strong framework because God’s pruning hurts. It is the “American Way” to do things independently and by yourself. We pride ourselves on our freedoms. It’s easier, particularly for Americans, to transfer this freedom to theology.

I was a good little evangelical girl. No, really I was. I went to youth group. I lead Bible Studies and prayer groups. I was a camp counselor. I did everything church leaders said good little evangelical girls should do. I tried to be a good example to my younger sisters. I kept the status quo in college because, well, it was what I knew. But I never had assurance of salvation. I always questioned whether or not I was really sincere when I asked Jesus into my heart when I was eight-years-old. I questioned this because I have a pet sin.

Want to know my worst recurring nightmare? I call it “The Rapture Dream.” I would dream I was sleeping, and in my dream I would wake up and be alone in my house, dorm, where ever I happened to be asleep. Then I would really wake up and I would have to verify the Rapture didn’t happen and that I wasn’t really left behind. This would be funny if I didn’t just have this same recurring nightmare THIS WEEKEND. Yes, I have been out of an evangelical church for five and a half years and I *still* have “The Rapture Dream.”

It’s hard to leave evangelicalism. First, I had to admit I am still a sinner. Then I had to repent of my sins. Then I had to admit that I really don’t know more then the church fathers. Now, I’m getting used to being in account to a confession of faith. It is hard to be humbled like this. And I’m fortunate because God showed all of this to me as I was fresh from college. In all of this, looking for assurance of salvation and all, I wasn’t looking for some formula to make me a better person. I had to be exposed to grace.

My parents bought a house from a man who fancied himself a handyman. When they realized the sauna was over the entrance to the sewer, it was never used and eventually came down. Certainly, for a person who knows how to build things and do such labor, it is fulfilling to update your house or add to it. But if you fancy yourself a handyman and are not, then you end up with a product that is unusable. And sometimes, it feels better to fancy yourself a handyman then to call in the professionals.

On reintegration training…

The MN National Guard has a pilot program called “Operation Yellow Ribbon” in which returning Guardsmen go through 30, 60, and 90 day seminars to assure they are reintegrating into society. It was our turn for reintegration training this weekend.

There were a lot of booths and a lot of different counselors there. I can kinda understand the PTSD booth and the various vets services booth and the various family counseling booths. But there was also a booth where one could report certain physical violations.

Look, I know a lot of women find men in uniform incredibly attractive. I personally relate. But, most male soldiers I know like that there are women willing to engage in… well, I don’t really think these soldiers call it assault or violation. But you never know. So, women, don’t engage with soldiers who aren’t your husbands. Otherwise it is sinful and soldiers might report you to the physical violation booth.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

When Lutherans Become Evangelical…

So, I recently started a small group Bible Study for women between 20 and 35 sponsored by my church. I am accountable to a DCE for the content and that the group grows. As it turns out, most of the women in my group have spent years of their lives in various evangelical to non-denominational churches.

To become a new adult member of our church, one has to go through a several week class that explains foundational beliefs of the confessional Lutheran Church. The class, by nature, is a survey class so confirmed Lutherans don’t have to sit through the same old catechism class again.

Here's an observation I made to Pastor, this is not an opinion, rather an observation. A recent phenomenon in confessional churches is the migration of Evangelicals back to orthodoxy-with-a-small-o, henceforth referred to orthodoxy. I don’t think Pastors have been prepared for this, as such, many new members come from a background where they are not familiar with the confessions of faith.

Pastor is starting a sermon series on The Apostles Creed (a good excuse to bring my copy of Concordia, reader’s edition , edited by Rev. Paul McCain , great edition, by the way). So, as I was stopping by church, I briefly suggested to Pastor that a class on the Augsburg Confessions or the Large Catechism be made available, as well, explaining how people from a non-confessional background aren’t used to confessing one theology.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On life changes…

Do you ever find it difficult to trust God with your life? I’m actually fairly easy going and some of my better decisions were made on a whim, but I crave security, and my decisions made on a whim increased my feelings of security a great deal.

I’m in a period of flux right now. I hate uncertainty. Granted, we never know what we’re going to eat or drink the next day, but I go to bed feeling pretty good knowing what I do first thing in the morning. (Take my temperature, if you must know.)

It’s times of uncertainty where I learn to trust in God more, I guess. Sometimes I don’t feel like God is in control, but I know God is in control. You can’t rely upon feelings to get you through. It is reassuring to know that God is there, even if you don’t feel like He is.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Stacking the deck...

Lesson from Josh:

If you're going to stack the deck, remember, you get the SECOND card and your wife gets the top card. I remind my readers of The Perfect Hand . Yeah, well this time it wasn't so good... but I had beat him a couple of games and then he brought the wine out which means both that I'm not with child yet and I was enjoying myself a lot. So, the story goes, he (yup, he) handed me two queens and two fives and a six and seven. And then the draw card was a queen.

We've given up on cribbage for the night.

Open to an attendee at Laura Ingraham's...

presentation last night in St. Paul.

Dear Gentlewoman,

Thank you for giving my husband your signed copy of "Power to the People" after noticing he had the military hair cut. Such things require great inconvenience to replace, and we both appreciate the gift a great deal!

Sincerely, Josh and Liz

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time overseas vs time at home…

I’m not a big fan of current attempts to give service members equality between war duty and home duty. I’m a big fan of Josh being home, don’t get me wrong. But current efforts just use military family emotions for political agendas, and I don’t like that. From either side, fellow Republicans.

If you *really* want to do me a favor, though… See, T-Paw passed this legislation that not only makes military pay and pensions tax exempt for state tax purposes even when not at war, but it is also a dollar for dollar subtraction from my state taxable. This would be swell if it also applied to Federal Taxes. Just saying. I can be bought.

Update: As a side note, I was incorrect on this military pensions and in-state duty pay being tax exempt... but still, it's been a sweet deal while Josh was deployed... and it would be an even sweeter deal if it applied to Federal Taxes...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Best money saver...

has been my set of clippers. Nothing says, "I love you," more to a soldier then a fresh high and tight with a post hair cut scalp and neck massage. He has a couple of interviews this week, and a fresh high and tight is a superficial confidence booster. (And, quite frankly, you can pay for your clippers with one cut. It's the money saver that keeps on giving.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Go and visit the Painomomsicle . You will find a neat young lady who is embracing her vocation as mother and wife with gusto .

But what would you do if she went to your church 13 months ago?

You know, she’s *that* woman.

One Sunday, her husband was playing drums at church, and she came up to me so I could fuss over David, who by all accounts, is about as cute of a kid as two good looking people have any business having. I pray for girls his age because of his blue eyes! Anyway, I *had* to fuss over David, and, who wouldn’t? I showed him off to my dad, and then the Pastor’s wife and mother-in-law made a proper fuss over him, because, again, he’s a great kid!

And that is what should have happened to the church she went to 14 months ago.

We, as Christians, don’t embrace women like the Pianomomsicle as we should. If we are truly pro-life, and one of our college aged women falls into the heat of passion (and, let’s be honest here, who hasn’t been tempted?) we shun her, even if she does the incredibly difficult thing and stands up and says, “I will marry the father and raise my son the way Jesus wants me to!”

The Painomomsicle is due respect because she has done the culturally unaccepted thing, and has behaved, in every respect, like the responsible Christian woman I know her to be. She should no longer be asked to live in shame thinking, “ How do I teach my son to do what I didn’t?” We should encourage such women to hold their heads up and walk in freedom. And when the time comes, we all tell her son that the Painomomsicle exhibits every quality a Christian should have, a repentant and humble spirit.

I have seen Painomomsicle grow up, and I am proud to call her my friend.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Happy Consecutive Odds...

To HG, Becky, and me.

Oddly enough, HG, you came on your own good time, so we owe our good fortune to you!

I will be formally celebrating on September 11th... as I always have... with my family. And we will have a guest, our former neighbor, who has a September 10th birthday.

People want to know what it's like having a birthday on 9-11... well, oddly enough (and yes, under the circumstances, odd is a good word), I wouldn't fit in with my sisters otherwise. Though, admittedly, I am the only one with a number that is divisible by more numbers then 1 and itself. But, consecutive odds are pretty slick planning.

And, OK, you know how we're all really into numeric patterns? Well... Becky's birthday has two prime numbers, as does her husbands... And I have a 9 and Josh has a 25... both squares, odds, and a single non-prime. And though one is technically not a prime number... it is still only divisible by one and itself... so HG, when you get married...

One would think this was all intentional... but if you knew my dad's initials, Josh's grandma's name and birthday, and my grandma's name you'd be freaked out. Only God could plan things that would be so interesting.

Happy Blogiversary

To King at SCSU Scholars !

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Women Leadership…

Very poignant . There isn’t a lot I can add to that. Though I do disagree, women aren’t so keen on beer trees. Most women I know would prefer Bailey’s trees. I, myself, am more of a Sherry or Amaretto gal, though there is something to be said about a good stout. Vote for me, I’d put funding into the research for alcoholic beverage trees.

I was listening to this radio show, and some guy was a guest talking about the feminization of churches. A women called in asking how she could help her husband teach her sons to be Godly men. I’m sure she’s a neat lady and a great asset to her family. The guest and the host gave some warm fuzzy answer that I’m sure she appreciated, but here’s the thing with women. They meddle.

During reintegration training, we were told, “Don’t be Oprah or Dr. Phil. Don’t try to fix your soldier. Let them work through stuff and if they’re still acting in a manner contrary to their character after a couple of months, then call in the reinforcements.” In other words, don’t meddle where you have no business meddling. So, while I was driving listening to this radio show, and the woman asked her question, I said out loud, “Don’t meddle.”

And you know, I know my temper. My family knows my temper. Women in my extended family have a history of meddling. Women, we are just as rotten as men, if not more so, and we are governed more by hormones and indecision and we have this innate desire to make things better. Hillary will be just like Oprah, but with a nuclear arsenal. (Josh, however, disagrees. He says Hillary doesn’t have the anatomy to make the call to nuke someone. We’ll see who is right. I am, and we all know it.)

Monday, September 03, 2007

A shut out...

And Santana was pitching. Not an entirely unusual occurance. But this time... sigh... Barb the Evil Genius must be laughing. I'm sure Cy Young had a bad day now and again.

But what happens when the Tribe faces the Cubbies in the World Series?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A long position…

In an asset class using leverage. In the stock market, this is called “buying on margin.” In homeownership this is called taking out a mortgage. Josh and I are looking at purchasing a house in the next nine months (lease is up in nine months). The terms of the lease are such that we can buy out of the lease with two months rent, so we’re free to buy when ready.

Josh and I have the once in a lifetime shot at buying a house that has sentimental value to the family and the opportunity ends really quickly. It is also a very personally inconvenient time to go through the work to purchase a house. (Whomever in the family who is really that interested, e-mail me.) But, because of the sentimental value (and lot size) it’s worth pricing the personal inconvenience.

So, Josh and I decided to take a quick look at what else is available because, if we are going to go through the great personal inconvenience right now of taking out the mortgage, we need to look at all options and not just the house.

For the same amount of money, we could also purchase a three bed/two bath on a large (though not as) lot with a finished basement. And so, here is where we flip a three sided coin, buy house A, buy house B (or any other house for that matter), or stick with the plan of waiting until after taxes.

Let’s say all the doom and gloomers are right and the housing market is going to Hell in a Hand-basket in the short run. Do I want to leverage myself with a home that I would have to do more work on, less work on, or do I want to wait a few months and be less leveraged?

With the market uncertainty, we’re waiting for now. Granted, renting is expensive, and probably more so then what we’d be paying for a mortgage. But, we have a low level of uncertainty in an apartment, no work to do, we’re buyers, we’re only talking $2,000 difference in rents paid, so we have time.

It’s my hope that both buyers and sellers take a hard look at the above. Buyers, you’re taking a long position in an asset class. Make sure you’re getting a good house* in case the market turns against you. Sellers, take a good look at houses and remember your potential buyer doesn’t have the emotional ties you do. They’ll have to do the work you’re not going to do.

HT to King and Chad the Elder for the discussion.

*I personally don’t believe there is a “right” house. Every house becomes the wrong house after buyers remorse sets in. The question people should ask is if it is a “good” house for a good deal.