Friday, July 25, 2008

New Bible Translation?

I am assuming this works for daycare workers as well! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What You Allow is What You Teach

I saw this quote on the desk of a daycare director. It's a good quote. It really speaks to what priorities are when it comes to putting beliefs into action. So, I wonder how this stacks up in our Synod.

Allowing pastors to be removed from their calls for unScriptural reasons. What this teaches: Pastors are mere employees who can be hired and fired depending on the mood of the congregation and her officers.

Allowing contemporary worship styles. What this teaches: It's not the doctrine that matters; it's all about the feelings. Faith is based on how I feel towards God and not on what God does for me.

Allowing Issues, Etc. to be cancelled. What this teaches: The LCMS is not focused on the things of God but the things of man (read: we're not interested in Christ being our focus but money!)

This list could go on, but I won't let it. I'll let you help me out and add you own instead.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Musings on Word Clouds

Are you sure that Contemporary Christian Music is "safe" to listen to? Are
you sure
it's even Christian? I'm not. After putting "God's Own Child I
Gladly Say It" into
the word cloud creator and having it come up with
telling words like "baptized" and
"Christ" in the prominent positions, I
put a popular CCM song into the same
processor. The result: the
words I, me, and you are prominent. Big difference?

I think so! One puts the focus on myself (which is a violation of the 1st
commandment) and my relationship with such a vague God that His
name is hardly
in the "big print" but more in the "fine print" of the word
cloud. The idea of
the word cloud is simple. It puts the words used
most in the biggest and most
prominent spots. My favorite hymn
puts the focus on Christ and His saving work
for me in the sacrament
of Holy Baptism. One song has the focus on Christ and

one on myself. "Safe" to listen to? Not for me! My God is Jesus
Christ, broken
for me on the cross at Calvary for the remission of
my sins. The god of myself
saves very little more than coupons.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Something Cool with my Favourite Hymn

Monday, July 14, 2008

Anxiety and Life

I don't think of my anxiety disorder on a daily basis. Well, unless it's bothering me. For me, it is a part of life in this old world. There really isn't any difference for me in working around my anxiety and working around the times I need to eat. It's very much something I have grown accustom to and it doesn't really have any conscious thought in much of my daily life. To be able to control this disorder in my life, I have come to realize that there are certain disciplines I must engage in daily to get ready for the day.

1.) Recognize that I have an anxiety disorder. This seems very silly, but it's true. I have lived with it for so many years and I should know this already. However, denial isn't limited to when the diagnosis is first given. Anxiety isn't a limitation but it can be if it is ignored.

2.) Mentally prepare myself for the day. I need to think ahead, not to worry, but to plan my day so that if I realize there might be something I must face or might face during the day, I have a "plan of action" so that I feel a little more in control of the situation. I might not follow my game plan, but if I at least have one, I'll worry much less.

3.) Look to the positives- even of my disorder. I know it can seem that there are no positives of a disorder. There are many, however. I tend to give people more benefit of the doubt in discussion and action because I don't know what might be affecting them like things are affecting me with my disorder.

There's something to be said about this type of positive thought, but I would be remiss if I said that was all there was to it. There is more to it, just like there is more to the body than the skin.

Daily devotions are so essential in this. Anxiety can never truly be in control without the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ given to us by grace through faith. Here's how it works:

1.) Recognize there is nothing I can do to attain my salvation. Nothing. God demands perfection and I have more wrong with me than just an anxiety disorder. I am blind, dead, and an enemy of God. God called me to faith in Jesus Christ, without any work on my part, in my baptism.

2.) Prepare myself for the day. This isn't just a mental exercise, it is so much more. Dr. Luther said that by daily repentance and contrition I should drown the Old Adam with all its sinful desires and sins and raise up the new man in Christ. How is this done? Daily devotions. Daily prayers for daily bread God will provide for my every need: my need for forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, my need for daily bread, and for the fulfilling of my daily vocations by the gifts God has given me. I use the daily prayers in the hymnal but your mileage may vary.

3.) Remember God's gifts given me: Baptism, Mass, Confession and Absolution, and the proper preaching of God's Word. These gifts will sustain me in even the hardest and toughest of circumstance. These gifts, because they are not of myself but of God, will always be there no matter what happens. This is a calming and peaceful truth.

In Christ, I am already healed from my disorder, my anxiety. He declared this with the words, "It is finished." Christ died and rose again to restore me back to my sinless, my anxiety free, state by His grace through faith. That's so much more solid than any positive thinking will ever be! Just as I still suffer the effects of other sins while I am still on this side of heaven, I will still suffer my anxiety disorder and all that it entails. Praise be to God, however, that it will not follow me or haunt me or even cause my anxiety in eternity with my Lord.

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Wanna Go Home

I am a big fan of country music. As Trace Adkin's put it, they are songs about me. Recently, Blake Shelton released a new single, "Home". Granted the song is about going home to a girl, but the sentiment is the same. Homesickness. I find myself in the strangest bout of homesickness I have had in a long time. It is strange, first of all, that I am having it at all. Ever since I got married, I have had a sense of calmness when it came to being away from home. No matter where I go, my husband is with me, with his love and devotion- the same I got from my parents- and that is a great source of peace to me. I still have that calmness.

What I am more homesick for is the like-mindedness of Christians firmly grounded in the Lutheran faith. I do get that at church, but I don't see those folks during the day. The daycare I work at is Lutheran, however, the employees, save two or three, are not. Those that are have a basic understanding of what it means to be Lutheran and have no interest in engaging in theological conversation. That, it seems, is reserved for pastors and professors. Right now, I come home, talk about theology with my husband, read the Wittenberg Trail, and listen to podcasts of Issues, Etc. (especially during naptime!) for my daily dose of decent theology.

Does home have that? Well, yes and no. Each and every congregation is a work in progress because we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God and the knowledge of God. However, in a world where society revolves around the individual with church being just one of the activities available during the weekend, home has a place where the community still revolves around the church. Maybe not as much as it did when the church was founded, but pride, identity, and history are all rooted in the church in that area. Is it perfect? Nope. That's a good thing. If it were, I wouldn't be able to attend because I am not perfect. I fight the devil, the world, and my own sinful flesh on a daily basis and fail miserably. However, where I am right now, I feel detached from the people at my church because they live in a different town than I do. It is hard to be encouraged by your brothers and sisters in Christ in your congregation on a daily basis when you only see them on a weekly basis. That is something that doesn't happen at home! Everyone is related to someone who belongs to the church. It's the curse and the blessing of a small town. If good friends are needed for encouragement and correction, those good friends need to be of the same faith as I am, and I find myself wanting to go where the concentration of those people is much higher.

What if I don't get to go back home? Well, God provides, as He always does. He gives the good gifts of a devout and faithful pastor in my congregation, a devout congregation, a devout husband who is usually up for a good theological discourse, parents who are just a phone call away in encouragement and admonishment, brothers and sisters in Christ who I never knew existed on the WT and the CAT41 lists, and good and decent radio programs like Issues, Etc. that teach, uplift, and sustain me in the true Christian faith. If God says that's enough for me then it is. God's word does what it says. But, truthfully, I can't lie. I want to go home.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

You Know You Are an Issues Junkie When...

*One of your coworkers sells you an IPod for really cheap so you can listen to the show anywhere. . .

Seriously, if you haven't heard, it's back on the air! Check out their website, it's available 24/7!

Inoculation Won't Help

I think I am hanging out with too many Confessional Lutherans as of late. Really, they are so absorbed in the Gospel that it's difficult to have a pity party around them. I mean, everyone is entitled to a pity party when life gets rough, right? If I have a bad day at work, a fight with my husband, or if I hit my toe and try to break it, I should be entitled to at least a minimum of half a day of moping if I so choose.

But it doesn't seem to work out that way. If you tell a Confessional pastor about your circumstance, they start telling you about how each and every thing you are complaining about represents a gift of God. A rough day at work means that you have the gift of having a job. A fight with your husband means you can demonstrate the same forgiveness given to you by Christ. A hurt toe, especially when it happens on a Friday, means that you'll have the weekend to heal. And all of this comes no where close to the gift of Christ on the cross, where He willingly shed His blood for the forgiveness of sins. Then Christ continues giving gifts to include His body and blood at the Lord's Supper and the washing and rebirth of Baptism. He gives faithful pastors to preach the Word so that faith is nourished and will grow in grace and to be reminded that God only gives good gifts. Even the things so awful that don't seem to have a "gift" angle are met by the word "gift" as the pastor reminds you that Christ overcame the world. When I fail at work, at home, in my vocations as wife, worker, and daughter, and I get tempted to get down on myself for it, I am reminded of the gift of God- that God sees me not as I am but through Christ as I am clothed in Christ and am presented sinless before God.

So I guess the pity party is cancelled. Instead, I'll let God throw the party at the Divine Service (and look ahead to that *huge* party called heaven).

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Knowledge is Power

I have a long list of phobias. Trust me. You don't want me to enumerate them. You and I would be here all day, possibly laughing at me, possibly agreeing with me, but mostly being bored. One of those phobias has always been about all things to do with medicine. Tablets and capsules, injections, IVs, surgery- honestly, anything. It is a subject that has scared me half to death since I was very little. I would bet that part of it has to do with the fear of death, something that seems to be directly linked to my anxiety disorder. But the other side of it is the unknown. So much of the medical field is unknown to most people. It doesn't help that once you are in a medical establishment, suddenly the ball isn't in your court. If you need treatment for anything, the shots are being called (so to speak) by the doctor and nurses. Orders for prescriptions, treatment plans, and care have some patient input, but generally speaking, it is the doctor who dictates what is going to happen to/for the patient.

Take, for example, my latest experience at the urgent care center. In a crazy freak accident at my house, I was pretty sure I had broken my toe. Now, I had also broken the skin and bled all over the place, too, so I wasn't so sure that I didn't need stitches as well. I wasn't willing to call in sick to go to the doctor, but I did go after work. By then, the swelling had gone up, but the incision was sealed by natural means. The doctor ordered instant X-Rays and my husband insisted on a wheel chair for me to keep off of this little pinky toe. Already, my "say" so to speak in what was going on was be yielded to those who know better and will help get me better. Oh, and they ordered a Tdap, a tetanus booster, because of the nature of the injury. That's a thriller right there. Not only is my toe going to hurt, my arm is going to ache as well. The joy! In truth, I could have refused treatment, but I knew better than to. I had pain in my foot along with my toe, which showed possible injury to the bones in my foot as well as my toe. I knew the moment I said "fix me," my ability to make choices about what was going to happen was very limited. It's usually at this point that my palms get sweaty, my heart rate goes up. If they had me hooked to a BP monitor, I would be a case for hypertension. My fight or flight kicks in and I begin to feel as helpless as the day is long. I begin to feel sick in my stomach, too, with nausea and all the fun that comes with that feeling. No matter how much I tell myself that this is for my own good, I can't seem to stop the fears.

This time, I started to go there as soon as they said "shot", but I didn't go there. I did my typical warning to the nurse when she said it was time for the injection. I told her that I have a history of puking and passing out with the introduction of needles into my environment. She told me I would never notice. Eh, I always thought that was a lie, but this time, I really didn't notice it. Why? Well, as silly as it sounds, the nerd in me came out in that moment. I had been diligently studying my pharmacy tech materials, and I had learned about the different types of injections. I once thought that a shot was a shot, but I have learned there are all different types of shots. I asked the nurse if this was an IM (inter-muscular shot) and she said it was. She counted to three, and in my mind (since my eyes were squeezed shut very tight!) I thought about the image of how the needle looked going into the muscle from my book. Then, I thought about how that serum is considered a ready made mixture, which means it wasn't compounded at the local pharmacy but it was set to be administered to the patient from its original packaging. I thought about how the serum needed to be drawn up from the vial and by the time she put the Band-aid on, I never really knew it happened. I felt the poke but it was little different from the bites I get from the quakers. (especially Maple!) No, the knowledge didn't take away the fear, but rather distracted me from being afraid as I used it as a learning experience. So, maybe the title of this blog shouldn't be "Knowledge is Power" but "The Nerd in Me Saved the Nurse from Cleaning Up My Vomit". Or, maybe not. . .