Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Just Leave Me Alone......

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.
Elegant, eh....hmmm. Thanks to Hoffman Homemaker for this one. I love Jungian/Myers-Briggs type personality tests. In a short amount of questions, it came up with the same one that 200 questions comes up with.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lutheran Carnival XLIV - Spring Training Edition!

I wanted to step outside the box, if you will, and pick somebody kind of different for my experience hosting, and boy was I thrilled to stumble upon a little blurb two weeks ago. “When asked if he was Jewish, Lou Gehrig replied, ‘No. I’m a Lutheran.’ ”

“WOW!!!! That’s great,” I thought. “What an example of gratitude (thinking of his “I’m the Luckiest Man in the World” speech) and vocation (he held the record for most consecutive games played (2130) until Cal Ripken Jr. beat it in 1998, and was always considered stable and reliable). So I rushed out to the library and grabbed his biography and was devouring it, until I came upon this line “there is no evidence that Lou Gehrig ever was a practicing Lutheran.” GRRRRRR. Oh well, good points aside, he was a Yankee anyway.

But this is the Lutheran Carnival that corresponds with the start of Spring Training…there HAS to be somebody. David Eckstein? Nope…Catholic…Who? Who? Who? (okay, I feel like a frantic owl).

Who indeed???? Are you ready???

Bill Wambsganss!!!!!

Now I know many of my friends (especially those who roll their eyes when I start postin’ about baseball) are saying “WHO?” (Now who’s the owl?)

Bill Wambsganss (1894-1985) played for the Cleveland Indians (I know I just made Marie happy at Homestead Lutheran Academy) and is in the record books for having performed the only unassisted triple play in World Series history (1920). He brought excitement back to the game after the dreaded “Black Sox” incident the year before. The only unfortunate thing is that he did it against my beloved Dodgers!!! It was a very simple, clean feat, honestly. He caught a line drive hit by Clarence Mitchell for the first out, tagged 2nd to retire Pete Kilduff, who was forced to run to 3rd because Otto Miller was coming from first base because he didn’t see Wambsganss make the catch. Then, Wamby tagged him out to complete the triple play (the pic is Wamby on the left with the 3 Dodgers...boy, I bet they loved posing for that picture!).

Known as “Wamby” (because like many of us of German descent, his last name was so gosh darn long that it didn’t fit on the scoreboard), William Wambsganss was born in Cleveland, and when he was a year old, his family moved to Fort Wayne because his pastor father received a call to serve a congregation there. There he grew up and attended Concordia College Fort Wayne. According to Wamby, “if you were a boy and if your parents did their job right, the Good Lord would take care of the rest.” Especially if you were a preacher’s boy, that meant going to seminary. So, even though he had strong doubts that he would make a good pastor, he headed off to St. Louis –despite the fact that he desperately hated speaking in public, had a slight stutter, and got terrible stage fright.

In his first year at seminary, a classmate of his, who had played some professional ball, was asked by a former coach if he knew any good shortstops. The classmate recommended Bill, and so Bill went to play for a minor league team in Cedar Rapids, assuring his dad that it was just for the summer. He did really well, and the following year, his contract was bought by the Cleveland Naps (soon to be the Cleveland Indians). So Bill decided that it was time to have the dreaded talk with his dad.

Describing it 60 years later, he said he was still nervous thinking about it. But, he told his dad that he didn’t think that he was cut out to be a minister and that he really wanted to give professional ball a chance. To his surprise, his dad was VERY supportive. He assured Bill that he wanted him to be happy and was very excited for him. Besides that, Pastor Philip Wambsgannss also happened to be a huge Cleveland fan. Bill wasn’t quite sure what his father’s response would’ve been had his contract been bought out by Detroit.

Bill Wambsganss was married in 1918 and he and his wife had 3 children. After he stopped playing, Wamby coached minor league and professional women’s baseball and softball teams in Fort Wayne for a few years before coaching company teams and entering factory work in 1936. The gymnasium on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary Fort Wayne is named for Bill Wambsganss.

Sources: The Luckiest Man(2005), by Jonathan Eig ; The Glory of their Times (1970) by Lawrence S. Ritter, ed.; and of course, Wikipedia
Much thanks to
Designated Knitter for the IM saying “hey…what about Wambsganss?”


And now for the lineup:

Dan at Necessary Roughness suggested the 3rd party article "Should Christians Convert Muslims?", written at Evangelical, Catholic, Missional, Faithful. It is a consideration of cultural issues that exist in Iraq and the Middle East today; some that are important to consider when sharing our faith among the Muslims.

Going along with the Muslim theme, fresh from migrating his site to a new address, John H posts a brief review of a book by Barnaby Rogerson looking at a critical period of history, one whose effects are still felt in the world today: the early decades of Islam, and the split between Sunni and Shia Muslims that stems from those decades. John suggests that the Shia mindset, in particular, has various parallels within the church today. Entitled "Shia Tragedy," you will find that at Confessing Evangelical. In a second post, entitled "Perhaps Today" John H. looks at the parallels (on a human level) between Shia Islam and certain groups within the Christian church, and asks why Christians with unorthodox views on eschatology, particularly dispensationalists, frequently put more "orthodox" Christians to shame with their strong belief in the future return of Christ.

Ask the Pastor addressed a question about the use of "obey" in marriage ceremonies with Obedience in the Wedding Vow. Then, with More Christian Critters, he continued to build on two previous posts involving animals in Scripture and religious symbolism.

Aardvark Alley opened this penitential season with a post on the background and significance of Lent. Aardie wrote on Ash Wednesday and included the lection, collect, and litany for the day. Later on the same day, he went off in a totally different direction. Air through a G-String invokes the music of J. S. Bach in commenting on a Polish village that's wrestling with the merits and morals of changing its output of ecclesiastical lace work into lacy garments of a more carnal nature.

Along similar lines, Dan at Necessary Roughness posts "Addressing a Symptom, Not a Cause." Catholic bishops in Brazil are protesting the government's distribution of condoms during Carnival. What's not mentioned is the Roman Catholic church denouncing the licentiousness of Carnival and Mardi Gras. Then he gives us the Valentines Day gift of a mini-carnival through the blogosphere on the holiday of love.

jWinters at jwinters.com submits The Gospel According to Jimmy Buffett: Regabilly Hill. He shares how the lyrics remind him of when Jesus will come again and take us home. Personally, I just can't even type "Jimmy Buffett" without tasting margarita salt. Hey....it's 5 o'clock somewhere." ;)

In "Dear Visiting Pastor," E. Rapp of The Rapp Files shares with us a letter to a visiting pastor where he takes issue with his view of the importance of the doctrine of justification ( I like this one, I hope he sent it).

And talking about what God does for us....In her beautiful post, "Being Fed," Susan at Susan's Pendulum comments on babies being fed, brides being fed bits of wedding cake by their grooms, and a nestful of baby robins, waiting open-mouthed for their parents to come back with dinner. And what does this have to do with what happens at the altar rail, anyway?

And my good friend and yarn pusher, The Designated Knitter at Line Drive Down the Right Side admits that she has grown to see how her "her Lutheran-ness" flows through her vocation as knitter (and believe me, for her, its a vocation. She's even mission-minded). In her post "Lutheran Knitting," she calls all confessional Lutheran knitters to join a confessional Lutheran knitters blogroll....I'm so there! (and in all fairness, lest you take her side in that whole "I told her to write a post" thing, she owes me big-time. She got me addicted to knitting, blogging, AND sushi).

Lutheran Carnival XLV will be at Carol Rutz's Annexe on March 11th.

Have a Blessed Lent, a Happy Spring (because it really is Spring, despite the ice storm...baseball has started!), and GO DODGERS!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lutheran Carnival XLIV

I will be hosting the Lutheran Carnival XLIV here at the ol' RPW blogsite, so please get your submissions in! The deadline is Friday, February 23, and it will be posted by Sunday, February 23. The information for posting is right here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Birds Know!

On February 15, there was snow all over the ground that came as high as my knees in some places....yet, it was Spring. The weather didn't seem to know this, since the temperature registered at a balmy 2 degrees.....the earth itself doesn't acknowledge this, since the scientists mark the first day of Spring as the day when the highest concentration of the sun's rays are focus on the equator (the Spring Equinox, March 21st)....but in my heart....I knew it was Spring. Pitchers and Catchers reported to Vero Beach, Florida and to other camps in Florida and Arizona to begin Spring Training.

Someone else knew too....as I was driving along the highway to go pick up our milk from an Amish farmer, blocks of birds sitting on the road rose up to get out of the way of the van. The birds had arrived. I saw a few finches, but mostly starlings. Starlings are always the first to arrive (though this does seem early), even before the robins....usually huge flocks of them descend on the grass field behind our house, like a sea of black (no wonder they haven't been to our field yet...as I said....lots of snow. Back roads and the dumpster behind Arby's make more sense).

So, I don't care what the thermometers or astronomers say. The baseball players and the little birds tell me....its SPRING!!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Goodbye Sophie

Yesterday, we had to put down the best dog in the world.

We'd had Sophie for almost exactly eleven years. We got her at the ASPCA in Fort Wayne when my husband was in seminary. We were living in the tiniest apartment in a bad neighborhood, and the only good thing about it was that they let us have pets, with no limitations. So I went in to the shelter, told them I wanted a medium-sized dog that was good in an apartment (the pound wouldn't have even given us a dog as big as her.) They pointed to her, a year old border collie that had been left by a woman who'd left an abusive relationship and had been living in her car. Border collies are known for their energy, but Sophie didn't even like to stand when she ate. She was a good fit. At the shelter, they let her roam around freely. They hated to get rid of her. (almost every time we'd have her kenneled, she ended up with the same privilege. Everyone loved her) Her name was originally Bugsy. My Las Vegas roots couldn't abide that. Besides, she was too sweet. So, since border collies are one of the smartest dogs out there, and she was indeed clever, (and also because her markings kind of mimicked a clerical collar, and Sophia worship was all the talk at the seminary) we named her Sophie (okay, its not a good picture, but I can't believe how young and thin I looked! Photographing black dogs is a challenge. But you can see the fur she always leaves all over the carpet).

We also had a cat, Alyosha, about the same age. Still do. And this cat had a tendency to attack our thighs or achilles tendons as we walked by, or to dig its teeth into our toes in the middle of the night. I brought Sophie in the house, and the cat came around the corner to greet us (he was affectionate, but like most kittens, rather prone to spasms of visciousness). As he came around the corner, he froze in his tracks and the look of sheer hate in his eyes was clear. For the next few years, he channeled all that energy that used to be directed at us on Sophie, and Sophie had so much fur that she barely noticed. Alyosha would get directly underneath her and try to attack her belly. Sophie would just sigh and lay down on top of the humiliated cat. This went on for years until the cat eventually mellowed. They became good friends.

When we had Chris, Sophie barely seemed to notice, as long as we still played fetch after 7 p.m., when our neighbor downstairs turned off her hearing aids. But the first time we had a babysitter, Sophie didn't leave Chris for one moment, and laid down right next to the bed when he went down for a nap. She knew not to mess with his toys. I only had to scold her once, then I brought her stuffed animals from the food and clothing bank, and said "Sophie's bear" and she knew that one was hers and would rapidly destroy it, play fetch with it, etc.

We know that there were several times that she kept our homes safe from burglars. She only barked when there was something to bark about, but what a bark! Numerous mailmen were terrified of her, even though they'd only heard her from behind our door but had never seen her. She probably would've helped the burglars take whatever they wanted, as long as they petted her first.

My inlaws called her a trail dog. Wherever you went, there she was trailing you. I don't know how many times she's been stepped on because of this, poor thing. She always picks the spot to lay down for the night which is exactly where she can keep an eye on the front door and everyone else's bedroom. She was always sensitive to our moods and was always aware of where we were and what we wanted. We could command her using hand signals we never really even bothered teaching her.

She's lived both here and in California, crossing the country twice. Here she is the Spring after we got her. She loved to herd those geese back into the lake at the seminary, and then go in after them. I couldn't believe how far in she'd go. And above, she loved to run and play in the snow....reminds me of Fly in the movie "Babe."

Lately, the arthritis in her hips was getting bad. She could barely move, and after being rejuvenated a bit by anti-inflammatories, she got a little too hyper and messed up her ACL on her left rear leg and couldn't put any weight on it. She couldn't get up, and she was often falling over. The vet didn't think she'd be able to recover from the injury, even with surgery, since her hips were so bad. The pain would only get worse. The kids were allowed to say goodbye, and I held them in the waiting room while my husband held Sophie while they put her to sleep.

She was the first dog that was really my dog (well, my husband's dog, too...but not really my parents' dog). Even more special than being the dog of my childhood, she was the dog of my kids' childhood. She loved them, played with them, protected them...and us. I will never have another dog like her, though we may have more special dogs. I thank God for the blessing that He gave us in her.
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Dark Purple
To others, you seem a bit dark, mysterious, and moody.In truth, you are just a very unique person who doesn't care what others think.And you really enjoy your offbeat interests and friends.You've decided that life is about living for yourself - simple as that.
thanks to Presbytera for the link...this was fun.

Carnival Free Parking at St. Charles Place

The Lutheran Carnival XLIII is up and running at St. Charles Place. Go take a ride on the Reading (to borrow from his title, though I live closer to the B&O myself)...

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Wow...I Made Butter!!!

My kids have dairy allergies. Actually, my husband and I do, too. We just ignore them. About eight months ago, we started getting raw (non-pasteurized) milk from a farmer and have LOVED it. We've used rice milk and such for many years, but given that my family has insulin issues, I've been concerned about all of that starch with no protein or fat to offset it. Raw milk often doesn't provoke a reaction because many people people with dairy allergies aren't reacting to the proteins themselves, but to what intensive heat does to the proteins, and that it kills the enzymes that are in the milk that help us digest the proteins and access the nutrients.

This allergy has also left us dependent on margarine (parve only), and I've hated that. It's so bad for us. So a while ago, for cooking I switched to coconut oil (look online, nutritionally, it is VERY good for you), but for what to spread on the bread, I've been a little lost.

Finally, since I was getting whole milk, which obviously had cream, I decided to make it myself. I came across this recipe for butter in a food processor, which made it sound simple....and it was! I actually played Catan the whole time the food processor was going, until I had to start rinsing it...and the rest took about five minutes. And while it doesn't taste like much alone (butter doesn't...but I didn't add salt, either), it was the BEST on a piece of toast. It has left that luscious, creamy taste in my mouth that only really good butter can leave. YUM.

So, if you want to see what the whole process looks like, (since the recipe still left things kind of a mystery to my timid nature) I included a photo album of the whole process. Just click on the picture and it will take you to the album. Now for a snack.....

Friday, February 09, 2007

Little Visitors

Last night, my husband swept up some spilled rabbit food and then threw it out on the driveway, for lack of anywhere else to put it, apparently.

It was found.....we must have been visited by a whole multitude of hungry wild bunnies, and yes, they left "gifts" behind.

Wish I could've seen it.....unless of course they are really hanging around to lure my little fluff-balls (Jersey Woolies) back to the wild side....

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Preaching Sanctification

The quantity of discussion regarding the preaching of sanctification (basically, the good works that a Christian does) and the role of the 3rd use in the Christian life has been increasing by leaps and bounds in the Lutheran blogosphere as of late. There are plenty of good, respectable, and respectful Christians on both sides of this discussion. I am having difficulty finding a basis for the idea that sanctification should be kept out of a sermon. For instance, this quote from the Apology:

"On the contrary, in our churches, all the SERMONS (emphasis mine) are filled with such topics as these: repentance; the fear of God; faith in Christ, the righteousness of faith, the comfort of consciences by faith; the exercises of faith; prayer, what its nature should be, and that we should be fully confident that it is powerful, that it is heard; the cross, the authority of officials and all civil ordinances; the distinction between the kingdom of Christ, or the spiritual kingdom, and political affairs; marriage; the education and instruction of children; chastity; all the offices of love. From this condition of the churches it may be determined that we earnestly keep Church discipline, godly ceremonies, and good Church customs."

-Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XV(VIII), Human
Traditions. (p. 193 of the new Concordia, The Lutheran Confessions)

This clearly says that these topics are addressed in the sermons in the Lutheran pulpits, and Melancthon, at this point in his writing is using this description to show how true the Lutheran churches are being to Scripture and to the preaching of the Gospel, not as an example of what shouldn't be preached.