Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Silly Greg

Talk about tedious. Let's see if I can simplify this for you. Our interactions with you could be one of two things. Either I:

1) am a buffoon who, whenever stung by some biting "satire", must scurry around in my childish antics to try and cobble a weak defense against the masterful wit and scholarly acumen of the great Greg. Pledged to be the defender of all things C&C yet somehow I just can't manage to put a defense together as the world laughs at me.

or

2) I think you are a loon. a guy who thinks your carefully thought out research is laughable when you compare it to the likes of a serious scholar like Freddy Finkelstein. A guy who thinks your massive ego and profound love of self causes you to sit in your little world and take yourself way too seriously. A guy who gives you no respect or credibility. To take advantage of the season I'd say you were a Mr. Potter from "Its a Wonderful Life"

It could be number one but it is more likely number two. See you attribute such lofty goals to me yet basically all I do on a given day is decide, "Hey, let's stir up the old loon and see what we can get him to say." Oh indeed my motives are childish and harkin back to the day of picking on the weird kid in school. I'll admit that playing with you is a lot like giving a dog a beer just to see what happens.

So you can decide which one you think is my actual attitude yet I know you won't publish the actual truth so I will sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the next bit of wisdom you do publish. I learn so much about myself.

An Explanation

There are times when I play blogging games where I just let the game play out without explanation of my intentions or motivations. I could let the entry below this one just stand with no explanation, but I decided that I would expound on it. It is hard to believe that Greg would make a wrong assumption as to my intentions, I know, let’s just take a minute to absorb the impact of that statement. There, now we can move on.

Greg divined that my intention was to defend Church and Change or more specifically two pastors (“Ski” and Glende) who have public photos out there posing with various stars. I got that from this statement, “They have jumped in to defend Glende and Ski by putting my face on Ski's pose with the Playboy model/alleged singer,…” and this one, “Someone has to defend the Chicaneries. Why not us?” which was a label underneath the now infamous trademark photoshop of Beavis and Butthead with Joe’s and my initials (Yes, I actually enjoy the sarcastic image…yet unfortunately I have forgotten, yet again, which one I am. )

I just want to state my actual intention for Greg. It is not to defend anything. I didn’t have one thought about Church and Change and actually don’t see how anything about C&C is relevant unless I’m missing a “seven steps to Kevin Bacon” moment here. I don’t know Glende or Ski and I won’t defend someone I don’t know. Of course I won’t condemn someone I don’t know either. My simple intention was to point out the hypocrisy and double standard of the concept of photoshopping people’s photo’s. One of Greg’s avid supporters so wonderfully provided the exact response I expected and it was just too wonderful complete with and 8th commandment callout. Greg provides all the rationale and justification on his very own blog for creating as many photoshopped images of him as I feel I want to create.

For the record, my Facebook photos are open to everyone too and I have hundreds of photo’s out there in over 20 albums. Few are actually of me since I tend to be on the other side of the camera but perhaps this week at Christmas I will try to get more of me out there for photoshopping opportunities. However, don’t be shy Greg. If you ask to be my friend in Facebook I will gladly accept. It will be just that much easier for you to get through all those photos. Actually I have a ton of pictures of my cats that I need to get up there. I bet you could use those.

The second point of Greg’s analysis I wanted to respond to was the statement, “I can see why these two get upset over my posts..” I don’t think I get upset by your posts. I’d say amused captures my true emotion. You know the saying, "Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." I’d have to say that is my approach to the Ichablog. The more Greg says…well the harder it is to take it seriously. So after some time reading it, I don’t get too excited about what is said anymore. Those who are maligned there daily should not be too upset about what is said either. More important is to note the hypocrisy and inaccuracy that forms the substance of the daily accusations, and slander. Reasonable men, I believe, see right through this and move on. A court of law wouldn't touch such hearsay and conjecture so why would we give it anymore credence than that. Basically it renders the his credibility as shot...even if there is a point or two here and there are accurate and even poignant. That’s the point where it all just becomes humorous. I think you could characterize Greg's hypocrisy as, “The injury we do and the one we suffer are not weighed in the same scales."

Lastly, Greg is right about one thing. I can have a church website, complete with podcasting, multimedia streaming, complete database interactivity, and a full array of content up in only a few hours. Give me a call if you are interested. I host WELS related websites for free. Think about it.


Gratuitous photo of my cat in a box. I believe he is saying, "I am an ebil Confessional Crusader Kitteh. I sit in a very small box and slander you!!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

You Sly Dog

I found this old photo of my good friend G-dawg hangin tight with Mariqueen. Smokin!! I'd be smiling too.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Liberty

It is the 236th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party today. Interestingly enough my day started out with a good conversation on liberty (which started specifically over the liberty of Harley owners to annoy people with their mufflers...it expanded from there). My daughter and I were texting long things to each other while each driving to school/driving to work etc. Not recommended quality time, but it was a good conversation on liberty, morality, and tyranny.

This morning I watched the following video of Lt Col. Allen West. a congressional candidate in Florida, and again had to say, "Yeah! What he said!" In his speech you may note the lack of any teleprompter. Can I get an Amen? A great, great summary of my beliefs on liberty. Keep an eye on candidates like this. They will be popping up a lot I think in the next 3 years. I wish I was in Florida just so I could vote for him. There are videos of followup interviews with him where he expounds on current trends and I like him even more.

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them." ~ Thomas Jefferson




I posted this same video on my Facebook. An aquaintance of mine from high school who is a dyed-in-the-wool liberal responded with this comment:

"Is it because of the delusion that under Obama you are living under tyranny. Laughable. How much a country decides to help its citizens is a matter for debate but to claim that under a (very moderate, yes very moderate) liberal we are now under the same conditions as when we fought the British is ridiculous. The more tyrannical was the path of set forth by the neo-cons to take over the middle east by hook and crook."

My response was as follows:

Tim Niedfeldt
Alas I believe that progressivism is tyranny period, whether it was fostered by liberals or Republicans (note I don't necessarily deem Republicans as conservatives..it's a case by case basis).

Historically, however, the tyranny of the revolution was at worst about a wash to today's climate (taxation, judicial abuse, and economic issues with debt and currency devaluation) and in some instances the threats to Liberty were less than they are now (progressivism was not a threat at that time). It's just at the time, the afronts to liberty tasted so much more evil and actionable than they do now to a modern humanistic country hellbent on having the government step in, save everybody, mitigate all risk to life, and we all go on enjoying our equality of outcomes.

You can keep your equality of outcomes. I'd rather have my equality of opportunity. I can take care of myself. If we were truly free most could take care of themselves too. If we were Christian as well, we would also help those who can't help themselves. However that is nearly impossible when you substitute government for God and pray for the gravy train. If we were in a position in society where those who want the mediocre existance of socialism could go choose that and those who want a more classic version of liberty could just enjoy that I'm sure we could all be happy. I just haven't found that place yet.

Thoughts? Comments?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Which one is Putin?

I read a story today on a speech given in Russia and saw this picture. It reminded me of another picture I've seen. Since my good friend here at work is Russian, I put the two pictures together to see if he could tell which one was which. So you decide. Which one is Vladimir Putin and which is the adorable kitten?



On the other hand...If you are looking for tough...this is tough.







Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Victory Update

This last Sunday was a real treat. In that service, we had an adult baptism as well as her newborn infant child. In the same service we also had Holy Communion. What a great service to have the Gospel proclaimed in Word and Sacraments. Truly it was a service of Thanksgiving. We now head into the C series of the 3 year lectionary for Christmas with our sermon series on preparing our hearts for Christmas.

Victory has been doing very well since our Grand re-launch in September at the Showtime Cinema. Attendance is creeping to 140-150 each Sunday. This Thanksgiving weekend I think there was over 160. Membership is nearing 100 if it is not over that yet. I believe we have reached self-supporting 3 months ahead of schedule as well. I guess I will have to wait until the end of December to know for sure. If anything Victory is a testament on to how to start a church on a shoestring budget (we were only funded by a mother congregation for $100,000 spread over 3 years...the rest was up to us. Now we have a budget of $125,000 a year that we can cover ourselves and have $70,000 stashed away in a land fund). It is interesting to note that if the congregation keeps growing at this rate we will be running out of room on Sunday mornings by June. We’ll have to come up with some way to expand or have multiple services.

Technology-wise we have improved greatly as well. Benhur Khamrang’s adjustments to the sound of the band have been very good. There has been some experimentation on band placement and mic’s and equipment but we have successfully moved the sound booth up by the video folks. The video feed from the Theater to the CafĂ© is now successfully beaming without the 100 foot video cable. In general I think Victory is one of the most technologically advanced churches around considering its size. I recently finished upgrading the website to ASP.NET 3.5 on IIS 7.0. That was a huge jump. I also upgraded the speed of the data connection and ability to stream the podcasts.

Karen has been singing harmony in the band much more now. We could still use a bang! pow! Lead vocalist for sure. We’ve got a ton of musical talent in the band if we could just have a power vocalist to rally around. It’s pretty good though despite that. Katie has been helping with the Bible Quest program almost every Sunday. She helps prepare the lessons or projects and sets up the video equipment and mats in the children’s theater. Ike helps a bunch too in a pinch….that happens most when Kt is not there. The Bible Quest program as well is growing very fast and is requiring a lot of helpers each Sunday. When they are short helpers, Kt jumps in a lot. I’m just happy to see my kids being so involved and actually enjoying it. Cassy is our Children's ministry director and she has developed a stellar kid's ministry program. The WELS should take note of how to design a good Sunday School program from her.

Have a great Christmas!

Family Update

So the family is coasting along. Karen is done with her current classes at Iowa and is taking a 3 month break or so to focus on her final ALU (Academy of Life Underwriting) exam. After passing this 4th exam she will attain her Fellow designation or FALU. There are not a lot of underwriters who go for the FALU and the 4th exam is a very tough exam. The worst part about these exams is when she reads me the questions or asks what I think as she's studying. Do I ask her whether I should use an MQ call verses a webservice call? No!

Kt and Ike are free of school sports at the moment. Ike goes to Mixed Martial Arts still after having a bit of a break because of interference by football followed by driver's ed. With those distractions gone he is more free for the kick boxing. Yes, Ike did pass driver's ed. He's an excellent driver, except he drives like an Asian and if you try to get in the car after he's been in it you will break your knees because the seat has to be all the way up.

Kt takes the SAT and ACT the next two weekends. With those out of the way it will be time to get ready for a school choice. She's got a few options but I suspect her final decision will wait until the end of the school year when the final picture will become clear...hopefully. Overall there is no particular rush on this choice as apparently all the other frantic parents around me who freak out about early application and all that garbage. I think Kt's final choice no matter which option it is will be relatively painless and easy to arrange at any moment.

I have been working on my web hosting server. I made the big move to bring the server in-house and buy a new machine with all the latest and greatest. I have gotten the sites I host up and running and am currently working on upgrading one of those websites from ASP coding that is nearly 10 years old to the newest version of ASP.NET. This will take me a few months as it is a very large application. I have a wickedly fast data connection now and it helps to have the machine right there to do maintenance and updates. Now I would like to host more websites and actually collect money for them. All the sites on this server are basically donated to church related websites.

Zach is moving from the NAS in Pensacola, FL to a school at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, NC. Apparently it is a quick move and he was notified today and will be there on Friday. His specialty there will be Aviation Communications/Navigation sytems. I have yet to find out how long he will be there. I suspect it will still be until April. At least his best friend will shortly be stationed at New River, NC about 45 miles away. They can still hang out I guess. He will be home for Christmas from the 18th through the 2nd of January. This will be a vacation though and not a recruiter's assistance leave like the last visit home. It will be nice to have him home for Christmas again. So far that's not too bad. 2 out of 5 Christmas' he could be away that he has been able to be home. We'll see how many we can get.

I think that covers the family tidbits for now. Have a great Christmas.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Conservative on the Constitution...or what's left of it.

There was a time in the 80’s, the 1780’s that is, where the founders of this great country desired states to retain most of their powers so that governing and representation was for the most part a local activity and remained with the people. The states agreed to cede a few of their powers to a central government, 17 of them specifically, that were important to the good order of the country. In case you’ve forgotten, here are the original 17.

  • To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
  • To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
  • To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
  • To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
  • To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
  • To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
  • To establish post offices and post roads;
  • To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
  • To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
  • To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
  • To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
  • To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
  • To provide and maintain a navy;
  • To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
  • To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
  • To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
  • To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles (16 km) square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings.

It is important to note that true evilness began with the passing of the 16th amendment in 1913. The 16th amendment allows the direct taxation of income of US citizens. With this ability, the government claimed the most important power which had been reserved to the states and now had the ability to fund the emerging progressive movement conveniently growing at that very time.

From that time forward the progressive movement has continued nearly unfettered. FDR’s New Deal, Johnson’s Great Society, and now we have Obama’s New France. During this nearly 100 years Americans have little by little handed over pieces of the freedom this country was founded on to the federal government. The country has already handed over a good share of their retirement pension and healthcare. Now the country is willing to hand over the rest of the nation’s health to the government. Now the government wants to create three new agencies to regulate the financial health of America and strip those abilities from the FED. Now the government wants to take over the banks. Now the government wants to take over Car companies. In NH the government is even bailing out Newspapers..because government intervention in the press is always a good idea. The government wants to influence the arts through the NEA and the list goes on and on and on.

There was a time in the 80’s, that is the 1980’s, when this nation got just a glimpse of what it might be like to turn back the clock to what the founding fathers of this country intended to create as a FEDERAL government. Ronald Reagan inspired this nation to take back personal responsibility, patriotic initiative, and reduce the size of government. It’s not as if his 8 years could rollback a tide of decades of progressive intervention in our lives however he made a small dent and it gave hope to those of us who believe in consummate freedom and the ability of the unfettered individual to accomplish the American Dream on their own.

However after America was set on the cusp of something great with approval at an all time high we got the “Read my lips” shaft. We got a “Contract with America” that buckled under some bleeding heart criticism with nary a wimper. I can tell you I became instantly apathetic to all politics at that time. Reform was done, Republicans and Dems were all the same. Spineless and weak and lacking the gonads to legislate this country according to the values it was founded on. I figured, “what’s the point?” What can I do? I don’t have any candidates who really will do anything.

However now I say, “ Enough already!” I can hardly take any more. I am becoming a very politically pissed off individual. Don’t worry I won’t be shooting off any weapons in some sort of Lutheran Jihad but I can assure you that I have shaken off my political apathy that has afflicted me since BUSH 1 gave up on Reagan’s values. Whereas I used to say I was Republican, I will tell you that I am no longer. I am conservative period. I see aspects I like in Libertarian and Conservative Party ideology. If the Republicans fold up the big tent and come back to their values, then we shall re-examine that, but currently, I think they are rudderless in the search for true values and leadership. Don’t tell me what party you’re from. Tell me you’ll represent the people who elected you and that you’ll fight to limit the government to what it was designed to do.

I think George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were correct in their dislike for political parties. They have ruined the political process for Americans. Accountability is shot and Americans are losing their country without a shot fired. Come on America! We need to stop being frogs in the boiling pot. Regardless if you are liberal, conservative or even one of those uncommitted, fence-sitting, conviction-less, moderate political mutts, we will all lose when we have no more ability to shape our own destiny. I have seen the enemy and it is I.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Political Summary

Alright, here is a video that I happen to watch and started going ..."Yeah!!! that's me he's describing." It is a perfect summary of where I am politically. I remain pessimistic that the tide will actually change like I want it to as Glenn describes at the end of the video, but perhaps it might happen. Especially note the Chalkboard part of the speech.



I might note that this is the first I've ever seen of Glen Beck. On a trip home from Florida I heard about an hour of his radio show once. It seemed good but he had some wacky conspiracy theory ideas that he would spew out here and there and it tempered my enthusiasm for the rest of what he said. However, perhaps I will be checking him out more.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tidbits of weirdness that have tickled my fancy.

A Jet overshoots the airport on a flight from San Diego to Minneapolis, MN (the same flight my daughter has been on in the past) by 150 miles because they say they were distracted by a heated discussion…or as some speculate, they perhaps fell asleep. I can understand the heated discussion story. It is similar to how my lunch group solves the problems of the world 30-45 minutes at a time M-F with the amazing clarity of conservatism and common sense. We also could forget to land the plane.

Also amusing to me. The story about a man in Duluth, MN who was arrested for drunken driving in a Lazy boy. He had a Lazy Boy attached to a riding mower frame with a cooler and drink holders and everything. He hit a parked car with this rig and had a blood alcohol level of .29. I’m not sure I could handle being the officer who made that arrest. It doesn’t feel right to be laughing hysterically while arresting someone. I pretty much think it would be amazing to have a drivable Lazy Boy.

Again in MN (You get the sense that MN is the center of weirdness but it is just coincidence….or is it?) a woman was ruled against in that her bong water should be considered part of her drug paraphernalia instead of as a controlled substance. The problem being that the bong water contained traces of Meth and was 37 grams of water (two and a half table spoons). This constitutes a felony conviction of up to 7 years in prison for having a large amount of drugs instead of a misdemeanor conviction for having drug paraphernalia consisting of a fine of $300. So, druggies...remember to empty your bong water.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Victory Update

Well Victory of the Lamb continues to grow. For September our average attendance was 140 people per Sunday. In addition there are over 4 Bible classes running right now during the week. The Bible Quest Kids have almost topped 30 kids too. All these are great blessings from the Lord as he has graciously been blessing our ministry.

I personally have bequeathed my sound "engineer" status to an actual sound engineer/musician who knows what he is doing. Benhur, his wife and little daughter are new arrivals at Victory from Santiago, Chile. He is originally from India but met his wife who is from the Milwaukee area in Chile while she was teaching English at the ELS mission church in Santiago. He married the teacher but after mission defunding they ended up back here in the US staying with his wife's brother. He has been a huge asset in improving the sound of the band and in arranging some of the hymns and songs with new sounds and styles. He speaks in a sound language I don't even understand so I just let him do his thing and occupy my time setting up the cables and taking down.

All in all our ministry is doing well and lots of people are stepping into the various roles. It is gratifying to see God bless this ministry and bringing ever more people who do not know Jesus into the church.

Links to Benhur's secular videos

Family Update

Well it has been awhile since a Family update. I'll start with today and go backwards. There's not too much to report except that we had a good visit with Zach while he was here for the last two weeks. As I type this he is in the air on his way to Pensacola. He had a break between modules of schooling for 3 weeks and he sought out recruiter's assistance with his local Milwaukee recruiter for two of them so he could be home and visit even though he still worked every day at the recruiting station. He made a round of visits to relatives and such and then hung out with a few friends.

Zach's main goal to come home was to surprise his Mom so he told no one but myself that he was coming. Surprised her we did! It was exactly what he was hoping for. Since it is unlikely he will make it home for Thanksgiving, it was a good interlude before he comes home for Xmas. He also got to take care of all that fun stuff like renewing his driver's license and getting his contacts supply. I thank Kelly and Cal for the wonderful early Thanksgiving meal we had at their new house. It still makes my mouth water.

Kt is still busy with school and work and Phil. She visited him in September and I'm sure we will be seeing him on one of these holidays coming up as well.

Ike has been busy with football, CC and school. His football team had some sort of magical transformation this year and went from a Keystone Cops comedy routine to a pretty tough competitor. The thing is all the skills and size were there...they just need to have some confidence and sustain it. It's almost freaky the change. Last week the coach of the opposing team was livid with his team for "failing" against what was considered the most pathetic team in the league (last year they beat us 48-0). We all heard him screaming and jumping up and down. Sad ! Ike ran on my CC team as well. He was the 2nd or 3rd runner depending on the day. I had a great core of boys on that team and it always changed as to who was finishing where. They ended up taking 2nd place at the conference "Wisco" meet. I was ecstatic about a team from scratch from a school that hasn't had CC in 6 years and we came on strong. I hope for even better next year.

Karen and I just do our things...nothing new there. I have been running and continuing on after this CC season with it. Trying to get in better shape and lose even more weight. Maybe we'll see if I can run some fun runs this next year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Immigration Qualification

Okay pay attention folks. This is where I'm not as conservative as I am in most regards.

I'm up in the air about immigration. On the one hand I have to admire each and every immigrant who busts their ass to get here. Think of it ...wanting to get into a country to better your life so bad that you would risk all that. Dang that's what this country was made of.

I also would be the first one to pay cash under the table to have some illegals do work for me that I as a stuck up American deem too menial to do. There goes my nomination to the Supreme Court (although the current trend seems to indicate you will actually be better suited to be in Congress or the Obama administration if you don't pay your taxes.) No one should think that if the 17,000,000 illegals went home that there would be this sucking sound pulling our beloved jobless Americans into these great paying jobs that were stolen from them by illegals. Lordy it is hard to get a teenager to accept a job at less than $8 an hour to fold clothes at Abercrombie not to mention pick cabbage out of a field.

Living in a racially mixed neighborhood with a larger percentage of hispanic people in it however I notice some things. That on one hand there are plenty of industrious, thrifty, immigrants, legal or illegal, trying to make a better lives for themselves. They want their kids to learn English and to attend school. They want them to attend college too and become successful. On the other hand you can also see the ones who are here to cash in and send it home and make a better life for their families back home. Hmmmm what to think. I prefer the classic immigrant picture. Coming to America to make a new life and make America the great country it is. Not to come here...collect the gash and send it back home. I would move to a foreign country in a second but if I go there I'm going to make a go of it in that country for that country. It's the least I owe.

I guess it shortens down to this. I say for all those who want America to be their home ...come and make it happen. We welcome you (well I do at least). To those who just want the cash, the quick hit, the generous social services and healthcare, and when all is well you leave or you never bother to be an American etc... Please stay home....because really I don't even believe you can see through those massive flag stickers in your back windshields and that just seems unsafe.

School Insanity

Ok here is a perfect example of one of the things that daily catch my attention as to the completely wacky country we've become. I noticed the following article and was appalled at the "verdict"

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/12/education/12discipline.html?_r=1&bl

This has been an increasing pet peeve of mine where schools are resorting to "zero tolerance" in the name of student safety or risk of bias and discrimination. It is no wonder America cannot think for itself. We are taking out discernment at every level of the game. We eliminate each and every risk from our lives with legislation born on the wings of paranoia. We cater to the fear of lawsuits and criticism from others. We all just need to get along and legislate a perfect feeling of love and happiness by getting rid of the evil.

Well that is why I love this guy.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/12/arizona-sheriff-vows-continue-immigration-sweeps-despite-federal-downgrade/

He is not like that. He makes the calls and goes for it despite what outsiders think. If his voters don't like it they will vote him out. Okay I was going to qualify my opinions on immigration in this post but I will just create a new post on that.

To Zachary Christie: Be strong little man. Try not to be some 2nd grader's bitch at reform school and we'll be waiting for you on the other side.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nobel Peace Prize

HUH? WOW! I'm pretty sure I will be getting the next Nobel Peace Prize as I talk a lot about "hope" and "change" and have been almost as effective as Obama in establishing peace in the world.

I think its a bit premature to be handing out such things simply because Obama wants change. It would be nice if he had a track record where his recent decisions and potential big-time failures he is orchestrating by driving Israel away from the bargaining table, appeasing Iran (sanctions are as rediculous as the UN that loves them), and the as yet undecided course of action with Afghanistan had some sort of timeline to show success. Not to mention that Pakistan is about to blow on the Taliban issue in their border region and will complicate any US actions.

It could be that Obama's only being a Campaign and Chief instead of a Commander and Chief as well as being as an astute of diplomat as Neville Chamberlain could easily lead to being the person who most caused additional strife in the world.

But of course in this day in age ...It doesn't matter what you believe....just that you believe in something. What a pile of BS.

Hmmmmm

So I have been away from the blogging world. Honestly I'm not sure what my thoughts are on that fact. Everyday I see something out there in the realm of politics that makes me ill. That's the point though. It's everyday. Sometimes its several times a day. There is so much fuel that I see a topic and I could write a lot about it. Honestly I want to scream about it. I simply don't have that time anymore though. Work has been involved and intense since 8/1. I don't have time to take a break and pen a thought. I've been coaching CC which just ended and that takes a little time away as I used to write drafts in the early morning and then finish them up at lunch.

I don't really follow the crusader blogs anymore. I think I have determined that it is like how I watch sitcoms. I find one that often is old and maybe even not on the air anymore and I watch all the episodes. However when I have been through the series once I am done with it. I call that the "Everybody Loves Raymond", "King of Queens", "George Lopez" effect. There is nothing new under the sun in crusader land so it has ceased to be interesting. We have already determined debate is pointless in that crowd. It was fun sport for awhile but after a bit becomes like NASCAR. "Oh look he made another left turn...he keeps doing that..."

Also my family updates could almost just be cut and pasted each time. Tim is busy with work, Karen is busy with work and school, Kt is busy with school and homework and Phil, Zach is busy with Marine stuff and school, Ike is busy with sports and school. I have a good routine of cleaning the house on a regular basis 3 days a week.

So with that said, I feel somewhat constrained because what I would love to post on a regular if not hourly basis I do not have time for. For the things I used to be contentious and obnoxious about I am not really interested anymore. Oh well. I will work harder on short sweet points. I will not Twitter. God that would be annoying. What would I say, "Just noticed my mouth tastes skanky after the poor quality coffee they supply in the coffee room.." Did you need to know that? I doubt it. It does though..I could use some Altoids....or more coffee.

Perhaps we'll use a little time at lunch to post a short blurb more often. I'll now go to lunch. After lunch we'll practice this new routine.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Healthcare

As I was writing the below blog, I happened to scan my Facebook page and Larry Schlomer posted this video. This video says much of what I feel.



I have been deliberating on the issue of healthcare a lot lately. Who hasn't. For me though, the issue isn't even about "health care" per se. I am more concerned about how with each new government intervention in our lives we lose the very freedom this country was formed to create. When you get to the core of the American Revolution, it started in order to free the colonies from excessive interference from the government (selective taxation, removal of authority from local governments, replacing local courts with crown magistrates, etc). Also, looking at our own history, the government seems to fail the most when it departs from its original stated purpose of defense, courts, regulating trade, and maintaining infrastructure. Heck even in maintaining some of these essential things the government fails. (Amtrak…let your government railroad you to success)

So the issue for me really is: is healthcare really a right? Who says so? If this more modern phenomenon of manufactured rights is the way America is going to “mature” then a clear majority of Americans should say so then add it to the Bill of Rights. Then we can discuss how to make that happen in America. Could healthcare as a "right" be re-constructed in America? Of course. Could it be done properly in the private sector? Yes and no doubt more efficiently than the government could any hour, any day, anytime. In 1966, the year Medicare law was enacted, the cost was $3 billion and estimated to be $12 billion by 1990. Actual cost in 1990 for Medicare was $107 billion. In 2007, Medicare spent $468 billion on prescription drugs, hospital care and physician services. Yes indeed the government is great at estimating and containing costs. It would appear we finally found those missing weapons of mass destruction and it’s the government itself.

It would be good to first gain a consensus that there even is a healthcare "crisis". A crisis for some may not be for others. For me the crisis is the mini-van, soccer, moms taking their kids to the urgent care for every sniffle and scrape. Stay home. Rub a little dirt and lemon juice on it and tell them to suck it up. Duct tape is an adequate substitute for stitches in certain circumstances.

Please tell me if you had a nasty cancer and in this new world of "choice"...would you choose the Aurora/PHCI/Wheaton Franciscan (Insert Local health system here) clinic or would you sign up for the Veteran's Administration. It seems to me the biggest healthcare "crisis" we have is the healthcare provided by the government already. With these glowing successes, we want to throw more on the government? I wouldn't trust it with my life...or yours.

Of course it’s only a matter of time before education is a right and the wealthiest 200 million Americans will be paying for everyone’s college. Housing should be a right..we should be providing housing for everyone as the government does housing really, really well. We can accomplish this by taxing the wealthiest 325 million Americans and by sharing the large homes of the wealthy. I’m pretty sure Cable TV is already a right so that’s covered. We should be dressed adequately so I’m pretty sure I want clothes to be a right..although I think nudists should have to pay fines for not participating. Oh what a nation of wussies we have become.

The shame of course is that American’s have allowed this to happen. With the decay of Christianity and the rise of humanism it was bound to happen. People and businesses have sacrificed their Christian love for their neighbor and the desire to help others through church and charity by shunning religion and focusing on humanism and greed. Their new god is government and the government should be providing things to them…because after all…it is all about us isn’t it. Despite how the current trend to foist basic human morality on the government puts me out of sorts, it is just desserts for nation that has forgotten God. Indeed our Babylon is approaching.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Re-Grand Launch of Victory

So coming up on September 13th, Victory of the Lamb is having a special service to introduce to the community to our new location at Showtime Cinema. We have been there since May but we have spent the summer working out the kinks and the routine so we can be smooth and efficient.

Although there are some things that are not as cool as the Polonia such as the sound sucking walls and stadium seating that make singing disappear but in general everything about meeting in a theater is better than meeting in a beer hall.

I hope to see you all there on Sunday, September 13th at 9:00am for fellowship and 9:30am for the service.

Checkup on the Hypocrites

I guess that leaves this wide open. It could be about Obama or it could be about the various Lutheran Legalist I follow on again off again.

I had taken a very pleasant break since the WELS convention in following these folks but Joe pointed out to me today that the Ichabod's are fighting again. I had some fun before with Joe back in July in playing up the accusation that we were the authors of the "real Ichabod" vs the original ichabod. We even had a Beavis and Butthead icon made up for us by Greg. It was an interesting experiment in following how a suspicion becomes a fact in Greg's mind and then after enough times saying it it was an immutable truth. This is too tempting for me to resist. If Greg said I was a flaming liberal , I am pretty sure I would run with that to see how many people would then believe it. You might find me finally writing the environmentally friendly, government loving piece on how we should all support the right to choose to kill babies.

Well the "Real Ichabod" author is back. Apparently he is upset about recent postings from Greg and decided to return. I have to laugh that the same tactic employed by Greg is being used against him. Rumor and hearsay with a bit of fact mixed in and then taken to an extreme. Although my dark side enjoys the "How does that feel for all the people you lambast daily in a similar manner.." feeling it gives, I have to admit it is definitely not my flavor at the moment

However now that I'm done having fun taking the credit for the "real Ichabod" site I will set the record straight that Joe nor I had nothing to do with it. I will confess I sent a comment asking who the author was and to email me. I wanted to offer some services to handle a posting here and there but alas...no response. In actuality I don't think the author likes my style any more than Greg as he is bitterly against satire and I of course LOVE satire. I think the blogosphere is THE place for satire. Pretty much those who can't take the heat should get out of the blogokitchen. So although I enjoyed watching the reparte, I don't think he believed I or Joe were the allies he wanted.

It should be known that If I author a site to refute Greg, you will know it is me. I will put my name in capital letters and maybe a good picture too. Secondly I don't think I would ever get personal like the "real Ichabod" is at the moment. I would stick to his doctrinal errors and poorly researched accusations. There isn't one word I have to say anonymously to him. For those so spineless to be anonymous because they know how Greg will drag them through the mud I say in love...stop being a pussy.

I suppose I will need to start watching the fun and games but I promise that my interest in all that nonsense is much less these days.

Quick Update

So Ike has been in school at St. Marcus since the 19th. He started Football on the 3rd of August and has had a scrimmage and his first game this last Saturday. There has been vast improvement from last year, however, they still lost soundly to a very large team. Even though the Jr. Vikings have grown they still seem to come up against bigger teams. Probably the biggest thing our team lacks is aggression. How do you convey to a team that all those things they are told everyday in society about being passive, non-violent and nice does not count for football? Still for a team of noobs that started only last year they are definitely improving at a fast rate.

Kt started school today. She will have a stressful year for sure. She has 3 AP classes and one class at Wisconsin Lutheran College for Spanish. Along with work and CC that should keep her time filled. Phil phone time will have to be worked in there too. Phil is already settling into his job as an Air Traffic Controller at Camp Pendleton. Kt is heading to San Diego this weekend to visit him.

Zach is still plowing through his school as well. He had a two week sidetrack here but he will be done on 9/25 with this section of classes. We'll find out in a few weeks where he goes next. I think it is a bit boring right now since many of those he started with have already moved to the next phases and he is a few weeks behind them due to a few scheduling snafu's. Also I think he has decided he is tired of the base in Pensacola. They are particularly high strung there because the Marines are residing on a Navy base so they clamp down hard on the Marines to keep the Navy happy. Since his MOS has about the longest education track in the Marines it means he has to stay in the somewhat over-regulated training mode longer than most. Once he is in the fleet he will be good.

I have finished work on the temporary projects I had floated to back in April. August 15th I returned to NML's Enterprise division to work on a large project there. It is very interesting technology and requires lots of focus and study. That is partially why I haven't been blogging as I need to keep it all focused on the projects. I did move to a nice window space compared to the old building with a nasty inside room with a view of boxes of stored stuff.

Karen has been on cruise control these days but has been very busy at work. Because there can be 15-18 underwriters out on vacation on any given day the distribution of cases can get quite heavy over summer.

"Death Panels"

Here is an article from a liberal newspaper that struck me precisely because of it's source. Without spewing some of the extreme rhetoric, I think this article gets to the core of the danger of that issue and even better when the concerns of the public come from the Washington Post.

Washington Post - Charles Lane Article

Note the line "Admittedly, this script is vague and possibly unenforceable. What are "key questions"? Who belongs on "a list" of helpful "resources"? The Roman Catholic Church? Jack Kevorkian?"

Why are people so willing to give up their freedom and follow the government so blindly? What a nation of lazy lemmings we have become.

Blogging Absence

I have been absent from the blogging world for a bit. I confess that not only have I not been writing them I have not been reading the numerous one's I follow as well. I guess it was a little vacation. I have often had a thought ot two I wanted to point out here and there but it hardly seems worth putting out. Oh well I will be getting caught up here. I have a few topics I emailed to myself to get out here but never did. In any case it is good to be back

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Wisconsin Thing...

Something I saw in the parking garage this morning that struck my fancy. This is really only something you'd see in WI. If I were more talented with Photoshop I would change the sign letters and have it say something like "In case of fire, carry cows down stairs.." or something. Honestly in case of fire I will either be throwing the cows off the building or just abandoning the cows altogether.




For my Ichabodian friends...This is a joke...It's not real. Someone just stuck a foam rubber cow thing on a sign.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Victory Update

What a great July and August so far for Victory of the Lamb. The various summer events have been very successful. We handed out well over a 1000 packets of info at the July 4th parade and several people have visited church because of them.

We had nearly 200 people at the Hallepalooza event in the park. This is our family friendly music and games event at the park in Franklin. We put on a free picnic with the Victory Band playing music the whole time. We got to meet a lot more people in the community and let them know we exist and I hope they got to hear Pastor Ben’s message at the end.

Our Bible Soccer camp had 50 kids in it. After a week of learning soccer and Bible stories they have a large cookout with over 100 adults and family members staying. This gives one more opportunity for the parents to hear the message of salvation too.

This last Sunday we had 146 people in church. 26 kids in BibleQuest. (for Secret Shopper… I included a photo of everyone standing at the last hymn except for about 10 people on the far left who are cut off.. this is minus the 26 kids in BibleQuest and the 4 BQ helpers. And the 5 members of the band, Pastor, and myself)Both of these are new records for a regular Sunday.

With such a large number of visitors I was very happy that we had communion. I definitely fall in the camp of using communion as a teaching tool for visitors. Pastor does a great job of explaining the importance of communion and why it should only be taken with a shared confession of faith. In combination with his sermon which was a very good old fashioned law/gospel message having communion was a perfect follow-up.

On September 13th, 2009 we will be having our Grand Re-Launch Service. This is to announce and re-introduce our move to the Showtime Cinema. When you are a nomadic church such as ours it is important to let the community know where you worship. I have to believe that meeting in a movie theater despite its shortcomings (It is not singing friendly…sucks the sound of corporate singing away in the acoustics…sort of sad) has to be better than in the Polonia Soccer Club…a beer hall basically. We could hear the congregation sing there but it of course had a full bar and reaked of the last night’s party. I’d rather smell old popcorn than old alchohol, burritos, and vomit. On the upside…we had a disco ball.

So I extend an early invitation to the re-grand launch service on 9/13 to everyone. Fellowship before the service at 8:45 and the service starts at 9:30.

Family Update

Well it has been some time since I have updated my blog. It’s about time to get back to it. It sure was a busy couple of weeks. So jumping back a bit I left you with an update just before Hallepalooza.
Hallepalooza is Victory’s annual family and music picnic in the park for the community of Franklin. This year there were about 200 visitors. I didn’t mingle as much as the music required a lot more attention to the mixing per song based on different singers and instrumentalists. I’ll give a Victory update separately later.


The day after Hallepalooza we went to the Brewers game with the Victory folk. OMG!!! We are by far the closest residents to the stadium and it took us an hour and 15 minutes to get into the parking lot to park. PATHETIC. To illustrate we were stuck recently going through all of downtown Chicago with the White Sox fans and it only took that long to get through it. All we wanted to do was drive the 4 blocks from National Ave into the stadium outer lots. However we did manage to see a “historic game” where the same guy hit a grand slam in consecutive innings off the same pitcher. It was not cool as the Brewers sucked up the game. However I had fun with the Victory folk and drowned my pain getting high on Pixie Stix.

Directly after the Brewers game, we headed out to New Hampshire. Karen and I drove through the night leaving at 11:11pm ironically and arriving 18 hours later in Sunapee, NH at Terry and Cheryl’s. Although Karen has learned to loath this drive I think, she did very well.

We spent Tuesday evening talking and playing cards. Wednesday we woke up late and Cheryl made us these awesome ham, egg and cheese sandwiches. The cool part was the flatbread she made them on. Yummm. Then we went looking at the New London Gnu’s. They were very cool but I’m sad the battery died on my camera before getting to Cheryl’s. I am amazed at other people’s creativity. I sure suck in that department.

After Gnu viewing we headed down to Manchester to eat at the most yummiest of places, KC’s Rib Shack. We have yearned for their food ever since Caitlin’s wedding. I stuffed myself and was not disappointed. Jeff and Martha Lewis joined us for dinner. They are good friends and business partners with Terry and Cheryl. We have hung out with them in the past a few times and we definitely had a great time again.

Again we watched a movie which I highly, highly recommend if you haven’t seen it yet called “Gran Torino” Then we played spades and talked until 3:00am I think. The night before we had played spades as well. Cheryl and I still suck. Terry and Karen…still don’t.

On Thursday we slept in late. Yeah it was a trend. We finally got up and headed down to Nashua to visit the Lords. We spent the day catching up after not having really kept up with each other in a year and a half. They are doing great. They made their famous grilled food and it was fabulous. I sure miss those Sundays at their house in the summers swimming in their pool and sitting in the hottub and grilling out. Glen and Tanya have been through a lot in the last couple years and after a bit of time apart from them, I came back and found they are very different people and in a good way. I’m trying to think of a short description. Calm, cool, and relaxed…perhaps would be best. Yet another couple that has worked/keeps working through adversity and yet in relying on God’s grace finds that God does give the strength and that in the end we grow in maturity, empathy and confidence.

On Friday, we slept in late. It was raining all morning and pretty much continued all day long. That wrecked our plan to go out on the boat for the day but we stayed in and played hearts. Cheryl and I still suck. Terry and Karen still don’t. Later the Lewises came for pizza and we played phase 10. Cheryl made her famous Long Island Iced Teas and they were dandy. I swear we laughed for like 5 hours straight that night. I sure miss that.

Saturday we woke up….wait for it……early!!! But that wasn’t cool because it meant we were getting ready to head home. After arranging the purchase of Cheryl’s Toyota 4Runner we headed home. However Karen and I were in separate vehicles this time so we stayed overnight in Cleveland. We finished up our little adventure on Sunday.

Ike had stayed home during this trip and Kt was in Seattle. Since Vladik was not available to hang out with, he did not think tagging along on all our adult interactions would be fun at all. We also thought just going with the two of us for a vacation sounded awesome. OMG it was! I really, really enjoyed myself. I think Karen did too. Not once did I have to worry about what a teenager would think about this activity or that. He seemed to occupy his time by spending a day being his little cousin’s plaything. He also went to a friend’s house and helped him rip the siding off a garage. There were some visit’s to girls houses as well and a late night ice cream and George Webb run. The house was pretty clean when we got back but there definitely is a difference in standards between his cleaning and mine.

On Monday the 3rd Kt returned from Seattle. She spent this last week being a bit bummed by not seeing Tucker every day and getting back into the swing of things such as work. She had a good time in Seattle and seemed to meet many members of Phil’s family as well as all his old friends. Phil has headed off to his permanent assignment at Camp Pendleton as an Air Traffic Controller.

This last week was not too exciting. Ike started Football practice. They definitely look different than last year. The line has some size now and they actually hit each other. Funny the difference a year makes. I watched a couple of practices and I liked what I saw.

On Saturday I finally got started on painting Ike’s old room. We are getting it ready to be Karen’s library/den. Sunday we got Ike’s uniforms for school and Kt some work clothes. Karen and I trolled the clearance racks for a few nuggets for ourselves because of the 70% off on summer clothes plus Kt’s 20 percent discount. We actually did very well. We got all the clothes Ike needs for a full school year for $200. I LOVE uniforms.

Coming up Ike has football and Kickboxing filling his days. He starts school August 19th. Kt has work and CC filling hers and she starts school on 9/1. I will be coaching CC this year at St. Marcus. We will see how it goes. It has not been offered for a number of years. I think the team will start out small. Who knows…maybe I’ll be surprised. I’m looking forward to it though. I just love the fall though. I like seeing the Wisco football games. I like seeing Kt and Ike’s sports. I like coaching CC. It’s definitely my favorite time of the year.

Zach has about 1 month left in this section of training. We still wouldn’t hear until just a little bit before as to whether he stays in Pensacola for advanced training or whether he heads to another base like Biloxi. It all depends on the specialty. I think he will be much happier when training is done. He has had some intense sections there and I think he would like a break. Basically they are trying to cram two years of schooling into a one year time period so I’m sure his brain is feeling it. I think he just needs to be trained wherever it is warm so that we can visit him there when the weather is cooler.

So that catches you up on the family. Enjoy your week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Drive New England '09 is on...

and its Awesome!!! I'll put up pictures. My wife and I are consulting with the Victory Media Arts team in about all the things we can do today.

(Don't worry Butthead, that just means I drove to the old homestead of NH, to visit Cheryl and we'll decide what to do today)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dude....

Our blog didn't fly man. We aren't posting anymore. I'm bummed!!



If You Want To Know Why.....

I distrust government to take over anything...much less something as significant as healthcare here is a classic example.

In 1966, the year Medicare law was enacted, the cost was $3 billion and estimated to be $12 billion by 1990. Actual cost in 1990 for Medicare was $107 billion. In 2007, Medicare spent $468 billion on prescription drugs, hospital care and physician services.

Find your favorite goverment program and find its original estimate and then its actual costs. Were they less? Did those "savings" appear? Were costs held down? I'm guessing not. Government is not qualified or capable of running ANYTHING efficiently.

With numbers of this magnitude you do not ram this down a country's throat in a few weeks and say "yeah close enough on the estimates give or take a trillion...just vote it through"

Of course this just addresses the inefficiency and incompetency of government that most people are aware of. It should be enough to scare the crap out of you. However I wish there was more of an uproar to decry how un-American this whole concept is. People forced to buy insurance or pay a penalty. Business forced to buy insurance or pay a penalty. Whose America is this? Comrade Obama's I guess. I'm waiting for when those small businesses go to a few of their employees and say, "I'm laying you 2 employees off and I'm going to use your salaries to buy insurance for everyone else. Phew..good thing you two can get government insurance now huh? I bet you're relieved."

I want to file charges of governmental rape of Liberty.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Good Quote

I don't know why this quote struck me today...hmmm

"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." - Winston Churchill

Family Update

We had a decent visit with Zach when he came home on the 4th of July. He was off with his friends for a good chunk of the time but we did snag him for almost 24 hours. He is back in Pensacola of course continuing his schooling. He will go in this section of training until mid-September. After that it’s a bit unclear. He will go to C-School in a very specific job training function but it is unclear as to whether he will stay in Pensacola or possibly go to Biloxi. He won’t find that out until the beginning of September. Zach has been a little incommunicado due to the recent suicide of his iPhone. Apparently barracks hijinx caused the iPhone to dive into the toilet. Zach also moved barracks to the “601” Barracks. He is not happy about that move. It is far away from the “downtown” of the base, does not seem to have as many amenities, and the Chow hall that is close to it is closed on the weekends. Poor Marine….he is going to have to hoof it a little more. He also doesn’t like that they put 4 to a room there as opposed to the H barracks where there were only 3.

Kt is in Washington State with Phil as of yesterday. It is surprising how quiet that makes our house. Kt so far has said the in-laws are a fun bunch. Of course that is if she can even notice they are around when Phil is there. Kt comes home August 3rd. Phil leaves his home to go to Camp Pendleton in CA on the 4th. Want to guess where Kt will want to go for Xmas?? Well that is if Phil doesn’t come to WI of course.

Ike is well…He stays up until 3:00am. Wakes up at 11 or noon. Veg’s around for awhile. Goes to Muay Tay. And when evening kicks in he goes to girl’s houses. I think that defines his whole summer. However in two weeks he will be at Football practice a lot. Yayyy.

Karen and I will be hopping out to NH in a bit for a brief visit. That should be a blast. Everytime we leave NH we push the “pause” button with our friends and then when we return we hit “resume” It makes me sad sometimes. If I were independently wealthy and didn’t need these silly things we call jobs I would love to be settled in New England on a mountain…or even better a mountain lake with a ski hill. It probably doesn’t even need to be New England..but a mountain lake with a ski hill attached…anywhere would probably be nice.

Karen has been singing with the Victory Band for a little while now and will be contributing to the Hallepalooza event this Sunday in Franklin. I'm glad she's back at it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"This Economy"

How bad is the economy??? I'll tell you how bad the economy is . . .It's so bad that . . "

  • CEO's are now playing miniature golf.
  • Jewish women are marrying for love.
  • Even people who have nothing to do with the Obama administration aren't paying their taxes.
  • Hotwheels and Matchbox stocks are trading higher than GM.
  • Obama met with small businesses to discuss the Stimulus Package: GE, Pfizer and Citigroup.
  • McDonalds is selling the 1/4 ouncer
  • Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children's names.
  • A truckload of Americans got caught sneaking into Mexico ..
  • The most highly-paid job is now jury duty.
  • People in Africa are donating money to Americans.
  • Motel Six won't leave the light on.
  • The Mafia is laying off judges.

    And finally...

Congress says they are looking into this Bernard Madoff scandal. Great news...the guy who made $50 billion disappear will be investigated by the people who made $750 billion disappear.

(Note to Ichabodians...this is a joke. It's not real. It was a joke forwarded in an email from my mother. )

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kool & The Gang


NM had their annual company show tonight at the Bradley Center. This year Danny Gokey from American Idol opened and then was followed by Kool & The Gang. I have to admit that although the middle of the show was a bit tedious, they are talented musicians and great showmen! I love the brass. You can't really see anything in this photo from my phone but you can at least see the great setup NM puts on each year when all the field agents converge on Milwaukee for "The Annual Meeting". Over 10,000 Agents and their families fly in at their own expense and pay for their lodging to attend. The Field Agent's dues to the Agent association pays for the education seminars, the rallies, and the entertainment for 5 days. The Home Office gets "invited" to participate with the field for the company show as well as participating in the Roots and Wings road race which had 8000 people this year. All in all its a great thing to see and I'm proud to work for a great company like NM.


Hey Beavis...


We should start a blog ...heh heh heh heh!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Squirrel Update

It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing a radical decrease in the bunny, squirrel and skunk population living in my yard. Yes indeed our skunk family has moved out and I have filled in the hole again and it remains covered. My plants do not have any further damage. No bunny holes have been detected. Even the gopher from the yard fell into the water fill hole of the basketball hoop and could not escape and drowned. The neighborhood in general has returned to the critter levels I would expect in such an urban part of the city.

I have finally achieved what I had hoped for…and I’m a bit sad. It would appear that my next door neighbor who lives between me and “Squirrel Man” and has beautiful gardens called the City Dept of Animal Control on Squirrel man. My jewish lesbian neighbors didn’t like the skunks travelling back in forth in the wee hours of the morning when they would walk out of the house to go to work (Thankfully they did not know they were living under my garage at the time.) and that their fences were also being eaten by the squirrels. They didn’t like that Squirrel man left veggies in the back yard for the critters in addition to the corn and feed buffet in the front yard. Of course I had the same complaint but I would never call the city and rat him out. That just seems mean.

But the corn cob altar in the front yard is gone. The corn is cleaned up. I’ll assume the veggies are not in the back yard. I don’t see the crazy flock of poop birds hanging out on the tree behind his house just waiting to move to the tree in front of mine if there is a car underneath it.

So all is right in critter land. Balance has been restored to the urban ecology. However, this 63 year old man, a widower whom I never see with guests and watches TV until 2 in the morning yet is also up at 6:30 in the morning, can no longer do the things that probably brought him some joy. So now I feel bad. Be careful what you wish for…

Thursday, July 16, 2009

There Once Was A Country

There once was a country that went to war for 7 years. In the course of that war, they borrowed heavily and doubled the national debt in 7 years. To remedy this situation, they decided the solution for this was to raise taxes. They did this by taxing imports and by raising sales taxes. In the accommodation of all these tax increases, bureaucracy required the number of government workers to nearly double as well to enforce the new policies. To empower this new bureaucracy, a flurry of new laws and administrative powers and controls were enacted. The subjects of this country chafed at the new tighter controls and stifling national debt. This represented a change in how revenue had been raised and policy had been enforced for over 100 years. Taxation became a central point of contention to the subjects of this country because it threatened the prosperity and autonomy of its subjects.

It is interesting to note that during this time of war the trade balance shifted so that consumers were consuming more imports than they were exporting and that to accommodate this demand credit began to be extended to the consumers very commonly.

An era of peace after the war removed the stimulus of a war economy and brought about a recession in the country. People with debt in all areas of life experienced a credit crunch. The balance of trade still was favoring imports and was rendering the country’s economy more and more dependent on foreign commercial ties and foreign financial policy. That country had tried printing more paper money to finance the large debt but this increased inflation and depreciated the value of the currency. Soon foreign governments did not want the cash anymore. Even as the country’s standard of living rose, citizens in debt grew increasingly suspicious of government motives and interests. In one instance, legal cases were moved from lower courts with juries to federal courts with singular judges to decide their fate because local juries were too sympathetic . Many laws were then interpreted by federal magistrates rather than by local law. Taxes became increasingly dictated from the federal government and slowly the local governments lost their authority to tax and regulate.

After a particularly large abrogation of commonly accepted liberty and addition of a heavier tax, the subjects of this country began to unite against this intrusion into their local economies and started to protest. They petitioned government to repeal the new taxes and restore local authority for their taxation. Groups around the country formed many local protests.

Urban areas were hit the hardest with the taxes. Lots of small businesses were already economically dislocated from the recession and the large supply of cheap imports. The addition of these taxes and regulatory burdens started to undermine the loyalty of the middleclass and businessmen to the government.

In continuing efforts to increase revenue the government fiddled with various taxes including granting national monopolies to certain companies through trade policies and import taxes. The various local governments started protesting these taxes and were refusing to enforce them. The national government stepped up its enforcement and neutered local authority by getting rid of it in certain instances and consolidating power in federal hands and forcing the local governments to comply or be taken over.

When the subjects of this country could not take the intrusion of federal power and intrusion in their lives they finally banded together and threw off the yokes of that Federal government.
Can you guess which country this was and when it occurred? Does it sound familiar? I hope so but for the sake of those from public school I will just say that country mentioned above represents Colonial America from 1756 through 1776.


  • As you contemplate a government that in one year will have more than tripled last year’s deficit. ($485 B in 2008, 1.85 TRILLION in 2009)

  • As you contemplate a government that has taken over banks and car companies

  • As you contemplate a government that is taking over Health Care (tax penalties if you do not provide it, penalties if you do not buy it, taxes to the middleclass and businessmen to subsidize it, rate setting that will destroy private insurance)

  • As you contemplate a government that sacrifices its economy with Cap and Trade to solve a “world problem” that doesn’t exist while the rest of the world laughs and says “we just gained a huge competitive advantage. Stupid Americans are handing manufacturing to us on a platter.”

  • As you contemplate a government that prints cash to fund its expenditures and threatens the nations fiscal soundness with rampant inflation, high interest rates, and high unemployment.

  • As you contemplate a government that taxes the “rich” to give to the “poor” and calls it progressive.

  • As you contemplate a government that grows increasingly unresponsive to the will of the people.

  • As you contemplate a government that decides policies in federal courts rather than in its local governments.

  • As you consider a government conceived in a Christian morality that has abrogated all signs of morality to the point of working against any moral code.

As you consider all these modern travesties consider that the very foundation of this country was formed to protest against them. The hymn title “We all like sheep have gone astray” is a good description of our fall from Liberty. Almost daily I hear another liberty being taken away or proposed to be taken away. I fear Americans will only know that their liberty is gone after it is gone. It literally brings tears to my eyes to think of the liberty we have surrendered away in the name of “social justice”. In reality we are surrendering our liberty in the name of economic equality. This is not what liberty is all about. That’s more what socialism is about. This is the time to stop this liberty decay. Right now I truly hope that history will repeat itself.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome Ichabod Referrals...glad to have you!

Welcome Ichabod Readers. You might want to note the replies I posted to Ichabod down below as I'm sure Greg must have technical difficulties on his site and my posts don't seem to show up. ;-)

The Sermon noted in Ichabod today is available as a PDF here. I think in several ways you'll find the "Secret Shopper's" analysis lacking.

Great Faith Needs Feeding

You can also listen to the podcast here.

Great Faith Needs Feeding - Podcast

Here is the service Folder for that Sunday

July 5th Victory Service Folder


If you are new to Victory of the Lamb I'd suggest going to the website and checking it out first to set expectations. Here is the page to start with

New To Victory..

Here are two posts I made to Ichabod but they were deleted by Greg. I'm only guessing that he deleted them because after listening and reading the Sermons, it didn't jibe well with "secret Shopper's" analysis of the sermon. Transparency really bothers Greg because it goes against his preconceived notion that there is a secret conspiracy. The two deleted posts are below.

*****************************Post #1

Tim Niedfeldt has left a new comment on the post "WELS Members Visit Victory of the Movie Screen:Ano...":

Maybe I can help the "secret shopper" analyze where they went wrong in their visit. I think it was when he said he was looking for more liturgical and his friend said "It's kind of contemporary, but..."

The next point would be that he passed a WELS church 3 miles back. There are in fact 4 WELS churches within approximately 3 miles. We are in fact spaced out like this to fill this gap where no church was. All those other churches are liturgical and two of them mind-numbingly so. I think St. Paul's, Franklin or St. Jacobi, Greenfield would be perfect for you.

I'm thinking if you had gone to the website first you might have known you'd be greeted by Pastor Ben. That it's a casual environment, that we invite you to bring your coffee in to church, that if your kids are squirrely that's ok. You'd also know that Communion is offered every other week. Apparently you are amongst the 20% of people who do not check out a church's website before visiting or I'm pretty sure you would have not bothered to come.

What you could find out from me is that membership is about 85 members with about 40 of those from other WELS congregations. The rest were unchurched or under churched. We have about 120 - 130 worshiping each week. There are about 10-15 people in Adult instruction at any given time.

Here are the links to the mentioned Sermon as a pdf

http://www.victoryofthelamb.com/GetFile.aspx?File=GreatFaithNeedsFeeding.pdf

here is the podcast of it.

http://podcast.victoryofthelamb.com:8080/?p=episode&name=2009-07-13_learning_from_our_father_prayer.mp3

I can't think of a better website to post them than where they are most needed. I urge you to actually read the sermon or listen to it. I think the analysis of the "secret shopper" was a bit thin.

A note to the "secret shopper". If someone says. "hey, you should try the 6:00pm service at St. Marcus Sunday nights...It's kinda contemporary, but..." Don't bother going. I don't think "kinda contemporary" is your thing.

Tim

PS. I will post the link to the service folder for that week as well. It has the songs, readings and order of worship in it and such. I will have to visit a different computer to retrieve that for you. I will post it on my blog as well as here in a little bit.

************************** Post #2

Tim Niedfeldt has left a new comment on the post "WELS Members Visit Victory of the Movie Screen:Ano...":

Here is the link to the service folder for July 5th.

http://www.victoryofthelamb.com/public/upload/07.05.09.pdf


************************** Post #3 I just posted this on a new but related thread...We'll see if Greg can muster the courage to post the comment.


Well, I don't hold out much hope that this will be published as the last two posts were deleted, but I'll give it a shot. I assume that posting the actual sermons and service folder must have been too conflicting to the review.

No one would see that I used the term secret shopper on this site because it was all deleted. However, I used the term because the visitor was church shopping...oh I mean selective fellowshipping. I use the term secret because:

1.) He came to the church looking to find a more liturgical church. He heard about a contemporary church and went there hoping to find what he wanted in a church.(really?? I don't think you need a degree from an Ivy League school to figure that probably isn't going to happen)

2.) He was shocked to not find it that way. (Who would've thought?)

3.) He then decided to write a review for Ichabod on the Church experience. (As if he was an Ichabod reader and had high expectations that VotL would be different than portrayed by Greg?)

I would submit this was just an Ichabod secret shopper mission for a review because so far no one in the Ichabod network has been there. It has nothing to do with marketing. I would work up some other angle on that particular term. I look forward to your creativity.

I would disagree in that I think your frustration really resides in the differences between what you think Lutheranism is and what it actually is. Ichabod's and/or your straight and narrow is so narrow as to exclude most Lutherans. Add in the SJO doctrinal errors and there is very little room for good Lutheranism at all.

I understand you cannot fathom that the Gospel is proclaimed in Word and Sacrament in a contemporary setting. That little box you sit in is fine but it is a self-imposed box. I won't try to convince you otherwise because your buy-in to contemporary Lutheranism is not required for you or for me.

I won't sit around fretting too much about being kicked out. Just ask Greg. The WELS is infected with us..who's going to kick us out. Muahahahahaha!!

Tim

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

OJ/SJ

Here is one of my favorite references regarding the nature of Salvation by Grace. It is out of the book "A Summary Of Christian Doctrine" by Edward W.A. Koehler pages 78-79 written in 1939 and taken from the second edition published in 1951. Edward Koehler was faculty at Concordia in River Forest, Ill and died in 1951.

PART VI. SALVATION BY THE GRACE OF GOD THROUGH THE REDEMPTION IN CHRIST JESUS

1. The necessity of grace. -- All men have sinned (Rom 3:23), and are , therefore, guilty before God (Rom. 3:19), under the curse of law (Gal. 3:10), and deserving of death (Rom. 6:23). Left to himself, it is absolutely impossible for man to achieve his own salvation, for "by the deeds of the Law shall no flesh be justified" (Rom. 3:20). Salvation by the merit of our works is impossible; hence, divine grace is necessary for us to be saved.

2. The certainty of divine grace.--The grace of God is not an imagination or a possibility, but a divinely revealed fact. Moved by His love and compassion for man, God resolved to save him by the death of His Son (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8-10). The grace of God, then, is the moving cause, and the redemption through Christ is the meritorious cause of our salvation. Man, lost by his own works, is saved by the grace of God in Christ. "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). "By grace are ye saved through faith...not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8-9). Salvation by works is impossible, by grace it is sure. "Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed" (Rom 4:16).

This doctrine of salvation by grace distinguishes the Christian religion from all other religions in the world. All others teach that, because man sinned, man must make amends and appease the wrath of God. While they differ as to the method and means by which this may be done, theya re agreed in principle that man must achieve his salvation by his own efforts and works.--The Bible teaches that man's salvation is achieved exclusively by the grace of God. Human ingenuity never could have devised the plan of salvation as it is revealed in the Bible (1 Cor. 2:6-10); it runs utterly contrary to our way of thinking; it is "foolishness" to us (1 Cor. 2:14). This doctrine, being the chief doctrine of our faith, marksthe Christian religion to be of divine origin, while all others are human inventions.

3. Definiton of grace.-- In our definition of "grace" we do not include that goodness which God shows to all His creatures (Ps. 145:9), but confine ourselves to the grace by which God saves sinners.

The word "grace" is sometimes used as a gift, quality, virtue , or power which God imparts to man gratuitously (Rom. 15:15; 1 Pet. 4:10). But when we speak of "saving grace," we do not mean anyof these things, nor do we mean an "infused" or a "prevenient" grace, by the proper use of which man is supposed to be able to effect his conversion. The grace by which God saves us is a personal attribute or quality in God, which manifests itself in His attitude toward man and in His promises and gifts, but which is not imparted to man. (Example: We can show our love to our neighbor in various ways, but we cannot impart our love to him.) According to Romish teaching "grace" is not a quality in God, but an infused "quality inhering in the soul" of man, by the aid of which he is to do good and to obtain forgiveness. When the Romish Church says that we are saved "by grace," it means something entirely different from what we mean when we say that we are saved by grace. The grace of God by which we are saved is the "favor Dei," which is that merciful, affectionate disposition, that good will of God toward men, according to which He forgives sins to those who are worthy of eternal death. It is the unmerited love of God toward men (John 3:16; Titus 3:4-5).-- From this concept of grace must be excluded every regard for the merit of man. God's grace is not in the least affected, motivated, or influenced by any worthiness in us; in fact the slightest injection of man's merit and worthiness utterly destroys the concept of grace. "If by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work" (Rom. 11:6). The grace of God and the merit of man are exclusive terms. Man cannot be saved partly by the grace of God and partly by his own merit; it might, conceivably, be the one or the other, but never both. As man cannot be saved by the merit of his works, it follows that his salvation is possible only by the grace of God.

It is a grace in Christ Jesus. While the merits of man are indeed excluded from the concept of grace, the merits of Christ must necessarily be included. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24). There could be no grace for sinners with God, unless the demands of His holiness and justice had been fully satisfied by the active and passive obedience of our Redeemer. Hence we may not think of the grace of God apart from the redemption by Christ. God is gracious to sinners only in Christ and for Christ's sake. They who trust in the grace of God, but rejet the vicarious atonement of Christ, trust in something that does not exist, and will some day find God to be a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). The grace of God is given us by Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 1:4).

4. Attributes of saving grace.--
(a) the grace of God is universal. It is not limited to certain individuals, , the elect, as Reformed theology teaches but it extends to all men. "The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men" (Titus 2:11). "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (John 3:16). "God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth" (1 Tim. 2:4); (Ezek. 33:11). As Christ is the propitiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2) so also the grace of God in Christ goes out to all men. But the Bible does not reveal that there is grace and redemption also for the fallen angels.

The fact that only a few are saved (Matt 7:13-14), and that these are saved solely by the grace of God, does not invalidate the truth that God is gracious to all men. Both propositions, that grace is universal, and that grace alone saves, must be maintained on the basis of the Scriptures. If the grace of God did not include all men, no man could be sure of it, because every one must then be in doubt whether God's grace is really intended for him. Neither can any one be sure of God's grace if in any way it depended on his merit, because he could never be certain that he is personally worthy of it.

(b) The grace of God is active. God's grace is not an idle sentiment, but manifests itself in what He did and what He still does for the salvation of men. Because God loved the world, he sent His Son to save the world (John 3:16). "God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). By the preaching of the "Gospel of grace" (Acts 20:24), God continues to offer all men the saving benefits of Christ's redemption. All the acts of God, whereby men are brought to faith, justified, sanctified, preserved, and finally saved through faith, are motivated by this grace. "By grace are ye saved through faith" (Eph 2:8)

(c) God's grace is serious and sincere. This appears not only from what His grace prompted, and still prompts, Him to do, but also from the definite statements to that effect. God swears, saying: "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live" (Ezek. 33:11). Christ weeps over impenitent Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) and says: "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (Matt. 23:37). There should be no doubt in the mind of any one that the grace of God is unfeigned, honest, and sincere.

(d) The grace of God is efficacious. The declaration and offer of God's grace in the Gospel possesses inherent power to impress and move the heart and towork acceptance of the offer. The Word of God, which offers this grace, works effectually in them that believe (1 Thess 2:13). As the offer of grace by the governor of the state has power to work in the heart of the convict the acceptance thereof, so the offer of God's grace has power to work in the heart of the sinner that faith by which he accepts it. The reason that it does not always do this, lies not in a lack, deficiency, or weakness of the offered grace, but in the perverse will of man. "Ye would not" (Matt. 23:37). "Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost" (Acts 7:51)

***********************************

Feel free to borrow this post for your oj/sj discussions.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Family Update

This week I am working hard to get ready for Zach and of course Phil to visit. I have FINALLY gotten Ike’s old room cleaned out. The bed will be removed after Zach leaves and we will paint the room a more exciting color. For now though the room is a barren guest room. It probably will not feel homey at all. All the rest of the bedroom furniture is stored in the garage now. Zach arrives Thursday night. He was able to leave his base at noon to catch a flight. Phil is in a different training command (Zach is Aviation Electronics…Phil is an Air Traffic Controller) and isn’t allowed to leave until 4:30 which was not enough time to catch a flight out on Thursday so he is coming in Friday morning.

Friday will be an open day where everybody does their thing. At night Milwaukee has their fireworks downtown on the lakefront so I suspect everyone will end up there. Karen and I will most likely join the church group. Kt, Phil, and Zach will probably join Z’s friends.

Saturday is the Franklin 4th of July parade. Victory of the Lamb has a float with the band playing on it. I ride on the float and run the soundboard. There is a tractor behind the float with a wagon that carries the literature and candy to hand out. We hand out like 2000 brochures and invitations to soccer camp and Hallepalooza. Ike helps out with this…he sucks because he knows half the people there. He is such a social butterfly he just knows everyone from somewhere. This is a cool thing to do. It’s a little weird being in a parade though rather than watching it. So many people wave like I should know them…I rack my brain over who they are and they were just being friendly.

After the parade we are heading up to the lake house. I expect there will be about 20 relatives who will be there. I hope to see a revival of King of the Raft and the Bucket game. I think having two marines makes it more interesting. The bucket game is a manly sport where a group of manly men such as ourselves stand in a circle in the lake about thigh high. We then start by the first person choosing a victim and they can pick from an array of bucket sizes and shapes …it just depends which one you think you can cause the most damage with. Then you fill it with water and whip it across the victims chest in any pattern you see fit to try and sting and pummel the victim. Then the victim gets to choose the next victim. It goes on like this until …well…until you feel like not playing anymore. There is no point and there is no way to win. It’s just about how manly can you take the water whippings and how well can you give them. Is there anything more manly than that…short of actual whippings or using baseball bats? Great fun!! I’m sure it will catch on one day. This game does pre-date my existence in my in-laws family so perhaps it has historical roots that your family enjoys.

Sunday we will come home.. I have no plan after that. That’s as far as I’ve gotten. Zach and Phil go home to Pensacola, FL Monday morning.

This last weekend we were at the Lake house as well. No bucket game this time. We actually took K’s parents and my mother up there to be a very quiet and elderly weekend retreat. We tried to pamper the Mom’s as it was their Mother’s Day present. I also mowed the grass, cleaned the moss off the siding, raked pine needles. Fun stuff. I think the lake house is all ready for the party this weekend. My Mother-in-law and Karen put up all kinds of patriotic decorations. Since the two Marines are coming we should have decorated it with like weapons and khaki. Alas it is red white and blue.

Ike has now been to the Muay Tay lessons 5 days a week for a few weeks now. He is doing pretty good. I had him box me the other night and he and Kt went at it last night. He is a quick lil bugger. He got some great hits to the kidney and face. I’m not sure why people enjoy this. Well I just suck and I fell for his fakes every time. So that was enough pain for me. I suspect he will be quite nasty to deal with in 6 months or a year. I suppose he has to live up to his nick name of Jackie Chan.