Thursday, March 20, 2008

Whose Grandpa are we talking about?

There has been a lot of talk about our Synod "not being your grandfather's church." Many people find this offensive and a sign of bad things to come. I, on the other hand, being a youngster and a new pastor, am greatly releaved that this is not my grandfather's church. My grandfather is the age of the men saying this is not "their grandfather's church." But do they not realize that they themselves are now grandfathers? I joyfully reject the church of these grandfathers. I give thanks that God in His infinite wisdom has given every man a brief season and I am hopeful that these grandfather's season is coming to a close. May it come quickly!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What would you do...

if our Synod, suddenly and without explanation fired a pastor who had faithfully taught the Lutheran faith to one of the largest parishes in the synod on Holy Week? What would you do if the synod suddenly and without explanation went to the hospital and kicked out the wife of one of its faithful employees? What would you do if the synod suddenly and without explanation bull-dozed one of the most confessional and largest churches in the synod on Holy Week? What would you do if the synod suddenly and without explanation went to every Concordia, both seminaries, the Historical Institute and your own church library and systematically took out all the books and burned them in front of the Purple Palace on Holy Week? What would you do if the synod suddenly and without explanation took our beloved symbols and Holy Scripture and tossed them in the trash?

Whatever you would do, do it! Our Synod has done all of this and more with the cancellation of Issues, etc and the termination of Rev. Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz. As if this act were not dispicalbe enought, all was done in the most holy week of the Church's calendar, the day on which we hear the word of Christ:

"Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New Joys

There is no greater joy that I have ever known in my life to this point than that of sharing the holy Christian faith with my daughter. I take her with me when I pray Matins, Vespers and Compline (not every time, but often). The beauty of sharing that with her is beyond words. I know she doesn't understand it yet, but she really seems to love my singing and the candles and the different atmosphere.

The week after Easter we will take our little one to be drowned and reborn in the waters of Holy Baptism. It will be my first baptism. I'm sure that will be another inexpressible source of joy as well. Despite all the late and sleepless nights, the poopy diapers, the spit-up, the crying, and general high demand of having a child, it is the most wonderful thing ever. I thank God for the gifts of wife and child! Blessed be the name of the Lord, for His mercies are from generation to generation!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What a week!!

Ok, I have never had a more stressful, exhilarating, terrifying, happy, exhausting, fill in adjective of your choice kind of week. Last Thursday I was on my way home from a hospital visit. I stopped into a coffee shop to get a little pick-me-up and Lesa calls, absolutely hysterical and weeping, "MY WATER BROKE!!" (She did NOT want to have a leap day baby and this was about 12:30 pm on the 28th). So I hurry out to my car amdist strange looks (it's not everyday that a man in a clerical collar starts yelling out in joy that his wife's water just broke). I get home and load up the soggy mama and we head over to the hospital. We get through OB Triage and into a labor and delivery room and the nurse and doctor are monitoring everything. You know how doctors have that way of talking really quietly and intensely, so as to not "disturb" the patient with the potential of bad news? That's what they were doing. The doc was concerned about the baby's heart-rate being too high for the stage of labor Lesa was in. So they inform us that they have decided to do a c-section. They whisk Lesa out of the room and hand me a pair of scrubs, face-mask, hair-net and little paper booties. 15 minutes later I am in the OR sitting next to my wife's head while two doctors, an anesthesiologist and several nurses work on getting our baby out. Another 15 minutes pass and we hear the doctor say "It's a girl, she's adorable and she's pooping!"

Unfortunately, our little Lena had aspirated some of the poo-poo and also had a fever. She was whisked away into the special care nursery while mommy was being sewn back up and taken to recovery.

To make a long story short, our little girl, Carolena Reve Roemke was born wieghing 8 lbs. 3 oz. and 19 inches long. She was in an oxygen tent for the first 20 hours of her life. We got to leave the hospital on Monday, March 3. She has her last dose of antibiotics (due to the aspiration) this evening (a nurse comes to our house and gives it via IV). Our first few days have been so hectic, but a real joy.

I have learned in these few days a whole new depth and intimacy in prayer. What a wonderful thing! Here is a link to several pictures of our little Lena.

Thank you for your continued prayers. Thankfully, Grandma Sheryl is coming tonight to spend the weekend with us, hopefully we will get things a little more stabilized and get some sleep.