Archive for August, 2011

Last Swing Past Campus

So I’m in my final week of Mr. Mom duties before starting internship a week from now.

This morning, I got it in my head that a trip to the zoo would be fun. We’d made the trek over into St Paul to the Como Zoo earlier this spring, but a lot of the animals were still inside as the nights were staying cool. My wife thought it would be a good idea and fun for the kids so middle of the morning we loaded up and treked on over.

As we got about half way over, I realized just how close the zoo is to campus and I thought I’d swing past campus for two reasons.  The first was to get a gauge on how the remodel is coming in OCC. I thought, just maybe, it might be almost done already, but from what I could see from outside, it doesn’t really look like it. But progress is certainly coming along.

The second reason was to duck into the bookstore. I’m needing to pick up a few more collared shirts for the upcoming year as I’ve only got 3 of them in 2 different colors and I thought I might as well check the store to see if they had anymore. Alas, it was not meant to be. I suppose I’ll have to go online and order a few more.

But since we were on campus we decided to walk through. I thought maybe…just maybe…I’d catch a glimpse of some classmate that hasn’t headed out for internship yet, but that was not the case. A few staff members and perhaps a couple ph d’s was all I saw.

But that being said, it was fun to get back on campus, even briefly, for one last time before I start. Granted, I won’t be far away and there will likely be some chances for me to be on campus again in the next 12 months, but after a break of 2 months since wrapping up summer classes, it was good to get back again.

IN the course of driving around, I saw several of the usual haunts. Speedy Mart, Dunn Brothers, Java Train on the other side of the U campus and fairgrounds. It made me realize that a lot of my school friends (and I’m talking old cohort friends here) are, once again, on the verge of starting up another semester.

And once again…its a little different for me this time around.

But that’s okay.

Luther Seminary…see you in a year.

Family Camp

Every year since 2007, my family and I have road tripped out to southern Colorado for a week of family camp at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Bible Camp. It is always a wonderful experience and for the second time some very good friends of ours from back in Iowa came along with us.

We took off last Friday morning and drove back to Iowa, and then left Saturday morning heading south west…finally arriving at camp late Sunday afternoon (and about 1100 miles later).

The week was wonderful, as per normal. So much happened that I can’t begin to cover it all, but there were some highlights.

-My kids being old and bold enough to just head off to the kids activities without drama…very nice for mom and dad.
-The music really touched me this year. The various songs (as well as many of the family stories) resonated with much of what I’ve gone through in the past year with the move and the loss of my grandma. It was really wonderful, but definately emotional at different times.
-Luther professor Matt Skinner was on hand as the adult Bible study leader, which I thought was very cool.

Finally, the main highlight that really stood out to me this time around occurred Thursday morning. Included in the family of friends that came along is my Godson. He was standing close to me when we had early morning communion. We were each serving each other in turn around the circle. Now my son takes communion so I was serving him and then my Godson, who is 4, stepped over to me with his hand out.

I asked myself the question, how can you deny someone that is seeking the body and blood of Christ? In short, I don’t think you can. So I gave my Godson communion. It was his first communion and it meant a ton to me to be the one to give it to him.

One of those cool times about being a pastor.

Now that the trip is over, though admittedly there are still mountains of laundry to do…I’m really looking towards starting internship in a couple more weeks. 2 weeks from today as a matter of fact.

It’s getting real folks.

Another Day. Another list of quandries

I sit here today with my wife and daughter konked out for a much needed (on both parts) nap, my son playing Mario Kart on the Wii, and random things on my mind.

As I look at the Inside Luther page today, I notice a link about buying text books. That strikes me as weird. For the first semester in 3 years, I’m not buying books. I might be prepping lessons for confirmation at a church that I haven’t even started working for yet, but no classes. Thus no books.

Hmm…maybe I’ll take advantage of the money I’m saving on text books and purchace something besides free ebooks on my Kindle for a change.

This marks yet another odd feeling as I prepare for internship this year. I’ve gotten so used to the ins and outs of seminary education in the DL program and now being on campus that it seems very strange to not already be gearing myself up for starting another year.

Now granted, I wouldn’t quite be to the point of ramping myself up just yet. We leave for our yearly trip to Colorado this weekend to recharge our batteries at family camp (though admittedly after 1000 miles home in the car, those batteries are a little low by the time we pull into the driveway at home). The week of vacation has been my cutoff point ever since I started seminary. Once I got past vacation…it was pretty much go time.

But not this year. This year I’ll be ramping up to start working full time in ministry. I’m excited about that, but its a weird feeling.

And speaking of starting full time ministry…that brings up my second point.

There are times when I feel pretty compentent about becoming a pastor. But at the same time there are those times when I fell so ill equiped that it isn’t even funny.

One of the employees from my synod office back home just got married. And I mean “just.” As in a couple weeks ago. Then a couple days ago, her middle aged husband had a heart attack and died.

How do you, as a pastor, even begin to offer comfort at a time like that? Last spring I asked the same question when my grandma died. How do you even start?

I wish I knew the answer to that question.