Sunday, February 20, 2011

NEWS: Abortion is "most compelling moral issue of our time"

From the Chicago Tribune:

Abortion is "most compelling moral issue of our time"

The Rev.  Bob Barron, priest and theology professor, University of St.  Mary of the Lake in Mundelein As Chicago's Cardinal Francis George joins other abortion rights opponents in Washington for the M...

The full story can be viewed at:

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Friday, February 11, 2011

What Confessional-Lutheran-Urban-Parochial Education Can Learn from Home Schooling: Beginning the Conversation


I am now approaching the second anniversary of my first visit to St. Philip Lutheran Church and School in Chicago, Illinois. In late June 2009 the people of St. Philip extended me a call to be their pastor; I accepted and moved my family to Chicago in August 2009.

Prior to our move we schooled our four children at home. Upon the move to St. Philip the children were placed in the parochial school. This move has been blessed with difficulty. That may seem a curious turn of phrase, but it reflects the belief that the Lord of the Church called us to St. Philip and will use our mutual experience to bless both my family and the people I have been called to serve and that are now our neighbors.

There are great benefits to a parochial school education, especially in an urban setting like ours. I will speak and write more about this in the future, and there are many ways in which I believe parochial education can be improved.

The related video clip below is from one of my favorite authors, Sir Ken Robinson. Sir Ken speaks with authority and passion about human creativity and how the discovery and cultivation of said creativity can and should lead to changes in the way think about ourselves and educate our children. In this particular video Sir Ken is responding to a question he received about what public education may learn from home schooling. His response, though brief, is a reply with which I resonate…

Thursday, January 20, 2011

NYTimes: Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq

Very sad...

From The New York Times:

Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq

A town known for its religious harmony had about 70 Christian families before the 2003 invasion by the United States. Now it is down to just one.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reflections on “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

A book must be pretty engaging to keep me up at night. Normally, when I hit the pillow I’m out in minutes. Well, it’s half-past-two in the morning, I’m on vacation, and I fired up my computer because I am compelled to record some thoughts after finishing Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption (Random House, 2010), is a story that centers on the indefatigable Louie Zamperini, a youthful rogue turned Olympic runner turned WWII bombardier turned P.O.W. turned redeemer of youthful rogues. I write that Unbroken “centers” on Zamperini because, as the author alludes in her epilogue, Mr. Zamperini’s story is equally about the myriad GIs who braved incomprehensible conditions and treatment.

Zamperini’s story grabs our attention because he is the Olympic runner who, before war intervened, was about to break the four-minute-mile, but Hillenbrand’s recounting respectfully and engagingly draws us in to the lives of family, friends, colleagues, and enemies.

Unbroken is a truly wonder-full read.

Readers will laugh at the stories of Louie’s petulant childhood and at the heroic humor of he and his fellow POWs. The will marvel at the survival story. They will burn with anger at their ravenous treatment. They will read at rapt attention as Hillenbrand leads them to the threshold of the family reunion that only they believed they would ever have. Readers will cry when they see the picture of Louie embracing his mother. They may sigh the deep and soul-full sigh of brotherhood, as I did, when the author traces the post-war path that made for the book’s paradoxical title.

I hope this story is not made into a movie, at least not of the one-and-a-half hour variety. I did not see Seabiscuit, the movie based upon Hillenbrand’s previous book, but I can only imagine Unbroken’s vast and profound story being cheapened by a feature-length film. A sequence of films or a Band of Brothers type of docu-drama might reasonably render the story. It is a project that I would love to see documentary filmmaker Ken Burns tackle, not as a documentary, but as a movie-series. Now, that’s an interesting idea…

I suspect that I will reflect more on this book in the future. Perhaps I will post those reflections here. Certainly, Unbroken is very thought-provoking, one of the most worthwhile books I have purchased in some time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

NYTimes: A Tough Season for Believers

An interesting read with a conclusion that aptly summarizes the situation and challenges for American Christians...

From The New York Times:

A Tough Season for Believers

Christmas is hard for everyone. But it's particularly hard for people who actually believe in it.

-- Sent from my Palm Pre

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Sermon Mini-Series at St. Philip



Getting your company through a recession - Recessions - Accounting Solutions Ltd

The essay link below is from the front page of a business web site. The business is owned by a member of my congregation, but I call it to the public's attention because it is a very unusual piece of business advice. It's about the things that are most important, the things that are the foundation of any business or enterprise.

I'm particularly struck by this:
Everyone loses something in a depression. Make sure that it is something you can afford to lose. Your marriage, your health, your honor, your relationships with your family and friends... how can you replace these? Yet the inexperienced seem to sacrifice these first.

That quote has inspired a Christmas sermon mini-series at my congregation. Give this essay a shot. It's well worth your time.

Getting your company through a recession - Recessions - Accounting Solutions Ltd