Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Trolls like Susan

It seems that my husband and I have a few trolls that have been leaving uninformed, harassing comments on our blogs from people who obviously know nothing of what it is to be Lutheran, and feel they must "correct" our behavior because we're not pious enough for them. (Guess what: We don't care what trolls think about how pious we are. The comments of trolls don't matter enough to be displayed. Trolls are inconsequential to us.)

Because of this, I have enabled comment moderation. This means that before any comments are displayed on my blog, they will pass through my e-mail first for my approval or disapproval. Furthermore, any comments that I deem harassing or otherwise inappropriate for my blog will not be posted, and no one will see them.

This means that if you have a complaint, you'll need to leave an e-mail address for me to respond to if you actually want a response. If you are so embarrassed that you actually read my or my husband's blogs that you don't want to leave your name or contact information, then you have no business visiting or leaving comments.

If you are going to leave comments and want your comments to be displayed, I suggest you leave a comment that is non-threatening, non-harassing in nature, and give your real name. I will not respond to aliases or anonymous commenters.

Ground rules for commenting (if you expect your comment to be displayed):

1. No foul language. This is, and will continue to be, a family-friendly blog that even children can read without their parents fearing that they will be reading something inappropriate.

2. No commenting on topics not posted on this blog. This means that if you've found a questionable topic on another blog (a.k.a. my husband's), you may not post your comment on my blog in response to that topic.

3. No anonymous commenting. I don't care if you don't have an account with Blogger. Leave your name at the end of your comment if you don't have or don't want to create an account. Comments left without a name will not be allowed into the comments section for anyone to leave, and they will not be responded to.

4. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ME OR ANYTHING THAT IS POSTED ON THIS BLOG, YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ IT. That goes for any blog on the web, including my husband's. What's the point in visiting a blog you don't approve of unless you enjoy having your blood boil? Get a life!

5. I have the ability to track my visitors. If you truly want to be anonymous, you will be unsuccessful, because I can track where you live and I have your IP address. One way or another, if I have to, I can find out who you are and turn you in for harassment. I have the national and international connections through my media connections to find you and have you prosecuted, if I need to.

Bottom line: If I don't approve of the comments you're leaving, they will never see the world wide web. Anonymous commenters or those who use aliases will not receive responses. I don't tolerate disrespectful people on my blog. Other bloggers may be different. I don't care.

I thought that because of the longevity of my blog and the history of people who have commented on this blog before, I didn't have to spell out my rules in so many words. I guess now, I do. Those of you who are used to commenting on my blog and who have done so without problems or response from me don't have to worry about your comments not being displayed. They will be, I'm sure.

Those who read my blog generally consist of friends and pastors. Many of these friends are those who have been reading my blog and whose blogs I have been reading for a few years. Many of the pastors who visit have become friends or were friends before I started this blog. These are the people who are welcome in my comments section. Newcomers have to go through me first now. I'm taking back control of my blog.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Working on Sundays

Usually, I work on Sunday evenings. I don't really like to work on Sundays, but I don't work too many other days of the week regularly, so I do so mostly for the hours and pay.

Today is the first (and hopefully only) Sunday that I have been asked to work on a Sunday morning. The only reason I consented to doing so is that the lady who usually works this shift had another commitment, and she couldn't find anyone else to take the shift, and she covered a Saturday shift for me not long ago. My boss knows that this is a big favor to be asking of me, because I told him some time back that I didn't want to work on Sundays at all, let alone on a Sunday morning or early afternoon.

To say that working or doing any kind of laborous work on Sundays is not a Lutheran statement. It's full of pietistic sentiments that I don't share, nor do many Lutherans. But Sunday, nonetheless, is a very holy day that should be kept holy. Remember that even Jesus worked, or rather performed miraculous works, on the Sabbath, against the wishes and understanding of bystanders.

So, this morning, my husband is going to church without me. I had to be in to cover this shift beginning at 5 a.m., and I don't get off work until 12:30 p.m. Even though our church is about an hour's drive from home, in the time I'm working here this morning, my husband has been able to sleep until about 7 a.m., be at church by 9 a.m., and be back to pick me up from work at about 12:30 p.m., without being late (I hope).

The good thing about working Sundays is that all of the newscasts are recorded ahead of time, so if I'm really on top of my game, I have all of the newscasts pre-recorded and in the system ready to play within about 1 1/2 to 2 hours after I arrive at work. That way, I can work on writing up or updating other stories, pay better attention to police and emergency scanners so I know exactly what's going on without being distracted ... and, in the evenings, watch my favorite show: "Desperate Housewives" while keeping the scanners pumping through my headphones in my right ear.

But since I don't work tonight (because the lady whose shift I'm covering this morning is working my regular shift tonight from 7 to midnight), I get to watch my show at home without those pesky police and emergency scanners distracting me.

Maybe eventually, I'll be a full-time employee and won't have to work at all on weekends. But, that could just be a pipe dream. One of the full-time guys here does work on weekends ... both days of every weekend.

I'm glad that I know that it's not commanded to do absolutely no work on Sundays, since Jesus showed us differently in the Scriptures, but I look forward to the time when I won't be asked or scheduled to work on Sundays. I enjoy going to church, and I enjoy spending quality time with my husband, making him suffer through an episode of "Desperate Housewives" with me. :D

Monday, November 06, 2006

The influence of Pentacostal/Charismatic Christians on our church services

I know it's been a very long time since I've blogged about anything, and I apologize to those who've been waiting to read something new. I've thought a lot about what I wanted to post on this blog, and I've got a few stories for you. This is one of several, but it's one that explains a lot about what's going on in even our LCMS churches.

I got this story from the National wire service at work on October 5. It got me thinking: So that's why some LCMS churches have "happy clappy" worship services, praise bands, the Ablaze! movement, Promise Keepers, Heritage Keepers, etc. Our churches have lost track of what it means to be Lutheran, because they're paying too much attention to what the Pentacostals, Charismatics and Methodists are doing.

Without further adieu, here is the story to which I am referring:

WASHINGTON (AP) A new ten-nation survey of Pentecostal and charismatic Christians shows they are deeply influencing the Roman Catholic and mainstream Protestant churches and are poised to make a big impact on global affairs.

Pentecostals and charismatics are considered the fastest-growing stream of Christianity worldwide.

The poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that ``spirit-filled'' Christians, who speak in tongues and believe in healing through prayer, comprise at least half the population of Brazil, Guatemala and Kenya, 44 percent of Filipinos and nearly one-fourth of U-S citizens.

The study also found that charismatic and Pentecostal Christians increasingly are willing to bring their values into public debates, which could shape government policies in the years ahead.

And we wonder why our churches are so screwed up! It's not entirely President Kieschnick's fault, although he is certainly not blameless.

Election Day: What's your candidate's position on abortion?

Lutherans for Life published a tract called "Is Abortion an Election Issue?" in 2000. Before you go to the polls, consider your favorite candidates' positions on abortion. It is literally a life or death matter.

The following are excerpts from the Lutherans for Life tract. The portions in quotes are direct quotations from text. The rest are paraphrases of my own:

God doesn't give Christians any "wiggle room" when it comes to destroying human life. "He says, 'You shall not murder.'

"We must not forget what abortion is. All the rhetoric surrounding abortion has deceptively blinded us to the truth. We hear it described as a 'right,' a 'choice,' or a 'medical procedure.' It becomes too easy – even for the Christian – to see abortion as just another one of those 'election issues.'

"Think about it! What is a candidate who supports abortion rights really supporting? Abortion is not on a par with a woman's right to equal employment and equal pay.

"Let's be honest.

"The candidate who supports abortion rights supports a woman's right to have her innocent child murdered. Abortion is not just an 'election issue.' Abortion is a grave sin. Abortion assaults God's Word of truth about the sanctity of human life and, therefore, assaults the Word Himself Who became flesh that we might have life. Abortion is a sin against God Who is the Author and Redeemer of life. Abortion is not an 'election issue.' Because abortion destroys human life, it is a spiritual issue."


"Therefore... a Christian cannot debate the pros and cons of abortion any more than he can debate the pros and cons of a rape or stealing or adultery. Abortion cannot be a 'right' for, in God's sight, it is a fundamental wrong.

"It is such a fundamental wrong that, when it comes to voting, a candidate's stance on the issues is irrelevant if he or she favors abortion. A vote is not a passive act. The voter participates in promoting the agenda of the candidate in an intentional action. A candidate who favors abortion should be disqualified from receiving a Christian's vote.

"Regardless of what our government deems legal, when it comes to abortion, 'We must obey God rather than man.' Those who have been called in grace and adopted as God's children through the merits of Jesus Christ should not sanction the destruction of preborn children."


"However, the Body of Christ is compelled to 'defend the cause of the weak and needy.' The Church is compelled to 'speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves' and to expose the 'fruitless deeds of darkness.' When a candidate for a government office promotes the sin of abortion, God's people must take action to oppose this sin and defend those affected by it."

This being said, I've recently found out that a candidate for Kansas Attorney General that I was hoping might win (and actually might) is a supporter of abortion. Since my husband and I moved, we didn't get any information as to where we would even go to vote, so I guess we're not going to. I'd rather not vote than place a vote for a candidate who supports killing babies.