church life and home life

First of all, Happy Reformation Day!  Thank God for good ol’ Marty Luther who defied the largest religious institution of his day and said that you didn’t have to buy indulgences or work hard at being a super-good person or become a monk or a nun to get to heaven.  Thank you, God, for Luther!  And, even if you’re not a Christian, you can’t help but acknowledge how Luther’s actions changed the course of history.  Quite a guy, ol’ Marty was.

We had a big Reformation service at church yesterday.  It was awesome!  I love me a good church service with big organ, choir and lots of brass.  Dah-da-da-daaah!  Always good to sing “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”  In the regular Sunday morning service, we sant that hymn, too, but we used the old words: “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing…”  That was a nice change of pace.

Our church hosted a SoWE this past weekend.  (Acronymn explanation: SoWE = School of Worship Enrichment.  What does this mean?  Consultants (who are worship experts) from around the synod converge upon at a host church for the weekend.  Local congregations come to the host church to talk about how to improve their congregation’s worship life.  There are group lectures about the whys and hows of Lutheran worship, and then there are break-out discussions by individual congregations with the consultant who has been assigned to them to help guide them through the process.  JJ serves as a consultant for these a few times a year.  He just did one a few weeks ago in Neenah, WI.)

So, our church hosted a SoWE.  We had some awesome pastors and musicians on campus for the weekend, and part of the purpose of a SoWE is that the consulants do the regular Sunday morning service, and they also do a closing service Sunday afternoon.  This time, the closing service was the joint Reformation service for our area, so we had a packed house.  Good preaching, good presiding, good music, and Holy Communion – lots of good stuff!  🙂

Here’s a link to our Reformation service yesterday, if you’re interested.  The sermon was amazing!  The pastor who preached is one of the best preachers I have ever heard.  He preached on Daniel in the Lion’s Den, and it was SO good!  I’ve heard this pastor preach more than once, and he has knocked it out of the ball park every time.  Also connected to this link are videos of all of the presentations given at the SoWE.  You can see my hubby talk about Enhancing the Liturgical Year, if you’re interested.  All of the consultants’ presentations were interesting; they’re all experts in their fields as well as good speakers.  Check their presentations out!

Afterwards, the consultants came over to our house to detox, as my husband calls it.  It was a pleasure to have them over, and it gave me an excuse to clean and organize and decorate.  😉  Which reminds me, I should take some house pictures now while everything is clean…

This weekend our congregation hosts the AZ-CA district teachers’ convention.  It’s just one big thing after another around here!  I’m somewhat involved in that, but not much.  Mostly I’m helping out with meals, although there is a service in the late afternoon on Thursday for which my hubby is preaching and for which I am singing a few things.  (It’s going to be the same Compline service JJ did for the SoWE on Saturday night, so if you’d like to watch it, click here.  He preached on All Saints Day.)  It will be nice to see some friends again in connection with that, including AM, who is staying with us.  Hooray!

After convention, life *should* slow down for our family (aka. JJ).  Although, we’re heading into the holiday season, so I don’t know how much it will actually slow down.  But, theoretically, it seems like it will.  There will be less extra stuff on the docket, which will be good.

One curtain rod and curtains are put up.  Yay!  All of the other curtain rods and curtains have been purchased, and are now just waiting to be installed as well.  That’s good.  All of the shades and blinds were professionally installed a week ago (ABSOLUTELY worth the money!), so now we finally have a little privacy in our house.  It definitely gives the house a different feel!

The taupe color of the house, which did not impress me at first, is proving surprisingly easy to work with.  It goes well with an earthy color scheme (like our kitchen), or a gentle country blue scheme (like the living room), or an old furniture color scheme (like the family room), or a rich reddish-purple color scheme (like our bedroom), or a celery green and pink color scheme (like the guest bedroom).  The only room the taupe doesn’t work so well with is the girls’ bedroom, but that’s okay, because we painted over the taupe and made it pink and purple.  🙂

Slowly, the house is coming together.  Pictures are starting to appear on walls.  Curtains are going up.  It’s starting to feel a little more like … a real home.

And tomorrow is November!  How did this happen?

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One thought on “church life and home life

  1. The subject of “Ein feste Burg” translations is a good one! However, I was surprised to read your reference to the “bulwark never failing” version (translated by the famous Harvard Unitarian, FH Hedges, in 1852/53) as “the old words”. They are only very slightly older than the version (“trusty shield and weapon”) that made it into TLH in 1941 and from thence into CW in 1993, which date from at least 1868, when they appeared in the Pennsylvania Lutheran Church Book of that year.

    The “trusty shield and weapon” phrase itself actually comes from one of the very earliest English translations, by an Englishman, Thomas Carlyle, in 1831 (which appears to have been the basis for the Pennsylvanians’ work).

    Anyway, interesting stuff! I just love this hymn. In North Hollywood we just had our third consecutive Reformation without singing hymn 200 in either the regular Sunday service or the afternoon festival service. 😦 I’ve been requesting it every year; maybe the fourth year will be the charm!

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