Monday, December 31, 2007

Our Year

Saying for the day: Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. ~Hal Borland


The Official End of Year Letter
of John & Betty Linna








In 2007 John did not:

throw a single pass for the Green bay Packers.

win a single Nascar race.

finish a major golf tournament.

get to sing on National Television

win the Publisher’s Clearing House Giveaway

write a novel.

appear on Dancing with the Stars.



Betty did not:

take up cooking as a hobby.

color her hair green.

hit a buffalo while driving ( or walking either)

take up sky diving.

learn to shop quickly.

plow the driveway.

swim across Lake Michigan.


In 2007 John did:

Get a battery powered scooter for shopping.

Get a chairlift for riding to the basement.

Get two new Doctors.(one for one lungs, one for everything else)

Keep an almost daily blog.

Play with his grandkids.

Take daily breathing treatments.

Get an expensive hearing aid ( he still doesn’t listen well)

Betty did:


Join a Bible Study

Walk the dog ( a lot)

Vacation in Door County ( Just the women)

Wrap eBay packages ( and take them to Post Office)

Have surgery on both eyes.

Take grandkids on little adventures.

Go shopping with Pennie.


In 2007 John and Betty together did :

sell the house in Crystal Falls.

bring their furniture from Crystal Falls.( Two trucks and two vans)

move into their side of the duplex.

install a back door deck.

organize the junk they brought from Crystal Falls.

join St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

stay with Pete and Lori’s kids while they went to a conference.

start a new train layout in basement ( never to end)

put up a small Christmas tree ( sad little thing)

visit two big train shows ( Green Bay and Milwaukee)

go with Pennie to an Art Show, ( Culture)

go to latest Harry Potter movie. ( More culture)

stay home a lot.

So another year ends.

We wish you all a truly blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with the love of God.

News from Pigeon Falls– The little town in my garage where the trains still run and people party– Tonight is the big night. The Fly Inn has its big party. They have even rigged a big Pigeon egg to drop from the roof right at 12:00. It’s not a big apple but it’s the next best thing made possible by small town creativity. One expects people will leave their own parties and fill the main street to see this unique event. It will be just like New York. Bob Johnson, the owner of the Fly Inn is doing everything possible to make sure it works. They plan on testing it at least twice today.
Last Lutheran is having a prayer service tonight from eleven to twelve. People should get out just in time to see the egg drop. From past experience, though, there won’t be many people at the service.
There will be small party , tonight , at the old Jupola place. Toivo and Eino and their families will gather there as they did when old Mr. Jupola was alive. They keep up the tradition. Pigeon Falls is very big on tradition.
One wonders if the dragon will show up and start a new tradition. That is , of course, a possibility. The White Rabbit could also make an appearance. A good night for Mrs. Trumble to go demon hunting.
A new year is coming for Pigeon Falls. Will it finally bring a solution to the White Rabbit and the Dragon mystery? Will there be more common dreams? Will endless winter return? Will Petrovioch astound us with a new old driblet? Will Mrs. Trumble leave to start a new carer in wrestling? Will Tommy UK prove to be the Undertaker's kid? Will Pigeon Falls become the location for the "Murder in the Sauna" movie?Will there be a murder in the sauna? Will the poltergeist leave Pigeon Falls for the big city? Will the pigeon return? Will any of these questions ever get answered ? Only the new year will tell.
******

Today's Link- No link until January 02, 2008
The last day of the year wasn't too bad. I worked a little on the train layout then joined Betty and we made saffron buns. We used the old family recipe which now both my grandson and my granddaughter know so it will be used for years to come. It makes great saffron buns. Then I visited all my links while Betty and Pennie went grocery shopping. Now I will play a little canasta then have a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Part two of an open letter to BBC

My dear BBC,
You claim to be a reasonable man and a man of science but you put forth unsupported arguments and proclaim them as facts.

You say the world would be a better place without religion.
But you don’t support the argument.

You say religion has been responsible for most of the wars in the world. But you support it with no historical study.
Indeed historical study indicates that religion has little to do with bringing countries into war. Historians tell us that lust for power, or territory , or gold are the underlying reasons for war. Even some that were called religious. What historian of any repute supports your argument ? You tell me and I will read his work.

You say religion has been bad for mankind.
I can’t speak for religion in general but Christianity
1. Fought against child labor.
2. Gave us the first hospitals in this country.
3. Created the first schools.
4. Gave us the first colleges.
5. Was the first group to care for orphans and old people.
6. Now is in the forefront of the fight to feed everybody and to see that everybody gets decent health care.
That doesn’t sound bad to me.

You claim that science will be our salvation. But when I pointed out that science gave us the weapons of mass destruction you said that men misused science.
Sometimes mankind also misuses religion but that doesn’t make religion wrong any more than the misuse of science makes science wrong.You can't have it both ways.

You said that some Hindus killed some Christians so we should get rid of all religions. Is it logical to want to destroy Christians when we were the one’s who were killed.
Sometime ago an atheist was put to death for insulting a particular religion. Should I now call for the death of all atheists? How illogical. On the other hand if we killed all religious people and all atheists there would be peace. The peace of the graveyard.
Of course you could argue religious people did the killing so get rid of them. But then Stalin who was an atheist killed thousands of people. Should we then kill all atheists? Of course not. Human beings misuse everything at one point or another. The problem is not religion but people.

So you see BBC what stands between you and the perfect world that you want is people. People kill other people not religion. Religious people kill and non religious people kill. You have two choices.
1. Get rid of all the people.
2, Change the people.
God, the real God , opted for the second choice and sent Jesus to change the hearts of people. That's why Christians:
Give up Saturday baseball or golfing to work in the church food pantry.
Help build buildings for the homeless.
Do with less themselves so others can have something.
Are willing , like the Assistant to the Bishop in El Salvador to lay down their life for others.
And I could go on and on. God changed these people from self centered to people who reach out in love.

Would the world be better without religion ?
I doubt it. People would live out of self interest. Who would fight for the poor, the hungry, the one’s trampled on by society? It would not be in anybody’s self interest to do so.

The Christian loves and serves because the real God calls us to. The world is better for it.

If you have evidence to the contrary lets see it.

In closing I want you to know that God, the real God, still loves you.

DR. John.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

An open letter to BCC

Because of the nature of this letter which will run in two parts there will be no news from Pigeon Falls today or tomorrow.

My Dear BBC,
You seem to have a real interest in the poor and hungry of the world. You have mentioned them now three times in your comments. I too have an interest in the poor and the hungry but I am not just talking about it I am doing what I can.

First of all I belong to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America which last year raised 19.5 million dollars to help combat world hunger. It, of course, is not enough. But we did something. Thousands of people who would have starved didn’t and thousands of them will continue to be fed in years to come because of projects we started.
Chalk one up for the church BBC.

Let me tell you of some of the things we did. Some years ago I wanted to see for myself so I could tell the congregation where their money was going. So at my expense I flew to Latin America and visited three countries and six projects.

The first was in Nicaragua. There I visited a village way up in the mountains. Some years before people starved in that village. The church brought food but it did more than that . It drilled a deep well and got them water to grow crops. When I got there they had huge gardens providing food for their tables and something to sell. WE couldn’t save everybody. But we saved them. Chalk one up for the church.

Also in Nicaragua I visited a cooperative the church set up. It allows little farmers to get together to market their coffee and other goods . Prior to that they had no choice but to sell to the big companies who paid them very little and didn’t care if the children starved. Because of the cooperative the little communities thrived. One now has a clinic and another a school.
Chalk another one up for the church.
As an aside the congregation I served in Crystal Falls once they heard the story used only the coffee from the cooperative for our Sunday coffees.

Next I went to El Salvador and visited a United Nations refuge camp. There were so many refugees that there wasn’t enough food so Lutheran World Action sent in food . But it did more than that. It also built a school and provided materials for the students. It wanted the kids to have a possible brighter future. A nice old lady grabbed my arm and over and over thanked me for helping the children.
Chalk up another one for the church.

In El Salvador the Lutheran Church was also busy setting up cooperatives. The leader in that movement was the assistant to the Lutheran Bishop. For his effort on behalf of the poor the rich had him assassinated. I know that makes you happy since “ the only good Lutheran is a dead Lutheran” but he was killed because he tried to help the poor. .

Then I went to Honduras there we visited a village that was in such a remote location the only way to get to it was to ride in the back of a pick up down a dry river bed. This was a village that had a high child death rate because they had so little food. We gave them food and something more, a goat herd. Now they had milk for the children. They had goat hair that could be woven into clothing and things to sell. The goats produced fast enough so they also could be sold. The village would not have to go hungry again.
Chalk another one up for the church.

Before I left Honduras I met a Pentecostal Pastor who was feeding fifty barrio children every morning. That was the only meal some of them had for the day. He really needed to have the water pipe extended to his feeding place but had no money to do it. So when I got home my congregation raised money to extend the pipe and became part of feeding those kids.
Chalk up still one more for the church.

The sad truth is if you got your wish and the church vanished from the earth all those people would have starved.

But my national church does more than that. We have a lobby in Washington that fights for the rights and the needs of the poor. It is the voice of those who have no voice.
Get rid of religion and you get rid of that voice.

The congregation I belong to I joined because of their deep concern for the poor. It contributes to a food bank so that local people who need help can get it. As I ate my Christmas dinner which seemed to bother you I knew that hundreds of people who couldn’t afford it were sitting down to a ham feast with all the trimmings because of the food bank.
No church no Christmas dinner for those people.

Further the local congregations get together and every week sponsor what is called The Community Meal. Each church takes a turn at supplying the food and serving it. People who need help get to eat free.

And Betty and I give a portion of our income every month to world hunger. WE can’t do it all but we do what we can. I won’t demean you by asking what you do. I assume you do your share since you seem like a kind man.

Dr. John
Tomorrow a look at some faulty logic.

Friday, December 28, 2007

After the Holiday

Saying for the day: "POST FESTUM PESTUM"

The holiday is over.
Yesterday the house was filled with people ( or it seemed like it).
Today there is Betty, Pennie, and I and soon Pennie will go to work.
It is so quiet.
I feel sorry for the dog.
Maggie had a wonderful holiday.
The kids played with her. They rolled on the floor with her. They rolled in the snow with her. They played tug of war with her.
She was the center of attention.
She got to sit on people’s laps.
She got table scraps ( standing rib scraps) alongside the dry dog food she hates.
The kids even let her out in the middle of the night to chase the rabbit that runs through our back yard.
But today she is stuck with two old people .
They won’t roll in the snow or on the floor.
She is too heavy to sit on my lap.
She will spend most of the day in her crate.
I wonder if , when she is sleeping, she’ll dream of the holiday.
You have to feel a little sorry for her.
Post Festum Pestum ( After the holiday the plague)

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Hugo Maki, you remember him, got tired of hauling the kids out to Loon Lake to skate so he bought one of those instant ice rink kits. It consisted of a thirty foot by twenty foot by four inch deep blow up pool. He set it up on the flat part of his back yard and filled it with water. Then he went to bed. According to the directions that’s all he had to do and in the morning his kids could skate to their hearts desire. The only problem is that there was high wind last night and the water froze with waves in it. You just can’t skate on rippling water. So much for instant skating rinks. Today Hugo will reflood the pool. This time he is putting a cover over it and praying there will be no wind.
Tommy UK went cross country skiing yesterday. He and some friends started from Loon Lake and skied back to town. For part of the time the dragon flew overhead as if it were watching them. Tommy UK said it made him nervous.
Tommy TW is getting ready to go to New York to be on the David Letterman show. His book “Murder in the Sauna” is selling very well and has a good chance to top the best seller list. All of a sudden Pigeon Falls is the home of a famous author.
Life is good.
******

Today's Link- No link until January 02, 2008
A nice day. Betty went out in the morning. I worked cleaning up in the basement. Came up in time to get a call from my old Bishop Harry Anderson. It was good to hear his voice. He always exemplified what a Bishop should be. He had a deep concern for his pastors and the poor. In the afternoon Betty and I worked on the layout. The buildings on the main street are now in place and for the most part lighted. It was certainly fun. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas morning again

Saying for the day- The Second time is the charm.

Another look at our Christmas morning









******
#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. It is the day after the day after Christmas and life is almost too normal in Pigeon Falls.
Ms. Purcell has packed up all her equipment and left. She will go back to her lab where she will study the videos and the data and in a year or two issue some conclusions.
The dragon hasn’t been seen in several weeks.
The big White Rabbit hasn’t been seen since winter started.
The pigeon is gone.
There are no new stone people.
There are no common community dreams.
The snow they have is normal for this time of year.
Petrovich is strangely quiet.
So people are doing what you do on the day after the day after Christmas. They are returning gifts. Well that is the ones that aren’t returning to work are returning gifts. You know all those things that they would never buy and that don’t fit. Back they go. People going to Marquette and Iron Mountain so the town will be almost empty.
A few people are going skiing and a few more are going skating. Its just the right kind of day for both activities. It’s not too cold and not too warm.
Yep! Pigeon Falls is back to normal.
******

Today's Link- No new links until January 2, 2008.
One of those nice days. We went shopping in the morning and bought a new TV set. Then Betty and I came home but my son and grandkids went to the mall. I had standing rib for lunch. It was almost as good as it was at Christmas. Pat, Curtis and the boys packed up in the afternoon and left for home. My granddaughter is still here but may b e going home tonight. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Twas the Day after Christmas

Saying for the day: The day after anything is to be avoided if at all possible.

This is the family picture taken yesterday.
Someday my grandson can tell his grandchildren that the picture was taken the Christmas of the two standing rib roasts, his father's and his grandfather's.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Yesterday the people who ventured downtown Pigeon Falls got to see this pigeon display.
It took up half of the main street.

Today the pigeons are back to normal. They are doing whatever it is that pigeons normally do. The pigeon is nowhere to be seen. It is as if it has just vanished.
During the time it was here strange transmissions came from this cluster of galaxies called by scientists “The Bird”. Shown here.

But it is doubtful ,even impossible , that anything that far away could influence what is happening here on earth. On the other hand what happened with the pigeons was impossible. Ask Ms. Purcell.
*****

Today's link- No links until January 02, 2008. Enjoy the holiday.
Well it was a nice day after Christmas. Betty and I went shopping in the morning. we went to Menards and Steins to get some Lemax figures that were on sale. My grandson Alex came along to help lift out my scooter. What a blessing that kid is. In the afternoon Betty, the boys and the rest of the family went to Green Bay to the movies. I stayed home. I just didn't feel up to that much riding. So I got caught up on a lot of things. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

****
Link for today- No links until January 02, 2008

Monday, December 24, 2007

A little visit

Saying for the day: One who does not visit does not grow.

Glad you could stop by on such a busy day.
Have a cup of coffee.Would you like some sugar with that.

Have a saffron bun with real butter not that pretend stuff.

Thanks for coming.
We have to do this more often.
I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed new year.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The pigeons are back this morning with the same lead pigeon. Ms. Pucell, the pigeon expert, is kicking herself for not seeing what an eighth grade kid saw. Of course , since she didn’t believe pigeons would follow a leader, she wasn’t looking for one. She was looking for patterns and every day gave her a new one to analyze. She had a theory about ingrained genetic pattern behavior releasing itself in historic patterns. So because she wasn’t looking she didn’t see.
But now she is and what she sees she can’t believe. The lead pigeon every day is unlike any pigeon she has ever seen.



She has combed her vast data base of pigeon pictures and
can’t find anything like it. It appears to be a pigeon if there were such a bird. It appears only once in the morning and once at night. All the other pigeons seem to be willing to follow it and it sets the patterns. She is planning, after Christmas, to capture the bird for closer study. This may very well be an evolutionary breakthrough.
Other than the pigeon activity ,Pigeon Falls is fairly quiet. People are making final arrangements for Christmas. Families are deciding which service to attend tonight. Pastors and Priest are putting last minute touches on sermons. Last minute gifts are bring wrapped. Just your typical night before Christmas.
*****

Today was one of those really special days that you don't want to end. My oxygen level was way up. I finished the road on one side of the layout. Mr. three grandsons came. I went to Christmas Eve service without the oxygen bottle. We sang the old carols and had Communion. My son Patrick made pasties and brought them. There couldn't be a better day. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Today's Link- No new links until January 02, 2008 because of the holiday.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sunday Before Christmas

Saying for the day:It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. ~W.T. Ellis

The Sunday before Christmas has always been special to me. It has some of the wonder and feel of Christmas itself.
Today we will:
Sing the old Christmas carols.
Be reminded that the Christ who came at Christmas is coming again.
Feel ( a strange word for Lutherans) the compelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Be in awe of what God did and is doing for us.
It is hard to describe.
It is not a stand up and shout Sunday.
It is more the experience of kneeling before the King and being glad he invited you.
In any case it is special, at least for me.
I pray your day will be just as wonderful.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. This morning there is not a pigeon to be seen. It’s like they are taking the day off. There is no cooing, no flapping of wings, no big white spots where there weren’t any a moment before. Again the pigeons seem to have taken Sunday off.

Tommy UK says there is now no doubt , in his mind, that the pigeons
are playing follow the leader. He has looked at all the videos and everyday the activity is lead by the same pigeon , an odd looking one. And everyday that same pigeon ends the activity. In some way it is directing the designs. He has enlarged the picture and has never seen a pigeon that looks like this one before. During the day , once it has completed the design , it is nowhere to be seen.
Ms. Purcell is still sure he is wrong but she is now studying the video. With no activity today she has all day to do that.
Pastor Joan will be preaching a sermon titled “ The Promise Waited Long” this morning. It said so in the mail out Last Lutheran sent to all its members. It contained sermon titles and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day service times. Last Lutheran will have three Christmas Eve services including one that starts at 11:30. At 7:00 it has a candle light service with real candles. It will be one very special time.
*****


Today's Link- No further links until January 2, 2008. Happy holiday.
If I had a day eraser today would get erased. When I got up it was 38 degrees . When I finished blogging it was eighteen. There was glare ice on the road in front of the house and so we didn't go to church. The salt truck came through by lunch time. I wired the street car on the layout wrong and it took off so fast the track collapsed. The Packers lost. I'm making saffron buns and the dough looks like it has too much liquid. I just want to scream. But instead I'll go take a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Spirit of Christmas

Saying for the day: I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. ~Charles Dickens

I went shopping yesterday and I discovered much to my surprise that the Spirit of Christmas is alive and well in the real world.
We went to Wal Mart and the parking lot was almost full. The place was crowded with people.
Now my stereotype of such a crowd is of belligerent, nasty, pushy shoppers. Who would step on you of you don’t get out of the way. I didn’t run into any of those people.
Instead I found kind and helpful people who went out of their way to give me a hand.
There was the poor lady I almost ran down in my motorized chair. She apologized because she didn’t move fast enough to the right.
There was the nice gentleman who followed me through the frozen food section and when I stopped asked if there was something I wanted. He knew how hard it was to get the freezer door open from a motorized cart.
There was the teenager who got me the can of raspberry pie filling from a shelf too high for me to reach.
There were numerous people who ,when I was stopped and thinking about where I was going next, asked if I was okay.
So many people filled with the love and kindness which is so much a part of Christmas.
What a wonderful world.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal, except for the pigeons. The pigeons are still doing there thing. Tommy UK has asked Ms. Purcell if he could look at the video from the last few days. He is very interested in the start and the end of each day. He still thinks the pigeons are playing follow the leader even though Ms.Purcell has assured him they aren’t.
Tommy TW’s book signing went very well yesterday. A lot of people wanted to buy the first mystery novel set in Pigeon Falls. Jack felt it was worth postponing his trip to Florida for the event. After all there is a picture of his Sauna on the cover.
Today Nancy has a coffee with the author scheduled at her coffee shop. The Pigeon Falls Book and Ski Club will gather there at 2:00 in the afternoon. Tommy TW’s book will be their next read. This is the group that used to read and ski at the same time until Doris Sso ran into that tree. Now they keep the two activities separate.
Petrovich has given up trying to find a driblet that has to do with the pigeons strange behavior. This was his big chance and it just didn’t happen.
By request Wink’s Woods started selling Pigeon themed umbrellas today. They won’t do much for snow but they will protect you from pigeon droppings . Given the increased pigeon activity there has been a lot of those.
******

Today's Link-Hello is this Thing On- A bit of a whimsical
blog.
Well it was a good day. I worked on the layout all day. Betty and Pennie went shopping . I got the train in the first module wired so it can now be controlled from the operational center. I then put three Christmas cars behind the engine and ran it. I almost lost it. The transformer was too
powerful. It went so fast it almost flew off the corner. I pulled that transformer and found one with less power and not it runs well. It was good to see the train running. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas is Coming

Saying for the day- Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. ~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

“Christmas is coming” at this point in time sounds like a threat.

“Christ is coming”. That’ a promise.

“Christmas is coming” that’s a threat.

Why?

Because we aren’t ready.

There are four days left and we aren’t ready.

Our Christmas shopping isn’t done.

Our house isn’t cleaned ( thank the dog).

We have yet to shop for food.

An army is about to descend upon this house and we aren’t ready.

We wanted this to be the greatest Christmas ever.
You know, the one my grandkids would someday tell their grandkids about.

We wanted everything perfect.

But we aren’t ready.

So today we go into attack mode, condition red.
Early this morning we venture out of the Fortress to shop, We are after food and gifts.
This afternoon we will clean. The dog will have to stay in her crate.

Or we could wait until tomorrow.
We do have four whole days you know.
Those stories grandchildren tell grandchildren are overrated anyway.
But we hope you will have the greatest Christmas ever.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal, except for the pigeons. Ms. Purcell is continuing to study the Pigeons of Pigeon Falls. Perhaps she will do a serious scientific paper on odd pigeon behavior. She has enough video to make a pigeon movie once it is all edited. Why pigeons could become as popular as penguins. The movie “ Pigeon Patterns” might possibly sweep the company. Little stuffed pigeons could become all the rage.
Tommy UK still thinks the pigeons are playing follow the leader. But Ms. Purcell is not even considering the idea. She simply repeats that pigeons aren’t followers. There is something else going on here.
Tommy TW is ready for his first book signing today. Jack over at Jack’s Sauna is a bit nervous. He might end up on television. The signing will take place in the lobby of the Sauna. There isn’t a lot of room there but enough for a line in and a line out. It will be warm.
Aside from the pigeons and the book signing life goes on as normal for four days before Christmas. People are going off to Marquette or Iron Mountain for last minute Christmas shopping, relatives are arriving, and a few are packing up to go and visit children who live in warmer places. Some of the older residents are baking ( a lost art). By Christmas there will be cookies, pies, buns, and a pile of traditional food that didn’t come from any store.
*****
Today's Link-A Thousand Wordsworth- She has a cute picture for you.
A very good day. In the morning we went to Wal Mart. The store is so big I lost Betty. When I found her it was time to go back to the Fortress. My sister called and all is well.In the afternoon Betty cleaned and I worked in the basement on the lay out. Just one nice day. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Last Minute Shopping

Saying for the Day: A hug is a great gift - one size fits all, and it's easy to exchange. ~Author Unknown

I rather enjoyed the Christmas meme I did the other day so I decided to "shop" for a few more of those who leave me comments.
The rules are simple.
1. You go to Google images and enter the internet name or portion thereof
2. You pick a gift from the first page of pictures.

Bazza- this lovely motorcycle with enough room for wifey or one of the kids on the back. ( It was that or a Teddy bear.)






Alpha Dude - This " Alpha Crusader battle bot.













Alastair- His own personal stone henge to draw people to Church.









Butterfly- This cute little stuffed butterfly.









Garden Wife- A portable garden . She can take it wherever she goes.









Cindy- A flower to make her day bright.









Jill- This giant, giant screen television.







Josie-
This stuffed dog to keep her company and watch her paint.














Judie- This nice new car ( it was that a horse, a cow, or a dog)








Nea- A new living room Set






Patterns of Ink- To one of the greatest writers on the net this antique ink pot.









Nessa- I know it's not a butterfly but I'm not sure what it is.








Practical Chick- Who really has everything she needs this practical chick's flic kit.









Quasar(9)-His own rocket into space may he reach the Mountains of Creation










Worldman-
Who has been everywhere -this huge globe so he can see where he has been.








Artsy (TartsyViray)
A door opening into the light of a new year where all her dreams can come true.








I have to quit now. I am out of time. My hands hurt. My fingers are bleeding. The crowds at Google Department Store were horrible. People kept taking my gifts. I finally had to hit an old lady with my cane. I got there first.
So if I missed you. Don't be upset.
1. Remember I am an old man with a lousy memory.
2. Be glad your not one of my relatives who are expecting real gifts.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal, except for the pigeons. Ms. Purcell the pigeon expert from Cornell University made her first official conclusion today. She said “ This is not normal pigeon activity”. Of course Mrs. Annabell Peabody who is 92 years old and quit school in the fifth grade came to the same conclusion the day after the pigeons started their performance. She didn’t put it in the same exact words but it was the same conclusion. She said “ Durn pigeons aren’t supposed to act like that.”
Tommy UK suggested to Ms. Purcell that the pigeons were playing a game of follow the leader. He stopped by Ms. Purcell’s equipment tent on his way to school. She told him pigeons don’t follow the leader, geese or ducks maybe but pigeons never. Tommy UK pointed out that since this wasn’t normal pigeon activity and follow the leader wasn’t ordinary pigeon activity it could be true. She just laughed. She is the expert you know.
Petrovich returned today and somebody actually asked him to look for a driblet that might explain all of this. People hate things that have no explanation.
Tommy TW has set his local book signing at Jack’s Sauna for tomorrow. His Publisher is sending in a crew to take pictures to use in future adds. Nancy is helping by offering a free cup of coffee and a saffron bun to anybody who comes in with a signed book. It should be one exciting day.
*****

Today's Link- pick one to visit from all the links above.
Good day today. I sold some H0 cars. I got all of Octobers blogs ready to print out for my sister. Betty and I did some work on the layout. Betty went to Bible study. Now I need a breathing treatment.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What I want for Christmas

Saying for the Day:It's not what you give this Christmas that really counts, it's what God gave.

“What do you want for Christmas?”
People ask me that often during the holiday season.
The problem is I’m an old man who already has too much stuff. There is nothing I really need and not much that I really want.
O! I would like a Coors Light train for the layout ( won’t get it but I would still like it). Perhaps, an electric lift for the van to get my scooter in and out. ( won’t get that either)
I could turn philosophical and say I would like Peace on earth ( won’t get that either I’m afraid).
Or theological and want everyone to know how much God loves them in Christ. ( won’t get that and just my wanting ticks some people off)
There is one other thing I would really like. A thing I really want as do hundreds of people like me. I want every one who is running for President to vanish from my television until January 2.
I don’t want to see them being interviewed.
I don’t want to see them explaining how they didn’t mean whatever it was they said.
I don’t want to see them standing by a pile of snow or on a beach.
I don’t want to see them having coffee in an Iowa restaurant with an “ ordinary person”.
I don’t want to see them at a football game.
I don’t want to see them on late night or early morning television.
I don’t want to see them.

I have had all the presidential politics I can take for this year.
They have exceeded my quota.
If they really want to be elected (by me) they should now take time off with their families , in private, and come back next year.
Of course I won’t get this either.
But you have to admit it would be nice.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. A new day and a new pigeon pattern. This one more complex than the one’s before it.
Mrs. Purcell , the pigeon expert , showed up on the milk train this morning. She came with two assistants and lots of equipment. First thing they set everything up near the manger scene. They are taking video of the pigeons actions for later analysis. She says she has never seen pigeon activity like this in all of her studies . This is just not the way pigeons usually act.
Tommy TW’ s book is selling well. He got a mention from Oprah and that helped. He is thinking of having a book signing at Jack’s Sauna before he leaves for New York. It will make a good publicity shot. Nancy wants it at the Coffee Shop but he felt the Sauna provides better background. They will have to work that out but it is his book. On the other hand he has to live with her.
Despite having a new author and strange pigeons the town is getting ready for Christmas as usual. People are planning big meals , last minute Christmas gifts are being purchased, cribs are being brought down from the attic for grandchildren, last minute decorations are being added to the houses, Wink’s and Kiv&Makis are having special sales, and life goes on.
******

Today's Link-Christmas Organizing.com-A Christmas don't.
A fairly good day. I worked on the computer trying to clear up eBay things most of the day. Betty wrapped gifts. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Signed Document

Saying for the Day:Nothing is easier than self-deceit. For what each man wishes, that he also believes to be true. Demosthenes

I heard on the news the other day that Russia is supplying Iran with fuel for its nuclear plant. The Russians stated that we don’t have to worry because they have a signed agreement that the spent rods will be returned to them and that the material will not be used to make nuclear weapons.
Well we can all sleep easier now because Russia has a signed agreement.
When I heard this I started to laugh. Not because the announcement was funny, it wasn’t. It chilled me to the bone. But because of the image that came into my mind.
Ever year at the start of football season the Peanuts cartoon strip would run a sequence on Charlie wanting to practice kickoffs and Lucy offering to hold the ball for him. Every year he would run and just as he was going to kick she would pull the ball away and poor Charlie would fall on his head. Every year she came up with a new reason to trust her. One year she shook hands on the promise not to pull it away. One year she gave her word she wouldn’t pull it away. Every year a new promise and every year Charlie on his back, poor trusting Charlie.
The strip that came to mind, however with the Russian announcement , was the one in which Lucy give Charlie a signed document promising not to pull the ball away. She says” you have to trust a signed document Charlie Brown“. So he does and of course ends up flat on his back. Lucy stands over him saying “ Strange thing about that document it was never notarized”.
Schultz understood that if one wants to do evil nothing can prevent you from doing it not even a signed document.
Let us pray that Iran unlike Lucy will live up to theirs or Like poor Charlie the poor old world in which we live could end up flat on its back.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Today the pigeons started a new routine . They flew down one side to the middle, then across, then to the end of the street and then away. Each pigeon stopped or four minutes on each building on the route. It was really something to see.
Tommy UK has informed Pigeon expert Karen Purcell, of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, of the strange pigeon behavior. She is considering visiting Pigeon Falls to see this phenomenon for herself. Ms. Purcell , you will remember, is the expert who maintained that pigeon poop may have been the cause of the august 23 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis. It seems pigeon droppings can even dissolve concrete.
Tommy UK found MS. Purcell by goggling the term Pigeon Expert. There were other experts as well but she is the only one who responded to his communications.
Today is the day that Tommy TW’s book “ Murder in the Sauna” goes on sale all across the country. The week after Christmas he is scheduled to be on the David Letterman Show to push the book. Nancy is so excited. She is going to close the coffee shop and go to New York with him, unless she finds somebody she can trust to run it while she is gone. Whoever that would be has to get along with the poltergeist.
*****

Today's Link-Trying to Fill the Unforgiving Minute- A long ago Christmas remembered.
I had a good day. Oxygen was up in the morning. Stomach feels better. Betty went to Bible study and I wrapped her Christmas gifts. The gifts for my nephew Todd came. Betty and I repacked them and sent them out. We are moving along toward Christmas. We sent out thirty five Christmas cards. I will post our end of the year letter that was in the cards on the net after Christmas. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Christmas Meme

Saying for the day: The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

I thought I'd do a Christmas meme today.( You can click on the name to get to their blog.)
The idea is :
!. Go to Google images and type in the screen name of somebody who leaves comments on your blog.
2. From the first page of images pick a Christmas gift for that person.
3. Do it for seven more people.

Louisiana- six tickets for a nice warm vacation on a Southern lake.








Margaret- A good solid door to keep out robbers.


Catch- A can of her own special fish.








Stacy- A new computer to keep her blogging.









Quill - A nice set of Quill pens to teach with







Jan(vangogh)- A bouquet of flowers to paint.








Lois- because she loves machinery.







The Old Fart- A charter membership in the Old Farts Hall of Fame








I hope you all enjoy your gifts.

Perhaps I should have gone to page two.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The pigeons are back today. They are doing the same thing they did on Saturday only they started on the other side of the street. It is almost as if they are undoing what they did. Still nobody can explain what they are doing.
Pastor Joan in her sermon, yesterday, said that people want the pigeon actions to have meaning , good or bad. But sometimes as Eino says “ Pigeons do what Pigeons do.” This is true of the signs that Jesus is coming again. People look at wars or earthquakes and see them as sign of Jesus coming but sometimes a war is just a war and an earthquake just an earthquake. We need to live as if Jesus could come at any time and plant a tree.
Over coffee people tended to agree with her but they still wondered what the pigeon activity meant.
Whatever it means another passenger car of tourists showed up on the milk train this morning just to see the pigeons. So the pigeons are money in the bank for the local stores and the Fly Inn. That’s a good sign if you want a sign.
*******

Today's Link-Everything and Nothing- A great blog on White Wine
Fairly good day today. I saw the Doctor in the morning. He said I probably have some kind of food allergy that sets off the attack. Now I just have to figure out what it is. My lungs are the best they have been n some time. Betty went to the eye Doctor in the afternoon and she is doing fine. For sick old people we are in great shape. Peter called and I e-mailed him our saffron bun recipes. NOw I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Miracles

Saying for the day: Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.C.S. Lewis

In what little blog reading I did this past week I came across two miracles, one had to do with a young person and the other a bus.
As A Christian I love miracles. I love that moment when God touches our human lives in unexpected and wonderful ways.
People ask me “ Pastor with so many miracles happening why don’t more people believe?”
The answer is that miracles don’t create faith they require faith to be seen.
The believer sees and rejoices.
The unbeliever sees and explains.
The unbeliever can not allow a miracle to change what they know to be true. So they talk of a weird set of circumstances or an unexpected reaction to a drug. They know there is no God so they can not in any way let themselves see Him at work.
It was so even when Jesus walked with the disciples and healed. Some people saw the hand of God breaking in in a new and wonderful way while others saw a man breaking the Sabbath.
I am so glad that God has allowed me to be one of those who rejoice.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. This morning there is not a pigeon to be seen. It’s like they are taking the day off. There is no cooing, no flapping of wings, no big white spots where there weren’t any a moment before. Nobody knows where the pigeons are or when they will return.
Other than that it is a normal Sunday in Pigeon Falls. The Pastors and the Priest have prepared their sermons, children are ready to do Christmas programs, fathers who haven’t been to church all year are resigned to go because the kid is in the program. Yep just a normal Sunday.
Petrovich and his wife have gone to Green Bay to worship at St. Matthew Orthodox Church. This means there will be no surprise pigeon driblet to explain the recent odd pigeon behavior. This , of course, is Petrovich’s annual pilgrimage .
Pastor Joan has prepared a sermon entitled “ When Pigeons Fall” and announced it on the church sign board. One thinks she is trying to pull in some of those tourists. The full title is “ When Pigeons Fall, and Other Signs of the End” but only the first part fit on the sign board.
Tommy UK will be the acolyte at Last Lutheran despite the fact that some think he is to blame for the exploding candle. He looks angelic in the white acolyte’s robe.
*****

Today's Link-Daisy the Curly Cat- Never give up that's what this cat says.
Well I didn't get to church today as my stomach was still acting up. Did get to watch Green Bay win. Betty spent the day at Pennie's helping her put up a tree. I wrote our Christmas letter. Betty approved and we started printing it. I also worked on the addresses for the cards. Tomorrow I get to see the Doctor. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I'm back

Saying for the Day: Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it. ~Alfred Hitchcock

I’m back. I am out of bed.
I have a doctor’s appointment for Monday.
Life goes on.

During my down time I got to watch my soaps again. Just when I thought I was cured.
Nothing has really changed. The good people are suffering. The bad people are never getting caught. That seems to be soap standard.
The bad guy always looks like they have him or her but at the last minute they escape retribution.
The good guy is lucky if he or she escapes death.
Soaps aren’t careful to get the law right or anything else for that matter. They have unbelievable surgical procedures. People get well in a day or two. They can make anybody look entirely different. Such advanced medicine.
Travel on soaps is extremely fast. You can be in your office one minute and five minutes later visiting a prison. They have some kind of transport we don’t know about.
Now I have to get well because I just can’t take any more soaps and stay sane.
Then again it may be too late already.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. The strange pigeon activity goes on. Today they started one at a time from the town hall. The pigeon would land on the first building then fly across the street at a diagonal and land on the next.Then another pigeon followed. This continued until you had a line of pigeons crossing recrossing the street. When the first pigeon reached the end of the block it flew across and started again in the other direction. It was like something was directing them.
All up and down main street people had chairs and video cameras and were recording the pigeons. People who had heard of the pigeons came in on the milk train and spent the day pigeon watching.
Of course Nancy had a pigeon special, a cup of coffee and a saffron bun for $1.50. It gets cold out there on the street.
Wink’s and Kivi&Maki both had pigeon items on sale. Kivi&Maki had a DVD of the pigeons in case you didn’t bring a camera. Wink’s had a set of Pigeon Post Cards and cute little pigeon statues.
There was even some UP television coverage. One wouldn’t be surprised if a little video shows up on U-tube.
Until now there has been no word from Petrovich. People are waiting for him to give meaning to all of this.
Why do Pigeons cross the street? What is going on? Will Petrovich have a driblet? Is this the end of Pigeon Falls? And of course is Tommy UK really the undertaker’s kid?
******

Today's Link-Pigeon Blog- Well Why not?
It was a good day. My stomach was upset but my lungs were the best they have been in a long time. I didn't need the little oxygen bottles all day. I worked on the computer and caught up on a lot of eBay things. I also visited a lot of my links. Did some searching that Pennie wanted done. I took a nap in the afternoon but just a short one. Pennie and Betty went shopping. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Closing Today's Post

This is a bit weird. I am closing today's post and I never opened it. I spent the entire day being sick. This should be passing over soon. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas is coming

Saying for the day: Google it.

I got a bit of a late start today. Then I couldn’t find the meme I wanted to use. So I remembered that somebody suggested you go to Google and type in any phrase that comes into your head. Then pick the first five entries in Google’s response.
So I typed in “ Christmas is coming”
These are the first five entries.

Christmas Is Coming lyrics
The music to Christmas is Coming was composed by Edith Nesbit Bland in the late
nineteenth century. The author of the lyrics is unknown.
http://www.carols.org.uk/christmas_is_coming.htm

Christmas is Coming!: Christmas Gifts
A man is talking with two of his children about Christmas.
www.esl-lab.com/santa/santard1.htm -

Christmas Is Coming - Wikipedia, free encyclopedia
Christmas is a coming and the bells begin to ring,: The holly's in the window
and the birds begin to sing. I don't need to worry, and I don't need to fret, ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Is_Coming -

Christmas is Coming
Christmas is Coming - and we are helping you make Christmas special, with Christmas
crafts, decorating ideas, Chistmas gifts, Christmas recipes, ...
www.christmasiscoming.co.uk/

Christmas is coming rhyme
Christmas is coming, the geese are getting fat please to put a penny in the old
man's hat rhyme / poem.
www.rhymes.org.uk/christmas_is_coming.htm

Interesting I guess.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. Well the strange pigeon behavior continued this morning. Now all the pigeons in town are trying to sit on the Town Hall roof. Yesterday they were on both sides of the street but every other roof. The day before they were all on one side of the street .Nobody can remember a time when pigeons acted like this. People are afraid that it is some kind of dark omen. They are waiting for Petrovich to publish a driblet of some terrible thing that is going to happen.
Nancy’s Coffe Shop is closed today. Nancy is spending the day with her husband Tommy TW who just returned from New York. He was there meeting with his publisher and taking care of the last details in the publishing of his book “ Murder in the Sauna”. The book will be sent to book stores on Tuesday of next week. Then he has some promotional tours so he will be gone again. Nancy wants to spend some time with him while she can.
******

Today's Link-Man, Woman, Mouse, Fish- A second child changes things.
Another rough day. Got up late. Blogged late. Spent most of the day in bed. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

So much for Planning

Saying for the day– The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

I had yesterday all planned out.

I was going to blog.

Then I was going to address all the eBay things that had to be mailed out.

Then while Betty went to the Post Office I was going to visit all the links.

In the afternoon we were going to straighten the trolley track on the layout and fasten that down. Betty was going to get her first set of houses in and I was going to get them lighted.

It was going to be a very full day.

Instead I got the blog done and the addresses and then I went to bed really sick to my stomach. There I stayed all day except for runs to the bathroom.

You never know what the day will bring.

I wonder if I caught this bug from one of the sick people I visited on the web. If the computer can get a virus on the internet can a person?

Well I am not really better yet but not as sick as yesterday so I have no plans for today. It is safer that way.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. It is even stranger this morning. The pigeons are now sitting on both sides of the street but on every other building. It almost looks like a pattern . But how would pigeons get directions for a pattern? What can be causing this strange behavior.
Petrovich says he is sure there is a driblet that applies to this situation . He just has to find it and get it translated.
Everybody coming into Nancy’s for coffee wants to talk about the pigeons. People are afraid this is all leading up to something bad. Pigeons are the heart and soul of Pigeon Falls and when they act in an odd manner people just worry.
Eino says that Pigeons do what pigeons do.
******

Link for Today: Celibacy and the Suburbs- He doesn't blog often but he is interesting.
Well I didn't close this up last night because I was sick in bed again. So I am closing it up this morning. I did get my usual breathing treatments.
GBYA

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why did the Chicken cross the Road?

Saying for the day : Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Sigmund Froid

Why did the chicken cross the road? Ralph sent me an e-mail with the answer to that question and I thought I would share it with you.
Why did the chicken cross the road?

DR. PHIL :
The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems.

OPRAH :
Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I'm going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

GEORGE W. BUSH :
We don't really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

COLIN POWELL :
Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road…

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN:
We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road.

JOHN KERRY :
Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

NANCY GRACE :
That chicken crossed the road because he's GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

PAT BUCHANAN :
To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

MARTHA STEWART :
No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

DR SEUSS :
Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY :
To die in the rain. Alone.

JERRY FALWELL :
Because the chicken was gay! Can't you people see the plain truth?' That's why they call it the 'other side.' Yes, my friends, that chicken is gay. And if you eat that chicken, you will become gay too. I say we boycott all chickens until we sort out this abomination that the liberal media white washes with seemingly harmless phrases like 'the other side. That chicken should not be crossing the road. It's as plain and as simple as that.

GRANDPA :
In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

BARBARA WALTERS :
Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road.

JOHN LENNON :
Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

ARISTOTLE :
It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

BILL GATES :
I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken This new platform is much more stable and will never cra...#@&&^(C% ........ reboot.

ALBERT EINSTEIN :
Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

BILL CLINTON :
I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

AL GORE :
I invented crossing the road.

COLONEL SANDERS :
Did I miss one?

DICK CHENEY :
Where's my gun?

AL SHARPTON :
Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. There is something strange happening in Pigeon Falls. All the pigeons are sitting on the same side pof the street. Ordinarily they would be dispersed all over town, some on Jack’s Sauna, some on the school, some on Wink’s Woods, some on the Town Hall, and so on. But now all the pigeons are on the same side of the street as the Masonic building. This is leading to the question why did the pigeons cross the street.
Nancy has been asking people that question as they came for coffee this morning.
Eino said it’s because its so cold and that side of the street gets more sun.

Tommy UK– felt that they were afraid of the poltergeist.

Mrs. Trumble felt that it was somehow related to the demon dragon;.

Petrovich said he didn’t know but he thought he had read a driblet that might have the answer,

Esther from Kivi&Maki’s said she didn’t know but the new Pigeonopoly game they were selling makes a great Christmas gift.

Jack said that it can’t be for warmth. If his place is warm enough for Finns it is warm enough for pigeons.

The DNR man said there must be some kind of predator on the other side.

Old Mrs. Murphy said that they crossed the street to get to the other side.
*******

Today's Link-Optical Illusions Etc. An interesting look at a black something.
Today was not a good day. I got up blogged, and did all the addresses for the eBay mailing. Then went back to bed because I was and am sick. If there is no blog tomorrow it will be because I am still sick. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lutheran Worship

Saying for the Day: We should so fear and love God, so that we do not despise his Word or the preaching of it, but gladly hear and learn it. Martin Luther.

For the last few Sundays I have been writing about worship in general. Today I want to say a little about Lutheran worship.

Lutheran worship is not centered in people.
It is and has been since the beginning centered in the Word of God.
In the small catechism Luther wrote that keeping the Sabbath Holy had to do with hearing and learning God’s word.

We come as the family of God to hear and receive a Word from the Father. The question we come with is “ Does God have a Word for me today?” .

In the service three Scripture passages are read and part of a Psalm. Over a three year cycle all of the important biblical themes are lifted up and a good part of the Bible is read.

But God comes to us not only in the Word read but also in the Word preached. During the week the Pastor has lived with the texts, prayed over the texts, studied the texts, and he or she comes prepared to share with us what God has said to him or her in that study. The Holy Spirit takes that Word and quickens it to us ( makes it come alive).

In addition to the Word read and the Word preached Lutherans believe that we meet the Word made flesh in the miracle of Holy Communion. Here in the Bread and Wine the very Christ who died for us comes now to us . Here we are forgiven, renewed, made alive.

Because of the Word we are free to praise God, to sing hymns, to offer ourselves to Him. But Lutheran Worship always begins in the Word.

#### News from Pigeon Falls-The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal. It is Sunday in Pigeon Falls. In all the churches this morning prayers of thanks that the battle with the ACLU is over will be offered. Pastor Joan will be preaching on the Advent texts. The congregation is called to get ready for the coming Christ. In today’s texts we see Jesus at the darkest of times and we are reminded that in the end Jesus wins. He will carry us through our dark times as well.
Over coffee people commented that it was a pretty heavy sermon for the holiday period. But old Herman Holmes said that a long time ago he heard a preacher say “ I took a look at the end of the book and Jesus wins” and those words have carried him through all the rough spots in his life. The trip is easier if you know where your going.
There was a bit of excitement at the Lutheran service as one of the candles exploded . It looks like somebody had drilled a hole and put a firecracker in the candle. When the candle burned down that far it exploded. Tommy UK was the acolyte this morning but he says he didn’t see any firecracker when he lit the candles.
Brian Johnson who comes to church from second shift at the mine and usually sleeps through most of the service woke up when the candle went off. He seemed to think they were under terrorist attack. He jumped up and if his wife hadn’t grabbed his arm he would have run down the aisle.
Mrs. Jerome Smythe said “ In all my years of going to this Church we have never had anything like this happen. What is the world coming to?”
Tommy UK said he would ask around and try to find out if some kid did it. It might have been one of the other Confirmands.
*******

Today's Link-Andrew M. Greeley Homilies- Some stories by a great writer on the Advent texts.
A very good day today though breathing was a bit difficult. Got to church this morning. It was great to be back after missing last Sunday because of the snow. The Choir did a Christmas Cantata which was great. Just another way the Word is presented. In the afternoon I worked on the layout and Betty wrapped Christmas gifts and watched the Packers win. I told you it was a good day. Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA