31 August 2016

Patristic Quote of the Day

The righteousness which at present is ours is of faith.—St. Augustine, on 1 John 2.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

God does not like doubt and dejection. He hates dreary doctrine, gloomy and melancholy thought. God likes cheerful hearts. He did not send His Son to fill us with sadness, but to gladden our hearts.—Martin Luther, Homily for Trinity XIV, Epistle, Church Postil

30 August 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The Christian feels the unholy condition of his heart, and it makes him feel so low that he cannot trust in his good works. He therefore goes to Christ to find perfect righteousness. This keeps a Christian humble.—Martin Luther, Homily on Trinity XIV, Epistle

Patristic Quote of the Day

Consequently, if you have confessed yourself a sinner, the truth is in you: for the Truth itself is light. Your life has not yet shone in perfect brightness, because there are sins in you; but yet you have already begun to be enlightened, because there is in you the confession of sins.—St. Augustine, On First John

29 August 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

I remember how Doctor Staupitz used to say to me: "I have promised God a thousand times that I would become a better man, but I never kept my promise. From now on I am not going to make any more vows. Experience has taught me that I cannot keep them. Unless God is merciful to me for Christ's sake and grants unto me a blessed departure, I shall not be able to stand before Him." His was a God-pleasing despair. No true believer trusts in his own righteousness, but says with David, "Enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified." (Ps. 143:2) Again, "If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?" (Ps. 130:3.)—Luther, Homily on Trinity XIV, Epistle

Patristic Quote of the Day

Now the Lord Himself not only shows us what evil we should shun, and what good we should do, which is all that the letter of the law is able to effect; but He moreover helps us that we may shun evil and do good, which none can do without the Spirit of grace; and if this be wanting, the law comes in merely to make us guilty and to slay us.—St. Augustine, On Rebuke and Grace

27 August 2016

Saturday explorations

Wild blueberries?
After we finished up our breakfast, prayers, and coffee, I noted that we didn't have much wind and it might be a good day for a bike ride. We headed up to Decamp Junction on the bike trail. We spied what we think might be some wild blueberries and also a pumpkin patch. Can't see pumpkins and not think of the fall and pumpkin pie heaped high with whipped cream and a steaming mug of java to go with...and some cooler weather! Maybe even a fire in the fireplace?

Dave called while we were riding. He needed some medicine. In the old days, that would mean heading to Edwardsville. But Hamel has a new store next to our grocery (DK's), a Dollar General. So when we got back home, we picked up the keys to get the mail and a few bucks and headed out again on our bikes to the store. I was amazed at the stuff they had there. We found so many of the medicines Dave wanted that Cindi had to call him back to see which KIND he wanted. Add to the Dollar General, the Love's Travel Plaza across the interstate (I've still not even been in there) and during the summer, Dean's Produce Market, and I think if you planned it right, the trip to town might be more of a monthly than a weekly occurrence. 

And Another...

...In order that men may not deceive themselves and think they have faith when they have not, they are to examine their works, whether they also love their neighbors and do good to them. If they do this, it is a sign that they have the true faith. If they do not do this, they only have the sound of faith....a Christian life must embrace and never separate these two, faith and love.—Luther, Homily for Trinity XIV

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Observe how everything agrees perfectly that God's love gives its favor freely, does not take nor seek anything for it, and how faith also receives quite freely and pays nothing for it, and thus the rich and the poor meet together, as the Psalms say.—Luther, Homily on Trinity XIV (Ten Lepers), Church Postils

26 August 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

If we make our sins look small, we make Christ look small. That would be the same thing as saying: He is capable of forgiving small sins, but not big ones.—C. F. W. Walther, Proper Distinction

Patristic Quote of the Day

He, moreover, who says that any man, after he has received remission of sins, has ever lived in this body, or still is living, so righteously as to have no sin at all, he contradicts the Apostle John, who declares that If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Observe, the expression is not we had, but  we have. —St. Augustine, On Man's Perfection in Righteousness, Chapter 21

25 August 2016

Today's Catechesis on Amen

Reading: 1 John 5
14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
This is the Word of the Lord. R.

Catechism: p. 325
The Conclusion
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever.* Amen.
What does this mean? This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen, amen means "yes, yes, it shall be so."
*These words were not in Luther's Small Catechism.


In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Confirmation exam (art not my thing)

I remember well the day of my public examination in confirmation. It was the 70's so of course they didn't ask us questions and expect you to know any answers. Instead, they expected us to do presentations and talk about what it meant to you. Lord, have mercy. I was assigned the portion of the Catechism that we just reviewed, and had to do an art project on it and talk about it. I am not in any way gifted when it comes to the visual arts, and so I remember the wretched poster that I threw together to convey something about how I felt about the glory of God, His power and kingdom.

Focused on exactly the wrong thing: "for thine..."

Yup, I focused exactly on what the explanation to the Catechism ignores. If you are a footnote reader, you'll have noted the asterisk and the fact that the words "for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever" and I quote "were not in Luther's Small Catechism."

Church's doxological addition, not part of the prayer

A bit of research shows that they are only tenuously in manuscripts of the NT. In fact, they most certainly crept into the text from the church's liturgy. They were the response of the people to the beauty of the Lord's Prayer, but they were not part of the prayer he gave us.

But AMEN is

The little word "Amen!" however was very much a part of that prayer that the Lord taught us to say. That is, when you've asked the kind heavenly Father for all these things that we've reviewed in the petitions of the prayer, Jesus you to add this little word: "Amen." And notice like so many of our liturgical words, we don't translate it. It simply comes to us from the Hebrew like alleluia or hosanna. It's a bit of Hebrew that everybody speaks. But, of course, it doesn't mean "Prayer over time to move on." If we were to English it we couldn't do much better than the Catechism taught: "Yes, yes, it shall be so."

Faith's word

Amen, then, is faith's word. It's called forth by the Word of God. And never forget that when you pray the Lord's Prayer you are not just praying human words, but words taught you by the God-Man, our Lord Jesus. They are first God's Word and then they become your words, and that's why they are so powerful that you can know that what you ask in them is nothing that God is going to say: "Well, let me think about that and I'll get back to you." No. These are the words that when the Father hears them, HE says: "You got it, child. It's yours."

I can't help but wonder if John were thinking of the Our Father when he wrote the words of our text today:

14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

We KNOW that what we just asked we are guaranteed to receive precisely because we asked according to His will. His Son taught us to pray this way AND promised to hear us!
So here's the challenge: to learn to fit every prayer you pray into the Our Father. In it's seven petitions, you cover the gamut of human need while we live in this world and journey toward the home of our Father that Jesus has prepared for us by His passion, death, and resurrection. It's all there, and when you pray this way, you can shout or sing your hearty Amen and walk away in utter peace and confidence. No, maybe yes, maybe no, maybe, maybe I don't know. Now with this prayer. With this prayer it is a solid: Yes, yes, it shall be so.

The confirmation kid I was fixated on the beautiful words (and they are beautiful) of the doxology, but solidly missed the point. For better than any of our praises is the Amen Jesus teaches us to speak to a prayer that's been tucked into the prayer He gave us. Yes, yes, it shall be so.

24 August 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The proverb has it that Hunger is the best cook. The Law makes afflicted consciences hungry for Christ. Christ tastes good to them. Hungry hearts appreciate Christ. Thirsty souls are what Christ wants. He invites them: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Christ's benefits are so precious that He will dispense them only to those who need them and really desire them.—Martin Luther, Church Postils, Homily on the Epistle for Trinity XIII

Patristic Quote of the Day

And every man that has this hope towards Him purifies himself, even as He is pure,— purifies himself, not indeed by himself alone, but by believing in Him, and calling on Him who sanctifies His saints; which sanctification, when perfected at last (for it is at present only advancing and growing day by day), shall take away from us for ever all the remains of our infirmity.—St. Augustine, On Perfection in Righteousness, Par. 18

23 August 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

As long as a person thinks he is right he is going to be incomprehensibly proud and presumptuous. He is going to hate God, despise His grace and mercy, and ignore the promises in Christ. The Gospel of the free forgiveness of sins through Christ will never appeal to the self-righteous.

This monster of self-righteousness, this stiff-necked beast, needs a big axe. And that is what the Law is, a big axe. Accordingly, the proper use and function of the Law is to threaten until the conscience is scared stiff.—Martin Luther, Homily for Trinity XIII (Epistle), Church Postils.

Patristic Quote of the Day

For there is interposed a certain gravity of glowing pleasure, when in that wherein husband and wife cleave to one another, they have in mind that they be father and mother.—St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, par. 3

22 August 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Now here we have the substance of the Gospel. The kingdom of Christ is a kingdom of mercy and grace, in which there is nothing but a continual carrying of the lost. Christ carries our infirmities and sicknesses, he takes our sins upon himself and has patience when we fail. We still always lay about his neck, and yet he does not become weary of carrying us, which should be the greatest comfort for us when we are in conflict with sin. —Martin Luther, Homily on Trinity XIII, Church Postil, par. 36

Patristic Quote of the Day

Therefore the first natural bond of human society is man and wife. Nor did God create these each by himself, and join them together as alien by birth: but He created the one out of the other, setting a sign also of the power of the union in the side, whence she was drawn, was formed. For they are joined one to another side by side, who walk together, and look together whither they walk.—St. Augustine, On the Good of Marriage, Par. 1

21 August 2016

Another Great Luther Quote

To love God, as the Lord says in another passage, means to love the neighbor. God puts it this way, If you want to love me, then love your father and mother, your child, your husband, your wife, your master, your mistress; that is what I want from you. Accordingly, I say: Look around yourself to see if you are doing these things, and you may then know whether you love or hate God.—Homily for Trinity XIII, HP II:408

Lord, let me know mine end

There is a striking moment in The Nine Tailors when Lord Peter is attending a funeral, studying the suspects, and notes in passing the genius of Cranmer in putting together the Anglican funeral rite. He marks especially the reading of Psalm 39, Dixi Custodium (anyone miss the old Latin titles like used in TLH?), and particularly these lines:

LORD, let me know mine end, and the number of my days; * that I may be certified how long I have to live.

An interior dialog ensues in which Lord Peter expresses a very modern thought: "Certify me no such thing!" And why not? Better not to see the monster creeping up to devour you; better not to know how close he is standing to you, your spouse, your parents, your child, your neighbor, your friend. The thought is that if you knew how close he was to you, it would spoil all enjoyment of life itself. That's what Lord Peter was thinking and it's quite the way folks operate these days.

Cindi noted a picture she had from a happy event in our lives not too long ago. In the picture were two dear people who have since died. Would it be better to enjoy the happy moment, blissfully oblivious of the beast stalking you? Is that the only real way to enjoy life?

The Scriptures think differently, and therefore so does the Church. No, we may not know the moment that the monster will begin munching us down, but the Scriptures and the Church are quite certain that we do very well NOT to ignore the reality of the end that awaits. We do well to actually ponder it. For then we can stare the monster in the eye each and every day that we live. And far from impoverishing the days we have here on pilgrimage, it actually sets those days utterly free, fills them with laughter and joy!

To pray with the Church in the Litany "from a sudden and evil death: Good Lord, deliver us!" is to pray with the Psalm: "let me know mine end, and the number of my days." For, of course, when you know your end to be "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" it is the promise THAT end that fuels the fight against the monster. It is true, "I had fainted; unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." But since I HAVE believed that, I can turn to face the snarling beast.

I can stare him in the face and say: I know not the day you will make your move, but I know that when you've finished with me and think I am done, you will have to taste the same bitter defeat you tasted in Palestine so long ago. For He lives and He has promised me that my end is not to be turned by you into worm food. My end is to sit with Him in His Father's house as His beloved brother, and to feast in joy forevermore. Yes, He will raise this flesh which you, foul beast, will devour but which you will not and cannot hold. It has partaken of the medicine of immortality, into it has gone the undying Body and Blood of the Savior who defeated you long ago. I am baptized into Him. His life is my life! His blood covers all my sins! Come when you will, do what you must, but YOU are not my end. No, "I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord" (Psalm 118, Luther's only motet).

With all due respect to Lord Peter, he missed Cranmer's true genius, for he mistook what is "mine end" and the wondrous marvel of my days being without end. So comforted, you can stare the monster down and sing it a cheerful round or two of the song of victory every single day; it's all practice for the moment when you hear your song blend with angels, archangels and the whole company of heaven. The Church's hymnody is ammo for that fight!

So we did it!

We actually got up and rode our bikes to church this morning. It made all the sense in the world on such a beautiful morning. It felt like we were kids. We even ditched the safety helmets. No wallet, no keys. Just us on our bikes and off to sing God's praises, hear His Word read and preached, and receive the Eucharist with a bunch of people we dearly love. Pr. Gleason preached a very fine homily. He kicked off on the Epistle and then swung us into the Gospel, and then wove back and forth a time or two. "Who is my neighbor?" And the answer? JESUS is your neighbor! He comes to be true neighbor to you. And the icing on the cake? Receiving the Eucharist while we sang 708: "Lord, Thee I Love with all My Heart."

We got home by 10:10 or so, and began fixing lunch. Small crowd today: Opa, and the David Weedon family, Cindi and I. Still, we sat down to a scruptious brunch and Lydia ate an entire container of blueberries nearly on her own!

I'm definitely game for trying to make a habit of the bike trip to church, but Cindi is still to be convinced. Apparently there would be difficulties with clothes, hair, women-type things that the male of the species just doesn't think about so much (though we surely appreciate the final result!).

18 August 2016

My ever resourceful wife

has really reaped a bountiful harvest this summer. We used to try to do all sorts of things, but realized that what we REALLY use tons of is tomatoes. So this summer that's what we concentrated on, though earlier we had lettuce and we do have an eggplant or pepper plant or two. Tomatoes, though, are king. We use them in so very many things, and love just munching on the cherry or grape tomatoes all by themselves. She's canned quite a bit already and this is what's sitting on the counter:

And there's more and more ready each day. We realized last year that we actually use more salsa than anything else, so we've mostly made that. Do you like the "we" there? Hey, I help carry the cans downstairs to the pantry and occasionally bring in the tomatoes. But Cindi is the chief gardener and cook. She does all the magical work of turning these already tasty critters into even more tasty sauces. I just love her salsa on an avacado at breakfast. Talk about the perfect combo of flavors.

And after the initial investment of paying for the materials and stuff for the square foot garden box, the next years the garden has ended up saving us a bit. It's fun and helps you realize up close and personal that food really is a gift of God: "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." True, dat.

A blog I've been reading lately

On finance (of all things!) has been encouraging the bike. As in, whenever you can (and you can a lot more than you believe), leave the car parked and just pedal off. I happily recommend Mr. Money Mustache's writings, but note that he can be a bit, well, salty in his language. The proverbial sailor will feel at home. You have been warned.

The man advocates a radical idea: living on less than you make. As in a LOT less. As in, you can't buy happiness and should stop trying. Lots of good wisdom in there, as I remember our Lord's beautiful saying: "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

So true. Anyway, off on my bike this morning (Cindi was working) and I headed up the road, stopping to do pushups till I met my quota and then just enjoying the sun, the clouds, the birds, the train, the children with their mom, the trees, the gardens, the swamp, the cardinal, the groundhog, not so much the skunk (the smell crept up on me as I was doing a set of pushups; form went out the window and I hurried to finish the set and get on the bike and out of the vicinity!). I think it was probably just shy of a 20 mile ride, up to Staunton and back and then around town.

One of our friends used to ride his bike daily between Staunton and East St. Louis where he was principal for the local Lutheran school. I'm still in awe of that.

A trip over the river? Someday, maybe. But for now, I think I'll stick to pedaling around the village or one of the neighboring towns and count a trip up to Staunton and back from Hamel a decent run. And I have definitely decided no trips in the car to the post-office or our local grocery. I'm even thinking about trying to get in the habit of just biking the 15 minutes up to the church.

Text to Cindi at work: Staunton. Yeah, you can hate me...

17 August 2016

And as the vacation winds down...

...things get rather quiet. We've had guests in the house for the past ten days, but the last ones left this morning. We have a few days here at the tail end of vacation to do one of our favorite things: just enjoy each other's company. After our guests left today, we did some budget stuff, headed to the store to pick up groceries, walked and cut yards, and enjoyed some pool time. Our Wednesday tradition is breakfast for supper, so bacon's in the oven and beginning to smell heavenly. After supper, a game of cards is in order and then perhaps some time with a novel. It's been a very nice time of visiting and refreshment, and I'm glad that the first week off I got a pile of things done (like the car tune up and license renewal and sticker for tags) so that here at the end, we have absolutely nothing that HAS to be done.

14 August 2016

August 2016

It's become a bit of tradition, when we can get the kids together. Here's our growing clan: Lydia, Meaghan, David, Henry, Flynn, Cindi, yours truly, Opa (Dave), Lauren, Annabelle, Dean, Sawyer, Bekah, and Andy.

11 August 2016

Happy birthday, LEW!

Happy birthday to my oldest daughter, Lauren Elizabeth Herberts! She keeps trying to tell herself that she's only 25, but there's no shame in celebrating your LAST year in your 20's... Bwahaha.

And somehow I missed posting on oldest grandson's birthday: we celebrated Sawyer's birthday together last Saturday, a couple days early. And that young man is four. I think he had two full blast birthday parties and one unofficial one, and made off like a pirate (which was also the theme for one of his parties).

10 August 2016

If the man is blest

Who has his quiver full of children, even more so the grandparents! Rejoicing in these five sweet things and eager to meet the newest one, due in Febrary on St. Matthias' Day.

08 August 2016

One more ongoing irritant eliminated

Since we moved into our home, one feature that I have detested? A very obnoxious sump pump that thumped loudly in the basement beneath the master bedroom, i.e., under my bed! We had some folks come in and install a better pump and actually close off the sump (before it had a plastic top that didn't like to stay on). Wow. Silence is golden. The company also said it would work better, allowing no standing water. I am looking forward to the next rain to see if we hear it at all. So far, though, nothing. Very, very nice. And it looks a thousand times better too.

05 August 2016

At Ease

A friend recently commented on another forum that he appreciated it when a man was "at ease" in the chancel. I think what he meant was "doesn't bumble around unsure of what he's doing" or "isn't ostentatiously parading himself around." But the lingo conjures up in my mind's eye the day I was horrified to see a pastor actually park his rear on the altar. I don't think "at ease" in the chancel is what anyone should ever desire.

Rather, focused upon the unseen but very present Thrice-Holy One. When the servants of the liturgy in the chancel are focused upon the One before whom they are gathered and whose spokesmen they are to be, they behave themselves in a way that bespeaks reverence and awe. It is true that the all-consuming fire has revealed Himself to us as our beloved Father and called us to sonship in Christ by His Spirit, but we never forget in the chancel that the One who has so called us remains the all-consuming fire.

A friend recently described the ministry as itself a "sign," that is, a pointer to something else. That's right on the money. When the folks in the chancel are confessing the unseen but present Blessed Trinity, the angels, and all the saints by their behavior and action, that quite literally draws the congregation in, not to look at those in the chancel, but to get a glimpse of what they are so utterly intent on. And what a blessed moment that is! When a room full of harried and distracted sinner/saints get a glimpse of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, reigning on His throne in infinite love. Why they might just break out singing:

Almighty Father, in Your Son
You loved us when not yet begun
Was this old earth's foundations!
Your Son has ransomed us in love
To live in Him here and above,
This is Your great salvation!

Now, not at ease, but at awe. Bowled over by love so amazing, so divine.

Well, it may have been nutso

But I did it anyway. My little honda civic has 217K on it. It needed 3K worth of maintenance work. To get rid of it and get a new car? What a hassle. The mechanic assured me that she'd be puttering along at 317K with very little additional maintenance (except oil changes, of course) if I got it all done (and to be fair, I'd not done the stuff you're supposed to do at 100K—you're supposed to do stuff at 100K? Who knew???). Decisions. Decisions.

I kept it. I love my little car. It's old. It's not pretty. But it has never one time broken down on me. And it's small. I really dislike driving larger vehicles. And, when I picked it up this morning, wow. I could tell a huge difference! Nutso I may be, but I still have my little black car.

04 August 2016

I have always appreciated

this little bit from Loehe's Three Books on the Church, particularly the parts I've bolded:

From its knowledge of human nature it knows that men will sooner open their hearts to the truth when it is gladly but sparingly imparted than when they hear its voice speaking constantly.  Therefore it understands how to give people enough of its means but not too much.  It does not consider it an insult, nor is it eager to interpret it as an insult, when someone says, “This pastor thinks it is enough if he preaches, catechizes, administers the sacraments, hears confessions, and comforts the sick!”  It knows that even the most faithful pastors do not do enough of this.  It has little use for multiplying pastoral duties but treasures those which are commanded in the Scriptures and have been recognized since ancient times.  To many people it is something novel that a man should not be a jack of many trades but a master of the few precious means, yet this is what the church has always thought.  In a word, it accomplishes much through a few means. …

It is enough, and more than enough, if a man just carries out the ancient duties of a pastor.  Superfluous and even a hindrance is the officiousness of modern pastors.  Here the slogan should be, “Not many, but much.”  The poverty of our fathers is richer than the wealth of their opponents.  It is through alternating periods of withdrawal and public appearance, stillness and publicity, through persistent use of Word and sacrament, through giving of a quiet but full measure, through modesty and steadfastness that the Lutheran church attains its goals.

Pastors need to be encouraged in this regard, because there are always voices suggesting that they're wasting their time if they are not doing X, and X signifies something OTHER than working on sermons or instruction, administering the sacraments, hearing confessions and visiting the sick and homebound. Parishes that have a pastor that devotes himself to those duties know what a blessing from God they have received; but it doesn't hurt to remind your pastor that you are blessed that he focuses on what God has given him to do and doesn't make up other busyness of his own or accept other busyness from busybodies.

"I Thank You, God..."

Luther has one sermon in the Church Postils, and two in the House Postils for Trinity XI. I really love the way he approaches the parable in the second in the HP, a homily from 1533.

"If the Pharisee hadn't been so arrogant, but in humility had offered his gifts to God and said, Lord you have shown me much mercy in that you have so graciously have kept me from this and other sins; this is a gift from you and I will rejoice in it; I will not be presumptuous because of it, nor despise anyone, for you could recall the gift if you wished. If he had reacted thus, God would have from day to day bestowed greater gifts and would not have been inimical toward him."

"When God has blessed a person with money or possessions, he certainly ought not foolishly think of himself as a poor beggar. If we have helped the needy with good counsel or gifts, we certainly should not deny that this by saying that we have done nothing good. No, that would not be true. One should recognize God's gifts, praise him for receiving them, and do it gratefully. But in addition one should humble say, My God, it is yours and not mine; you have given it; I thank you for the same. That would the right and humble way to receive them. We must not consider God's gifts insignificant or of little value, but recognize them and esteem them, never becoming arrogant and despising others. Rather, as we have said repeatedly, one should say, Dear God, it is your gift which you have given me; if another person does not have the same, that is of no count, for he has the same gracious God as I; so why should I despise him?" HP II:393

02 August 2016

A Different Workout

Cindi had to work this morning, so I decided to split my push-ups between household chores. Worked great! By the time Cindi got back:

Candlesticks cleaned and put in curio
Candlestand by door taken downstairs
Kitchen cleaned
Coffee made for tomorrow
Garage Swept
Kitchen swept, dry and wet swiffled
Cleaned stove top
Dining Room Blinds washed
Trash taken out

Then she and I enjoyed a stroll around the neighborhood. She had some errands to run in town and the fireplace had been bugging me, so:

Fireplace cleaned out
Living room and hall vacuumed

And all while some two pots of French press coffee were enjoyed. Oh, and I also read Luther's great homily in the House Postils for Trinity XI. How much I've missed studying his homilies! I think even when I get back to work, that needs to have a regular place in my reading. The great quote from this morning came at the tale end of the homily:

"Therefore, let everyone humble himself before God, be caring toward his neighbor, and not despise him, serve and work faithfully to earn his living, eat and drink; let him take care not to become proud and puffed up, as he sees that he, too, has unclean hands. To these God gives his grace; but those who do not obey will be cast out. For God cannot endure pride, as Mary recounts in her hymn of praise, 'He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts; he hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.'"

Over this morning's coffee

Cindi and I were chatting. Today's first Tuesday so we get the senior discount at Walgreens. Time to stock up on cosmetics and such. For me that amounts to my crew gel and deodorant. Cindi (for a woman) doesn't use much more either. She observed: "We live a kind of simple life" and indeed we do. From there the conversation moved to clothes. She opined that she has too many, though I dare say she has a fraction of the usual for the fair sex. I have a very sparse wardrobe. Exactly five pairs of shoes (black, dockers, sandals, sneakers, and snow boots) in my closet. She has a few more.

It called my mind back to my parent's closet. And once more the realization hit how much I have ended up like my father. He had a uniform he wore every single work day, and often he just wore it on the weekends. Green khakis and a green shirt, mostly short sleeved but not always. He might wear a green sweater in the winter. My uniform is a different color, but most work days I wear a black cleric (almost always short sleeved) and black pants. The uniform eliminates a decision for each work day. Just walk into the closet and don it. He almost always wore loafers; me too. He tended to wear the same hair cut (though I see from pictures he did experiment a bit more when he was younger); me too. And that hair gel? A different gel, but yes, he used gel in his hair and combed it into place each day. A morning without coffee was unthinkable. He took his with cream and sugar. He finished a pot each morning, because he was the only one in the house who drank it. He and mom always ate their breakfast together (Cindi and I do likewise, though she's picked up the coffee habit from me). He didn't particularly enjoy "going." To him the joy was all at home. Me too.

It makes me wonder how many other things are like my father that I don't even begin to realize. He's been gone for 36 years so some of the memories get a bit fuzzy. Odd thoughts for the morning, and all started by this Walgreen's senior discount day....