Today is our Lydia's 3rd birthday. Three years ago just after the daylight savings time change (if she had been born an hour earlier, she would have been born at exactly the same time), this sweet little girl entered our life. 

After about 18 months of "terrible twos," we're ready for this milestone. Now we'll see if she will really do all the things she said she'd do "when I'm three."

Lydia's favorite Disney character is Ariel, from the Little Mermaid. You'll see and hear that in the video. There's a picture of her hugging Ariel at Disneyland, taken just after she said, "You're my favorite." In the video clip at the beginning of the slideshow, Lydia isn't really directing a fanfare—she's really singing "O Jesus Christ, Your Manger Is". But it works. Happy Birthday, Ariel Lydia!

WELSTech Podcast

A number of weeks ago, I did an interview for the WELSTech podcast, which is produced by our Synod's Technology office. The episode with the interview was released today.

The interview was about how the iPhone can be used as a tool for ministry. I had written a little about that here some months back. Follow the link above or click on the picture to read about or listen to the episode.

I would like to say that is was a privilege to talk about this topic. Many of you know that I'm always happy to talk about Apple hardware and software. I would also like to welcome any new readers who found their way here through this podcast. 

Children in Worship

With four children (and soon-to-be five) under the age of six, I am naturally interested in the topic of children and worship. But it's not just for my own children. As a pastor I am interested in all the little lambs who need to hear the voice of their shepherd.

I believe that Lutherans approach this topic from a rather unique perspective. (Unique because so many others do do not approach it in the same way.) The biblical teachings of original sin, the way the Holy Spirit works faith through the means of grace, and the understanding of the primary purpose of public worship as God's service to us—all these affect the way we think about the place of children in worship.

I want to share with you an audio segment from the Lutheran radio show "Issues, etc." It is a discussion about this topic that I found useful. You'll can listen to it here on the website or click the link below if that doesn't work. I also included a link to another book that talks about children and worship.

The picture here is part of an altarpiece in Wittenberg. I shared this with our school kids in chapel this morning. The point is pretty easy to get. Martin Luther preaches in such a way that Christ is the center of his preaching and the people's worship. But take a look at the congregation. Notice the kids right in the front. Even an infant sitting on a lap. Receiving God's gifts right along with the others. Someday I hope to have a good-sized print of this painting hanging in my study.


Kid Pictures

This evening I uploaded a couple albums of pictures from the kids' cameras. Both Hannah and Andrew have the Fisher-Price Digital Cameras, which they got as Christmas presents. The cameras don't take great pictures, but they're fun for the kids, they really do take pictures, and every once in a while a good picture comes out. As I emptied the cameras tonight, Andrew's camera had over 800 pics; Hannah's had almost 300. On our gallery page, you can see the selection of pictures that were better than most. Enjoy.


You might know that for a while now I've put together videos for the kids birthdays. They're mostly slideshows of pictures from the past year. Every once in a while we go back and watch them with the kids. Tonight we watched a bunch of them, including this video of Andrew from his second birthday. Since this was before I started posting on YouTube, I just uploaded the video now for you to see if you wish. Do you think Isaiah looks like Andrew did back then? Let me know in the comments.

October 4

Yesterday I taught the hymn "All Depends on Our Possessing" for hymnology. Today I have the words of stanza two on my mind as I give thanks for thirty years of God's grace.

He who to this day has fed me
And to many joys has led me
Is and ever shall be mine.
He who ever gently schools me,
He who daily guides and rules me,
Will remain my help divine.