Archive for May, 2009

… the 2009 National Day of Prayer in the United States.

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Map geeks, test your skills. ūüôā

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Dewey’s Treehouse has information on newer editions of a nineteenth century Italian novel I reviewed here. Just to make it more fun, in addition to having to choose between translations, we now get to search for the book under yet a new title…

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From Reporter Online, the official newspaper of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, posted April 22, 2009: Two churches burn, one classified as arson:

Investigators say the early-morning fire April 4 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Yankton, S.D., was set deliberately, but church officials have no idea why.

“A tornado you can understand,” St. John’s Pastor David Gunderson told the Argus Leadernewspaper.¬† “This, you wonder why people would do it.”¬† Gunderson says he knows of no one who would have a grudge against the 500-family congregation.

The fire was discovered about 3:20 a.m.  Some 65 firefighters from Yankton and nearby towns fought the blaze for seven hours, and had to return once when winds reignited it.

Most of the damage is on the south end of the complex, so a lounge, offices, and work rooms are “pretty much [totaled],” according to Gunderson.¬† Collapsed ceilings, and smoke and water damage are “everywhere,” he said.

Total damages are estimated at more than $2 million, most of which is expected to be covered by insurance.¬† Repairs — including the meticulous cleaning of a $300,000 pipe organ — may take six months or more to complete, as part of the complex will have to be rebuilt.

¬†Associate Pastor Steven Weispfennig, who has been at St. John’s — his first congregation — for only nine months, described the week or so after the fire as “an emotional rollercoaster,” as he experienced “shock and sadness at what we lost,” as well as “joy in seeing the congregation coming together and supporting and encouraging one another.”

Perhaps as a symbol of the congregation’s resilience, its “eternity candle” continued to burn, even as firefighters were hosing down the building.¬† Located in the main worship area, hanging above the baptismal font, the candle’s flame has never gone out.

That congregational resilience was evident within 24 hours of the disaster, when St. John’s held a Palm Sunday worship service with communion, new-member welcome, a children’s choir, and palm branches that were “miraculously preserved” in a church cooler.¬† All Holy Week and subsequent services were held at Mount Marty College, a Catholic institution two blocks south that has offered its auditorium to St. John’s “for as long as we need it,” according to Gunderson.

“The community support has been overwhelming,” he said.¬† “Other churches have raised funds for us.¬† Everybody’s offered us a place for weddings.”¬† The church’s preschool and offices also have been relocated.

In the midst of members’ shock and sadness, the congregation is “adapting,” said the pastor.¬† “Overall, we’re still in the business of sharing the Gospel with people.”¬† In fact, 19 St. John’s youth were confirmed on Sunday, April 19, at Mount Marty.

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I’ve been online so little of late that I’ve just been following links around, and skipping to and fro, getting a feel for the place again (so to speak). It’s funny, isn’t it, how so often when you do that, some sort of pattern seems to develop…

Fixed on Eternity

A Good Reminder to Take Time Out

Meaningless, meaningless? Maybe Not.

The Unheard Questions

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My thanks to Kelly Antonczak, for bringing this powerful video from Willow Creek Leadership Summit to my attention. It’s not in my style particularly (how much I dislike rap, or anything like it, I can’t tell you), but I’m glad I stuck it out.¬†Hankie alert. Parental guidance suggested.

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I like rice and beans, but I haven’t tried it Jennifer F’s way, yet (see Quick Take #7). But it sounds good. (And easy. Yay easy.)

We eat a lot of oatmeal, but I haven’t tried baked oatmeal yet. But it sounds good. And we’re having cold weather (again, or do I mean still?), so I’m¬†happy to find an excuse to use the oven to warm up that part of the house. (hat tip: Veronica on the Verge)

I¬†found the following¬†recipe in the remains of a church cookbook somebody brought to our bookstore. Amongst the missing parts of the cookbook is the part that would tell me where the cookbook is from and when it was printed, but from adding clues from here and there together, it seems to be some church called St. Andrews, and it seems to be in the Portland, Oregon area, and I’d peg it from anywhere between twenty and forty years ago, at a wild guess. (It’s from when we were all taught to double space after a sentence, if that helps any…) At any rate, there is a recipe in there for Amazingly Fast Cookies, submitted by a Karen Davis, and the subtitle is “No, there isn’t any flour!” I couldn’t resist trying them, to see what cookies without flour come out like. To my surprise, if you’d handed me the cookies and had me sample some, and hadn’t told me that there wasn’t flour in them, I wouldn’t have guessed. They’re a bit too rich for me, but if you’re feeling like experimenting, or have wheat allergies, or are having a cookie attack without flour in the house, here goes: 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy), 1 cup brown sugar, 1 egg. Cream everything together. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees about 10 minutes… Yields 30 to 40 cookies.

Added: This post has a link to a recipe for a pureed zucchini soup made with chicken stock, olive oil, and nutmeg.

Added: This (go to number 10)¬†doesn’t sound like what I think of when I think Apple Pancake, but it sure sounds good.

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