Rebuke! Rebuke! Rebuke

From Bruce:

Oh yeah and I forgot.
thanks for the comment, brother in Christ whom I love.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! DON’T YOU DARE EVER, EVER EVEN CONSIDER ME when you are considering the calling of your master. I’ have half a mind to walk over to your apartment and 360 you on general principle! You know my inner name. If I were used by God to walk alongside you as you gained strength, maturity, relationships, then that is in keeping with who I am. But catalytic identity cannot claim for its own. And I would not claim for my own, even my most prized things, in opposition or competition to Christ!


Are you going to betray my friendship by even for a moment considering your relationship to me over your relationship to my Master? By that I mean are you going to forge me in your heart into an instrument against my Lord? A stumbling block?! If years of rants, theological wrangling, throwing Greek at your brain, and generally trying to encourage your love of God’s Word mean anything, don’t betray them by saying something like this ever again.

How dare you do this to me?!

PS. I’ll be in town Saturday as usual. So you can be smacked as you so richly deserve.

You’re welcome.

But this comment has in it some things I think have needed addressing, and so with your forgiveness, I shall respond to it as a way to address them.

In Lutheranism, we have a few doctrines.

One is the doctrine of vocation.  Roughly speaking, it defines our calling as serving the Lord through the roles we occupy.  That is, at present my calling is to serve God as a husband of my wife, a friend of my friends, and a servant of Walmart Stores Inc (among other things).

The other is our various teachings regarding revelation.  To put it quite bluntly:  We believe that Jesus Christ is the person who speaks for God these days.  We believe that in the garden of Gethsemane he promised the apostles that they would accurately remember his words and relay his teachings.  Therefore, we hold those books which contain the teachings of the apostles to be inspired scripture, according to the teachings of the apostles.

Therefore we do not hold other things to be inspired scriptures, including coincidence, emotion, or even my good buddy logic.

From this, then, vocation:  the various household codes in the New Testament make clear that our calling from God is to serve God by discharging well the duties implied by our existing relationships.  This is found in the scriptures.

However, we do not find in the scriptures the idea of a mystical call beyond this.  It may be that God pulls us, through thought, deed, emotion, and event, toward the place he wants us.  But it is not written, we cannot say it, and it is arrogant and foolish to make decisions based on it.

Taking on additional relationships (and therefore duties) is a matter of Christian freedom!  If an unmarried man chooses to get married, he has added to the calling of his Master a call to be a good husband.  He was free not to do so.  There was no demand upon him to accept this calling unless that demand can be found in the Scriptures rightly interpreted!

So, too, if I choose to become a pastor, and my church then sends me off to seminary, it will ipso facto become God’s call on my life.

But until that point, whether or not it is God’s desire, it is not God’s call.  And if I say it is, based on my desires or emotions or coincidences, then even if it is God’s desire that I become a pastor, nevertheless by presuming to speak for Him where He has not spoken and by claiming or speculating His will where he has not revealed it, I become a false prophet and a heretic, for I am claiming that I am the voice of God!

So, despite the confluence of my emotions and my church’s potential generosity, which years ago I would have seen as a message from God, I am not at present called to be a pastor.

Should I accept my church’s offer, at that time I shall be called to become a pastor.

In both cases, yeah or nay, I am called to be a friend to my friends.  Therefore, it is good, meet, and right that I consider my friendships when thinking over whether or not I should move forward on this.  It is good, meet, and right, in other words, that I place priority on the calling I do have over and against the calling I do not have.  It is in no way deserving of rebuke.

Quod erat demonstrandum.


Sadly, my donkey is not so evil.

Spent about half an hour practicing footwork and palm-strikes and elbows on the heavy bag.  I would say I’m rusty, but Rusty has roughly the shape and the force of a steel girder.  I’m a little faster and a lot weaker.

The physical exercise killed me super-fast, but the combination of moving and sunshine has me revved to code.  Going to put in another 20 minutes to a half hour on the Total Gym later today.

From what I’ve read, the latest evidence is that mixing it up on a regular basis is a good way to work out.  If your body doesn’t know what the heck its crazy spirit is going to put it through next, I am led to understand it starts being a little more comprehensive in laying down muscle, a little more flexible, a little more general purpose, and more quick-burning than long-term types of fat.  Tomorrow I’m going to try sprints, and practicing slower kung fu (my waterbending form, perhaps), and Friday go a little more crazy with the lifting.

Sunlight and exercise are a programmer’s hated friend and ally.  Andre Lamothe, who wrote Windows Game Programming for Dummies years and years ago is a ripped weightlifter.  The guy who wrote my C# book programs in between marathons and wilderness expeditions.  And, of course, Derek Yu points out that one of the contributing factors to not finishing games is not taking care of yourself.

Anyway, my ninja skills were less good than I remember.  My goal there is to find time and skill to spar with Greg and my pet Celt on a regular basis.  For fun.  ‘Cause during the camping trip, sparring was fun.  I also got some strength and endurance going during the camping trip because I was carrying my polypropelene sword the entire time and I paused to do pell work on almost every tree I passed.

Too bad that summer in Minnesota is more an afterthought than a reality.

Wifting Lates

Spent 45 minutes on the TotalGym, and got some use out of that Whey Protien I got a while back.  Yeah, yeah, 45 minutes… Until I get to 2-3 times as much, I’m not cooking with napalm.  But it’s a start.

Greg has a health club business.  One of my goals is to follow him around with my shirt off, making him look bad.

Now, if you excuse, me, my day’s quota of macho posturing has been fulfilled, and I am going to go cry in a corner…

Mostly not sore.

Spent an hour or so on Krav last night, and I’m barely noticing the soreness.  The boffer fights on the camping trip are really paying off in terms of endurance.  In addition to running, jumping, lunging, and swinging all over the place, I was also beaten by so many foam swords it’s not even funny.

The boffers we made were PVC pipe with wood dowel cores and metal bolts for weight, strength, and balance, with two layers of foam:  thick camp pad, followed by soft pipe insulation, wrapped in duct tape.  With the foam off, they were balanced almost perfectly, with the center of balance right on the cross guard (oh yeah… they had cross-guards.  Many thanks to my dad’s making me help with the plumbing), bu the foam moved the balance forward about eight inches, making them awkward as all getup.  Anyway, the point is they were pretty solid, unlike basic pipe boffers used for larping, and you felt each hit, but there were no bruises afterward, and you could shake off the feeling the moment you were no longer being hit.  I took a thrust to the eye.

Next year, better proportions, a bit more weight on the back end, and cloth covers, as the duct tape held up to our enthusiasm with much less aplomb.

Anyway, last night, Krav Maga.  We ran through most of the level two stuff before the shots to my wrists caught up to me (had it bent back a little farther than natural, and had previously been punched in the wrist several times because my parter’s hook punches were forward more than the pads.)  Learning to bob and weave makes you feel like a ninja, especially when you get it into the level two combos.

My uppercuts still suck, and all my punches need infinity work.  But the thing that was the most awesome was how I’m learning to move.

Cutting to my partner’s dead side during defenses is become more and more natural, as is stringing together combos.  My big issue right now is that my instinct is to shove my attacker away once I get behind him instead of going for finishing moves.  That would be fantastic if I were a kid in a public highschool, but it’s not so great for defending my family, where I don’t have the option of running away.

But really, I need to spend more time on the punches.  I don’t hold my fist straight.  It feels weird.  So I always hit my fingers or my wrist instead of my knuckles.

Know what, though?  This is fun, and the endorphin rush is amazing.