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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in padrecsj's LiveJournal:

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Friday, November 2nd, 2007
12:09 pm
Fencing
So finally after over a year of not having the right opportunity I found myself in the Twin Cities on a night when my fencing club holds open practices. So with no real expectations of greatness I returned to fencing after a much too long hiatus. I had a great time, while my point control was not what I wanted it to be, I was still happy with a lot of what I could do. I did have one previously unheard of experience on the fencing strip, I got tired. While I have been tired on the fencing strip before now it was nothing like what I felt. I have fenced all day on no sleep, I have fenced all day while sick, I have fenced 6 different events over the course of two days, none of them compared. I have never had a point where my body actually had nothing left to give. There were several moments where I wondered how I was going to keep the point up long enough to actually do a proper fencing action. Still, it was a great experience, I enjoyed myself immensely and that is what matters the most. Now I just need to work on more cross-training exercises so the next time I fence I am much more in shape.
Wednesday, September 26th, 2007
9:44 am
Atheism
Not sure how many people on my friends list still actively check their LJ, but I have a question for the masses I was hoping people could help me with. I am preaching a sermon this week that I think will about people's barriers to faith, why people struggle to believe in God. Most of the people on my friend's list do not profess such a belief, either in a classically Christian sense, or really at all. I would be interested in why that is for you. I am not looking to debunk your claims or anything, but simply looking for what are the tipping points that cause people to not believe instead of believe. The Internet is full of people happy to argue about how they are right and the other side is wrong, but I don't see as much willingness to accept difference, though maybe that is not surprising. I know the tipping point for me as been the sense of the divine, or of something greater that I have experienced at several points in my life. This creates for me the cornerstone of my faith that there is a God out there. If you are willing to share, what were the moments where you realized that there was not a God, or is it simply you have never had a sense of the divine so never had a reason to believe? Any thoughts are appreciated ... thanks
Friday, February 23rd, 2007
10:59 am
I wanted to let people know that Marianne's grandmother passed away yesterday morning. Prayers, happy thoughts, or whatever feels appropriate to you. Thanks
Thursday, February 15th, 2007
9:34 am
Public Service Announcement
Despite all of your letters and warnings, the Minnesota Annual Conference has approved me for probationary membership, the final step before they ordain me. Basically it means that I am on a test run for the next three years at which time they decide if I am ready to be ordained. I hope that makes sense to all the non-church people out there ... basically it is a big thing because it means they think I am qualified and called and all of that.
Wednesday, December 13th, 2006
4:22 pm
Quick poll
alright, I am old, I am not too proud to admit it. So for all of you younger, brighter philosophy majors, especially the ones who had a chance to take 355 or whatever number Kant was, let me know if this is an accurate summary.

"Immanuel Kant believe something similar with his idea of the the Categorical Imperative, which amongst other things posited that people should never be seen as simply means to an end, but must always be an end in and of themselves."

I vaguely recall this being like Kingdom of Ends or whatever, and was one of his iteration of the CI, but help me out.

thanks
Tuesday, December 12th, 2006
12:55 pm
Our national intelligence
If you need further proof of just how smart people in the U.S. are, check out the video on CNN.com about Osama and Obama. It shows just how many people are worried about the threat to the U.S. that the "terrorist" Obama poses. I love my country.
Friday, December 1st, 2006
4:39 pm
A new outlook on things
I like my LJ, and I like to keep it about my fencing, and well I guess the rest of my boring private life ... for that reason I have started the following blog ... http://jeffozanne.blogspot.com/ as a way of putting out my more philosophical and theological thoughts in a public forum as part of who I am as a pastor. So, if you are interested, check it out, if not no worries, but I figured I should at least let you know it exists.
Thursday, November 30th, 2006
5:44 pm
Almost there!
30 Days, but whose counting ...
Friday, November 10th, 2006
12:32 am
Shallow Jeff
There are lots of reasons I want to marry Marianne, I could talk about her outward beauty, her inward beauty, her intelligence, all of the above, but the real reason I want to marry her is for the sauce pans. Yes, that is right, that is how shallow I am. It may not seem like much, but try making a french silk pie and a banana cream pie in order to wow your bride-to-be and her mother with only one small sauce pan and one slightly larger glass one. Yes, that is how poor the hand-me-down set of pans I have is. Through some miracle I seem to have manage, but it makes the primo set of pots and pans that Marianne's aunt and uncle are giving us for our wedding all the more appealing. Outward beauty is for other people, I just want the sauce pan.
Thursday, November 9th, 2006
10:26 am
Now granted, as a Minnesota native, a skeptic of captialism, and a former employee of Target I have my biases against Wal-Mart, but I have to wonder about this latest move of theirs. Last year Wal-Mart declared Christmas a banned word in its stores. Seeking a broader appeal it preferred the term Happy Holidays to be used over Merry Christmas by store greeters and the like as well as in advertizing. Various Christian groups reacted negatively to this move. Whether Wal-Mart's poorer sales last shopping season were as a result of this or not is not clear. What make me wonder though is how switching back to Christmas this year is going to look at all geniune. I mean, now they are encouraging the use of Merry Christmas, which seems to imply that it is not really about the religious side of the holdiday, but the commercial side of the holiday. I think it is safe to assume that the wonderful old ladies who are used as greeters at Wal-Mart are sincere in their Christmas wishes, but I am skeptical that the corporation sees Christmas as anything more than one more marketing ploy. Maybe I am just saying the obvious, but I think I was happier when Wal-Mart had "Happy Holidays" and they left Merry Christmas to those of us who actually believe in the Christ part of the day.
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
3:26 pm
Homework Time
Martin Luther and others argued that merit alone could not get you into Heaven. They argued that the selling of Indulgences by the Papacy was a sign of corruption, and as Martin Luther saw it, placed the Pope on par with Anti-Christ.

Guess what, Martin Luther was wrong. I am offering each and every one of my avid LiveJournal readers a free Indulgence could for a remittence of sins that should get you out of several years of purgatory. All you need to do is participate in the following: I would like you to go to the following two web pages. These are the the pages for each of my churches. I would like you opinion as to how easy they are to use/navigate, if the information is relevent/helpful, does the site give you a good sense of what the church is like, if you were looking for a church, would you attend one of these churches, why or why not, and finally are there any "church" terms that are used that should be better defined for those people not intimately involved in the workings of the church.

The websites are:
www.parkunitedmethodist.org
www.lightofthelakes.org

Please provide me with comments in some form, either by replying here, IMing me, calling me whatever, but I would appreciate your opinions, since I am charged with maintaining these sites.

Thanks
Thursday, September 28th, 2006
12:26 pm
Repressed Issues
Before become a pastor, one has to get a psych test done. In addition to a personality test, a test about job interest stuff, and the usual psych test you get a nice chat with someone who has the test results.

During this conversation the person I was talking with really pushed the idea that I had some repressed isues with my parents being split up while I was in upper elementary, middle, and high schools. I tried to explain that everything was fine and it was not a big deal, but he seemed insistent

He also told me that according to my test results I should be an actuary and not a pastor. An actuary is the person who determines how long you live for the purposes of life insurance. They take people, turn them into numbers, and then crunch the numbers.

Completely ignoring him I went on and became a pastor. Today I have spent the day happily turning my congregation into numbers and crunching them. Did you know that 25% of the members of my congregation come to church more than 6 times a month, which means they are involved in more than just worship and one or two other things. On the other hand over half my congregation comes to church more for worship than any other activity. Bet you didn't know that.

So this worries me. If my psychologist guy was right about crunching numbers, maybe I do have repressed issues. Since it is probably too late to sue my parents for them I may be stuck with all the bad side effects and none of the perks. Grrrr
8:36 am
Movie Scandal
Once upon a time there were some Baptists in Georgia. They decided to make a low budget movie about a football team. The movie was to not have violence (well, ok, its football, but you know what I mean), or sex, or bad language, or any of the "traditional" draws of movies today. Instead the movie would be about the team overcome the odds and adversity because of their faith. At least that is how I understand it. The folks who do the ratings reviewed the movie and its lack of offensive material, reached into the old bag and gave it a nice big PG, which is a big letter more that the pastors and their flock were hoping for.

Now there are two dominant theories to this: a) Hollywood hates Christians b) there are other themes in the movie other than the Christian one which the ratings folks think parents might want to be aware of, these are said to inlcude infertility and well football, appearantly they think it might be violent or something.

I think the second theory is more likely but that is not the point.

Christians are in an uproar that Christianity would be a reason for a higher rating. I take it as a compliment. I think there are two reasons it would be good to be thought of as something that needs parental screening. First of all Christianity is meant to be counter-cultural, it is meant to push against the status quo, it is meant to teach people radical things about love and forgiveness that go against basic instincts of self-preservation and personal greed/selfishness. Second, Christianty has suffered over the last fifty years because children are innoculated against it at an early age. Christianty has moved from being something significant to something mainstream. Christianity needs to be more than simply part of the culture. By giving the movie a harsher rating people are more likely to take notice of it and consider it before sending their child to it. Finally, if it really is meant as a evangelical tool to show people about Christianity and what the Christian faith can do, then we should be glad it is PG, cause now the parents might go too.

Ok, so here is the discussion piece, if you want:
How do people feel about their children being exposed to such powerful things as religions without being aware of it and able to discuss it with them?
How did you experience Christianity when you were young? Would a movie had made it cooler?
Thursday, August 3rd, 2006
9:00 pm
It might be better than bread
So a few weeks ago I was lamenting the fact that I am living way out here in Baxter. Not because I don't like Baxter, I love it, but because it really is out the of the way for everyone not living in MN. It is just one of those places you rarely find yourself unless you deliberately try to go there. My age old trick of baking bread to lure people to my place just does not seem to work for all of my college friends these days. Today however it occurred to me what you all are missing. No one who has visited my apartment in the last month has left without having one if not two tasty items prepared in my kitchen for you. I have expanded beyond bread to pizza, pies, scones, and all manner of delicious foods. So what I am saying is you, and I mean you, should come visit me so I have an excuse to bake all sorts of good things that I cannot allow myself to make because I really do not need all those calories. A specially shout out today goes to Ian and Mouse and Mouse's family for providing the great recipe that allows me to have tasty chocolate oatmeal cookies cooling in my fridge. Bottom line, I love baking, and you have no idea what you are missing unless you come visit.
Friday, July 14th, 2006
1:23 pm
Its all about the bling
In the process of unpacking my stuff from the last 7 years of my life I have come upon the following discovering, I have got a lot of bling. There is a small chance that there are some results not yet in, but as it stands my medal count for the last 7 years is as follows. I do mention that there are some reults where no prize was reward or it was a ribbon that has been discarded for lack of any real value to me.

Medals:
19 bronze
9 silver
7 gold (one of these was for College Championship team epee)

Trophies
1 8th place trophy
3 third place trophies
4 second place trophies
1 first place trophy

I also have a first place award in a frame and 2 Chalice of Victory, both proudly sporting the Beloit Turtle.

At the moment the trophies are scattered on the tops of bookshelves throughout the apartment, the Chalices of Victory are frequently filled with my beverage of choice, but I am looking for fun things to do with 30 some odd medals. I am quite proud of the team epee medal and a couple others are nice enough to warrent separate display, but largely they are looking for a good way to combined besides being consigned to a shoe box, what are some thoughts

Current Mood: accomplished
11:58 am
The Partying is Done
Well, it looks like the wild ruceous partying and the non-stop orgies may have to come to a stop at my apartment. Yesterday I helped the woman across the hall move her TV in. She has just moved from Colorado. In talking to her I told her I was a UM pastor and she said she was raised UM, so I invited her to church. Up until now I have been able to keep a nice low profile since I lived away from all my parishoners, but if she starts coming to church they will be able to spy from across the hall. Guess I will have to go back to being respectable again.
Wednesday, July 12th, 2006
7:59 pm
Wedding Update
Two posts in one day, got to admit that is kinda a new thing for me. At one point in time a few of my avid readers expressed an interest in the exciting goings on of my wedding planning. So here is where we are at. We have a date, the 30th, we have venues chosen, my home church, www.hamlinechurch.org/ if you want to see pictures. We then will have a recption at Hamline University which is right across the street. Basically a lot of the big things have been decided, so I am not sure if people want details on them or not. The big question for me is as follows, what to do about my vest/tie combination. My beautiful, likely to be blushing at least at some points bride will be wearing ivory, the bridesmaids a nice shade of blue. The groomsmen, will be wearing grey cutaway tuxes, these are long flowing jackets which you might expect more for an afternoon wedding. Though I am ashamed to admit it they make me think of the Pride and Prejudice by done by CBS. Anyway, they look smashing and make those tall groomsmen and especially the tall groom look positively dashing, well handsome at least. The dilema is as follows, the groomsmen will be wearing blue vests and windsor ties (I just like the look better than a bowtie). My wonderful bride likes the idea of me matching her, wearing ivory, but I think the blue would look great on me, she has proposed i could also wear a red that would go with the fire ice roses she will be holding. what are peoples thoughts? Are there other wedding tales you would like to hear?
7:54 pm
Ok, I know Nathan tends to do in the news, but I just read on cnn.com that according to a United Methdoist pastor, Ken Lay=Jesus. The following is a citation from cnn.com

"The Reverend Dr. Bill Lawson compared Lay with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ, and said his name would eventually be cleared.

'He was taken out of the world right at the right time," he said. "History has a way of vindicating people who have been wronged.'"

I know I should be open minded, he was a good God-fearing Methodist and Christian means little Christ and all of that, but I think that this analogy might be stretching it just a little bit.
Wednesday, July 5th, 2006
5:07 pm
Funny anecdote
I am walking along the hallway of my apartment after a hard day's pastoring. As I start to get my keys out I smell this wonderful tasty aroma wafting through the halls. I think "boy, that smells nice, a good dinner for someone tonight." I proceed to unlock my door and enter my apartment. Now the smell of my bread, just finishing in the breadmaker hits me ... oh, I guess that lucky someone is me.
Wednesday, June 28th, 2006
10:53 pm
Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life
This whole real job thing is still sinking in. It occurred to me yesterday as I was getting ready to leave church that this was something I was going to be doing in all likely hood for 40 years. That was a little overawing. All the same I asm enjoying it. I had my first meetings last night, YAY COMMITTEES!!! Basically I have done a lot reading through minutes in order to get an idea of the churches and their ministries. Now I am working on developing a plan for the short term for the churches as I look to how we can really plan for the long term future and health of the churches. I could say more and respond well to questions but at the moment I should be heading to the office.
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