29 April 2013

Name it and claim it

I spent the first seventeen years of my life meeting only three people with my name. Then in my first week at Seward I met about 35 other Rebekahs and Rebeccas, in addition to a huge surplus of Rachels and Sarahs. Apparently the matriarchs were the baby girl names to be had among families with a heavy investment in LCMS culture from 1975-1985.

I bring this up because if families with a heavy investment in LCMS culture are still sending their kids to Concordias 10 years from now, I think the places will be overrun by Anastasias, Marys, Evangelines, and Lilys.

25 April 2013

Book, Recommended: Pew Sisters

Look, I know it's all the rage to be disgusted with women's Bible studies and roll our eyes at whoever the stupid women are who read them and mope over why SOMEBODY thinks women are so dumb and doesn't pay US lots and lots of money to write GOOD women's Bible studies instead. Yes, yes, dears. We're all very smart.

But get real: I know very few (no?) women of any intelligence, education, or field of interest who don't enjoy  hearing about other women's lives and judging them. Quit faking, read some stories about other women, and judge away. You know you'll like it. You can do it with this book by Katie Schuermann.

Careful, though. Pew Sisters will make you mad. You will want to know how, freaking exactly and I'm talking mechanics here, Marianne forgave. You will trip on how things worked out for Diedre. You, you Concordian Sister of Perpetual Parturition*, will wonder if Anna could really be that tired if she wasn't even nursing and how Claire's situation could possibly turn out that way under those circumstances. You will wonder if Emily's story ever really happens or if that's just a weird Lutheran fantasy. Your ongoing Mary/Martha problem still won't be solved by this book, darnit! Why is Julia OK and Faye not (or are they)? What ended up happening to Christine, for crying out loud, and what about poor Laura? Why the easy answer here and the hard one there? What kind of sick freak wrote this? (A Lutheran, of course. Nobody else ever likes us. :D )

Here's the other problem with Pew Sisters: it is not really going to feel sorry for you. It is going to stick your nose in suffering and say, "What are you going to do about it, sinner?"  So what are you going to do about it? We sin. That's why rotten things happen, and that's why the message of the cross is neither baby food nor boring. Hear it again, sinner. You suffer because you sin. Jesus suffered without sin to end your suffering. If that message is beneath you, you're above God.

My recommendation: read this with some sisters. I don't mean your friends from class, because they're not your sisters (sisters are rarely the same age). Read it with your pew sisters, the ones who call the same guy pastor and the same church home. Do what the author says: call that pastor and have him speak from Scripture to the questions this book is going to bring up**. Judge and be judged, and be reminded again of real justice, the supreme beauty of grace, and to whom such things belong.

*Full disclosure is that if you give someone this book, they might suspect you of ulterior motives when they get to Gabriella. On the other hand, you're a real person too.

**It will still be a women's Bible study with a pastor there. Do your girl talking first and schedule him to come in 45 minutes after your start time.

05 April 2013

Alimentary, my dear Watson

Maybe it is the time I spend with fourth grade science books that makes me think this depiction of the life of an overture to the LCMS convention is a little TOO clear.