Archive for books

Reading Made Easier

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on May 22, 2011 by prkt

I bought a Kindle in early March. I had a nice funeral honorarium and used it to by the e-reader. My wife was not happy. The money could have been saved. I splurged. I haven’t been sorry I bought it. It’s an amazing tool. Amazon just announced the other day that Kindle Books are outselling regular books. No surprise, there.

The Kindle is perfect for buying complete works. I bought Shakespeare and Dickens. I might buy Mark Twain’s works too. I’ve also downloaded a number of “classic” books for free, not to mention some newer “paid” titles.

Will Kindle, Nook, etc. be the death of paper books? I hope not. There will always be a need for books that need to be held. I love the feel, the look, and especially the SMELL of books. They comfort me. Just having some around me makes me feel better. Is this breaking the First Commandment? Yeah, I think so. But books are so cool!

The Kindle makes my life quite handy. I have a couple of Bible translations on there, not to mention a couple of Book of Concord translations. There’s some other religious titles that are reference material when I’m away from the study.

The zeal to read has returned thanks to the Kindle. That zeal is not contained to e-books. I don’t mind picking up a real, live, paper book either. There’s something about a book that brings comfort to me.

– KT


Why I Haven’t Written Much Lately

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by prkt

Hi, friends. Thanks for hanging around through the long silences on this blog. I haven’t had any sort of relapse. It’s that I haven’t had anything to write about. Things are going well in the congregation and in my life.

My wife is due with our third child in the summer. She had an awful first trimester…the worst yet. Our daughter is having some temper issues and acts out on our son. We are still working through that problem. Our son continues to light up our lives, as does our daughter. You couldn’t ask for two more awesome people. I’m biased, can’t you tell?

As for me, I have good days and bad days. Most days I want to do nothing. Perhaps it’s seasonal. One can only stand so many days of slate-gray skies and cold weather. Thank God spring is around the corner. When I am productive it seems as if I am not so productive. But that’s the deal. I look for results but most of it happens not with paperwork, but with preparation for preaching and teaching.

There’s an old saying: Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance. I’ve found out this is true. Previously I was a “wing it” sort of guy. Bible study tonight? No problem. I’ll wing it. I’ll think of some cool things to say on the spur of the moment and make it look like I’ve been working hard when I’m hardly working. One can only get away with that for so long.

I’ve been spending extra time studying God’s Word and select commentaries. I do crack the Greek when I’m up for it. I read somewhere that a pastor after five or so years in the ministry should spend a little less time on sermon preparation and a little more time on other things, like Bible studies, personal study subjects, etc. I find myself doing just that as 2010 continues. Last week I spent quite a bit of time studying a chapter of one of Paul’s epistles preparing for Bible study. When “show time” came I didn’t have the urge to “wing it” and work without a net. I came prepared. Now it’s my goal to come over-prepared!

There’s so much more I could be doing, but I don’t have the energy to do it. The drive is there, but following through is still a problem. As long as I pray, study a bit, and do what I can do as God gives me light, then I have accomplished much. There’s no overflowing out box, but there is the knowledge that I was about my Master’s business. As long as we live in this sin-sick world there is always room for improvement. That’s what tomorrow is for, right?

I’m reading some great 20th century fiction too. The book I’m reading now is about a guy who has mental illness. I won’t tell you more for fear of “blowing my cover”, but rest assured the book is an adventure. It’s the opposite of the last book I finished which was a very funny book that I hope to re-read every year. Hard laughing is good for the body and the soul.

What was supposed to be a short update turned into a long update. Regardless, thanks for hanging with me through the quiet moments these last few months. Times are good and should get better now that warm weather is approaching. In the meantime, I hope you are following my friend Todd Peperkorn‘s daily podcast. There’s some good Gospel gems in his short messages. As the Missouri Synod once said, “With Christ, there’s plenty of hope to go around”.

I’ll write soon. I promise.

– KT

New Resource and Other Thoughts About Pastors As Human Beings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on June 13, 2009 by prkt

Pastor Todd Peperkorn “came out” as the author of the fantastic blog “I Trust When Dark My Road” this week. His blog is the inspiration for this blog. I’ve known Pastor Peperkorn for a while. He’s been great help to me as I learn to cope with my illness.

His book is the same title as his blog. You may download an electronic copy here. You may also order a hard copy there too.

Pastor Peperkorn was nice enough to let me read a pre-publication copy of his book some time back. It’s an amazing book. He bares his soul to show how depression affects pastors as persons. Frankly, it took guts for him to tell his story. There may be some pastors who have a similar story but keep it private for fear someone in their congregation or denomination will use the illness as a tool to ruin his livelihood. That is not my case, God be praised.

Pastors are people too. We suffer as others suffer. Sometimes we do our suffering very, very privately. Take for example a dear saint I buried a few years ago. We’ll call her Maxine (not her real name). Maxine was a shut-in who came to church now and then but the last year or so of her life was too sick to come. It was so much fun to visit her! We talked about our favorite food and our favorite beer. She loved pickled herring and Limburger cheese with Budweiser! Talk about a combination!

Maxine passed away after a long struggle with illness. It broke my heart to lose her. I made it through the funeral, the committal, and the burial. Not long after the post-funeral dinner, I broke down and cried. But my tears were never seen in public. The pastor must be a rock for his people. I’m glad I held back long enough to cry at home. I still think about Maxine from time to time. What a grand lady. I miss her. But I’ll see her again.

Pastors are people too. I can’t say it enough. We hurt when church members die. We ache when people reject the faith to our face. We feel helpless when we teach and teach and teach but no one seems to heed the teaching. We rejoice when great things happen to our people. We rejoice when people yearn for the Gifts of the Gospel. We bask in the joy of baptisms, confirmations, and weddings. It’s not just a job. It’s being a grafted in member of a family.

You might not grab all of that from Pastor Peperkorn’s book, but it’s in there. Joy, sadness, fear, anxiety, and more joy. That’s the ministry for you. That’s life for you. And lately life’s been good for me. I pray the same for you.


A Follow Up to Reading Books

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 27, 2009 by prkt

A while back I posted about some books that I thought would be good reading about depression and anxiety. Here’s an update.

I started to read “Speaking of Sadness” by David Karp via interlibrary loan. I ran out of time and only got 1/4 of the way through. If I were to borrow someone’s copy or bought my own, I would more than likely finish the book. It’s not easy reading but I would like to finish the book at a more leisurely pace.

Today I bought “The Inner Voice of Love” by Henri Nouwen. I read his “The Genesee Diary” a few years ago and enjoyed his breezy style. The book is short which will make me want to read it sooner than later. I love to look at my big, thick books. Reading them is another story, especially when I am an antsy person. I digress.

The Fulton Sheen book is available at a local library. I’m waiting for a cheap copy of the Kathleen Norris book. Meanwhile, I have enough reading to last the rest of my life…and then some. My children (hopefully) will love to read. They can read them after (or before) I do.

Question: What books have been helpful for you as you work through our shared illness?