Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Audacity of Apostolic Economics

This past Sunday in church we got a lesson in economics unlike one gets at a secular university.

Our associate Pastor, Kent Shane (photo), pointed out that “apostolic economics” (a term used and apparently coined by Dr David Tiede, former president of Luther Seminary and current Bernard M. Christensen Chair professor at Augsburg College) does not involve either “supply side” or Keynesian points of view.

Instead, the term suggests something relatively simple and easy to understand: you must give away what you have in order to gain everything.


Pastor Kent’s sermon focused on our lectionary reading of 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 and reminded us that even as we give away love, our lives become rich in “meaning, purpose and promise.” Following the service, I commented on the term “apostolic economics” and he pointed me to Dr. Tiede’s commentary on these same scriptures.

“God’s distribution of the manna in the wilderness set the standard in Israel that ‘the one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little,’” says Dr. Tiede.

He goes on, “The Gospel of Apostolic Economics is about ‘our Lord Jesus Christ:’ ‘though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor’ (2 Corinthians 8:9). This is the theology of the cross in economic language, leading not to human privilege to possess our wealth, but to Christian freedom to put the well-being of the neighbor ahead of our own interests.”

For me, that’s “the audacity of apostolic economics” stated about as well as it could be expressed. If only we had the audacity to live by it.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

U.N. Translator? Or Soccer Fan?

Our son Doug and his wife Jamie and our grandson Nathan went to the Seattle Sounders Major League Soccer game today at Qwest Field.

Little Nathan had his own ear phones (actually sound repressors) because the noise at Qwest can be deafening at times and also can be a bit intimidating to a little guy. Jamie phone texted above photo of Nathan from the game. Notice his Sounders jersey. Too cool.

Kay Lynne thought his intent expression made him look like a United Nations translator. Sure could be. In reality, he was just one of the younger soccer fans in attendance.

Sounders won, 3-nil.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sequim’s Oak Table Café Opens Kingston Location

If you’ve ever traveled to or through Sequim but haven’t made a stop at the Oak Table Café at the corner of 3rd & Bell, you’ve missed out on one of the great breakfast/lunch experiences available anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. And that is not an overstatement.

Now, however, there’s good news for those of us who don’t live on the Olympic Peninsula. A second location of the Oak Table Café has opened in Kingston in the new (converted) Firehouse on Hwy 104 (top pic). The better news is that all those delicious breakfast (and lunch) delights seem to taste even better closer to home!

And you guessed it – every table top is made out of oak, to enhance their distinctive décor.

My cousin Joel Narva and his wife Sandra first introduced us to the Sequim site several years ago, and so we were anxious to try out the new eatery in Kitsap County. We finally had a chance to do so this week, and it didn’t disappoint. Owners Ross and Nikki McCurdy have succeeded in cloning the ambiance and family-friendly, delicious food presentations here on our side of the Hood Canal.

Stop by when you have a chance; if the friendly atmosphere doesn’t hook you, the food certainly will. They are open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hayley Leap-Frogs Intermediate Band; Goes Right To The Top

Our Middle-school granddaughter Hayley will play in her school’s Advanced Band in September, without ever spending a day in Intermediate Band class. She’s pictured at left, playing in her year-end Beginning Band concert just over a week ago.

How was she able to accomplish this?

Hayley worked very hard on her clarinet skills over the last few weeks of her sixth grade school year and then voluntarily stayed after school to take 10 consecutive performance tests. She passed with flying colors, and, as a result, she gets to go straight to Advanced Band this Fall as a seventh grader. Usually, it’s only eighth graders who play in the Advanced Band.

Congratulations, Hayley, for a job well done!

What makes all this even more amazing is that Hayley first picked up a clarinet last September at the beginning of the school year, and began lessons then. So, in just nine months she has progressed from a raw rookie in Beginning Band to make it all the way to Advanced Band. Remarkable!

Above, on the same day as her band concert, Hayley also performed in a drama as part of one of her class projects. She’s the one in orange. :-) And thanks, Gregg, for posting the pics where I could get at them.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hayley Works on Ice Skating Skills

Our middle school granddaughter Hayley is turning into quite the artist on ice. Above she is pictured carefully practicing one of her drills, following her instructor's guidance.

As we may have said before, Hayley is very athletic, and she is rapidly developing some wonderful skills in ice skating. She takes lessons weekly, I believe, in neighboring Sherwood, Oregon.

Keep it up, Hayley. You're looking great!

Friday, June 05, 2009

First Piano Recital for Aubrey

Our almost seven-year-old granddaughter Aubrey performed in her first piano recital last night (above), and from all reports, she was a resounding success.

Aubrey, a first-grader, has been taking piano lessons this year and finally got a chance to show what she’s learned. Her music? “Recital Waltz.” The photo at right shows her introducing her performance piece.

Though we were not able to be at the Recital, we did have a chance earlier in the week to hear Aubrey perform at home. She’s definitely got some of her Grandma’s keyboard touch. Congratulations, Aubrey!

Grandma asked if she planned on continuing piano studies next year. “Probably not,” says Aubs. Maybe the accolades will change her mind.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Exclamation Point Added to Talli’s Outstanding Frosh Track Season

At a Track awards barbeque Tuesday evening, which we were fortunate to attend, our granddaughter, Talli, an Oregon high school freshman, received a VARSITY All-Conference Award in Track and Field – an elite accomplishment for a first year student-athlete.

She made second team All-Conference in the 3,000 meter run. What a wonderful culmination to her initial year in high school! In all, Talli was awarded THREE varsity sports letters for the year, one in Cross Country, one in Swimming, and one in Track and Field. Wow.

Congratulations, Talli, on an absolutely fabulous year, both as a top academic student and as an athlete! But even more as just a fine all-around person.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

End of School Nearing for Granddaughters

Last night we enjoyed a High School Band Concert in Oregon. Granddaughter Talli played the trumpet in the freshman Band Year-End Presentation. A good part of the band is shown above; the performance was wonderful.

You can maybe pick out Talli in the top photo by looking at the photo at left (she’s on the far left); in the top photo she’s in the approximate center. In the photo above, two of Talli's childhood friends, Maressa (front) and Jared, are close by. Talli and Jared were born just a week apart, but all three have been friends for almost 15 years.

Following the band performance, (we left a while after the Freshmen had concluded) I was able to catch a softball doubleheader played by Gregg’s church team. They have what looks to be a good, competitive team; they won the first game by the 10-run rule, but unfortunately got a taste of their own medicine in the second game.

Gregg, at age 41, still looks like he can whack the ball, and he certainly did so a couple of times last night. As I look closely at his photo at left, I see some striking resemblances to his father’s batting stance some 35 years ago. But Gregg is a far better hitter and an astoundingly better fielder. Plus, he has one quality I never had: he can pick ‘em up and put ‘em down!

Baseball apparently is in the Koskela DNA. Music may not be. Talli apparently gets some of her musical gifts from her Grandma K. (a Keethler), and I’ve also heard that her Grandpa H. also plays a horn. Tonight we go to three more "year-end" events. More to come.