It’s been five years today since I married my beautiful wife.  Things have changed in these five years. 

  • Moving from Indiana to Wyoming where I pastor (July 2005)
  • Birth of our first son, Wesley (August 2008)
  • Birth of our second son, Bryce (October 2010)

Just as in any marriage, there have been ups and there have been downs; there have been highs and there have been lows.  I don’t think you could call it marriage any other way.

As of First Importance

That was the title of the sermon that my pastor and mentor, Rev. David Shadday, preached on the occassion of my ordination into the Office of Holy Ministry 5 years ago.  The text for the sermon was based on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.  There, before family and friends, I made a vow:

  • Do you believe the canonical books of the Old and New Testaments to be the inspired Word of God and the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
    I do.
  • Do you accept the three Ecumenical Creeds, namely the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian Creeds, as faithful testimonies to the truth of the Holy Scriptures, and do you reject all the errors which they condemn?
    I do.
  • Do you believe that the Unaltered Augsburg Confession is a true exposition of the Word of God and a correct exhibition of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church; that the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, the Small and Large Catechisms of Martin Luther, the Smalcald Articles, the Treatise on the Authority and Primacy of the Pope, and the Formula of Concord – as these are contained in the Book of Concord – are also in agreement with this one scriptural faith?
    I do.
  • Do you solemnly promise that you will perform the duties of your office in accordance with these Confessions, or Symbols, and that all your teaching and your administration of the sacraments will be in conformity with the Holy Scriptures and with the aforementioned Symbols?
    I do.
  • Will you faithfully instruct both young and old in the chief articles of Christian doctrine; will you forgive the sins of those who repent, and will you promise never to divulge the sins confessed to you; will you minister faithfully to the sick and dying; will you demonstrate to the Church a constant and ready ministry, admonishing the people to a lively confidence in Christ and holy living?
    I will with the help of God.
  • Finally, will you adorn the office of the public ministry with a holy life?
    I will, the Lord helping me through the power and grace of his Holy Spirit.

Needless to say, these are very weighty vows that I made.  They were not made lightly, nor are they something to be casually agreed upon.  That day, when that stole was placed around me, everything changed.  Things became more important.  To say that the stole added weight around my neck is an understatement. 

Five years later, looking at my ministry, can I say that I have been the perfect pastor?  As much as I would like to say yes, it would be a lie.  There have been times where instead of excercising my pastoral authority, I have feared man rather than God.  There have been times where I have exercized my pastoral authority to a point where I have made the weak in faith stumble.  Throughout my ministry, I have done what I thought was the right thing to do, only to find that it was the wrong thing.  I pray that God (and my sheep which I have offended over the years) would be gracious and merciful to me, a sinner, and that through the work of the Holy Spirit, I may continue to a faithful pastor which God has called me to be.

Laying on of hands
Laying on of hands

Gathered clergy

Me and Pr. Shadday 
Me and Pr. David Shadday

Me and Pr. Dietrich
Me and Pr. Joel Dietrich (classmate and fellow brother in Christ)

 Me and my parents 
+Frank Tucher+, Me, Kim Tucher

Me and Gwen
Me and my lovely wife Gwen

Car estimates

Today was spent going to a couple of places to get some estimates on my car.  According to State Farm, I only needed one estimate, but I thought that I would be a good insuree and get two estimates.

I went to Place 1, a non-dealership and they did an estimate for me.  They figured a new rim, repair and refinish the right rear door, replace the right rear quarter panel and refinish.  Along with some other repair and refinish, it’s a hefty price.  Below are the costs for parts & labor:

Gross parts $650.53
Paint materials $424.00
Parts and materials $1074.53
Tax on parts and materials $53.73
Labor $1566.50
Tax on labor $78.33
GRAND TOTAL $2773.09

After that, I went to Place 2, a dealership.  I thought that if Place 1 was this much, Place 2 would be double that, or more.  This is what the dealership had to say:

First and foremost, they didn’t think anything was wrong with the rim.  If you look at the picture, there were some scuffs on the tire and one on the rim.  So no replacement on the rim, so that saves $289.93 off the top!

It didn’t look like they needed to replace anything according to the estimate.  There were several repair and refinishes, but no replacements.    Here’s Place 2’s breakdown:

Paint materials $344.00
Tax on parts and materials $17.20
Labor $1222.00
Tax on labor $61.10
Sublet repairs $15.00
Tax on sublet $0.75
GRAND TOTAL $1660.05

So now there are a couple of questions.

  1. Will State Farm go with the highest or cheapest estimate?
  2. After I pay my deductable, and if I get a choice, do I go with the highest estimate with most work or go with the cheapest and hope they didn’t miss anything?

So, what are your thoughts?

Most-read post

Why is that my most-read post on my entire blog has to deal with the damage done to my car?  As of right now, (11:47pm), it has 69 views.  I’d be lucky if a sermon got double-digit views, let alone 69 views.  Funny how people like this but don’t have the same feelings toward my sermons.  Hmm…

Car problems

So I went up to the hospital this morning to visit one of my parishioners who had surgery last night.  I come out of the hospital and see that someone has hit my car and left some damage, but “forgot” to leave a note.  I called my insurance to see if I had coverage to repair this.  Fortunately, I do, so that’s good news (after a $250 deductable, of course!).  I then called the hospital and spoke to security to see if they had surveillance video of the parking lot.  They will check and get back to me.  I then went to the police department to file a report.  Below are some nice shots of my car.

Right rear passenger door
Right rear passenger door

Right rear passenger door
Right rear passenger door
Above right rear tire
Above right rear tire

Right rear tire where they hit the tire in 3 spots
Notice where they hit the tire in 3 spots 

Wyoming State Fair fun

Today we went to Douglas for the Wyoming State Fair.  One of the things that Wesley did when he was in Indiana was attend the Marion County Fair.  Gwen took him on the carousel and he absolutely loved it.  So while at the Wyoming State Fair, we had to find a carousel.  Here are some pics of Wesley on the carousel.

Mommy & Wesley

Mommy & Wesley on the carousel

Daddy & Wesley

Daddy & Wesley on the carousel

Sleeping Wesley

This is what happens after a day at the fair

Tales…from the airport, pt. 2

I thought I would update everyone on the final leg of my journey back to Gillette.

I make my way down to the Great Lakes gates and up to the ticket counter.  I’m thinking this should be a slam-dunk, seeing as how I have a ticket.  Well, not so much.  You see, my ticket was a United ticket for a Great Lakes flight.  The problem lies with the fact that now, Great Lakes has to get their money.  On the United ticket, all of the payment information is there: cost of ticket, taxes, more taxes, etc.  Here lies the problem: the computer wouldn’t accept the payment info.  For some reason, I could get checked in up until the time that you insert the payment information.  Unknown to the Great Lakes staff, the computer refused to accept the payment information.  In short, I had a ticket, was checked through to the flight, but couldn’t actually be checked in to board the plane.  Three people tried working on this and eventually, they just told me to go and that they would worry about this.  I was the last person on the plane; actually, I was holding up the plane.

I get on board the plane and listen to a couple of other people who were slated for the original flight that got canceled.  It seems that they received the run-around about rebooking their flights as well.

White CastleOnce I got home, there were a couple of items that I needed from my favorite place on earth (um, not really): Walmart.  Actually, it was mostly food, but I did manage to get something which is oh so yummy: White Castles.   Unfortunately, you can’t get the real thing here, so the microwaveable will have to suffice.  This looks like it could be a scrumptious lunch.  Too bad my wife isn’t here to enjoy them!


So now the fun really starts: At 9:32 pm last night, I get a text message saying that the 9:24 pm flight would be departing at a later time than what was originally scheduled for.  Below are the text times and the “revised” departure times.

Text Time

Departure Time

9:32 pm

9:40 pm

9:43 pm

10:10 pm

10:14 pm

10:26 pm

10:37 pm

10:45 pm

Seeing as how I never received any more texts, I can only assume that the 9:24 pm flight eventually left at 10:45 pm.  Had I stayed there, I would have spent 12+ hours from my original departure flight to my rescheduled flight.  Good times, eh?

Tales…from the airport

Oh the fun of traveling in the airport! 

My wife’s brother-in-law took me to the Orlando International Airport this morning at 6:00 am for my 8:31 am flight.  Not bad.  I get there and unfortunately, not a whole lot of choice to get anything to eat.  I was reduced to a two-pack of mini-sandwiches, which weren’t all that good.  While on the plane, I was able to watch a movie on my new laptop.  I found this movie on Google Video some time back.  Unfortunately, I don’t think this is available on DVD (or VHS for that matter!).  I think this might be one movie that George Lucas wishes he didn’t have his name on: Howard the Duck.Howard the Duck

I got to Denver International Airport just fine.  For some reason, there was a line of planes landing and there was another plane at our gate.  Actually, that worked out as I would have had to make quite a hike from the original gate to my departing gate.  I found a food joint and grabbed a quick sandwich, chips and drink.  I get to my gate and I asked if they were boarding the plane yet.  She told me not yet.  Ahh, a moment to breath.

I sit down and start eating some of my sandwich.  Suddenly, I get a text message informing me that my flight had been canceled.  Oh, this was not making the Preacher Man happy!

I proceed up to the ticket counter and was informed that yes, my flight had been canceled.  My original flight was scheduled for an 11:32 am departure with me arriving back in Gillette at 1:03 pm.  The next available flight would not be until 9:24 pm and arriving at 10:55 pm.

I speak with the lady at the counter to see if I can get that flight changed to Great Lakes so I can get home at a decent time; she “kindly” informed me that United will not transfer tickets.  Needless to say, I was not in a happy mood and things were getting worse.  I called Great Lakes to see when the next available flight to Gillette was.  There was a flight at 12:30 (the current time was 12:00).  I asked her if it was available.  She placed me on hold while she contacted DIA.  Unfortunately, they couldn’t do ticket sales 20 minutes prior to the flight.  She told me that the next flight would be at 5:55 pm.  I booked it, wanting to get home before midnight and not wanting to spend the next 9 hours walking the concourses!

I went to the United Customer Service Center to speak about a refund.  I spent almost the next hour in the line.  Finally, the customer service agent informed me that yes, they could port my United ticket to Great Lakes!  Lovely!  I just dropped $311 to get me a ticket home when if I would have spoken with someone who knew what they were doing, wouldn’t have cost anything!

I proceed to the Great Lakes counter (in a different terminal, of course) and speak with the agent.  They can’t do refunds, but gave me the 800 number for Great Lakes.  I call them and they say that yes, they can do a refund.  However, it will take 1-2 weeks to complete.  At this point, I didn’t care.  I just didn’t want two tickets for the same flight.

After all of this was complete, I needed a drink.  Lo and behold, there was a grille and bar and I had me a nice cold glass of Samuel Adams.  Now that I was rehydrated and relaxed some, I did some walking around the terminal.  I found me a nice quiet spot to work on my sermon a bit.  Finally, after sitting for a while, I thought that I would grab me some food since I still had about 2.5 hours to kill.  I ate and now here I sit typing this.  I have enough time now to post this, use the bathroom, grab a drink and head on down to the Great Lakes gates.  Hopefully, at 7:15, I will be pulling into Gillette like my ticket says and I can call it a night. 

So, here’s hoping for a good flight.  Wish me luck!

The best words in the English language



After service today, Gwen told me of something Wesley did during the service today.  During the Epistle reading, out of nowhere Wesley said “Da da.”  Of course, I couldn’t hear it from the altar.  🙁  I’ve been trying to get Wesley to say this for the longest time, especially since he is very good at saying “Ma Ma.”  Monday when I played Mr. Mom while Gwen went to school, that was what Wesley kept saying, over and over again.

This afternoon while we were out at Walmart, we’re just casually going up and down the ailes and out of no where he said “Da da.”  And then, he proceeded to say it a couple of more times.

It was a very proud moment for dear ol’ dad today, let me tell you!