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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas - 2007


We praise God for the birth of Jesus! Come, Lord Jesus!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Froehliche Weihnachten

Chris had the opportunity to lead a German Worship Service in the old church building of Hanover Lutheran Church in Cape Girardeau. It was beautiful!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Fashion Show!

Today we had fun. We were models in a Resale Shop Fashion show for the Seminary Guild. This is a group of wonderful ladies that support so many wonderful things here. We all wore clothes that we found at the 2nd hand shop here on campus: J.J. his flight suit, Carlotta her Nancy Drew outfit, the girls velvet dresses and I a Christmas night gown. What a wonderful blessing this shop with the best deals in the world is!















Friday, November 16, 2007

The Tiews at the Creation Museum

Have you visited the brand-new Creation museum yet? From their website: The Creation Museum presents a “walk through history.” Designed by a former Universal Studios exhibit director, this state-of-the-art 60,000 square foot museum brings the pages of the Bible to life.
Since we didn't know whether we'll be that close again to Kentucky and with Chris' upcoming creation science class, we thought the best time to visit this great place was now. It was so worth it! The museum is very well done, educational and exciting for the kids.

We even had the pleasure to listen to Ken Ham and meet him to sign our books.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Reformation Day

20 home schooled kids at the Sem took part in our first Reformation Day play called "Light in the Darkness of Halloween". Lula wrote a script that covered key scenes from the sale of indulgences to Luther's translation of the New Testament into German and tried to match our actors' talents and abilities. We rehearsed diligently and presented the play on Reformation day on the steps leading to our campus chapel. We had a great audience - visitors and seminary community members that just had attended the Divine Service. They participated wonderfully and cheered Martin on when he nailed his theses to the real chapel door. (Since this door is made out of bronze, sticky putty was needed). Tetzel and his demon helpers were chased away successfully and Katharina and Martin were united in marriage.
The children really learned a lot about some key events of the Reformation and had a great time. (They best remember Tetzel's line to Martin "You drunken little German monk. This will cost your dearly!") We also handed out recommendations and ideas for activities to celebrate Reformation Day.
In the evening we had a great time touring the campus and Luther Tower in the dark, roasting marshmallows, eating a 'Diet of Worms' cake and telling jokes using the Karaoke machine. This will certainly become a family tradition. Not at the Sem of course....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Taking a Stand for Life

Taking a Stand for Life
By Carlotta (Printed in the Seminary newspaper "Around the Tower", November Edition)

Are you ready for some really scary numbers? Every year there are approximately 1.37 million abortions in the United States. To give you an idea of how huge that number is, I’ll give you the death toll for all of World War II (for the United States), which was 418,500. But these are not just numbers. They represent hearts that have stopped beating way too early. Did you know that abortion is the most common surgical procedure in America? It is certainly nothing to be proud of. It is one of the cruelest things that anybody could do.
On Sunday, October 7, 2007, 35 people, including 18 kids, came together for a Life Chain event. We were standing at the side of Clayton Road, holding up signs, and silently praying for an end to abortion. The signs read “Abortion Kills Children”, “Jesus Heals and Forgives”, “Abortion Hurts Women”, and “Pray to End Abortion”.
You are probably asking, “What is Life Chain?” Louis Hintz, age 10, provided this answer: “Life Chain is an organization that helps stop abortion.” Life Chain organizes silent and prayerful public gatherings against abortion in the U.S. and in Canada as well. I also asked Louis if he thought it was good for kids to attend the gathering. His reply was, “Yes. I think it was good for kids to attend because abortion kills children and when we’re there, it shows [the people driving by] how cute we are.”
While we were standing, we heard quite a few honking cars, some thumbs up, some thumbs down. One lady drove past two times, honking, and sticking up her middle finger.
Jeremiah Tiews, age 7, said, ”I think that it was good for them [the kids] to be at the gathering because the people driving by were probably shocked that kids know what they’re doing to the little babies.” He also said that his favorite thing was climbing up on the Concordia Seminary (now Washington University) wall, holding up the signs for all to see.
Mariam Tiews, age 4, told me that “My favorite thing was the brownie and cookie table afterwards.”
I think that it was really good to set aside an hour of our time and pray specifically for this tragedy of abortion that is happening all over the world. In our hurried life style, we very often don’t get to take the time to reflect on it.
We sincerely hope that you will join us at the next Life Chain event to help save America’s babies.
Plans are being made for a “Round-table” discussion in late November or early December. For more information check http://nationallifechain.org//

Sunday, October 14, 2007

German Days at the Sem


Chris had the pleasure of helping to host some of our visitors from Germany that spoke during the interesting "German Days at the Sem". Is Germany still Christian, or Post- or maybe Pre-Christian? Is it becoming an Islamic Republic? Has Luther a future in Germany?


One of the speakers couldn't make it due to health issues, so Chris presented his talk( The Corporate World: Germany's Promising Mission Field?). What a coincidence (or was it planned?) that Chris had been asked before to translate this very talk into English.

All contributions are available on iTunes University.

  • Start iTunes
  • Go to iTunes Store
  • Select iTunes University
  • Select Concordia Seminary
  • Click on "German Days 2007"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"We simply want to go to a church service on Sundays"

A future church planter should broaden his and his family's horizon, so last Sunday we drove out to visit a different LCMS church, which has been planted a couple of years ago. We checked for worship times and directions on the Web. Church service was supposed to be at 10:30 am. When we arrived, there was a little group of musicians playing outside the High School. When we were looking for the auditorium, we were informed that there won't be a worship service today. Just outside play. Hm. The pastor wore a T-Shirt saying "Don't go to church".

But that was exactly what we wanted to do. So we went to the Baptist Church next door who had a good old-fashioned service going on. We were invited to pot-luck-supper and all. The kids just thought it ended on a bad note, since a lot of people were crying at the altar call, we didn't hear about forgiveness of sins nor did we receive a blessing.

Reluctant Socialites

...that's what Chris and I are this quarter. And the blog suffers from too few updates. Sorry about that.

This year Chris is the secretary of the Student Association, hosts Creation Worldview Workshops, was interviewed on the doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, participated in the "German Days at the Sem" and other things.

If you want to see him or take free, wonderful classes from the great professors here or listen to chapel sermons and symposia check out Concordia Seminary's resources on iTunes. (Install iTunes, if you haven't done it yet, and go to http://itunes.csl.edu/)

Chris can be seen in three "The Two Kingdoms" episodes:
  • Start iTunes
    Go to iTunes Store
    Go to iTunes U (niversity)
    Go to Concordia Seminary
    Go to "The Two Kingdoms with Uwe Siemon-Netto"
    Go to epsiodes 24, 25, 26

    I have the privilege to edit the Seminary Women's Association's bi-quarterly newsletter.

    We can't believe that we are already going into our third and last year. How the LORD has worked on our hearts!

Friday, August 31, 2007

The Lone Moose Ranch Institute of Higher Education on a Field Trip


We had a chance to tour Concordia Publishing House and learn many interesting things about the publishing process. While walking around we discovered the original paintings of many famous pictures we got to love over the years. CPH has recently published many interesting new books and we really liked their new Sunday school curriculum "Growing in Christ" .

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yes, he's got it now


J.J. can swim!

At the Dawn of the Last Year at the Sem

Well, it’s hard to believe almost two years have passed since we moved from Tomball, Texas, to Concordia Seminary in St. Louis and started to live the lives of students of the WORD. Next year a new chapter will start again as we hope to head out to a new challenge - a church plant. What did we learn?

· This past year Chris has been given several new opportunities to hone his skills in teaching creationism. As such, he was asked to teach a six-week Bible study class entitled “Can Christians Really Believe in the Theory of Evolution?” at our field work church. The class was very well attended and he has been invited to teach a repeat class this coming November/December. Also, one of the electives he took this past spring was “Studies in Creation.” The fact that the Bible states a 6-day creation is sufficient. Nevertheless, for some people it is helpful to be able to back Scripture up with scientific data and, conversely, demonstrate the many scientific errors and absurdity of the theory of evolution). The irony is of course that he used to be an evolutionist himself, being blind to the truth while he was a secular geologist back in the 1980s. If you are interested, he is more than happy to share class and information materials as well as an article he wrote for the student newspaper “Around the Tower”.
· The Lord seems to be solidifying our understanding that there is a reciprocal relationship between a church’s doctrine and practice, and that if you change one, you will change the other too. As such, the Tiews are growing in the understanding that Lutheran churches applying classic church growth practices such as business marketing, altar calls or mega-church worship styles to increase membership are at the same time frequently diluting Lutheran doctrine—whether they realize it or not. This in turn is gradually morphing Lutheranism into just another American Evangelical denomination. There is no better explanation of the Christian faith, of what God’s Word is telling us, than in the (Lutheran) Book of Concord, which serves as the standard of the Lutheran Church in determining faithful Biblical teaching and preaching, to which I pray the Holy Spirit would lead me to adhere. Combining this historic Lutheran focus with a desire to shepherd a “Lutheran yet exciting,” church, plus hopefully someday becoming the kind of pastor of whom the individual congregant would say “he cares,” Chris wishes to leave the “church growth” part up to the Lord—and not to man-made business techniques.
· Did you know that 2/3 of Martin Luther’s works have never been translated from their German and/or Latin original versions into the English language? A huge extracurricular opportunity that the Lord has given us is that Chris has been selected by Concordia Publishing House (CPH) to be on a very small team of translators to begin translating the mountain of Luther’s “left behind” sermons and letters into the English language. This task could very well keep me busy for many years to come. In addition to this translation work, as a part-time job this past year Chris continued to do a variety of translations of theological texts for the LCMS and of business texts for a number of high-tech companies in Germany. He also had the opportunity to support the homeschool movement in Germany with interpretation and translation.
· This past school year our homeschoolers Carlotta completed 5th grade (and her third year of Latin), Jeremiah 1st grade, Mariam pre-school, and extremely active Lillian (now 16 months old) was most busy climbing, emptying out drawers, pulling books out of bookcases, jumping head first into a pool and giving us one near-heart attack after the other.

Spread the Good News
Chris

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Small Group Reunion in Arkansas



Eight years ago four couples started to meet for bible study in their homes - with just four children. Now the same number of couples spend a terrific long weekend in Lutheran Camp at Petit Jean - with 15 children. How wonderful the LORD has blessed us!


We had a great time with our friends. The children loved all the activities and excitement. Check out this wonderful action video Collier made.


Our Sunday Service was extra-special in the historic Lutheran Trinity Church.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Family Reunion in Germany


Thanks to the generosity of my parents in Germany we had a wonderful family reunion this May.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Not too old...

... for awards. Congratulations, Chris!


Friday, April 13, 2007

Seminary Homeschool Recital


In the Presidents Room - What an honor!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 06, 2007

Der Herr segne uns

This weekend Chris was invited to lead the "Gottesdienst" and preach at the Tomball German Heritage Festival. What a wonderful opportunity! This festival started 7 years ago as a little fundraiser for our youth mission trip to my hometown and Tomball's sister city in Germany and now it's a two day affair with over 30,000 visitors.
Chris reported how great it was to be back and how much he liked to visit with old friends - German and Texan.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 30, 2007

New life


Spring is finally here and everything just looks beautiful!


Just like the trees that used to look dead and dark, so were we lost in our sins.

But thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we have been redeemed and were made alive.

He is risen!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Welcome to New Mayberry?

Maybe it's growing up in Germany and/or watching too many movies from the 50ties, but I long for the time when I could walk to the store, church and restaurant. Here in St. Louis we get to walk a lot, thankfully, since the seminary is a little 'Dorf' (village) with chapel, re-sell store, foodbank, bookstore, library, post-office, bank and park. The kids can bicycle and enjoy the pleasures of just walking to the playground to meet other children. Why has this become so rare? In Texas there is hardly a place were you can go without a car.

Others seem to feel the same way. There are many new neighborhoods popping up, called Tradition Neighborhood Developments that are designed with humans in mind, not cars. Where you can walk and have opportunities to meet your neighbors. These developments seem to be pretty successful - at least in terms of real estate sales. There's one here in St. Charles, called New Town. I haven't really met people who live there though. It sometimes looks like a movie set. Makes you wonder whether people actually just like the idea of neighborhood, community and a more wholesome life or whether they are beginning to really LIVE it? Since home prices are pretty high, you might need two income families to be able to afford this "back to the future" approach and that would be counterproductive. If there's nobody home all day, how can you build relationships with your neighbors?
Anyhow, developers of these new villages know that a church is good for the looks of the town square and that they need one or two to help building real relationships among the citizens there. I wonder what kind of churches they invite? The ones that proclaim "Christ crucified for us"? Maybe we need to rediscover the ancient church!

More old that's new again

And then there is good old-fashioned food and my new favorite cookbook "Nourishing traditions" by Sally Fallon that finally endorses the food I always preferred: cream, whole yoghurt and milk, animal meet and fat, raw cheeses.

Monday, February 19, 2007

On Mission Track


Chris has been accepted to participate in the seminary's special training program for missions! What a blessing. Not only will he be able to learn even more about outreach and planting new congregations, but it also allows us to stay here in St. Louis for another year and serve in a vicarage assignment during the last year of his education instead of leaving the campus this summer and come back again a year later.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lillian Esther!



Give thanks to the LORD for HE is GOOD!
We are so grateful that we could celebrate the first year with Lilly.

Monday, February 12, 2007

In Amerika ist vieles anders

It's true in America things ARE different. We are free to educate our children ourselves. In Germany a homeschooled girl was forcibly admitted into a mental institution - Chris has the sad task to support the fight against this outrage with translating and interpreting.
In light of this it's no surprise that our (homeschool) family life here at seminary seems so unusual that the portrait below was published in a February issue of IDEA Spektrum magazine. Please pray for Melissa and her family and all homeschoolers in Germany.

Warum ein Geologe mit 48 noch Theologie studiert und seine Kinder zu Hause unterrichtet

Von Matthias Pankau
Es ist 9.30 Uhr. Die Carlotta (8), Jeremiah
(5) und Mariam (3) haben gerade
Mathe. Sie alle sitzen im selben
Klassenzimmer, nämlich im Wohnzimmer
ihrer Eltern in St. Louis (US-Bundesstaat
Missouri). Christian und
Lula Tiews unterrichten ihre vier Kinder
zu Hause. Vier? Ja, die achtmonatige
Lillian sitzt auch schon dabei und
spielt vergnügt. Die drei „Großen“ haben
montags bis freitags von 8 bis 13
Uhr Unterricht.
Mehr Zeit für Kinder
„Es ist Aufgabe der Eltern, ihre Kinder
zu erziehen“, erklärt Christian
Tiews. Dazu gehört seiner Ansicht
nach auch der Unterricht. Die Tiews
wollen, dass ihre Kinder mit einer
christlichen Weltanschauung aufwachsen.
Sie sind entschiedene Gegner der
Evolutionstheorie, die an öffentlichen
Schulen – so ihre Kritik – zunehmend
zu einer absoluten Wahrheit erhoben
werde. „Wenn die Evolutionstheorie
stimmt, dann ist die Bibel bereits nach
dem ersten Satz tot.“ Zwar brächten sie
ihren Kindern auch diese Theorie bei,
zeigten dabei aber klar deren Defizite
auf. In den USA werden derzeit etwa
drei Millionen Kinder von ihren Eltern
zu Hause unterrichtet. Und es kommen
jedes Jahr rund 300.000 dazu. Der
Hausunterricht habe aber auch noch
andere Vorteile. So verbringe die Familie
viel mehr Zeit miteinander. „Laut
Statistik ist der amerikanische Durchschnittsvater
drei Minuten täglich mit
seinen Kindern zusammen.“ Viel zu
wenig, findet Tiews. Dabei hätten er
und seine Frau sich vor zehn Jahren
nicht träumen lassen, dass sie ihre Kinder
mal zu Hause unterrichten würden.
Bewußt Geologie studiert
Christian und Lula stammen aus
Deutschland. Beide waren zwar Kirchenmitglieder,
gingen aber in keine
Gemeinde. „Da ging es immer um Umweltschutz,
die Dritte Welt, aber nicht
um Jesus Christus.“ Tiews entscheidet
sich bewusst für eine Naturwissenschaft
und studierte Geologie in München und
Kiel. Anschließend ist er erfolgreich im
Vertrieb einer Softwarefirma. 1996 gehen
die beiden in die USA, weil Lula
ein tolles Angebot von der Computerfirma
Compaq bekommen hat. In
Houston (US-Bundesstaat Texas) erleben
sie zum ersten Mal, wie es ist, in einer
Gemeinde zu Hause zu sein. „Hier
sind wir in einen lebendigen Glauben
hineingewachsen“, erinnert sich Tiews.
Das Ehepaar leitet Kindergottesdienste
und organisiert Gebetskreise. Als die
Geschäfte von Christian nach den Terroranschlägen
vom 11. September 2001
plötzlich nicht mehr gut laufen, stellt
sich für die Familie die Frage, wie es
weitergehen soll. „Außerdem wollte ich
meine Begabungen noch besser für das
Reich Gottes einsetzen.“
2.000 neue Gemeinden
Der Familienvater entscheidet sich –
nachdem er ein Stipendium erhielt –,
mit 48 Jahren noch mal die Schulbank
zu drücken und am Concordia-Seminar
der lutherischen Missouri-Synode in St.
Louis Theologie zu studieren. „Zum ersten
Mal passen alle Puzzlestücke meines
Lebens zusammen und ich merke,
wie ich von dem profitiere, was ich zuvor
gemacht habe“, sagt er heute. Dank
der humanistischen Schulbildung könne
er seine Kinder in Latein unterrichten
und habe keine Schwierigkeiten mit
dem neutestamentlichen Griechisch.
Die Berufserfahrung im Vertrieb komme
ihm im Umgang mit Menschen zugute
und die deutsche Sprache sei für
einen lutherischen Theologiestudenten
„wie ein Joker“. Wenn er in zwei Jahren
fertig ist, will er an einem Gemeindegründungsprojekt
der Missouri-Synode
mitwirken. Die etwa 2,5 Millionen Mitglieder
zählende lutherische Freikirche
hat in den USA derzeit rund 6.500 Gemeinden.
Das stolze Ziel: Bis zum
500jährigen Jubiläum der Reformation
im Jahr 2017 sollen 2.000 weitere Gemeinden
entstehen. Dazu wird die Kirche
in den kommenden Jahren Absolventen
der beiden theologischen
Seminare in St.Louis und Forth Wayne
(US-Bundesstaat Indiana) vor allem in
die Vororte der Millionenmetropolen
aussenden, um dort Missionsarbeit zu
betreiben und neue Gemeinden zu
gründen. Einige werden auch ins Ausland
entsandt, um dort zu missionieren.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The (future) Pastor as educator


As part of a seminary course Chris had the pleasure of teaching first grade religion class at Trinity Lutheran School, Il for three weeks. The kids especially enjoyed his dinosaur time where he told them the whole dinosaur story from a creationist point of view. J.J. was invited to join him two times and had such a great time. Here he presented the class with his model of Noah's ark complete with dinosaurs inside.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Young Scientists

 

The Seminary Homeschool group organized a science and art exhibitions for all homeschoolers on campus. Posted by Picasa