From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.–Saint Arnold of Metz, The patron Saint of Brewers
Oktoberfest at Gordon Biersch
Tonight was nice, after a tough couple of days dealing with the death of a baby that came into our PICU over the weekend, continued unsettledness about my parents and some other considerations that I am not at liberty to talk about I got a break. I heard a tapping, rapping at my office door. Actually I didn’t hear a rapping, but there was a tapping, a tapping at Gordon Biersch. Yes the new seasonal is out and tonight was the tapping party for the Festbier complete with German Oompah band and full liter steins, or as they are called in Germany “Bierkrüg,”
Now as any reader of this website knows I like good beer and the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant in Virginia Beach is like our version of Cheers. We love the young guys and gals who tend the bar and pour our beer as well as the other regulars of the “Stein Club” which I was inducted into back in the last tapping party where the Kölsch Sömmerbrau was tapped. It is nice to be around folks and just talk about life. Many are getting to know that I am a Priest and Chaplain but also that I am approachable as is the Abbess who accompanies me to our favorite restaurant. It is cool because it means that our view of the world includes a lot of people who we probably would meet if we remained cloistered with church people not that there’s anything wrong with that.
So tonight I donned my old 1996 “Bayern München” jersey with the number and name of the great Jürgen Klinsmann and one of my hats from the German Navy Sail Training ship the Gorch Fock. We got there ahead of the tapping and got our liter size steins of the Festbier and ordered some dinner chatting with the various people that we know and having a nice time. When we were done we said our goodbyes and took our newly issued liter steins home with us, and yes we did pay for them.
Orioles Outfielder Jeff Fiorentino taking Bartolo Colon Yard while with the Norfolk Tides
When we got home I turned on the Orioles game against the Tampa Bay Rays on MASN2. MASN is the Mid Atlantic Sports Network and televises both the Orioles and the Nationals in our area. Watching the Orioles late in the year is like watching old friends as many of the players have come up from Norfolk this season. From my View from 102 I got to see a lot of these players in Norfolk. The players who have been especially fun to watch are Left Fielder Nolan Reimold, a potential American League Rookie of the Year; catcher Matt Wieters who had a single double and three run home run tonight, both of whom have been in Baltimore since May, Michael Aubrey and recent September calls up Jeff Fiorentino and Justin Turner. Reimold and Wieters will be linchpins of the Orioles offense and key players for years to come. The other three are all playing like they belong in the majors. Readers of this website as well as my Padre Steve’s View from 102 in the Virginia Pilot know that I like the way Fiorentino played in the field and at the plate with the Tides, something that he is continuing in Baltimore. I’ve said before that I don’t know if the Birds will have room for him with an outfield composed of Nolan Reimold, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis but he needs to be in the majors. A solid contact hitter who can take a pitch where it needs to go he hits for a high average, he is very fast and a spectacular defensive outfielder, the best that I have seen in Norfolk since I have lived here. I have seen him continue this with Baltimore and his consistent hitting and great play in the outfield have been fun to watch. There are a fair amount of Tides alumni on the O’s many who were called up at various points during the season as well as the September call ups. It think that it will interesting to see just how many remain of the 26 and 40 man rosters come October. Unless I am wrong I think that Jeff Fiorentino earns a place on the O’s or gets picked up by another team.
Finally… a brief note on something that I will write more in soon, but wanted to bring up now. As someone who sees a lot of blogs I see a good number written by folks who are Christians or at least say that they are. However it seems that many profess things that lend more to any number of real heresies yet profess to be the purveyors of the truth. Some of the heresies are matters of doctrine, others in the matter that they seem to have forgotten a couple of big things in regard to faith and life. I want to say up front that I have labeled by some who have visited this site as a liberal heretic which interpreted that I am somehow to the left of them and don’t believe the way that they do. So I approach this matter with some trepidation. The first big stumbling block that I have with some of them is the whole “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you thing.” It seems that there are a lot of folks who claim the name Christian who are so angry, bitter and even dare say paranoid that they can’t say a good word about anyone that they have a disagreement with, to the point of condemning them to hell as unbelievers. I think that is kind of a Talibanish view of life and others but it is what it is and it’s a free country. My observation is that when you get out in the blogosphere and there is some weird angry stuff out there. There are also some things which though not new, seem to be getting even stranger as the days go by. One of these which I first noticed back when I was taking Church history in seminary was that a decent number of folks are for all practical purposes “Christian Gnostics.” They speak and act as if they have the direct word from God, the correct knowledge that allows them to be somehow more in tune with God than the rest of us schmucks. Like I said I see a bunch of this in the blogosphere not to mention on many of the more popular Christian TV shows and ministries as well top selling authors. To a one it seems that all have acquired special knowledge that no one else seems to get. This way of doing life has much more in common with the Gnostics than Christianity. A great blog for which incredibly well done from a conservative Evangelical Christian perspective is The Church of Jesus Christ http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/ the blogger who runs it is quite good, very balanced and even handed but manages to show some of the craziness affecting many Christians in the United States.
I’m going to hold off on the rest for now, but to finish it seems that many have become arrogant, increasingly dualistic, narcissistic and yea verily even paranoid and increasingly intolerant . However I shall save the bulk of this for later when some who do these things label me a heretic and unbeliever. It kind of reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kathy Lee Griffin plays a comedian who after being criticized by Jerry who is attempting to help her develops a show called Jerry Seinfeld is the Devil. Until then they can just assume that I am after I do drink beer, hang out in bars and with people that they wouldn’t want in church. But since Jesus did the same thing I guess I am in rather good company.