Archive for October, 2009

Pleasant thoughts…

October 27, 2009

Sometimes when times get tough. We look back on something that was said to us or we experienced. For myself and my family it could be any number of things.  The afternoon after our last service at CTGS before departing for Saint Louis, MO., I recieved a wall message from a fellow elder and at the time Vice Chairman of the congreation. It brought myself and Linda to tears as we drove to Bloomington, IN to drop the kids off so we could focus on finishing packing.

Since this is my blog and at times I need to refer back to wise friends. This isn’t to boast, but to encourage one another. This time it was me needing the encouragement. At times our logic allows doubt to creep in and with that doubt the Devil takes hold.  Once the Devil has a foot in the door let the spiritual warfare begin. What am I saying, the Devil has never needed us to open the door to tempt and use our doubt against us.  Nevertheless, first turn to the bible and prayer. Also along those lines it doesn’t hurt to hear kind words from friends and family. To the Kreis family know that you continue to be on our minds and hearts.  Your words still hit home as much today as the day I read them the first time.

“The Potluck

Us being Lutheran and all, we are all very familiar with the church potluck dinner.  You know how everybody brings something different and there is always plenty to go around.  Well, some folks don’t really put much much effort into it and just pick up something on the way and throw it on the long table of food.  Others bring the same tried and true dish everytime.  Then there are the people who stand out.  They bring something unique and special with each opportunity, and everybody that gets a taste of it wants the recipe.  As people we all fall into those categories as well.  You and your family are definitely that special dish.  You bring something to the table that everybody wants to have for themselves.  You have added so much to so many lives, more than you will ever know I am sure.  Fortunately, you are so willing to share your recipes.  I feel that me and my family are better for knowing you and yours.  You will be missed brother.
God Bless,
The Kreis Family”

Week 7 in Greek

October 25, 2009

Wow, things are really picking up speed. There is three weeks left in the quarter and the stress is starting to mount.  I feel somewhat comfortable with the material. Well, I feel comfortable with parsing just about everything. At this point it is getting the vocabulary to stick and translating. I’ve finally turned the corner on homework taking 2-3 hours to complete. Now, I can get it done in around 1.5 hours or less. It still takes me a few days to grasp the material.  Other than that another week of Greek slapping me in the face on a exam. Yet, I’m doing well on the quizzes.  Still sticking to studying as much as possible to make it work in my head. The studying has got to pay off with retention at some point. My hope is it will be during the qualifier and Greek Readings.


Material covered this week.

Chapter 24: Miscellanea 3

Chapter 25: Focus upon Result/”Perfect” Tense Verb Forms

Chapter 26: Pluperfect Verb Forms, Principal Parts, and Indirect Discourse.

Chapter 27: Liquid Verbs, and the Third Principal Part of Baivw and yivwskw

Chapter 28: The Subjunctive Mood of the Verb, Part 1

We’ve been hearing our classmates who have taken Greek before bring up pluperfect. I have come to dislike the term Pluperfect now. So, it is weird to have finally covered the material. Notice that was Chapter 27, there is 42 chapters in our textbook.

Week 6 in Greek

October 17, 2009

We are officially past the half way point.  We’ve been informed that evidently we’ve been going at around 35 mph up until this point. Now, we are going to speed up to 75 mph and maintain it until the end. Dr. Gibbs was at a Pastor Conference. So we had Dr. Lewis instructing us for the day. I think many of us had forgotten how different instructors potentially can be in regards to how they approach their classes. This may have come at the right time to prepare us for post Greek. Post Fundamental Greek Grammar means Fundamental Hebrew is next up along with Greek Readings.  Dr. Gibbs wasn’t kidding as things really did speed up this week.  Funny thing is the material presented this week didn’t faze me, but actually solidified most of the material leading up to this point. So, this was a good week for me learning and putting all the pieces together. While my test aren’t exactly demonstrating that which is really bringing me down, I actually get the how to read and parse.

I officially attended my first Student Association meeting on Wednesday. Funny, how I’m up every morning early to review before class, but my body knows class isn’t until noon on Wednesdays. So, scheduling a Student Association meeting for 7:30 on a sleep in day makes for an unhappy body. Needless to say I learned a lot from the meeting and how things work from that side of campus.  I look forward to helping out and given feedback that represents our first years feelings. BTW, Dr. Meyer has somehow figured out how to be hilarious and scary at the same time. I don’t think anyone notices it, but the students.

Oktoberfest was last night and even though it was cold outside, there was a huge turnout.  We even had some folks dressing the part of Oktoberfest. Oddly, enough I didn’t know any of the songs. Then again what do you expect from a guy who grew up in the city who is like 1/8 German. LOL  Quite the experience and like all things here at seminary, I’m better person for experiencing it.  Afterwards, we had some of my classmates over with their wives. Which brings to mind a few things…

We don’t know how to talk about anything, but Greek, the future of the church, doctrine, and theology.  Our wives get annoyed with us when we do the aforementioned in their presence. We can speak quite loudly during these discussions even when we are agreeing with each other. Finally, that our wives are truly patient, loving, understanding, and beautiful women.  Thank goodness we married them before they knew what they knew better. LOL

Almost forgot, I finally met Rev. Poulson in person yesterday and we talked for a bit.  Nice putting a face with emails. He also told me when he was going through his formation he had to take Greek and Hebrew at the same time. I believe he attended the seminary in St. Catherines. That in revelation may cause me to never complain about Greek again. Literally.

As usually here is the material covered this week in Greek:

Chapter 20: Focus upon Connection/”Present” Tense Participles

Chapter 21: Focus on the Action/”Aorist” Active and Middle Participles

Chapter 22: Genitive Absolute, and Focus on the Action/”Aorist” Passive Participles

Chapter 23: Miscellanea 2


October 17, 2009

I am so sorry for not updating the past couple of weeks. Take that as a hint to just how stressed and busy with Greek that past couple of weeks. Hopefully, I will get some none Greek work done today.


October 15, 2009

Greetings from Concordia Seminary’s campus in St. Louis, MO. My family and I are so thankful to find out we have been adopted by faithful congregations.  In this economic time in our country it is warming to the soul to see the support for our future shepherds in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Your support allows me to focus more on my studies than on potential burdens.  I can’t express how much of a relief it provides for me. It also provides of sense of excitement to finish my studies knowing that our church is strong with faithful Christians.

Now would be a good time to tell you a little about myself. My name is Eric Ekong. I am 33 years old and originally from Cleveland, OH. I just finished my Bachelors degree from Concordia University-Ann Arbor this past May 2009 in Business Administration and Leadership.  I have been married for 11 years to my beautiful wife Linda.  We met while enrolled at Concordia.  Before we moved, Linda worked for the Michigan District LCMS office as the Art Director and Web Administrator.  For the past 9 years I have worked for Verizon Business as a Sun Administrator/Engineer. Since we have arrived on campus Linda has become involved in the Seminary Women’s Association (SWA) and recently elected to serve as one of the chairs. This past week my peers nominated and elected me to be a Married First Year Representative on the Student Association council. We have four energetic children; Hannah (9), Jonathan (7), Hailey (5), and Jocelyn (2). Three of our children are enrolled at Captain Elementary just across the street from campus. All of the children have adapted to campus life, making friends on the first day here.  Hannah is involved in her school choir and the Green Club. Both Hannah and Jonathan are avid readers and participate on the seminary children’s soccer team.  Hailey is currently in Kindergarten and she is our artistic child.  She loves to color and listen to music. Jocelyn is a bundle of joy with a strong personality.  Shy around most people, but will keep you in stitches with her faces and mannerisms.

I am the son of a second career pastor. My father actually received his instruction/formation here on Concordia Seminary’s campus as well.  I am considered a third generation seminarian as my grandfather was also a pastor.  He coincidently is one of the founders of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria. When looking back I can’t say that any one person encouraged me to be a pastor, rather  I would say it was more of a number of people and groups who continually encouraged me through this path over the years.

I received my calling to the ministry in high school.  Since then God has provided me with many experiences and trials to prepare me for the ministry.  I see myself in a parish ministry with some outlets to minister to high school and college students.  My only hope or goal in the ministry is to be of service to God.  I hold close to my heart the scriptures, but Isaiah 6:8 speaks to how I feel about my ministry now and in the future.  And I hear the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

I am currently taking Greek this quarter.  I think the best way to describe learning Greek is to  describe it as a puzzle with a ton of pieces that you need to put together before it can even begin to make any sense.  I’m enjoying Dr. Gibbs style of teaching and look forward to having him again in the future.  Next quarter I will be taking Hebrew and Greek Readings.

If you are interested in following along with me in my journey to becoming a pastor please feel free to view my blog.  I try to update it every now and again with my thoughts as I move forward.  It can be found at

Your congregation is in our prayers and we look forward to a Sunday when we can come to worship together with you.  I have included a photo of the family and I so that you can put a face with this letter.

Your Brother in Christ,

Seminarian Eric Ekong

Week 5 of Greek

October 10, 2009

This week started out much like the week before. Linda was gone for a Seminary Wives Association (SWA) retreat.  The kids and I spent some much needed time together. Hannah and Jonathan had soccer practice in the morning so that is where we were bright and early. From there we spent the day in the house either studying or sleeping.  Sunday is review the vocabulary day for me before the quiz on Monday.  We had quite a few number of prepositions that could mean different things based on the case (Nominative, Genitive, Dative, and Accusative). Fun times this week. I wasn’t as tired and I felt I grasped the material better than the week before. However, I’m still a little bit behind due to the lack of energy and comprehension the previous week.  Just means I will continue to put in extra work to catch up.

On a side note as far as I know, I’ve been approved by my peers along with 3 other seminarians to become first year reps.  So, I will 1 of 2 representatives for the 1st yr married students. More to come on this as my first meeting is next week.

Here is the information we covered this week:

Chapter 15: Relative Pronouns and Three-Case Prepositions

Chapter 16: The Infinitive of the Verb, Part 1

Chapter 17: The Infinitive of the Verb, Part 2

Chapter 18: Third Declension Consonantal Stem Nouns

Chapter 19: Third Declension Vowel and Sigma Stem Nouns, and Third Declension Adjectives

Also, on Friday night Linda and I participated in the Contemplate event via the Discussion Panel. Oddly enough, we are this event one year ago and couple of days. It truly was a pleasure to participate and talk with some of the seminarians we will see in a year from now. I remember how we felt at the event and we tried to speak from the heart about preparing yourself for the move and life change itself.

Got a quick conversationw ith Rev. Nunez earlier this week as he was on campus speaking at the Hostel event.  I haven’t actually seen him in person since either 1996 or 1997 on Concordia Ann Arbor campus when he was a guest pastor for one of the chapels.

Week 4 of Greek

October 3, 2009

I’ve just finished another week of Greek. One more week and I’ll be at the halfway point. This week was not a good week and Greek was not nice to me at all. The week started off with Linda being gone for latter part of the weekend to travel to Michigan for President Hoesman’s retirement party. Then on Monday night I went on pager duty and wound up with one of the worst outages in my time at Verizon Business. The initial page came through at 8:15p CST and I didn’t get down with the outage until 6:15a CST on Tuesday.  Needless, to say that set the tone for a bad week. Exhaustion played a large part in this being a bad week. Due to being so tired I just couldn’t retain the knowledge that was being taught. I honestly felt like there was a cloud around me all week long.  Needless, to say my test grade reflected it as well. Just means I have to work harder to catch back up and get back on track.

Greek is indeed a thinking man’s language. I think a better description would be a 1000 piece puzzle that you have to take little parts and put them together to see the picture. Keeping with the boxing as a description for Greek in the 10 round exhibition. Well, let’s just say the hits just came from everywhere. Lesson taken away from this week is, sleep is your friend.  Another thought taking away from this week is even though I felt defeated, I survived, got back up, and ask for more.

Here is the material covered in Week 4 of Greek.

Chapter 10: Personal Pronouns

Chapter 11: Passive Voice Verb Forms

Chapter 12: The Verb “To Be” and Further Uses of the Article

Chapter 13: Miscellanea 1

Chapter 14: Contracted (Contract) Verbs in -ew

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