Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'm addresses that is!

Hello everyone!  I'm moving operations over to a different home.  Please check out:
www [dot] starbocho [dot] com

See you there!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Great Gerhard Forde Quote

"My thesis," Forde wrote, "is that Lutherans to be true to their identity...should become even more radical proponents of the tradition that gave them birth and has brought them thus far...Let us be radicals...radical preachers and practitioners of the gospel by justification by faith without the deeds of the law.  We should pursue it to the radical depths already plumbed by St. Paul, especially in Romans and Galatians, when he saw that justification by faith without the deeds of the law really involves and announces the death of the old being and the calling forth of the new in hope.  We stand at a crossroads.  Either we must become more radical about the gospel, or we would be better off to forget it altogether."  --Lutheran Quarterly Spring of 1987

Bach Collegium

Yesterday, the Bach Collegium of Fort Wayne performed at Trinity Episcopal Church downtown.  Their performance was marvelous.  It was a program of music through the years as they gave tribute to famous Fort Wayne musicians.  I just can't stop talking about the Brahms piece they did...what a wonderful piece.  It was a funeral hymn and I want it at my committal.  Wow!  I was happy to see many of my friends from the seminary who are in the choir this year... And I still  remember many singers from my time with the Collegium two years ago. 

Kudos to Daniel Reuning and the whole Bach Collegium for a fine job!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We went to Akron to see my mom today. Yesterday was her birthday and she is recovering from Rotator Cuff surgery from a few weeks back. It was good to see her and I'm happy to report she is on the mend. AND the sun was shining in Ohio!

Posted with LifeCast

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Northern Illinois in Sconny

I've been in Racine, WI this week with the Eastern Region of the NID. It has been a wonderful time with good brothers in the ministry. The DeKovan Center on Lake Michigan has been wonderful. Dr. Korey Mass spoke yesterday on Christian Apologetics. Sadly, I must depart. . . But joy of joys, I can't wait to see my wife. God bless the NID!

Posted with LifeCast

Northern Illinois Pastors' Conference (Korey Mass)

Posted with LifeCast

Sunday, October 5, 2008

iPhone Applications

So I'm trying out some new apps and now I can blog from my iPhone. Look for photos and such on my next trip! Have a great Sunday!

Posted with LifeCast

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Florida and Georgia

For the past couple of days I've been in Daytona Beach, Florida for the annual Florida/Georgia District President's Convocation.  I have a great booth showing off the wears of the seminary to the great pastors and teachers of the FL/GA district.  The Atlantic Ocean has been extra troubled, but today the wind subsided.  Today is the last day for the exhibitors so I'll head back to Indiana tomorrow.  Kudos to the people of the FL/GA district for running a great program.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Go Bulldogs!

For the past few days, we have been in Seward, Nebraska on the campus of Concordia University.  The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod's Commission on Worship sponsored a conference on Liturgy, Music, and Hymnody.  It has been a great conference...and I want to say kudos to the staff of Concordia.  Every interaction with them has been pleasant and above average.  I haven't been in Seward since I was in college and then I was a student at Concordia River Forest (Chicago).  I'm glad to have come back to visit for this event...and of course, Nebraska is the "Good Life!"  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away...

Blessed be the name of the Lord!  Just on the heels of welcoming Rhys Padraig McDermott to the Kingdom of God, we mourned the passing of Vivian Anastasia Gregory from this veil of tears to the Glory of our Heavenly Father's arms.  Vivian was only about 7 months old.  She spent her whole earthly life in Parkview Hospital's NICU.  Her funeral took place at Kramer Chapel on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary this past Monday morning.  Pastor David Petersen's sermon can be found on the Redeemer Web site, click here to read it.  The Lord is good and works all things to the good of his name.  We rejoice in the hope of the resurrection.  The same that marked Rhys and Vivian both upon their mind and upon their heart in their baptism.  They are redeemed by Christ the Crucified.  And they LIVE!  We live... Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baptism in Sign

In just a couple of days, the church will welcome with our Lord, Rhys Padraig McDermott into the Kingdom of God.  I'm blessed to be the one to perform the baptism.  It will take place at Zion Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne...AND there will be Deaf at the service, so I'll be signing the liturgy as we go.  It should be really cool.  If you are in Fort Wayne come and greet Rhys.  He is a bundle of joy - and remember your baptism, for in it God has made you an heir to his Kingdom and called you Son.  He is well pleased with you!  

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Abba House

Some friends and I went to the Abba House at lunch today.  Great little store that you should visit if you're in the area.  They have lots of good Roman stuff, but other just needed things, too.  I loved the chant that was playing on the radio.  It was Ben and Mike's first trip to the Abba House and I think they enjoyed it.  I wanted to check out their crucifixes and their sensors.  I wasn't as impressed with the crucifixes...but loved the incense bowls they had.  If you can keep a secret, I bought a little one for my desk.  I can't wait to use it!  As for the cross - I'm gonna have to order one.  Any suggestions?

Christ Academy Dates Set: June 14-27, 2009

The 2009 Christ Academy dates are now out there for public consumption.  The last two, full, weeks of June will be filled with fun and excitement for the 11th year.  What is Christ Academy, you say??  Christ Academy is a two-week program for high-school-aged men of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod.  It serves as a time of study, worship, and fun, and becomes a place where students can explore the possibility of someday becoming a pastor.  You can find more information at  Do you know a highschooler that should come?  Let me know...I'll send him some info and say hello.  

Monday, July 14, 2008

iPhone sells

I'm totally taken by this new iPhone.  I'm impressed at every turn.  Apple tells the world that they sold 1 million in the three days they were on sale.  That is no where near the rate they sold when the first iPhone went on sale a little over a year ago.  The app store is just brilliant and the phone itself is still beautiful and works even better...or so I'm told.  I can't wait to try it out.  Of course, I've only read about them.  I have held one, but didn't play with it.  So does one get a black one or a white one??

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Christ Academy

Ten years ago, a brilliant little thing started up in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Christ Academy was born.  As a two week intense academy for high school young men, it has grown to be a place of religious instruction, rich worship experience, and a safe place for young men to explore God with other young men the same age.  Concordia Theological Seminary has been doing this academy now for 10 years.  For 10 years, high schoolers have traveled to Fort Wayne to study at the seminary.  They have made life-long friendships, experienced community around the study of Holy Scripture, and relaxed and had fun while enjoying sunny Fort Wayne.  These students have class together, worship and eat with the seminary community, and enjoy activities and travel.  Do you know a student that should be a pastor?  Do you know a high schooler that wants to learn more about Christ and His Church?  Recommend to him and his family he come to Christ Academy.  These two weeks will be amazing.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Holy Week

Wishing you a blessed holy week and a happy Easter.  The Lord has conquered by his cross and we are now alive with his blood.  Pax!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Texas in Fort Wayne

Stephanie and I have welcomed the Hardaways into our home this week.  They are from Houston...visiting the seminary.  Matthew is thinking of becoming a pastor.  It has been wonderful having old friends in town to enjoy some company.  I pray their visit was fruitful and that they have great travels home.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Concordia University

Dreyer and I have made it to Concordia University in St. Paul, MN. What a wonderful place. This is my first trip to CSP. Being a Concordia graduate (River Chicago), I love seeing another is like a bond. Have you visited any of our schools? Which ones?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back in the Fort

I had a great time in Texas.  There was lots of warm weather and kind, loving Texans to share it with.  I was welcomed back to Fort Wayne with lots of snow and ice...what a horrible change from 65 and sunny.  And if that wasn't bad enough, tomorrow, I head to the great white north...Concordia Saint Paul.  The thing is...those people are warm and kind, it really isn't that bad.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Check out!  ...and if you can, go.

Recruit Houston: Stop #4

Well, I've come to my final stop.  Across the street from the Johnson Space Center, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church sits in the heart of Space City.  The former call of Pastor John Kieschnick, a member of the CTS board of regents, Pastor Greg Finke now preaches and teaches here.  The Associate Pastor, Lonnie Gonzoles, used to be the associate at Fishers of Men Lutheran Church in Sugarland, Texas while I was the vicar at Memorial Lutheran Church in Houston.  He set up my venue here...but alas he had to be out of town.  It would have been nice to catch up.  Tomorrow, I head back to the Fort...time to see my wife again, YIPEE!!

Music to the ears

My great friend and church musician, Cantor Janet Muth (of Memorial Lutheran Church and School) is gonna have lunch with me today.  Janet has done a great job leading both the church and school through the church's sacred music.  I'm glad to have an extra time slot to meet with her again.  Music has a special place in the heart of the church.  Humans love to sing.  Sometimes we hide it in the shower or in the car as we buzz down the freeway...but we can't help but sing, hum, or whistle.  And it is wonderful that the church is no different.  Our confession of faith is carried along in the arms of music's notes.  I suppose we love it because it fills rooms and resonates in our hearts long after we have made it home.  There are other reasons, too, but suffice it to say we love to live with music.  It is pretty crazy the kinds of music that appeal to us, too!  Whereas I couldn't even imagine hymns without an organ or piano - or perhaps church music without strings and brass - I love a good AC/DC rock out or to listen to the nuances of Metallica.  Rap and hip hop appeal to me, too.  And I just love big band.  What do you rock out to?

Recruit Houston: Stop #3

My third stop was St. Mark Lutheran Church in Conroe, Texas.  Pastor George Borghardt takes care of the youth there and took good care of me.  Had lunch with Pastor Jeff Ware and Borghardt...along with a prospective student.  Prayed evening prayer with the college youth and then taught on the Office of the Ministry.  We ended the day with dinner at Texas Roadhouse.  What a wonderful day and some great people.  Sorry, I didn't take any photos...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Recruit Houston: Stop #2

Stop number 2 is in the heart of the Galleria district, sometimes called Uptown.  This is where I met my beautiful and darling wife.  So there is a little bit of sentimental value to this stop.  Here are a couple photos of the church and their current construction project.  You can check up on Memorial Lutheran Church's building project at  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Photo of Stop #1

With Angels and Archangels

Pastor Wayne Graumann of Salem Lutheran Church and School took me on a tour of their worship center this afternoon.  Take a look at this awesome altar...from the two angels in the book of Revelation, but it brings to mind the song of Isaiah 6, which we sing during the communion liturgy.  (BTW, he told me that the 50 foot pipes for the organ were built right into the poured concrete...which means that the low notes make the floor shake just like Isaiah 6.  WOW!)  A special thanks to Rev. Graumann, who also serves as the chairman of Concordia Theological Seminary's Board of Regents.  I was very happy with the extra time he took out of his busy day to spend with me.  And thanks to all the wonderful people of Salem.  

Recruit Houston: Stop #1

I made it to H-Town.  Such wonderful weather to greet me.  Very nice and 60-63 degrees.  I'm loving it.  My first stop for this recruiting trip is Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball.  I meet with Pastor Wayne Graumann and then meet with prospective students this afternoon.  Salem Lutheran Church is located just off FM2920 in the heart of Tomball.  Come on out and see me if you are in the area!  

Madagascar Photo

As I promised...a photo.  Here is Jacob Corzine with a lot of Malagsy children...  Jacob is a fourth year seminarian at Concordia Theological Seminary.


What would you say is the most innovative company in America and why?

Monday, March 3, 2008


A group from Concordia Theological Seminary just got back from the big island, Madagascar.  They seemed to have a great trip.  Six students and Professor Pless made the trek.  If you are a facebooker, go see Prof. Pless’s profile and check out the cool photos.  If not, I’ll try to get some of them here soon.  Welcome home, crew! 

Fly Like a Bird

I’m saying goodbye to the great white, wet, miserable north!  Well, at least for a couple of days and boy will I miss my wife.  But I’m going to Texas.  I’ll be in Houston for the next five days.  If you are around, come and say hello.  Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Memorial Lutheran Church and School in Houston, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Conroe, and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Houston are my stops.  Give the church a call to find out when I’m there and come chat with me.  I’d love to visit with you.  Maybe by the time I get back it will be in the 60’s here…

Friday, February 29, 2008

A Friend Comes to the Seminary

The Seminary has called the Rev. Brian Mosemann to be the new dean of students.  He replaces Rev. Timothy Puls after a 10 year run in that post.  Rev. Mosemann was my pre-seminary director at Concordia Chicago.  I’m happy that he has accepted and I look forward to having him in the Fort.  Blessings on your transition Mosemann!

A Visit Is Worth a Thousand Words

We just had a gentleman and his wife stop by for a seminary visit.  They were a very delightful couple.  I really enjoyed showing them around.  Originally from Indiana, he found and married his wife while studying at Concordia University Ann Arbor.  Our campus is very interesting place.  Even in the middle of a quarter break, it is still alive.  I would say there isn’t a place like it in the world.  And the best part about it: CTS belongs to the church.  It is your seminary.  If you are 5 years old or 85 years old…this is your seminary.  If you plan on being a pastor or if you don’t have any plan to change your career, this is your seminary.  AND it is alive as God uses ordinary means to form and shape future workers for his church. 


There is a lot of history with this campus.  Kramer Chapel towers over the upper plaza and the bell tower tolls the hour.  But most fascinating of all is that God takes poor miserable sinners and forms them into his servants.  From here into all the world, these pastors and deaconesses bring the Gospel to the lost and care for the God’s weak and sick. 


It’s a blessing to have such a place as Concordia Theological Seminary.  You really should stop by and take a look.  And if you can’t pray for the continued support of forming pastors and deaconesses for Christ’s church. 


The snow is falling in Fort Wayne again.  It is almost a whiteout at the seminary.  Of course it is a beautiful, but I just don’t want to go out in it.  When is spring gonna come??

Back in the Fort

To St. Louis and back and so I journeyed Wednesday and Thursday.  I was there talking about the synod’s upcoming Pastoral Education Month.  This yearly celebration of our synod occurs during the month of May.  There will be resources on the synod’s Web site and posters mailed to congregations.  Why?  Pastoral Education Month has been designated by the Synod’s Board of Directors to help educate the synod about the process of forming servants for Jesus Christ.  It encourages pastors and congregations in the processes of finding putting forth possible candidates for the seminary.  Also it provides a way to encourage financial support for the formation of the Lord’s workers.  Look forward to more information as this year’s celebration draws closer and closer.  Mark the calendar though…perhaps your church could have a Pastoral Education Sunday during the month of May.  Give me an email if you have any questions: steven[dot]cholak[at]ctsfw[dot]edu.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Normal is broke, be weird!

Everybody should know about Dave Ramsey.  Dave is a financial talk radio host, best selling author, and TV personality.  He speaks and writes about getting your finances in order and most importantly...about getting out of DEBT.  The normal way of life for most of us is to live paycheck to paycheck.  But there is a better way to do things.  Each dollar can have a name and our money can do what we tell it to do, rather than the other way around (money telling us what to do).  We all wanted to learn from someone to have financial peace, and no one ever teaches us.  We get out of high school with credit card companies marketing to us, but school never teaches us how to get by without the credit.  Well, I encourage you to be weird...drop your debt and have some peace.  Then you'll have money to spend, money to grow, and the most to give away!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We're having a heat wave...

A tropical heat wave. The temperatures have risen to about 40 degrees in Fort Wayne. Pretty crazy not to have to bundle up so tight. We had temps in the teens last week, with wind chill factors in the negative numbers. I don't know how long it will last, but it sure is nice.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Meditation for Epiphany

In the name of the Father and the +Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen

O Daughter of Zion - your hill is the holy mountain of God. You have been citied high - for everyone to see. Your city cannot be hidden, yet you hide and desire sweet, sweet slumbers. For the air is thin and the view has become boring. So angels fill the still dark sky and beckon you to rise: "Hark the glad sound!" They sing. A thrilling voice announces to the ends of the earth: Behold, your Savior comes. Isaiah prepares your way. He has opened your gates and cleared your road of stones. John has warned you of the wrath to come! Preaching repentance, O Daughter of Zion, the Kingdom of God is at hand. Salvation belongs to our God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And that salvation is his reward for you to have. Upon the cross he has accomplished your freedom. God has become man and in that incarnation the almighty creator has taken on your flesh and your blood. Freedom is accomplished as God hanged upon the cross. There the Lord hath elected to show his love to you. Behold, O Daughter of Zion, Jesus has taken your sin and guilt and destroyed it there on Calvary. Your sin and punishment taken away - paid in full. Hark the glad sound - O you holy people of God. The Savior cometh. He cares not for the things of earth...nor the pleasures it doth offer. He comes and seeks you out for you he did suffer. Let us therefore be joyful - the Savior approaches and calls you righteous. Softly from his manger Jesus calls you: You are safe from danger, children you are freed from sin and death.

Behold, O Daughter of Zion, your Salvation comes, and has come and behold his reward is here. It is yours. Your city is not hidden, but exalted. You are the redeemed of the Lord.


Rev. Steven Cholak
CTS Kantorei Tour
Epiphany 2008

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

McDonalds takes on Starbucks

I'm a big Starbucks fan. It comes from 6 months of employment as they slowly got me hooked on the java bean. It also comes from the ethic I saw as I worked there. They spent more time on training employees (called partners at Starbucks) then they spent on advertising. They were true to their mission and their love of coffee. I haven't worked there for about a year. But I would say they've gone down hill. I wonder if it is their focus on selling everything, but coffee. Whatever the case, the Starbuck's Experience isn't what it was even one year ago.

So McDonald's announces that they are going to install espresso machines and hire employees they will call "baristas." It seems that maybe they are just doing what Starbucks has done so well in the past year or so. You'll be able to get anything you want to eat or drink - even buy some fancy music on your iPhone - but you won't be able to get a decent burger.

I've never really liked McDonalds, but I've used them. When I have to eat, I stop. Their practices won't bother me, because it can't get much worse. Starbucks, on the other hand, grieves me. I hope it turns around...but in case it doesn't I should start a backup plan.

Where do you get your coffee?