Friday, June 15, 2012

In the Beginning...

by Ryan

“We seem to have our best conversations in the car.”
– Me (Ryan)

When I decided to leave Facebook about a month ago, I knew right away I would face a challenge in keeping people in my life up to date with things at our household. This blog — The Sword and the Stein — is Shannon and my solution. This may seem like a peculiar family blog name, but I find the meaning behind this title very appropriate for our lives, as well as the lives of Christians around the world. (More on that in a bit.)

A typically cliché statement when naming a blog might be: “Naming a blog is like naming a baby!” Well, in a way, I think it’s more difficult. That is, unless you are like Frank Zappa, and your children have completely zany names, such as Dweezil and Moon Unit. Anywho, needless to say, we had a hard time naming the blog and went through several ideas before coming to
The Sword and the Stein.

One of the more interesting ideas we had stemmed from a visit to St. Charles Borromeo parish in Milan (pronounced: My-len), Indiana. This parish has always felt like home to me. We were attending the 8 a.m. Mass when we heard an announcement that went something like this:

“If you left your rosary at the Resurrection … I mean, The Reservation … (various laughter from the parishioners), it is available for pickup in the Parish Hall.” (The Reservation, by the way, is a restaurant in Milan with cheap Native American-ish décor and a tasty breakfast menu.)

Because of this hilarious instance, Shannon and I long contemplated playing with “If you lost your rosary at the Resurrection…” as a blog name, among others. Shannon and I usually discussed the rationale behind these choices on various car rides, bedtime conversations and other stolen moments.

Hey, girl. Nice mug.

So, I’m guessing you really just want me to tell why we named our blog after a weapon and a drinking vessel. The sword represents the word of God; in Ephesians 6:17, the word of God is “a sword of the spirit.” Hebrews 4:12 calls the word of God “sharper than any two edged sword … and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.” So, while we may wish from time to time to scrutinize the behaviors of our fellow man, we will also look for opportunities to scrutinize our own hearts, since “a good heart is a continual feast” (Proverbs 15:15).

Awkward Family Photos, anyone?

The stein, the well-known drinking vessel of Germanic peoples (and the German word for “stone”), represents the world and all of its pleasures. We all have some pastime, hobby, diversion, etc. that adds dimensions to our lives and perhaps contributes in some way to our uniqueness as individuals.

Some of our blog posts may be more of the “sword” variety, with other posts addressing more “stein”-worthy topics. And then some may be a mixture of the two. I think this is the essence of the devout life, which we try to live with God’s aid. 

Either way, we hope you enjoy our blog.


  1. Yay! Looking forward to more posts :)

  2. Oh, look at that glorious gray hair!