Archive for June, 2014

Memory Lapse

June 30, 2014

The Supreme Court today ruled that privately held corporations (at the very least) could not be compelled by the Affordable Healthcare Act to provide contraceptive and abortifacient coverage to their employees if it violates the religious convictions of the corporate owners.  Already the press is hard at work depicting this as a monumental blow to women’s rights.  This despite the fact that the right didn’t even exist a few short years ago, and this despite the fact that requiring such employee-sponsored coverage is an equally monumental blow to freedom of religion.

Had the court ruled differently, it would have in essence affirmed the current administration’s stance that religious people who start businesses have no right to allow those religious beliefs to guide their business operations.

Press coverage is amazingly skewed.  Consider this single, brief article.

“Many religiously affiliated employers were already exempt from the requirement.” – Actually, no.  Only institutions and organizations with the primary purpose of providing religious services were exempted.  Basically, churches – not church-affiliated institutions such as hospitals, educational institutions, etc.

“some for-profit companies don’t have to pay for contraceptives either” – The implication being that any for-profit company clearly has an obligation to offer such services, or to be forced to abide by whatever regulatory decrees the government finds useful.  Why is it that seeking to make a profit is treated in a derogatory fashion, as though somehow someone with religious convictions that drive their personal and business ethos is unimaginable?

I’d take serious issue with the assertion that this ruling affects millions of women.  The small number of largely small, private companies that might seek protection under this ruling is not likely to impact anywhere close to millions of women.

Those who decry this decision once again seek to frame women as victims.  Women must be guaranteed that these services, which until alarmingly recently were nowhere, by no one, considered a right of all working women.  As a man, I find it offensive that after 50 years of gains in women’s rights, women continue to allow themselves to be portrayed as victims.

Here’s a novel thought – if free contraceptive and abortifacient coverage is important to you as a woman, then work for a company that provides such coverage.  There are plenty of them now.  I daresay the majority of major employers in the US won’t consider rolling back this coverage.  Work for one of those companies!  Women in the workforce are free to choose where they work, based on what sort of benefits the company offers.  Nothing new here.

I’m thrilled for the court’s decision.  Not because I disrespect women, but because I respect women and their ability to make choices about the type of work they want to do and who they wish to do it for.  I also respect deeply the idea that the owner of a company should be allowed to provide jobs to others without violating important aspects of their faith.

Reading Ramblings – July 6, 2014

June 29, 2014

Date:  2014 Narrative Preaching Series #3, July 6, 2014

Texts: Genesis 7, 8:13-22; Psalm 1; Mark 6:45-52


Context: Sin pervades creation courtesy of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.  Each generation can’t imagine that mankind could become worse, more depraved, less God-fearing.  Nearly every generation is proved wrong as sin proliferates.  Perhaps if we could start with the best of the best, though, we could stem the tide of sin?  The promise of eugenics to improve humanity by controlling who lives to procreate is not a new temptation.  God shows us that this is not the solution to the problem of sin.  The problem of sin can only be solved by God stepping into creation, not by creation once again attempting to play God.


Genesis 7, 8:13-22— In the few short chapters from Genesis 3 to Genesis 7, sin proliferates.  Humanity wanders far afield from God in so many ways.  Power and violence are now sources of pride and glory.  Marriage becomes twisted into new forms.  Still the promise looms out there, expectant in the hearts of those who still strive to follow God.  Noah’s very name may be an indication (Genesis 5:28-29) his parents hoped he would be the one promised by God to Eve.  Surely, Noah grows into a man who loves God and seeks to obey him despite the sinful selfishness of the surrounding peoples.  Who better to reboot humanity?

The flood obliterates creation, destroying all peoples except for those preserved on the ark.  If there was to be a hope for mankind within mankind alone, Noah and his family evidently represent it.  But even as they exit the ark to begin the process of rebuilding, God knows better.  He knows that even within righteous Noah, sinfulness rages.  Our hope cannot simply be in good people.  Our hope has to lie elsewhere, beyond ourselves.

God also demonstrates his absolute sovereignty over all things.  Believers and unbelievers alike are all within his power, and what God ordains, no human can thwart.

Psalm 1— Obedience to God is a beautiful and wonderful thing, wherein we draw closer to our true identities and natures as we were created to be.  Obedience consists of consciously rejecting the way of the world, of selfishness and self-seeking, and seeking out the Word of God himself for guidance and instruction.  In a world that insists our self is our greatest good, the Word of God directs us to a proper context of self as a creation of God, designed to serve and love God and one another.  While these confused contexts might seem up in the air these days, evil will be shown to be what it is.  Justice will prevail.  The righteousness of God will ensure that this confusion does not last forever.

Mark 6:45-52—Water often represents chaos, the uncontrolled foundational element of all existence.  God demonstrates his authority over literal water in creation, not simply creating it but also ordering it and restraining it, ensuring that it obeys his commands.  In the Flood God demonstrates his powers by undoing some of these restraints and turning loose the waters over creation to flood and destroy and kill.  Yet when the intended purposes are accomplished, God ensures that the water recedes and returns to proper boundaries so that life might once again flourish.

Jesus’ disciples struggle to make sense of who He is.  Not long before this event, Jesus demonstrates his authority over the wind and the waters of the Sea of Galilee, commanding them to be still where moments earlier they had threatened to sink the fishing boat Jesus and his disciples traveled in. He has just finished miraculously feeding thousands of people before sending his disciples alone across the Sea of Galilee.  Who is this amazing and frightening person?  The disciples likely had much to discuss among themselves as they begin their trip.

Once again Jesus demonstrates his authority as the Son of God, displaying his power over creation.  Who can control the waves and wind?  Whose voice must they obey?  And who is capable of suspending the properties of creation, allowing things to happen that otherwise could not?  Who is it that can walk across water as though on dry land?  Surely only the creator and master of creation could do such things.  The sight of Jesus walking across the water is undoubtedly far more disturbing to his disciples than his absence.

Jesus is aware of their concerns, just as He was aware that their boat was not making much headway against the wind.  Once again wind is portrayed in opposition to Jesus’ disciples.  Could there be spiritual forces at play here, trying to keep Jesus and his followers from their destination?  We shouldn’t rule out this interpretation though Scripture is not explicit.  This is the second time that the disciples struggle with the natural elements when commanded by Jesus to sail.  This is the second time that Jesus’ authority over the elements is demonstrated.

But whether natural or supernatural in their source, the winds once again must obey the Word through which they were created.  Jesus calms his disciples, and then calms the winds.  His mastery over both humans and nature is absolute. While humanity is often at the mercy of nature, God is not.  Both humanity and creation are created to acknowledge the power and presence of the God who created them.  Humanity that embraced sin with Adam and Eve is in need of someone greater to rescue it.  Jesus has demonstrated his willingness and ability to resist temptation, demonstrating that He is the one promised to Eve (not Noah!).  He is the one who can not simply restore creation, but recreate it from the inside out.


Ramadan Begins

June 28, 2014

Today marks the beginning of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim year.  Because it is based on the lunar calendar, the timing shifts each year.  Muslims hold Ramadan as special as the month when the revelation of the Qur’an, the Islamic sacred text, was believed to be given to the Prophet Mohammed.  During this month, observant Muslims are expected to fast from sunup to sundown, as prescribed in Surah (Chaper) 2 of the Qur’an, beginning at verse 183.

With the increased visibility of Islam over the past 20 years, much more attention is being paid to this holiday, despite the fact that only .8% of the US population is Muslim (at least according to Wikipedia).  That’s point eight percent – less than 1%.  Other sites indicate slightly higher percentages, but regardless, it’s very, very small for the amount of press generated.

Of course, even a very small population can make a big difference, culturally.  Every year on either end of Ramadan, for example, British shops recognize increased business from wealthy Muslim families who come to shop and enjoy before the month of Ramadan and afterwards.  Other retailers are well aware of the growing affluence and interest of Muslims, and are tailoring their advertisements accordingly.  Consider all-American Coca Cola’s Ramadan commercial.

According to the Qur’an, fasting precludes food and sexual activity between sunup and sundown.  Many articles are written about the effects of Ramadan.  This one focuses on Muslims in my part of the world who see it as a call to action on behalf of their families and friends trapped in various deadly conflicts in the Middle East.  Time magazine online will have daily meditations on Ramadan from an Imam at Princeton University.  Today’s message stresses that Ramadan’s fasting helps to “bind us together as human beings.  Ramadan is a perfect time to build bridges and reconciliation with friends, neighbors, classmates, and co-workers – regardless of religion.”

These are wonderful sentiments, but hard to make sense of properly.  For comfortable Westerners – both Muslim and non-Muslim – the words are pretty and encouraging, they have all the emotion and substance of a Hallmark card.  Considering the bloodbath going on in Iraq and Syria right now, with Muslims pitted against one another and also attacking Christians, these words echo rather false.  Certainly that is a testament to the brokenness of human nature, not simply the Muslim faith.  Christians have brutalized one another for years in various ways as well.

But looking a bit further than the very brief verse quoted in the Time article provides further troubling material.  Fasting is linked to righteousness, not warm-fuzzies and neighborliness.  A scant seven verses later in the same Surah, Muslims are called to fight against and to specifically kill anyone who has persecuted Muslims (though the meaning of persecution here is undefined.  It seems to encompass among other things displacement and exile, so that Muslims are justified in killing those who have forced them from their homes).  In Surah 2:193, Muslims are exhorted to fight against unbelievers until not only are they are no longer persecuted by them, but until everyone worships Allah.

Bridges may be built during Ramadan, but until everyone worships Allah alone, such bridges are tenuous at best, according to the Qur’an.

Unity is Hard

June 27, 2014

Tonight and for the next few days, our family will undergo a ritual that we have repeated more than a dozen times in the last year.  We will welcome a stranger into our family and home.  We’ve never met this person.  We know nothing about her beyond her age, her country of origin, and that she’s coming to Santa Barbara to improve her English and learn about American culture.  We don’t know anything about her family, her background, her experiences, her education, her hopes, her dreams.  Perhaps more pertinent, we don’t know anything about her personal characteristics, whether she’s tidy or messy, fresh or stinky, grumpy or cheerful, a morning person or a night person, how well she shares, whether she likes dogs, or children, or much of anything else.

Yet for the next two months, she becomes part of our family.  She has to learn to adapt to us.  We have to learn to adapt to her.  We are committed to working out misunderstandings, clarifying confusion, giving the benefit of the doubt, smiling, being patient, trying to listen more than speak, and otherwise to love this young woman as her family-away-from-home, which is what we are.

In a little over a year of doing this, with people from literally all over the world, we have only had one situation that wasn’t pleasant.  We’ve had no shortage of goofs and mistakes and misunderstandings.  We’ve been stretched in dealing with privileged teens and pampered pubescents.  We’ve learned that you can survive the callouses that form from biting your tongue.  It isn’t lethal.  And only once – and not by our initiation – was a student reassigned because it just wasn’t a good fit.

I’m not bragging, but I’m proud of that track record.  It has taught our family a lot.  A lot that I wish my larger church body (not my particular congregation!) would learn.

I spent the day planning for a conference in the fall that pastors from our region are all supposed to attend.  Only about half of them do.  Some don’t because of logistical reasons – their parishes can’t afford to cover their travel expenses, things like that.  Others don’t because they dislike gathering together as clergy.  I’m an introvert, I get that to large extent.  Conferences are painful and awkward for me as well.  But I go, because it’s important to be there.  Not necessarily important for me, though that could easily be debated.  But important all the same.  Important to my congregation as a tangible reminder that we are not some sort of renegade group out here in paradise.  Important to my brothers in the ministry as a sign of support and encouragement, even if they have no idea who I am and we never exchange a single word.  Important to remind me that I’m not the Lutheran Lone Ranger.

But unity is hard.  Not all of the guys who gather for this conference see eye to eye on all matters.  Some of them disagree pretty firmly on aspects of ministry and worship and Christian life.  For some guys, these differences are reasons to skip the conference all together.  It is their passive or active judgment on all the people that don’t agree with them.  Some of these guys don’t come because they don’t want to take Holy Communion with their brothers they disagree with.

Brothers that are ordained in the same denomination they are.  Brothers who have taken the same ministerial vows that they have.  Because they disagree, they have decided that they cannot Commune together.  They are stating that they are not in unity with the rest of us, or at least those who disagree with them.

I have my opinions and ideas and preferences like anyone else.  But I try to bear in mind at all times that the odds that I’m wrong about something are frighteningly high.  A Masters in theology doesn’t make you theologically bulletproof.  It makes you just sharp enough to be dangerous.  To yourself, your congregation, and your colleagues.

But unity is what we affirm in our ministerial vows.  Unity is what we are called to not just in Christ but by Christ (John 17).  I may not agree with everything a colleague of mine does.  But is he still a brother in Christ?  And is there nothing that I can learn from him?  Nothing he can learn from me?  Isn’t it going to be awfully awkward in heaven to be around people that you refuse to speak to here and now?  Brothers and sisters in the faith?

Unity is hard.  It takes a lot of work.  A lot of tongues bitten.  A lot of grace rather than judgment.  It has to be prized in and of itself, as something to be striven for and achieved to at least a limited degree.  The harder you work at it, the more you realize that it can be done.  It isn’t the end of the world to have a heated disagreement with somebody and not change their mind.  And it certainly doesn’t hurt to sit down around a table with them a while later and share a meal, whether chips & salsa or Holy Communion.  It in fact is very helpful, very necessary, very important.

I need the opportunity to learn how to stay in unity with someone I don’t agree with – who I may not even like!  And I need brothers in the faith who will do the same with me.  Not because it’s always fun and easy, but because it can be done, should be done, and must be done.

Meanwhile, in ‘Merica

June 27, 2014

A few recent tidbits on the State of our Union.  You know, the government of the people, by the people, and for the people?  That government?  Yeah.  Well.

President Obama is mad that the GOP is suing him for breaches of executive authority.  He isn’t apparently denying that what he did was questionable (or that he will continue to exercise questionable power).  Instead, he’s blaming Congress for not working with him.  It’s their fault he has to break the law.  And they call him names.  

It’s been a long time since my civics class in high school, but it seems to me that this is how government is supposed to function, yes?  Checks and balances?  Perhaps President Obama hasn’t considered that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives (and the very narrow Democratic majority in the Senate) reflect the attitude of the American people towards his policies, and should be taken as a sign that he doesn’t have a mandate to do whatever he wants.   And I’m fairly certain that our Constitutional framework intends it to be this way, and does not simply make provisos for the President to do what he wants without bothering to get necessary Congressional approval. 

At least the other parts of our government are functioning properly though, right?  Hmmm.

Today the IRS admitted that it inappropriately disseminated private information by releasing a tax form for a non-profit organization to the press (as required by law) without  removing names of donors to the organization (as required by law).  The IRS is paying $50,000 to a private organization to cover that organization’s legal fees involved in bringing this case to court.  It is not a punitive fine of any sort.  A judge has determined that it wasn’t really all that big of a deal.  Accidents happen.  Though if you read the chain of connections in the article above, it seems amazingly coincidental that this information found it’s way into the hands of liberal publications, which made it public during a presidential election, when one of the presidential candidates (hint: it wasn’t President Obama) was linked to the non-profit in question.  

This is the same IRS who recently claimed to have lost all sorts of e-mails that it is required by law to keep hard copies of.  E-mails directly related to a probe of the IRS’ activity in scrutinizing conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle.  Information that might be very embarrassing not just to the IRS but to currently sitting politicians in very high places.  Like the Oval Office.  This despite the IRS spending over $4 billion dollars in the last few years to upgrade technology.  Yet because of budget squeezes, there wasn’t enough money for the estimated $10 million dollars necessary to ensure that the e-mails were adequately backed up.  

Bummer, dude.  



Wet Bar Wednesday – Gifting

June 25, 2014

We were blessed to have friends from out of town visiting the past few days.  Way out of town.  They currently live & work in Hanoi, Vietnam.  As many guests do, they brought gifts.  Since J.P. is a colleague and classmate of mine from Seminary (as well as a follower of this blog), he knows my affinity for tequila and brought a very nice bottle – Siete Leguas Anejo.   We enjoyed several nights of sipping on this bottle, and I only feel slightly guilty that I’ll continue to enjoy it for some time while he & his wife have to head up the coast without it.

Giving a bottle of liquor as a gift is a great idea, if you know that the recipients appreciate that sort of thing.  If you know that your hosts – whether for a visit or a dinner – appreciate a bottle of wine or liquor (or even beer I suppose) – how do you make a selection?

Find out what they like –  This is the obvious place to start.  If you know they prefer a particular type of liquor your selection process will be greatly narrowed – in a good way.  Try and find something you know they’ll like.  Try to avoid asking them point blank as this is kind of a give away as to what you’re planning.  

Gauge their expertise –  Gifting someone is wonderful, but it can be challenging if they’re serious and educated.  In that case you’re going to have to do some more research and probably spend a bit more money to get something you can be sure they’ll enjoy.  Otherwise, you can opt for something different.  Rum rather than wine, for instance.  However, if you’re gifting hard alcohol, it’s nice to either know that you can sip it straight, or also bring along the mixers to enjoy it properly.

Research – Frankly, research is a good idea regardless.  Do some Googling.  Ask someone at the liquor store (this is a lot dicier).  Find out what others think good options might be and then choose from these.  There are amazing resources out there that can help you figure out what people consider to be a good choice.

Go to a liquor store – Unless you desire to buy a very safe & basic option, go to an actual liquor store rather than the grocery store or drug store.  Multi-purpose stores carry only the most popular brands.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if you’re looking for a creative selection, you aren’t likely to find it.  Go to a good liquor store and you should have many more options.  

Be creative – I prefer to gift something a bit out of the ordinary if I can.  Maybe something locally produced, or an off-brand, or something that you can’t generally find.  Something that is visually appealing can also be an interesting approach to making a selection.  Have some fun with it if the situation allows for it.

Don’t buy the cheapest option – Unless of course you’ve done your homework and have stumbled upon a really good option that also happens to be very cheap!  The occasion also dictates what you spend.  Going to dinner with folks you dine with regularly doesn’t require you to break the bank.  Know who it is that you’re dealing with and the nature of the occasion.  If you’re doing something out of the ordinary in the gifting, then be prepared to spend a little more.  

Don’t buy the most expensive option – Unless you really need to make an impression, don’t go overboard, either.  Some basic research online should give you an idea of a range for a particular liquor, and help ensure that you don’t get ripped off or pay too much for something.

Share! – Part of the fun in gifting is sharing with the recipients.  But keep this in mind in purchasing as well.  Generally, gifting something you don’t personally like is not something I recommend, but the occasion or other factors may dictate it.  My buddy appeared just as excited as I was to sample the tequila they brought, and it was definitely more enjoyable together.





Staying Married

June 25, 2014

That’s what a lot more people are doing than previously expected.

At least according to one researcher.  Shaunti Feldhahn is a Harvard-trained researcher,  Christian (I think), and author.  Her latest research into the popularly cited statistics on marriage in America (half of all marriages end in divorce) is pretty eye-opening.

First, no such statistic exists.  She states that this figure was based on projections during the 1970’s, based on the growth of divorce in those years, of what the divorce rate would be today.  But in fact divorce rates have dropped and have, according to Feldhahn’s research, never approached the 50% mark.  She estimates that perhaps 25% of first time marriages end in divorce, and that the overall divorce rate in America for all marriages is probably around 31%.  

However if the couple is Christian, the rate is even lower.  Perhaps in the single digits, but likely not more than 20% across all marriages (first-time or otherwise).  She links this phenomenon to the issue of hope.  Christians should have hope, and this helps them to weather the ups and downs of the marital relationship better.

It will be interesting to see who – if anyone – steps forward to attempt to debunk her research.  Her credentials appear strong, and I’ll be curious to see what happens next in the media.

Burial Beliefs

June 24, 2014

This past Saturday I presented a talk at our church on planning for your memorial.  Pretty perky sounding topic, eh?  It’s appropriate for an older congregation like mine, but the topic is eminently pertinent to everyone.  I tried to make this clear by simply emphasizing the obvious – barring a divine return, we’re all going to die.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  We don’t know how or when, but keeping this rather important fact in mind throughout life is a really, really, really good idea.  We’re not to obsess over it, but we dare not forget or ignore it the way our culture would prefer us to.

I touched briefly on the topic of cremation vs. burial, indicating that there is no strong Biblical endorsement of any particular funerary practice.  What matters is that we treat the body as a gift of God, a gift that foreshadows the body we will once again enjoy when we are raised from the dead on the day of Jesus’ return.  As such, the rationale behind the decision on how to deal with our dead body is probably more important than the particular decision reached.  In short I don’t see a problem with burial or cremation.  But I alluded to the fact that there are evolving burial practices that I do have a problem with.  

Then an acquaintance on Facebook posted this link.  Red flag statement?  “Bios urn transforms death into life through nature.”

Now, let’s not be silly here.  There are plenty of folks whose bodies have disintegrated over time, become part of the soil and undoubtedly absorbed into the local flora and fauna.  From dust we have come and to dust we will return – it’s not just an Ash Wednesday mantra, it’s reality.  However, it’s a side effect.  From dust we have come, but dust is not what we were originally destined to return to.  And the life that comes through death for the Christian has nothing to do with becoming part of a tree or a shrub or an animal or some other Lion King sort of circle-of-life silliness.  Our hope for life is linked to the life of Jesus of Nazareth, the life He demonstrated to hundreds of people after he was executed and buried.  He is our hope for life, and any other source of hope is a pretty dismal alternative.  

That being said I don’t take issue with wanting to be environmentally friendly.  Embalming and all the other things we do to put off the natural decay of the body strike me as highly unnatural.  Pumping dead bodies and therefore eventually the ground with toxic chemicals makes no sense to me.  But the reasonable alternative is not the hope that our dearly departed will now be a tree.  

Beginning Again

June 24, 2014

I started this blog nearly eight years ago.  I was halfway through seminary, through a major life redirection that no longer only affected me, but my family.  How could starting a blog change anything or anyone?  Why would such a tiny blip on the radar of life matter?  Not sure that I am any closer to the answer on that question, but I remain entrenched in the prayer that it will and has and does.  Not just for me but for the varied people that have come along on the ride for a little or a long way.

My very first post to this blog in August of 2006 remains one of my personal favorites.  So I’m reposting it as I transition to a new platform.  That’s one of the perks of being in charge, and it remains a good reminder of reality.  As a curious aside, I noticed that connotate below had been flagged as misspelled.  When I looked it up, I found out that this 400 year old word or so is considered obsolete, replaced by connote.  Weird.  I prefer connotate.  Another perk of being in charge!


Beginnings are hard.  They frighten, intimidate, excite, beckon and threaten.  They seem often to create anxiety for and about.  As sequential, chronological creations, each moment seems a new beginning, and it’s only through the sheer number of such moments that we eventually grow numb to them individually, and begin to fixate upon specific moments in time as momentous enough to be called “beginnings”.  Perhaps part of our greatest anxiety is that beginnings connotate the unknown.  Most beginnings entail outcomes that are not necessarily known and predictable.

Of course, our perceptions of beginnings and time and reality are skewed.  How could they not be?  We are broken, fragmented, shattered people living in a pipe-bombed carnival mirror-show.  Few things are as they seem to be, or as we interpret them to be in this world.  Yet we prod and dissect and insist that things are what we claim them to be.  Including beginnings.

In the beginning…

Not, ‘Once upon a time’.  Not ‘A long time ago’.  Not ‘A while back’.

In the beginning…”

There has only been one beginning.  There will be only one end.  We experience our world in bits and pieces rather than as a continuity.  We can’t imagine how the assertion of Genesis 1:1 could possibly mean what it says.  We insist that there are a myriad of beginnings and endings.  Our birth.  Our graduation.  Our marriage.  Our divorce.  Our death.  Starts and stops, beginnings and endings.

But Genesis asserts differently.  One beginning.  One single starting point, initiated by an eternal God for His eternal purposes.  We are nothing new.  My children are nothing new.  Their grandchildren will be nothing new.  All was known and part of the one beginning.  But each is only shown to me moment by moment.  While I was created for eternity, I was not created for infinity.  I am not God, and was not designed to experience the totality of His designs – only my part in them.

I look forward to the day that I can look out over the vistas of eternity and begin to make some sense of it all.  Perhaps never complete sense – not in the way that God sees and senses it.  But certainly enough sense to appreciate the beauty and magnitude and scope of it all.  Enough to see it in continuity, and to finally understand the whys and hows of my life.

Until then, I am stuck with the imaginings of beginnings and endings.  And so, I begin again.


June 23, 2014

Welcome to my new site.  At least temporarily.

The transfer of my seven years of posts, comments, etc. from GoDaddy appears to be successful.  The last issue will be deciding which domain name to transfer over here, once I upgrade my WordPress account.  It will either be the old, or just  I’ll keep you updated.

I look forward to continuing our discussions together!