30 June 2008

Psst!

TODAY is the day. Issues returns!!! Check out Issues for details.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Grant forgiveness, O Lord; send also strength. Convert me, that I may live in sanctity, according to Thy holy will. - St. Ephraim, the Syrian, *A Spiritual Psalter* #120

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

When hearts are purified by faith, Acts 15:9, everything proceeding from them is holy. The Holy Spirit diffuses His influence through the sanctified personality of the believer. The believer is a new creature in Christ Jesus, in whom all things have become new. His disposition toward God, his views of truth, his standard of judgment, his objects of admiration, his motives, his hopes, his entire life are new. Instead of seeking only self, he seeks God; instead of living only for earth and time, he lives for Heaven and eternity; instead of clinging only to what he can see and feel, he clings to what is beyond the range of sight and sense. His character deepens as the eternal and unseen more and more predominate in all that he thinks and does. The Holy Spirit works through him; and he cooperates with the Holy Spirit in the exercise of the new powers with which he is endowed. -- H. E. Jacobs, *Elements of Religion* p. 190-191

29 June 2008

Not Philosophy, But Language

This is a big point that Oswald Bayer makes in his *Theology the Lutheran Way* - that the Reformation was essentially a turning away from an attempt to harmonize philosophy and theology, and recognition that theology lives in a different world than ideas. In fact, Bayer can say: "We are called to fight against the attempt to turn the gospel into a theory." And doesn't matter much a theory of WHAT. But if not theory, then what?

The Reformers turned to the category of language, of speech, and there discovered a different approach. The Gospel is and remains essentially communication. God is speaking, addressing sinful human beings. And it is HOW He speaks and WHAT He speaks that marks this communication as Gospel. That is, He speaks PROMISE. Not the "if you do this, then I'll do that" kind of promise (which we might call a deal, but not strictly a promise), but a Word that simply announces what He HAS done, IS doing, and WILL do for you in His Son.

When Lutherans are concerned about the mixing of law and Gospel, they are concerned with the loss of the promise-nature of the Gospel - and it is the promise nature which is the Holy Spirit's way of calling forth faith *and of sustaining faith*. "For the Word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who ARE BEING SAVED it is the power of God." [1 Cor. 1:18] And this mixing invariably means speaking "Gospel" (or what we think of as Gospel) in such a way that it is not experienced by the hearers as promise. The dread of uniting law and Gospel together for Lutherans is that if there is a pathway from the one to the other, then the Gospel has ceased to be pure promise and has become instead something due, owed to our fulfilment of some condition. It is immediately rendered doubtful and uncertain.

People ask: Well, isn't faith a condition? No, faith is what appropriates, takes the promise, holds it, the trusting of it, and rejoicing in it - but such faith is never a condition for a Gospel promise. Rather than say: If you believe, your sins are forgiven you. Better to say: Your sins are forgiven you, blotted out by the blood of the Son of God. Believe it, for it is true.

Big diff between those two in how the hearer experiences them. In the first, the forgiveness is a condition that may obtain depending upon the response of faith. In the second, the forgiveness is a condition that already obtains, and which the hearer is urged to trust as so. Spoken the second way, the promise itself gives birth to or strengthens faith.

In today's homily, Pastor GeRue came to a section where the sermon soared. In it, he simply began to speak the promises by naming Christ. He was unpacking "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." And so we had lines like: "You are the ram caught in the thicket by its horns, giving your life for ours. You are the suffering servant, pierced in your hands, your feet, your side." It kept on going and developing this "You are" theme. And these were all promises - promises fulfilled fully in Christ who is the "yea and amen" to all the promises of Sacred Scripture. Faith surges from such promises: "Yes! Yes! Yes!" it cries, "You are such a Lord for me."

Green

That is, the light on the chlorinator. The salt water is making chlorine. Yeah! Now, if it would just warm up a bit, the pool might even be useful...

28 June 2008

Prayer Request

For those of you who follow my blog, I ask that you keep my sister, Marie Cooke, in your prayers. Marie, or Sis (as she's known to us - the only girl with four brothers!), has recently experienced difficulty in seeing. Seems a tumor has wrapped itself around the optical nerve. Sounds like almost any treatment will result in blindness in that eye. She has (a couple years ago) struggled through some breast cancer treatments, then some surgery on her back, and now this. Lord, have mercy! If you'd remember her in prayer, asking for God's good and gracious will to be done in her life, I'd be grateful. She is one of the dearest people in the world to me.

Happy to Report...

...that Quinn Patrick was joined today to Christ's holy Church through the Sacrament of Baptism. May the Lord grant Him daily growth in faith and a life of repentance.

On This Rock

As for the declaration "on this rock I will build My church" (Matt. 16:18), certainly the Church has not been built upon the authority of a man. Rather, it has been built upon the ministry of the confession Peter made, in which he proclaims that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (Matt 16:16). Therefore, Christ addresses Peter as a minister, "On this rock," that is, this ministry. - Tractatus 25

Naughty Lucy!

Here's Lucy's gate (to keep her in the kitchen).  She decided to make a hole in it!




So she's been sent to JAIL.

The Joyous Festival of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles

Tonight and tomorrow we will gather with joy to celebrate the festival of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles. Reed notes that this is one of the oldest saint's days observed, and that in Rome it was regarded as one of the greatest feasts of the entire year. Anciently in Rome, three masses were appointed. One commemorating St. Peter, one St. Paul, and one all the apostles. According to tradition they were martyred the very same day, though in different years. But this particular date (June 29) apparently arises from the transfer of their remains to the catacombs in the year 258 during the Valerian persecution.

We praise You for Saint Peter;
We praise You for Saint Paul;
They taught both Jew and Gentile
That Christ is all in all.
To cross and sword they yielded
And saw Your kingdom come;
O God, these two apostles
Reached life through martyrdom. (LSB 518:19)

According to very ancient tradition, St. Peter was crucified, but asked to be crucified upside down, deeming himself unworthy to die in the same manner as His blessed Lord. St. Paul, as a Roman citizen, was beheaded outside of Rome. Together they gave witness to the life that is in Christ Jesus is stronger than all death:

"No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:37-39)

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Our next great primary witness is St. Irenaeus, martyr. He lived near the time of the Apostles. He was most intimate with Polycarp, who was one of the Apostle John's best beloved friends, and from Polycarp's own lips he heard what John told in regard to Christ: "Noting these things," he says, "in my heart." -- C. P. Krauth, *The Conservative Reformation* 736

Patristic Quote of the Day

For as the bread from the earth, receiving the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but Eucharist, consisting of two things, an earthly and a heavenly, so also our bodies, receiving the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, but having the hope of the resurrection to eternal life. -- St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 4:18:45

St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Pastor

Today our Synod (together with the ELCA, Roman Church, the Western Rite Orthodox, and the Anglicans) commemorates and gives thanks to God for the great Church Father, St. Irenaeus of Lyons. From our Synod's website:

Irenaeus (ca. A.D. 130-200), believed to be a native of Smyrna (modern Izmir, Turkey), studied in Rome and later became pastor in Lyons, France. Around 177, while Irenaeus was away from Lyons, a fierce persecution of Christians led to the martyrdom of his bishop. Upon Irenaeus' return, he became bishop of Lyons. Among his most famous writings is a work condemning heresies, especially Gnosticism, which denied the goodness of creation. In opposition, Irenaeus confessed that God has redeemed his creation through the incarnation of the Son. Irenaeus also affirmed the teachings of the Scriptures handed down to and through him as being normative for the Church.

Apostles, prophets, martyrs,
And all the noble throng
Who wear the spotless raiment
And raise the ceaseless song -
For these, passed on before us,
We offer praises due
And walking in their footsteps,
Would live our lives for You. LSB 517:4

27 June 2008

Check Out the Issues Page!

Updated, folks!

ISSUES

On Being Home

No question that I enjoyed seeing family and then old friends at Redeemer, enjoying Kitty Hawk, and spending time with the brothers in Canada; but I also have been completely confirmed in my preference for being a home-body. My mother's Aunt Annie Mastin always used to say that with a good book you could travel round the world and never leave your rocking chair. Wise lady. I intend to "stay put" for a good long while - the only trips I intend to make are hospital and shutin calls for the foreseeable future, unless those trips are in books I happen to pick up along the way.

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

But who is it that sanctifies, God or we? First, God; but we cooperate with Him; for the will of those who have been baptized has been made free. How, otherwise, could Peter exhort us: "Purify your souls," and Paul: "Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God?" - Edward Preuss, *On the Justification of the Sinner Before God* p. 139

Patristic Quote of the Day

[in honor of St. Cyril]

It was necessary that the Word of God become a man and make corrupt human flesh His own; and because in Him was life, He destroyed the corruption of the flesh and held in check our ingrafted emotions. Therefore because the Son of God did not do this for Himself but for us, there will come also to us those blessings which are in Christ, that is, incorruption and the abolition of sins. - St. Cyril of Alexandria, *Epistle to Succensus, Bishop of Diocaeserea in Isauria, Ep. 45* [cited in Loci Theologici]

Commemoration of St. Cyril of Alexandria

Today our Synod commemorates St. Cyril of Alexandria (as also does the Church of Rome and the ELCA). From our Synod's website:

Cyril (ca. A.D. 376-444) became archbishop of Alexandria, Egypt, in 412. Throughout his career he defended a number of orthodox doctrines, among them the teaching that Mary, the mother of Jesus, is "rightly called and truly is the Mother of God"--Theotokos, "the God-bearer" (Formula of Concord, VIII, Ep VIII, 12). In 431 the Council of Ephesus affirmed this teaching that the Son of Mary is also true God. The writings of Cyril on the doctrines of the Trinity and the person of Christ reveal him to be one of the most able theologians of his time. Cyril's Christology influenced subsequent church councils and was a primary source for Lutheran confessional writings.

St. Cyril is quoted many times in our Symbols (as indicated above) and figures largely in such works as Blessed Martin Chemnitz': *The Two Natures in Christ.* Like Dr. Luther, St. Cyril could be rather passionate and bitter in his polemics, but it was the zeal for God's house (the Church) that ate him up. His *Commentary on St. Luke* is a treasure trove of insight (and yes, Jimbo, I WILL give it back to you....sometime.)

26 June 2008

Commemoration of the Prophet Jeremiah

Today our Synod commemorates and gives thanks to God for the ministry of the prophet Jeremiah. From the LCMS website:

The prophet Jeremiah was active as God's prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah ca. 627 to 582 B.C. As a prophet he predicted, witnessed, and lived through the Babylonian siege and eventual destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C. In his preaching he often used symbols, such as an almond rod (Jer. 1:11-14), wine jars (13:12-14), and a potter at work (18:1-17). His entire prophetic ministry was a sermon, communicating through word and deed God's anger toward his rebellious people. He suffered repeated rejection and persecution by his countrymen. As far as can be known, he died in Egypt, having been taken there forcibly. He is remembered and honored for fearlessly calling God's people to repentance.

Jeremiah always comes to mind when we sing LSB 586: "Preach You the Word"

Preach you the word and plant it home
To men who like or like it not,
The word that shall endure and stand
When flow'rs and men shall be forgot.

Glory to You, Lord Jesus, for Your servant Jeremiah! May the words You spoke through him strengthen and sustain our faith until we join him and all the saints around the throne in singing Your praise!

Nervous

You know, getting the pool set up this year (so far) has been relatively painless. I'm sure I MUST be doing something wrong, but I can't think what it is. So far, so good. I'll be VERY happy when the pool is fully filled, the salt integrated, and the chlorine light is shining green!

Random Pics from Vacation...Part Two

That's Lauren, thinking the water is a tad cold at first... Me reaching for a beer (be glad I had my shirt on so I wouldn't traumatize you with what my nephew termed my "frankenstomach"!)...Abigail Phillips, Grace Plvan, Joy Phillips, and Rachel Phillips (that day just happened to be 15 years since David and Lauren were in Joy's and Buddy's wedding - but Joy came and spent it with US at the beach. That will show you what 15 years will do for you!!! It was great especially to see Grace, whom we'd not seen in many years. Joy was Lauren's godmother.)

Random Pics from Vacation... Part 1

Speaking at Redeemer's anniversary...Bek and Dave catching the perfect wave...Cindi and her fake tat...

John the Steadfast

This society is MUCH needed. Folks, check her out:

Steadfast Lutherans

And they were kind enough to feature an article on St. Paul's!

Cool News from Pastor Wilken

Everyone:

The new Issues, Etc. Listener Comment Line is now open.

The number is (618)223-8384.

Listeners can call and leave any comment --positive, negative, good, bad, ugly, it's all welcome.

Even though we presently have no listeners until June 30, people can still call. We'll be using some of the comments on the air after next Monday.

Keep us in your prayers.

TW

Commemoration of the Augsburg Confession

was yesterday - and Pastor Beane delivered one of his usual outstanding homilies on the topic:

click here

Great read!

Canadian Fun

It was a truly joy to be with a number of brothers from our sister Church, the Lutheran Church-Canada, this past week at the St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preacher's Retreat. I'll be writing more about the experience later, but I just want to publicly thank Pastor Michael Keith for the invite to be with the brothers there. One question for Cwirla: WHY didn't you warn me about Rudy? Oh, and Sandra O, if you're going to be in St. Louis at Higher Things, I want to have a word with YOU about some of your "artwork"!!!

Patristic Quote of the Day

O Good One, who gavest Thyself up to crucifixion and death in order to redeem us, deliver the soul of Thy servant from the multitude of his sins, that he might lift up his voice to thank Thee and Thy Father and Thy Holy Spirit. - St. Ephraim the Syrian, *A Spiritual Psalter* 72

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

According to this it is certain that in the Last Judgment, since it will be public, man will be judged according to his works. For in what other way could the justice of this judgment be made visible to men and angels, who will be present? We shall be declared just *according* to works, but not *on account of* works; for the works are not the basis of the divine judgment, but the visible testimony that this judgment is just. -- Edward Preuss (hey, this WAS written when he WAS an old Lutheran), *Justification of the Sinner before God* p. 114,115

22 June 2008

About those mountains...

...so we had gotten up about 5 and starting heading up from Kitty Hawk, NC, to make our way back home [the pic is from the deck of the condo we stayed at there]. Things were going quite well until the van started making a most odd sound trying to climb one of the larger mountains in West Virginia. The van really had trouble climbing to the top and by the time we were to the top, it was evident that something was VERY wrong. It's Saturday afternoon, and the town we landed in, just over the crest of the mountain, Bekley, didn't seem to have an open autoshop. We pulled into the Walmart and did the next best thing: we let Opa (Cindi's father) listen to it over the cell phone. Not good. He's sure we've "thrown a rod" - whatever that means - and the long and short of it is that the engine is ruined. The van isn't going anywhere. Opa advises us to leave the van, and just take the tags; it will not be worth the cost of fixing.

So we're up in the hills of West Virginia. It's Saturday afternoon. We have miles to go, no vehicle, and I have a flight to catch early Monday morning to Canada.

I called AAA and they sent a man who took away the van and transported all of us to a nearby airstrip where an Avis dealer had an SUV that we could take. On the way there, we asked the AAA fellow how often vehicles broke down over that mountain. He said: "About once an hour. I have ten trucks and we stay busy all the time." GOOD GRAVY!

After squeezing five adults and two weeks worth of luggage into the SUV, it was relatively smooth sailing. I have always loved driving cross country, but this is the first time I did almost 1,000 miles with no help (riding makes me car sick within a very short period of time).

We asked the Lord to get us there and to bring us home safely and He did so. The loss of the van was sad (yes, Jeff and Laura, it was beloved Vana White that you blessed us with a few years back), but the way it all worked out was truly wonderful. There are plenty of places to break down in West Virginia where you DON'T have an airport an exit away and an Avis dealer waiting for you. But then again, that little town must make quite a haul in helping people whose engines blow climbing their wretched hill!

Last post till I get back from the St. John Chrysostom Lutheran Preacher's Retreat on Wednesday.

Home At Last...For the Moment

This morning began at 5 a.m. on Kitty Hawk, an island in the Atlantic. It ended about 25 of midnight when I pulled into the parsonage, just shy of 1000 miles later. In between, there's many a story to tell, but they will have to wait for tomorrow. The greatest quote of the day, though, came from David. Regarding West Virginia: "What a stupid place to put a state." We all agreed... (And though the family is home in Hamel, I'm off for Canada bright and early on Monday).

15 June 2008

Photography

My brother, Maupin (he who sports the long beard), is an amateur photographer who has done some stunning work. His son, Jeremy, has put up a website with some of his pics. Check them out:

Maup\'s Pics

14 June 2008

50 Years of God's Grace at Redeemer Lutheran Church

Fifty is a year that our Lord loves. It was on the 50th year that the Great Jubilee of ancient Israel was celebrated. Michael Card captured it exactly in his song from The Ancient Faith:

The Lord provided for a time
For the slaves to be set free
For the debt to all be cancelled
So His chosen ones can see

His deep desire was for forgiveness,
He longed to cede their liberty.
And His yearning was embodied in the year of jubilee.

Jubilee, Jubilee,
Jesus is our Jubilee.
Debts forgiven,
Slaves set free,
Jesus is our Jubilee.

At the Lord’s appointed time
His deep desire became a man
The heart of all true jubilation
And with joy we understand
In His voice we hear a trumpet sound
That tells we are free.
He is the incarnation
Of the Year of Jubilee.

Jubilee, Jubilee,
Jesus is our Jubilee.
Debts forgiven,
Slaves set free,
Jesus is our Jubilee.

To be so completely guilty,
Given over to despair.
To look into your judge’s face
And see a Savior there.

Jubilee, Jubilee.
Jesus is our Jubilee.
Debts forgiven,
Slaves set free.
Jesus is our jubilee.

Here we are celebrating 50 years – a Jubilee – and what we celebrate tonight and tomorrow is that Jesus is our Jubilee. He’s the reason behind all the celebration. It’s not about memories and friends long gone – however precious they may be. It’s about our Jesus, and the fact that He here, smack dab on Lacy Street in Burlington North Carolina, has himself a Church. And what He’s up to in that Church is the Jubilee. He’s all about forgiving debts, setting slaves free, and showing up not as the Judge, but as the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Long ago many counted Redeemer out. Such a little parish. I remember when I was here is was all of 4 % of the Lutherans in Alamance County and the Lutherans all joined together only made up 4 % of the whole population of the county. Such a tiny little outpost. What could it do?

It could do what it has done: it could be a colony from the Lord’s future, a gift of the age to come, dishing out the Lord’s gifts for any and all who would receive them. Forgiveness bigger than all our sin. Life stronger than all our death. Joy abounding more than any sorrow of this age. All gifts given because the people of Redeemer gather around Jesus, who is the incarnation of the year of Jubilee.

And now you’ve reached 50 years, the Jubilee itself. It’s not 50 years to celebrate your blood, sweat and tears, poured into this parish community. It’s 50 years of celebrating the blood, sweat, and tears of the Son of God, poured out to give you forgiveness, life, and love.

Yes, it is a time to remember the peripheral joys. How could I forget the parish where my children were baptized, every last one of them, into Christ? I’ll forever remember Zak Whaley, having escaped from the nursery, flying up the aisle on his little bike and hightailing it up and around the organ as his mother Linda chased him, yelling "Carry on, folks" – even as I was trying to preach. It was sort of the end of that sermon. I’ll remember when I forgot the words of institution, and Frankie Hubbard, bless her heart, refused to play the Agnus Dei until I got the message: “Time out! No sacrament of Jesus without the words of Jesus.” I’ll not forget baptizing Steven Bowden, God rest his soul, as he ran down the aisle shouting: “I don’t wanna. Don’t make me, mama!” I’ll not forget the countless Sunday evening prayers with Jan, Bill and Doris Gudd, where they taught their poor impoverished pastor how to pray. I’ll not forget Richard Roarick’s kindness in telling me that Cindi’s eyes were robin’s egg blue; nor Jan and Ruby Hooft’s, Jim and Amy Huffman’s, Carlton and Mil Gerni's hospitality and friendliness. Countless evenings losing to Ruth Holler and Muriel Rose at Liverpool. The mother’s day sermon when John Byrnes ruined my point by doing all the typical mother stuff for his kids. The unquenchable joy and laughter of Mel and Peggy Strauss. So many more memories all to be treasured. If I went on about them all, you’d be sitting here at dawn. But I called them peripheral joys on purpose. They are the fringe benefit of living together as God’s forgiven people and every pastor you’ve ever had could share many, many more with you and at least some of you would remember, laugh and smile.

But better than all the peripheral joys is the unshakeable joy of Jesus Christ Himself, the Eternal Son of the Father made flesh and blood of the holy virgin, giving Himself to you week in, week out, in His Word, in His absolution , in His body and blood. What makes a Church great, says C. F. W. Walther, is not whether it is big or small; but the presence of Jesus Christ. And that’s the heart of our jubilee celebration tonight and tomorrow. Jesus is the reason you’re here and you’ve been here and you will be here. And all the other reasons are just icing on the cake.

Thank you for letting us share in your joyful Jubilee.

13 June 2008

A Few More Memories...

The old Weedon home place on a fall day back in the 1970's, and me on a fire truck (all my brothers were fire fighters).


Windows to the Past

A few scenes from yesteryear. Sis gave me a disk with these memories on them... That's my daddy; then Aunt Emma, my mom and Aunt Fanny swinging on the screened porch.


12 June 2008

Family





Maup, Sis, and I (three of us four remaining sibs); Jimmy (Sis' hubby); John (Sis' son); Andrew and JC (John's children).

One more...

my grandmother's (father's mother) grandmother - buried BEHIND the Church by her husband, according to legend, because he said she could never get along with anyone! I've a special place in my heart for her, though. I have numerous of her school books; the washstand made by her husband sits beside my bed; a table he made serves as Cindi's scrap booking table; and a bench he made sits in our kitchen.

Visit to Cemetery

Mom and Dad's stone; my father's parents; my mother's parents (Mastin); and my mother's grandparents (Mastin)





A Few More Pics

Stratford Hall (Lee's birthplace), and then scenes from a walk Cindi and Lauren took on what was the Weedon farm (following the old road into the homeplace):



11 June 2008

Ah!

After many years, the joy of hearing again the sound of the whippoorwills singing at night! From Sis and Jimmy's sunroom, the sound is clear as a bell. Beautiful!

Busy Day

Good-bye to the Dillons + Einstein Bagel Stop (a Weedon tradition, borrowed from the Dillons) + Arlington Cemetery and Arlington House (sadly, under renovation), JFK's tomb, RK's tomb, and the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier + a FAST AND PAINLESS journey down 95 to Fredericksburg + Stratford Hall, birthplace of Robert E. Lee + Arrival at Jimmy & Sissy's + Surfing the net in their sunroom - what a beautiful room! - and wondering if we'll see the BEAR that has been hijacking the trash + Pool looks inviting, but I think it will have to wait for tomorrow...+

10 June 2008

Fun at Cousins #2



Fun at Cousins



Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Secondly, we share in the altar of sacrifice of our High Priest, the Paschal Lamb, in going to the sacrament of his body and blood. We go to the sacrament as going to our death, for when you bite into that bread, you bit into the cross of the One who made the sacrifice once and for all time including this time now of biting! They who eat the sacrifice are sharers in the altar (1 Cor. 10). He who poured out his blood for us is our life, for "the life is in the blood." He joins this blessed cup and this blessed bread of the Lord's Supper into the communion of his body and his blood. He, our cook and food of that meal, is also the deacon who serves us. He is the fountain of love that bakes us into one loaf. -- Kenneth Korby, *The Pastoral Office and the Priesthood of Believers*

On Differences in Eating

So, here we are, visiting at Deb and Doug Dillon's home, and I had just gotten myself a piece of lo-carb toast and sat down at the table to eat it and sip my starbuck's coffee. Deb finished making herself an egg, and got her toast out and buttered it. She set it on the table, and announced: "I'm going to do my hair real quick."

So I sat and munched on my toast and watched her toast and fried egg get colder and colder. She finally showed up again and sat down to eat. She said it wasn't cold. But in my book, that egg would have been utterly uneatable by then.

So what about you? Do you like your food PIPING HOT from off the stove or do you let your food cool to a disgusting luke warm and THEN eat it?

09 June 2008

Patristic Quote of the Day

Thence, after his sin, he was driven into exile, and by his sin the whole race of which he was the root was corrupted in him, and thereby subjected to the penalty of death. And so it happens that all descended from him, and from the woman who had led him into sin, and was condemned at the same time with him—being the offspring of carnal lust on which the same punishment of disobedience was visited—were tainted with the original sin, and were by it drawn through various errors and sufferings into that last and endless punishment which they suffer in common with the fallen angels, their corrupters and masters, and the partakers of their doom. And thus by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. By the world the apostle, of course, means in this place the whole human race. - St. Augustine, Enchiridion

07 June 2008

The Great Litany

The students at Concordia Mequon, praying together the Great Litany. (HT: RAsburry's Res)

89 in the shade...

...and Cindi and I just got back from a 5.4 mile bike ride and then a 1 mile walk - and all in the blazing sun. Felt GREAT. But I don't think I'm smelling very sweet right now...

06 June 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

The Lord's Supper, indeed, may be regarded as a summing up of the whole fundamental idea of Old Testament sacrifice, a covenant consummated by sacrifice, and entered into by the covenanting parties, receiving, each after the mode appropriate to him, that which is sacrificed; the Almighty Father accepting His Son as the Victim offered for the sins of the whole world, and the world accepting in the Holy Supper the precious body and blood which apply in perpetual renewal, through all generations, the merits of the oblation made, once for all, upon the Cross. - C. P. Krauth, *The Conservative Reformation* p. 634

Since Scott Asked...

Dork on Dorkiest Bike Ever

What I Learned Today...

...a bike ride INTO a headwind of 20-25 mph with gusts of 35 is not nearly so much fun as a bike ride with a tailwind of 20-25 mph and gusts of 35.

Cindi and Bekah, Lauren and Dean, had all tried out the new bike trails that the county has put in around these parts, but this was my first trip on them. Wow. Beautiful. No worry about cars. The sweet smell of the honeysuckle in parts, woods and a branch at the bottom of the hill, just a very pleasant trip. Cin and I did 8 miles round trip, but the way home was remarkable. No sense of strain at all - the wind helping us this time. What an incredible difference this bike makes for me. I'm ready to go again!

Oh, and Bekah definitely said it: "Dad, you're going out in public on that thing! That's the dorkiest bike ever." Need I say more? It is the perfect match!

05 June 2008

"Among the reasons...

...for retaining a one-year lectionary in Lutheran Service Book, the Lectionary Committee noted the following:

* We are an historic Church and acknowledge the value of what has been handed down to us.

* It is important to recognize the value of repetition. Given the increasing lack of biblical literacy within our society and even within the Church, there may be a need in the future for a one year lectionary, with its annual repetition of key biblical texts.

* The one-year lectionary is unique in that there are a number of older resources that support it, including hymnody, sermons by Luther and others, etc."

--Lutheran Service Book: One-Year Lectionary, p. xiv

St. Boniface of Mainz

Today we commemorate St. Boniface of Mainz.

[From our Synod's website] Boniface was born in the late seventh century in England. Though he was educated, became a monk, and was ordained as a presbyter in England, he was inspired by the example of others to become a missionary. Upon receiving a papal commission in 719 to work in Germany, Boniface devoted himself to planting, organizing, and reforming churches and monasteries in Hesse, Thuringia, and Bavaria. After becoming an archbishop, Boniface was assigned to the See of Mainz in 743. Ten years later he resigned his position to engage in mission work in the Netherlands. On June 5, 754, while awaiting a group of converts for confirmation, Boniface and his companions were murdered by a band of pagans. Boniface is known as the apostle and missionary to the Germans.

Accept, O Lord, our thanksgiving this day for Thy servant, Boniface and grant that all ministers and stewards of Thy mysteries may afford to Thy faithful people, by word and example, the instruction which is of Thy grace; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.

Did I mention...

...that this very day the lovely Cindi has been my bride for 26 years? Before the altar of the Lutheran Church of St. Andrew we "plighted our troth" - well, since we used the service LBW we actually didn't, but that sounds more impressive. I remember that it was rainy and overcast. I think back to all the friends gathered there that day to celebrate with us. So many have already passed on: my mother, my brother, Nana, Grandpa and Grandma DeVries, Uncle Neil, Aunt Fanny, Aunt Emma, Aunt Connie, George Higgens from Louisiana, so many more. Gerry Coleman blessed us with some special music; though he was not the organist that day - a friend of Cindi's family, Rick, played for us. The wedding took place during the Eucharist, at which Pastor Lobien was celebrant and also the officiant of the wedding. It was a blessed day - and I can't believe it was that long ago.

Sweet!

Because we'll be traveling on father's day, I got my father's day present a little early: a new bike. And THIS is the kind of bike even I understand. No ten speed. No three speed. Simple ONE speed. And you break by back pedaling. That's MY kind of bike - the kind I remember from being a kid. Cindi and I took out our bikes for an evening ride (no way you could call this "the cool of the day" though), and it worked like a charm. Effortless. Light, aluminum frame. Only thing that I'm not crazy about is cosmetic: It's WHITE. And it has a patriotic theme on the thingy covering the whatchemacallit that turns with the pedal. I am really looking forward to some long rides on the new bike trails around here.

Patristic Quote of the Day

But if the blessing of man had such power as to change nature, what are we to say of that divine consecration where the very words of the Lord and Saviour operate? For that sacrament which you receive is made what it is by the word of Christ. - St. Ambrose, On the Mysteries, par. 52

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

"Without the shedding of blood is no remission." The slaying of the victim by shedding its blood, by which alone its death could be effected, was properly the sacrifice. After the sacrifice was made, two things were essential to securing its end: first, that God should receive it; second that man should participate in it. The burning of the sacrifice by fire from heaven was the means of God's accepting on the one side; and eating of it, the means of man's participating on the other. The truth is, that the sacrifice of the Old Testament resolves itself into the very elements which we find in the Lord's Supper. The Altar was the Table of the Lord, and the whole conception of sacrifice runs into this, that it is a covenanting Supper between God and man. - C. P. Krauth *The Conservative Reformation* p. 591

04 June 2008

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

11. To the Elders were committed in permanence as the ordinary and abiding ministers of the Christian Church, the ordinary communicable, and permanent powers of the Apostolate. In this they were co-ordinate with the Apostles, while the Apostles lived, and to them, when the Apostles were gone, the Christian Elders as a body, SUCCEEDED. The whole body of truly Christian ministers on earth are the successors of the Apostles, in all respects in which the Apostles could have successors. (Acts xiv. 23; 1 Tim. iv. 14; 2 Tim. i. 6.) - C. P. Krauth, “Thetical Statement of the Doctrine of the Ministry (Second Article),” Lutheran and Missionary, Vol. XIV, No. 13 [Jan. 7, 1875], p. 1

Patristic Quote of the Day

This grace He placed in Him in whom we have obtained a lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things. Ephesians 1:11 And thus as He works that we come to Him, so He works that we do not depart. -- St. Augustine, On the Perseverance of the Saints, Chapter 14

03 June 2008

Good Thoughts from Chris Jones

These remarks of Chris's were posted over on David Sch├╝tz's blog, but I thought it was such a fine statement of Lutheran theology that I asked and obtained permission to post it here also:

The answer to the question "Is a valid Eucharist dependent on a valid priesthood?" is emphatically Yes, because the priest who offers the Eucharist is our Lord Jesus Christ. His "orders" are perfectly valid. The pastor stands in the place of Christ and celebrates in His stead and by His command.

Ordination confers the right and duty to stand in the place of Christ at the altar, not the "power" to confect the Eucharist. That power belongs always and only to Christ. This prayer (though non-Lutheran) says it well:

Enable me by the power of Thy Holy Spirit so that, being vested with the grace of priesthood, I may stand before Thy holy Table and celebrate the mystery of Thy holy and pure Body and Thy precious Blood ... for Thou, O Christ our God, art the Offerer and Thou art the One offered; it is Thou Who receivest the offering and Thou art Thyself the offering which is distributed.

If a lay person presumes to stand in the place of Christ at the altar, the difficulty is not that he does not have the "power to confect" (which a properly ordained priest does not have either); it is that he has presumed to stand in Christ's place when he has not been called to do so. The faithful ought always to be able to be confident that the celebrant does, in fact, stand in the place of Christ. When a lay person, absent a proper call to that role, presumes to celebrate, the faithful cannot have that confidence.

Patristic Quote of the Day

For see what He says; If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. Consequently, if you have confessed yourself a sinner, the truth is in you: for the Truth itself is light. Your life has not yet shone in perfect brightness, because there are sins in you; but yet you have already begun to be enlightened, because there is in you the confession of sins. -- St. Augustine, Homilies on First John

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

This sin is something inborn, which is first to be pardoned, then controlled, and finally annihilated by a new birth, by the grace of God, by the work of the Holy Spirit, by the entrance on the glory of heaven, by the mighty power by which a risen Saviour is able to raise these vile bodies and make them like His own body. -- C. P. Krauth, *The Conservative Reformation* p. 406

02 June 2008

Rubric 6

That is, in LSB, for the Litany:

"The Litany is particularly appropriate in penitential times, whether season (Lent, Advent) or days (Wednesdays, Fridays, and special days of repentance and prayer)." Altar Book, page 410

The assumption imbedded in that rubric is that Wednesday and Fridays are ordinarily days of penitence. This is an old idea among Christians, going back even to the Didache (which may well have been composed before the NT was finished being written):

"But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; Matthew 6:16 for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week; but do ye fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday)" (Chapter 8)

Thus, rubric 6 links into the great Christian tradition of not merely penitential seasons, but the regular, weekly observance of penitential days. Two days of each week on which to eat less (fast) and to pray for God's mercy.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Just as they who looked on that serpent perished not by the serpent's bites, so they who look in faith on Christ's death are healed from the bites of sins. But those were healed from death to temporal life; while here He says, that they may have everlasting life. Now there is this difference between the figurative image and the real thing: the figure procured temporal life; the reality, of which that was the figure, procures eternal life. -- St. Augustine, Homily on John 3

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

“But the glory of our God is precisely that for our sakes he comes down to the very depths, into human flesh, into the bread, into our mouths, and into our heart.” -- Blessed Martin Luther, That These Words of Christ, 1527

01 June 2008

A Gift

John and Karen Klinger blessed with me with a set of the CD's from the Kantorei of Concordia Theological Seminary - I've been listening and am convinced the music of heaven is on earth. Wow. These are good. I mean REALLY good. I'm ripping to iTunes and loading my iPod up for our trip out East. Thanks so much, Klingers! What a treasure!!!

Patristic Quote of the Day

Blot out our sins with Thy forgiveness, that we might praise Thy name because of Thine acts of kindness. Vouchsafe all of us, O Lord, according to Thy grace to glorify and worship Thy Divinity. -- St. Ephraim the Syrian, *A Spiritual Psalter* #106

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

We repeat the proposition, confirmed by the whole history of the Church, that a moral repugnance to the doctrine that the body and blood of Christ are the medium through which redemption is applied has its root in a moral repugnance to the doctrine that His precious body and blood are the medium through which redemption was wrought. - C. P. Krauth, *Conservative Reformation* pp. 656, 657

What a Great Day!

After the Divine Services and Bible class, off to visit two of this year's high school graduates having parties; then back home for a game and a half of liverpool with Dave, Jo, Lauren, Dean, Cindi and me (and Bekah for the 1/2 game). Never mind who won. Utterly irrelevant. Who keeps track of these things? Then Cindi whipped up a batch of pancakes for dinner, and David even condescended to leave his perch in the World of Warcraft and join us at table. I love these family days when we're all together - and getting to celebrate with Adam and Robyn was the icing on the cake. Hmm. NOT a very Atkins expression, is it? How about: was the bacon on the cheeseburger?