31 March 2016

31 years

and yet the grief hit today like a sucker punch, and then it kept pounding and growing worse. So much so that I literally got sick at work. Joe Field, you were and are very much loved. Miss you, bro, more than words could ever begin to tell. 

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Wherever the Word of the Gospel is, there is the remission of sins. Therefore, Christ redeemed us once with a single work, but He did not pass out redemption with a single means. He gave it out through the medium of washing in Baptism, through the medium of eating in the Sacrament of the Altar, through the media of comforting the brethren, of reading in the Book, that the fruit of His passion might be spread everywhere.—Luther on 1 Timothy 2

Patristic Quote of the Day

And what means ransom? God was about to punish them, but He forbore to do it. They were about to perish, but in their stead He gave His own Son, and sent us as heralds to proclaim the Cross. These things are sufficient to attract all, and to demonstrate the love of Christ.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily on 1 Timothy 2

30 March 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

To sum up all of this: Use the Law as you wish. Read it. Only keep this use away from it, that you credit it with the remission of sins and righteousness. Beware of making me righteous by the Law. Rather, use it to restrain. You must not give the Law the power and virtue to justify.—Martin Luther on 1 Timothy 1

Patristic Quote of the Day

The Law, if you use it aright, sends you to Christ. For since its aim is to justify man, and it fails to effect this, it remits us to Him who can do so.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily on 1 Timothy 1:4

29 March 2016

26 March 2016

The Joys of These Days

There is something so beautiful about living in the liturgy in these days. From the triumphal procession on Palm Sunday to its solemn reading of the St. Matthew Passion, from the commemoration of the Supper's institution to the Good Friday Chief Service with its hymnody and the St. John Passion, from the darkness of the Tenebrae to the reversal of Tenebrae in the great Vigil that awaits us this evening, and finally to the explosive joy of tomorrow's Matins and Divine Service, where a returned Alleluia will ring out with unbridled gladness. I am so thankful to belong to a parish that GETS all this. Where for our corporate life this is the "feast of feasts" and where so many pour so much energy, so much effort, into the celebration.

Every year when we walk through this with the rich preaching and music that attends it, it convinces me anew that there's no joy in all the world like being a baptized child of God, welcoming in another Paschal Feast.


THIS is an outstanding read...

...and one I cannot commend highly enough:

Way to go WSJ!

25 March 2016

Tenebrae

was more than a tad different this year. The choir sang the entire Stainer Crucifixion Oratorio. WHEW. Talk about a little pressure. I hope the congregation got half as much out of it as we did from singing it. I need to get it out of my head, though, because up next is Mozart's Mass in C Kyrie and Gloria, Hallelujah Chorus, and And the Glory. Oh, and A Song of Praise. 

O Virgin's Son

What Thou hast won
Is far beyond all telling:
How our God, detested, died
Hell and devil felling.

O Jesus Christ,
Who sacrificed
Thy life for lifeless mortals;
Be my life in death and bring
Me to heaven's portals.
LSB 448:6,7

What a glorious Chief Service we just came from at St. Paul's. Zach was amazing on the organ and brought his cadre of musicians to help. Violin, timpani, and I think clarinet at one point? The Scriptures of the Chief Service, its prayers and hymns leave you in awe and joy before the Crucified King. Today musically we feasted on Jesus, I Will Ponder Now; O Sacred Head; Sing, My Tongue; Lamb of God, Pure and Holy; O Darkest Woe; A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth; and The Royal Banners. Pastor did not omit to draw our attention to the confluence of Annunciation's normal day and Good Friday. "He will reign over the house of David forever." "Behold, your king." You left the service blessed beyond words. And eager for even more. Tenebrae is this evening at 7 with Stainer's Crucifixion oratorio.

24 March 2016

Ubi caritas


UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Congregavit nos in unum Christi amor.
Exultemus, et in ipso iucundemur.
Timeamus, et amemus Deum vivum.
Et ex corde diligamus nos sincero.

UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Simul ergo cum in unum congregamur:
Ne nos mente dividamur, caveamus.
Cessent iurgia maligna, cessent lites.
Et in medio nostri sit Christus Deus.

UBI caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Simul quoque cum beatis videamus,
Glorianter vultum tuum, Christe Deus:
Gaudium quod est immensum, atque probum,
Saecula per infinita saeculorum. Amen.

Today's Homily at the IC

Maundy Thursday Chapel:

A reading from Luke, the twenty second chapter.

And when the hour came, Jesus reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Hymn: 445

I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer. That’s probably a bit weak. If I didn’t know the context better, I’d think you want to render it: With lust I have lusted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Sounds strange, I know. But the point is that he is not saying just “I wanted to” or even “I really wanted to” but nothing less than “I have been aching to give you this gift for a very long time.”

How long? You can see it was on His mind and heart from Melchizedek and the bread and wine that priest of God offered. From the time an anguished Abraham had prophesied: “God will provide Himself the Lamb for the offering, my son.” From the time Moses had taught about how the Lamb’s blood would cause death itself to passover and spare those who huddled beneath it. From the time Isaiah foretold a feast on the holy mountain to celebrate death’s doom, a feast of well refined wine and choicest meats. So the day came when John pointed to Jesus and said: “That’s Him, the Lamb of God.” 

And now the Lamb is preparing for its slaughter, to be the Passover. Did his eyes leave the Lamb as they carried it in? So His love would lead him to be roasted, spitted upon the tree and His blood poured out to cover the world’s sins. The Lamb had been at the heart of God’s love for the lost race of humanity from the very beginning and from the beginning, He had longed for this day. He came into the flesh to bring it about. He had foretold something of it when He spoke words that left the crowd puzzled and thinking he was crazy: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven to give life to the world. Your fathers ate the manna and they died, but THIS is the bread that comes down from heaven that one may eat of it and not die. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood will live forever.”

And now, at long last, right before His sufferings would commence, He reaches them the gift forshadowed in the types of the Old Covenant, the gift He foretold them at that earlier Passover on another year: This is my body which is given for you. Do this as my anamnesis, my memorial. This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Today we remember when the fervent desire of His heart to give Himself to us in His body and blood for our forgiveness was fulfilled and a new covenant inaugurated. It’s a gift He hasn’t ceased to give to poor sinners in all the years since. Jesus still gathers His church around a table, welcomes sinners, and gives to us the irrefutable sign of His love. The body that was on the cross, given in exchange for us. The blood that ran from his pierced brow, hands, feet, and side, that covers the sin of a world. 

Which is to say that today we remember that the only way we go on living our fallen life in this fallen world is to take dead things that are not quite rotten and stuff them down our gullet to keep us going a while longer, their lives supplying our life as we stumble on toward our end. But God wanted and ached that we have so much more than that. And so He supplied a living food, His Son’s flesh and blood,  alive with the Father’s own life. That’s why He ached to celebrate that Passover with His disciples and why He still aches to celebrate His Supper with you. He wants to BE your food, your Lamb, your Forgiveness and your Everlasting Life. 

Go to Church tonight to receive what has been on His heart for a very long time, in fact even before you were made, before time began. He longEd to give you this food. His love for you that strong, that sure. Taste and see, the Lord IS good and blessed is everyone who trusts in Him!

Please stand for prayer.

23 March 2016

Tomorrow

We enter into the holy Triduum. May the overwhelming love of the Triune God embrace and renew each of us during these holy days. 

From sin and sorrow set them free
Slay bitter death for them that they
May live with You forever. 

22 March 2016

The Illinois Saga Continues

...on the drive to work notice some interesting things: the two Hamel rest stops on I-55 are closed. No money to pay for water and such. AND the weigh station is closed south of the first Collinsville exit. This gets ever more ridiculous... Makes me wonder "what's next?"

Nice feature!

Putting together Worship Books for conferences is something I end up doing a bit. Today, Sandy and I were working on one for an upcoming conference, and I had a very pleasant discovery. I was using my iPad Pro, and when I needed to find a file that had been sent to me with an attachment (PDF, TIFF, JPEG whatever), Outlook made this a breeze since it stores attached files together by account. But the really cool thing was that once I found the file, I could simply choose to copy the content and then paste it directly into Word. Never had to open the original. Never had to figure out how to insert a PDF into a Word doc etc. It always pasted cleanly and with zero fuss. Talk about saving time! I don't know exactly how Microsoft or Apple worked that magic, but it sure made work WAY easier this afternoon. Do you see that smile of satisfaction on my face? What I had anticipated taking me two days took me a couple hours. 

21 March 2016

+ Pr. Otto Hintze

Received this from the LCMS Missouri District Office, regarding the recent death of one of precedessors as Chaplain of the International Center. We were blessed to hear Pr. Hintze in chapel some months ago when his book on the mission work in Papua New Guinea was published.


Dear Friends in Christ,  

Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. Let us remember with thanksgiving what God has done through His servant Otto.  

Otto Charles Hintze, Jr. was given life by his Creator and was born on March 22, 1923, in El Paso, Texas, to the parents of Otto Carl Hintze, Sr. and Pearl Evelyn (Greene) Hintze. On April 8, 1923, he received the gift of Holy Baptism and became a child of God at Zion Lutheran Church, El Paso, Texas. On March 21, 1937 at Zion Lutheran Church, El Paso, Texas, he publicly confessed his faith, was confirmed, and received the precious gift of the Lord’s life-giving body and blood. 

Otto earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. During his four years at Austin High School, El Paso, Texas, he achieved the rank of major in the ROTC. He attended Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, El Paso, Texas for one-and-a-half years. In 1941 he decided to study for the pastoral ministry at St. John’s College, Winfield, Kansas. He entered Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, in 1943. His vicarage included teaching at St. John’s Academy, Winfield, Kansas, where he met his future wife, Jill, and field work among Hispanics in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. On June 27, 1948, he received the gift of a beloved companion in his spouse, Vera Jeannelle Ruth (Karcher) Hintze at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Vernon, Texas. God blessed them with six children: Kathryn, David, Margaret, Charles, Nathan and Kenneth. 

Upon earning his Master of Sacred Theology degree from the seminary in 1948, Otto received a divine call to serve as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. In 1966 he accepted a divine call to serve as the missions professor at Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois. In 1976 he accepted the divine call to serve as the LCMS World Area Secretary, St. Louis, Missouri, and in 1978 that position changed to become the Area Secretary for Latin America. In 1988 he became the Minister of Inreach/Outreach at Ascension Lutheran Church, St. Louis, Missouri. In 1999 he became the chaplain for the LCMS International Center, St. Louis, Missouri, until his retirement in 2007. In 2015 Otto completed his book, “From Ghosts to God in Enga Land – Planting His Church Among the Enga People of Central Papua New Guinea.”  

Finally, on March 20, 2016, God blessed Otto with a holy death and took him home to rest in the arms of his Savior Jesus to await the resurrection of the dead. 

Visitation will be at Kutis Affton Chapel (10151 Gravois Road, Affton), on Tuesday, March 22, 4 -8 p.m. then taken to Ascension Lutheran Church (5347 Donovan Avenue, St. Louison Wednesday, March 23 for visitation 9:30 a.m.until service at 10:30 a.m. Interment at Sunset Cemetery. 

Pastors wll not need to vest, 

Otto is preceded in death by his parents; two siblings: John and William; and one son, Nathan. 

Otto is survived by his children: Kathryn and (Peter) Prange, David and (Charlotte) Hintze, Margaret and (Edmund) Frank, Charles and (Helga) Hintze, Kenneth and (Jodie) Hintze. 

Otto was also blessed with the gift of nineteen grandchildren: Timothy and (Alana) Prange, Joel and (Fiona) Prange, Deanna and (Josh) Einem, Rachel and (Tom) Mannor, Deborah and (Jason) Ellenden, James Prange, Nathanael and (Jennifer) Prange, Stephen Prange, Angela and (Terrence) Tyack; Gretchen and (Paul) Dolan, Bret Hintze, Heidi and (Mark) Wildauer, Kevin Hintze; Daniel and (Carrie) Frank, Keith and (Jane) Frank, Philip and (Maureen) Frank, Amanda and (Joshua) Jackson; Elizabeth and Emma Hintze. 

The gift of twenty great-grandchildren fulfilled Otto’s life even more: Annabelle Prange; Jacob, Madison and Olivia Ellenden; Dakota Prange; Marcus Prange; Noelle, Paige and Sawyer Dolan; Benjamin Hintze; Noah, Jack, Abby, Josie, and Wyatt Wildauer; Connor and Joshua Frank; Avery and Brandon Frank; Jared Jackson. 

In addition, God blessed Otto’s life with many other relatives and an abundance of special friends and acquaintances. 

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. We give thanks to God our Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for our father and brother in Christ, Otto Hintze.

19 March 2016

Summarizing Saturday

Slept in + Made breakfast (and I thought how mom would find breakfast exceedingly odd: avacado with salsa, spiced black beans topped with a fried egg with runny yoke, a piece of hot sausage, a few slices kiwi, and then a wee bit of oats with flax etc. topped with home made almond milk and of course a couple pots of coffee) + Exercised (45 minute walk, 350 push-ups, 250 rows) + Buzzed my head to remind me why I don't do this +  Fixed green smoothie for lunch + Helped Cindi put away groceries, chopped up salad stuff for tomorrow, made some barley scones and french press coffee + Downton Abbey + Dinner (Eggplant, chickpeas, beef, zuccini, all in a tomato sauce) + Made pizza dough for tomorrow + Set up dining room for Bekah's birthday (25!) + Listened through Stainer's The Crucifixion with the music in front of me + Finished editing LetUsPray for May and shipped off to Megan + Learned to play Sudoku (I can tell this is going to be addictive) + Practiced Bach's Praeludium #1 again

17 March 2016

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Behold, this then is the Christian's justification before God, that Christ goes to the Father, that is, He suffers for us and rises again, and reconciles us to the Father, so that for His sake we receive forgiveness of sins and grace. There is nothing of our work or merit, but it is all because of His going to the Father, which He did for our sake.—Martin Luther, Sermons from 1545

Patristic Quote of the Day

If He was not flesh, who hung on the cross between the two thieves? And if He is not God, how could He say to the thief: Today thou shalt be with me in paradise?—St. Ephrem the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter 23

16 March 2016

On Money

...well, sort of. You see, being a big Ramsey fan, I appreciate cash. BUT I hate change. Stop in at the Bucks on the way to work and buy my coffee. And at day's end, stick the change in the money jar in the closet. Yet, by doing so, I ended up LOSING several day's worth of coffee each month. So I figured time to venture into this brave new world of "no cash." I bought a $50 card and then entered the card in my Starbucks app and loaded it to my iPhone's wallet. Voila! Paying is simplicity itself and all that change still goes toward my coffee purchases.

But that doesn't mean I'm not a little creeped out. We've progressed from precious metal, to symbolic paper, to...what? Numbers that we all agree to, but that truly exist only on a screen? It is convenient and wonderful and I'll keep using it, but it's also very weird. Money itself is becoming a fictional construct, even more than it already was. 

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Thou receivest all from God; render in return all to Him.—Johann Gerhard, Sacred Meditation XXXI

Patristic Quote of the Day

To Thee, O Victor, pierced by nails on the cross Who calleth out to sinners say: come, receive forgiveness freely—to Thee I unrelentingly pray, O my Savior: turn Thine eyes away from lawlessness, and by Thy sufferings heal my sores that I may glorify Thy kindness.—St. Ephrem the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter 8

14 March 2016

An unfortunate discovery

I can think of at least three times it happened. Twice with coffee and once with a full glass of wine. I set them down and went to reach AROUND them and ended up knocking them over. And is there a common denomenator to when they got knocked over? Funny you should ask. Because there is: each time I was wearing my contacts.

For years and years, I LOVED my contacts. I wore them as my regular lenses. But in the last few years it has gotten increasingly more difficult to do so. My eyes are drier, for one, and invariably a lens or two gets stuck to the eye itself. That's uncomfortable, of course. But far more devastating: with the contact lenses in (using monovision), I simply cannot perceive depth.

Hence the spilled beverages. I literally can't see that I'm not reaching around, but through my glass or cup. The last spill was so aggravating (at work, with full cup of freshly purchased Veranda Blend from the Bucks), that I decided: THAT'S IT. Seriously. Over. Done. FINISHED.

No more contact lenses except occasionally in the pool. Otherwise, I'm sticking to my trusty progressive spectacles. Yes, I'm old. I need to face it. Gray hair? Check. Wrinkles? Check. Speactacles? CHECK.

13 March 2016

Judica

What joy, quite apart from getting to sing in choir today, that our parish celebrated three baptisms, one at each of the Divine Services this weekend. Here's a pic from the final Baptism of the day, that of Calvin Michael Schwarz. I'm hoping to get some pics of Hunter's too, but I didn't get any myself. The thing that amazed me was how many youngsters are in the pic at Calvin's baptism. I counted about 20 teens and younger.



12 March 2016

Towards simplification

Just thinking again of the items that the iPhone/iPad combo basically has made obsolete:

* Alarm clock
* Library (replaced by iBooks and Kindle app - Treasury, The Lutheran Study Bible, Lutheran Service Book, Luther's Works, Church Fathers, etc.)
* Photo albums
* Camera
* Video Camera
* TV
* Newspaper / Magazines 
* Laptop computer
* Desktop computer
* House phone / work phone
* Kindle
* CD player
* DVD player
* Metronome
* Photo albums
* CD Collections
* DVD Collections
* GPS
* Maps
* Credit cards (on the way)
* Debit cards (on the way)

What have I left off? I'm sure I have left off tons!

Prayer of St. Ephrem

Still prayed daily by devout Eastern Christians during the Lenten fast, and a worthy gift from the early centuries of the Church to be treasured by all the baptized:

O Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of sloth, meddling, lust for power and idle talk.

But grant unto me, Thy servant, a spirit of chastity (integrity), humility, patience and love.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see mine own faults and not to judge my brother. For blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.


11 March 2016

Sending Service

crowns the two weeks of Missionary Orientation at the International Center. I particularly love the sounds of children in the chapel—and there were TONS of children and young folk in evidence these last two weeks. I was blessed to lead (most days) the morning devotions for the missionaries and to serve today as the celebrant. Pr. James Krikava preached a wondrous sermon on John six, the Gospel for Laetare. He majorly featured the pelican in her piety. My mind right away went to Hope's beautiful altar. The Trinklein musicians helped enormously, as did our IC musicians: Dr. Vieker, Deaconess Cara Patten, Pr. Michael Meyer, Anna Karsten and Aaron Nielsen. Missionaries were sent to Ethiopia, Panama, Perus, Dominican Republic, South Korea, Czech Republic and I can't remember where else! Next week the building will be strangely silent with the joyful noise of the children absent, but what joy to know that they'll be going forth with the good news of great joy for all people.

10 March 2016

Used

the iPad Pro all day. Preached from it. Did my email and writing on it. Used it for Thy Strong Word (KFUO's daily Bible study; you should be listening!), where split screen shines: intro sheet in one panel and Logos open in the other, divided into Greek and English. Worked on some upcoming conferences.  Blogged a bit. Caught up on some news. Now it's 8:44 p.m. I'm at 41% battery. Yeah, pretty sweet. It basically means that I never have to think about battery, as long as I remember to plug in each evening.

AND last month I bought the weird looking, humpbacked iPhone battery case and have been using it. I have NEVER had an issue of needing to think about battery life, even when travelling. It lasts all day no matter what. I'm thinking this is very near to the perfect set up. Phone and iPad Pro together. 

Way to go Apple!

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

He is the Son of God, entirely holy and without sin, and therefore He should have no part in death nor the curse. We are sinners, under God's curse and wrath, and therefore we should bear death and condemnation. But God reverses it; He who has no sin, in whom there is nothing but grace, must be made the curse and bear the chastisement, and through Him we are in a state of grace, and the children of God. Therefore, we should hold fast to this comfort and especially treasure this testimony of Christ's innocence.—Martin Luther, Sermons from 1545

Patristic Quote of the Day

He [that is, St. John], being such a man as this, says not, You have an advocate with the Father; but, If any man sin, an advocate, says he, have we. He says not, you have; nor says, you have me; nor says, you have Christ Himself: but he puts Christ, not himself, and says, also, We have, not, you have. He chose rather to put himself in the number of sinners that he might have Christ for his advocate, than to put himself in Christ'sstead as advocate, and to be found among the proud that shall be condemned.—St. Augustine on 1 John 1 and 2

09 March 2016

Working from Home

today, because of the funeral, and let me just say one more time: this iPad Pro utterly rocks! I think Tim Cook is right. Laptop? That's so early 21st century! Since I've gotten the Pro, the only thing I used the MacBook for was to transfer over some specialty fonts. 

I've gone back and forth a bit on Outlook vs. Mail / Calendar. I decided today to bifurcate work and home. My work Office 365 Account is in Outlook and all my personal accounts in Mail. I'm curious how that will pan out. 

Almost always when I hit a roadblock it's because I'm thinking Mac and not thinking iOS. But iOS feels more and more comfortable as time goes on. Others' experiences?

Comforting Funeral

Went to Holy Cross today for Lynn's funeral. Pastor Wright gave such a comforting homily and conducted the liturgy with reverence and peace, and yet with a keen eye toward those who might be unfamiliar with our service. Karen Shimkus rocked on the organ, as is her usual. We always laughed that Tim was the old one, then Cindi, then Lynn, and I came along as the baby. We're all born in 1960 but in different months and oddly enough, Lynn and Lauren shared a birthday. She will be missed by so very many people, but thanks be to God for allowing us to get to know her. So thankful that Dean, Lauren, and kids were able to be here for these two weeks, and kudos to St. Paul's, Norlina, for allowing their pastor the freedom to be a loving son. He'll come back all the stronger pastor to them for it. Margaret, president of the parish there, travelled here to be at the funeral (just as she and Ashley and Paul had come for Dean's ordination). Yeah, she's awesome like that. And Michael Killian also ventured out from North Carolina to be there for them too. Wow.

The final word of the day really was from "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" as the family marched from the church to plant Lynn into the earth in the sure and certain hope of the resurrection:

He lives and grants me daily breath;
He lives and I shall conquer death;
He lives my mansion to prepare;
He lives to bring me safely there.

P.S. KUDOS to Pr. Wright for letting the LSB Funeral Liturgy stand in its integrity. It is one of those services that doesn't need a bit of "creativity" from the Pastor. Just leave it be!

P.S.S. KUDOS to the Holy Cross choir, and the choice of "My Life Flows On" was just perfect. 


07 March 2016

Organ Instruction Videos

If you have been pressed into service as an organist and would like some very practical help on how to play, check out these great videos:

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

Thus He is both the greatest and only sinner on earth, for He bears all the world's sin, and the only righteous and holy One; for no man can be made righteous and holy before God save through Him alone.—Martin Luther, Sermons from the Year 1545

Patristic Quote of the Day

Now the Lord Himself not only shows us what evil we should shun, and what good we should do, which is all that the letter of the law is able to effect; but He moreover helps us that we may shun evil and do good, which none can do without the Spirit of grace; and if this be wanting, the law comes in merely to make us guilty and to slay us. It is on this account that the apostle says,"The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life."—St. Augustine, On Rebuke and Grace, chapter 2

05 March 2016

For Lynn

Lord, let at last Thine angels come,
To Abr’ham’s bosom bear me home,
    That I may die unfearing;
And in its narrow chamber keep
My body safe in peaceful sleep
    Until Thy reappearing.
And then from death awaken me,
That these mine eyes with joy may see,
    O Son of God, Thy glorious face,
    My Savior and my fount of grace.
Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend,
And I will praise Thee without end.

03 March 2016

Can't get this out of my mind today...

...thinking of so many who face the valley of the shadow...

Mitten wir im Leben sind
Mit dem Tod umfangen.
Wen such'n wir, der Hilfe tu',
Daß; wir Gnad' erlangen?
Das bist du, Herr, alleine!
Uns reuet unsre Missetat,
Die dich, Herr, erzürnet hat.
Heiliger Herre Gott,
Heiliger, starker Gott,
Heiliger, barmherziger Heiland,
Du ewiger Gott,
Laß uns nicht versinken
In des bittern Todes Not! Kyrieleison!


Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

If He, as the Son of God, sheds His blood in order to redeem us and cleanse us from sin, and if we believe and hold it under the devil's nose whenever he frightens or plagues us with our sin, the devil will soon be beaten so that he must give way and leave us in peace.—Martin Luther, Exposition of John 1.

Patriotic Quote of the Day

Let no one, then, on this subject be either deceived or a deceiver. The manifest sense of Holy Scripture, which we have considered, removes all obscurities. Even as death is in this our mortal body derived from the beginning, so from the beginning has sin been drawn into this sinful flesh of ours, for the cure of which, both as it is derived by propagation and augmented by wilful transgression, as well as for the quickening of our flesh itself, our Physician came in the likeness of sinful flesh, who is not needed by the sound, but only by the sick—and who came not to call the righteous, but sinners.—St. Augustine, On Merit and the Remission of Sins and the Baptism of Infants, Book III:21