30 June 2020

Patristic Quote of the Day

Since he that ruins his brother, has at once subverted peace, and wronged joy, more grievously than he that plunders money. And what is worse is, that Another saved him, and you wrong and ruinest him.—St. John Chrysostom, Hom 26 on Romans

Luther and Lewis

Therefore it is convincingly proved that there must be something greater and more precious than all good works, which makes a man saintly and good, before he can do what is good... The same great and precious thing is the noble Word of God.—Luther, Sermon on Unrighteous Mammon 

I can hardly help regarding it as one of God's jokes that a passion so soaring, so apparently transcendent, as Eros, should thus be linked in incongruous symbiosis with a bodily appetite which, like any other appetite, tactlessly reveals its connections with such mundane factors as weather, health, diet, circulation, and digestion.—Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 169.

Catechesis: Sixth Petition

Such feeling, as long as it is against our will and we would rather be rid of it, can harm no one. For if we did not feel it, it could not be called a temptation. But we consent to it when we give it the reins and do not resist or prayer against it. Therefore, we Christians must be armed and daily expect to be constantly attacked.—LC III:108, 109

For he is an enemy that never stops or becomes tired. So when one temptation stops, there always arise others and fresh ones.—LC III:109

If you try to help yourself by your own thoughts and counsel, you will only make the matter worse and give the devil more space...But prayer can prevent him and drive him back.—LC III:111

June’s Wrap on Workouts

Totals for month: 4,000 pushups; 270 pullups; 450 Kb swings. I'll take it. Push ups were split between initial ten with hands on level of shoulders; 15 with feet moved up about six inches. That's pushups M-Sat; and twice a week on the other two in addition to the pushups for the day.

29 June 2020

Patristic Quote of the Day

Gave He you not the laver of Regeneration, and forgave He not all your former sins? Hath He not after this forgiveness, and the laver, also given you the succor of repentance if you sin? Hath He not made the way to forgiveness of sins, even after all this, easy to you? Hear then what He has enjoined: If you forgive your neighbor, I also will forgive you Matthew 6:14, He says. What hardship is there in this?—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 25 on Romans

Luther and Lewis

Such justification is hidden not only from reason and the world, but also from the saints. For it is not a thought, or word, or work in us, but it quite outside and above us, for it Christ's going to the Father, which means His suffering, Resurrection, and Ascension. And this does not take place within the range of our senses, so that we might see or feel it; but we can grasp it through faith alone.—Luther, Exposition of Jn xvi.

When Dante saw the great apostles in heaven they affect him like mountains. There's lots to be said against devotions to saints; but at last they keep on reminding us that we are very small people compared with them. How much smaller before their Master?—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 168.

Catechesis: Fifth Petition

But this should serve God's purpose of breaking our pride and keeping us humble. God has reserved this right for Himself: if anyone wants to boast of his godliness and despise others, that person is to think about himself and place this prayer before his eye. He will find that he is no better than others and that in God's presence all must tuck their tails and be glad that they can gain forgiveness. Let no one think that as long as he lives he can reach such a position that he will not need such forgiveness. In short, if God does not forgive without stopping, we are lost.—LC III:90, 91

28 June 2020

Patristic Quote of the Day

Be in anxiety then as seeing the Master of all sitting on his judgment-seat, and do not make schisms and divisions in the Church, by breaking away from grace, and running over to the Law. For the Law also is His. And why say I so of the Law? Even those in the Law and those before the Law are His. And it is not the Law that will demand an account of you, but Christ, of you and of all the human race. See how he has released us from the fear of the Law.—St. John Chrysostom, Hom 25 Romans

Luther and Lewis

For it is a great thing, which I must believe and grasp with my heart, namely, that all my sins are forgiven and that through this faith I am justified before God. That is a wonderful justice and very different from the justice of judges and of the wise and prudent people of the world.—Martin Luther, Sermon for St. Matthew's Day.

The gnat-like cloud of petty anxieties and decisions about the conduct of the next hour have interfered with my prayers more often than any passion or appetite whatever. The great, permanent temptation of marriage is not sensuality but [quite bluntly] to avarice.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 167.

Catechesis: Fourth Petition

There is, indeed, the greatest need to pray for earthly authority and government. By them, most of all, God preserves for us our daily bread and all the comforts of this life. Though we have received from God all good things in abundance, we are not able to keep any of them or use them in security and happiness if He did not give us a permanent and peaceful government. For where there are dissension, strife, and war, there daily bread is already taken away or is at least hindered.—LC III:74

Well, that was really...

...a wonderful time. Before the pandemic, our normal routine, after Sunday Church, was to sit down to breakfast with the David Weedon family, Opa and Lois, Cindi and me. Today was our first day to do so since sometime in February, I think. We were gone for a bit at the middle and end of February, and then Griffen came early and Cindi was gone, and Bekah and I drove up to Wisconsin for the Baptism. Yes, it's been quite a long time. It felt great to have a "normal" Sunday once again (even though we're at different services now: David's family and us at 8 a.m.; Opa and Lois at 9:30).

27 June 2020

Old pics

Ran across these two recently: my dad's home place. Sadly, it's only a heap of rubble these days. Remember eating out on the back porch at the table (now used for my desk!), sipping super sweet iced tea and munching on the tastiest cornbread ever. Nothing like cornbread baked in a wood stove. My grandma Bess knew how to cook!

Had the joy today

Of Luther's sermon for Trinity III in the new AE  78:128ff. He begins with one of his most striking and beautiful expositions of the PLACE of Law and Gospel in the Christian's life. I love it! How the conscience is like the bridal chamber, and Moses has no business there. There Christ alone can be, for He alone is our righteousness. And then he dives into how externally, in dealing with our flesh, there indeed Moses has an ongoing job. There the commandments have their place. But not in treating of God. He goes on for this with one luminous insight after the other.

He finally gets around to the parable of the Lost Sheep. He preaches this with such tenderness. Here's a teasing taste:

If you want to ask whether I am righteous, then I will simply answer: "No, and I also not want to be in this circle." However, if you ask me whether Christ is righteous, then I can say, "Yes!" Without any doubt and present Him as my righteousness and appeal to Him boldly. I was baptized upon Him, and in the Gospel I have the seal and letter that I am his dear sheep and He is the good and righteous Shepherd who seeks His lost sheep and deals with me entirely without the Law. He demands nothing from me, neither drives, threatens, nor frightens, but only shows me sweet grace. He stoops down, takes me on Himself, so that I can lie on His back and be carried. Why, then, would I be afraid of Moses' and the devil's lightning and thundering? I am in the protection of the man who gives His godliness and everything He has to be my own, who carries me and keeps me so that I cannot be lost, because I remain a sheep and do not deny the Shepherd or shamefully fall away from Him. Thus you have the picture presented in the most pleasant way it can ever be painted. 

Patristic Quote of the Day

Wherefore it was not money, but His own Blood that He gave as bail for us.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 25 on Romans

Luther and Lewis

It is a great thing to love. It is far greater to love like a brother, but the greatest of all is to love as a father loves his child; and this love is called an ardent and untiring love which flows from the heart.—Martin Luther, Sermon 1527

We use a most unfortunate idiom when we say, of a lustful man prowling the streets, that he 'wants a woman'. Strictly speaking, a woman is just what he does not want. He wants a pleasure for which a woman happens to be the necessary piece of apparatus. How much he cares about the woman as such may be gauged by his attitude to her five minutes after fruition (one does not keep the carton after one has smoked the cigarettes).—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 166.

Catechesis: Lord’s Prayer, Third Petition

So he [the devil] provokes the world against us, fans and stirs the fire, so that he may hinder and drive us back, cause us to fall, and again bring us under his power. Such is all his mind, will, and thought. He strives for this day and night and never rests a moment. He uses all his arts, wiles, ways, and means that he can invent.—LC III:63, 64

26 June 2020

Patristic Quote of the Day

Here he seems to me to be giving a gentle hint about fasting. For it is not unlikely that some who fasted were always judging those who did not, or among the observances it is likely that there were some that on fixed days abstained, and on fixed days did not. Whence also he says, Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. And in this way he released those who kept the observances from fear, by saying that the thing was indifferent, and he removed also the quarrelsomeness of those who attacked them, by showing that it was no very desirable (or urgent, περισπούδαστον) task to be always making a trouble about these things.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 25 on Romans 14

Luther and Lewis

Calamity will force you to step out of yourself and not to rely on the counsel, help, and strength of men, but you must have Christ in your heart, so that you hold His Name, Word, and Kingdom higher, dearer, and more precious than all things on earth.—Martin Luther, Sermon on John xiv.23-31

A man in this state hasn't the leisure to think of sex. He is too busy thinking of a person. The fact that she is a woman is far less important than the fact that she is herself.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 165.

Catechesis: Second Petition

Now we pray for both these things. We pray that the kingdom may come to those who are not yet in it, and, by daily growth that it may come to us who have received it, both now and hereafter in eternal life. III:53

"Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." For how could He allow us to suffer lack and to be desperate for temporal things when He promises to give us what is eternal and never perishes? III:58

25 June 2020

Patristic Quote of the Day

For this is why he proceeds, for God has received him. Why then do you speak to him of the law, as to a transgressor? For God has received him: that is, has shown His unspeakable grace about him, and has freed him from all charges against him.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 25 on Romans

Luther and Lewis

Those who serve God out of a good, firm will are steadfast in His service, whether things go well or ill, whether they are sweet or bitter, for they have been made firm by God with a noble, princely, unconstrained free will; for the little word, 'free spirit' which stands here means in Hebrew a favourable, unconstrained spirit. All that is done by force, does not last; but what is freely willed remains firm.—Martin Luther, Seven Penitential Psalms

It has not pleased God that a distinction between a sin and a duty should turn on fine feelings. This act [of Eros], like any other, is justified (or not) by far more prosaic and definable criteria; by the keeping or breaking of promises, by justice or injustice, by charity or selfishness, by obedience or disobedience.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 164

Catechesis: Lord’s Prayer First Petition

To hallow means the same thing as to praise, magnify, and honor both in word and deed. (LC III:46)

Likewise, we should pray for ourselves who have God's Word but are not thankful for it, nor live like we ought according to the Word. If you pray for this with your heart, you can be sure it pleases God. For He will not hear anything more dear to Him than that His honor and praise is exalted above everything else and that HIs Word is taught in its purity and is considered precious and dear. (LC III:47, 48)

24 June 2020

One of our dreams...

...was to replace the carpet with hardwood. We finally were able to get it done, and we are delighted with the outcome. I told my brother the other day, I remember BEGGING mom and daddy to get carpeting for our house in MD when I was teen. It had hardwood, of course! Things swing around, don't they? Now I'm happily rid of the wall to wall and enjoying our new wood floor. And yes, I can hear my father now: “I told you so...”

Patristic Quote of the Day

For day it already is. And what most people insist upon very much in their exhortations, that he also uses to draw them on, the sense of the becoming. For they had a great regard to the esteem of the multitude. And he does not say, walk ye, but let us walk, so making the exhortation free from anything grating, and the reproof gentle.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 24 on Romans

Luther and Lewis

His love is such a burning fire, I hold, that no human thought could fathom it. The man who does not see or heed it must be as blind as a bat, or as hard as stone, or dead.—Martin Luther, Sermon, 1532

The carnal or animally sexual element within Eros, I intend (following an old usage) to call Venus. And I mean by Venus what is sexual not in some cryptic or rarified sense—such as a depth-psychologist might explore—but in a perfectly obvious sense; what is known to be sexual by those who experience it; what could be proved to be sexual by the simplest observations.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 163.


But instead He draws us to Himself, so that we might humble ourselves before Him, bewail this misery and plight of ours, and pray for grace and help. (LC III:11)

You should say, "My prayer is as precious, holy, and pleasing to God as that of St. Paul or the most holy saints." This is the reason: I will gladly grant that Paul is personally more holy, but that's not because of the commandment. God does not consider prayer because of the person, but because of His Word and obedience to it. For I rest my prayer on the same commandment on which all the saints rest their prayer. (LC III:16)

No one thought about any need. But when they had done their best they thought no further than this: To do a good work, by which they might repay God. They were unwilling to take anything from Him, but only wished to give Him something. (LC III:25)

We need to know this: all our shelter and protection rest in prayer alone. (LC III:30)

[Basic outline: We are to ground our prayer on obedience to God's command, trusting His promise, and thankfully making use of the words Christ has taught us]

23 June 2020

A pic of daddy

That's him on the left: Stuart Maupin Weedon during WWII. I love this pic of him, and both my sister (who sent it to me) and I observed: “We never saw him smile like that!” And his friend seems every bit as jovial at the moment. I wonder what his name was.

Luther and Lewis

As there is no fire without heat and smoke, so there is no faith without love. For when through faith a man knows how dearly God loves him, he must gain a sweet and loving heart towards God, and this heart cannot stay by itself alone. It must flow forth and freely show its gratitude and love.— Martin Luther, Sermons, 1527

For a Christian there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ...can truly say to every group of Christian friends, 'You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.'—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 162

Patristic Quote of the Day

It means not only because thou dost resist God by not being subject, nor only because you are procuring great evils for yourself, both from God and the rulers, but also because he is a benefactor to you in things of the greatest importance, as he procures peace to you, and the blessings of civil institutions. For there are countless blessings to states through these authorities; and if you were to remove them, all things would go to ruin, and neither city nor country, nor private nor public buildings, nor anything else would stand, but all the world will be turned upside down, while the more powerful devour the weaker.—St. Jn Chrys Hom 23 on Rom 13:5


For we are now only half pure and holy. So the Holy Spirit always has some reason to continue His work in us through the Word. He must daily administer forgiveness until we reach the life to come. At that time there will be no more forgiveness, but only pure and holy people. We will be full of godliness and righteousness, removed and free from sin, death, and all evil, in a new, immortal, and glorified body. You see, all this is the Holy Spirit's office and work.—LC II:58, 59

22 June 2020

34 Years Ago

And it has been an unspeakably blessed and utterly undeserved journey.

Luther and Lewis

Such is the devil's desire and delight that he strives for nothing else but to shatter love among the Christians and to cause hate and envy. For he well knows that through love Christendom is built up and sustained.—Martin Luther, Exposition John xv.

In a perfect Friendship this Appreciative love is, I think, often so great and so firmly based that each member of the circle feels, in his secret heart, bumbled before all the rest. Sometimes he wonders what he is doing there among his betters.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 161.

Patristic Quote of the Day

For lest the believers should say, You are making us very cheap and despicable, when you put us, who are to enjoy the Kingdom of Heaven, under subjection to rulers, he shows that it is not to rulers, but to God again that he makes them subject in doing this. For it is to Him, that he who subjects himself to authorities is obedient.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 23 on Romans


The little word Lord means simply the same as redeemer. It means the One who has brought us from Satan to God, from death to life, from sin to righteousness, and who preserves us in the same.—LC II:31

21 June 2020


...it was an eventful lunch (right, Rebekah?), and then a stunning game of Liverpool. We missed the D. Weedons joining us today, but poor Henry had his tonsils out on Friday and was still not feeling well. Hopefully next week!

Patristic Quote of the Day

For there is no power, he says, but of God. What say you? It may be said; is every ruler then elected by God? This I do not say, he answers. Nor am I now speaking about individual rulers, but about the thing in itself. For that there should be rulers, and some rule and others be ruled, and that all things should not just be carried on in one confusion, the people swaying like waves in this direction and that; this, I say, is the work of God's wisdom. Hence he does not say, for there is no ruler but of God; but it is the thing he speaks of, and says, there is no power but of God. And the powers that be, are ordained of God.—St. Jn Chrysostom, Homily 23 on Romans

20 June 2020

The Second Sunday after Trinity

Tonight I was blessed to serve as a deacon (reading Old Testament and Epistle; distributing the holy chalice; and praying the post communion versicle and collect) in the Liturgy for the Second Sunday after Trinity. I'll do the same tomorrow at 8 a.m. This was the first time we had sung Eucharist since the state of Illinois closed our church back in March. We sang the liturgy and the Hymn of the Day (no other hymns; still easing back in and keeping the attendance below 50). I told pastor after the holy liturgy concluded that THIS was the medicine the doctor had ordered. Whew. I've missed singing the Divine Service together with my brothers and sisters more than words can begin to describe. It's been a hole right at the center of life itself.

Patristic Quote for the Day

And to show that these regulations are for all, even for priests, and monks, and not for men of secular occupations only, he has made this plan at the outset, by saying as follows: let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, if you be an Apostle even, or an Evangelist, or a Prophet, or anything whatsoever, inasmuch as this subjection is not subversive of religion. And he does not say merely "obey,but be subject. And the first claim such an enactment has upon us, and the reasoning that suits the faithful, is, that all this is of God's appointment.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 23 on Romans (chapter 13)

Luther and Lewis

Let us not sleep like others, but let us watch and be sober, for temporal desires are to the eternal goods as the images of a dream are to true pictures. Therefore sleep now is nothing but love and desire for creatures. But to be wakeful is to hold to the eternal good and to seek it and long for it.—Martin Luther, The Seven Penitential Psalms

In each of my friends there is something that only some other friend can fully bring out. By myself I am not large enough to call the whole man into activity; I want other lights than mine own to show all his facets.—Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 159


This is a most excellent knowledge but a far greater treasure. For here we see how the Father has given Himself to us, together with all creatures, and has most richly provided for us in this life. We see that He has overwhelmed us with unspeakable, eternal treasures By His Son and the Holy Spirit.—LC II:24

19 June 2020

Patristic Quote for the Day

When, however, the Word of God became flesh, He confirmed both these: for He both showed forth the image truly, since He became Himself what was His image; and He re-established the similitude after a sure manner, by assimilating man to the invisible Father through means of the visible Word.
—St. Irenaeus (A.H., ..)

Luther and Lewis

God is such a Craftsman that He has the skill to make those things that would harm and hinder us help and further us.—Martin Luther, Exposition Jn xv.

To those—and they are now the majority—who see human life merely as a development and complication of animal life all forms of behaviour which cannot produce certificates of an animal origin and survival are suspect. Friendship’s certificates are not very satisfactory.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 157.


We present them as though the Creed were briefly summarized in so many words: I believe in God the Father, who has created me; I believe in God the Son, who has redeemed me; I believe in the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies me. One God and one faith, but three persons. LC II:7

18 June 2020

Lewis and Luther for the day

Friendship is—in a sense not at all derogatory to it—the least natural of loves; the least instinctive, organic, biological, gregarious and necessary.—C. S. Lewis, Business of Heaven, p. 156.

On the other hand, He sometimes let the conscience be afraid and troubled, in order that the soul, even in the happy days, may not forget the fear of God—Martin Luther, Exposition of the Lord's Prayer for Simple Layfolk

Catechesis for the Day

In all estates upon earth they must get used to looking at these commandments only and to be concerned about these matters. For it will be a long time before they will produce a teaching or estate equal to the Ten Commandment, because they are so high that no one can reach them by human power.—LC I:317

Good question

A friend asked me a question last night: 

Random question that came to me last night reading Matthew 10:28: who is the referent of the one who can destroy both body and soul in Gehenna?

My response, for what it is worth:

I have often wondered on that one. Part of me WANTS it to be a reference to Satan. And that might be where Jesus is heading, but it wouldn't be terribly Hebrew of Him, if you know what I mean. I mean: He is Yahweh incarnate. He is the One who proclaims of Himself: "See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god besides me; I kill and make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand." Deut. 32:39 And did not Jesus proclaim in Revelation that HE has the keys of death and hades? It is before His throne in Revelation 20 that the dead are judged and consigned either to the kingdom or the lake of fire. And speaking of Revelation, remember that shocking passage in 14:10... In the presence of the Lamb!

My friend agreed that that seemed to be the better reading, but NT Wright had sent him in the other direction. It just strikes me as ultimately a dualistic move: this attempt to evade Job's clear word, "You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?" And remember the Holy Spirit adds: "In all this Job did not sin with his lips." (Job 2:10)

17 June 2020


A couple months ago a friend (Pastor Lincoln Winter) sent along his excellent little volume Catechetics (see here: https://www.lulu.com/shop/lincoln-winter/catechetics-fixing-confirmation/hardcover/product-23991847.html). I do highly recommend the work.

After reading it, I contemplated my own time in the Catechism and was rather convicted that I had not been spending the time in it that I ought. So I ordered this gem from CPH:

I love this little volume! As my buddy Kal Waetzig would describe it, it is totally packy. 

Since receiving it, I have spent time each day praying and thinking about a part of the Catechism. I read the primary text, then the Small Catechism on it, then onto the Large Catechism. I've been through the whole once, started back again, and am up to the 9th and 10th commandments today (I put them together because that's how the LC treats them). I haven't allowed myself to write in my new little book yet, but the urge grows stronger by the day. There are sections that simply require highlighting and remembering!

A special delight? Note to yourself every single time Luther goes off on "the greatest treasure on earth." You'll find that whatever he's holding up for you to delight in at the moment is almost always so described. It's sweetly childlike and I have no idea if he ever realized how often he did this. But Lord God, please grant us all such a delight in whatever gift You happen to be giving us at the moment!

16 June 2020

Has FB Killed Blogging?

I suppose it is distinctly possible. But I've gotten so discouraged with so-called social media over the last few weeks, that I've washed my hands one more time. I have done it in the past. Tried to move beyond it. Each time "work" has sucked me back into that vortex. I'm thinking "not this time, it won't."

I remember reading Lewis describing why he didn't bother with newspapers and such: it only made him feel guilty or helpless over situations he could do absolutely nothing about, and invited him to neglect the neighbor who was right at hand.

Very well, then. Time to cut that cord. We'll see if it will last this time. I'm tired of the manipulation; tired of the horrible way conversations don't happen on "social media" and the way one is simply boxed up and dispatched. Ye olde Blog has had its share of arguments over the years, but at least it was always possible to read and follow along the discussion. I never even figured that out for Facebook or for Twitter.

So I'm back to doing my writing here, and it's mostly just where I think out loud about this or that. No promises regarding frequency of posting or responses. If I choose to respond, I will, but please don't take it as an insult if there IS no response. Sometimes I just have nothing to say in response to a given responder's words.

So the last posting on this site was some Easter pics of the family, scattered during the COVID exile. Today I went for a walk in the early morning and I noted the far field: the wheat has already turned to its amber waves and is ready for harvest. June is swiftly passing! More late, God willing.