30 September 2020
29 September 2020
28 September 2020
27 September 2020
26 September 2020
But these guys are the joy of my heart: our nine grandchildren gathered in St. Paul’s, Dieterich IL. What a wonderful welcome the parish has already given the Herberts! Moving in was a snap, and the parsonage was almost like it was designed just for their large family. Thanks be to God! Installation is NEXT Sunday.
25 September 2020
24 September 2020
23 September 2020
22 September 2020
21 September 2020
Here in Baptism there is freely brought to everyone’s door such a treasure and medicine that it utterly destroys death and preserves all people alive. We must think this way about Baptism and make it profitable for ourselves. So when our sins and conscience oppress us, we strengthen ourselves and take comfort and say, “Nevertheless, I am baptized. And if I am baptized, it is pormised to me that I shall be saved and have eternal life, both in soul and body.”—LC IV:43, 44
20 September 2020
19 September 2020
18 September 2020
17 September 2020
16 September 2020
15 September 2020
But if the “new spirits” say, as they are accustomed, “Still Baptism is itself a work, and you say works are of no use for salvation. What then becomes of faith?” Answer, “Yes, our works, indeed, do nothing for salvation. Baptism, however, is not our work but God’s.—LC IV:35
14 September 2020
13 September 2020
11 September 2020
Whoever therefore would show her [the Blessed Virgin Mother] the proper honor must not regard her alone and by herself, but set her in the presence of God and far beneath Him, must there strip her of all honor, and regard her low estate, as she says; he should then marvel at the exceedingly abundant grace of God, who regards, embraces, and blesses so poor and despised a mortal. Thus regarding her, you will be moved to love and praise God for His grace, and drawn to look for all good things to Him, who does not reject but graciously regards poor and despised and lowly mortals. Thus your heart will be strengthened in faith and love and hope. What do you suppose would please her more than to have you come to God through her this way, and learn from her to put your hope and trust in Him, notwithstanding your despised and lowly estate, in life as well as in death. She does not want you to come to her, but through her to God.—Martin Luther, Magnificat, AE 21:322,3.
Being Christians, we learn from the doctrine of the Blessed Trinity that something analogous to ‘society’ exists within the Divine being from all eternity—that God is Love, not merely in the sense of being the Platonic form of love, but because, within Him, the concrete reciprocities of love exist before all worlds and are thence derived to the creatures.—Business of Heaven, p. 231.
10 September 2020
09 September 2020
08 September 2020
One thing is seen, another is to be understood. What you can see on the altar, you also saw last night; but what it was, what it meant, of what great reality it contained the sacrament, you had not yet heard. So what you can see, then, is bread and a cup; that's what even your eyes tell you; but as for what your faith asks to be instructed about, the bread is the body of Christ, the cup the blood of Christ.—St. Augustine, Homily 227 (to the newly baptized)
07 September 2020
05 September 2020
04 September 2020
Let us not doubt that Baptism is divine.—LC IV:6
03 September 2020
Ready for old man winter. Chimney sweep came today to clean fireplace and flue. I have quite a fine load of firewood (with even a little help from our next door neighbors) that we got late in last year’s season, so quite cured by now. And if the Farmer’s Almanac is right (as it tends to be), this winter we just might need to use that firewood!
We have two paintings in our home that are original oils. One by dear friend, Barb Brase; one by Cindi’s mom, Joanne DeVries. They both feature lots of blue sky and snow. The one from Barb in particular reminds me of my grandparent’s home and farm. It hangs over my chest of drawers in our bedroom. The painting from Cindi’s mom hangs over Aunt Fanny’s secretary in our living room.
Every single year, when this time of year rolls around, I’m quite the sucker for those memories. Snow and cold outside, and the warmth of a fire inside warming the house. Yes, beyond shadow of doubt, I look forward each year to the first fire of the season, and the smell of the wood burning on the hearth that brings back such comforting memories from childhood.
And yes, I am listening to Christmas music at the moment. Deal with it. :)
02 September 2020
01 September 2020
I recall my dad pulling down this old coffee can where the bills were collected. He’d sit at the kitchen table and carefully sort through them, double check they were accurate, and then write checks to pay them. I haven’t thought about this in many years, but it was a regular part of growing up. And we certainly knew better than to interrupt daddy when he had that can sitting in front of him!
I thought of it today when I was double-checking our checking account on the phone. It hit me: money “appears” in my account on payday and then bills are paid automatically throughout the month. We do check to make sure they’re accurate (well, okay, truth is that CINDI checks to make sure), but its all so effortless. The result is that the hassle of monetary dealings has all but vanished. Money is something that we almost never have to give any effort to anymore: either cashing and depositing paychecks or writing checks. Even when the odd check arrives [how quaint!], we deposit it electronically. Snap the picture of it and off it flies to our account.
I wonder so often what on earth my mom and dad would make of this crazy world. I think THIS is one area they’d fall in love with. I don’t think my dad enjoyed his monthly session with the coffee can, but he faithfully did it, nonetheless.
And while I’m on it, another daddy memory. When I graduated from high school he and mom gave me a gift, but I knew he selected it. It was a silver watch, with a blue face. I’ve thought of it several times in the past few weeks as I’ve settled on a strikingly similar face blue face for my Apple Watch. At first I wasn’t sure why it gave me such pleasure. Then I remembered. And smiled.