31 July 2022

Here’s our table…

…partially set for our post-church luncheon:

See that little bit of bench sticking out? It hit me today that the man who made it, my grandmother’s grandfather, Thomas Pemberton, was born over 200 years ago, all the way back in 1821. And at least since my father and uncle came along a century after Thomas was born, little Weedon posteriors have seated themselves upon it, often for Sunday meals. Today three little Weedon bottoms were still planted on it: Lydia, Oliver, and Henry. I don’t think they have the first clue that they are the great-great-great-great grandchildren of the man who built it, and built it to last.

If you have not yet discovered…

…the joy of a Sunday afternoon with Luther’s Postils, might I heartily commend this old practice to you? Many a Lutheran in years of old would not only enjoy the preaching of his or her pastor on Sunday morning, but would spend the afternoon also with a sermon from Luther. We are blessed to have both the House Postils (they are theologically more mature over all) and the Church Postils in English. 

Now, don’t be put off if you find a sermon such as the one for Epiphany in the Church Postil! It goes on far too long for a real sermon that would actually be delivered from a pulpit (I think Luther wrote that one while locked up in Wartburg and had nothing else to do but translate the Bible and preach to himself!). Yet even that one is filled with great insights; you just have to read it in bite sized chunks. 

Today, though, I read the Church Postil on the Epistle for this Sunday (the conclusion of Romans 6; and anyone who imagines Luther was the original antinomian needs to check it out). It was truly golden. We are blessed to be heirs a most insightful teacher of the Sacred Scriptures! And, something Pr. Wolfmueller and I have discussed before: he’s also really funny. He is romping around the Scriptures with all the joy and delight of a child at home in his Father’s house. And sometimes he puts things in a way that will leave you chuckling. Give it a whirl, folks. It’s a wonderful part of godly Lutheran piety.

So as I sat in my car…

…waiting for Cindi to get in (let the married men understand…) to head up to Church, I was just overwhelmed this morning with the realization of how utterly blessed we are. We are getting into a car to drive FIVE MINUTES to the greatest Lutheran Church in the world. Our Kantor was taking a well-earned weekend off, but here that’s no problem because as of right now there are SEVEN organists in the congregation total (yes, seriously). Seven organists in one country parish. So even with Kantor gone, this morning Pr. Daenzer regaled us with Pachelbel and Böhm. Pastor, Vicar, and Seminarian Preston (all traditionally vested) served up a most reverent and faithful Divine Service for Trinity 7. My son, David, served as cantor for both Divine Services today. His singing was (as always) bold, beautiful and most importantly, clear. Every word was easy to understand without reference to the bulletin for either Gradual or Alleluia Verse. Pastor’s sermon was beautiful beyond words, particularly in a parish where we’ve had a tragic and unexpected death and various other hardships and griefs this week. The comfort of the Gospel rang through: God who is near, who sees our every need, who comes into the flesh to provide us with a heavenly food that exceeds all we could dare to hope for or desire, and promises us forgiveness, resurrection, life everlasting. We welcomed the latest organist (our new teacher, Barbara Rattelmueller) after the homily, and then we interceded together for the Church, the world, and those near and dear to us. We lifted up the sorrows and joys to the throne of God in Christ’s name. Shortly thereafter, kneeling between my beloved wife and father-in-law, I received the true body and blood of my Savior. Back in the pew, after a prayer of thanks, to join in two hymns during the Distribution, but then an astonishing gift as the distribution was concluding. Pr. Daenzer played but two pitches from the organ and then sang unaccompanied to us Luther’s “In peace and joy I now depart.” Cindi said she had tears in her eyes. My own heart was just filled to overflowing as those beautiful words and haunting melody came floating down over the congregation. At the close of the communion liturgy, we all belted out a raucous “Guide Me Ever Great [Jehovah, as my wife insisted on singing] Redeemer.” Yes, we at St. Paul’s are blessed way, way beyond words. Thank You, Lord, for Prs. Ball and Gleason, and their clear Gospel preaching; thank You for our Vicar and seminarians; thank You for the wonderful family of God that gathers here; thank You for Your Word and Sacrament offered in such beauty and with both grace and joy, affording us a blessed foretaste of the age to come; thank You for our godly Principal and his hardworking staff, all dedicated to serving up a top-notch classical education for the children of our parish (and community). Thank you for all Your boundless blessings! “Glory to God for all things!”

29 July 2022

July’s Summary

Definitely a more laid back month for workouts, with the MWF pattern for pushups, pullups, and kettlebell swings. Missed one Friday and Monday, due to having family in for Dave’s party. So that cut down a bit on my usual:

2750 pushups
166 pullups
166 kettlebell swings
Only 40 minutes of HIIT. 

(I pulled back on the HIIT and upped the walking, which I obviously enjoy more and find more relaxing). 

I averaged 5 miles per day this month, but this week was just shy of 7 miles per day (and it probably will be 7 miles per day; the day and week isn’t done yet!). 

Patristic Quote of the Day

This name reveals the unity of the divine incarnation. For in this unity he who is God suffered in the flesh, and although man, he is King of kings and Lord of lords. Those who have ruled the passions and in cooperation with Christ have possessed the authority and power over sin shall also rule with him in the coming age.—St. Andrew of Caesarea, Commentary on the Apocalypse 19.16


Holy Baptism was won for us through that blood which He shed for us when He paid for our sin. This blood and the merit and power of it He has attached to baptism, that we should thus receive it.—Sermons, 1540

Catechesis: Justification

We also say that love ought to follow faith, as Paul also says in Galatians 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”—Ap IV:111

28 July 2022

What is it…

…about a nice thunderstorm on a summer afternoon? I just find it so peaceful. Very thankful, however, that we were able to get the grass cut before it rolled in. So now, I’m sitting here in my study, watching the occasional lightning, listening to the rumbles, and feeling quite content. 

Patristic Quote of the Day

For in the present age Babylon is always going into destruction and burning up in part, just as Jerusalem is moving into paradise in those saints who leave the world. The Lord showed this in the story of the poor man and the rich man.—St. Caesarius of Arles (Homily 18 on Revelation)

Catechesis: Justification

Citing St. Augustine By the Law we fear God; by faith we hope in God. But to those fearing punishment grace is hidden. And the soul laboring under this fear resorts by faith to God’s mercy, in order that He may give what He commands.—Ap IV:106


If a man has fallen into sin, he should think most intensely of his baptism, of how God there promised to forgive all his sin, if he would fight against it until death.—Sermon on the holy and venerable Sacrament of Holy Baptism, 1519

26 July 2022

Patristic Quote of the Day

Rather, this is the city of all the proud and arrogant, which Cain established by the blood of his brother and which he named after the name of his son, Enoch, that is, after his posterity. For all the wicked in whom Babylon resides succeed one another and persecute the church of God until the end of the world. In the city of Cain “all the righteous blood” is poured out “from the blood of righteous Able to the blood of Zechariah,” that is, of the people and of the priests, “between the sanctuary and the altar.”—St. Caesarius of Arles on Rev. 18:21-24


The names of all the virtues are names of God.—Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer for Simple Lay-folk, 1519

Catechesis: Justification

Paul sets forth in the third chapter: “For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law” (Romans 3:28). The adversaries conclude that this passage refers to Levitical ceremonies. But Paul speaks not only of ceremonies, but of the whole Law. For he quotes afterward (7:7) from the Ten Commandments: “You shall not covet.”—Ap IV:87

25 July 2022

How can she be four already?

Yet she is! Happy birthday Evangeline!!!

Patristic Quote of the Day

This angel who is strong and brightens the earth may be regarded as both the Lord incarnate himself as well as the teachers of the church who, granted heavenly light, preach the fall of the world, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.”—The Venerable Bede, Explanation of the Apocalypse, xviii.1


The meaning of this word is a blessed dying unto sin and a rising in the grace of God, so that the old man conceived and born in sin is drowned, and a new man emerges or rises, born of grace. Thus sin is drowned in baptism and justification emerges.—Sermon on the Holy and Venerable Sacrament of Baptism, 1519

Catechesis: Justification

We understand justification as the making of a righteous person out of an unrighteous one, or that a person is regenerated.—Ap IV:78

21 July 2022

Snagging a few days…

…off, since my colleague, Craig, is away from the office. I’ll happily take this four day weekend to replace that wretched week when I was supposed to be off in May (with the colonoscopy and complications and church all weekend). Got grass cut on Wednesday after recording and writing a bit, so have these four days before us with nothing pressing at all and I’m already enjoying them immensely. Only downer is my dear father-in-law is under the weather, so no Liverpool. 

19 July 2022

Patristic Quote of the Day

For in the world there are two cities, one that arises from the abyss and the other that comes down from heaven. And so now he compares the same ungodliness which he had described in the form of a harlot made naked and burned up, with the ruins of a deserted city.—The Venerable Bede on Rev. 17.18


They [the saints] are called holy, not because they are without sin, or sanctified through works. On the contrary, they are sinners in themselves and are condemned with all their works, but are made saints with a sanctity which is not their own, but Christ the Lord’s, which is given to them through faith and becomes their own.—Exposition of Jn xvi-xx

Catechesis: Distinctions of Law

All Scripture ought to be distributed into these two principal topics: the Law and the promises…Furthermore, in this discussion by Law we mean the Ten Commandments, wherever they are read in the Scriptures. We say nothing at present about the ceremonies and judicial laws of Moses.—Ap IV:97

18 July 2022

Gotta love Aquinas…

Summa, Part III, Question 78:

Some have contended that this sacrament cannot be accomplished by uttering the aforesaid words [the words of Christ from the Words of Institution], while leaving out the rest, especially the words in the Canon of the Mass. But that this is false can be seen both from Ambrose's words quoted above, as well as from the fact that the Canon of the Mass is not the same in all places or times, but various portions have been introduced by various people.

Accordingly it must be held that if the priest were to pronounce only the aforesaid words with the intention of consecrating this sacrament, this sacrament would be valid because the intention would cause these words to be understood as spoken in the person of Christ, even though the words were pronounced without those that precede. The priest, however, would sin gravely* in consecrating the sacrament thus, as he would not be observing the rite of the Church.

*A Lutheran, of course, affirms what he affirms about the consecration happening, while we certainly would disagree about omission of the canon constituting “a grave sin.” 

Patristic Quote of the Day

Therefore, through a mind of wisdom [this book] also says that the seven heads must be understood as seven hills, so that it might signify Rome, which sits upon seven hills.—Primasius, on Rev. 17:3


There is a fine distinction: inasmuch as I am a man and a child of Adam, I belong to hell. If I had on my side all manner of self-appointed piety, austerity, fervent devotion, and good works, and wished to rely on them, I should be damned and lost. But if you believe that through Christ, who died for your sin and is risen for your salvation, you have become a brother of Christ and a child of God, and have been baptized in that faith, you can say: Now I am no longer Adam’s child, no longer a sinner, so long as I belong to this brotherhood. And if you can be bold and audacious about it, do so.—Sermons, 1530

Catechesis: The Catholic Principal

For this reason our preachers have diligently taught all about these things [on the persistence of concupiscence after Baptism]. They have not delivered anything new, but have set forth Holy Scripture and the judgment of the Holy Fathers.—Ap II:50

16 July 2022

The amazing poet, hymnwriter, and pastor, Kurt Reinhardt…

…has just published the most beautiful volume: Through the Valley. It is a collection of his poems/hymns, mostly written to comfort a fellow pastor and his wife, dear friends of his, as she was dying. Some of the poems were occasioned by other saints walking that dark valley. Each is paired with beautiful photos and artwork and a Scripture passage. This is the book to give to any who are treading that dark path, for through Pr. Reinhardt’s poetry the Good Shepherd himself walks beside them to bring them safely home.

You can order here

15 July 2022

Happy 34th, David Stuart!

You’ve come a long way from this:

14 July 2022

Patristic Quote of the Day

Pouring the bowl on the throne of the beast signifies the pouring out of a great wrath upon the kingdom of the antichrist. This kingdom is shown to be in darkness, that is, it is bereft of the light of “sun of righteousness.”—St. Andrew of Caesarea on Rev. 16:10

Catechesis: Intro to Apology

In these controversies, as far as I was able to, it has always been my custom to keep the traditional form of doctrine. I did this so that at some time unity could be reached more readily…. We will commend our cause to Christ, who will someday judge these controversies. We beg Him to look upon the afflicted and scattered churches and to bring them back to godly and continuous harmony.—Ap Intro:11, 19


And since God in His kingdom forgives us so much out of sheer grace, we ought also to forgive our neighbour a little.—Sermons, 1524

12 July 2022

Patristic Quote of the Day

This vision corresponds to the hymn. For in order that the Lord might be adored by all nations, the temple of the mysteries of God, once enclosed in the walls of one city, now begins to be opened spiritually to the whole world.—Venerable Bede on Rev. 15:6


Learn here to seek your neighbour as a lost sheep, to cover his shame with your honour, and to let your sanctity be a cover for his sins.—Sermon, 1522

Catechesis: Power of Bishops

It is not our intention to take oversight away from the bishops. We only ask this one thing, that they allow the Gospel to be taught purely, and that they relax a few observances that they claim it is sinful to change. If they will not give anything up, it is for them to decide how they will give an account to God for causing schism by their stubbornness.—AC XXVIII:77, 78

Was blest to preach and celebrate the Divine Service…

…this past Sunday. You can watch it here

11 July 2022

An Early Birthday for Opa…

…Opa (Dave DeVries) turns 85 this Friday, and we anticipated his birthday a little bit. Aunt Sandi (Jo’s sister), Deb and Dee came out to help us celebrate. The weekend was bit of whirl. They arrived from Maryland on Thursday and we had dinner together; Friday we took Opa out to Moussalli’s in Edwardsville with just us “old people”; Saturday we hosted an open house for him and had lots of folk drop in to wish him a happy birthday; Sunday after church, Lauren’s family and David’s family and Kloe (spending the weekend with Lydia) came over and we had a big brunch, after which the kids went swimming. On Sunday afternoon, the girls went shopping and after dinner they took some flowers up to Jo’s grave with Opa. We finished off our visit with a game of 5 crowns. It was sad to see them leave this morning, but thank you, Lord, for the time together and for the man in whose honor we gathered:

07 July 2022

Happy birthday, Mom!

My mom, Mildred Hume Mastin Weedon, would be 105 today. All my memories of her are during menopause (she was 40 when I was born!), so I can never think of her without her “sweat towel” (a little tea towel she kept handy to wipe the sweat and to fan herself). She loved to laugh, and visiting with her sisters was always her great joy. They’d sit on the screened porch all afternoon, snapping beans, and then all evening, visiting. She had a very soft spot for, of all things, laundry. She loved doing it with my Aunt Emma. She was a fabulous short order cook (and she really did ask what we wanted and then made it up for us). The pic is before she was stricken with polio as a child. It left her with one leg shorter than the other. She said she never could keep up with her siblings because of it, and so she turned to reading. Her Aunt Annie (her father’s older sister) had taught her well: “With a good book I can travel the world and never leave this rocker!” And she did travel the world in her reading. She had a special place in her heart for poetry. She loved simple children’s poetry above all: Eugene Field (a distant cousin) was one of her favorites; but also Robert Louis Stevenson’s A Child’s Garden of Verses. I still remember many of those in her voice: “How I love to go up in a swing, up in the air so blue…” She never quite lost her Virginia accent so she pronounced “flow” for floor, “doh” for door. And we always knew that “home” wasn’t Maryland, but back to Richardsville. In Maryland, she was downright reclusive (yes, I know where I get it from). I remember her trying to teach me “hop scotch” as a youngster, though her hopping was always nerve-wracking! Remember, she was crippled. She doted on all her children AND her grandchildren, not to mention her nephews and nieces. I miss her very much. She died back in 1994 at Thanksgiving.

Patristic Quote of the Day

The voice from heaven does not bless all the dead, but only those who die in the Lord, who have died to the world and carrying about the dying of Jesus in the body and suffer with Christ. For these persons the departure from the body is truly a rest from their labor.—St. Andrew of Caesarea


For where the Gospel is truly in the heart, it creates a new man who does not wait until the law comes, but, being so full of joy in Christ, and of desire and love for that which is good, he gladly helps and does good to every one wherever he can, from a free heart, before he ever once thinks of the law.—Church Postils IV:76 Sermon 2 for Trinity 3

Catechesis: Monastic Vows

God’s precepts and God’s true service, are hidden when people hear that only monks are in a state of perfection. True Christian perfection is to fear God from the heart, to have great faith, and to trust that for Christ’s sake we have a God who has been reconciled. It means to ask for and expect from God His help in all things with confident assurance that we are to live according to our calling in life, being diligent in outward good works, serving our calling.—AC XXVII:49

06 July 2022

Patristic Quote of the Day

The forerunner of the apostate false Christ will do all things through sorcery for the deception of humankind, so that the antiChrist will be regarded as God.—St. Andrew of Caesarea


But should Moses go further, where he has no right, that is, into my heart and conscience, there I will neither hear nor see him. For there I have another great and unspeakable treasure, called Christ, with his baptism and Gospel. In a word, what concerns the outer man, there Moses cannot burden nor urge too much, but he dare not in the least burden the conscience. For where the Spirit is who brings us to Christ, he is above all law.—Church Postils IV:77 (Sermon for Trinity III)

Catechesis: Monastic Vows

A vow should be something that is possible; it should be a decision that is made freely and after careful deliberation. We all know how possible perpetual chastity is in reality and just how few people actually do take this vow freely and deliberately!—AC XXVII:27-29

05 July 2022

Patristic Quote of the Day

With such may the merciful God also find us partakers who consider “that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed” to the saints and who walk valiantly the narrow way, so that, finding at the end of it glory in the coming age and rest and paradise, we might reign with Christ.—St. Andrew of Caesarea


In this way a man may defend himself and withstand the suggestions and temptations of the devil, either referring to past or present sins; so that these two may be kept wide apart, Moses and Christ, works and faith, conscience and outward life; so that when the law attacks me and would terrify my heart, then it is time to give the good law a furlough, and if it will not go, bravely drive it away and say: Gladly would I do and promote good works where I can at the proper time, when among the people; but here where my conscience must stand before God, I will know nothing of them, in this only let me alone, and do not speak to me of what I do or fail to do. Here I will not listen either to Moses or the Pharisees, but my baptism and Christ only shall reign here in full sway, and I will like Mary sit at his feet and hear his Word.—Church Postils IV:74, 75 (Sermon for Trinity 3)

Catechesis: Monastic Vows

First, concerning the monks who marry, our teachers say that it is lawful for anyone who is not suited to the single life to enter marriage. Monastic vows cannot destroy what God has commanded and ordained. God’s commandment is this, “Because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife.”—AC XXVII:18, 19

04 July 2022

A Very Happy 77th Birthday, Butch!

Butch (Seldon Stuart, named after my mother’s youngest brother who died in a tragic hunting accident a few years before his birth, and for my father) is my oldest brother, and now my only brother. We were originally four brothers and one sister. Now it’s down to Butch, Sissy (Mildred Marie, named after my mother) and me, the caboose. That first pic is of Butch with his wife and two grandchildren, Natalie and Chance (yes, another Chancellor, named after our grandfather). Whenever I think of Butch, I think of driving in the mountains, fishing, hunting, and softball. He STILL plays on a team where he lives and I always remember him loving it. He had a career in firefighting (and also a short stint as a police officer). Happy birthday, oldest bro!

01 July 2022

Summary June Workouts

After a fairly light May (long story!), June was back to normal workout schedule. Totals were: 3,080 pushups; 316 pull ups; 316 45 lb. kettle bell swings; and 8 (10 minute each) high intensity interval trainings. Relatively light compared to what I used to do, but I’ll settle. Gladly. Thankful that I can still do that!

Patristic Quote of the Day

One of his heads was mortally wounded, but its mortal wound was healed. He is referring here to Nero.—Victorinus of Petovium


If we were merciful all the time, then we would be perfect, even as he is perfect; but that does not fully take place while we are here in this life.—Church Postils IV:109 (First Homily for Trinity 4)

Catechesis: The Mass

No one is admitted to the Sacrament without first being examined. The people are also advised about the dignity and use of the Sacrament, about how it brings great consolation to anxious consciences, so that they too may learn to believe God and to expect and ask from Him all that is good.—AC XXIV:6,7