The Glory Has Departed

Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on

Lenten Mid-week Services, Wednesdays -
7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Paul Gerhardt Hymn Service, Tonight, 7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time

The material on this post can be shared freely, without asking permission. I have put this together to promote the great doctrine, praise, and comfort hymns of Paul Gerhardt.

Midweek Lenten Service

7 PM Central Daylight Savings Time

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

  • Words are linked on the hymn number.
  • The melody is linked on the hymn name.
 My Lutheran Hymnal contains lyrics only
in historical order, arranged by author.

Worship and Praise


New Year


Good Friday



The Redeemer

Cross and Comfort


Harvest and Thanksgiving

The Nation

Death and Burial
TLH#586 - A Pilgrim and a Stranger

Evening and Morning, Sunset and Dawning - Not in TLH, but the hymn is in other Lutheran hymnals and very popular.

Below is a great Gerhardt hymn in German. I have not found it in English.

Paul Gerhardt was born in 1607, and grew up in the era after the Book of Concord (1580). The Calvinists worked hard to suppress Lutheran doctrine. He studied to be a pastor at Wittenberg, with good orthodox professors. One of them had a habit of combining sermons with hymn texts.

Gerhardt graduated in 1642 but did not receive a pastoral call until 9 years later. During that time his poetic talents were discovered and he began working with another person on hymns. He was a tutor for the children in one family, which explains his choice of child-like terms and vivid picture language. That is somewhat obscured by the stuffy translations of his hymns into English. See A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth - the "bark" was a "little ship" in German. "To and fro" in German was "zum und zum."

Gerhardt was known for being an orthodox, Book of Concord pastor, but the Calvinist elector wanted peace between the Calvinists and Lutherans. As a result, Gerhardt was forced out of his Berlin call, where he was loved and respected by both sides. He had to get by for a year in Berlin without a call, then was in limbo entirely. Finally he had a call to a difficult parish where he lived and worked until he died.

Three of his five children had already died in infancy, and now he lost one of his two remaining sons, the child on whose death he wrote his touching hymn,
"Thou'rt mine, yes, still Thou art mine own,"
while his wife, worn out by sorrow and anxiety, fell into a long and slow decline. When she died, Gerhardt was left with only one child, a boy of 6 years. Many of his most beautiful hymns were written at this time, and among others, "If God be on my side."

The Lübben congregation commissioned a life sized painting of him for the church where it still hangs. Beneath it one can read the inscription, "Theologus in cribro Satanae versatus" ("A theologian sifted in Satan's sieve").
As a poet he undoubtedly holds the highest place among the hymn-writers of Germany. His hymns seem to be the spontaneous outpouring of a heart that overflows with love, trust, and praise; his language is simple and pure; if it has sometimes a touch of homeliness, it has no vulgarism,1 and at times it rises to a beauty and grace, which always give the impression of being unstudied, yet could hardly have been improved by art. His tenderness and fervor never degenerate into the sentimentality and petty conceits which were already becoming fashionable in his days; nor his penitence and sorrow into that morbid despondency which we find in Gryphius, and for which the disappointments of his own life might have furnished some excuse.
If he is not altogether free from the long-windedness and repetition which are the besetting sins of so many German writers, and especially hymn-writers, he at least more rarely succumbs to them: and in his days they were not considered a blemish. One of his contemporaries, a certain Andreas Bucholz, who wrote a great deal of religious poetry which was then highly esteemed formally announces in his preface that he has spun out his poems as long as he could, for he observed that when people were reading sacred poems at home, they preferred long ones.
Gervinus, a severe judge of sacred poetry in general, says of Gerhardt: "If one man among the poets of the seventeenth century makes an attractive impression on us, it is Gerhardt. He recurred, as no one else had done, to Luther's genuine type of the popular religious song, only with such modifications as the altered circumstances demanded.In Luther's time the old wrathful, implacable God of the Romanists had assumed the heavenly aspect of grace and compassion; with Gerhardt the Merciful and just One is a loving and benignant Man, whom he addresses with reverential intimacy. With Luther, it was the belief in free grace and the work of Atonement, in the Redemption which had burst the gates of hell, which inspired the Christian singer with his joyous confidence; with Gerhardt it is his faith in the love of God.

TLH#349 - Jesus Thy Boundless Love   
 TLH#142 - A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth
The Lection                            The Passion History

TLH#171 - Upon the Cross Extended                   

Gerhardt - Confession and Bearing the Cross
verses 1, 11-15

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace                                            p. 45

TLH#554 - Now Rest Beneath Night's Shadow

Kindle Unlimited Sign Up - 30 Day Free Trials

Kindle Unlimited Sign Up:

If you doubt the value of Kindle e-books on your computer or mobile device, try this 30 day free trial. You can download all the Gregory L. Jackson books - because they are all listed as Kindle Unlimited as well as being in print.

I get my favorite books both ways, because I take some books along to read and want them on the computer for easy quoting.

'via Blog this'

More Ecclesia College Opinions - Rep Ballinger’s conflicts make him the wrong messenger for FOIA exemption | Conduit for Action

Oren's mom, his sister Angie, and his sister Twila
all support him. But Ecclesia College revenue supports them.
A former coach and a former board member are suing
the college for its poor management and for
ducking the FOIA request for where the money went.

Rep Ballinger’s conflicts make him the wrong messenger for FOIA exemption | Conduit for Action:

"Representative Bob Ballinger is spearheading SB373 in the House of Representatives.[i]  His involvement has the appearance of conflict and he should do the prudent thing and withdraw from the bill.

First, Representative Ballinger is a member of the Story Law Firm which is representing Ecclesia College in its efforts to avoid disclosure of documents under an FOIA request. The documents relate to the receipt of state General Improvement Fund (GIF) money awarded to the private college by legislators.[ii] Recently, Travis Story of the Story Law Firm filed a motion on behalf of Ecclesia College to dismiss the FOIA lawsuit.[iii]

SB373 would exempt the work product of Ballinger and the Story Law Firm concerning the GIF received by the college.

If Ecclesia College sounds familiar it may be because former state Representative Micah Neal pled guilty to a kickback scheme in the award of GIF money to the college. Former state Senator Jon Woods and Oren Paris III, the President of Ecclesia College, are under indictment.

Second, Ballinger is one of several legislators who authorized some of “their share” of GIF funds to Ecclesia College to purchase land. In 2013-2014 he directed a total of $8,500 to the college. There has been no indication of wrong doing by Ballinger in the awards. But, since one former legislator has pled guilty of kickbacks, it is a bad decision for Ballinger to be involved in legislation that could close the door on FOIA requests concerning public funds received by Ecclesia College.

Third, before moving to the Story Law Firm, Ballinger did legal work for Ecclesia College.  After allocating $8,500 of “his” GIF to the college, Ballinger did the legal work on the purchase. He prepared the deed and prepared the title insurance.  Perhaps he didn’t receive any compensation for that work, but if he did, steering legal work to Ballinger might be seen by some as a payback for his award of state GIF to the private college. Even If Ballinger had done previous legal work for Ecclesia College, sending a GIF award to a client could look bad.

Note: There is confusion over the value of the land purchased by Ecclesia College.  The grant application says the total estimated project of purchasing twenty-three acres is $565,000.[iv] The Real Estate Tax Stamp says the purchase price was $675,000.[v] The estimated market value of the property by Benton County is $204,600.[vi]

Fourth, prior to the indictments, an Ecclesia College official described Ballinger as their attorney. Again, SB373, being spearheaded by Ballinger in the House of Representatives, would draw a curtain on his “communication or attorney work product” for Ecclesia College.

Representative Bob Ballinger should reevaluate his involvement in SB373. We think the prudent thing to do, to avoid a conflict concerning this bill, is to withdraw from it."

'via Blog this'

Before the Storm - Pruning and Watering Roses.
Plus Some Really Bad Ideas about Growing Roses

Cats can be captured simply by putting a box out,
the tighter the fit, the better.

Yesterday promised a real thunderstorm, and more will be coming. Rain and hail delivered around 2 am. My first thought yesterday was to get some major rose pruning done, to see which roses were serious about growing this year.

The crepe myrte was already pruned - to use the old branches gone to seed as additional mulch.

Aphids knocked out the white KnockOut roses,
but only for a short time.

Roses need to have their cuttings removed because they are devilish to walk through and may spread disease. The initial pruning with the big shears for tough canes can be followed later by more precise pruning. Every prune is good for the roses, so no one should hesitate, thinking, "Oh, this will hurt the plant." Just the opposite is true.

Pruning and rain are two ways to spur growth, so I brought buckets of rainwater from the barrels to pour on favorite roses, in case the storm was over-reported and unable to deliver significant rain.

I was in the peasant-hauling-water mood, so I did the same with all the roses along the fence. I knew the rain barrels would be filled and overflowing in the next few days with nowhere to put the excess.

Cardinals love the crepe myrtle bush for their nests
and for the seeds formed by the flowers.

Our neighbor came over with two bare-root roses as a gift. They were in a plastic bag and looked good, so I dropped them in a rain barrel. I was hoping for semi-floating, but both sank to the bottom. I thought, "A search deep in ice-cold water tomorrow is on the schedule."

Sometimes my wheelbarrow has enough water for a plant soak. I use that or a barrel with stored tapwater. Rainwater delivers natural fertilizer and a complete absence of chlorine, so that is always the preferred treatment for all new plants in pots or bare-root roses.

I am inclined to let them soak overnight, whatever the plant. Anything shipped, bagged, or from a store is bound to be dehydrated.

Really Bad Ideas for Roses - And Why These "Experts" Should Study Creation and Organic Gardening

I have the opportunity to read or hear truly awful suggestions for planting roses.

  • "Soak the roses in chlorine bleach water, to remove all pathogens." Microbes are good for plants, and bacteria are the staff of life for the other microbes. The chlorine will halt all the beneficial aspects of microbes and probably add the chemical blast to the soil as well. We do not need to manage the Manager. 
  • "Soak the plants in a mix of chemical fertilizer and water." Yes, this chemical engineer showed me how to fill the hole in the soil with tapwater, stir in Rapid-Gro, and plant the rose. This plan is not as bad as chlorine, but the effects are similar. Fast-growth from chemicals will be countered by the effect of the fertilizer nuking the microbes.
  • "Use systemic poisons to kill anything on or near the plant, because the plant moves the toxic around its vascular system."  Systemic toxins will be in the soil and move into the water table, suppressing microbes and who knows what else in the long run. This ends the work of the spiders and beneficial insects that live from the pests on the rose bush. If you hate the destruction of aphids, you will love the way various beneficial insects eat them or lay eggs on and near them. I let the aphids attack the white and Peace roses on the first round of blooming. "Aphids, you are merely feeding the new generation of aphid-eaters in my garden. You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting." A summer of nearly perfect roses follows my refusal to kill all beneficial beings by aiming at aphids.
  • "Use pre-emergent weed killer, according to directions." This is another wide spread attack based on fears or pure laziness. Gardeners weed and take some pleasure in weeding or complaining about weeding. My systemic approach to weeds starts with a layer of cardboard - followed by a layer of leaves, shredded wood, or pine needles.
  • "You must spray fungicide all summer long. I got tired of that." Here is the hated word - blackspot. Almost all roses are vulnerable to blackspot, because the Persian Yellow rose introduced colors and blackspot into the hybrid gene pool. I never spray fungicide because that will knockout the delicate fungal strands feeding and protecting the roses. I get leaves with blackspot, but the overall health of the roses keeps them from being overwhelmed. If the leaves are ugly, I cut them off before placing them in a vase. Some leaves are great, and they remain.
 This revolutionary book explains how microbes are the
foundation of all soil life and plants.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From 2009 - The Icha-Slang Lexicon Will Be Part of the New Lutheran Dictionary.
Everything Is Worse Under SP Mark Schroeder

Someone has requested explanations for neologisms (new words) found on Ichabod, suggesting the term Ichaslang, which is yet another neologism.

Bi-sectsual is a term for services that claim to blend Lutheran and Babtist worship.

GA - is not a term I invented. The initials stand for Gemuetlicher Abend (friendly evening), but GA is a week of hazing. WELS claims it has stopped, but it is still going on secretly, among the few who preserve its sacred character. GA starts with lying about whether there will be GA, which is inflicted on first-year students. Hazing has been universally practiced in WELS schools, so this is not new for most students. GA is full of deception and scare tactics. Most of the present ministerium went through GA. They are forbidden to tell its secrets, even to their wives. Anyone who knows or tells is punished. Anyone who objects to GA is pushed out of WELS or punished.

Blogicide - When someone like Tim Glende creates a Chicanery blog and erases it, he is said to have committed blogicide. Paul McCain wisely committed blogicide when his Cyberbrethren embarrassment attracted attention for its constant plagiarism of The Catholic Encyclopedia and the posted comments praising him for his "latest post." Haha.

Gurgle - Ex-SP Gurgel has been renamed by a WELS pastor. Gurgle stands for the noise WELS was making as it went down the drain during his administration. He did the same thing as a District Pope, despoiling the MilCraft Estate. Gurgle did even more damage as SP, using up the Schwan loot and going after all the designated funds. He now works as Dom Perignon Patterson's campaign manager.

Anonymouse - Two people (approximately) are Anonymouse. One was Tim Glende, who even named a blog Anonymouse, before erasing it, creating blogicide. Another Mouse is a very nasty ELCA pastor whose invective is a constant source of amusement and inspiration.

Babtist - There are two types of Baptists, as someone explained at Wheaton College. "There are Baptists, and Ba-a-a-a-btists." The Southern and more conservative ones will often call themselves B-a-a-a-abtists, so I use that term for Brother Ed Stetzer and Brother Andy Stanley, both adored by the members of Church and Chicanery.

Dom Perignon Patterson. The Central Southeran Babtist District of WELS has been influenced by Patterson, who earned his nickname from livin' high off the hog while applying for synod subsidies.

Forward in Confusion - The Northwestern Lutheran was renamed Forward in Christ to get rid of the odious name Lutheran. WELS pastors have nicknamed it Forward in Confusion because the magazine obviously promotes the anti-Lutheran Church and Chicanery bunch while pretending to be Lutheran. Also known as: Forward in Chicanery. Now that Lutheran has finally been added to the cover page, the magazine is known as FICL or FICKLE.

Ichapeek - when you have to get one last quick look at Ichabod before going to bed. From Mrs. Joe Krohn.

Ichawidow - when your husband spends too much time on Ichabod. From Mrs. Joe Krohn, Ichawidow.

Immersing Churches. The Emerging Churches are just another name for ChurchGrowthy churches. They are Immersing Churches because most of them are Babtist or Pentecostal.

To Kilcrease
[v. kill-krees-e; n. kill-krees] verb, -creased, -creas·ing,  noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to eliminate; to remove evidence of,  confession, opinion, or error; decrease; take away from: to kilcrease the  evidence.

Scholars are divided, but some think the word began to be used when a Roman Catholic adjunct instructor started erasing his own blog posts and comments.

Brett Meyer, Assistant Lexicographer. Daniel Baker, Contributing Lexicographer.

The Love Shack - WELS headquarters: so named because the Church Growth people talk about love all the time but show so little, unless they are talking about Fuller Seminary, Trinity in Deerfield, Willow Creek, or Leonard Sweet. This has been renamed The Guilt Factory, because everyone should feel guilty for not doing more to prop up the salaries of the residents there. Since the Love Shack is moving to Pewaukee, the newly approved name will be PU Towers - for Pewaukee Universalist.

The Sausage Factory - The Evangelical Lutheran Synod has nicknamed the WELS seminary this because all the graduates come out looking exactly the same. That sameness is actually a goal of the school.

Church and Chicanery - The Church and Change organization in WELS is the somewhat stealthy faction running The Love Shack, The Sausage Factory, and FIC. Thy bow the knee to Leonard Sweet, New Age Professor of Wikiletics, so they are Sweet-hearts. They also love Brother Stetzer as much as he loves food. Luther, they know little about - and what they do know, they despise.

To Knapp - Borrowing double-justification from George Christian Knapp. Hence the Syn Conference has been caught knapping.

To kelm or to parlow: copying another parson's sermons and taking credit for them. In the Patterson Circuit, a copied sermon is called a doebler. Kelming and parlowing are often followed by large but undeserved grants. A doebler is always backed by rock music and disappointing grant allotments.

To Krohn - To encourage someone to write a letter or meet with a pastor to discuss doctrine, the first step in excommunicating a person who actually follows that advice. Because of the Appleton incident, which was almost identical, this term is considered synonymous with Rick-Rolling.

Kudu Don Patterson - Kudu Don was going by the nickname Gunga Don until I read his email calling me a fool and a liar. His email name is Kudu Don, apparently inspired by a wild deer he loves to hunt in Africa. That does sound better than Zebra Don. Left unexplained is how he can hunt animals in Africa and beg the synod for a grant to pay the vicar each year. Kudu Don took a passle of WELS guys to see Babtist Ed Stetzer at the Exponential Conference.

Mary Lou College is the place where Church and Chicaneries have a field day. It used to be called Martin Luther College, but that is hardly appropriate. Before that, it was Dr. Martin Luther College, nicknamed Dumb Man's Last Chance, for those men who decided teaching parochial school was easier than all that Greek and Hebrew.

Perish Consultants - The Wisconsin Synod pimps parish consultants out to congregations. These Fuller-trained consultants tell churches to start modern worship, etc. These inept leaders are killing congregations, so they are aptly named Perish Consultants. They work under the banner of the gold-plated, high living Board of Perish Services. BPS = Church and Chicanery = Fuller/Willow Creek/Sweet/Stetzer/Emerging Church.

Popcornites - They are a sect within the Wisconsin Sect. They organize their entertainment sessions around popcorn, soda, snacks, and latte - all served during church. If you enjoy hearing popcorn munched during the Prayer of the Church and sode slurped during the Groeschel sermon, you are a Popcornite.

Rick-Rolling - Not to be confused with the April Fool's joke. Rick-Rolling is the process of encouraging someone to write a letter to and meet with those WELS clergy who are promoting false doctrine, plagiarism, and deception. This is better than April's Fool, because the Doctrinal Pussycat ducks the meeting and leaves a letter blaming Ichabod for the mess he has created. Next the pastors excommunicate the member who followed WELS advice and the DP agrees. Rick-Rolling is jolly good fun for the rollers but not for the rollee. Synonymous with Krohning someone.

The Little Sect on the Prairie - The Little House on the Prairie was situated in Minnesota, so the tiny group of Lutherans in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod deserve a similar name.

The Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie - Bethany Lutheran College and Seminary are small, in spite of the large dollops of money from Marvin Schwan.

Pope John the Malefactor - ELS President John Moldstad starting behaving better after we lost count of how often he extended the Left Foot of Fellowship to pastors and congregations. When people questioned his qualifications to teach New Testament at the Little School on the Prairie, he hastened to finish his college degree. They have standards to uphold.

The Left Foot of Fellowship - When a pastor or congregation is kicked out of a synod, it is called extending the Left Foot of Fellowship.

Rydeckied - When the District President promises the congregation to continue discussing doctrine and suspends the pastor instead, that pastor is considered Rydeckied. WELS often extends the Left Foot of Fellowship, but when the action is especially duplicitous, it is considered a Rydecki.

St. Marvin of Schwan - The late donor and owner of Schwan Frozen Foods has been preached into heaven by the bagmen of three synods (WELS, ELS, LCMS). Somehow Marvin Schwan managed to bankrupt all three while giving away so much money after his death. His second wife went back to the Church of Rome, suggesting that money is efficacious in converting people.

Stealth Pastors, Stealth Churches - When pastors and congregations refuse to use the name Lutheran, they deserve the appellation of stealth. They lust for loot from their synods, but they want to fly under the radar in their own communities. They call that witnessing. Paul Kuske started the first stealth congregation in Columbus - Pilgrim Community Church. Attendance climbed to 3 (three), approximately the size of the Church Growth staff.

Stealth Organizations - When one unit within a synod drops the name Lutheran, it earns the stealth title. WELS has dropped Lutheran from the magazine title, the hymnal, Lutherans For Life, and other entities. Stand back and watch it grow!

The Surrendered Fort - Graduates of Concordia, Ft. Wayne enjoy calling it The Fort, but that school has waved the white flag in the face of Eastern Orthodoxism and Roman Catholicism. If the graduates do not join the Willow Creek army, they pope or semi-pope. Poping is an old term for joining the Roman Catholics. Semi-poping is for those who want the incense without the baggage.

Our Lady of Sorrows - Concordia, St. Louis, is just as anxious as The Fort (sic) to send young men to Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy. Two clues about their ultimate exits are a nauseating obsession with clerical garments and an unholy obsession with the Virgin Mary. St. Louis also produces Church Growth experts like Paul Kelm (DMin, Our Lady of Sorrows).

Safe Sects - The Church Growth drones argue that they can safely nestle among the despisers of the Mean of Grace. The gurus are just experimenting with safe sects.
Tim Feltneeds - At Bailing Water, Tim Niedfelt is always promoting his Church Growth ideas, which began in WELS under the name of "felt needs." Someone suggested the nickname of Tim Feltneeds, who is a follower of the Rock and Roll blog. Surprise?

Staph Ministry is a program headed by Lawrence Otto Olson (Our Staph Infection) to spread Fuller doctrine and the ordination of women in WELS. This contagion has grown to a large number of people, proving how infectious Church Growth can be.

- When a toxic group or congregation has a website, it becomes a websty. Example: Church and Chicanery has its own websty.

Some Church and Chicanery congregations are:

  1. Rock and Roll Lutheran - with its own apologetic blog.
  2. Latte Lutheran, featuring the first woman pastor in WELS.
  3. CrossWalk, in Phoenix, Arid-zona. The city needed another WELS church, another Church Growth church, another stealth church.
  4. CrossRoads - now Evangelical Covenant, but started by WELS DP Robert Mueller and VP Paul Kuske, and three WELS pastors - Rick Miller, Kelly Voigt, and Mark Freier.
  5. CrossRoads, Chicago has a pastor who knelt at the feet of Leonard Sweet even before C and C had their Leonard Sweet conference.


    Church and Chicaneries speak with forked tongues, so their words need translation. Their terms are listed below, reverently posted in red, followed by their real meaning:

    Outreach - Sheep-stealing from other congregations.

    Excellent Worship - Entertainment by a Praise Band.

    Praise Band - Members of various denominations who want to perform in a Lutheran church.

    Ichabod! - Our funds are being cut.

    Violating the Eighth Commandment - Publishing our false doctrine.

    Violating Matthew 18 - Failure to speak privately to us about our public sins, because we need time to trash the speaker before anyone pays attention to him.

    Church Consultant - Fuller Seminary graduate.

    Mission Counselor - Fuller Seminary graduate.

    Seminary Professor - Fuller Seminary graduate.

    Staff Ministry - Finding a way to ordain women.

    WELS Prayer Institute - A place for Chicaneries to hide in case Church and Change is shut down.

    Foundation Grants - The lifeblood of C and C.

    Thrivent Grants - The lifeblood of C and C.

    Synod Subsidies - The lifeblood of C and C.

    Stewardship - Arranging for various funds to keep us going because we hate to give.

    Totally Awesome Worship Leader - Andy Stanley, Craig Groeschel, Marc Driscoll, etc.

    Baby Blue Eyes sees nothing wrong, and if it is wrong, it's harmless.
    Baby Blue Eyes will cry if Holy Mother Synod is criticized.

    Ichabodians know that the Chicaneries never tell the truth - they even deny belonging to Church and Change. Their hearts and minds are wrapped around Fuller, Willow Creek, Granger, NorthPoint, Exponential, Trinity Deerfield, and Leonard Sweet, but "they are not Changers." Ask Vicar Gurgle, whose dad at Mequon posted Chicanery diatribe on the Church and Change listserve.

    Ask Kudu Don Patterson, who led a Bible study of sorts at a Church and Chicanery conference.

    The Baby Blue Eyes are a different breed, easily exploited by the Shrinkers. Holy Mother WELS can do not wrong, so there must be something terribly evil about anyone who suggests otherwise.

    All the false teachers are "nice guys." How could a classmate be wrong about anything?

    Worse, they are relatives. Blood is thicker than doctrine in all denominations. For instance, I wondered how Pope John the Malefactor (Little Sect on the Prairie) could stay in office. Then I read that someone named Moldstad helped found the ELS. Case closed.

Now Appearing in Our Springdale Garden - Arkansas

 Catmint has some manners, unlike catnip.
Some consider it a substitute for lavender.

The first new plant I noticed was cat mint, a mint that behaves better than catnip and some other mints that want to take over the world by root growth.

I saw the first asparagus fern yesterday, which means it was above ground long before I noticed. I could harvest the spears this year.

The daffodils came up, got snow on them, and the blooms were rescued for the altar. We are done with the snow - I hope - and a new batch of daffodils came up in time for the altar.

Tulips are above ground but not blooming yet. In my yard and others the grape hyacinths are in bloom. They are not grapes or hyacinths, but they bloom a long time and spread slowly on their own.

Calladiums are late to sprout
but offer color in the shade all summer.

Roses that were questionable are now greening up and the early growers are completely leafed out. The first leaves of the roses were nipped by the sudden frosts we had, but that does not set back roses. That is why I waited a bit to prune. Icy mornings were not motivating and I figured that would spur growth at the wrong time.

Veterans Honor and Falling in Love -
both roses are splendid to grow and give away.

The backyard fence roses - on Mr. Gardeners side - were pruned back severely, 50% or more. The criteria are:

  1. Deadwood - looking like dried up sticks.
  2. Blackened canes.
  3. Crossing canes.

The timid rosarians need to remember this - roses grow on new canes, so spurring growth by pruning is always good. We have several days of rain ahead - just what I want - so I am pruning the roses in the main garden.

Once upon a time I had more roses than vases.
Some well-placed hints and a few garage sales
changed that.

I have been reading more of Teaming with Fungus, and that supports the idea that soil should be left alone to promote the fragile fungal growth.

Late to bloom, crepe myrtles delight the neighborhood.

The crepe myrtles are dormant, which would alarm me. However, I recall the long-time resident being late to leaf out and flower, but dominating the block the rest of the summer.

 Butterfly bush is our waiting room
for the birds wanting to enjoy the feeder and baths.

The butterfly bushes from last year were leafing out when the frosts ended that. I am waiting for new growth so I can prune them back.

Wild strawberries are growing all over. Like the tiny weeds in the grass, they are convenient food for the bees. They grow in the deep shade and the sun, and birds plant them wherever they roost.

Former Landscaper - What Do You Have Against Grass?

Some of my work concerns ending the reign of grass in certain sections. I turned one area into blackberries - with some regret now. They have sun and plenty of moisture. Canes reach out to trip me in the driveway.

I began some hosta in the back, to take advantage of the shade and appeal to hummingbirds. The entire area is now covered with pine needles, ready for some more hosta in the future. Hosta can be very inexpensive after the buying season is over.

The massive failure of the straw bale garden remains a painful memory, so I covered it over with cardboard and mulch. In fact, many layers of organic material has made the area a paradise for earthworms.

Slugs do well in the same area, which was my melancholy experience. They multiplied and spoiled everything I tried to grow in the bales. The damp bales simply tilted growth toward slugs and away from earthworms. Slugs will always exist, so gardeners best put their salt-shakers and poisons away.

The straw bale spa for slugs will become the butterfly garden, with some easy to grow butterfly plants. Some of them, like tickseed (coreopsis), will seed themselves for future generations.


 Coreopsis jungle - for bees and butterflies and beneficial insects.

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Creation Gardener - Servant of the Servants of God

 I want that bird, now!
No, Clancy, that's a Norma Boeckler drawing.

The Servant of the Servants of God - the pope has used that term for himself, as a sign of his modesty. That is better as a title for the Creation gardener. The chemical gardener, with his mighty rototiller, is always harming soil microbes, decreasing the beneficial insect population, and driving away birds and other worthwhile creatures.

Before spending money on a fad solution, the careful gardener thinks about its impact on all life and questions if the short-term solution is really a good investment of time and money. Rather than rant about harm, let's discuss the good a gardener can do for all life.

I did not order a chickadee added to my mocha.

First Benefit of Birds
I spent a lot of time and almost no money figuring out the best solution for attracting birds to our yard, with two benefits. The first one is having them feed at the two windows we use the most - bedroom and kitchen. They are already quite used to us walking by or using the sink, so standing at the window is no problem. The male goldfinches are giving up their drab winter livery for the spectacular gold feathers. The change is subtle at first but already moving toward impossible brightness.

We also observe a constant feeding of cardinals, a very shy bird, now quite used to us and willing to pose for photos. Common finches also feed on sunflower seeds and squirrels leave them alone - for the most part. The young squirrels are content with the fall out, because they have no easy way to poach the food from the Lowe hanging feeders.

 We let the vines continue to grow,
and now a bird has nested in them.
California Dreamin' Rose.

Second Benefit of Birds
The most important benefit of birds in the garden is their constant consumption of the insect population, which only increases to feed the babies.

I let God manage this since He has been doing such a good job since the Creation. If one kind of pest grows in number, the pest eaters will gladly show up drive that population down.

The birds' greatest need in the summer is not for food, but fresh clean water for drinking, bathing, and preening. They can often find that, but I want them used to our many shallow sources of clean water:

  • Two are near the water faucet that sprays water around.
  • Two children's swimming pools are cleaned and filled routinely.
  • Shallow clay water pans are under the soaker hoses to provide extra water for birds and toads.
Bathing and preening are essential for flight, so they love to have water and a safe place to work their feathers into proper shape for flight.

Birds are just as much fun when bathing as they are when eating. Starlings eat and bathe as a flock. Suddenly they are around the baths and splashing, dipping into the water, jumping in and out.

The recent cold nights left the baths frozen in the morning. The birds walked around on top of them, looking for useful water. This servant of the servants of God filled up five-gallon paint cans and took out water to pour over the ice.

Mulch, Stumps, Lumps of Wood, and Earthworms
Earthworms do the large-scale work of tunneling, aerating, and manuring the soil. Inside their bodies are bacteria that digest the food ingested. The bacteria need the earthworms and the earthworms require bacteria. 

Happy, well-fed earthworms multiply and make the soil better. All the creatures of decomposition play a distinct role in the process, each one taking care of one or two steps in returning organic matter to the plants. Our granddaughter thought the front looked grim with all the stumps arranged on top the soil. But it is really a massive display of what was once living to feed the growing and living below the soil. Lift up a stump and happy worms and soil creatures wiggle in dismay at the bright sunlight. A layer of wood mulch, cardboard, and newspaper gives our former lawn a dark, damp place for creatures to recycle food into the roots of the roses.

Look - A Hollow Stump
The maple tree had some rotting  and dying limbs far above. One came down as a nifty hollow stump. My first thought was, "Just what Mr. Toad or another creature would love - shade, food, and moisture."


ELDONA Starts To Post - Martin Luther’s Sermons | Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
Can Kindle Unlimited Be Far Behind?

 The entire Lenker set of 8 volumes is posted
here on Ichabod the Glory Has Departed.
I did this five years ago.

Martin Luther’s Sermons | Emmanuel Lutheran Church:

Martin Luther’s Sermons

The majority of the following sermons of Martin Luther are taken from The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI), 1983. This 8 volume set was itself a reprint of John Nicholas Lenker’s translation of Luther’s Church Postil.  Lenker’s translations are in the public domain.


'via Blog this'


GJ - ELDONA keeps borrowing my ideas, but I do not mind, because Justification by Faith is not under copyright. Nor are these sermons, which are in the public domain.

I posted all eight volumes of the Lenker series - five years ago. No other Lutheran took the time (as far as I could tell). Likewise, I am printing the complete set and also publishing them as Kindle Unlimited books.

The printed books will be available through me at the author's price, a princely discount - because my idea is to get them out there, studied, and used - not to raise money for the payments on my 1994 Lincoln Town Car.

The Town Car is paid for, relieving Martin Chemnitz Press
of high overhead costs. Sassy approves.

Our Kindle Unlimited version of all eight volumes will cost nothing for someone already enrolled. Someone can enroll, get all the books for $10 total, and cease paying the monthly fee. Add the rest of the books, too - no extra cost.

ELDONA pastors are not allowed to use Kindle, but no one has told me why that is so. Lower profits? With no distribution, profits are negligible anyway.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Oculi, The Third Sunday in Lent, 2017. Luke 11:14-28.
Jesus Is the Stronger Man.

Oculi Sunday, The Third Sunday in Lent, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn #175      When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual             Ephesians 5:1-9
The Gospel                                 Luke 11:14-28
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #172:1-5        O Sacred Head

The Stronger Man

The Hymn #172:6-10                      O Sacred Head
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #151                    Christ the Life                   

KJV Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

KJV Luke 11:14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. 16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. 18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Third Sunday in Lent

Lord God, heavenly Father, who hast sent Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh, that He might overcome the devil, and defend us poor sinners against the adversary: We give thanks unto Thee for Thy merciful help, and we beseech Thee to attend us with Thy grace in all temptations, to preserve us from carnal security, and by Thy Holy Spirit to keep us in Thy word and Thy fear, that unto the end we may be delivered from the enemy, and obtain eternal salvation, through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Jesus Is the Stronger Man 

KJV Luke 11:14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

Jesus performed many miracles. Many were so public and remarkable - on their own - that His divinity should not be disputed now, nor should that have been true then. But God's Work and work always provoke opposition, which comes in the form of rationalism, where such things are explained away.

Thus today - why do so many animal mothers show great love and concern for their newborns, even when it is their first litter? Answer - instinct. In fact, instinct answers all animal questions. Evolution explains all plant questions. Why do desert plants have hard, waxy leaves? Answer - they evolved to survive. And why do desert animals serve the desert plants so well, since both are unique in the Sonora Desert? Answer - they co-evolved.

In Moline our Siamese cat had beautiful white little kittens, so we brought them upstairs for the company to hold. Mother cat entered the room and with fire in her eyes jumped up and took every kitten back downstairs. We decided to leave them along when we had the living room full of company again. That night the mother cat brought up each kitten, put it down in the center of the room, and sat proudly next to her entire litter. Everyone loved the show and she knew it.

So the anxious crowd, in the face of God's own Son, says, as rationalists would -  He casts out devils through Beelzebub, the lord of all the devils. Those would be the religious opponents who cannot bear God but want to be praised for being outwardly religious.

Others marveled at the miracles and began to believe because they heard the Word and saw the power of Jesus in His work and Words. 

16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 
As Luther noted, the curious always wanted one more miracle, one more feeding. That would be another group, always watching and curious but wanting more. Some come along to church and remain neutral for a long time and finally believe because the Word penetrates their indifference, sometimes with the help of a crisis.

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. 18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

Abraham Lincoln used this comparison to argue for the Union. A house divided cannot stand. Wealthy families are rare because their discord ends up in court and the riches are divided and spent poorly. Their fights make an empire fail.

A modest start with harmony ends up with great accumulations. Few realize that Walmart was just a small mom and pop store - The Five and Dime - always with an eye to low costs. Two brothers ran the company, sharing the work. All the children did the manual labor, such as carrying freight into the upstairs storeroom and popping the popcorn. The grandson-in-law, born into incredible wealth, still works for the company.

Jesus pointed out that if Satan cast out devils, his kingdom would quickly fail. And he added, how do your people cast out demons, by Beelzebub?

He is an example of answering the hardened and the blinded. At some point the Word of God can penetrate the defenses, but obstinate rejection makes them blinder and more hardened. In these latter days we can expect more hardening through the Word than conversion, but that is no reason to stop. To be quiet means we do not trust the efficacy of the Word, which is the foundation of the Scriptures. The most basic doctrine of traditional Judaism and Christianity is barely noticed today. The Talmud took Jews away from the Word, and rationalism took Christians away from the Scriptures.

The Two Kingdoms
The fancy-pants theologians like to speak of the Two Kingdoms in Luther, but they get mixed up. The Two Kingdoms are not church and state as they imagine. Luther called them the Two Regiments.

The Two Kingdoms are the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. Everyone belongs to the Kingdom of Satan by default, until converted by the Word. Those with loving parents are converted by Holy Baptism as babies and nurtured in the Gospel.

No one can please God apart from faith in His Son. Then we belong to the Kingdom of God and enjoy its benefits, including the daily forgiveness of sins through the Holy Spirit in the Gospel.

The rest belong to the Kingdom of Satan, no matter what religion they may profess. All the world religions teach against the Kingdom of God, which is why they are promoted as replacements for Christianity in America.

Christ  showed by his expulsion of demons that the Kingdom of God was among them, through the Word, with Him as the living Word, the Creating Word.

But demon is not driven out by demon, much less by men or the power of men, but alone by the Spirit and power of God.

8. From this follows that where the finger of God does not cast out the devil, there the devil’s kingdom still exists; where Satan’s kingdom still exists, there the kingdom of God cannot be. The unavoidable conclusion then is that, as long as the Holy Spirit does not enter our hearts, we are not only incapable of any good, but are of necessity in the kingdom of Satan.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

The stronger man parable is difficult  to comprehend, until we see that Jesus is the stronger man. Everything was great until He came along. He took away Satan's armor and divided Satan's spoils among His followers. 

In church history, the Roman Empire was entirely pagan. The emperors were all abnormal, promiscuous, pan-sexual rock stars. The public displays of that time would put our rock stars to shame. In fact, they do not bear repeating. Christ took that kingdom away and made it Christian. The old pagan religions of that era are gone, and the Roman Empire East and West was Christianized.

The Christian Byzantine Empire lasted 1100 years, preserving  classical culture and the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and Old Testament. When Rome refused to help Constantinople in the last battle (a Christian empire divided), Constantinople fell and became the center of Islam.

10. He answers them in the third place, by a comparison taken from life, namely that of a strong man overcome by one stronger, and robbed of all his armor and goods etc. By this he testifies also that no one but God can overcome the devil, so that again no man can boast of being able of himself to drive out either sin or the devil. Notice how he pictures the devil! He calls him a mighty giant who guards his court and home, that is, the devil not only possesses the world as his own domain, but he has garrisoned and fortified it, so that no one can take it from him. He rules it also with undisputed sway, so that it does whatever he commands. Just as little as a house or court may withstand or contend against the tyrant who is its master, can man’s free will and natural powers oppose sin and Satan, that is, not at all; but they are subject to them. And as that house must be conquered by a stronger man and thus wrested from the tyrant, so must man also be ransomed through Christ and wrested from Satan. We see again, therefore, that our works and righteousness contribute absolutely nothing toward our salvation; it is effected alone by the grace of God.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

The seven unclean spirits parable is very significant. It can easily apply to the person who is converted and falls back into his old ways and beliefs. We see that often in celebrity conversions that are celebrated too soon and not solidified with study and removal from temptations.

But it also applies to our civilization, as we can see from today's experiences. When the Church of Rome first opposed Luther, the leaders used the Scriptures and found themselved publicly thrashed by the Word of God.

Therefore, they invented new ways to argue, as Chemntiz stated in his Examination of the Council of Trent. The Romans said, "These are grey areas of Scriptures. They are hard to understand. We need Holy Mother Church to explain them for us and the pope to be the final judge. The Sciptures are too deep and confusing for the laity, even for most priests. Leave it to us and we will teach the truth."

So now, if you visit a Vatican owned seminary, as I often did, and study their dogmas, you will see that the most absurd declarations are supported by this claim - The Church (of Rome) has taught this from the beginning."

The books have nice notations in the front, signed off by a bishop and official authorities. So that same library has all the best Lutheran books in it, the most devastating ones against the Roman cause, but that does not matter, because Holy Mother has spoken.

Those arguments have entered Protestantism and the Lutheran synods as well. The Word is NOT clear, is NOT effective - they theach. The Word confusing and contradictory - they claim. The bigger the boaster, the more likely he will say that Paul contradicted himself teaching Justification by Faith in one verse and Justification without Faith in another verse...nearby. 

The seven evil spirits are all over the place disrupting the Gospel. They might be named:
  1. Lazy pastor loyal to the synod evil spirit.
  2. Indifferent layman who wants to be a delegate evil spirit.
  3. Business methods evil spirit.
  4. Numbers evil spirit.
  5. Coveting the big congregation evil spirit.
  6. Wanting to be a bigshot in Kiwanis evil spirit.
  7. Good place to sell insurance evil spirit.
The LCMS claimed they drove out the evil spirit during the Seminex crisis and have been celebrating ever since, like the football teams that are ahead until the fourth quarter starts.

WELS praised itself for breaking with Missouri and those bad old liberals, but stealthily joined ELCA in evangelism and worship, a strange way to practice fellowship.

But these lessons are not for us to say, "Look at how bad THEY are" but to serve as a warning to each one of us. The Two Kingdoms are at war with each other until the end. Why do the Lutherans hate polemics, when polemics are the grammar of religious war? When armed forces battle, the soldiers clash - unless one side waves the white flag of peace and surrender.

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Here is another warnng against veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mother. If you pay attention to the Hail Mary, it is a parody of this warning. 

Thus we should always apply these Words of Christ to ourselves, that we should listen to the Word and guard it.

Such also was the lot of the Jews after the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Greeks under the Turks. And so all will fare, who at first hear the Word of God and afterwards become secure and weary of it. St. Matthew says, in Matthew 12:14, that Satan finds the house empty. And in Matthew 13:25, he sowed tares among the wheat, by night, while men slept. Therefore it is necessary for us to watch as the apostles always admonish us, especially St. Peter in 1 Peter 5:3: “Brethren, be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”; for wherever he overthrows faith, he easily restores again all former vices.

 By Norma Boeckler.