The Glory Has Departed

Books are being donated to those studying
Justification by Faith and fighting UOJ.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Audio Gutenberg - Travis and Lauren Cartee

Audio Gutenberg Blog

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Central Daylight Time.
Lenten Services Wednesdays - 7 PM, Central Daylight Time. Greek starts after the Ash Wednesday service.

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


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plus free books edited and written by Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Navigation for Luther's Sermons, Lenker Edition

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

Alec Satin, Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry - Ebooks

How to Send Money to the Bethany Philippine Mission

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ecclesia College - Legislators OK request from state bureau to hire counsel to handle requests from U.S. investigators

Legislators OK request from state bureau to hire counsel to handle requests from U.S. investigators:

"“Unpublished memoranda, working papers, and correspondence” of lawmakers are exempt under the state Freedom of Information Act, according to the law.

The request comes after federal indictments of two former lawmakers — Sen. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, and Rep. Micah Neal, R-Springdale.

Ecclesia College President Oren Paris III of Springdale is accused of paying kickbacks to Woods while Woods was a legislator. Woods, in turn, paid then-Rep. Micah Neal in some cases, according to the indictment. Neal pleaded guilty to public corruption charges Jan. 4.

Paris passed the kickback payments through Randell Shelton Jr., a consultant from Alma, a business partner Paris hired on behalf of the college, according to the indictment. The college is not named in the indictment, but it says Paris is the president of a nonprofit operating a college in Springdale.

Attorneys for Woods, Paris and Shelton have entered not-guilty pleas on behalf of their clients."

'via Blog this'

Finally - A Pan-Lutheran Litany for All To Use - No Charge

Stormtroopers agree - it's all symbolic.

Leader: The other Lutheran groups  are terrible. They cover up crimes, protect their friends, and teach false doctrine.
The People: So do we!

Leader: The other Lutheran groups use the worst translations of the Bible.
The People: So do we!

Leader: They go to schools that feature false doctrine and worship there.
The People: So do we!

Leader: The other Lutheran groups use slander, malicious gossip, threats, excommunication, and property theft to keep everyone in line.
The People: So do we!

Leader: The other Lutheran groups talk about grace and forgiveness.
People: So do we!

The Leader: But they condemn and criticize and shun.
The People: So do we!

The Leader: The other Lutheran groups beg and plead for money from the government, the life insurance companies, and foundations.
The People: So do we!

The Leader: The other Lutheran groups are hypocrites. Do I hear an Amen?
The People: Amen. We are dead indeed!


Greek Lesson - John 8:21ff

Parser Link

John 8

21 ειπεν ουν παλιν αυτοις ο ιησους εγω υπαγω και ζητησετε με και εν τη αμαρτια υμων αποθανεισθε; οπου εγω υπαγω υμεις ου δυνασθε ελθειν
22 ελεγον ουν οι ιουδαιοι "μητι αποκτενει εαυτον?"  οτι λεγει οπου εγω υπαγω υμεις ου δυνασθε ελθειν
23 και ειπεν αυτοις - υμεις εκ των κατω εστε, εγω εκ των ανω ειμι; υμεις εκ του κοσμου τουτου εστε, εγω ουκ ειμι εκ του κοσμου τουτου
24 ειπον ουν υμιν οτι αποθανεισθε εν ταις αμαρτιαις υμων, εαν γαρ μη πιστευσητε οτι εγω ειμι, αποθανεισθε εν ταις αμαρτιαις υμων
note that the post-positive γαρ shows us where the break is, before its use.
Angel of the Lord - Exodus 3 - Burning Bush - Name of God - I AM.
Exodus 3:13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.
25 ελεγον ουν αυτω "συ τις ει?" - και ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους την αρχην ο τι και λαλω υμιν
26 πολλα εχω περι υμων λαλειν και κρινειν, αλλ ο πεμψας με αληθης εστιν, καγω α ηκουσα παρ αυτου, ταυτα λεγω εις τον κοσμον
27 ουκ εγνωσαν οτι τον πατερα αυτοις ελεγεν
28 ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο ιησους, οταν υψωσητε τον υιον του ανθρωπου, τοτε γνωσεσθε οτι εγω ειμι, και απ εμαυτου ποιω ουδεν αλλα καθως εδιδαξεν με ο πατηρ μου, ταυτα λαλω
29 και ο πεμψας με μετ εμου εστιν, ουκ αφηκεν με μονον ο πατηρ, οτι εγω τα αρεστα αυτω ποιω παντοτε
30 ταυτα (αυτου λαλουντος) πολλοι επιστευσαν εις αυτον
31 ελεγεν ουν ο ιησους (προς τους πεπιστευκοτας αυτω ιουδαιους) εαν υμεις μεινητε εν τω λογω τω εμω, αληθως μαθηται μου εστε
32 και γνωσεσθε την αληθειαν και η αληθεια ελευθερωσει υμας
33 απεκριθησαν αυτω σπερμα αβρααμ εσμεν, και ουδενι δεδουλευκαμεν πωποτε! πως συ λεγεις οτι ελευθεροι γενησεσθε?
34 απεκριθη αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν οτι πας ο ποιων την αμαρτιαν δουλος εστιν της αμαρτιας
35 ο δε δουλος ου μενει εν τη οικια εις τον αιωνα; ο υιος μενει εις τον αιωνα
36 εαν ουν ο υιος υμας ελευθερωση οντως ελευθεροι εσεσθε
37 οιδα οτι σπερμα αβρααμ εστε,  αλλα ζητειτε με αποκτειναι οτι ο λογος ο εμος ου χωρει εν υμιν
38 εγω ο εωρακα παρα τω πατρι μου λαλω και υμεις ουν ο εωρακατε παρα τω πατρι υμων ποιειτε
39 απεκριθησαν και ειπον αυτω ο πατηρ ημων αβρααμ εστιν; λεγει αυτοις ο ιησους ει τεκνα του αβρααμ ητε, τα εργα του αβρααμ εποιειτε αν
40 νυν δε ζητειτε με αποκτειναι ανθρωπον ος την αληθειαν υμιν λελαληκα ην ηκουσα παρα του θεου; τουτο αβρααμ ουκ εποιησεν
41 υμεις ποιειτε τα εργα του πατρος υμων; ειπον ουν αυτω "ημεις εκ πορνειας ου γεγεννημεθα -  ενα πατερα εχομεν τον θεον
42 ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο ιησους ει ο θεος πατηρ υμων ην ηγαπατε αν εμε; εγω γαρ εκ του θεου εξηλθον και ηκω; ουδε γαρ απ εμαυτου εληλυθα αλλ εκεινος με απεστειλεν
43 διατι την λαλιαν την εμην ου γινωσκετε οτι ου δυνασθε ακουειν τον λογον τον εμον
44 υμεις εκ πατρος του διαβολου εστε, και τας επιθυμιας του πατρος υμων θελετε ποιειν; εκεινος ανθρωποκτονος ην απ αρχης και εν τη αληθεια ουχ εστηκεν, οτι ουκ εστιν αληθεια εν αυτω; οταν λαλη το ψευδος εκ των ιδιων λαλει,οτι ψευστης εστιν και ο πατηρ αυτου
45 εγω δε οτι την αληθειαν λεγω ου πιστευετε μοι
46 τις εξ υμων ελεγχει με περι αμαρτιας ει δε αληθειαν λεγω διατι υμεις ου πιστευετε μοι
47 ο ων εκ του θεου τα ρηματα του θεου ακουει δια τουτο υμεις ουκ ακουετε οτι εκ του θεου ουκ εστε
48 απεκριθησαν ουν οι ιουδαιοι και ειπον αυτω ου καλως λεγομεν ημεις οτι σαμαρειτης ει συ και δαιμονιον εχεις
49 απεκριθη ιησους εγω δαιμονιον ουκ εχωn αλλα τιμω τον πατερα μου και υμεις ατιμαζετε με
50 εγω δε ου ζητω την δοξαν μου; εστιν ο ζητων και κρινων
51 αμην αμην λεγω υμιν εαν τις τον λογον τον εμον τηρηση θανατον ου μη θεωρηση εις τον αιωνα
52 ειπον ουν αυτω οι ιουδαιοι - νυν εγνωκαμεν οτι δαιμονιον εχεις  - αβρααμ απεθανεν και οι προφηται και συ λεγεις εαν τις τον λογον μου τηρηση ου μη γευσεται θανατου εις τον αιωνα?
53 μη συ μειζων ει του πατρος ημων αβρααμ οστις απεθανεν και οι προφηται απεθανον - τινα σεαυτον συ ποιεις
54 απεκριθη ιησους εαν εγω δοξαζω εμαυτον η δοξα μου ουδεν εστιν; εστιν ο πατηρ μου ο δοξαζων με, ον υμεις λεγετε οτι "θεος υμων εστιν"
55 και ουκ εγνωκατε αυτον, εγω δε οιδα αυτον; και εαν ειπω οτι ουκ οιδα αυτον εσομαι (future middle) ομοιος υμων ψευστης; αλλ οιδα αυτον και τον λογον αυτου τηρω
56 αβρααμ ο πατηρ υμων ηγαλλιασατο ινα ιδη την ημεραν την εμην και ειδεν και εχαρη
57 ειπον ουν οι ιουδαιοι προς αυτον πεντηκοντα ετη ουπω εχεις και αβρααμ εωρακας
58 ειπεν αυτοις ο ιησους αμην αμην λεγω υμιν πριν αβρααμ γενεσθαι, εγω ειμι
Note the impossible grammar of this, unless....
59 ηραν ουν λιθους ινα βαλωσιν επ αυτον; ιησους δε εκρυβη και εξηλθεν εκ του ιερου διελθων δια μεσου αυτων και παρηγεν ουτως
Non-reciprocity of the second genus. His divine nature was not limited by His human nature.

Misleading Theories Lead People Astray - Gardening and Theology

 Pirate Bugs are tiny enemies of aphids.

Dr. Lito Cruz blogged about scientists and their theories. That reminded me about the agricultural experts discovering aspects of Creation that eluded them for the last century.

Synthetic fertilizer will make plants grow better, especially when the correct NPK ratio is observed for the crops, which vary in their needs.Nitrogen can make a plant grow without producing fruit. Most of us have put lawn fertilizer on grass and noticed how it became greener and denser. Conclusion - man-made fertilizer is good, even though the pioneering scientist - Liebig - saw that the original outcomes were misleading and the theory wrong. Never-mind, he launched an international industry.

Justus Liebig is Mr. N-P-K.

Only recently, soil scientists have taken note of the essential work of soil fungus, whose strands are thinner than a human hair and invisible to the naked eye. Moreover, fungal contributions cannot be easily observed in a lab.

Likewise, organic growers re-discovered the value of manure, mulch, and compost. They had good results, but gave more credit to the larger creatures of the soil -  like earthworms - than to the fungus they could not see. One earthworm per shovel of soil was considered a key  measure of fertility.

Now the scientists realize soil fungus has many powerful effects:
Breaking down the most complex plant compounds, like wood and bark;
Distributing useful chemicals and water to plants;
Fighting plant disease.

The log rotting on top of the soil is feeding many plants, attracting soil creatures, perhaps sheltering a toad, and providing bugs for bird food.

Others have argued that cover crops are essential for renewing the soil, because 75% of the organic matter in soil comes from roots.

Since these results can be measured scientifically, it is easy to compare the Liebig theory with Creation. Whether one starts from

  1. The complex relationship of fungus and soil microbes, or
  2. Replacing toxins with beneficial insects, or 
  3. The regeneration of soil through cover crops, or 
  4. Abandoning the plow - 

Creation explains why those new approaches work so well, whether among Christian believers or not, for the sun shines equally on the just and the unjust.

Dr. Cruz' article reminds me of a professor who knocked us off our assumptions that something was true because everyone said it was. He would offer something from Judaism and then point out the exceptions. He let us plant our flags on everyone's established truth, then blew up the assumption. His final observation was: "Every Harvard graduate gives the same test - short answer, matching, and an essay question." And I thought, "That's my Old Testament professor from Augustana."

 Where do we find cell groups
instead of the Means of Grace? - Pietism.
Where do we find Justification by Faith
instead of UOJ? - Pietism

In Theology
What intrigued me about the WELS clergy in Columbus, Ohio was their smug ignorance and their utter hatred for Lutheran doctrine. Something had to explain how the entire cluster of congregations was running on hypocrisy, so utterly superior to everyone but doing exactly what ELCA, the LCMS, and the Pente-Babtists were doing. Albeit a day late and a dollar short.

The answer was - their complete disregard and contempt for the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace. At this point they have already caught up with the early ELCA's commitment to all things radical. The LCMS and WELS are tearing apart their own sects while celebrating the Reformation's 500th by saying, "Here We Stand in our CPH Stockings - Sign Up for a Charitable Annuity Trust from Thrivent."

 Buy yours and a doggie t-shirt at CPH.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Australian Cardinal, a Top Adviser to Pope, Is Charged With Sexual Assault - The New York Times

 Cardinal Peli is another reason people
suspect world network of pedophiles.

Australian Cardinal, a Top Adviser to Pope, Is Charged With Sexual Assault - The New York Times:

"SYDNEY, Australia — Australia’s senior Roman Catholic prelate, and one of Pope Francis’ top advisers, has been charged with sexual assault, the police in the Australian state of Victoria said on Thursday.

The prelate, Cardinal George Pell, became the highest-ranking Vatican official in recent years to face criminal charges involving accusations of sexual offenses.

“Cardinal Pell has been charged on summons, and he is required to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court” on July 18, Shane Patton, the deputy police commissioner, said at a news conference."

More at the link.

'via Blog this'

Not Another Wendland!
Haven't They Suffered Enough?

WELS Call Report

Rev Robert WendlandMalawi MissionWisconsin Lutheran Seminary
Mequon WI
Professor; Historical Theology & Homiletics

Sorum also traveled to Liberia with Rev. Robert Wendland, a missionary in Malawi, to see what the opportunities were for ongoing training and for working with the Confessional Lutheran Church of Liberia. Connections had been made through PSI Bible Institute graduate Isaac David and Rev. Matthew Vogt of Las Vegas, Nev., and WELS pastors had already traveled to Liberia to start training congregational leaders.

Rain, Food, and Creation

 "How will we feed our programs?
$200 million is hardly enough."

We have had several promises of rain, which were fulfilled by dark clouds sailing past. The rain-barrels are dry. I revived the irrigation system, comprised of switching valves for the soaker hoses in the front and back. The birds like this, because water makes their bug and worm hunting easier and more productive. The backyard has:

  1. The birdbath hose with the patio cleaner attachment
  2. The Wright fence soaker hose
  3. The Gardener fence soaker hose
  4. The Wild Garden sprinkler.
The front yard set-up includes:
  • The Butterfly Garden soaker hose
  • The upper rose garden soaker hose
  • The area sprinkler hose.
The backyard birdbaths are a lot of fun. I clean them with the patio attachment, a brass connection that creates a jet for long-distance spraying and short-distance cleaning. The birdbath water is always dirty and almost gone, so I clean and fill three children's pools, one small concrete bath (on sale at Walmart one year, $7), and a few lids and pots. 
A short time later, the starlings and grackles are bathing, splashing, and jumping from one pool to the other.

 Clethra is just starting to bloom.

The bird-baths are in the bird feeding area, which is informally fenced by some favorite bushes - Clethra, Chaste Tree, Beautyberry, Gooseberry, and a Helianthus (perennial sunflower) plant. The floor of the area is all mulch, mostly leaves from last year, plus some shredded wood for flooring. As someone wrote, the largest and best bird-feeder is a mulched garden, because the area teems with bugs and worms. 

 Chaste Tree has flowers loved by bees.
The woody shrub loves sun and pruning,
but not watering.

Starlings dramatically prowl and flip mulch cover to find food. Grackles ae more inclined to use their beaks to drive into the soil and get grubs.  Bath and food time is in the morning, when a collection of birds are in and out to feed and bathe. Squirrels look for cracked corn on the ground. I see Robins, Cardinals, Sparrows, and Finches. 

The saying is true - "Plant it and they will come." Even more so, in drought, "Bathe them and they will bring all their friends." A splashy, sprinkly yard generates the noise that birds and other animals love. They need our water more than our food, but they enjoy both together. If I had to neglect one, it would be the food, since God provides for that. Birds are just as habitual as we are. If they find fresh water reliably, they stick around and nest nearby. I may be watering the neighbors' birds, but they are removing the pests for me. At most a bird will eat 15% of its diet from feeders. They need bugs and certainly feed them to their young. Long ago, birds discovered that cereal did not make a good breakfast for kids. Tender, juicy bug steak is far better, as revealed by the rapid growth of baby birds.

What better way to wean babies!
They will be searching for Thrivent grants in no time.

The birds feed heaviest when a big storm is coming, calories to keep them warm. I enjoy seeing the shy birds make a show of looking for food in the empty feeders. Cardinals, no longer hiding, will parade around, mimes feeding where no cracked corn is left. I fill the feeders to the sounds of various species clucking and gossiping while they wait. Some soar over to the feeders before I am back inside. 

Our exotic, foreign travels are to the front and backyards. Flowers and weeds are bursting into bloom all the time. I was ready to yank out two large weeds in the Wild Garden when they displayed their flowers - saving their lives, reminding me I planted the two gifts from Almost Eden.

Sassy resents food given to birds. I tossed two corn cobs into the bird feeding area. She went outside, her nose sniffing for food, and found one. I said, "Leave it for the birds." She looked guilty, picked it up, and looked for a safe place to enjoy it. 

Even a small gathering of believers will show that God has given people unique gifts that all work together, just we see in the Creation Garden. But false teachers in their denominations are jealous and peevish. They want to be the whole show and cannot bear than anyone else outshines their limited abilities. They force themselves on everyone:
  1. Fake scholars who never study;
  2. Translators, who copy and paste the New NIV and change a few words to make it their own new Lutheran Bible;
  3. Preachers who plagiarize and share their stolen sermons on the Net - until exposed by the same technology;
  4. Leaders who glory in all the wealth they have absorbed from a few rich people, Thrivent, and the boards where they serve (themselves);
  5. Dogmaticians whose only faith is in repeating the errors of Holy Mother Sect.
I have often wondered what would happen if the Lutherans gave up their security blankets, their Woobies (Mr. Mom), their Thrivent loot. The LCMS gets about $50 to 60 million a year. Members could easily replace that, and the so-called conservative leaders would no longer whine that they had to work with ELCA to get the money. Tis funny how a sprinkling of money will quiet the conscience of everyone. The Lutheran Forum worried about insurance influence until they got a grant. Christian News complained publicly about insurance money until AAL gave them cash sedative.

But, as Dr. Cruz has observed, they argue from their theories that they cannot get along by trusting in God's Word. No, they need the wisdom of CPAs and Church Growth salesmen. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Extra Nos - Why I Am Sceptical of Science and Scientists

 Dr. Lito Cruz used this as his profile photo
and fooled me. Kurt Godel.
"I do not believe in empirical science,
I only believe in a priori truth."

Extra Nos:

"Why I am sceptical of science and scientists

You might think this strange because if you know me I work in academia most of the time and since I dabble in mathematics you would think that I should not be negative towards science, for after all isn't mathematics a part of science?

In large science faculties, it is true that mathematics is part of the science faculty but I do not think mathematics is part of science. Science deals with observations of phenomena in our world. From, particulars it abstracts to the general. Science deals then with induction.

Mathematics does not deal with induction, it does not look at particulars and then infer to the general. No, mathematics deal with deduction, from the general we go down to particulars. In this regard, I think really that mathematics should be part of philosophy.

We do not sample every triangle we could find, measure their internal angles to be a total of 180 degrees and assert that all triangles have an internal angle of 180 degrees. We use logical proofs starting from axioms.

Today science enjoys a celebrity status. If you want to gain the trust of people just tack on the word "science" into what you are doing. So we have library science, meat science, dairy science and game science and what not. The field I work in my consulting is "Data Science". Funny but I went to a conference last month and a leading practitioner in the field, a professor himself, complained that there is no "science" in data science.

The world has evolved to the point that science is operating like a religion. What is awful is that it is operating like a cult as well. In the age of the Internet, things have evolved and it is easy to be arrogant and know it all. Because the Internet gives one a capacity to be semi-anonymous, people are happy to be rude and insulting to those who disagree with them. It is easy now to express without hesitation one's disdain for a fellow who might be slow in catching one's level of knowledge.

Here are my reasons ordered by importance

1. It does not always work. The reason is that when scientists observe, they are only observing a sample of a phenomenon and when one produces generalisations from these, it by default left out some parts of the phenomenon. Today the approach taken by computer scientist in doing Artificial Intelligence (AI) is to abandon the idea of deterministic certainty, but embrace and live with uncertainty and work on probabilities. Ask yourself, does the science you believe in behave in an arrogant certainty?  AI computer scientists have chucked the idea that something can be determined with certainty from the world. So the models they create for a phenomenon using AI are probabilistic.

2. Most scientists today have no training in philosophy. I worked for a while in computer science and the computer scientists I have encountered have no appreciation of the role philosophy plays in their craft.If they are not scared of it, they either consider it as useless or indifferent towards it. The same is true in physical science. Steven Hawking said philosophy is dead. No offence but I think Hawking and I will be long gone and philosophy will be around. This is bad science and bad scholarship. The reason why we have this situation of science acting like religion is that philosophers have allowed them to roam, be arrogant and unchecked.

For example, the issue of causality vs correlation. When I went back to statistics, my colleagues and textbooks reminded me that correlation does not imply causation.

This is illustrated in a Chinese saying:
Do the flowers blooming bring about spring? Or does spring bring about the blooming of the flowers? You might think it is the latter for sure - but think and pause for a moment. It is an epistemological question - meaning - how to we know something is true or real..

Also this - is there only one way of explaining a physical phenomenon? Should we entrust our lives and our view of the world into the what scientists say?

 Dr. Lito Cruz and his wife Lynn.

Here is one quote from a philosopher of science about science...

Even though some scientists and many pseudo-scientists voice their allegiance to that (scientific) method, no modern philosopher of science would be unaware of at least some of its shortcomings. Modern developments in the philosophy of science have pinpointed and stressed deep-seated difficulties associated with the idea that science rests on a sure foundation acquired through observation and experiment and with the idea that there is some kind of inference procedure that enables us to derive scientific theories from such base in a reliable way. There is just no method that enables scientific theories to be proven true or even probably true.

                                                      ---- A. F Chalmers (What is This Thing Called Science)

Maybe I am influenced too much by the mathematician I admire and respect who said...

I do not believe in empirical science, I only believe in a priori truth.
                                                            - Kurt Godel

Later I will add more, like my thesis that scientists are not altruistic people who are also influenced by personal agenda using science to advance their goal.
Please remind me."

'via Blog this'


GJ - These are important issues. I am glad that Dr. Cruz, who is also a Lutheran minister, raised them. I will write more about this myself.

Three Presidents of Failing ELCA Seminaries

 Robin Steinke moved from the failing Gettysburg Seminary
to become the president of Luther Seminary - a merged school.
 Louise Johnson, modeling the Mark Jeske twisted smile,
moved from the failing Philadelphia ELCA Seminary to become the
president of Wartburg Seminary in Iowa.

Greetings from Wartburg Seminary!

THANK YOU! It is clear God is calling Wartburg Seminary to be BOLD for the sake of the church and we are deeply grateful for partners like you who are willing to step out into the future with us.

In 2012, we launched the 5 year $22 million Engage God's People campaign which comes to a close in just 4 days. There's still time to be a part of this campaign's success! Give today in celebration of how God is leading us into a bold new future of innovation and creativity in theological education.
With thanks,
Rev. Louise N. Johnson, President

 Theresa Latini, a Presbyterian, was called to be the new president
of the failing, merged Gettysburg and Philadelphia Seminaries:
United Lutheran Seminary.

Elizabeth Eaton, the new ELCA presiding bishop,
is three for three in creating leadership jobs in her sect.

The quota system must have been replaced
with another set of goals - 100%?

Build Up Gardening Self-Esteem with These Seeds and Plants

Adults and children can have fun with these easy growing seeds and plants. I picked the most productive, fast-growing, and reliable ones.

Sunflowers - They are great companions for any rose garden or food plot. They are enormous bases for many insects and food for many critters. They like rich soil and plenty of mulch. They may not grow fast at first, but they explode in development later.

I buy plants where I can, because the rabbits and squirrels
harvest seed and seedlings for themselves in our yard.
Shasta Daisy only needs the flowers pruned now and again.

Radishes - I have little desire to eat radishes, but the seeds are fun and convenient. They sprout so fast that they are used to mark rows of plants and break up hard soil in the process. They mature in a month but can be left to go to seed. Those seed pods are edible and milder than the roots. Later season buys for radishes will offer a lot of seed for relatively little. The same is true of many other seeds and plants.

 Borage, like many herbs, grows easily.
I like the mints as much as the pollinators do,
but I only plant the clumping mints.

Borage can come in tiny packets or 500 at a time. Shop and compare. They can be sown rather than planted. They love bright sunlight and improve the beneficial insect rating in the yard. The tiny flowers can be eaten directly or added to salads - pink and blue. They flower and seed so fast that new borage will start growing the same summer. Bees love the flower so much they are called Bee Bread.

 How can anyone dislike dill?

Dill seeds smell like dill pickles, for good reason. I like large numbers of Giant Dill to sow in the garden. A member of the carrot family, it attracts good insects without poisoning the gardener - an important factor in buying and using a member of that naughty clan.

Peas and Spinach are great for cold weather planting. Bored of shoveling snow? Plant peas and spinach as early as possible and listen to the neighbors marvel at your density. Both crops love the cold - just like lettuce -  and hate the heat. I joined the lunatic fringe in planting spinach late in Minnesota, covering the tiny plants with autumn leaves, and uncovering them as soon as the ice began to melt in the Spring. They were lacking any insect damage, crunchy, simply perfect. That was one of the coldest winters ever in New Ulm. Peas can be planted in the very early Spring, as soon as the seeds can be pushed into the ground. They are shallow-rooted, so it is easy to push them into the ground. I read of one fanatic who drilled the holes in the frozen soil, and that worked too.

Vines are a lot of fun, but they normally take time - years to produce. Zucchini vine plants are easy to obtain at Walmart or a gardening center. Plant a few near a chain-link fence - instant vines with produce. Warty gourds are just as fun.

 The squirrel used the bird swing to reach the
sunflower seeds. The birdbaths below are used each day
and cleaned. The Butterfly Bushes, Poke, Chaste Tree,
Gooseberry, Clethra, and Helianthus have grown up since then

Monday, June 26, 2017

Floral Fireworks for the Fourth of July - Crepe Myrtle Loves Attention

We arrived in Springdale with a scraggly bush growing near the mailbox. Crepe Myrtle grows anywhere, but thrives in the sun. The plant is drought tolerant, but like cactus, thrives with more moisture.

 I put prunings on the base to fed the soil, plus wood mulch,
mushroom compost, and clumps of grass. The base is much larger now and packed with companion plants.
I put a pyramid of leaves under
the Crepe Myrtle for the fall and winter.
They are composted into the soil by late spring.

I addressed the top, the middle, and the foundation.

  1. The top needed severe pruning to activate the roots and promote blooming, which arrives a bit late but lasts most of the summer. CM can re-bloom with a second complete pruning. I half-pruned last summer to spare the Cardinals nesting there, and we had a spectacular second bloom on the pruned portion.
  2. The middle needed all branches trimmed back to the stems, so the plant could show off its legs. LI laughed at the first version but said "Wow!" when the bloom arrived in full force. As rosarians know, pruning concentrates energy on the parts we want to flourish.
  3. The foundation is the soil, always the most important. Blessed with red wigglers, the plant received many bags of wood mulch, mushroom compost, and piles of leaves and grass. The base seemed to devour all the organic matter left around the base. This year I have Lily-of-the-Valley, Caladium, and Buckwheat growing around the base. I treat the plant as a rose, not as a cactus, and it already glows and dominates the block and larger neighborhood.
People insist that gardening is a lot of work, especially when growing roses. That may be their reason not to try, but I find it a weak excuse. They have been pummeled by the experts who repeat the advice of other experts, all designed to promote the industry rather than the soil. 

One Forbes article opened my eyes about gurus when they wrote about wine experts who are thralls of their industry. Rave reviews are sales pitches, paid ads with the pay under the table. Our favorite drink is Walmart private label water - 12 cents a bottle.

The Crepe Myrtle is still opening its enormous flowers. Because of pruning, the branches arch upwards, like the best July 4th fireworks, but lasting far longer. Bees are already working to turn the flowers into large seeds enjoyed by Cardinals and other birds. Imagine how they must feel when nesting there - "Are we going out for lunch or staying in and having Crepe Myrtle seeds?"

 Norma Boeckler's Butterflies.

Pruned Roses Are Doubled Roses
My favorite part of each day is pruning roses for someone. We have one neighbor with serious health problems, another neighbor who regularly takes roses to the graves of his mother and step-father. Others go to medical staffs and others we see in the region.

Pruning roses and other flowers is a natural way to get even more flowers. I prune the Spirea, the Shasta Daisies, and a few other flowers. The German saying is literally "a divided joy is a joy doubled," based on the word for cut. So, when I cut roses, I make them healthier and more eager to bloom. I remove deadwood and crossing canes. The end result is a vase of perfect roses, usually long-stemmed. 

Everyone wants to enjoy the fragrance of roses, so I include the best ones in each arrangement, tastefully popped into plastic cups, which are often returned to me. 

One Easy Does It stem, on the altar yesterday, had 10 flowers and buds on it. That is now next door, cheering up Mr. and Mrs. Gardener. 

I pointed out the rare, healthy John Paul II. The white rose is a magnet for aphid attacks early in the season. Those plants are fore-ordained to be the food base for beneficial insects that live from aphids and other pests. To keep the pest-eaters happy and living local, I let the rose pests munch away, which alone is enough to call up the troops. 

The John Paul II are sickly and sapped, literally, at the moment, but they will be great displays the rest of the summer, when the spiders, Ichneumons, Flower Flies, Pirate Bugs, and Tachinids have established their families. Many times I have cut a perfect rose with a solid spider web at the base of the long cane. No insect got past Shelob's lair on the way up, and if pests landed on the bud, beneficial insects took care of the villains.

Because the creatures and plants respond according to the rules established by the Creating Word, John 15:1-10, there is relatively little work involved in a flourishing garden.

Recent study showed me that while organic matter was crucial for good soil, most of the increase came from living roots. I had been emphasizing organic matter added on top of the soil - no mixing is needed. That is still an ongoing effort. 

But now I see how the tremendous energy of the roots is even more important for 
  1. The fungus-root network, 
  2. The softening of the soil,
  3. The infiltration of rain and snow-melt,
  4. The feeding of all the soil microbes and creatures. 
The gloomy browns of early spring - no front-yard grass - have given way to the almost unlimited bloomy colors of roses, companion plants, and cover crops. The roses bloom in red, orange, yellow, and white. Companion plants are the Spirea pink bushes, the purple Cat Mints, the white Mountain Mints, and a few others. Cover crops in the rose garden are Buckwheat with white blooms, Wild Strawberries with tiny white rose blooms (same family), Borage (pink and blue), and a few others. 

Some experimental plants are Hidden Lily and Joe Pye Weed. Hidden Lily (aka Wild Ginger) is neither a lily nor a ginger. The tuber grows like a weed, blooms like Cana, and is winter hardy. Joe Pye is a weed if someone insists, but it is more of a tall herb that butterflies love. 

Clethra are just starting to bloom.

WELS Scandal - Their Brug "Translation" - Evidence of Plagiarism

 Warning - Plagiarism Ahead.
Mequon's copy and paste training bites them in the Book.

Some WELS members already realize this - their precious Evangelical Heritage Version is marred by obvious plagiarism.

Examples will be posted later. Doubtless Herman Otten will rave about how good this is, though nothing compared to his own Beck Bible - now on sale at Christian News.

I was discussing this issue with a member last night. I grew up with the KJV and have no problems with it. I enjoy some of the antique language and seldom have problems. He appreciates the KJV21's devotion to precision translation, so that edition has improved the word order of the old KJV and replaced some words we never use anymore.

If everyone in the same room used his favorite edition of the King James family of Bibles - and they are legion - the variations would be slight and the Greek text foundation would be the same. The King James Bibles are derived from William Tyndale and Martin Luther. The modern translations all rely on the magical Nestle-Aland Tischendorf fantasy, so they change the text on a whim, based on their invented rules.

Old Nick realizes he can accomplish more with a bad translation than with a good Church Growth program, so the rot continues. Tim Glende should be proud of his Uncle John Brug for exemplifying the family tradition, illustrated below.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Second Sunday after Trinity, 2017.

The Second Sunday after Trinity, 2017 

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The melodies are linked in the hymn name. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.
The Hymn #466                                Christ Thou Art
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #371                          Jesus Thy Blood                       

The Fruit of Faith in Christ

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 #660                            I'm But a Stranger Here           

KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

Second Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee, that through Thy holy word Thou hast called us to Thy great supper, and we beseech Thee: Quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not hear Thy word without fruit, but that we may prepare ourselves rightly for Thy kingdom, and not suffer ourselves to be hindered by any worldly care, through Thy beloved Son. Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Fruit of Faith in Christ

KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 

Someone asked me if Justification by Faith was making any progress among the Lutherans. Without question, many are now aware of the great falling away (apostasy) from the Chief Article of the Christian Religion, the Master and Prince, the doctrine that judges all other articles of faith.

At the same time, now that the difference between the Biblical doctrine of Justification by Faith and the rationalistic dogma of Justification without Faith (UOJ) is clear, the "conservative" Lutherans are piping up with smart alec responses to the challenge or grieved criticisms about what I have written. 

I have thought about this often, because of the way clergy and laity are treated by their own leaders. If someone has a legitimate question, that individual is trashed in every way possible. If a pastor is an addicted, abusive, false teacher, then the leaders do everything possible to protect the villain and attack anyone who thinks pastors should be sober teachers of Biblical doctrine.

Incompetent and abusive pastors are handy tools for a synod to shut down a congregation and grab the equity built up in the property, sometimes by decades of offerings. The pastor who wrecks the congregation is given a call and a stooge is put in that place to watch it crumble around him and to take the blame. His family suffers with him, but he is expendable. 

Luther wrote about the treatment of pastors in his own time - a perfect description of the synodical leaders today. 

Many suffer from the results of this lack of faith today. I have been reading about the LCMS clergy, shaking in their rabbit warrens, afraid to speak out about anything, lest SP Matt Harrison kick them out of the ministerium and therefore out of their calls. Their own synod convention voted for this papal ruling, but Missouri is no different from the others, whose leaders are just as wrathful if anyone questions them.

WELS was so terrified of the Intrepid Lutherans, which SP Mark Schroeder wanted as his own lobbying group, that they told everyone to quit and of course they did, starting with the founder, Schroeder's friend Steve Spencer. The trouble was, the group became sentient and no longer agreed robotically with the sect. Thus they had to be silenced.

The mini-bishop of the ELDONA micro-sect is so afraid of ideas that he had his hangman get rid of non-kosher books and murmur a few threats as a bonus.

So the Apostle John wrote, "Do not marvel if the unbelieving world hate you."

Unbelief is always going to bristle at faith. That is the nature of unbelief. They acknowledge faith to a certain extent - they believe but their hides bristle. But this is a reaction of fear and hatred, not of trust in Christ and His Word.

Luther saw and experienced the practices of his time - grand spectacles of holiness, but no foundation of faith. Someone can wear the most expensive robes and burn the best incense, carefully observing the gestures and practices of the ancients, but have no faith - even teach against faith.

We are seeing the Reformation era reborn before our eyes - the worst part of it. The more Rome grew away from the Gospel, the more elaborate the ceremonies became.

Thus the supposed answer of the conservative Lutherans to Church Growth Fullerism is to stage elaborate worship services - while teaching against faith. Thus they imagine that their high church entertainments will counter the Fuller low church praise bands. But what is being taught? For example, the LCMS leaders of their Jungendbund - Higher Things - stage elaborate worship services while teaching against Justification by Faith. When I challenged them on this, they kicked me off their FB page and hid their hideous dogma that was previously so brazenly promoted on their Higher Things websty.

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 

These days we have a new definition of love. One definition is Antinomianism, no law, actually anti-law. Our society claims that to say that anything is a sin means one is unloving. That word unloving is said with great gloom, doom, and condemnation, but no one seems to spot the irony. To identify false doctrine as such - that is really unloving.

The Apostle John was known for living in Ephesus, for taking care of Mary, and for emphasizing love. His motto was "Love one another." 

Therefore, people have corrupted the teaching of the Apostle, ignoring the foundation of his letter - faith in Christ.

1 John 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;

2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

So the corrupters say, "We have to be more loving and not talk about doctrine all the time." They have programs to make people smile more - have greeters! - and hide away anything that might offend. I heard a WELS favorite say to a group of pastors, "The best sermon will do no good if the ushers are not friendly." Thus the Word of God is not effective, but the smiles of the ushers are! Oh blessed new-evangelism, that we can smile people into the Kingdom of God.

No wonder the lazy Lutheran Church Growthers copy their sermons from Babtists and Methodists. It does not matter what they preach if the ushers smile.

This is very important - what do these poseurs mean when they say "doctrine"? They do not want Biblical doctrine to offend and annoy the unbelievers or idle by-standers. But their precious doctrine is nothing more than synodical opinions, ever-changing dogma wrapped up in the sanctity of the sect. 

The Gospel of John and the First Epistle both emphasize that the reaction of unbelief to the Gospel is hatred. As Luther wrote, the Apostles lived in poverty and hurt no one, but they were killed for teaching the Gospel. 

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

The one not loving (thus) remains in the death; his not-loving being the plain evidence. John once more writes the verb "remains," which appears throughout this letter. The fact that love always shows itself, just as does the absence of love, John will add presently. 
15) It startles us when John adds: Everyone hating his brother is a man-murderer. So the world hates us and thereby attests its Cainlike nature. Whether blood is actually shed or not makes no difference (Matt. 5:22). is the very word that Jesus used with reference to the devil in John 8:44; it applies to all the devil's children (v. 10b); included among these are the antichristians who have gone out from us (2:19). John has called the latter liars (1:6, 10; 2:22) and combines liar and man-murderer as Jesus does in John 8:44. Let the deniers of the deity and of the expiation of Jesus (1:7; 2:2) read this double verdict on them!

There are many examples of this across Protestantism, not to mention the Church of Rome. But let's stick with the Protestants. They have done such things as:

  • Sued a church to take its property away, only to lock it up or sell it cheap to another group. Crime - being traditional. Episcopal.
  • Stolen a church property and its endowment, using the endowment funds to defend the theft. WELS.
  • Left a synod because it was evil, then joined again to have a call and take the property away. ELDONA.
  • Closed hundreds of small parishes because of a lack of interest in them, depriving people of their church. United Methodist.
  • Moved clergy to new areas to whitewash what they did, whether a DUI arrest, murder, adultery and abandonment, etc. Various "conservative" Lutheran groups.
Hatred of the Word of God translates to hatred of the brothers. The leaders live in luxury, dress in fine clothes, dine on steaks daily, and blame honest pastors for being swindled, defrauded, and slandered. Most people would never believe the evil plans executed at their church headquarters, but lack of general knowledge does not count in God's eyes.

So this verse should comfort many who were and are faithful to the Word. Being hated, shunned, and silenced may be awkward in human society, but Jesus said - "Blessed are you..." The cross is a blessing because it is God's unique sign that opposition is showing what is true and noble.

Luther simply assumed he would be arrested and killed. He lived under that sentence many years. If we count 1517 as the start of the Reformation, then his marriage in 1525 was under that sentence. Thirteen years into the Reformation, Luther could not attend the Diet of Augsburg because of the certainty of arrest and death. He stayed in a castle and wrote back and forth.

Many today cannot last 13 months under a much lighter sentence, so far we have failed to appreciate what others faced for generations in the future.

16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Once again, the Gospel is proclaimed. This is the treasure, as labeled by Jesus and by Luther (not the precious gems of wisdom from Fuller Seminary, the pebbles from Willow Creek,  and the musings of Jewish atheists like Frankl).

Jesus laid down His life for us - that is the Gospel which plants and sustains faith in our hearts. Laying down our lives seems far too strong, but in fact, many have done that in faith. They have let themselves be murdered - even today - rather than give up the Faith.

Our love for others can only be founded upon His love for us. The energy of the Gospel bears fruit in love. 

A sad fact of modern Protestantism is that some say - 
  • We have to be happy to make people want what we have.
  • We have to be loving to make them love the Gospel of Jesus.
  • We have to be doing all these things to prove our love.
Those are vain efforts to accomplish something by starting with the fruit of the Gospel (all about us) rather than the Gospel itself, which is clearly - even sternly - proclaimed in the Gospel of John and throughout the Bible. There is no substitute for starting with His love, His righteousness.

Anything apart from faith in Him will be some form of righteousness through works, which comes out very quickly when false teachers are agitated. 

17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

This, by the way, is the same message as James offers, but that eludes those who want to find fault with Luther and Justification by Faith. When people pit one part of the Bible against another, they are looking for trouble, and the blind are leading the blind.

Luther urged people to look at themselves and see if they had contrition for sin, compassion for others, because thankfulness for the Gospel naturally leads to love for our neighbor.

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

This could be written by James, so we can see how much the Bible is in harmony. The people who offer a quick summary, based on repeat-after-me learning, will have a quip or two. However, they fail to see the Scriptures as a unified Truth, the Book of the Holy Spirit.