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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

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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year's Eve - Circumcision and the Name of Jesus - 2019

New Year's Eve, 2019
The Circumcision and the Name of Jesus

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn # 110     Across the Sky the Shades of Night
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 # 123    Our God, Our Help

New Opportunities, Infinite Second Chances

The Hymn # 126     Arise and Shine in Splendor
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 #  552   Abide with Me

Prayers and Announcements

  • Thankful for Carl Roper's recovery, Norma Boeckler's birthday, Lynda's improvement, Andrea Anderson's growth and energy, our media ministries, our Philippine mission.
  • Pastor and Mrs. Jim ShradePastor K and Doc Lito Cruz - dealing with diabetes.
  • Those looking for work and a better income.
  • Note the church PayPal address for our Philippine Mission.
  • Wednesday, January 8th, Pilgrim's Progress, 7 PM.

Galatians 3:23-29 King James Version (KJV)

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Luke 2:21 King James Version (KJV)
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

New Opportunities, Infinite Second Chances

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

This is a great passage in Galatians, so no wonder the Antinomians (Anti-Law) have found a resting place there. What they claim is this - "Because the Gospel has come, the Ten Commandments are obsolete." They discount and ignore the fact that the Ten Commandments are the owner's manual for all of Creation. Our country's founders knew that - God commands what is good for us. 

The code of American law was based on the "laws of Nature and of Nature's God." Notice how different that is from what is practiced today.

Instead of this, Paul was arguing that we are adults under the Gospel, not motivated by fear of punishment, as a child is, but motivated by love and thanksgiving. However, the Law is good in serving as a tutor and leading us to Christ.

There are only two trees, says Jesus in Matthew 7 - the good tree of faith and the evil tree of unbelief. The good tree can only produce good fruit and the evil tree can only produce corrupt fruit. Anyone who thinks otherwise is going against Creation and against the One who made earth and heaven. These lessons were not drawn from Jesus' observation but built into His Creation to use and display before us.

When one animal mother adopts the orphaned babies of another species, is that a quirk? People observe it in many ways. We just saw a large predatory cat run up to a fawn as the mother ran away. The cat nuzzled the newborn and treated it as its baby in some ways. Who wrote the software to create that response? Our self-indulgent housecat became the ideal mother when her kittens were born. Who taught her to be so good and to do everything right, without a pediatrician's book to study?

In faith we can see that many second chances were given this year - cancer recoveries, injuries healing. Christina had perfect blood sugar counts yesterday. One person wrote that he obtained a job he never expected to have at his age. Watching a baby grow should fill us with wonder, just looking back a few months when the newborn began to grow up. 

Many times obstacles provide new opportunities. The difficulties of publishing made me turn everything over to public domain, because the goal is spreading the Word, not fighting for a few more dollars. Who can stop the spread of something for free, which is easily obtained?

The printing press first did that, when the Gutenberg products were infinitely cheaper than hand-copied manuscripts. Anyone could afford the illustrated Small Catechism as a poster to hang in the house. The invention of printing in the West fostered reading, and reading fostered the printing industry.

The problem then was getting past the Pope and his armies and torture chambers. The freedom of the press made the pope almost obsolete, mortally wounded, as predicted in Revelation.

The doctrine of faith means more than a second chance. It means an infinity of chances as God continues to forgive us our sins through faith. Believing is forgiveness, and forgiveness comes from the faith created by the Gospel Word.

The Holy Spirit in the Word literally brings the Savior to us for a meeting. There is no such as last chance with the Savior. His gracious Word works on us, against all sins great and small, especially the most grievous. What would that mean if He only died for trivial sins, for those things we think we can conquer? There is no peace without the Gospel Promise that sins are drowned in God's grace so that Jesus says, "Go and sin no more." That does not mean we are free of sin or that we will never fall into the same sin. (Luther said, "Don't use the Gospel as a pillow to fall asleep on.")

Jesus was so attractive to people because of His gracious manner that drew all people to Him. Many were Pharisees, too. Perfectionists know a lot more about sin than about forgiveness. One perfectionist said, "I could not live with myself without the Gospel."

Why Lutherans Are Leaving Calvinism for Roman Catholic Dungeons

No one should be surprised that Lutherans leave Holy Mother Synod for Catholicism. Edward Preuss, still honored for his confused Objective Justification essay - The Justification of the Sinner - was the first to signal his alarm at the emptiness, the sterility, and dead rationalism of his sect. He left Missouri for Rome. More importantly, he left the Concordia St. Louis faculty for Rome.

One effort made by Matt the Fatt in his initial run for synod president, LCMS, was to keep Father Weedon on the plantation by making him the Court Preacher for the Purple Palace. All was well for the Romanists in the LCMS. Paul the Plagiarist did everything short of moving Bishop Sheen's beatification forward in his copycat (now dead) blog. The LCMS papalists must have grinned with every McCain post taken directly from The Catholic Encyclopedia - TCE is free for those dumb enough to want or need it - and linked for LutherQueasies to read.

The key factor emerged in an essay about Jack Kerouac. The beat  in Beat Generation is short for beatitude, because he always thought in terms of Jesus, devotion, and Roman Catholic prayer. Everything was a quest for holiness, no matter how tortured his life became.

Lutherans in WELS-ELS-LCMS-CLC (sic) have some of the outward tokens of Catholicism but none of transcendent experiences they imagine from over the fence.

  • Is it a wonder that David Scaer, the purest in OJ, is more papal than the pope? 
  • The services at Ft. Wayne blanketed by incense? 

Their Grand March down the Werning chapel aisle features that special pose priests have to strike - for, during, and after the Mass (source - priest, Notre Dame PhD, professor of worship, member of an order devoted to Mary).

This graphic is from ELDONA. Did pure OJ dogma or Justification by Faith doctrine terrorize Missouri?

Roman Catholicism is a vast collection of manipulated emotions, while the OJ Lutherans are the perfect definition of Calvinism - a sermon surrounded by four white walls. No wonder ELDONA was formed to be a little papal state, where the office is exalted above the Word, where their plagiarized ceremonies are supposed to instill fear in other Lutherans.

Traditional Roman Catholics snicker at converts for imitating them clumsily, like pony riders at a dude ranch. It takes more than clothing and a spittoon to make a cowboy.

Apology Tour
Lutherans anxiously wait for the overdue Apology Tour, where Matt the Fatt, Pope John the Malefactor, and Mirthless Mark travel around their sectarian shambles to apologize for destroying their own synods. (We would like to thank Thrivent for facilitating the madness they created.)

Calvinism has taken over completely, and there is only one direction for that dogma to go - from rationalistic dogma to rationalism to Unitarianism. More than a few know where Unitarianism leads - just look at all the radical trends in our society today, imposed (often by law, always by selective diversity) upon us all.

The Lutheran Librarian has documentary proof - in the 19th century books published - that Means of Grace, Justification by Faith, liturgical and credal Lutheran doctrine was taught and practiced. Synods grew on dimes rather than collapsing on millions. Congregations were established and revived. Spiritual wisdom was shared as treasures to be enjoyed.

I am so alarmed at the loss of good hymns that we sing all the verses of long hymns, usually broken up into to segments. Luther and Gerhardt are so simple and profound that they deserve that attention, and we gain from their hymns. That is our rosary, our incense, our chasuble, mitre, crosier, and cope.

No wonder the Lutherans sects need new Biblical translations paraphrases and more sappy hymnals.

"From Heaven Above to Earth I Come"
by Martin Luther, 1483-1546

1. "From heaven above to earth I come
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing:
2. "To you this night is born a child
Of Mary, chosen virgin mild;
This little child, of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all the earth.

3. "This is the Christ, our God and Lord,
Who in all need shall aid afford;
He will Himself your Savior be
From all your sins to set you free.

4. "He will on you the gifts bestow
Prepared by God for all below,
That in His kingdom, bright and fair,
You may with us His glory share.

5. "These are the tokens ye shall mark:
The swaddling-clothes and manger dark;
There ye shall find the Infant laid
By whom the heavens and earth were made."

6. Now let us all with gladsome cheer
Go with the shepherds and draw near
To see the precious gift of God,
Who hath His own dear Son bestowed.

7. Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
What is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this child, so young and fair?
The blessed Christ-child lieth there.
8. Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through whom the sinful world is blest!
Thou com'st to share my misery;
What thanks shall I return to Thee?

9. Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How weak art Thou, how poor and small,
That Thou dost choose Thine infant bed
Where humble cattle lately fed!

10. Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
It yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

11. For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou, King, so rich and great,
As 'twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.

12. And thus, dear Lord, it pleaseth Thee
To make this truth quite plain to me,
That all the world's wealth, honor, might,
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.

13. Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.

14. My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep;
I, too, must sing with joyful tongue
That sweetest ancient cradle-song:

15. Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto us His Son hath given!
While angels sing with pious mirth
A glad new year to all the earth.

The Lutheran Hymnal
Hymn #85
Text: Luke 2: 1-18
Author: Martin Luther, 1535
Tune: Vom Himmel hoch, da komm' ich her
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1855, alt.
1st published in: "Geistliche Lieder" Leipzig, 1539

 Children learning the Gospel at the Bethany Lutheran Mission in the Philippines.

The CORE - WELS Discussions

You've heard of churches with coffee shops but have you ever considered going even further to win the lost?

  • Scott Kruz And I just realized today it's the "Apple"CORE!
  • Scott Kruz (We like downtown Appleton and were so surprised to see this.)
  • David Jay Webber Do you mean going all the way to Cappuccino or Latte to win the lost, rather than just regular coffee?
    • Scott Kruz Double shot of espresso and a pint of Jack Daniels.
    • Alan Lubeck I'd be saved if my church had a roller skating rink, Coke machine, waitresses to serve me dinner during a long sermon, and a putt putt Golf course in the worship parlor. Sadly, I'll never become a Christian in my dull, repetitious, traditional Divine SSee More
  • Teresa Rittmeyer Lorenz I always wondered where the name came from. I'm from IN, but really enjoy their sermons
  • Meg Smith Scott I’m not from WI. Can you please provide more information about this picture and what this place is?
    • Scott Kruz Meg, it's a building on the site of a WELS church in downtown Appleton.
    • Meg Smith Scott Kruz and is there something “wrong” with this church?

      There are a lot of store front churches in LA.

      “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

      Church doesn’t have to be in a traditional church building.
  • Hunter Hill I'm confused... what is this?
  • Brian G Heyer How many years of synod subsidy??
    • Meg Smith Brian G Heyer if it’s a wels church why would this matter?
    • Brian G Heyer Depends how many surplus millions synod thinks it has to life-support a daughter-church three blocks from a different established WELS church, then count the noses of WELS members showing up for the enthusiasm as if they're saving new souls.
    • Jeffery Clark Brian G Heyer at least a decade. It was getting it before the sexual harassment situation and was still getting it just a few years ago... and are probably still getting it if they can afford to buy and renovate a new building while still paying on the old one...
    • Brian G Heyer All these years and somehow still can't afford to plant a cross on top of the building, even affixed to the chimney.
    • Dianne Dexter I could be wrong but I don't think they are getting a synod subsidy and never have. I may be misinformed. You may wish to ask a member or the office.
    • Jeffery Clark Dianne Dexter They have gotten subsidy in the past to finance their buildings and call a mission pastor. If my memory holds from September when I last read the report, they are still getting subsidy for mission/outreach.
  • Meg Smith What’s the point of this post?
  • Jim Hearn What was the point in starting a church plant only three blocks away from an existing congregation. That seems awfully close.

    Were there plans to vacate the older, existing building for the newer one?
    • Trisha Rose-Lickteig Jim Hearn Yes they bought the old Kohl’s foods that was vacant. I think they’re planning on selling the movie theatre setup they’ve been using.
    • Jeffery Clark AND giving it synod-backed subsidy. If the local congregation wanted to start and fund an outreach ministry, that's one thing... but this is getting synod funding from CMO.
  • Trisha Rose-Lickteig Is that a tattoo parlor in the back of the building?
  • Suus Turley This is a large reason I dont want to attend WLS. This synod is going downhill fast.