I am back home after a wonderful trip to perform the wedding of Michael Oak and Amanda Meyer, seeing some of the Meyer clan, driving by Mt. Rainier and viewing its awesome beauty at the wedding on a clear, sunny day.
I am back home after a wonderful trip to perform the wedding of Michael Oak and Amanda Meyer, seeing some of the Meyer clan, driving by Mt. Rainier and viewing its awesome beauty at the wedding on a clear, sunny day.
Sassy and I had a terrible time last night, but the doctor fixed her up. She may need a fair amount of recovery. Old age in dogs - they lose their sense of balance, feel all dizzy, and upchuck...a lot. I laundered, a lot.
IBM nixed the way we were broadcasting and I need to set up the new way, but time and energy ran out. I will be working on it with lots of help from Brett Meyer - for Sunday.
In case you wonder, the Church From Scratch website link was taken over by Matt Doebler's Rock and Roll WELS Babtist Church. The URL below does not work, but if the links part is removed from the address, the URL redirects to Christ the Rock.
The Wisconsin Synod never stops plagiarizing from Fuller Seminary and Willow Creek. Their illiterate leaders have managed to insert Satan's nickname into another project. Scratch is an English nickname for Satan. And Jesus called Satan The Father of Lies. That is appropriate, coming from the Church Growth Movement.
Church from Scratch is the rib-tickling name of the WELS website.
Whose name is first to appear on the links page? Paul Kelm - he has written a paper on Christian freedom.
Here are some of the links listed:
The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod
A WELS organization committed to address ministry in contemporary culture. Hosts great conferences and provides ministry ideas on the website.
God is doing some really neat things in the area of small groups, large gatherings, etc, through Crosswalk Lutheran Ministries in Phoenix, AZ.
Messiah Church in Nampa, ID has a neat statement of faith. [GJ - Ichabodians will note that the neat statement of faith was originally written by that anti-CGM pariah, me. But they have tweaked it so that their added words fall harshly on the unwaxed ear. "In an age of materialism, we believe that real treasure comes from our raith in the Savior." Is raith the future pluperfect subjunctive of faith?]
Progressive ministry in the heart of Chicago; also has a great statement of faith.
Excellent example of a vision for a church plant/daughter congregation.
This is Mars Hill Church in Seattle, WA. From a Calvinistic background. The preaching is excellent and very law/gospel oriented, speaking powerfully to the culture around them. Mark Driscoll is the senior pastor
This is Xenos Christian Fellowship in Columbus, OH. From an evangelical background. A congregation of thousands made up entirely of house churches. Very good mindset material and studies. Great on leadership/eldership.
GJ - I attended a Sunday service at Xenos in Columbus. The minister got in the pulpit and talked about himself for 40 minutes before God or the Scriptures were mentioned. The proper verb is mentioned, because the talk had nothing to do with worship, the Christian faith, God, or anything spiritual. The audience cooed and fluttered during the minister's preening, egomaniacal monologue. Not surprisingly, the minister at Community of Joy (Phoenix) gave the same kind of talk with the same results. Willow Creek had a more somber audience but the same baloney. They all sound alike.
Notice the trend, which is just as prominent in the Church of the Lutheran Confession (sic). Apostate Lutherans covet non-Lutherans so passionately that they become anti-Lutheran in thought, word, and deed.
The authors of this bizarre website have bios that remind me of fingernails scratching a blackboard:
Matt has served as a parish pastor in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod for the last eight years. After graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1997, he was called to St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Collins, WI where he served for four years. In 2001, he accepted a call to St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Wisconsin Rapids, WI. In the spring of 2006, he accepted a call to assist in planting Christ the Rock Church in Round Rock, TX. He is the proud husband of Christine, a Pilates/fitness instructor who uses her contacts in the fitness world to make connections for Jesus. He is also the proud father of three great kids, Madeline, Samuel and Caleb. They are great assets to him in the ministries into which God has placed him. Matt has been trained as an equipper in the Christ Care program from Stephen Ministries. He and Chris have also participated in the Church Planters training from Acts 29 Network.
[GJ - Acts 29 is a unionistic group, which is seen as a threat to Southern Baptists. That makes sense, because WELS is a unionistic sect, known as a threat to Lutheran doctrine.]
Ken retired early from the paper/hydro industries to do more ministry. Historically, he's served in most of the offices of a local congregation. His greatest passion is for nurturing life-long discipleship, and thus he logically serves on the WELS Commission on Adult Discipleship (CAD). Ken envisions a church functioning in our culture with the passion and effectiveness of an "Acts 2" church. He is the author of the soon-to-be-released book, A Womb to Tomb Guide for Nurturing Faith in and through the Family through the CAD.
GJ - I can think of better, rhyming names for the newest apostasy book -
| Astonishing debt - denied of course - will bring everything to a halt.|
|Putty buildings fall apart in a few years. These are not fungible assets. Someone has borrowed to build them, a country-wide scam.|
|"Acts 8:37 - I'm sure it's in here somewhere."|
Some of us have talked among ourselves about the weakness of a number conservative, Biblical icons. One Calvinist influenced another who influenced a Lutheran. All this happened about a century ago. More will be in the second edition of The Bible Book.
I am just going to address one, Billy Graham, who clearly represents those who seemed to be more and more conservative as the mainline denominations turned radical, step by step.
Graham addressed - or wiggled around - Biblical inerrancy by saying he believed the original autographs, the very first written Scripture documents, were inerrant. That meant he denied inerrancy in all Bibles, including the King James Version.
|WELS admitted this in writing, but if they can cover up for two murders and deny them, how much easier is it for the sect to cover up their addiction to Calvinism?|
I have to wonder - How could Graham know the unseen originals were inerrant? He cleverly planted doubt in the hearts and minds of his followers, which also freed the Graham organization to use and promote any translation or paraphrase they chose to use. I understand he promoted the Living Bible paraphrase, which sold by the boxcar load, and led the way in verbose flights of fancy not subdued by the original.
Graham also made the demi-semi-conservative Protestants relaxed by opening the doors and welcoming their doubts, their attendance, and their money.
That side-step made the King James Version the enemy, a straw man to target and set aside for the great glory of the Lutheran SyNODS.
Church Growth is at least 50 years old now. Check the timeline on WELS TELL, endorsed by Synod President Naumann even before the walking stiff, Mischke, took office.
The purpose of TELL was not evangelism but destroying Lutheran doctrine and replacing it with Calvinism. Why not? Walther, Pieper and their bootlickers had started the process in the Missouri Synod.
Shock of shocks, Missouri and WELS jumped into promoting the NIV and using it in their Biblical study materials. It is the Millard Fillmore effect. America has forgotten him because his name is seldom brought up. A CLC pastor, trained in the ultra-something of his sect, confessed to me that he never heard of the Means of Grace until I brought it up. (I was not asked to give the paper because I was heavily invested in Biblical doctrine and rejection of Calvinism, which made Tiefel/Koenig furious.)
Mequon began training pastors to spew hatred on the KJV many decades ago. They excommunicated pastors for not liking the NIV and saying so.
Nothing attacks inerrancy at the root like the NIV, which proved with the newest awful paraphrase that they can play with anything in the Bible and get away with it. Mirthless Mark Schroeder, the WELS bookkeeper, supposedly hated the New NIV, accepted "all translations" which are not really translations, and now sells the new hymnal which has made the New NIV official.
Listening to the ignorant dismiss the King James Version is painful fun. The exercise is painful because it reminds us how much has been thrown away. It is fun because they reveal a horde of weaknesses in their repeat-after-me dogmatism.
About 50% read the KJV and another 7% the New KJV (which bows to Westcott-Hort, Nestle, Aland, and Fuller faction).
If the consecrated slugs of WELS-ELS-LCMS-LCMS-ELCA-ELDONUTs despise most the Bible people appreciate the most (KJV), what will happen to their glorious marketing programs?
They raise their tired eyes, looking for excuses. How are the other denominations doing? Answer - Young Calvinists become old Unitarians. That is the path followed by apostasy.
|Take the Acts 8:37 challenge here.|
I was concerned that we would have drenching rains for five days but relatively few bulbs in the ground to get started. Instead we just a had a good rain followed by the Daffodils I was expecting.
Since we have clay soil, which is great for everything except digging, I am happy to have some softened soil ready for bulbs. Grape Hyacinths of various colors will be the top layer of Daffodil drifts. Grape Hyacinths can cost as little as a dime each. I found one Daffodil bulb for $100 from a specialty company, but I was not moved to buy it. Besides, that was long ago, when $100 bought a lot more than now.
I plan on having more of the specialty Daffodils in the front yard with the traditional ones in the back. Yes, I want to show off the strange permutations, which can include orange highlights, orange cups, multiple cups, very large sizes and so forth. Green Daffodil flowers do not intrigue me, but they are promoted too.
Everyone feels a bit mopey when winter lingers and the spring is damp, drippy, and cold, with few sunny days. That is when I add a few more rose bushes to replace the lost ones. And I gloat over the bulbs finishing their growth with the flowers already formed and ready to show off.
Nobody bothers the Little Red Hen gardener when digging holes in the hardened dry clay of a drought-plagued autumn. They shake their heads when the garden gets hours of sprinkling to make the digging possible, keeping the roses alive.
We had a cloudburst where a neighbor said, "Too bad the rain came down so hard and went right into the street." I said, "Not in my yard. Mulch absorbs the rain and holds it. Deep-rooted plants channel the rain deep into the soil. I even demonstrate this for myself every so often. I pour five gallons of water on a Joe Pye Weed and the water disappears as if it were a drain for Springdale Water and Sanitation. No run off."
I seldom talk about the vast biosphere in the soil itself - the oceans of life alive from the water and various minerals, doing their work and keeping moisture/minerals/carbon in the root zone. Overdoing the botany lesson is obvious in the glazed eyes of the listener.
Flowers are a delight, and they are clearly designed by the Creator to bring happiness and introspection to everyone, while carrying out the duties assigned to them.
I do not see freedom of the will as a great conundrum. If God had not given Adam and Eve freedom of the will to disobey Him, we would all be like ants, birds, bacteria, rabbits, and hawks. We would do exactly what the divine software installed in us determined and never question the hours of work, the brevity or narrowness of life.
And because of our fallen nature, we need and have a Savior, the Lord of Creation.
As many know, HAL 9000 is a thinly veiled satire about the IBM 9000 mainframe computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. HAL is difficult, touchy, and malignant in the film. I took the future Mrs. Jackson to the movie and we enjoyed the slo-mo graphics, the difficult computer, and the music.
I use HAL graphics in teaching and almost everyone knows what I am kidding about.
Now - the main point. IBM took over Ustream and stopped supporting the software we use. That change happened three years ago.
We need our own encoder to use with the IBM tool for distributing the video live.
You may recall that we had some fussing not long along when all the files were gone and then came back again. We straightened out the payments and everything was fine.
The last week was a daily round of finding more photographs and editing...just one more time. Janie Sullivan has the material now.
|At Kermit and Maria's wedding, 44 years ago, Christina is wearing pink. Some of the first cousins are on the left and right.|
|Sassy wore her Christmas sweater for Christina's first walk after surgery.|
|Christina (left) and Maria sat for a portrait. In the cedar trunk, less than 1% of the photos are good for publishing. Professional photos last better and print better.|
|Nothing is quite as much fun as a personal book. Some recent ones via Lulu Press are Andrea's Love, Joy, and Faith, one on the Creation Garden, another one on the Meyer family.|
|This is the back cover of Lutheran Christina.|
Say unto my soul, I am thy Salvation: The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth.
He delivereth them out of their troubles: He is their God forever and ever.
Psalm. Give ear, O My people, to My Law:
incline your ears to the words of My mouth.
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
O almighty and most merciful God, of Thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech Thee, from all things that may hurt us, that we, being ready, both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that Thou wouldst have done; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.
The Epistle and Gradual
Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense:
and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Oh, sing unto the Lord a new song: for He hath done marvelous things. Hallelujah!
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #370 My Hope Is Built
Your Sins Are Forgiven
The Communion Hymn #376 Rock of Ages
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 #261 Luther - Lord Keep Us Steadfast
|Books by Norma A. Boeckler|
Your Sins Are Forgiven
Only God can forgive sins, which is why the opponents were so angry with Jesus. This forgiveness of sin can only be obtained through faith - not through regret, not from making up for the past (Luther called it mending and patching our good works), not because of giving (Rome still has "reparation" giving, which means paying for the sins with money). The two things required are the Gospel Word and faith to receive it. We know the Spirit is at work in the Word and opens people up to receive this priceless forgiveness from God. For this to continue means maintaining that trust in God by making the Word of God central in our lives.
The world sees works as the great expunger of sin, so we are surrounded by people hectoring us about every possible fault of mankind - except the failure of man to believe in Jesus Christ the Risen Savior. Works are so much in control that Glide Memorial Church, San Francisco, does not permit Christian worship services at its location. It is said that the endowment fund runs the congregation and makes the rules.
The works blessed by God are those which come directly from the believing heart. They are not the cause of forgiveness of sin but the result. That is why the works-saints are always angry and never satisfied with their results. No matter how much we shovel coal to keep the fires of Hell lit, they are not happy with the works they force upon us. But where the Gospel is dominant, all kinds of evil disappears from the power of God's Word and the peace given to people from His grace and the ultimate example of that grace, Jesus Christ.
KJV Matthew 9:1 And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. 2 And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
If we start at the public ministry of Jesus Christ, which lasted three years, we can see that His various miracles and His teaching established His divinity before He was crucified and risen from the dead. This established believers in many areas before His death and resurrection, and these became the initial points of the Christian Church.
The Left-wingers, like Walter Rauschenbusch, who kidnap the Gospel for their Social Gospel activism, have no concept of this. It is as if Jesus did all these things to form the Marxist groups and spread their joy.
God might have willed that all the benefits of Christ could have been taught in writing without His suffering, without the hardship of giving sermons and being opposed. But that would have have given us - who forget so easily - the wealth of Gospel passages and their predictions in the Old Testament, binding Old and New Testaments together. The Old Testament has vast areas of teaching that only make sense with New Testament fulfillment. The New Testament cites many Old Testament passages which form an enormous jigsaw puzzle putting everything together, Old and New Testaments.
So each miracle is for our faith, to build up and fill in what we need to know and believe. That leaves many sitting on the curb, complaining that the Gospels do not give them what they demand. Jesus expected and predicted that.
Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the palsied man, "Be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven."
This is the man who was lowered from the roof by his friends, after removing roof tiles, so his arrival was dramatic and loud. Some object and say, "Why their faith? What about his faith?" Naturally, it took faithful friends to carry their burden to Jesus, showing their faith and love, then to climb on the roof with their burden, and then to open the roof and let down their friend. It required faith to go on this journey and the friends doubtless encouraged him with stories of the miracles of Jesus. The palsied man had to have faith to go along with this, because it had to be an arduous and jostling ride with no proof he would even see Jesus, no proof he could get near Jesus, no proof he could be healed.
The response of Jesus was ideal for inciting the wrath of the Pharisees. It was dramatic with the healing. Only God can forgive sins, and yet this healer is talking about forgiveness and inflaming them, which makes for an ideal Gospel lesson. Jesus knew the man had faith even if his neurological problems kept him from speaking in a smooth and urbane way.
Faith in Christ really makes people angry, though some hide it remarkably well by deflecting the main point - faith in the Son of God.
Lenski pointed out - Jesus said first - Be of good cheer. The Savior addressed the man's inward condition and addressed his need of contrition and forgiveness. He knew what was in the man's heart.
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. 4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
Some of them whispered among themselves, thinking Jesus could not hear them, but He knows the thoughts and plans of men. He answered what they were thinking, which must have disturbed them. "Why does this strike you as evil?"
Nothing creates more anger than faith in Christ, more so today as we head toward the End (whether that is in two years or two centuries). That anti-faith attitude is often found in the outwardly religious, who have long robes and say all the prayers. I have found it common that those who are fanatical about the forms and styles of worship - and their clothing - are indifferent about doctrine (teaching) the only thing that matters.
The recent arrest of an ELCA pastor noted that he was a member of their high church fraternity - STS - the Society of the Holy Trinity. He was also a member of the ALPB Online Discussion Board, with 10,000 posts.
In similar news, the most radical Christian denomination, the United Church of Christ, is so shrunken they are selling their headquarters. Name the radical Left fad and they were first. They have gone from 2 million members to 800,00 members.
5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? 6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. 7 And he arose, and departed to his house.
This catches the opponents in a double-bind. The palsied man is healed and forgiven. Which is easier? asks the question of whether His divine power healed the man or that power absolved him of his sins. Which is more offensive to the opponents? The man walked away praising Jesus Christ.
12. Forgiveness of sins is nothing more than two words, in which the whole kingdom of Christ consists. There must be sins, and if we are conscious of them, we must confess them; when I have confessed them, forgiveness and grace are immediately present. Before forgiveness is present there is nothing but sin. This sin must be confessed that I may feel and know that all that is in me is blindness; otherwise forgiveness of sins could not exist where there is no sin. However, there is no lack of sins to confess, but the lack is in not feeling and knowing our sins to confess them; then only forgiveness of them follows. But it is quite a different thing when God forgives sins, than when one man forgives another. One man forgives another his sins in a way that he thinks of them again tomorrow, or casts them up to him. But when God forgives sins it is quite a different thing than when man forgives. For God condemns no more, he banishes all wrath from him, yea, he no more thinks of the sin, as he himself says in the prophet Isaiah, 43:25. Now if this wrath is gone, then hell, the devil, death and all misfortune that the devil may bring with him, must also disappear; and instead of wrath God gives grace, comfort, salvation and everything good that he himself is.
13. Sin is pure unhappiness, forgiveness pure happiness. The divine majesty is great, great is also that which it forgives. As the man is, so is also his forgiveness. But you must know in your heart how great these words are in which you know how to trust, yea, for which you can cheerfully die. But only few rightly receive these words, therefore there are but few true Christians.
Luther had much to say about this, because he was tortured by the Medieval practice of paying for his sins through suffering and more suffering. Someone who is overly sensitive, as Luther was, has trouble getting away from the guilt and remorse.
But the guilt and remorse machine do not pay for sins. No works can do that. I believe a lot of the self-harm that happens among teens is from this erroneous concept of hurting being absolving. That is why Rock of Ages is so powerful a hymn. It keeps repeating "No tears, no anguish, no suffering will take my sins away. I can give nothing to pay for them." Christ has done this, which is the meaning of the Atonement. He is the Lamb sacrificed for the Exodus, spotless and innocent. His blood has paid, so the Gospel Word calls out this truth to those (even babies) in converting them and then in refreshing doubts when they falter, waver, and turn back to unChristian kinds of repentance.
These words can be repeated to ourselves. As Lenski says, the word is "child" rather than son. It shows the tenderness of Jesus.
Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.
Child, stop being miserable and rejoice, because your sins are all forgiven, drowned in the ocean of God's grace.
You were a self-centered jerk at 16, or 14, 12? I confirm you were at 2 - and even worse at 4. All children are. Friends and family and the Gospel guide the maturing individual and God sets that person on a new path. Difficulties make us stronger - and fears are extinguished by faith.
God through Christ has given us a life of wonderful experiences - through forgiveness. It is a great blessing to be forgiven and a great blessing to forgive. In our relationships, especially husband wife, we have a chance to practice forgiving every day, because we marry our opposites. I did the A-B test with a dozen couples and they were evenly divided between A and B, opposite habits, like being early or late, or practicing "one good turn gets most of the blanket."
This expands outward to children and siblings, but it really begins with the husband wife.
7 And he arose, and departed to his house. 8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
People enjoy the blessings of others. They praise God for all the miracles that become evident among believers. I mentioned before a young lady whose entire life has been one of seizures, no matter what was done. The news always pained me because I saw that in our girls, and no medicine helped.
I saw a new post. This girl has finished high school so successfully that she is getting top offers for scholarships in her chosen field. It is a wonderful opportunity, so I passed on my knowledge about how to leverage offers for the best outcome. (I gave approvals to a certain number of potential Yale undergrads from St. Louis, long ago. One thanked me from her new dorm room. I thought, "I knew she was the type!")
Luther said, "You have as much laughter as you have faith." If we are not laughing a lot, especially with our spouse, we should take another look at forgiveness, receiving it through Christ and practicing it with those closest to us.