Wednesday, December 21, 2005

B I N G O!

Ok so it has been a long time since I have posted. I just haven't felt the need to post anything though different ideas have crossed my mind.

But anyways I just wanted to make a statement about the game of BINGO. I played on Sunday night with my girlfriend and her mom. It astounded me how many old ladies there were there. Maybe it is just me but I was having a hard time figuring out which of my 15 cards might have a BINGO. How come these old ladies could do it but they have such a hard time performing the task of driving? Maybe I notice this because I am 19 let me know if that's the case. But that's really all I have to say for now I think I will start writing more though.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

An Essential Truth...

I have begun going through the adult confirmation class that is being offered at my church. I figure it will be a good way to review some of the points with Christianity and Lutheranism. After all studying the Word is a lot of who we are as Christians.

But anyways I have some cool stuff I picked up one thing was a picture of the Trinity. This is of course the belief that God is one but also The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all at the same time. What I was provided with were some explanations as to how one thing can be three parts at the same time.

Illustration #1

The Apple

Pretend you have three parts of the apple the core, meat, and skin. Now all parts are apple but all have distinct characteristics to them. If you ate them you would definitely understand that. Still all of the pieces are apple and without one piece you can not have an apple. In the same way God is three distinct pieces however each one makes up the whole which is God and you can not have God without one of the pieces.

Illustration #2

H2O (aka water)

No matter what form we see this in for example liquid, gas, ice it is still water. In this way it can take different forms but it is still water all the time. The same way God takes different forms but is still God all of the time. You can also look at it that there are two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen that make up a water molecule. These different pieces form water and you can not have water without them.

Those were a few of the cool illustrations that I picked up as ways to describe how it is possible for God to be three pieces at the same time but still always being one.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The battle for Christmas

Hey anyone who wants to help out with the cause especailly the Speaker of the House should go ahead and do it.

Thanks Drudge.

Is that what it is...

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Lutheran Carnival XI

Check out the new Lutheran Carnival. Dan did a great job with it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

This is my life... and I miss the small stuff

As I sit down to write this post I am first wondering why I am not sleeping yet and second this idea has been running through my mind for a couple of days. Hopefully it makes some sense as it comes out.

I have come to the realization that this time that I am here at college really is part of life. Sometimes it is easy to forget that while being within the confines of the campus things really are going on around me. That even though I am "trapped" in the dorms I am part of the world. It seems that it is often that I trudge through my life right now not realizing that I am not only preparing for the future but that there is also a present right now.

It is to easy to live in the future. And frankly I think that when this happens I lose sight of what is going around me. In a sense I lose the purpose that God has planned for me right now. Now don't get me wrong I haven't been reading Rick Warren or anything but I think that sometimes I miss the small opportunities I have to share Jesus with people all the time because I find myself to focused on the future.

I guess what I am trying to say is the age old adage that sometimes we just need to "stop and smell the roses". Either that or we need to think about the small opportunities that we have around us everyday to share the Gospel that was so graciously granted to us so that we may spread it to everyone.

I'm not sure if this is really where I meant to go with this post but there it is. Also I haven't really tried to find a good Bible passage to put this next to yet. If anyone can give me a suggestion that would be nice. Plus I get extremely excited when people post comments and give me new things to think about.

It's time to go to sleep so I can be awake for those "moments" tomorrow. With the help of the Spirit I can put my faith in knowing that if I take advantage of the moments I will have the words ready to share.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is there better things to argue about?

So now we have the "under God guy" Michael Newdow fighting to get In God We Trust off of United States currency. Apparently this statement is very offensive to him and should be of great important to a religously free country. Read about it here.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Common Struggles

Last night at our weekly bible study we did something called a faith walk. Basically the idea is you go around in a circle and share how your faith has developed across your whole life. The rest of the group listens and can also ask questions if they might want to know further about something that is mentioned. This was the first time that I have really ever done something like this. As it turned out we barely got through half the people there before we decided it would be better to continue on later.

What I guess I noticed was that many of the people that were talking had dealt with a lot of the same problems that I had. This is something that people always talk about the idea that everyone goes through a lot of the same stuff you just never really think about it. Anyways it was comforting to find out some of the people that have also experienced the same types of problems I have had in dealing with my faith instead of just assuming that everyone else has them too.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

What really is ours?

My pastor gave a sermon this week which focused a lot on stewardship. Not the idea that we should be giving more money than we are but realizing that all that we have been given was given in a way that it might glorify God.

He told a story about a couple of guys Jim and George. George had a rake that one year he loaned to Jim so that he could rake his leaves. Jim raked his leaves but never remembered to give the rake back to George. Each year Jim would use the rake for his leaves in the fall, grass clippings in the summer, and various other times throughout the year. See since he used it every year he just kept forgetting it belonged to George. The problem was not that Jim ever broke the rake and was afraid to give it back. In fact he took very good care of it like it was his own rake. Over time he had completely forgotten George loaned it to him and he now thought it was his own. George did get the rake back though a few years later when Jim died. His family was going through the shed and came across a rake that had the name George on it. They then returned the rake to its rightful owner. See the fact that Jim used that rake for so long never meant that he owned it. Ownership is not transferred by use as my pastor stated.

Then where does this leave us. Well in the same way God loans us all the we have including the body that we inhabit on Earth. He gives us these things and expects us to take care of them, but no matter how long we use them they are never truly ours. They have always been God's. So do we really own anything? The answer would be no, we are only using our gifts from God for our purposes here on Earth. "Ownership is not transferred by use."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Which is more important?

So I started thinking this morning which of these holidays can be considered the most important. Christmas the day our savior was born or Easter the day that he rose again proving that he was the savior? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Monday, October 24, 2005

How does your offering get used?

So the other day I had the chance to go to a meeting with the President of our district Rev. C. William Hoesman. He is a great guy I really enjoyed being able to meet with him.

For those of you who don't know the district is a part of the LCMS which helps to facilitate things between churches and the synod. They also help with issues that hit closer to home such as district ministries like campus ministry. There is also some things that they do like help congregations and pastors to work things out if a problem arises. They do not however control the churches or decide what they should be teaching. They are there as a service to the churches.

Anyways the way funding works in the Michigan District. Is that money is given to the church in the collection plate. Then the church takes that money and keeps some of it for its own ministries. It then gives the rest to the district. The district here at least keeps 50%, some keep more some less, and the rest goes on to the synod. So if less money is put into the collection plate then the district has less to fund some of its ministries. This is what is happening in things such as campus ministry. Which I talk about because I am affected by it. Apparently the district budget is shrinking and this is attributed to more giving going directly to certain ministries rather than having the church be a steward of their money. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that the money is all going to the same purpose, sharing the Gospel, just in different ways. The problem lies however in the fact that while some more visible ministries are growing others that are equally as important just not as well known are being left behind so to speak.

In Mount Pleasant I am experiencing what the shortage can do to a ministry that I am involved with. This being campus ministry. No one can deny that it is important but since the district is receiving less money there ability to support these programs is also becoming less. Not because they want it to it's just how things are working right now. So I guess we should remember to keep in mind that the money we put in the collection plate each week is doing a lot more than we sometimes realize.

I really don't know where to go with that other than to explain what was presented to me on what types of things are happening. I would love to hear thoughts that anyone else has on the way that certain ministries are funded by God's people.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

My Church at CMU

This is the outside of the church I realize it is dark I'll try to see if I can make that better soon.

The altar.

This is the room just outside the sanctuary where we have our fellowship and bible studies and what not.

This is our "famous" scrolling red sign. We describe our church by it often.

Setting the Mood for God

There is a danger in worshipping with the feeling that is created by the mood which is set around the one doing the worshipper. The Holy Spirit does not require a certain setting to work at the full extent of his abilities. If we say that we can get a better experience by setting the mood with the music, lighting, etc. we are deceiving ourselves of how the Spirit actually works in our lives. We do not do anything to cause him to act in us and when we set the mood he does not care that we have tried to do design a place where his work can be accomplished easier. By doing and believing thus we undermine the abilities of God.

Just a good article for more thought on one of the specific ways in which we try to set-up the mood.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Discovering Bach

So I have come to like many of Bach's works now that I have begun to listen to some of them. I had a great discussion on the tabletalk chat about which one's I should listen too since I am just starting out. I happened to stumble upon the Itunes Essentials in the music store which coincidentally released a list of many of Bach's works. If you don't know where to start and you are an Itunes user I suggest you check it out. Oh and if anyone wants to recommend some personal favorites for me to listen to feel free.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Not Easy

The life of a Christian is not easy. We were not created to please the world. It is not easy, it is not supposed to be. We were not created to be a "part" of the world. There is something more important as our purpose.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Is the modern day youth group on the right track?

There was a great discussion on youth ministry on Issues etc. today. A lot of mention was given to the fact that maybe when we separate the youth from the rest of the church we do them more of a disservice. If you want to check it out it's online at Issues etc. Look for the discussion in an mp3 format. If you listen to the beginning of the second hour I even got a question in. If you have a few minutes and any interest in the youth the time will be well spent.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Lutheran Carnival VIII

The Lutheran Carnival is up once again over at Full Throttle and an Empty Gas Tank. Take a Chance to look it will be worth the time.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Has God Changed?

Lately I hear a lot of talk about all of the "new" things that God is doing. Or come to church and God will show you how he wants to make you new. There are all sorts of things focusing on the "new". The idea that God is somehow doing something different for people now then he was say 10 years ago or at the beginning of Christianity seems to be the common ploy to get people in the pews.

Maybe I missed something but I'm pretty sure the saving grace that was given to us from God by Jesus is not changing at all. God is the same today as he was when he created the heavens and the earth. By getting people into church by saying that church in this time is "not your parents church" seems to be a deception. While worship might be conducted in a slightly different way than it was a generation ago, is the message any different? If God has changed the way that he chooses to save people I suppose I am behind the times, but I'm pretty sure he is the same God he has always been.

I guess it bothers me that the new wave in Christianity is that of "you were right the church isn't doing what it is made for, let's redesign its purpose so more people can start coming." In my opinion if you change the function of the church from equipping people and strengthening their faith and turn it into a form of entertainment just to get people in the door the point is being missed.

Can tradition be changed to help the church gain more members? Yes, as long as that change is made responsibly and not in such a way that people feel they are a new type of Christian. Nor should the church be willing to change just because people are not "feeling" as good as they used to when they leave the church. The bottom line is God is still operating the same way as he always has. If we try to say that there is some new form of Christianity out there we are only harming the people we want to help.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Luther is great

I am starting to get into some of Luther's stuff. Specifically the Bondage of the Will. I am really enjoying it. I have worked with the catechism and some of Luther's "lighter" stuff before. But getting into some of his more theological works is really interesting. Everything that I read lately confirms to me why the Lutheran position of "grace by faith" is really the only true thing that we can depend on. Because if we try to tell ourselves that we can do it without God's help we are sorely mistaken. Anyways I hope that I will have some more to post about the subject in the coming weeks. Including a post on where to me mainstream Protestantism is beginning to miss the mark with teaching people about the grace which is freely offered through Jesus.

Monday, October 03, 2005

National Porn Sunday

That's right you probably read this title the same way I read the advertisement at breakfast last week. What you don't know is that this advertisement was by a Christian fellowship on campus called His House. But that is only the start of the way this day was being set-up. I figured looking further into the matter was in good order. It turns out there were many more churches that participated across the country on Sunday. The idea for the service is explained at

The idea is to spend a service talking about dealing with the sin of pornography. Good intentions but lets face it singling out one sin seems to send the message of we are gonna tackle this "law thing" one item at a time until we have nothing left. Forget everything else we'll spend a whole week talking about one specific sin. I'm starting to rant which I try not to do but this is a type of preaching that seems to be hitting a lot of the quick growing mainstream churches nowadays. Oh yeah and sometimes they forget that God's love doesn't banish the teaching of the Law into oblivion.

To make matters worse the site that sponsored the whole thing is They claim to be the "#1 Christian Porn Site" I guess if you have to sensationalize to get people to visit go for it. But are they really getting people there for the right reasons, or do they think someone might click to look at porn but low and behold they find this site and everything is better. I don't know that this form of media sensationalism is the best way for people to get to know the churh.

Oh and a further look into the faq's of the website reveals these nice answers to some questions.

Why don't you have more Bible stuff or have it be more Christian?
We have Bible studies and sermons that you can listen to and a prayer wall where you can post prayers. However, we refuse to have this be your typical Christian crap website with crosses and bibles all over the place and communicating things that most in the world can't relate to. Just the truth communicated in a no-nonsense way.

Huh, I guess Jesus or God aren't needed just the word Christian is enough to help out.

The Name
XXXchurch is provocative, memorable, and it combines the seedy and the sacred. Enough said.

Combine the seedy and the sacred huh that also sounds like a great way to treat the things the Lord has created for us.

Anyways, I have gone on long enough but this really got me upset. To tackle the issue of sin like this there has to be a better way, and one that doesn't just get people upset to get a point across.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"We the people"...who worship the one true God...

So as I was sitting in my Public Administration class today my professor brought up a very interesting point. He was talking about the Federalist papers which were written by James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. They are a collection of articles written by the three men in order to drum up support for the Constitution. The interesting thing comes in the statement which my professor made as to the style of writing that these authors used. He mentioned that many of the papers are written with the same type of style as many of the books of the Bible.

The papers are written in such a way that the authors did not know exactly what was going to happen if the new Constitution was ratified. They made the best guesses as to what the situation was going to be. While we know significantly more about the situation of God there is still things that we will not be able to understand until Jesus returns then we shall know exactly what the meaning of everything written is.

But all in all it was interesting that the framers of the Constitution would even write in a way like the Bible. It sure seems to offer a lot of proof that they did intend that the government could be involved with the affairs of the government, but they did not want the government to control their church.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Narnia: Salvation in Disguise

So I just finished reading the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Granted I am quite behind the times being as I never read this novel as a kid. I have read somewhere that it is great to be able to read it as a kid, someone around my age, and then once you get older. At least I can get 2 out of the 3 God willing. But anyways I had always heard that the books were grounded with a lot of theology about Christ and God but I never realized how much there actually was. Recently I have begun reading a lot of C.S. Lewis books and am intrigued by everyone that I pick up. This book was by no means a let down in fact I think it was one of the best that I have read so far. I've had the series for awhile but have never really started it except for half of the Magician's Nephew. To be able to read stuff for the movie coming out I figured I should read the Wardrobe. If you haven't read this book it should definitely be towards the top of your list. You won't be disappointed.

On another note there is a CD being released by quite a few CCM artists on Tuesday the 27th. The songs were inspired by the movie and from what I have heard it will be a worthwhile listen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

An Enjoyable Book

I started to read the Case for Christ this week. This is the first time that I have read it and from what I have already read it is a very impressive book. While there was never any doubt in my mind that the Scriptures were correct this book sure does start to show some less important "real world evidence" that things do seem to check out. The thing that fascinates me most about this book is the fact that it attempts to tackle the questions that skeptics often associate with the Christian faith. These facts that we know can be a very important tool to reaching out to those who want to "see" before they believe. Of course this is part of human nature and it is apparent even in cases where Jesus was right there such as when Thomas doubted his friends about the risen Christ. At any rate this book is giving me some cool topics that I can talk about with other people without getting into any realy theological debates. Hopefully, if I can break some things down I will be posting about some of the things I find interesting in the book.

New Look

I have been looking for a bit to find a new look for the page. I think I got something that I pretty much like except for the stars next to the items but i can live with that. Hopefully the new look will give me a spark to write some new stuff.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

My First Bible Study

Here is the information that I used for my first Bible study that I led tonight.

Law and Gospel

Thesis 1

The doctrinal contents of the entire Holy Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, are made up of two different doctrines differing fundamentally from each other, viz., the Law and the Gospel.

What kind of ideas come to mind when you hear about the Law and the Gospel?

What is the purpose of each doctrine?

Law: teaches us what sin is (Romans 7:7)

Gospel: tells the good news that God provides for us freely (John 3:16)

Can anyone think of some examples of Law?

Can anyone think of some examples of Gospel?

Example of Law:

Mark 12:30-31
Ten Commandments

Example of Gospel:

Galatians 5
Romans 1:16
Col. 1:13-14

What is the common key for all of these passages?

The Gospel is what fulfills the law and gives it its full meaning according to Jesus. (Matt. 5:17-18)

Law is not the Old Testament and Gospel the New Testament parts of both doctrines can be found throughout the entire Bible. Jesus was in fact one of the greatest teachers of the Law. (Matthew 5-7 Sermon on the Mount)

What happens if we mix elements of the two doctrines?

Dividing the doctrines is a key fulcrum upon which Christianity degenerates into hollow moralism, as our faith becomes a de facto works-righteousness. Erroring in regards to the second Law/Gospel distinction makes a bunch of people who are living under Law; not only are they incredibly difficult to be around, but they often end up in a pit of despair because they can't keep the Law.

Why is it important to divide between the two doctrines?

Thinking a different way about things if we followed the Law perfectly what purpose would Jesus serve?

What is the main purpose of the doctrines together?

Further Info:

God's No and God's Yes- C.F.W. Walther

Wretched of the Earth- Ryan Tinetti

Luther's Small Catechism with explanation

Monday, September 12, 2005

A Good Talk

Last Thursday I was able to have a very good experience. I got to sit down with Rev. Dr. Wally Becker who is one of the admissions guys at Concordia St. Louis. I was able to run through some things pertaining to my looking into attending the seminary once I graduate from Central Michigan. He was able to offer some very encouraging points and is just a great guy to talk too. I guess this post is not really about anything other than the fact that it was pretty cool to be able to talk to one of the people who is the one of the starting points for attending the seminary. I got a lot of good information to look over too which always gives me something to do when I am bored. Hopefully, now that I have a schedule figured out a little better I can begin posting more often.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Would Luther Spank His Kids?

As I was reading through the large catechism this strange question went through my mind. It is take from the section of the catechism on the Second Commandment.

"Those who can only be forced by means of rods and blows come to no good; for even if hey seem to make improvement they will stay good only as long as the rod is on their backs."

Luther brings up some valid points in his statement. Forcing people to do things out of fear that they may be physically harmed is not the best way to reach people. Of course this idea is the doctrine of law which is important to teach to people, but once they become convicted through the law they should be allowed to hear the redeeming truth of the Gospel. This is the essential hinge of the idea of a separation of Law and Gospel.

So would Luther spank his kids. If he had kids it is my belief that he may have thought it a quick fix for an issue but not something to be permanent. Much the same way the Law came before the Gospel (which is the ultimate fix for redeeming us from sin). The Law serves a purpose when it is used correctly but it is important to use the Gospel as well. Back to whether it is right to spank kids as long as they are told how they are loved after then there is no fear that this is the only form of punishment.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Importance of the Catechism

So I received the new Book of Concord for my birthday about two months ago. I am now in the third week of the reading schedule in the front of the book. The first part led me through the small catechism and now I am in the large catechism. This is a territory that I have not really entered before. I am really enjoying the elaborations that are provided by Luther.

In the introduction I was particularly struck by the importance that Luther places on the catechism. I am finding that there is great benefit in reading about the points of the Christian faith as well as reading from the Scripture.

I would like to post the whole introduction, but I will end this post with a good quote from Luther from it on the importance of the catechism.

"As for myself, let me say this. I too am a doctor and a preacher. In fact, I am as educated and experienced as any of those who have all that nerve and brazen self-confidence. Yet I continue to do as a child does that is being taught the Catechism. Mornings, and when I otherwise have time, I read and recite word for word the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, the Creed, Psalms, etc. I must still read and study the Catechism daily, yet I cannot master it as I would like, but must remain a child and student of the Catechism. This I do gladly."

Friday, August 26, 2005

What About?

There is plenty of times during the course of a week where different people will ask me questions about where the LCMS stands on certain issues. Sometimes I know what the position is and am able to make a statement. Other times it causes me to wonder and ask the same sorts of questions. Our synod has provided a great source on how to respond to many different topics that people often ask about. The series is called "What About....". It was written by former synod president A.L. Berry. They are a great quick reference guide for any lay person. Of course they should not be a replacement to Scripture and the catechism but they can be a good starting point. All in all they are one of the best sources I have found and they are free and available online.

What about series

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Interesting Wedding

So I thought I might share an interesting story about a wedding I went to on Saturday. Well it started out that we couldn't find where the wedding chapel it was supposed to be at was. It was supposed to be over by a gazebo which clearly was not a very good description because it was hardly visible.

But that is not really the interesting part. The minister who proceeded over the wedding was female. Obviously being Lutheran and all this was a little strange to me. So not only was I a little wierded out by the sheer fact that a female minister performed the wedding it gets better. While we were at the reception I happened to overhear the bride talking to one of her family members and I quote "She really is a AAA insurance adjustor but she is also an ordained minister." At that point I didn't really know what to think. But as far as people being ordained this didn't seem like the type of person who qualified. First being female but then to be an insurance claims adjustor. Who knows all I know is that to call yourself ordained seems to need a little more respect given to the position.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Carnival is coming to town...

...well the Lutheran Carnival that is. There will be a new blog started this week over at Lutheran Carnival. Other confessional bloggers will be sending in some of their favorite posts here so that others may be able to sample some of the writings and hopefully become new readers of some different blogs. Take a look the first carnival will be this Sunday.

I will hopefully be coming up with a new post tomorrow. I have been thinking about some things to write. Look for something on the importance of the catechism.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Weaker Force

As I look around the world that I live in I am constantly experiencing the trappings of the devil. By my thoughts, words, and deeds the devil works to lead me away from God. It is so that he can rejoice in feeling more powerful than the all powerful. This of course is not the fault of our God but rather the fault of humanity. Thankfully Jesus has removed this fault from the eyes of his father. We no longer are required to be the slave to sin that we once were. The righteousness that has been proclaimed for us by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is more than enough to fill that empty void in our lives.

"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
(1 Peter 5:8)

This is clearly a warning against the great power which the devil possesses. He is a strong tempter and is constantly working to prevent us from our true faith in God. When he is able to turn us against our faith he has been able to devour us in his evil plan. Lest we forget the devil does exist and he is where he is because he thought himself to be more powerful than his creator. No creation can be greater than the one that had the ability to form it from his own will.

"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

When we turn the struggle of temptation to the guidance of God we are able to avoid the trap which has been set for us. Our God is much stronger than his adversary. More so than we can ever know. He is the weaker force. When he hears a voice from Heaven he will flee to where he knows that he belongs.

Lord, thank you for allowing us to use you as our refuge for our daily struggles. Struggles which are initiated by the evil one who knows no friend but sin. But through a confidence in your triumph over sin we can rejoice. Thank You. Amen!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Nothing without Him!

As I was reading through God's No and God's Yes: Proper Distinction of Law and Gospel by C.F.W. Walther tonight something finally clicked with me. Nothing I do is good enough and only with God does anything I do have any ounce of value. There is no command in the Bible that I can keep to the standards that God wants.

All that I have is to praise him for giving his one and only Son to die for the sins that I am always committing. No matter how hard I try to stop myself from sinning it is futile. There is no way to follow the Law. Instead I must depend on someone else to do it for me. Cue Jesus. He took care of everything for me and I just have to rejoice in this great gift that has been given to me. How simple is that, I do nothing I can be secure knowing that everything is already taken care of for me.

Does this mean that I can sin all I want now knowing that I will be forgiven? Of course not. For doing things against my conscience is not living in a way that is faithful to my Lord. But rather living willfully against my conscience shows that I am still putting my faith in sin. This is something which is clearly not acceptable.

Our Lord Jesus Christ died so that we may have the confidence that we do not need our own merit to survive. His death is the merit that we need. Our obedience to God is lived from him through our faith. For it is by grace alone that we are saved. My mind is reeling from this new light that has been shed on the Scriptures for me. I can now see that anything I thought that I did was really only God working in me through my faith.

Praise the Lord for the gift that he has so freely given to us. We would be nothing without the wonderful gift of grace.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Does it ever rest?

Tonight I had a thought while thinking about how the Law convicts us of our sins and then the Gospel takes that sin and clears it from our records with God.

"The doctrine of the Law never takes a moment to rest, and thankfully the doctrine of the Gospel is awake right there with it."

Monday, August 01, 2005


So these are a group of guys that have always bugged me. Clearly they are spelled out in scripture in chapters such as Timothy and Titus to be the type of leaders to guard against. If you look into what they are doing any further than the surface you find their motives to be the money that they can make off people who are "lost". These guys are preying on the very people that need the presence of Jesus in their lives. I am hard pressed to find a more disrespectable profession.

Right now I am extremely angered by these types of things that I see on TV. In case you are wondering who set me off it was Peter Popoff. Of course this guy as I found out was proved to be a fraud back in the 80's. But he is still hanging around preaching his so called "prophet of prosperity" messages. He even claims that if you annoint yourself with his Miracle Spring Water that you will get instant prosperity within a week. Ahhhhhhhhhh! It makes me crazy when people use God to swindle people out of their money. I still can not believe what I heard in the few minutes that I watched him.

Anyways I just needed to vent that out a bit. I figured this might be the right place to do it.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Best Minute

So when I looked at the clock today I noticed that it was something like 12:52. Whenever I see this particular time or any time eneding in 52, I immediatly begin to think of the cross. If you look in the middle of the 5 and 2 you can see a vague picture of a cross in the middle of the two numbers. It serves as just a quick reminder of some of the things that God can use to make you think about him.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Emphasis on the earlier post through this song, therefore If you read that one first this might make more sense

I am Understood?- Relient K

Sometimes it’s embarrassing to talk to you
To hold a conversation with the only one who sees right through
This version of myself
I try to hide behind
I’ll bury my face because my disgrace will leave me terrified

And sometimes I’m so thankful for your loyalty
Your love regardless of the mistakes I make will spoil me
My confidence is, in a sense, a gift you’ve given me
And I’m satisfied to realize you’re all I’ll ever need

You looked into my life
And never stopped
And you’re thinking all my thoughts
Are so simple but so beautiful
And you recite my words right back to me
Before I even speak
You let me know, I am understood

And sometimes I spend my time
Just trying to escape
I work so hard, so desperately, in an attempt to create space
Cause I want distance from the utmost important thing I know
I see your love, then turn my back, and beg for you to go

You looked into my life
And never stopped
And you’re thinking all my thoughts
Are so simple but so beautiful
And you recite my words right back to me
Before I even speak
You let me know, I am understood

You’re the only one who understands
You’re the only one who knows me yet still loves completely

And sometimes the place I’m at is at a loss for words
If I think of something worthy, I know that it’s already yours
And through the times I’ve faded and you’ve outlined me again
You’ve just patiently waited, to bring me back and then

You looked into my life
And never stopped
And you’re thinking all my thoughts
Are so simple but so beautiful
And you recite my words right back to me
Before I even speak
You let me know, I am understood

The noise has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvaction
Your voice has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvation

The noise has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvaction
Your voice has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvation

The noise has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvaction
Your voice has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvation

Your voice has broken my defense
Let me embrace salvation
Let me embrace
Let me embrace salvation

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Learning God with a Little Help From My Friends

In case you noticed the title of this post is sort of a play on a Beatles song. And well lately I have been slightly out of "tune" with what everyone else has already realized. Sure I know that the Law is something that can't be followed and the Gospel is what saves us. But I still have a tendency to mix a little Law in with my Gospel. Thinking that if I could follow something I would not necessarily earn my salvation but that I would just feel a little better about myself. Or that if I could not "do that" I would be a better Christian and person. Of course I am never doing anymore than lying to my own face. Jesus makes it so clear in his sermon on the mount. That even the slightest breaking of the Law is still breaking it and in fact that breaks the entire thing. Gee, I'm glad that their was someone who could take that weight off my back.

Of course that person/God was Jesus. He came from heaven to say "Don't worry I'll take care of the Law you just try to live as an example to others of what I have done. You will fail but with me you will be lifted up and made right." This is what I finally realized sometimes with all of our "what have you done talk" we begin to cloud the borders of Law and Gospel. This is clearly not acceptable!

Now on to the friends part. These posts were inspired by recent posts made by Ryan over at Wretched of the Earth and Joe at The Grateful Christian. They have really said some thinks that the Holy Spirit has taken a hold of in my mind and is letting me know that if I fail and sin. Which I will do no matter what. I just need to look to the cross and I can instantly be assured that I will be picked right back up as if I never did anything wrong in the first place. To dwell on the places that we fail is to focus on the Law when the Law is not meant to be a focal point but rather an arrow that points to the saving grace of the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you Lord for being able to account for my sins by following the simple rules that I could never dream of following so that one day I may be with you in eternity.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What else does the Bible say about marriage?

Not only is marriage called for directly from God in the earliest recordings of the world, but we see the same call from the New Testament as well. Paul says that in 1 Corinthians, "It is good for a man to marry. But since there is so much immorality each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband." (1 Cor 7:1-2)

In the Bible we have a very clear description of the way that husbands and wives are supposed to love one another.

"Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for here," (Eph 5:25)

A marriage is supposed to reflect the exact relationship that our Jesus had with the church. This means that there will be struggles in the relationship but that the final goal will be used as a way to glorify God.

The themes of submission that are found throughout the Bible dealing with marriage are a way that God shows us an earthly example of how we should live our lives towards him. We can not depend on ourselves for our strength but must look to God. In this same way one partner in the marriage can not sustain it but it is an effort on both parts. Ok so maybe its not the same cause we really don't put any effort into the strength that we get from God. I'm not exactly sure what I am trying to say here. All I know is that a solid marriage is a way to strengthen faith and glorify the original plan that God had for man.

If anyone might be able to figure out what I was saying or wants to offer some more insight to these thoughts please feel free to offer them up.

What is Marriage?

This is the first post on a topic that I do not know a lot about considering that I am not married and am only 19. Which by the standards of today is too young to get married. I hope that I will be able to learn a little more about God's plan for marriage and maybe get some input from others too.

Marriage: 1. a.The legal union of a man and woman as husband and wife.
b. The state of being married; wedlock.
c. A common-law marriage.
d. A union between two persons having the customary but usually not the legal force of marriage: a same-sex
2. A wedding.
3. A close union: “the most successful marriage of beauty and blood in mainstream comics” (Lloyd Rose).
4. Games. The combination of the king and queen of the same suit, as in pinochle.

I would agree with all of these definitions except for 1. d. But that is for another post and this is of course the world definition of marriage. God speaks of marriage in this way "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh."Genesisis 2:24) (KJV) This is the overall theme of the plan that God created for marriage. There is much more to it that is spoken about and I plan on addressing in future posts.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Kids Understand

As I was overseeing summer Sunday school today. In fact the very one that my buddy Ryan over at Wretched of the Earth is in charge of. You can read some of the things he has pointed out about the program. But all of that is beside the point and not why I started this post to begin with.

As I was wandering between the classrooms mainly making sure that the craft was going well. I overheard something from the preschool class that peaked my interest. One of the high school teachers had suggested that playing "Jesus says" might be a good idea, since they finished before the adult bible study had. One of the young girls stated that she wanted to be Jesus. Among the midst of noise these statements were more or less missed. Except one boy made it a point to say to this girl "No one can be Jesus, it's not polite." He continued to repeat this though I'm not sure the little girl heard it or would have cared had she heard it.

The thing that was interesting to me is that this 4 maybe 5 year old knew that their could be only one Jesus. Even if the idea was just to play a game there was no way that anyone could try to be Jesus. This preschooler singlehandedly was stating that he knew no one could be "holy" and completely like Jesus by his own actions. Adults often overlook the opinions of children in things like the church. If we were to sit back and listen I think we would learn more about faith than we expected. For Jesus said during his ministry that "Whoever does not enter the kingdom of God as a little child shall never enter it." (Mark 10:15)

Next time that you get a chance to work with a Sunday School or VBS or any other activity involving the small youth in the church I challenge you to step up and learn a little about faith that only a small child can explain. Plus there is no greater way to motivate yourself to learn than by teaching the Word of God to others.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Going to Argentina

Well actually I'm not going. My girlfriend is going with a church from her hometown. They will be working for 10 days to bring the news and joy of the Gospel to the Argentinean people. I get lucky that I have a girl who likes doing these kinds of things too. Anyways I would ask for prayers for the safe travel for the team and also that their ministry may be successful. Also a sidenote for the safe return of James a friend of mine who is due back from Iraq in the next few weeks.

That is Rachel on the left and this is also the first picture of me on my blog. I as you would have guessed it am on the right.

God's "Planned" Struggles

Our Lord places obstacles in the lives of those who he deems strong enough to overcome them, so that through these obstacles others can see the source of strength which the challenged being feeds on. Thus when things happen to us that we can not understand we must not dwell on what the implications for us are but realize that the challenge is being used for the Lord in ways we may never even know.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Update on My Dad

Thanks everyone for their prayers. The transplant went great. He is still in the hospital for the next to weeks or so to continue getting his strength back. So if you could say a prayer for his speedy recovery that would be awesome. It is amazing what science can do when God chooses to work with it.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Older than Sin?

If you read this blog at all you probably know that I work in a photolab. Well the other day a lady came in and picked up some film and she said she had no idea what was on the rolls because she had just found them in her house or something. Then she preceded to say that they must be "older than sin".

I wonder if she was truly thinking when she stated this. Surely she could not have been taking pictures before sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden. (see Genesis 3). It made me want to respond but due to the fact that this could lead to me making the situation not good I elected to let it go. It really got me thinking about some of the things that we say in life that really make no sense. Another common one is "I swear to God." Clearly this is worse than the first expression because you can not really swear to God that something is true. Plus that is being pretty careless with the name of the one who can decide to squish you like an ant if he felt so inclined. Not that really happens all that much or at all. That is due mostly to the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ blotted out these sins, with his blood, in the eyes of his father.

If anyone can think of anymore phrases that we say that clearly don't make sense in the world feel free to post them.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Cross Around My Neck

As I was getting dressed this morning and putting my cross chain across my neck I began to think about what it was that makes me want to put that cross on each morning. To me it seems to serve as a daily reminder that I walk with Jesus during my day in everything I do. It reminds me of the greatness of the cross. I do not worship the cross rather I look to it for my confidence and peace in handling the daily rigor of life. This great hymn comes to mind

In the Cross of Christ I Glory
John Browning

In the cross of Christ I glory,
Towering o’er the wrecks of time;
All the light of sacred story
Gathers round its head sublime.

When the woes of life o’ertake me,
Hopes deceive, and fears annoy,
Never shall the cross forsake me,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.

When the sun of bliss is beaming
Light and love upon my way,
From the cross the radiance streaming
Adds more luster to the day.

Bane and blessing, pain and pleasure,
By the cross are sanctified;
Peace is there that knows no measure,
Joys that through all time abide.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Great Music

Ok I think I will do the post I was talking about the other day when I am more awake. For now though how about a link to a new single from an amazing artist Memorial Stones MP3 If you would like to listen to any of his other music there are a lot of samples on his website. Mat Kearney Online

This picture is from a live show that I was at earlier this year. This guy is amazing in his lyrics and his sound. Let me know what you guys think of any of his stuff.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Verse Suggestions

So my dad is currently in the hospital for a stem cell transplant. He has non-hodgkins lymphoma. The transplant is supposed to take care of this. I would ask anyone reading if they could keep my dad, Jon, in their prayers.

Beyond that I would like to put together a list of verses that can give him encouragement while he is recovering. If anyone has any suggestions for me I would greatly apprecaite it.

Good News and Bad

Good News: After missing a season the NHL should be back in action this year. Now I will have something to do on cold winter nights besides nothing.

Bad News: Whenever I move my previous it is making a clicking noise. From what I have read it may mean that my hard drive is beginning to fail. Wonderful.

Good News: The computer is still under warranty and I have an Apple store nearby.

Hopefully tomorrow I can come up with something good to write possibly something about the Sermon I just finished listening to at Lutheran Conversations.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Keep the Sowing Going

This was the title of the sermon this last Sunday. As you might guess it was based on the parable of the sower which was the Gospel lesson. It comes from Matthew 13:1-9 if you are not familiar.

Anyways I very much enjoyed this sermon partly because it is one of my favorite parables maybe just because it is so visual to me for some reason or another. But the main point that Pastor VanDellan made was that we need to continue sowing the seed of the word. We all know this but we need to broadcast the word much the same way the seed is broadcasted across the ground and not in extremely specific places.

The analogy that was give is that the seed (word) is in endless supply so we do not have to take extreme care in worrying about whether it will grow where it lands or not. The Holy Spirit is solely responsible for the seed taking root. Pastor compared the church to being a barn and that when we come to church we stock up on the seed so that we can go out and spread it until we come to stock up once again. This is one of the things that I see people doing often. They come to church and get the seed but then they never go plant it. It just sits in the shed and rots. This is not what the word of God is meant for. It is meant to be spread everywhere so that everyone can have a chance to hear of the saving grace that we have been provided through the death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Using Time Wisely

In addition to some of the other books that I am reading, I have started reading the Fellowship of the Ring which is the first two books in the Lord of the Rings. As I was reading through there was a passage in the book that stood out to me. Gandalf is talking to Frodo about how the evil in the world is beginning to rebuild itself. In many ways it speaks to the evil which is perpetually rising against us in the time that we live in. To clarify here is the paragraph that I am talking about.

"Always after a defeat and a respite, the Shadow takes another shape and grows again,'
'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo.
'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. Already, Frodo, are our time is beginning to look black. The Enemy is fast ripening. His plans are far from ripe, I think, but they are ripening." (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, p50)

To me this spoke to the idea that evil is always around us and many times when you look around the world it is growing more each day. The devil's plans have in fact already ripened and they ripen every day in order to attempt to keep us at bay from realizign that we are not part of the world. The only thing that we have is the ability to let the Holy Spirit take hold of the time that we have and use it for its purpose. This is the only way that we can battle against the dark that is constantly rising up in our lives and cracking the foundation that we are trying to build. It is not easy and sometimes we have so very much as to go against the world that we are living in to do what we know is write. For it is written:

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you." (John 15:18-19)

These are great words of encouragement to help us stay on the right track and use the time that we have been given by God for his purposes. This is not to say that we need to do things in order to gain his favor but rather because we are already aware that we have gained his favor and we should be compelled to serve him in all aspects of our life through the Son of Man.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


I did have a longer post planned but I got sidetracked when I came home from work. On my porch was the books I ordered from CPH late Tuesday night and here they were on Friday. Needless to say I am impressed. Well the book that I received and started glancing through was the Book of Concord readers edition. I have some of the things inside in bits and pieces but the layout of this particular version is great. I can't wait to be able to look into some of the great Lutheran doctrine that is waiting for me to learn about.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Grace from God's view

For the past week or so as I have mentioned in previous posts I have been reading Walther's comments on the proper distinction between law and Gospel. I must admit by reading this there have been many times where something seemed to really click with me.

One thing that struck me as I was reading today was the comment that many preachers in the reformed church do not correctly divide law from Gospel. Walther writes:

"They give them a long list of efforts that they must make in order, if possible, to be received into grace: how long they must pray, how strenuously they must fight and wrestle and cry, until they can say that they feel they have received the Holy Ghost and divine grace and can rise from their knees shouting hallelujahs.
But the required feeling may rest on a false foundation. It may not be the testimony of the Holy Spirit in the heart, but a physical effect, produced by the lively presentations of the preacher. That explains why sincere persons who have become believers not infrequently feel one moment that they have found the Lord Jesus, and in the next, that they have lost Him again. Now they imagine that they are in a state of grace; at another time, that they are fallen from grace."

This feeling that people get when they hear a very charismatic preacher is something that I hear of all the time. I have in fact experienced it myself. Man can not help but get lost in what seems to be such a good thing. When in fact it is a good thing just being presented in the incorrect format. Thus causing more harm than good to the penitent sinner. The bottom line though as Walther is saying here that no matter how much we praise God is does not afford us his grace. Nor do we gain grace from anything but faith alone. That is that which consists of reaching out for the grace that God has already declared to be ours.

This is in my opinion something that the Lutheran Church does a good job of. That is making the service based on the Word and Sacraments and not how well the message is delivered. There is much more to the Church than the speaking ability of the man charged with watching over the congregation. The Divine Service provides a true worship setting. One which is focused on the saving grace of our Lord only after learning how undeserved of the grace we really are. When we base our faith off of how much we "raise our hands" or bow down to pray we are dangerously mixing the doctrines of Law and Gospel. One does not make way for the other.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Law and Gospel Game

Starting reading about the proper division of law and gospel has made me wonder what other people think about it. I can say these are probably not very hard to distinguish but let's see how people can do.

1. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (Col 4:6)
2. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
(II Timothy 1:9)
3. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (I Peter 3:12)
4. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. (Romans 4:5)

I did use the KJV version because I have a program which made it easy to do this with. It also might mean looking into a different translation to answer. Once some people respond I'll write what I think about each one.

Books and More Books

So after a great holiday weekend despite my still working and a wonderful birthday I now have more new literature in my possession than I ever have had at one time. I have a lot of reading to do and I must say that I can not wait to start it. Here is the list in no particular order

1. God's No and God's Yes by C.F.W. Walther (actually I got this one before my birthday and am halfway through it)
2. Why Men Hate Going to Church- David Murrow
3. The Fellowship of the Ring- J.R.R. Tolkien
4. The Bondage of the Will- Martin Luther
5. The Great Divorce- C.S. Lewis
6. The Screwtape Letters- C.S. Lewis
7. The Case for Christ- Lee Strobel
8. Fundamental Greek Grammer- James W. Voelz
9. Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions-A Reader's Edition of the Book of Concord
10. Large Catechism- Martin Luther

There we go quite a list for me at least. If anyone wants to recommend where to start let me know.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Sermon Notes

I'd like to cover tonight a great sermon which Pastor Tritten preached today. Well yes technically it was yesterday. And now today I am technically 19. That's right born on the fourth of July. Well really I guess it is tomorrow still but anyways.

Back to the sermon. I recently have begun taking sermon notes. I know many people do this but it is not something that I have been accustomed to doing since I was in confirmation class. But still getting to the point today's sermon text was Matthew 11:25-30 and the title was A broken tool The general idea that Pastor T had was created by his attendance at the pastoral leadership institute last week.

In the passage Jesus tells us to take his yoke upon ourselves and he will give us rest. A yoke for those that don't know is what you would put on a plow animal to direct him in which way he is supposed to go. In this sense Jesus is saying that through working for him we will be granted rest through him. The yoke is a tool that the farmer uses to guide his animals into doing their work the right way. One thing that was pointed out however is that if a tool is used incorrectly it will break.

Here comes the idea of the sermon. When we look around at the people we see everyday many of them are burnt out. They have taken a yoke upon themselves which was not designed for them. Some have done it to make more money, others for many other reasons. But they have broken their yokes since you got it they used the tool incorrectly. When we realize that the yoke that we are to be taking is that of Jesus Christ we will no longer be under the wrong yoke. If we look first to the Lord for what course in life we are supposed to take then we will be granted rest knowing that the work we do is one that we were designed for.

On another note I received my copy of God's No and God's Yes: The proper distinction between law and Gospel today. I am very excited to read it and hope that I will better be able to understand the very thing that is so hard to explain to people who cannot grasp the real concept of the two doctrines.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Getting our teeth cleaned

Well today I had a dental appointment. On the way to said appointment I was hoping that I would find out that I had no cavities this time. This thought led me to think of an analogy in a way. In order for it to work you need to imagine that everytime you go to the dentist no matter how good you have tried to clean your teeth on your own you still have cavities.

So as you are on the way to the appointment you are hoping that the dentist won't find any of the cavities. In the same way we often hope that God will not see the sins that we commit if we do our best to try and clean them up. But in the end the dentist will find the cavities. In that same sense God will find our sin no matter what we do.

Now we come to the Gospel portion. (Just assume that the dentist can fix the cavities) When we find out that we have cavities we depend on the dentist to fix those cavities for us and the we can once again have perfect smiles. This is the same way that we depend on our faith in Jesus to wash away our sins and restore us to perfection in the eyes of our heavenly father. There we go I hope that made sense. As I tend to say at this time I'm a little tired so if it doesn't make sense or something is out of place be sure to offer some insight.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tradition is key

So I went to a wedding today. It was a very nice Christian wedding. With great devotion to the reason that God instituted marriage on the earth. It was not however what you would call traditional. From the music to the actual flow of the service it was very contemporary. Not that this was bad or anything but I suppose I just prefer a more traditional service. While the focus of the service was still on God it was detracted from with the contemporary theme. The altar was also decorated with Hawaiian flowers and some sort of a theme set-up on it. To me this was not an appropriate display for the altar. All I can say is that when I get married my service will be very traditional and focused more in the Scriptures than the life accomplishments of my bride and I. That is what the reception is for.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bible anytime

I have a co-worker who grew up in the Middle East. As you may see where this is going he is Muslim. He's a great guy from the pure standpoint of being a human, we get along fine with one another. The other day he happened to mention that when he sees people just reading the Bible anywhere say at a break on work that it bothers him. This is because that in order for him to read the Quran he must cleanse himself first. How terrible it would be if I could not have the comfort of reading the word whenever I felt the need. Thankfully we have a God who has made us free from such rules of law.

In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis states that one reason people like man-made religion is that they are simple to follow. That Christianity is too complicated for anyone to want to follow. God did not make himself to be figured out in some simple steps, but rather that he is something which is in each one of us and will still never fully be in our understanding. There are some things that the Father does not want us to know. That is why we put our trust in him. Bringing us to the statement that Father knows best. If anything doesn't make sense here let me know, it's late and I'm not sure that I am thinking or typing at my full capacity.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Little did I know

I have been a member of the LCMS for my entire life. While that is not an extremely long time or anything I have always loved the way my church has been in my life. I have always felt the synod to be one which does a good job of being Lutheran.

As I am getting older and starting to learn more about the synod and the church itself, I am realizing there was a lot more politics involved than I ever thought there was. I suppose this is one of the benefits of being a child. In the way that Jesus says "Anyone who does not enter the kingdom of God as a child will never enter it". When we are young we have little to worry about concerning the politics of the church and the doctrines which our parents make sure are right for us. Stepping into adulthood brings the things I was once unaware of to the forefront.

To me it is disheartening that the church I love so dearly could be having problems which could possibly threaten to divide it. I hope that for the sake of the synod there is able to be agreement reached on how to solve the many different rifts that have been created. Like I said I don't even claim to hardly know much about the subject. I am just now learning that the synod I thought to be so strong is still subject to sin and the thoughts of man. I pray that for everyone in the church that the Lord may look upon us with favor and help us settle our differences for his sake.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Time goes on but some things never change

I work at Meijer in the 1-hour photo lab. It's not a bad job I enjoy being able to look at lots of people memories. The think that amazes me though is how many of the staples in life never change. I say this meaning the things that people truly define as important in their lives seem to be the same from generation to generation. Many of the photos I develop are of the new baby, graduations, or weddings. If it were not for the changes in quality of the photos you could put any of these photos next to pictures from years ago and they would look quite the same. The human condition still holds dear many of the values that it did from long ago.

So not only have I realized that pictures tend to be the same through the years so does Christianity. As I have said before I am working my way through Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. I find it fascinating that many of the things that he addresses as being important for the life of a Christian hold true still today. The book was written nearly 60 years ago yet I feel as though it might as well be coming out tomorrow and I just have an advance copy.

This in no doubt proves to me that Christianity is a solid foundation. One which has principles rooted in thousands of years of human experience. The world has changed but the heart of man still desires the same types of things though some of those things now look a little different. At the center of this is Christ he is our rock and everything that is built upon his foundation will be lasting. Without Christ we are only sinking sand. For all of the things that happen in my life there is only one thing that remains constant. It is written "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Tending to the crew

Caspar at Beggars All brought up a good point in my analogy of fishing and how Christians can be alike. I mentioned that the bait was the members of the Christian church. After the comment I do realize that the gospel being the bait makes much more sense. So in order to see if I can set my analogy straight lets try to come at it from a different angle and see if I can get it to be a little more correct.

If we step back from the bait and the fisherman to the next step and pretend that they are on a fishing boat then we can begin to tackle the analogy once again. If the captain of the boat is the church, the fisherman the members, and the bait the gospel then it makes a little more sense. It is the captain's job to make sure that his crew has the guidance that they need in order to be the most succesful fisherman that they can be. So the church helps to get its members to take the gospel to the world. As long as the fisherman cast out the bait though they will have a good chance of catching some fish. Even better is when we know the captain is working at his best to make his fishermen even better than they could be on their own.

I'm not sure if this makes any more sense or not but it does lead to the gospel being what actually causes the fish to leave the sea.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Keep the Bait Alive

Ok, so here is another one of my little analogies that has something to do with the Church and some of the things that it is doing. This one actually came to me last night before I went to sleep when I was camping. It's interesting how a vacation and especially camping (although not that rustic) but I did sleep in a tent, can revive you and remind you that everything in the world is not as terrible as it may seem to be. I sometimes seem to reach this point where living in the world too much and worrying about the state of things can be sort of annoying. It's nice to just step back and take a look at the whole process. I'm not sure if that really made a lot of sense but it's what came out and I'm not going to change it.

But anyways back to the idea of the post. Here is my not so profound idea. We are taught to be fishers of men, but we need to make sure the bait in the live well doesn't die. If we are to have a church that creates people (bait) which are able to go out and feed the people who need the gospel we need to make sure that they dont die before they get there. To me the church does have the job to go out and take the word to the world but there is also the need to make sure that members who have heard that word continue to grow. Recently there has been a lot of talk about the amount of people levaing some of the more liberal denominations. One thing that I see in some of these denominations or non-denominations is that once the members of the church enter it they tend to not grow much more due to the focus of the church. When a church is more concerned about just bringing in the people rather than helping to nurture and grow their members the members lose spiritually. Thus people getting tired of this type of thing are moving back to the conservative denominations that talk about sin and the law along with an emphasis on the gospel. To me people are wanting to learn more than a lot of these denominations are offering past the surface.

If the bait is dead then there will be no way to bring in the fish. But if we are able to keep the bait alive while they are doing the work then the harvest will be much more effective

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Polar Behavior

I am reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis right now. I have only made it throught the first sectoin of the book and I already love his writing style and the thoughts that he has on the subject of religion.

The thing that fascinates me about the first part is his description of a code of ethics by which all humans tend to follow. Regardless of what they learn people seem to have an ability to distinguish that one sort of behavior is the correct one and the other is obviously wrong. Although he doesn't say it in the book yet since this argument is being made only for the case of a creator rather than science I find it quite interesting. It really makes you think about the fact that the law really is written on a man's heart and that is the first thing which he consults when he makes a decision. It makes gives one the compelling thought that it is not possible that there could be no reason we are here. If everyone knows the difference between some sort of right and wrong the univers certainly can't be responsible for that. Without a doubt this is something that God created so that we could always look to the inside and realize there was something more than what we want driving us.

Friday, June 17, 2005

God is the pilot, I am the wingman

I suppose I have a witty title designed for my blog. To me that was my rule that I needed before I was going to start one. The title that I ended up using is something that has been sitting on my desktop. Well actually in a notes widget for those that know what that is. Anyways this thought conveys to me that God is alone the leader of my life. I am along for the ride in a sense while still helping with the navigation and keeping the pathe on course. With this blog I plan to write some thoughts that I have about the world of Christianity and the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod of which I am a member. I do not claim to know much about doctrines or theology but attempt to try to figure them out anyways. Hopefully through writing and some comments from other readers it will be possible for me to gain a better understanding of faith and my mindset.