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Month: July 2012

“Constant Trimming and Pressing”

This picture is not of my family.  It is entitled “Getting Ready for Church”.  I know it is not of me or anyone I knew because we would NEVER have worn tennis shoes.  I include the picture because the overall body language is instructive. Sunday mornings at my house were something like what I imagine Marine boot camp might be like.  Clothes were pressed, laid out, and I tried to wait until the last moment to put the tie on because I didn’t want to wrinkle the shirt.  We ate breakfast with towels covering us so that there could be no spillage that might stain.  Hair wasn’t just combed, it was combed and some kind of product was applied that made it impervious to a comb later let alone whatever wind  that might be blowing.  For that reason the oringinal combing took a long time and had to be pretty much perfect.  Teeth were brushed once when we got up and again before we left.  There was a handkerchief (ironed and folded) in each suit coat pocket but it was never to be used.  My mother carried a large amount of kleenex in case of emergency.  In the wintertime overcoats were humg with care and also pressed.  Shoes were polished the night before and buffed upon the way to the car.  Their was alot of ‘trimming and pressing” that went on in the...

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What Think Ye of Miracles?

My friend Mr Ravi took this picture of John Fale and me at the Basilica of ST. Thomas in Chennai.  He is close to the ocean.  Here is a story from the Chennai Newspaper.  This is after the Tsunami of 2004….. The tsunami waves have subsided, but a miracle is being talked about across Chennai. It is the story of how St Thomas’ miraculous post kept the invading waves away, sparing the newly renovated Santhome Cathedral. The Cathedral, the world’s second basilica built on an apostle’s tomb, has been giving shelter to hundreds of tsunami victims ever since the waves ravaged many buildings across the coast. But even though the killer tsunami waves devastated the Chennai coast, Father Lawrence Raj, the parish priest of the Santhome Cathedral Basilica, says “the sea did not touch our church.” The reason? “We believe the miraculous post of St Thomas prevented the sea waters from entering the church,” says Father Raj. The church that sits at the site where St. Thomas, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus Christ, was buried after his death in the year 72 is located a few metres from the sea. While all the buildings on either side of the church were hit by the tsunami waves, the Santhome Cathedral remained unaffected. Local people now say it is the St Thomas’ miraculous post that has kept the sea...

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Life Together, Vocation, and the Keys – Luther’s Sermon on Matthew 9:1-8

I love this very African picture of Jesus healing the paralytic. Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the Law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? 5 Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 6 But so that you might know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sin . . . .” Then he said to the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 And the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe, and they praised God, who had given such authority to men. One of the great treasures of Lutheran, and being a Lutheran is the notion that God deals in the world through estates – the church of which all people are a part by creation (even unbelievers), the family, and the political realm.  One of the great difficulties of being a Lutheran is the understanding of the Law and the Gospel...

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Office of the Keys – Have We Forgotten Something?

  That the great freedom of the Reformation is truly the liberty of the gospel is demonstrated first of all by the fact that in the New Testament the potestas clavium [power of the keys] is not conferred once but three times: Matthew 16 to Peter, John 20 to all the Apostles, and Matthew 18 to the entire ekklesia (church). These bestowals dare not be separated from each other. Neither may one place one into the foreground at the expense of the others and consider that the true form. And when Jesus gives to the twelve His commission to preach the gospel to every creature, and through Baptism to make disciples of all nations, when at the Last Supper He instructs them, “This do in remembrance of me!” then who are the twelve? They are the first to stand in the office of the ministry. From them proceeds the ministerium docendi evangelii et porrigendi sacramenta(preaching the Gospel and Administering the Saraments) . But they are at the same time the church, the ekklesia, the representatives of this new “People of God” of the Last Days. Thus it is simply impossible in the New Testament to separate the office of the ministry and the church from each other. What is said to the church is said to the ministry, and vice versa. The ministry does not stand above the congregation, but...

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Demuth Rides Again! !

There was a movie with James Steward that was remade with Audy Murphey just after I was born called “Destry Rides Again”.  I haven’t seen it in years but I thought about when I saw this – MERCY MINISTRY IN THE NORTH COUNTRY First Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, MN recently participated in a fundraising effort for Habitat for Humanity. Pastor Greg DeMuth and 134 other cyclists from Minnesota and the northern mid-west rode 500 miles through southern Minnesota July 15-21. A total of $328,000 was raised by the riders and their congregations: enough to purchase materials to build six homes.  First Lutheran’s participation in this project reflects our mission value to be a family friendly congregation sharing the love of Jesus with our community.  Habitat for humanity is a Christian ministry dedicated to providing decent and affordable housing for people in need. Last week the 2000th home was dedicated in Minneapolis. More info can be found on Pastor DeMuth’s mission blog entitled “As the Wheels Turn” You can read about the other ride by going on this site to September 2, 2011, and October 11, 2011.   Share this on:...

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