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Month: October 2012

Happy Halloween

I haven’t figured out how to “photo-shop” something.  I wanted to put a pumpkin in Luther’s arm.  When I went to school there was always a pumpkin in Luther’s arm on Halloween. From the Lutheran Witness that you can get on line now. You can get an app for the Ipad too ………………… It was no coincidence that Martin Luther chose Oct. 31 as the day to nail his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg. For most people, October means cooler weather, raking leaves, and, at the end of the month, celebrating Halloween. For Lutherans, October includes the commemoration of Reformation Day–the day Martin Luther is said to have nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It may seem strange that a day so preoccupied with the devil and death is also Reformation Day. But Luther chose this date with a purpose. His theses (academic statements for discussion and debate) were on the topic of indulgences, and Luther chose the eve of All Saints Day–when the church commemorates the faithful departed–as the date to make them public. The Witness then defines indulgences….. For money (and sometimes even goods like fowl and dairy products), a person could buy an indulgence that claimed to offer the merits of the saints–and even of Christ–on behalf of the owner, and, in that...

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Bold Witnesses – Confessing the Faith in the 21st Century.

I was not able to attend all of the Bold Witness Workshop that was held in Fargo on Saturday.  What I saw was very well done.  Rev. Mark Chepulis is the head of the “Witness, Mercy and Life Together” task force, Rev. Adam Moline is the Chairman of the Bold Witness Standing Committe.  These guys did a great job in setting up the workshop. Bill Sharpe serves as the Vice President for LCEF in the North Dakota District and Bob Wurl is the head of the Kenya Task Force.  These folks came up with a great idea.  They have figured out a way to set up a “Joyful Response” electronic withdrawal donation that will be split between the Mary Okeyo Scholarship Fund and the Project 24 centers.  For $24 a month you can be an Elephant donor, $50 a Cheetah, $75 a Lion, and I am not sure if a Rhino is $10 or $100.  This isn’t a very good picture but here is the brochure – For more information check out or call Bill Sharpe 701- 361-0867 or Bob Wurl at 701-640-3681. Share this on:...

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Lefse and Mercy

We started this blog to talk about mercy and the connections of our life together.  Here are the ladies of Trinity at a lefse baking party.  They sell the lefse and the proceeds go to missions.  Back in the day there were a lot of ladies that participated in this work while many of these ladies were working or raising their children.  Now some of them are learning the art.  The old lefse makers have moved on to the church triumphant, but the lefse goes on.   Share this on:...

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Luther on Visitation revisited

We have been talking about getting along and forgiving in our life together.  We have talked about the trans -parochial nature of the church and how when congregations suffer we all suffer.  When one struggles we all struggle.  We are all in this together.  There are those that do not want to be part of one another as Christ calls us.  They want to be individual franchises.  There are some who refuse the mutual consolation and admonition of the brothers and deny the right of other Christians to even visit with them. Luther reinstituted the ancient custom of visitation.  The idea was that the bishop, or overseer, would visit Pastors and churches and see how things were going.  It fell into disrepute over the years and Luther wanted to start it again.  Our Missouri Synod President Matthew Harrison wants to start it again.  A lot of folk that I talk to don’t want to do it.  I wonder why? Luther may have been pressing the point a bit but he said that Jesus was the ultimate “visitor” and he started in the womb when his mother went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Here is a quote from John Pless who did a paper on visitation in South Africa a few years ago. The ancient fathers, Luther observed, also practiced visitation. In fact Luther argues that the essence of the...

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Can’t We all be patient?

Matt Harrison did a post on an Advent sermon by Hermann Sasse back in the bad old days when the Nazis were on the rise.  He encourged his congregation to be patient.  We have been talking about the seeeming inability in our life together to be patient, especially when it comes to forgiveness and peace.  Sasse needs to be heard today.  It’s not Advent yet – but….. But the church has a special understanding of time. She can wait. For nineteen centuries she has sung in her liturgy the “Hosanna to the Son of David.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of theLord!” For nineteen centuries she has lifted hearts high to him who will come to judge the living and the dead. For nineteen centuries she has prayed”Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” and heard the Answer, “Yes, I am coming soon.” For nineteen centuries she has heard the sneering question”Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers died everything remains as it always has been since the beginning of creation.” (2Peter 3:4). Through all these centuries right up to the present time she has received no other answer than the comforting and warning words of the New Testament to the Christendom of that time, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting...

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