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Month: February 2013

Martyria – Does Confession mean never having to say your sorry?

Witness and Confession are really the same thing.   An “apology”, and apologizing can really be opposite things.  The Apology to the Augsburg Confession is a defense.  The confessors rather that saying they were sorry for it were defending it.  We apologize when we are sorry.  In our church body however there are certain sets of folks that never really apologize.  They may be sorry that you took something the wrong way but they are not sorry for what they said.  Some of the most hateful, sad and silly things can be said and yet never apologized for as long as we are “confessing” the faith.  Some of the most vituperative things that I have read were written by Christians who are supposedly “protecting” God’s Word.  I am all for confessing the faith but I am also for unity, mutual consolation of the brethren, and some kind of gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:8-15 –  Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil  and their lips from deceitful speech. 11 They must turn from evil and do good;...

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Martyria – Witness and Jesus Standing at the Right Hand of God

Mark 16:19  So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. We speak these words  every Sunday when we recite the creed.  It is called Christ’s secession at the right hand of the Father where he rules all things for the church.  The anointed Prophet, Priest, and King fulfills these offices even today.  As Prophet He continues to proclaim the Gospel as He rules the Church as its head.  As Priest He intercedes for us and as our King He rules all things for the church as He sits at the place of power in Heaven.  All authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him because of His redemption of the world through His blood. It is our task to witness to Him in Word and deed.  Our churches emphasis on “Witness, Mercy and Life Together” brings this idea to light and we seek to honor Christ by a proper witness and confession as well as deeds of love and mercy for the neighbor.  Martyria means witness or confession and the first martyrs witnessed to Christ by their death. Stephen was a martyr.  Because of his witness he was stoned to death and therein lies as they say, a tale.  When Stephen made his testimony and confession and witness we read this in...

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The Joy of Being a Lutheran

  “The law says, ‘Do this,’ and it is never done.  Grace says, ‘believe in this,’ and everything is already done.”   Rev. Dr. Martin Luther.  One of our Pastors has this on his email salutation.  After you meditate on these words a while it puts our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in proper perspective. We can do nothing. God in His mercy has done everything. All praise to God!” There is a comfort there that means the world to burdened consciences and troubles hearts. –   Share this on:...

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The Internet Gives and the Internet taketh away, Blessed be ……..never mind!!

God so loved the world that He didn’t send a committee or an email.  I spend at least an hour every morning sending or responding to emails and I get really frustrated when I have a policy to answer an email within 5 hours of getting it and no one else in my circle of communication has the same policy.  If it takes you a week to get back to me – don’t bother, I have probably moved on and don’t remember why I wrote you in the first place. I went back and reread Ecclesiastes 7 – The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. 9Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools. 10Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions. Now I feel better. We have been taking applications for the Mary Okeyo Scholarship Fund and I have received several calls from folks that have gone to various websites and tried to download applications and get information and have not had any “joy” as they say. Here is the situation as near as I can figure.  The connection (link) to the Minnesota North website on this blog was wrong for a while but I have been told it can be fixed and...

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The Joys of a Rural Ministry.

Any proverbs about weather are doubly true during a storm.  That’s what Ed Nordstrum said, or maybe it was Terry Guillemets.  That’s one of the problems of the internet.  Hard to tell sometimes who said what. It’s fun to talk about the weather and it is usually a conversation starter.  One of things that we share up here in the North Country is the fascination with weather.  Some would call it an obsession but you have to be up here for a while to get it.  We say things like “we have some weather coming”, or that was “some weather”.  It is not just a force of nature, it is a personal entity that sometimes seems to have a mind and a will all of its own. One of the “joys” of a rural ministry is the confrontations with weather.  When Pastors get together to have meetings I love to listen and hear the stories of a hospital run at 3 in the morning in the snow.  There usually is no embellishment or explanation, just the bare facts of the story.  For those of us that have done it there is no more detail needed and for those that never have no details will be enough.  The jolt of that phone call and the next jolt from getting out of a warm bed and wander out to a cold...

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