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Month: June 2013

Mercy and the LWML Convention

At the Project 24 booth at the convention are Nicci Tyrell, Eunita Ondago, and Olivia Tyrell (the 3 in the middle).  Sorry I don’t know who the bookends are can any one help? [Jesus said:] “… but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14). That is the convention theme. My thought is that the spring that springs up and bubbles and wells up to eternal life is faith.  It isn’t stagnant like the pools that are in my back yard after all these weeks of rain but it is in motion and effervescent.  That phrase about faith “welling up” it seems to me is important.  If shows an increase.  Martin Luther preached on John 4:46-54 which is a part of the whole picture of faith welling up.  He writes…. “Our Gospel lesson speaks further of the increase of faith, and here there is a difference. Although faith fully possesses Christ and all his riches, yet it must nevertheless be continually kept in motion and exercised, so that it may have assurance, and firmly retain its treasures. There is a difference between having a thing and firmly keeping hold of it, between a strong and a weak faith. Such a...

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All Those Christians …. more on the “now time”.

  This comes under the heading of “stuff I learned while looking for something else”.  I saw this quote somewhere and of course can’t find it now.  If anyone knows where this came from please let me know – it stands for itself………….. “Whatever the number comes to, this much is clear: “more people go to church on Sunday in China than in the whole of Europe.”  China appears to be home to more evangelical believers than any other nation, and the church continues to grow and make inroads in every level of Chinese society, from the peasant farmers and factory workers to party officials and the cultured elite. While still laboring under persecution and official harassment, tested by many temptations, and occasionally upset by heresy, the church in China has courageously continued to worship and obey the triune God. Although none of us knows how history might turn as God works out his redemptive purpose, the church in China is already emerging not just as a place of vibrant Christian faith but a significant missionary force in the world.  And yet, as Chinese ministry leaders and informed visitors clearly and consistently report, the need for church development is both profound and urgent both for the health of the church in China and the future of Christianity in the world.” Share this on:...

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Mercy and Faith – thank God for signs.

“Luther likens faith to ‘butter in the sunshine.’ While Luther will always maintain that trust in the promise makes baptism efficacious, he is wary of focusing on faith: ‘One must believe, but we neither should nor can know it for certain.’ Therefore, one dare not base his baptism on his faith.  For who can be sure if he really believes? The enthusiasts’ stress on subjectivity, like the late medieval view of penance and monasticism, troubles Luther because it puts the question of salvation back into the hands of a frail and doubting humanity. God, however, is merciful. He comes to us via outward means-water, bread, and wine. He pledges himself to us in these visible and tangible signs, for ‘faith must have something to believe something to which it may cling and upon which it may stand.’” Mark Tranvik, “Luther on Baptism”  Lutheran Quarterly (Spring 1999), Share this on:...

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KFUO and Mercy

Dedication of the KFUO studios at the IC in St. Louis I had a chance to be at the dedication of the new KFUO studios at the International Center in St. Louis.  Here you see President Harrison doing the dedication ceremony over the air.  His sermon was based on the passage from Isaiah 40 – “Grass dries up, and flowers wither, but the word of our God will last forever“.  KFUO  is the longest continually operating AM radio station in the United States. Owned and operated by The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), KFUO-AM boasts an array of audio resources from worship services to inspirational music to in-depth study of God’s Word. The Word of the Lord endures forever.  This battle cry of the Reformation comes through in various hymns such as in A Mighty Fortress: “The Word they still shall let remain.” It reminds us that the Scriptures are the only sure guide for faith and life.The motto is based on 1 Peter 1:24-25 and Isaiah 40.  It first appears in the court of Frederick the Wise in 1522. It was used by Frederick’s successors, his brother John the Steadfast, and his nephew John Frederick the Magnanimous. It was used on flags, banners, swords, and uniforms as a symbol of the unity of the Lutheran laity who struggled to defend their beliefs, communities, families, and lives against those who...

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Mercy and Self Forgiveness

“The forgiveness of sin,” as Claus Harms in one of the most famous theses from the 1817 Reformation Jubilee would say, “still cost money in the Sixteenth Century, in the Nineteenth it is completely free, and everyone freely rewards himself with it.”  In the 21st century we have rationalized it away along with a lot of other things so that we don’t sin and so we don’t need forgiveness we just need more self esteem. Truth be told we need to recognize our sin, recognize our Savior and live in the rhythm of confession and absolution – that means actually hearing someone pronounce us forgiven for the sake of Christ.  By God’s mercy I have been forgiven, but the reality of my life is such I need to be told. I also need to face reality.  Just because I look in the mirror and think I see Brad Pitt doesn’t mean I am Brad Pitt.  If that kitty in the picture goes out into the world thinking it is what it sees in the mirror harsh reality will soon set in. Share this on:...

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