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Month: May 2014

Service In Christ.

When we go into service for Christ we enter into the realm of possibility with Christ  where what we do takes place in collaboration with God’s own work, who in Christ still allows the old to pass away and become new and thereby builds His Kingdom in the midst of a perverse and sinful generation.  To constantly seek what we want or think we need in this possibility space is perverse and foolish and will often lead us astray. Share this on:...

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The Calculations of Hope

Took this picture at a Project 24 Rescue center school.  I think about it a lot.  Jesus says you need to calculate the cost of discipleship.  In Luke 14 we read. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. Project 24 started because folks calculated what it would take to do what they felt Christ would want done.  They thought twice before they leapt but it was a leap of faith.  The calculations had less to do with success than with discipleship and the one who calls us to take up the cross.  The...

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The Will of the Sender.

There are those who think that there are places that we should not go in the world as Christians because they are too hard or too messy, or too corrupt or too dangerous or  (you supply your excuse).  There are those who think that we should do no mission work or mercy work, or they say do one without the other. “One does not take up the office of Jesus to determine its limits by himself; he takes it up only in order to carry out Jesus’ commission by subordinating his will to the will of the sender.  The is commission reads: “Make disciples of All nations” (Matt 28:19).  Over and against this commission there can be only obedience or disobedience.  One can only be taken up with it or broken by it.” Karl Rengsdorf   Share this on:...

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Memorial Day

 President John F. Kennedy said, “A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” Today, we remember and honor  ordinary men and women, who died while in military service. We remember and thank those who served and who are still with us, and we remember families whose loved ones sacrificed so much. Today this year also commemorates the 150th anniversary of Arlington Cemetery in which 400,000 honored dead lie. That commemoration started with  a ceremony at the grave of Union Pvt. William Christman a member of the 67th Pennsylvania Infantry, who was buried May 13, 1864, after contracting a case of measles. The land was officially designated as a military cemetery a month later. James Christman of Allentown, Pennsylvania, a great-grandnephew, said he and his cousins had no idea their ancestor had even served in the Civil War, much less that he was the first soldier buried at Arlington. They found out this year when contacted by a local historical association. None of these apply to you? Back Just so – Memorial Day   For me, year after year it  becomes a time when people who don’t know or who don’t remember, are reminded.  It is a chance to implant in minds and hearts the great truths of life and one of those truths is that the things that...

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Hope and the Praying church.

Our President Matthew Harrison has translated the Letters of Herman Sasse. Letters to Lutheran Pastors: Volume I, 1948–1951, and Volume II, 1951–1956.By Hermann Sasse. Edited and Translated by Matthew C. Harrison. Foreword by Ronald R. Feuerhahn. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2013, 2014. . “By any benchmark Hermann Sasse was one of the foremost twentieth-century Lutheran theologians. He incisively analyzed how modern trends in church life eclipse doctrinal truth”.  So says Mark Mattes in a review of the book on a blog site. This is the part of the review that I found fascinating, especially in view of the understanding of “resolution” current today. Ever concerned to uphold the church in her mission, Sasse notes that at its core the church is a praying community: “for the church of Christ is not a church that is always busy holding conferences, nor is she a church that does business with politicians and the press. She is ecclesia orans. And this is her main calling. Either she is ecclesia orans—as indeed she showed herself to be already in the catacombs—or she is nothing. Her ministry is not dependent on how that ministry came into being, such as an apostolic succession. Instead, the apostolicity of the church is grounded in its fidelity to the apostles’ message: “every sermon becomes more important than those sessions in which grandiose ecclesiastical resolutions are discussed concerning the Bonn Constitution...

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