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Month: June 2014

Some People Can See Into the Future.

We have been in a battle for a while now about mission and mercy, welfare and faith, witness apart from Christ.  We had this argument with some years ago about not giving a Christian witness or offering a prayer when helping people get out from the effects of natural disasters and tragic circumstances.  We argue about a Christian witness without any acts of mercy at all.  We argue about witnessing to Jesus and not trying to bring people into the Lutheran church, as if these people can develop a faith apart from the church in which the spirit calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies.  When God calls someone to faith He calls them into fellowship with Christ and with a community of faith. Carl Braaten was a powerful churchman and teacher years ago. He was a professor at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago.  He wrote a book called “Eschatology and Ethics” in which he made this prescient remark.  Remember he wrote this in 1974. “It is necessary to warn against a careless disregard for all the Christian character of the churches involvement in welfare activity.  The spirit of the times is dictating a self-defeating kind of tolerance which makes the church and easy victim of secularism. It is at work in all the churches auxiliaries, including it’s colleges and agencies. According to the spirit the church is guilty...

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Our Shield and Great Reward

There are in Genesis 15,  four statements that are made for the first time in the Bible that are of amazing import.  They are repeated many time afterwards but here in the story of Abraham they make their grand entrance. Abraham after his defeat of a King that had plundered cities and taken his nephew and family prisoner, had returned to his place and probably terrified of what that King would do.  It was a good bet that a King in that position would return with another army and exact his revenge.  Abraham had been in the land that God had promised him for ten years and nothing had happened.  No child, no land, nothing that God had promised had come.  It was into this situation of relief at a battle won and fear of a battle yet to be, of promises made that had not been kept, that kind of twilight between exhilaration and exhaustion and depression that “the Word of the Lord came”  I take that to mean that Christ came because Christ is “the Word of the Lord”.  Christ came with a word of strength and peace and assurance.  For the first time in the Scriptures the Word of the Lord came. For the first time a command is made that will ring out through the centuries.  It will be spoken to Moses and Gideon and frightened Prophets and frightened disciples and...

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Doing God a Favor?

Human beings, and even Christians sometimes get to a point in their thinking and faith that – “God is put in the position of a debtor and is in duty-bound to reward a good work with the gift of eternal life. This is a wicked teaching…………   If I could perform any work acceptable to God and deserving of grace, and once having obtained grace my good works would continue to turn for me the right and reward of eternal life, why should I stand in need of the grace of God and the suffering and death of Christ? Christ would be of no benefit to me. Christ mercy would be no use to me.” So says Luther and his commentary on Galatians. How often do we go to the length of  believing we would be doing God a favor if we return to him. So God becomes dependent on the grace of man. Share this on:...

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Big Week in North Dakota.

This was and is a big weekend in the North Dakota District.  I have written about this on June 21 and June 8.  One of the articles is my memories of Willow City and Willow Creek.  I wrote a songs about those memories.  The other was about two Pastors that I respect a great deal, one who retired last week and the other  who will be retiring –  Pastor O’Brien and Pastor Johnson .  Please read that article too and remember them in your prayers.  It would fun to hear from folks who were raised in Willow City or who went to church at Willow Creek.  We have a church at Willow City as well.  Willow City, Immanuel – Rev. Josh Reimche  who is also the Pastor at Our Savior in Bottineau.                                   Share this on:...

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With God All Things Are Possible.

The wonderful story of God’s promise to Abraham that he would have a child in his old age gives us the marvelous image of Sarah  laughing when she hears the words. Behind the walls of the tent she thinks to herself, “can I be sure that I will have a child in my old age?”  The comic image here quickly turns deadly serious. God asks “why did Sarah laugh and say can I actually be with child when I’m old?”  In the middle of this tragic and comic conversation one incredible question stands out – “is anything too hard for the Lord?” I have an antique book I finally got around to reading.  It is called Abraham: or, The Obedience of Faith.. F.B Meyer Wrote it and this is his response to that question. “Is anything too hard for the Lord”? That is one of Gods unanswered questions. It’s laying there for 3000 years, perused by myriads, answered by none; unless indeed the words of Jeremiah are the only answer which mortal man can give: “O Lord God behold You have made the heavens and earth by your great power and stretched out arm and there is nothing too hard for you.” It may seem too hard to the verge of impossibility, that ever God should keep his word, in the conversion of that friend for whom you have a...

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