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Archive for September, 2014

Dale Young RIP

 

I wrote a song called “Soldiers  of the Cross” in Honor of Dale Young.  You can use the search option on this site to find that song.

Reverend Dale G. Young was called home by his Lord and Savior on Friday, September 26, 2014 while a resident at St. Francis Nursing Home, Breckenridge, MN.

Dale George Young was born June 3, 1929 in Plainview, MN to George and Emma (Wurl) Young. Dale attended parochial school in Plainview and graduated from Concordia Lutheran High School, St. Paul, MN.

Dale continued his education at Concordia University, St. Paul, MN and then earned his Master of Divinity Degree from Concordia Lutheran Seminary, St. Louis, MO.

Dale served several congregations throughout his ministry including Trinity, Faribault, MN; St. Paul’s, Montevideo, MN and Mt. Calvary, Antwerp, OH. Following his retirement in 1991, Dale moved to Wahpeton, ND and served vacant congregations in Fergus Falls, Campbell and Monson-Dumont in MN and Wahpeton, ND. Dale also provided short term pastoral service in Milbank, SD; Breckenridge and Battle Lake, MN.

Preceding him in death were his parents George and Emma, and his brother Lowell. Dale is survived by his sister-in-law Josephine Young, a niece, six nephews, several cousins as well as the members of the congregations he served.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 1 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Wahpeton, ND with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the church.

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Utopia anyone?

utopiaIt is naively assumed that the life of love, the life of discipleship, is a simple human possibility, without the need  for justification by faith. The result is, as always, a utopia which enslaves and terrifies men by the very laws devised to free them and make them happy.

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The Hot House Plant

hot house plant

I like to think that smart people read my blog.  I like to think that smart people read.  I worry when everything has to be bored down to 125 characters or whatever constitutes a tweet.  In fact I worry about a society that even invented something like a tweet, but I digress.  Betty M read my blog about mercy, and eschatology and apocalyptic stuff and came up with a great picture of the hot house plant.  Thanks Betty,  Here is what she wrote.

Pastor,

Isn’t it ironic that the church grows ever stronger in the midst of persecutions etc. A Kind of lesson from nature as well. A hot house plant that has been nurtured and coddled all it’s life can do little when exposed to the winds and storms outside it’s place of relative safety but the tree that bears the brunt of storms is unmovable. The church down through the centuries has had it’s days of persecutions and trials but it has quietly prevailed not unlike it will in this time of terror at the hands of militants. Even So come Lord Jesus!

This was a very comforting post, Pastor thank you for it.

 

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Eschatology and Apocalypse and Mercy

myrtle tree

As strange as things are in the world things are going to get stranger.  Prepare for an assault of books and movies about the end of the world and the terrible  things that will happen.  Eschatology is words about the end of the world and “Apocalypse” is considered by many to be the same word, or a synonym.  Over the years it has become that but the meaning of the word “apocalypse” is revelation.  The last book of the Bible is, in Greek, the Apocalypse,  It is revealing things that are hidden.  It is pealing back what we think is history and showing us the reality behind it all and that reality is God in Christ reconciling the world.

There is apocalyptic and eschatological stuff going on in the Old Testament too but everyone gets all worked up over the last book of the Bible.  Zechariah is a book that tells what God is going to do in the history of Israel and the church.  Here is beautiful explanation of how one man sees what Zechariah chapter one is saying.  His name was Charles Spurgeon.

Zechariah 1:7 -9

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet: I saw by night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and it stood among the myrtle trees in the hollow; and behind him were horses: red, sorrel, and white. Then I said, “My lord, what are these?” So the angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.

Spurgeon writes,

The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah’s day; but being interpreted in its aspect towards us, it describes the Church of God as we find it now in the world. The Church is compared to a myrtle grove flourishing in a valley. It is hidden, unobserved, secreted; courting no honour and attracting no observation from the careless gazer. The Church, like her head, has a glory, but it is concealed from carnal eyes, for the time of her breaking forth in all her splendour is not yet come. The idea of tranquil security is also suggested to us: for the myrtle grove in the valley is still and calm, while the storm sweeps over the mountain summits. Tempests spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the Alps, but down yonder where flows the stream which maketh glad the city of our God, the myrtles flourish by the still waters, all unshaken by the impetuous wind. How great is the inward tranquility of God’s Church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a peace which the world gives not, and which, therefore, it cannot take away: the peace of God which passeth all understanding keeps the hearts and minds of God’s people. Does not the metaphor forcibly picture the peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints? The myrtle sheds not her leaves, she is always green; and the Church in her worst time still hath a blessed verdure of grace about her; nay, she has sometimes exhibited most verdure when her winter has been sharpest. She has prospered most when her adversities have been most severe.

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To Be, Or Not To Be!

to be or not to be

 

“There is an actual sense in which every human use of the future tense of the verb “to be” is a negation, however limited, of mortality. Even as every use of  “if” in a sentence tells of a refusal of the brute inevitability, of the despotism of the fact. “Shall”, “will”, and “if”, circling in intricate fields of semantic force around the hidden center or nucleus of potentiality, are the passwords of hope.”  ……………………………The future tense of the verb inhabits nearly every saying of Jesus. He is, for his followers, hope made flesh.”  Richard John Neuhaus in a review of “Grammar of Creation” by George Steiner in First Things, August/ September of 2001  #115

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Mercy and the End of History

end of world forecast

Eschatology is words about the end of the world – the end of History.  Christians have already but not quite yet entered eternal life ………

(……..T)he end of all history, is Christ on the cross, the murdered Son of God. That is the last desperate assault on the gate of paradise. And under the whirling sword, under the cross, the human race dies. But Christ lives. The trunk of the cross becomes the wood of life, and now in the midst of the world, on the accursed ground itself, life is raised up anew. In the center of the world, from the wood of the cross, the fountain of life springs up. All who thirst for life are called to drink from this water, and whoever has eaten from the wood of this life shall never again hunger and thirst. What a strange paradise is this hill of Golgotha, this cross, this blood, this broken body. What a strange tree of life, this trunk on which the very God had to suffer and die. Yet it is the very kingdom of life and of the resurrection, which by grace God grants us again. It is the gate of imperishable hope now opened, the gate of waiting and of patience. The tree of life, the cross of Christ, the center of God’s world that is fallen but upheld and preserved—that is what the end of the story about paradise is for us.

Once more God opens the gate to fair Paradise today;

no angel now bars the way.

Glory to God, who is great, and praise and honor, we say.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer – “Creation and Fall” – A Theological Exposition of Genesis 1-3″

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Leaning on the Everlasting Arms.

Cincopa WordPress plugin

 

Eschatology means

1
:  a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind
2
:  a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind; specifically :  any of various Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment.
Some of the old hymns and blue grass songs had a great eschatological feel to them.
We owe a great deal to the Cohen brothers.  They made this great old hymn a centerpiece of their remake of “True Grit”

 “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” was written  two men Anthony J. Showalter an elder in the First Presbyterian Church of Dalton, Georgia, and Elisha A. Hoffman the pastor of Benton Harbor Presbyterian Church. Showalter was a church music teacher who received letters from two young men who had recently lost their wives. Showalter wanted to give them consolation from Scripture, and turned to Deuteronomy 33:27, which reads in the King James Version: ” The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you.” He got the refrain and Hoffman got the melody and the Cohen brothers brought it back to us.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms?

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Mercy and Eschatology

 

eternallife

Eschatology is the study of the Last Things or the end of days.  Luther was accused of not having a well developed eshcatology, and the reason is because he saw the Gospel as a whole and salvation as a whole.  In baptism we died and rose again to a new life and so our life right now is eternal life.  We have all we need for life in this world and life in the world to come.  The final victory is assured and so we can be merciful, content and confidant people now in this world.  Luther wrote – “It is one and the same kingdom, the kingdom of faith and the kingdom of the future glory. But nevertheless it happens in this manner and is distinguished: that which is here in the realm of faith offered to us in the Word and which we receive and grasp through faith, the same will be presented to us there in the revelation. Thus St. Peter says, I Peter 1, that such a gospel will be proclaimed to us, ‘which things the angels desire to look into.’ Therefore it is the same kingdom without there being a difference in knowledge. Now we hear it in the Word; there we shall have the vision itself. Now we believe and hope for it with all Christians on earth; there we will possess it with all the holy angels and chosen of God in heaven.”

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Prayer Requests from Missionaries -2

moma ellen

People protest outside a hospital as Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visits the area after Ebola deaths in Monrovia, Liberia. (Jonathan Paye-Layleh/Associated Press)

Yesterday got this –

September 18, 2014 Dear Friends, Thanks for all your prayers and encouraging words. Some conflicting reports came out today but the latest is that the bodies of the delegation that was trying to educate people on the ebola virus were found, including Moise (Moses). Many hearts are heavy and breaking today. Moses is most certainly with Jesus today, but his family and coworkers remain here, shocked and faced with adjusting to life now without a husband, father, friend, colleague. Please pray for Moise’s wife, his five children, and his friends and coworkers. Blessings, Tim and beth ><>

And this –

(Reuters) – Eight bodies, including those of three journalists,
were found after an attack on a team trying to educate locals on
the risks of the Ebola virus in a remote area of southeastern
Guinea, a government spokesman said on Thursday.
“The eight bodies were found in the village latrine. Three of them
had their throats slit,” Damantang Albert Camara told Reuters by
telephone in Conakry.
However, Guinea’s Prime Minister Mohamed Saïd Fofana,
speaking in a television message that had been recorded earlier,
said 7 bodies of 9 missing people had been found.
He said six people have been arrested following the incident,
which took place on Tuesday in Wome, a village close to the town
of Nzerekore, in Guinea’s southeast, where Ebola was first
identified in March.
Since then the virus has killed some 2,630 people and infected at
least 5,357 people, according to World Health Organization
(WHO), mostly in Guinea, neighboring Sierra Leone and Liberia.
It has also spread to Senegal and Nigeria.
Authorities in the region are faced with widespread fears, misinformation and stigma
among residents of the affected countries, complicating efforts to contain the highly
contagious disease.
Fofana said the team that included local administrators, two medical officers, a preacher
and three accompanying journalists, was attacked by a hostile stone-throwing crowd from
the village when they tried to inform people about Ebola.
He said it was regrettable that the incident occurred as the international community was
mobilizing to help countries struggling to contain the disease.

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Prayer Request from Missionaries

 

ebolaSeptember 17, 2014 > I’m sure you’ve heard about the crisis in West Africa right now. The ebola disease is killing people and spreading even as I write this. This hit home especially for us when we had word that one of our pastors in Conakry, Edward Koffeh, was informed that several of his family members have died from the disease in Sierra Leone. While Edward grieves this news he also has to grieve not being able to travel to that area to be with his family at this time. Being with the family at the time of a family member’s death and burial is extremely important in that culture. So far we’ve only heard of a couple of cases in Siguiri where we live and we pray that it stays that way. >

> Today we had news that the man who started the clinic in N’Zao, near N’Zerekore, Moses, was working with a delegation from the government to help inform people about the disease and how to prevent getting it. A rumor was started that the Clorox they brought along to help in disinfecting was actually the ebola disease. The delegation was attacked and seven people are missing, including Moses. Please, please pray for Moses, that God keeps him safe and uses this to His glory somehow! Moses is a strong Christian man and has done much to advance the health care in his area. His heart was to help stop ebola. > > Father in heaven, we commit Moses to you today and ask for your protection over Him. We know that Your ways are so much higher than our ways. Thank you for Moses and the love that You have put into his heart for Your Word and Your people. Encourage him now. Be with his family and give them Your peace that passes all understanding. And give peace to Edward and his family as he mourns his 7 brothers. Give wisdom to those fighting to stop this disease and bring glory to Your name through all this! Let Your Word go out to Your lost people. In Jesus’s precious name! AMEN!! > > Thanks for praying with us. Please continue daily prayers! > > Tim and beth ><>

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