Friday, December 25, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In the Still of a White Night

It is amazing that with all of the sin and tumult of this world, one can still find the beauty of nature. Tonight, with the snow tapering off, a single star visible in the heavens, a downy white tapestry and snowy silence* show that God is a gracious God. How else would this quietness begging for reflection and awe of the beauty exist so long after the Fall...?

*Snowy silence is my phrase for the absolute quiet during/after a snowfall, especially one that drops quite a bit. If you are familiar with snow, you know what I mean. Every breath of wind is noticeable, and there seems to be no sound around. Our subdivision is like that tonight; seemingly in anticipation of the coming of Christ.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The New Religion

The corruption continues, and man deceives himself. A judge in England has given near-religion status to those of the "Green Movement." The movement is without scientific merit, but those who follow it do so with fervor. And apparently that is enough in England. I am sure those who claim "Jedi" and all sorts of other pantheistic ideas will also be given "true" religion status by the English courts soon. Given the current state of US politics, this may very well be a ruling even within the US within a decade or two. Good Christians- prepare yourselves and your family. The very real battle for your souls is moving from subversive to overt. The End is most certainly near...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Supporting Murder

Apparently some denominations are requesting gov't funds for abortions, or put it more properly, prenatal murder. The article, which isn't long, is here. The article quotes the letter corporately sent as saying that abortion is "morally justifiable." The list of people who should know better includes rabbis, American Baptist, Presbyterian Church (USA) and ELCA. This is a sad note of how far several denominations have drifted from the Word. If only they would heed Christ and not ignore their Savior. Isaiah 5:20 warns: "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" John 16:2 says "They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service." I think we are close to a time where Christians might not be very safe, even in the USA.

We should still instruct these who advocate such detestable things in hopes God will turn their hearts. I pray they repent...

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. " 2 Tim 4:1-4

Thursday, September 24, 2009

God is in Control

Being a father to four kids keeps me on my toes. Last week, my youngest was injured at home while I was taking a required class for work. While the injury wasn't serious, he did require some corrective (but minor) surgery. All is well now, thanks be to God! God has taken care of us always, it just seems more apparent during the trying times.

We have been teaching our kids different hymns, which we sing (a cappella; poorly in my case...) every evening for about a month. We just started singing "Now Thank We All Our God" (LSB 895). It is one of my favorites for both the tune and text. And songs like this are also good to be able to recall during the trying times, and the celebratory times when the trial is over. I hope to imprint these on our children so they have a ready mental hymnbook no matter the time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weedon's Blog

If you haven't seen this yet, it is worth the read. I saw it a while ago, and just didn't have the time to post it then.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"Why Missouri Stood Alone"

Here is a link to an essay prepared for the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod's 75th Anniversary in 1922. In it, I sadly find the very reasons I left the LC-MS, but also the promise that this road has been traveled before, and God's Word has prevailed. You can find the whole text in a Google book copy of the book "Ebenezer." It isn't too long, and well worth the read. The doctrinal strife of the past has set up our current issues, and provides clear context for the modern age.

The following is a very short excerpt to leave you wanting more. The General Synod was the main "Lutheran Synod" at the time, and harshly critical of everything from the Missouri Synod.

"Here is the General Synod declaring, "Our principles not merely allow but actually demand fraternal relations with all Evangelical Christians." The Missourians protest, in the words of Luther, "A man who knows that his doctrine faith and confession is true correct and certain cannot stand together with those who teach false doctrine who side with such.""

Monday, July 27, 2009


In western culture, you only really hear of "martyrs" in the context of sacrificing something less than your life for a cause. The main exception to this is related to the Islamic terrorists that seek to convert by the sword, or, in their modern approach, bomb. However, almost unnoticed in the media was a little story from North Korea. It claims a woman was executed, at least partly, for distributing the Bible. This isn't an outlandish story, it just is almost impossible to verify. From experience, though, I would wager that this happens more than anyone knows, particularly in North Korea. In the west, Christians aren't executed; just maligned, laughed at, and ridiculed. (See any "scientific debate" where someone mentions Creation.) In addition, the culture seeks to normalize Christianity to itself, through introduction of techniques, traditions, and social reforms that sound good and are culturally derived. In the end, they only serve to weaken, divide, and drive Christians to behave more like their unchristian neighbors- self-absorbed, self-righteous, sinful, and otherwise indifferent. In the end, the world wants Christians to be like itself, removing the example, and chalking a win in Satan's vying for souls. Let the story of a modern martyr from North Korea, and of the Saints from millennia before, remind you that evil still prowls. Be vigilant, study, teach your children rightly the Christian faith, and run the race until the end.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Death in the News

The recent spate of death of famous people serves to remind me, as I am sure most Christians, of our mortality and the payment of sin. The very real consequences of this world and its rebellion play out every day. This is why churches must preach God's Word unvarnished, unwaveringly, and to dispense with trivialities of "church growth movement" related nonsense. The Word is already provided in the most effective manner, by God. It worked for Christ (the Word incarnate), it worked for the Apostles, it will work now, and it will always work. This world needs it now, more than ever, if only due to the number of souls alive today. Why people must mess with what works in such a dire, serious situation is beyond my comprehension...

A post on the blog "Letters from Jeremiah" posted C.F.W. Walther's 1883 address at the opening of a new building at the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis. It is well worth the read.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Double Tragedy

Thankfully this has nothing to do with my son. (He is doing well btw). The double tragedy is the shooting of an abortion doctor. Murder is murder, no matter how you try and justify it. The abortion doctor was wrong in providing abortions, and he is paying for that now. No one who does abortions regularly can logically or faithfully call themselves christian. To be clear, God forgives even the cruelest man, provided he has faith and repents (turns away) prior to death. However, those who continue to do things abominable to God are rejected. This is one of those times.

There is a second tragedy here, one more subtle. The second, and possibly more grievous, tragedy is the lack of church discipline. This man was an usher in a church on Sunday, and oversaw the murder of babies from Monday to Friday! He should have been excommunicated long ago. Nothing is worth the continuance of keeping one in the fold who goes against so much of what God says. It also reveals a lack of proper instruction within the church, and the list goes on. It is a tragedy that a murder was committed, and the murder of the doctor was wrong. However, the church (as a whole) better pay attention, because those who do not practice proper discipline might end up likewise being rejected. This is true for all churches within the Church invisible, the bride of Christ.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Train a child...

I ran across an article talking about an award for reciting the 10 Commandments within 20 seconds. This speaks to two areas. One, we have allowed ourselves to do too little study (I am guilty, I am sure we all are...) on what it is we believe, and what it is God expects of us. This last bit is what causes us to seek Him and the mercy within the sacrifice of Jesus.

The other area is how true it is that you must teach your children well. Mine have been memorizing verses and the commandments for a while. We made it part of the evening "bed time" routine. They listen to hymns on CD in the van (they request them vice a radio station!). And they are learning them! We don't have any excuse for avoiding doing this with our children, or ourselves. So quit watching TV or reading the online news (the world doesn't change that fast...), and start reading the Word.

A child should be able to do this challenge easily, and it is sad that the person even felt this was a necessary step. Do you really need $20 grand to start reading the Bible?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Coming Home

After a long wait, my son is on his way home. He should arrive tomorrow. It has been a long road, but thanks to the vocations of the nurses, the technology we are blessed with, God has taken care of him and we get to take him home. God is good!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Life is Precious

Most people realize life has infinite value, and respond in different ways to that understanding. However, people are also agile in rationalizing anything. My experiences over the past 6 weeks has revealed, in new ways, what abortion really means. There is no claim to a "woman's body"- the DNA is different between the two and such an argument is entirely bogus without using much logic. If the DNA is unique, then the real question is when is a life initiated. Christians understand this to be conception. (I am suggesting those who do ascribe to Christianity and yet support abortion are at the least misinformed, with very little distance to hypocrisy and disbelief.) The world is having issues drawing the line, as in keeping with a sinful world. I have seen my son at 11 weeks premature, still abortable in some of the late-term abortion regions. He is definitely an individual, unique and loved by his LORD.

So what is the separation? If you were to look at a person's time-line from conception to death some years 70 years later, for example. The only difference between the two is the time and experiences that life would imbue to them. But experience can't discriminate because it is possible to have fewer, if any, experiences, and still constitute value. So the difference is time, but that still cannot imbue value, lest the 60 year old has more value than a 15 year old. This leaves value being a quality of the life, which would be accurate as God used the Breath of Life to cause life to generate, a gift. The use of time in this case is a nefarious version of "allowed murder." Eugenics, infanticide, and racial purity approaches throughout the globe and history all utilize these arguments. Not a single movement dedicated to life has ever based it on time. It just doesn't withstand basic consideration and logic. May this curse be lifted soon.

As for those worried about the minor issues of "ability" or "rape/incest", murder is not allowed if you are unable to make payments on your house, car, or anything else. That is for you to to trust God and deal with. Not one person has ever lived perfectly able to raise children. It is a growing experience, one God blesses you with, and disciplines you sometimes through it. Rape is a crime, but you must trust God brings good from the worst of the earth (see salvation, just about anytime God uses someone to do something to His and other's benefit). Murder would only compound the crime. In the end, there is always adoption in both cases, which preserves life.

Sorry for the long post, but I am learning the concept of fully hating sin with a passion. I am not perfect and sin everyday. But until you understand the evil and corruption (worse than a horror flick) of a single sin, I don't think you can totally understand the evil of the unrighteous and the necessity of the sacrifice of Christ. Praise God for his mercy! SDG

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blackest of Victories

The phrase you usually hear in movies when there is a succession of kingship is "The King is dead... long live the King!" At first glance this is a strange statement. But, given the context, it makes sense. In the case of Good Friday, the King takes the punishment of the decrepit beggars at his door. The King dies. I am sure Satan paraded around his minons shouting this phrase, assuming he would succeed the King. (Yes, there is no proof of this, and is never alluded. It is just a supposition...) In three days, the King lives again. Satan is defeated. This victory comes through the darkness, though the very evil He forgives. God's way is better than man's way. By far. The words of the common Doxology come to mind: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow..."


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Quick Update

My son is still doing well. There are ups and downs, and he is doing all of the preemie things (forgetting to breathe, heart rate, etc). He recently passed his birth weight and has put on a couple ounces since then. He is taking some food via a tube to his stomach. But he still has episodes where he forgets to breathe or his heart rate drops. We pray for him (and many others are as well) every day at least. We know he is in God's hands and is His child (he was baptized in the NICU on 3/25).

Keep praying for him as the road is long. +SDG+

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My son is doing fairly well. He put on 2 ounces (about 60 grams) in the past 24 hours. This doesn't sound like much, but it is a lot to us. He is on a ventilator now, but it is allowing him to rest and get stronger. He also processed 4 cc's of really basic formula via the stomach (and feeding tube) in 6 hours, another promising development. His color and general vitals are good. Praise God for that.

My daughter went to see him for the second time today. She skipped the way down and was eager to see him. But in the NICU, she was quite serious. A 5 year old has many interesting insights, and she understands this is a serious thing. But she is glad to go. Sometimes, the children give more help to their parents than they sometimes realize.

In keeping with my responsibilities as a father, we are going to have the baptism tomorrow in the NICU. This is a precaution in case things move worse, however this is not an indication of his current trend, just the fulfillment of that portion of my christian duty. We will hold a special service once he is out of the NICU in remembrance of his baptism (I don't think that's the right phrase, but its close enough). +SDG+

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Strength in Weakness

God provides for all of our needs, in ways we don't, and can't, understand sometimes. Sometimes the situation is out of our control, and we only have Him to lean on. This is a true test of faith. This is particularly true of decisions involving children, especially the unborn. This morning I had to take my wife to the hospital at 28 weeks gestation due to preterm labor. As a result, we had to have an emergency c-section to deliver the baby for the good of both mother and child. This is very nerve-wracking and places us with the many unknowns and possible outcomes. In the old days, even as soon as a hundred years ago, this would have been a death knell for at least the child. While our technology is a marvel, and the statistics are good, being that early is always very concerning. It will be at least 72 hours for the immediate "out of the woods", 6 weeks before he can come home, and at least a year of monitoring him to ensure he is healthy. There will be likely repercussions throughout his life.

Because of the weight of these decisions, and the outcome being entirely out of my hands, I was, for all intensive purposes, weak in flesh and mind. There was nothing I could do, and I was helpless. So I prayed. Hard. I learned that to truly pray "not my will but thine be done" is one of the most final, hard things one can do. The sensation to me was similar to the crack of the rifles at a veteran's funeral- complete inability to effect a change, and the total reliance on God. This is the core of faith. This was a situation that takes you beyond your limits, to effect the good of God. Christ's prayers on Gethsemane ran through my mind as I prayed. There is no better teacher than experience, and this is a Lent I won't forget.

Please pray for health for mother and son, strength for the ordeal, and that God's will be done.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


In a rare event, I have posted twice in one night! I just read Pastor Esget's Ash Wednesday's sermon. It is excellent and places the proper emphasis where it belongs. I am always in awe of Pastor Esget's ability to tease out the key aspects and provide them so clearly within the confines of a sermon...

And yes, I am headed to bed... ;-)

Sickness and Lent

There isn't an intended link between the two, even though sin can be considered a mortal sickness that is 100% transmittable. My family is on the tail end of a round of sickness, and I hope we will be able to avoid the stomach bug which is going around. Please wash hands and get plenty of sleep! (As I write this I am thinking of the coughing and nose blowing I have done for the past two weeks... ugh!)

It is also Lent, a time for remembering our sin and God's sacrifice to atone. Human nature is corrupt and sinful. Only through the mercy of God do we have any hope at all. We should discipline ourselves to not only be aware of this fact daily, but also to seek forgiveness and the strength to resist the temptations. Thank God He had a plan of restoration!

One other note for those who might not have seen it- the LC-MS has dropped the suit on the Issues Etc trademark. John the Steadfast has a couple posts- one on the LC-MS, and one on the legalese behind it. This encapsulates one of the reasons I left the LC-MS. The corporate body of the LC-MS acts as if its only interest is in the "brand" and not the Life-Giving Word of God. I cannot abide such hypocrisy in the Church. It sullies the teaching of the children, provides a disgrace to Christendom, and adds fodder to the humanists and non-believers. I am eternally grateful that God can make good things happen out of bad. I will get off my soapbox, and head to bed for the rest I need to get over this illness.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Where is your trust?

With the media reports on the inauguration, we saw more than one person exclaim to the effect that "Obama will save us." With the economy headed downward, the action in Afghanistan heating up, and terrorists still at large, I can see where people might be anxious, nervous, and looking for hope. Where is your hope? Where is your trust? President Obama? Congress? Gov't bailouts of the economy? UN sanctions to put troubled areas at peace? Where you seek your security, there your heart is also. The bailouts are a false hope. Suggesting a President will salve economic ills is fallacy. Do you trust your savings account to keep you secure? In truth, our only security is trusting God to provide our daily bread each day. Any other trust, however momentary, robs God of our faith in Him. I pray you haven't fallen into the trap of trusting any man, machine, or bureaucracy for your daily bread. That which sustains you might come from these things, but God provides. If you have fallen into this trust of worldly things, repent and trust God to provide all. Thankfully our God forgives more debt than any country can cover over.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

ULMA Meeting

Last week I went as the Lay Representative to the ULMA semi-annual meeting. (I know, I wasn't a good blogger and took a week to get to it apologies. ;-)) It was good to meet everyone involved, including laity in charge of the meeting(all men from the member congregations) and pastors. It is refreshing to meet a group who use the Robert's Rules of Order for just that- order. It isn't used to control the meeting as it is in some LCMS District meetings. They are very supportive and their focus is on getting the Word of God out, and taught properly, to the congregations. The lay ran the meeting and voted on several issues, including continuing the support to Agnus Dei (which they did). The pastors do not have a vote but provide theological input (which is sought). This is in keeping AFAIK with Walther's "Church and Ministry" and how much of the LCMS operates congregationally, or at least did. It was a good meeting, especially considering the weather moving through.

I am the third attendee from the lay of our mission church. The experience has been helpful for all of us who have attended. It is very helpful in seeing how this runs and to put faces with names. I wish the LCMS churches I have attended in the past let as many lay go to the conferences and not rely on one person.

For those who think pastor Jack Cascione is THE ULMA, I hate to disappoint, but he has a fairly sidelined position with the direction of the ULMA. I think he talked the least of the pastors there (there were 5), with the lead being taken by the laity in organizing and supporting the day-to-day needs of the ULMA.