28 December 2015

The Monsoon

Well, it started on St. Stephen's Day and it lasted until the sunset of Holy Innocents: a rain like I don't ever remember experiencing in my life. Cindi tells me all told in those three days we topped 10 inches of rain. We battled water in the basement. We had a power loss. We wet-vacced more than I care to remember. Buckets dumped. Dehumidifier dumped. A week ago we had our sump replaced, thanks be to God! It (and the battery backup) got us through this mess. We've got two fans running nonstop and the dehumidifier still going, hoping to stave off any infestation of mold or mildew. I've doused the carpet in Lysol. Whew. The cortisol level equals about three rounds of sprints, I'd say. Not exactly the peaceful vacation I had planned, but what is, is.

25 December 2015

The Nativity Feast, 2015

The beauty of the Midnight Divine Service, the overflowing joy of the Christmas Day Divine Liturgy! Aside from the high points of the Scripture readings, the sermons, the partaking of the most holy Eucharist, also rejoiced in...

...a touch of Praetorius...Carlo's organ feats...John's trumpet...Sweet smell of incense wafting aloft...Choir singing so joyously Mary's Lullaby, Tollite Hostia, and He is Born the Divine Christ Child...All the stanzas of "From Heaven Above"...Luther's incomparable "We Praise You, Jesus, At Your Birth"...The reading of the Kalends at the start of the Divine Service...The place rocking with "Now Sing We" as the procession exited the Church.

A few visuals:

24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

...God is man, man to deliver / And His Son / Now is one / With our blood forever.

05 December 2015

Eve of St. Nicholas' Day

In my old German Bible from CPH, the day of Nicholas the Bishop is provided with an epistle from 2 Corinthians 1:7–9. The Gospel is Luke 12:35–40. The beautiful prayer in Treasury asks that as God bestowed upon His servant Nicholas of Myra the perpetual gift of charity, so He may give His church grace to deal in love and generosity with children and all who are poor and distressed and to plead the cause of those who have no helper. This beautiful ikon of the saint was a gift many years ago from the Jeff Schwarz family:

29 November 2015

Veni Emmanuel

...recorded earlier today to share with my oldest daughter on FB:

28 November 2015

Welcome, Advent!

With the setting of the sun tonight, Advent begins. The older I get, the more I welcome and love the penitential seasons. The collect (prayer of the day) for this Sunday asks the Lord Jesus to stir up His power and come and rescue us from the threatening perils of our sins. 

And this is why we need Advent (whether or not the Christmas tree is up as ours is): we need to be reminded again of what we don't want to really believe. That our sins ARE threatening. That our sins ARE perilous. That our sinful desires need not indulgence, but execution. That this fallen age can never be our true or lasting home. That we need the salvation that comes only from our Savior's gracious visitation. The light begins to grow amid the gathering darkness and intensifying gloom (here in the northern hemisphere) and throughout this strife-torn world: and our sin will never NOT be the enemy of the light, but the light is our hope. It spills out from the cracked open door of our true and lasting home. "Come, Lord Jesus!"

27 November 2015

My mom's home place...

...the front part of the house was built by mom's grandfather, "Daddy Jim," and my grandfather was born here in 1885. The middle part of the house dates back to colonial days and was the miller's house on the Field plantation (Daddy Jim's mom was Catherine Anne Field). The rear of the house was done when I was a teen, replacing a similar one-and-a-half -story section that had stood there when I was a child. Aunt Emma always had goodies baking in the wood cook stove; her light rolls were amazing and her pies of all sorts simply legendary. We'd always come here to gather running pine and cedar and holly branches to decorate our home in Maryland during Christmas. They flourish in the woods to the right of this picture. After mom's funeral, we went back here for the wake; I think it was 21 years ago tomorrow. And, yes, though there was a bathroom added (you can see if just off the back porch), old habits die hard. I still remember regular use of chamber pots, because who would walk downstairs to use the facilities in the middle of the night?

26 November 2015

Our Thanksgiving Feast

Turkey is in oven, table set, wine prepared, cheese (brie, plain and herbed, and 2 year aged cheddar) and smoked sockeye salmon ready for appetizers, sweet potato soufflĂ© ready to slip in oven, gravy underway. Pumpkin pie and chocolate torte ready for dessert. Still to go: roasted taters, green beans almandine, asparagus, and some dinner rolls (really, a sort of yummy popover with tapioca and coconut flour fix). Thinking it's smelling pretty good. 

22 November 2015

It doesn't get better than this...

...this side of the Parousia. We attended early service at St. Paul's this a.m. I was already looking forward to it, for I love the readings and hymns and chants of this Last Sunday of the Church Year. But what a feast! The prelude had just begun when I came in, but I got to hear most of August Homilius' Wachet Auf. The opening hymn was "Christ Is Surely Coming" and the congregation belted it out with some help from Carlo and John on trumpet. The school children were the cantors today and did a great job on the Introit and Gradual. Right after the Gradual, they sang Kenneth Kosche's lovely Bless God's Holy Name in two parts. The hymn of the day was amazing. After the congregation sang the first stanza of Wake, Awake, the school children belted out the same verse again AUF DEUTSCH. Maybe Im silly, but I'm thinking that those walls were happy to hear the old tongue again and many was the saint gathered in heaven who worshipped there at St. Paul's in the old days who beamed and sang along with! And just when it can't get any better...the homily. Pr. Clausing is preparing to serve in Kenya and he preached us the greatest homily ever. The images will stay with me: the overlap right before dawn when the light has appeared and yet the night hasn't gone, perfect image of the church living in the overlap of ages...how vital to stay awake when you're driving at night and not get comfortable, cozy, sleepy...The importance of us not getting too comfortable in this age, but staying awake and alert and how God does the job of keeping us awake and alert as we hear and heed His Word, above all the Word Jesus speaks to us: "for you, for the forgiveness of sins" for we are not destined to wrath but to inherit salvation with our Lord Jesus. It was just amazingly good and delivered with the manifest joy of a forgiven sinner. And when our souls were filled to the full, God in His usual way, gave us even more. Wachet Auf came back during the offering. Bach's "Sleepers Wake" with John doing the trumpet. It was long and I wished it had never ended. But then again, God had even more. We feasted at the Eucharist and the African hymn "When I Behold Jesus Christ" started us off, and then onto Johann Walther's "The Bridegroom Soon Shall Call Us" in that glorious Praetorius setting that virtually makes you dance for joy, especially when John is playing along with his trumpet and then up to the Norse lands for "Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers." All this while the body and blood of the Savior that took away our sins and promises us resurrection filled our mouths. After the thanksgiving and closing liturgy, we sang "The Day Is Surely Drawing Near" and then even MORE gifts. Bach's Fugue in G Major. I walked out smiling for joy and thinking how blessed Kenya will by the Clausings and how blessed we are at St. Paul's to have musicians and pastors determined to fill us with the very best and greatest gifts of our Lutheran heritage. Heart bursting for joy today! "Her star is risen, her light is come" indeed and therefore "will we eternally sing hymns of praise and joy to Thee."

My NC grandkids...

...all ready for Church on Sunday of the Fulfillment. 

21 November 2015

The first snowflakes of the season...

...a brisk walk in the cold, lots of time for reading and chatting, tasty leftovers, a roaring fire and a happy dog. 

Life is good.

17 November 2015

LCMS Worship

has posted a couple links that may prove beneficial. They are very short table devotions, one for Thanksgiving Day and one for the season of Advent. 

Here you go:

Thanksgiving Day:


16 November 2015

Counting down the days...

...to a real vacation. Before I'm done work this week: four more radio shows for Thy Strong Word (Isaiah 11–14), two Issues Etc. shows (Hymn Study on Now Thank We and Issues 24 on John 4,5), a Bible Study for Life Ministry, devotion for Office of National Mission in our ongoing study of Revelation, a sermon on Wednesday on part II of the Athanasian Creed, and playing for service at IC on Thursday. But then a blessed week off with two weekends. Well, still playing at Trinity for both Sundays and singing in St. Paul's choir for Thanksgiving, but there will be many days with no obligations whatever. Can't wait. Earlier "time off" this year was spent working on the book Celebrating the Saints. 

What a Treasure arrived in the mail today!

Matthew Carver (he of the Walther Hymnal and the Herberger goodies) shared with me his latest: Saints Maurice and Catherine DAILY LECTIONARY. That is, the complete set of office readings indicated in the Cantica sacra of the (Lutheran) Magdeburg Cathedral, 1613. The Cantica sacra is a work of some wonder, providing complete instructions for ALL the daily services (Offices and Mass) at the cathedral (Mass was every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, but also any saint day or festival; the daily office was, well, DAILY). But the readings are only indicated in the work. Here, Matt has put them all together in a single volume, using the majestic language of the Authorized Version. Sunday nocturnes for Matins (Vigils), and then readings for each Lauds (Matins) and Vespers on week days, and propers for the saints days. If you put this volume together with the Brotherhood Prayer Book you have a complete and thoroughly Lutheran breviary. Matt points out how the readings largely fit with pre-Reformation schemes, but are expanded. The Apocrypha is not neglected. There are weekday readings in the later Trinity season for Judith, Tobit, and 1 & 2 Maccabees. It's a volume I recommend highly to anyone who wants to "let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly" and particularly to any who regularly use the Brotherhood Prayer Book.


10 November 2015

Dona Gratis Donata

Essays in Hono(u)r of Norman Nagel on the Occasion of His Nintieth Birthday. I'm privileged to have authored one of those. You can order it here.

07 November 2015

Sausage Supper

Years ago... the basement was filled with folks peeling and slicing apples to make homemade applesauce. David and Lauren and Bekah would use their little red wagon to haul them from the basement over to the kitchen in the school. Duane reminded me this morning of little David down there helping out. Not so little anymore.

Nowadays... still make our signature cranberry sauce (Louis and Duane's specialty), and Verna still fries the bacon to stir into the green beans. The sauerkraut is still made the same way, I think. But the set up is far, far simpler. It's a buffet line rather than a family style meal. Still, the vast array of homemade pies will wow and awe. Cindi's contribution:

This will be the first year in the refurbished gym. Looks so amazingly bigger with the lighter and brighter colors. And just as my little ones helped out once upon a time, so the youngsters were out in full force today. Shawn called them the future St. Paul Lutheran Sausage Supper Committee:

02 November 2015

Some sounds and sights from All Saints at the International Center

Homily for All Saints (Rev. 7; Matthew 5)

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

All saints can be a bit awkward when we hear the name of someone we knew and loved mentioned and we think: saint? Well. Not really. I knew them. I lived with them. I’ll not forget my wife’s uncle’s funeral. The man up front jawed on quite a long time and gave such a glowing and amazing picture of Uncle Bill, that finally Aunt Jane leaned forward and whispered kind of loudly to my mother-in-law: Jo, I sure would have liked to have known THAT man! You see, all the family knew that Bill was rather cantankerous and to put it politely quite a handful. And so when my name is added to the list of those remembered on all saints, people who know me would definitely snort: if you think that man was a saint you obviously didn’t know him very well, especially when he was playing cards! And I suspect they’d think the same about everyone of you.

Ah, but today we remember these departed loved ones not as what Luther called “card board saints” but as real saints: that is, very real sinners who failed to love God with everything they had and who failed time and again to love their neighbors as themselves; as folks whose very real sins hurt and at times broke the hearts of those around them, and maybe whose hearts you broke a time or two. And YET. They have all been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. Of the great multitude that surrounds the throne of God and the Lamb, not one is there because they lived their lives perfectly, or even reasonably well. Every last one is there because they washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Baptized into Him, who one is THE Saint in the sense of the perfect one, they have been forgiven and credited with a righteousness, a perfection, a holiness that is pure gift. That’s why they cry “salvation belongs to our God and to the Lamb.” 

So as we remember loved ones today, we don’t have to pretend they were perfect. We don’t have to let death sanitize their memories. The blood of the Lamb has already done that. He’s forgiven them all their sins, even the sins that lurked in their good deeds. Just as He does for you and me. They after all knew that they were poor in spirit, they had nothing to give and everything to receive. And in Jesus, they did receive all. You will too. Amen.

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

01 November 2015

Some sounds

From St Paul's this All Saints day.  As each name of those from our parish who had died since last All Saints was read aloud, solemnly and slowly the great bell was tolled a single stroke. E'en So followed the thanksgiving for the departed. "Rejoice in heaven, all ye that dwell therein!"

28 October 2015

Not exactly sure...

...whether I've been doing it wrong in the past, or whether recent updates have made a difference, but what an absolute joy to complete a LetUsPray task on iPad and submit to Doctrinal Review and it actually take. One step more toward leaving the laptop at work and bringing nothing but iPad with me at home and on the road! 

The longer I've worked with the iPad, the more I really appreciate it. Now, it is not as robust as the laptop but it is so much cleaner and straightforward. When I'm working on it, the distractions are at a minumum. Word for iPad is really an amazingly well-designed program and truth to tell, I like it better than the Word program on the Mac. It's so much cleaner. And the more I work with it, the more it seems to shine. 

27 October 2015

Interesting night and day

Aunt Sandy arrived last night after a sort of last minute trip across country. She'd had surgery this past Friday, but was discharged with zero limitations. Unfortuantely, her latest stitching came undone on the trip. She and Russ got here about 8. We got to the hospital about 9. By the wee hours of the morning, the surgeon was insisting that it did not need to be repaired, but opened and let the infection that had set in drain. So that's where things stand. Sandy has had some antibiotics and is doing well. She is able to eat whatever she wants and hopefully will be discharged tomorrow. THEN we can have that nice visit we planned and I can mercilessly kick her posterior in liverpool (that's the plan, anyway). Russ headed to Michigan to attend to some much needed stuff up there. 

Cin and I got home about 5 a.m. and snatched a few hours sleep before the day began in earnest. She's with Sandy now and will head home here before too much longer. For right now, I think we're both running on fumes, but very happy to have Sandy here with us for a few days. 

25 October 2015

What a glorious Reformation service...

...at St. Paul's. Pastor Ball is no trimmer. So we did ALL of Divine Service V, plus we sang our hearts out on a pile of hymns. Carlo kicked us off with a Bach setting of Ein Feste Burg. The processional hymn was the same in English, with John Thoelke on trumpet with the organ. Our new field worker assisted as book bearer today. After confession, then the Choir and the congregation chanted the Introit responsively, then the Kyrie God Father and All Glory be to God Alone. Following the first reading, the choir sang the Gradual and then "Built on the Rock." Following the Epistle the congregation belted out "Salvation Unto Us Has Come" wechsel-singen, that is, back and forth! Then the procession and the Gospel reading, followed by "We All Believe in One True God, Maker." The choir offered a setting of the opening words of the Te Deum auf Deutsch. Then a powerful and comforting sermon, the prayers, the offering, and the Eucharistic liturgy. Following the Consecration, as the congregation sang "Isaiah, Mighty Seer" pastor censed the altar. The peace and then "Lamb of God, Pure and Holy." During Distribution we managed to sing all of "O Lord, We Praise Thee," "Jesus Christ, Our Blessed Savior," and "In Peace and Joy I Now Depart." The post-communion, benedicamus and benediction and finally the procession out with "Lord, Keep Us Steadfast." And just when you thought it couldn't get any better, Carlo gave us the Widor Toccata and Fugue in d minor. Sigh.

24 October 2015

And whether...

...one member suffer, all the members suffer with it. 1 Cor. xii.26

This is a most worthy cause, people loved by God. Please prayerfully consider:

October 24, 2015

To the Lutheran Churches in the United States,

Greetings to you from Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada in Christ Jesus, our Lord!

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you. Our congregation, Bethel, is the oldest Lutheran church in Thunder Bay, spanning the ages of some 117 years. She is the mother Lutheran church in town. Our congregation has weathered many a storm in her day (for the sake of the Gospel). That we are still here, sounding the peace of Christ each week (and sometimes twice a week) is due solely to the grace of God. 

Yet, we are now at a crossroads. At our latest council meeting this October, it was reported that we have enough funds for only two more months of ministry. That means that following the New Year of 2016 (should we receive no outside assistance) our doors will be closed for good. No more will the Gospel be heralded from this pulpit, no more will repentant sinners kneel before the altar in this place to hear that guilt cancelling word of absolution and to receive the life giving Body and Blood of Christ. It leaves us all filled with deep sorrow. 

Brothers and sisters in Christ, the mission field is not just across seas. The mission field is in the States, in your hometowns. The mission field is here in Canada. The Gospel light of Christ shines forth from Bethel into this city, into this sin-darkened field. Good things continue to happen here. Our gracious and merciful Lord continues to call and gather into His flock. Often, He does so one or two at a time, but that is one or two more people we didn’t have before – one or two more people who have heard the Gospel, believed it, and are saved. 

We are not a large congregation, but we are a faithful congregation. We gather regularly and often in the presence of our Lord in order to receive from His Hand what alone saves. Our cry goes out to our Good Shepherd, in our time of want. Our cry goes out to you, to intercede with your prayers and generosity. With deep humility and urgency, we ask that you please consider supporting our church with a one-time or monthly gift. Donations can be made via check to the address below, or by credit card at www.bethellutheran.ca/support/. Any amount is an encouragement and a blessing. Thank you for whatever assistance you might be able to provide to help this struggling little flock continue to receive the Word and the Sacraments in this place for a while longer! 

O Lord, let this Your little flock, Your name alone confessing, 
Continue in Your loving care, True unity possessing. 
Your sacraments, O Lord, and Your saving Word to us, Lord, pure retain, 
Grant that they may remain our only strength and comfort. (LSB 647 st.2)

In Christ, 

Sam Niemi
Chairman of Bethel Lutheran, on behalf of the Council and congregation

Bethel Lutheran Church
Lutheran Church-Canada
264 Wilson Street • Thunder Bay, Ontario • P7B 1M9
Phone: 807.344.8322 • E-mail: connect@bethellutheran.ca
Web: http://www.bethellutheran.ca/
Pastor: Reverend Jamie Bosma

Nice and quiet day

Cin and I slept in a bit. Then after a bite of breakfast and finishing off a pot of coffee, a haircut! Still can't believe she doesn't get excited about haircut day. The sky was looking a tad threatening, so we elected to stay close to home and just circle the neighborhood twice. We got a few sprinkles, but the real rain tracked to the north. Before we were done, though, a rather chilly wind had sprung up on the backside of the storm. Home for that second pot of coffee, a bit of lunch, and then a project in the garage. Cindi wanted to eliminate a standing caddy that had numerous utensils in it and hang them all in a rack on the wall. Rack hung, utensils hung. Brought the wood holder in and set it up beside the fireplace and filled it and replenished wood in garage. Cin made a fabulous spicy beef stir-fry from Mafetone's site. Then she headed out to bowl and I've enjoyed a very quiet evening at home with only music and Lucy to keep me company. Played music from a CD that many years ago Lee Maxwell had given to me, and remembered that dear friend. Nearly a year now since he reposed in Christ. Tomorrow we will anticipate the Reformation festival. Choir will sing Drummond Wolff's Built on the Rock and also a section from Luther's Te Deum auf Deutsch: Herr Gott, Wir Loben Dich.

13 October 2015

What was that sigh of relief?

Might it have been. Book sent in to CPH. I'm sure there's tinkering yet to come, but it will be at THEIR direction. Meanwhile, I'm not going to think about that project one little bit. 

10 October 2015

Patristic Quote of the Day

The Father willed not to leave us this inheritance, but was wroth against us, and was displeased with us as being estranged from Him; He (Christ) accordingly became Mediator between us and Him, and prevailed with Him... We had offended; we ought to have died; He died for us and made us worthy of the Testament.—St. John Chrysostom, Homily 16 on Hebrews, paragraph 2.

09 October 2015

And a bit more...

The whole sacrifice of Calvary is focused to a point at the Altar. It is brought home and made a reality as I kneel to receive the true Body and Blood given and shed for me. Then it was offered on the Cross, now, in heaven triumphant—through bread and wine. Here I truly touch Calvary, which is now being pleaded by my High Priest. Here I find the secret whereby I can touch my God, the secret whereby divine love can also be born in me and thus radiate through me into the lives of my fellow-men.—The Presence, p. 91.

08 October 2015

A Little Von Schenk

The sins of men were expiated on Calvary. But Calvary which united men with God also draws them up to divine love, so that it now becomes their love. This love, the divine love, the Calvary love, is the only love that is worthwhile.

From all this we draw a mighty conclusion. Why is it that we often fail our fellowmen? Why is it that we fail in our church work? Why is it that we fail in our witnessing, in our mission work? It is because we lack the one thing which will save the world—divine love, the Calvary love. It does not radiate through us.

It is not our human love that the world needs. This is what the world has been trying to tell us church people for a long time. But we will not agree. We place the blame for our failure everywhere but the right place, and then we keep trying to foist our human love, tainted with self-interest, on the world, to which it says: "We don't want it; we don't trust it. We can be just as good, if not better, outside the church."

Why is it the early Christians showed such power? It was because Calvary love, the divine love, radiated in their message and in their lives. That love was irresistible. The fascinating story of the martyrs fertilized the acres of the Church. That love alone will build the kingdom of God on earth. That love is the only missionary policy for us to follow. The pure love of Calvary will draw men up. It is the only love that achieves a final victory. It is the only love which has an Easter. Any other love just leaves ashes.

The Presence, p. 72.

07 October 2015

Catechetical Homily on AC XXV

Text: 2 Samuel 12:7ff.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

People loved by God, “there is no person so lonely as the person left alone with their own sin.” (Bonhoeffer) God, in His great mercy toward us gives us those who confront us in our sin. Who pull back the fig leaves we’ve sown together to cover our sin and do this not to hurt us, but to save us. Nathan was such to David. You know the story. And how David condemned himself: “The man who has done this deserves to die.” “You are the man.” And when confronted, David didn’t offer any excuses. He didn’t attempt to spin the facts. He just stated what is: “I have sinned against the Lord.”

The Lord hadn’t sent Nathan, though, just to confront the sinner and bring him to an honest confession. He had sent Nathan to speak an absolution of sorts. “The Lord also has put away your sin. You shall not die…” I always heard it that way. But then I saw how wrong I was. What Nathan said was “The Lord also has transferred your sin. YOU shall not die…” Instead, the little Son of David would die for the sin of David. Absolution was given full and free to David, but Absolution is never a “it’s okay, don’t worry about it.” It’s always bloody. Our sin demands death: “the wages of sin is death.” So absolution is always anchored in someone’s death. In this case, the little Son of David who is thus a picture of Great David’s Greater Son. Your Lord Jesus. His absolution is never just words. They are words that are true and work because onto He has transferred to Himself all your sin that He might die the death for them, shed His blood for them. The absolution is anchored in the cross.

Lutherans were rather insistent that we recognized that this was a gift not to be trifled with. It was a precious thing and the only way for an anxious conscience to come to peace: the word of forgiveness, spoken by the command of Him whose bloody death backed it up, and whose resurrected lips showed that His sacrifice availed. But we were also adamant that it turned confession on its head to make it a torture and to imply that it only worked if you remembered and named every sin. Nonsense. You can’t. But there are sins that trouble you. Maybe especially the sins you know that have hurt those God put in your life to love and care for. And for those sins, and for that anxious conscience, God’s gift is the absolution. The Apology said it would be a wicked thing to remove the private absolution from the church. We’ve been rather wicked and so we have anxious consciences aplenty. Rather than leave sinners in their sin, we have a gift that we can give. A gift from God, blood secured and as certain on earth as in heaven. It’s for you. And it can set a heart at peace in a way that nothing else can.

The Lord also has transferred your sin. Onto Himself. You shall not die. For He has died for you and in your place.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

05 October 2015

Old Lutheran Quote of the Day

It is true that the church on earth is imperfect and that in its best life, and because of it, it ever grows. But it must have a complete life to have a constant growth. An acorn is not an oak, but the vital force in the acorn is that which makes the oak and abides in it. The question here is, Has the church reached such a clear, binding faith on the great vital questions, not only of individual salvation but of her own highest efficiency and well-being, as justifies it in making them a term of communion and of public teaching? The question is not whether it can reach more truth, or apply more widely the truth it has, but whether what it now holds is truth and whether by seeking more truth by the same methods it can be assured of finding it.—C. P. Krauth, “The Right Relation to Denominations in America,” in Lutheran Confessional Theology in America, 1840-1880, edited by Theodore G. Tappert (New York: Oxford University Press, 1972), p. 130.

Patristic Quote of the Day

Thus, it is necessary for a man that he should be not only justified when unrighteous by the grace of God—that is, be changed from unholiness to righteousness—when he is requited with good for his evil; but that, even after he has become justified by faith, grace should accompany him on his way, and he should lean upon it, lest he fall.—St. Augustine, On Grace and Free Will, Chapter 13.

04 October 2015

Birthday This N That

Fifty-five years. Whew. Where did they all go to?

A great time last night with the family (minus our Herberts), celebrating both yours truly and Meaghan's birthday. Meaghan's is the day after mine. All told we were Andy and Bekah, David and Meaghan, Lydia and Opa and Cindi. 

Cindi made scruptious sloppy joes and cole slaw (in our family you put the cole slaw on top the sloppy joe - bun not needed!). We had homemade ice cream (with sugar for everyone else, with honey for Cindi and me). Cindi made Meaghan a chocolate marvel pie; and I got some gingerbread (yes, it was paleo) on which we piled some of that ice cream and topped it all off with fried apples. YUM.

Today we're heading over to the Van Ulfts for our monthly pinochle game. Let's sincerely hope that I do better at that than at the liverpool we've been playing lately! 

03 October 2015

Diet Update

We've been eating a basic paleo diet for a long time now, but we've expanded a lot on the foods we eat. Some think that there's only one way to eat paleo, but like so many folks on this journey, we've experimented quite a bit over the years and mindfully added in this or that food, to see how our bodies responded.

So we added in sweet taters a while ago, and then taters (superb for their resistant starch), and most lately: oatmeal! It was wonderful to welcome that wholesome food back. We usually sweeten with a wee bit of honey and a handful of blueberries. I'd forgotten how absolutely great a porridge is for breakfast. 

We basically eat a variety of whole foods and try to avoid like the plague highly processed stuff in packages. We shop the outside rim of the supermarket, grow what we can for ourselves, and for our beef, we buy half a cow that lived on the farm less than a mile away from our house. I still try to avoid too much dairy (particularly too much cheese - it just doesn't love me, no matter how much I love it! Instant stomach pains), and we eat veggies whenever we get the chance (they often play a major role in our breakfasts!). 

My weight hangs in the 140's and I feel better at 55 than I ever did at 40. And an essential part of our way of eating is our way of living: a walk of at least 30 minutes every day. Sometimes I run rather than walk, but the walk is key for me for sanity. I have missed maybe a handful of times, but I feel the loss of it right away. Cindi and I are getting ready to head out now for a chilly stroll in just a few minutes. It's just 53, gray skies and a decent wind. Brr.

01 October 2015

Homily at Matins, Thursday of Pentecost 18 (Mark 9:38–50)

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Just when you think you might have some clue about what our Lord is talking about, He throws in a real zinger:

"For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if it has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

What has fire to do with salt? Why will everyone be salted with fire? What does it mean to have salt in yourselves? And what does it have to do with peace with each other?

Remember these words from the Torah:

"With all your offerings you shall offer salt." Salt went with the incense that was burned on the fire as a sweet smelling aroma, pleasing to the Lord. Salt went with the grain offerings that Israel offered to thank God for His mercies. Salt went with every sacrifice that was laid on the Lord's altar.

Ah, does it begin to make sense, then? Everyone will be salted with fire. Everyone is to be an offering. Every life given back to the Lord. So in Luther's baptismal liturgy of 1523, the priest was instructed: He shall now take the child, put salt into his mouth, and say: N., receive the salt of wisdom. May it aid thee to eternal life. Amen. Peace be with thee. 

"Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another."

Salt goes with every sacrifice. And in Baptism, you have been given back to the Father as a sacrifice. But for that sacrifice to be pleasing, it needs the salt. What is that salt? Is it not the Lord Jesus Himself? Is HE not the salt that makes of your life an acceptable offering to the Lord? 

St. Ignatius thought so. When writing to the Magnesians he said: "Let us not therefore be insensible to His kindness, for if He were to reward us according to OUR works, we would be done for.... Lay aside therefore the old sour leaven and be changed into the new leaven which is Christ. Be salted in Him, lest any of you should be corrupted, since by your odor you will be recognized." 

As blind Isaac smelled the fragrance of His older son and so bestowed the blessing upon Jacob, clothed in his older brother's garments, so Your mother the Church has wrapped you up in the garments of Jesus in your baptism and presented you as an offering to the Father, salted with Christ, and He smells His Son's odor upon you, no scent of corruption, and blesses you with every blessing that is Christ's. 

As His baptized, Jesus summons you to see your whole life a sacrifice of thanksgiving to His Father, and that the sacrifice may be acceptable, He reaches you the salt, Himself! And it is only when your life is such a sacrifice, a gift received and then offered back to the Father, salted thoroughly with the Son of God and His own pure life of love, that we can then have the last bit of that reading: "be at peace with one another." 

Peace with one another comes not as something you chase after, but only as a by-product of lives offered to the Father in the Son and by the Spirit. Let me say that even more bluntly: Koinonia must first be koinonia with HIM and only then can there be koinonia and peace between brothers. Only as your life is offered in sacrifice to the Father and salted with Christ can you have peace with each other.

We used to confess our lives as offering all the time in the general prayer. I miss those prayers. A lot. Do you remember these words? Receive, O God, our bodies and souls, and all our talents, together with the offerings we bring before thee, for by His blood Thy Son hath purchased us to be thine own, that we might live under Him in His kingdom. Or this one: Accept, we beseech thee, O God, our bodies and souls, our hearts and minds, our talents and powers, together with the offerings we bring before thee as our humble service. 

We used to pray one or the other of those every single week, and so our liturgy reminded us constantly that our very lives were not our own. Rather, in Christ we have been offered, consecrated, made holy to the Father, acceptable by the blood. Salted with the fire of Calvary and so well-pleasing to our heavenly Father.

When your life is His, not yours, then peace is simply the gift in which you live. Peace with Him through Christ. By Thee are given the gifts of heaven! Peace with one another through the Spirit. The salt of Christ holding at bay the corruption of sin and making you fragrant with His love. 

You know, maybe its time to dust off those old prayers and put them to use again. 

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

27 September 2015

Yes, they are absolutely adorable

and I might just be a LITTLE prejudiced. My four grandchildren enjoying a tea party.

Random thought from today's homily

Pastor was explaining a bit about dropsy, that it's what we call edema. It occurred to me that there is a massive unity then between the two parts of that Gospel in Luke 14:

There are those who experience a physical dropsy or edema, a swelling in the body of fluids.
There are those who experience a spiritual dropsy or edema, a swelling of the soul in pride.

He came that we might be healed from both, and to heal us from both He humbles Himself to the way of the Cross where His heart is pierced that water and blood might flow out, squelching in His humility our silly swellings of pride. And when He reaches us His body and His blood at the table, He guarantees already our future bodily healing and begins already the healing of the soul by the gift of His own humility.

Liturgical Thought for the Day

Crossposted from my Facebook page:

Said to a friend of mine: 'The problem with you liturgy guys is that you're stuck in the past.' 

Um, exactly wrong. The liturgy is all about the future: it's the celebration and very gift of the future age reached to us in the present for us to live from. It's not that the use of the historic liturgy binds you to the past. Oh, sure it joins you to the community of those who throughout the ages have lived, quite literally, from the age to come. But it is Contemporary Worship by its very definition that is intrinsically time-bound and possessed by a myopic approach that chains you to the sad world of the present, and suggests that the present suffices! 

26 September 2015

The New Rules

Folks, I simply don't have time or energy to engage in internet arguments, particularly those from folks who strike me as simply being contentious. So, if your response strikes me that way, it's going to just disappear. No explanations, no debate. It just goes "poof." I figure folks are more than welcome to set up their own sites and argue to their hearts' content. But not here. I'm happy to try to answer any honest inquiries as time allows, of course.


Big belly laughs... the way his eyes would vacate when his mind was processing data... ridiculous amounts of White Castles to get us through the annual school board budget fiasco... an unfailing gentleness... the post-school board meeting over beer in the garage... the day we ate together at the Mexican joint in Clayton and laughed our way through lunch... the horrid hole from the brown recluse bite... Bopper and Kevin deciding to give each other a bear hug with me in between at one of the girls' volleyball games... the sheepish look when he knew he was supposed to and he hadn't (usually CHURCH!)... My friend, you will be missed indeed. Rest in peace!

23 September 2015

Catechesis on AC XXIV

Selections from AC XXIV:

Our churches are falsely accused of abolishing the Mass. The Mass is held among us and celebrated with the highest reverence. 2 Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved,.... 6 No one is admitted to the Sacrament without first being examined. 7 The people are also advised about the dignity and use of the Sacrament, about how it brings great consolation to anxious consciences, so that they too may learn to believe God and to expect and ask from Him all that is good. 8 This worship pleases God ...Paul severely threatens those who use the Eucharist in an unworthy manner, “Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27).  Therefore, when our priests were warned about this sin, private Masses were discontinued among us, since hardly any private Masses were celebrated except for the sake of filthy gain....But Christ commands us, “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19). Therefore, the Mass was instituted so that those who use the Sacrament should remember, in faith, the benefits they receive through Christ and how their anxious consciences are cheered and comforted. To remember Christ is to remember His benefits. It means to realize that they are truly offered to us.

In the name of the Father...

The accusation was: "You guys got rid of the Mass!" That is, the changes that the Lutherans had introduced into the liturgy were of such a kind and weight that their opponents actually thought they destroyed the liturgy itself. The Lutheran response was little short of "Hogwash. That is a lie. We've done nothing of the kind."

To prove their point, the Lutherans insisted that they KEPT the Mass and that they observed it with the highest reverence. They could even honestly protest that they still used most of the ceremonies, in other words, the human customs that have been added to the Supper's celebration across the centuries.

Of course, what Lutherans DID do was to dump the prayer that surrounded the Words of Institution. Not that most folks noticed, because it was, after all, prayed in silence by the priest as the choir was singing the Sanctus and Benedictus. The only point at which the people even connected with that silent prayer was when the bells were rung, signaling the consecration. And yet this was prayed in silence as well. They only knew it had happened by the priest elevating the consecrated host first and later the chalice. This prayer asked for things which failed the Scriptural litmus test. Asking God to be gracious to us because of the surplus merits of various saints (a massive pile of which were named out), asking God to accept the sacrifice that we were offering and make it availing for those for whom it was specially offered, and so on.

In a nutshell, the problem with the prayer was that it read the Words of Institution backwards. Not God saying to us: "Take, eat, drink, for you." But us saying to God: "Here, you take and then bless us on account of this." Do you see the massive difference? When God was trying to give us a priceless gift, we're shoving it back up to heaven!

Lutherans have NEVER disputed that the very sacrifice of Calvary (as a noun) is what is present in the Supper. What we dispute is that the pastor or the pastor and the people sacrifice (as a verb) this to God, even in some unbloody and mysterious way. Jesus didn’t say: “Take and offer!” He said: “Take and eat for here is the sacrifice I offered once and for all on Calvary’s tree, and now I give it to you for your forgiveness for you to receive, believe, and rejoice in.”

No, we could justly protest. We keep the Mass. We have no intention of letting go this ancient and lovely liturgy, even if we do dispense with a prayer that's been in it for a long time. We recognize that not everything that grew on that liturgy over the centuries is of equal value or worth. Some things ended up actually obscuring of the gift itself, and so  these have to go. Like doing the whole liturgy in a language no one understands. Or like treating the human ceremonies as if they were more important than the actual gifts of God. Or offering to God what He is trying to give to us. But anything that extolls and confesses what God is up to when He summons His people together to give them the memorial of the new and everlasting testament of their Divine Redeemer, all that we rejoice to keep.

Or at least we did and we still say we do. If we are not observing the customary ceremonies with the highest reverence, the solution is not to conjure up some ceremonies and reverence. The solution is to stop and take thought again of exactly WHAT and WHO is present in the consecrated elements and WHY He comes among us in that mysterious way. Then to weigh what best confesses His presence and the gifts He brings. That will always land you back in the liturgy again, because it's just hard to come up with a better way to confess this than all those previous generations of Christians have done. This is liturgy not as legislation or the Augsburg Confession as some canon law; this is liturgy as prayed version of the Church's confession of faith.

Look, if on the altar and in your hand and in your mouth is the very body and blood of the Eternal Son, through whom you and this entire creation came into existence, who in the fullness of time was born of the holy Virgin, taking on a human nature, that once hung upon Calvary's cross, suffering and bleeding, to wipe out your sins, that rose from the grave to free you from death, and even now sits at the right hand of the Father ruling all things, that will appear in glory at the Day of the recreation, if all that’s so, then highest reverence simply follows in all our receiving and handling of this astounding gift.

In the name of the Father…

18 September 2015


To wit, we all were under sin and punishment. He Himself, through suffering punishment, did away with both the sin and the punishment, and He was punished on the Cross.—Chrysostom on Colossians 2. 

I think someone forgot to tell him that the fathers don't teach the Western heresy of penal substitution....

16 September 2015

Today's Catechesis

On Augsburg Confession, Article XXIII:

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

An old joke. Two young catholic lads see a Lutheran pastor walking down the street in his clerical collar and one cheerfully calls out: “Good morning, Father!” But his friend whispers in his ear as they pass him: “That man’s no Father; he has three kids!”

Is that okay or not? Pastors being married and having families, I mean. Obviously it was in the New Testament. We heard it today from St. Paul. “Husband of one wife” (which also implies that he’s a man, not a woman; at least it would have implied that when it was written!). “managing his household well. With all dignity keeping his children submissive.” But at the time of the Reformation this was one hot issue. 

Rome had long enforced the discipline of their clergy not being married.  By the time of the Reformation that discipline had calcified through long custom to be regarded as sacrosanct, so that a pastor marrying and having sexual relations with his wife was regarded as a sin and scandal. 

And what did the Church get for setting aside the Word of God on this and trying to come up with a better way? What the Church always gets when it presumes to know better than the divine Word. Disaster and scandal. Our confessions allude to the scandals and make it clear that the recent child abuse and such have long, sad histories. In His Word, God reveals that He made us sexual beings. He made us to be drawn to the opposite sex and to long for the gift of children. Marriage, contrary to what people think today, is not a human construct, something we dreamed up. It’s a divine gift. And to squelch the gift as though we could do it better another way always invites all kinds of heart-ache and trouble. You know the truth of that. You know that every time you’ve tossed a clear word from God and turned to your own way, it only brought sorrow. The Reformers ditched this hurtful tradition.  They restored the ancient practice of allowing any who did not have the gift of celibacy to embrace the gift of marriage. 

The Reformers could do this with a clear conscience because they were blessed to have some very clear words of God to guide them on this matter. The big cheeses in the church, the Church hierarchy, could holler and scream and stomp their feet all they wanted, insisting that married priests weren’t allowed. The Sacred Scriptures trump any tradition of the Church every single time. And the Scriptures are clear that pastors may be married, that denying marriage is actually a doctrine of demons. 

And think of this: since the Pastor in his office represents not his own person but the Person of Christ, who is the Bridegroom of His Church, the married Pastor serves as an icon in his relationship to his wife, of what Christ is to His bride, the Church. You know how Paul unpacks the Gospel itself from the relationship of husband to wife in Ephesians 5. He loves her, He gives Himself up for her, He sanctifies her by cleansing her with the washing of water through the Word so that He can present the Church to Himself as His bride, flawless, no spot, no wrinkle, no blemish. Gloriously perfect in His eyes. And that’s how husbands are to love their wives. Even and especially husbands who are called as pastors. So a man leaves his Father (think incarnation) and His mother (think at the cross) and is joined to His wife. Think new Adam where His side is pierced and out flow the blood and the water, the Eucharist and Baptism, whereby the Lord’s bride is formed. A profound mystery, says St. Paul, and it refers to Christ and the Church.

So, people loved by God, no, marriage is not something sordid and sexual relations between husband and wife is not something dirty and defiling that we need to keep the clergy away from. No. Let them lead the way in showing that marriage is holy and splendid and a gift of God. Let them serve in their love of their wives as a mirror of the love of Christ for His Church. 

"That man isn’t a father. He has three kids." Maybe he’s no Roman Catholic priest, but he’s a man under obedience to the Word of God and freed by it to receive and rejoice in all the gifts that God has for His people, including the gift of marriage. 

In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

16 July 2015

Where'd he go?

He's got his fingers busy typing, trying to finish up a book by a deadline for CPH. No blogging or FB or even ALPB until the book is DONE. Then I'll be back. Till then, the Lord's richest blessings to each of you visitors!

14 July 2015

A Paleo Triumph

I DID it! I ate chicken livers. Cindi made them smothered with onions. No, not quite as tasty as the chicken curry she served over cauliflower rice with veggies, but it was still, well, eatable. An organ meat consummed. How about that? Mark Sisson, I'm making slow progress. 

11 July 2015

What a Wonderful Saturday!

After that cold bout, it feels GREAT to have some heat and warmth. Cin and I had breakfast, coffee, and Treasury this a.m., and then headed out for a long and leisurely walk up to the farm.

Oh, and most hysterical: Sawyer's FactTime this a.m. He's colored on himself with markers. Two tatoos, he informs us, just like Nana. We about split a gut.

Got back and she cut my hair (I LOVE haircut day...I keep trying to get her as excited about it as I am!). A bit more coffee and then pool time. First I vacuumed, while Cindi pulled stuff out of the garden (eggplants, tomatoes, cucumber). We floated a bit. Drank some NorCal margaritas (gosh those are perfect in the heat!), and then some more floating. LPR was playing and we got to hear We All Believe, All Glory be to God on High, and E'en So. Could life get better? A bit of leftovers for lunch.

Cindi's planning on tackling some weeding. I reminded her that the last time I assisted her in this chore she lost her hibiscus (come on, in early spring it LOOKS like a weed). So I'm going to find something else to occupy my time. And then some more pool time after a bit of break from the sun.

02 July 2015

More Pics from Gottesdienst, St. Louis

You really missed a great conference if you weren't at this Gottesdienst extravaganza. Of course, the worship was refreshing and joyful, but the presentations and discussions were outstanding. Pr. Larry Beane, Pr. David Petersen, Pr. Heath Curtis...each delivered thought-provoking papers, and the open disagreement about how to proceed in the panel discussion toward the end, was actually quite illuminating. Adam as head of the three hierarchies: husband, priest, king. A letter from Madison to our very own St. Matthew's in Manhattan. The pre rehearsal rehearsal for the wedding. Keep your eye out on Gottesdienst Online to see if the papers are posted.

01 July 2015


Friday, Bekah and I headed to NC for Flynn's baptism. Long drive, but we got in before dark. Was so great to see my beloved again and the Herberts. Baptism was at early service Sunday:

Was great to visit with Jim Huffman, Lauren's godfather that day too. Missed Amy, though. 

Monday we were up early and off to home. Got in at 5:30 and the Beanes and Dave joined us for supper at 6:45. Leo took advantage of the pool while the grown ups visited. 

Tuesday was Gottesdienst conference on marriage with several outstanding presentations and worship opportunities. 

And then had great visit with Pr. Loesch.

Missionary Orientation wraps up tomorrow with another great group being sent forth. Divine Service is at 2! Join us if you can. 

22 June 2015

You know my favorite part of Missionary Orientation?

Chapel! Chapel with the sounds of CHILDREN!!! The most unnatural thing about Chapel at the Synod's International Center is how quiet it usually is. All adults. Blah. I love these weeks when young people are all over the building AND making noise in chapel. And to think these kids will grow up on the mission field and will always be marked by that experience. So very exciting indeed!

Blown away

I was utterly blown away by receiving this at the Making the Case Conference in Collinsville this past weekend:

I am humbled beyond words to be in the company of such men as Dr. Feuerhahn and Pr. Klem Preus. And I want to THANK Issues, Etc. for providing an ongoing catechetical forum and for allowing me to teach on the subjects of liturgy and hymnody which are so dear to me. Today marks the 29th anniversary of my ordination into the Office of the Holy Ministry. It's been an overwhelming blessing to me to share the joy of Christ's forgiveness in preaching and prayer and song. 

11 June 2015

Welcome, Joshua Flynn

Born early this morning to Lauren and Dean Herberts, our fourth grandchild and second grandson. He'll be known as Flynn. And here he is wrapped in a blanket his Nana made him:

08 June 2015

Logitech, welcome back!

After I got my first iPad, I saw the keyboard that a friend of Dean's had and fell in love with it. A logitech. I got one and it worked well. Then when I bought a mini, I ended up buying the keyboard to go with it from logitech. It took a bit of getting used to, but soon I was flying along on it. Small keys ended up being no problem at all. Probably helps that I have small fingers!

But alas, a drop or three and it would no longer hold my iPad mini upright. I had to get rid of it. A couple months ago I tried out a couple different options, and ended up taking one of them back (the Zagg, it always typed double letters) and bought a cheaper model. It worked okay for a while. And then IT started the double letter thingy. I tossed it and have been using the keyboard on the screen, which I really, really do not like.

Today Cindi surprised me with an early father's day gift: A NEW LOGITECH! YEAH!!! I've been typing up a storm since she gave it to me. It is really the very best little keyboard. And I'm going to try really hard NOT to drop this one...

06 June 2015

I really DO love music...

...and the way it accompanies the heights and depths. This past week I played for a wedding last Saturday (including a risky Trumpet Voluntary from memory that actually did fly!), then for a service on Sunday, then for chapels last Thursday and Friday at the International Center, then for a funeral today of one of the sweetest and most wonderful ladies it has even been my privilege to know (during that I accompanied David as he sang Fleischmann's outstanding "Little Lamb"), then for service tonight, and will play (God willing) for service tomorrow.

I love music beyond words, but get more than a tad nervous at public performance. Still, there is something so awesome about assisting the people of God in offering their sacrifice of praise. The joy ends up outweighing the terror.

AND every once in a while there's a hymn that gathers into itself the heights and the depths and offers a a glimpse of sublime glory. I got to play such a critter twice today: "Lord, Thee I Love." Truly one of my all time favorite hymns; indeed, my favorite of all the favorites.

And what a joy to play! There is something about pulling back at the start of stanza three and then letting all heaven break loose with the "And then from death awaken me..." Only, the organ can't make the sound big enough, bright enough for that moment. But it can give a foretaste of resurrection joy.

Which is all a way of saying: Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of music! For the songs of Your Church to accompany and accomplish our journey through the ups and downs and finally home to You.

"And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 35:10

"Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend, and I will praise Thee without end."

05 June 2015

33 Years

That's how long Cin and I have been married as of today. And we've been friends for the past 44 years, and this year we both turn 55.

We had a hoot of a conversation this morning thinking of all the weird things we've done that we'd never have believed we would ever do when we were just getting married. It's been a wild and crazy ride, but wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. Cindi, you're the only person in all the world that I would ever want to make this journey through life with! Love you!

04 June 2015

Thursday's Chapel

Daily Prayer for Morning, p. 295.

Psalm 29

A reading from Romans 11:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

This is the Word of the Lord. R.

Glory. It’s a word we throw around quite a bit in the Church. And that’s meet, right and salutary since, as St. Paul notes: All things are from Him and by Him and for Him to Him be GLORY forever!”

Glory is our way of saying: “Blessed are You who created us, the source of our being.You continually sustain our life and give to us all good things for us to enjoy just because You are our Father and You love us. And in His temple all cry GLORY!”

Glory is our way of saying: “What a God you are! Who’d a ever thunk it! Your mercy is over all that You have made. And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Glory is our way of saying: “Thank you for loving-kindness, for not dealing with us as our sins deserve! And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Glory is our way of saying: “Thank you for Your love, for sending us Your Son, for making Your Son our brother, and for His blood that covers the sin of the whole world in Your sight and sets us free! And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Glory is our way of saying: “Praise be to You for the gift of Your Spirit so that we can believe in You and know You and love You and serve You and even reign with You! And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Glory is our way of saying: “Hallelujah for the world that is coming, for the Appearing of Christ, for Love burning up and destroying all that is not love, for a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness dwells, for death’s defeat and the grave’s reversal. For an eternal home where there are no more good byes and all tears are wiped away by a nail scared hand. And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Glory is our way of saying: “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, You blow us away with Your tender kindness! You are an abyss of forgiveness, an unfailing fountain of pardon, a Trinity of persons that is a Love that is beyond all height, depth, breadth or any measure we can think of. And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Glory is way of saying: “We’re out of words. We’re astonished and humbled and filled with over flowing joy. And in His temple all cry GLORY!!”

Oh, you can do better than saying it. You can sing it!

Glory be to God the Father! – LSB 506

Our Father…

Our Father...

Glory, forever and ever!

Glory to You, King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Glory to You!

Glory to You for the promise that You welcome our prayers, that You invite us to cast on You every burden of our heart.

Glory to You for the people you’ve given us to love and whose burdens we now raise to You: Felicia, Allen, Jan, Cindy, Pastor Christiansen and Lori, and for all who cry out to You for healing and for peace.

Glory to You for the love that enwraps us and holds us. Bring us finally to share with all Your saints the Feast that never ends, to hear with our ears the triumph song, and to see with our eyes the face of Mary’s Son, our eternal King and will all those in the temple to cry: Glory!

I thank You…

Let us bless the Lord. R.