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Ichabod explores the Age of Apostasy, predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, with an emphasis on UOJ, Church Growth, and Emergent Church heresies. The antidote to these poisons is trusting the efficacious Word in the Means of Grace. John 16:8. Most readers are WELS, LCMS, ELS, or ELCA. This blog also covers the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, and the mainline denominations.
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     Norma A. Boeckler


    The Second Sunday after Trinity, 2018 







    Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

    The melodies are linked in the hymn name. 
    The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.
    The Hymn #466                 Christ Thou Art
    The Confession of Sins
    The Absolution
    The Introit p. 16
    The Gloria Patri
    The Kyrie p. 17
    The Gloria in Excelsis
    The Salutation and Collect p. 19
    The Epistle and Gradual
    The Gospel
    Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
    Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
    The Nicene Creed p. 22
    The Sermon Hymn #371       Jesus Thy Blood                       

    Abraham Father of Faith

    The Preface p. 24
    The Sanctus p. 26
    The Lord's Prayer p. 27
    The Words of Institution
    The Agnus Dei p. 28
    The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
    The Benediction p. 31
    Norma A. Boeckler

    KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. 14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

    KJV Luke 14:16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

    Second Sunday After Trinity
    Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee, that through Thy holy word Thou hast called us to Thy great supper, and we beseech Thee: Quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not hear Thy word without fruit, but that we may prepare ourselves rightly for Thy kingdom, and not suffer ourselves to be hindered by any worldly care, through Thy beloved Son. Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.



    Abraham Father of Faith


    Romans 4 King James Version (KJV)

    What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
    Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
    13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
    14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
    15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
    16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
    17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
    18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
    23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Background
    Many would say that Moses is the key figure in the Old Testament, but Abraham is the key figure from the Old Testament in the New Testament. Briefly -
    The binding of Isaac is a foreshadowing of the Father giving His Only Son, portraying this in human terms, so those who knew this very unusual episode would see the meaning behind it - Christ, the substitute sacrificed on the cross.


    • Genesis 15 - Abraham justified by faith
    • Matthew 1:1; Matthew 8:11
    • John 8 - Before Abraham was, I AM. 
    • Luke 1:73 - The oath sworn to Abraham
    • Luke 16 - Lazareth - In the bosom of Abraham
    • Acts 3:25 - "It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.'
    • Galatians - Abraham as the example
    • Hebrews 11:8
    • James 2:21 - Abraham justified
    Paul made it clear in many ways that someone is either justified by works, which is utterly wrong, or by faith.

    Justification by Faith - Reason for Hate

    Romans 4 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    The Epistle lesson on brotherly love reminded me of Luther's great insight about the persecution of Jesus. Most are content to wonder about Jesus being kind, generous, gracious, and working miracles - so why was He hated and put to death.

    The answer is before us - He taught Justification by Faith in Him, the righteousness of faith. Therefore, He opposed the popular notion of righteousness through works, which the Pharisees represented so well. And don't we have them in droves today?
    1. I refuse to eat meat - carrying a leather purse.
    2. I only stay at hotels where I can open the window. 
    3. He mentioned infant baptism and I walked out of the room.

    The term "virtue signaling" is a clever one, because it protrays the modern works-saint so well. The signal is far more important than the works, because that kind of virtue is hard to maintain.

    We get the same virtue signaling among the synodocrats, who say
    • I am the fifth generation in this denomination...
    • My father is...
    • The Holy Spirit appointed me as circuit pastor...
    Those who deny Justification by Faith necessarily rely on Justification by Works, and their language betrays them.

    Abraham was a great leader, the head of a vast enterprise, and a brave man. These are boasts before men, but not before God. The Scripture says that Abraham believed the Promise that he would be the start of a line that led to the Savior of the World, and that faith was counted as righteousness. He was justified by faith in the Christ who was coming many centuries in the future.

    This Justification by Faith makes enemies and causes hatred, because it denies the righteousness of works. This is the core Christian teaching. One may boast about Christ or boast about his own greatness. Ask someone about the solution to human problems. If it is the Gospel of faith in Jesus, then they are in harmony with Christ. If they have clever, wise solutions, based on surveys and studies, they are relying on the wisdom of man.

    People may reject Genesis 15, but they are rejecting the Scriptures when they do. More importantly, they are shunning the entire New Testament, because Abraham's faith is the message which connects the Old Testament to the New Testament. 

    Why do Lutherans bicker about the common cup versus individual glasses; the Christian flag in the chancel; church and ministry; etc. etc. etc. etc. etc? Answer - because they cannot deal with the Gospel, the Chief Article.

    Nothing is unclear in the opening to Romans 4,  a chapter which builds upon Romans 3. Romans 1-3 is mostly concerned with condemning all forms of works-righteousness, but 3 transitions into Justification by Faith, including the often ignored Justification by Faith of Jesus (also in Galatians and Philippians). 

    Note too that Paul did not write verses or chapters, he wrote formal epistles, which we would call essays today. He observed the basic rules of rhetoric in arguing his points and supporting his arguments. Citing verses alone or even phrases is a sign of literary ignorance and Scriptural rebellion. The Bible is one unified truth, not a collection of sayings to be used creatively or dishonestly.

    The Bible is the first hyper-text linked document, long before the computer age. Every verse is connected to all the others. Some of the great Biblical expositors saw this, Luther most of all. But that has been largely forgotten in the fever to make a case for one sect or another. Jesus did not die for the capital fund campaign of a college, and Paul did not raise money for the budget. Paul collected the money for others, for the poor. Synodocrats gather money for themselves, keep it mostly for their salary and benefits (I meant "mission") and impoverish their students for the rest of their lives, with student loans and peevish removals from the teaching or preaching office.




    Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    I hate to admit this, but fellow Lutheran pastors argue for the entire world being forgiven and saved, saying "He justifies the ungodly."

    Paul speaks of working for pay, for a reward, but that is not true justification. Forgiveness comes to him (the individual) who believes in God who justifies the ungodly. That individual alone is counted righteous...and that is without works.

    Paul does not speak of the entire world being forgiven and saved. What better moment to bring that up! Yet seminary professors like John Sparky Brenner write about "The Justification of the World," and ones like David Scaer openly mock Justification by Faith. Did Walther and JP Meyer write the Bible, or did the Holy Spirit.

    In this little section quoted, once again, forgiveness or righteous belongs to those who believe in God, and Jesus is the Face and Voice of God. The fullness of the godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians).

    The sentences that are 6 and 8 emphasize the justification of the individual who believes - verse 7 all those who believe.

    Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
    13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    How blind someone must be to cite Romans 4 about Justification without Faith when the Apostle teaches Justification by Faith repeatedly in the same chapter.

    Paul, as the Apostle to the Gentiles, was anxious to emphasize the Old Testament anchor of the Gospel, but also importance of faith over ritual law. Abraham was justified without circumcision, which should be taught, not justified without faith, as certain clowns and wolves do.

    Long before anyone imagined it, this made the Gospel universal, because it did not demand ritual obedience, which is at the heart of all religions - except Christianity.
    Abraham became the Father of Many Nations because justification by faith, even though God chose to keep His people together through kosher and ritual law.

    As Paul said in conclusion of Romans 3, faith does not destroy the Law but establishes it. Our sinfulness is easily shown in the perfect mirror of the Law.

    Note that Justification without Faith fanatics support Antinomianism - no Law, everything is already forgiven, and everyone is already saved. This is the heart and soul of mainline apostasy. To study where this is going, read about the Unitarians, what they teach, and what they advocate - R to X rated.

    14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
    15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
    16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
    17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    The Promise was not based upon the Law but faith. This can be translated easily, without kosher. Many base their righteousness on their earnings, or their relatives. One DP said, "My grandfather was..." I was not sure how that made him a better person, but that is one of those strange assumptions, that the institutional church is maintained in its greatness by the descendants of founders, aka Names. We can see where basing the Promise on the Law (of descendants) has gotten the Lutherans. Other denominations are similar. The descendants can do nothing wrong, so the wreckage they cause is excused. "His grandfather was..." spoken in reverend awe and wonder.

    18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed [counted as] to him for righteousness.



    Abraham's faith was also demonstrated in the way he obeyed God in the binding of Isaac. (I see a parallel in letting Lazarus die, because Jesus knew that raising his friend would precipitate His own torture and execution.) What Abraham did was for generations to come - to demonstrate what it means to give one's beloved son, and secondly to know the Son is our substitute, a complex lesson.

    Abraham believed he could be a father, and even stranger, that Sarah could be a mother. (Does this shed light on the Six Day Creation? Of course. God's will through the Word is instaneous, as required.)

    Remember Isaac had the nickname of Chuckles because Sarah laughed at the idea. Isaac is close to the Hebrew word for chuckle. "I did not laugh." Angel - "But you did."

    The righteousness of God is counted because of faith in the Savior. The blowhards mock this, because they have blinded themselves to the Word - such is the efficacy of the Word for those who obstinately reject it.

    Two More Segments of This Argument
    I. Romans 4:23-25
    23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    Genesis does not record Abraham's righteousness by faith merely for Abraham, that he was counted forgiven. 

    But it was also written for us. We are counted forgiven IF we believe on Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Jesus was betrayed into the crucifixion by Judas, to pay for our sins (Isaiah 53). He was raised from the dead to strengthen our faith in Him, by whom we are counted as innocent, forgiven, saved for eternal life.


    Summary of Romans 4
                                 II Romans 5:1-2
    5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Paul did not use chapters and veses, so we can clearly see that the opening of Romans 5 is the conclusion-transition of Romans 4.

    The Greatest of Justification by Faith
    As Luther said, this Chief Article is slippery because of our human failings. That is our tendency to blame, accuse, hold grudges, and punish in various ways. So we must practice this article daily, setting aside past wrong, real or imagined. 
    The perfect mirror of the Law shows us that we are just as fallible as anyone else, so we should not be counting wrongs but counting blessings.
    This does not include destructive behavior, which we have to avoid and/or admonish. I enjoyed working with one fellow, but I had to tell him that he had wrecked his life with alcoholism, which was the root cause of his money problems. The sad facts are - it got even worse for him.
    And forgiveness does not apply to persistent teaching of false doctrine. There is no love or patience for that, as Luther wrote.
    But the greatest call for forgiveness is among those who are closest to us. There we should rejoice in the Gospel and its healing power. 

     Norma A. Boeckler


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     According to Jay Webber, John-Boy Buchholz, F. Bivens, D. Valleskey, plus the consecrated and consecrating leaders of ELCA-WELS-ELS-LCMS-CLC,
    1. Luther; 2. Melanchthon; and 3. the editors of the Book of Concord were wrong. O happy day! when all the Synodocrats, yea even ELCA, are united in one confession. Not answered - why are all the synods shrinking faster than cheap socks in a hot wash?
     Why was Father Abraham named - when the angels took Lazarus to heaven?


    Scripture teaches that God has already declared the whole world to be righteous in Christ, Rom. 5:19; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Rom. 4:25;
    LCMS Brief Statement, Justification

    GJ - People approved this in 1932 and made it canonical ever since. Yes, the Stephan-Walther-Pieper cult is that ignorant, that Biblically illiterated, that willing to trade the Treasure of the Gospel for a bowl of lentil soup.



    Abraham Father of Faith



    Romans 4 King James Version (KJV)

    What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
    Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
    Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
    13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
    14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
    15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
    16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
    17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
    18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
    23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Background
    Many would say that Moses is the key figure in the Old Testament, but Abraham is the key figure from the Old Testament in the New Testament. Briefly -
    The binding of Isaac is a foreshadowing of the Father giving His Only Son, portraying this in human terms, so those who knew this very unusual episode would see the meaning behind it - Christ, the substitute sacrificed on the cross.


    • Genesis 15 - Abraham justified by faith
    • Matthew 1:1; Matthew 8:11
    • John 8 - Before Abraham was, I AM. 
    • Luke 1:73 - The oath sworn to Abraham
    • Luke 16 - Lazarus - In the bosom of Abraham
    • Acts 3:25 - "It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, 'AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED.'
    • Galatians - Abraham as the example, Justification by Faith
    • Hebrews 11:8 - By faith...
    • James 2:21 - Abraham justified
    Paul made it clear in many ways that someone is either justified by works, which is utterly wrong, or by faith.




    Justification by Faith - Reason for Hate

    Romans 4 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
    For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.

    For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

    The Epistle lesson on brotherly love reminded me of Luther's great insight about the persecution of Jesus. Most are content to wonder about Jesus being kind, generous, gracious, and working miracles - so why was He hated and put to death.

    The answer is before us - He taught Justification by Faith in Him, the righteousness of faith. Therefore, He opposed the popular notion of righteousness through works, which the Pharisees represented so well. And don't we have them in droves today?
    1. I refuse to eat meat - carrying a leather purse.
    2. I only stay at hotels where I can open the window. 
    3. He mentioned infant baptism and I walked out of the room.

    The term "virtue signaling" is a clever one, because it portrays the modern works-saint so well. The signal is far more important than the works, because that kind of virtue is hard to maintain.

    We get the same virtue signaling among the synodocrats, who say
    • I am the fifth generation in this denomination...
    • My father is...
    • The Holy Spirit appointed me as circuit pastor...
    Those who deny Justification by Faith necessarily rely on Justification by Works, and their language betrays them.

    Abraham was a great leader, the head of a vast enterprise, and a brave man. These are boasts before men, but not before God. The Scripture says that Abraham believed the Promise that he would be the start of a line that led to the Savior of the World, and that faith was counted as righteousness. He was justified by faith in the Christ who was coming many centuries in the future.

    This Justification by Faith makes enemies and causes hatred, because it denies the righteousness of works. This is the core Christian teaching. One may boast about Christ or boast about his own greatness. Ask someone about the solution to human problems. If it is the Gospel of faith in Jesus, then they are in harmony with Christ. If they have clever, wise solutions, based on surveys and studies, they are relying on the wisdom of man.

    People may reject Genesis 15, but that means they are rejecting the Scriptures when they do. More importantly, they are shunning the entire New Testament, because Abraham's faith is the message which connects the Old Testament to the New Testament. 

    Why do Lutherans bicker about the common cup versus individual glasses; the Christian flag in the chancel; church and ministry; etc. etc. etc. etc. etc? Answer - because they cannot deal with the Gospel, the Chief Article.

    Nothing is unclear in the opening to Romans 4,  a chapter which builds upon Romans 3. Romans 1-3 is mostly concerned with condemning all forms of works-righteousness, but 3 transitions into Justification by Faith, including the often ignored Justification by Faith of Jesus (also in Galatians and Philippians). 

    Note too that Paul did not write verses or chapters, he wrote formal epistles, which we would call essays today. He observed the basic rules of rhetoric in arguing his points and supporting his arguments. Citing verses alone or even phrases is a sign of literary ignorance and Scriptural rebellion. The Bible is one unified truth, not a collection of sayings to be used creatively or dishonestly.

    The Bible is the first hyper-text linked document, long before the computer age. Every verse is connected to all the others. Some of the great Biblical expositors saw this, Luther most of all. But that has been largely forgotten in the fever to make a case for one sect or another. Jesus did not die for the capital fund campaign of a college, and Paul did not raise money for the budget. Paul collected the money for others, for the poor. Synodocrats gather money for themselves, keep it mostly for their salary and benefits (I meant "mission") and impoverish their students for the rest of their lives, with student loans and peevish removals from the teaching or preaching office. "Let us pray," the seminaries say. When the students open their eyes, they have $50,000 to $100,000 in debt, banishment from their calls - and the Synodocrats have the money and benefits.




    Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
    But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
    Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
    Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
    Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

    I hate to admit this, but fellow Lutheran pastors argue for the entire world being forgiven and saved, saying "He justifies the ungodly."

    Paul speaks of working for pay, for a reward, but that is not true justification. Forgiveness comes to him (the individual) who believes in God - who justifies the ungodly. That individual alone is counted righteous...and that is without works.

    Paul does not speak of the entire world being forgiven and saved. What better moment to bring that up! Yet seminary professors like John Sparky Brenner write about "The Justification of the World," and professors like David Scaer openly mock Justification by Faith. Did Walther and JP Meyer write the Bible, or did the Holy Spirit?

    Note that auto anti-freeze tastes sweet, but remains a deadly poison. If it splashes on the mouth, no one says, "Oh ack! Yuk. Water! Burning bitter, horrid." No, it tastes sweet and was even used illegally to sweeten one brand of wine.

    In this little section quoted, once again, forgiveness or righteous belongs to those who believe in God, and Jesus is the Face and Voice of God. The fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians).

    The sentences that are 6 and 8 emphasize the justification of the individual who believes - verse 7 all those who believe.

    Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
    10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
    11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
    13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

    How blind someone must be to cite Romans 4 about Justification without Faith when the Apostle teaches Justification by Faith repeatedly in the same chapter.

    Paul, as the Apostle to the Gentiles, was anxious to emphasize the Old Testament anchor of the Gospel, but also importance of faith over ritual law. Abraham was justified without circumcision, which should be taught, not justified without faith, as certain clowns and wolves do.

    Long before anyone imagined it, this made the Gospel universal, because it did not demand ritual obedience, which is at the heart of all religions - except Christianity.
    Abraham became the Father of Many Nations because justification by faith, even though God chose to keep His people together through kosher and ritual law.

    As Paul said in conclusion of Romans 3, faith does not destroy the Law but establishes it. Our sinfulness is easily shown in the perfect mirror of the Law.

    Note that Justification without Faith fanatics support Antinomianism - no Law, everything is already forgiven, and everyone is already saved. This is the heart and soul of mainline apostasy. To study where this is going, read about the Unitarians, what they teach, and what they advocate - R to X rated.

    14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
    15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
    16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
    17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

    The Promise was not based upon the Law but faith. This can be translated easily, without kosher. Many base their righteousness on their earnings, or their relatives. One DP said, "My grandfather was..." I was not sure how that made him a better person, but that is one of those strange assumptions, that the institutional church is maintained in its greatness by the descendants of founders, aka Names. We can see where basing the Promise on the Law (of descendants) has gotten the Lutherans. Other denominations are similar. The descendants can do nothing wrong, so the wreckage they cause is excused. "His grandfather was..." spoken in reverend awe and wonder.

    18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
    19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
    20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
    21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
    22 And therefore it was imputed [counted as] to him for righteousness.



    Abraham's faith was also demonstrated in the way he obeyed God in the binding of Isaac. (I see a parallel in letting Lazarus die, because Jesus knew that raising his friend would precipitate His own torture and execution.) What Abraham did was for generations to come - to demonstrate what it means to give one's beloved son, and secondly to know the Son is our substitute, a complex lesson.

    Abraham believed he could be a father, and even stranger, that Sarah could be a mother. (Does this shed light on the Six Day Creation? Of course. God's will through the Word is instantaneous, as required.)

    Remember Isaac had the nickname of Chuckles because Sarah laughed at the idea. Isaac is close to the Hebrew word for chuckle. "I did not laugh." Angel - "But you did."

    The righteousness of God is counted because of faith in the Savior. The blowhards mock this, because they have blinded themselves to the Word - such is the efficacy of the Word for those who obstinately reject it.



    Two More Segments of This Argument
    I. Romans 4:23-25
    23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
    24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
    25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

    Genesis does not record Abraham's righteousness by faith merely for Abraham, that he was counted forgiven. 

    But it was also written for us. We are counted forgiven IF we believe on Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Jesus was betrayed into the crucifixion by Judas, to pay for our sins (Isaiah 53). He was raised from the dead to strengthen our faith in Him, by whom we are counted as innocent, forgiven, saved for eternal life.



    Summary of Romans 4
                                 II Romans 5:1-2
    5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

    By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Paul did not use chapters and verses, so we can clearly see that the opening of Romans 5 is the conclusion-transition of Romans 4.

    The Greatest Effect of Justification by Faith
    As Luther said, this Chief Article is slippery because of our human failings. That is our tendency to blame, accuse, hold grudges, and punish in various ways. So we must practice this article daily, setting aside past wrong, real or imagined. 
    The perfect mirror of the Law shows us that we are just as fallible as anyone else, so we should not be counting wrongs but counting blessings.
    This forgiving does not include destructive behavior, which we have to avoid and/or admonish. I enjoyed working with one fellow, but I had to tell him that he had wrecked his life with alcoholism, which was the root cause of his money problems. The sad facts are - it got even worse for him.
    And forgiveness does not apply to persistent teaching of false doctrine. There is no love or patience for that, as Luther wrote.
    But the greatest call for forgiveness is among those who are closest to us. There we should rejoice in the Gospel and its healing power. 

     Norma A. Boeckler

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  • 06/11/18--16:38: Hidden Lily Wild Ginger
  •  I did not expect much - lots of green leaves last year.
    This year the flowers pushed up from below and seemed lit, like this photo.

    Curcuma longa - Grow Turmeric In Your Garden


    To get a tropical look in a warm temperate garden, there is a short list of plants that fit the bill. One of my favorites is the little-known genus Curcuma which includes Curcuma longa the culinary spice turmeric. Curcuma, or hidden cone gingers, is a genus of mostly tropical plants known for their dramatic bold foliage, flamboyant floral show. Curcuma can range in height from just under 2' to over 7' tall. The slightly hidden flowers resemble psychedelic pinecones...a nice trip back to the 1960s.



    Various experiences from Dave's Garden.


    GJ - A member wrote about how beautiful the Hidden Lily flower was on the altar. I bought a bunch of the roots from a supplier - on sale. They came up, about shoulder high, all green. Last summer everyone wanted to know what they were. I said, "Wild Ginger Hidden Lily, and the lily is well hidden."

    The plants came up where I put them, and I made sure they were watered last summer. They drooped when they wanted more water, like pumpkins and corn. But I never saw flowers. They probably needed to build up more storage underground

    The warmest and sunniest area is the Butterfly Garden, and that is where they flowered last week. I expected flowers up on the stalk, but the flowers came out of the ground, the coloring making them look lit from within.

    I bought Butteryfly Bush from Ty Ty Nursery and I like them. They also sell various kinds of ginger, including this one.

    Sometimes I get something exotic on sale, and this is an example of a great find. Now I am more inclined to multiply the Joe Pye and hosta through division and fill in some herbal needs from The Growers Exchange.

    My favorite site for plants is The Growers Exchange. They belong to the class of vendors that carefully ship and label plants. Other examples are Hostas Direct and The Crepe Myrtle Company.

    The only place to start shopping for bulbs is Dutch Gardens. They are better and bigger bulbs at lower prices than the ones included in various gardening catalogs. I have bought from them for about 20 years.

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    Response to -

    Abraham, Father of Faith. Romans 4 through 5:2 Exposition - from June 10, 2018.
    Romans 4, Especially Romans 4:5 and 4:24 - All Crush UOJ


    --

    Pastor Jackson,

    I really thought today's post was especially well written not only for it's scope, but it addressed, for me what I think is very important to the discussion of JBFA vs. UOJ-OJ/SJ.

    "Note that Justification without Faith fanatics support Antinomianism - no Law, everything is already forgiven, and everyone is already saved." 

     JP Meyer was so confused that he had the entire world, for all time, forgiven and saved. He was president of Mordor, so he could not possibly be wrong.

    "The Justification of the World"

    If these guys really believe what they say and what they claim it's really no wonder that the Law got very little run in my old church.  I went round and round with the pastor, and he'd box me into a corner as being legalistic.  

    But that just isn't so.

    How can the Gospel be possibly efficacious unless we need saving?  If the world is justified already, why do we sit there with this empty feeling?  This OJ/SJ sounds great on paper (I guess) except that they treat SJ as academic (as a given, minimized...).  We certainly don't want to talk to much about faith for fear of works righteousness.  God forbid.  Real faith is no sin.  Belief is NOT a choice.  It's a GIFT.

    I understand the importance of underlining Jesus redemptive work, leaving no doubt about a complete atonement for all sin, that no sin is to great, but what of the Holy Spirit?  And the law?  Without the law our consciences cry inwardly because we must be honest with ourselves.  The Gospel must be personal.  Faith is that KNOWING that your sins are forgiven.  This faith can only be given by the Holy Spirit through the means of grace.  And, we need the law to remind us how desperately we need the Gospel every minute spend this side of heaven.  Remain in the vine....and Lord knows we need the pruning.

    And where are the works-righteous?

    "The term "virtue signaling" is a clever one, because it portrays the modern works-saint so well. The signal is far more important than the works, because that kind of virtue is hard to maintain."

    "This Justification by Faith makes enemies and causes hatred, because it denies the righteousness of works. "

    This is true.  This is what happens when we try to justify ourselves.  Real works righteousness.  Many will try to hide behind outward piety, but they are proud.  Very proud.

    This post wasn't hard to understand with the references to Abraham, Lazarus, and Paul....especially when you don't read the book of Romans with "tunnel vision"



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     Butterfly Weed is an attractive cousin of Milkweed.
    You need to know that for the following story.

    I worked on Ranger Bob's tax return today, so he was at the front door. He said, "I smell a weed." I responded, "I have quite a few herbs growing in the garden." He insisted, "No. I smell a weed." Finally, I said, "This is Butterfly Weed in front of us, a cousin of Milkweed." He said, "I knew that smell. I grew up with a lot of Milkweed, so I recognized it."

    When someone asked me about the best translations, soon after that, I had the same reaction. I grew up with the King James Version, which remains enormously popular - for many reasons.


    Reason #1 - Modern Translations - Bad NT Text
    The first reason is important - the traditional text. All modern translations indulge in playing around with Greek New Testament text. That weakness goes back 100 years - even Lenski participated in it. Blame Tischendorf, Wescott and Hort.

    The King James translations use the traditional text.

     Tischendorf used Sinaiticus and Vaticanus to undermine the tradition text from 1100 years of Byzantine Greek Bibles.
    Guess who "found" them? Tischy the lying scoundrel.


    Reason #2 - Modern Translations Are Anti-Sacrament, Anti-Means of Grace
    Every modern translation comes from a gaggle of denominations, plus non-Christian experts and Left-wing radicals. They are selling a product, not translating. They want to please as many as possible, because printing Bibles = printing money. And this kind of printing money is perfectly legal. As I have shown, the Lutherans are just as Calvinistic (anti-Means of Grace Enthusiasts) as the Calvinists are. Why would anyone market a Bible with traditional Lutherans in mind? Traditional Lutherans are as rare as misers at a casino.

    Reason #3 - Modern Translations Have Adopted the Dynamic Equivalence Method (Anything Goes) of the Apostate Nida
    Eugene Nida was not the leader they needed, but the apostate they wanted. He installed a new method of translating, really paraphrasing, which gave a license to making up words and expressions not in the text. The alleged translators know what the Holy Spirit would have said if He had their insights into modernism, evolution, and women's ordination.

    He Spurred a Babel of Bibles - NY Times, and died at age 96. Finding negative articles about Nida is difficult because everyone preached him into Heaven and beyond when he finally died.The research is out there among KJV fans.

    The Only Solution - King James Version and Modern KJVs
    OK, purists - first some frank talk. The KJVs we buy are slightly updated, many years ago. No one reads the original KJV.

    And what was the original KJV? That came from a committee seeking to create One English Bible. For that they used Tyndale as their standard, but he was burned at the stake by an earlier king, so The Tyndale Version was a non-starter. Besides that, he was guided by Luther and Melanchthon, studied at Wittenberg, and printed his first English Bibles there.

    And I do not mean little Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio.

    So Tyndale was guided by the precise methods of Luther and his group of brilliant Biblical scholars, certainly among the best of all ages.

    Luther:
    “In my translation of the Bible I strove to use pure and intelligible German. Our quest for an expression could sometimes last four weeks without us being happy with our work. (…) In addition, I have not worked on my own: I recruited assistants from everywhere. I tried to speak in German, not Greek nor Latin. But to speak German one should not turn to texts in Latin. The house-wife, children playing, people in the street are those to learn from: listening to them teaches one how to speak and to translate – then they will understand you and know how to speak your language.” (Luther, An Open Letter on Translating)

    So there is the family tree of the KJV. The KJV alone traces its origin to the Lutheran Reformation, that Reformation where men were burned at the stake, exiled, and imprisoned for faithfulness to the Word.

    The Bible I use most of the time and quote all of the time is the KJV. For those not used to the older English, there are many modern versions in various configurations. The KJV21 and Third Millennium send an essay on precise translation with their books. Point by point comparisons show how weak, erroneous, and misleading the modernistic translations paraphrases are.

    If you want to read the Word of God, start and end with the King James group of translations.

     Young Calvinist, Old Unitarian.
    Modernist Bibles always slight the divine.
    Why is "the faith of Jesus" found three times in the KJV
    and not known outside the KJV? The Greek is clear.


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    Hauerwas moved to Duke from Notre Dame. I took his ethics class, and he was on my dissertation committee. My sister-in-law was his son's babysitter.
    Wiki:
    Hays is considered one of the world's leading New Testament scholars,[1][2] with Stanley Hauerwas writing "There are few people I would rather read for the actual exposition of the New Testament than Richard Hays."[3] Hays' work focuses on New Testament theology and ethics, the Pauline epistles, and early Christian interpretation of the Old Testament.


     Richard B. Hays: Yale College, Yale Divinity, PhD Emory,
    first teaching job - Yale Divinity.

    The Faith of Jesus Christ: The Narrative Substructure of Galatians 3:1-4:11 (The Biblical Resource Series): Richard B. Hays: 9780802849571: Amazon.com: Books:

    From Amazon:
    "Widely praised as a major contribution to Pauline studies, Richard Hays's Faith of Jesus Christ is now available in an expanded second edition complete with a new preface by the author and a substantial dialogue about the book with James D. G. Dunn. In this important study Hays argues against the mainstream that any attempt to account for the nature and method of Paul's theological language must first reckon with the centrality of narrative elements in his thought. Through an in-depth investigation of Galatians 3:1-4:11, Hays shows that the framework of Paul's thought is neither a system of doctrines nor his personal religious experience' both of which are the most common approaches to Paul's writing 'but the "sacred story" of Jesus Christ. Above all, Paul's thought is guided by his concern to draw out the implications of the gospel story, particularly how the "faith of Jesus Christ" reflects the mission of the church."

    Reader:
    "Just a side comment related to the issue of the "faith in Christ" vs. "faith (or faithfulness) of Christ" debate prompted by this important book by Dr. Hays.

    The New King James Version, and most modern English translations, translate the phrase as "faith in Christ." The NET (New English Translation) Bible is a notable exception. However, the 1611 King James version translates the phrase, for example in Galatians 2:16 and Romans 3:22, as well as related constructions in Gal 2:20, Gal 3:22, Eph 3:12, Phil 3:9 and Col 2:12, as "faith of Christ."

    So the earlier standard of English Protestant translations, the KJV, translated the phrase as "faith of Christ," which was changed in most of the more modern English translations. In addition, the Douay-Rheims Bible, the early Catholic translation of the Bible into English (the NT was published in 1582) also has Gal 2:16, and similar passages, as "faith of Christ."

    So why the change from the translations in the two early standards of English bible translation, the Protestant KJV and the Catholic Douay-Rheims, and the "faith of Christ" to "faith in Christ" in most modern English translations? Just a question."



    'via Blog this'

     Nils A. Dahl built a tremendous faculty in NT scholarship at Yale. They are all retired and gone now.

    I stumbled upon The Faith of Jesus after I studied the phrase on my own and after I published The Faith of Jesus: Against the Faithless Lutherans.

    A reader asked for more information on this phrase, which prompted me to find out more about Hays. The author dealt with Dahl's work, which made Hays an A+ scholar in my eyes.

    I cannot think of anyone else active in Biblical studies that I respect. No, I am not scanning all the new books - I have no interest in them.

    Dahl and Malherbe have retired and died. Robert Wilson is still teaching at Yale. They emphasized the content of the Word of God, although we also learned the celebrity theories and why they were weak, contradictory, or just plain imaginary.

     Robert Wilson taught me Genesis in Hebrew. His knowledge of ancient languages was stunning, but that was always a strength for Yale. I passed on his city unto God translation to Little Ichabod, who used it to great effect at NWC.


    Wilson shot down JEDP - the Documentary Hypothesis - in a simple exchange with a student. "If the facts of the text do not match the theory, what do we say?"

    Malherbe started 1 and 2 Thessalonians in Greek with - "What do we know? His answer - Paul wrote it!"

    Dahl asked, "What do we know for certain?" Everyone hemmed and muttered meek answers. He said with great animation, "The text! We have the text. That is our certainty."

     He was discovered by Dahl and brought to Yale. Mrs. Ichabod attended his class for me and took notes in Greek.
    Sadly, he died suddenly in 2012.
     Linn Tonstad is tenured at Yale. 
    The quota system works well in driving out and denying tenure to dedicated scholars. Tis far better to be a far Left quota pick, all the better to make future standards stricter.

     Keep the diversity selective, so we can exclude the able, the literate, the heterosexual.

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     Bob Ballinger - read the entire article.

    Oren Paris pled guilty, then pled the 5th when asked where he worked.



    The Curious Case of Bob Ballinger’s Side Hustle [UPDATED] – Matt Campbell's Blue Hog Report:



    "So for a quick recap:

    Ballinger did not prepare the loan documents.
    Ballinger could not issue a title insurance policy.
    Ballinger could not issue a CPL, and therefore could not handle disbursement of funds from escrow.
    WDBD?

    What. Did. Bob. Do?

    Well, we know for certain that he prepared the deed, which typically costs $50-$100, and he notarized the signatures on both the deed and mortgage, a service no title company ever charges separately for. It is possible that Ballinger did the title search, from which a licensed title insurance agent could prepare a commitment and issue a title insurance policy, but most title companies prefer to do their own work, especially on large transactions.

    So…how did the lender (and Ecclesia College) get a title policy?"



    'via Blog this'

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    Rev. Paul O. Wendland, president at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon, Wis., has announced that he will fade from the position of president into a purely false-teaching role at the end of the 2018–19 school year.
    “I am grateful to the Lord Jesus and my DNA for the privilege of serving as president of Mordor, aka Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary for the past 15 years, and I look forward, if God wills, to go on serving by teaching false-doctrine full time. I pray the next year will allow for an orderly transition,” says Wendland, defensively.

    This obvious Photoshop was prophetic. See below.
    WELS is the only Lutheran educational system that trains males to dress for success from prep school to college to seminary to the parish. They are so far ahead of ELCA.
    Church and Change Your Gender - Wayne Mueller's son.

    Wendland has served on the seminary faculty since 2001 and was called to serve as president in 2004. He has served congregations in Mwembezhi, Zambia; Hopkins, Michigan; and Salt Lake City, Utah. From 1994 to 2001 he taught false doctrine at Northwestern College, Watertown, Wis., and Martin Luther College, New Ulm, Minn.
    “A grateful synod gives thanks to the Lord for Paul Wendland’s resignation as president,” says Rev. Paul Prange, administrator for WELS Ministerial Education. “Please join me in praying for God’s blessing as seminary students continue to recover from his insight and discouragement as a full-time professor for many years to come.”
    A plea for nominations to fill the seminary president position will be sent out soon. The seminary is shrinking faster than cheap socks in a hot wash. A call to be an assistant to Ski would be a promotion at this point.


    In Other Similar WELS News



    John Seifert is retiring as President of the shrunken Michigan District.

    Time of Grace -

    Pastor Mike Novotny




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     The long-term influence of JP Meyer doomed a lazy and self-satisfied WELS to build and deploy a culture of ruthless bullying. They are legalistic to a fault, but also Antinomian, imaging there is no law - at least not for the right people. All this depends on their utter rejection of Justification by Faith, promotion of UOJ, and intellectural torpor.
    A Circuit Pastor in WELS said, "The only cure for WELS is to tear it apart." He has done his best by enabling the worst offenders at key points, where he might have shown a little courage, a little faith in God.

    The problem starts with the culture of bullying and hazing in their schools, which they brag about, regardless of the evidence about academics. Grades are given according to family ties. The children of officials get top grades no matter what. The merit system is based on the family name, which makes many of them incredibly lazy and unaware of their illiterate state. One top scientist could not get over how WELS pastors would lecture him on science because they had one course in science.

     Churches That Abuse


    But it goes far beyond that. Each class likes to haze and bully the class below it. That gives the class an artificial feeling of unity. Nothing is too violent, too gross, or too foolish to foist upon the younger students. If they complain, they are never forgiven. If they tell their parents or school officials, Hell will be visited upon them.



    Most important, there is only WELS. No other group is even worth being mentioned. LCMS? - curl your mouth into a snarl. ELS? - they "cherish their fellowship with the ELS" but loathe the shrimpy version of WELS. The ELS president is expected to obey his masters in WELS - and he does.

    WELS pastors love to deceive people - it is a real sport for them. They lie and laugh about how they fooled everyone. They "study so hard in seminary" and the laity feel sorry for them. When I was at Mequon, the library only saw John Brug and me there, plus the underworked staff. The real training for deception is their beloved GA or HB secret initiation and hazing rite.

    The idea is to fool the new students into being scared to death at the end, which is based on days of lying to them. They are told to wade in raw sewage (the pond), which SP Mark Schroeder remembers so fondly. They take off all their sewery clothes outside, in view of the female kitchen staff, but that is OK. It is GA/HB. They laugh about the violence, like breaking someone's leg or knocking a tooth out.

    They finish GA/HB with a drinking party. WELS college and sem training means a lot of drinking. Many are alcoholics at graduation, and yes, they know they have a problem. Imagine alcoholic leaders clamping down on alcoholism. I can name a few of them. If someone drives his car up a utility pole, and he is married into the right family, he gets a call as a missionary. That family is mentioned with hushed tones, so it means pre-absolution.

    So many WELS clergy and teachers get away with unScriptural behavior that they assume they can treat people like dogs. Many laity have told me their stories, and they remain afraid of the clergy bullies and their own families.

    The object of their cold disdain finds out that this invisible sign has been built to follow everywhere.

    Oh, that works so well. The WELS family networks make sure that - once the shun sign is published - the black sheep is ousted more thoroughly than a Hutterite, Orthodox Jew, or Vikings fan in Green Bay.

    If a WELS pastor is a bully (prep-college-GA training) or lecherous or a drunk, pity the woman or female staffer who objects to a supervisor. WELS has a beautiful system that works to enhace false doctrine, obnoxious and immoral behavior -

    1. "Eighth Commandment! - You have slandered this innocent lamb of God."
    2. "Matthew 18! - You did not sit down with this person, hold his hand, and gently tell him his sins".
    3. "Write a letter!" This can be a deposition worthy of St. Paul or Seneca the Elder, but some phrase will be picked up and repeated constantly that shows the writer deserves the depths of Hell.
     Open a can of Eighth Commandment on the dissenter.
    That one looks a bit worn, don't it?


    All sincere efforts to address vocational failure or false doctrine are met with same phalanx response we see in Roman Catholicism. A woman is always at fault - just keep that in mind. Speak only to a lawyer and bring a carefully written account to that meeting with the attorney. The WELS Gestapo will act against the woman and make her life miserable. They will pit husband against wife, too, and say, "See they could not get along, so they blamed Holy Mother WELS."


    But there is a necklace for the victims who are women. Yes, it is invisible, but everyone can see it, and the wearer can feel it. Rejoice and leave the buggers behind.

    The District Presidents use their lackeys (the Circuit Pastors) and the Mission Board members to meddle in congregations. Like the ELS or LCMS, if they want to get rid of someone to make way for a buddy, they disturb the congregation and blame the pastor. And this is the bonus - they can use the same power to rescue their buddy from the law, the media, and discipline. DP Engelbrecht and SP Mark Schroeder interceded for Ski in Appleton, and DP Patterson and future DP Zank got Ski an illegal insta-call. Did Mark Jeske's Church and Change millionaires have anything to do with this miraculous rescue? My lips are sealed.

    I have told anyone shunned or kicked out of WELS, "Be glad. They did you a favor. Look at the ones they keep in and reward. You do not want to be associated with them."

    If you have a WELS pastor as a friend, you do not need any enemies. That account is full and overflowing. They will gladly betray a layman while pretending to help. They are a sad, sick bunch with no character. There are a few exceptions to my blanket condemnation, but I will not even hint at their names.

    Just to show how the WELS Gestapo works - I gather information and perspective from a lot of people. I wished someone a happy birthday on FB because he had been kind to me, many years ago. Other than that, we have no contact and no conversations. But a pastor from WELS got on that page and said, "Are you leaking to Jackson?"

    When Jon-Boy Buchholz was pretending to be friendly with me, he got on a WELS pastor's FB page and said, "Why are you friends with Jackson?" as if it were a felony. I only mention it to show how a DP can be outwardly friendly while being a hostile, vindictive, petty snake-in-the-grass (apologies to reptiles everywhere).

    I need a punchline. Here is it - Mark Schroeder and Jon-Boy Buchholz were elected as Reformers. Get it? Reformers?






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  • 06/13/18--08:26: Greek Lesson - Romans 4:1-11
  •  The Faith of Jesus


    Parsing Link

    Romans Lenski - Download and save public domain PDF.

    ΠΡΟΣ ΡΩΜΑΙΟΥΣ 4 1550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)

    τι ουν ερουμεν αβρααμ τον πατερα ημων ευρηκεναι κατα σαρκα
    ουν therefore connects this chapter to the previous argument. Read Ro 3 over again, especially the last 3 verses. κατα is used, like the Gospel κατα John.
    ει γαρ αβρααμ εξ εργων εδικαιωθη εχει καυχημα αλλ ου προς τον θεον
    θη - passive signal. Note how close this is to John 8 - children of Abraham by flesh (blood) or by faith. No contradictions in the Bible. προς - toward not κατα
    τι γαρ η γραφη λεγει - επιστευσεν δε αβρααμ τω θεω, και ελογισθη αυτω εις δικαιοσυνην
    Paul's argument in 3:22 rests upon righteousness (justification) by faith of Jesus Christ - δικαιοσυνη δε θεου δια πιστεως ιησου χριστου - righteousness of God through (agency) faith of Jesus Christ, Jesus-Christ-faith. Anarthrous, without the article glues words together, use hyphen or show this unity. We drop articles too - The governor of Arkansas, or Governor of Arkansas Huckabee.
    και ελογισθη - passive, is counted, is reckoned, is imputed.
    τω δε εργαζομενω ο μισθος ου λογιζεται κατα χαριν - αλλα κατα το οφειλημα
    Dative - to the one working. κατα butκατα... Law Gospel contrast with working and payment for the work
    τω δεμη εργαζομενω, πιστευοντι δεεπι τον δικαιουντα τον ασεβη, λογιζεται η πιστις αυτου εις δικαιοσυνην
    δε - connecting words are post-positive, the second word each time while we favor making them the first. Read as Greek, not as American.
    πιστευοντι - clearly believing is righteousness. No room here for unbelieving counted as righteousness, the dogma of Universalists and mainline liberal apostates.
    καθαπερ και δαβιδ λεγει - τον μακαρισμον του ανθρωπου [ω ο θεος λογιζεται δικαιοσυνην χωρις εργων]
    An argument requires proof, authority, evidence, sometimes called a warrant. 
    [ω ο θεος λογιζεται δικαιοσυνην χωρις εργων] - relative pronoun clause
    μακαριοι ων αφεθησαν αι ανομιαι και ων επεκαλυφθησαν αι αμαρτιαι
    apo-kalypto (uncover, revelation) epi-kalypto (put the cover one, favorite of Luther, covering neighbor's sins, because God covers ours: anti-gossip)
    μακαριος ανηρ ω ου μη λογισηται κυριος αμαρτιαν
    Beatitudes about forgiveness, righteousness, counting - based upon believing. Believing is Makarios. No one has translated the word better than blessed. Happy? - oh please. Schuller called them the Be-Happy-Attitudes. Ouch.
    ο μακαρισμος ουν ουτος επι την περιτομην η και επι την ακροβυστιαν? λεγομεν γαρ οτι ελογισθη τω αβρααμ η πιστις εις δικαιοσυνην
    We see how important Father Abraham is - he was counted righteous for believing in the coming Savior - before circumcision. γαρ - major break post-positive, explains what is before that, or concludes the argument.
    10 πως ουν ελογισθη εν περιτομη οντι η εν ακροβυστια? ουκ εν περιτομη αλλ εν ακροβυστια
    Notice how simple the argument is, easy grammar and vocabulary.
    11 και σημειον ελαβεν περιτομης σφραγιδα της δικαιοσυνης της πιστεως της εν τη ακροβυστια [εις το ειναιαυτον πατερα παντων των πιστευοντων] δι ακροβυστιας εις το λογισθηναικαι αυτοις την δικαιοσυνην
    εις το ειναι αυτον πατερα παντων των πιστευοντων. Articular infinitive can be translated many ways, the article plus the infinitive using the genitive. Two articular infinitives in one verse - emphasis, connection, easy memory. Emphais not on circumcision but on believing.

    Next Week
    12 και πατερα περιτομης τοις ουκ εκ περιτομης μονον αλλα και τοις στοιχουσιν τοις ιχνεσιν της εν τη ακροβυστια πιστεως του πατρος ημων αβρααμ

    13 ου γαρ δια νομου η επαγγελια τω αβρααμ η τω σπερματι αυτου το κληρονομον αυτον ειναι του κοσμου αλλα δια δικαιοσυνης πιστεως
    14 ει γαρ οι εκ νομου κληρονομοι κεκενωται η πιστις και κατηργηται η επαγγελια
    15 ο γαρ νομος οργην κατεργαζεται ου γαρ ουκ εστιν νομος ουδε παραβασις
    16 δια τουτο εκ πιστεως ινα κατα χαριν εις το ειναι βεβαιαν την επαγγελιαν παντι τω σπερματι ου τω εκ του νομου μονον αλλα και τω εκ πιστεως αβρααμ ος εστιν πατηρ παντων ημων
    17 καθως γεγραπται οτι πατερα πολλων εθνων τεθεικα σε κατεναντι ου επιστευσεν θεου του ζωοποιουντος τους νεκρους και καλουντος τα μη οντα ως οντα
    18 ος παρ ελπιδα επ ελπιδι επιστευσεν εις το γενεσθαι αυτον πατερα πολλων εθνων κατα το ειρημενον ουτως εσται το σπερμα σου
    19 και μη ασθενησας τη πιστει ου κατενοησεν το εαυτου σωμα ηδη νενεκρωμενον εκατονταετης που υπαρχων και την νεκρωσιν της μητρας σαρρας
    20 εις δε την επαγγελιαν του θεου ου διεκριθη τη απιστια αλλ ενεδυναμωθη τη πιστει δους δοξαν τω θεω
    21 και πληροφορηθεις οτι ο επηγγελται δυνατος εστιν και ποιησαι
    22 διο και ελογισθη αυτω εις δικαιοσυνην
    23 ουκ εγραφη δε δι αυτον μονον οτι ελογισθη αυτω
    24 αλλα και δι ημας οις μελλει λογιζεσθαι τοις πιστευουσιν επι τον εγειραντα ιησουν τον κυριον ημων εκ νεκρων
    25 ος παρεδοθη δια τα παραπτωματα ημων και ηγερθη δια την δικαιωσιν ημων

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    I got my Hidden Lily roots for a song, after the season last year. Now they are coming up in bloom.

    Everything is growing in abundance: flowers and grass and weeds. Today, I enjoyed the chance to work on individual plants, pruning away the grassy weeds and dead wood, building up the mulch.

     Joe Pye is hardy, colorful, and the ultimate butterfly plant.

     Cat Mint


    The rose collars make it simple to weed-eat some areas, then throw down newspapers and wood mulch. Joe Pye and Shasta Daisies are so vigorous, they almost make their own mulch by growing fast and dominating the space. Roses and hostas need the grassy weeds suppressed close to the plant, especially since squirrels love to plant nut trees with each rose.

    I pruned into my left index finger, which did not hurt at all, but started to fertilize the rose plant. Finding a bandage inside elicited suggestions about being more careful.

     I am olde school - I grow my Hummingbird feeders:
    Trumpet Vine and Hostas.

    The big bloomers of the week are:

    • Hidden Lily Wild Ginger
    • The Mother of All Crepe Myrtles
    • Bergamot
    • Trumpet Vines, front and back yards (Hummingbird delight)
    • Easy Does It roses
    • Pokeweed
    • Butterfly Weed (front and back)

     Horse Mint is best marketed as Bee Balm,
    and it is great for bees and Hummingbirds.

    One can easily determine the popular plants by the ones already sold out at The Growers Exchange:


    1. Common Milkweed
    2. Bee Balm (Bergamot, above)
    3. Borage (Bee Bread)
    4. Cat Mint
    5. Garlic Chives
    6. Fox Glove
    7. Fever Few
    8. Mountain Mint
    9. Mullein - a roadside weed in Michigan
    10. Tansy
    11. Valerian
     Mountain Mint


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    In the 19th century, the Evangelicals and Lutherans faced the issue of Creation versus Evolution with boldness. The LCMS faculty at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, has caught up with them - only a century or two later.

    This scientific age creates a problem for churches - we cannot expect people to go along with Creation in six 24-hour days. Thus a solution developed in the 19th century - one so good that it is still being used today. A day could be any length of time, so God could have created over a vast space of time. When the going gets tough, reconsider and compromise.

    Demi-Semi-Hemi-Creation Works out This Way

    1. "Let us create the earthworm to mix, fertilize, and aerate soil." 
    2. Millions of years later, "Let us create bacteria to digest the food in the earthworm gut."
    3. The earthworms are all dead, because they were able to swallow soil and leafy material, but they could not digest their own food by themselves.
    4. The created bacteria are dead, because they had no place to do their work and multiply.

    I could go on with many more examples. No, this does not prove Creation, because Creation is revealed by the Holy Spirit in the Word. Like the Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of Christ, Creation is a mystery revealed, not a debating point.

    However, the field-workers who raise roses, hostas, berries, and Joe Pye realize something. Creation by the Word explains why multiple layers of plant and animal life work and thrive together in many ways at once.

    They were created and engineered together, with far more complexity than we can imagine. The "simple" plant cell is more like a complex miniature factory, with many different engines working to move water, obtain food, grow, differentiate, and reproduce. 

    If that were not enough, the timing of the natural world is exquisitely precise. 

    All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
    And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
    Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
    Earl of Oxford, As You Like it.



    Our Crepe Myrtle mother ship leafed out late this spring, so the cardinals did not build their love nest in it. Instead, robins came, built, and raised their young, which were on the ground testing their wings the other day.

    Now I am wondering if the Japanese beetles aka June bugs are making their appearance at night.

    We have enough problems staging a play or passing a bill in the legislature. A wedding is a series of panic attacks, but God's Creation is managed around us, with few thinking about how endless complexities and dependencies are all organized together.

    1. If a thoughtless gardener makes a mistake, and plants or animals are harmed,
    2. If he gets a 10 horsepower tiller for Father's Day and uses it to wreck the soil,
    3. If by chance, a finger gets in the way of the rose shears, and blood drips onto the garden,
    4. Creation will eventually heal the damage.
    If so much can take place without our anxious thoughts, how much more does the Creator mend, heal, and guide us.



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     MI - Ministerial Intelligence.

    Today should be filled with news about the Inspector General's redacted report. People should call their political representatives and ask that the complete un-redacted report be released. Phone calls are tabulated - they count. So so emails, tweets, and letters.

    House of Representatives

    The Senate


    Many current issues relate to the same set of problems. When we listen to Fox News, I marvel at how they ignore what is happening. However, when we turn to CNN, those newsies remind me of the WELS Appleton Gang - a collection of the inept, always outraged about the truth.

    When I gave the last chapter of Liberalism: Its Cause and Cure at a WELS pastors' conference, three men had raging tantrums - Kovaciny, Oelhafen, and Adrian. That was when I decided the paper was the final chapter. NPH published it and and the Shrinkers did their best to get rid of me. The point here is - people rage against the truth, so CNN's behavior has a lot more behind it than Korea or some other topics. Their paradise is threatened and is coming down. We should help that happen.

    One topic is world-wide and not recommended for reading. But it has come up repeatedly and unites many of the worst characters involved. Google - Keith Raniere (trafficking cult), Allison Mack (TV star and participant in Raniere cult Nxium), Catherine Oxenberg and her daughter India, same cult. Seagram's Whiskey was once controlled by the Bronfman family, which works with the Rothschilds. The Bronfman sisters spent $150 million supporting Raniere and Nxium. This one topic alone connects England (Jimmy Saville and the royal family), Pope Francis and Argentina/Chile. Additional names to search - or avoid searching - on this topic are Hillary Clinton, Haiti, and Laura Silsby.

    The more we are informed, the more difficult it is to fool us.


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    Sassy Sue is half German Shepherd, half Cattle Dog - intelligent, gentle. loving, and an expert in managing her staff.

    Sassy has always been a bit shy around the camera, but we wanted a special portrait of her. Penney's did a great job last year, so we took her to the same studio. As always, awkward poses led to good results, and the photographer was very good.

    Sassy was in a goofy mood and wanted tummy rubs to go along with her poses. She barked going in and barked even more while waiting for the selection of poses. She was clearly done with her job for the morning. Everyone loved her as they walked by the tiny office, and some wanted to pet her before and after. Sassy promotes a lot of affection. Ranger Bob insisted on a formal photo and wanted a print. He loves the photos, which were downloaded about an hour after we were done.


    One studio posed Chris with plastic flowers, so I brought fresh roses from our garden.



    The photographer had us sitting on the floor with Sassy, on our stomachs with her, and trying to make her a lap dog. We had a great time and got some extra photos. Our 49th anniversary is in November.



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    Double Delight

    Some roses have spectacular blooms but are not as vigorous in their growth. I can think of various small plants with large blooms - Veterans Honor, Double Delight, Fragrant Cloud.

    Also, when plants are getting started, the watering they get may give the weeds a better start than the plant. I am using the following to create zones where a plant can do well, rise above weeds, and hold more water in the soil.

    Pulling grassy weeds will often not work well, because they want to pull the new plant up with them. Gabe Brown has taught me not to fear the weeds but use their root growth to some extent.


    1. Anything growing can be used against itself, so I snip grassy visitors and leafy weeds with scissors  - or rose shears - sometimes with small battery operated clippers. The cut greens make a layer of mulch, high nitrogen fertilizer.
    2. I place newspaper or cardboard on top of the plant material mulch. Newspaper can be torn to pieces to add to the shading effect, which discourages weed growth. Some small cardboard boxes (crackers, etc) open up perfectly to create an opaque area around the plant, giving it room to grow. This cardboard or newspaper layer blocks sun to hold down weed growth and keep moisture in the soil. Plants do not like hot feet any more than we like walking barefoot on the sidewalk to the mailbox. 
    3. Newspaper and cardboard can be weighed down by wood mulch. I use cyprus rather than dyed wood. Wood mulch does not need dye. I am generous with wood mulch because it does not cost much and looks attractive. Wood slowly decomposes into the soil and boosts the hard-working soil fungi.
    4. My first choice for extra watering is stored rainwater, the second being stored tapwater. Today I took stored rainwater and boosted nine young Crepe Myrtle bushes. Yes, in the not noonday sun. Why? Because if I felt miserable, they felt just as bad. I used the sprinklers on some areas that seemed burning in the heat and relatively dry.
    If a plant is well established and healthy, a cool shower on a hot day is be good for it. Water droplets do not burn - they cool. 
     Whimpy Crepe Myrtle - when we moved to the cul-de-sac.


    I am likely to give extra compost and mulch to those established plants, because their growth demands more food. Eventually their soil foundation is rich in organic matter, abounding in fungi and soil creatures, trapping nutrition and moisture for the best and healthiest growth.


     The same CM, a few years later.
    Wait til this year's blooms are all out.

    As I mentioned before, I took the whimpy Crepe Myrtle and doted on it, knowing the plant would bloom in the dry season without my help. I wanted more than ordinary blooms. I wanted the Fourth of July. Every time I had some extra mushroom compost, grass clippings, or wood mulch, the Crepe Myrtle got it.

    Pruning is another way to boost growth, so I pruned it all the time, shaping and improving its look.

    The Crepe Myrtle became the centerpiece for the cul-de-sac, an explosion of pink blooms that never seemed to quit, pruned away and blooming again.

    Each autumn, I pile all the leaves (especially the wet slimy ones from the street) under the CM. The leaves are slowly decomposed during the winter, speeding up by spring, when I add a thin layer of wood mulch so the Calladiums can come through. Now we have them putting up their bright red and green leaves under the CM, a colorful counterpoint.

    These ideas all stem from Creation principles, which are already at work, whether we observe them or not. I start with the foundation, the soil and what makes it fertile. Secondly, I avoid man-made toxins which hinder rather than helping the garden. Finally, I try to do extra tasks for plants, insects, birds, and toads, to get the team working faster, better, and more productively. That is roughly .00001% of the garden. God does the rest.

    Mark 4:26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
    27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
    28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
    29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.


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    One hilarious theme in the last few years concerned Hillary wiping her server ("like with a cloth?") and we heard - "using BleachBit" to erase it forever. Not only that, many good cell phones were pounded to bits "to erase all information."

    The NSA pulls everything out of the air and off digital devices, storing the data. The emails were never lost. The cell phone material still exists. The NSA always had it.

    I tell people "I just phone 1-800-NSA-HELP to retrieve my forgotten passwords."

    However, another part of prosecution is introducing information according to legal standards. One enormous help is the legal standing of Weiner's laptop. When the emails and videos from the Insurance folder are introduced into evidence, many more connections will be made.

    Backups of servers are made all the time, as a matter of policy. Some are copied at other locations.

    The NSA can pull digital photos off smartphones. I could go on. It is a new age. If honest people pursue the truth, America can be restored, but not without God's help.



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    Sassy wants her morning walk by 7 AM, and I finish a mug of pour-over coffee by that time. She interprets certain signals favorably, such as donning socks and speaking certain words, such as go, walk, and morning crunchies.

    We inspect the rose garden at the same time, for different reasons. I look for the latest blooms. She noses about, looking for signs of wild life.

    On Friday I wonder about what will be blooming Sunday morning. In hot weather the new rose blooms appear rapidly. If I want more roses,

    1. I prune mature rose flowers, 
    2. look for death stars (blooms with no petals, ready to develop hips), and 
    3. cut away dead wood. 

    All three suppress new blooms, so I follow John 15 and cleanse the fruitful to make them more fruitful. But Sassy is a busy executive, with people to meet and places to explore. She hurries me along with some happy barks. Pruning waits for her permission, later.

    I am watching the plants I obtained for pollinators. At Almost Eden, that word came up often - pollinators. That includes bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. The gardening sites all work very hard at exploiting those categories, especially butterflies and hummingbirds.

    Hummingbirds love three plants I am promoting in the rose garden:

    • Hostas - for their trumpet flowers;
    • Bee Balm - for their trumpet flowers;
    • Trumpet Vine - for their trumpet flowers.

    The common factor seems to be...Bueller, Bueller, anyone? anyone? Worth mentioning is the hummingbirds' need for tiny insects. Hummingbird feeders offer sugar water, but flowers offer nectar and tiny insects.

    Hummingbird flowers will also be popular with bees, and I like having a constant cycle of blooming, which start with early spring weeds, mints, and dandelions.

    Butterflies seem to need a specific plant for each kind:

    1. Milkweed for the Monarch eggs and caterpillers, 
    2. Parsley for the Black Swallowtails.

    I am working on Butterfly Weed (related to Milkweed) now and Milkweed for next year.


    Teeny-Tiny Insects
    Joe Pye and Mountain Mint draw groups of tiny insects and butterflies. I wondered why they sold a small version of Joe Pye called Little Joe. Now I know why. My mature Joe Pye is ready to bloom and almost 6 feet tall.

    Likewise, Mountain Mint is so tall that people ask what it is. Do not laugh, but I have made three attempts to divide and replant some. I missed the one day of spring for that, and the roots are welded to the clay soil for now. Laugh all day - I have Mountain Mint and most people do not know how valuable it is.

     Cletha - aka Summersweet aka Sweet Pepperbush, etc.
    Poke a bloom and see a tiny insect cloud.

    But I also like the tiny insects that do so much to attack insect pests. Their small size contributes to overlooking their value. If I wiggle the right plants, a tiny cloud of them will take flight and settle down again - quite a sight.

    About Clethra - From Gardening in Tune with Nature

    If I had space in a small garden for only one woody plant, I would grow summersweet.  I’ve always grown it and frequently written about the heady perfume of its summer flowers and its unique brassy yellow autumn leaves, but its status as a “must have” plant for the garden insectary was secured last August as I stood among a colony of the cultivar ‘Hokie Pink’ flowering in Marjorie’s Garden.  I recalled the summer day ten years earlier when we knocked each of the five small plants out of its one-gallon pot and planted them around the bole of the old white pine growing off the porch steps.  A decade later, as I twisted my way into head-high branches crowded with racemes of soft pink flowers, it was impossible to say where one plant stopped and another took over.  Even a chipmunk has a hard time weaving through the interlaced stems to reach the base of the pine.

    Carefully moving branches aside, I positioned my legs and those of my tripod in the middle of the summersweet colony and waited for the wake of my disturbance to settle.  Soon the spikes of flowers, only a few inches from my nose, were crawling with bees, wasps, hoverflies, beetles, and several insects whose images remain on my computer desktop, waiting to be identified.  Bumblebees of all sizes and colored markings outnumbered all other insects.  A lonely honeybee joined the symphony of buzzing, along with several small native bees, some metallic green, others gray or black.  Two distinctly different hoverflies tormented me with their inability to settle down long enough for a photograph, but a tachinid fly obliged, stopping in its frenetic foraging for nectar long enough for me to get a decent shot.  (Both hoverflies and tachinid flies are predators of herbivores such as aphids and various leaf-munching caterpillars.  Hoverflies feed on nectar and pollen as adults, but their larvae feed on other insects.  Tachinid fly females lay their eggs on other insect adults or larvae.  When these eggs hatch, the tachinid larvae bore into the host’s body and slowly consume it.)
    In terms of diversity of insects attracted to a single plant in bloom, nothing in my experience compares to what I witnessed on that August afternoon.  Through the tangle of summersweet branches I could see the vegetable garden a hundred feet away, the bright orange squash flowers beckoning.  When a bumblebee in my viewfinder took wing and disappeared, I knew where it was heading.
    More about Clethra from another writer. I have two mature Clethras.

    Where Yah Going on Vacation?
    I am there.


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     Walther kidnapped Bishop Stephan at gunpoint
    so he could become the pope of the cult.

    I have always been puzzled by my peers acting as if they are locked into place, as if in a prison, in their pathetic, failing synods. The clergy are the worst, of course, because they feel tied down by the golden chains of salary, benefits, housing, and health insurance. Yes, the synods are more powerful than God, because those poor souls will starve and huddle naken outdoors in the snow and sleet if their anti-Luther sects desert them.

    These prisoners are the worst kind of chess players, because they play the players, not the board. That means everything will go their way if the others perform as they hope. The rest of them are the same, so the ones who become district presidents and professors are the same who made the right guesses for the moment.

    The chessboard, my analogy du jour, is the Word of God. One does not trump the Word of God by schemes, clevery strategies, and a thousand deceits. The result of trying to defeat the Word is a bunch of timid clowns hoping they can get by with their plans.

    I know this from talking to the worst of them. When they are caught in their lies, they are terrified and look for help or cover. If their little foam castles are threatened, they respond with angry tirades.

    The Gospel means freedom, so clergy and laity are not bound to those gilden chains - they only appear golden. The family objects? Jesus asked "Who is my mother, my brother, my sisters?"

    Matthew 12:46 While he yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him.
    47 Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.
    48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
    49 And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
    50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

    If people want me to stick with an abusive anti-Gospel sect, they are themselves abusive and anti-Gospel. They may see this until later. There is certainly evidence that Jesus' mother was in company of the Apostles (Acts) and that His brother was also an early leader (James). 
    Some clergy leave one system of dictatorial abuse and join another one, comfortable in being told how to think, dress, and vote. Perhaps they dream of being that dictator one day. Every Ft. Wayne seminarian seems to have a bishop's hat in his briefcase: McCain, Webber, Cascione, Heiser, and the Preussian Union.
    No other era has been so free for believers and so full of potential for those who want to enjoy that freedom. Clergy can start a congregation without a mission board, a million bucks in debt, and all the strings attached thereto. Laity can gather and call a pastor, without begging and waiting years for Holy Mother Church to respond.


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  • 06/16/18--04:04: Building a Butterfly Garden
  •  We took Monarchs for granted when milkweed was abundant.

    Mosquito spraying is very effective against ladybugs and butterflies, but people can still build a butterfly garden and enjoy the results.

     Joe Pye Weed kept topping the lists for fun plants to grow,
    so I started two and they were pollinator convention centers in bloom all summer. Butterflies love Joe Pye.


    The first requirement is the sunniest place in the yard. That is also the least viewed area for us, so it was also ignored. I had a marvelous crop of crabgrass, actually a grain brought over by thoughtless Europeans. Then I tried a straw-bail garden, which proved to be a holiday resort for slugs, with this formula - start with straw and soak with water. That combination gives them all the food, water, and housing they need to conquer the area.

     Almost Eden sold me two Clethra bushes, and now they are well established.
    Tiny flowers bring big results, and they are aromatic - songbirds like them as well.


    So I turned over a new leaf and dedicated the area to butterflies. The following are great butterfly plants:

    • Joe Pye Weed, which can be six feet tall or the shorter variety, Little Joe. Butteflies always congregation around the blossoms.
    • Clethra - aka Summersweet aka Pepperbush - known for attracting all pollinators and butterflies.
    • Milkweed and Butterfly Weed are for Monarch butterflies.
    • Borage is unusually easy to grow, just scatter the seed. It grows flowers and drops seed all summer.
    • Hollyhocks are associated with old-fashioned gardens, perhaps because they stand out against a building and seed themselves.
    • Parsley brings Black Swallowtail butterflies.
    • And more - such as zinnias, lupine, etc.
    I have a small sunny area, so I am going to fill it with Joe Pye - already established - and Clethra, mints, borage.

    The rose garden is leavened with various pollinator plants - mints, Joe Pye, and daisies. I can add more in the future.

     Borage is the tiny version of its cousin Comfrey,
    and so easy to grow. Tis another butterfly plant.

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    Groundbreaking for Garfield Arms Apartment Building


    Garfield Elementary School was constructed in 1901, with an addition built in 1955. In 2015, the Moline-Coal Valley School District closed the school, sending students to Hamilton and Lincoln-Irving elementary schools.
    That same year, Gorman & Company, of Oregon, Wisconsin, bought the school for $75,000. When completed, the renovated building will offer 52 one-bedroom and five two-bedroom apartments for low- and moderate-income seniors earning between 30-60 percent of area median income.
     "I liked the old Gashouse Gang Garfield better."
    Jim Kron turned away, so they could not see the tears.
    We loved Mrs. Park.
    I can remember most of the faces and half of the names. Let's see.

    Front row from left: Linda Hicks, Greg Jackson, Kathleen Wilcox, unknown boy, unknown girl, John Schneck, Ann Pascall.
    Middle row: George Small, unknown girl, unknown boy, unknown boy, Billie Seasland, unknown girl, Jim McCandless, Jenal Vencus.
    Back row: Terry Thompson, Tamara Gustus, Bonnie ?, Steve Warren, then Jeff Hall on the far right, Cathy Pobanz next to him. The rest are unknown at the moment.

    The school's corridors will be brought back to their original condition with restored ceilings. Classrooms will be renovated into apartments, and the gym space will be converted to house common space and amenities, including a multipurpose room, a kitchen and a fitness center.
    A three-story wood-framed addition also will be added to the east side of the existing building.
    The redevelopment will be constructed to Enterprise Green Communities and Energy Star standards, using energy efficient appliances and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems designed to reduce overall operating expenses.
    New roofs will be completed at both wings, and new energy efficient storm windows will be provided at the inside of the existing windows.
    Financing partners for the project include the Illinois Housing Development Authority, JPMorgan Chase, RBC Capital Markets and Greater Metropolitan Area housing Authority of Rock Island County.
    Guy Johnson stopped by to take some pictures of the old classic. We still remember the new addition, which is now about 65 years old.

     Like other teachers, Miss Dickson spent her own money on the class.

    Liz Copeland's mom was a favorite teacher among many great ones.

     Mrs. Forsyth was another teacher everyone remembered with great affection.


     No-o-o-o-o-o!

    This classroom project is where an engineer's career was born.


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    Adult Monarch Butterfly

    Some people feel much better about Creation if the six 24-hour days are stretched out to six epochs. This allows a blending of Creation and evolution. Many have felt this was an ideal solution, but I have found a terrible flaw in their reasoning.

    Of course, as any world religions professor (atheist) would be glad to propose, there are endless versions of Creation, some of them gross and disgusting. How this clarifies the situation is beyond my comprehension, but it is often said, to justify a modern mytho-poetic counterpart to what they call the Creation myth.

    The foundational flaw is naturally the power and efficacy of the divine Word, which is not dependent upon time or the approval of man. Addressing Creation with science is like pounding tent-stakes with a manual lawmower. It can be done, awkwardly, but why even try?

    I was planning a butterfly garden for myself and others when I went over the basics in my mind. When my mother lived with us in New Ulm, she spotted milkweed growing nearby and snagged some caterpillers for us to watch. We obtained a large glass jar, installed the caterpillers on a stick, and fed them milkweed leaves daily. The following shows what happened.





    The ever fatter caterpiller weaves a jade coffin with golden nails, far more beautiful than the photo above. Here is a close-up -

     The so-called golden nails really look metallic.

    He turns into liquid and reconstitutes himself as a Monarch butterfly. The wings show through and he emerges, ready to lay eggs on milkweed, the only food for the babies to eat as they grow.

    Here is his problem with hybrid Creation. Lacking milkweed, the eggs hatch with nothing to eat. Some butterflies can use various plants for their young, but not Monarchs.

    Monarch Notes:
    Q. What do monarch butterflies eat?
    A. 
    Adult butterflies eat nectar and water. Sometimes liquid from fruits. Larvae eat only milkweed.


    Thus the Monarch life cycle requires milkweed immediately available.

    But, the rationalist objects, God would have created the milkweed first and the butterflies second, taking millions and billions of years.

    Then we have hundreds of thousands of other objections, since all life requires other life-forms above and below them on the food pyramid. 

    No, this does not prove Creation, which is revealed by the Word. But we can reverse engineer Creation - in a feeble way - and see these hundreds of relationships before our eyes.

    The Monarch's life cycle is a miracle and that is God's work. We may see it any summer day, anywhere, but it is still astonishing to watch:

    • Egg
    • Caterpiller
    • Tent-maker
    • Goo - where the caterpiller turns inself into liquid!
    • Butterfly.
    Milkweed pods

     Milkweed in bloom

     Butterfly Weed is closely related to Milkweed, but not appealing to Monarchs. However, BW does attract other butterflies and is just as colorful as this photo shows.


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    Norma A. Boeckler



    THIRD SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.


    Text. Luke 15:1. 10. Now all the publicans and sinners were drawing near unto him to hear him. And both the Pharisees and the scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake unto them this parable, saying, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go alter that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his [riends and his neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto your, that even so there shalt be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who ,need no repentance.

    Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it? And when she hath found it, she calleth together her friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I had lost. Even so, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.





    PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP.

    1. The words of the Gospel are living and quickening, if we only comprehend them aright. But, in order that we may learn to understand this Gospel better, we will now place before us two classes of men, namely, public sinners and Pharisees, and will make Christ their judge. You have often heard that it is our duty, for love’s sake, to serve our neighbor in all things. If he is poor, we are to serve him with our goods; if he is in disgrace, we are to cover him with the mantle of our honor; if he is a sinner, we are to adorn him with our righteousness and piety. That is what Christ did for us. Philippians 2. He who was so exceedingly rich did, for our sake, empty himself and become poor. He served us with his goods, that we in our poverty might become rich. He was made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

    2. Now, the outward works of love are very great, as when we place our goods in the service of another. But the greatest is this, that I surrender my own righteousness and make it serve for the sins of my neighbor. For, outwardly to render service and help by means of one’s goods is love only in its outward aspect; but to render help and service through one’s righteousness, that is something great and pertains to the inward man. This means that I must love the sinner and be his friend, must be hostile to his vices and earnestly rebuke them, yet that I must love him with all my heart so as to cover his sins with my righteousness. I am commanded to rebuke; but Christ tells me, in Matthew 18:15-18, how I am to do this: “If thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone; if he hear thee, then hast thou gained thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church; and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. Verily I say unto you, what things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    3. In short, such an enemy of my neighbor am I to be that I cannot let him suffer. So dearly must I love him that I shall even run after him, and shall become like the shepherd that seeks the lost sheep, like the woman that seeks the lost piece of silver. On this occasion, therefore, we shall speak concerning such great work of love as is shown when a pious man invests the sinner with his own righteousness, when a pious woman invests the most wanton harlot with her own honor.

    4. This is something that neither the world nor reason will do. A work like this cannot be done by honorable and pious men who are actuated only by reason, by men who would prove their piety by turning up their nose at those who are sinners, as here the Pharisees do who murmur and grumble at public sinners.

    5. This is what our monks do. They have gone about making faces at all who lie in their sins, and have thought: “Oh, but this is a worldly fellow!

    He does not concern us. If, now, he really would be pious, let him put on the monk’s cowl.” Hence it is that reason and such hypocrites cannot refrain from despising those who are not like them. They are puffed up over their own life and conduct, and cannot advance far enough to be merciful to sinners. This much they do not know, that they are to be servants, and that their piety is to be of service to others. Moreover, they become so proud and harsh that they are unable to manifest any love. They think: “This peasant is not worthy to unloose the latchet of my shoes; therefore do not say that I am to show him any affection.” But at this point God intervenes, permitting the proud one to receive a severe fall and shock that he often becomes guilty of such sins as adultery, and at times does things even worse, and must afterwards smite himself, saying: “Keep still, brother, and restrain yourself, you are of precisely the same stuff as yonder peasant.” He thereby acknowledges that we are all chips of the same block.

    No ass need deride another as a beast of burden; for we are all of one flesh.

    6. This we clearly see in the two sorts of people here presented to us as examples. In the first place, we have the Pharisees and hypocrites who are exceedingly pious people, and were over head and ears in holiness. In the second place, we have the open sinners and publicans, who were over head and ears in sins. These, therefore, were despised by those shining saints, and were not considered worthy of their society. Here, however, Christ intervenes with his judgment and says that those saints are to stoop down and take the sinners upon their shoulders, and are to bear in mind that, with their righteousness and piety, they are help to others out of their sins. But, no’ That they will not do. And this is indeed the way it goes.

    7. A truly Christian work is it that we descend and get mixed up in the mire of the sinner as deeply as he sticks there himself, taking his sin upon ourselves and floundering out of it with him, not acting otherwise than as if his sin were our own. We should rebuke and deal with him in earnest; yet we are not to despise but sincerely to love him. If you are proud toward the sinner and despise him, you are utterly damned.

    8. These, then, are great and good works in which we should exercise ourselves. But no man pays attention to them. Such works have entirely faded away and become extinct. In the meantime, one resorts, in the name of the devil, to Saint James, another proceeds to build a church, a third provides for the saying of masses, — this one does this, the other does that, and no one thinks of praying for the sinner. It is therefore to be feared that the holiest are in the deepest hell, and that the sinners are mostly in heaven.

    But it would be a truly Christian work, if you received sinners, if you entered into your closet and there said, in earnest prayer to the Lord: “Oh, my God! of such a person I hear so and so, he lieth in his sins, he hath fallen. Oh, Lord, help him to rise again,” etc. This is just the way in which to receive and serve the sinner.

    9. Moses acted thus when the Israelites worshipped the molten calf. He mingled freely with the people in their’ sins. Yet he punished them severely, and caused three thousand men to be slain from gate to gate.

    Exodus 32. After that he went up and bowed down before God, and prayed that he would forgive the people their sin, or blot him out of the Book of Life. Behold, here we have a man who knew that God loved him and had written his name in the book of the blessed; and yet he says: “Lord, I would rather that thou shouldest damn me and save the people.”

    10. Paul, too, acted thus. At times he rebuked the Jews severely, calling them dogs and other names. Yet he knelt down and said: “I could wish that I myself were anathema from Christ for my brethren’s sake.” Romans 9:3. It is as if he had said: “I would willingly be anathema, if only the mass of the people might be helped.” Such a course as this is much too lofty for reason, and passes beyond its conception. It is thus that we, too, must act, and thus that we must serve our neighbor.

    11. Again, we have an incident in the first Book of Samuel. When the people demanded a king, and would not be ruled by God’s Word alone, but lost faith in the Lord, and said that they wanted a temporal king to go out before them and fight their battles, like all the nations, 1 Samuel 8:20.

    Then God came and punished them for the sin of having despised him, and spake thus to the prophet Samuel: “They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me.” After that the people came to Samuel and besought him to pray for them, saying: “Pray for thy servants unto Jehovah thy God, that we die not; for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask a king.”

    Then Samuel, among other things, said unto them: “Far be it from me that I should sin against Jehovah in ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. Only fear Jehovah, and serve him in truth with all your heart, for consider how great things he hath done for you.” 1 Samuel 12:19-24.

    12. David also acted thus. When the Lord inflicted the plagues upon Israel he spake unto the Lord and said: “Lo, I have sinned, and I have done perversely; but these sheep, what have they done? Let thy hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father’s house.”

    13. Such should be your bearing toward sinners; inwardly the heart in service, outwardly the tongue in earnest. God requires this of us; and this is what Christ, our Captain, has manifested in himself, as Paul says to the Philippians 2:4-9: “Not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross.”

    14. Christ was filled with all righteousness, and might justly have condemned us all as sinners. But he did not do so. What did he do, then?

    He gave himself to be our Servant. His righteousness has served for our sins, his fullness for our feebleness, his life for our death. This we find illustrated, for our example, in the Gospel before us, where he bears himself with such friendliness toward sinners that the Pharisees murmur.

    The Lord therefore sets before them the following parables in order to teach how they are to receive sinners and be of service to them, saying: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, and having lost one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it, etc. Or what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a lamp, and sweep the house, and seek diligently until she find it?”

    15. Christ is both the shepherd and the woman; for he has lighted the lamp, that is, the Gospel, and he goes about in the desert, that is, the world. He sweeps the house, and seeks the lost sheep and lost piece of silver, when he comes with his Word and proclaims to us, first our sins, and then his grace and mercy. Christ’s declaration, that he is the shepherd and has laid our sins upon his back or shoulders, makes us trust in him fully, and makes publicans and other sinners run after him. These would not have come unto him thus, had they regarded him as a hard and wrathful judge; for they had previously acknowledged themselves to be sinners and in need of his grace.

    And so they were drawn to him when they heard his loving doctrine. Here comes the sheep out of the wilderness, and here the lost piece of silver is found.

    16. Learn from this, then, that our neighbor is to be sought as a lost sheep, that his shame is to be covered with our honor, that our piety is to be a cover for his sins. But nowadays, when men come together they backbite one another; and thus they would show how zealous they are against sin.

    Therefore, ye men, whenever ye come together, do not backbite your neighbors. Make not one face at one person and another at some one else.

    Do not cut off one man’s foot and another man’s hand; make no such traffic of living flesh. Likewise, ye women, when you come together, conceal the shame of others, and do not cause wounds which you cannot heal. Should you meet with anything like this in some one’s house, then throw your mantle over shame and wounds, and close the door. A very good reason for doing this is, that you would have others do the same to you. Then, if you have kept the matter secret, bring the parties before you afterwards, and read them a good lecture; and let it remain with you as a secret.

    17. Christ, too, acts thus. He keeps silent and covers our sins. He could, indeed, expose us to shame, and could tread us under foot, as our text shows that the Pharisees did. But he does not do so. All will be brought to light, however, at the final judgment. Then everything hidden must be revealed. Then the virgin must place her crown upon the harlot, the pious woman must throw her veil over the adulteress, and everything we have must serve as a garment to cover the sins of others. For every man shall have his sheep, and every woman shall have her piece of silver. All our gifts must be the gifts of others.

    18. Hence there is, in God’s judgment, no greater sin on earth than that pious men and women and virgins commit when they despise those who lie in their sin and would appropriate to themselves their natural gifts, puffing themselves up and despising their neighbor.

    19. Hence this Gospel is very comforting to sinners. But whilst it is friendly to sinners, it is a source of great fear to Pharisees. Had this Gospel been nothing more than a good counsel, it would not have been so comforting; but now that it has been commanded I can recognize the mind of God in Christ, since he will have it so, and enjoins that we are to cover the sins of others. Yea, what is still more, Christ himself does this, and to this end was he sent; for no man fulfills the law of God as perfectly as he. We are scarcely a spark amid the divine fire and light. He is the fire of which heaven and earth are full.

    20. The Gospel is spoken to those only who acknowledge their sins, and their sins they acknowledge when they repent of them. But this Gospel is of no use to the Pharisees, for they do not acknowledge their sins. To those, however, who do acknowledge them, and are about to despair, the Gospel must be brought. But at this point the devil sets up a game, and suggests to the consciences of those who acknowledge their sins and long to be freed from them, that this one should resort to Saint James, that one to Rome, this one should take refuge in prayers, the other in confession.

    And then they are told: “Give six pounds of wax, have so ninny masses said, do this, do that, and thus you will be freed from your sins.” Thereby they are led farther and farther from the Gospel, and are brought to the standpoint of works. In this way they must certainly despair at last.

    21. Therefore, when you feel your sins gnawing at you, and feel your heart trembling and agitated, place yourself beside the publicans where they are standing. These are the very ones who shall receive the Gospel. Do so joyously, and say: “Oh, God! it is thy word that says there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance, and that all the righteous and angels are to interpose and cover up sins. Now, Oh, God! I have come to this that I feel my sins. I am already judged. I need but the one Shepherd who seeketh me; and I will therefore freely venture on thy Gospel.”

    22. It is thus that you come to God. You are already the sheep placed upon his shoulders. You have found the Shepherd. You are the piece of silver in the hand. You are the one over whom is joy in heaven in the presence of all the angels. We are not to worry, if we do not experience or feel this at once. Sin will daily decrease, and its sting will drive you to seek God. You must struggle against this feeling by faith, and say: “Oh, God! I know thou hast said this, and I lean upon thy Word. I am the sheep and the piece of silver; thou the shepherd and the woman.”

    23. You might say: Yes, this I will gladly do; but I cannot atone for my sins. I can render no satisfaction for them. Consider then the publicans and sinners. What good have they done? None. They came to God, heard his Word and believed it. Do the same. His are living words. The Gospel is too deep to be fathomed by human words. Conscientious men who tried it readily understand this.

    24. The learned and idle may determine the meaning of the ninety-nine in the desert. It is enough for us to learn the main thought of this Gospel.

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    The Third Sunday after Trinity, 2018



    Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



                           

    The Confession of Sins
    The Absolution
    The Introit p. 16
    The Gloria Patri
    The Kyrie p. 17
    The Gloria in Excelsis
    The Salutation and Collect p. 19
    The Epistle and Gradual       

    The Gospel              

    Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
    Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
    The Nicene Creed             p. 22


    The Sermon Hymn #436            The Lord’s My Shepherd              

    The Grace and Gentleness of Jesus the Savior


    The Preface p. 24
    The Sanctus p. 26
    The Lord's Prayer p. 27
    The Words of Institution
    The Agnus Dei p. 28
    The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
    The Benediction p. 31
    The Hymn #123             Our God, Our Help

    KJV 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11 To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.



    KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 

    3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

    8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it? 9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.


    Third Sunday After Trinity

    Lord God, heavenly Father, we all like sheep have gone astray, having suffered ourselves to be led away from the right path by Satan and our own sinful flesh: We beseech Thee graciously to forgive us all our sins for the sake of Thy Son, Jesus Christ; and quicken our hearts by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may abide in Thy word, and in true repentance and a steadfast faith continue in Thy Church unto the end, and obtain eternal salvation, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end Amen.





    Background - Objective and Subjective Views of the Scriptures

    The problem with most Biblical commentary is that the so-called experts start with a subjective view of the Scriptures, which are correct only to the extent they agree with the expert.

    The Roman Catholic Church established this view well before the Reformation and used it against the Lutherans when the papal party could not win against the Lutherans by arguing from the Bible.

    The starting point for Rome was - what agrees with Roman dogma? Therefore, they necessarily argued for the lack of clarity and incompleteness of the Biblical witness. Because of all the confusion, everyone needed a Supreme Court and senior justice, which would be the bishops headed by the Pope. The infallible pope concept, which Stephan and Walther propmoted, is easily transferred to Rome, where many LCMS pastors have landed.

    Eastern Orthodoxy picked a different route because of their history of brutal, bloody wars over doctrine, so they emphasized worship and took a vague approach to doctrine. They agree with Rome but are tired of the wars. This approach is very appealing to the high church LCMS pastors who leave, sometimes right after ordination.

    However, this is not limited to the Lutheran Reformation versus Rome. Zwingli and Calvin decided on approaches they would take, contrary to the Reformation - the efficacy of the Word, the work of the Spirit exclusively through the Word, and the Sacraments as the visible Word, actually conferring forgiveness.

    That is why the vast majority of written material on the Bible starts with "What can I do with this story?" It can be compared to politicians who speak of a "narrative" to get them elected, or scammer who scares people into buying something. 

    All this above is the subjective approach to the Scriptures. The faux-Lutherans of today practice this by starting with their dogma and shaping their narrative from the Bible to fit the agenda. 

    In contrast, the objective view of the Scriptures means that we take the whole as God's Word, all in perfect harmony, as the revealed truth. Lots of people say "inerrant, infallible, inspired, plenary inspiration, norma normans, etc" but what do the labels mean if they deny what is clearly taught in the Word?

    That is why Luther's Sermons are so important. They were his #1 way of teaching, and he also considered preaching the #1 task of the Church. 
    1. What is number #1 today when pastors are encouraged to copy each other's work or to take them (free!) from Craig Groeschel? 
    2. What is number #1 if disagreeing with false doctrine is reason to kick a pastor and congregation out of the organization?
    3. Is #1 successful in the eyes of the world or faithful in view of the Scriptures?
    4. Where is expository preaching if #1 is raising money and being successful in the eyes of Christianity Today?

    The Grace and Gentleness of Jesus the Savior


    KJV Luke 15:1 Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. 

    This passage could easily be called the introduction to the Parable of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal follows these illustrations and teaches the same grace of the Father in a different light, with good people acting like the outraged Pharisees. I am pointing that out to show how much the setting matters. These are not slips of paper glued together, but complete works all in harmony with the One Truth of the Bible. What is true in one place must be true in another or mistakes are being made.

    Jesus' illustrations are begun with an interesting and contrasting audience. The hated tax collectors and obvious sinners drew near to Jesus, because He was the first one to teach them about another righteousness, the righteousness of faith in Him. 

    They could not be seen that way by the scribes and Pharisees, who argued for the righteousness of works. These works-saints were offended by men (publicans) who extorted taxes for the hated Roman Empire and those sinners who were known as worthy of shunning.

    The charges agains the Son of God are severe, 
    "He welcomes sinners, and
    He sits down to dine with them!"

    The righteousness of works was not attractive to these people. It was only salt in their wounds. The Pharisees of that day and today would prescribe more Law for those who violated the Law. That is like getting test results (bad!) but no treatment, no medicine, no healing.

    The true nature of God the Father is full of grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. The mission of Jesus was to teach this and to show this in His own work. The Father and Son are in perfect agreement, and the Holy Spirit witnesses to this harmony.

    So Jesus offered two clear parables to illustrate the nature of divine mercy and grace, which is so appropriate for Father's Day. What the Son illustrates is always what the Father teaches - there is no contrast.

    1. The words of the Gospel are living and quickening, if we only comprehend them aright. But, in order that we may learn to understand this Gospel better, we will now place before us two classes of men, namely, public sinners and Pharisees, and will make Christ their judge. You have often heard that it is our duty, for love’s sake, to serve our neighbor in all things. If he is poor, we are to serve him with our goods; if he is in disgrace, we are to cover him with the mantle of our honor; if he is a sinner, we are to adorn him with our righteousness and piety. That is what Christ did for us. Philippians 2. He who was so exceedingly rich did, for our sake, empty himself and become poor. He served us with his goods, that we in our poverty might become rich. He was made to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him.


    3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? 

    Here the parable puts the listener in the role of the shepherd. We have all lost an animal for a time and went out to find it. If two pet dogs are in the house and a third one has vanished, the third one gets the attention.

    This is quite a view - the shepherd leaving the entire flock in the wilderness, where he should be protecting them, and looking for the lost one until he finds it. So Jesus puts us in the shepherd's role, but that is far beyond what a sensible person would do. And that is the point. God is not like man - God does far more than we can imagine. To show us that point, the relationship between God and man is shown in a human dramag where we can identify with many points but see also - yes, only God is like that, a grace far beyond what we can show ourselves, but one that should move us through the Gospel Word.

    5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

    We can identify with the found part, and that should give us joy. What we have done wrong, God rejoices in hauling us back from the precipice.

    Sometimes it is doctrinal error, where the agreement of many false teachers will make error seem like the highest good. How can 60 professors and pastors be wrong? - The same way that Rome is wrong, error strengthened by numbers and centuries of tradition. So we can be yanked back by a sudden controversy, conflict, shunning, rejection, and turmoil.

    When we have lost an animal, we enjoy telling people about how we found it. Once I asked Sassy to track Precious, and that took about 15 seconds. When Precious saw Sassy, she just sat down - the party is over. I surrender. Take me home.

    Man's temptation is to pile more Law on the hurting sinner, but the message here is to rejoice at finding someone. As Luther wrote, it is one thing to share goods and food, which is easy to do. But to identify with the sinner, to cover his sins and be condemned (as Jesus was) is another matter. 

    Typical of Luther - he points out Jesus covering our sins, which is in the introduction - He is condemned by the works-salesmen. But the nature of God is to rejoice is the lost. So we should not pull back from helping if it casts a bad light on us. That is not to endorse the sin. 

    "This means that I must love the sinner and be his friend, must be hostile to his vices and earnestly rebuke them, yet that I must love him with all my heart so as to cover his sins with my righteousness."

    7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. 

    This is another commending of grace for the repenting sinner. Someone may be contrite and ready to start a new life, but is still weak and confused from previous experiences and habits. Yet we rejoice in the new state and the hope that begins to grow.

    The 99 are those who imagine themselves beyond all need, and it is an ironic twist or poke at the works-saints. To say they need no repentance is ironic humor, because we are all in need of repentance. It is that state where we feel no need that we harden our hearts against others and no longer feel the need for God's grace and forgiveness, since we are above that.

    That is the self-righteousness of apostasy in America today, where most church bodies are done with grace and now want to change society for the better. A 20+ "classic" the Braaten-Jenson Dogmatics makes fun of the Atonement and the cross. The authors subsequently howled over the results of their apostate dogma.

    It is easy to notice that the message of American culture is works rather than God's grace in Christ.

    8 Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?

    I hate to mention this, but this parable becomes true for us several times before it is a Gospel lesson again. I was actually on a borrowed phone, ordering a new one, when an Army Ranger did a search of our house and found the lost phone. More recently, it was expensive medicine.

    Do we not accomplish every possible task to find what is lost? I will crawl on my knees, get out the mega-flashlight, pick up all extra items and shake them out, move, examine, re-examine, and try strange and exotic places for the lost item. Freezer? Don't be so sure. Go ahead and look. Under the papers. I looked. Look again. 
    There it is, There it is. A similar item.

    So when the lost item is found, we rejoice and tell people about it. 

    9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost. 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

    The bigger the find, the happier we are. The angels rejoice over the repentance of one sinner, so we can see that Jesus teaches grace and forgiveness over condemnation by the Law. 

    We can always make ourselves feel superior if we are not vulnerable to that one weakness, whatever it might be. However, the entire world lives in condemnation for lack of faith in Christ. That condemnation is universal - except for those who trust in His gentle forgiveness.

    Once again we can look at Luther's comparison with all the subjective forms of Christianity. They talk about Jesus all the time - even the radical chaplain at Yale said so, William Sloane Coffin - but they tear down the access to His grace - the Means of Grace.

    Where do I find grace? In having a church with 6,000 members drained from other churches? In praying for the US to get out of Nicaragua (a prayer at a wedding)? In being obedient to a denomination? In feeling grace? (Yahoooo.)

    Grace is always found and will always be found in the Word, Holy Baptism, and Holy Communion. 

    Father's Day Grace
    Every father of a child shoud rejoice in that child, no matter what. God's gift of life, natural or adopted, is a special miracle. We can take that for granted, and many do. 

    But Jesus is the example of gentle forgiveness. When mothers complained about their children "ruining a rug by spilling on it," my wife said, "Be glad. My daughters cannot spill on anything." The irony is - Erin Joy loved spills of all kinds and had people laughing til they cried over her delight. Falling nurses - hilarious, falling with babies, even funnier. Falling into a wheelchair - breathless with laughter. Falling quart of yogurt shooting upward over a nurse - the best ever. No one was hurt from the human and food spills - everyone had weeks and months and years of laughter from it. One enormous 3 ring binder fell and spilled the papers all over the floor - the nurse, pardon me, cussed over the spill. She heard a tiny voice laughing and laughing. That became the unit's big story of the day.

    In that way too, God converts sin into forgiveness through contrition. The way can be very rough at times, for all people, because we all need both components - contrition and forgiveness. But we can rejoice in the forgiveness, just as God and His holy angels do.

    21. Therefore, when you feel your sins gnawing at you, and feel your heart trembling and agitated, place yourself beside the publicans where they are standing. These are the very ones who shall receive the Gospel. Do so joyously, and say: “Oh, God! it is thy word that says there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine righteous persons, who need no repentance, and that all the righteous and angels are to interpose and cover up sins. Now, Oh, God! I have come to this that I feel my sins. I am already judged. I need but the one Shepherd who seeketh me; and I will therefore freely venture on thy Gospel.”

    22. It is thus that you come to God. You are already the sheep placed upon his shoulders. You have found the Shepherd. You are the piece of silver in the hand. You are the one over whom is joy in heaven in the presence of all the angels. We are not to worry, if we do not experience or feel this at once. Sin will daily decrease, and its sting will drive you to seek God. You must struggle against this feeling by faith, and say: “Oh, God! I know thou hast said this, and I lean upon thy Word. I am the sheep and the piece of silver; thou the shepherd and the woman.”

    23. You might say: Yes, this I will gladly do; but I cannot atone for my sins. I can render no satisfaction for them. Consider then the publicans and sinners. What good have they done? None. They came to God, heard his Word and believed it. Do the same. His are living words. The Gospel is too deep to be fathomed by human words. Conscientious men who tried it readily understand this.



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    Sassy is looking at the photographer on the floor.
    This is her amused look when my antics puzzle her.

    Yesterday Sassy got her evening stroll, limited to our cul-de-sac. We have evening shade and almost no traffic, unlike the busy Scott Street, which some treat as a race track.

    The kids treat our street as their playground, so cars are very careful. This was a small reunion for the Laotian family across the street, so the adults watched the 6 and 7 year-olds pet Sassy. We talked about her loud barking and their sudden discovery of her missing leg. Sassy and I walked across to our house, and they were behind. "Look, a garden! Roses."

    I asked, "Do you want some for your moms?" They are cousins. I went inside for my collection of soft drink cups, which are good, expendable vases. "McDonalds! I love McDonalds," the boy said.



    I got them the remaining roses plus a Wild Ginger flower and some Balloon flowers. They popped several "balloons," which is what the expended flowers look like. They took their rose bouquets across the street, where the adults were smiling and waving.

    Sassy was very happy. She adds people to her list as she gets to know them. Then she is not so barky with excitement. But nobody can stop her when she is. I figure it is a safety valve to keep her from exploding with happiness.



    After the 6 AM, Editing the Garden
    A big mulching project was delayed, so I decided to devote some morning time each day to editing the garden. Grassy weeds were starting to annoy me.

    I have a battery clipper which ideal for trimming weeds around the Daisies, Joe Pyes, and roses. Mulch kills most weeds and composts them, but the opportunistic weeds on the perimeter get extra water and some open space to re-establish.

    I am using layers of newspaper, wood mulch, and leftover peat moss to shut down the sunlight that enboldens the weeds. Mulching is modular, so I have extra mulch here and there to pile on top of the latest edit.


    1. Trim weeds down to the ground, instead of pulling them,
    2. Add a layer of newspaper, sometimes cardboard.
    3. Pile on powdered peat from the two bales I have left from 2017.
    4. Put wood mulch on top.

    Ranger Bob's cat came through the garden, not seeing me. I said, "Here kitty," and she took off. She loves my Cat Mint and visits all the time, rubbing her fur against it. The Mountain Mint is tall and giving off strong mint aromas. Soon it will bloom and gather an airfleet of pollinators.

    Cat Mint bloomed early and has remained in bloom. The Horse Mint - purple bergamot - is now in full bloom. All three grow by clumping rather than taking over the entire garden. I told my helper, "Do not plant Peppermint." Soon he was bewailing its spread. "I told you." I drive by where his family used to live - lots of Peppermint and the Purple Splash roses I gave them.

     Fragrant Cloud rose is one of our favorites.

    When Is a Good Time To Prune Roses?
    Short answer - always. They love being pruned and grow even more flowers.

    When I am sitting on the ground, weeding, I have a good view of the roses' need for pruning. I clip every one within reach.


     Hot Cocoa is has more orange in our garden,
    but climate does change color and fragrance to some extent.


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     Poison Hemlock is from the same family, plants which are not all toxic, but Giant Hogweed is awful and Poison Hemlock is deadly.


    According to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, the plant can grow anywhere between 8 to 14 feet tall when it's flowering. If the plant is in bloom, the numerous white flowers will cluster into a flat-topped "umbrella."

    Wiki:
    Heracleum mantegazzianum
    Herkulesstaude fg01.jpg
    Scientific classification
    Kingdom: Plantae
    (unranked): Angiosperms
    (unranked): Eudicots
    (unranked): Asterids
    Order: Apiales
    Family: Apiaceae
    Genus: Heracleum
    Species: H. mantegazzianum
    Binomial name
    Heracleum mantegazzianum
    Sommier & Levier
    Heracleum mantegazzianum, commonly known as giant hogweed,[1][2][3]cartwheel-flower,[1][2][3] giant cow parsnip,[4][5] hogsbane or giant cow parsley,[6] is a plant in the family Apiaceae. In New Zealand, it is also sometimes called wild parsnip,[2] or wild rhubarb.[2] It typically grows to heights of 2 to 5.5 m (6 ft 7 in to 18 ft 1 in).[7] Superficially, it resembles common hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), Heracleum sosnowskyi, or garden angelica (Angelica archangelica). It is phototoxic and considered to be a noxious weed in many jurisdictions. Giant hogweed is native to the Caucasus region and Central Asia. It was introduced to Britain as an ornamental plant in the 19th century, and it has also spread to many other parts of Europe, the United States, and Canada.
    The sap of giant hogweed causes phytophotodermatitis in humans, resulting in blisters and scars. These serious reactions are due to the furocoumarin derivatives in the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds of the plant.





    Pictures of this varied and useful family can be found at this link.

    Giant Hogweed - A Lesson about Importing False Doctrine - 2015


    http://ichabodthegloryhasdeparted.blogspot.com/2015/05/giant-hogweed-lesson-about-importing.html

    Even touching this plant can make you sorry for a long, long time.
    Note the Queen Ann's Lace profile -
    Queen Ann's Lace is called wild carrot, but those wild carrots are poison.

    Wikipedia says:

    Giant hogweed was among many foreign plants introduced to Britain in the 19th century, mainly for ornamental reasons. It is now widespread throughout the British Isles, especially along riverbanks. By forming dense stands, they can displace native plants and reduce wildlife interests.[8] It has also spread in the northeastern and northwestern United States and southern Canada. It is equally a pernicious invasive species in Germany, France and Belgium, overtaking the local species.[8] It was introduced in France in the 19th century by botanists, where it is much appreciated by beekeepers.

    A Facebook friend posted a video about Giant Hogweed in Michigan, and I wondered a bit about a hoax, so I looked it up on various sites.

    The plant looks like carrots gone to seed, parsley, and Queen Ann's Lace, all part of my gardening efforts. For good reason - Giant Hogweed belongs to the same family and has that umbrella shaped seedheads.

    My first thought is - If a plant can grow 10 feet without effort, be very wary of it, because that is not a typical plant and it is unlikely a wholesome plant.

    Mr. Gardener and I laugh about the government suggesting kudzu vine and the Chinese multiflora rose as good plants for farmers to plant and encourage. Both are noxious plants and illegal to grow now. In Arkansas, he says, there are still areas owned by kudzu, smothered by the vine.

    They found a disease that attacks the multiflora rose, so that plant is no longer considered a major threat to life, health, wealth, and peace of mind. Neither kudzu nor multiflora rose could be weeded out - which tells us something right there.




    Plants and Sound Doctrine
    Plants from the same family have similar growing habits, similar flowers and seeds, but they often vary in their usefulness.

    The nightshades include tomatoes, potatoes, tobacco, egg plant, woody nightshade, deadly nightshade, and garden huckleberry. The last item produces black berries that can be cooked and made into pies. Deadly nightshade is the basis for belladonna, still a useful medicine, but the berries are toxic.

    The umbellifers include:
    The Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae), commonly known as the celerycarrot or parsley family, are a family of mostly aromatic plants with hollow stems. The family, which is named after the type genus Apium, is large, with more than 3,700 species spread across 434 genera; it is the 16th-largest family of flowering plants.[1] Included in this family are the well-known plants: angelicaanisearracachaasafoetidacarawaycarrotceleryCentella asiaticachervilcicely,coriander (cilantro), culantrocumindillfennelhemlocklovageQueen Anne's laceparsleyparsnipcow parsnip,sea hollygiant hogweed and the now extinct silphium.

    Since Giant Hogweed comes from a distinguished family, it must be good. I am sure that was the argument, and "Look, how the bees love it." And - "Easy to grow!"

    Touch this plant and get blistered and scarred.
    It is extremely toxic.
    We all have our toxic plant stories, including poison ivy. I once tried to pull it out of the ground with my bare hands. I really suffered for that. Mr. Gardener and his wife both have their own poison ivy stories. Our cousin almost died from eating a mushroom that she was hyper-allergic too, though it did not affect her family.

    Dealing with plants means discerning the good from the bad. I do not have the knowledge to find the right mushrooms in the wild so I do not even try.

    Sound Doctrine Is Healthy Doctrine - False Doctrine Is Cancer

    Distinguishing sound doctrine (literally healthy teaching) from false doctrine (described as a cancer) is a mandate for all Christian believers, especially those who would teach the Faith.

    The arguments of false teachers are just as compelling as the government's promotion of kudzu vine -

    1. Kudzu grows quickly on its own.
    2. The roots hold the soil.
    3. Cattle can eat it - free food.


    Church Growth came from Robert Schuller and the nearby Fuller Seminary, both near Disneyland in California. Schuller was a Dutch Calvinist, a Protestant. Look at how successful he was, and look at how Fuller became the largest pan-demon seminary in America.

    Superficially, Church Growth is not opposed to the Christian Faith. The leaders promoted it as good for all denominations (a bad sign). And church executives from all denominations - even the Church of Rome - came to be trained there.

    The leaders of the LCMS, WELS, and ELS have been trained at Fuller, Willow Creek, and similar re-education centers, like Trinity Divinity in Deerfield. Lutheran laity have paid the tuition for them. Thrivent has also backed this 100%  - another bad sign.

    No single aspect of Church Growth can be refuted.

    • Is it wrong to phone a lot of people for evangelism? 
    • Is it wrong to clean the church and make it attractive? (Rare, but not wrong) 
    • Do we have to use page 5 and 15 for the worship service?
    • Do all the hymns have to be from Lutherans?
    • Cannot our members sing solos and glorify God?
    • Must we stick to the KJV, which did not come from Lutherans? (Shading the truth a bit)

    Church Growth dogma and methods can be promoted successfully when it is carefully presented to the innocent, hiding the real agenda, which works more by displacement than outright antagonism.

    Giant Hogweed does not kill other plants - it simply overwhelms them with its enormous leaves and prodigal seed production. Dill and Queen Ann's Lace can easily be spread by crushing the seedheads and sowing the seed. I simply took home mature Queen Ann's Lace and left it on the ground.  But neither plant takes over the way Giant Hogweed does.

    They brag about going there and deny it -
    Bivens and Valleskey.

    Kudzu enriches the soil in many ways, but it also smothers homes, cars, and utility poles.

    Church Growth has spread its culture of doctrinal indifference to every single church body in America. From doctrinal indifference comes all the bad fruit of any fast-growing weedlike false teaching.

    Frau Mueller, Wayne's cross-dressing son,
    Larry Olson, perhaps the worst teacher at Martin Luther College,
    and Jeff Gunn, DP Buchholz' favorite pastor,
    all are working together to smother and destroy the Means of grace.

    I first heard it in Columbus, Ohio from the adulterous clergy in WELS -

    • Doctrinal discernment is "Christian bashing."
    • Anyone against Church Growth is "lazy."
    • "You are not one of us." (Good)
    • "We have been talking to your members and..."
     WELS funded a separate campus of the same congregation,
     to present Craig Groeschel sermons verbatim.
    They even borrowed the Groeschel graphics and slogans.


    Like WELS, Missouri, and the ELS, they lost by winning. The Columbus WELS congregations are collapsing faster than a Hillary alibi. Those clergy (like Jay Webber and Jon Buchholz) who did nothing against Church Growth are loudly proclaiming forgiveness without faith as the true Gospel - denying UOJ is the foundation for Church Growth, even though the adulterous Karl Barth and the heinous David Valleskey taught UOJ with glee.



    Don Patterson denied his Chruch and Change credentials,
    went to their "last" conference,
    took staff to Exponential,
    and became the District President.