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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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    http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=1049988
    The doctoral stripes on the sleeves are for PhDs, not for drive-by DMins.
    The brocade stole worn with an academic gown - that must be WELS stylin'.

    RATING: ALL  CLASS: ALL COMMENT
    08/20/2015
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    I have never taken a class with Olson, but I have heard terrible things. He focuses on the Law and belittling students. While I recognize the importance of the Law, Olson uses it to chastise students and never builds them up with the Gospel. He is the very opposite of Christ like. He is nothing more than a bully on a power trip.
    DATE
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    4/24/13
    REL3001
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    If you can avoid this professor, do so at all costs. He's rude, inconsiderate, boring, and doesn't know how to teach. Takes your money if you don't bring your book. Expects us to write papers at a level such that  (sic) of an English scholar, which few of us actually are. This is not a grammar course, Olson, its (sic) religion. [This is WELS. We duzn't hafta write English.]

    11/10/08
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    No interest in topic; boring lectures; unable to teach.

    11/7/07
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    No Comments

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     This seems to be a legitimate link on Amazon.
    Note: This item is only available from third-party sellers (see all offers).
    Available from these sellers.
    • High quality mug makes the perfect gift for everyone.
    • Printed on only the highest quality mugs. The print will never fade no matter how many times it is washed.
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    The name Martin Luther has become a joke in WELS...




    And the LCMS





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  • 08/13/17--04:04: Appalling WELS Statistics
  •  WELS and the LCMS work with ELCA
    because the openly apostate are peers to emulate.


    The LCA said, in their 1978 Church Growth program - aka Evangelism - that they could no longer depend on boats and babies to build up the membership. The WELS-LCMS shrinkers enjoy repeating the same lines. I even caught WELS using LCA graphics to explain why they were running out loot.

    WELS photoshopped some graphics to continue the same lament, which neglects to mention the Lutheran sects abandoned the Means of Grace. Long ago and far away, Lutherans trusted in the efficacy of the Word and Sacraments.

    The IT department of Ichabod has analyzed the published  WELS statistics to show how bad things are. Given the clergy's urge to bloat their own bad numbers, the following is just a hint of the WELSian reality.

    Their Reported Numbers - Average Weekly Attendance -  147,959
    The average attendance includes visitors, grandparents on holidays, and special services. So, it's even worse.  There are also over 300 congregations with fewer  than 50 average attendance.  That is the issue because they can hardly pay for pastor and church  - let alone for synod deluxe salaries.

    Communing Membership - 285,061

    Baptized Members - 357,209

    I favor another denomination's attitude. Their real membership count is their average weekly attendance. They can leave names on the rolls forever, but that does not get those ghostly figures into church.


    Someone should explain to the membership why WELS is deliberately dismantling old congregations that have $1 million or so in physical assets. The immediate advantage is to get cash for the sect to spend. The long-term effects?

     How is WELS different from ELCA?
    I forgot.



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    NINTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.

    SECOND SERMON — LUKE 16:1-9.

    KJV Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.


    1. Although in my Postils hitherto, and in my little book, Christian Liberty and Good Works, I have taught very extensively, how faith alone without works justifies, and good works are done first after we believe, that it seems I should henceforth politely keep quiet, and give every mind and heart an opportunity to understand and explain all the gospel lessons for themselves; yet I perceive that the Gospel abides and prospers only among the few; the people are constantly dispirited and terrified by the passages that treat of good works; so that I see plainly how necessary it is, either to write Postils on each gospel lesson, or to appoint sensible ministers in all places who can orally explain and teach these things.

    2. If this Gospel be considered without the Spirit by mere reason, it truly favors the priests and monks, and could be made to serve covetousness and to establish one’s own works. For when Christ says: “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles;” they force from it three points against our doctrine of faith, namely: first, against that we teach faith alone justifies and saves from sin; second, that all good works ought to be gratuitously done to our neighbors out of free love; third, that we should not put any value in the merits of saints or of others.

    3. Against our first proposition they claim the Lord says here: “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness,” just as though works should make us friends, who previously were enemies.

    Against the second is what he says: “That they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles;” just as though we should do the work for our own sakes and benefit. And against the third they quote: “The friends may receive us into the eternal tabernacles;” just as though we should serve the saints and trust in them to get to heaven.

    For the sake of the weak we reply to these:

    I. FAITH ALONE MAKES US GOOD, AND FRIENDS OF GOD.

    4. The foundation must be maintained without wavering, that faith without any works, without any merit, reconciles man to God and makes him good, as Paul says to the Romans 3:21-22: “But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe.” Paul at another place, Romans 4:9, says: “To Abraham, his faith was reckoned for righteousness;” so also with us.

    Again, 5: “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Again, 10:10: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” These, and many more similar passages, we must firmly hold and trust in them immovably, so that to faith alone without any assistance of works, is attributed the forgiveness of sins and our justification.

    5. Take for an illustration the parable of Christ in Matthew 7:17: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Here you see that the fruit does not make the tree good, but without any fruit and before any fruit the tree must be first good, or made good, before it can bear good fruit. As he also says, Matthew 12:33-34: “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit. Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?”

    Thus it is the naked truth, that a man must be good without good works, and before he does any good works. And it is clear how impossible it is that a man should become good by works, when he is not good before he does the good works. For Christ stands firm when he says: “How can ye, being evil, speak good things?” And hence follows: How can ye, being evil, do good things?



    6. Therefore the powerful conclusion follows, there must be something far greater and more precious than all good works, by which a man becomes pious and good, before he does good; just as he must first be in bodily health before he can labor and do hard work. This great and precious something is the noble Word of God, which offers us in the Gospel the grace of God in Christ. He who hears and believes this, thereby becomes good and righteous. Wherefore it is called the Word of life, a Word of grace, a Word of forgiveness. But he who neither hears nor believes it, can in no way become good. For St. Peter says in the Acts 15:9: “And he made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.”

    For as the Word is, so will the heart be, which believes and cleaves firmly to it. The Word is a living, righteous, truthful, pure and good Word, so also the heart which cleaves to it, must be living, just, truthful, pure and good.

    7. What now shall we say of those passages which so strongly insist on good works, as when the Lord says: “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness?” And in Matthew 25:42: “For I was hungry, and ye did not give me to eat.” And many other similar passages, which sound altogether as though we had to become good by works. We answer thus: 8. There are some who hear and read the Gospel and what is said by faith, and immediately conclude they have formed a correct notion of what faith is. They do not think that faith is anything else than something which is altogether in their own power to have or not to have, as any other natural human work. Hence, when in their hearts they begin to think and say: “Verily, the doctrine is right, and I believe it is true,” then they immediately think faith is present. But as soon as they see and feel in themselves and others that no change has taken place, and that the works do not follow and they remain as before in their old ways, then they conclude that faith is not sufficient, that they must have something more and greater than faith.

    Behold, how they then seize the opportunity, and cry and say: Oh, faith alone does not do it. Why? Oh, because there are so many who believe, and are no better than before, and have not changed their minds at all. Such people are those whom Jude in his Epistle calls dreamers, 5:8, who deceive themselves with their own dreams. For what are such thoughts of theirs which they call faith, but a dream, a dark shadow of faith, which they themselves have created in their own thoughts, by their own strength without the grace of God? They become worse than they were before. For it happens with them as the Lord says in Matthew 9:17 “Neither do men put new wine into old wine-skins; else the skins burst, and the wine is spilled.” That is, they hear God’s Word and do not lay hold of it, therefore they burst and become worse.

    9. But true faith, of which we speak, cannot be manufactured by our own thoughts, for it is solely a work of God in us, without any assistance on our part. As Paul says to the Romans 5:15, it is God’s gift and grace, obtained by one man, Christ. Therefore, faith is something very powerful, active, restless, effective, which at once renews a person and again regenerates him, and leads him altogether into a new manner and character of life, so that it is impossible not to do good without ceasing.



    For just as natural as it is for the tree to produce fruit, so natural is it for faith to produce good works. And just as it is quite unnecessary to command the tree to bear fruit, so there is no command given to the believer, as Paul says, nor is urging necessary for him to do good, for he does it of himself, freely and unconstrained; just as he of himself without command sleeps, eats, drinks, puts on his clothes, hears, speaks, goes and comes.

    Whoever has not this faith talks but vainly about faith and works, and does not himself know what he says or whither it tends. For he has not received it; he juggles with lies and applies the Scriptures where they speak of faith and works to his own dreams and false thoughts, which is purely a human work. Whereas the Scriptures attribute both faith and good works not to ourselves, but to God alone.

    10. Is not this a perverted and blind people? They teach we cannot do a good deed of ourselves, and then in their presumption go to work and arrogate to themselves the highest of all the works of God, namely faith, to manufacture it themselves out of their own perverted thoughts. Wherefore I have said that we should despair of ourselves and pray to God for faith as the Apostle did. Luke 17:5. When we have faith we need nothing more, for it brings with it the Holy Spirit, who then teaches us not only all things, but also establishes us firmly in it, and leads us through death and hell to heaven.

    11. Now observe, we have given these answers, that the Scriptures have such passages concerning works, on account of such dreamers and selfinvented faith; not that man should become good by works, but that man should thereby prove and see the difference between false and true faith.

    For wherever faith is right it does good. If it does no good, it is then certainly a dream and a false idea of faith. So, just as the fruit on the tree does not make the tree good, but nevertheless outwardly proves and testifies that the tree is good, as Christ says, Matthew 7:16: “By their fruits ye shall know them”--thus we should also learn to know faith by its fruits.

    12. From this you see, there is a great difference between being good, and to be known as good; or to become good and to prove and show that you are good. Faith makes good, but works prove the faith and goodness to be right. Thus the Scriptures speak in the plain way, which prevails among the common people, as when a father says unto his son: “Go and be merciful, good and friendly to this or to that poor person.” By which he does not command him to be merciful, good and friendly, but because he is already good and merciful, he requires that he should also show and prove it outwardly toward the poor by his act, in order that the goodness which he has in himself may also be known to others and be helpful to them. 13 So you should explain all passages of Scripture referring to works, that God thereby desires to let the goodness received in faith express and prove itself, and become a benefit to others, so that false faith may become known and rooted out of the heart. For God gives no one his grace that it may remain inactive and accomplish nothing good, but in order that it may bear interest, and by being publicly known and proved externally draw every one to God; as Christ says, Matthew 5:16: “Even so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Otherwise it would be but a buried treasure and a hidden light. But what profit is there in either? Yea, goodness does not only thereby. become known to others, but we ourselves also become certain that we are honest, as St. Peter in 2 Peter 1:10 says: “Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure.” For where works do not follow a man cannot know whether his faith is right; yea, he may be certain that his faith is a dream, and not right as it should be. Thus Abraham became certain of his faith and that he feared God, when he offered up his son. As God by the angel said to Abraham, Genesis 22:12: “Now I know, that is, it is manifest, that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”

    14. Then abide by the truth, that man is internally, in spirit before God, justified by faith alone without works, but externally and publicly before men and himself, he is justified by works, that he is at heart an honest believer and pious. The one you may call a public or outward justification, the other an inner justification, yet in the sense that the public or external justification is only the fruit, the result and proof of the justification in the heart, that a man does not become just thereby before God, but must previously be just before him. So you may call the fruit of the tree the public or outward good of the tree, which is only the result and proof of its inner and natural goodness.

    This is what St. James means when he says in his Epistle, James 2:26: “Faith without works is dead.” That is, as the works do not follow, it is a sure sign that there is no faith there; but only an empty thought and dream, which they falsely call faith. Now we understand the word of Christ: “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness.” That is, prove your faith publicly by your outward gifts, by which you win friends, that the poor may be witnesses of your public work, that your faith is genuine. For mere external giving in itself can never make friends, unless it proceed from faith, as Christ rejects the alms of the Pharisees in Matthew 6:2, that they thereby make no friends because their heart is false. Thus no heart can ever be right without faith, so that even nature forces the confession that no work makes one good, but that the heart must first be good and upright.

    II. ALL WORKS MUST BE DONE FREELY AND GRATUITOUSLY, WITHOUT SEEKING GAIN BY THEM.

    15. Christ means this when, in Matthew 10:8, he says: “Freely ye receive, freely give.” For just as Christ with all his works did not merit heaven for himself, because it was his before; but he served us thereby, not regarding or seeking his own, but these two things, namely, our benefit and the glory of God his Father; so also should we never seek our own in our good works, either temporal or eternal, but glorify God by freely and gratuitously doing good to our neighbor. This St. Paul teaches the Philippians 2:5: “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 the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” That is, for himself he had enough, since in him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and yet he served us and became our servant.

    16. And this is the cause; for since faith justifies and destroys sin before God, so it gives life and salvation. And now it would be a lasting shame and disgrace, and injurious to faith, if any one by his life and works would desire to obtain what faith already possesses and brings with it. Just as Christ would have only disgraced himself had he done good in order to become the Son of God and Lord over all things, which he already was before. So faith makes us God’s children as John 1:12 says: “But as many as received him, to them gave he the right to become the children of God, even to them thai: believe on his name.” But if they are children, then they are heirs, as St. Paul says, Romans 8:17, and Galatians 4:7.

    How then can we do anything to obtain the inheritance, which we already have by faith?

    17. But what shall we say of passages that insist on a good life for the sake of an external reward as this one does: “Make to yourselves friends by means of the mammon of unrighteousness?” And in Matthew 19:17: “But if thou wouldst enter into life, keep the commandments.” And Matthew 6:20: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” We will say this: that those who do not know faith, only speak and think of the reward, as of works. For they think that the same rule obtains here as in human affairs, that they must earn the Kingdom of heaven by their works.

    These, too, are dreams and false views, of which Malachi 1:10, speaks: “Oh, that there were one among you that would shut the doors, that ye might not kindle fire on mine altar in vain!” They are slaves and greedy self-enjoying hirelings and day laborers, who receive their reward here on earth, like the Pharisees with their praying and fasting, as Christ says, Matthew 6:2.

    However, in regard to the eternal reward it is thus: inasmuch as works naturally follow faith, as I said, it is not necessary to command them, for it is impossible for faith not to do them without being commanded, in order that we may learn to distinguish the false from the true faith. Hence the eternal reward also follows true faith, naturally, without any seeking, so that it is impossible that it should not, although it may never be desired or sought, yet it is appropriated and promised in order that true and false believers may be known, and that every one may understand that a good life follows naturally of itself.

    18. As an illustration of this take a rude comparison: behold, hell and death are also threatened to the sinner, and naturally follow sin without any seeking; for no one does wickedly because he wants to be damned, but would much rather escape it. Yet, the result is there, and it is not necessary to declare it, for it will come of itself. Yet, it is declared that man might know what follows a wicked life. So here, a wicked life has its own reward without seeking it. Hence a good life will find its reward without any seeking it. When you drink good or poor wine, although you do not drink it for the taste, yet the taste naturally follows of itself.

    19. Now when Christ says: make to yourselves friends, lay up for yourselves treasures, and the like, you see that he means: do good, and it will follow of itself without your seeking, that you will have friends, find treasures in heaven, and receive a reward. But your eyes must simply be directed to a good life, and care nothing about the reward, but be satisfied to know and be assured that it will follow, and let God see to that. For those who look for a reward, become lazy and unwilling laborers, and love the reward; more than the work, yea, they become enemies of work. In this way God’s will also becomes hateful, who has commanded us to work, and hence God’s command and will must finally become burdensome to such a heart.

    III. IT IS NOT THE SAINTS, BUT GOD ONLY WHO RECEIVES US INTO THE ETERNAL TABERNACLES, AND BESTOWS THE REWARD.

    20. This is so clear that it needs no proof. For how can the saints receive us into heaven, as every one himself must depend on God alone to receive him into heaven, and every saint scarcely has enough for himself? This the wise virgins prove, who did not wish to give of their oil to the foolish virgins, Matthew 25:9, and St. Peter, 1 Peter 4:18, says: “The righteous is scarcely saved.” And Christ in John 3:13: “And no one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of Man, who is in heaven.”

    21. What then shall we reply to: “Make to yourselves friends out of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when it shall fail, they may receive you into the eternal tabernacles ?” We say this: that this passage says nothing about the saints in heaven, but of the poor and needy on earth, who live among us. As though he would say: why do you build churches, make saints and serve my mother, St. Peter, St. Paul and other departed saints?

    They do not need this or any other service of yours, they are not your friends, but friends of those who lived in their days and to whom they did good; but do service to your friends, that is, the poor who live in your time and among you, your nearest neighbors who need your help, make them your friends with your mammon.

    22. Again, we must not understand this reception into the eternal tabernacles as being done by man; however, men will be an instrument and witness to our faith, exercised and shown in their behalf, on account of which God receives us into the eternal tabernacles. For thus the Scriptures are accustomed to speak when they say: sin condemns, faith saves, that means, sin is the cause why God condemns, and faith is the cause why he saves. As man also is at all times accustomed to say: your wickedness will bring you misfortune, which means, your wickedness is the cause and source of your misfortune. Thus our friends receive us into heaven, when they are the cause, through our faith shown to them, of entering heaven.

    This is enough on these three points.

    23. In this connection we will explain three questions, that we may better understand this Gospel. What is mammon? Why is it unrighteous? And why Christ commands us to imitate the unjust steward, who worked for his own gain at his master’s expense, which without doubt is unjust and a sin?

    24. First, mammon is a Hebrew word meaning riches or temporal goods, namely, whatever any one owns over and above what his needs require, and with which he can benefit others without injuring himself. For Hamon in Hebrew means multitude, or a great crowd or many, from which Mahamon or Mammon, that is, multitude of riches or goods, is derived.

    25. Second, it is called unrighteous, not because obtained by injustice and usury, for with unrighteous possessions no good can be done, for it must be returned as Isaiah 61:8, says: “For I, Jehovah, love justice, I hate robbery with iniquity.” And Solomon, Proverbs 3:27, says: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thy hand to do it.” But it is called unrighteous because it stands in the service of unrighteousness, as St. Paul says to the Ephesians 5:16, that the days are evil, although God made them and they are good, but they are evil because wicked men misuse them, in which they do many sins, offend and endanger souls. Therefore, riches are unrighteous, because the people misuse and abuse them. For we know that wherever riches are the saying holds good: money rules the world, men creep for it, they lie for it, they act the hypocrite for it, and do all manner of wickedness against their neighbor to obtain it, to keep it, and increase it to possess the friendship of the rich.

    26. But it is especially before God an unrighteous mammon because man does not serve his neighbor with it; for where my neighbor is in need and I do not help him when I have the means to do so, I unjustly keep what is his, as I am indebted to give to him according to the law of nature: “Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them.” Matthew 7:12. And Christ says in Matthew 5:42: “Give to him that asketh thee.” And John in his first Epistle,1 John 3:17: “But whoso hath the world’s goods, and beholdeth his brother in need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how doth the love of God abide in him?” And few see this unrighteousness in mammon because it is spiritual, and is found also in those possessions which are obtained by the fairest means, which deceive them that they think they do no one any harm, because they do no coarse outward injustice, by robbing, stealing and usury.

    27. In the third place it has been a matter of very great concern to many to know who the unjust steward is whom Christ so highly recommends? This, in short, is the simple answer: Christ does not commend unto us the steward on account of his unrighteousness, but on account of his wisdom and his shrewdness, that with all his unrighteousness, he so wisely helps himself. As though I would urge some one to watch, pray and study, and would say: Look here, murderers and thieves wake at night to rob and steal, why then do you not wake to pray and study? By this I do not praise murderers and thieves for their crimes, but for their wisdom and foresight, that they so wisely obtain the goods of unrighteousness. Again. as though I would say: An unchaste woman adorns herself with gold and silk to tempt young boys; why will you not also adorn yourself with faith to please Christ? By this I do not praise fornication, but the diligence employed.

    28. In this way Paul compares Adam and Christ saying: “Adam was a figure of him that was to come.” Romans 5:14. Although from Adam we have nothing but sin, and from Christ nothing but grace, yet these are greatly opposed to each other. But the comparison and type consist only in the consequence or birth, not in virtue or vice. As to birth, Adam is the father of all sinners, so Christ is the father of all the righteous. And as all sinners come from one Adam, so all the righteous come from one Christ.

    Thus the unjust steward is here typified to us only in his cunning and wisdom, who knows so well how to help himself, that we should also consider in the right way the welfare of our souls as he did in the wrong way that of his body and life. With this we will let it suffice, and pray God for grace.

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    The Ninth Sunday after Trinity, 2017

    Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



    The melodies are linked in the hymn title. 
    The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.
    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
            
    Practical Wisdom

    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 # 54              Guide Me Thou, O Great Jehovah                    

    KJV 1 Corinthians 10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. 6 Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

    KJV Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5 So he called every one of his lord's debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6 And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7 Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.



    Ninth Sunday After Trinity

    Lord God, heavenly Father, who hast bountifully given us Thy blessing and our daily bread: We beseech Thee, preserve us from covetousness, and so quicken our hearts that we willingly share Thy blessed gifts with our needy brethren; that we may be found faithful stewards of Thy gifts, and abide in Thy grace when we shall be removed from our stewardship, and shall come before Thy judgment, through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

    The Sower - by Norma Boeckler


    Practical Wisdom

    KJV Luke 16:1 And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods.

    Mankind thinks in terms of the law and works, so even the most Christ-centered parable - the Good Samaritan - is almost universally taught as a do-gooder lesson. Many parts of the Scriptures are so clear that no one can get past their lessons without completely ignoring them - which the false teachers do, with a vengeance. But still, people remember what those passages teach and should not let them go. 

    I heard of a comical situation where a WELS pastor tried to lead a layman into confessing forgiveness without faith. No matter how much manipulation was used, the layman still replied according to justification by faith. 

    In the case of this parable, Luther complains that the Church of Rome uses it to prove the necessity of good works and that good works take us to eternal life. And if we stick to human reason, which always eviscerates the Word, then that is truly so. The unjust steward is an example, but of what?


    4. The foundation must be maintained without wavering, that faith without any works, without any merit, reconciles man to God and makes him good, as Paul says to the Romans 3:21-22: “But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe.” Paul at another place, Romans 4:9, says: “To Abraham, his faith was reckoned for righteousness;” so also with us.

    Again, 5: “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Again, 10:10: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” These, and many more similar passages, we must firmly hold and trust in them immovably, so that to faith alone without any assistance of works, is attributed the forgiveness of sins and our justification.

    5. Take for an illustration the parable of Christ in Matthew 7:17: “Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” Here you see that the fruit does not make the tree good, but without any fruit and before any fruit the tree must be first good, or made good, before it can bear good fruit. As he also says, Matthew 12:33-34: “Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit. Ye offspring of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?”

    To deny these truths - stated by Luther - is no different from the person who says, "But the Bible never uses the term Trinity," or even - "See here, only the Father and Son are mentioned, so this is the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God." (BOMFOG - mainline liberal apostasy). 

    The parable is easily condensed. The proud but wasteful estate manager was called before the owner and told to get out. 

     2 And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3 Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4 I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 

    There is no repentance, only a plan to get hired as a manager of another estate. That is how this parable earned the name - The Unjust Steward, which is what Jesus called him.

    This is even more disgusting. Now that he is being kicked out, he is making friends with the peers of his master, so he can be hired by them. After all, he is too weak to dig and too proud to beg. (Is this not a humorous statement. We can picture an accountant with soft hands and muscles, well known for his specialized work. Digging is impossible and he does not want to be the accountant shaking a tin cup.

    8 And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9 And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.

    This seems to present an even greater puzzle, because the master of the estate should be even more furious, not eager to commend the manager. 

    I see two things emphasized here - for this generation. One is that many Enthusiasts are led to believe that foolish behavior is "spiritual" and good, like the woman who gave away all her possessions to a church's Junk for Jesus sale, to help the youth. 

    Or the Assemblies of God pastor who would not let the workmen shore up a wall just before a windstorm, because it meant working on the Sabbath. Many bragged that this cost them $100,000 to fix. So noble! But he was unfaithful with the Word and with his marriage, which became known even better.

    And we can see many foolish efforts made by denominations and congregations, which are power plays to show how powerful the leaders are. And they will say, "That's the way we are."

    One pastor had to have a much larger building because his fellow pastor had an expansion. Later that much larger building, useless, was shut down 66% for heating in the winter. So a new pastor turned on all the heat so he could have a completely warm, empty building. 

    A lot foolishness empties congregations and scandalizes them so that they identify the worst excesses with the cross and Christianity.

    The second emphasis is Jesus teaching the connection between faith and good works, that the works are the fruit of faith. This is quite important from several sides of the issue. Many of my graduate students only think of the Law and never talk of any other issue except the Law and punishment. "If we don't help others, we lose justification by faith." I try to point out the good tree and good fruit example taught by Jesus.

    Therefore, riches are unrighteous, because the people misuse and abuse them. For we know that wherever riches are the saying holds good: money rules the world, men creep for it, they lie for it, they act the hypocrite for it, and do all manner of wickedness against their neighbor to obtain it, to keep it, and increase it to possess the friendship of the rich.

    When people simply accumulate riches and do nothing worthwhile with it, except to show off their excess, it is mammon of unrighteousness.

    The opposite is taking pleasure in helping others and doing good with the Gospel, which varies in many different ways. I just wrote about wasted efforts with one person, and addict, but this addict called me to tell me how he was doing. I urged him to prove to his shattered  family that he was becoming a different person. 

    Jesus is teaching us that these people will welcome us into heaven when we pass into eternal life. Thus the Christian Faith has been a blessing for so many people.




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    Schmauk on the two kinds of anti-Christian tyranny - Comfort for Christians:



    "Schmauk on the two kinds of anti-Christian tyranny

    1 minute read
    In this passage from great Christian teacher Theodore Schmauk, we see a large part of the underlying conflict going on around us in America. The false choice between authoritarianism or romanticism is no choice at all.

    Without authority – for direction, appeal, and decision, – no step of intellectual, spiritual or social activity is possible. The question is not really as to authority, but as to its proper seat and location. The motto of the ancient pre-Christian, of the medieval, and of modern Roman, civilization, is “Society above the individual.” This ancient tyranny repeats itself today in scientific form in the motto, “The race above the individual”; in sociological form, when the State assumes to encroach upon the rights of the individual, and passes laws which propose to regulate the personal life, health, education, acts, interests, and happiness of the individual; and in political form, when the axiom of authority, “The majority rules”, is pressed ruthlessly against the minority. The same tyranny is found or imported into nature as the seat of authority, when its laws are interpreted as reducible to the axiom that “Might makes right”, or “The strongest survive.”

    The reaction against this tyranny over the individual, so characteristic of the ancient world, and manifesting itself in modern sociology and science, is the extreme Romantic, or revolutionary, position, well expressed in the motto of Rousseau : “The individual above society.” If the absolute enforcement of authority upon the individual is Romanism, this elevation of the individual to the supreme seat is Protestantism gone to seed. It was already inherent in the humanism of the Reformation, and occasioned the controversies with Fanaticism in theology, and the Peasants’ War in sociology, in Luther’s day.

    Theodore E. Schmauk. “The Confessional Principle”, 1911.
    The Confessional Principle is now being prepared for publication as an e-book.

    Originally published at: Comfort for Christians"



    'via Blog this'

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    James Damore on being fired from Google

    "As Noam Chomsky once observed,'the smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum,'"Damore wrote.

    ***
    "So, Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph,
    because good is dumb."


    GJ - This applies so well to the UOJ Pseudo-Lutherans. They have endlessly gassy web discussions on:

    1. LutherQuest (sic)
    2. American Lutheran Publicity Bureau
    3. Steadfast (sic) Lutherans (sic)
    They never discuss whether the KJV is any good at all, or the principles of translating (except to make fun of precise work). 

    They know nothing about New Testament manuscripts, so they accept what the apostate Biblical societies tell them.

    Justification by Faith is a joke to them, so they will not answer a direct question - "Do you teaching Justification by Faith?"

    Crimes in their synods - 
    • "I am unaware of that."
    • "That is a lie!"
    • "Who told you?"

     W/ELS inbreeding - "I am your father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate."

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    WELS and the LCMS (with ELCA) say "Yes!
    Our gurus at Fuller, Willow Creek, and Exponential have teached us to avoid displaying our confession of faith. The cross is a big turn-off, too.
    Let's use cool names like GracePoint, Time of Grace, and The CORE."


    Why care about the Nicene, Apostles’, and Athanasian, Creeds? - Comfort for Christians:



    "The Apostles’ Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Sixteenth Century Confessions of our Church are each and every one of them the product of the greatest upheavals and the most intense crises in the Church of Christ. Creeds are born, not made. They are wrung in the agony and anxiety of a Confession at an epoch fraught with the possibility of perilous consequences to the confessors.

    Such creeds, the mighty foundations of our Fathers, do not bind us, but they plant us on solid ground. They do not throttle, but they protect us. They specialize, differentiate and qualify our Church’s activity, render it more effective, and save much experimental waste. They no more hem us in and bind us down than noble old trees, planted by our fathers, hem in, destroy and narrow down the landscape. -Theodore Schmauk. The Confessional Principle. pp. 22-23

    The Confessional Principle is now being prepared for publication as an e-book."




    'via Blog this'

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  • 08/15/17--05:46: Raining on the Weeds


  • The trouble with weeding in clay soil, during a drought, is the tight hold of the brick-like base of each weedy plant. The trouble with a rainy August is the opportunistic growth of those weeds, which will not be pulled during downpours.

    The fun part of a surprising August rainy season comes from the visits at the feeders. We have baby birds and young squirrels hanging around, not really anxious to fly or run away. Mrs. Ichabod wanted more blue-berries on sale at Walmart and then realized how quickly longing can turn to loathing. I am fine with that since a few dollars in berries will make everyone happy outside.

    The strangest thing was tracing the strange odor outside. No, it was not the garbage can fermenting in the heat and high humidity. The aroma reminded me of Waterloo, Ontario, where Seagrams brewed whiskey. Ah, that was it. The copious amounts of cracked corn were sitting on the soil and fermenting a bit from the rain. The birds are so careless at the feeder that the ground feeders cannot keep up. Eating for them often means scraping their beaks across the exit hole of the hanging feeder, scattering corn bits to the ground.

    Some corn lands on the window sill, so I am trying to get some photos of birds and squirrels there. I learned that the mother squirrels send them out to find food on their own. In our yard, that means eating several meals a day at the feeders.

    I looked through the rose garden to check for new exotic plants or some pollinator plants dug in for the beneficial insects. The dill is going to seed but where is the parsley? Then I remembered how many rabbits I saw in the rose garden.

    Joe Pye is blooming, but I am waiting for Hidden Lily to stop hiding and start blooming. Right now they look more like the ugly cousins of  the Cannas.

    The roses are coming back from the Japanese beetles invasion. My approach is to promote milky spore disease in the soil and kill the surviving amorous adults next year. That means going out in the dark with a flashlight, finding beetles in the roses, and killing them. That will certainly cement my reputation on the block as being a bit different. But that is OK. Everyone calls me The Professor.





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    Volume 1 is completely done and available in

    1. Full color,
    2. The Black and White economy edition, and
    3. The Kindle e-book.


    Volume 2 is being processed at Amazon for the same treatment.

    Volume 3 is edited and getting artwork from Norma Boeckler.

    Volume 4 is being edited.



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    Over 1,400 people have read this early post about WELS promoting the Fuller Church Growth programs.


    Hein shares results of demographic survey – WELS:



    "Hein shares results of demographic survey

    2017/08/02/in Together
    Rev. Jonathan Hein, director of the WELS Commission on Congregational Counseling, has overseen a comprehensive demographic survey of WELS over the past two years, and he shared key findings with delegates on Wednesday afternoon.

    After peaking in 1990 at more than 420,000 souls, WELS’ baptized membership has decreased by 14 percent. Communicant membership is down 9 percent. Four items were identified as contributing factors to this decline:

    Families today are having fewer children.
    The number of WELS members dying and going to heaven is increasing as the overall population ages.
    It has grown increasingly difficult to retain members, especially younger members. Since 1986, WELS lost between 240,000-260,000 members through removal/excommunication or from those members joining other Christian churches. These are sometimes referred to as “back door losses.”
    Fewer people are living in rural areas, and this is impacting more than 100 churches who now face the “50/60 challenge”—fewer than 50 people worship each week and the average age worshiping is above 60 years old.
    As Hein notes, “When you hear numbers like this, it can be easy to grow discouraged. Don’t. Christ is still risen. He still sits on his throne, ruling over everything for the benefit of his church. Through Word and sacrament, he still abides with us.”



    Last fall, Hein and the other members of the Congregational Services team met and discussed how to meet these challenges. “Obviously, some of the factors contributing to WELS’ statistical decline are beyond our control—for example, the rising death rate,” says Hein. “However, there are other areas where, by God’s grace and with his aid, we might be able to increase our gospel efforts—evangelism, decreasing back door losses, etc. Congregational Services has put together a five-year strategy that we pray helps congregations as they strive to meet these challenges.”


    Highlights of that five-year strategy include:

    Creating a present-day mission emphasis—The Commission on Evangelism is developing a comprehensive evangelism curriculum that congregations can use to offer annual evangelism training and encouragement. Hein reminds us, “The results of increased evangelism efforts are entirely up to the Holy Spirit. However, if he would bless those efforts, it could make a substantial impact.”
    Better capitalizing on WELS’ historic strengths—WELS maintains one of the largest private school systems in the country. The greatest growth in the past 20 years has been in early childhood ministries, which often attract unchurched families. Only a few congregations have seen these families become members of their churches, though. The common factor among these congregations is a “harvest strategy” that includes regular contact with parents and a process of witnessing. The Commissions on Lutheran Schools and Evangelism have jointly developed a program titled “Telling the Next Generation: Utilizing Our Schools for Outreach” that helps congregations develop a zealous harvest strategy.
    Producing resources for Millennial outreach and retention—Several WELS organizations have been studying Millennials and their worldviews. Congregational Services would like to bring those groups together to compile a “best practices” list in reaching this demographic. This task force would develop resources to help congregations retain its young adults and to reach other Millennials within the community.
    “This project is a central focus for our synod going forward,” says WELS President Mark Schroeder. “You’ll hear more about specific ideas and overall progress as the plan rolls out. Remember, we have the unchanging gospel . . . and that’s at the core of everything we do.”

     Devoting his meager talents to Church Growth,
    Larry Olson has created a cadre of women ministers.
    Fuller Seminary disciplines those who oppose the
    ordination of women. Co-inky-dink?

    Hein agrees. He says, “One of the catch-phrases we use in the Commission on Congregational Counseling goes like this: ‘If we are doing all we can with the gospel, numbers don’t matter.’ The challenges before us provide us with an opportunity to examine if we are indeed ‘doing all we can with the gospel.’ Let us view the challenges facing WELS as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to the mission Christ has given us, to trust in the power of his Word and sacraments, and to rejoice in the privilege that God has given us to play a role in his saving work.”


    Read Hein’s full report, titled “A demographic study of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod,” available online. Look for additional details in the November WELS Connection."

    New membership booklet - be sure to read this first.


    'via Blog this'

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     The smoke and mirrors report - new plans from the dunces who promoted the Church Growth Movement for the last 40 years.

    The LCMS is also in panic mode, and also blaming parents for not having enough babies to make them feel good about their synodical health.

    I am focusing on WELS, because I have the most evidence from them, carefully copied into Megatron with the citations, mostly leaked from their own clergy, who chose to remain in hiding.

    Summary - WELS jumped into the Fuller Seminary anti-Lutheran Church Growth Movement 40 years ago. The initial leaders were such apostates as Steve Witte, John Lawrenz, Frost Bivens, David Valleskey, Paul Kelm, Robert Hartman, the Wendland clan, Wayne Mueller, and many more. Three WELS Synod Presidents in a row have promoted the Church Growth Movement, its crafts and assaults. The First Vice President of WELS  is a Fuller alumnus, trained to be a "consultant" with Kelm and Larry Otto Olson, DMin Fuller.

     "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our cradle rolls,
    but in ourselves." James Huebner, First VP.


    WELS materials--like the LCA stuff I saw and the LCMS propaganda--were entirely devoted to Fuller's idiotic Church Growth Movement. The Michigan District of the LCMS named their Evangelism commission "Evangelism and Church Growth." That is either redundant or a contradiction. Beep. You are correct - it is a contradiction. Church Growth is based on marketing, numbers, and sociology. Church Growth is antagonistic toward Evangelism - the Means of Grace, the efficacy of the Word.

    Yes, they are already ordaining women in WELS.


    Kudu Don Patterson was not a Church and Change member,
    but he attended their "last" conference.

    Universalism--marching under the banner of Universal Objective Justification--is the dogma of Halle Pietism, Karl Barth, Fuller Seminary and W/ELS-LCMS-ELCA. The good news for them is that everyone is forgiven and saved - just tell the rabble that message. Wayne Mueller gave a speech to the WELS Youth conference in Columbus braying that same false doctrine. Wayne Mueller hates to admit it, but he was a champion of Church Growth all along. The Adam-apple did not fall far from that corrupt tree.






    God is bringing doom, insolvency, and disaster upon the apostate Lutherans who mock the Reformation by trying to make a few bucks from its 500th anniversary.

    The end-game for the mainline denominations--including all the Lutheran sects--is money without members. Many mainline congregations and seminaries are massive monuments of brick, marble, and glass -- well-endowed by the saints of the past -- emptied of students, staffed by incompetent, lazy pretenders as professors. Google through the faculties of the Protestant Left for the zaniest examples: Episcopal, UCC, Yale. Some are truly sickening to read, especially since the professors are being awarded the choice positions, felllowships, research grants, and titles. Foundations and insurance companies fund them, too.

     The glory has departed.

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     News flash - WELSians are more interested in drinking glasses.


    Hunnius said this about Huber, a statement equally applicable to Edward Preuss, whose Justification by UnFaith essay is still praised as inspired by the LCMS-WELS-ELS Enthusiasts.

    "Huber will never be able to explain his way out of this nonsense of insoluble contradictions and most prodigious absurdities. Therefore let him enjoy his justification, and let him bless his elect and sanctified people with it -- Turks, Jews and all unbelievers. We, in the meantime, shall restrict justification to believers only, as prescribed by all prophetic and apostolic Scriptures."


    -- Theses Opposed to Huberianism

    Cowardly Lion: Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got?
    DorothyScarecrowTin Woodsman: Courage! 
    From Quotes

    J-578
    "So, then, we are reconciled; however, not only we, but also Hindus, and Hottentots and Kafirs, yes, the world. 'Reconciled', says our translation; the Greek original says: 'placed in the right relation to God'. Because before the Fall we, together with the whole creation, were in the right relation to God, therefore Scripture teaches that Christ, through His death, restored all things to the former right relation to God." 
    F. R. Eduard Preuss, 1834-1904, Die Rechtfertigung der Suender vor Gott. Cited in Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 24. [GJ - This restoration of all is used by Karl Barth, official theologian for Fuller, to promote Universalism.]


     This is so reassuring for unbelievers, clergy drunks
    and adulterers.

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    The panel discussion, "Congregational Culture Eats Mission for Breakfast," features Rev. Sherrie Lorbeck (Cross of Life Lutheran Church, Brookfield, Wis.), Mr. Matt Trotter (Grace Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wis.), and Rev. Brian West (NextGeneration at Trinity Lutheran, Clinton Township, MI).


    Cross of Life Lutheran Church, Brookfield, ELCA - Rev. Sherrie Lorbeck

    Max Trotter -  WELS
    Matt Trotter is currently finishing a second stint as President of Grace, in Downtown Milwaukee. Matt has served as president from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2014 to the present. During that time, Grace has continued to present quality traditional liturgical worship, while adding staff, changing operating models, adding programming, and accommodating spirit-led membership growth of 250 souls. The median age of the 47 adults confirmed or baptized at Grace between 2012 and 2014 was 32 years old.   
    Matt first attended Grace in 1999, after discovering it on a walk to a neighborhood establishment. Matt was baptized at Grace in September 2000, drawn to the church for its vibrant worship, thorough bible studies, and Monday night services. Matt’s other non-profit work included three years as a reading tutor at Martin Luther King Library in Milwaukee, seven years as a Special Olympics coach and six years on the board of Wisconsin Lutheran College.   
    Professionally, Matt has worked at Time of Grace for two years in the field of Fundraising Development, as Chief Development Officer. Time of Grace’s mission is to connect people to God’s Grace, doing so via TV, print, and increasingly social media and the internet.  Prior to coming to Time of Grace, Matt owned a small business providing LED lighting product design, including optical engineering, for three successful Milwaukee Electric Tool LED Lights. Matt is a graduate of Texas A&M and a happy husband of 15+ years to a wonderful woman, Mary Jo. Together Matt and Mary Jo are super-blessed, never bored, parents of maybe the five most awesome daughters ever.

    Biography

    Pastor for the NextGeneration at Trinity Lutheran Church, Clinton Township, MI
    Rev. Brian West has served as an overseas missionary in Central Europe, urban house-church planter, worship leader and currently serves as a Pastor for the NextGeneration at Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton Township, MI. He is learning to embrace inefficiency as he follows Jesus; living passionately in Christ for the sake of the whole world. He and Erin, his wife of 12 years, and their two daughters are engaged in living as a messy family on mission. Rev. West is also an avid cyclist who loves to play and write music and almost never turns down a good cup of fair-trade coffee.

    Rev Jason Ewart - Ausgekickung - WELS




    Rev. Steve Witte - WELS Church and Change Founder








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    Yesterday I was awake when the lightning boomed above our home. Our neighbor mentioned it when I walked Sassy. Net result - almost no rain. But we did not need any more. Today I woke up to heavy rain, the radar predicting several more hours of it.

    The lawns are lush and overgrown, and so are the weeds. The crab grass has become a bumper crop. Bushes are sagging and weighted down since the branches are softened by so much water.

    Roses like the rain, so they are sprouting new blooms after weathering the Japanese beetle invasion.

    I plan on clearing weeds out of sections of the rose garden, one area at a time. Since Bermuda grass is having so much fun, I will gather that and place it in the deep shade to decompose.

    Morning Glory demonstrated how annoying it could be, by growing past the fence where Mr. Gardener started it, around the roses along the fence, and into the lawn in our yard. Morning Glory is shallow but persistent as it winds around everything and looks for more sun, growing up, around the roses, and across the surface.

    Every season is different. Normally, August is almost devoid of rain here. Last year, fall arrived very late. Now the leaves are starting to fall, and more rain is predicted.

    Brides Dream set me back $5.

    The Rose Catalogues Have Arrived
    Three categories of roses dominate my mind:

    1. The brand new varieties, which are always "in short supply" and priced high. $30 each.
    2. The reliable ones, which are no so numerous that the prices have been cut. $22 each, sometimes less.
    3. The left-overs, which are deeply discounted, but sent out very late in the season. $6 each, they are often sent out as "rainbow groups."
    The most appealing to me are ones in the middle group. There is no telling if the new ones are going to be as happy in a given climate as they are in the catalogues. Some details are withheld, such as Pope John Paul II being so frail when cut for arrangements.

    The last group is fun for discovering new varieties for very little money. They are not going to produce much in the current season because of their late start. My neighbor already put in an order for a rainbow group, and I can easily get those for his wife, who really wants to grow roses. When he asked in July, I said, "No roses are left to sell. Next year I will watch for the offers and get you one." 

     The prolific Easy Does It orange roses
    cost me $6 - and they out-produce every other rose.


    I can divide some plants now - not roses of course. Perennials  that clump are good to locate among the roses, because they host various beneficial bugs. Here are some ideas for them:
    • Bee Balm
    • Mountain Mint
    • Shasta Daisies.
    Plants that seed themselves are often good hosts for beneficial bugs:
    • Borage
    • Fever Few
    • Dill.
     Queen Elizabeth deserves a place in the garden -
    tall, graceful, and stunning.

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    No Greek class tonight. I cannot see well enough
    after the eye apppointment.

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     Volume III is almost in production.
    Volume II is about to Kindle and
    have its economy black and white edition.

     I am still looking for a place in Luther's writings where
    he endorses Justification without Faith, UOJ, a dogma
    totally at war with this sermon passage.
    That would be quite a discovery - that Luther
    anticipated the influence of Calvin upon Pietism and
    began teaching rationalistic Pietism in the midst of the Reformation.

    "Does Buckwheat seed itself?" I asked Almost Eden. I found out this year. Deciding the plants were fully mature under the Crepe Myrtle bush, I pulled a bunch of the shallow-rooted plants out and used them as mulch under the bush.

    Yesterday I looked at the base of the myrtle and saw scads of new plants - Buckwheat! More and more August rain germinated the the seeds that fell, in spite of Cardinals and Mourning Doves eating them as fast as they could.

    Fortunately, winter kill will turn this crop into a big asset for the soil. I am afraid my grandson will say, "Grampy, I remember the summer you grew chest-high Buckwheat in the rose garden." Or roses in Buckwheat field.

    Cover crops have two basic functions. One is to invigorate the soil with a large volume of organic matter growing there. A good cover crop will fade in the winter and decompose into the soil. When I bought beans by the pound, I ended the season with leftover bush beans that would do this for me.

    A second function of cover crops is to displace weed growth, denying them sunshine and space to grow. Gardeners and farmers pick plants that will drive deep into the soil with their roots, to help rain infiltration, or produce food in the soil - to break it up rather than to feed any creatures.

    Weed growth in Lutherdom has taken place because the Means of Grace have been neglected. The business or marketing model has been substituted for being faithful to the Word of God. That is the natural consequence of trusting something so valuable to alcoholics and adulterers. They are more interested in protecting their sinecures than doing anything else.

    The so-called conservative Lutherans have recreated the Monty Python show where the Masonic Lodge member is chosen over someone who is competent. The Lutheran Masonic handshake is UOJ, so the fertile fields of spiritual growth have been take over by the lush growth of invasive, persistent, toxic weeds.

    Wanna be seminary president? Promote UOJ and get your Church Growth tattoo at Fuller, Willow Creek, or Trinity Divinity. All three would be best. You meet the best people there.

    Wanna be synod president? Scowl at Church Growth and wink at its proponents, enabling and funding and protecting them.

    Worried about being stuck in a first call? Drop "missional" into conversations with church officials. Sign up for their ridiculous brain-washing gatherings and defend the false teachers with self-righteous fury.



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     Luther is too cool for the school.
    They would rather have Rambach.
    Click here for the classic parody:
    I'd Rather Have Rambach.
    1. I’d rather have Rambach with silver and gold;
      I’d rather be Pietist with riches untold;
      I’d rather have Rambach with houses and lands;
      I’d rather be led by the Halle U. band.
      • Refrain:
        And to be the king of a vast domain
        And be held in sin’s dread sway;
        I’d rather have Rambach than anything
        The Gospel affords today.
    2. I’d rather have Spener with men’s applause;
      I’d rather be faithful to UOJ's cause;
      I’d rather have Rambach and worldwide fame;
      I’d rather be true to Halle U's name.
    3. They're fairer than roses or sauerkraut;
      They're sweeter than Thrivent grants without doubt;
      They're all that my Old Adam needs;
      I’d rather have Rambach and let him lead.



    UOJists like Jay Webber, Larry Olson, Dave Valleskey, and Rolf Preus agree with Rambach.

    Franklin D. Fry, son of the ULCA-LCA president, commented on a pastor was was relieved to be out of the parish - "No more catechism classes." To his credit, even as an avowed liberal, Fry was disgusted. He thought teaching, especially catechism for children, was very important.

    Lutheran pastors were quick to abandon catechism, moving to various forms of faking it. But why teach what is not believed? The clergy of the various Lutheran denominations are far removed from the Reformation in thought, word, and deed.

    My uncle was closely questioning me about various features on the sports page on a Saturday, long ago. He was at the donut shop. I was taking care of the counter. I kept mumbling responses to his responses. Finally, he said, "You don't really care about sports, do you?" I had to admit that I did not. Sure I saw Ernie Banks hit a grand slam at Wrigley Field, and I attended various Moline sports events as a band member. Some of my best friends were athletes, but that did not make me want to read about or discuss the games.

    That is the state of the Lutheran clergy today, and the laity play their part in displaying a lack of interest. I always laugh to myself about the most intense council meeting I ever attended - we were buying a lawnmower for the church grounds. 100% attention and focus.

    Where does this come from? First of all, the Lutheran colleges and seminaries teach politics and synod-love. That leaves little time for Biblical doctrine - and the ones hired have no capacity to teach it. Doctrine is so divisive.

    The seminarians leave school - "they get out" in WELS parlance - and are ill prepared to teach anything except the perfection of their sect, the rules for shunning, and UOJ. I know of one pastor who visited someone regularly to grill him about departing from UOJ.

    UOJ gurus come in two flavors at the most. Some of them are angry prosecutors who present their case against the Gospel at every opportunity, especially when not invited. The Preus Family, Inc. is a prime example.

    Other UOJ gurus are superficial simpletons who repeat the talking points they learned at seminary. Everyone is forgiven and saved, they mutter. Here are the passages, which are laughably wrong, but no one laughs.

    They agree that all others (the ELS, the LCMS, ELCA) are just horribly mixed up because no one does anything about false doctrine. And yet they all repeat the same dogma, which converts the rest of the issues into matters of indifference - adiaphora.

    So this is a perfect machine for manufacturing and continuing doctrinal indifference.




    The Solutions Are Too Easy
    The most basic is one which - shhhhh! - Luther employed: verse by verse explanations of the Epistle or Gospel lesson each Service.

    Secondarily, but also important - applying Biblical teaching in adult and children's classes, visitation, and all other work. Regular visitation with the Word of God and with the Sacrament for shut-ins - that is basic to pastoral work.

    The pastor's job is not to make sure everything is running smoothly and the bills are paid. If a church activity is important, the members can prove its worth by taking it over completely. One LCA congregation was fretting about its bills and being behind. "What shall we do?" I said, "You are leaders. Lead." I gave them Biblical materials to use in their presentations and that provided a good outcome, which they owned.

    CPH - Forget Luther. We have cheap trinkets to help
    you - and us! - remember the 500th Anniversary.
    And we will sell you expensive Gerhard volumes
    you will never read.

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    Josephus left a vivid account of Jerusalem's destruction,
    which Jesus foresaw and described in this lesson.



    TENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.



    This sermon appeared first in the year 1525, and was issued in pamphlet form in nearly a dozen separate editions. From this we conclude that it awakened a great interest among the people, as it certainly ought to have done. It bore the title: “A sermon on the destruction of Jerusalem. In like manner will Germany also be destroyed, if she will not recognize the time of her visitation. What the temple of God is. Martin Luther. Wittenberg, 1525.”

    Text. Luke 19:41-48. And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall dash thee to the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

    And he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold, saying unto them, It is written, And my house shall be a house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of robbers.

    And he was teaching dally in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him: and they could not find what they might do; for the people all hung upon him, listening.

    CONTENTS:

    THE PROPHECY OF CHRIST CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM, AND THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE BY CHRIST.
    I. THE PROPHECY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.

    The summary and contents of this Gospel. 1.

    A. Why the destruction of the city of Jerusalem was prophesied.

    2. There are two ways to preach against the despisers of God’s Word. 3-4.

    B. The way and manner Christ delivered this prophecy. 4-6.

    C. How and why the Jews did not believe this prophecy. 7.

    D. The destruction which is taught by this prophecy.

    1. The destruction in itself. 8-10.

    2. How and why this destruction will also visit Germany. a. Why this destruction will come upon Germany. 11f. b. How the beginning of this destruction has already taken place. 11- 13. It is a great blessing when God gives us his Word, and a great sin when that word is despised. 13-14. c. In what way should we seek to prevent this destruction.

    3. The cause of this destruction.

    16. Concerning the anxious care for the body. (Bauchsorge. ) a. This anxious care dishonors God. 17f. b. How and why believers should flee from this care. c. The fruits and workings of this care. d. This anxious care is a very great evil. 20-22.

    E. How should this prophecy serve us. 23.

    II. THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE.

    1. How Christ teaches by this cleansing, what the true temple of God is. 24-25f. Why the temple at Jerusalem ie called holy.

    2. What moved Christ to undertake this cleansing. 27f. Judgment concerning the churches and cloisters of the Papists. 28-29.

    3. How Christ makes room for his Word by this cleansing.

    20. An admonition to pray to God to turn his anger from us. 30.

    God punishes most severely the despising of his Word. 31-33.

    4. How and why Christ lets us view his great anger and zeal in his cleansing of the temple. 34-36. The abominations of the Papacy. 37-38.

    5. How Christ makes a beginning here and at the same time gives a prelude to what the Romans should do with the temple.

    6. How this cleansing is to be applied to the Reformation. 40f. The world unjustly ascribes the cause of its misfortune to the Gospel. 41- 42.

    THE SUMMARY OF THIS GOSPEL:

    1. This Gospel teaches us faith and love. It reminds us of faith in that it pictures to us Christ the Lord, who he is, and how he is disposed. Here view the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9.

    2. It teaches us love in that Christ forgets his own praise which men gave him, when he entered Jerusalem riding upon an ass and wept over the misfortune which should come upon the people.

    3. The time of their visitation they knew not, who now, since the Gospel is preached to them, do not accept Christ. Therefore they must also perish, and this is given as a warning and an admonition.

    4. What is the church today but a house of merchandise, where people sell everything, even the forgiveness of sins. Woe to us!

    PART 1. THE PROPHECY OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.

    1. This Gospel presents that which took place on Palm Sunday, when Christ rode into Jerusalem. On this occasion, he preached two or three days in the temple, which was more than he ever did before at one time.

    The sum and substance of this Gospel is, that Christ grieves and laments over the afflictions of those who despise God’s Word.

    2. Now you have often heard what the Word of God is, what it brings us, and what kind of scholars it has. Of all this nothing is said here. Only the punishment and distress which shall come upon the Jews because they would not recognize the time of their visitation, are here described. And let us well consider this, because the time of their visitation also deeply concerns us. If they are punished who do not know the time of their visitation, what will be done to those who maliciously persecute, blaspheme and disgrace the Gospel and the Word of God? However, here he only speaks of those who do not know it.

    3. There are two methods of preaching against the despisers of God’s Word. The first is by threats, as Christ threatens them in Matthew 11:21-24: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long’ ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shail be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum (which was his own city, where he performed most of his mighty works), shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto hell; for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day. But I sos’ unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” With these threatening words he would frighten them to their senses, and not to cast to the winds the Word which God sends them.

    4. The other method the Lord gives here when he weeps, and shows his sympathy for the poor blinded people, and rebukes and threatens them, not as the hardened and stubbornly blind; but when he melts in love and compassion over his enemies, and with great heart-rending pity and cries, he tells them what shall befall them, which he would gladly prevent, but all is in vain. In the passage just quoted, Matthew 11:21-24, where he rebukes them, he does not treat them in love, but in the severity of faith.

    However here, it is all sincere love and mercy. This is worthy of our consideration.

    5. First, as he approached the city they went before and followed him with songs of great joy, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David? and spread their garments in the way and cut branches from the trees and strewed them in the way; the whole scene was most glorious. But in the midst of all this joy he begins to weep. He permits all the world to be joyful, while he himself was bowed with grief, when he beheld the city and said: “If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things that belong unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”

    6. As though he would say: Oh, if you only knew what belongs to your peace, that you might not be destroyed, but be preserved with both temporal and eternal peace, you would yet this day consider, and redeem the time! And now it is high time for you to know what is for your highest welfare. But you are blind, and will neglect the opportunity, until there shall be neither help nor counsel. As though to say: Here you stand, firmly built, and within you are strong and mighty men, who, secure and happy, think there is no danger! Yet, about forty years more, and you shall be utterly destroyed. The Lord plainly says this in these words: “For the days shall come upon thee, when thy enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side and shall dash thee to the ground, d and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knowest not the time of thy visitation.”

    7. But the Jews were stubborn, and depended on God’s promises, which they thought meant nothing else than that they should continue forever.

    They were secure, and vainly thought: God will not do such things to us.

    We own the temple; here God himself dwells; besides we have mighty men, money and treasures enough to defy all our enemies! For even the Romans, and the emperor after he had conquered the city, confessed that the city was so well and firmly built, that it would have been impossible to take it, had God not especially willed it. Therefore they trusted in their own glory, and built their confidence on a false delusion, which finally deceived them.

    8. The Lord, however, saw deeper into the future than they when he said:

    O, Jerusalem! if thou hadst known what I know, thou wouldst seek thy peace. Peace in the Scriptures means, when all things go well with us. You now think you have pleasant days, but if you knew how your enemies will encamp round about you, compass you about and hedge you in on every side, crush you to the ground and demolish all your beautiful buildings, and leave not one stone upon another; you would eagerly accept the Word, which brings to you solid peace and every blessing. [The woeful history of the destruction of Jerusalem you can read in books, from which those who wish will easily understand this Gospel.] 9. God caused his threats to be executed even thus, that the city was besieged at the time of the Easter festival, when the Jews were assembled within the walls of Jerusalem from every land, and as the historian Josephus writes, there were together at that time about three million people. This was an enormous multitude. Only one hundred thousand people would have been enough to crowd the city. But all this great multitude God in his wrath intended to bake, melt and weld together into one mass of ruin. Yet, the Apostles and Christians were all out of the city, they had withdrawn into the land of Herod, Samaria, Galilee, and were scattered among the heathen. Thus God separated and saved the good grain and poured the chaff into one place. There was such an immense multitude of Jews present, that they were sufficient to devour a whole kingdom, to say nothing of only one city. They also fell into such distress and famine, that they devoured everything and had nothing left, until they were at last compelled to eat their leather bow-strings, shoe latchets and shoe leather; and finally mothers moved by their distress butchered their own children, which the soldiers snatched from them, for they smelt the odor of the boiling meat through the squares of the city. They used dove’s dung for salt, which commanded a high price. In short, there was distress and bloodshed enough to melt a rock to tears; so that no one could have believed that God’s wrath could be so horrible and that he would so unmercifully martyr a people. The buildings and the streets were piled full of the dead, who perished from starvation, and yet the Jews were so raging that they defied God and refused to yield, until the emperor was compelled to use force and capture the city, when they could no longer maintain their ground.

    10. And as some Jews were such rogues as to swallow their money so that it could not be taken from them, the soldiers thought that they all had swallowed their money; therefore they cut them open by the thousands, hunting for it. The slaughter and destruction were so great, that even the heathen were moved to compassion, and the emperor was forced to give orders no longer to destroy them, but to take them prisoners and sell them as slaves. The Jews then became so cheap, that thirty were sold for a penny; and thus they were scattered throughout the whole world, and were everywhere despised as the vilest people on earth, and thus they are everywhere regarded at the present day, everywhere dispersed, without a city or a country of their own, and they can never meet again as they vainly believe to establish their priesthood and kingdom. Thus God avenged the death of Christ and all his prophets, and paid them back because they knew not the day of their visitation.

    APPLICATION TO GERMANY.

    11. Here let us learn a lesson, for this concerns us, not us alone who are here present, but the whole country of Germany. It is not a mere jest, nor should we think that it will go different with us. The Jews would not believe until they experienced it and became conscious of it. God has now also visited us, and has opened the precious treasures of his holy Gospel unto us, by which we can learn God’s will, and see how we were held by the power of the devil. Yet no one will earnestly believe it, yea, we much more despise it and make light of it. No city, no officer of the government is thankful for the Gospel; and what is still worse the great majority persecute and blaspheme it. God has great patience; he waits to see how we will deal with his Gospel; but when we once let the opportunity slip, he will take his Word from us, and then the wrath which consumed the Jews will also con-st, me us. For it is one and the selfsame Word, the very same God, and the identical Christ, the Jews themselves had; therefore the punishment in body and soul will also most certainly be the same. [We, of course, regard it as mockery, and care nothing for it. This is only an evidence of our own blindness. We ought to perceive that God is hardening us; for there is not a single city that is concerned about it; no officer of the law shows any zeal in its favor. It is most deplorable.] And I fear the time will yet come when Germany will lay in a heap of ruins. The evil winds have already begun to blow destruction in our peasant war. We have already lost many people. Nearly one hundred thousand men, only between Easter and Pentecost! It is an awful work of God, and I fear it will not stop at this. It is only a foretaste of a threat to frighten us, that we may prepare ourselves for the coming ordeal. So far it is but a fox’s tail, but God will soon come with a terrible scourge, and lash us to pieces.

    12. But we will act just like the Jews, and care nothing for it, until all help and counsel are lost forever. Now we might check it, for now it is high time for us to know what is best for us, and accept the Gospel in peace, while grace is brought, and peace is offered unto us. But we permit one day after another, one year after another to pass, and do even less than formerly. No one prays now, no one is in earnest. When the time is past, prayers will be of no avail. We do not lay it to heart, and think we are safe, and do not see the awful calamity which has already begun, and are not aware that God so dreadfully punishes us with false prophets and sects, which he sends us everywhere, and who preach so securely as though they had swallowed the Holy Spirit whole. Those whom we had thought were the very best among us, go to work and lead the people astray, until they scarcely know what to do or leave undone.

    13. But this is only a beginning, although it is frightful and terrible enough.

    For there is no greater distress and calamity than when God sends us sects and false spirits, because they are so impudent and daringly bold, that they are really to be pitied. On the other hand the Word of God is such a great treasure, that no one can sufficiently comprehend its worth. For God himself considers his treasure immensely great, and when he visits us with his grace, he earnestly desires that we should gladly and freely accept it, and does not compel us as he is able to do, but it is his will that we should gladly obey it from choice and love. For he does not wait until we come to him, but he comes first to us. He comes into the world, becomes man, serves us, dies for us, rises again from the dead, sends us his Holy Spirit, gives us his Word, and opens heaven so wide that all men can enter; besides he gives us rich promises and assurances that he will care for us in time and in eternity, here and there, and pours out into our bosoms all the fullness of his grace. Therefore the acceptable time of grace is now at hand.

    Yet, we neglect it, and cast it to the winds, so that he will not and cannot give it to us.

    14. For when we fall and sin in other ways, he can better spare us and be lenient, he of course will spare us and forgive; but when we despise his Word, it calls for punishment, and he will also punish us, even if he delays a hundred years. But he will not wait that long. And the clearer the Word is preached the greater the punishment will be. I fear it will be the destruction of all Germany. Would to God I were a false prophet in this matter. Yet it will most certainly take place. God cannot permit this shameful disregard of his Word to go unpunished, nor will he wait long, for the Gospel is so abundantly proclaimed that it has never been as plainly and clearly taught since the days of the Apostles, as it is at present. God be praised! Hence it applies to Germany, as I fear it will be destroyed, unless we act differently.

    15. We, who have heard the Gospel for a long time, ought earnestly to pray God that he continue to grant us peace. The princes and officers want to settle everything with the sword, and too impudently interfere with God’s office, until God himself shall smite them down. So it is high time faithfully to beseech God to permit his Gospel to be further spread through Germany, to those who have not yet heard it. For if the punishment came suddenly upon us, all will be lost, and many souls will be taken before the Gospel comes to them. Therefore I wish that we would not so terribly despise the Gospel, the costly treasure, not only for our own sakes, but also for the sake of those who have not yet heard it. It has become a little quiet, God grant that it may so continue, and that both the princes and the citizens may become more sane; for if it should begin afresh, I fear it would have no end.

    16. But we act just like the Jews, who cared more for the belly than for God. They were more concerned how to fill their stomachs than how to be saved. For this reason they have lost both, and have been served just right.

    Because they would not accept eternal life and peace, God took their bodily life, so that they have lost both body and soul. They also immediately put forth the excuse, just as our own people do to-day. We would of course gladly accept the Gospel, if it would not place our bodies and property in jeopardy, and if thereby we would not hazzard the loss of our wives and children. For the Jews said, if we believe in him, the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation, John 11:48. As nothing will happen sooner than what the wicked fear, as Solomon says, Proverbs 10:24: “The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him.”

    This prevented the Jews to believe God, and they did not consider the great and rich promises God bestowed upon them. So we also pass them by, and are not aware of the all powerful and comfortable promises Christ gives when he says, Matthew 19:29: Ye shall receive a hundredfold here, and there ye shall inherit eternal life. Let wife and child go, I will care for them, and restore them again to you. Only courageously trust in me. [Do you not think that I can build you another house? Do you regard me as being a hard man’: Yet I will give you heaven; will you not risk it on my Word?] If you are robbed of your treasures, blessed are ye, heaven and earth are mine, I will reward you a hundredfold.

    17. We pass over these and many like passages, and besides despise them, and depend only on what we have in our banks, and how we may keep our purses filled, and do not consider that God has also given us what we have, and will still give us more; nor do we consider that when wo lose Clod, the stomach will also be lost. Therefore we are served just right in losing both the creator and the creature besides.

    18. But believers in God risk all in him and transfer all things into his care, for him to do according to his pleasure, and think thus: God has given you your home and wife, you have not produced them yourself; now because they are God’s, I will entrust them all to his care, he will keep them from all harm. I must otherwise leave all at any rate, therefore I will bravely trust him with them, and for his sake give up all I have. If God wants me here, he will give me other treasures, for he has promised to give enough for this life and for the life to come. If he does not want me here, I owe him a death, which will bring me into eternal life; when he calls me, I will go trusting in his Word.

    19. Whoever is not thus disposed, denies God, and must at the same time lose both, the present and the eternal life. The belly with its foul odors is our God, and prevents us from clinging to God’s Word. First, I will be certain how I shall feed, and where my supplies are. The Gospel says:

    Trust in God; and your stomach shall most certainly be provided for, and have enough [without believing or trusting in it]. But if I have only five dollars they give me so much courage to think I have anyhow enough food for ten days, that I trust in such limited provisions, and do not trust God who fed me hitherto, that he will care for me to-morrow.

    20. Is it not a shameful vexation or calamity that I trust in a penny that I will have something to eat to-morrow? How contemptible this carcass!

    Shall a penny have more weight in my heart and give me more courage than God himself, who holds heaven and earth in his power, who gives us the air we breathe and the water we drink, who makes our corn to grow and gives us all things? It is so scandalous that it cannot be uttered, that God should not amount to as much with us as a hundred guilders. Why not think that God, who has created me, will surely feed me, if he wants me to live? If he does not want this, very well, I shall be satisfied.

    21. Yes, says the stomach, I find no God in my chest! You silly donkey, who assures you that you will live tomorrow? You are not certain whether you will have a belly to-morrow, and you want to know where to find the bread and the food! Yes, you have a fine assurance! When our hearts are thus prompted, we see what a government of hell there would be on earth; yes, it would be the devil himself. Is it not a thing most abominable, that God who feeds so ninny mouths, should be held in such low esteem by me, that I will not trust him to feed me? Yea, that a guilder, thirty-eight cents, should be valued more highly than God, who pours out his treasures everywhere in rich profusion. For the world is full of God and his works, He is everywhere present with his gifts, and yet we will not trust in him, nor accept his visitation. Shame on thee, thou cursed world! What kind of a child is that, who cannot trust in God for a single day, but trusts in a guilder?

    22. Now, I think, we see what the world is. how on account of the belly the world despises God, and yet must lose the belly together with body and soul. Oh, what godless people we are, and yet we are to spit upon or despise the world. If one would consider that he is such a godless wretch, that he cannot trust in God, he would not wish to live. Only choke away; for as captives we stick too deeply in the old Adam. The world is hell in prospect, yea, the real kingdom of Satan, a court yard in hell, except that the body is still here, otherwise it is true hell.

    23. For this reason Christ admonishes us with tears to know our salvation and accept his visitation, that the calamity may not follow, which will surely come upon those who do not accept it, who are secure, until swift and sudden destruction comes upon them. May God give us grace, that we may know ourselves! The Gospel further reads: “And he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold, saying unto them: It is written, And my hoarse shall be a house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of robbers.”

    PART 2. THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE.

    24. This is the second part of our Gospel, where the Lord takes hold of matters in earnest with his powerful hand, when he goes into the temple and casts out those who bought and sold there. For the first part was nothing but an admonition and incentive unto faith. Here the Lord now tells us what the temple of God is, and quotes passages from the Scriptures, and especially from the prophet Isaiah, 56:7, where God says: “For my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” You, however, have made it a house of merchandise. This is a strong passage which the prophet utters: “for all peoples, for all Gentiles,” is against the Jews, who trusted in the temple of God at Jerusalem, and thought that this material house in Jerusalem would stand forever, and that it was impossible for God to demolish this temple or destroy this city. The Word of God does not lie. For this reason they also murdered Stephen, because he spoke against that holy place and said, Acts 6:14: “Jesus shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered unto us.” And they said: have not the prophets praised this house, and Christ himself says here, that it is a house of prayer, and you Apostles say, he will destroy it.

    25. But we must rightly understand this expression, that the city of Jerusalem, the temple and the people, should remain until the time of Christ. With this agree all the prophets, who have given all things into the hands of Christ; as he would then dispose of it, so it should be and remain.

    Hence the passage in Isaiah goes no further than unto the times of Christ, as also all the prophets say, that after that there shall come a kingdom extending over the whole world, as in Malachi 1:10-11 we read: “For from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the Gentiles, saith Jehovah of hosts.” Here the prophet speaks of the spiritual kingdom of Christ, who shall build himself a house of prayer as extensive as the whole world.

    26. It is true that God himself has established the temple at Jerusalem, not because it consisted of beautiful stones and costly buildings, or because it was consecrated by bishops, as at present men employ such foolery and juggling tricks; but God himself had consecrated and sanctified it with his Word, when he said: This house is my house: for his Word was preached in it. Now, wherever God’s Word is preached, there is God’s own true house, there God most certainly dwells with his grace. Wherever his Gospel is, there is a house of prayer, there men shall and may truly pray, and God will also hear their prayer, as Christ in John 16:23-24 says: “If ye shall ask anything of the Father, he will give it you in my name. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be made full.” Here again, where the Word is not found, there the devil has full sway.

    27. That we have imitated the Jews and built so many churches, would be well enough, if we had done it in order that the Word of God might be preached there; for where the Word goes there God is present, and looks down from heaven and pours out his grace. Therefore he says to the Jews here: I will not that you should make out of my house a den of robbers. For there were money changers in it who sold sheep and oxen, that strangers might buy them for their offerings in divine service. Why then does he call it a den of robbers? Surely, he gives it a scandalous name. He does it however because they no longer appreciate the house as the house of God, but as a market house; that is, the priests did not inquire how the Word of God was preached in it, although they sang, they babbled and read the prophets and Moses; but God cares nothing for such a murmuring of Psalms; that belongs to children.

    28. They did just as our priests and monks do now, who have also made dens of robbers of our churches and cloisters, and have preached poison, and held masses only that the people might give them money and presents for holding them that they might thus fill their stomachs. They made the church a market house, in which they carried on their idle talk, corrupted and destroyed the sheep of God’s pastures by their scandalous false doctrine, that it may well be called a robber’s den for the soul. This title we should write on all churches in which the Gospel is not preached, for there they mock God, destroy souls, banish the pure Word and establish dens of murder; for he who listens to their words must die. Oh, how shamefully we have been deceived! Now, however, we should praise God, that this Word again brings us life, drives out the murderers, and teaches us how to pray aright; for an honest heart must pray, not with the mouth, but with the heart.

    THE CONCLUSION.

    29. Thus we have heard the second part of our Gospel, how Christ drove out the merchants that pandered to base appetites, and made room for his Word. It would be a good thing, in this same way to cleanse our cloisters, and turn them into schools or preaching places; if this is not done they will be and continue to be nothing but dens of robbers; for if Christ calls Iris own house a den of robbers, how much more will our churches and temples, not consecrated by God, be called dens of robbers?

    30. I have often requested you to pray God to turn his wrath and restrain the devil now in the world. For you have undoubtedly heard of the great calamity, how many have been slain in the insurrection. We fear they have all been lost, for God requires obedience, and has himself pronounced the sentence, Matthew 26:52: “For all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” The devil has taken possession of the world, who knows when our turn will come. Therefore let us pray that God’s kingdom may come and Christians may be multiplied, that he send wise and intelligent ministers to care for the people and listen to their wants, he who knows the gift of God prays for others who have not yet heard the Word, it is high time to do so. [Pray the Lord’s Prayer.] 31. Well, wherever this calamity begins and prevails, that the people maliciously despise the day God visits us with his Word and grace, for the sake of the belly and a little temporal benefit and advantage; there must follow as a consequence of such treatment the final punishment and wrath of God, who will utterly destroy them, remove the foundation of their trust, and overthrow the country and the people, so that both temporal and eternal interests go down together. For how shall he otherwise treat us, because of our scandalous ingratitude for his great love and mercy which he publicly declared unto us by his gracious visitation? How shall or can he do more for us, while we with wantonness and defiance spurn his help, and ever struggle and strive after wrath and destruction? For if those are not free of punishment who transgress the law and sin against the ten commandments; how much less will he permit those to go unpunished, who blaspheme and despise the Gospel of his grace, seeing the law by far does not bring as many good things as the Gospel?

    32. If we will not wish to enjoy this happy day which he gives us unto grace and our salvation, he can also instead permit us to see and experience nothing but the dark and terrible night of all affliction and misfortune. And since we will not hear this precious Word and the proclamation of peace, we will be forced to hear the devil’s cry of murder ring in our ears from every direction. Now is the time for us to know the day, and well employ the rich and golden year, while the annual fair is before our very doors, and acknowledge that he has severely punished us. If we neglect it and allow it to pass, we can never hope for a better day or expect any peace; for the Lord, who is the Lord of peace, will be with us no longer.

    33. But if Christ be no longer with us, our hope will vanish; and wherever this beloved guest is rejected, and his Christians no longer tolerated, government, peace and everything shall perish, for he too desires to eat with us, to rule and to provide bountifully. However, he desires also to be known as such a Lord, in order that we may be thankful to him, and also permit this guest and his Christians to eat with us, and give him his due tribute; if not, we will then be forced to give it to another, who will so thank and reward us for it, that we shall not be able to retain a bite of bread or a penny in peace. But the world will not believe this, just as the Jews also would not believe it, until they experienced it, and faith came to their assistance. For God has ordained, that this Christ shall be Lord and King upon the earth, under whose feet he has put all things, and whoever would have peace and good days, must be kind and obedient to him, or he will be dashed to pieces like a potter’s vessel. Psalm 2:9.

    THE SECOND PART OF THIS GOSPEL.

    “And he entered into the temple, and began to cast out those that sold, saying unto them: It is written, And my house shall be a house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of robbers.”

    34. Here he shows the aim of his great activity, and what concerns him most of all, which was also the cause of his weeping. It is indeed a terrible history, that he who so recently wept out of great sympathy and compassion, so soon can change and come forth in great anger, (for our beloved Lord burns with great devotion and zeal), and goes into the temple as in a storm, and strikes with his uplifted arm as the Lord of the temple, of course with an excellent and warm spirit by which he is moved, beholding the chief cause of distress and the destruction, of which he spoke and over which he wept; namely, that the chief government, which should be God’s own and be called his temple, is all perverted and desolate, God’s Word and true worship entirely suppressed and corrupted, even by those who would be leaders and teachers of the people, on account of their disgraceful greed and their own glory. He would say by this: Yes, it is this, that . will completely bring on the calamity, and make an end of everything among this people.

    35. Therefore, as merciful and compassionate as he showed himself to be to the poor multitude of people who are so wretchedly misled to their destruction; so great was the anger he showed against those who are the cause of this destruction. Otherwise he did not often resort to physical force and cause an uproar, as he does here, so that it is a strange act for an excellent and kind man, so full of love. But the cause of it is the great and powerful zeal and fervency of Spirit, which sees whence all affliction and sorrow come, namely, because the true worship of God is abolished and the name of God is so blasphemed that it is used merely for a show.

    36. For the temple and the whole priesthood were or-dained for the purpose of enforcing God’s Word, to praise his grace and mercy, etc. ; and to testify to this and thank him for his Word by an external worship of offerings. However, they did not teach praise and thanksgiving to God, but instead they perverted it into the doctrine of monks and works, so that with such offerings one merited the grace of God, and if they only offered a great deal, God would give them heaven and every good thing on earth.

    And hence they built their hopes for everything, which they ought to look for out of pure grace and mercy of God, on their own works and merits.

    And besides they were misled so far in the devil’s name, that their avarice set up there in the temple tables for bankers and counters for traders in doves and all kinds of cattle used for offerings, so that those coming from distant lands and cities could find enough there to purchase, or if they had no money, they might barter for or borrow it, so that there might by all means be as many and as great offerings as possible.

    Thus under the name of divine worship the true worship of God was overthrown and rooted out; and they substituted for God’s grace and goodness their own merits, and for his free gift their own works, which he was obliged to accept from us and thank us for them, and allow himself to be treated as an idol, compelled to do what pleases us, be angry or laugh, just as we wish it; and besides satiate their outrageous greed, by such idolatrous . doings, and without any sense of shame carry on a public annual fair.

    37. Just as our Pope’s crowd, priests and monks, also did, who taught nothing but to trust in human works, and on this doctrine constructed everything in their church government, So that the people are compelled to purchase these things from them, who thus established a daily public fair over the whole world. And nothing was omitted that could be made to serve their greed, and for money they sold God, Christ, the Sacrament of the mass, absolution, and forgiveness of sins, the losing and binding key.

    And. to this must be added their own invented human nonsense, which they pretend is divine worship, such as the brotherhood of monks, and their own superfluous merits; yea, even to put upon the dead a monk’s hood and cords; likewise the bishop’s and priest’s nasty oil, all kinds of bones of the dead which they call holy, letters of indulgence to eat butter, married women, children of priests and the like. All this had to bring and yield them money daily.

    38. And especially the great rat king at Rome with his Judas purse, which is the great money gulch that in the name of Christ and the church has appropriated to itself all the possessions of the world. For he has reserved unto himself the power to forbid whatever he pleased and again to allow it for money, even to take and give kingdoms, whenever and as often as he pleased, and taxed lords and kings as it suited him.

    This is a much more infamous and barefaced perversion of the temple of God into a house of merchandise, than was perpetrated by the Jews at Jerusalem. For it belonged to Antichrist, as is prophesied of him, to levy and collect for himself the treasures of the world; and St. Peter. speaking of such a hoard in 2 Peter 2:3 says: “And in covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose sentence now from of old lingereth not, and their destruction slumbereth not.”

    39. Therefore Christ is justly angry at such desecration of his temple by these bloated misers, who do not only despise and forsake the true worship of God, but also pervert it and trample it under their feet. And thus they truly make out of the temple which God ordained for the purpose of teaching the people the Word of God and guiding them to heaven, nothing but a den of robbers, where nothing but the destruction and the murder of immortal souls take place, because they silence God’s Word, through which alone souls can be saved, and instead they are fed on the devil’s lies, etc.

    This is truly the chief sin and principal cause, why the Jews with their temple and all they had, deserved to’ go to destruction and ruin. For, as they destroyed the kingdom of God itself, he will no longer build up their kingdom for them. Wherefore he says: Because you go to work, and instead of my kingdom you build the kingdom of Satan, so will I also work against you, and will destroy everything utterly, that I have built for you.

    This is an example he began to do on that very day when he rushed among them in the temple, as his last public act before his death, which after his departure the Romans would effectually complete; namely, they with all they had would be totally swept away, as he cleanses his temple of them, that they may no more possess either their worship, temple nor priesthood, country or people.

    40. He has, God be praised, even commenced to overthrow our idols and spectres, and Popery’s abominable merchandise of perfidy, and to purify his churches through the Gospel, also as a prelude, that it may be seen that he will also make an end of them, as before our eyes they have already begun to fall, and they must daily fall more and more, and they will be much more horribly dashed to the earth and everlastingly destroyed, than the Jews were destroyed and exterminated, because theirs is still a much more shameful abomination. This shall first properly begin when the Gospel has departed on account of their disgraceful, horrible blasphemy; but it will finally come to an end on the last day and be completely and forever destroyed.

    41. Let Germany, which, praise to God, now has the Gospel, beware, that she may not meet the same fate, as it already so strongly everywhere indicates she will. For we dare not think that the contempt and unthankfulness, which are gaining control among us as great as among the Jews, will remain unpunished. After that he will let the godless world complain and cry: If the Gospel had not come, such things would not have come upon us; just like the Jews at Jerusalem blamed all their calamities to the preaching of the Gospel, and they themselves at the risk of their own necks prophesied that if Christ with his Gospel should continue, the Romans would come and take away their place and nation. And afterward also, even the Romans blamed their destruction to this new God and new doctrine. Just as it is said at present, since the Gospel has appeared things have never been right.

    42. And thus it will also go with the world; as its people despise and persecute God’s Word, and become so hardened and blinded, they will blame no one as the cause and merit of their destruction but the precious Gospel itself; which nevertheless alone preserves, thank God, what is still preserved; otherwise all things would long since lay in one common heap of ruins. And yet it must bear the blame for everything that the devil and his clans transact. Because people continue to blaspheme and will not recognize what our sins deserve and the grace and mercy which we have in the Gospel, God must thus repay such blasphemers, so that they become their own prophets, and for a double wickedness receive a double reward.

    This premonition has already gone forth, except that it is yet withheld on account of the faithful few; just as he beforehand admonished the Jews by this example when he cast those that sold and bought out of the temple, and afterwards went into the temple himself and finally taught until the day of his death, and yet for a time withheld as long as he could, and afterwards by his Apostles until they would no longer tolerate them; so now we, who cleave to Christ, restrain punishment as long as we live; but when these too shall lay down their heads, then the world will realize what it once had.

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    The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2017



    Pastor Gregory L. Jackson





    The Hymn # 376                                      Rock of Ages

    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 #657                            Beautiful Savior


    The End Is Always Closer


    The Communion Hymn # 246                     Holy, Holy, Holy                     

    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 #649                                  Jesus Savior Pilot Me


    KJV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.


    KJV Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.



    Tenth Sunday After Trinity

    Almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy Holy Ghost hast revealed unto us the gospel of Thy Son, Jesus Christ: We beseech Thee so to quicken our hearts that we may sincerely receive Thy word, and not make light of it, or hear it without fruit, as did Thy people, the unbelieving Jews, but that we may fear Thee and daily grow in faith in Thy mercy, and finally obtain eternal salvation, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


    The End Is Always Closer

    KJV Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

    The sceptics like to say that the Christians anticipated the end times and the return of Christ, but the believers were wrong. Paul wrote about it, and everyone is still waiting. 

    But that shows a poor understanding of the entire matter, or perhaps a selective understanding. A sect isolates a few verses and makes that the whole Gospel for them and everyone else. The sceptics are like that too. They talk about the end times to mock Christianity, but 2 Thessalonians makes all of that quite clear. God is holding back the end of time according to His wisdom. That Day is known only to the Father. No one else knows it. Mark 13.

    And what about this? Jesus predicted with great accuracy the fall of Jerusalem, one of the most protected cities in world history. The details are exactly what happened, only the disaster was far worse than most people realize.

    The sceptics answer, "Well, that was written after the event." As one of my members from decades ago said, "Any excuse will do." The fact is - they do not believe and find their evidence to support their unbelief. The UOJ Stormtroopers do that all the time. They fill libraries with their unbelief.

    Here we see Jesus revealing His divine foreknowledge. All the members of the drama were already assembled. The Roman Empire was ruthless and never defeated (exception - Herman the German, whose statue is in New Ulm, Minnesota). The fanatical Jews hated Rome's oppression and looked for a chance to break away, reliving the glory days of Judas Maccabees.

    The Zealots had a small battle and beat the Roman garrison there. They thought they won the war, but they only poked the bear. The imperial army came and surrounded Jerusalem, starved the city, and ultimately won.

    Jesus said these words before entering Jerusalem, knowing that many would believe, but the powers would remain opposed and continue their path of destruction.

    2. Now you have often heard what the Word of God is, what it brings us, and what kind of scholars it has. Of all this nothing is said here. Only the punishment and distress which shall come upon the Jews because they would not recognize the time of their visitation, are here described. And let us well consider this, because the time of their visitation also deeply concerns us. If they are punished who do not know the time of their visitation, what will be done to those who maliciously persecute, blaspheme and disgrace the Gospel and the Word of God? However, here he only speaks of those who do not know it.

    3. There are two methods of preaching against the despisers of God’s Word. The first is by threats, as Christ threatens them in Matthew 11:21-24: “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee Bethsaida! for if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long’ ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, it shail be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And thou, Capernaum (which was his own city, where he performed most of his mighty works), shalt thou be exalted unto heaven? thou shalt go down unto hell; for if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have remained until this day. But I sos’ unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.” With these threatening words he would frighten them to their senses, and not to cast to the winds the Word which God sends them.

    4. The other method the Lord gives here when he weeps, and shows his sympathy for the poor blinded people, and rebukes and threatens them, not as the hardened and stubbornly blind; but when he melts in love and compassion over his enemies, and with great heart-rending pity and cries, he tells them what shall befall them, which he would gladly prevent, but all is in vain. In the passage just quoted, Matthew 11:21-24, where he rebukes them, he does not treat them in love, but in the severity of faith.


    However here, it is all sincere love and mercy. This is worthy of our consideration.

    As Luther wrote - many times Jesus spoke harshly about unbelievers and the consequences of their obstinate opposition. Here He displays His compassion about what will happen to those who cannot even imagine how bad it would be. In fact, one has to look into history to read the most horrible details of this lengthy attack and conquest, the starvation and selling into slavery the captives who survived.

    These horrible events have been replayed many times, when a few powerful men pitted armies against cities, such as Hitler against Stalingrad, and so forth. But perhaps this is the worst in world history because of the numbers involved.



    43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 

    This is an accurate description of how the Romans worked. They built up walls that were made doubly effective with deep trenches. The chances of going down into the trench, climbing the wall, and escaping were very slim. The walls and trenches kept people in and prevented water and food from entering. It was only a matter of time, and resistance made the suffering worse. Because of the sinfulness of man, the strong will exploit the weak during times of starvation, and that happened in the worst way possible.

    Jesus' warned them many times that faith in Him would bring peace, but that only made them more opposed to Him. As we can see in the dialogues of John's Gospel, the more He did and taught, the more they taunted Him.

    45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.  


    How easily Jesus could do that today, where Americans have turned Christianity as a great method for storing and acquiring wealth. The worst schools in America with a Christian background have billions in endowments that protect them from any changes of their radical agendas. The smaller the seminary, the larger the endowment, the more ridiculous the professors there. And even when they merge their endowment funds and sell their valuable properties, they have no students to justify their existence.

    And American congregations! They sell their souls for petty cash and free trinkets from Thrivent. But the synods get millions upon millions. Matt the Fatt admitted to getting $50 million to $60 million from Thrivent. No one can imagine turning their backs on such a generous, Left-wing, pro-abortion entity. Attacking Thrivent is like attacking the Roman Army. There will be consequences, because it is a capital offense - threatening the capital of the synods.

    Most of American Protestantism is cosy with Roman Catholicism, no longer critical. And they are also cosy with occultic Asian religion, where the gods (as Cho teaches) reward the person who demands things from them. Time of Grace is really Time of Prosperity, and people love it.


    47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.


    Jesus risked the murderous opposition of the religious and Roman leaders, to teach the Word of God to people. This led to mass conversions on the Day of Pentecost, and then the escape of many Christians from the persecution that followed - before the great attack against Jerusalem. Persecution spread the Gospel and spared many lives.

    As Luther Said - Close with Warnings

    People ask me about authors to read. Very few living authors are worth glancing at. I remind readers of the greats, who teach basic Christian doctrine:
    1. Luther
    2. The Book of Concord
    3. Chemnitz and Gerhard
    4. Krauth
    5. Jacobs
    6. Schmauk
    7. Passavant.
    Clearly the synods have not done their job. One person sent his children to synodical schools. "What is the Book of Concord?" One answered, "A manual for the European jet?"

    Lack of reading means a lack of capacity for Christian doctrine, which is why people are fooled and manipulated by false teachers.

    Regular reading of a good Bible in the KJV family is essential. That is virtually the only translation group that emphasizes precision in translation and the traditional NT manuscripts. The rest are governed by too much time in creative writing classes and the radical Greek NT Nazis who vote verses of the Bible out, 3 votes out of 5 will do it.

    As Revelation predicted, there will be a flood of propaganda, secular and religious, against the Gospel, before the End comes.

     This nonsense is portrayed as the Gospel on - get this - LutherQuest. The worst part of delusion is they do not know
    how deluded they are.


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    Ski, Glende, Bishop Katie, Parlow, and
    several other WELS leaders worshiped with Andy Stanley,
    son of Charles, spiritual son of Napoleon Hill.

    Napoleon Hill was a fraud, liar, and hot-air merchant, the perfect prototype for WELS Church Growth frauds.



    Think and Grow Rich Success Stories: 

    Charles Stanley
    'I began to apply the principles of the book in my daily endeavors and I discovered that they work' Charles Stanley

    It was 1971!

    Charles Stanley had been called to preach at a church miles away from his home. He was a very young Pastor at that time. After he had finished his sermon at the church, a fellow Stanley gave him copy of a book called Think and Grow Rich. Now, Charles pastor was fully interested in his ministry and had no financial interest but still a fellow pastor was giving him a book labeled ‘Think and Grow Rich’- Charles Stanley thought that perhaps the book pertains to financial wealth only. It really looks odd.

    Now, Charles Stanley started reading the book and once he started, he could hardly put it down. He found that he could also apply the principles described therein in building of his own church.

    You may also wish to read other Think and Grow Rich Success Stories



    He took a paper and wrote his statement of definite purpose on that paper. He also started to apply the principles of Think and Grow Rich in his daily activities. Years after successfully building his own church, he wrote in his book How to Reach Your Full Potential for God: Never Settle for Less Than His Best that "I began to apply the principles of that book to my daily endeavors as a pastor, and I discovered they worked!” From then onward he started reading Think and Grow Rich every year to remind himself that the rules of God is not only for one profession, career field or ministry. The testimony of the great pastor that the principles of Think and Grow Rich work has motivated many people on earth to work towards converting their dreams into reality.

    When people call self-help books as ‘motivational books’, many people perceive these books as full of entertaining stories to pump up a person for short time. The true essence of these books is that they work! The amazing experience with Think and Grow Rich changed Charles Stanley’s perception about self help books. Now, he advises others to read and use self help books.



    Think and Grow Rich ® is the registered trademark and property of the Napoleon Hill Foundation. The book title Think and Grow Rich and any references are being used for illustrative purpose only, without permission, authorization and sponsorship by Napoleon Hill Foundation. I have no connection with Napoleon Hill Foundation or heirs of Napoleon Hill.


    Book Review: How to Reach Your Full Potential for God by Charles Stanley


    It was worth noting that Stanley refers to a book (p. 224) that he read annually because of the wisdom in the book.  Perhaps you will be as surprised as I at which book that is.  Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  Not exactly the book that coincides with the distinction to have the mind of Christ instead of the wisdom of the world.
    In fact, Stanley goes further in promoting self-help books in general:
    I do not at all criticize the category of books that people call self-help.  We all need help…These books can provide practical advice and inspiration for pursuing one’s God-given potential (p. 225).
    He spends more time relating these principles to the teachings of Jesus.  However, when Stanley gives his practical steps to reaching your full potential for God, he provides only cursory notes of key aspects while spending a great deal of time on less than biblical concepts.
    For example, we should avoid touching our face with our hands.  We should wash our hands often and long enough (sing Happy Birthday through twice to make sure your hands are clean.
    From Petra Coach - Lemme See, Who Else is Big on Selling His Coaching Prowess? Kudu Don Patterson!

    Think and Grow Rich

    Think and Grow Rich is a motivational personal development and self-help book by Napoleon Hill and inspired by a suggestion from Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. While the title implies that this book deals with how to get rich, the author explains that the philosophy taught in the book can be used to help people succeed in all lines of work and to do or be almost anything they want. Jim Murray (sportswriter) wrote that Think and Grow Rich was credited for Ken Norton’s boxing upset of Muhammad Ali in 1973. The Reverend Charles Stanley writes, “I began to apply the principles of (Think and Grow Rich) to my endeavors as a pastor, and I discovered they worked!” The book was first published during the Great Depression. At the time of Hill’s death in 1970, Think and Grow Rich had sold more than 20 million copies and by 2011 over 70 million copies had been sold worldwide. It remains the biggest seller of Napoleon Hill’s books.

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  • 08/21/17--03:39: Sassy Updates

  • Sassy is doing well. She just had a good vet's appointment, where she proved to be very healthy. They are a little afraid of her, because she can make some very quick snapping motions, but she never bites. Sassy is so kindly that she cannot hold her fierce look long - it turns into a smile.

    Everyone notices that smile. Sassy does have a habit of barking too loudly when excited about meeting someone. She even thinks that barking in the face of a cat is a warm and friendly gesture. Those who know her realize that all they have to do is say, "Come here, Sassy!" and she is all wiggles and happiness.

    Her latest entertainment is to howl during new songs about her. She gets buggy eyed when I start to sing - not from pain, I hope - and howls for the chorus, with her muzzle in the air.

    Sassy has a regular routine, which she expects to be followed:

    1. A sunrise morning walk and an afternoon walk. No excuses, except rain.
    2. Two meals a day, plus tidbits here and there.
    3. Night-time begins with a dab of ice-cream, which we call Frosty Paws, a cheap ice milk sold under that name for pets. She gets very little, but she expects it and makes a lot of noise until it is delivered with great fanfare.
    4. A treat has to follow the Frosty Paws. Normally it is a training bit of food or a little bacon flavored wafer. We though Frosty Paws would substitute for the treat, but she insists on both.
    5. She always has a lovey time before going to sleep. Sometimes she growls and demands it. At other times she comes forward on the bed and gives each of us a big hug. She smiles while we pet her and tell her what a good dog she has been.
    6. No animal videos are allowed on the computer, especially dog videos. No matter what I do, she spots them and barks them away. She tolerates graphics but growls at ones that do not please her.


     Sassy took Chris to an estate sale a block away.
    That was Chris' first walk after her surgery.

    Sassy attended the 50th Moline High Reunion, Class of 1966,
    visiting with Toby, Guy, and the Country Style crowd.

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    Debbie Mitchell Gahah, MHS 66, served as
    the mayor of Perryville, Missouri.

    We have wanted to visit Perryville for many years, because that is one location for the start of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Zion on the Mississippi describes that story in great detail, making me wonder if anyone has read the book.

    The Loehe group organized first and asked the Perryville/St. Louis people to join them, which developed after talks.

    Zach is a member of our church, so we get together with him from time to time. The last meeting was in scenic Joplin, Missouri. Since his mother lives in St. Louis, we discussed various nearby meetings. Cape Girardeau was on the list first, but Debbie offered to give us a guided tour of the historic sites on the date we selected. We scrapped Cape and the Limbaugh Shrine in favor of staying in Perryville at the Off Ramp Inn.

    Chris' short-cut through the Mark Twain Forest Preserve slowed us down a bit, but we arrived Sunday night and had our big day on Monday.

    Debbie arrived right on time and we started out in our new/old Voyager, 2002. I have known Debbie since we were in the flute section together at Calvin Coolidge Junior High. We were also in other classes, but those rosters are a blur to me, except Chem-Physics. We linked up on Facebook and met again at several Moline High reunions.

    Chris has gone to all of my reunions and she has always been treated as one of the class members.

     We gave away books to the LCMS congregation in Perryville,
    and also to the historical museum in Altenburg.
    Pastor Jackson, left, Chris Jackson, Anita Engleman, Zach Engleman.
    Distinguished Mayor Emeritus Debbie Mitchell Gahan
    is in the second row.


    Lutherans should visit the sites around Perryville, because they involve a significant amount of history, which is well represented in the Frohna site and the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center.

    We were leaving the Frohna site - the Saxon Lutheran Memorial - when Chris noticed the tail-light being gone, popped out on its own. We had been bragging about how new the car looked because of our Army Ranger neighbor fixing it up before selling it. All the parts were new. So we started off in a brief rainstorm and the windshield wipers began flying off and tangling.

    The rain stopped and Debbie found us a place where they put new wipers on. We also had lunch with her, and everyone needed a nap afterwards.

    We were especially graced by Debbie's work in the city, part of the tour. No one expects such a small town to have so much going for it. She described her efforts at getting businesses to work together and social agencies to maximize their service to various groups of people. Those things do not happen by accident, so Moline should be proud of their distinguished graduate.


    Anita Engleman, Pastor Jackson, Chris Jackson, Zach Engleman.
    CFW Walther is in the second row, Frohna.

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  • 08/21/17--16:26: Happy Birthday, Brett Meyer


  • Happy Birthday, Brett Meyer. 

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    ELDONA sells various. items with this logo.
    American Evangelical Lutheran reminds me of the Disciples of Christ calling all their congregations "Christian."

     ELDONA World Headquarters