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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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    Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber is a model for future pastors,
    so they may have to merge all remaining ELCA seminaries into one. The WELS-LCMS-ELS seminaries are also cratering.




    Rolf Preus has devoted his career to attacking Justification by Faith, so his mini-sect was a natural to partner with ELDONA, which considered the Chief Article an adiaphoron, until it was suddenly a thing. The Preusian union failed
    and the Rolfites crawled back to the ELS. "When we said - leave the ELS, we did not mean leave leave." They threw themselves on Pope John's shoulder, sobbing and begging for merciful reunion terms.


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    Last summer's roses benefited from warm weather and plenteous rain.

    Here are some inexpensive tools for gardening. Some are free - examples of recycling.

    We throw our cardboard boxes out - the back door. Flattened boxes are ideal for blocking weed growth. They need to stay in place at first, so we use water jugs and small logs to hold them down. At the end of summer, birds have pooped various unwelcome plants into the soil - fertilized in advance - to wreck a future garden. I have one area reserved for Hostas, and pine needles keep that mostly weed free. Another area is saved for the bird feeding area. There we get lots of Morning Glory plants plus various weeds from cheap bird food (that I do not use).

    We used gallon water jugs for a long time, for making coffee and certain foods. When they were empty, I filled them with tapwater for weights and for emergency water. We soon had 20 gallons of water in the backyard. Twice creatures have chewed into the plastic to drink the water jugs dry, even though I keep kiddie pools with water in the backyard. Nevertheless, I am pleased they had some relief from thirst, even if they were trash pandas (raccoons).

    When I mulch with cardboard or newspapers, small logs and water jugs are handy and mobile for keeping the mulch in place.

    I also get heavily mulched areas in the Wild Garden that begin growing grassy weeds. All I do is throw cardboard on them and weigh the mass down with logs and bottles. The weeds and wood products become fertilizer. Logs always promote beneficial fungus in the soil

    Small logs also help in propping up new plants that want to lean over. No sticks for tying up plants? Gently roll a log or two against them to help straighten them in the early stages of growth.

    When my supply of small logs became a burden for the weed crew working the front yard, they gathered them and used the extras for firewood.

    The rotting of a log is fascinating. When a hardwood log is cut, the bark slowly pulls away. I use the bark for mulch and beneficial creatures' shade (toads, soil creatures). When chunks fall from hardwood trees, they are already well rotted, lightweight, and full of holes. Sometimes it is like picking up a fragile chunk of sawdust barely stuck together. That is a good indication of the work of Creation in reclaiming the elements. Bacteria does the rotting of juicy, soft tissue, but fungus has incredible power in eating away wood products. Those wood products are moved to plant roots in exchange for the carbon fungus must have to grow.

    My favorite log fell from the maple, full of holes from various animals and rotting. I keep it near the water faucet to facilitate  the rot. Every log is a soil-fertilizer station, a creature shelter, and a bird feeder. The same log that feeds the creatures of rot will attract those animals that prey upon the creatures of rot. 

    How can anyone observe these things without recognizing the Creation, engineering, and management of God?

     These two collars are much larger than the ones I am using.

    Rose Collars
    Mrs. Ichabod asked about this post, so I mentioned low cost tools for the garden. She said, "Be sure to mention rose collars."

    They just came and I already installed them on some Crepe Myrtle starts. Each collar has four holes and two snaps to put through them to form the collar. I can see various benefits from them:

    1. Protection from nibbling rabbits and electric weed-eaters.
    2. Help in keeping them growing straight.
    3. Insulation against bitter, dry, cold weather.
    4. Funnel to feed organic matter to the plant until spring.
    Two Crepe Myrtles came with bonus plants so I could grow three colors that merge into one bush. I used gardener's tape, a thin plastic tape, to gently pull the plants together. The collar will keep the parts together while they form one plant, one rootball, one glorious Crepe Myrtle

    I bought a few bags of Peat Humus (Stinky Peat) to pour into each collar. The organic material keeps the plant warm and also works into the soil during the fall, winter, and early spring. The top layer will be additional insulation/food in the form of leaves and wood mulch.

    Gardeners should mulch heavily just to see how much food the soil will devour over the winter. I have been knee-deep in leaves in many parts of our yard - where we put dozens of extra bags. I have never cleaned them up in the spring. Instead, by summer, they are all gone, reduced to soil food by mites, earthworms, slugs, and other recycling creatures.

    My first winter mulching adventure in this yard was aimed at the sickly Crepe Myrtle near the mailbox. Although it stood in the sun, which CMs love, the bush was not impressive. I began building pyramids of organic matter under it -
    • Extra bags of mushroom compost - a nice name for manure.
    • Piles of wet leaves.
    • Clumps of grass from underneath the mower - mower manure.
    • Clippings and flowers from the bush.
    No matter what I put there or how high the leaf pyramid was, the food flattened out and disappeared. The Crepe Myrtle bloomed unlike any other in the neighborhood.


    When a mole discovered the unbelievable riches of earthworms under the bush, he made food runs under it until the entire base was turned over by his digging. No gardener could do that so gently and effectively. Rather than curse his work, I watched it develop. 

    Organic matter is the least expensive and most effective tool for gardening. Neighbors gather autumn leaves and put them in neat, green bags to be picked up. Thanks. Supply stores sell chemical fertilizer for tons of money - no thanks - but organic bags for very little. Stinky Peat is only $1.65 a bag, for 40 pounds. 

    I can get an endless supply of cardboard and newspaper from the neighborhood and beyond. Once we raided a construction dumpster full of gigantic cardboard boxes. The boxes literally carpeted the Wild Garden, which was previously grassy, and turned it into a leaf-covered area with cardboard beneath. The only cost was labor and my dignity. My helper and I laughed as we carted the material home. 

    "There is no room in the car for me!" 

    GJ - "OK. Walk home. The cardboard must come first." I was kidding. We drove back laughing, twice, from a few blocks away.

    Calladiums in the shade make the Crepe Myrtle that much more colorful.

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    Not every pollinator is a bug.

    Beneficial insect plants? Some gardeners like the broader term - pollinator - which includes those plants that especially attract one pollinator or another. The firms know how to press that button. Butterfly plant? Bee plant? Beneficial insect plant? Crawling with insects that kill garden pests? Hummingbird plan? Yes! Yes!

    These are great plants that I have begun to enjoy lately - all easy to grow and bound to attract the attention of guests.

     Joe Pye Weed is the worst name ever,
    but hard to obtain late in the season. Gardeners know!
    There is also a shorter version - Little Joe. 


    Joe Pye Weed
    began as a medicinal plant used by - Joe Pye. But it has sold out in most places in October. Why? JPW is the ultimate butterfly plant, perennial, growing easily, always attracting butterflies when in bloom, late in the summer.

     Mountain Mint enjoys crazy pollinator action
    as it goes through its continuous blooming cycle.


    Mountain Mint - is another plant that drives pollinators crazy when in full bloom. Coreopsis or Tick Seed also does this in bloom, but I prefer the tall growth of Mountain Mint and its clumping roots. I had three tiny plants at first. Now i have three large clumps of them, growing about five feet tall. On sunny, windless days, the tops of Mountain Mint are always buzzing with various bees and butterflies. I will divide the three plants I own in the spring and place them around the front and backyard.

    Purple Monarda, aka Bee Balm,
    aka Horse Mint, aka Oswego Tea.

    More Monarda. The purple blooming Bee Balm is heavy with bumble bees when blooming. When buying any mint, make sure it is the clumping variety. Those that spread through the roots can take over a garden quickly.

    Daisies are now on my list for their role as a beneficial insect magnet. They are easy to grow, hard to kill, and generous in blooming.

     Cat Mint is a safe, clumping relative
    of Catnip. The only way to get rid of Catnip
    is to move.


    Cat Mint is a clumping mint I bought on sale, three little plants. Two of them are now good sized and worth transplanting to the Butterfly Garden or the sunny border. Cats think it is the obnoxious Catnip plant and stop by for aroma-therapy. Their purple flowers attract bees.

    Groundcover for 2018

     Where did I plant Empress Wu Hosta?

    Hostas will be the major plant for groundcover in the new year. A few new plants are growing fast already. Their roots will continue to grow in the winter, which is still far away here. Their many virtues include flowers that attract Hummingbirds. Mrs. Ichabod is fascinated with all the colors available.

    Tiny prolific Fever Few has been used to
    cure headaches and cause headaches.

    Fever Few could be called Fever Many, because the plant will seed itself all over, once in bloom. This small plant will fill in all gaps in the yard with its tiny white blooms. Beneficial insects love it. If Fever Few is a weed, then it is an attractive, therapeutic, prolific weed.

    Let's be frank. We all have weeds. My goal is to crowd out the least desirable weeds, like Bermuda Grass.

     Chaste Tree is a woody shrub that loves the sun
    and hates watering. Bees love it. 

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     Do not worry - WELS has a deep bench
    of shallow, spineless men.


     That was Wendland's defense of the New NIV.
     In short, we love it!
    The Greek text is constantly changing.
    They added our favorite dogma, UOJ, to Romans 3.
    They included feminist editing, to appeal to our softer side.

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    Rev. Ricky Johnson got himself an insta-church
    with an insta-treasury, and he is laughing.




    About-us | CA | Amazing Grace Lutheran Church:



    "Amazing Grace is a new church, starting in September of 2017.   You can expect 100 to 125 people attending on Sunday.  Children, age 2 through 5th grade, have their own environment on Sunday mornings.  They stay with their parents to worship together as a family for the opening part of the service.  Then following the Kids Message they leave the main service to connect with God on their level led by loving adults, many of whom also have kids that attend the Kids Ministry.

    Every church has its own style. Ours is casual. We have a casual atmosphere while being serious about faith. Our Sunday service is about 60 minutes long and includes four songs and a message from a pastor. You choose if you want to participate or if you want to sit back and soak it all in. We believe that the most important thing you will experience is God’s presence. That’s the reason why we gather and what we want you to experience as well.

    Amazing Grace is a portable church. That means we strategically choose to rent our Sunday morning space.  We currently are renting the Indonesian Evangelical Christian Church for our Sunday services.  Parking is on the street and there is a vacant medical building with parking."



    'via Blog this'


    PHONE (951) 660-3774
    Mailing Address: 1522 JT Eisley Dr
    Corona, CA, 92881
    pastorrickj57@gmail.com

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     David Jay Webber allied himself with the Harvey Weinstein of Columbus -
    for the money,
    Kovo the Church Growth Guru,
    and UOJ,
    but worries publicly about tuxes.



    David Jay Webber is feeling sad.
    Someone posted this elsewhere on Facebook today. I'm hearing this kind of thing more and more often, and it both embarrasses me and breaks my heart - although this is the first time I have heard of a WELS pastor wearing a tuxedo instead of church vestments. Don't think that this kind of thing is not chasing good people away. It is.
    "Went to a WELS church today after leaving ELCA. What I noticed ... no traditional worship service, only contemporary worship. Pastor wore a tux instead of traditional attire. Sermon was good but I honestly felt like it was a non-denom. over a Lutheran church. Even the ELCA had more of a traditional service than them.(sic)"




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    Matthias Leyrer The WELS really needs to take an official, hardline stance on this nonsense

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    October 8 at 8:06pm
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    Eric Olp The modern megachurch "Purpose Driven Church" methodology is a plague and a cancer and needs to be excised from Lutheranism ASAP. One of the things i'll give the LCMS credit for is attacking this head-on and having factions call out their purpose-driven proponents.

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    October 8 at 8:08pm
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    Samuel Novak A tuxedo? What the heck?

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    October 8 at 8:12pm
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    Joann Maske Where was this?

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    October 8 at 8:13pm
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    Jason Sturgill I agree Pastor Webber. WELS concerns me in these areas.

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    October 8 at 8:16pm
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    Lloyd Essmann This very bothersome

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    October 8 at 8:18pm
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    Jason Sturgill Revivalism and enthusiasm have a home in many pockets within our synod.

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    October 8 at 8:23pm
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    Carol Hoffmann Speed I think this is not the norm. Wish the church was mentioned in the article. Maybe there was a reason why this church service was done this way. I hate anonymous accusations. Maybe there is some agenda here.

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    October 8 at 8:24pm
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    David Jay Webber This comment was published on a public forum, but not on this forum. So, I do not want to add detail that would zero in on the identity of the poster. But I can tell you that this post was made with great disappointment on his part. And in the original...See More

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    October 8 at 8:30pm
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    Christine Ullmann One thing I give the ELCA props for is their faithfulness to traditional worship. Every ELCA service I've been to has been strongly liturgical. Their faithfulness to the Bible and doctrine, on the other hand…

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    October 8 at 8:34pm
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    David Jay Webber "Maybe there was a reason why this church service was done this way."

    The reason why churches do this is clear. They think that this is the way to reach prospects in their communities. They think that people who are not born and bred in the Lutheran C
    ...See More


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    October 8 at 8:34pm
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    Rachel Parsons Growing up WELS (ELS member now) I had a similar experience visiting a WELS church while traveling out of town this weekend. I used to enjoy being able to attend different synod churches and know what I was going to get. We were disappointed that we un...See More

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    October 8 at 8:37pm
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    Jon Jordan This has been an area of concern for me as well. One of the WELS locations in my area you wont find a pastor in a robe or a suit, just a button down shirt and dress pants or Khakis.

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    October 8 at 8:38pm
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    Christine Ullmann I think the WELS does need to think seriously about this. I grew up WELS, attended an LES when there was one available, graduated from MLC, taught in a WELS high school, served overseas with a WELS mission. I married a man who grew up LCMS. We started ...See More

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    October 8 at 8:48pm
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    David Jay Webber Lutheran pastors who look with envying eyes upon the large numbers in attendance at the heterodox churches of our land, and who think that their own attendance will increase if they imitate the worship practices of those churches, need to realize that ...See More

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    October 8 at 8:55pm
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    David Jay Webber It is my considered opinion that a full-bodied liturgical service, which preserves the intended flow and rhythm of the liturgy, and which is accompanied by purposeful ceremonial ornamentation, actually recommends itself to the church as a better instru...See More

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    October 8 at 8:55pm
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    Phil Boileau If you don’t like contemporary worship, don’t go to a church that uses a form of worship you don’t like. It amazes me that most people who prefer a more contemporary form of worship rarely condemn those who have a traditional preference. I wish the reverse was true. Show grace and put the best construction on everything.

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    October 8 at 9:47pm
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    Sara James Tuxedo? Perhaps immediately after the service he was standing up in a wedding, ballroom dancing, attending prom, a State dinner, or a military ball and didn't have time to change. In all seriousness though, I am wondering why a pastor would intentionally introduce a distraction into the Service. Formal wear is very situationally specific; it appears pretentious outside of those events. Were women wearing ball gowns?

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    October 8 at 10:20pmEdited
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    Donald Hochmuth A tux worn in a WELS church by presiding minister? Really? I have not seen that done since I was a Methodist. Sad! Sad! Sad!! Is our church becoming the church that I left and was kicked out of the house by my parents for? Is this coming to us through our Sem? I see more and more disrespect in our circles for the Mass. Again, I say "Sad!"

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    October 8 at 11:47pmEdited
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    Lois Johnson They all need to read Hammer of God by Bo Giertz regarding clergy attire.

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    October 9 at 1:08am
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    Sheila Ramirez My Wels church has the traditional services and liturgy. My Sunday night sevice at The Core is different. The message is totaly centered on Christ, but Pastor Mike doesnt wear robes. There is nothing wrong with this. This is a special mission church meant to bring many unchurched in the downtown of Appleton to Christ. Sometimes we get way too roped up in the traditions set by man vs the message of the Gospel and Law.

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    October 9 at 3:46am
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    Kirk Meyer Although the original report is troubling, even more troubling is the paucity of WELS pastors who are willing to publicly oppose emulation of the sects in their worship practices.

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    October 9 at 6:58am
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    Sara Mae Schneider Usually it's the reverse... except the tux. I've never heard of that anywhere.

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    October 9 at 8:09am
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    Laura R. Charron Never heard of that. Not something we need tho.

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    October 9 at 10:10am
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    Jeff Samelson After this was published last year, I had a retired WELS pastor contact me (I'm paraphrasing, from memory) and ask whether I was really trying to restart this whole contentious debate, because he thought the question had been "settled" years back in fa...See More



    Jeffrey L. Samelson Organs or guitars? Actually, it’s not about the instruments. Maybe it was for Great Aunt…
    WELS.NET

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    October 9 at 10:28am
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    Jeff Samelson A comment was made above about WELS pastors speaking up against the inroads of evangelical worship. What I think would be particularly helpful would be for laypeople to speak up when and where it counts. I suspect that most of the "contemporary" worshi...See More

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    October 9 at 10:36am
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    Luke I Tembreull It is always difficult when our expectations are dashed. For someone leaving an ELCA high church congregation, I can see how they would be very put off when they would expect even better from a church that claims to value doctrine and practice so highl...See More

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    October 9 at 12:32pm
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    Luke I Tembreull Some of this is on us pastors for not teaching the meaning of the liturgy, or certain parts of our Lutheran heritage. We can fall into a little bit of a trap if we say, "I just preach the gospel", as if teaching the confessions and the liturgy and our ...See More

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    October 9 at 12:36pm
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    David Jay Webber WELS people who are embarrassed or frightened by their smallness need to consider something very basic: Heterodox churches are growing, and have lots of people going there, largely because of their heterodoxy. People by nature like heterodoxy. They lik...See More

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    October 9 at 1:08pmEdited
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    Geoffrey A. Kieta These discussions always leave me very conflicted. Personally, I am absolutely committed to liturgical worship and I have no intention of hanging my robe or my stoles in the closet. Yet, this thread bothers me. Did I misunderstand, or is the assumpt...See More

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    October 9 at 2:32pm
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    Tom Plamann Wow! So much brotherly love here.... 😕

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    October 9 at 6:25pm
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    Martin Hahm Adiaphoron, where applicable, .....but guarding against tripping up weak, 
    ....., but, personally, I'd prefer having David play his harp, unless dancing for joy with the choir. Why don't we use boats 🚣🏻 for pulpits, or hillsides, as Jesus did? 
    Shall we thank for PA systems, saving vocal cords?


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    October 9 at 9:30pm
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    Jeff Samelson Let's remember that identifying an issue as "adiaphora" does not indicate the end of discussion ("Oh, that's an adiaphoron! Everybody do whatever they think is best!") but rather the beginning of discussion ("Hmm, an adiaphoron. Let's carefully conside...See More

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    October 9 at 10:51pm
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    Tom Plamann So what was the Pastors response when you approached him with this concern?

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    Yesterday at 10:55am
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    Nancy Fleener Evans I call this thread GOSSIP and needs to stop.....

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    Yesterday at 4:46pm
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    Michael Coenen Fires! Hurricanes! Floods! Riots! Wars! All this going on, one disaster after another and there is a post complaining a pastor didn't wear a robe??? This is foolish! Straight from the devil himself! 

    Let's stop worrying that a pastor didn't wear a 
    robe. Instead lets get on our knees and humble ourselves and turn from our wicked ways and pray for each other and this country!

    Instead of this nonsense, lets talk about gathering and grouping together to read The Word of God Everyday. Let's talk about growing as Christians and giving our money and time to build the Kingdom of God. Let's also go and tell Everyone about Christ today. 

    Please delete this whole post, it makes us look like the world and not Christ like.


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    Yesterday at 6:56pmEdited
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    Bonnie Kay This is THE best discussion I have read on this subject. I have a much better understanding of why the historic liturgy is absolutely necessary in Lutheran churches. Great discussion!

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    Yesterday at 7:00pm
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    David Jay Webber As I have said more than once, to me the tuxedo thing, while an oddity, is not the main point of the post or of the ensuing discussion. I am not interested in pursuing whether or not the pastor wore a tuxedo, and if so, why. In a hierarchy of concerns,...See More

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    Yesterday at 7:18pm
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    Joe Jewell Bonnie Kay I agree. I've had this experience over and over again on WELS Discussions... some really trenchant, insightful analysis on an important topic. It's a real blessing for me to be able to read along.

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    Yesterday at 7:22pm
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    David Jay Webber It is not foolish or nonsensical to be concerned about WELS (or ELS) churches looking and feeling, to informed visitors, like heterodox non-denominational churches - especially when these WELS (or ELS) churches are deliberately trying to look and feel that way because they think it will make themselves more appealing to unchurched people.

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    Yesterday at 7:23pm
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    Lee Liermann But this is what needs to be done. Pastors need to teach the history and meaning of the liturgy, laymen (which includes women by the way) need to raise their concerns with their Pastors, sites like this need to have the discussion. If you are uncomfo...See More

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    Yesterday at 8:55pm
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    Sheila Ramirez Michael told me that this site should be set to a closed site so your discussions are not viewed by other facebook users. This way you can discuss these topics but dont have onlookers see this and turn away from God, thinking bad things like they argue...See More

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    Joe Jewell Sheila Ramirez we vet people as carefully as possible before admitting them to try to discern some WELS/ELS/CELC or other Confessional Lutheran affiliation or genuine interest. This includes looking at the applicant's page, what is set to public visibi...See More

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    12 hrsEdited
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    David Moseley Joe I think what Sheila is saying (correct me if I'm wrong Sheila) is that non members of this group can see the page and that maybe it's not the best thing. I would agree with that. However, just to be clear I'm totally fine with the OP on this page. 

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    12 hrs
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    David Moseley Joe I think what Sheila is saying (correct me if I'm wrong Sheila) is that non members of this group can see the page and that maybe it's not the best thing. I would agree with that. However, just to be clear I'm totally fine with the OP on this page. 

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    Sheila Ramirez Wow! You really sadden the Lord! To think Im not Lutheran when all I mostly post is Scriptures and things to lead people to Jesus? I am a life time member at Bethel Menasha a Wels church. This is beyond ridiculous! I love my Lord above all things.

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    Sheila Ramirez I just happen to have friends online who are many different Christians. I love to share my Czech friends posts but must share them from his rapture site right now.

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    David Moseley Sorry it posted twice. Facebook was acting up.

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    Joe Jewell Sheila Ramirez, all I can see is what you've posted on your page. As I said, the moderators let you in even though it was mostly non-Lutheran content.

    David Moseley OK, sure, but quite honestly, if a member of a Baptist or a non-denominational church 
    ...See More


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    Sheila Ramirez This is why my Wels pastor said to pay no mind to these groups.

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    Joe Jewell Sheila Ramirez but he does say to follow TD Jakes and Rapture groups?

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    Sheila Ramirez I said that I post my Czech friends posts for the Lord but can only get them from the rapture site he posts to right now. And I have no idea who TD Jakes is. Maybe it was on a picture with Christian message or Scripture. I have posted things on Luther.

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    Sara James Sheila Ramirez Please take my suggestion in the kindest possible way. There are many different ways to strengthen our faith. Please join sites (I would suggest Wels Lutherans, the official Wels page and the Els page) that strengthen you and build you u...See More

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    Sheila Ramirez Im on those too. I joined at first because I thought it was a forum setup by Wels to discuss synod happenings or the like.

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    Sheila Ramirez I have been on it for long time. Just didnt get things in my newsfeed often. No worries.

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    Sheila Ramirez And yes Im not for TD Jakes either. Guess his name shows up on some Scripture posts. I share daily Scripture I copy and paste from Bible Gateway.

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    Jason Sturgill Sheila, I don't think it is appropriate for you, or anyone for that matter, to tell someone that they "sadden the Lord" simply because you disagree with them. You certainly don't speak for God and taking such a stance is rather bold and above your pay ...See More

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    Sheila Ramirez Forgive me please. Im just sad anyone looks at my posts to see my worthiness.

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    Jason Sturgill No problem. But I wouldn't take it like that. It's not about worthiness. We want people to grow in faith and knowledge here. I have been corrected before. That's how we grow. Some days I'm the teacher and on many days I'm the student. That is what make...See More

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    Joe Jewell Jason Sturgill this was well-said. Sheila Ramirez, thank you for reading what he had to say; I think he communicated better than I could have.

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    Sheila Ramirez God bless you all in this. I enjoy posting His word daily. I work with many agnostics etc. And am looking for avenues to share my songs for God. Here is one.

    "Rest in Me"
    ...See More


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    Patrick Mulrain Perhaps i missed it but with all the WELS pastors on this page it seems odd not one has verified the original post. Given the size and interconnection of the synod I'd of thought someone would have said yes it's accurate in the details or no there is more to the story.

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    Paul Webber How could a pastor know, since they're 'll pretty busy on sundays

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    Paul Webber And the op didn't want to out/personally attack an individual. It was meant to be a discussion based on overarching lutheran principles

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    Patrick Mulrain Circuit meetings? 
    Family?
    Friends?
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    Paul Webber I think if you really want to know, you can send David Jay Webber a private message

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    GJ - My advice - Keep throwing sand in everyone's eyes, so they do not see your clay feet.

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    This just arrived by special courier -

    Our attorneys received a link to your slanderous blog post - The Harvey Weinstein Synods Worry about Tuxes. Our legal research department has examined your blog thoroughly. This is a formal demand that you cease and desist publishing that post, erase it, and remove all evidence of it - for the following reasons.

    Mr. Weinstein is a distinguished entertainment executive. He has received many honors from his profession, from various charities, and from academia.


    1. He has never murdered any of his wives, so we think calling these Lutheran groups Harvey Weinstein Synods is especially repugnant, since your fellow rabbis have done this, with few legal consequences.
    2. If something so horrible had happened at Miramax or any other Weinstein company, we would have disclosed it at once, and not covered it up, as your Chief Rabbis have.
    3. We employ the finest CPA firms to audit our books, so we would never have so many cases of embezzlement, especially at our own headquarters. Can you say the same? No.
    4. We have never had the FBI raid our headquarters and seize computer equipment for dealing in gay child porn. And even if, heaven forbid, that happened, we would not excuse, pardon, and absolve the felon for the sake of good PR.

    Therefore, we order you to stop comparing your out-of-control synods to our client.

    You have 24 hours to comply or we will seek additional legal action.

    Cordially,


    Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe
    Attorneys at Law
    New York City
    (satire)

     Mr. Weinstein is seeking treatment in Europe
    at a secure and undisclosed location.


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  • 10/12/17--11:55: Greek Lesson - John 19:23ff

  • ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 191550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)


    19 τοτε ουν ελαβεν ο πιλατος τον ιησουν και εμαστιγωσεν
    και οι στρατιωται πλεξαντες στεφανον εξ ακανθων επεθηκαν αυτου τη κεφαλη, και ιματιον πορφυρουν περιεβαλον αυτον
    και ελεγον χαιρε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων και εδιδουν αυτω ραπισματα
    ραπισματα - second example of slapping his face
    εξηλθεν ουν παλιν εξω ο πιλατος και λεγει αυτοις ιδε αγω υμιν αυτον εξω ινα γνωτε οτι εν αυτω ουδεμιαν αιτιαν ευρισκω
    εξηλθεν ουν ο ιησους εξω φορων τον ακανθινον στεφανον και το πορφυρουν ιματιον - και λεγει αυτοις ιδε ο ανθρωπος
    οτε ουν ειδον αυτον οι αρχιερεις και οι υπηρεται εκραυγασαν λεγοντες σταυρωσον σταυρωσον λεγει αυτοις ο πιλατος λαβετε αυτον υμεις και σταυρωσατε εγω γαρ ουχ ευρισκω εν αυτω αιτιαν
    απεκριθησαν αυτω οι ιουδαιοι ημεις νομον εχομεν και κατα τον νομον ημων οφειλει αποθανειν οτι εαυτον υιον θεου εποιησεν
    υιον θεου - strikes me as a title without the articles. anarthrous, without articles, is unusual. The real charge, as Lenski says, is not Messiah - king, which threatens Rome, but Son of God, which threatens them.
    οτε ουν ηκουσεν ο πιλατος τουτον τον λογον μαλλον εφοβηθη
    Pilate is dealing with the Son of God.  
    και εισηλθεν εις το πραιτωριον παλιν και λεγει τω ιησου ποθενει συ ο δε ιησους αποκρισιν ουκ εδωκεν αυτω
    - from where, the then is very important, 
    10 λεγει ουν αυτω ο πιλατος εμοι ου λαλεις? ουκ οιδας οτι εξουσιαν εχω σταυρωσαι σε και εξουσιαν εχω απολυσαι σε
    Jesus taught with εξουσιαν - not like the Scribes and Pharisees.
    11 απεκριθη ο ιησους ουκ ειχες εξουσιαν ουδεμιαν κατ εμου ει μη ην σοι δεδομενον ανωθεν δια τουτο ο παραδιδους με σοι μειζονα αμαρτιαν εχει
    ανωθεν - from above, the misunderstood "again" from John 3
    12 εκ τουτου εζητει ο πιλατος απολυσαι αυτον, οι δε ιουδαιοι εκραζον λεγοντες εαν τουτον απολυσης ουκ ει φιλος του καισαρος - πας ο βασιλεα αυτον ποιων αντιλεγει τω καισαρι
    But they charged him as the Son of God, not King.
    13 ο ουν πιλατος ακουσας τουτον τον λογον, ηγαγεν εξω τον ιησουν και εκαθισεν επι του βηματος εις τοπον λεγομενον λιθοστρωτον εβραιστι δε γαββαθα
    14 ην δε παρασκευη του πασχα ωρα δε ωσει εκτη και λεγει τοις ιουδαιοις ιδε ο βασιλευς υμων
    15 οι δε εκραυγασαν αρον αρον σταυρωσον αυτον λεγει αυτοις ο πιλατος τον βασιλεα υμων σταυρωσω? απεκριθησαν οι αρχιερεις ουκ εχομεν βασιλεα ει μη καισαρα
    16 τοτε ουν παρεδωκεν αυτον αυτοις ινα σταυρωθη. παρελαβον δε τον ιησουν και απηγαγον
    17 και βασταζων τον σταυρον αυτου εξηλθεν εις τον λεγομενον κρανιου τοπον ος λεγεται εβραιστι γολγοθα
    18 οπου αυτον εσταυρωσαν και μετ αυτου αλλους δυο - εντευθεν και εντευθεν - μεσον δε τον ιησουν
    19 εγραψεν δε και τιτλον ο πιλατος και εθηκεν επι του σταυρου ην δε γεγραμμενον ιησους ο ναζωραιος ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων
    20 τουτον ουν τον τιτλον πολλοι ανεγνωσαν των ιουδαιων οτι εγγυς ην της πολεως ο τοπος οπου εσταυρωθη ο ιησους και ην γεγραμμενον εβραιστι ελληνιστι ρωμαιστι
    21 ελεγον ουν τω πιλατω οι αρχιερεις των ιουδαιων μη γραφε ο βασιλευς των ιουδαιων αλλ οτι εκεινος ειπεν βασιλευς ειμι των ιουδαιων
    22 απεκριθη ο πιλατος ο γεγραφα γεγραφα


     Part II for October 12
    23 οι ουν στρατιωται, οτε εσταυρωσαν τον ιησουν, ελαβον τα ιματια αυτου και εποιησαν τεσσαρα μερη - εκαστω στρατιωτη μερος - και τον χιτωνα ην. δε ο χιτων αρραφος εκ των ανωθεν υφαντος δι ολου

    χιτων - tunic, worn next to the skin

    24 ειπον ουν προς αλληλους μη σχισωμεν αυτον αλλα λαχωμεν περι αυτου  - τινος εσται - ινα η γραφη πληρωθη η λεγουσα διεμερισαντο τα ιματια μου εαυτοις και επι τον ιματισμον μου εβαλον κληρον. οι μεν ουν στρατιωται ταυτα εποιησαν
    25 ειστηκεισαν δε παρα τω σταυρω του ιησου η μητηρ αυτου και η αδελφη της μητρος αυτου μαρια η του κλωπα και μαρια η μαγδαληνη

    Had been standing, pluperfect
    26 ιησους ουν ιδων την μητερα και τον μαθητην παρεστωτα ον ηγαπα λεγει τη μητρι αυτου γυναι ιδου ο υιος σου

    Jesus addressed his mother as woman here and at the Cana wedding. Both examples anticipate the divinization of Mary after the Council of Ephesus.

    27 ειτα λεγει τω μαθητη ιδου η μητηρ σου και απ εκεινης της ωρας ελαβεν αυτην ο μαθητης εις τα ιδια
    28 μετα τουτο ειδως ο ιησους οτι παντα ηδη τετελεσται ινα τελειωθη η γραφη λεγει διψω

    Double use of fulfilled emphasises the Scriptures fulfilled.
    29 σκευος ουν εκειτο οξους μεστον οι δε πλησαντες σπογγον οξους και υσσωπω περιθεντες προσηνεγκαν αυτου τω στοματι
    30 οτε ουν ελαβεν το οξος ο ιησους ειπεν τετελεσται και κλινας την κεφαλην παρεδωκεν το πνευμα
    31 οι ουν ιουδαιοι - ινα μη μεινη επι του σταυρου τα σωματα εν τω σαββατω - επει παρασκευη ην - ην γαρ μεγαλη η ημερα εκεινου του σαββατου ηρωτησαν τον πιλατον ινα κατεαγωσιν αυτων τα σκελη και αρθωσιν
    32 ηλθον ουν οι στρατιωται και του μεν πρωτου κατεαξαν τα σκελη και του αλλου του συσταυρωθεντος αυτω
    33 επι δε τον ιησουν ελθοντες ως ειδον αυτον ηδη τεθνηκοτα ου κατεαξαν αυτου τα σκελη
    34 αλλ εις των στρατιωτων λογχη αυτου την πλευραν ενυξεν και ευθυς εξηλθεν αιμα και υδωρ
    35 και ο εωρακως μεμαρτυρηκεν και αληθινη αυτου εστιν η μαρτυρια κακεινος οιδεν οτι αληθη λεγει ινα υμεις πιστευσητε
    36 εγενετο γαρ ταυτα ινα η γραφη πληρωθη οστουν ου συντριβησεται αυτου
    37 και παλιν ετερα γραφη λεγει οψονται εις ον εξεκεντησαν
    38 μετα δε ταυτα ηρωτησεν τον πιλατον ο ιωσηφ ο απο αριμαθαιας ων μαθητης του ιησουκεκρυμμενος δε δια τον φοβον των ιουδαιων ινα αρη το σωμα του ιησου και επετρεψεν ο πιλατος. ηλθεν ουν και ηρεν το σωμα του ιησου
    39 ηλθεν δε και νικοδημος ο ελθων προς τον ιησουν νυκτος το πρωτονφερων μιγμα σμυρνης και αλοης ωσει λιτρας εκατον
    40 ελαβον ουν το σωμα του ιησου και εδησαν αυτο οθονιοις μετα των αρωματων καθως εθος εστιν τοις ιουδαιοις ενταφιαζειν
    41 ην δε εν τω τοπω οπου εσταυρωθη κηπος και εν τω κηπω μνημειον καινον εν ω ουδεπω ουδεις ετεθη
    42 εκει ουν δια την παρασκευην των ιουδαιων οτι εγγυς ην το μνημειον εθηκαν τον ιησουν

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  • 10/13/17--05:32: Growing All Winter
  • The Mother of All Crepe Myrtles bloomed and set seed fast,
    so I pruned it for a second bloom. The Buckwheat in bloom around the CM grew like Jack and the Beanstalk and
    re-seeded itself when cut.
    Both plants added to the organic content of the soil.

    Winter has not yet arrived here. Nor has autumn. We have a few leaves falling but highs at 80 and lows above freezing.

    Someone was really startled that I plant in the fall. "Does that work?" That works quite well. Beginners think about plants - veterans think about roots.

    Hardy - or fall bulbs - need a cold winter to do well in the spring. They do most of their initial growth after being planted in the fall - the earlier the better, but do not peek out of the soil until the right time for them.They are growing roots and reaching upwards during the winter. In the spring, their rise up according to the weather clock built into their systems. Some bloom especially early - like crocus. Others can be quite late - like tulips. But even within one of those categories, there are early and late bloomers.

    I no longer support the hardy bulb industry because the winters here are too mild for really good results. Next year I have a bunch of tender or spring bulbs to grow, given to me by our neighbor. Glads are one type, and I think he gave me dozens of them. Tender bulbs have to be dug up again. Mrs. Ichabod loves Caladiums, so they have to be dug up and preserved or bought again.

    All plants grow according to a weather clock, and it is fun to observe and take advantage of it. Could that be a co-inky-dink? The staggered bloom cycles mean that pollinators have a constant supply of food, which benefits the insects and birds alike. The explosive hatching of bugs in the spring matches the hatching of birds and their ravenous appetites for bugs and larvae.

    I pruned the Mother of All Crepe Myrtles for a possible third bloom, but the Creator trumped my ace. The weather turned just enough to signal a stop to blooms and a finishing up of seeds. Here and there a twig is showing off the incandescent pink of the bush, but overall the plant is all seeds on top - a generous supply of seeds for the Cardinals.



    Likewise, the rugosa rose n the Wild Garden, has bloomed and started to form its hips. All roses try  to grow hips - seed pods - and some are known for their big, attractive hips. Birds love to eat them. Because these hips are packed with Vitamin C, they are grown for Vitamin C tablets sold in stores. When we grow roses for their blooms, we stop the fruiting and seed formation, to encourage even more blooming. See John 15:1-10 for how Jesus applies this to grapes and the Means of Grace.

    The hybrid tea roses will continue to bloom in this weather. At some point I will stop cutting the roses and let the bush become dormant for the winter, lest new shoots suffer frost damage.

    If you want to learn the calendar of planting, just use one supplier and offer up your email address to them and "their partners." Soon you will get frantic, daily messages about something to buy. They are not selling seeds now, but plants that will get established before they take a partial rest in the winter.

    Hostas are a great investment in the fall. I had some ordered in the spring, since my wife enjoys them so much. My interest increased when I saw how their flowers were attracting Hummingbirds. The tiny plants - in some cases, only the roots - arrived recently. I was warned by suppliers, "These are dormant. Do not expect much growth now." However, our weather remained warm and we had some heavy rains at just the right time. They decided it was spring and they sprang into action. Hostas with leaves grew quickly and roots sprouted leaves.

    All winter, the Hosta roots will strengthen for the spring. That is why soil building matters so much. Plants can be in relatively poor soil all winter and grow stronger, or they can be nourished in rich, well aerated soil and burst into action in the spring.


     Hosta roots grow all winter, and they grow their own
    Hummingbird feeders in the late summer.

     Hostas will bloom, even in deep shade,
    and the Hummingbirds love to feed at their flowers.


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    The Difficulty of Faith - Comfort for Christians:



    "149 – The Difficulty of Faith



    Who, said one of a company, would really refuse to trust the blessed God?

    None of us, certainly, said Gotthold, so long as he has also faith in his own hand or purse; otherwise, to trust in God is a difficult, nay, an impossible task, for an earthly-minded, sinful, and timid heart. Such a heart cannot trust God without God’s help, nor depend upon His grace without His grace’s aid.

    Faith has many enemies and gainsayers; and therefore it is a fight, and only keeps its ground by fighting. It has to comprehend the great God and His whole heaven in a little heart; and that is no easy task. A mother takes and carries about her child in her arms; soothes, fondles, kisses it; gives it meat and drink, and is very patient with it. But how long is it ere the child, on its part, learns to know the mother, returns her embraces and smiles, and shows her love and respect?

    For myself, I can say with thankfulness, that now, through many trials, conflicts, struggles, temptations, sighs, and prayers, I have come so far, that I am beginning to believe that God is my gracious Father, and that I have an interest in the crucified Jesus, and in His merits, blood, and death. This is a lesson which I learn from day to day. Like a tender infant at the mother’s breast, I lie at the Savior’s wounds, and imbibe from them His blood and spirit, that I may grow in strength. Lord, I believe: help Thou my unbelief!"



    'via Blog this'

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     Graphic by Norma Boeckler


    The Harvey Weinstein Synods of Lutherdom seem determined to embarrassment themselves as often as possible.

    Which is worse? -

    • Concordia Publishing House selling Reformation bar equipment and doggie t-shirts, or 
    • Matt the Fatt having the convention vote to kick out anyone who publishes about doctrine without having an official title? 

    I suppose "Pastor" is not an official role. That is simply too cute a way to celebrate Martin Luther speaking out for the entire Christian Church, sparking the Protestant Revolt  - as the Romanists fashion it. LCMS pastors leave the Vatican on the Mississippi for the real Vatican on the Tiber.

    In the Wisconsin Synod corner, a sect known for despising the Book of Concord and Lenski, they publish their drivel about the Reformation by apologizing for Luther - at least "he pointed to Christ." Yet they point away from Christ, publishing JW Montgomery, another UOJ fanatic - who teaches forgiveness without faith and all that rubbish.

    The Little Sect on the Prairie, a wholly owned subsidiary of WELS, plays a neat game called "We thank God we are better than Wisconsin." Meanwhile, they ape Wisconsin dogma in every way, but speak out against tuxedos. To be polite, they will not identify the WELS pastor by name who wore a tux for a service, but that pretty much clinches who it is. So delicate is their sense of ethical probity.

    The so-called Church of the Lutheran Confession lives off its anger about WELS/ELS - and is dying from it at the same time. Nevertheless, they also swoon about Forgiveness without Faith and the Church Growth Movement, as if arsenic is not toxic enough - they also need to add lead to their diet.

    This entire class of clowns and criminals will not allow a discussion about Justification by Faith in public, whether on Facebook or at a Free Conference. As most know, a Free Conference means anyone can express a position. Although the Emmaus meetings are clearly designed to serve as dating before the marriage, the LCMS-WELS-ELS pretends they are informal and non-binding. Spoiler alert - all three sects have already declared in public that they rejoice in their common teaching of Objective Justification - Forgiveness without Faith, Grace without the Means of Grace, Universal Salvation.

    St. Paul summed up the synodical problem in two verses. Graphic by Norma Boeckler


    A Modest Proposal
    Various elections, conferences, blogs, and secret groups have failed to move beyond trivia for the last 50 years. Shallow, double-dealing politicians have not accomplished anything, so attempting to get someone elected is a total waste of time. Given the attention the leaders pay to the Scriptures - beyond pious slogans and mandatory tithing - electing anyone is counter-productive.

    This program can be carried out stealthily, which is ideal for the clergy of today, who do not want to make waves or take a public position about anything beyond the level of adiaphora. Examples from the above sects - the Christian flag? - burn them all. Individual communion cups - anathema sit! Women teaching men? - that is a gre-e-e-e-ey area of Scripture.

    Historical background. As the lost Pieper - Egbert - wrote, CFW Walther was not a Scriptural teacher. He used dogmatic theses. He was very weak in the Biblical languages, so he postured about teaching doctrine in Latin and became the first Pope on the Mississippi. The solution is not a new pope, but a vast cloud of Biblical expositors.

      Graphic by Norma Boeckler


    The Secret Plan
    Every pastor has a unique opportunity to teach the truth once a week - or more - where everyone listens for 20 minutes plus, without interruption. Babies may squall and some people may become restless, but that remains a protected, special opportunity for the efficacious Word of God.

    Here is the sermon -
    The pastor will deal with the Gospel or Epistle text each week, verse by verse, explaining that lesson. The historic pericopes are best and Luther has great guides for this - the Lenker edition of his sermons. But other Biblical series are good too. One should avoid the anti-Scriptural paraphrases like the NIV and ESV in favor of the KJV, KJV21, and Third Millennium Bible.

    Lenski has great insights too, but the sermon should be based on the pastor's own study and reflection during the week.

     Gardeners and farmers get this parable -
    synod leaders and seminary professors do not.
     Graphic by Norma Boeckler


    The Reformation did not happen because Luther taught Luther, nor did it erupt and take over Europe because he taught the organization (as the sects do today). He firmly believed that Romans 10 was correct - forgiveness and salvation come from faith, and faith from the preached Word of God.

    The Gospel of John is the capstone of the Four Gospels, clearly  emphasizing the teaching of Christ as the righteousness of faith, which is reflected in all the works of the Lutheran Reformation.

    Teaching through various books of the Bible, phrase by phrase, is another aspect of this proposal. Various cheerleaders have begged for the right election results, as if that will yield some result other than another politician elected as Synod President of District President.

      Graphic by Norma Boeckler


    Instead, pastors should teach faithfully the Word of God and accept the results - both good and bad - the Gospel fruits and the cross. Where that leads is God's business, not ours.

    Isaiah 55 teaches with absolute clarity that God's will is accomplished only through God's Word. That Word always returns to Him with great effect.

    • The Word is never void. This double-negative should be considered gravely, at all times. The phrase condemns virtually  everything being done in Lutherdom today.
    • The Word always accomplishes His purpose. The results, which man may consider good or bad, are divinely blessed.
    • The Word prospers His will, so the effect is so great that no one can deny its origin in the Triune God.
    This Biblical doctrine also means that gimmicks, plans, and programs have no effect apart from the Word. When that pudding-head Kent Hunter bound graph-paper into his Church Growth book, it seemed laughable. Now the three sects spend enormous time and energy graphing their horrible numbers and studying them, as if they were the entrails of goats from the rites of ancient, pagan Greeks. 

    That is all we need in Lutherdom - to devote the sermon time to real Scriptural sermons. Here are the sermon notes - the verses themselves. They are his outline. If the pastor cannot give a sermon prompted by each verse, he should study more. 

    What people get today is rambling about current events, personal opinions, synodical baloney, and other filler. Those are the "good" sermons. The rest of them are copied and pasted from the Net or from the group's secret server farm. Yes - WELS does that. They have one guy write the sermon, the rest of them deliver it.

     The Gadarene Swine of Lutherdom are
    trained at Fuller, Willow Creek, and Trinity Divinity.
    They have made a big splash.


    Enhancements
    Written Out - 
    The written sermon should appear each week, to help those who want to know it in depth and to reach others who may only read it, for various reasons. One layman printed my sermons every week for his uncle, who was glad to read them. If that only happens with one person in a congregation, that is good and God-pleasing.

    Broadcast
    Any congregation can broadcast the service for very little, using live streaming. We use Ustream for $100 a month. One ELDONA pastor was worried that would cost real money and necessitate better equipment! But actually, the service can reach the world and people support it gladly. We really needed a better desktop and that was donated, ending our glitches from a slower CPU and relatively low RAM.

    The Parable of the Sower and the Seed should influence congregations to spend some money on modern broadcasting. Sowing was the original broadcasting. At least, think of the shut-ins. Our next-door neighbor could barely walk. She became a Lutheran by watching our services on her computer.

    Blog the Word
    Blogs are a free and easy way to publish the Word of God. They have an astonishing reach around the world. We get 1500 views or more about goofs like Ricky Johnson, but 107,000 views for a single quotation from Luther

     The miraculous catch of fish was a visual representation
    of what the disciples would do in the future,
    trusting in the Word of God.
     Graphic by Norma Boeckler


    Social Media the Word
    Combinations of social media leverage the reach of any given effort. A lawyer suggested that I teach Greek, and I use Ustream for that, plus posting on Facebook and this blog. We get hundreds of views for the Greek text of John.

    By using a combination of social media, the results on searches are better and more are reached.

     Duerer's depiction of the Holy Trinity

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    Norma Boeckler



    EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.


    This sermon is not found in the c. edition. Erl. 14, 163; W. 11, 2249; St. L. 11, 1686.

    Text: Matthew 22:34-46. But the Pharisees, when they heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, gathered themselves together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, trying him: Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.

    Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, What think ye of the Christ? whose son is he?

    They say unto him, The son of David. He said unto them, How then doth David in the Spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I put thine enemies underneath thy feet? If David then calleth him Lord, how is he his son? And no one was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

    CONTENTS:

    OF THE LAW AND THE GOSPEL; OR THE TWO GREATEST COMMANDMENTS AND HOW CHRIST IS DAVID’S SON AND DAVID’S LORD.
    * The Substance of this Gospel.

    * Where unbelief is, there is also stupidity and unrighteousness. 2.

    I. OF THE LAW.

    1. The foundation and kernal of the law. 3-5.

    2. The law must be kept by the heart. 5-10.

    3. To what end has the law been given. 6-7f.

    * The custom of the Jews in that they offered their children to Moloch. a. The origin of this custom. 8-9. b. How and why God had displeasure in this custom.

    4. The law must accommodate itself to our love and our need. 11-13f.

    * The ceremonies and statutes of the Papists. a. They must give place to love. b. How and why the Papists are so strict that they neglect the commandments of God. c. What we should think of the Papists being so strict about their ceremonies. 16-17.

    * A Judgment on the state of the priests and monks.

    5. There are but few persons who understand the law.

    6. Whether nature and reason can understand and fulfill the law. 20-21.

    7. When and how the law is correctly preached.

    8. There is no person who fulfills the law of God. 23-26.

    * All people are alike in the inner wickedness of their hearts. 27.

    II. OF THE GOSPEL.

    1. The Gospel frees us of an evil conscience.

    2. How the Gospel teaches us to become free from the law. 29-31.

    * Faith and works.

    * To what extent Christ can be called the son of David. 33 -34.

    SUMMARY OF THIS GOSPEL:

    1. The two commands in this Gospel, of the love of God and of our neighbor, condemn us all, not to say anything then that the law Justifies us.
    2. The Spirit of God alone fulfills the commandment. Therefore all that pertains to us is against and contrary to the law of God, as St. Paul says in the third chapter of Romans.

    3. Seeing all depends upon love, works do not Justify, but faith alone.

    Blessed is he who has faith.

    4. Christ is both God and man, and David’s son and David’s Lord; therefore he is also the only mediator between God and man, as St. Paul says to Timothy, 1 Timothy 2:5.

    1. This Gospel consists of two questions. In the first the lawyer on behalf of the other Pharisees asks Christ: Which is the great commandment in the law? In the second the Lord asks the Pharisees and the lawyer: Whose son is David? These two questions concern every Christian; for he who wishes to be a Christian must thoroughly understand them. First, what the law is, and the purpose it serves; and secondly, who Christ is, and what we may expect from him.

    2. Christ explains here to the Pharisees the law, telling them what the sum of the whole law is, so that they are completely silenced both at his speech and his question, and know less than nothing of what the law is and who Christ is. From this it follows, that although unbelief may appear as wisdom and holiness before the world, it is nevertheless folly and unrighteousness before God, especially where the knowledge of the two questions mentioned above is wanting.

    For he who does not know how he stands before the law, and what he may expect from Christ, surely has not the wisdom of God, no matter how wise and prudent he may pretend to be. Let us therefore consider the first question, namely: What the law is; what it commands and how it is to be spiritually interpreted.

    3. When the lawyer asked Christ, which was the great commandment in the law, the Lord said to him: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.”

    4. As if the Lord would say: He who possesses love to God, and love to his neighbor, has all things, and therefore fulfills the law; for the whole law and all the prophets point to these two themes, namely: how God and our neighbor are to be loved.

    5. Now one may wish to ask: How can you harmonize this statement, that all things are to be comprehended in these two commandments, since there was given to the Jews circumcision and many other commandments? To answer this, let us see in the first place how Christ explains the law, namely, that it must be kept with the heart. In other words, the law must be spiritually comprehended; for he who does not lay hold of the law with the heart and with the Spirit, will certainly not fulfill it. Therefore the Lord here gives to the lawyer the ground and real substance of the law, and says that these are the greatest commandments, to love God with the heart and our neighbor as ourselves.

    From this it follows that he, who is not circumcised, who does not fast nor pray, is not doing it from the heart; even though he may perform external acts, he nevertheless does nothing before God, for God looketh on the heart, and not on our acts, 1 Samuel 16:7. It will not profit a man at all, no matter what work he may perform, if his heart is not in it.

    6. From this arises another question: Since works are of no profit to a man, why then did God give so many commandments to the Jews? To this I answer, these commandments were given to the end that we might become conscious whether we really love God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength, and in addition our neighbor as ourselves; for St. Paul says in Romans 7:7 (3:20), that the law is nothing but a consciousness and a revelation of sin. What would I know of sin, if there were no law to reveal it to me?

    Here now is the law that saith: Thou shalt love God with thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself. This we fulfill if we do all that the law requires; but we are not doing it. Hence he shows us where we are lacking, and that, while we ought really to do something, we are doing nothing.

    7. That the Jews had to practice circumcision was indeed a foolish ceremony, yea, a command offensive to reason, even though it were given by God still to-day. What service was it to God, to burden his people with this grievous commandment? What good was it to him, or what service to a neighbor? Yea, and it did not profit the Jew, who was circumcised. Why then did God give the command? In order that this commandment and law might show them whether they really loved God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind, and whether they did it willingly or not. For if there were a devout heart, it would say: I verily do not know why God gave me circumcision, inasmuch as it does not profit any one, neither God, nor me, nor my neighbor; but since it is well pleasing to God, I will nevertheless do it, even though it be considered a trifling and despised act. Hence, circumcision was an exercise of the commandment, Thou shalt love God with all thy heart.

    8. It was also a foolish command God gave to Abraham, to slay his son, Genesis 22:2. For if reason had been the judge in this, both it and all mankind would have come to no other conclusion than this: It is an unfriendly and hostile command, how can it be from God, since God himself said to Abraham that he would multiply his seed through this son, and it would become as innumerable as the stars of the firmament and as the sand by the sea. Therefore it was a foolish commandment, a grievous, hard and unbearable commandment. But what did Abraham do? He closes his senses, takes his reason captive, and obeys the voice of God, goes, and does as God commanded him.

    By this he proved that he obeyed from the heart; otherwise, even if he had put his son to death a hundred times, God would not have cared for it; but God was pleased that the deed came from his heart and was done in true love to God; yea, it came from a heart that must have thought: Even if my son dies, God is almighty and faithful, he will keep his word, he will find ways and means beyond that which I am able to devise; only obey, there is no danger. Had he not had this boldness and this faith, how could his fatherheart have killed his only and well beloved son?

    9. The Jews later wanted to follow this example and, like Abraham, offered their children unto God, hoping thereby to perform a service well-pleasing to God; but it was far from it. These poor people came to the conclusion:

    The service of Abraham was pleasing to God, therefore will ours also be, and consequently they killed one child after another. O, how many healthy, noble and beautiful children perished! The prophets protested against this service, they preached, warned and wrote against it, telling the people that it was deception, but all was in vain. Yea, many a prophet lost his life because of this, as the history in the books of the kings shows.

    10. But why was this service of the Jews displeasing to God? For the reason that it did not come from their heart, and was not done out of love to God; but they simply looked upon the service, and did it without the command and word of God; but God saith: My dear sirs, I was not concerned about the fact that Abraham offered up his son, but that he proved by this act that he loved me with his whole heart. There must be first love in the heart, then follows the service that will be pleasing to God; for all the works of the law tend to the end thereby to prove our love to God, which is in the heart; which love the law requires, and wall have above everything else.

    11. We are also to notice here that all the works of the law are not commanded merely for the purpose that we simply just perform them; no, no; for if God had given even more commandments, he would not want us to keep them to the injury and destruction of love. Yea, if these commandments oppose the love of our neighbor, he wants us to renounce and annul them. Take the example of this, I recently gave you: Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, leading them for forty years through the wilderness, and not one of them was circumcised, although it was commanded them. Where was their obedience to the commandment?

    Was God not angry with them because they did not obey his commandment? No, there was a higher commandment in force at that time, namely, that they were to obey God who commanded them to come out of Egypt in haste to the promised land. By their marching they daily obeyed God, and God accepted it as obedience; otherwise he would have been angry, in that they did not keep his commandments. Both the need and the love were at hand, which set aside all commandments, for it would have been unbearable to endure the pain of circumcision and at the same time the burden of the journey. Therefore love took the place of the commandment of circumcision, and thus should all commandments be kept in love, or not at all.

    12. In like manner Christ excused his disciples, as is recorded in Matthew 12:3-4, when the Jews accused them of transgressing the law, of doing on the Sabbath that which was not lawful to do on the Sabbath day, when they plucked the ears of corn and ate them. Then the Lord gave them to understand that they were doing no wrong, as if to say: Here is no Sabbath; for the body needs food, necessity demands it; we must eat, even though it be on the Sabbath. Therefore the Lord cited the example of David, which he laid before the Jews, and said, “Have ye not read what David did; he and they that were with him, when he was an hungered, how he went into the house of God and ate the shew bread which was not lawful to eat, nor for those that were with him, excepting for the priests?” 1 Samuel 21:3f. Then David ate the bread, though he was not a priest, because hunger pressed him to do it. Neither did Ahimelech the priest violate the law in giving the bread to David, for love was present and urged him to give it. Thus even the whole law would have had to serve David in his need.

    13. Therefore, when the law impels one against love, it ceases and should no longer be a law; but where no obstacle is in the way, the keeping of the law is a proof of love, which lies hidden in the heart. Therefore ye have need of the law, that love may be manifested; but if it cannot be kept without injury to our neighbor, God wants us to suspend and ignore the law.

    14. Thus you are to regulate your life and conduct. There are in our day many customs, many orders and ceremonies, by which we falsely think to merit heaven; and yet there is only this one principle, namely: the love to our neighbor, that includes in it all good works. I will give you an example we recently heard. Here is a priest or monk, who is to read his prayers or the rules of his order, or to hold mass, or say penance. At this moment there comes a poor man or woman to him who has need of his help and counsel. What shall this priest or monk do? Shall he perform his service, or shall he assist the poor man? He should therefore act prudently and think:

    True, I am required to read my prayers, hold mass, or say penance; but now on the other hand, a poor man is here; he needs my help and I should come to his rescue. God commanded me to do this; but the others man devised and instituted. I will let the mandates of men go, and will serve my neighbor according to God’s commandment.

    15. However, very seldom do we think that the precious service of holding mass and reading prayers should be put in the background; and such a humble service, as you regard it, should have the preference. But what is the reason? The reason is that these dream-preachers, who have nothing to present to us but the ordinances of men, have made us so timid and fearful that we came to the conclusion, if we did not regulate ourselves in everything according to their preaching, heaven itself would fall. Yea, they would rather let ten poor people starve than fail to say one mass. We find even to-day many monks or priests who rather let a poor man freeze, than violate their statutes and ordinances. So lamentably and miserably have they been deceived by their godless preachers and teachers, and by their superiors, who with their statutes and devilish ordinances have drawn, and are still drawing, them away more and more from the law of God to our own notions.

    16. These are the principal fruits of unbelief and godlessness, which, as the Scriptures declare, provoke God. Should not God be angry with me, if he commands me to show my neighbor love, and I go and follow my own or other people’s dreams? It is as if a master said to his servant: Go and work in the field, and the servant went and desired to wash the dishes. Should not the master rightly be angry with such a servant? Thus it is also with God. He wants us to keep his commandments, and to regard them more than the commandments of men, and all the commandments to be subservient to love, so that all be comprehended in these two commandments, of which the Lord here speaks in this Gospel: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.”

    17. Do you want to do something pleasing to God, then do it out of genuine love. That the Jews practiced circumcision, fasted much, prayed much, and performed other like services, was not pleasing to God, for it did not come from the heart, as this commandment requires: Thou shalt love God with all thy heart. Thus it will be also with you, even though you should belong to the Carthusian friars, or to a still more exacting order; all would avail nothing, if you had not the love of God. From this you are to conclude, all works are nothing, that do not originate in love, or are against love. No commandments should be in force, except those in which the law of love can be exercised.

    18. From this it now appears what a misleading calling that of the monks and priests is, in that they wish to merit heaven through their works alone, and they also bind the people to do good works, in order that they may thereby merit heaven, which is a cursed and godless service. Hence, as already stated, the law is to be only an exercise to prove our love; otherwise, aside from love, God never inquires about works, no matter how excellent they are.

    19. You can now see how many people know what the law means: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself.

    Surely they are few who know it, and fewer still who keep it. How can they keep that which they do not know? We are blind and our nature is totally blind, and so is also human reason. It knows nothing so imperfectly as that which the law of God requires.

    20. Now here Christ shows the Pharisees and the Scribes a twofold kindness. In the first place, he dispels their blindness and teaches them what the law is. In the second place, he teaches them how impossible it is for them to keep the law. Their blindness he dispels, in that he teaches them what the law is, namely: that love is the law. Human reason cannot comprehend this nowadays any more than the Jews did then, for if it had been possible for human reason to comprehend it, the Pharisees and Scribes, who at that time were the best and wisest of the people, could have understood it; but they thought it consisted alone in performing the external works of the law; in giving to God, whether it be done willingly or unwillingly; but their inward blindness, their covetousness, and their hardened heart they could not see, and thought they thoroughly understood the law and were fine fellows, holy and pious people; but they stood in their own light. For no one is able to keep the law unless his nature is thoroughly renewed.

    21. Therefore consider it an established fact that reason can never understand and fulfill the law, even though it knows the meaning of the law. When do you do to another what you want him to do to you? Who loves his enemy from his heart? Who loves to die? Who willingly suffers disgrace and shame? Dear sir, point me to a man who enjoys to have a bad reputation or to live in poverty! For nature and human reason flee entirely from this, are afraid, terrified and shocked; and if it were possible, as far as it were in their power, they would never suffer such misfortune. Human nature alone will never be able to accomplish what God in this commandment requires, namely, that we surrender our will to the will of God, so that we renounce our reason, our will, our might and power, and say from the heart: Thy will be done. And indeed, nowhere will you find a person who loves God with his whole heart and his neighbor as himself. It may indeed happen that two companions live friendly together; but even there hypocrisy is hidden, which continues until you are wounded by him; then you will see how you love him, and whether you are flesh or spirit.

    This commandment therefore requires me to be friendly with all my heart to him who has offended me; but when do I do this?

    22. Thus Christ desires to show us that we preach the law rightly, only when we learn from it that we are unable to fulfill it, and that we are the property of the devil. This we learn from experience, and it is shown now and then in the Scriptures, especially by St. Paul when he says in Romans 8:7-8: “Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be,” and it follows, that they who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    23. Hence, take to thyself this commandment: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and think upon it, contemplate it, and search what kind of a law it is; how far you are from fulfilling it, yea, how you have not yet even made a beginning to suffer and to do from the heart what God demands of you. It is pure hypocrisy, if anyone wants to creep into a hiding-place and think: Oh I will love God. Oh, how I do love him, he is my Father! How gracious he is to me! and the like. Yes, when God does our pleasure, then we can easily say such things; but when he sends misfortune and adversity, we no longer regard him as our God, nor as our Father.

    24. True love to God does not act in this way, but in the heart it thinks and with the lips says: Lord God, I am thy creature; do with me as thou wilt; it matters not to me. I am ever thine, that I know; and if thou desirest, I will die this very hour or suffer any great misfortune; I will cheerfully do so from my heart. I will not regard my life, honor and goods and all I have, higher and greater than thy will, which shall be my pleasure all my days.

    But you will never find a person who will constantly regulate himself according to this commandment; for the whole life you are living in the body, in the five senses, and whatever you do in your body, should all be so regulated as to be done to the glory of God, according to the regulations of this commandment, which saith, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy mind.” As if Christ said: If you love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, then nothing will be lacking; you shall experience it in your daily life, namely: when everything you do, whether you wake or sleep, whether you labor or stand idle, whether you eat or drink, is directed and done out of love to God from the heart. In like manner your mind and thoughts will also be directed wholly and entirely to God, so that you will approve of nothing you are not certain is pleasing to God. Yea, where are those who do this?

    25. And this part where he says, “With all thy mind,” argues powerfully against the writings and teachings of man, upon which he especially depends, and thinks thereby to obtain a merciful God and merit heaven.

    Such imagination of the human reason draws us in a wonderful manner from this commandment, so that we do not love God with all the mind; as has been done hitherto, and is still done at the present day. For these priests and monks think nothing else than that God is moved by the mass and by other human inventions; but he abhors it and does not desire it, as is said in Isaiah 29:13: “In vain do they serve me, because they are teaching such doctrines which are only the commandments of men.” Matthew 15:8-9. The commandment here requires you to consider nothing good that is against God and against everything he has commanded or forbidden. It thus requires, you to give yourself wholly and entirely to him in all your life and conduct.

    26. From this you can conclude, there is no human being who is not condemned, inasmuch as no one has kept this commandment, and God wants everyone to keep it. There we stand in the midst of fear and distress, unable to help ourselves, and the first knowledge of the law is, that we see our human nature is unable to keep the law; for it wants the heart, and if it is not done with the heart, it avails nothing before God. You may indeed do the works outwardly, but God is not thus satisfied, when they are not done from the heart, out of love; and this is never done except man is born anew through the Holy Spirit. Therefore God aims to accomplish through the law nothing more than that we should in this way be forced to acknowledge our inability, frailtry and disease, and that with our best efforts we are unable to fulfill a letter of the law. When you realize this, the law has accomplished its work. This is what Paul means when he says in Romans 3:20, “Through the law is the knowledge of sin.”

    27. From this it appears clearly that we are all alike, and are one in the inner wickedness of the heart, which the law reveals, when we look into it rightly. Therefore we might well say, If one is good, then all are good.

    Therefore no one should accuse another. It is indeed true that in public and gross sins there sticks a deeper sin; but the heart is alike bad, unless it be renewed by the Holy Ghost. But what shall I do when I once recognize my sin? What does it profit me? It helps me very much, for when I have come thus far, I am not far from the kingdom; as Christ says to a scribe in Mark 12:34, who also knew that the works of the law were nothing without love.

    28. But what shall we do to get rid of our bad conscience? Here follows now the other part of this Gospel, namely, who Christ is and what we can expect of him. From him we must receive and secure freedom from a wicked conscience, or we shall remain in our sins eternally, because for this purpose is Christ made known and given by the Father, in order that he might deliver us from sin, death, from a wicked conscience, and from the law.

    29. We have now heard what the law is, and how through the law we come to the knowledge of sin; but this is not enough, another has a work to do here, whose name is Christ Jesus; although the first, the law, must indeed remain; yea, it is necessary. For if I have no sense of my sins, I will never inquire for Christ; as the Pharisees and scribes do here, who thought they had done everything the law commanded and were ready to do yet more; but of Christ they knew nothing. Therefore, first of all, when the law is known and sin revealed through the law, it is then necessary that we know who Christ is; otherwise the knowledge of sin profits us nothing.

    30. But the law is known, when I learn from it that I am condemned, and see that there is neither hope nor comfort anywhere for me, and I cannot even help myself, but must have another one to deliver me. Then it is time that I look around for him who can help, and he is Christ Jesus, who for this purpose became man, and became like unto us, in order that he might help us out of the mire into which we are fallen. He loved God with all his heart and his neighbor as himself, and submitted his will to the will of his Father, fulfilled the law in every respect; this I could not do and yet I was required to do it. Therefore, he accepts him; and that which he fulfilled in the law, he offers me. He freely gives me his life with all his works, so that I can appropriate them to myself as a possession that is my own and is bestowed upon me as a free gift. He delivers us from the law, for when the law says, Love God with all thy heart, and thy neighbor as thyself, or thou wilt be damned, then I say, I cannot do it. Then Christ says: Come to me, take me and cling to me by faith; then you shall be rid of the law.

    31. Now this is accomplished in the following manner: Christ has through his death secured for us the Holy Spirit; and he fulfills the law in us, and not we. For that Spirit, whom God sends into your heart for the sake of his Son, makes an entirely new man out of you, who does with joy and love from the heart everything the law requires, which before would have been impossible for you to do. This new man despises the present life, and desires to die, rejoices in all adversity, and submits himself wholly and entirely to the will of God. Whatever God does with him, is well pleasing to him. This Spirit you cannot merit yourself, but Christ has secured and merited it. When I believe from the heart that Christ did this for me, I receive also the same Holy Spirit that makes me an entirely new man. Then everything God commands is sweet, lovely and agreeable, and I do everything he desires of me; not in my own strength, but by the strength of him that is in me, as Paul says in Philippians, 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me.”

    32. But you must take heed, that you do not undertake to secure this faith in Jesus Christ by your own works or power, or that you think lightly about this matter; for it is impossible for the natural man; but the Holy Spirit must do it. Therefore beware of the preachers of self-righteousness, who simply blabber and say: We must do good works in order to be saved.

    But we say that faith alone is sufficient to this end. Our good works are for another purpose, namely, to prove our faith, as you have already frequently heard from me.

    33. Now this is the purpose of the question the Lord put to the Pharisees:

    What think ye of Christ; who is he and whose Son is he? But their answer, in that they say, He is the son of David, the Lord rejects and obscures their answer and refers to a passage from the Psalm, in order to leave them in doubt; so that no one is able to answer him a word.

    34. However, when David calls Christ his Lord, in that he says in <19B001> Psalm 110:1, “But the lord said unto my Lord, ‘Sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool,’” it is to be understood that David speaks of him both as God and man, for according to the flesh alone he was the son of David. Paul also joins these two when he says in Romans 1:1-4: “I am called to be an apostle, separated unto the Gospel of God, which he promised afore through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh; who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” But it is something to know that Christ is Lord; for this has might and power and is especially comforting in the time of affliction. But concerning this I have said more elsewhere and will therefore now close, and pray God for grace.

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    Graphic by Norma Boeckler



    The Hymn # 239                 Come Thou Almighty King                         

    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 #269            O Lord Our Father                      
      

    Against the Professional Religious Establishment


    The Communion Hymn # 396            Oh for a Faith            

    The Preface p. 24
    The Sanctus p. 26
    The Lord's Prayer p. 27
    The Words of Institution
    The Agnus Dei p. 28
    The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
    The Benediction p. 31
    The Hymn #651               Be Still My Soul            

     Graphic by Norma Boeckler
        


    KJV 1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: 8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.


    KJV Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. 35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.


     Graphic based on Norma Boeckler's


    Eighteenth Sunday After Trinity

    Lord God, heavenly Father: We are poor, miserable sinners; we know Thy will, but cannot fulfill it because of the weakness of our flesh and blood, and because our enemy, the devil, will not leave us in peace. Therefore we beseech Thee, shed Thy Holy Spirit in our hearts, that, in steadfast faith, we may cling to Thy Son Jesus Christ, find comfort in His passion and death, believe the forgiveness of sin through Him, and in willing obedience to Thy will lead holy lives on earth, until by Thy grace, through a blessed death, we depart from this world of sorrow, and obtain eternal life, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


    Against the Professional Religious Establishment

    KJV Matthew 22:34 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together.

    Many would like to frame the Gospels as the Jews against Jesus, resulting in the crucifixion. That gives a false impression of another religion against Jesus, as if that could not happen today. But the vast majority of His followers were Jews, and the Roman establishment does not enter the picture until the end.

    The real theme of the Gospels - and the entire New Testament - is faith versus unbelief. The worst opponents came from the religious establishment, from the great, the wise, the holy, the scholars.

    Even today, the hottest opposition and the greatest numbers of opponents do not come from the atheists organizations and the American Humanists, but from the Protestant and Catholic clergy, the college and seminary professors, and the professionals who may not have a church job but teach their version of Christian theology at the great universities - Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Duke, U. of Chicago, etc. The mainline eccelesiastics - with honorary and earned doctorates - lead the forces for radicalism, apostasy, and persecution of believers.

    When Jesus taught, the Scribes and Pharisees, the religious establishment - sometimes the Sadducees too - gathered to criticize and condemn Him.

    35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 

    This question is interesting, because Jesus also asked it when leading into the Parable of the Good Samaritan. If they asked Jesus, and Jesus asked them - with the same result - then this is a crucial summary of the Law. Naturally, the answer is from the Old Testament, because that was the only Scripture at the time. The New Testament came to be written soon after the death and resurrection of Christ - but not yet. The entire work of the Old Testament is to prepare Israel and the world for Christ, so Jews had the advantage of seeing the well known Promises fulfilled in Christ. Secondly, which is the case today, believers need to know the Old Testament to see how perfectly Jesus was promised centuries in advance, with passages so perfect that anyone can see they are about Jesus and only Him. Children see that right away in Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.

    Other prophesies were about that time and later - the sop of bread offered to the traitor.

    37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

    This is famous for being the summary of the Old Testament, whether it comes from one side or another. However, the truth of the statement is based on faith rather than righteousness through works, which is where most get stuck. And that leads to pretending obedience or making up a grand show of holiness. Luther called it "head over heels" in holiness. 

    Luther's point about this is that faith in God leads us to love Him and follow His commandments out of faith and love. Abraham was tested and he showed ultimate trust in God by being willing to follow the contradictory and absurd demand that he sacrifice. Therefore, God provided a substitute - a ram caught in a thicket.

    This is a foreshadowing of Christ being offered as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, which comprises a large part of John's Gospel. Rather than constantly condemn man for sinfulness, God provides a remedy and healing in forgiveness through trust in Christ.

    Jesus gave the opponents a question and led them into an obvious conclusion - 

    41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. 

    This question and answer are too easy, because Jesus knew their nature and thoughts. Anyone would have given the same answer to this, at that time. The implications though are great.

    43 He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, 44 The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? 45 If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son? 46 And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any more questions.

    This seems like a verbal puzzle, but it is easy to put together. How can David's son be his Lord? That implies a much greater role than descendant of David. Jesus, the Son of David, the Son of God, is much greater than David, who was the model of the great warrior-king, religious leader of Israel.

    As we can see from the final chapters of John, the reason for the tensions between Jesus and the religious establishment were based on His role as the Son of God. His teaching of believing in Him as righteousness. The summary above implies  that, and the religious leaders knew that. While they were making Jesus out to be a political threat to Pilate as the supposed "King of the Jews," they slipped and said, "He makes Himself out to be The Son of God." I capitalized The because when Greek omits "the" which is rare, it is akin to us saying THE... as opposed to a son of God (Like Moses, Buddha, etc - Movie - "Oh God").

    This debate took place with Jesus openly claiming to be the Son of God, teaching everyone faith in Him, and the opponents knowing it and trying to silence Him - or just ignore Him. Nothing kills a good debate than one side turning away in silence. It is a major sign of defeat, but designed to say, "You are not worth talking to or debating with."

    So this is the tactic of the Protestant/Catholic religious establishment today. For  instance, they like to exclude John's Gospel from all discussions, because the rationalists have taught them to do so. 

    If the Fourth Gospel is the capstone message of the Four Gospels, with the historical narrative taught in the first three, then John's Gospel is central to the entire Bible. Everything is done and spoken in St. John "so that they might believe." This happens in words and miracles, in providing that Jesus was fulfilling the Old Testament. 

    Not only that, Jesus predicted how He would die, and the disciples realized and stated that this was true, so Jesus own sacrifice was part of this system of proofs. That did not happen on God's behalf, but ours. We do not have a few proofs, but hundreds of proofs.

    The entire Bible is like those strange illustrations which show two things at once. If we focus on the obvious, we do not see the main picture. Our brains are altogether fooled. If we can shift our focus, the real picture is sharp and clear. 

    So Psalm 22 is utterly strange and contradictory, so odd next to the beautiful 23rd Psalm.

    Isaiah 53 is so unlike Jewish expectations of the Messiah that  the paraphrases used (Targums) actually reversed the message (just like the NIV and ESV today).  If we focus on the Atonement, both passages are so clear it is a wonder that the entire world does not acknowledge this.

    In a way, it does, but in opposition. The entire world, minus the believers, finds all kinds of scholarly and official ways to dismiss both  passages - and others. 
    • "This is not Messianic." 
    • "This does not promise what people learned in Sunday School."
    • "Don't make faith a work. That is against grace." 
    Opposition is a sign of truth, because unbelievers are shaken by the Gospel, even when and especially when they are clergy and theologians. 

    So the message of this Gospel is one which makes the Summary of the Law come alive. Why should we love God with our hearts, minds, soul, and heart? Because Jesus is our loving Good Shepherd who became the Passover Lamb for us. And yet as the risen Lord He continues to help us and guide us, strengthening us in prayer and also is being the agent of all that God does. 

    The second part is based upon the truth, that God has done everything for us and continues to help us. There is nothing we can do for Him, but we can help our neighbor as the natural response to God's abundant blessings.

     Graphic by Norma Boeckler


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     © Nancy Wong, photo courtesy University of Chicago Divinity School Dean Laurie Zoloth chatting with attendees at a reception in her honor March 28 at Swift Hall on the University of Chicago campus.


    Chicago is first divinity school to hire a Jewish dean:



    "The Jewish New Year arrived this fall with an unusual milestone: The University of Chicago Divinity School began its semester with a Jewish dean for the first time in its 125-year history.

    In fact, Dean Laurie Zoloth is apparently the first Jewish dean of any university-based U.S. divinity school, according to the Association of Theological Schools.

    “We normally think of Jews as deeply integrated in the American academic system, so it is unusual that there is a discipline or an area where one could be the first Jewish academic anything,” Zoloth told USA TODAY.

    But divinity schools are a bit different than other academic programs. Such schools were aligned with a certain denomination, she noted, and were originally conceived as pathways to ordination for clergy of that faith. But many programs have shed their denomination as they have moved to focus on the academic study of religion. Seminaries are a separate category of education, generally unconnected to another institution, and designed specifically to train and ordain clergy.

    Some university divinity schools continue to be expressly tied to a specific faith — for instance the website at the Duke Divinity School, another top program, describes its program as providing  "a strong foundation for Christian ministry and leadership, ensuring that students are prepared to serve the church and the world."

    By contrast, the website for the University of Chicago Divinity School describes its program as is “a tough-minded, sprawling, rigorous and dynamic conversation about what religion is and why understanding it is so vitally important.”

    Greg Stirling, dean of Yale Divinity School, said “I still define (Yale) as a Christian divinity school — which doesn’t mean the only thing we do is train ministers… but we certainly take that with real seriousness.” Stirling said Zoloth’s arrival at Chicago is part of the evolution over time toward religious study, which is more purely academic than “lived.”

    “Chicago is a first-rate academic institution,” he said, “but their basic orientation is different.”

    Chicago does also train clergy: Zoloth notes that the Chicago school also has a top-rated Master of Divinity program that trains clerical leaders across different faith traditions.

    Zoloth said her appointment “tells us that what it means to study religion has opened up into a much broader terrain, and that many of us are now welcome in the academy where this study is pursued and I’m excited to be here.”

    Chicago’s choice of an Orthodox Jewish woman to lead its renowned divinity school is “a sign of the pluralism and ecumenicism that is remaking American society” said David Ellenson, former president of Hebrew Union College and a “tangible sign of the historic tranformation” in religious studies as well.

    Ellenson noted that the nation as a whole is growing in its religious diversity, which is opening new opportunities in leadership for people of diverse faiths. Zoloth said there has been a broad expansion of religious studies in the U.S. with “a great new generation of people across many different traditions — Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism — so there is enormous growth that is possible throughout our field of religions studies.”

    Presumably, she said, a Muslim will one day head a major U.S. divinity school. “There could be anybody who is devoted to the serious academic study of religion and that includes anyone who takes religious traditions seriously and understands themselves as a scholar of these traditions.”"

     Make sure the diversity is selective.


    'via Blog this'

     Zoloth began her career as a neonatal nurse working in impoverished communities. She said those early years are central to how she views religious studies and bioethics—an approach that brings together theoretical exploration with an understanding of how arguments of theology and moral philosophy can address societal challenges.
    Zoloth holds a bachelor’s degree in women studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of the State of New York. She received a master’s degree in Jewish studies and a doctorate in social ethics from the Graduate Theological Union. Zoloth also holds a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University.
    https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2017/03/28/laurie-zoloth-appointed-dean-university-chicago-divinity-school

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    Zoloth is the new dean of the U. of Chicago's Divinity School.

    The University of Chicago scored a double-diversity victory by hiring a Jewish woman to be their new dean. Newspapers have enjoyed a number of Ripley's Believe It or Not stories in the last few years.

    Going against logic and experience is one way the apostate religious institutions are destroying themselves. Every time they proclaim their latest diversity hire, they discourage reasonable candidates from laboring in the field. For example, why would a male Protestant minister want to wait around in the wings for a chance for the same job? The quota system is against him, and he is probably in the majority in his mainline group. In reality, the chances of getting an executive position is many times less than a woman with no real qualifications or experience. That may not last long, of course.

    I wonder why any normal male would stay in a mainline religious organization. He is sitting in the back of the bus.

     Latini, a Presbyterian minister, is the new head
    of ELCA's United Lutheran Seminary.


    Look at all the ELCA men who might have been head of the new, doomed United Lutheran Seminary, the merger of the Gettysburg and Philadelphia seminaries. They hired a Presbyterian woman minister, who was earlier the Assistant Dean of Diversity at another school. They may not have promoted her to Dean of Diversity, but the ELCA Lutherans glorified her by raising her above all the ELCA professors. The New Testament professor will most likely be the most qualified (by quotas) from any place.

     I wrote the book about A. D. Mattson, but Elizabeth Bettenhausen gave the A. D. Mattson lectures at the LCA's Chicago seminary. When Mattson's daughter could not
    get money to publish my dissertation, I suggested
    mentioning her attorney to the seminary president.
    The book was published soon after.

    ELCA began its Long March into  diversity doom with quotas for all its leaders. They despised their former executives, who were greeted with diversity guillotines rather than continued jobs. They made a show of hiring people from other denominations. I went to one ELCA conference with Mrs. Ichabod - and it felt like a funeral. One person cheerfully asked an ELCA employee about which church he attended in Chicago, where he lived. He answered, a bit miffed, "I am not a Lutheran."


     Both photos were posted by ELCA, but I added the caption.
    Olson with a Yale PhD was replaced by a woman with an MDiv and no real parish experience - Louise Johnson.


    My Yale classmate, Stan Olson, found his top executive job eliminated due to budget collapse. He became president of Wartburg Seminary, in dire straits, and  soon retired to be replaced by a woman with no experience and no advanced education. She began by firing several people from the staff and offering public prayers for them.

     Note the Presbyterian get-up which Hanson wore.
    Camouflage or reality?

     

    Mark Hanson played to the Left, which united behind him and won him the lucrative and powerful job of Presiding Bishop. But lo, he facilitated the quota system, empowered the concept, and found himself replaced by a woman.


    Liz Eaton made a point of identifying with her extreme supporters, who made sure a woman was finally in charge. Didn't the LCA dysfunctional activist, Liz Bettenhausen say on the cover of The Lutheran that her denomination was 98% controlled by men? Liz Eaton redeemed ELCA for those like LIz Bettenhausen who longed for real power. Suddenly the top higher education jobs went to women, one after another.

     Louise Johnson, Wartburg Seminary president,
    followed Stan Olson.


    As one reader noted, I am always looking at the fine print, such as "who translated this book?" The truth is often found - or hidden - in the details. Standard biographies issued by church bodies note the college, seminary, and graduate school of their newly elected or appointed leaders. Wives and children are also listed. That is how I found out how many Seminex veterans became ELCA bishops - truly an impressive number given their percentage of the clergy population. But alas, when most of these women are appointed, nothing is said about their families. Silence.

    Second Style of Self-Destruction - WELS/LCMS/ELS - The Generic No-Name Congregation

    The LCMS, WELS, ELS - even the CLC (sic) - are engaged in a program to rid America of Lutherans. The method is simple but effective.



    Looking to Fuller Seminary as their Mecca, their Vatican, their Halle University - they start their newest and bestest mission churches with idiotic, generic names. My favorite is the quasi-occultic Illumine (WELS). Leave it to the forces of darkness to pretend they have the light.

    The CORE (WELS) also stands out as having no meaning whatsoever - and synodical funding beyond belief.

    These synods are ashamed they are Lutheran - and we should be ashamed of them too. They are frightened that the Lutheran name on the sign would scare away prospects. In fact, avoiding the name church is another tactic they emply.

    They avoid Lutheran worship - the liturgy, real sermons, actual hymns, the Creeds, good Bible translations, and the Sacraments.

    These so-called conservative Lutheran synods are self-destructing by training people to be generic no-name Christians with no Creeds, a hatred for the liturgy, and total silence about the KJV (Luther-centric) family of translations.

    In the next generation - and even now - there will be few people who have any grasp of Lutheran liturgical worship or the actual text of the New Testament.

     They are good at getting re-elected and earning
    princely salaries and benefits - but nothing else.

    The "conservative" Lutheran leaders know this better than most readers realize. They know the numbers are already dooming them:

    • Seminaries collapsing
    • Worship attendance cratering
    • Money without members leading soon to no money and no members.

    They created this fatberg by their political dodging and weaving, their silencing of all opposition while elevating the incompetent and greedy.

    The reasons this happened are clear. The "conservative" synods met their Leftist counterparts at Fuller, because Fuller abandoned whatever shreds of the Christian Faith they started with. As carnal leaders, they sought carnal solutions and reaped the harvest.

    WELS still boils with hatred because their own clergy give me leads about what is going on under the sick, soggy suzrrainty Mirthless Mark Schroeder.



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     A great time for bird-watching is the winter,
    when they scramble for food in the garden
    and on the bird-feeders.

    Graphic by Norma Boeckler

    When I made a Facebook page for Creation Gardening, I thought that the name would surely have been taken. But no, nothing like that came up until recently.

    I double-post blog essays, so most readers read them from my main page and while others favor the Creation Gardening page, which only has gardening posts.

    I am almost in the dream season, when no work can be done outside, but rose catalogues arrive faster than Medicare plan mailings.

    At the moment, we are enjoying warm, sunny days and 40 degree nights. Roses are blooming but other plants have finished the season. I am protecting each rose with a collar, some peat humus, and leaves on top when they become available.

     Most bugs are beneficial - I learned as a child.
    This is a Big-Eyed Bug.


    Consider the Beneficial Bugs and Hungry Birds
    Some gardeners want to clean up their gardens now, but Creation gardeners not only leave it trashy - but add to the trash.

    1. Weeds or necessary cuttings are piled up as mulch in the back.
    2. Plants are left standing, even when done for the season and fading away.
    3. Autumn leaves are added everywhere and never raked up for disposal.
     Graphic by Norma Boeckler

    Many insects over-winter in the garden trash - by God's design. Some insects will be useful as food for the birds in the winter. Others will remain or hatch in the spring, when they provide food for the baby birds and strike out against insect pests.

    I never thought of spiders-without-nests (cursorial) and rove beetles going out on patrol through the yard, but they are active and hungry. They enjoy the protection of organic trash that is never removed and placed on the curb for pick-up.

    Leaving leaves alone has shown that I can be knee-deep in them until early spring - yet never rake them up later. Leaves cannot blow away easily in a backyard surrounded by fence. Instead, earthworms and mites reduce them to soil ingredients.

    Some leaves become squirrel nests for the winter and birds use a few of them in the spring. One robin had leaves in its mouth when I came up close. It hopped away without letting go of the cargo, destined for a new nest. So I drape twine over the branches of the Mother of All Crepe Myrtles in the front. When a robin took one string up high in the maple tree and dropped it, the bird dive bombed to the ground to pick it up again.

     Mountain Mint is still blooming in mid-October.

    Ultimately - For the Soil
    Whatever we do for the birds and insects will benefit the soil, because the Creating Word fashioned everything to work together and on schedule - for mutual benefits.

    Whether we aim at more beneficial insects or greater numbers of bacteria and fungus, the increasing biomass (all organic matter) will make the soil more productive by activating the composition of the soil. Everything helps - as designed -

    • Movement aerates the soil.
    • Death and decomposition move elements from one creature to another.
    • Fungus connects the plant roots so it can grow from their carbon while feeding them water and the nutrition they demand.
     Because you want Tachinid Flies,


    you also want mounds of Daisies,
    which are fun and easy to grow.

    I do not believe in Creation because of the infinite number of dependencies around me, but because of the Word. Creation by the Word begins the Bible and permeates the lessons of the Bible.

    Modern man's silence on Creation - especially among the apostate mainline denominations - shows how this is a mystery revealed by the Spirit. Many see the Biblical revelation, and even while surrounded by the evidence, deny and avoid the implications of what God has done. They harden their hearts against it. The more they deal with Creation, the blinder they become.

    There is even a field of study about the way everything happens right on time for thousands of plants and animals. I still have fresh blooms on the Mountain Mint, a prodigal provider of pollen and nectar, and butterflies still work the garden. In the spring, the flowers blooming right through the snow will feed various insects and bees, the insects and bees providing for the early hatching of birds.

    Here is a little birds and blooms trivia. We think of birds feeding their young insects and worms to help them grow fast. But Mourning Doves, the ultimate seed-eaters, feed their young partially digested seeds. The dove family nests later, when seeds have formed. That is just one example of timing.

    Jesus argued from the lesser to the greater. If God can do so much for the least of His creatures, how much more does He care for each and every one of the souls in His care?

    In the Gospel of John, Jesus repeatedly teaches about His will and Word being in perfect harmony with the Father's. When we hear the Good Shepherd speaking, that is also the voice of the gracious, loving Father.





    Jesus the Creating Word of Genesis 1, as John 1:3 clearly teaches.





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    Lasagna is so much more intriguing than sheet mulching,
    which is - of course - sheet composting.

     Shewell-Cooper is my favorite British gardening guru:
    he showed that compost left on top of the soil
    will be pulled down by worms.


    I kept getting emails about Lasagna Gardening, originating from the Rodale Organic Gardening people.



    One person responded to someone who complained - this was not new but old - from Ruth Stout of mulching fame -

    3/7/2009 4:50:37 PM
    This article was reprinted, largely without change (including graphics) and absolutely without attribution at: http://ourgardengang.tripod.com/lasagna_gardening.htm

    bill in detroit
    3/7/2009 4:46:42 PM
    And Ruth Stout was preceded by the Irish who were preceded by ... who were preceded by ... your point is? This information isn't, obviously, passed down through some sort of 'cosmic consciousness'. Many who have never heard of Ruth Stout will learn about this technique from Patricia Lanza ... and whoever follows her. @Stacey ... read the article again. The process uses several layers and is based on decomposition, not soil, for its success. But be encouraged, you only need to continue the process for it to be effective. The higher the stack is in the fall, the better the garden is in the summer.

    Here is another Lasagna Gardening article from The Spruce.

    Feeling like I discovered the Lost Dutchman's Goldmine, I wanted to lay a claim too - for Creation Gardening.

     Creation Gardening: By Him Were All Things Made


    But as calmer gardeners will admit - using organic matter to improve the soil is as old as the ancient Egyptians, who made harming an earthworm a capital offense. They realized what pulled organic matter into their soil.

    I am glad they are promoting Lasagna Gardening, because it is another way to describe no-till methods based purely on building up the soil instead of whirling it around like a tossed salad.

    Our entire front yard was developed this way. The first layers were cardboard and newspapers, topped by shredded cyprus mulch. The rich clay soil was improved with leaves, the roots of all the new plants, and Uncle Jim's red wiggler earthworms.

    I discovered, as one Lasagna gardener did, that good plants left alone and swarmed by weeds would still produce. I had roses that bloomed well when surrounded by weeds. However, that was not my favorite setting for them.

    I also discovered that divided forces do not work well. I planted a second rose garden, and that divided my efforts all the time.



    Lessons that developed from experience, reading, and YouTube are:

    • Compost is good, but heavy, so why not compost on the spot?
    • Sod makes the best compost, so why not plant in it and mulch the surrounding grass into compost?
    • A large rose garden mulched with shredded wood will produce great roses and incredible grassy weeds - thus groundcovers are needed.
    • Fungus and bacteria are really the foundations of great soil, so all life above them depend on those perfectly created, engineered, and managed life forms. If you make a point not to kick out the computer network plug, how much careful should you be to keep the fungus network in place?
    • The Carbon Cowboys/Covercrop farmers taught me how valuable deep roots are for improving the soil
    • Jessica Walliser wrote the classic on beneficial bugs, a concept my mother taught all of us kids long ago in Moline. 
    • Birds and bugs go well together, but birds should be fed near the most used windows. Squirrels add to the entertainment.
    • The Jackson EZ Bird Swing is easily assembled and great fun for birds and squirrels.
    • There is no such thing as a squirrel-proof bird-feeder, so just get over it. Given enough feeding stations, everyone will be happy.
    • Generous amounts of water are good for birds and also encourage such pest-predators as toads. 
    • Never haul organics out of the yard. Carry them into the yard and recycle garden trash after the winter is over.


     Those Days on the Farm


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    ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 201550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)


    20 τη δε μια των σαββατων, μαρια η μαγδαληνη ερχεται - πρωι σκοτιας ετι ουσης - εις το μνημειον και βλεπει τον λιθον ηρμενον εκ του μνημειου
    τρεχει ουν και ερχεται προς σιμωνα πετρον και προς τον αλλον μαθητην ον εφιλει ο ιησους και λεγει αυτοις ηραν τον κυριον εκ του μνημειου και ουκ οιδαμεν που εθηκαν αυτον
    The disciple Jesus loved - John.
    εξηλθεν ουν ο πετρος και ο αλλος μαθητης και ηρχοντο εις το μνημειον
    ετρεχον δε οι δυο ομου και ο αλλος μαθητης προεδραμεν ταχιον του πετρου και ηλθεν πρωτος εις το μνημειον
    Vivid enough? ετρεχον imperfect      προεδραμεν aorist. Same base verb.
    και παρακυψας βλεπει κειμενα τα οθονια (linen) ου μεντοι εισηλθεν
    ου μεντοι - not yet
    ερχεται ουν σιμων πετρος ακολουθων αυτω και εισηλθεν εις το μνημειον και θεωρει τα οθονια κειμενα
    τα οθονια Linen bands wrapped around the body, lying there undisturbed.
    και το σουδαριον ο ην επι της κεφαλης αυτου ου μετα των οθονιων κειμενον αλλα χωρις εντετυλιγμενον εις ενα τοπον
    το σουδαριον - napkin, headcloth, sweatcloth wrapped or  folded - shows that this physical sign is an orderly witness - Lenski
    τοτε ουν εισηλθεν και ο αλλος μαθητης ο ελθων πρωτος εις το μνημειον και ειδεν και επιστευσεν
    The Gospel writer saw the empty tomb and believed - in other words - began to grasp the gravity and the joy of this moment.
    ουδεπω γαρ ηδεισαν την γραφην οτι δει αυτον εκ νεκρων αναστηναι
    10 απηλθον ουν παλιν προς εαυτους οι μαθηται
    --
    11 μαρια δε ειστηκει προς το μνημειον κλαιουσα εξω; ως ουν εκλαιεν παρεκυψεν εις το μνημειον
    12 και θεωρει δυο αγγελους εν λευκοις καθεζομενους ενα προς τη κεφαλη και ενα προς τοις ποσιν οπου εκειτο το σωμα του ιησου
    ποσιν πούςποδός,  podiatrist
    13 και λεγουσιν αυτη εκεινοι γυναι τι κλαιεις λεγει αυτοις οτι ηραν τον κυριον μου και ουκ οιδα που εθηκαν αυτον
    14 και ταυτα ειπουσα εστραφη εις τα οπισω και θεωρει τον ιησουν εστωτα και ουκ ηδει οτι ο ιησους εστιν
    15 λεγει αυτη ο ιησους γυναι - τι κλαιεις τινα ζητεις. εκεινη δοκουσα οτι ο κηπουρος εστιν λεγει αυτω κυριε ει συ εβαστασας αυτον ειπε μοι που αυτον εθηκας καγω αυτον αρω
    16 λεγει αυτη ο ιησους μαρια στραφεισα εκεινη λεγει αυτω ραββουνι ο λεγεται διδασκαλε
    17 λεγει αυτη ο ιησους μη μου απτου. ουπω γαρ αναβεβηκα προς τον πατερα μου, πορευου δε προς τους αδελφους μου και ειπε αυτοις αναβαινω προς τον πατερα μου και πατερα υμων και θεον μου και θεον υμων
    18 ερχεται μαρια η μαγδαληνη απαγγελλουσα τοις μαθηταις οτι εωρακεν τον κυριον και ταυτα ειπεν αυτη
    --

    The Incredulity of Thomas
    by Caravaggio.

    19 ουσης ουν οψιας τη ημερα εκεινη τη μια των σαββατων και των θυρων κεκλεισμενων οπου ησαν οι μαθηται συνηγμενοι δια τον φοβον των ιουδαιων ηλθεν ο ιησους και εστη εις το μεσον και λεγει αυτοις ειρηνη υμιν
    20 και τουτο ειπων εδειξεν αυτοις τας χειρας και την πλευραν αυτου εχαρησαν ουν οι μαθηται ιδοντες τον κυριον
    21 ειπεν ουν αυτοις ο ιησους παλιν ειρηνη υμιν καθως απεσταλκεν με ο πατηρ καγω πεμπω υμας
    22 και τουτο ειπων ενεφυσησεν και λεγει αυτοις λαβετε πνευμα αγιον
    23 αν τινων αφητε τας αμαρτιας αφιενται αυτοις αν τινων κρατητε κεκρατηνται
    24 θωμας δε εις εκ των δωδεκα ο λεγομενος διδυμος ουκ ην μετ αυτων οτε ηλθεν ο ιησους
    25 ελεγον ουν αυτω οι αλλοι μαθηται εωρακαμεν τον κυριον ο δε ειπεν αυτοις εαν μη ιδω εν ταις χερσιν αυτου τον τυπον των ηλων και βαλω τον δακτυλον μου εις τον τυπον των ηλων και βαλω την χειρα μου εις την πλευραν αυτου ου μη πιστευσω
    26 και μεθ ημερας οκτω παλιν ησαν εσω οι μαθηται αυτου και θωμας μετ αυτων ερχεται ο ιησους των θυρων κεκλεισμενων και εστη εις το μεσον και ειπεν ειρηνη υμιν
    27 ειτα λεγει τω θωμα φερε τον δακτυλον σου ωδε και ιδε τας χειρας μου και φερε την χειρα σου και βαλε εις την πλευραν μου και μη γινου απιστος αλλα πιστος
    28 και απεκριθη ο θωμας και ειπεν αυτω ο κυριος μου και ο θεος μου
    29 λεγει αυτω ο ιησους οτι εωρακας με θωμα πεπιστευκας μακαριοι οι μη ιδοντες και πιστευσαντες
    30 πολλα μεν ουν και αλλα σημεια εποιησεν ο ιησους ενωπιον των μαθητων αυτου α ουκ εστιν γεγραμμενα εν τω βιβλιω τουτω
    31 ταυτα δε γεγραπται ινα πιστευσητε οτι ο ιησους εστιν ο χριστος ο υιος του θεου και ινα πιστευοντες ζωην εχητε εν τω ονοματι αυτου

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    No one fakes sincerity better than this
    Mark Jeske enabler and protector.




    Conference of Presidents holds its fall meeting