Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
After a long absence from the blog world, I am trying to get warmed up again. God's word has taught me many things the past few months. One subject has particularly impacted my view of God. The concept of the Kingdom. It's scope is eternally sweeping. Man's response to the understanding of it requires urgency. It is found in the words of the one crying in the wilderness. It is found in the teaching of our Lord. Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 13 in a way to deliberately confound the hearers. The disciples revealed their ignorance of it in the very last question they asked of Jesus before he ascended. Jesus told them it was ordained for them to remain ignorant of the timing of the Kingdom in his last words on earth. While we may find that some of the details of the Kingdom are baffling, the impact of the knowledge of it in the life of a believer should make us feel like Job after his lecture from God.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Monday, May 12, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
We are covering the pastoral epistles at TES this week. The discussion has revealed a varying view on the role of women in the church. I am putting together my thoughts on the issue, and would love to hear from some others as I synthesize my thoughts. The photo is an icon of Phoebe the Deaconess.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
You may have heard something about Jude's choice of a name for our yet to be born son. He decided several months ago we should name him "Baby Jesus;" not "Jesus," but "Baby Jesus." He has told people about his choice. No one, including us, has told him we probably will not name our new son "Jesus." But our Hobo is a smart one. He has repeatedly observed the reactions of those he has told about his choice for the baby's name. He figured out on his own that we probably won't be naming his new brother "Jesus." So he came up with a way to make sure his choice in names is used. He now tells people that the baby has already been born, and we DID name him "Jesus." As far as he can figure, if he can convince others that it has already happened, then it has. Anyway, we had to counsel him about honesty. He doesn't see the problem with it, but he is the only one of my kids who can lie unflinchingly.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I've got to send you to the post my wife wrote. Then, I've got to let you know that my wife has decided that my pic for my profile is too scary. So, as of now, I have altered my profile so that I do not scare anyone. So here is my new profile pic.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
We set forth to worship, fellowship, and hear the preacing of God's Word. Yet find our minds and our hearts wandering as we watch the watch. I am guilty of this. After a long sermon this Sunday, you could not imagine how many conversations I overheard about it. It is as if the time were ours, and God has stolen it from us if our pastor goes past 12:00. Thomas Watson writes - HE WHO LOVES GOD DESIRES HIS PRESENCE. Lovers cannot be long apart, they soon have their fainting fits, for want of a sight of the object of their love. A soul deeply in love with God desires the enjoyment of Him in His ordinances, in word, prayer, and sacraments. David was ready to faint away and die when he had not a sight of God. "My soul fainteth for God" (Psalm 84:2). Such as care not for ordinances, but say, "When will the Sabbath be over?" plainly reveal their lack of love to God.
Father forgive us.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
God really blessed my family last deer season. My oldest daughter bagged her first. A nice 9pt. She is a great little hunter. She is very conscientious, quiet, and patient. She has paid very close attention to me as I took her on hunts with me before she was big enough to shoot. On her first hunt where she could shoot, God rewarded her. She choreographed the whole thing and actually stalked the deer within about 50 yards, and took the good, clean, instant kill shot. The only problem is I think she may now be ruined. I have told her that it usually is not that easy.
My story is a good example of this. I shot my deer in Nov. and did not find it until about three months later. The coyotes had a good meal and the buzzards and bugs finished it up. Oh, well. I got the head, an 8pt, that Robert in holding to the left. We filled the rest of our tags with doe and filled the freezer. Tessa decided to donate her meat to a very poor single mom, and they were very grateful. Thank the Lord for the bounty of the earth.
"I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many"
Quotes from Patrick's Confession( Happy St. Patrick's Day)-
"For there is no other God, nor ever was before, nor shall be hereafter, but God the Father, unbegotten and without beginning, in whom all things began, whose are all things, as we have been taught; and his son Jesus Christ, who manifestly always existed with the Father, before the beginning of time in the spirit with the Father, indescribably begotten before all things, and all things visible and invisible were made by him. He was made man, conquered death and was received into Heaven, to the Father who gave him all power over every name in Heaven and on Earth and in Hell, so that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God, in whom we believe. And we look to his imminent coming again, the judge of the living and the dead, who will render to each according to his deeds. And he poured out his Holy Spirit on us in abundance, the gift and pledge of immortality, which makes the believers and the obedient into sons of God and co-heirs of Christ who is revealed, and we worship one God in the Trinity of holy name."
"And if at any time I managed anything of good for the sake of my God whom I love, I beg of him that he grant it to me to shed my blood for his name with proselytes and captives, even should I be left unburied, or even were my wretched body to be torn limb from limb by dogs or savage beasts, or were it to be devoured by the birds of the air, I think, most surely, were this to have happened to me, I had saved both my soul and my body. For beyond any doubt on that day we shall rise again in the brightness of the sun, that is, in the glory of Christ Jesus our Redeemer, as children of the living God and co-heirs of Christ, made in his image; for we shall reign through him and for him and in him."
Sunday, March 9, 2008
75. To consider papal indulgences so great that they could absolve a man even if he had done the impossible and had violated the mother of God is madness.
76. We say on the contrary that papal indulgences cannot remove the very least of venial sins as far as guilt is concerned.
77. To say that even St. Peter if he were now pope, could not grant greater graces is blasphemy against St. Peter and the pope.
78. We say on the contrary that even the present pope, or any pope whatsoever, has greater graces at his disposal, that is, the gospel, spiritual powers, gifts of healing, etc., as it is written.
79. To say that the cross emblazoned with the papal coat of arms, and set up by the indulgence preachers is equal in worth to the cross of Christ is blasphemy.
80. The bishops, curates, and theologians who permit such talk to be spread among the people will have to answer for this.
81. This unbridled preaching of indulgences makes it difficult even for learned men to rescue the reverence which is due the pope from slander or from the shrewd questions of the laity.
82. Such as: “Why does not the pope empty purgatory for the sake of holy love and the dire need of the souls that are there if he redeems an infinite number of souls for the sake of miserable money with which to build a church? The former reason would be most just; the latter is most trivial.
83. Again, “Why are funeral and anniversary masses for the dead continued and why does he not return or permit the withdrawal of the endowments founded for them, since it is wrong to pray for the redeemed?”
84. Again, “What is this new piety of God and the pope that for a consideration of money they permit a man who is impious and their enemy to buy out of purgatory the pious soul of a friend of God and do not rather, because of the need of that pious and beloved soul, free it for pure love's sake?”
85. Again, “Why are the penitential canons, long since abrogated and dead in actual fact and through disuse, now satisfied by the granting of indulgences as though they were still alive and in force?”
86. Again, “Why does not the pope, whose wealth is today greater than the wealth of the richest Crassus, build this one basilica of St. Peter with his own money rather than with the money of poor believers?”
87. Again, “What does the pope remit or grant to those who by perfect contrition already have a right to full remission and blessings?”
88. Again, “What greater blessing could come to the church than if the pope were to bestow these remissions and blessings on every believer a hundred times a day, as he now does but once?”
89. “Since the pope seeks the salvation of souls rather than money by his indulgences, why does he suspend the indulgences and pardons previously granted when they have equal efficacy?”
90. To repress these very sharp arguments of the laity by force alone, and not to resolve them by giving reasons, is to expose the church and the pope to the ridicule of their enemies and to make Christians unhappy.
91. If, therefore, indulgences were preached according to the spirit and intention of the pope, all these doubts would be readily resolved. Indeed, they would not exist.
92. Away, then, with all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Peace, peace,” and there is no peace!
93. Blessed be all those prophets who say to the people of Christ, “Cross, cross,” and there is no cross!
94. Christians should be exhorted to be diligent in following Christ, their Head, through penalties, death and hell.
95. And thus be confident of entering into heaven through many tribulations rather than through the false security of peace.
Friday, March 7, 2008
"The monk with the deep-set eyes and the strange fancies will lead all the doctors astray, set up a new doctrine, and reform the whole Romish Church."
The quote in the title is from Pollich of Wittenberg, 1509.
60. Without want of consideration we say that the keys of the church, given by the merits of Christ, are that treasure.
61. For it is clear that the pope's power is of itself sufficient for the remission of penalties and cases reserved by himself.
62. The true treasure of the church is the most holy gospel of the glory and grace of God.
63. But this treasure is naturally most odious, for it makes the first to be last.
64. On the other hand, the treasure of indulgences is naturally most acceptable, for it makes the last to be first.
65. Therefore the treasures of the gospel are nets with which one formerly fished for men of wealth.
66. The treasures of indulgences are nets with which one now fishes for the wealth of men.
67. The indulgences which the demagogues acclaim as the greatest graces are actually understood to be such only insofar as they promote gain.
68. They are nevertheless in truth the most insignificant graces when compared with the grace of God and the piety of the cross.
69. Bishops and curates are bound to admit the commissaries of papal indulgences with all reverence.
70. But they are much more bound to strain their eyes and ears lest these men preach their own dreams instead of what the pope has commissioned.
71. Let him who speaks against the truth concerning papal indulgences be anathema and accursed.
72. But let him who guards against the lust and license of the indulgence preachers be blessed.
73. Just as the pope justly thunders against those who by any means whatever contrive harm to the sale of indulgences.
74. Much more does he intend to thunder against those who use indulgences as a pretext to contrive harm to holy love and truth.
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
49. Christians are to be taught that papal indulgences are useful only if they do not put their trust in them, but very harmful if they lose their fear of God because of them.
50. Christians are to be taught that if the pope knew the exactions of the indulgence preachers, he would rather that the basilica of St. Peter were burned to ashes than built up with the skin, flesh, and bones of his sheep.
51. Christians are to be taught that the pope would and should wish to give of his own money, even though he had to sell the basilica of St. Peter, to many of those from whom certain hawkers of indulgences cajole money.
52. It is vain to trust in salvation by indulgence letters, even though the indulgence commissary, or even the pope, were to offer his soul as security.
53. They are the enemies of Christ and the pope who forbid altogether the preaching of the Word of God in some churches in order that indulgences may be preached in others.
54. Injury is done to the Word of God when, in the same sermon, an equal or larger amount of time is devoted to indulgences than to the Word.
55. It is certainly the pope's sentiment that if indulgences, which are a very insignificant thing, are celebrated with one bell, one procession, and one ceremony, then the gospel, which is the very greatest thing, should be preached with a hundred bells, a hundred processions, a hundred ceremonies.
56. The true treasures of the church, out of which the pope distributes indulgences, are not sufficiently discussed or known among the people of Christ.
57. That indulgences are not temporal treasures is certainly clear, for many indulgence sellers do not distribute them freely but only gather them.
58. Nor are they the merits of Christ and the saints, for, even without the pope, the latter always work grace for the inner man, and the cross, death, and hell for the outer man.
59. St. Lawrence said that the poor of the church were the treasures of the church, but he spoke according to the usage of the word in his own time.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
37. Any true Christian, whether living or dead, participates in all the blessings of Christ and the church; and this is granted him by God, even without indulgence letters.
38. Nevertheless, papal remission and blessing are by no means to be disregarded, for they are, as I have said (Thesis 6), the proclamation of the divine remission.
39. It is very difficult, even for the most learned theologians, at one and the same time to commend to the people the bounty of indulgences and the need of true contrition.
40. A Christian who is truly contrite seeks and loves to pay penalties for his sins; the bounty of indulgences, however, relaxes penalties and causes men to hate them -- at least it furnishes occasion for hating them.
41. Papal indulgences must be preached with caution, lest people erroneously think that they are preferable to other good works of love.
42. Christians are to be taught that the pope does not intend that the buying of indulgences should in any way be compared with works of mercy.
43. Christians are to be taught that he who gives to the poor or lends to the needy does a better deed than he who buys indulgences.
44. Because love grows by works of love, man thereby becomes better. Man does not, however, become better by means of indulgences but is merely freed from penalties.
45. Christians are to be taught that he who sees a needy man and passes him by, yet gives his money for indulgences, does not buy papal indulgences but God's wrath.
46. Christians are to be taught that, unless they have more than they need, they must reserve enough for their family needs and by no means squander it on indulgences.
47. Christians are to be taught that they buying of indulgences is a matter of free choice, not commanded.
48. Christians are to be taught that the pope, in granting indulgences, needs and thus desires their devout prayer more than their money.
Friday, February 22, 2008
24. For this reason most people are necessarily deceived by that indiscriminate and high-sounding promise of release from penalty.
25. That power which the pope has in general over purgatory corresponds to the power which any bishop or curate has in a particular way in his own diocese and parish.
26. The pope does very well when he grants remission to souls in purgatory, not by the power of the keys, which he does not have, but by way of intercession for them.
27. They preach only human doctrines who say that as soon as the money clinks into the money chest, the soul flies out of purgatory.
28. It is certain that when money clinks in the money chest, greed and avarice can be increased; but when the church intercedes, the result is in the hands of God alone.
29. Who knows whether all souls in purgatory wish to be redeemed, since we have exceptions in St. Severinus and St. Paschal, as related in a legend.
30. No one is sure of the integrity of his own contrition, much less of having received plenary remission.
31. The man who actually buys indulgences is as rare as he who is really penitent; indeed, he is exceedingly rare.
32. Those who believe that they can be certain of their salvation because they have indulgence letters will be eternally damned, together with their teachers.
33. Men must especially be on guard against those who say that the pope's pardons are that inestimable gift of God by which man is reconciled to him.
34. For the graces of indulgences are concerned only with the penalties of sacramental satisfaction established by man.
35. They who teach that contrition is not necessary on the part of those who intend to buy souls out of purgatory or to buy confessional privileges preach unchristian doctrine.
36. Any truly repentant Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt, even without indulgence letters.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
11. Those tares of changing the canonical penalty to the penalty of purgatory were evidently sown while the bishops slept.
12. In former times canonical penalties were imposed, not after, but before absolution, as tests of true contrition.
13. The dying are freed by death from all penalties, are already dead as far as the canon laws are concerned, and have a right to be released from them.
14. Imperfect piety or love on the part of the dying person necessarily brings with it great fear; and the smaller the love, the greater the fear.
15. This fear or horror is sufficient in itself, to say nothing of other things, to constitute the penalty of purgatory, since it is very near to the horror of despair.
16. Hell, purgatory, and heaven seem to differ the same as despair, fear, and assurance of salvation.
17. It seems as though for the souls in purgatory fear should necessarily decrease and love increase.
18. Furthermore, it does not seem proved, either by reason or by Scripture, that souls in purgatory are outside the state of merit, that is, unable to grow in love.
19. Nor does it seem proved that souls in purgatory, at least not all of them, are certain and assured of their own salvation, even if we ourselves may be entirely certain of it.
20. Therefore the pope, when he uses the words “plenary remission of all penalties,” does not actually mean “all penalties,” but only those imposed by himself.
21. Thus those indulgence preachers are in error who say that a man is absolved from every penalty and saved by papal indulgences.
22. As a matter of fact, the pope remits to souls in purgatory no penalty which, according to canon law, they should have paid in this life.
23. If remission of all penalties whatsoever could be granted to anyone at all, certainly it would be granted only to the most perfect, that is, to very few.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
1. When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent”, he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.
2. This word cannot be understood as referring to the sacrament of penance, that is, confession and satisfaction, as administered by the clergy.
3. Yet it does not mean solely inner repentance; such inner repentance is worthless unless it produces various outward mortification of the flesh.
4. The penalty of sin remains as long as the hatred of self (that is, true inner repentance), namely till our entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
5. The pope neither desires nor is able to remit any penalties except those imposed by his own authority or that of the canons.
6. The pope cannot remit any guilt, except by declaring and showing that it has been remitted by God; or, to be sure, by remitting guilt in cases reserved to his judgment. If his right to grant remission in these cases were disregarded, the guilt would certainly remain unforgiven.
7. God remits guilt to no one unless at the same time he humbles him in all things and makes him submissive to the vicar, the priest.
8. The penitential canons are imposed only on the living, and, according to the canons themselves, nothing should be imposed on the dying.
9. Therefore the Holy Spirit through the pope is kind to us insofar as the pope in his decrees always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
10. Those priests act ignorantly and wickedly who, in the case of the dying, reserve canonical penalties for purgatory.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Now we get to what irks me. Kid #3 and kid #2 both came home with a first place ribbon for the box thing too. They did not seem too happy about it. I found out why. They were in the same age group. Everyone in that group "won." The older kids had an actual winner. My #1 kid was happy for the kid that won and realized that he had done a better job than she had done. The young group had an actual winner. It was my #4. He learned what it was like to be THE winner. He liked it. Someone, however, in charge of the middle age group (kids #2 & #3) decided that everyone would be the winner. The kids knew. They did not care at all about that ribbon. They haven't even showed it to me. They don't care. They are not stupid. Someone well intentioned kind of ruined it for everyone. No big deal. I'll make sure they get the real taste of victory many times in there life. I'll also make sure they know the agony of defeat. Both are valuable. I said I am irked, but that is really too strong. Not really even irritated. Just one of those shake the head back and forth moments.
The real problem is that the church in America has conditioned itself to be the same way as the misguided group leader for the Valentines party. We too many times just let each other coast along and pat each other on the back as we jog the direction that we think the finish line may be. We may even see people running in slightly different directions than we are going. We may just smile and say "Keep running brother." Everyone is a winner in God's eyes, right? As long as you try hard and do the best you can...
A couple of things on this. First, we have distorted "encouragement." Second, Jesus is calling for winners who follow the rules.
Parakaleo is the Greek word used for encouragement in the NT. We like very much the part of its meaning that says we should comfort each other, strengthen each other, bear one another's burdens, or come along side one another. We shy away from the essence of the word that says to instruct one another, to exhort one another, to entreat one another, to admonish one another, to- dare I say- meddle in someone else's life. We value someone's pride more than we value doing things God's way. We are too comfortable in our relationships and are afraid that meddling would interfere with our social status. The goal of encouragement is not to make someone feel better about themselves, but to better enable them to please and glorify God.
Now back to the winners and losers. Read I Cor. 9:24-27. There is a goal and there are rules. Think of the two builders in Matthew 7. Both built fine houses. This parable is not like The Three Little Pigs. One of the men did not follow the rules. He built his house and disregarded the teachings of Jesus. We need to be careful that we don't watch someone we call 'brother' build a house without regard for Jesus' commands and "encourage" him to "keep on keeping on" or "just do your best."
Because of having winners and losers, my #1 is already planning her box for next year. Because of winners and losers, my #4 has a new motivation for doing well. Because of winners and winners, my #2 and #3 have already forgotten about it. We are training ourselves to forget about what lies ahead and strive for all the earthly things that so easily entangle us. We do not remember the hope we will REALLY experience pure joy if we get the "Well done my good and faithful servant."