Friday, November 6, 2009

Up On The Soap Box

(I'm posting this here to make cutting & pasting easier - I'll know where to find it next time I'm looking for it!)

The OT contains 3 kinds of laws: the moral law which tells people what their duty is to God and other people; the ceremonial law which dictated the religious practices of the Israelites; and the civil law - the state law of the Israelites. The moral law is what God wrote upon the hearts of His people when He created them. Christians recognize the moral law as the 10 Commandments. God still expects us keep the moral law. Lutherans believe the 6th commandment (You shall not commit adultery) means we should fear and love God so that we lead a sexually pure and decent life in what we say and do. (See Luther’s Small Catechism #55-58)

Our sinful nature makes it impossible for us to keep His law perfectly. We all stand condemned under the law, regardless of our sexual orientation. God sent His Son to be our righteousness that we might have salvation by His Grace alone through faith in Christ alone. The law shows us our sin and leads us to repentance and by God’s Grace and Mercy we are forgiven for Christ’s sake, not because our own merits.

Remember the story of Jesus and the rich young man in Matthew chapter 19? The rich man won’t sell all his possessions and follow Jesus – he loves his things more than he loves the Lord. Whenever we have a sin that we won’t give up (won’t repent) we are just like the rich young man. We love our sin more than we love the Lord. For as long as we cling to our sin we have gone our own separate way and are not following the Lord.

The grievous error of the ELCA is to lead people into believing homosexuality is not a sin and turning people away from repentance and God’s gift of forgiveness. (If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:8-9). Tell me, should an unrepentant sinner (whatever the sin) serve as a pastor? Someone who does not have the Truth within them?

God can and will forgive all of your sins in the name of Jesus, of that there is no doubt. Put your faith and trust in Him and His Word and not in the words, feelings and logic of humankind.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Song in My Heart this Friday

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide;
In every change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul; your God will undertake

To guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul; though dearest friends depart
And all is darkened in the vale of tears;
Then you will better know his love, his heart,
Who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.
Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay
From his own fullness all he takes away.

Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on

When we shall be forever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

By: Catharina von Schlegel -1752

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I take a circular route to work. There is this one uncontrolled intersection not far from my home where it is easier to turn right than to turn left, so my drive to work is sort of like driving counter-clockwise from 6 to 12. Coming home I take a different route and complete the counter-clockwise circle, 12 to 6.

The other day I reversed my course and you know what? Everything looked so different -- the houses, the landmarks, the road itself. I had to concentrate because it felt so unfamiliar!

It was repentance.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cloth Ears

I've been reading a lot of ELCA blogs recently and occasionally leaving a comment or two. Overall it has been a sobering experience. I have been shocked to the point where I was ready to tell a woman that she is neither Lutheran nor Christian (but I didn't, thank you delete key). I confess in all the debates between fundamentalist Candy and the VTC women I have never, ever felt that way about any of them.

I think in the ELCA today there exists genuine heresy.

Dr. Robert Gagnon has written an article: What Should Faithful Lutherans in the ELCA Do? It is probably the harshest commentary I have come across, but I am becoming convinced that is what it is going to take.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

My dad was an amazing listener. He had that rare combination of intuitiveness, seemingly non-judgementalness, and a kind and gentle nature. He was able to wrestle confessions of misdeeds out of his children by barely uttering a word.

His philosophy was if you give a guy enough rope sooner or later he'll hang himself.

As a parent I see how often this is true. What should have been a simple yes or no answer turns into a very long tale that obviously took some time to conjure up. Truth usually isn't very complicated. Talk, talk, talk and before you know it you've got yourself tangled in a web of deceit.

That's when Dad would kick the chair (figuratively).

I'm not nearly the good listener my dad was (I'm more like my mom). But sometimes I do get it right.

Friday, September 11, 2009

#6 & #7: Summer Wrap Up

We had a very nice time at the beach and we had a real picnic while we were there. :-)

Labor Day has passed and the leaves are rapidly changing and even falling from some trees! Summer is over. I did not do everything on my list, but I came close...

Not done:
4. Go to the county fair. We were refinishing kitchen cabinets that week.
5. Take a field trip to a historic site. Just didn't find the time. Does reading a wayside marker count?
8. Shop the farmers' market at least twice. Technically I've only been to it once so far. The kids have gone about 3 times! I'll probably go again this weekend.
12. Teach Fifteen how to drive. Fifteen is now Sixteen and he is doing very well driving. A little more practice and he should get his license first try.
13. Stay up late and watch a meteor shower. I tried!
15. Read four good novels. I

Now to start a fall to-do list....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

He Meant What He Said and He Said What He Meant

Enjoyable discussion on Holy Communion & the early church fathers at Visits to Candyland. I look forward to reading Wednesday's revelations after work, sorry I won't be around to participate... :-(

One last parting thought:
And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:17-20

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Song in my Heart this Sunday

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Art of Coincidence

Yesterday, Wednesday August 19th, the weather here was rainy with temperatures in the 60s. Just a day-long moderate soaking rain. No thunder & lightning. No hail. Little wind. No wall clouds. No black sky. No green sky. Only grey. No watches. No warnings.

Yet out of nowhere a tornado descends from the sky and strikes the Minneapolis Convention Center and Central Lutheran Church (across the street from each other). Inside the convention center the ELCA was holding its nationwide assembly. The main topic? Homosexuality.

Here's the story online: Lutherans, assembled in Minneapolis, move toward more open stance on homosexuality

And here is a slide show including a picture of the damage to the church (also ELCA). Note the upside-down cross.

Thankfully no one was injured by the storm.

I usually don't pay heed to those who blame the victims for the storm that harms them. Jesus says, "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:45b)

But there is something about this scenario. It gives me chills.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#2 & #10

Corn on the cob was great!

Pickles came out too salty. Will have to try another recipe.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


(Hat tip to the discussion of Onan at Daughter of Wisdom)

Pictured above is a peek into a Robin's nest that was under my deck this May.

Every year Robins build a nest somewhere around my house. Usually in a terribly vulnerable spot - in a small bush, in the rain gutter, or on the brick ledge by the front window. And every year the eggs or chicks are destroyed. Usually crows find them. Sometimes a cat. Sometimes a storm disrupts the nest and spills the tender contents on the ground. Most often I don't know what happens - one day a bird is sitting on the eggs in the nest and the next day the bird is gone and so are the eggs.

The Robins' nest always becomes a "circle of life" lesson.

However, failure does not stop the Robins. They keep trying year after year. They build the nest, they lay the eggs, and they guard them as best as they can from enemies who are much bigger and stronger. When the chicks hatch they tirelessly feed them and defend them until the violent end.

And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” Genesis 1:20-22

The birds, acting on instinct, are faithful to God's plan for them. They do it, even though the situation is never ideal. They do it, even though odds are that their work will be destroyed. They do it, and work very hard to preserve and protect it. They do it because the ability to do it is a blessing from the Lord.

They do it because if they didn't do it they would surely become extinct.

The Lord commands:
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

And the Lord promises:
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-4

If only being faithful to His Word and trusting in His Promise was as easy for us as it is for the birds.

As for the Robin's eggs in the picture above - three of the four hatched and after about 2 weeks they fledged. It was wonderful!
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:25-26

Friday, July 31, 2009

Does Dead Faith Justify?

We say that justification is effective without works, not that faith is without works. For that faith which lacks fruit is not an efficacious but a feigned faith. - Martin Luther

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is Water Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

The answer is Yes. Yes it is.

Jesus commands: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, - Matthew 28:19

And He promises: Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. - Mark 16:16

Some of Luther's thoughts on the subject:

"Therefore they are presumptuous, clumsy minds that draw such inferences and conclusions as these: Where there is not the true faith, there also can be no true Baptism. Just as if I would infer: If I do not believe, then Christ is nothing; or thus: If I am not obedient, then father, mother, and government are nothing. Is that a correct conclusion, that whenever any one does not do what he ought, the thing in itself shall be nothing and of no value? My dear, just invert the argument and rather draw this inference: For this very reason Baptism is something and is right, because it has been wrongly received. For if it were not right and true in itself, it could not be misused nor sinned against. The saying is: Abusus non tollit, sed confirmat substantiam, Abuse does not destroy the essence, but confirms it. For gold is not the less gold though a harlot wear it in sin and shame.
Therefore let it be decided that Baptism always remains true, retains its full essence, even though a single person should be baptized, and he, in addition, should not believe truly. For God's ordinance and Word cannot be made variable or be altered by men. But these people, the fanatics, are so blinded that they do not see the Word and command of God, and regard Baptism and the magistrates only as they regard water in the brook or in pots, or as any other man; and because they do not see faith nor obedience, they conclude that they are to be regarded as invalid. Here lurks a concealed seditious devil, who would like to tear the crown from the head of authority and then trample it under foot, and, in addition, pervert and bring to naught all the works and ordinances of God. Therefore we must be watchful and well armed, and not allow ourselves to be directed nor turned away from the Word, in order that we may not regard Baptism as a mere empty sign, as the fanatics dream." - Martin Luther, Large Catechism

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


It was a beautiful day to visit the animals.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Rule #1: Get Up Early In The Morning

A young wife ought to rise betimes in the morning, and after she be once awake should never doze. Dozing is both weakening to the body and enervating to the mind. It is wonderful how much may be done betimes in the morning. There is nothing like a good start. It makes for the remainder of the day the occupation easy and pleasant. How glorious, and balmy and health-giving, is the first breath of the morning, more especially to those living in the country! It is more exhilarating, invigorating, and refreshing than it is all the rest of the day. If you wish to be strong, if you desire to retain your good looks and youthful appearance, rise betimes in the morning; if you are anxious to lay the foundation of a long life, jump out of bed the moment you are awake. The early risers make the healthy, bright, long-lived wives and mothers. But if a wife is to be an early riser, she must have a little courage and determination; great advantages in this world are never gained without; but what is either man or woman good for if they have not those qualities?

- Wife and Mother; or, Information for Every Woman (1886)

Sunday, July 5, 2009


OOOoooo! AAAAhhhh!

(Sorry, no picture.)

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice (it takes about 6 lemons)
1 cup of sugar
2 quarts of cold water

And it is gone before you know it!

flutter flutter flutter

The Butterfly Effect is the theory that the flutter of a single butterfly's wings effects the weather throughout the world. As one website put it: "The fluttering of gossamer wings can change the world."

Butterflies - lovely, gentle, hard working pollen collectors - quietly changing the world. Not with a baseball bat. Not with harsh words. Changing the world with a flutter.

I feel like letting my gossamer wings flutter and see what happens. See what changes.

Be the the butterfly...

Monday, June 29, 2009


10 jars of strawberry jam. 2 bags whole strawberries frozen. 1 bowl full in the fridge for eating. Yum!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


S'mores made on a campfire. MMMMmmm...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Little Revelation

Quick thoughts on the book of Revelation:
1. I think it is important to realize that evil thoroughly understands what is written in Revelation. It is not a mystery to him. One can have knowledge without having true saving faith. And one can have strong faith with little knowledge.

2. Seeking to use the book of Revelation (or any part of the Bible) as a divine horoscope does little to create or strengthen saving faith – in fact it detracts from it. Seek Christ in His Word. What does John’s Revelation reveal about Jesus? That is the knowledge we should pray the Holy Spirit give to us.

3. The argument that Jerusalem is the Whore of Babylon is far more convincing than the argument that she is Rome. (Sorry, Martin.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Backseat Parenting

Two cases in the news in our region:

1. A Wisconsin mom, Leilani Neumann, convicted of murder because she did not seek medical attention for her ill 11 year old daughter and her daughter died. She tried to heal the girl with prayer.

2. A Minnesota mom, Colleen Hauser, is on the run to prevent court-ordered chemotherapy for her 13 year old son. She claims she wishes to treat his cancer with natural therapies for religious reasons.

It sure is easy to quarterback from the armchair. Or drive from the backseat.

I wonder what Mrs. Neumann would say to Mrs. Hauser? Probably keep running...

Update (5/26): Mrs. Hauser has had a change of heart: Parents agree to chem for boy who fled

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Means of Grace

A nice post on communion at Pr. McCracken's website Kyrie Eleison: "What we take for granted - what is granted without merit"

The Methodist church I grew up in was "old school" liturgical. When I left the nest I discovered it was probably one of the last such Methodist churches on earth. Too bad.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Shack - a very brief book review

I liked it.

The theology isn't Lutheran but if you think of the shack (the building in the book) as a metaphor for the cross, it is sort of Lutheran.

Theology issues aside (since it is fiction) I found the story thought-provoking. The writing isn't exceptional and the dialogue is often painfully awkward, but the story is overall inspirational.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lessons Learned

I've been thinking about what is different in my life now that I am a Working Outside the Home Mom (WOHM). Stuff I've learned, observations I've made etc etc.

1. The only difference in housework: no lunch dishes. Otherwise, I have just as much housework to do in waaaaaay less time.
2. Daycare is not as bad as I thought, nor is it as good as the centers advertise.
3. Teenagers sometimes feel neglected too!
4. As a SAHM I usually had my weekends free. As a WOHM I work 7 days a week.

More thoughts to come...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is there a context clause?

Before President Obama's speech last week, his staff requested Georgetown University to cover Jesus' name (the christogram IHS) & the cross because "it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context."

What does "out of context" mean? Perhaps they meant to say "out of church"...??

So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It was worth all the while

Word reached me this week that an old friend died. Technically he was an old boyfriend. Even more precisely, my ex-fiance.

It was a long time ago. It ended badly. My fault.

Do I regret breaking up with him?....No. I was miserable. I loved him but not the way a wife should love a husband. I didn't love him the way he loved me. I didn't love him the way he deserved to be loved -- Unconditionally.

We exchanged a few emails about 7 years ago. The last time we talked was over 25 years. Yet this has really hit me hard.

He was relatively young (mid-forties). Wife & kids. Grandbabies too.

I have an easier time accepting that I will die someday than I do accepting that my loved ones, friends, family, etc. have to go too.

Yes there are lots of comforting Bible passages for times like these. Some terrific hymns too.

But I think he'd like Green Day:

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right
I hope you had the time of your life

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right
I hope you had the time of your life