ALL GOOD THINGS COME TO AN END SOME DAY…

Letting you all know that I am retiring from Blogging and reducing my online presence after so many years. I’ve met many wonderful friends and had great times.

Now that I’m 70, it’s been my plan to “retire” a second time (the first was in 2000 from my full-time position) from my part-time avocation then my business. Just want to enjoy the time I have on earth with no plans …

Auf Wiedersehen.

Sue J in NJ

www.thegardens.us

 

Sermon, The Third Sunday in Advent, 16 December, 2,018 at Concordia Lutheran Mission

Concordia and Koinonia

Image result for a reed shaken by the wind

St. Luke 7: 24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

Jesus asked the crowd, What did you go out to see? A
reed shaken by the wind? Luther called pastors preaching to, “…temper the truth
to the sensitive fastidiousness of fashionable hearers” “reed preachers”.
John was no reed-preacher. His sermons on marriage landed him in Herod
Antipas’ prison and John’s head was handed to Herodias. He preached, Repent,
for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

In the classic movie,Casablanca, set during
World War II, in Casablanca, Morocco, the Nazis have not quite taken over the
town. It was a French colony and the Renault is the Captain of the French
police force. Captain Renault stated succinctly his political philosophy
and position: “I blow with the wind and…

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A Reformation Quote of the Day

I find myself needing this explanation when witnessing to non-Christians and Christians of other denominations. Yes, they think that we ‘follow’ Luther. Very good and concise explanation!

Concordia and Koinonia

Image result for cfw walther Dr. C. F. W. Walther

IntroductionA controversy that beset the nascent  Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod  (LCMS) was the use of the name “Lutheran”.  People said that we worship Luther or revere him as a prophet.  The first president  of the LCMS and first president of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Dr. C.F.W. Walther responded in an article in Der Lutheraner in 1844.  I think this article is highly instructive for us beyond the presenting controversy.  In this quote, we see the reason we should separate ourselves from the less than salutary writings by the Reformer such as about the Jews but be instructed by him when he was in agreement with the Scriptures.

“…we do not call ourselves Lutherans after him in the same way that we are called Christians on account of Christ. We are not called such because we believe in Luther. As highly as we treasure this…

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“In It but Not of It”

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Lutheran Hour Ministries

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
“In It but Not of It”

April 29, 2018

Romans 12:1-2 – I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God.

Ercan Ozer is a shepherd in the mountainous region of Muradive, Turkey.

Whether Ozer is a good shepherd or not, that I cannot say. I do know that today he has fewer sheep to take care of than he used to have. That is because, not so long ago, 80 of his sheep committed suicide. According to his telling, one of his flock decided it could fly. To test the theory, sheep number one walked off the side of the mountain.

The long and short of his story is this: he was wrong.

Amazingly, rather than learning from the mistake of sheep number one, a second sheep, sheep number two, followed the first. Sensing a pattern was developing, Ozer sprang into action and inserted himself between his flock and the cliff. Things happened very quickly after that.

In order: sheep number two also found out she could not stay airborne for any length of time. Even with their shepherd between them and open air, the flock continued to surge ahead. Like a river flowing around a rock most of the flock simply bypassed Ozer and stepped out into space and into sheep baaa-lhalla. As we said above, 80 sheep died, and Ozer found himself with a flock considerably diminished in size.

Years ago, I remember my father asking, “Ken, if everybody jumped off a bridge, would you do the same?” It was his way of telling me that I shouldn’t be a blindly following sheep. Instead, he wanted me to do the right thing, the smart thing, even if that meant I wasn’t going to be a card-carrying member of the flock.

It was good advice. Indeed, it is the kind of advice Christians should follow. I know it is good advice because in John 17, Jesus said, “I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

Writing to the church in Rome, Paul rephrased Jesus and said it this way: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God.”

And if you’ve been listening to your pastor on a Sunday morning, he has probably said it this way: “We are in the world, but we are not of the world.”

Now let’s make it simple. Christians have been rescued from the punishment of sin by the Savior, Jesus. When that happened, the Holy Spirit made changes in us. Those changes mean the world no longer dictates what we think and what we do and what we want.

Replacing that old-world view, we find our thoughts and actions centering on the Lord who has saved us at the cost of His own Son’s life. True, we still are living with the things and the people of this world, but we will no longer follow them as they disobey and disregard the loving Lord.

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, we are people who live in this world, but no longer are of this world. Grant us the discernment to walk Your path rather than the world’s superhighway to nowhere. In Jesus’ Name I ask it. Amen.

Bright Week! Friday

Concordia and Koinonia

 

From St. John 20:

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

From Rev. Paul Kretzman’s Commentary on(Jesus) sent (the apostles) forth to preach the Gospel. For that is the summary and content of the Gospel, peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And having named them thus as His messengers, as His ambassadors, the Lord formally inducts them into this office. He breathed on them, thus symbolizing the transmission of, and actually conveying to them, the Spirit who lived in Him, and whom He had the authority to bestow. The power of the Spirit was to…

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“He has Risen, as He said,” Matthew 28:1-10

He is risen indeed!

Pastor Reeder's Blog

“He has risen, as He said”

1Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to…

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“Surety in Christ according to His Word”

“Nothing in my hands I bring. Simply to the cross I cling.”

Pastor Reeder's Blog

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?  For what can a man give in return for his life?  For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8:34-38)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

bible-cross1It is not of the Gospel to be unsure or uncertain of God’s grace and favor in Jesus Christ.  The grace of God in Christ, without a doubt, is of faith, according to the Lord’s…

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Hope in Temptation

Pastor Reeder's Blog

“He (Jesus) was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan”

(Mark 1:13)

In the Name of Jesus. Amen.

Words from Luther on temptation…

107] To feel temptation is therefore a far different thing from consenting or yielding to it. luther1We must all feel it, although not all in the same manner, but some in a greater degree and more severely than others; as, the young suffer especially from the flesh, afterwards, they that attain to middle life and old age, from the world, but others who are occupied with spiritual matters, that is, strong Christians, from the devil. 108] But such feeling, as long as it is against our will and we would rather be rid of it, can harm no one. For if we did not feel it, it could not be called a temptation. But to consent thereto is when we give it the reins and…

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“Many Called, Few Chosen”

Pastor Reeder's Blog

1Again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, 2“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, 3and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come. 4Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, See, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast.’ 5But they paid no attention and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, 6while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them. 7The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. 8Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy.

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