Monday, December 29, 2008

joy in december

George Winston's tribute to Bach's
"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"

Saturday, December 27, 2008

from the manger to the cross

It's not just about the manger, where the baby lay.
It's not all about the angels, who sang for him that day.
It's not just about the shepherds, or the bright and shining star.
It's not all about the wisemen, who travelled from afar.
It's about the cross, It's about my sin,
It's about how Jesus came to be born so we could be born again.
It's about the stone that was rolled away, so that you and I could have real life someday.
It's about the cross.
It's not just about the presents underneath the tree.
It's not all about the feeling that the season brings to me.
It's not just about coming home to be with those you love.
It's not all about the beauty in the snow I'm dreaming of.
It's about the cross.
The beginning of the story is wonderful and great, but it's the ending that can save you,
and that's why we celebrate.
It's about the cross, it's about my sin, it's about how Jesus came to be born so we could be born again. It's about God's love, nailed to a tree, it's about every drop of blood that flowed from Him when it should have been you and me. It's about the stone that was rolled away so that you and I could have real life someday.
"It's About The Cross" (Go Fish)

Monday, December 22, 2008

children's christmas service

Our Children's Christmas Service was last night, and I was very pleasantly surprised at the good turnout considering the -10 degree wind chill. Talk about a "bleak midwinter"!
It all went very well, and I think there was more music and musical instruments involved than I've ever seen at one of these things.
We had a trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, piano, guitar, hand chimes, and even a hammered dulcimer! The kids did a good job and had a good time doing it. They especially enjoyed the "Happy Birthday to Jesus" party afterwards. I just love Christmas, don't you?

Monday, December 15, 2008

missing jesus

It's that time of year again, when statues of Baby Jesus start to go missing from Nativity scenes around the country. But this year some churches are fighting back with GPS technology.
The devices can be attached to the statues so that they aren't obvious to thieves, and they can be easily removed. The chips can guide police to the stolen figurine so they can determine if the thief is a prankster or plunderer.
Maybe the fact that the wise men could be bearing a GPS chip inside their gold, frankincense, or myrrh will be enough to deter potential baby Jesus burglars.
This story is a good reminder to not let anyone steal Jesus away from you this Advent Season, as some continue to try to take Christ out of Christmas.
Martin Luther wrote it so well :
"Dearest Jesus, holy Child, Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be, A quiet chamber kept for Thee."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

those pesky associations...

What can we learn from the arrest of Illinois Governor and Obama buddy Rod Blagojevich on corruption charges?
Maybe that Obama's associations with unsavory characters really do matter after all.
The media wanted to sweep them all under the rug during the election, because when you put them all together, its not a very pretty political picture.
Reverend Wright, Father Pfleger, William Ayers, Tony Rezko, Rashid Khalidi, Louis Farrakhan, ACORN, the list goes on.
And now, Rod Blagojevich.
It's getting harder and harder for the media to keep sweeping these things under the rug, because the mounds of you-know-what keep piling up around them.

Brrrrrr! (update)

The oceans have been cooling since 2003.
Sea ice is growing at the fastest pace on record.
A rare 50 year arctic blast is cooling the west coast.
There are fears of a coming freeze worse than the ice age.
Alaskan sea glaciers are advancing for the first time in 250 years.
And for the second straight year the earth is cooling, not warming.

Does anyone still believe in global warming?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

celestial sight

It was quite the celestial sight when Venus and Jupiter lined up with the moon last week for a rare lunar/planetary conjunction. Hope you got to see it - it won't happen again for another 50 years!
"The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the works of His hands "
(Psalm 19)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Worship Fully-Spend Less-Give More-Love All

[Worship Fully]

It begins and ends with Jesus. This is what God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to God. It’s a season where love wins, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath.
It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.

[Spend Less]

Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking people to consider buying ONE LESS GIFT this Christmas. Just one. Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.

[Give More]

God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?

[Love All]

When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began, four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. One less gift. One unbelievable present in the name of Christ.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The story of Christ's birth is the story of hope, joy, peace, and love. So, what happened? What was once a time to celebrate the birth of a Savior has somehow turned into a season of stress, shopping lists, and traffic jams. And when it's over, many are left with presents to return, looming debt, and an empty feeling of a missing purpose.
Is this what we really want out of Christmas? What if Christmas could become what it once was? What if it could be an event that could change the world - again. Welcome to the Advent Conspiracy.

Advent Conspiracy

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Advent 1

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

Prayer for Advent - Stir up Your power in us, Lord Jesus, so that by Your grace we may be rescued from all of our sins. Deliver us, O Lord, from the sin of the world around us, and the sin that dwells within us, so that we might be ready for Your coming. For You live and reign together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thanksgiving prayer

and thank God for Linus ...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

George Winston - Thanksgiving

C.S. Lewis said that even when he was an atheist, he had a longing deep inside himself that he could not explain, something which he later would call "joy".

That's the feeling I get when I listen to George Winston's music. A deep longing for something more, something I can't explain and don't even fully understand, but something I know I was created for.

It's something that permeates from the soul (that "god-shaped hole") as it fills the heart and expands the mind, pointing me to something far greater than myself.

To God.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

VI Day

We won. The Iraq War is over. November 22, 2008 has been named "Victory in Iraq Day." (Hereafter known as "VI Day.") By every measure the United States and coalition forces have conclusively defeated all enemies in Iraq, pacified the country, deposed the previous regime, successfully helped to establish a new functioning democratic government, and suppressed any lingering insurgencies. The war has come to an end. And we won.
What more do you need? An announcement from the outgoing Bush administration? It's not gonna happen. An announcement from the incoming Obama administration? That's really not gonna happen. A declaration of victory by the media? Please. A concession of surrender by what few remaining insurgents remain in hiding? Forget it. The moment has come to acknowledge the obvious. To declare a fact that has already been true for quite some time now.
(from gateway pundit)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Umm ... Why?

from one of the youtube comments -
"this isn't just dumb, it's...
sublimely, transcendentally ludicrous.
It makes me inexpressibly happy, and I am burning off calories from laughing so hard. God bless you, Speedfit!"

Monday, November 17, 2008


PBS is set to broadcast a program this week that says the Old Testament is a bunch of made-up stories that never happened. "The Bible's Buried Secrets", scheduled to air on Tuesday, November 18th, basically says that the Bible is not true.
Producer Paula Apsell says: "It's designed for intelligent people who are willing to change their mind. …it will give intelligent people who want to read the Bible in a modern way a chance. If we insist on reading the Bible literally, in 25 years, nobody will read it any longer."

Really? Intelligent people?!?

Among highlights (or lowlights) of "The Bible's Buried Secrets":

- The Old Testament was written in the 6th century BC and hundreds of authors contributed.
- Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn't exist.
- There is no evidence of the Exodus.
- Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
- The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
- The Israelites believed that God had a wife.

Although PBS broadcasts some quality programming at times, this program is a perfect example of why I don't pledge money at tele-thon time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Liberals Clinically "Mad"

WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to come out of the closet, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.

"Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded," says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, "The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness."

"Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave."

While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to the
"vast right-wing conspiracy."

For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.

"A scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation, and moral integrity as liberals do," he says. "A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation's citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do."

Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:

creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
rejecting the sovereignty of the individual by subordinating him to the will of the government.

"The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind," he says. "When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious."
(from WorldNetDaily)

I always believed this to be true, and now its based on scientific fact! Thank you Dr. Rossiter!

Friday, November 14, 2008


It has plagued scientists and politicians for decades, but scientists now say global warming is not the problem. They say we are actually heading for the next Ice Age.

British and Canadian experts warn the big freeze could bury the east of Britain in 6,000ft of ice. A taste of the future: Plunging temperatures around Britain will create 2-ft icicles over Sleightholme River in Scotland, while Northern Ireland and England could be covered in 3,000ft-thick ice fields. The expanses could reach 6,000ft from Aberdeen to Kent – towering above Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain.

And what’s more, the experts blame the global change on falling - rather than climbing - levels of greenhouse gases.

Lead author Thomas Crowley from the University of Edinburgh and Canadian colleague William Hyde say that currently vilified greenhouse gases – such as carbon dioxide – could actually be the key to averting the chill. The warning, published in the authoritative journal Nature, is based on records of tiny marine fossils and the earth’s shifting orbit.

The Earth has seen dramatic climate fluctuations – veering between cold and warm extremes - over the past many years, the researchers say. And changes in the Earth’s orbit and slowly falling levels of carbon dioxide are the cause. The team says we are approaching a turning point, in the next 10,000 years which will lead to the new ice sheets smothering much of Europe, Asia and South America. The theory, which is based on computer models, suggests ice sheets will also slash sea levels by up to 300m, so Russia and Alaska will be connected by land. The North Sea will become part of a huge glacier stretching from Holland and Scandinavia to the Russian Far East.

Still, Professor Crowley reminds us that the stark findings do not mean that we should "push the panic button."

An inconvenient truth, indeed.

Monday, November 10, 2008

No More Gore

Here's some inspiring words of wisdom from former Nobel Prize Award Winner, Academy Award Winner, and Presidential Election Loser Al Gore Jr. , as printed in the New York Times.

"The inspiring and transformative choice by the American people to elect Barack Obama as our 44th president lays the foundation for another fateful choice that he — and we — must make this January to begin an emergency rescue of human civilization from the imminent and rapidly growing threat posed by the climate crisis."

Huh? An emergency rescue of human civilization?
Wait, he's not done. There's more brilliance to come ....

"The electrifying redemption of America’s revolutionary declaration that all human beings are born equal sets the stage for the renewal of United States leadership in a world that desperately needs to protect its primary endowment: the integrity and livability of the planet."

If you ask me, I think Al Gore has been inhaling too many fumes from all that jet fuel put out by his private G5 jet airplane.

Happy Birthday Martin!

born November 10th, 1483

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oldest Hebrew Text Found

Five lines of ancient script on a shard of pottery could be the oldest example of Hebrew writing ever discovered, an archaeologist in Israel says.

The shard was found by a teenage volunteer during a dig about 12 miles southwest of Jerusalem, on a hilltop above the valley where David is said to have battled Goliath.

Preliminary investigations since the shard was found have deciphered some words including judge, slave and king.

Experts at Hebrew University said dating showed it was written 3,000 years ago - about 1,000 years earlier than the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rally in Jeff City

Went to the big Sarah Palin Rally in Jeff City yesterday. They say there were 18,000 people gathered around the Capitol, making it the 2nd largest gathering in the city's history.
Senator Kit Bond was there along with Governor Matt Blunt, candidate for Governor Kenny Hulshof, and other candidates and dignitaries. Hank Williams Jr. sang the National Anthem.
It was a beautiful day and an exciting time, now we'll just have to wait and see what happens today at the voting booth. Say a prayer for our nation and GO VOTE!

Sarah came out wearing blue jeans. You gotta love her.

One of our friends, Mark Russell, is sitting directly under the "O" in this picture.

They probably will get the Victory in Missouri - I'm not so sure about everywhere else.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Valiant One, Whom God Himself Elected ...

Here I Stand

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Holy Scriptures or by plain reason, I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted, my conscience is captive to the Word of God. Thus I cannot and I will not recant, because going against one’s conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen.
- Martin Luther, Diet of Worms, 1521

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Reformation Day

On October 31st, 1517, Luther nailed his Ninety-five theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, setting off a series of events which led to one of the most important eras in history - the Protestant Reformation.

Although nearly every facet of life was affected by its changes, the Reformation was at its core a rediscovery of the Gospel - the truth of God’s undeserved love for man through the person and work of Jesus Christ found in the Word of God. This became the driving force of the entire movement - the fact that we are saved by Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone, found in Scripture alone.

(Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Christos, Sola Scriptura).

These great truths are still as true today as they were 500 years ago.

As we take time this week to remember Luther and the first Reformation, let us remember that although the church is reformed, it is always in need of reform (ecclesia reformata semper reformanda). And let us pray that our hearts and minds continue to be reformed, conformed, and trasformed through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Friday, October 17, 2008

simple pleasures, pt. 2

There is nothing like eating a fresh apple picked from your own apple tree in your own yard. I love the fact that I can walk to church in the morning, pick an apple along the way, and eat it as I leisurely enjoy the fresh fall morning. Does it get any better than that?
Thank you Lord, for simple pleasures.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Day of Atonement

"This shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year." Leviticus 16:34.
Today is Yom Kippur, also known as the Day of Atonement.It is the most important of all the Jewish holidays, and it is important for us as Christians as well.The Day of Atonement was the one day, once a year, that the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies to offer a blood sacrifice on behalf of the people, sprinkling the blood from a lamb onto the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant.The sacrifices on this day, and all other sacrifices in the Old Testament, were previews of the great Sacrifice that was to come.
The Book of Hebrews tells us this in such a beautiful way ...
"When everything had been arranged, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and ceremonial washings, external regulations applied until the time of the new order.
When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

A Blessed Day of Atonement to you all!

Friday, October 3, 2008

the Jesus Bowl

A team of scientists recently announced that they have found a bowl dating from the 1st century AD that is engraved with what could be the world's first known reference to Christ. The full engraving on the bowl reads, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," which has been interpreted to mean, "by Christ the magician".
"It could very well be a reference to Jesus Christ," said Frank Goddio, co-founder of the Oxford Center of Maritime Archaeology. He and his colleagues found the object during an excavation of the underwater ruins of Alexandria's great ancient harbor. The Egyptian site also includes the now submerged island where Cleopatra's palace may have been located.
"It is very probable that in Alexandria they were aware of the existence of Jesus and of his legendary miracles, such as transforming water into wine, multiplying loaves of bread, healing the sick, and the story of the resurrection itself."
No, its not the Holy Grail, but it is a fascinating and thought-provoking archaeological find.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good News From The World of Medicine

Its great when I hear that foods I like are actually good for me,
like coffee, chocolate, beer, the list goes on ....
Well, according to a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition from Penn State University, a serving of pistachios each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Results showed that consuming pistachios significantly lowers total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol levels.
So I'm going to Wal Mart later today to buy one of those big bags of pistachios, and I won't feel at all guilty about eating them.
Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prospering In A Declining Economy

"Let yourself be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you, nor forsake you,' so that we confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid" (Hebrews 13:5-6)

The financial pressures on America’s families continue to mount. The current economic challenges, the Wall Street crisis, declining home values, and higher gas prices have placed a great strain on many of us. People are losing their homes, food and energy costs continue to rise, the list goes on.

While these things are all true, what we are experiencing is nothing new. Solomon says in Ecclesiastes that "there is nothing new under the sun."
For example, in the Old Testament the nation of Israel was taken captive and was forced to endure 70 years of hard labor in Babylon before they were finally freed and allowed to return to their homeland. We pray that our current economic downturn won’t last that long!

In the meantime, here is a list of things that can help you to survive and even thrive in our current economy.

+ Pray for our nation and its leaders.
+ Learn to be content with what you have.
+ Read what the Bible has to say about money.
+ Pay your bills faithfully as a positive testimony to your creditors and a good example to your family and neighbors.
+ Downsize if it puts you in a better position.
+ Have a garage sale or yard sale to to pay down debt or increase savings.
+ Capitalize on your most valuable asset - your family.
+ Start a garden, use fresh vegetables and fruits in season.
+ Cancel your cable or satellite. Read books, play games, take walks, invite friends over, spend time with family.
+Remember God's Promises.

“God is our Refuge and Strength, a present help in times of trouble."(Psalm 46)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God at Ground Zero

We are all part of of a thousand stories. As we hear them being told, as we feel them touch us directly and personally, the stories become part of us. That's the way it is with the greatest story ever told - the Gospel. It is a story of life and death to life again. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus comes and fills us up from the outside in, until as Luther said, “Christ is poured out in us.” We receive the Story of the Gospel by grace through faith in Baptism, through Water and the Word, when the pastor marks us with the sign of the cross, and we die and rise again in Christ to walk in newness of life. It is a story of life and death to life.

Today is a day in which we remember another life and death story.

On 9/11, terror literally filled the air in New York City. Terror arrived on wings. Planes loaded with jet fuel exploded into the Twin Towers. Crews, passengers,and innocent citizens were incinerated.The buildings tumbled. Dust and smoke thick with the smell of death and destruction covered the area immediately and for weeks thereafter.

As the cloud of darkness began to grow, thousands of horrified people ran for their lives. One said “I'll never forget the sight and sound of the dust and smoke coming at us; it looked like the world was coming to an end.” Thick darkness covered the earth. Yet Christ was still the Light of the World.

A Lutheran missionary tells of standing with other Christian chaplains and praying with firefighters. As they prepared to enter the burning cauldron that was the Trade Center Plaza, he recounts, "We made the sign of the cross on their foreheads. We wanted them to remember their baptism. That’s the only promise they could know for sure at that moment — their baptismal promise.” Many never came back. But marked with the cross, they were reminded of God’s sure promise of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.

The dust has settled. The nightmares are receding. But the stories continue to be told. And one strong Story stands above them all.

It is the story of the cross of Christ. His death is our death. His resurrection is our resurrection. His life is our life.
(excerpts from Lutheran Witness, March 2002)

Monday, September 8, 2008

War Games

Stephen Green of vodkapundit has brought back the way of looking at the presidential race he used during the 2004 campaign, "Wargaming the Electoral College".
He takes a look at the current polls in each state and creates a red-blue map. The maps change as voter opinion shifts week by week. At this point in time his map looks like this.
Dead even.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Picture Perfect Palin

It wasn't just a home run, said CNN's Wolf Blitzer; it may have been a grand slam. "A very auspicious debut," said NBC's Tom Brokaw. A "perfect populist pitch," said CBS' Jeff Greenfield. "Terrific," said Mort Kondracke on Fox News Channel.
"A star is born," said Chris Wallace on Fox.
"A star is born," said Anderson Cooper on CNN.
"A star is born," said Blitzer.
Could we be getting our first look at our first female president?
Only time will tell ....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

the day will soon be over

The days are getting shorter. The evenings are becoming cooler. Summer is almost over. Fall will soon be here.

Sometimes I wish you could just grab the sun and hang on to it, and make it stay just a little bit longer.

Like on Thanksgiving Day, when we're playing our annual football game and ping-pong tournament. Or on Christmas Day, not wanting the celebration of Christ's Birth to come to an end. Or when our whole family is together for a reunion in a beautiful place. You just don't want it to end. But it must, and it soon will.

As summer ends, September begins, and the light of day begins to wane, I begin to remember that next year I will turn 40, and I realize the truth of the words "time stops for no man".

So since I can't hang on to the sun and hope to make it stay, I'll continue to hold on to the Son - my only hope and stay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Scrolling Online

Israeli scientists have unveiled a program to put thousands of fragile fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls online using infrared imaging to reveal previously illegible portions of the biblical documents. In order to protect the millennia-old documents, only a few of the parchment fragments which contain the oldest Hebrew record of the Old Testament have ever been put on public display.

By using infrared and colour imaging, scientists believe "scores of scroll fragments that were blackened or erased over the years and which were not visible to the naked eye until now" will be able to be read.

The scrolls, some of which are as old as the third century BC, have shed light on the earliest origins of Judaism and Christianity, and are considered to be one of the greatest archaeological finds of all time.
(AFP News)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rock Solid

What is your faith like today? Is it Rock Solid? Is it a Big Boulder of Belief? Or is it a puny little pebble.

When it seems like we're stuck between a rock and a hard place, it's encouraging to know that we have a Solid Rock to lean on - the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ.

There's not much solid ground in this world we live in. Sometimes things seem so unstable and unsure. Things are changing around us at an ever increasing pace. Sin is no longer sin. Right is considered wrong and wrong is considered right. Where is our foundation? Where is the the solid rock on which to build our lives?
The Prophet Isaiah writes, "Look to the Rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug."
So we look to Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone, the Rock of our Salvation. With Peter (the Rock), we confess that Jesus is "the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And with the hymnwriter we sing "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Purpose Driven"

This picture found on the Blogosphere is a nice twist on the Rick Warren "Purpose Driven Life" book.
Here are some quotes from the Catechism that go along with it.

God gives us His good gifts "all...out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me."
"For all this it is my duty to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him."

Christ lived and died "in order that I may be His own, and live under Him in His kingdom, and serve Him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness."

And because of what Christ did . . .
"He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian Church on earth, and keeps it in the one true faith; in which Christian Church He forgives daily and richly all sins to me and all believers." This is most certainly true.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Winner And Still Champion ....

"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)
A young boy's grade-school basketball team captured a first-place trophy at a local tournament with his proud father looking on. That night, as his dad rubbed his son's sore back, the boy asked with a fair amount of pride, "Dad, is this the first time you ever rubbed the back of a champion?"
Every day we run into people who have been beaten down by life. Somehow, someway, something has managed to sap the energy, vigor, and joy from them.What a wonderful thing it would be if we could make them all feel like winners. In truth, Jesus has made all of His people into champions.For He was the One who fought against sin, death, and the devil. He is the one who has achieved the victory for us over our enemies. And, having won, He has now invited us onto the victor's stand with Him.
Because of what our Champion has done for us, we are winners too. And because of that, we have the opportunity to give everyone we meet a bit more honor and respect than we think they deserve.We have the chance to invite them onto God's team where Jesus makes sinners into saints, losers into winners, chumps into champs.
"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

Friday, August 8, 2008


Today is August 8th, 2008, 8-8-08. Its a day the world has been waiting for, as it marks the opening day of the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
As the numbers 8-8-08 have appeared over and over again on my TV screen over the last few months advertising the coming Olympics, I have been reminded of another 8th Day that we seldom think about or talk about. That is, the 8th Day as the 1st Day of God's New Creation.
The early Christians celebrated Sunday as “the eighth day,”a new way of living and being in the wake of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They saw that God’s creative activity was continuing through Christ's redemptive and restorative work. On the first day of the week, God created the heavens and the earth. Centuries later, Jesus also rose from the dead on the first day of the week, which began a whole new creation for the church and for the world. One author has written that "the seven-day week could not hold the fullness of God’s creative time, and so the first day, embracing eternity as well as its own twenty-four hours, had to spill over. The first day, therefore, has become the eighth day.Through faith in Jesus Christ we are now living in the reality of things that were only hoped for in previous times. This gives us a whole new way of living. It’s this present reality in Christ that gives us a whole new beginning, a fresh start, a new lease on life. Its a new day, the 8th day.
The first day of God's new creation in Christ.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gedaliah's Seal

A team of archaeologists in Israel has unearthed what's believed to be the royal seal of an Old Testament prince who is said to have tossed the prophet Jeremiah down a well.

Team leader Dr. Eilat Mazar of Jerusalem's Hebrew University says the imprint was found well-preserved in clay, bearing the name of Gedaliah, the son of Pashur.

Gedaliah is mentioned by name in Jeremiah 38 as he served Judah's King Zedekiah in the days before Jerusalem was conquered by Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

I guess the Old Testament's not a bunch of made up old stories after all!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Feast


"Come, everyone who thirsts,
and he who has no money, come and eat!
Listen to me and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in the richest of food.
Come to Me that your soul shall live ... "
(Isaiah 55:1-5)

This is the Feast of Victory for our God -

Saturday, July 26, 2008


PBS is set to present a program this fall that says the Old Testament is a bunch of made-up stories that never happened. "The Bible's Buried Secrets", scheduled to air on November 18, says the Bible is not true.
Producer Paula Apsell said: "It's designed for intelligent people who are willing to change their mind. …it will give intelligent people who want to read the Bible in a modern way a chance. If we insist on reading the Bible literally, in 25 years, nobody will read it any longer."

Hmmm.... really.....

Among highlights (or lowlights) of "The Bible's Buried Secrets":
• The Old Testament was written in the 6th century BC and hundreds of authors contributed.
• Abraham, Sarah and their offspring didn't exist.
• There is no evidence of the Exodus.
• Monotheism was a process that took hundreds of years.
• The Israelites were actually Canaanites.
• The Israelites believed that God had a wife.
Although PBS does broadcast some quality programming at times, this story is a perfect example of why I don't send in my contribution.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Oldest New Testament Heads To Cyberspace

More than 1,600 years after it was written in Greek, one of the oldest copies of the Bible will become globally accessible online for the first time this week. On Thursday sections of the Codex Sinaiticus will be available on the Internet. Images of the Gospel of Mark, several Old Testament books, and notes on the work will appear on as a first step towards publishing the entire manuscript online by next July. Dating from around 350 AD, the document is believed by experts to be the oldest known copy of the Bible, along with the Codex Vaticanus, another ancient version of the Bible.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Family Tree

My Uncle Jim designed this Family Tree and presented it to us at the Lange Family Reunion in Indiana. Needless to say, we were all amazed at how wonderful it turned out, and thankful for all the time and effort he put into this. Thanks Uncle Jim - Great Job!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Langes Invade Indiana

The 2008 Lange Family Reunion took place at Brown County State Park in Central Indiana last week. The weather was mild, the scenery was beautiful, the company was first rate, and a wonderful time was had by all.

"Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord!"

Thursday, July 3, 2008

God Bless America

"America, America,
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
from sea to shining sea."
Have a safe and happy 4th of July! God Bless America!