Thursday, September 29, 2011

michael and all angels

"And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down."         (Rev. 12)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Monday, September 26, 2011

fields of gold

when gazing out on the fields of gold
where the deer and foxes play
come longing thoughts of yesteryear
and where the future lay

gone is the freshness of the spring
and the fiery heat of the day
now comes the calm, the quiet and cool
as the farmer mows the hay

what comes next in this short verse
what else is there to say
although a chill is in the air
i know that it will be okay

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011


The clouds tell the story. In between the time God promised to send a Savior and the moment the angels sang in the sky above Bethlehem,  and in between the day Jesus ascended into heaven and the day He will descend from heaven, clouds have been and continue to be a constant reminder to us of God's presence.
For behind every dark cloud in the Scriptures, there's a glimmering golden Gospel lining.

After Creation and after the fall into sin, the sin and evil on the earth became so great that God had to destroy the earth by way of a Flood. And though He had to punish the sin and judge the evildoers, He also promised to save the one faithful family left - Noah and his wife and family - 8 people in all.

After the flood, God gave Noah and his family a sign when he placed a rainbow in the clouds.
It was the sign of God’s promise to Noah, and to all mankind, that he would not destroy the earth again with a flood.

The rainbow in the clouds remind us even today that God always keeps his promises.

God led the Children of Israel out of Egypt, into the wilderness, and into the promised land with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When God gave Moses the law at Mt. Sinai, a great cloud enveloped the mountain as He spoke. And God appeared to Aaron in the temple on the Day of Atonement in a cloud in the Holy of Holies.

Later when Israel rebelled, the glory of the Lord left the Temple in Jerusalem, in a cloud.
But the cloud returned when Messiah came, as God spoke in a cloud at the transfiguration of Jesus.
Jesus ascended into heaven in a cloud, and He will come again with the clouds, when we will be caught up with Him in the sky on the Last Day.

The clouds tell the story - the story of a promise kept.

Jesus is the promise kept, the ultimate example of God's promise fulfilled. All of the promises of God are yes and amen in Jesus Christ. He is the answer to all of the covenant promises of God. He is the promised Messiah, the Savior and Redeemer of the world,  for God laid on Him our sins and the sins of all the world. The ransom is paid, the redemption completed, the promise kept. We are forgiven and set free.

And yet, we still live in the between time, in the now and the not yet.
So in this in between time we hold fast to the promises of God, as we with all creation await the time when God will fulfill his final promise once and for all.

Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again. Of this we can be sure.
So we don't need to spend all our time gazing up at the clouds, looking into the mystery of what may or may not happen in the future. No, our job is to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him until He comes again ....
when He comes with the clouds.

Remember - behind every cloud is a golden lining of the Gospel, and the story of God’s great love for you in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

(from the sacred sandwich)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Today is the day to "seek the LORD while he may be found, and call on him while he is near, to let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him and to our God, for he will freely pardon."  (Isaiah 55)

"Now is the time of God's favor - today is the day of salvation."  (2 Cor. 6)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

bald is beautiful

Going bald can be difficult for a man – especially if he is in his 20s or 30s.

However, a study from the Cleveland Clinic finds that men who embrace their receding hairline tend to do better than men who try compensation techniques, such as surgery or medicine.

“Just feeling awful about the way you look is a horrible way to feel,” said Michael McKee, Ph. D. 
 And then you lose confidence, and you begin to stumble around. Just go with it the way it is.”

Those men who tried medicine were often disappointed because of the side effects and cost.
Those who tried hair replacement strategies were more stressed than those who did not.
(from fox news)

Monday, September 12, 2011

a hopeful lamentation (from rev. matthew harrison)

On Sunday, September 11th, the world will stand still as the first post-9/11 decade comes to a close.

As I pause to pen this note to the church, I’m flooded with a swirl of disparate and even conflicting thoughts and feelings. I recall the progression that morning from interest that a “small plane” should have hit the World Trade Center, then the shocking news of a jet airliner hitting the first tower, by mistake? Then the second. The Pentagon. The plane down in Pennsylvania. Confusion. Disbelief. Fear. Frustration. Anger. Revenge. All of that took place for me in the LCMS International Center from which I write now. We all have a story.
Having visited Manhattan the week after the event, and then Ground Zero later, speaking with our LCMS brothers and sisters who lost family and friends (one dear brother shared with me, as we surveyed Ground Zero on an anniversary years later, that he had lost 30 friends that day), I feel ashamed even to write of my own insignificant thoughts. This week the pain that invaded the lives of thousands upon thousands is re-lived, as though the event were just last week. Our own struggles in the Missouri Synod at the time cause me deep lamentation still. Lord, have mercy upon us all. But it is a hopeful lamentation.

The people of the LCMS responded in overwhelming generosity. Thousands upon thousands were assisted
through Lutheran Disaster Response of New York (LDRNY), to which we provided funding. We assisted children who lost parents, provided tuition, counseling, care and much more. LDRNY concentrated on help for victims’ families, and was a major force in the September 11th Families’ Association, which throughout it all has been committed to attending to the concerns and needs of affected families.

The Lord Jesus Himself, in the face of the profound suffering He would undergo for the sins of the world, prayed, “Take this cup from Me. Yet not My will, but Thine be done” (Matt. 26:39). And so it is human and by no means wrong for those so terribly hurt by the senseless carnage 10 years ago, to lament their loss and pain even today, and to cry out, “Why, Lord?” Somehow, in an unfathomable way, the Lord’s hand is not shortened and His universe is still His, despite the carnage of a few madmen. And like His very cross—which appeared senseless and pointless and an end of all hope—so this suffering is purposeful. “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).

At the last, we have one thing to say. One thing to hope. One thing to trust. And that is Christ.

Let us join in prayer for the LCMS Atlantic, Southeastern and Eastern Districts, and for all their leaders and
people, for the witness of the Gospel in New York from Ground Zero, to the Pentagon, to Pennsylvania and
beyond. Let us pray for our nation, our president and the military, for faithfulness in duty and an increase of all
honorable vocations in public and military life. Let us pray especially for those who still suffer the loss of loved
ones. Grant faith, O Lord, in the resurrection and in Your blessed Gospel. Let us pray for our enemies, for justice and for peace. And finally, as we lament this sinful world of pain and loss, let us lament in hope. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy, Lord, have mercy.

“Through Christ we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in
hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2).

Pastor Matthew C. Harrison
President, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Friday, September 9, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

paul maier coming to missouri


Dr. Paul Maier  -  Tuesday, September 6, 7pm   -  Faith Lutheran Church / Jeff City

            Compared to the bewildering variety of religions, philosophies, sects, cults, and belief systems across the world, the claims of the Christian faith are rooted in much stronger evidence from both sacred and secular sources, such as ancient history, archaeology, and other disciplines.

Join Dr. Maier, the author of such works as “In the Fullness of Time”, “Pontius Pilate”, and “A Skeleton in God’s Closet”, as he weaves his way through the Scriptures, geography, archaeology, and church history to show the unique  nature of the Christian faith. 

Refreshments will be served and a free-will offering will be taken.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

missions in new guinea

my cousin-in-law john mehl meeting a tribal chief in new guinea. 
"the nations will see your righteousness and the kings your glory."