Friday, November 30, 2007
..."I only ask what it is that you believe in."
"In Jesus, of course," answered Fridfeldt, raising his voice. "I mean--I mean that I have given Him my heart."
The older man's face became suddenly as solemn as the grave.
"Do you consider that something to give Him?"
By this time, Fridfeldt was almost in tears.
"But sir, if you do not give your heart to Jesus, you cannot be saved."
"You are right, my boy. And it is just as true that, if you think you are saved because you give Jesus your heart, you will not be saved. You see boy," he continued reassuringly, as he continued to look at the young pastor's face, in which uncertainty and resentment were shown in a struggle for the upper hand, "it is one thing to choose Jesus as one's Lord and Savior, to give Him one's heart and commit oneself to Him, and that He now accepts one into his little flock; it is a very different thing to believe on him as a Redeemer of sinners, of whom one is chief. One does not choose a Redeemer for oneself, you understand, nor give one's heart to Him. The heart is a rusty old can on a junk heap. A fine birthday gift, indeed! But a wonderful Lord passes by, and has mercy on the wretched tin can, sticks His walking cane through it and rescues it from the junk pile and takes it home with Him. That is how it is."
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
"Katrina, it was good of you to come. You are kind, Katrina. God will reward you. And me, He will punish. So will He be exalted and declared righteous in all His judgments. But it will go badly for me. Katrina, why is it not as it used to be? Do you remember when we sang the old songs from The Songs of Moses and the Lamb? Then my heart was glad in the Lord. But it never became clean. Katrina, I am a sinner, a great sinner."
"Yes, that you are, Johannes. But Jesus is a still greater Savior."
The sick man breathed heavily before answering. He seemed to be going over something in his mind.
"Yes, He is a great Savior for those who let themselves be saved. But my heart is not clean, my mind is evil; I do not have the new spirit."
"They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. He came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
"Yes, Katrina, but it reads 'to repentance.' It is repentance that I lack."
"You do not lack repentance, Johannes, but faith....Your danger is not that you lack repentance, but that you have been drifting away from faith."
"What, then, shall I believe, Katrina?"
"You must believe this living Word of God: 'But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.' Up to this day you have believed in works and looked at your own heart. You saw only sin and wretchedness, because God anointed your eyes with the salve of the Spirit to see the truth. Do you have sin in your heart, Johannes?"
"Yes," answered the sick man timidly, "much sin, altogether too much."
"Just that should make clear to you that God has not forsaken you," said the woman firmly. "Only he can see his sin who has the Holy Spirit."
..."But why, then, have I not received a clean heart?"
"That you might learn to love Jesus," said the woman as calmly as before.
..."What do you mean, Katrina?"
"I mean, Johannes, that if you had received a clean heart and for that reason had been able to earn salvation--to what end would you then need the Saviour? If the law could save a single one of us, Jesus would surely not have needed to die on the cross. 'Because the law worketh wrath,' and God stops every mouth by his holy commandments, that 'all the world may become guilty before God.'"
..."have you anything more to say, Katrina?"
"Yes, one more thing, Johannes. 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.'"
He lay quiet a moment.
"Do you mean...? Do you really mean that He takes away the sin that dwells in my unclean heart?"
"Yes, He atoned for all that sin, when He died in your place."
"But I still have it with me, don't I?"
"Yes, as surely as Paul also still had it with him. Have you never read, 'I know that in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.'"
"Yes, that's how it is," whispered Johannes.
"That is the way it has always been for us, and for all others. 'With his stripes we are healed.' 'He is the propitiation for our sins: and...also for the sins of the whole world.'"
The sick man lay breathlessly quiet. Then he whispered, "One word more, Katrina, a sure world, and I will believe it."
The woman got up quietly, took the Bible that lay on the table, and sat down again. Opening the Bible, she read: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
"Amen, I believe!" said Johannes, in a voice that could barely be heard.
Katrina rose and replaced the Bible on the table.
"Now God's work has taken place. Now you must ask the pastor to give you the holy sacrament."
I love this! It's all about the proper distinction between the Law and Gospel. Sometimes people are crushed by their sin to the point of despair. They need to hear the Gospel "for you." All of us can say we are great sinners. Yet praise be to God, we know Jesus is a still greater Savior!!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
I take a lot of comfort from this verse, especially when I'm freaking out about how something's going to work out. We think we know what we need, but we are usually wrong! God knows exactly what we need and supplies exactly that. He knows all and knows what's best for us. We trust our God to take care of us even though the way He's taking care of us may not make sense to us or things may be uncertain in our limited perspective. We know He's taken care of our most important need by sending His Son to suffer and die for us. And so we know He will take care of ALL our needs.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
A few years ago, when I first heard the premise of this show Lost that was coming on, I thought it was hokey--this plane crashes on an island. I thought, what are they going to do with that? But I watched because Matthew Fox was in it. And wow, what a great show! It's partly about the island and stuff going on there, it's mysteriousness, "others," experiments that went on there, etc. But it's also very much about these characters. For the most part, every episode has given some glimpse into the character's life (typically in flashbacks). So as more and more episodes have aired, you find out more and more pieces of these people's lives and how they have ended up where they are; it's fascinating. Another interesting aspect is how there are all these interconnections between the characters--many of them have crossed paths before the plane crash or are connected in some way. There have been many theories about the show--one popular theory for awhile was that the island is purgatory, but the producers said that's not the case. Fans love to discuss and speculate on websites devoted to the show. The writing is just so brilliant on this show--the episodes give you information and pieces of the puzzle, but just when they answer one thing, more questions are raised and some mind blowing thing happens. The viewer is left wondering what exactly the story really is with the island and these people, and how things will ultimately be explained. The producers set an end date for the show (3 more shortened seasons). It will be very interesting to see what happens. Great show and excellent cast!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Some Conehead Language/Expressions:
Enclosed Retail Compound
Consumption of Mass Quantities
Broke My Blood Valve Chamber
Maintain Low Tones!
And perhaps this movie is what got me saying "Unacceptable" on a fairly regular basis to express disapproval over something. I noticed the last time I watched this that they say that a lot (in that monotone voice).
Monday, November 19, 2007
Jesus shed His blood for me,
Died that I might live on high,
Lives that I might never die.
As the branch is to the vine,
I am His, and He is mine.
Oh, the height of Jesus' love,
Higher than the heav'ns above,
Deeper than the depths of sea,
Lasting as eternity!
Love that found me--wondrous thought!
Found me when I sought Him not.
Only Jesus can impart
Balm to heal the wounded heart,
Peace that flows from sin forgiv'n,
Joy that lifts the soul to heav'n,
Faith and hope to walk with God
In the way that Enoch trod.
Chief of sinners though I be,
Christ is all in all to me;
All my wants to Him are known,
All my sorrows are His own.
He sustains the hidden life
Safe with Him from earthly strife.
O my Savior, help afford
By Your Spirit and Your Word!
When my wayward heard would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.
Text: William McComb
Tune: Richard Redhead
This is another hymn in my top 5 hymns. Great Law and Gospel! Verse 2 is my favorite because it reminds us that because of our sinful nature, we do not seek God. But He loves us and comes to us even though we would turn away from Him and have nothing to do with Him. And that love is beyond comprehension and is immeasurable. Mind boggling, blow you away kind of love!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
This is probably one of my favorite restaurants down where I live (St. Louis area). I love Mexican food, and Casa Gallardo has great enchiladas, fajitas supremas chiquitas, and tableside guacamole. Sundays they have an incredible buffet--taco bar, various Mexican foods, breakfast foods, and desserts. Delicious!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
I've always liked the image of God being our rock. This is such a comforting passage to me right now! I will not be shaken!
I met Gen in college (Concordia River Forest). She was an RA in my dorm. We had some fun times, and it was cool to go hide out in her private room and talk when things got too crazy in the cluster where I lived! Gen is funny, caring, smart and very solid and strong in her beliefs and convictions. Also, she gives the best hugs! I wish we lived closer to each other now, but I do get to keep up with her life through blogging world, and it is cool to hear regularly about her life and family.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
I enjoy this reality show quite a bit. One reason is it involves travel. It is fun to see the various places around the world the teams get to travel to. Also, it is fun to see the interactions of the teams and interactions between the teams. It is always interesting to see how people relate to each other, and how stress affects the relationship. In some cases it is touching to see the bond strengthened for some pairs whether it be friends, a married couple, brother/sister, father/daughter etc. In some cases you laugh at the antics of people. And sometimes you do scream at the TV because people are just being idiotic! But it's really fun to watch. Above is a pic of Mirna and Charla who were on one of the seasons, and then were back for an all star edition. They were a fun team to watch since these cousins both had strong personalities and bickered with each other (yet it was obvious they really cared about each other); they had such spunk and determination. I really wanted them to win! The current teams are really bizarre; each one seemed weirder than the next. Should make for some amusing moments!
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Oh, may Thy soldiers, faithful, true, and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old
And win with them the victor's crown of gold!
O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blest.
But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day:
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
Singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Text: William W. How
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams
I love this hymn--it's in my top 5 favorite hymns. And pretty much All Saints Sunday is the only time we sing it (though I have been at some funerals where it is sung, and want it sung at mine). I love the music and of course the words reminding us of those in the faith that have gone on before us, and how in Him, we all are one. Such hope in this hymn--though life is a battle, and we can get weary, we are confident of the victory we have in Christ, and have so much to look forward to. I mean, really picturing what vs. 7-8 are saying, how can you not have a tear in your eye and unspeakable joy in your heart?! Pure awesomeness!
Saturday, November 3, 2007
This show, which aired in the 90s, took place in the little town of Rome, Wisconsin. It featured the Brock family--Jimmy the sheriff, and Jill, the doctor and their children. Other main characters included the deputies Max (Lauren Holly) and Kenny. The show had a high quirkiness factor--one episode featured a serial bather, someone that broke into people's houses and took a bath, and another featured the Frogman, a burglar that left frogs at the scene of his crimes. Yet the show also dealt with serious topics and issues and presented various sides. There were episodes dealing with HIV, abuse, birth control, end of life issues etc. The show was part police investigation, part courtroom scenes (Don Cheadle was wonderful as a lawyer, by the way), part relationship focused. And the right blend of these things worked well. The show was especially good in the first seasons. As it neared the end, it wasn't as strong. This show had a great cast!
Friday, November 2, 2007
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.
"All genuine theology must proceed from the principle of speaking where God's Word speaks and being silent when God's Word is silent. For this reason, Luther is the greatest teacher of the church for us, because he held unshaken to this principle even when the great temptation came to him, in which even the greatest theologians have always been caught at some point, to let something else hold sway in addition to the Word of God."
Thursday, November 1, 2007
End Of The Line
By Travelling Wilburys
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