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Archive for April, 2012

The LCMS goes to Indonesia (by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

April 30th, 2012 2 comments

The LCMS goes to Indonesia By Pastor Charles Henrickson Last time I told you about the Luther Academy conference I taught in Medan, Indonesia, March 12-16. (See my post from April 24, “The LCMS goes to Indonesia.”) Today I’ll tell you, by way of several photos, what else was going on in Medan during those days, and that is, discussions between the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the Gereja Kristen Luther Indonesia (GKLI, the Indonesian Christian Lutheran Church), to explore possible church fellowship. Representing the LCMS in the discussions were (seated) Mr. Darin Storkson (Southern Asia Regional Director), Rev. Dr.   More…

My Journey Into Confessional Lutheranism (Part 2 of 2)

April 30th, 2012 19 comments

In part one of this two part series, I shared my theological history as well as the events leading up to my epistemological crisis. In part two, I would like to focus more specifically on some of the profound shifts that happened to me on my journey from Folk Lutheranism to Confessional Lutheranism. Unfortunately this blog post cannot contain the seismic shifts that have occurred in my journey. Therefore, I will summarize four major changes that occurred to my theology. Shift #1: My View Of Sin? My Folk Lutheranism understood sin primarily as a series of actions that I did   More…

Sermon — Rev. Tony Sikora — The Good Shepherd Loves His Sheep

April 30th, 2012 1 comment

Christ is risen!  He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia.  Our text for this morning’s sermon is taken from St. John’s gospel account the 10th ( John 10: 11-18) chapter.   Beloved in the Lord, “All we like sheep have gone astray.  We’ve turned every one to his own way.”  Indeed, beloved, we are like sheep.  And like sheep we wander.  Wandering we get ourselves into trouble. And there is much trouble to get into these days. Getting into trouble with the world we hurt, we despair, and then we wonder: “Why?  What have we done to deserve this?  What are we doing wrong?”  That’s when we begin to realize our wandering has led   More…

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Steadfast at Home

April 30th, 2012 5 comments

Most of us are familiar with Dr. Luther’s introduction to the Chief Articles in the Small Catechism: “As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.” As important and necessary as the weekly gathering of God’s people is around Word and Sacrament, and it is necessary, as good as Midweek and Confirmation classes might be for us all, Christian faith and life is begun, sustained, and fortified at home. Even before a child is baptized, Dad and Mom talk about their soon-to-be born baby’s baptism. Even before the little tyke was even conceived,   More…

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Great Stuff Found on the Web — The Fourth Commandment, Part 2

April 29th, 2012 No comments

Pastor Schmidt shared with us an article in his April newsletter, where he discussed the 4th commandment and the relationship between parents and children. He said that he would include tips in his May newsletter regarding sharing your faith with your children, and that is found here. The last point is a great idea for pastors out there .. get the parents involved in catechism or other youth training!   Words speak volumes.  You can do all the actions you want, but if words do not follow to explain the what and why of your actions, they occur in a   More…

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Great Stuff — Pastoral Meanderings on Glorifying the Practical…

April 29th, 2012 2 comments

Another great post found on Pastoral Meanderings:   Many believe that Christianity is largely theoretical and not very practical — unless you are just about to die, of course.  It seems to me that there is some truth to this.  Christians have spent a wad of cash and not a little ink to prove that Christian faith and life is eminently practical.  The purveyors of this pragmatic faith have become the most successful entrepreneurs of Christianity — the Rick Warrens and Bill Hybels and Joel Osteens of this world.  They are bottom line kind of folks.  If the Church is   More…

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Higher Things — Answering the Knock

April 28th, 2012 6 comments

Many of you may think that Higher Things is a great organization, but it’s oriented towards the youth so you don’t necessarily keep up with their publications. In case you missed it, their Spring 2012 issue was dedicated to Apologetics. The below article is an example of the other excellent articles from the magazine. It’s well worth your time to review their publications and support their organization. A 1-year subscription to the Higher Things Magazine is $18 annually, or $15 annually when purchased in quantities greater than five. Or, you may donate online or join the Dare to the Lutheran   More…

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The Small Catechism: The Christian’s Book for Life

  What comes to mind when you hear the word “catechism?” You might think of a book of question and answers, a textbook for learning the Christian faith.  The word might make you think of a classroom setting and being quizzed over memorization. Yet Luther’s Small Catechism is much more than that.  “The Small and Large Catechisms of Dr. Luther, as they are included in Luther’s works [are] the Bible of the laity, wherein everything is comprised which is treated at greater length in Holy Scripture, and is necessary for a Christian man to know for his salvation” (Formula of   More…

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Steadfast Dads — Discipline

April 27th, 2012 11 comments

When I was a young man I knew everything there is to know about how to discipline children.  I watched others and noted what they did that was wrong.  I resolved what I would do if and when I had children of my own.  Then God decided to show me how much I knew about disciplining children.  He gave me a dozen of them, and with each additional child I learned how little I knew. If we look at discipline as a “how to” manual of a system of rules, we may end up getting mugged by reality and finding   More…

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St. Mark, Evangelist and Apologist

Wednesday was the feast day of St. Mark. His Gospel is often symbolized as the winged lion for the Lion of the Tribe of Judah whom he proclaims. He lives up to his title, evangelist. He is the good news bearer. But there are (at least) three reasons we should call Mark an apologist in addition to being an evangelist. We know a few things about Mark: he was from a wealthy family (Acts 12:12); he was brought from Jerusalem by Paul and Barnabas where they set out on the first missionary journey (Acts 12:25ff); he went to Cyprus with   More…

The Witness of Prayer

April 27th, 2012 2 comments

We at BJS accept submissions from our readers. Pastor Michael Mohr submitted this — an article he wrote for his church’s April newsletter. To submit an article to us, click here.   This article was in our April 2012 newsletter. Each month, in addition to my regular article, I write a piece on one of the three Synodical emphases. April was the time for “Witness.” The Witness of Prayer The act of prayer confesses faith and bears witness to those who see about the importance of God. In his famous painting Saying Grace, Norman Rockwell depicts an elderly woman and   More…

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Wisdom from Marilee, by Pr. Rossow

April 26th, 2012 25 comments

Over on the post about the Divine Service at Christ Lutheran, Stevensville, Michigan, a BJS commenter named Marilee offered the following which deserves a wider hearing. As a returning Lutheran (away for way too long) I expected to come back to the liturgy I left.  What a surprise!  Instead of “In the Name of The Father…” I got “Welcome to so and so Lutheran Church.  For our worship this morning, please refer to your insert, then go back to page 203, then back to your insert…..”  My head was on a swivel, I could not concentrate, I could not pray.    More…

ULMA Spring 2012 Meeting Report

April 26th, 2012 2 comments

Commission members from Redeemer – St. Clair Shores, Michigan, and Pilgrim – Decatur, Illinois, along with Pr. Brock Abbott from Pilgrim, attended the spring General Meeting of the United Lutheran Mission Association (ULMA). They were joined by commission members and Pr. John Hafermann from Our Redeemer – Forsyth, Illinois. All of the representatives from Pilgrim and Redeemer were delighted to welcome them aboard. You will recall that Our Redeemer joined ULMA last fall. Our mission churches were represented by Rev. James Shaw from Agnus Dei Lutheran Church in Virginia, Rev. William C. Mack from Christ the Rock Lutheran Church in   More…

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40 Days Of What? Planned Parenthood Has 40 Days Of Prayer.

April 26th, 2012 6 comments

According to Life News Dot Com, there was a recent Pro-Life 40 Days for Life campaign that resulted in saving the lives of more than 700 unborn children from abortion. Apparently a local Planned Parenthood business in California is doing something similar by have its own 40 Days of Prayer.  (Click here to read more on 40 Days of Prayer) I appreciate the heartfelt tenderness of the Planned Parenthood business in their concern for women and their willingness to address the social injustices against woman.  Truly there are injustices enacted upon women that need to be addressed.  I am also impressed by the Planned   More…

ACELC — How Can Unity Be Found?

April 25th, 2012 43 comments

From the ACELC Board of Directors: How do we establish unity within The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod? Thus far the use of synodical resolutions passed at our national conventions hasn’t worked very well. In the  recent past we were even told that the Synod in convention is able to tell us what Holy Scripture really says, and that didn’t work either! Theologians (and I include pastors in that description because that is exactly what we are supposed to be) have attempted over the years to use a couple of different standards in an attempt to establish unity, but to   More…

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