“Physician of the Soul” (Homily for St. Luke, Evangelist)

Pastor and author Eugene Peterson wrote, “The pastors of America have metamorphosed into a company of shopkeepers, and the shops they keep are churches. They are preoccupied with shopkeeper’s concerns—how to keep the customers happy, how to lure customers away … Continue reading

“When God Visits” (Homily for Trinity 16)

Text: Luke 7:11-17 Listen here. We are entangled in death. The cords of death wrap around us like poison-filled tentacles. Death makes headlines. One professor shoots another professor and then takes his own life. People die in wildfires and flash … Continue reading

Same-Sex Behaviors and Desires: God Speaks to Both

Matters of same-sex behaviors and desires have become commonplace in our sexually super-charged and pleasure-obsessed culture. Pop-culture doles out regular helpings of such behaviors and desires in both dramatic and comedic settings, and the U.S. Supreme Court will soon issue … Continue reading

Extending Our “Smack Down Reach”

Steadfast Throwdown – “the very best theological podcast that is produced by the Brothers of John the Steadfast” (Yeah, so what if we’re the only one!) – is extending its “smack down reach.” Steadfast Throwdown began in March 2014 with … Continue reading

“Speaking of Life” – Homily for the Resurrection of Our Lord

“Speaking of Life” Mark 16:1-8   Other Holy Week sermons from Pastor Asburry: Palm/Passion Sunday Good Friday Maundy Thursday P: Christ is risen! C: He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Friday left us in the darkness of death, the valley of … Continue reading

“What Great Love!” – Homily for Good Friday

“What Great Love!” John 18-19 When we began the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, we prayed: “Almighty and everlasting God, You hate nothing You have made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent. Create in us new … Continue reading

“Washed and Fed to Love” – Homily for Holy (Maundy) Thursday

“Washed and Fed to Love” John 13:1-15, 34-35 A new commandment I give to you, Jesus said, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. (Jn. 13:34). That’s were we … Continue reading

“Ride On…to Die!” – Homily for Palm/Passion Sunday

“Ride On…to Die!” Philippians 2:5-11 & Matthew 27:11-54 St. Paul sums it up well. Jesus “made Himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:7). You see, the “likeness of men” comes … Continue reading

Steadfast Throwdown – Sympathy for the Devil

The Rolling Stones sang their song “Sympathy for the Devil,” and evangelical Christians responded with uproar. But is there anything we can learn from the song (or from John Lennon’s quip about the Beatles being more famous than Jesus Christ)? … Continue reading

One of These Things Just Doesn’t Belong

Okay, who remembers that Sesame Street song—“One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn’t belong”? That’s what comes to mind when I read the purpose statement of “FiveTwo.” According to their website, “FiveTwo,” … Continue reading

Catechism Series, part 11

In this latest installment of our “Steadfast Throwdown” Catechism Series with Pr. Joe Abrahamson, we continue discussing the Sacrament of the Altar. Pr. Abrahamson shows us how Jesus’ new covenant meal fulfills the old covenant, and we smack down the … Continue reading

How Do You View the Church?

In the Nicene Creed we confess that we believe in “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.” What is that one Church? Our Augsburg Confession says, “The Church is the congregation of saints in which the Gospel is purely taught and … Continue reading

Catechism Series, part 10

Pr. Joe Abrahamson continues his series on Luther’s Small Catechism on “Steadfast Throwdown.” This time we discuss the Sacrament of the Altar. What is the Sacrament? What does it deliver? Who receives this sacrament worthily? What should Christians do when … Continue reading

Celebrating in the Face of Death, part 2

This week on “Steadfast Throwdown,” we continue discussing Pr. Randy Asburry’s presentation on pastoral care at the time of death. Here we delve into how pastors care for their dying members by means of “The Commendation of the Dying.” Listen … Continue reading

Celebrating in the Face of Death, part 1

“Steadfast Throwdown” co-host Pr. Randy Asburry plays guest as we discuss pastoral care at the time of death. Since every human being ends up in the grave, just how do we deal with death? Christians have a very unique way … Continue reading

Study the Catechism with “Steadfast Throwdown”

Martin Luther’s Small Catechism has been called “the layman’s Bible,” chiefly because it teaches the truths of Holy Scripture in plain and simple terms. Join us on “Steadfast Throwdown” as Pr. Joe Abrahamson walks us through “the layman’s Bible” in … Continue reading

Steadfast Throwdown Series on Luther’s Catechisms

Steadfast Throwdown on KNGN and Pirate Christian Radio has started a series of interviews that focus on the structure and use of Martin Luther’s Catechisms in personal, family, and congregational devotional life. This first program discuses what a Catechism is, … Continue reading

“Real Refreshment” – Homily for Lent 4 – Laetare

Today is about refreshment, real refreshment, from the Lord of life Himself. For three weeks in Lent we’ve been hearing about the heat of battle. First, it was the battle against temptation. Next, it was the battle of faith. Last … Continue reading

Take Care How You Hear – Homily for Sexagesima

Today we hear Jesus say, “He who has ears to hear, let Him hear!” But what should you listen to? Better yet: how should you listen? And right after Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower, he says, “Take care … Continue reading

Purified and Presented

Okay, I’m confused! Didn’t we put Christmas away a few weeks ago? Sounds like we’re going back in time. Or maybe we never really left Christmas behind? Okay, so you’re confused. You look at the bulletin and see this super … Continue reading

Another Look at Pastors and Giving Records

Should a pastor be concerned with and know details of what members of his flock give in the offering? Pastor Karl Weber offers one answer here, and that answer has generated a good amount of discussion in the comments to … Continue reading

Seeking the Approval of Men?

Horror of horrors! “American trust in clergy members hits new low.” So says an article at CBS-DC as it explains a recent Gallup poll. According to that Gallup poll, “Americans’ rating of the honesty and ethics of the clergy has fallen … Continue reading

From Fire to Frolic – Homily for Advent 2

Fire can be both friend and foe. An uncontrolled blaze can consume whole houses, forests, and cities. But keep it under control, and fire is a toasty warm companion on a cold winter’s night. Fire can terrify, or it can … Continue reading

Day of National Thanksgiving – “God Supplies Every Need”

Associate Editor’s Note:  The following sermon was preached for Thanksgiving. Today our nation remembers the early settlers in our land. They left everything in the Old World to come to the New World. The pilgrims had harsh times to begin … Continue reading

Children in Church

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and … Continue reading