BJS news — our recent down time

pleasestandbyWe thank you for your patience for the last few days while the site was down. Every couple of years we grow out of our hosting capacity and we need to increase our hosting plan. It is a good problem to have. We all volunteer to keep this site running. Unfortunately the new hosting package took a while to get set up, then it took a bit to get the site moved over.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will continue to do our best to be the go to place for Lutheran news and commentary.

Earlier in the week when we went down the first time, all the other sites hosted by Norm Fisher on the site that hosts BJS were down as well. These include the Book of Concord, the LCMS Sermons website (including Book of Concord weekly readings for insertion into church bulletis, Luther Sayings, Daily Bible Readings (1 year and 2 year reading plans), and 5 Minutes with Luther daily emails), the Year at a Glance that provides the weekly readings for the three year lectionary for any year, the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgical Congregations website letting visitors find liturgical congregations across the country, and the Wittenberg Trail.

As you can see, we have been able to restore the site to functionality. Hopefully this new upgrade will support BJS for many years of continuing growth.

Tim Rossow, Editor
Joshua Scheer, Associate Editor
Norm Fisher, Technical Support
and the rest of the BJS team

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

More of his work can be found at


BJS news — our recent down time — 18 Comments

  1. @Pastor Ted Crandall #1

    I hear you. I spent mopr etime lurking and reading other sites. The ALPB discussions I think have really DEvolved. I kept checking here a few times everyday, hoping for BJS to be up. Thanks to all here who put in such a great effort.

  2. @Jason #2

    Yeah, having to settle for ALPB only made the absence of BJS that much more painful!

    The “more moderate confessional Lutherans” [insert eye roll here] are over there arguing now that God doesn’t mind abortion so much…

    Lord, have mercy!

  3. Glad you are back, guys; I was afraid you’d been hacked. ๐Ÿ™

    @Pastor Ted Crandall #3

    There are a few more things… Although, I was reminded that relying on BJS to find them wasn’t too smart; I’ll have to create a few more book marks.

    geneveith and getreligion were up though, and I’ve got quite a few books to read before I’m desperate enough to look at ALPB. ๐Ÿ™

  4. I lurk at about 6 different sites, to varying degrees. Nice to see what else is out there, what others, and the other side, thinks. But BJS is the only place I post, and am a member of. Certain sites, this one included, have certain things about them, and sometimes a news item is only reported at one site, here or elsewhere. Can’t say I’m a mindless drone here. I like this one the best out of the options, although I do enjoy a couple others.

  5. @Pastor John Fraiser #6

    Yes, she does have that effect. ๐Ÿ™‚ I greatly respect helen, and some time back she was supportive of me in a discussion (I don’t even remember the details anymore) and left such an impression that I would consider her a friend, and would back her up when she gets into arguments with a few trolls that show up.

  6. Thank God you’re back. I already got scared, wondering what happened? Did Anonymous hacked your site, or maybe Missionals, or…?

  7. Dear Norm,

    Thanks to you and all the staff for all the work you do here, and on other sites. It is truly a labor of love, but when I think of everything involved in moving to a new host–all I think of is labor! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I want to express my appreciation for all the work you guys do, because of its importance. Having served on the inside of synodical administration, I know how the church’s officers, board members, and staff really can’t say what is really going on. They are required by law to issue factual financial reports, but they can’t always explain what those figures mean or what other phenomena mean.

    LCMS Bylaw works, in effect, as a big muzzle on frank talk: “Every board or commission member, officer, and all staff of corporate Synod and every agency of Synod shall be sensitive in their activities to taking or giving offense, giving the appearance of impropriety, causing confusion in the Synod, or creating potential liability.”

    It is safer for such people not to say anything to anybody that might cause offense, be construed as improper, be confusing, or create a liability. The last point refers to talk about mismanagement, illegal, or improper actions by employees.

    But the other side of the issue is: Delegates to conventions have to know what is really going on in order to vote and pass resolutions intelligently. So if the officers, staff, and board members don’t talk, how can you know what is going on? That is why the independent press is so important in a church-body like the LCMS.

    Today, the conservative independent press in the LCMS includes the “Brothers of John the Steadfast” website, the “Lutheran Clarion” published by LCA, “Affirm” published by Affirm, Inc., and “Christian News” published by Lutheran News, Inc. All of these are “bare bones” operations and rely on volunteer work and donations.

    People need to remember that because these independent Lutheran press operations are “bare bones” and volunteer they are not immune from mistakes. They make mistakes in reporting or interpretation, even when they try as hard as they can to avoid errors. They are not “paid professionals,” so that is to be expected.

    But their occasional mistakes are outweighed by their single-minded concern for the truth of God’s Word, the preservation of Lutheran doctrine and practice, and for the common good of all members of Lutheran churches.

    Lutheran church historians, if they are honest, will have to give credit to the independent Lutheran press for the preservation of the LCMS in its traditional doctrine and practice in the 20th century. The “Confessional Lutheran,” “Christian News,” and “Affirm” and other Balance, Inc. publications should get the chief credit for this in the 20th century. “Brothers of John the Steadfast” is already getting credit for the same in the 21st century.

    Thanks again, Norm, for all your labors on our behalf!

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  8. @Martin R. Noland #14
    Thanks again, Norm, for all your labors on our behalf!

    Thanks to Norm, to the moderators [who have, occasionally, suggested politely that I tone it down], and to the writers who provide the grist for our “critiques”, (positive or otherwise)! ๐Ÿ™‚

    People need to remember that because these independent Lutheran press operations are โ€œbare bonesโ€ and volunteer they are not immune from mistakes.

    I do not believe they are “mistakes by intention” as the omission of stories in the MSM [main stream media] seem to be. E.g., as getreligion notes today, kidnapping and death of Christians is newsworthy in the conservative publications, but you will seldom find much about it in your MS paper/TV news.

    Probably the most underreported story in the Middle East is the destruction of Christian communities which have/had been there since St Paul and others brought them Christianity. (The illusion that the US is a “Christian” country fuels the retaliation against them. It’s the Shiites against the Sunnis but both against the Christians.) ๐Ÿ™

    Yes, I’m off topic… consider it a plug for “getreligion” ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Good to see this place back up. It’s become one of my favorite places to come.

    Now, if you’ll just bring in some deep dish pizza… ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. โ€œRecent events in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America confirm its earlier departure from the Confessions by entry into fellowship with the Reformed, Episcopalians, Moravians, and Methodists. The Lutheran Substance has evaporated, and now even the outer shell is shattering.โ€

    โ€“ The Reverend Doctor David P. Scaer in the January/April 2011 edition of the CTQ (footnote 39 on p. 56)

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