Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Wonderful Resource for the Confessional and Confessing Church

It bears repeating and reminding that the updated Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions is a phenomenal resource and great reader's edition for the Confessing Church. Check it out, if you don't have one and you are Lutheran, shame on you!

Moving Day... Again (sigh)

At least this one is permanent! It is so weird moving into a house, let alone a house that is OURS! But it is really great too! This will make 5 moves in 41/2 years for us. Hopefully we will have no moves for the next 5 plus years! We are having a lot of help this morning to move and my super secretary and her mom (a soon to be member) are making lunch for the moving crew. Lesa's Dad, Mom and sis are coming up from Auburn with a truck and trailer to help us move. My Dad is still busy with the harvest, but he did give the great encouraging speech: "You're a home owner now, just wait until your furnace goes out, your pipes freeze, blah, blah, blah." Thanks for the great encouragement, Dad!

Oh well, pray that this move would go well for us, please!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Don't Let the Journey obscure the Destination

We had a very hectic, frustrating, anxiety filled few days this week. We have been trying to close on a house in Middleville. We made an offer on this house exactly a month ago and we were expecting to be in it as early as last weekend, but things didn't quite work out like we expected them to.

Long story short, even though there was a lot of uncertainty, a lot of frustration, a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication, we did close on our house this evening and will be moving in tomorrow. It is a tremendous blessing, in spite of all the difficulties.

It is easy for Christians to get so wrapped up in their earthly journey that they forget their eternal home and their ultimate hope in Christ. We do go through many ups and downs in life, but we always end up at our home. The journey can at times seem to eclipse the destination, but our Good Shepherd has promised NEVER to leave us or forsake us. NEVER! He is with us always, in the journey, in the trial, in the tribulation, in the joys and thanksgivings of our life. He is with us. And He is the one who always is faithful to call His beloved sheep to their home.

I give thanks for God's gracious and all sufficient provision. He has given us our daily bread in such great abundance and we cannot help but wonder at this great and merciful God that has called us to witness His strong weakness for our sakes. As we move tomorrow, we will continue to wonder at God's sufficiency. As we continue to move throughout our lives, we will continue to get lost in the journey, but there is One who is always near at hand, One who will not be lost, no matter how far we may try to searh Him out. This is our God, He is with us always, even unto the end of the age! Alleluia! Thanks be to God!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Grammar of Devotional Living

I have the great opportunity to teach three classes at West Michigan Lutheran High School in Kentwood. The class is on the Lutheran Confessions, but, since I am just "subbing" I was told I could teach on whatever topic I wanted to. Lutheran Devotional living is a very near and dear topic to me. I have found such great comfort in truly Lutheran devotional living, that is, centered around the good gifts of Word and Sacrament and focused on the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow I am going to introduce the kids to the idea that the Liturgy serves as a grammar for devotional living and the language of devotion. I remember when I was their age I could not for the life of me understand why the liturgy was so important, but, through my own study, I have come to value it as the grammatical framework for how we interact and speak to God. The Liturgy teaches us how to pray using God's own Word. It teaches us to deny ourselves and take up the cross. It teaches us to set our minds on things above and to fix our eyes on Jesus.

Like any grammatical system, the Liturgy is not something you can look at once and learn. It takes time and effort, but it is well worth it. In addition to teaching us the framework of worship and prayer, it has the unique characteristic of all languages in that it binds all the people who speak it. Our historic Liturgies give us that linguistic connection with all the other saints who have learned to speak this biblical language. So, when we say we in the Eucharistic liturgy that we say with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven the Sanctus, we are truly in holy conversation with the invisible and eternal Church; and the Liturgy is the grammar of the Church's language.

To me, these ideas are all very new, but I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of them. I pray that all my readers and especially all Lutherans, would strive to learn this beautiful heavenly language of the Liturgy, that we may always speak with the Holy Church through all ages.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Just in case you didn't know...

It is NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, funny to joke with your stay-at-home, pregnant wife that her "performance review" is coming up and that she may not be getting a raise. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER funny, just a very, very, vary BAD IDEA! (Even though it was just a joke!)