Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cyril of Alexandria

The 12 Anathemas, Proposed by Cyril and accepted by the Council of Ephesus:
1. If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema.

2. If anyone does not confess that the Word from God the Father has been united by hypostasis with the flesh and is one Christ with his own flesh, and is therefore God and man together, let him be anathema.

3. If anyone divides in the one Christ the hypostases after the union, joining them only by a conjunction of dignity or authority or power, and not rather by a coming together in a union by nature, let him be anathema.

4. If anyone distributes between the two persons or hypostases the expressions used either in the gospels or in the apostolic writings, whether they are used by the holy writers of Christ or by him about himself, and ascribes some to him as to a man, thought of separately from the Word from God, and others, as befitting God, to him as to the Word from God the Father, let him be anathema.

5. If anyone dares to say that Christ was a God-bearing man and not rather God in truth, being by nature one Son, even as "the Word became flesh", and is made partaker of blood and flesh precisely like us, let him be anathema.

6. If anyone says that the Word from God the Father was the God or master of Christ, and does not rather confess the same both God and man, the Word having become flesh, according to the scriptures, let him be anathema.

7. If anyone says that as man Jesus was activated by the Word of God and was clothed with the glory of the Only-begotten, as a being separate from him, let him be anathema.

8. If anyone dares to say that the man who was assumed ought to be worshipped and glorified together with the divine Word and be called God along with him, while being separate from him, (for the addition of "with" must always compel us to think in this way), and will not rather worship Emmanuel with one veneration and send up to him one doxology, even as "the Word became flesh", let him be anathema.

9. If anyone says that the one Lord Jesus Christ was glorified by the Spirit, as making use of an alien power that worked through him and as having received from him the power to master unclean spirits and to work divine wonders among people, and does not rather say that it was his own proper Spirit through whom he worked the divine wonders, let him be anathema.

10. The divine scripture says Christ became "the high priest and apostle of our confession"; he offered himself to God the Father in an odour of sweetness for our sake. If anyone, therefore, says that it was not the very Word from God who became our high priest and apostle, when he became flesh and a man like us, but as it were another who was separate from him, in particular a man from a woman, or if anyone says that he offered the sacrifice also for himself and not rather for us alone (for he who knew no sin needed no offering), let him be anathema.

11. If anyone does not confess that the flesh of the Lord is life-giving and belongs to the Word from God the Father, but maintains that it belongs to another besides him, united with him in dignity or as enjoying a mere divine indwelling, and is not rather life-giving, as we said, since it became the flesh belonging to the Word who has power to bring all things to life, let him be anathema.

12. If anyone does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and was crucified in the flesh and tasted death in the flesh and became the first born of the dead, although as God he is life and life-giving, let him be anathema.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

venerable bede

thanks to Pr. Weedon for this:

It is significant that John's birth is recorded as having taken place when the days began to grow shorter, while the Lord was born as they grew longer. It was John himself who explained the meaning of this contrast when the crowd thought he was the Christ because of his great virtues, and the Lord was considered by some as only a prophet and not the Christ because of his lack of austerity. "He must increase," said John, "while I must decrease."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

happy birthday, john the baptist

Lord Jesus, In thanksgiving for John the Forerunner, I leap for joy in your presence;
I want to prepare your way by giving knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sin;
You must increase, I must decrease;
I confess You as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

fox in inside the henhouse

On March 12, the "world's greatest deliberative body," the U.S. Senate, voted 65 to 28 to elevate porn attorney David Ogden to be deputy attorney general with the help of Tennessee's own Lamar Alexander (R). Next election, let's remember that Lamar supported a man who defended child pornography during the Clinton years as well as hard-core porn producers plus Playboy and Penthouse, to be the No.2 law enforcer in the nation. Way to go, Mr. Alexander(:

Monday, June 22, 2009

fathers' day report

Josiah (now 18) and I hiked for over one hour at Roan Mountain on the Tennessee -
North Carolina Border -- one mile high! Incredible views.
Saw beautiful rhododendrens and flaming azaleas (orange and yellow) in full bloom. Strong wind and very low and fast moving clouds, temperature about 62F surprised us and kept us moving to stay warm! Katie was on the beach near Wilmington, NC, Caleb back at USAFA and Julie at Emery and Henry College (with Mary) for first day of Suzuki Music Camp. Harder to get someone to go with me each passing year -- sigh!
Blessed with a gift of very sharp khakis from J.Crew (thanks, Josiah and Julie!).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What God loves and does

"The Lord loves justice and right
and fills the earth with his love" (Psalm 33:5).
"Lord God, through your Son you made the heavens and the earth; through him you continue to accomplish the intentions of your heart. Make your chosen people witnesses of your truth among the nations and heralds of your glory in the heavens; for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
(Daily Prayer of the Church, Philip Pfatteicher)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

we're here to help you!

(from a speech delivered 2/18/09 at a Hillsdale College national Leadership Seminar by John C. Goodman)
"When we get through the economic time that we're in right now, we're going to be confronted with an even bigger problem. The first of the Baby Boomers started signing up for early retirement under Social Security last year. Two years from now they will start signing up for Medicare. All told, 78 million people are going to stop working, stop paying taxes, stop paying into retirement programs, and start drawing benefits. The problem is, neither Social Security nor Medicare is ready for them. The federal government has made explicit and implicit promises to millions of people, but has put no money aside in order to keep those promises. Some of you may wonder where Bernie Madoff got the idea for his Ponzi Scheme. Clearly he was studying federal entitlement policy."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

why bother with father?

Why bother with fathers?
Fathers have supplied fodder to Hollywood for years. In TV land we have gone, sadly, from the sublime to the ridiculous, from Father Knows Best to American Dad. Seen any good movies about fathers lately? There’s Father of the Bride, Three Men and a Baby, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, My Dad the Rock Star and of course, the Godfather. But don’t give up all hope just yet: Bill Cosby assures us that “if the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.” My research into fatherhood shows first, why fathers, contrary to almost everything you might see coming out of Hollywood, are actually critically important in healthy child development, second, the dangers of father absence, and third, briefly describe a grass-roots ministry designed to strengthen fathers and families.
Way back in 2001, “The Review of General Psychology” contained an article with the intriguing title, “The Importance of Father Love: History and Contemporary Evidence”. From a long list of reasons, here are my personal favorites:
1. Fathers Play Differently. Fathers tickle and wrestle with their kids, chase them, toss them into the air. Mothers cuddle babies, fathers bounce them; mothers are gentle while fathers roughhouse.
2. Fathers Build Confidence. Go to a playground and observe. Who is encouraging kids to climb and swing higher and who is urging caution? Who yells out to ride the bike faster, throw the ball harder, beat that throw to first base and who says Be Careful! Generally speaking, Fathers encourage taking risks, which can build a sense of independence, confidence and progress.
3. Fathers (and Mothers) Teach Respect for the Opposite Sex. Research shows that boys and girls with married fathers in the home learn, by observation, how men should treat women. Girls with involved fathers, therefore, are more likely to select for themselves good suitors and husbands because they have a proper standard by which to judge all candidates. Fathers also help weed out bad candidates! Boys raised with fathers are more likely to become good husbands because they can emulate their fathers’ successes and learn from their failures.
Moving on to the dangers of Father absence, we learn from the 1994 census that more than 27 million children live apart from their biological fathers. That amounts to 39% of children under 18. So what’s the danger? When he was attorney general of Virginia, Mark Earley, president of Prison Fellowship, made it a point to visit juvenile detention centers. He says he met not one kid behind bars who had a father living at home. Father absence significantly increases behavioral problems, school drop-out rates, drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration and even suicidal tendencies.
Obviously, not all 27 million kids living apart from their biological fathers will get into trouble. But all children would benefit from having the assurance of a father’s love, even after they are grown, even after their father has died. How is this possible? Greg Vaughn lost his father to Alzheimer’s in 2001. He struggled with many things, including this question: Why couldn’t Dad have said the things I needed to hear: “Son, I love you! Son, I’m proud of you!” After wrestling with God for a good bit, he realized that even though he has told his kids “I love you!”, he had left them nothing to hold in their hands that would continue to communicate that important message. So he called his friends and asked them:
1. Do you have an intentional letter of love, blessing and affirmation from your Dad? All replied, “No, I don’t”.
2. What would it mean to you if you did have such a letter? They replied, “More than you would ever know”.
3. Have you ever written such a letter to your kids? All replied, “No, I haven’t”. To which Greg replied, “Don’t you think we should?”
15 guys agreed to meet once a month and write four letters: a letter to their wives, because they were the ones that gave them the privilege of being called “Dad”; letters of blessing to each of their children; a letter of blessing to their parents, or if deceased, a letter of tribute; and they wrote the final letter of their lives that wasn’t to be read unto after their death.
The response from their wives and kids was phenomenal. For the first time, they clearly understood that nothing would ever change Dad’s love and commitment to them. Many wounds were healed and families were brought closer together than ever before. They asked Greg if they could host a dinner for their friends to hear what they had just done. 130 guys showed up and went through the four month process. At the end of that time they had another dinner with 250 Dads. Four months later they had another with over 700 men. That was the beginning of Letters from Dad. Since its release to local churches in 2005, Letters from Dad has spread to over 1400 churches in 47 states, and more than 22,000 men have gone through the process. Why bother with father?! Research and experience have shown both the dangers of father absence and the blessings of Father love and commitment. With help like Letters from Dad, your chances of success go way beyond 50%!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sequence for Corpus Christi

Lo! the angel's food is given
to the pilgrim who has striven;
See the children's bread from heaven,
which on dogs may not be spent.

Truth the ancient types fulfilling,
Issac bound, a victim willing,
Paschal lamb, its lifeblood spilling,
Manna to the fathers sent.

Very bread, good shepherd, tend us,
Jesu, of your love befriend us,
You refresh us, you defend us,
Your eternal goodness send us
in the land of life to see.

You who all things can and know,
Who on earth such food bestow,
Grant us with your saints, though lowest,
Where the heavenly feast you show,
fellow heirs and guests to be. Amen. Alleluia!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

loving C.S. Lewis

"How monotonously alike all the great tyrants and conquerors have been:
how glorious ly different the saints."
-- Mere Christianity

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Deacon Ephrem

Today the Church remembers and thanks God for St. Ephrem, Deacon (+ 373).
Lord, in your love fill our hearts with the Holy Spirit who inspired the deacon Ephrem to sing the praise of your mysteries and gave him strength to serve you alone. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.
"The East has grown luminous with the saints,
with them the West has become brilliant,
the North is raised up by them,
from the the South has learned.
They have ascended to the firmament and opened it,
they have gone down to the sea and explored it;
the mystery that the apostles revealed in a parable
have they extended to all humankind,
reaching every corner;
all creation has embraced it to draw strength from it."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pastor's pledge

(From the American Family Association)
"We the undersigned pastors, believe the central unit in the foundation of any society is the marriage of one man and one woman, a model established in the Bible. We oppose any effort to make marriage anything other than the joining of one man and one woman. We believe that legalizing marriage between two or more people of the same sex will be destructive to society.

We pledge our support to defending marriage as being between one man and one woman and will oppose efforts to define marriage in any other manner."
This pledge takes on added significance in light of the Prsident's declaration of June as GLBT "pride" month. Irreconciliable differences, indeed.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

old text, new tune

May God Bestow on Us His Grace (LSB 823/824) will be our hymn of the first part of the Pentecost seaason. We will be learning the new tune by David Lee (b. 1956)which is not only absolutely delightful, but brings an old text to a new millenium, new century, to folks who otherwise would not sing it, no offense to the tune from 1524!
"...And also to the nations show Christ's riches without measure and unto God convert them." Amen!

Monday, June 1, 2009

From conception to natural death

The murder in cold blood of late-term abortionist George Tiller at Reformation Lutheran (ELCA) yesterday is deplored by all true followers of Jesus Christ who teaches us that life and death are in the hand of God.
On the other hand, I cannot understand how a minister of the Gospel would allow such a person as Dt. Tiller to be a member in good standing of a Christian congregation and thus provide false hope and assurance. I would not want to appear before my Maker with the blood of innocent children and wounded mothers on my hands. Lord, have mercy!