Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hannh, mosther of Samuel --- her "Magnificat"


AllBlessed are those who believe,
for what God has promised will be fulfilled.

1My heart exults in the Lord; •
my strength is exalted in my God.

2My mouth derides my enemies, •
because I rejoice in your salvation.

3There is no Holy One like you, O Lord, •
nor any Rock like you, our God.

4For you are a God of knowledge •
and by you our actions are weighed.

5The bows of the mighty are broken, •
but the feeble gird on strength.

6Those who were full now hire themselves out for bread, •
but those who were hungry are well fed.

7The barren woman has borne sevenfold, •
but she who has many children is forlorn.

8Both the poor and the rich are of your making; •
you bring low and you also exalt.

9You raise up the poor from the dust, •
and lift the needy from the ash heap.

10You make them sit with the rulers •
and inherit a place of honour.

11For the pillars of the earth are yours •
and on them you have set the world.

1 Samuel 2.1, 2, 3b-5, 7, 8

AllGlory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

AllBlessed are those who believe,
for what God has promised will be fulfilled.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Leo the Great on the Ascension of our Lord

Since then Christ’s Ascension is our uplifting, and the hope of the Body is raised, whither the glory of the Head has gone before, let us exult, dearly-beloved, with worthy joy and delight in the loyal paying of thanks. For to-day not only are we confirmed as possessors of paradise, but have also in Christ penetrated the heights of heaven, and have gained still greater things through Christ’s unspeakable grace than we had lost through the devil’s malice.

For us, whom our virulent enemy had driven out from the bliss of our first abode, the Son of God has made members of Himself and placed at the right hand of the Father, with Whom He lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God unto ages of ages. Amen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What Islam really teaches

by David Wood:
The message of Islam is something like this: “Believe in God. Do good deeds. If you do enough of them, you’ll get to heaven. Respect Jesus, for he was a mighty prophet, who delivered God’s message to the children of Israel. Also believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he performed many miracles, and that he was the Messiah. But whatever you do, don’t believe that he died on the cross for your sins. And don’t believe that he rose from the dead. In fact, the worst possible sin you can commit is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” Notice that Islam rejects Christianity’s essential requirements for salvation while accepting certain other doctrines. For instance, Muslims are commanded to believe in God, but even Satan and his demons believe in God. Muslims are commanded to do good deeds, but all religions teach this. Muslims are allowed to believe certain things about Jesus (such as his prophet status and virgin birth), but these beliefs do not save a person. Yet when we come to beliefs that are essential for salvation—the deity of Christ, his death on the cross, and his resurrection from the dead—we find that Islam is violently opposed to these crucial doctrines.[19] Islam, then, looks exactly like the religion we predicted that Satan would form, for it denies what is necessary for people to come to God.

Sola Gospel!

What cannot be redeemed through the Gospel certainly cannot be redeemed. -- Rev. Friedrich Pfotenhauer

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A new tract on the "Luther Rose"

Welcome to Concordia Lutheran Church!
God our Father loves you and wants all people to be saved! He has made this possible through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit calls us to turn from our sins and believe in the Good News of forgiveness through the Word of God. In our life together as forgiven sinners, Christians strive to grow in faith and hope toward God and in love toward our neighbors through simple acts of service. During our times of worship, God manifests and reveals His grace to us through ordinary things such as word and water, bread and wine, which move us to treasure all He has freely given us, give thanks always and tell everyone what He has done. Please feel free to contact us for further information.

The picture on the front of this tract is called the “Luther Rose ”, because it was designed by Martin Luther (10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546).
It offers a beautiful summary of the Christian faith of all ages.

 In the center, a black cross: we are saved by the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
 A red heart: new life through faith in Jesus.
 A white rose: Spirit-given comfort and peace.
 A blue sky: the beginning of heavenly joy, grasped in hope.
 A gold ring: never-ending blessedness.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Old Covenant Stewardship!

They still kept bringing him freewill-offerings every morning, so that all the artisans who were doing every sort of task on the sanctuary came, each from the task being performed, and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing much more than enough for doing the work that the Lord has commanded us to do.’ So Moses gave command, and word was proclaimed throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ So the people were restrained from bringing; for what they had already brought was more than enough to do all the work.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What I will NOT be teaching in "evangelism" class.

D. James Kennedy wrote, “If you are a functionally mature, responsible, reproducing Christian, you will produce others like yourself. To a great extent the spiritual quality of life in those who were multiplied through your ministry will depend upon the spiritual quality of your life. The quantity of multiplication is determined by your passion for spiritual reproduction.” (Evangelism Explosion, fourth edition, p. 137) I shudder to think of how many LCMS clergy and laity have swallowed this theology hook, line and sinker. This should be on the short list of “koinonia project” discussion items. Do those who take issue with Pastor Curtis see the spiritual danger of Dr. Kennedy’s prescription?

Great Easter Hymn

Death is dead, the true Life liveth O'er the portals of the grave,
Life's great Sun bright-shining giveth Light our darkened souls to save;
Christ arisen bursts our prison; See His triumph banners wave.

Life's own King on Calv'ry dying, wins a crown of life for me;
E'en the grave to Him complying flow'rs in life abundant, free.
Death's chill sadness changed to gladness -- this the Easter victory!

H. Halfdanarson (1826-94)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Giving to Synod

Here are the results in dollars pledged per Baptized Member to the National Office from that district for 2011-12:

Atlantic – $1.67
Cal-Nev-HA – $3.95
Eastern – $1.59
English – $3.53
Florida/Georgia – $4.13
Illinois Central – $7.82
Illinois Northern – $5.21
Illinois Southern – $5.80
Indiana – $6.77
Iowa East – $3.31
Iowa West – $12.15
Kansas – $9.01
Michigan – $8.93
Mid-South – $16.01
Minn North – $10.24
Minn South – $10.57
Missouri – $4.04
Montana – $9.25
Nebraska – $10.67
New England – $6.18
New Jersey – $3.54
North Dakota – $10.44
Northwest – $2.60
Ohio – $4.85
Oklahoma – $9.12
Pacific Southwest – $2.02
Rocky Mountain – $4.30
SELC – $12.14
South Dakota – $10.11
Southeastern – $7.29
Southern – $4.40
Texas – $12.87
Wisconsin North – $6.33
Wisconsin South – $2.69
Wyoming – $10.90

Per Baptized high to low
Mid-South 16.02
Texas 12.87
Iowa West 12.15
SELC 12.15
Wyoming 10.90
Nebraska 10.67
Minn. South 10.57
North Dakota 10.45
Minn. North 10.25
South Dakota 10.11
Montana 9.25
Oklahoma 9.12
Kansas 9.01
Michigan 8.92
Illinois-Central 7.82
Southeastern 7.29
Indiana 6.78
Wisconsin North 6.33
New England 6.18
Illinois-Southern 5.80
Illinois-Northern 5.22
Ohio 4.86
Southern 4.40
Rocky Mountain 4.30
Florida/Georgia 4.13
Missouri 4.04
Cal-Nev-HA 3.95
New Jersey 3.54
English 3.54
Iowa East 3.31
Wisconsin South 2.70
Northwest 2.60
Pacific Southwest 2.02
Atlantic 1.67
Eastern 1.59

The “stewardship winners” here are, in descending order: Mid-South (16.01), Texas (12.87), Iowa West (12.15), SELC (12.14), Wyoming (10.90), Nebraska (10.67), Minn South (10.57), North Dakota (10.44), Minn North (10.24), South Dakota (10.12) .

The “stewardship losers” here are, in ascending order: Eastern (1.59), Atlantic (1.67), Pacific Southwest (2.02), Northwest (2.60), Wisconsin South (2.69), Iowa East (3.31), English (3.53), New Jersey (3.54), Cal-Nev-HA (3.95).

The average pledge $ per Baptized Members for these statistics is $6.94.

Monday, May 16, 2011

sobering statistics

"In 1960, the LCMS baptized 82,000 babies.

"While total LCMS membership has remained relatively static since 1960, the LCMS baptized only 31,700 children in 2005, a drop of 66% since 1960."