Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Today I ship my laptop away to HP for repairs. I am not pleased. First, I am not pleased that I have to ship it away after just a year for repairs. The battery no longer charges and the AC input is wonky (to use the technical term). The repairs are part of an extended warranty deal HP introduced - I assume because these problems on this model were wide spread. It is amazing how dependent we become upon the computers and how strange it is to use another. Where are my files? I hope I have that file on this computer, etc. It will be a fun two weeks!
And to the Mac users out there - I don't want to hear it.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
When I shower and brush my teeth and such each morning I listen to the radio. This morning there was a call in competition on the radio. The question was: "In what year did Canada win the most medals at the Summer Olympics." A fellow called in - I didn't catch his name or where he lives. He is asked the question again. He said only one word. His answer....
Great start to my day.
Monday, August 18, 2008
More information will follow but check out his site at http://redeemer-fortwayne.org/blog.php
Check out more information regarding the retreat at our website: http://lutheranpreachers.worthyofpraise.org/
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Did God Really Say?
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God actually say, 'You shall not eat of any tree in the garden'?"
The Lord of the Church has called Pastor Gust here to serve this newly formed parish. Many of you here may be thinking this is something you have done. Certainly the Lord has worked through you to this end. But make no mistake – this is God’s doing. Our Lord has called His under-shepherd, Pastor Arron Gust, to be His mouthpiece, His Ambassador, to you here in this parish. He has called Pastor Gust here to speak the Holy Word of God to you, to teach you, to feed you and protect you. He expects much of Pastor Gust. He expects faithfulness.
Did God really say? That question is a devastating question. It is the question of doubt. It is the question of unbelief. It is the question the serpent asked Eve in the Garden of Eden. It is a question to shake our faith in God’s Word. Did God really say?
We all seek certainty. We like to be sure. Measure twice cut once we say. Tonight there is some uncertainty. Tonight the people of this new parish are not entirely certain what the future will be like. New parish alignment. What is it going to be like? How do we function together? What is our new pastor going to be like? Does he like sausage and sauerkraut?
Did God really say? Did God really call Pastor Arron Gust to be your pastor? Or do we doubt that? Perhaps we like to say such pious sounding things – but do we really believe it? Perhaps we say the words but believe otherwise and think it really is our doing – it is all human arrangement. It looks that way doesn’t it? The Call meetings at times do not look particularly faith filled do they? Did God really say?
And Pastor Gust, did God choose you, out of all the pastors eligible for a call to this parish – did He really choose you? Or do you doubt that? Perhaps you think it sounds too arrogant to say such a thing. Perhaps you think that despite your time in prayer and contemplation you really took this call based upon human notions rather than the will of God? Did God really say?
Members of the parish and Pastor Gust. In many, many, many areas of life there is uncertainty. And that uncertainty will remain. But in this area, in what we are talking about now – there is NO uncertainty! Did God really call Pastor Gust to be your pastor for this parish? Yes. It is absolutely certain. Has the Lord of the Church chosen Pastor Gust to serve in this particular time in this particular parish? Yes. It is absolutely certain.
Did God really say… To the people of this parish - this is your pastor? To you Pastor Gust - this is your parish to serve? Yes. It is absolutely certain!
And what a blessing this certainty is for both pastor and people! This is not some accident! This is not a trial run. This is the way God wants it. What a joy for you to know that you are meant to be together. We gather this evening to celebrate this fact.
Certainty. Our Lord is all about certainty. He does not want you doubting who your pastor is. He does not want His pastors doubting whom they are to serve. Furthermore, He does not want His precious blood bought people to doubt their salvation.
So He has given us the Church. The Church is made up of people and pastors. Jesus spoke to the Apostles: Joh 20:20-23 "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." Here our Lord instituted the Holy Ministry – a ministry of service. A ministry to give out assurance and certainty by way of the Gospel.
When you come to church you come to receive the gifts of God. These gifts are given with absolute certainty. The Word of God in the Bible and spoken in the sermon. The Lord’s Word of forgiveness spoken through the pastor in Holy Absolution. The water and the Word in Holy Baptism. The Body and Blood of Christ given in the Lord’s Supper. God works through these means to give you assurance. To speak His certain Word of grace.
It is God doing these things – not a mere man. With a man there is always uncertainty. With God things are certain. What He says is true. If God says your sins are forgiven for the sake of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection – they are! This is certain. Your pastor has been called here to remind you over and over of this fact and to distribute to you the gifts of God in Word and Sacrament.
We celebrate the joining of pastor and people together this evening. It is a blessed event. It is a joyous event. Dear friends, give thanks to God for your new pastor. He is here to serve you with the Gospel. He is God’s gift to you
My copy of Charles Porterfield Krauth's The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology has arrived! I recall reading this book on several occasions in seminary and found it to be so clear and enlightening. I am so glad that CPH has published it. I look forward to digging into it soon!