Categories
Witnessing

Evangelism, Witness and Outreach

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

Evangelism, witness, outreach… We often hear these words used in the Church, but are they the same or different and what is their relationship?

Categories
Discipleship

The Necessity of the Bible

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

I came across the following quote attributed to Martin Luther:

Whoever would know God and have eternal life should read [the Bible] with diligence and search for its testimony of Christ, God’s Son.                                – Martin Luther (What Luther Says § 245)

In July 2019 Lifeway “Facts and Trends” reported that…

those who regularly attend Protestant churches are inconsistent in their reading and thinking about Scripture…A third of Americans who attend a Protestant church regularly (32%) say they read the Bible personally every day. Around a quarter (27%) say they read it a few times a week. Fewer say they only read it once a week (12%), a few times a month (11%) or once a month (5%). Close to 1 in 8 (12%) admit they rarely or never read the Bible.

Categories
Stamp Collecting

Collecting Stamps

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

Stamp collecting is one part of the wider subject of philately, which is the study of stamps. A philatelist may or may not collect stamps. On the other hand, there are many hobbyists who accumulate stamps for sheer enjoyment and relaxation without worrying about the tiny details and history and form. Even so, once a collection gets beyond a certain size, the collector generally requires some philatelic knowledge to organize stamps.

Postage stamps are collected for many reasons. Most common are those pertaining to country, history, date and subject (e.g. ships, horses, birds,kings, queens, presidents…).

In collecting stamps one might wise to consider the following:

Categories
Pastoral Care Witnessing

Do you believe God loves you?

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

“Do you believe God loves you?” I asked Ruth, a ninety year old woman I had regularly visited.

“I’m not sure,” she replied.

“Well, let me tell you how I know he does…”

It was from here that I shared with her the story of God’s salvation in a nutshell (John 3:16-17):

Categories
Fishkeeping

Fishkeeping Systems

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

Fish and aquatic plants live in three general water systems or environments. They are:
🐟 Freshwater,
🐟 Brackish water, and
🐟 Marine or Saltwater

Freshwater
Freshwater contains less than 0.05% salt, or less than 1% salt by some definitions. This is the kind of water generally found in most lakes and rivers. Freshwater fishkeeping is by far the most popular branch of the hobby and has the greatest number of fish and plants available for sale. One could further divide this category into tropical (fish requiring water to be heated) and temperate (fish that can exist in water at room temperature).

Categories
Sermons

The Road Before Us

Read Deuteronomy 30:15-20.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

There are times in the Bible when we hear the phrase, And the Lord said… (Deuteronomy 31:14). In these instances, God is speaking directly to the recipient just as I am speaking directly to you. And the Lord said… and what follows is God’s word and yet it is the same Word spoken in this passage from Deuteronomy where Moses has been commanded by God to say, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil… (Deuteronomy 30:15). These words, although spoken by Moses, are still truly God’s word. Like the words of the Bible and preaching faithful to the Bible, these words may come to us through prophets, apostles, human writers and preachers, but they are still God’s Word to us.

God says, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil… (Deuteronomy 30:15). Now in the past when I’ve read this verse, I quickly imagined it to be a road that divides into two, like a fork in a road; one leading to life and good, and the other leading to death and evil.

Categories
Worship

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany A

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

These are the designated texts for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (Revised Common Lectionary with LCMS adaptations):
Psalm 119:1-8
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
Matthew 5:21-37

How might these passages be summarized?

Categories
Stamp Collecting Uncategorized

What is stamp collecting?

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

Stamp collecting is the collecting of postage stamps and other objects related to postage stamps such as postcards, envelopes that carried mail, markings or labels applied to mail including postage meters, Christmas Seals, revenue stamps and other items. It is related to philately, which is the study of stamps.

Collecting stamps is a hobby for people of all ages. Some may enjoy collecting these stamps just the simple act of arranging them on a page, but these postage stamps are also a great way to learn about history, geography, art and world cultures.

Categories
Fishkeeping

What is fishkeeping?

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

Fishkeeping is what people do when they keep fish in a home aquarium or garden pond. Although there are some who do this for business, most people keep fish as a hobby – for the simply joy of watching and caring for a small piece of nature.

Fishkeeping is nowhere close to being as popular as reading, board games and listening to music, but most people have probably had a goldfish at one point in their life. Some people are content with keeping one aquarium in their home, enjoying just looking at the fish and the calmness it can bring. Others get infected by what is known as Multiple tank syndrome (MTS) and begin keeping an ever increasing number of aquariums. It is not unusual for such a person to dedicate an entire room to the hobby.

Categories
Christianity Church History

A Story of Cruc-cess

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves:

Occasionally I run into someone who sees nothing good in Christianity. For people like this, Christianity gets blamed for colonialism, the condition of First Nations peoples, slavery and racism, the oppression of women, violence, hypocrisy, intolerance, sectarianism, fundamentalism and…Is there anything left? Paul Kivel,  an American writer, educator, activist and co-founder of the Oakland Men’s Project once blamed Christianity for everything bad in the world. Really?

I am a confessing Christian and I will be the first to acknowledge my own sinful condition and that I have broken every one of the Ten Commandments more than once, knowingly and unknowingly, hurting myself, others and the world I live in. My brothers and sisters in Christ are no better. The Christian faith is not the cause of all the problems in the world, but rather it helps us see both our sinful condition and how we have contributed to the ravages of sin, death and the devil we all experience in greater and lesser degrees. It is not the Christian Gospel in its truth and purity that is the source of the problem here, but the sinful human nature of every one of us, believer and unbeliever, and a big part of that sinful condition is blaming someone else (see Genesis 3:8-12).