For me, I'd usually stay up as late as I could the night before (after what I thought was such a "hard" and "long" week at school), and then sleep in as late as I wanted to on Saturday morning.
The best part? Whether Dad would make us breakfast or not (his French Toast!), the even better part of my Saturday mornings growing up was plopping myself down in front of our TV to watch cartoon after cartoon! You know, the kind that were only on once-a-week and not available in an instant through YouTube and/or Netflix?
I thought about that recently and decided it might be cool to come up with a new weekly tradition of sorts for us adults to enjoy each and every Saturday morning now that we're all grown up (ok, at least some of us more than others anyway). I mean, isn't it time for us to look forward to Saturday mornings again?
Besides, it will be good for us to recall that childlike faith in fun and laughter if only for a few moments each week. You'll remember that laughter was, for Luther, a sign of divine grace and also an antidote against the devil too.
From the very beginning, humor had been a theological topic for Martin Luther, embracing the dramatic scope of his whole world view. He himself explained: "When I was unable to chase away the devil with serious words of with the Scripture, I often expelled him with pranks." And so this unique concept is born! Ok, so it's really not all that "cool" or "original" or "fun" to be sure, but it will be our new tradition here, and I'll try to make it worthwhile too. So who's with me then?
Please keep in mind, it won't be flashy, and it will hardly grab and hold your attention like a classic episode of the Care Bears, G.I. Joe, Thundercats, or Voltron would, but these "Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane" should satisfy the Confessional Lutheran's appetite for a balanced breakfast that includes your VDMA Vitamins which include Vitamin A (Amusement), Vitamin B (Best of the Blogs), Vitamin C (Confessional), Vitamin D (Doctrine), and Vitamin E (Everything Else).
Each Saturday morning, God willing, I'll do my best to share some of the things I remember coming across in my unpredictable journey through Cyberspace during the week (hence, the "Along Memory Lane" part). For the most part, these will be things I either bookmarked, read, wrote down, and/or simply couldn't get to myself during the week. Of course, this is also where the things you send me via email (if any) will show up too.
Ok, enough with all the "commercials" when all we want is some "cartoons," right? Let's get the show started already, shall we?
8:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN A (AMUSEMENT): The Lutheran Satire Twitter account had a short series of "The Funny Thing About Lutherans Is..." tweets that you should check out for a good laugh.
8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): So I gained a new "Follower" on Twitter yesterday named @LutheranSkeptic and discovered that he/she just started their own blog that only has 2 published posts at the moment. Even so, it's powerful stuff since he/she is willing to be completely honest about their concerns and, yes, even their doubts. The post titled "Stupid Christians" is a MUST READ mainly because it reiterates what I've been trying to communicate here from the very beginning about how it's not enough to simply know WHAT we believe, teach, and confess, but even more important to know WHY we believe, teach, and confess it. Catechesis needs to continue beyond one's Confirmation and until their last breath. Anyway, the writing is honest because it's so raw and truthful. Do pray for this dear brother/sister in Christ that their conscience would be quieted to the doubts fueled by what's "rational" according to mankind and that they would be reminded that they belong to Christ Jesus.
9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): Pastor Peters published a thought-provoking piece yesterday titled "So Fearful Of Things Catholic That We Cease To Be Lutheran..." (what a great line!) over at his Pastoral Meanderings blog that addressed a recent discussion of the practice of raising the chalice and host within the Words of Institution.
9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): In Pastor Matt Richard's sermon "Alienated By Jesus; Sanctified In Truth" he opens with these sobering words: "In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus says that the world will hate the disciples, that the world will hate Christians. Sorry for the grim news this morning. I wish I could soften that up a little bit, but I really can’t. You see, the reason why there will be hostility from the world towards Christians is because the world first hated Jesus. My friends, often times we wrongfully communicate to individuals that they should become a Christian because there will be all sorts of peace, tranquility, and that the Christian life is full of ease. We wrongly communicate that the life of a Christian is one where we go through life simply riding on fluffy clouds, hearing harp music with not a worry in the world. Problems: what are those? Tension and hostility: never! No, my friends, this is not how it is. Now, it is true when we are in Christ that we do have peace with God, for our sins are not counted against us; however, even though this is the case, there is a great deal of tension still when we walk in the here and now." With an opening like that, how can you not listen to and/or read the rest of this one? Not convinced? How's this next sermon excerpt hit ya then? "As a result of belonging to the world, we become skillful at concealing our sins. Stinginess is disguised as good money-sense; lust becomes [passionate love]; cowardice becomes caution; the killing of unborn children is the right to choose; greed is camouflaged as ambition; homosexuality turns out to be a committed emotional relationship; euthanasia is cloaked as compassion; rioting masquerades as justice; and on and on and on. And naturally when our conscience bothers us the world simply points us to a medicine cabinet of solutions or other options to numb the pain of a convicting conscious. Feeling guilty due to greed? Nah, you are just ambitious. Furthermore, remember the charitable act that you did last month. Feeling bad about a sexual sin outside of marriage? No reason to feel guilty as long as it was within a committed relationship. And so it goes."
10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Vanessa R's articles "All The Guilt. All The Time." and "When Prayer Seems Pointless And Faith Feels Meh" at Bible, Beer And Babies are an authentic glimpse into the lives of most faithful Christian women I think. Her constant ability to put things into "layman's terms" makes me envious (something I always set out to do whenever I write for this blog, but always end up feeling like I fail miserably at actually doing it). Two recent examples are worth your time, because you'll feel like she's in your head at times and speaking your language. Most importantly, she also has an ability to keep herself (and us) focused on what really matters despite the normal ups-and-downs of life: "And for that there is Christ. Christ crucified. Christ risen. Christ ascended. For you and me and all of us. ... We may feel guilty for a slew of reasons, but that guilt isn't all bad if it sends our crying, blubbering, pissy selves back to Christ."
Sorry, but that's all I have for you this week.
In a Lutheran Layman's terms, you've been fed a balanced spiritual diet this morning so I hope you're full and wide awake and ready to face the day in your God-given vocations.
Grace and peace to you and yours!
NOTE: I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or a Christian, Candy-Making, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this note, I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries. I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a dude's diary in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!