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): House Republican, Paul Gosar (AZ), has decided to boycott Pope Francis' speech to the U.S. Congress next week since the Pope plans to give a speech on so-called "Climate Change" to our politicians. I commend him. It's so bizarre, isn't it? The leader of the Roman Catholic Church wants to talk about something other than Jesus Christ let alone faith in Him. Nice. I loved Gosar's comments though: "If the pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change, then he can do so in his personal time. But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous. When the pope chooses to act like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one. If the pope stuck to standard Christian theology, I would be the first in line. If the pope spoke out with moral authority against violent Islam, I would be there cheering him on. If the pope urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly."
8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): It's a real shame that whenever a faithful Christian attempts to merely point out to their dear brothers and sisters in Christ their genuine concerns about the church's beliefs, teachings, and confessions that have clearly strayed from "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) that the response is not humility and repentance (and thankfulness that someone would care enough to say something), but it is to try and get that person to feel like they're the problem, and that they need to leave the church. When that doesn't work, the response is to to try and force them out of the church. What a disgraceful, unloving response -- from other Christians who should know better and who claim to desire discipleship and truth! Sadly, 103-year-old Genora Hamm Biggs knows what that's like (as do so many of us).
9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): Here's a good footnote I read in my Lutheran Study Bible that was associated with 1 Timothy 2:5-6 that says, "The Scriptures do not teach that we are to call on the saints or to ask the saints for help. Scripture sets before us the one Christ as Mediator, Atoning Sacrifice, High Priest, and Intercessor (1 Timothy 2:5-6). He is to be prayed to. He has promised that He will hear our prayer (John 14:13). AC XXI 2-3"
9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): Instead of the usual Bible passage and the Lutheran Study Bible footnotes that go with it this week, I thought I'd share an excellent sermon instead. This was a sermon delivered by Pastor Tony Sikora titled "Ricky Bobby Is No Christian" and it opens with this hard-hitting observation: "Ricky Bobby was no Christian. From the day he was born in back of his father’s ’69 Chevelle he was on own. Living by his father’s creed, 'If you ain't first you’re last' Ricky Bobby did everything he could to impress the father who abandoned him. He lived the fast life, on the track and in the world. He cared for no one and accumulated things and people for himself. From his 'smokin’ hot wife and two sons, Walker and Texas Ranger' to his best friend Cal, Ricky came first and everyone else came second. And if you aint first you’re last. He won races. He had the big house and all the endorsements. He loved those little French pancakes but was too proud to call it what it was. He’d rather have his arm broken than say, 'I love crepes.' He had the world at his fingertips, giving thanks to his own little cute and cuddly Jesus, Lying in his manger listening to baby Mozart. But what good is it to have the world if you forfeit your soul. Ricky Bobby was no Christian, he was your typical American Christian."
10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Some unexpected revelations in Grace Jones' new memoir caught my eye this week! For instance, things like the Pentecostal Church, her brother who's a Megachurch Pastor, the "All-Seeing Eye" and her claims she's 5,000 years old.
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: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular 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 disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism almost 2 years ago now. 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 repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" 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!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, 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 they are not blasphemous/heretical, 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 both past and present 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 (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha!). 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 "Christian 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 experiencing and/or 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. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!