Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (4/2/2016)

Remember when Saturday mornings used to be so much fun when you were a kid?

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): Typically, videos from Lutheran Satire have historically dominated this category each week, but we now have a new Christian resource to rely on for a good laugh. If you haven't visited The Babylon Bee just yet, then please make this the first time you do. They had two brilliantly satirical pieces featured on their website this week that are classified as "Must Read" material -- "Context of Philippians 4:13 Officially Abandoned" and "Hollywood Announces Plans To Create Even More Inaccurate, Terrible Bible Movies" -- so enjoy!

8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): Given my own experience converting from American Evangelicalism to Confessional Lutheranism, I'm always intrigued to read about the experiences of others who became Lutherans later in life as opposed to simply being in it from cradle to grave. One such story is from Anthony who writes for his Armchair Theologian blog, which is linked on the side of this page. He tells the story of leaving Adventism and opens with these words: "Since leaving SDA I've learned a lot about scripture and though no Church is perfect I believe that I have found one that teaches the truth of the Bible. This isn't an emotional conviction of any kind, I actually fought this for quite awhile, but the more I studied the more I was forced by Scripture to join Luther in his 'stand' for the Word of God. Please do not use my posts as definitive in any way of Lutheran theology, this is more my understanding of their teachings than anything else." You can read the rest of his story by CLICKING HERE.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): 
Usually, I'll use this section to simply share and excerpt from our Book of Concord/Lutheran Confessions, but this week I want to call attention to an upcoming Confessional Lutheran Conference that I'd love to be able to attend and encourage you to attend as well. I'm sure many of you have already seen this, but there's "A Conference On Faithfulness to AC XIV" that is needed very badly within our Synod right now. I've had my own brush with an intentional departure from Article XIV a couple of years ago so I've seen firsthand what it can do to Christ's Church and His sheep. In fact, I've seen such concerns fall on deaf ears and even to the point where a local Pastor has decided to select a layman for the sole purpose of performing Home Visits to shut-ins to administer the Lord's Supper in his place (this is a small community and a small congregation too). Worse, is the whole "Sacramental Entrepreneur" stuff from Five Two. Bottom line? This is an essential discussion that we need to have right now and a Conference like this one will help both clergy and laity to rediscover common ground in God's Word and our Confessions. Better yet? It doesn't apply to only the Lutheran church, but all of Christianity.

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 from Rev. Karl Hess in preparation for this coming Sunday's message. It's titled "No Way. Quasimodogeniti 2014. John 20:19-31" and it opens with these powerful words: "No way. Sorry. I've been with you guys for 3 years now, so I know how you operate. You're on fire for Jesus until it might cost you something. Then it's, "No, I don't know this man you're talking about.' You're all about Jesus as long as you think you stand to gain something. So you tell me you saw Him. You say you know it wasn't a hallucination because He showed you the holes in His hands and the slit in His side. You tell me He sent you, He breathed on you, gave you the Spirit. No way. I'll believe you when I put my finger through the holes where the nails were and reach my hand into the gash in his side. Poor Thomas. This wasn't just about the facts -- whether or not Jesus rose from the dead. This was about jealousy. He rose from the dead, and all the disciples got to see Him except Judas and Thomas. Poor Thomas could see all the reasons why Jesus shouldn't send these ten disciples to be His messengers. He could see their sins, but couldn't hear the joyful message -- 'We have seen the Lord!' If Thomas could have heard that, then he could have heard the grave that was so much bigger than who got to see Jesus and who gets authority and who gets to be first. Christ is risen! That means -- you're free. Whether you saw Him or didn't. It doesn't matter if you are the one who saw Him or who gets to be in charge. You're free! Death and hell no longer hold you! Thomas didn't hear that. Didn't see Jesus sending the others with this key of freedom for Thomas. He just saw these sinners trying to exalt themselves over him again. Poor Thomas! Look what he almost missed! Poor us! Look what we are missing!" You can read the rest of this sermon by CLICKING HERE.

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): SInce yesterday was April Fool's Day, I thought it might be good to reference the Bible study titled "This Christian Pities The Fool On April Fool's Day" that I wrote and published on April Fool's back in 2014.
 

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, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 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/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) 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 I 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 footnotes 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 under-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 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!

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Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with...Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all mature spiritually (myself included) then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!