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Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (7/8/2016)

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): There's a line or two in this video titled "Every Inspirational Video Ever" that's NSFW (read: "inappropriate" and "off-color humor") so please be advised. Even so, this is funny because it reminds me of far too many wolves in sheep's clothing (a.k.a. bad so-called "Pastors") like Francis Chan, Carl Lentz, Steven Furtick, Jefferson Bethke, and Clayton Jennings to name a select few.

8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): A couple of Table Talk Radio podcasts for this section this week are worth mentioning despite their mediocrity. On the first edition of Table Talk Radio ("This Episode Is Nihilistic! -- It Has No Meaning, Or Does It?"), after discussion the buzzwords Conciliarism and Nihilism, how fun is that, our not-so-hilarious hosts play a spirited game of "Name That Theologian" and discuss the Office of the Holy Ministry and the Marks of the Church (did you know there were 7?). Then they attempt to answer a listener voicemail and play "Praise Song Cruncher" and look at the song "I'm Trading My Sorrows." As usual this episode has no meaning or purpose. Well, actually it does, but they refuse to tell us what it is so you're forced to listen! Next, with the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod discussing the practice of having a deacons licensed to preach and administer the Sacrament, even though Jesus doesn't authorize them to do so publicly, many have published propaganda to try and influence delegates to the church body's Synod Convention underway right now. The Northwest District of the LCMS is among them with it's latest video. Let's see just how biga missionalist the Northwest District is in this episode titled "The Biblical Proof For LLDs? Show Me The $$$" so enjoy!

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): I've addressed the subject of "Intinction" here before a few months ago, but it was a commentary about an experience that T. R. Halvorson had recently at a funeral that emphasizes why we take our confession of faith as Lutherans so seriously. The piece titled "Intinction Would Have Withdrawn The Word of Forgiveness From Me" is a sobering reminder of why any "departure from historical Lutheran practice" is a very bad thing for Christ's Church and His beloved sheep. I pray this truth is impressed upon those who are participating in the Synod Convention that's underway as I type this.  

9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): This is from Rev. Scott R. Murray's "Memorial Moment" daily devotion titled "Divine Desperation" that was distributed yesterday morning that reads as follows: "God is so desperate to effect our reconciliation with Him that He sends His Son to accomplish the reconciliation. No matter what we see and experience on this fallen sphere, no matter how wicked the world becomes, no matter how violated we feel because of the lapping waves of the cesspool we live in and that lives in us, God has sent His own precious Son into the world to rescue us from the present evil age (Galatians 1:4). God's sense of desperation is not a panic, as though He fears that His plan might not work. God will finally triumph over evil and there is no doubt about that. Yet, God the Father has gone to full and extraordinary lengths to effect that triumph. His desperation is born of love of an overflowing power coming from His Father's heart. Earthly fathers will say it in regard to the needs of their own children, 'Whatever it takes.' How could the Father par excellence do less for his own children? How far has He gone to become reconciled to His rebellious sons and daughters? To what shocking lengths has our Father pushed Himself to save us who have not loved Him or His fatherly care for us? He has sent His only begotten Son, co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial with Himself. He has sent the Son of the same substance with the Father, who never rebelled, who always conformed to His Father's will, who was a completely and audaciously obedient Son. So desperate was this God for our salvation that He sent no mere messenger, no mere creature no matter how great or glorious, no mere angel, no dervish-like prophet, no earthly leader, no mere stand-in, nor perfunctory substitute. He sent the One who became the bodily en-fleshment of the Wisdom of God, for that is who He is. He became the Word of God in the flesh (John 1:14), who was always the Word of God. God is not playing any games when He determines to save us poor sinners. He sends the A-team, His Son. Here is the certainty born of God's fully loving desperation: the Word made flesh. This trinitarian truth is not some philosophical blather, but it discloses to us sinners God's amazing, loving desperation for our sakes. It tells us who He sends."

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Yes, I know that some of my brothers and sisters in Christ are telling me that saying "All Lives Matter" is wrong. We can't even agree on that? What's going on? Can we at least put an end to the "War of Words" and "Politics of Semantics" and agree on the sanctity of ALL human life or is that "too controversial" too? Just asking. So, in case you missed it, please take some time to pray for our nation and our fellow citizens regardless of their circumstances, their race, and their vocation in life.

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!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.

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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 and social media 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 sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training 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 arrive at the truth of God's Word (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!

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