Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (7/16/2016)

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): The Babylon Bee reports that the "Nation's Churchgoers Brace For Flood Of Pokémon GO Sermons" tomorrow so consider yourself warned (haha)!


8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): This next item doesn't come from a distinctly Lutheran source, and I can't entirely vouch for the website yet either until I spend more time with it (see please exercise caution and discernment), but I found an old commentary from 2013 titled "How To Raise A Pagan Kid In A Christian Home" especially intriguing and relevant for me. As a father of two small children (Luke will be 11 in August and Amelia will be 10 in August), we're starting to have "those conversations" as well as beginning to have to explain why other family members and friends are allowed to do certain things while they're not. In fact, we've even had one family member recently criticize us for allowing our kids to watch any of the "Harry Potter" films due to the presence of overt magic, witchcraft, and sorcery. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I completely understand that mindset since that used to be me, and I have to honor and respect what they feel convicted about in their conscience, but they're also wrong. That would be like suggesting no family should ever watch "The Wizard of Oz" or take their kids to Disney's "Magic Kingdom" then. Sorry, I'm getting sidetracked. In any event, it's a good article that highlights the importance of parenting Biblically and with grace as opposed to morally and with the Law all the time. Let me know what you think in the Comments Section below.
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9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): This is from Dr. A.L. Barry's excellent "What About...?" series of pamphlets and taken directly from the one titled "What About The Gospel?" that beautifully says at one point, "
Another way the Gospel can be obscured is when too much emphasis is put on an emotional response to the Gospel. Some Christians believe that unless they have some sort of ecstatic, charismatic experience, or feel some sort of 'spiritual high,' they are not really Christians. It is truly sad that some people look into their own hearts for the security that they are children of God,instead of putting their hope and trust in the objective work of Christ for them,and in the means God uses to come to them -- His Word and Sacraments. If we find ourselves beginning to ask, 'Am I doing enough?' or thinking, 'It doesn’t matter what I do,for God will forgive me anyway,' then we are at risk of losing Christ and His forgiveness. We look always to Jesus and put our hope and trust in Him. He is our Savior.And,that’s good news!"


9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): This is from Rev. Scott R. Murray's "Memorial Moment" daily devotion titled "Secret Decoder For Scripture?" that was distributed recently that reads as follows: "Several years ago at the height of DaVinci Code mania, in a package of books I received from Barnes & Noble there was included the inevitable advertisements for various products that Barnes & Noble thought they could entice me to buy. Among the advertisements there was one for your very own DaVinci Code 'Cryptex.' 'What is a Cryptex?' you ask. I shared your puzzlement. The advertisement glowingly natters that you can store in it 'notes, poems, jewelry, keys or other valuables. The most amazing thing about this Cryptex design is that it is made so you can change the password yourself.' Ah, now that is convenience; your own 'Cryptex' and you can change the password any time you want. This really is a step up from the Superman decoder ring! What will they think of next? This advertisement offered some moments of unrestrained mirth, so that my wife wondered, 'What is so funny?' Well, how do you explain it? People often treat Holy Scripture like it is susceptible to reinterpretation according to their own decoder ring or DaVinci Code 'Cryptex' password. The nifty thing about having your own interpretive key is that you can change it as necessary, so that by using your infinitely changeable secret key for Scripture you can get out of it exactly what you want. There is an interpretive key to Scripture. The interpretive key to Scripture is itself. Some years ago, Immature Christians complained to me that they didn't understand the Bible because it was impossible to understand. When I finally asked if they had actually ever read it, they replied rather shamefacedly that they had not read the book. They had been told that it was impossible to understand and had believed that lie rather than the words in the book itself. God speaks for Himself in His book. There is no secret decoder ring to give you some hidden meaning, which the rest of humanity could never see. There is only the self-revelation of the eternal Son of God in these last days (Hebrews 1:1). Augustine of Hippo aptly shows Scripture's own internal interpretive key in regard to the relationship of the Father and the Son. The key to understanding Scripture is careful study of the Scripture itself. In it we shall find the divinely faithful revelation of God in Christ."

10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Another day, another horrific terrorist attack! Once again, the people of France are the victims. Please take some time to read our previous piece on the subject and continue to pray.
 

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!