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From Fog To Faith

As seen on my way home from my business trip to Bridgeport, CT last week and near Letchworth State Park, NY...


Haunting and humiliating.

A couple of Bible verses that I thought of after driving through that...


Isaiah 44:22 (ESV) I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.

James 4:13-17 (ESV) Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit' — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.


There's so much to say about these passages.

First and foremost, we can take comfort knowing that there is only one true God and He has blotted out your transgressions. He has silenced and removed any testimony of sin against His people. He has redeemed you and me!

Second, it's important to note that the Lord prophesies and promises the restoration of His people, centuries before the events even take place. Today, despite the difficulties that beset you, the Lord holds your future securely. In fact, He planned for your future through His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

As we turn our attention to the Epistle from James, we begin to dig a little deeper and expand up these key truths.

James addresses those who think their lives are in their own hands, to be used as they desire. They think they know all about their future, such as WHEN ("today or tomorrow"), WHERE ("such and such a town"), HOW LONG ("a year"), and WHAT WILL HAPPEN ("make a profit").

Planning is not being condemned here, but rather the assumption that we are completely in control. Condemnation for making money for its own -- or our own -- sake is made more explicit in James 5:1-6.

Bottom line? We do not control time or history; God does. We should not act as if our lives are most important. Humility is recognizing that God gives us both time and resources to use for His purposes ("Deo volente" = "by the will of God").

Like James's first readers, we strive to be self-sufficient and to develop detailed plans for our lives. Planning can be good stewardship, but not if our plans crowd out the things God would have us do.

James reminds us to seek what "the Lord wills." This simple statement is a confession of faith and shows confidence in the Lord's care for us.

Time and again, He has shown His fatherly, divine goodness and mercy toward us. He has given us life by His Son, Jesus Christ. Now, freed from seeking our own needs, we serve others.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, as the Lord brings us from fog to faith, we collectively pray...


O Redeemer, I entrust all my days to Your care. Fulfill Your purpose for me. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of each day. Help me to see each one as guided by Your care and lived for Your glory. Through me, bless my family, my co-workers and neighbors, and all the world. Amen.



NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just your average everyday 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 Lutheranism" and one who recently escaped an American-Evangelical-Non-Denominational mindset a little more than 4 years ago now despite being a Christian my whole life. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way back into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with the Bible, our Confessions, and Lutheran doctrine in general (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 not only correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1), but repent of my sin and learn the whole truth myself. With that in mind, 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 heavily 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 will 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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