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Lutherandom Musings Along Memory Lane (1/5/2019)

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. At least that was always my way of also trying to sleep through Saturday morning chores.

The best part? Whether Dad would make us breakfast or not (his famous 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 Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime?

Soon after launching this blog, I thought about that for some reason, and then decided it might be cool to come up with a new weekly tradition of sorts for us Lutheran 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 haha!). I mean, isn't it time for us to look forward to Saturday mornings again and not just Sunday mornings when we get to receive God's gifts at church?

Besides, I thought it would be good for us to recall that childlike faith in fun and laughter if only for a few moments each week. You'll recall 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." As a result, this unique concept was born! Ok, so it's really not all that "cool" or "original" or "fun" or "unique" 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 Blogosphere & Social Media), 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 random things I either bookmarked, read, wrote down, and/or simply couldn't get to myself during the week (hence, the "Lutheran" + "Random" or "Lutherandom" part). 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, Lutheran Satire or The Babylon Bee are the two primary sources used for this section's content and it looks like 2019 will be more of the same! For those who missed it during the busyness of the holiday season, this is another instant classic from Lutheran Satire! Which "Nativitalk: The Talking Nativity Set" is right for you?


8:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN B (BEST OF THE BLOGS): Believe it or not, our first entry of the year for this section comes to us from a Catholic blog. I forget how I stumbled upon it, but the post from 2007 titled "
How To Spot The Difference Between A 'Confessional' Lutheran And An 'Evangelical Catholic' Lutheran" made a really interesting observation about us Confessionals. The author wrote: "Stick with me if you have followed me this far. The other thing about Confessional Lutherans is that they are quite convinced (with good reason) that there is no other honest way of being Lutheran. To be Lutheran is to be a Confessional Lutheran. If you do not teach according to the Confessions, you are by definition not a real Lutheran. In the end (and I don’t want to be unfair here) this can lead to the strange situation where being 'confessional' is all about being authentically Lutheran, rather than about seeking that which is universally true." Ouch! He/She makes a great point though, IMHO. I mean, how much of my work here over these last 6 years has been about the former and not the latter? I pray that when the scales are weighed it will not balance, but lean heavily toward the side of God's truth and wisdom and not toward the side of being purely denominational. Something for all of us to prayerfully consider (especially me whenever I write for this website in the days, weeks, and months ahead) I think.
.

9:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN C (CONFESSIONAL): "Therefore, our unanimous doctrine, faith, and confession are as follows: We believe, teach, and confess that God's Son from eternity has been a particular, distinct, entire, divine person. Yet He is true, essential, perfect God with the Father and the Holy Spirit. In the fullness of time He received also the human nature into the unity of His person. He did not do this in such a way that there are now two persons or two Christs. Christ Jesus is now in one person at the same time true, eternal God, born of the Father from eternity, and a true man, born of the most blessed Virgin Mary. This is written in Romans 9:5, 'from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever.' We believe, teach, and confess that now, in this one undivided person of Christ, there are two distinct natures: the divine, which is from eternity, and the human, which in time was received into the unity of the person of God's Son. These two natures in the person of Christ are never either separated from or mingled with each other. Nor are they changed into each other. Each one abides in its nature and essence in the person of Christ to all eternity." (Solid Declaration of the Formula of Concord VIII 5-7).


9:30AM DOSE OF VITAMIN D (DOCTRINE): As we prepare to celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord tomorrow, it's probably good for us take a closer look at the Magi (a.k.a the "Three Kings" and/or "Wise Men") particularly due to all the popular misconceptions surrounding them. Thankfully, Dr. Paul Edmon has written a brief piece on them this week to help us with that, which can be found over at Steadfast Lutherans


10:00AM DOSE OF VITAMIN E (EVERYTHING ELSE): Begin the New Year right by remembering your Baptism! Pray for the Lord to keep you in the faith in the coming year! Of course, one antidote against the temptation to scratch our ears whenever they might itch is to remain rooted in God's Word and pure doctrine. Here's what Martin Luther once said about doctrine: "The world wants to be deceived. If you want to catch many robins and other birds, place an owl on the trap or lime rod, and you will meet with success. So when the devil wants to catch Christians, he must set up a monk's cowl or, as Christ calls it in Matthew 6:16, a sour, hypocritical face. Then we marvel far more at these owls than at the true suffering, blood, wounds, death, and resurrection that we see and hear in Christ, our Lord, who suffered for our sin. ... For we must always have something new. Christ's death and resurrection, faith and love, are now old and common, wherefore they mean nothing any more; but we must have new things to tickle our ears, as St. Paul say 2 Timothy 4:3. And since our ears itch so much that we can no longer endure the ancient, real truth, it serves us right ut acervemus (2 Timothy 4:3), that we load upon ourselves, great heaps of new doctrines." 
(Weimar Edition 50, 611 f -- Erlangen Edition 25, 396 -- Revised Halle or Walch Edition published at St. Louis 16, 2294).
 

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 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 6 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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