Saturday, January 31, 2009

Fantasy Football Combine?

Here's some pre-Super Bowl fun for you. You just might want to pick these guys for your next Fantasy Football league.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Heaven Is Your Home

Here is the audio file of the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah for the THIRD SUNDAY after the EPIPHANY, January 25, 2009:

In this sermon I have mostly let Luther preach based upon his treatment of the same subject according to Psalm 8:1 in Volume 12 of Luther's Works.

Have a blessed week at home in the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day . . .

could never have happened for our first "African-American" president had his mama exercised her Pro-Choice right to kill baby Barack.

Please send this to all your Pro-Choice friends, relatives, and elected officials.

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim 2:1-4, NKJ)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You Are Joined to the Lord

Here is the MP3 audio file of the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah for the SECOND SUNDAY after the EPIPHANY, January 18, 2009:

This is a Pro-Life Sermon. Please, please, please! -- if you know anybody who has been devastated by an unwanted pregnancy and the decision to end it, send them this sermon.

Have a blessed week joined to our Lord, Jesus Christ, as a member of His bride.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Does Brett Favre Have to Do with Margaritas in Heaven?

A reader of my blog article, “Margaritas in Heaven?” must have noticed the Brett Favre stained-glass window graphic off to the side. It depicts a saintly Favre in Packer uniform being adored by cheesehead-haloed fans. She closed her comment with this P.S.: “and Brett Favre has been a HUGE disappointment, hasn't he?

Here is my reply:

No, Brett Favre hasn't been a disappointment at all. What you see is what you get. And what you get is everything he has on every play. Sometimes that isn't enough. Sometimes that's too much. But in any case it is refreshing. Furthermore, have you ever heard Favre bad mouth a teammate or coach? I have not.

And as to his last couple years with the Pack, if the truth were known, I think you would find that management was trying to make him retire when he didn't want to--thus all the unseemly indecision and blubbering. I'd be the same way if my congregation told me, "Pastor, you're a great preacher and we appreciate everything you have done here, but we have found a younger man who preaches almost as well and we don't want to lose him to another congregation. Would you mind, terribly, taking your pension and never preaching for anyone else again? Thankyewverymuch, have a great life!"

Think about it. The Pack basically offered him full salary to not play and retire as a Packer. Favre preferred to earn his keep and continue to do what he does best and loves most. But is it ever reported that way?

Would every Packer backer have preferred Favre never play for another team? Certainly! But how selfish is that? What you had was a bunch of armchair quarterback wannabes expecting a man who loves the game of football and still plays it like a kid, and better than at least 50% of the other starters at his position, to stop playing when he had just led a darkhorse, undermanned squad to the NFC title game.

I only know of one man who seemed to take the objective angle on Favre--Mark Belling of WISN radio in Milwaukee. He called it straight, whether as to Favre's still above average yet fading talent, or to Thompson's disingenuous way of spinning the situation. Thompson wanted his man, Rodgers, in and the old man, Favre, out. Fair enough. Just say so. No, not wanting to take the heat for being the big fat meany who got rid of the hero who restored the glory to Title Town and the cheeseheads of Wisconsin, he spun it so Favre would be seen as the petulant ingrate. Favre's mistake was to take the bait and play the part that was written for him.

Now in New York, he is getting dumped on for the fact that he energized a Jets team that was moribund in 2007, revived the hopes of their disaffected fans, but stumbled as he was about to carry them over the threshold. Jets' management, however, seems to get what Thompson ignored. Favre put fannies in the seats. Some to see the miraculous, some hoping for a train wreck. He also inspired his teammates to do things beyond what they normally would do. When they were winning, a lot of it was because of spectacular plays made by the same guys that were there before Favre but didn't seem to rise to the moment until his arrival. For all the reports of ingrate teammates complaining he didn't hang out with them off the field this salient fact is overlooked--Favre had virtually no pre-season preparation and practice time witht he squad. Thank you Mr. Thompson. You did everything you could to set Favre up for failure in order to make yourself look brilliant. Yet isn't it amazing how successful he and the Jets were anyway? Maybe, just maybe, Favre was spending his time off the field studying the playbook and learning the new system.

Favre a disappointment? Only if one is disappointed by hard work, dedication, perseverance, passion, courage, and a relentlessly joyful pursuit of excellence regardless of the circumstances. Win, lose, or draw, love him or hate him, Favre played the game with everything he had.

Oh, and he never called in sick. How many of you who are disappointed with Brett Favre can say the same?

Now go have a Margarita!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Dividing Flames of Fire

Here is the MP3 audio file of the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah for The BAPTISM of Our LORD, January 11, 2009:

Have a blessed week in our Lord as His dearly beloved, baptized child and heir.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Laugh

Master Pastor

Does this look and sound all too familiar?

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Tim 4:3-4, NKJ)
In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judg 17:6, NKJ)


How about this?

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. (1 Cor 16:1-2, NKJ)
Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages." (1 Tim 5:17-18, NKJ)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ex Nihilo: Lutheran Means Letting God Be God

In light of this coming Sunday's OT lesson from Genesis 1 and the theme of Baptism--both of which illustrate how God takes that which is formless and void to create that which bears His form and full of His holiness, I present Luther's commentary from the penitential Psalm 38 as pregnant for our preaching and practice of the Lutheran faith in our parishes and synod.

Psalm 38:21 "Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, be not far from me!"

Luther comments: "'I am lonely, forsaken by all and despised. Do Thou receive me, and do not forsake me.' It is God's nature to make something out of nothing; hence one who is not yet nothing, out of him God cannot make anything. Man,however, makes something else out of that which exists; but this has no value whatever. Therefore God accepts only the forsaken, cures only the sick, gives sight only to the blind, restores life only to the dead, sanctifies only the sinners, gives wisdom only to the unwise. In short, he has mercy only on those who are wretched, and gives grace only to those who are not in grace. Therefore no proud saint, no wise or righteous
person, can become God's material, and God's purpose cannot be fulfilled in him. He remains in his own work and makes fictitious, pretended, false, painted saint of himself, that is, a hypocrite." [LW, V. 14 Selected Psalms III, p. 163]

Lord help me and all of us Lutherans, especially Lutheran pastors, to take this to heart in our preaching and practice. May the Spirit lead us to spend less time seeking to be purposeful, relevant, and impressive to the world and our people and more time confessing and leading our folk to confess our lack of purpose, relevance, and impressiveness in order that we may be given
the form and fullness of God in Christ.

"He must become greater, we must become less." -- John the Baptist, John 3:30

". . . the Lord will have no flatterer as a preacher. he does not say: Go around the village,or to the one side of it: Go in bravely and tell them what they do not like to hear." -- Martin Luther in an Advent I sermon

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Eternal Purpose

Here is the MP3 audio file of the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah for The transferred celebration of the EPIPHANY of Our LORD, January 4, 2009:

Have a blessed week in our Lord.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Joy and the Shedding of Blood

Here is the MP3 audio file of the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church of Layton, Utah for The EVE of CIRCUMCISION & the NAME of JESUS: December 31, 2008: