Friday, July 31, 2009

Media Messiah Massage

When is the last time you heard or read about the U.S. death toll in Iraq?

Amazing, now that the media has their Messiah in place they find no need to report the "facts." Now as the honeymoon with their beloved (who just happens to be escalating the war in Afghanistan) continues, death tolls of "militants" will not be published. [See L.A. Times article below.]

Now to be sure, it is the military officials who are setting the policy. But where is the outrage from the media for what would be considered censorship if practiced under the previous administration? And again, where are the daily reports of U.S. soldier fatalities?

Furthermore, notice how the comparison is to our "experience in Vietnam" rather than Iraq. Why is that? Could it be because such a comparison would make the difference between how the media reported on the casualties of "Bush's" war with how it is now reporting on President Obama's withdrawal from Iraq and escalation in Afghanistan?

U.S. Stops Giving Militant Death Tolls in Afghanistan
The military alters its policy as part of a new focus in the war.
By Julian E. Barnes
July 24, 2009

Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan -- U.S. military officials in Afghanistan have halted the practice of releasing the number of militants killed in fighting with American-led forces as part of an overall strategy shift that emphasizes concern for the local civilian population's well-being rather than hunting insurgent groups.

The decision has triggered a quiet but fierce debate among military officers comparing the current situation with the U.S. experience in Vietnam, when military officials exaggerated body counts and used them as a measure of success.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Christ Feeds His People

Greetings dear people of God!

If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 7TH Sunday after Pentecost, "Christ Feeds His People," click here.

The audio begins with the second verse of the Hymn of the Day, "The Church’s One Foundation."

The sermon begins at the 2:47 mark.

God grant that we are always satisfied with the good food He gives us.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Laugh!

"Coyotes are people too."

After first asking the obvious question, "Why?"-- that was my wife's sarcastically smarmy observation when I read the last line of this article from this morning's Davis Standard Examiner to her.

A Coyote Cure? / Millville facility seeks nonlethal way to control the varmints
The Associated Press

MILLVILLE -- Coyotes are often unwelcome guests, whether they're prowling city parks, stalking the prairies or roaming the modern American suburb. Usually they forage for food, snarf down a rodent or two and disappear into the night.

Each year, government agents shoot, trap and poison about 90,000 of the ones suspected of killing livestock or causing other problems. But they're still trying to figure out how to turn the less troublesome coyotes back from neighborhoods and ranches -- without killing them.

. . . Ultimately, the solution to keeping coyotes out of trouble will be a complicated one, Shivik said. Sometimes it will require a mix of lethal and nonlethal methods that change over time. Landowners and wildlife managers will have to be flexible but, in the end, coyotes and people should be able to get along.

"We're trying to help coyotes as much as people."

The question bears repeating.


Good grief!

Missouri Synod Jeopardy

I'll take "Female Pastors" for $500, C.F.

And the answer is: "The first woman to to exercise the role of pastor."

"Who is Eve."

"Correct." Pick again.

"Female Pastors" for $1000.

And the answer is: "Banishment from the Garden and the curse of death."

"What was the result of Eve's taking on the role of pastor?"

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

That is absolutley right! We have a new Jeopardy champion!

And I do mean Jeopardy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Don't Lose Your Head

Greetings dear Baptized!

If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 6TH Sunday after Pentecost, "Don't Lose Your Head," click here.
The audio begins with the confession of the Nicene Creed, and includes the Hymn of the Day, "Lord Jesus Christ, the Church's Head."

The sermon begins at the 8:50 mark.

God grant that we never lose our True Head, though the world and even our peers take our own.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Answer Is Lutheran Preaching

Throughout the LCMS it seems the teeth have been taken out of our preaching. For at least a couple of generations now many pastors have been taught, shamed really, by the practical, seeker sensitive teachers and leaders among us to become a bunch of Cheshire Cats in the pulpit--to soft soap the Law and soft sell the Gospel lest they offend anyone and thus consign a seeker to the abyss of hell.

That simply can’t and won’t happen. God will lose nary a one of those whose names are written in His book of Life. Furthermore, it is precisely the bold preaching of Law that sears the sinful flesh and Gospel that salves the contrite soul that works salvation. It is not a preacher’s business to flatter, amuse, or market people into heaven. It is their call to proclaim the Word for what it is and let the Holy Spirit condemn or console according to God’s perfect discernment and heart for what the sinner truly needs.

Pastors are not called and sent to be salesmen of salvation, public relations consultants for Christ, or corporate builders of His Church. Christ does not need or want that—thank you very much. Salvation is not for sale. Christ’s image doesn’t need sprucing or spicing up. The Holy Spirit is a capable builder of Christ’s Church.

Furthermore, we seem to be suffering from a sort of Lutheran reductionism that manifests itself in a rejection of anything that smells slightly Catholic and a desire to embrace virtually anything and everything for the sake of “growing the church.” The truth is that Lutherans and their Confessions not only reject and condemn the papism and works righteousness of the Roman Catholic Church, but they also reject and condemn the pietism and works righteousness of the Protestants. The problem with Roman Catholicism is not that they name someone Pope. It is the power that they vest in him, and only him and his authorized agents. A papacy exists wherever the discipline of the office of the keys and calling of pastors is taken out of the hands of the congregations and controlled by a hierarchy—whether it be of popes and bishops in Rome, or presidents and executives in other Districts. Neither is Roman Catholicism the only place where you will find monks. Monks are created wherever the people of God are shamed, cajoled, or persuaded into believing that it is not enough for the Baptized Christian to simply live his life and exercise his vocation in faith as the child of God He is, according to the Ten Commandments, and instead must do something special in order to glorify God and win souls for Christ.

If we would only study and listen to Luther, and actually put his teaching into practice instead of listening to and practicing the teaching of Warren and Hybels, we might have a chance of being Lutheran once again. Let the numbers come or not based upon our faithful preaching, hearing, and living of the Word of God for the forgiveness of sins.

With these things in mind, I invite you to listen to my recording of Martin Luther’s treatment of Matthew 6:33-34 from Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.
I am convinced that the preaching, hearing, and living of this one sermon of Martin Luther--or at least more sermons like it in every pulpit and at every convention--would do more to right our Synod and Church than the passage of any resolution or election of any political leader. Politics is necessary and even good when practiced among righteous men within its proper realm. But how do we get righteous men? It is by the bold, no-holds-barred preaching of God’s Word in all its truth and purity—teaching everything He has commanded, leaving out not one jot or tittle.

Hear the Word of our Lord as preached through His humble servant, the Rev. Dr. Martinus Luther:

* The text of this sermon can be found in Luther’s Works, CPH American Edition, Volume

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Familiarity Breeds

Greetings my dear family in Christ!

If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 5TH Sunday after Pentecost, "Familiarity Breeds," click here. Then click on the MP3 link provided.

The audio begins in the middle of the Hymn of the Day, "Preach You the Word."

The sermon begins at the 1:30 mark, and the audio continues through the Benediction.

God grant that we become more familiar with Him and His kingdom day by day.