Of Kings and Kingdoms

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What influences are  being brought to bear in your life? What kingdoms are pressing upon you?

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Pastor Mark preaches on one part of the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy Kingdom come…”

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_(I know…the media file should have read, “They Kingdom come…”  …but it is the same sermon)

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and iancowe, for the photo. 

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“Evangelicals and Depression: What Helps? What Hinders?”

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This (post title) is the question asked by Glen Scrivener over at his bog, Christ The Truth (Glen’s blog)  

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Below is the comment that I made regarding the question:

“Where I live, pretty much the only Christians that air radio programs (public airwaves) are the Evangelicals. I may be feeling fine and upbeat, but after I hear one of their “preachers” give a so-called “sermon”, I immediately become depressed. I usually find out what a backslider I am and then I receive a great big load of stuff placed upon my back, of things that I should, ought, or must be doing in order to be a ‘real Christian’.

Very little mention of what Christ has done for REAL sinners. And NEVER a mention of what Christ has done for me in my Baptism…or what He gives to me in His Supper.

I’d have been better off listening to the sports channel or the news.

Now that’s depressing.”

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(needless to say, I don’t listen to them all that often…and when I do it’s usually for a few minutes, until I can’t take it anymore)

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Thanks to Glen Scrivener.

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And thanks to flickr and naturalhomecures34, for the photo.

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Don’t be frightened

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Don’t be afraid. Don’t get scared and run back into yourself trying to find the assurance of your salvation.

Many have sent me quotations from their confessions that say that we need to look inward for our assurance. I say, “bunk”. What assurance could anyone possibly have by looking at themselves to see evidence that they really are a Christian and are of ‘the elect’?

Abandon that project of ‘the self’ and look to the external Word and sacraments…alone. Don’t put your trust in anything but the finished work of Christ on the Cross for real sinners.

Faith in your faith won’t do it. Faith in your church won’t do it. Faith in your “decision for Christ” or your “evidence” won’t do it.

But faith in God will do it (give you assurance and freedom). Faith in God and trusting in what He has done for you, in real time, in your own personal history, will do it. 

He came to you, He comes to you in your Baptism. A concrete act of crucifixion and resurrection in your own life. Actually DONE TO YOU. 

He comes to you in His Supper. Applying the Cross to you, yet again. Actually putting His body inside of your body and doing His forgiveness to you, yet again. Giving you His very essence. His very life. You can trust in these real, tangible events that happen to you in real time and space. 

He comes to you in your hearing of His preached Word. Real sound waves that carry His Word of law and of promise…hitting your ears and going right into your heart and head.

Don’t go mucking around in the etherial spiritualities of …up there …somewhere. Don’t go foraging around in the dumpsters of your obedience to the law or evidences that you think you see to verify that you really are His. And don’t waste your time with the religious hucksters that will not offer you the assurance and the freedom that Christ so dearly won for you on that bloody Cross, but who instead send you back inside of yourself for evidence.

Go to the font. Go to His table. Listen to His Living Word…actually DONE to you…in your ears and on your skin, and on your tongue.

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You ARE a child of the Living God. You CAN KNOW that you ARE SAVED…totally APART from anything that ‘YOU DO’, or anything that YOU SAY, or anything that YOU FEEL, or anything that YOU THINK.

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   You truly ARE “FREE IN CHRIST”!

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Thanks to flickr and Samara May Knight, for the photo.

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Jesus didn’t need a bucket. And neither do we.

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Pastor Mark was away this weekend. And because he was in town, Pastor Russ Lackey, who is Senior Campus Pastor at Grand View University, Des Moines, Iowa, graciously presided over our worship service for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost.

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Pastor Lackey announces to us the Good News that because Jesus didn’t need a bucket to draw the Living Water that we really need… we don’t need one, either. 

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Listen to > Why we no longer need a bucket.

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Thank you, Pastor Lackey.

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And thanks to flickr and Trond Gjerde, for the photo.

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Trying to “dial us in” on just who Jesus is.

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Listen up.

Good stuff here. And it won’t break the bank as far as your valuable time is concerned (only 18 minutes).  

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  > The Gospel of John Chapter 4

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Thank you,Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and Inspirational.Images, for the photo.

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Just who IS your neighbor? And are up to helping them when you are able?

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Pastor Mark preaches on the 10th Chapter of Luke and the parable of “The Good Samaritan”.

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 Listen > The Good Samaritan 

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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Thanks also, to flickr and clarkvr, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Penultimate Concerns

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“St. Paul talked about it so that’s why we talk about it.”

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What does circumcision represent?

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Sermon for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost

Listen > Circumcision or uncircumcision

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Thank you, Pastor Mark.

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And thanks to flickr and godserve, for the photo.

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