Don’t you dare listen to this, Roger!

I HEAR YOU KNOCKING BUT YOU CAN'T COME IN 309/365 by weasteman

 

This is for REAL SINNERS…ONLY!   We have estranged ourselves from God and this is the…

(find out for yourself …except you, Roger) > For Real Sinners, ONLY

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This evening’s Lenten sermon for April 6, 2011

 

Theme:        Estrangement from each other

                      Estrangement from God

                      Romans 6

                      Baptism

                      Holy Communion

                      

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Thanks flickr and weastman for the photo.

 

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This one’s for you.

Subject: Last night’s sermon  

Format: mp3 audio                                             Portfolio 1 of 7 by SCUBAZOO      

Length:  15 minutes, 58 seconds

Place of origin: USA, Corona del Mar, CA

Topic: The spirituality of spearfishing for Tiger sharks on the Zimbabwe Estuary       …(right )

   

 

click here > ‘This one’s for you

 

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Seriously now. It’s about the elder son in the parable of the Prodigal Son, and how the story relates to us and how we ought view God, and more importantly…how God views us. 

 

Thanks to flickr and SCUBAZOO for the photo

 

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Shedding your sins

Blindfolded group "sheep" herding! by MarkAndMarina

 

How are you doing in that department? 

I’m not doing so well. I never have done so well at it. In fact, the longer I am in Christ, the more I realize just what an impossibility it is for me to shed my sins. But the longer I’m in Christ the more I realize that someone took all my sins upon Himself, that they might no longer condemn me.

And that, my friends, is what they call, ‘the good news’.

This evening’s sermon was along those lines. 

                    click here > Working on your sins

 

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Thanks to flickr and MarkAndMarina for the photo

What is it that stands between you and God?

Apple Temptation by Lawrence OP

Here’s a Lenten message delivered by Pastor Mark. The first few seconds were cut off, due to my ineptness on the sound board. The sermon opens with a passage from an accounting of events from WWII by German pastor and theologian Helmut Thielicke.

There’s a very tough word of law here. But a soft and gentle and easy word of grace that wipes away every tear, at the end.

Enjoy.

                  click here >What is it that stands between you and God ?

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Thanks to flickr and Lawrence OP for the photo.

 

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Last night’s class

It ‘s on the Lutheran difference in the understanding of the ‘external Word’.

It’s about an hour, and it’s a good one. I usually listen while I am working on the computer, but you can download into an mp3 player.

(I have no idea what I am talking about)

 

Listen here > Wed. night class in Lent

 

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God Set up a Cross

By Pastor Mark Anderson  

 
The ancient world was a vast field of magnificent temples. Only symbols bespeaking power, permanence, and ultimate authority could faithfully proclaim the mystery of divinity. The gods deserved nothing less, or so thought the ancients.

Then God set up a cross.

It was forged by nameless servants of imperial authority. A bare, rude thing. A time tested instrument designed to evoke terror and coerce obedience through the application of unspeakable cruelty. Only the very worst, despised offenders suffered the fate of the crucified ones. The Romans lined roadways with them so that passers by would be forced to carry the weight of pitiful suffering and inhale the stench of rotting corpses. It was about as far from divinty as one could get.

This is the symbol of God’s presence with us?   

Yes.

God set up His cross where the four roads we travel most, meet: guilt, failure, spiritual poverty, and willful disobedience. The gift of God’s cross, the baptism into Christ’s death, is not given until I see that nothing in the world – nothing – can address my sickness unto death except this one, impossible, ridiculous sacrifice. For only by the shame, cruelty and utter godlessness of the cross can the true magnitude of our guilt be measured. The cross proclaims to us what our true position in life really is.  No wonder we flee from it for all we’re worth.

But Christ Jesus did not flee from the cross. He embraced it’s suffering and shame – for you. And three days after they laid His battered corpse to rest, God vindicated His trust and raised Him from the dead.

For Lutherans the season of Lent, therefore, is no occasion for self-conscious schemes of spiritual navel gazing or sentimental musings on self-pity and the like. Lent is no time for half-measures. You may want to give yourself some sort of moral or ethical tune-up during Lent. That’s fine. Your life might need one. But have no illusions that it will somehow earn points with God.

During Lent we return to Holy Baptism, through an active and living faith. There we remember with joy that our lives were drowned with Christ, crucified with Christ (Romans 6), and then raised with Christ. We give thanks to God who forgives our sins and who has brought all our works and all our ways under His judgment and mercy on the cross.

Through Word and sacrament God continues to set up the cross – and the empty tomb – in the center of our lives, and through them release hope and the divine power of His kingdom. And since Christ Jesus embodies hope He rightly calls us to hope – not in our efforts, will or determination, but in Him, the crucified. This is the scandal of the gospel – Jesus appears in the defenseless form of the crucified God to put an end to our pretensions to righteousness in order that we might have a righteousness based on faith. A righteousness won for us, the ungodly, through His death on the bloody cross, where the true glory of God is revealed.

 

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Mark Anderson is pastor at Lutheran-Church-of-the-Master , Corona del Mar, CA

 

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Do you notice what’s missing from Pastor Anderson’s piece?

An appeal to you to do, or think, or feelanything.

 

This is a great example of Christ centered, cross focused Christianity.

Death and resurrection. Both Christ’s, and yours…in Him.

 

Is there anything else that is needful?

 

 

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Invitation: ‘Come and Die’…

…but then live!

That will be our focus this Lenten season in our church. I t is our focus every Lenten season.

We will have a large wooden cross right behind the altar. We will have dead, dried up branches all around the baptismal font. We will focus on the death of Christ and the reason that there was to be no other outcome for Him. You and me. We are the reason for that death. We had a hand in it. We still have a hand in it.

God’s Law will be there in full force. It will be unforgiving and ruthless and relentless.

It will put us to death, yet once more.

But the gospel will be there, also.   Come and die…but then live!

We know that the self actualized, up and coming, independent, success oriented types in the Corona del Mar, Newport Beach area of Southern California are not used to this  type of a message from many of their churches.

But we don’t know of any other message that they need to hear more than this one.

We may not pack ’em in…but the ones that do show up during Lent will not be mollycoddled. Their comfort level will not be catered to. Their old sinner will not be given any wiggle room whatsoever.  And when they die, the living Christ will once again give them Himself, that they might yet live again…in Him… and Him alone.

Is focusing on death a bit too harsh, or do you agree with us that this is the only way to go?