We are all alike.

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Pastor Patrick Thurmer makes his case, quite convincingly I might add:

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>>>http://www.livingfaithcapecoral.com/Sermons/Comfort.mp3

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You’ll have your pants pulled down….but you’ll chuckle a bit as it is happening. 

You’ll see what I mean.

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Thanks, Pastor Pat.

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And thanks to flickr and Michaela Nico, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

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‘I Love Jesus’…Oh Really?

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Here’s one that I think you will like. (unless you actually believe that you bring something to the table of God’s grace, besides your sin) :

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Thank you, Pastor Patrick Thurmer, of  Living-Faith-Church,- Cape-Coral, Florida

 

 

 

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‘How You Doin’?’

Goodfellas (1990) by Cine&TV_fan

Here’s a sermon from our friend, Pastor Patrick Thurmer of

 Living-Faith-Church in Cape Coral, FL.

Good stuff, Pastor Pat.  Thanks!

 

 

 

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 click here >   How-You-Doin?

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If you think you’ll skip this one…faghettaboutit!

 

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And thanks to flickr and Cine&TV_ fan, for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

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“I heard myself saved”

When I hear God’s Word proclaimed… both the law which shows me my need and drives me to despair and the gospel which meets my need and gives me life, I find myself believing it.  It isn’t a decision on my part, it simply happens.  I didn’t believe, then I found myself believing after the hearing of the message of Christ. 

That “experience” of hearing myself saved, occurred at my baptism and it occurs regularly when I hear the gospel.  It is life to me.  I love to hear it again and again.

I’m told that there is an old word or expression in Norwegian that means just that: “I heard myself saved”.  I don’t know that word,  but I’d love to learn about it.  (If anyone knows it, I’d love to hear from you)

This thought has significance to me in these ways:
It impacts my idea of evangelism.  There is enormous freedom in it.  Evangelism no longer carries with it the idea of needing to convince or somehow persuade unbelievers to decide or accept or respond in a particular way to God’s redemption story.  My only responsibility is simply to proclaim His word, both the Law and the Gospel.  It does it’s work.  I don’t always know when it is doing its work to hearers and that’s okay.  I simply proclaim the message God has given us to proclaim. 

In much of ‘evangelicalism’ today, there is a western idea imposed upon the gospel that demands a purpose driven, decision making, evidence showing, prosperity producing, particular way of doing evangelism.  I think that way works against the gospel because it clouds the message and makes hearers feel more like a project than recipients of the best news they have ever heard. 

“Conversion” may look much different than what we’ve been conditioned by our ‘evangelical culture’ to expect.  It may look more like a nod, a smile, or a simple sigh of relief.  I think many of the passages of scripture used to tell people exactly what they need to say and do to be saved, were meant to be assurances for believers rather than a club to beat unbelievers.  Indicative statements have been made into imperatives. 

My experience in ministry has shown this whole idea to be true.  I’ve known many individuals with a disdain for Christ who, after hearing the message of the gospel again and again, found themselves eventually resonating with Him.  I didn’t always know when it happened, it just did.  The good news had its effect.  That makes me want to tell it more and more.

All of this doesn’t fit nicely into a graph or a year end annual report on numbers of conversions.  It doesn’t jive with our bottom line ways of thinking but I’m confident that in God’s economy none are missed.

                                                                                                     Patrick Thurmer

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Thank you, Pastor Pat Thurmer.

Living-Faith-Church

 

 

 

 

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What can we offer to God?

The Pharisee and the Publican_Luk 18:11-13 by Jesus Reigns

Pastor Pat Thurmer leads his congregation in their confession of sin at

Living-Faith-Church, Cape Coral, FL.

 

click here> Confession-of-sin

 

 

 

You know, this mp3 audio clip is under 3 minutes in length…and it’s so good I have listened to it about 3 times already, and I just got it from Pastor Pat about 15 minutes ago.

I suggest saving it to a favorites file or somewhere you can easily get to it, and then listening to it often.

 It (this Word of law and gospel) will cut you off at the knees…and then it will raise you again to new life, by the grace of God.

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Thank you, Pastor Pat.

 

And thanks to flickr and Jesus Reigns, for the photo.

 

What would the world look like?

Sibiu Cathedral (Jesus washes Peter's feet) by Fergal Claddagh

What would it look like if we actually lived the way Jesus commands us to?

Here’s Pastor Mark’s Maundy Thursday sermon for 2011.

( I messed up the begining so there’s a silence for about 20 seconds or so at the start of it) 

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click here>   Maundy Thursday Sermon for 2011

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Thanks to flickr and Fergal Claddagh, for the photo.
 
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DON’T tamper with the Word!

Joel Osteen at Yankee Stadium, 04/25/09 by Gary Dunaier

Do we have the right, as Christians, to critique other Chrsitians as to their version of what the Christian faith is all about?

Absolutely we do!

Listen in to find out why this is important.

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Tampering with the Word #1                   Tampering with the Word #7

Tampering with the Word #2                   Tampering with the Word #8

Tampering with the Word #3                   Tampering with the Word #9

Tampering with the Word #4                   Tampering with the Word #10

Tampering with the Word #5                   Tampering with the Word #11

Tampering with the Word #6

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Tampering with the Word entire class

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Listen to one or two of them, or..if so inclined, take in the entire class.

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Thanks to flicker and Gary Dunaier, for the photo.

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Do we as Lutherans think too much about sin?

  The short answer is “no”… unless we focus on it to the exclusion of sin’s remedy, the Gospel. Our battle with sin in this life is daily. The Al. Ringling Theatre - "Last Look" Mirror by Shevaun Kastl

As Christians, we have been delivered from the guilt of sin but we are not free from its presence and power until the day we die and are glorified.

 Some would argue that we should move on and can move on in our Christian walk and instead simply focus upon and glory in our new identity. They would say that our focus should be upon who we are in Christ and not on our ongoing battle with sin. There is some truth to that. It is good to affirm our new identity and be thankful everyday for our new standing with God because of the finished work of Christ. The good news of the Gospel trumps our battle with sin and we need to hear that daily! When the law has done its work of revealing our sin and driving us to despair we need to hear again and again the overwhelming good news of God’s amazing grace, forgiveness and mercy. We live there. Our focus upon the deadly nature of our sin and it’s power is NEVER to the exclusion of the Gospel.

Lutherans seeming preoccupation with continual confession of and repentence from sin, however, I believe comes from a biblical and practical understanding of the pathological nature of sin. If we reduce our understanding of sin to be merely overt acts of wrong and blatant omissions of good, we do a disservice to ourselves and others by ignoring the deadly power of sin, the sinful nature and Satan. The sins we battle in our daily lives and the effects of our sin nature are more subtle, diabolical, and sinister than what we popularly identify as sin. The person who appears to be outwardly pious and victorious in his or her Christian life may have a raging sin problem that is undetectable to others and maybe even to himself. A life of daily confession and repentance by the power of the Word and Holy Spirit, leads us to discover the deep, dark and cavernous mine of sin that lies beneath the surface. Shining the light of truth upon our thoughts and motives and secret desires, reveals to us more and more the hideous ways we trust in ourselves or something other than our creator. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves”. Coming to understand more and more the depth and extent of our sin problem, only makes the Good News sweeter still.

                                          – Rev. Patrick Thurmer

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Patrick Thurmer is pastor of Living Faith Church in Cape Coral, Florida.  http://www.livingfaithcapecoral.com/

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Thanks to Flickr and Shevaun Kastl for the photo.

 

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Are you ever an enemy of the cross?

  click here->  Enemies of the Cross audio sermon

                                    ( under 9 mithreesixtyfive - day 200 by Sarah Hall Photography (~Teewinot~)nutes long )

    A sermon delivered by Pastor Patrick Thurmer, pastor of Living-Faith-Church , Cape Coral, Florida

 

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I think this puts the emphasis where it ought be, and exposes us for who and what we often are.

 

Thanks, Pastor Pat!

 

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Why Lutheran?

From the good folks at Living Faith Church, Cape Coral, FL and Pastor Patrick Thurmer.

This page is a collection of thoughts to answer the question… “Why Lutheran?”
If you have some helpful answers to this question, please email them to us at
livingfaithchurch@gmail.com

 

  • Lutherans know that God comes down the ladder. We are not able to climb up any ladder of righteousness or spirituality or piety or goodness to reach God and attain some status of holiness or purity. We are not able to climb up some ladder to achieve happiness, fulfillment, contentment. Though we constantly struggle to get up the ladder, to get above others, the ladders we climb just lead us further and further from God and true community. Rather, God comes down the ladder to us, blesses us, graces us, loves us. What did I do to deserve this? Nothing. That’s just the nature of God.
  • Lutherans know that God dwells where we least expect God to dwell. We know that God is most clearly seen in odd, out-of-the-way places such as the suffering on the cross, or the shame of the animal stable, or among the outcasts. Or with people who can’t climb a ladder to save themselves. When we humans draw lines dividing us from them, good from bad, righteous from unrighteous, God is on the other side of the line. And the Cross forces us to the other side of the line, the other side of the train tracks, the other side of life, to look at and experience God’s presence amidst suffering and brokenness.
  • Lutherans take sin seriously. In our liturgy many of our churches proclaim, “We confess that we are in bondage to sin, and we cannot free ourselves.” Lutherans admit that on our own we cannot escape the power of sin. We do not have a free will – our will and our whole being is bound to sin. Lutherans are, frankly, quite pessimistic about human nature. (cont.)
  • Read the rest of ‘Why Lutheran’ http://www.livingfaithcapecoral.com/WhyLutheran.html

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 (I’m fully aware that the recent ELCA vote on Human Sexuality throws a monkey wrench into this for many. But let’s try and keep the revisionists within the ELCA and elsewhere in Lutheranism out of this discussion of traditional Lutheran theology. Living Faith Church is affiliated with the Luthren Brethren denomination.)

 

For Lutherans– Is there anything that you think ought be added, or taken out?

For Non-Lutherans– Is there anything that needs further clarification, or that you think is theologically unfounded?