The Lutheran view of the Word.

This is a quick (under 10 min.), but very informative pastor’s class:

Listen to > The Lutheran view of the Word


Thanks, Pastor Mark.

Thanks to, for the photo.








How does God tie us to the Cross?


Listen > 


He uses real stuff.

(don’t let the imperfect sound quality keep you from hearing this vital message)




Thanks, Pastor Mark.




Do you like the religious/ascendancy project?


Many do.


If you do, there’s probably not a lot to sway you from that course.  At least for the time being.


But if you see yourself starting to despair a bit because you just can’t quite cut the mustard in keeping up with all that you should be doing, and or you are still doing those things that you know you shouldn’t be doing…or you are starting to notice (in your most honest moments and reflections) that you might be becoming a bit prideful, because you delude yourself into believing that you really aren’t doing so badly at all this ‘Christian progression/self-sanctification’ stuff….then maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel.


If you’re in the latter category (see world’s 2nd longest sentence above) then this might mean something to you:


click > Two HUGE ISSUES in a proper understanding of the Christian faith




Thanks, Pastor Mark.


And thanks to flickr and chawayipiran, for the photo.













‘Back to grace…again.’ – Another very Lutheran sermon.

I think you’ll like this one…up until the part about how God acts for us in Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.  ( I sincerely hope that I am wrong about that )

Then, hopefully, you will be steered back to “grace…again.” ( I hope I am right about that…for myself, as well)


click > Getting back to grace…again.




Thank you, Pastor Mark.

And thank you to flickr and mymundo2011, for the photo.





Two HUGE issues for a proper understanding of the Christian faith, and assurance, and freedom


If you get one, or both of these issues wrong…then you will be sent inward for your assurance.

If you have a proper understanding of both, then you can forget about looking inward and instead look outside of yourself…to God…and HAVE REAL ASSURANCE.

  Listen to this one:>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

click Two HUGE ISSUES in a proper understanding of the Christian faith




 Too many in the church have never heard these things…and need to hear them.

 Too much is at stake.


Thanks, once again to Pastor Mark.

And thank you to flickr and  ~.Erica.C.~,  for the photo.





How Humanism in the church after the Reformation has led to a denial of the Sacraments


The external Word.  The Sacraments.  Humanism and reason.  Luther at Heidelberg.


click How humanism has led to a theology of glory and a denial of the Sacraments


A very interesting class and discussion. The ‘Sweathogs’ in Pastor Mark’s class weren’t too disruptive this time.  Just a little , near the end of the class.




Thanks, Pastor Mark.
And thank you, Brent, for not asking too many questions.
Also, thanks to flickr and amras_de, for the photo.




So many different takes.

Baptism by ModernDayGilliganCommunion bread and wine by getfed

There are SO MANY versions of the Christian faith floating around these days.

What strikes me is that when the Sacraments are missing, or when they are misunderstood as to their direction (from us to God instead of the other way around), then the whole thing goes South.

Lot’s of Christians speak of the grace of God. “He is our all in all”.” He has done it all”. “There is nothing we can add”. That is a good thing.  But there is nothing for many of these Christians to grab hold of. Their beliefs inhabit the nebulous territories of heart and mind. Yes, we believe them. But now what? How can we be SURE that they are true, and real, IN OUR LIVES, at this moment?  

It seems that because of the kind of creature that we are, a tactile, tangible, experiential being, our faith must land somewhere. The rubber must meet the road,  somewhere, somehow.

If there’s nothing to grab a hold of that is tangible, that comes to us from outside of ourselves, then we will internalize this desire for solid proof. We will rely on our emotions, our deeds, our thoughts, our knowledge, even our own faith. Welcome to ‘religion’ in the 21st century. Look familiar? It ought to. It’s no different than the religion that humans have practiced for as long as they have been around. It hides behind the pious words and works of those who have no assurance of their salvation, other than what they are able to muster up of their own volition. Then you end up with holiness churches where people are movin’ on up.

 But the external Word, which includes the Sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion, are different. They do not eminate from inside of ourselves and are not dependent on anything that comes from our side of the equation. They are real events that happen in real places with real earthly elements in real time. And the action in these events is not our action, but God’s. His Word is attached to them. Otherwise they just remain earthly elements. And these actions of God are apprehended by the very gift of faith that God also gives to us, in these Sacraments and in the hearing of His Word.

Now we have something that we can HOLD onto. Something that has been given to us with NO strings attached. Something that is REAL…and NOT subject to the winds that blow in and out of our often weak frames, hearts and minds.

We can look at our Baptism and KNOW that the Lord promised to be our God there. He gave us His name, there. He gave us all that Christ is, right there. He rightly judged us guilty and put us to death, there. And He raises us with Christ, right there. Not once, or twice…but day, after day, after day, after day.

 We can look at the Lord’s Supper in the same way. In that meal, Christ Jesus gives us ALL that is necessary. Himself.  His body,  His blood. Broken and shed for the forgiveness of your sins… and in this is your new life, and your salvation.

Now we can give up the religiosity that often characterizes the lives of so many who are looking for proof.

If you want proof, listen to what God has done, is doing, and will yet do…for you. And bathe in the truth of your Baptism… and eat and drink of that proof. And hold onto it. And when you can’t hold onto it, know that He is holding onto you. And that His promises are FOR YOU…no matter how you may happen to feel about the whole thing at the time.

This view of the external Word and Sacraments is not being religious, but it is being a truster, a faither of God’s promises.

Does this make any sense to you? (not that it has to)


Thanks to flickr and ModernDayGilligan, and get fed, for the photos.

Is it ‘Christian Magic’?

A Magical Afternoon at Hollywood Studios by Samantha Decker

Do the Sacraments just operate on their own? Or is something else required?




> Are Baptism and Holy Communion, magic?  #1


> Are Baptism and Holy Communion, magic?  #2


Are Baptism and Holy Communion, Christain Magic?  – entire class

(there’s another 25 minutes, or so, in the entire class mp3)



Thanks, Pastor Mark.


And thanks to flickr and Samantha Decker, for the photo.






Calling all “free-will” Christians…

…this one’s for you! 


070320101557 by teohyiyang


When you get to the website, click on sermons, scroll to bottom of sermons and click on’ NOVEMBER 20′ (then click the play arrow)…I know, I know, the wrong date glitch hasn’t been fixed yet. The sermon was from this past Sunday.

I’m anxious to hear where you believe this sermon goes off the rails.



Almost impossible

That’s how it seems to me, lately.  When pigs fly by WayneWho?

Not just on this blog, but on many others that I visit.

That people will just not accept that God acts for us, before we want anything at all to do with Him.

They will not accept the idea that God could really be present in what HE COMMANDS us to do in His Holy Name. They refuse to let God be God, and they war against the grace of God because it is not rational and because it excludes any action, feeling, or anything else… on their part.

This is what happens when people refuse to give up the ‘religious project’.

They think that we are the ones being overly ‘religious’! They have it exactly backwards.

It is almost impossible to show them that in throwing out the Sacraments and relegating them to mere symbols (in contradiction to Scripture), they are inserting themselves into the equation. This puts them on the fast track to being ‘religious’…no matter if the pastor wears Hawaiian shirts and flip flops or if he/she is in a thousand dollar suit.

Inserting ourselves into the equation is what got us into this entire mess to begin with. You would think that people would get a clue and finally figure out that maybe this is the reason that God commanded us to Baptize, and to eat His body and drink His blood. To take, and keep the project out of our hands.

But then again… it is almost impossible to make them see that.




 PS- Getting me to believe it (in Him) was (is) probably a whole lot harder for God than it would be for Him to get pigs to fly.