Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent 1

It's the first of advent and I can't get myself to put up any lights. I still worry about the world, the economy, my kids, my extended family...

What worry there must have been at Christ's coming with the Roman occupation and all. Violence, oppression, poverty, hypocrisy, fears.

The message is: "Fear not. There is news of great joy!"

I will go get my wreath. But no tree and no strings of lights, yet. I'm not in the mood. I'm not ready.

Love Life videos' feedback

"Thank you so much for making the 'Love Life' videos available to us on the Internet. I have been hoping for a long time that we would get special lectures at the seminary and at CUCA on the computer so that those of us in the boondogs could participate at least by seeing and hearing it. This is an invaluable outreach."

From a pastor in British Columbia via e-mail to district office.

Friday, November 28, 2008

From the commentary on Galatians

p. 11

Let us learn, therefore, to distinguish Christ as completely as possible from all works, whether good or evil; from all laws, whether divine or human; and from all distressed consciences. For Christ does not pertain to any of these. He does indeed pertain to sad consciences, not to trouble them even more but to raise them up again and to comfort them when they have been troubled. Therefore if Christ appears in the guise of a wrathful judge or lawgiver who demands an accounting of how we have spent our lives, we should know for certain that this is not really Christ but the devil. For Scripture portrays Christ as our Propitiator, Mediator, and Comforter. This is what He always is and remains; He cannot be untrue to His very nature. Therefore when the devil assumes the guise of Christ and argues with us this way: " At the urging of My Word you were obliged to do this, and you failed to do so; and you were obliged to avoid that, and you failed to do so. Therefore you should know that I shall exact punishment from you." this should not bother us at all; but we should immediately think: "Christ does not speak this way to despairing consciences. He does not add affliction to those who are afflicted. 'A bruised reed He will not break, and a dimly burning wick He will not quench' (Is. 42:3). To those who are rough He speaks roughly, but those who are in terror He invites most sweetly; 'Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden' (Matt.11:28); 'I came not to call the righteous, but sinners' (Matt 9:13); 'Take heart, My son; your sins are forgiven ' (Matt. 9:2); 'Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world ' (John 16:33); ' The Son of man came to see, and to save the lost' (Luke 19:10." Therefore we should be on our guard, lest the amazing skill and infinite wiles of Satan deceive us into mistaking the accuser and condemner for the Comforter and Savior, and thus losing the true Christ behind the mask of the false Christ, that is, of the devil, and making Him of no advantage to us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Bethel's newsletter

Love Life Conference, Nov. 15, 2008

Here is a contribution for all who missed the “Third Annual Love Life Conference” at Concordia College on Nov. 15th! About seventy registered attendees heard a number of excellent speakers on serious subjects dealing with health, life, medicine and law in relation to Christian faith. Fellowship was enjoyed while lingering over several exhibits and a lovely lunch kindly prepared by the seminary guild. Thanks be to God for an enlightening and challenging day.

You will be happy to note that three lectures have been videotaped and can be viewed anytime at the Lutheran Church Canada’s website ( Please, if you can, take some time and view them, especially if you are involved with medicine or law. Our main speaker, Dr. John Patrick, a distinguished and stimulating international speaker, was visiting from Ottawa to lecture on Christian pro-life medical practice and the clashes with different world views. The physicians’ freedom of conscience is feared to be under increasing attack. All those among us who have Christian physicians are asked to encourage them to become members of the Hippocratic league. (See Dr. Patrick’s website at: Below is a quote from his site:

“Dr. Patrick supports the Canadian Registry of Hippocratic Physicians. The objective of which is to provide a mechanism for identifying practitioners who practice or are preparing to practice Hippocratic medicine, and to bring together practitioners who have an ethical consensus. It also enables practitioners to group together in order to have more influence and impact in their practices, their hospitals, and their communities.”

Dr. Patrick asks serious and stimulating questions and in the end leaves even hostile audiences to silently ponder the answers to questions like “What kind of world would you prefer to pass down to your children?” Please, view his site for more lectures, institutes for medical students and doctors to deepen their faith in relation to medical practice, and more insights.

Our other morning speaker was our own ABC district president Rev. Don Schiemann. He challenged us to think about the pervasiveness of criminality in our society and what might be a biblical response for the government (as opposed to the church). He questioned how statistics are collected and kept. In essence, he believes that crime is underreported and punishments are not meted out effectively, thus encouraging more crime. This talk is also available at the LCC website.

In the afternoon we heard several more speakers. There was a presentation on the Rock ministry to the inner city, which is now feeding up to 500 individuals several times per week, a seemingly immense task for the small facility. Erin Holtslag spoke for the Back Porch ministry, located next to the Morgenthaler abortion clinic. Rev. Mohns gave two different sessions on ministry in palliative care, which were very professionally and empathetically presented. Dr. Greg Schoepp spoke on dealing with stress. I missed this session, but was told it was very helpful.

All in all, everyone who came was pleased they had taken a day out for looking at these subjects and meeting together, as well as for networking with individuals who are involved in different kinds of work. Certainly, there is much to pray for and ask from our gracious God. Various ways of getting informed and involved became apparent.

To conclude, we might remember that Dr. Patrick challenged Christian congregations to form public policy groups/committees who would meet together occasionally to share reading and recommendations and move them forward to impact the culture and support Christian practitioners in the world. (See the lecture on “What Hippocrates knew and we’ve forgotten”.)

My recommendation for the ”Forth Annual Love Life Conference” would be that we have an even better attendance and that we consider taping more of the lectures for wider availability! Keep some time free for November next year!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Love Life Confernce Video lectures available on-line

Dr. John Patrick's lectures in Edmonton are available at the above link.
Rev. Don Schiemann's lecture is also available.

One point Dr. Patrick made was to encourage Christian and other Physicians who believe in the Transcendent (like Hippocrates) should join the Registry of Hippocratic Physicians for lobbying purposes, especially as related to challenges to conscience legislation or pressures.

Here is a quote from his site:

"Dr. Patrick supports the Canadian Registry of Hippocratic Physicians. The objective of which is to provide a mechanism for identifying practitioners who practice or are preparing to practice Hippocratic medicine, and to bring together practitioners who have an ethical consensus. It also enables practitioners to group together in order to have more influence and impact in their practices, their hospitals, and their communities."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Extended Family

Martin's gone off tonight to bring Stefan a suit to the hotel where he lives while laboring on the pipelines. (3 hr drive one way).

Stefan's birth--mother's sister (a half-aunt), only recently reunited to the family that placed her for adoption, tragically lost a son (17) to suicide this week. Stefan's birth mom invited him to go to the funeral (in another city), as the young man was his "cousin" and he's met him. At least Stefan asked for his suit, so he is not going in pipelining clothes.

You may say a prayer for all concerned, as blending adoptive families and birth families has its unique joys and challenges (mostly joys) and as not all are churchgoing and certainly the days are difficult for many.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Love Life Conference III

The Love Life Conference was great. The attendance was even better than in other years. Our main speaker Dr. John Patrick was phenomenal. Some other time I'll write more. Thanks to all who helped. Thanks, Leanne, for inviting me for supper with Dr. Patrick, a most memorable event.

One thing I'd like to mention, at once though, is that the Augustine College, which Dr. Patrick runs in Ottawa, bears some similarity to Focus on the Family's Truth Project, which I wrote about several entries ago. All of it is kind of a Christian response to the post-modern culture we live in or see growing stronger. Patrick speaks 400 times a year all around the globe.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Moderation is off again. So go ahead and write.
This seems to be a good short article on what Luther said about James, Jude and Revelation.

Here is a little quote:

Though this epistle of St. James was rejected by the ancients, 1 I praise it and consider it a good book, because it sets up no doctrines of men but vigorously promulgates the law of God. However, to state my own opinion about it, though without prejudice to anyone, I do not regard it as the writing of an apostle; and my reasons follow.

In the first place it is flatly against St. Paul and all the rest of Scripture in ascribing justification to works. It says that Abraham was justified by his works when he offered his son Isaac; though in Romans 4 St. Paul teaches to the contrary that Abraham was justified apart from works, by his faith alone, before he had offered his son, and proves it by Moses in Genesis 15. Now although this epistle might be helped and an interpretation 2 devised for this justification by works, it cannot be defended in its application to works of Moses' statement in Genesis 15. For Moses is speaking here only of Abraham's faith, and not of his works, as St. Paul demonstrates in Romans 4. This fault, therefore, proves that this epistle is not the work of any apostle.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ist Gott fuer mich so trete
gleich alles wider mich.
So oft ich ruf und bete
weicht alles hinter sich.
Hab ich das Haupt zum Freunde
und bin geliebt bei Gott,
was kann mir tun der Feinde
und Widersacher Rott.

Last night we used our new LSB's at home. We sang hymns and used the close of day section. It's nice to have it all in one book. Should look over the LSB more.

Stefan was home

Stefan was home for the weekend, sort of. I saw him for about 15 min. The rest of the time was dedicated to getting his truck going, putting new tires on, new lights...

I hugged him, fed him, told him I was happy to see him, told him I pray for his safety every day on my knees, gave him two warm work shirts and he's gone again.