Archive for Steadfast Lutherans

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — God is Hiding Right Where He Said

Sermon Text: Matthew 13:44-52
July 27, 2014

 

Grace, mercy, and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. AMEN!  Our text for this morning’s sermon is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel account the 13th chapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

A.      Acquiring the Kingdom 

Steadfast Sermons GraphicThinking equality with God something to be grasped humanity follows the pattern of Adam’s behavior. Reaching for the wrong fruit from the wrong tree men, women, and children establish in their heart of hearts the wrong gods.  This is the way of our nature, fallen and depraved as it is.  It is the way of sin and unbelief in the true God, a way which we have trod . . . Read All

WON ME FROM ALL SINS, FROM DEATH, AND FROM WHO…?

devil-667637-m            Perhaps you have heard the latest from Religious News Services reporting the recent decision of the Anglican Church of England which in the United States is called the Episcopal Church, USA. The Church of England has purged references to the devil and to sin in a new baptism ceremony, saying it is easier to understand compared to the older service. From the Ecumenical News we have:

In the current wording, parents vow to “reject the devil and all rebellion against God,” “renounce the deceit and corruption of evil” and “repent of the sins that separate us from God and neighbor,” Britain’s Independent newspaper reported.

The 16-year-old alternative version agreed by the churches’ General Synod on Sunday, however, only asks

. . . Read All

Well at Least We’re not Debating Whether or not Jesus was/is Divine

Dr. Dale Meyer, current president of Concordia Seminary, relates that one of Dr. Dean Wenthe’s favorite stories was of a cab ride he shared with the president of another denomination’s seminary. Wenthe asked what the hottest debate was on his campus, and he answered “whether or not Jesus Christ was/is divine” (“Pedagogy for a Politicized Church,” Concordia Journal, Winter 2014, 6).  cup-1435999-mWell, we aren’t debating whether Jesus was/is divine. We’re doing worse than that. We’re not debating at all, and we don’t regard the debatable things between us as divisive of church fellowship.

We’re not debating at all because resolutions sent in to synodical conventions by congregations and whole districts to get the debate on the table, like whether . . . Read All

God, my loving Savior sends them…

christ-on-crossOften the topic of how God governs all things comes up in parish life during suffering and struggles.  Questions will arise about God being the cause of something (sin is the cause of this damned mess), allowing something (as if He is distant from things and is often merely wordplay), or even sending something.  This is of course a difficult topic, and it deserves much attention in the lives of Christians who indeed will suffer in this life.

Recently I had a opportunity to sing and meditate upon one of my favorite hymns, “Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me” (LSB 756, but if you want a longer version check out TLH, although an even older English version includes . . . Read All

Can There Be Peace in the Summertime?

IM000195.JPG“They look so peaceful sleeping. Don’t they?” I remember speaking these words to my wife about our children. After praying, we lay them down to sleep and they sure look peaceful. It almost makes you forget the rest of the day; almost.

If you have any experience with children, you know what I am talking about. From morning to evening, there is only word that comes to my mind: chaos! It is one fight to another, one toy to another, one topic to another, and plenty of not listening to go along with it. During the summer we can send them outside to wear off some energy, but they always seem to find more.

Children remind us of who we . . . Read All

Steadfast on Campus — Why Remain a Lutheran in College? A Few Answers from Our Students

ReligionsA couple years ago I began asking our college students to be featured in our church newsletter. This was to help the members of our congregation become acquainted with these fresh young faces. Admittedly, I was a little nervous about what they might write! What has ensued, however, has been a special reminder to me of the joy and importance of confessional Lutheran campus ministry.

In the article I ask each student:

Have you been a Lutheran your whole life? If so, what makes you so convinced to remain in the Lutheran faith, especially having been exposed to new worldviews on campus?  If not, when and why did you become a Lutheran?

As Luther explains the third article of the . . . Read All

“The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Sermon on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

Last week we heard the Parable of the Sower, from Matthew 13. Today it’s the Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat, also from Matthew 13. In fact, Matthew 13 is a chapter full of parables, seven of them altogether. Some of these parables are shorter, some are longer. Some are explained by Jesus, some of them are left unexplained. Today’s parable is one of the longer ones, and Jesus does explain it. So now let’s consider this parable and what Jesus is saying to us in it, in “The Parable of the Weeds and the Wheat.”

Jesus tells the story: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to . . . Read All

Great Stuff — Book Review: Great Commission, Great Confusion, or Great Confession?

A book review by Pastor Bryan Wolfmueller found over on blogia:

 

Great Commission, Great Confusion, or Great Confession: The Mission of the Holy Christian Church. By Rev. Lucas V. Woodford. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf & Stock, 2012.

Woodford_Book-200x300Rev. Lucas Woodford is a pastor on a quest for a strategic plan faithful to the Scriptures and Catechism. Great Commission, Great Confusion, or Great Confession: The Mission of the Holy Christian Church is his travel log. He wallows through the marsh of post-modernism, traverses the crags of the church growth movement, and winds his ways through the twisting streets of the emergent movement, all to end up at the Apostle’s Creed and the great joy and certainty of the Lord’s . . . Read All

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Dr. Montgomery Responds to Crossan

 

 

Dr. Montgomery Responds to Crossan

An interview with Dr. John Dominic Crossan on the resurrection of Jesus.

 

Dr. John Warwick Montgomery responds on Issues Etc. to the arguments in the interview with Dr. John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar. The Crossan Interview was the Pick of the Week for July 10th.


Original Air Date: June 8, 2006

. . . Read All

Our Troops Armed with the Truth Thanks to Your Contributions

LSB and LSC @ Bragram, Afgh chapel.Many thanks from Ch. James Buckman and Deaconess Carolyn Brinkley to all of you who have so graciously and generously responded to the request for LSBs and Catechisms for AFCENT bases from the Horn of Africa, through the Persian Gulf and up into the Stans. Your response has been amazing!

We invite you to rejoice with us in the establishment of our LSBs and Catechisms at AFCENT chapels in Qatar, Afghanistan, Jordan and two undisclosed locations with more requests coming from other chaplains. These LSBs and LSCs will be used for many years by many denominations. This has been an unprecedented open window to scatter the seeds of Christ’s mercy to those who defend our country’s freedoms and may perhaps . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — Grace Reigns Over Wheat and Weeds Alike

Sermon text: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
July 20, 2014

 

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  AMEN!  Our text for this morning’s (evening’s) sermon is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel account the 13thchapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

 

Sowing Sons of the Kingdom

Steadfast Sermons GraphicThings will not always be the way they are today.  Sin will not always infect.  Death will not always approach.  There will be an end to both and the end of both has already begun.  The reign of God is happening, has been happening.  The Kingdom of God is now, today, in your midst even.  With the advent of Jesus, the Word has . . . Read All

WMLTblog — Dispute Resolution Meetings This Fall

Found over on WMLTblog:

 

Witness Mercy Life TogetherIt is quite unique among Christian denominations, in use since 1992 when the LCMS convention adopted Res. 5-01B “To Adopt New Process for Conflict Resolution,” which the floor committee proposed “a. is thoroughly biblical; b. stresses the reconciliation of members within the family of God (encouraging a win-win rather than win-lose resolution of conflict); presents a positive witness to the secular community as to how Christians resolve their conflicts; provides for final resolution of disputes in a timely manner; is less costly in terms of money and time; discourages the secular approach of adversarilal litigation; and requires face-to-face meeting of the complainant and respondent in a spirit of Christian reconciliation.”

The dispute resolution process . . . Read All

Great Stuff — Mark’s thoughts: Heaven is not home. Home is here.

Another post found over on Pr. Surburg’s blog:

 

Ghent altarpieceThis creation – this earth – will be your home for eternity.  Many Christians do not recognize this fact. When they speak about their future home, they usually say that it is “heaven.”  It is a commonplace for Christians to say that a believer who has died has been “called home to heaven.”  However this language ignores, and even contradicts, a very clear emphasis of Scripture.

There is no doubt that God’s Word offers great comfort about those who die before Christ’s return.  Death cannot separate us from Christ, and instead those who die in the faith are with the Lord.  As Paul wrote, “I am hard pressed between the . . . Read All

“Steadfast Throwdown” NOW available on iTunes!

hero-podcast-iconIt’s official! Steadfast Throwdown is now available as a podcast on iTunes. Listen on-demand. Check it out and subscribe to the Steadfast Throwdown podcast.

. . . Read All

“When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless” (Sermon on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

“When Sowing the Seed Seems Useless” (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)

It can be very discouraging to be a Christian these days. It seems like our whole culture has turned against the Christian faith. It can be very discouraging to be a member of a congregation these days. It seems like every church all across the country is having to deal with lower attendance and financial difficulties. It can be very discouraging to be a pastor these days. It seems like all your work is falling on deaf ears, and you wonder where the zeal for the gospel is, even among your own members. Yes, it’s very discouraging, and we can feel deflated and defeated. What’s the use anymore? We’re tempted to . . . Read All

That “Warm & Fuzzy” Feeling Must Die!

fuzzyducksOver the past few years I have wanted to experience a special feeling during church. I wanted the sermon to hit me. I wanted to feel true repentance during confession and even wanted the pastor to look directly at me during the absolution. I wanted the readings to be short and sweet and to the point. I wanted that “warm and fuzzy” feeling in every part of the divine service. I wanted to feel it as I walked into the sanctuary. I wanted to see the smiling faces and hear the friendly greetings. I wanted the guy in front of me to smell good. I wanted my kids to sit still. I wanted to sing the “Gloria in Excelsis” and . . . Read All

Trinity: You’ll Have to Draw Me a Picture

I almost flunked out of high school. The first time was in algebra, trying to solve polynomials. “Solving” means finding the roots of many terms. My translation? Trying to make sense of a heap of concepts. Good gravy.

After my algebra disaster, it was surprising how well I did in geometry. It’s not that geometry lacks concepts, but geometry drew me a picture. I could see it.

Just as surprising, my best friend, who’d been an ace in algebra, did poorly in geometry. He learned better from concepts. I learned better from pictures.

lamb in bosomIt is the same way when getting to know Jesus. Who is He? Because people learn differently, the Bible uses many teaching methods to reveal Christ. It . . . Read All

Hymn on the Carmen Christi

The Carmen Christi (Song of Christ) is a song (or hymn) that St. Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote in the second chapter of his epistle to the Philippians.  As a divinely inspired hymn, giving a good example for our own hymn-writing, it is wonderfully didactic.  It is a confession of the obedience that Jesus rendered to God on our behalf, and Paul ties it into our lives of labor here on earth in which we struggle against the pride of our own flesh.  He uses this hymn for the piety of his hearers.  This is what hymns are for after all, just as Paul tells the Ephesians and the Colossians (Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).  Piety isn’t simply . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Tony Sikora — A  Strange and Scandalous Grace

Proper 10 LSB A
Sermon Text: Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
July 13, 2014

 

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  AMEN!  Our text for this morning’s (evening’s) sermon is taken from St. Matthew’s gospel account the 13thchapter.

Beloved in the Lord,

The Way of Salvation is not the Way of Success

Steadfast Sermons GraphicIt is a strange and scandalous thing the grace of our God.  Strange because it is contrary to the ways of men, scandalous because it does not seem to work.  For the ways of men are bound to reason.  There is a way that seems right to a man.  And there is a way that . . . Read All

Steadfast Media Pick of the Week — Dr. John Dominic Crossan

 

 

Dr. John Dominic Crossan

An interview with Dr. John Dominic Crossan on the resurrection of Jesus.


Original Air Date: June 7, 2006

. . . Read All

Further review of “A Lutheran Book on Purgatory”

This is originally written on a post A Lutheran book on purgatory, pastoral purgatory (written by Pastor Scheer) that was originally written as a comment by Pastor Noland. We at BJS felt it needed wider dissemination than a comment on a post would generate.

 


Pastor Martin Noland speaking:

Lutheran Purgatory cover artI finished the book last night. I am even more enthusiastic about it now.

Church-workers who have been in the statuses of: Candidate, Non-Candidate, Restricted, Suspended, and Expelled—all need to read the book. It is easy to read and can be downloaded for free. Or support the author by purchasing it on amazon.

Why do they need to read the book? Pastor Kornacki accurately describes the “heavy, pressing emotions” . . . Read All

Rev. Klemet Preus Called Home to Heaven, by Pr. Rossow

klemetThe brotherhood of our Lord’s shepherds has lost a beloved comrade. Rev. Klemet Preus died in the Lord today. He will be greatly missed by those of us still waiting for Jesus to take us home to heaven. In the meantime we shall keep our feet to the fire and use judiciously the staff the Lord has given us to tend the flock with the strictest words of the law and the sweetest words of the Gospel, as Klemet showed us how.

BJS owes a debt to Klemet. When we were nothing more than a blip in the internet cyberspace he and Mollie Ziegler Hemingway put us on the intraweb map by writing for us for the first couple of . . . Read All

Sermon — Pr. Martin Noland — Two Kinds of Righteousness

Text: Luke 15:1-10 [3rd Sunday after Trinity; one year lectionary]

Martin NolandAre you righteous? The dictionary states that the term “righteous” is an adjective describing someone who “acts in accordance with divine or moral law.” Let’s put that question another way. Would most people looking at your day-to-day life say that you usually act in accordance with the Ten Commandments, that you love your neighbor as yourself, and that you love God with your heart, mind, and soul? By this definition, I think most of the members of Trinity congregation, and probably every member who is here today, would be classified as a “righteous” person.

Most of the members of Trinity who have been through catechism class might realize that this . . . Read All

Some Thoughts on the Doctrine of Vocation

Since the word “vocation” is thrown around so much, I have been trying to work out in my mind and through study of God’s Word how we may actually speak of and teach about vocation. The following reflects what I have been working through for a few years, and I would appreciate any input.

luther-familieVocation is from the Latin word, vocatio, a calling. If something is your calling, then that means that God called you to do it; it means God told you to do it. And if God told you to do X, then it follows that he ordained and instituted the specific work of X. There are particular vocations, such as pastor, father, mother, husband, wife, and . . . Read All

Steadfast at Camp: “You Are the Man!”

This week at ELS Camp Indianhead, our theme is “For You!” as we hear what God’s Word and the Small Catechism tell us about Christ being present “for you,” “for the forgiveness of sins,” in Absolution and the Lord’s Supper.

LutheranIslandCampAltarHere is a chapel homily from Camp Co-Director Rev. Shawn Stafford, based on 2 Samuel 11:26-12:15, “You are the Man!”


Prayer: Almighty God, we are Your prodigal children, but we come back to You, as David of old, acknowledging and confessing our sins. Wash away all our sins in the blood of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ, who was wounded for our sins. Create in us pure hearts, that we may rejoice in Your mercy, through Your beloved Son, . . . Read All

Great Stuff — There is a benefit to so few Lutherans in politics. . .

Another great article found over on Pastoral Meanderings:

 

nancypelosi1Though for a long time I have lamented the lack of Lutherans in the public square, at least officially as elected members of Congress or in the White House, I am not so sure it is as big a problem as I once thought.  I do believe that Lutherans, specifically LCMS Lutherans, have much to bring to the public square both as people inside as well as outside of government, there is a dilemma faced when those who claim to be Lutheran speak and act in ways that contradict that Lutheran confession.  Witness the specter of the Roman Catholics abundantly in politics but less abundantly in step with the doctrine . . . Read All

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