The Glory Has Departed

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.

Advent Services - 7 PM Central Time in December.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ustream Is NOT Working Tonight

After several tries - Ustream will not work tonight. I will do more troubleshooting. Cox cable had problems earlier, but these are Ustream messages. I will see about another day.

Midweek Advent Vespers Service - December 13, 2017

Advent, December 13, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Mid-Week Advent, Wednesday, 7 PM Central Standard

The Hymn #95               Savior of the Nations Come
The Order of Vespers p. 41
The Psalmody Psalm 100 p. 144
The Lection - Isaiah 40 KJV
The Sermon Hymn #76     A Great and Mighty Wonder

God's Wonder - The Incarnation

The Prayers and Lord’s Prayer p. 44
The Collect for Peace p. 45
The Benediction p. 45
Hymn #562           Round Me Falls the Night  

Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

God's Wonder - The Incarnation   

We know what a wonder this is, because this Isaiah passage and the Virgin Birth have been attacked with great energy, most heatedly from within the institutional church. Someone asked about a particular church - a magnificent building with a splendid organ. The pastor closely identifies with the Jenson of Braaten-Jenson, the pair who wrote the dogmatics book for the LCA/ELCA that denies every article of faith - including the Virgin Birth.

There is no better way to attack than to gently displace what God has revealed. There are many like Ahaz who boldly reject the miracle promised, but even more who undermine it with their soft, subtle betrayals.

That is what alarms and alerts people, the frontal attack. So that is seldom attempted. The very nature of the Virgin Birth is like the Promise to Abraham, so far beyond human reason that it requires faith in God's Word.

    God's Word - One United Truth

The Scriptures are one Book of the Holy Spirit, one united Truth. We can see the effect of unbelief when people play with phrases and verses and say, "Aha! Look at what I have found, something no one ever saw or imagined before." Or they claim to have discovered some ancient and almost hidden truth. But what they want is for everyone to admire their smooth words instead of the
"fisherman's voice of the Holy Spirit."

God's Word is too demanding for them, to subordinate their pride and wisdom to these basic truths. We can see the great unity of the Word when we consider the Incarnation itself.

God promised the Savior already in Genesis 3:15. How many centuries later did Moses receive His Name from the Burning Bush?

What is Your Name? Who should I say sent me?

"My Name is I AM. Tell them - I AM sent me."

More centuries pass, but not without many more Promises, but this one stands out with Isaiah 9. If one denies the great miracle, it is not a miracle but as they say on TV - the miracle of birth. Man has cloaked this miracle by denying its truth.

"A Virgin will conceive." I always marvel at the learned when they deny the plain words of the Bible. Here they have three battles at once.
1. A miracle declared by God must be stupendous.
2. Virgin birth is not natural or explained by man.
3. God with Us, repeated another way in Isaiah 9, is the Incarnation - God and man, one Person, Two Natures, divine and human.

One must attack all three truths at once, deny them, or subvert. The coward who keeps one or two and denies the rest is a playing a shell game - now you see it, now you don't.

All these passages are knit together, taught by the Holy Spirit in the Word, and clarified by the Spirit in teaching and preaching.

But this does not stop with Isaiah, since there are many other related passages. Jesus' entire ministry was based on showing the people of Israel and the Gentiles that He was and is the Messiah, that righteousness only comes from faith in Him.

The opposition came from the clergy, naturally, because they are trained by their own kind to continue the traditions. They worship the traditions and bristle when their traditions are impugned or insulted by anyone.

Therefore they placed themselves above Jesus, saying, "We have Abraham for our father." And they truly were Abraham's children according to the flesh. But Jesus united all the Messianic passages with this divine claim -

"Before Abraham was, I AM."

Not everyone thinks about the Exodus all the time or concentrates on the meaning of the Exodus, as the Gospel of John does so clearly. Here Jesus said - "I AM" - God's Name. And of course, that is part of His famous sermons in John.

So Jesus was not crucified for pretending to be the Messiah, but for being the Messiah and God's own Son.

Therefore, as we see in so many of Luther's sermons and the hymns of the Reformation, the great wonder is God's own Son, with all the power of God, comes to us in such a humble way, not in great flashes of lightning and thunder, but in the quiet of the manger. And so He dwells in the Word today.

The Word conveys Him to us.

Birds Provide Winter Wonder and Entertainment

Here is a good reason to feed birds. The worse the weather is, the more they want to supplement their diets with seed and suet. The worst for them is a sleet storm, because ice coats their favorite source of fresh meat - larvae hiding in the bark and in bushes. Many over-winter in piles of brush and leaves too, if one is intentionally kind to wildlife.

During our extended Indian summer, few birds were seen at the feeders, even when I switched the supply from corn to sunflower seed. Once we had some serious hard freezes, birds and squirrels began their return. I only hang suet when it is reliably cold, so that began in mid-November.

The Jackson EZ Bird Swing went condo this year, with an additional landing area between the two hanging chains. That made me think of a third swing with five threaded rods between them, simply an area to rest and observe, outside the breakfast table.

When bird activity is high, they love to land near the food and work their way to the seeds. Sometimes they back off when the squirrels stop by for an easy breakfast. In the summer, the birds and squirrels have the Butterfly Bush branches to use for resting, waiting, and escaping.

Two Lowe's feeders are
framed by the bird swing with two
levels (threaded rods) to swing on.
Two chains hang from two screw hooks -
too simple!

The kitchen window looks over a new Crepe Myrtle, which began to grow last year. That will supplement the swing and feeder already installed.

Years ago, I longed for a complete indoor shelter for a large group of small birds, until I thought about daily maintenance, clean-up, and feeding. If they are just outside our windows, God takes care of 99% of the work.

  • Feeding - berries, seeds, and larvae.
  • Cleaning - soil creatures converting guano into plant food.
  • Maintenance - plants growing and fading away, providing shelter, rest, and food hidden in the bark and branches.
In Bella Vista, the squirrels taunted Sassy. One would peek in the window, disappear, and peek in on the other side. The brick exterior made that easy for her, maddening for Sassy. She learned to ignore them.

We had such a sylvan paradise in Bella Vista that all the creatures were happy to eat at our house, from raccoons to deer to foxes. Unfortunately, gardening was impossible.

Sassy and I saw vultures in Bella Vista,but now we find hawks overhead here. She still loves barking at her rivals in nearby yards. Once the summer growth disappeared,  she could see and hear their challenges better and return them. Nothing is more urgent for her than running outside and telling off those dogs, whatever they are saying.

 Beautyberries feed the birds in late summer and early fall.

Meanwhile, the returning birds are getting conditioned to us being a few inches away, on the other side of the window. At first they took off and the flock followed. Gradually they  came to see no threat and felt more hunger, so they are  staying longer to eat.

I will soon be taking pails of water out for their baths so they have fresh water for bathing - essential for them - and for drinking. They do not need a bird bath warmer, but if we had a tough, long winter, I would buy one and keep one kiddy pool unfrozen. For now it is easier to dump ice and replace it with fresh water.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Two Comments for a Late Night Posting - Icha-peekers Alert

Almost 6,000 views after reaching the 6 million mark, so one reader asked, "When you started the blog, in your wildest dreams, did you foresee 6 million views? That is the power of the internet."

No, I never imagined that and did not really expect it for any reason. But I kept posting new material all the time, outlasting many others. Writing on a blog exhausts most people, but I love every aspect of it - research, graphics, SEO, polemics, humor.

"When you finally die, everyone will be so happy." That early comment motivated me to keep going. At one WELS convention, every computer was logged onto Ichabod.

Another person wrote specifically about WELS, "Thank you again for exposing the truth about this alcoholic good-ole-boys' club and the dying synod's apostasy." 

One Book's Progress

Spener seems to have gathered Luther's sermons, and there is a history behind the collection Lenker organized and edited, with the help of translators from various synods. His background was decidedly non-SynCon.

Various people have republished the Lenker edition, including an Internet version in PDF form, in various languages.

I found the whole set at a site called God Rules. I downloaded that to the blog, which was a big venture, but lots of fun.

I took those sermons from the blog and put them in Word, which we began to edit. That included members of our church, a Missouri pastor, and a Missouri member. Norma A. Boeckler agreed to illustrate it.

I took the initial edits and went through each volume. Some were scanning errors and rather funny. Others were subtle errors in citations, which can happen for many reasons. The Lenker print edition had its own errors, and one edition (mine) conflicted with another one (Virginia Roberts').

After fixing as much as I can, I go over all the format issues, which means reading the volume forwards and backwards. Sometimes looking for mistakes is reason to bypass reading comprehension. But some passages are so arresting that I slow down and read paragraphs.

Norma A. Boeckler inserts her art in the finished volume or the nearly finished one. I go through it again because the volumes are blurring together in my mind now. There are peculiar repetitive errors I try to catch with control-f. And broken paragraphs.

Janie Sullivan gets the completed file. She polishes the format and submits to the rules of Amazon and Kindle. She finds errors and irons out mistakes I left behind. I "fixed" some things and introduced some new glitches.

Are we done yet? No. Amazon has to check it with its software. Sometimes an issue will come up. Then I get the proof to check and OK.

Once the book is OKed, the title can be added to the author's page and social media picks it up.

Method in the Madness
Why bother, since many things are already in the public domain? The current list, which includes a number of books in full color, costs a grand total of $90 to send to one address in the USA. It costs another $100 to send to Africa.

It is a lot of work but also very satisfying. Everytime someone enjoys Luther for the first time, an angel gets his wings. Really.

 Thx. LOL.

Additional Progress - Volume V of Luther's Sermons - And African News Too

Janie Sullivan now has Volume V, the last of the Gospel sermons, and is getting it ready for Amazon print books and Kindle e-books.

Virginia Roberts has already prepared edits for Volume VI, so I am getting that done during Christmas lay-offs. As I told the English class, "They call it vacation, but there is no pay, so I call it being laid off." I enjoy the break, once grading is done.

In fact, Virginia has already started Volume VII edits. The last three volumes are the Epistle sermons - and they soar too.

God willing, we can be done with the set and the Gems volume in early 2018, far ahead of my best expectations - thanks to the help of so many. Norma Boeckler has the art ready before the editing is done. How so? She looked up a complete set of sermons in PDF, so she can figure out the layout of each one.

 The total cost for all of the above - including shipping to the missionary - is $90.
We already have the $100 for the mailbox to Africa.

Africa News
As I wrote before, there is a great need for Luther books in the African seminaries.

We already received a donation for the shipping cost of the first books - $100 for a mailbox, 20 pounds. By chance we have free shipping via the missionary's daughter.

So I have ordered a new set of books sent so those books can go to a second seminary fairly soon. The shipping is already paid for, thanks to that previous gift.

If you want to give toward the African seminary book fund, make out the check to Bethany Lutheran Church, 1104 Letha Drive, Springdale, 72762. We have an IRS tax number as a church and are incorporated, thanks to attorney Glen Kotten.

Some people use PayPal, so I transfer stipulated gifts to the church fund. PayPal allows a memo on funds sent, so that is an easy way to route the gift. Dr. Lito Cruz had us get that started, and it is handy for a lot of uses, such as paying for the mailbox, which is sent from St. Louis.

One reader is sending six copies of each Luther volume as Christmas gifts. My thinking goes like this - the readers are the best distributors, since the big money church publishers boycott me. The important part is getting people to read Luther again, so giving Luther books is one way to do that, and the cost is very low.

In the near future, the Gems from Luther's Sermons, in full color, will be available as a great introduction to the best of Luther.

Gardening and the Gospel - One by One - Not Giant Movements

 The collars around the new Crepe Myrtles
will protect them against a dry cold winter
and discourage rabbits from chewing on their new sprouts.

My neighbors are cleaning up their leaves while I am gathering them to improve the soil. Some days I only scoop some fragmented leaves under the Mother of all Crepe Myrtles.

Gardening is perfected through a series a small activities, each one seemingly insignificant. When I made the decision to use rose collars, I bought some and gradually fitted them around the new Crepe Myrtles and the roses. Leaves fell and the ground crew stuffed each collar with leaves, since i have most of the leaves from three yards.

Pardon me while I indulge in some sales talk. The manager always said, "Back end activity leads to front end sales." They even had a chart. I averaged so much income each time I dialed a number and earned so much an hour each time I met with someone. Scientific. In gardening that means building the soil, no matter what else is done. Fertile soil, teeming with microbes and soil creatures, will support plants, keep them healthy, and feed them during drought.

The old farm slogan is, "The only time I know what I'm doing is when I spread manure." In other words, adding organic matter will always be worthwhile for the plants. Our other plans and methods are open for debate. Fortunately, for our neighbors, we have no access to manure.

The Gospel has been reduced to a product marketed by devilishly clever people. Whether we give credit to Robert Schuller, Fuller Seminary professors, or other charlatans, the message is the same - "We can figure out how to grow a very large church, a yuuuuuge church, and this is the recipe."

That fits into the mainline apostate formula followed by the UniSynod: ELCA, WELS, ELS, LCMS, CLC (sic). They say - "God is all grace, so the entire world is already forgiven and saved. The Gospel is simply telling them this good news. Amen. Halleluia."

The Gospel
The mass movement hokum, spread by Donald McGavran, places a lot of trust in large numbers, not surprising for a man trained in sociology rather than Biblical doctrine. Some might call it ironic, since talk of numbers led to vast shrinkage everywhere.

But the goal was not the Gospel, but apostasy. The leaders got everyone involved and very busy, spending enormous sums at Fuller, Willow Creek, Trinity Divinity, and other snake oil emporiums.

The portrait of Jesus in the Gospels is just the opposite. Vast crowds came to Him, but He did not boast about them. Instead, the focus of each miracle is an individual whose faith was a significant part in the healing. People brought their friend in faith. Some asked for miracles on behalf of others - in faith. The woman with the flow approached Jesus - in faith.

The WELS apostates were clever in warning, "Do not make faith a cause of salvation." They are skilled in the art of poisoning the well. If anyone dares to ask about a felony, "Who told you?" Then they rail against that person, so that merely asking is by itself a felony, not to mention knowing that awful person who told. Faith as a cause is a philosophical diversion, away from the Scriptural truth that God's Word plants faith in our hearts. As the Gospels teach, the story of Jesus spread and people had faith in His divine power to heal.

How many times did Jesus say, "Your faith had made you whole"? I wonder if the WELS leader would scold Jesus for saying that. But they do not trouble themselves with their inconsistencies and contradictions. The power and the glory is theirs.

The Gospels do not reveal any special message except spreading the Word. The Parable of the Sower makes that clear, but the Fulleroids get that wrong too (an indication of their reading comprehension approaching zero). The Sower teaches us to sow the Word with abandon - not to "test the soil first." Whadda hooot. When synodical jackasses test the soil, they always find rich suburbs the most delightful. Growing suburbs - even better.

Jesus' message is founded upon faith in Him. Yes, that is true, no matter what the seminary professors claim. The foundational sin is not believing in Him. John 16:8ff. Therefore, the work of the Holy Spirit, according to Jesus Himself, is to teach faith in Him.

Claiming that unbelievers are forgiven or saved - or both - is a horrible blasphemy against Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

So how did Jesus organize His church? I find nothing beyond charging His disciples with teaching the Gospel of faith in Him. He did not appoint bishops, although ELDONA thinks bishops - or A Bishop - is the Chief Article of the Christian Church. The New Testament speaks very little about church structure, which is why they UniSynod studies and talks about structure all the time. They have no faith, so they have to discuss something.

Not that God works without purpose or result. When people come to faith, the Spirit distributes gifts so that each person has something to contribute. The combination is miraculous because that is how God works.

To borrow a phrase from Luther, God delights in doing the best work through the most unlikely people. They discover what they can do together in faith.

Schmauk has a statement on this, which someone will probably resend to me. (That can create a strange pun - I resent that quotation.) The point is that we should not rush around trying to be successful but only try to be faithful. Individual congregations come and go. The Gospel remains forever.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Six Million Views, Almost 16,000 Posts

Pageviews today
Views yesterday
Views last month
Views all time since 2007 


Five million views - November, 2016.

Four million views in 2015.

Three million views in 2014.

Two million views in 2013.

15,677 posts?!
But some of them are news stories, copied,
right? right?

Blogger shows that I have posted 15,677 times. One of the alcoholic ankle-biters objected to my numbers, writing, "But those numbers are from news stories."

Yes, I  use blog this to lead people into good posts from other sources, being careful to give credit where it is due. But that is part of the plan, keeping people up to date on apostate news.

The Blog Plan
Originally I xeroxed and mailed instructive, factual material to various friends and to synod officials. I even told Jim Huebner about my xerox ministry, which made his face go pale, as if Al Just were going to move into his neighborhood.

May, 2007, Dead Man Talking

I started the blog based on the group emails I was already sending out. They were a bother to keep updated. Paul McCain, who was all over me when campaigning for Al Barry, wanted to be dropped from the email list, calling me a "jerk." That shocked me. Usually he did everything behind someone's back.

I expected to reach about 20 people with the blog. I still think in terms of a few people who love and appreciate Luther, the King James Bible (the English Luther Bible), the Book of Concord, and Reformation theology.

When people poured on the hate, they encouraged me to continue. Opposition - especially from the clergy - is a sign of orthodoxy. I gleefully quoted them verbatim in the main posts, which they could not erase, and answered them. They thought they were giving expert kidney punches no one could see, but they did not like being exposed to the attention of the Internet.

Kilcrease erased so many of his own posts that we began calling erasing "kilcreasing."

Those, like Herman Otten, who whine about persecution, show they have no grasp of the cross, which is clearly taught in the Scriptures and emphasized by Luther. The cross consists of all the difficulties that come from teaching the Word of God. The cross must be good, because that doctrine comes from God and is blessed by Jesus.

Notice that the whiners always want the approval of man and the loot to go with it. I look at it this way - the opposition has tried so hard in so many ways to silence me that I now have a perfect place for teaching the truth, unhindered by meetings, synodical legalism, and hushed warnings about rubbing certain capons the wrong way.

I highlight the numbers every so often because two ELS pastors, Kincaid Smith and Paul Schneider on the phone together, said, "You haven't a friend in the world. You have no credibility." I responded, "If I have no credibility, why are two pastors calling me long distance?" They had no answer for that.

God works His will through the Word, so why starve people of the Word? The Lutheran Reformation taught the Word, not the organization. Lutherans should try that again. The 500th Anniversary was the most disgraceful of all the Lutheran centennials.

 Only morons would think it clever to sell
Here I Stand socks. CPH must stand for
Certified Public Haters of the Gospel.

A Shameful Amount of Shenanigans for Such a Small, Conservative Operation - Don't You Think?

Someone sent an observation about WELS, which I turned into the headline above.

He also wrote:
"I have been encouraged, educated, and entertained by your blog over the past few years...

Your site is a treasure trove of good theology. My time in the Word is often enriched by guidance from it."

To answer a frequently asked question - Yes, I do get statements like this on a regular basis. I almost never get a negative response, because (I imagine) they do not like getting quoted with their photos added. 

I know exactly how WELS and the other SynCons work. They pretend to be conservative, but they are really radical Leftists. They formed a revolution against the Reformation, using vast synodical and Thrivent resources to control the entire operation.

The pretensions are one part of this. I am accused of various crimes for speaking my mind about these frauds, attaching my name to the claims, with plenty of proof. As any attorney will advise, "It is not slander if it is true."

But they whisper their toxic malice along the grapevine to each other and encourage their patsies to pass along these falsehoods, which have a two-fold purpose. 
  1. The officials are believed, which starts the automatic shunning and promotes more whispering.
  2. The officials clearly indicate the synodical shun button has been activated, so the trembling watch-gerbils begin their activities.
As I wrote before, a long-time critic of WELS confessed the synodical leaders do an enormous amount of stupid, destructive, thoughtless things, but they are extremely good at one thing - controlling people.

But that only happens when people allow themselves to be controlled. 

Inside every raging bully is a bed-wetting, blanky-holding coward who is afraid of everything. The synodical con-artists know their counterparts and use this to their advantage. Their slogans are: 
  • "Know thy pitiful self" and 
  • "What Would Our Father Below Do?" 
Thus the synods are top-heavy with dull, cowardly, corrupt clergy who serve their bellies and nothing else. Anyone can see their pattern of punishing whatever is good and covering up whatever is criminal. Like the weak people in secular politics, the weak bullying clergy serve a useful purpose in keeping the degenerate agenda going.

 They graduated from the same class, which makes them blood-bros in WELS.
Together they have wrecked the entire synod.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Time To Use the Stink-Eye To Keep the Blog from 6 Million Views

"You read Ichabod?"

Pageviews today
Pageviews yesterday
Pageviews last month
Pageviews all time history

 "You didn't just admit to reading Ichabod, did you?"

Here is the logic. Various leaders have ordered students not to read Ichabod. The result? They make the blog more appealing and views increase. They rant and rave to laity who mention my name. Result - another loyal reader.

The effort to silence the truth has the opposite effect intended, so I encourage the apostate opposition to continue their use of the stink-eye. WELS has only three gestures:

  • The right hand of fellowship.
  • The left foot of fellowship.
  • The stink-eye.

The last gesture is useful and designed to frighten and subdue. I cannot tell for sure, but I have had people I barely know give me the stink-eye. One was an employee at a computer firm where I worked. She was from Wisconsin and we were having a group lunch. Every so often - stink-eye. Finally, when she gave her speech about not eating meat because of the way animals were treated, I asked her about her leather purse, belt, and shoes. Her response was doubling down on the stink-eye.

One Schwan delivery man (often ex-WELS pastors) made a point of giving me the stink eye during each order. I was tempted to ask him about his former life. What was her name and for how long? But that would have short-circuited the delightful stink-eye each week.

Babtists do this gesture which can also be found in LCMS and WELS - "You do not exist - I am looking right through you." I knew Walter Otten quite well from being around New Haven. Once he did the invisible man trick, so I made a point of zeroing in on him, shaking his hand and saying hello. He was a bit startled.

At a WELS convention Professor Nitz made a point of looking through me. I had him for Hebrew! So I waited for my chance, smiled, shook his hand, and greeted him. I might as well have been Father Tetzel selling indulgences from my new home below.

If you think I lie, Mrs. Ichabod tried to say hello to DP John Seifert. We knew the whole family quite well and were with them many times, including Martin and Erin Joy. As she went toward him, he gave her the worst stink-eye. I saw it. She was shocked.

No wonder the UniSynod is collapsing.

 Chewie's Angels.

Kovaciny and Cascione - What More Can Anyone Ask?

I used to think that Kovaciny and Jay Webber so richly deserved each other, with a side helping of John Shep. However, Jack Cascione and Roger Kovaciny could tape their own series called Fantasy Island. In that series, one or both of them would spin fanciful tales that boil out of their fevered brains, without any basis in fact.

Pope John the Malefactor insisted to me that Roger Kovaciny was not an ELS minister. I asked, "Then why did I see him installed as a missionary at the ELS convention?" Moldstad repeated his claim. "Then why is he listed in the ELS yearbook?"

Dan Brown faces possible new plagiarism lawsuit over ‘The Da Vinci Code’ - MarketWatch

"Steal from a Catholic source?
That's plagiarism!"

Dan Brown faces possible new plagiarism lawsuit over ‘The Da Vinci Code’ - MarketWatch:

 UOJ is settled dogma,
so Zarling doesn't mind if I copy his opening
about UOJ being the Chief Article.

"“Dan Brown took huge elements from my book. Of course everybody can write about Opus Dei and have copyright protection, but in both The Vatican Boys and The Da Vinci Code  the head of the Opus Dei hires a mercenary to find them a relic so that he can become the most powerful man in Christendom,” Dunn said.

The similarities that Dunn alleges range from the beginning of both books, where a member of a secret brotherhood is murdered because they know a secret about the Catholic Church, to the climax in the novels occurring at Opus Dei House in London where the head of Opus Dei flies in on a private jet from Rome in search of a relic.

Dunn, a practising Catholic, did not include a relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene in The Vatican Boys, unlike in The Da Vinci Code. But he said, “Dan Brown works to a Da Vinci Code formula, but it’s my formula.”

Dunn is a businessman as well as a writer and was put in touch with media lawyer Jonathan Coad at Keystone Law via a mutual acquaintance he met at a trade show in Germany last November."

 "Stephan did not graduate from any university,
but I graduated with the rationalists,
so I have borrowed UOJ from Stephan and Halle University."

'via Blog this'

Second Sunday in Advent, 2017

The Second Sunday in Advent, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual      Romans 15:4-13
The Gospel                           Luke 21:25-36 
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #71                            Watchman Tell Us    

The Second Coming

The Hymn # 304                                      An Awe-Full of Mystery   
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 647                                          O Little Town of Bethlehem    

Second Sunday In Advent
Lord God, heavenly Father, who by Thy Son hast revealed to us that heaven and earth shall pass away, that our bodies shall rise again, and that we all shall appear before the judgment seat: We beseech Thee, keep us by Thy Holy Spirit in Thy word; establish us in the true faith, graciously defend us from sin and preserve us in all temptations, that our hearts may not be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, but that we may ever watch and pray and, trusting fully in Thy grace, await with joy the glorious coming of Thy Son, and at last obtain eternal salvation, through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

KJV Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God. 8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: 9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. 12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust. 13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

KJV Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. 29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. 34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Patience and Comfort

KJV Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

As Luther wrote about this topic, there are sheep and wolves. If a wolf harms a sheep, we should not punish the sheep but helps its healing and strengthen it.

Many times the wolf is the minister, who blows in and must have his way. There are books that encourage him to be like that because the famous "big successes" behave that way. Often they leave wreckage behind for someone else to try to mend. 

Paul was always anxious for those who were easily harmed by the ones who considered themselves spiritual masters. Nothing is more powerful than religion, and religion united with evil is especially potent (W. Rauschenbusch). 

The Scriptures are revealed to us, written for us, for our comfort and patience, so we get through difficulties without losing faith. 

There are many difficulties that people face. Some are economic. Others are medical. And others concern emotional crises often created by other forces at work. At the moment, these hurtful experiences are overwhelming.

I can use several from the classroom. One was in the hurricane in Houston and still does not have a working house. They live there, but the place is still a wreck. The student, a mother, wants to continue her work and yet the hurricane damage is her life 24 hours a day.

In another case, a woman is having a medical crisis from pregnancy. She is so sick that she cannot do her work on time. This is the worst case I have seen. It is easy to say in each case, calm down, do the work each day. It will all get done. Manage your time. Set goals. I know all the pep talks, normally delivered by people who only give pep talks and are only known for pep talks.

If a football player suffers a broken leg from a play, no one says, "Walk it off." Instead they tend to it with nurses, doctors, x-rays, treats, perhaps surgery and a time of healing. 

As Luther observed, emotional harm is the most difficult, because there are physical causes and remedies for bodily illness. There is more sympathy for something we can see or identify with.

However, emotional turmoil can be caused by a great number of factors, which include past emotional injuries, a family history, pressures from the outside. For example some students will feel overwhelmed by studies because they are so new, relatively difficult, and without emotional support in the family.

I see people failing late in a course when they could devote a week to catching up and not waste the semester. But if they think it is hopeless and stay away, it is hopeless.

Although Frankl is not my favorite philosopher, since he was an atheist, he had a good point in Man's Search for Meaning. We all look for meaning or purpose in life. When that is taken away, various circumstances are overwhelming, no matter what.

The humanists have people look for meaning within themselves and often emphasize a materialistic outcome as good. However, God clearly works His greatest miracles through those people who suffer the most and have no outward success.

England locked up John Bunyan for not belonging to their Episcopalian club. He was an outsider and had to be silenced. Dangerous criminals went in and out of prison, but he stayed in. As a result he wrote books for the spiritually hungry and authored the greatest Christian book in the English language, outside of the KJV.

Strange things developed. For example, he converted his jailkeeper. As a result, the jailkeeper let Bunyan leave the prison to visit church members and his family. Once the inspectors came to the jail to see Bunyan, who was out on his errors. The jailkeeper feared death, but when they went to his cell in that tiny prison, he was there.

Of all the great and powerful men of the age, Bunyan was the greatest in his spiritual influence, even though he was a nobody at the time. His purpose developed from the circumstances God gave him, and God glorified his work, done in faith and humility. His spirit invited help from others and they had respect for him. Nevertheless, it is clear from his work that he suffered greatly from this solitary life and deprivation of normal company and family.

Was he overly sensitive? Was Luther. Paul? Each one suffered terribly but used those experiences to comfort others with the Gospel and show them the way of peace.

Just a little bit of reading will show that the great and and wise thought of Paul, Lutheran, and Bunyan as crazy. I bought a giant book on Luther's era, and the author said, "I won't even discuss Luther because he was too emotional." So these men are dismissed or ignored today.

Jesus showed a two-fold attitude toward the sheep and the wolves. Toward those who get lost and need help, he gave the Parable of the Lost Sheep, showing how tenderly he goes to the lost sinner and reclaims him, not beating him for being misled but rejoicing in recovering him for the flock.

Likewise in John 10, He is the Good Shepherd who guides the sheep to pasture and fresh water, walking ahead of them - as He did carrying His cross - and calling them by name.

But the wolves are the object of Jesus' scorn and wrath. They are the false teachers who rend and scatter the flock, who rejoice in the terror they cause. One of them, the object of many expensive pilgrimages, said "Dead bodies will be piled up when I am done." I predicted that attitude years in advance. The more he revealed himself, the more he destroyed his own wealthy lifestyle.

The wrath of Christ is saved for those who lead others into unbelief. Meanwhile, He does whatever is possible to reclaim the lost. That is why the Gospel is His tool to comfort us and give us patience in trials.

Some people will say, "I could never face those problems," but God gives us strength and resilience through the Gospel of peace. Everything in the Bible is aimed toward giving us the Gospel of forgiveness through faith and keeping us on the True Vine or in the Flock until we complete our journey.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

This kind of encouragement helped the early Christians realize that when they were driven out of the city by persecution, they were taking the Gospel elsewhere. That continued until the Roman Empire officially recognized the Christian Faith, a relative short time after the resurrection of Christ.

As Luther said, the great and holy Roman Empire and its religious ceremonies were knocked into the trash by Christ.