Tag Archives: Faith

Why I am a Christian and more

This is a must read for any Christian. I must say that Greg is a far better man than I and that I can only hope to practice my faith at least half as well as he does. The beauty of this post is that it’s not law. It’s just good habits that he practices. I see a lot of areas where I can greatly improve on (namely all of them) and changes I should be making, not because I have to, but because it is good.

Eilers Pizza

Why I am a Christian

This is my essay about why I am a Christian.

I am a Christian because I am going to die and only one person, God-in-the-flesh Jesus Christ, has beaten death with His death and resurrection, which means He is the only One who is able to offer the cure for death, which is His gift of my own resurrection to eternal life.

That was my essay about why I am a Christian.

Of course, there is more to the Christian faith, and you might even argue that I am a Christian because I was born into a Christian family. Every other thing aside—how I was reared, what else the Lord does for me—is in the shadow of this shining light: Jesus Christ gives life which transcends this life, the resurrection to a life when there will be no more death or mourning or crying or…

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‘I never knew you — depart from me’

Such a powerful and important blog post. Let it serve to us as a great reminder. May this be of benefit to those of us who stumble and forget.

Churchmouse Campanologist

Matthew HenryAlong with the instruction to build our spiritual houses upon rock, another passage in Matthew 7 from the Sermon on the Mount which bears close scrutiny is our Lord’s teaching on who will be turned away from the kingdom of heaven.

I Never Knew You

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It is in the three-year Lectionary. One can only wonder about the sermons preached on it. Any number of clergy — as well as congregants —…

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The Most Important Meal of the Day

I have found that when I eat heartier meals, I have a tendency to have a much better day. For the longest time, my breakfast consisted of two eggs and some bacon or sausage. Excellent foods, but at only 300 – 400 calories, it’s not exactly hearty. However, I have found when I add in say a bagel with cream cheese or a bowl of grits, my day is much better. And it’s no secret why. When my breakfast is 600 – 800 calories, I’ve got the fuel to get me through the day. I work better. I’m happier. I’m more motivated. I have more energy. I kick myself on those mornings where I don’t have a big breakfast. They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I believe it rightfully true. Likewise, it’s important to start your day out with good theology.

I used to begin every single morning listening to a good theological podcast. I had a great selection that I would listen to. Issues Etc., The God Whisperers, Fighting for the Faith, The White Horse Inn, or a sermon that I had missed because I couldn’t make it to church that Sunday. But a few weeks ago, an update to my podcast software actually broke the program. Rather than immediately start looking for a new one (it’s awful trying to find just the perfect podcast software), I decided to wait until they fixed it. And I waited. And waited. And waited. And yet, still no fix. I have found because I haven’t been getting my morning theology fix, I really slumped in it overall. I’ll admit it, I haven’t been reading the scriptures nearly as much. I haven’t been keeping up on books I’ve been reading. Even my prayer has taken a hit (something I wasn’t that good at to begin with).

As I look back and compare it to my breakfast, it’s really the same thing a way. When I got in some good theology early in the morning, I got in good theology the rest of the day. I would read in the evening. I would get in prayer more often instead of off the cuff when I think about it. I would intentionally study more. I was even happier. But the times that I don’t get my morning dosage, I forget about it later. I don’t have the motivation. I don’t care as much. I’m not as happy. In fact, I start to slip into my old pre-Christian self. I need to get back into getting in good theology first thing in the morning. If that means suffering through a terrible podcast app until they fix my normal one, than so be it. But this lack of morning theology is killing me spiritually. I’m glad that I suddenly recognize it, but I’m disappointed that it took me so long.

Thankfully, tomorrow morning calls for some grits and a long drive. I should be able to get my fix.

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A clean heart

Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.

 Oh, what a wonderful verse. Sometimes, we focus so much on certain portions of scripture that we forget other equally important ones. The Psalms are a wonderful thing and contain great words. I had this on my mind late last night. These words ring strong as something we should pray everyday. Our hearts are filthy, wicked things which taint our spirit. Yet we are washed through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Perhaps this is simply one man’s opinion, but since the old Adam is constantly tearing away at the Christian, we should pray daily that God puts in us a clean heart and renews our spirit that we might not be tempted to fall away and that we always look to the cross for our hope.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me that I may always do what is pleasing in your eyes and call upon you in my times of trouble and distress. Amen.

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What’s in a good work?

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

Often times, a good work is mistaken for doing something beyond one’s everyday vocation. Volunteering at the local food pantry. Giving blood. Clothing the poor. Feeding the hungry. Don’t get me wrong. These are certainly wonderful and good works and those who do them are doing great things which are not to be downplayed at all. But a good work isn’t necessarily these great things nor is it some great act of heroism or what have you. A good work is also the mundane. The boring everyday stuff we take for granted. The things that no one bats an eye at and no one ever notices until that work stops. A good work is often simply doing your vocation.

The mother who changes dirty diapers is doing a good work. The trash man who drives by your home every week and takes away your garbage is doing a good work. The hairstylist who keeps her customer looking professional for his job is doing a good work. The cashier who sits behind a register ringing in peoples groceries is doing a good work.

These all seem so mundane and insignificant, but if anyone of them were to stop what they were doing, someone’s life would be more difficult. Maybe not a lot, but a little. These are all good works that benefit and help people, even if they don’t recognize it.

I think this excerpt from another blog sums it up quite nicely.

So what is a good work in God’s sight?  Quite simply it is something that God has prepared in advance for us to do.  It is something that we have done out of faith and love for the Lord our God.  It is something that is pleasing to the Lord our God because it is something done according to his Word and his will. 

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The greatest comfort

From Lutheranism 101: Holy Baptism.

It is in hearing that Christ has suffered and died for the forgiveness of sins that a Christian receives comfort.

Isn’t that great? Is this not one of the sweetest things to fall upon one’s ears? That, my friends, is Gospel. Not making a decisions for Jesus. Not accepting Jesus into your heart. Not doing anything at all to be saved. Just that Jesus suffered and died for the forgiveness of sins. Who’s sins? Your sins. My sins. Everyone’s sins. Let me just say it for you. Christ suffered and died for the forgiveness of your sins. Now go in peace and joy knowing that he did this for you and that your price has been paid. Amen.

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Acceptance

This is kind of a follow up post to my last one. I’ve started read C.F.W. Walther’s The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel when there came to a part about accepting faith. Upon first glance, it seems to indicate salvation is in fact something that you have to accept, but when you read it carefully, you’ll realize that the type of acceptance he is referring to isn’t transactional but instead simply taking something for what it is.

But does not the Gospel demand faith? Yes; that, however, is just the same kind of command as when you say to a hungry person, “Come, sit down at my table and eat.” The hungry person will not reply: “Bosh! I will not take orders from you.” No, he will understand and accept your words as a kind invitation. That is what the Gospel is—a kind invitation to partake of heavenly blessings.

I like this portion because at first it sounds like it’s something we choose to do, IE accept the gospel. But when you really look at it and think about it, Walther doesn’t appear to be using the word accept as most Christians today would. Instead, he appears using it more in terms of “recognition of a fact” instead of “choosing to do something.” You don’t accept the gospel on your own doing or merits but you just have faith and because it is given to you, you accept that you have it. To better explain it, let’s say that I have a stapler. I accept the fact that it’s a stapler because that’s what it is. Likewise, the faith that the Gospel demands isn’t something I accept in the sense that I choose it, but I accept the fact that I have it through no decisions of my own.

Notice how Walther says that, “he will understand and accept your words as a kind invitation.” He does not say he is accepting a kind invitation. NO! He is saying that he is accepting your words for exactly what they are, a kind invitation. So when you are given faith and the forgiveness of sins, you simply accept that you have it. You do not accept it in the transactional sense that by accepting it, you are doing something to merit this forgiveness.

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Resolutions

The old year has passed and the new begun. As is tradition, many people make resolutions only to break them within weeks. I want to get in shape. I want to spend less money. I’ll spend more time reading the Bible. And the list goes on and on. I’ve never really been a fan of resolutions, mostly because I know deep down that I won’t carry them out. I can say I plan to spend more time in scripture and in prayer, but honestly, That will last what? A few days? Weeks maybe? And then I’ll go back to my routine. I have a friend who said to honestly ask God to change me and he would. I tried that for a while some years ago. It didn’t work out so hot. In fact, it left be bitter and resentful. Thankfully I eventually realized I can’t make God do my bidding and learned that that was absolutely for the best.

So, New Year’s resolutions are bunk and I can’t force God fix my flaws. Where does that leave me? It leaves me with faith. And faith is a wonderful thing to be left with. With faith, I no longer have to worry about relying on myself and the struggles of everyday life. I can rely on Christ. When I rely on Christ and not on myself, that is such a huge weight off my mind. With weight off my mind, I can let go of distractions that hinder me. Without distractions, I can do all those so called resolutions like they’re a normal everyday thing. Eating better, exercising, prayer, Bible study, etc, is no longer a chore but a blessing. To hell with resolutions, I have faith in Christ and I don’t need anything more than that.

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