It always scares me a little when the Big Bad East jumps on the bandwagon [as of 9:00, Mike Holmgren’s smiling face is on the NFL frontpage] on behalf of a sports team from the Northwest. But Michael Smith’s column sends absolute shivers down my spine. That’s the thing about being a fan of Seattle sports. No matter what the record is (remember the Mariners’ 116-win season and then a complete, four-tire blowout in the playoffs?), no matter what the positive expectations (can you say, ‘I hate Al Harris’?), they always manage to find a way to let you down. (Come to think of it, it’s a lot like God’s grace; it’s got to be unconditional!)
13 wins, a first-round bye, and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs can give a fan a lot to be excited about–and a lot more to be scared about. The flinch-mechanism is in place; I hope I don’t have to use it. Here’s a good ol’ lift of my glass (Schlafly Coffee Stout) to proving Michael Smith right. This, however, is the best column on ESPN.com.
(This weekend’s not quite the big game it looked like from September, is it Michael?)
The Lutheran blogosphere gets better and better. I commend to you Pastor Disaster and the Backsliders. (By the way, their taste in music is excellent.)
[I should have read this sermon from Pr. Petersen when I first got it, but the end of the calendar year seems as good a time as any. Take your time; this is good, good stuff.]
All Saints (observed)
November 6, 2005 A+D
St. Matthew 5:1-12
In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
God has given us good things in creation. They are ours to enjoy in their proper place. Christians should not be strangers to the joys of fine food and wine, sexual intercourse, music and dancing. Even mindless fun like video games or baseball have their place. We should delight in them all. But these pleasures, food, drink, sex, and baseball, are severely limited. They quickly vanish. Why would we store up treasures here? They pale in comparison to the greater gifts and joys of mind and soul.
All the pleasures of gluttony and lust are overrated. They are fleeting and unsatisfying. Part of this comes because they corruptions of good things. A man does not have the right to lust after his wife. For lust seeks not to love and serve but to use. It is not as inappropriate inside of marriage, nor as destructive, as it is outside of marriage. But it is still selfish and harmful. Men seeking to gain their lives lose them. Men seeking to gain pleasures find them just out of reach.
Pleasures of the flesh, be they intoxication, food, or tingling skin, never last. Like the cliché about Chinese food, you’re always hungry again an hour later. Nor will we be satisfied with the same Chinese dish an hour after we’ve eaten. We are always on the prowl for new adventure. The pleasures are never as pleasant as the fantasy anyway, and while they do not last, the guilt does. Men destroy themselves in seeking these vain things and they sell their souls cheap. Repent.
Continue reading →
That’s the obvious answer; otherwise, why would he go to Iraq with absolutely no intention of blowing things up?
“Holy Communion is also a mark of confession of the faith and doctrine of those with whom one celebrates it. Therefore the admission of members of heterodox fellowships to the celebration of Communion within the Lutheran church is in conflict with:
1. Christ’s institution
2. The commanded unity of the church in faith and corresponding confession;
3. Our love for the one to whom the Sacrament is administered;
4. Our love for our own fellow believers, especially the weak, who by this action would be given grievous offense;
5. The command not to become participants in the sins and errors of others” (C.F.W. Walther, “Communion Fellowship” in Essays for the Church: Volume I [St. Louis: Concordia, 1992], 220).