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Lebanon, Missouri
I am Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (LC-MS) in Lebanon, MO for 12 years. I'm married to Cheryl and have been blessed with 5 children.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sermon text, Hans Holbein's "Allegory of the Old and New Testament" (click here)

Click the link to access the text of a 2008 sermon of mine on the art above. The audio of this sermon is available earlier in this blog under year 2009, January.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Great Visit

We really enjoyed the visit of Chaplain, Major, Sean Wead and his wife Kim, daughter Taylor, and son Colton. I had the privilege of working with Sean at Ft. Drum, N.Y with the 10th Mountain Division. Sean is an Episcopal chaplain. Kim works hard at homeschool. We put her to work during their visit because she makes the best salsa ever! Good friends are one of God's great blessings.

Sermon, II Samuel 7, 4th Sunday in Advent (click here)

King David wanted to build a house (Temple) for the LORD, but God turns around and tells David the He is going to make a house (dynasty) for David. This all comes together at Christmas when Jesus is born. Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promise. Jesus is the Son of David who sits on the throne eternally.

Click on the title above in order to hear the sermon.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sermon by Pr. Herb Mueller (click here)

It was great to have Pastor Mueller (to the right of the good looking pastor) and his wife Faith with us this Sunday. Pastor Mueller proclaimed the Gospel and led the Bible class. He focused on the mission statement of the current president of Synod (Pr. Matthew Harrison) which is based on the concept of witness, mercy, and life together.

Pastor Mueller is the First Vice-President of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. His wife, Faith, loves art and shared that talent by drawing pictures of each of my girls. She is definitely good with children.

Please avail yourself the opportunity to see what is happening with Synod and her sister churches by checking the link to the Synod's witness, mercy, and life together blog. The link is to the right and below the widgets.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Spirituality of our Age vs Christmas

One study of religious views among American young adults described their spirituality as moralistic, therapeutic, deism.

Moralistic – God just wants us to be good. That is what religion is about.

Therapeutic – When I feel the need then I’ll turn to God. God is my therapist and comforter when life gets really bad, but otherwise I have little contact with Him.

Deism - God is not active in my life.

The message of Christmas gives us a contrary spirituality. Christianity is far different than these common beliefs.

Moralistic – Being good is not enough. Humanity isn’t good before God. The Father in heaven did not send us a teacher of morality, but He sent us Jesus. The importance of the name “Jesus” is explained by an angel of the LORD who declared, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:20-21). This naturally ties into the next heading.

Therapeutic – Going to a marriage and family counselor or a psychologist can be quite helpful. They can be masks of God in which the Creator blesses His creation, but we must never reduce God down to someone who helps us with our mental health when we feel the need. The greatest need is the one we often do not feel. Many people don’t sense the gravity of their sin nor the need for deliverance from the judgment of the Law of God. People often think that because they are good in their own eyes that they are also good in God’s eyes. Christmas teaches us differently as Paul writes, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).

Deism – This element may seem to conflict with the therapeutic understanding of spirituality, but not too much. The young adult may believe he/she can turn to God in a crisis but otherwise God is absent. The incarnation says something different. God is active in our life in many ways but particularly in the person of Jesus Christ. “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US” (Matt 1:23). God is with us in Jesus. He is active in our life and that means today as well. A problem is that people don’t bother asking, “Where has God promised to work?” The LORD promises to work in our lives through the Word and the Sacrament. God is present working for us, in us, and through us

The Spirit of Christmas is far different than the moralistic, therapeutic, deism common among many younger adults today. Instead of moralism we have grace. Instead of therapy we have salvation. Instead of Deism we have Immanuel, “God with us.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sermon, 2d Wednesday in Advent (click here)

Have you ever felt something terrible was about to happen? Perhaps the worshipers waiting for Zacharias felt the same way. He was serving in the Temple and entered into the holy place itself, but he wasn't coming out. Was something terribly wrong? No, something was wonderfully right. The angel announced to him that he would have a baby. His name was John, and he prepared the way for Jesus.

Sermon, 1st Sunday in Advent (click here)

Isaiah gives us a big entrance into Advent, "Oh that your would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at Your presence" (Isaiah 64:1-9).

In Advent we look forward to the time when God actually did do so. It happened in the incarnation and what a glorious rending it was! Click on the title above for the audio sermon.