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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.

Friday, March 21, 2014

"Passion" A Poem

In blood and prayer our LORD bent the knee
Before the High Priest He would not plea
So to Herod and Pilate He went
Unflinching because He, the Father had sent

Jews purged
Romans scourged
Men drove the nails
God's love never fails

"Why have you forsaken" and "it is finished" He cried
How can it be that God by men has died?
The cross could not capture His hands and feet
By His passion for sinners our need did He meet

By Pr. David Oberdieck

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sermon Audio, 4th Word on the Cross

Click here for audio sermon.

Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” that is, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”  And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, “This man is calling for Elijah.”  Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink.  But the rest of them said, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him.” New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 27:45–49). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Winter Weather Update

We will be having both services this Sunday, but confirmation is cancelled.  Please be safe.  If there is freezing rain the parking lot will be slick.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Jesus' Second Word on the Cross - "Today you will be with Me in Paradise"

click here for sermon

Luke 23:39-43:
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”  But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”  And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”  And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”  New American Standard Bible: 1995 update. 1995 (Lk 23:39–43). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Monday, March 3, 2014


In Nathaniel Hawthorns’ novel, The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne is marked with a Scarlet “A” as a sign of shame.  She was an adulterous.  And the community was made well aware of it.  Mark and avoid this woman.

Do we have such a mark today?  In a culture that is increasingly losing its Christian, moral footing we might think there simply isn’t a mark of shame to be found.  I disagree.  Morality isn’t disappearing.  One morality is supplanting another and that new morality does indeed place shame upon others.

I contend that the Scarlet Letter today is not an “A” but an “H.”  Homophobic is the pejorative that should cause the anti-gay bigot to slink away in shame.  It seems to me that the term is meant to put an end to all debate on homosexual issues.  The word itself can actually be used to replace debate.  Weak minds don’t need to consider, weigh, and form a rational argument when they can simply mark another with the dreaded “H.”

No one wants to be thought of as homophobic, but we Christians better be able to embrace the label.  Embrace it?  Absolutely!  To do anything less is to allow ourselves to be shamed.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating we go around calling ourselves homophobic.  But we better be able to stand tall when someone wants to mark us with it.  We must be able to bear under the Scarlet Letter without feeling shame nor slinking away from those who hate us.

What is homophobia?  Homophobia, according to Webster, is the “irrational fear, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.”  It matters little if a person makes rational arguments supporting natural, biblical, marriage you’re still homophobic.  If you truly love sinners, including homosexual sinners, and proclaim God’s Word of Law and Gospel to the homosexual your homophobic.  If you are a faithful Christian who honors God’s creative design for marriage – one man, one woman, bond together in holy love for a lifetime, you are homophobic.

I had the occasion where I announced to the congregation that I was going to preach two sermons on homosexuality.  One theme was taken from the book “Unchristian.”  Can I be a faithful Christian and be faithful to my homosexual friend?  The other sermon spoke to natural, biblical marriage verses homosexual marriage.  I was confronted with the Scarlet H even though I had only announced the topics not the content.  One person derisively asks me, “Are you a homophobe?”  It was a rhetorical question.  The answer was imbedded in the question just as surely if you were to ask someone, “Are you nuts?” 

Am I homophobic?  If homophobia means fearing gay people, then I am not that.  If it entails hating the LGBT community that doesn’t apply either.  I don’t hate.  I am grateful for the love and forgiveness that God give to me a, “poor, miserable sinner.”  Jesus died for my sin how can I then turn around and hate other sinners?

Am I homophobic?  If it is homophobic to believe that homosexual conduct is outside of God’s design for humanity and is indeed sin, then I will gladly bear the Scarlet H.  If it is bigotry to call heterosexual sinners and homosexual sinners to repentance, then I won’t shrink from being labeled.   

Dear God help your people to remain faithful to You.  May we love Your praises more than we fear the derision of the world.  By the power of the Holy Spirit let us cherish the name You give us more than we dread the labels of unbelievers.