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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 11:47 am
by Ad Orientem
Matins w/12 Passion Gospels for Great and Holy Friday

https://youtu.be/IucMlWzdrIg

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2020 7:07 pm
by Ad Orientem
The 15th antiphon chanted on Great and Holy Friday (appx 6 mins)...
https://youtu.be/4QD71bV9omM

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Sat Apr 18, 2020 7:04 am
by Mountaineer
Today's devotion. Very appropriate for pandemic times. Take heart and rejoice that God is merciful - always! 8)

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/defa ... e=20200418

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:51 am
by Mountaineer
Good message for us on Garage Theology this morning about neighbors.
https://www.concordiade.com/garage-theology

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Sat Apr 25, 2020 6:26 am
by Mountaineer
"Facing Life Head On"
Apriil 25, 2020

Mark 10:33-34 - (Jesus said) "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock Him and spit on Him, and flog Him and kill Him. And after three days He will rise."

Do you want to grow in your faith? Do you want to grow closer to Jesus? The way forward is to follow Jesus' example of service and even suffering.

Facing the problems of life head on, disagreeable as they may be, increases your yearning for the Savior and His Word of grace and mercy. In serving others, even to suffer with them, we begin to understand firsthand how sinful this world is, how fundamentally flawed we are, and how we hurt others despite our best intentions. In short, when you give up being preoccupied with yourself and instead become focused on real people and their problems, then you start to get it. More and more, it gets into your head and heart how desperately all humanity needs a Savior. In lives of service, we see firsthand the necessity of repentance and feel the Savior's compassion for all people.

That's it! That's the way to present the Good News of Jesus. What you are experiencing in your life is real life. Don't wish for an alternate reality. Are you a parent struggling with a child? Are you a caregiver running on fumes? Are you a teacher in a tough school, and underpaid at that? Are you a minister worn down by your congregation, discouraged because they're not showing the love and joy of the Gospel? Are you a social worker or a volunteer at a food bank? Are you in jail? You're experiencing life, real and nasty, in this world of sinful people. Jesus comes to bring redemption and hope to you and through you to the people in your world. In the midst of the day's problems, throw yourself into the arms of God. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68b).

Like Jesus' first disciples, we too are walking with Him, walking to His suffering and death, and each of us should be making our way in repentance and sorrow for sins. "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning" (Psalm 30:5b). That's promised to you by Jesus, who also says, "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also" (John 14:3). Jesus has paved the way of our salvation for us; it is now for us to live our lives accordingly.

Therefore, as the hymn tells us, "Let us ever walk with Jesus, Follow His example pure; Through a world that would deceive us And to sin our spirits lure. Onward in His footsteps treading, Pilgrims here, our home above; Full of faith and hope and love, Let us do the Father's bidding. Faithful Lord, with me abide; I shall follow where You guide."

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, give us strength to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. In His Name. Amen.

From "Thrown into the Arms of God," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

Reflection Questions:

1. What kinds of things are you struggling with right now?

2. How do you think you would have reacted to Jesus' words in the text above if you were one of His disciples?

3. How has God worked through the rough patches in your life? Any examples you can share?

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Mon May 11, 2020 9:31 am
by Mountaineer
Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Tested"
May 11, 2020
Psalm 66:10-12 - For You, O God, have tested us; You have tried us as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; You laid a crushing burden on our backs; You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet You have brought us out to a place of abundance.

Why does God permit suffering? The question is often a stumbling block for unbelievers and baffling to believers. Upon hearing of the murder of Galilean pilgrims and of eighteen people killed by a falling tower, Jesus did not answer the question that may have been on His listeners' minds (and on our minds, too): "Why them?" The purpose for the deaths remained unknown. Jesus instead warned of a greater, eternal disaster. Those who had died were not worse sinners than others, He said, "but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:5b).

God's purposes are often hidden and not for us to know. "The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us" (Deuteronomy 29:29a). Our psalm reveals to us a story of suffering as it describes the sorrow and pain endured by the people of Israel. They had endured the "crushing burden" of slavery and the oppressive might of conquering enemies who rode over them. But God did not abandon His suffering people. He freed them from slavery and led them through the wilderness for forty years to humble them and to test them to know what was in their hearts (Deuteronomy 8:2). The Israelites passed through water as God "turned the sea into dry land" (Psalm 66:6a). God brought them out of the wilderness into the land He had promised to them, "to a place of abundance."

There is another instance of suffering in which the purpose has been revealed to us. God, for the sake of our salvation, gave His Son over to the suffering of the cross. Jesus was caught in a net of betrayal and lies. He bore the crushing burden of our sins. His enemies and "the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53b) for a time overcame Him. He endured the fiery pain of the cross, suffering on our behalf the penalty of death. Though Israel had often been unfaithful in times of testing, Jesus remained faithful and obedient to His Father in life and death. God raised His Son from death and exalted Him "to a place of abundance" at His right hand as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Jesus has revealed to us that trouble and trials will come our way: "In the world you will have tribulation." The purpose of that tribulation, the reasons for our suffering, may not be made known to us. But we can trust the conquering power and promise of our crucified and risen Lord, who tells us, "But take heart; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33). He endured all that the world threw at Him—rejection, hatred, betrayal, grief, loss, pain, and death itself—and by His resurrection overcame it all. He will walk with us through suffering and trial and, according to His will and perfect timing, bring us to a place of abundance in His presence forever.

THE PRAYER: Jesus, be our help and our hope in every trial. Strengthen us with the promises of Your Word. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.

Reflection Questions:

1. Have you been tested in your life? How so?

2. Can you name areas in your life where you feel tested or challenged on a regular basis?

3. When unexpected difficulties arise, what is your typical first reaction? Is this reaction helpful or constructive? Do you wish you would respond differently?

.

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 12:51 pm
by Mountaineer
Today's Garage Theology. Whose are you?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss49P1k7fAc

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Sun May 17, 2020 10:20 pm
by Ad Orientem
Footage of Russia's new Cathedral for the Armed Forces. Wow.

https://youtu.be/A3TZUl8p6Q4

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 9:54 am
by Mountaineer
Ad Orientem wrote:
Sun May 17, 2020 10:20 pm
Footage of Russia's new Cathedral for the Armed Forces. Wow.

https://youtu.be/A3TZUl8p6Q4
Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Mon May 18, 2020 2:13 pm
by Mountaineer
https://youtu.be/rcCSA7du5co

Today’s Garage Theology. The ultimate fisherman. 8)

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:21 pm
by Mountaineer
"Intolerant Fears"

July 11, 2020

1 John 4:18-21 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

We don't need any sociologist to tell us that intolerance is causing a lot of trouble in the world today. If the personal tolerance of some people for other people is low, acrimony, hate, and strife—together with open conflict—are bound to result, with the consequences we see all around us in the world today.

At the bottom of this whole business is fear: a deep-seated, corrosive fear clamming up the heart of humanity. The results of this are man's many hurts and inhumanities to man. When it comes to man's inner fears, drastic action is required.

Fear without faith in God is a killer. It does things to a man that shouldn't happen to a beast. It turns him into a demon, unsure of himself and suspicious of everyone else. This is life for an awful lot of people these days. It's a continuing torment—on the inside and the outside. The root of the weed of intolerance is fear.

Sadly, much of modern life is dominated by fear. This then fuels intolerance and, in the end, is incapable of the self-giving, self-forgetting, self-sacrificing love which marks the best man or woman in any age. But, though we may have forgotten how to love, God never does.

That's right. God loves. He puts up with our weakness and cowardice. His love is tolerant and ever patient with us, as He forgives all who penitently seek and accept His good grace in Jesus Christ.

In Jesus we can learn to live and love in life's most trying situations. We can learn to appreciate and deal with people whom we would likely never make the effort to understand otherwise—all because "He first loved us." As God works in us, we can learn to love with patience, tolerance, and sensitivity. We can thrust out all that old, cold intolerance and let in the life-saving, healing qualities of love to take its place.

Do this, then, for Jesus' sake. Do it through the love that God's Spirit is working in your heart. It's a love that's being perfected in you, a love that casts out fear, intolerance, and deep-seated ill-will for others. It's a love that should mark all our lives as God's people.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11)

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, helps us love our neighbor, every one of them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

From "Intolerant Man, Tolerant God," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

Reflection Questions:

1. Would you consider yourself biased to any considerable degree?

2. Did Jesus deal with bias issues in His ministry? How can perfect love cast out fear?

3. If one has deep-seated prejudices, is there a healthy way to work through them?

Re: Figuring Out Religion

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:07 pm
by pp4me
Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:21 pm
"Intolerant Fears"

July 11, 2020

1 John 4:18-21 - There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

We don't need any sociologist to tell us that intolerance is causing a lot of trouble in the world today. If the personal tolerance of some people for other people is low, acrimony, hate, and strife—together with open conflict—are bound to result, with the consequences we see all around us in the world today.

At the bottom of this whole business is fear: a deep-seated, corrosive fear clamming up the heart of humanity. The results of this are man's many hurts and inhumanities to man. When it comes to man's inner fears, drastic action is required.

Fear without faith in God is a killer. It does things to a man that shouldn't happen to a beast. It turns him into a demon, unsure of himself and suspicious of everyone else. This is life for an awful lot of people these days. It's a continuing torment—on the inside and the outside. The root of the weed of intolerance is fear.

Sadly, much of modern life is dominated by fear. This then fuels intolerance and, in the end, is incapable of the self-giving, self-forgetting, self-sacrificing love which marks the best man or woman in any age. But, though we may have forgotten how to love, God never does.

That's right. God loves. He puts up with our weakness and cowardice. His love is tolerant and ever patient with us, as He forgives all who penitently seek and accept His good grace in Jesus Christ.

In Jesus we can learn to live and love in life's most trying situations. We can learn to appreciate and deal with people whom we would likely never make the effort to understand otherwise—all because "He first loved us." As God works in us, we can learn to love with patience, tolerance, and sensitivity. We can thrust out all that old, cold intolerance and let in the life-saving, healing qualities of love to take its place.

Do this, then, for Jesus' sake. Do it through the love that God's Spirit is working in your heart. It's a love that's being perfected in you, a love that casts out fear, intolerance, and deep-seated ill-will for others. It's a love that should mark all our lives as God's people.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11)

THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, helps us love our neighbor, every one of them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

From "Intolerant Man, Tolerant God," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

Reflection Questions:

1. Would you consider yourself biased to any considerable degree?

2. Did Jesus deal with bias issues in His ministry? How can perfect love cast out fear?

3. If one has deep-seated prejudices, is there a healthy way to work through them?