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Showing posts from June, 2010

Where in Scripture is the Divine Call

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In order to better understand the Divine Call, here is something from the WELS Q & A section.

Q: Where in Scripture does the Divine Call come from, and what is the proper way to issue a call for a pastor or teacher? How do we avoid putting our own earthly agenda above faith that God will lead the person he wants to accept the call?

A: Referring to calls into the public (representative) ministry as "divine calls" highlights that God ultimately calls these people to serve in gospel ministry. The Bible assures us of this in a variety of passages, including these: Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, Ephesians 4:11-12. God also sets the qualifications for called workers (see 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Titus 1:5-9).

The Bible also, however, informs us that God calls through the church, that is, believers. He moves believers to appraise needs, identify gifts and traits of available workers, verify the necessary qualifications, and to make the selection in responsible ways. Comparing th…

Divine Call Extended

Last Tuesday, as I was preparing to leave for the visitation with the Tangerstroms at the funeral home, I received a phone call. It was from the president of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and School in Hortonville, WI. He told me that at their voters meeting the night before, Bethlehem had extended a Divine Call to be their associate pastor.

This is why in Sunday’s sermon I mentioned that sometimes God’s timing does not appear to be our timing. Why sometimes it seems like God is piling one thing on top of another. Why sometimes God may place a challenge in front of us to overcome so that we do not focus on the setback or tragedy that was behind us.

I encourage you to read/watch Sunday’s sermon to learn more.

The way the Wisconsin Synod extends Divine Calls is not like the Reformed or non-denominational churches where a pastor may interview or send in a resume to another church. It is not like the Catholic church where they move priests around from one parish to another.

On Monday evenin…

A cross for our good

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5th Sunday after Pentecost at Epiphany on June 27, 2010

Genesis 39:6 So [Potiphar] left in Joseph's care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master's wife took notice of Joseph and said, "Come to bed with me!" 8 But he refused. "With me in charge," he told her, "my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, "Come to bed…

Funeral sermon for Susan P. Tangerstrom

Last Thursday, God called home to heaven Epiphany's beloved and faithful secretary, Sue Tangerstrom. It was a tough week, but God's Word and resurrection comfort brought joy in the midst of our pain and mourning. If you missed the funeral service, you can read the sermon that was preached for Sue's Christian funeral.

Grace and peace to you from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Psalm 118:24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

How odd those words sound on a day like today. “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” How strange those words sounded last Thursday as we stood by Sue’s side or heard the news.

Let’s be serious. We can’t really rejoice and be glad today. Think of what we lost. A beloved wife, mother, daughter, aunt. A faithful friend, coworker, godmother. My boss.

Shouldn’t the Bible verse say for funerals, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us mourn and be sad in it?” That makes mu…

Happy 480th Anniversary of the Augsburg Confession!

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Emperor Charles V and his brother Ferdinand, the King of Austria, met privately with the Lutheran princes. They ordered them to forbid any Lutheran preaching in Augsburg during the meeting. They commanded them to attend the Corpus Christi festival the next day with the emperor. George Margrave of Brandenburg, spoke boldly for the Lutherans. He refused to concede to Charles’ demands, saying, “Before I let anyone take from me the Word of God and ask me to deny my God, I will kneel and let them strike off my head.”

The emperor, clearly taken aback by George’s boldness, sputtered in broken German, “Not cut off head, dear prince. Not cut off head.”

On June 25, 1530, courageous Lutheran laymen confessed their faith and told the emperor and the Roman Church what they believed, taught and confessed. They relied on the promise of God’s Word as contained in Psalm 119:46, “I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame.”

The Augsburg Confession was presented as a stat…

The Augsburg Confession

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Take some time to read and digest today's post of the Augsburg Confession.
The Confession of Faith which was submitted to His Imperial Majesty Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg in the year 1530 by certain princes and cities

I will speak of thy testimonies before kings, and will not be put to shame. -- Psalm 119:46

Preface to the Emperor Charles V.
1] Most Invincible Emperor, Caesar Augustus, Most Clement Lord: Inasmuch as Your Imperial Majesty has summoned a Diet of the Empire here at Augsburg to deliberate concerning measures against the Turk, that most atrocious, hereditary, and ancient enemy of the Christian name and religion, in what way, namely, effectually to withstand his furor and assaults by strong and lasting military provision; 2] and then also concerning dissensions in the matter of our holy religion and Christian Faith, that in this matter of religion the opinions and judgments of the parties might be heard in each other's presence; and considered and weighed 3…