Thursday, December 30, 2010

Uncle Frank's Favorite Gift Of The Year Award 2010

It’s time once again to award the annual and highly, highly coveted Uncle Frank's Favorite Gift Of The Year Award for Christmas presents.

The prestigious award for the bestest present goes to once again, drum roll please….. my favorite niece Valerie for giving her Uncle Frank a hug on Christmas day. Valerie being saddled with huge student loan debts after completing the deaconess program through Concordia University Chicago (with very little in the way of prospects of actually serving as a deaconess due to a variety of factors that plague our beloved synod) knew that all her uncle has ever wanted or needed was a hug from his favoritest niece to make Christmas merry.

As I stated last year, Valerie is always the favorite for Uncle Frank's Favorite Gift Of The Year Award since she is my favorite niece. Thank you Valerie for the hug which I loved almost as I do you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Neatest Latin Phrase You’ll Ever Learn Concerning St. Stephan

So, ya want to hear one of the neatest Latin phases ever concerning Saint Stephan who was the first Christian martyr? Heri natus est Christus in mundo, ut hodie Stephanus nasceretur in coelo which means “Yesterday Christ was born in the world so that today Stephan would be born in heaven.” What a wondrous Latin phase that we should all keep in mind as untold numbers of our brothers are today being martyred for confessing Christ as Lord just as Stephan was nearly two thousand years ago as recorded by Luke in the book of Acts.

Where did I find this Latin gem? From today’s writing in the Treasury of Daily Prayer:

Reverent hearts, it is an old, laudable custom to commemorate St. Stephan on the second day of Christmas. For just as the innocent children were the first martyrs after Christ’s birth, so also St Stephan was the first after Christ’s ascension to praise our glorious King Jesus with his blood. Our predecessors used to say Heri natus est Christus in mundo, ut hodie Stephanus nasceretur in coelo. “Yesterday Christ was born in the world so that today Stephan would be born in heaven.” This is speaking rightly and truly of the fruit of Jesus Christ’s birth. If the Christ child had not been born, the entire world would be lost. Thus Stephan’s sleep in death and entrance through the open heaven to the glory of God in eternal life will show us well what great usefulness and goodness we have from the incarnation and the birth of the Child Jesus.

Stephan means a “garland” or a “crown.” Think here of our beautiful Christmas consolation. Whoever believes in the name of Jesus is righteous before God and can expect a glorious crown. Devout Christians are ‘virgins” before God (Matthew 25:1; Revelation 14:4) and have four different virgin garlands. The first is the garland of righteousness gifted. Second is the garland of righteousness begun. The third is the garland of all kinds of cross and thorns. The forth is the glorious garland of perfect righteousness.

The ancient teachers of the Church say that the Lord Jesus loved Stephan in life, in death, and after death. First in life, for He filled him with His Spirit, with heavenly wisdom, and faith unfeigned. Second, in death, for he offered him heaven opened and waited for his soul. Third, after death, for He gave him the garland of glory and set up for him a famous commemoration until the Last Day. These are the beautiful flowers of Christmas. Those who truly love our glorious King Jesus Christ shall be certain of God’s grace in life, in death, and after death. They shall not die, but live, and proclaim the work of the Lord.

- Valerius Herberger

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Word Became Flesh

From the Gospel of Saint John:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’”

And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[f who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Lack Of Posting…

Sorry for the lack of posts lately folks but the real world has simply had me running ragged. My vocation as a metrologist has been keeping me a busier than expected and I’ve been battling Maytag over a brand new stove that hasn’t had a working oven since I got it. What makes the stove situation even more ironic is that model I picked out has TWO ovens and neither of the have worked more than once. Four weeks, two service companies and three service calls later I’m still without an oven right before Christmas. Sheesh!

I’ll try to put something up soon that is less whiny and more in line with what the readers of POTF expect. Sorry for the interruption… I just thought ya’ll might want to know what’s been monopolizing my time.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Another Man Made Holiday…

Today makes the end of Hanukkah also known as the Festival of Lights. Hanukkah marks when the Maccabees back in the second century B.C. rededicated the Holy Temple and its altar, which had been desecrated and defiled by the pagans. Here's a snippet from Wikipedia:

According to the Talmud, at the re-dedication following the victory of the Maccabees over the Seleucid Empire, there was only enough consecrated olive oil to fuel the eternal flame in the Temple for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days, which was the length of time it took to press, prepare and consecrate fresh olive oil.

So, I’d like to wish everybody happy Hanukkah, which is of course another man made holiday not commanded by Scripture... just like Christmas.

Friday, December 03, 2010

The Words Are Clear, We Don’t Choose

When Christ said in John 15:16You did not choose Me, but I choose you…” he didn’t actually mean to say “You did not choose Me, but I choose you, however, first you need to choose to accept Me into your heart."

If a person is going to make a case that the words of Jesus don’t mean what they clearly mean and instead can or should be understood to mean the exact opposite of what is recorded in the text, then the entirety of Scripture is suspect and should not be trusted.

Personally, I want nothing to do with a Bible that is subject to my whims and fanciful imagination.