Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tornado and Togetherness

We recently had our first tornado warning since we moved to Indiana. Perhaps, more correctly, the first tornado warning that we were aware of, since we now have a weather radio (no sirens out here!). It was interesting to see what everyone took to the basement, "just in case."
Dad: Laptop, water bottles, and weather radio.
Mom: Blankets for kids to sit on, broom and dust pan (so kids would be willing to sit on the floor-our basement is more like a cellar!), purse with cell phones and MP3 player, radio with batteries.
Elise: Bert and Ernie (our parakeets), MP3 player, book, pillow.
John: pillow, and library books (he said he didn't want to pay for them if the tornado destroyed them).
Lindsay: pillow, all stuffed animals, and paper books that she has authored.
Bethany: pillow, and one stuffed animal (she looked at Lindsay's paper books).

Thankfully, no tornado touched down, but we did have 80 mph winds. Stan of course went upstairs a few times to check the weather, much to the chagrin of the younger kids. I got the basement somewhat swept up, and we had some good laughs as the kids bumped into each other while sharing the quilt spread on the floor. After the warning expired, Lindsay and Bethany slept on the living room floor because they were too scared to go to their own beds. It was a togetherness experience that reminded me of camping, which we haven't done since I was pregnant with Bethany. Maybe it is time to start looking for a tent!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Wittenburg Confessions

"Wittenburg Confessions: Testimonies of Converts to Confessional Lutheranism", by Jim Pierce and edited by Elaine Gavin, is a book recently released by Blue Pomegranate Press. Stan and I had the privilege of contributing our stories to the book. Yet this is not a book about how victorious and successful our lives have become since we converted. The back cover says:

"The institutional church is drifting further and further from the historic liturgy and the proclamation of the pure Gospel. It is devolving into a pop culture version of the faith that emphasizes "feel good" worship over the historic liturgy and tolerance over the truth of the pure Gospel. But all is not lost. Internet blogs like the Brothers of John the Steadfast and radio programs like Issues, Etc. and Pirate Christian Radio are being used by God to raise up a new generation of committed believers.

Wittenberg Confessions presents the testimony of eight of these new converts to Confessional Lutheranism. Reading these testimonies of what God has done in these lives will give you hope that Christ continues to build His Holy, Catholic Church, despite man's foibles in the institutional church."

Here is an excerpt from page 85, when I recall the final events that led to my investigation of Lutheran theology:

"I had always been curious about areas of Christianity such as predestination, end times, etc., but had struggled as to what source I could use to study them, other than the Bible. I had never studied thoroughly the more controversial issues, such as infant baptism and communion, from any viewpoint other than the modern evangelical one. As of late, some questions had been forming in my mind. I had recently come across the term 'monergism' in a book I was reading, and was totally unfamiliar with it. I wrestled with this idea that our salvation is credited solely to God, and that we have no part in it. I had always said that God saved me, but I had to decide to trust Him (even though I would have said that He gave me the grace to do so). I noticed on my close friends' blog a link to monergism. Clicking on this link led me to ask a whole host of questions."

It is an interesting and thought-provoking book with essays that show the working of Christ on our behalf.
You can order the book at

Monday, June 7, 2010

True Comfort

Where do Christians find true comfort when struggling with a decision or are disappointed or fearful about their performance? A certain phrase comes to mind that has been offered as a source of comfort: "God knows your heart." This could be taken to mean that God still loves you because you are trying your best, or that He knows you love Him and want to please Him. But is that why God loves us and accepts what we do? What does God think about our hearts?

The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it.
I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, Jeremiah 17:9-10a

The fact that God knows my sinful heart strikes terror into it, so there is no comfort found by pointing myself inside. The true comfort is found in the objective, external Word of God: Jesus Christ given for the forgiveness of my sins!

Now may the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. 2Thessalonians 2:17.