Musings of a Recovering Lutheran
O LORD, God of my salvation,
         I have cried out day and night before You.
Let my prayer come before You;
         Incline Your ear to my cry. 

Psalm 88:1-2 (NKJV)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Today's verse

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Psalm 139:14 (KJV)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Today's verse

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

John 10:1-2 (KJV)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Today's verse

Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

Psalm 22:23 (KJV)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Today's verse

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

Exodus 14:14 (KJV)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Today's verse

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

Leviticus 19:18 (KJV)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Today's verse

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

Psalm 86:6-7 (KJV)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Update on Asia Bibi



The Orlando Sentinel has a plea from human rights lawyer Shahzad Ahmed.

Read Asia Bibi's own words.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family. Also, please pray for those who are risking their lives to free her.

Today's verse

The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

Proverbs 28:1 (KJV)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Today's verse

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45 (KJV)

Monday, May 11, 2015

Today's verse

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

1 Peter 2:19-20 (KJV)

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Today's verse

Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.

Jeremiah 3:22-23 (KJV)

Do you trust in the princes of this world to save you? What about wealth? Science and knowledge? All of these will one day let you down.

Instead, trust in the Lord. He is eternal, and remembers His promises. He will never abandon you nor forget you.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Today's verse

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

2 Timothy 4:1-4 (KJV)

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Today's verse

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:1 (KJV)

Monday, May 04, 2015

Today's verse

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Today's verse

But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

1 Timothy 4:7-8 (KJV)

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Today's verse

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Romans 8:18 (KJV)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Today's verse

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us. There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

Ecclesiastes 1:9-11 (KJV)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Today's verse

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 3:23 (KJV)

Monday, April 27, 2015

Today's verse

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Support Sweet Cakes by Melissa!

In terms of numbers the persecution that American Christians face is nowhere near that faced by their brothers and sisters in Christ in other countries. But the relatively small numbers (so far!) does not make the persecution any less evil. The horrifying injustice suffered by Aaron and Melissa Klein at the hands of a corrupt judicial system in Oregon is yet another example of what all American Christians may have to face one day.

Key quote:

Aaron and Melissa Klein ran a small bakery called “Sweet Cakes by Melissa” for seven years in Gresham, Oregon, but had to shut down their store in 2013 after Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman filed a civil rights complaint against them. Administrative judge Alan McCullough ruled Friday that the funds will go to Cryer and Bowman for “emotional, mental, and physical suffering.”

Samaritan’s Purse is raising funds to help the Kleins pay their fine and meet other expenses. “They have taken a stand for the Word of God, and they should not have to stand alone,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham said. “I believe that Christians across our nation will rally around Aaron and Melissa and their five children.

Please pray for Aaron and Melissa Klein, and for other Christians being persecuted for their faith.

Today's verse

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Matthew 16:26 (KJV)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

Today's verse

For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

Psalm 12:5 (KJV)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today's verse

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

Psalm 37:1-3 (KJV)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Today's verse

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:12-21 (KJV)

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Today's verse

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

John 13:34-35 (KJV)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Today's verse

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 (KJV)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today's verse

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Luke 6:22-23 (KJV)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Update on Asia Bibi



Asia Bibi asks the Pope for prayers.

Key quote:

Asia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan for alleged blasphemy, has asked Pope Francis to pray for peace in the world and for her. The wife and mother, ‎condemned to death in November 2010, was alleged to have blasphemed Islam after co-workers ‎objected to her drinking out of their water glasses because of her Christian faith. “Vatican Insider” reported that her husband Ashiq and Joseph Nadeem, director of Lahore’s Renaissance Education Foundation, which is providing legal assistance to Asia Bibi and support to her family, visited her on Holy Thursday in Multan prison, to celebrate a brief moment of prayer ahead of Easter. “At Easter, Jesus Christ gives us an example of peace and forgiveness. All of us must learn from the teaching and sacrifice of Christ who was crucified for us and who forgave all those who harmed him. On this special day I ask Christians in Pakistan to live and pray for peace,” Asia Bibi told the two. “Asia is ok both physically and mentally,” Nadeem told ‘Vatican Insider’ after meeting her. “She spends her days between pain and hope, a hope rooted in Christ which does not abandon her,” Nadeem said, adding “Asia seemed very worried after the attacks on churches in Youhanabad, she was especially concerned for her family. She asked us at the Foundation to guarantee her husband and children’s safety. We are doing all that we can.” Nadeem said that Pope Francis’ is always in Asia’s mind. “I ask the Pope to send out a special prayer for peace in the world and for me,” Asia Bibi said feeling moved. Asia is spending Easter clinging onto the Word of God and to prayer, Praying and hoping for a resurrection, which in her case – a convicted innocent woman – means freedom.

Read Asia Bibi's own words.

The online petition calling for mercy for Asia Bibi can still be found here.

For those who do not know who she is, here is the story about Asia Bibi's unjust imprisonment and death sentence for "blasphemy" against the Prophet Muhammad.

Please pray for Asia Bibi and her family. Also, please pray for those who are risking their lives to free her.

Today's verse

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

Acts 3:1-8 (KJV)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Laws protect some...

..but not others. That is the only conclusion that a reasonable person can reach concerning the recent decisions by the state of Colorado forcing Christian bakers to provide services for gay/lesbian weddings while allowing other bakers to refuse service to someone who wants Bible verses put on cakes:

In a bizarre new twist on the religious liberty front, Colorado officials have determined that bakeries must cater to proponents of gay marriage but are not legally obliged to decorate cakes with Bible verses.

Christian activist Bill Jack has denounced a decision by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, which found Azucar Bakery in Denver not guilty of discrimination for refusing to bake a cake adorned with Bible quotes condemning sodomy.

It should perhaps not be surprising that a government bureaucracy with a windy, Orwellian-sounding name like "Civil Rights Division of the Department of Regulatory Agencies" should reach an Orwellian decision like this one. Compare that decision with previous decisions handed down by the state of Colorado:

Colorado prosecuted Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Cakeshop for bringing his Christian faith to bear in his decision not to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple, yet business owners who decide to refuse service to a Christian wanting Bible verses on cakes are exonerated by the state.

In 2012, a homosexual couple sued Phillips after he refused to make a cake to celebrate their marriage. An administrative law judge ruled against him, and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission agreed.

In December, 2013, Judge Robert N. Spencer handed down his decision that the “undisputed facts” show that Phillips “discriminated against complainants because of their sexual orientation by refusing to sell them a wedding cake for their same-sex marriage.”

The idea of "equality before the law", which was once a cornerstone of the modern progressive movement, seems to be gone, since there doesn't appear to be any consistent application of so-called anti-discrimination laws in these cases. Instead, we are faced with a situation where one group has both the muscle and the will to force its religious views on everyone else. Political leaders and journalists who should be resisting this drift into fascism are either silent or openly complicit (witness the recent hysteria about Indiana's now-gutted religious freedom law and the ugly campaign against a small Indiana pizza place whose owners dared to express a politically incorrect opinion).

There is an old saying that when all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. Many modern secular progressives rely heavily on their numerical superiority in the media and academia to force compliance on a larger population that does not necessarily want or need change. They view secular progressivism as right (which is not really the problem here), but they also believe all other points of view are so morally and intellectually defective that they are worthy of punishment rather than debate (which is the problem). Because of this stark black/white worldview many secular progressives see coercion rather that persuasion as the only way to engage others politically. Why take the long, hard road of actually winning debates against those who are obviously wrong when you can haul "homophobes" and "racists" into court and charge them with thoughtcrime? Why allow opposing points of view to flourish and possibly "contaminate" others when they can be blocked and punished? It is ironic that many secular progressives have become what they claim Christians are: narrow-minded and intolerant bigots afraid of dissent and willing to use the powers of government to enforce belief in a state-approved religion.

What are Christians to make of all of this? Sadly, some will approve of this bullying and favoritism since they prize "social justice" above all else. They see government abuse of power as a tool in achieving a just society, although how a society can be made more just by using injustice remains unexplained. Tolerance and religious pluralism are out the window, and the only thing that matters is political victory.

But for other Christians, I think there is the opposite temptation to despair or (worse) engage in retaliation. It is important to remember Jesus' words that His Kingdom is not of this world. We can only proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, not bring it about ourselves, and especially not by by using the unjust tactics of our adversaries. This will require faith that God is in control, and that in the end He will triumph. Jesus never promised that we would have easy lives, only that He would never abandon us.

Now would be a good time to pray for our country.

Today's verse

The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

Psalm 18:46 (KJV)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Today's verse

For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

2 Corinthians 13:4 (KJV)

Friday, April 10, 2015

Today's verse

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Isaiah 53:3 (KJV)

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Today's verse

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Today's verse

There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

John 21:2-13 (KJV)

Monday, April 06, 2015

Today's verse

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.

Matthew 28:19-20 (KJV)

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Reading list

Rosa Parks: My Story, by Rosa Parks and Jim Haskins.

The promise fulfilled

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home. But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

John 20:1-18 (KJV)