Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: January 2013
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)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Today's verse

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

Psalm 86:5 (KJV)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Today's verse

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:8-9 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Today's verse

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Mark 9:35 (KJV)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Today's verse

If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us: then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us: then the waters had overwhelmed us, the stream had gone over our soul: then the proud waters had gone over our soul. Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us as a prey to their teeth. Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124 (KJV)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Update on Asia Bibi



An interview with Sabatina James, is which she talks about Asia Bibi and the grim reality for Christians in Pakistan.

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.

Today's verse

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.

Matthew 6:1-4 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Today's verse

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.

Isaiah 42:1-4 (KJV)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Today's verse

Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 (KJV)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Today's verse

Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

Isaiah 29: 13-14 (KJV)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Update on Asia Bibi



The Supreme Court of Pakistan has ended the case against Rimsha Masih, a Pakistani teenager who was accused of blasphemy. May God change the hearts of those in Pakistan's legal system to grant Asia Bibi the same reprieve.

Key quote:

World Watch Monitor reports that "though Rimsha now is legally free, Christian lawyers say she and her family have no future in Pakistan, where their lives will always remain at risk."
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.

Today's verse

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Today's verse

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke. Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts. Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: and he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.

Isaiah 6:1-8 (KJV)

Monday, January 14, 2013

Today's vse

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:1-2 (KJV)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Today's verse

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2 (KJV)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today's verse

As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.

Proverbs 28:15 (KJV)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Today's verse

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; as it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins. And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey; and preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.

Mark 1:1-8 (KJV)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Freedom fighter

Jay Nordlinger of National Review Online interviews Natalia Solzhenitsyn, the widow of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Today's verse

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: for thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee.

Proverbs 25:21-22 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Update on Asia Bibi



Italy is pressuring Pakistan to set aside the death sentence against Asia Bibi.

Key quote:

Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi has given instructions to its embassy in Islamabad to appeal to the Pakistani authorities on behalf of Asia Bibi.

Bibi, a Christian, has been held since 2009 and condemned to death on the charge of blasphemy.

According to a news release from Italy's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this underscores the Italian government's expectation that the sentence would be revoked.

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.

Church-burning in Dar comes to trial

A court in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania is going to the site of last year's church burning.

Key quote:

"The pastor's office of the ELCT-Mbagala parish was extensively damaged," Senior State Attorney, Tumaini Kweka told the Principal Resident Magistrate, Waliarwande Lema, as he was leading her to the office at the scene of the crime situated at Mbagala Zakhem.

Earlier, the prosecution read memorandum of facts of the case against 10 people linked with the violence, before asking the court to shift to the church area as was part of exhibits that would be tendered in course of the hearing

The church burning was allegedly started by reports that someone desecrated the Quaran:
The accused in the case are Hamad Sekondo, Shego Musa, Mashaka Iman, Hamza Mohamed, Mikidadi Sadik, Juma Mbegu, Issa Abdallah, Hamis Kimwaga, Ramadhan Mbulu and Mohamed Yusuph. Violence that led to the case were allegedly fuelled by two young boys aged below 18 years that were playing and exchanging ideas about religious issues.

It was reported that one of the youths urinated on a Holy book of Muslim (Quran). The matter was reported to the elders and then at Mbagala Police Station for further action.

While legal actions were in progress, a group of people believed to be bandits under the pretext of Muslim devotees, invaded various public and private institutions, including the church, Mbagala parish. Such group at the time was armed with iron bars and blocks, destroyed the fence around the church and entered into the building which was used as a place of worship.

Today's verse

A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.

Proverbs 19:9 (KJV)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Reading list

Quarks, Chaos & Christianity, by John Polkinghorne.

Today's verse

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

Psalm 146:3 (KJV)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Today's verse

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

Isaiah 60:1-2 (KJV)

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Friday, January 04, 2013

Today's verse

Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

Isaiah 1:16-17 (KJV)

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Today's verse

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

1 Peter 1:24-25 (KJV)

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Homeschooling in Sweden

Your child belongs to the state. Or so some government authorities in Sweden seem to believe.

Key quote:

Just a month ago [Sweden's] Social Welfare Committee, which kept Swedish homeschooler Domenic Johansson separated from his parents for more than three years, appealed a June decision that upheld the parental rights of his father and mother, Christer and Annie Johansson (left). In 2009, Swedish police seized seven-year-old Domenic after boarding a plane bound from Sweden as the family was minutes from departing to do missionary work in India. Initially, state authorities "permitted" the parents to see Dominic one hour every five weeks, but they haven't seen Dominic since December 2010.

I teach in a community college, and we do not homeschool or son (yet), so in a sense I don't have a dog in this fight. In my professional experience, homeschooling is either done very well (which is most of the time), or else it is done in a truly hideous fashion.

However, it is not the government's right to block homeschooling simply because they do not like the parents' reasons. Concern that a child may receive a poor education at home is not by itself a valid reason: if the government really believed that, it is safe to say there are many public schools which would have been shut down long ago. The burden of proof to deny a homeschool education must be set very high - or we cannot honestly call ourselves a free society.

One of the most disturbing lines to come out of last year's US elections was the one about the government being "the one thing we all belong to". Such a view assumes people are the property of the state, whether its advocates will admit it or not.

Christians belong to the one true God. Government is a God-ordained institution, but it is not a God-substitute.

Bye bye, Papa - at what price?

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit brought my attention to the following article about the possible connection between absentee fathers and violence such as the horror we witnessed at Newtown.

Texas allowed to de-fund Planned Parenthood

Praise God!

Please pray to end the genocide of abortion.

Today's verse

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Luke 2:21-35 (KJV)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Update on Asia Bibi



The Italian Catholic newspaper Avvenire is pushing for the release of Asia Bibi.

Key quote:

[T]he daily newspaper, owned by the Italian Bishops Conference, released signatures of thousands of supporters who joined a campaign by former Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, the senate president, Renato Schifani and the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Gianfranco Fini.

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.

Today's verse

Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein: I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.

Isaiah 42:5-10 (KJV)