Musings of a Recovering Lutheran: December 2015
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, December 31, 2015

Reading list

The Fleet, by John Davis.

Today's verse

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Heat wave at the North Pole! We're all gonna die!

STOP THE PRESSES!! According to Time magazine, there is a huge temperature surge going on at the North Pole.

Key quote:

Stormy weather in the North Atlantic is set to bring balmy weather to the world’s northernmost point.

Temperatures at the North Pole could hit 40 degrees, according to Discovery News, which would be about 50 degrees higher than average for this time of year. Storms over Iceland and Greenland, fairly common in winter, are pushing warmer air to the Arctic region.

So global warming is real, right? The polar bears are finished thanks to Big Oil, yes? Is it time to put the deniers in prison?

Not so fast. It appears the temperatures are from North Pole, Alaska.

Here is the original quote from Time:

Stormy weather in the North Atlantic has brought balmy weather to the world’s northernmost point.

The temperature in the North Pole hit 42 degrees Fahrenheit on Wednesday morning, which Discovery News says is 50 degrees higher than average for this time of year. Storms over Iceland and Greenland, fairly common in winter, are pushing warmer air to the Arctic

Relying on Discovery News for scientific information is like using the horoscopes to learn about modern astronomy, something the writers and editors at Time will take into consideration.

But don't forget - the science is settled! Even if those from the "settled science" crowd are unsettled about where the North Pole actually is.

Reading list

Dark Space, by Jasper T. Scott.

Today's verse

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galatians 5:1 (KJV)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Today's verse

Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O Lord: let thy lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me. Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me: O Lord, make haste to help me.

Psalm 40:11-13 (KJV)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Today's verse

And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Like 2:36-40 (KJV)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Today's verse

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 2:25-35 (KJV)

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Not Joseph nor Mary

This little item caught my eye: Churches offer refuge for Central Americans facing U.S. deportation.

Key quote:

Leaders of the multi-denominational Sanctuary Movement, which has sheltered at least 10 immigrants from deportation over the past 18 months, joined in the criticism on Friday, alluding to the biblical Nativity story of Mary and Joseph seeking refuge before the birth of Jesus.

"As pastors we know that each and every family is a holy family," said the Rev. Alison Harrington, pastor of Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. "We open our doors to today's Josephs and Marys. ... The gift we have to offer on Christmas Day is the gift of sanctuary."

The biblical illiteracy of these "pastors" is staggering. First of all, Joseph and Mary were not refugees (nor were they homeless, which is the other falsehood that is usually trotted out at this time of year). Instead, they were legal residents of their home country. Joseph and Mary were forced to journey to Bethlehem by a government determined to make them pay more taxes. The illegal aliens being lauded by these churches are lawbreakers and (in some cases) violent criminals.

This issue is of great personal interest to me. Last week my wife became an American citizen - legally. It irritates me that the false teachers and prophets of the Sanctuary Movement are willing to use racial and ethnic hatred for political gain. The Sanctuary Movement is a deliberate slap in the face of all legal immigrants such as my wife. The Sanctuary Movement has also shamelessly played the race card in its utter contempt for the law and its scorn for the reasonable objections to uncontrolled immigration many Americans have.

Christians must love our neighbors as ourselves. Because the Sanctuary Movement promotes lawlessness and contempt for others it cannot be considered Christian.

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.

Luke 2:21-24 (KJV)

Friday, December 25, 2015

Reading list

The Wright Brothers, by David McCullough.

Today's verse

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, and thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Matthew 2:1-12 (KJV)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Today's verse

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Today's verse

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:1-7 (KJV)

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Today's verse

And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

Luke 1:39-45 (KJV)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Today's verse

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38 (KJV)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Reading list

Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad.

Today's verse

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Jeremiah 23:5 (KJV)

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Reading list

Badge of Infamy, by Lester Del Rey.

Today's verse

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: but with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Isaiah 11:1-10 (KJV)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Today's verse

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

Genesis 49:10 (KJV)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Reading list

The Door Through Space, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Today's verse

Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Micah 5:1-2 (KJV)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Today's verse

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV)

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Today's verse

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 7:14 (KJV)

Jesus' birth is predicted by the prophet Isaiah.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Today's verse

The kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Matthew 13:45-46 (KJV)

Friday, December 04, 2015

Today's verse

Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

Matthew 6:20 (KJV)

Thursday, December 03, 2015

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)

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Today's verse

Thy mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.

Psalm 36:5 (KJV)