Monday, March 29, 2010

What does the hymn teach?

I just finished a Bible study using the Good News issue on Worship. For the past four weeks we have been discussing how worship is not about us, it's not about what we give to God, it's not about pleasing God with what we do during worship, despite the false doctrine Rick Warren proffers.
God-pleasing worship is found in what we receive through Christ Jesus: peace, forgiveness and salvation. Worship is not founded on what we do but what God does for us through Jesus Christ. For more resources and discussion get a copy of this issue or check out some of the information on this blog for the Bible study.

This morning Mollie Hemingway posted this quote on the Brothers of John the Steadfast blog and it fits perfectly into God-pleasing worship and the need to receive Christ and be taught doctrine during worship:

“I came across this fantastic quote:

We must take note also of a most deplorable tendency of our times, namely, that of preferring the shallow modern “Gospel anthem” to the classical hymns of our Church. The reference is both to the text and to the tunes in use in many churches. On all sides the criticism is heard that the old Lutheran hymns are “too heavy, too doctrinal; that our age does not understand them.” Strange that the Lutherans of four centuries and of countless languages could understand and appreciate them, even as late as a generation ago! Is the present generation less intelligent or merely more frivolous?
When was this written? Back in June 1929. (Source: Paul E. Kretzmann, Magazin für evang.-luth. Homiletik und Pastoraltheologie [June 1929], pp. 216-217)

Perhaps it should make me sad that confessional Lutherans have been fighting these battles for so long but, for some reason, it makes me hopeful. I think sometimes we think things used to be great and now they’re awful. In fact, I think that we’ve always had people in our midst who didn’t appreciate our Lutheran identity. And sometimes I think things are actually better now than they have been in recent memory. In any case, a blessed Holy Week to everyone.”
Thanks for the quote Mollie.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter vacation reading list

Oh, it's getting closer.
Summer vacation? Certainly.
Chocolate rabbit gluttony? Yes.
Easter vacation? Precisely.
Along with Easter vacation and the celebration of Christ's death, resurrection and triumph over the devil, thus ensuring our salvation with his atoning sacrifice, there are also 8 days away from school. One of the activities I have slated, in addition to grading tests and Expos papers, is reading.

Here is my compiled reading list for Easter vacation:

America Alone: The End of the World as we Know It. by Mark Steyn. As a primer to Steyn I'm going to first read two articles of his that were published in Hillsdale College's Imprimus: the August 2008 article, "Lights Out on Liberty" and the April 2009 article, "Live Free or Die".

Steyn often writes for National Review. I'll follow that read with William F. Buckley Jr's. The Reagan I Knew. Buckley was the founder of National Review, a periodical where Steyn's writings can be found. "Zamboni Baloney" was my favorite Steyn column.

I'll follow this read with a recommendation from Mr. Wolf. I was walking through the faculty lounge and Mr. Wolf was explaining how he just finished an interesting read: Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years. This New York Times bestseller sounded like an interesting read. After Mr. Wolf's assurance that even an English teacher like me could understand it, I added it to my list.

The coup de gra will be Reverend Matthew Harrison's most recent book, Christ Have Mercy. Reverend Harrison is the Executive Director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care. He is also the man I nominated at the last St. Peter, Macomb voters meeting, for president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.

I know I won't finish all these books but the anticipation of such great reads is exciting.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Veith, AP Language & Spirituality

In my AP Language class we just finished reading Dr. Gene Veith's The Spirituality of the Cross. It's a great read and one that perfectly fits my AP English curriculum. We analyzed Veith's use of language devices to establish and develop the true definition of spirituality. We had some great discussions on the theology of the cross vs. the theology of glory, decision theology and other vital doctrinal matters.
Yes, juniors in high school could handle this book and need to read this book.
This book is Issues, Etc. book of the month club and recently they aired two segments with Dr. Veith. Given them a listen and then read his book.

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Strengthen me according to Thy Word.

"Strengthen me according to Thy Word." - Psalm 119: 28

"Post guards with machine-gun vigilance at the door of your heart, because "out of it are the issues of life." (Proverbs 4:23) the most important things in life take place in the heart, such as believing unto salvation, such as loving God or our wife. The most desperately wicked things come out of the heart: '...Murderers, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies.' (Matthew 15:19)

Luther: 'When your heart is full of something it will run over at your mouth.'
We dare not load the naturally evil heart with more evil. Jam your heart with absolutely the best. David's determination: 'Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.' (Psalm 119:11)
Keep cramming it in, morning, noon, and night; memorize it, meditate on it, love it, and cherish it! You will be amazed how powerfully, repeatedly, appropriately, delightfully, the Spirit will bring to mind at exactly the right time in exactly the right place the very words you need and the people around you need."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Left Field Returns

It's spring and that means baseball. If we're talking baseball, we're also talking Left Field. After a harsh winter and some time away from the game, Left Field has returned to Blogger Boulevard.

Our first guest this spring is Ron Baller. Ron was an integral member of Lutheran North's boys basketball district championship team, played in the strangest state championship soccer game and continued his soccer career at two colleges. Welcome Ron Baller to Left Field.

As a senior at North you played in the soccer state championship with at least six inches of snow on the field? Yeah we played that game in Grand Rapids in mid November. I still think they should have canceled that game. We were actually winning 1 - 0 and ended up losing 3-1. I blame it on the snow.

Do you really think Mr. Rochlitz looks like Jim Morrison? Oh yeah, as you know my senior year the soccer team made t-shirt out of an old college picture of Mr. Rochlitz. He had long hair and he kind of looked like Jim Morrison on steroids.

You transferred from Roseville High School at the start of your sophomore year. Why North? Good question! I am really not sure, but I know it was one of the best decisions of my life.

What’s your secret to those biceps that made the front sports page of The Macomb Daily? Lots of greens: mean and lean.

Not only did you play in the soccer state championship your senior year, you also played in the national finals game while playing for Macomb College. What was that collegiate experience like? Playing at Macomb was a great experience. We had a very talented team that year but we lost in the national finals. Can’t blame the snow on that one.
You also played soccer and met your wife at Concordia University in Ann Arbor. Word on Blogger Boulevard is that Concordia Ann Arbor is starting a football team next year. Think you might suit up and play football for the Cardinals? I don’t think so! I enjoy watching football not playing it.

You coach the girls’ and boys’ soccer teams at Roseville High School. What differences do you see in coaching girls and boys? I enjoy coaching both of them but it is definitely different. You deal with different struggles with both.

Your high school basketball team recently had a fifteen-year reunion recognizing its district championship. What was it like to walk back on that court after fifteen years? It was really great to be back at the school and to see the guys. I can’t believe it has been fifteen years, I can remember those days like it was yesterday. I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one who gained weight since high school!

Soccer or football? Soccer of course
Matt Stafford or David Beckham? Stafford, I ate sushi right next to him in Royal Oak this year!
GM or Honda? GM
Five Guys or McDonalds? Red Coat Tavern
The Clem or Roseville? The Ville
Kwami Killpatrick or Kyle Karsten? Karsten for sure, he was smooth.
Pele or Freddy Adu? Pele, I like old school.
Twitter or Facebook? Neither