My friend Pastor David Petersen kindly sent me a copy of Pastor Reinhardt's new collection of poetry. I'm embarassed to admit that I have only now found the time to look at it closely. Simply put, I really enjoyed Pastor Reinhardt's poems. They speak clearly and profoundly of the Gospel in a way that will surely offer the reader new insight on the brilliant diamond that is the good news of Christ. Every person looks at this diamond differently, and the light shining through it casts its beams on all of us in ways that move us uniquely. The poetry in this book is, primarily, doxological, that is, words of praise to the good and gracious God who has called us out of darkness into his marevlous light. The quality of the poems in this book might be a tad uneven at times, but anyone who has ever attempted to put pen to paper with a project like this, realizes how much love and attention went into this book and the skill it took to produce these poems. I wonder if perhaps there was not a qualified musician out there who could find a way to work with Pr. Reinhardt to put his words to musical texts. You can order the book from Pr. Petersen's web site.
This morning in the Treasury of Daily Prayer's readings the Holy Spirit hit me with a two-by-four right square between the eyes with this exhortation from St. Paul's words to St. Timothy:
I believe that this is something I struggle with mightily. I find myself sometimes so eager to defend the truth and reject error that I do not "correct with gentleness" and am not always kind to everyone.
Now, in today's climate, people will automatically assume that any correction of any error, let alone the assertion that there is absolute truth, is reason enough to accuse somebody of being quarrelsome who speaks the truth. Any attempt to correct, no matter how gentle, will be received as being unkind.
How easily though it is for this reality to become an excuse for us to not take care on both points, and how much more must we, now more than ever, strive to avoid adding to already strongly held perceptions by praying for God to help us avoid doing anything on our part that is unkind or lacking in gentleness?
Let us pray for one another that the Holy Spirit so guide us that we are kind to everyone and gentle in correcting our opponents.
Does anyone else feel that perhaps this is a particular challenge
for those who wish to strive to maintain, defend and extend the truth
of God's Word? I welcome your insights!
I was asked to prepare a brief essay on the story of The Lutheran Study Bible. This will be posted to The Lutheran Study Bible's home page on the Internet, but I thought you might like to have a chance to read it here. I encourage you to pass this along to whomever you wish, but I ask that the content not be changed.
Here is a RTF version, text only:
The Story of The Lutheran Study Bible
Rev. Paul T. McCain, Publisher
Concordia Publishing House
Engraving for the title page of the New Testament
from a 1769 printing of the Luther Bible
The story begins in 1521 in an isolated room at Wartburg Castle, a mountaintop fortress in Eisenach, Germany. Martin Luther had been taken there under protective custody by Elector Frederick the Wise after being declared to be not just a heretic but an outlaw by Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Frederick gave Luther safe haven and protection to prevent his arrest and execution, both very real threats and dangers imposed on Luther as a result of his bold confession of Christ and His Word. Consequently, Luther had nothing but time on his hands, and he put that time to very good use. [Image on left: The Wartburg Castle; Eisenach, Germany].
Among other projects during his exile at the Wartburg, Luther translated the New Testament into German, which was published in September 1522 after his return to Wittenberg from the Wartburg in March 1522. Luther’s work of translating the Bible continued until the end of his life. He and a team of colleagues continued working on the translation of the Bible, including the entire Old Testament, and in 1534, the first complete “Luther Bible” was published. It was repeatedly updated in new editions until Luther’s death in 1546.
"The so-called September Testament was received so
enthusiastically that a second edition with corrections by
Luther was printed as early as December of the same year.
Not only is the September Testament regarded as a milestone in
the history of German Bible translation, but also it had an
unequalled hand in the promotion of the Reformation, as
well as in the dissemination of the High German language.
Numerous reprints bear witness to its success: 12 editions
were published in Basel, Augsburg, Grimma and Leipzig
during the year 1523 alone.
At the same time, first editions of the translations of the
remaining parts of the Bible were prepared in Wittenberg.
Although Melchior Lotter was still involved in the publication
of the first part of the Old Testament in 1523, the publishers
Christian Döring and Lucas Cranach banned him
from all further participation in that project in 1524, following
his trial for the maltreatment of one of his workshop
collaborators. A handier and more easily portable New
Testament edition had probably been projected early on and
was now realized by Lotter as his sole responsibility."  Source.
I received today the following message from The LCMS President's Office and am passing it along, per their request, to you folks, it is a PDF document, which you may download by clicking on the following link:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
Greetings in the name of Jesus!
Attached please find an important memorandum from President Kieschnick. You are encouraged to share this memorandum with any and all LCMS leaders with whom you may have an affinity, including, but not limited to, board members, staff members, professional church workers, and lay leaders in various capacities. Thanks in advance for doing so.
Peace be with you.
Rev. Jon Braunersreuther
Senior Assistant to the President
The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122
Run in such a way as to get the prize. I Corinthians 9:24
Wow, the Baby Book of Concord is flying off the shelves. A good number of you have asked if we are going to produce a leather edition of the "Pocket Concordia" aka "The Baby BOC" aka "Concordia: Mini-Me Edition." The answer is, no, since the whole idea of this edition is to make a copy of the Book of Concord available that is inexpensive. Were we to produce a true genuine leather edition, it would probably cost around $50. But, I have a solution.
For a number of years now I've been using a company in Santa Fe, New Mexico to make leather covers for my books, "slip jackets" I suppose you could call them. They are good, genuine cowhide, nicely stained and nicely grained, and finished well, sturdily sewn. I sent them a copy of the Pocket Edition a couple weeks ago, and a week or so later they sent it back to me inside the leather cover you see in this picture.
If you are not a bibliophile [biblioholic?] you won't understand, but for those who are, you might enjoy a leather cover. The cover costs $20, plus $5 shipping. Yes, more than the book itself. I know. I know.
The company's name is Renaissance Art and they can make a cover for any sized book. I had them make a cover for my full size BOC. And, one of the best things about it is the wonderful aroma of genuine leather. It takes me instantly back to my beloved genuine leather football that I received as a gift from my parents when I was a little boy and just about wore out using in neighborhood games of "touch" football [which only now I'm willing to confess to, and since my mother reads my blog closely, she will no doubt grill me about this admission later!]. And by "touch" I mean full body tackling, unless somebody yelled "uncle" at which time all attempts to kill the opponent had to cease and desist. We had another name for the game, which is politically incorrect. The phrase we used went like this, "Smear the ….." I say no more.
So, if you are wanting to give your Baby Concordia the loving care and attention you know it deserves, I recommend my friends at Renaissance Art to you. And for a great dose of fond memories of your favorite leather football, or what it smelled like to bury your face deep in your baseball glove and breathe deeply, while fighting boredom in the outfield, here's your chance.
P.S. – We are having a "casual day" here at CPH due to the snow/ice storm, hence the flannel shirt I'm wearing.
+ Saint Titus +
26 January, New Testament
Saint Titus, Pastor and Confessor was sent by Paul as bishop and pastor to Crete.
Along with his other duties, he was also to "appoint elders in every town (Titus 1:5)" — in other words, he chose and consecrated the first generation of Cretan pastors and appears to have been the island's de facto
bishop. While there, he was to himself be a faithful shepherd for
Christ's flock as he trained and placed others into the Office of the
The letters Paul wrote to Titus and Timothy are collectively known as the Pastoral Epistles. Much of Christianity's understanding and practice of the pastorate comes from these three relatively brief letters.
God, You called Titus to the work of pastor and teacher. Make all
shepherds of Your flock diligent in preaching Your hold Word so that
the whole world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior, Jesus
Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now
Source: Pastor Snyder
If you have not heard of this, and I thought it was a hoax when I first did, it is not. It is amazing. Well, until I realized it was Google being Google, again.
Today celebrates the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who became known as Paul, through the revelation of the risen Christ to him on the road to
Damascus. The zealous Pharisee, Saul was traveling to arrest followers
of Jesus. Instead of capturing Christians, Paul found Himself made
captive by his Savior's boundless grace and became Christ's primary
apostle to the Gentiles. Accounts of the event are in Acts 9:1-22; Acts 26:9-21; and Galatians 1:11-24.
Paul's normal symbol in ecclesiastical art is a shield with sword and open Bible. The Latin words Spiritus Gladius
(sword of the Spirit) come from the apostle's words about the armor of
God, where he urges believers to take up "the sword of the Spirit,
which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)"
God, as You turned the heart of him who persecuted the Church and by
his preaching caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the
world, grant us ever to rejoice in the saving light of Your Gospel and
to spread it to the uttermost parts of the earth; through Jesus Christ,
Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Source: Pr. Walt Snyder
I thought you would find these two photos interesting, they are pictures from a couple pages of an editor's Bible who has been working on The Lutheran Study Bible for years. Intensely detailed reading, study, research and meditation on the Scriptures are the foundation of the work on The Lutheran Study Bible, and combined with the questions, comments and thoughts of over 400 persons involved in a whole-Bible reading project, you have here but a glimpse into the careful work that has gone into The Lutheran Study Bible. Just a little glimpse "behind the scenes," so to speak. Click on the pictures below for a full-sized view.
I think you will be interested in listening to one of the associate editors of The Lutheran Study Bible talking about the project and his experiences working on The Lutheran Study Bible. Please go to this page and you can listen either on-line, or download the Podcast as an MP3 file. I encourage you to share this Podcast with others.
Heirs of the Reformation
I strongly encourage you to visit the web site for “Heirs” and sample the tracks. Consider getting a group order at your congregation together for this resource. We will be sending more information in the mail on this to all Lutheran congregations.
At the web site you can also download and read the little booklet included with the collection, which is, in itself, a gem.
The new Heirs of the Reformation: Treasures of the Singing Church showcases Lutheran music of the generations immediately following Luther’s time. Using choir, soloists, modern instruments, and historical instruments, this varied collection includes well-loved hymns, some Lutheran gems, and modern settings of old favorites.
Purchase 5 or more CD sets of Heirs of the Reformation for $30.00 each, regularly $44.95. Offer good through March 31, 2009.
At the website you can also download a bulletin insert and a newsletter article to use to promote this collection. Scroll down toward the bottom of the page.
Here are the tracks on the collection:
My pastor, David Smith, has a way with words, that is to say, he is one of those rare birds who does not mince words when he has something important to tell his congregation. Yesterday, he informed us that we are to be present for Divine Service on Sunday morning, unless we are "providentially hindered" from being there, and then he explained what it means to be "providentially hindered."
"There are only three legitimate reasons for not showing up here on Sunday morning: you are out of town, you are sick, or you are dead."
We are going to go live at the beginning of February with some samples from The Lutheran Study Bible and will continue to add to the samples over the next few months. Be sure bookmark TLSB's home on the Internet. But I thought you might like a bit of a pre-preview, a "teaser trailer," if you will. There truly has been nothing like it before in the history of English
Speaking Lutheranism. Please pass the word to your various e-mail
lists, groups and blog sites.
We will begin taking pre-publication orders in early February, at which time you will be able to purchase the Bible at the lowest price possible, before it is printed. We are offering The Lutheran Study Bible in case lot discounts as well (must be ordered in quantities of ten). More information on pricing in February.
My most hearty word of encouragement to you is to place a pre-publication order, either individually, or preferably by congregational order, before the Bible is released on October 31. Why? Because after the first printing it will take up to several months for a second printing due to the fact that printing such a large book, in such large quantities, requires us to buy an entire paper shipment from the paper mills, and we can not rely on the paper printers may have on hand, or in stock. So, simply put, if you don't get in on the pre-publication offer, you may be left waiting a few months until you are able to obtain your copy. Ordering information will become available in February, so stand by for more information on that.
To stay informed about developments on The Lutheran Study Bible please visit the TLSB's home page on the Internet. You will also find a Facebook page devoted to The Lutheran Study Bible, titled, conveniently, "The Lutheran Study Bible."
Here are screen shots from two of the opening pages in Romans, the first page of the Psalms, and the page where the first part of Psalm 23 appears.