Be A Preacher

Grant me, Lord, to know and understand which is first, to call on Thee or to praise Thee? and, again, to know Thee or to call on Thee? for who can call on Thee, not knowing Thee? for he that knoweth Thee not, may call on Thee as other than Thou art. Or, is it rather, that we call on Thee that we may know Thee? but how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? and they that seek the Lord shall praise Him: for they that seek shall find Him, and they that find shall praise Him. I will seek Thee, Lord, by calling on Thee; and will call on Thee, believing in Thee; for to us hast Thou been preached. My faith, Lord, shall call on Thee, which Thou hast given me, wherewith Thou hast inspired me, through the Incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of the Preacher.
[Augustine, S., Bishop of Hippo. (1996). The Confessions of St. Augustine. (E. B. Pusey, Trans.). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

I read this in The Confessions of St. Augustine and was inspired to write the following poem. May God lead me to be a preacher for someone who does not know Him so that they, too, may call on Him who saves – praising His name through Christ Jesus my Lord.


Why do people not call on You?
Why are they so silent?
Why do people call on other gods?
Why is Your praise so absent?

You are higher than the gods.
Your power is by far greater.
Your love is infinitely more awesome.
Through Jesus You are my vindicator.

Why do people not call on You?
Why are they so silent?
Why do people call on other gods?
They seem to be so ambivalent.

People just coast through life.
With nothing but their own power.
They just have no idea, Lord.
How close is their final hour.

And so I sit and wonder, “why is this so?”
“Why are people such lost creatures?”
But God convicted me and said,
“But I have made you to be their preacher.”

Singing His Song

You are right and You are strong,
But they tell me I am wrong.
You are Life and You have won,
But they tell me I am done.

But…

Mighty You are in power,
And gentle as a flower.
A rock solid foundation,
The King of all creation.

There is no God quite like You,
And thus to You praise is due.
But they bow to other lords,
When in them there’s no rewards.

They’re striving after the wind,
And to death they are destined.
Oh, send me to preach thy Name,
So it is You they acclaim.

For…

Sinners we are that is true,
Death is due, that’s nothing new.
Falling short of Your glory,
But that’s not the whole story.

For Jesus was crucified,
And through faith I’m justified.
My sin is covered and gone,
Your wrath has now been withdrawn.

So send me with Your power,
That I may never cower.
They will tell me I am wrong,
But I’ll always sing Your song.

15 years

Fifteen years ago today (July 2) I was ordained into the ministry of Word and sacrament. It was a wild weekend. I started my first call about a month prior in Jackson, MN. Fresh out of seminary, I was wide-eyed and still trying to figure out what I was doing. I was ordained, Friday, July 2 and then married the next day, Saturday, July 3. We thought, oh well, we have people coming for the wedding, why not plan the ordination for the same weekend. It was a fun weekend as Connie and I started our married lives together.

Never did I imagine that the scope of my ministry would lead me to Western Washington, writing a blog, writing articles for a city newspaper twice a month, and a host of other things. God has indeed blessed my life and ministry that He could be glorified through me and for that I praise God.

15 years — Wow — 15 years. To God be the glory! Here’s to many, many more making much of God through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.

Clubhouse

The joy of a childhood clubhouse is that it is a place for a child to get away from the world and hang out with their friends. The clubhouse is secret – only for those who are members. Others may know of its existence, but they know they are not welcome. The clubhouse is a meeting place for the members. What happens in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse. To break the clubhouse code could mean excommunication. To bring guests is met with skepticism from the others. Clubhouses can serve a purpose – for a time – but in the end they become obsolete. A church that adopts or becomes what I have described, will be obsolete. They will serve a purpose for a limited time, but in the end, they will be no more. Jesus didn’t form a clubhouse of like-minded people. Jesus formed a Church that was to change the world.

Witnesses

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” [Acts 1:8 ESV]

Witnesses don’t share their opinions.
Witnesses don’t share their theories.
Witnesses don’t speculate.
Witnesses don’t guess.
But rather…
Witnesses tell the truth.
the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth.
So helped by the Holy Spirit.
And YOU, Christian, are called to be a witness for Jesus.
You’ve been subpoenaed by Jesus.
But here’s the thing…
The Holy Spirit will give you power to witness.
Jesus doesn’t send you empty-handed.
Jesus sends you equipped.
Jesus sends you.
Jesus goes WITH you.
You are not alone.
Don’t be afraid of the Truth.
Proclaim the Truth boldly and if the world hates you, then so be it.
Jesus loves you.
You are witnesses.
So go and give them Jesus.

Time

Where did the time go?
It was whisked away,
like a feather tossed in a stiff breeze;
a hurricane blowing it to God knows where.

Time melted away as a child’s ice cream cone,
in the heat of a muggy summer day;
evaporating into nothingness,
drifting away as steam.

Time is an elusive creature,
not willing to be tamed,
wild and free,
and impossible to be caged.

One minute I feel rich with time,
but the next minute I am in poverty;
begging for more,
but with none to be found.

Time can’t be borrowed, purchased or stolen.
Some say time is money,
but time is time
and thus worth more than gold.

Time is to be used now.
It can’t be banked or stored up.
It can’t be saved for a rainy day,
for time refuses to wait.

When you have time,
spend it — spend it or lose it.
Spend it on someone, now,
for someone needs your time, now.

When you have time,
don’t wait long;
for it will tick tock down its path,
merrily going its way; never looking back.

The time is now.
Tell someone about Jesus,
before time runs out,
never to return again.

Its time…

Speak!

Those days are done. The time of silence is over. The glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

The Word is being abused; twisted and contorted. Rewritten to fit the desires of the world. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

Firm, Word-standing Christians are being mocked. Hate-filled language is being hurled at us. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

People are lost and confused; searching for meaning. People are being mislead and deceived. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

Many church are conforming to the world. It’s leaders are preaching a false gospel. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

This slippery slope sliding culture is plunging faster and faster into oblivion. But the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, speak.

The Church is becoming more and more irrelevant. But the world cannot afford to miss our message, for the glory of Jesus has been revealed.
Speak, my friends, SPEAK!

The Pastor -|—