My great-grandparents

My great-grandparents on my mother’s side were married Sept. 29, 1901. Jennie Smith and Joseph Brown, and this is their weeding photo.

Joseph Brown and Jenny Smith wedding, June 29, 1900.

Frank Smith (brother of Jennie) was best man, and Julia Brown (sister of Joseph) was maid of honor.

They had 11 children, then Jennie and the 12th baby died. Joseph then married his second wife (Emma Marie Racine Cook Franks). Emma had one son from her first husband and two sons from the second husband. Then Jospeh and Emma had two sons of their own. My mother was close to both of these sons because she was born between them. I had met both sons.

Sadly as much as my grandmother loved Emma, Emma died in 1930 giving birth to another child (child also died). Measles hit the family in 1931 and so my grandmother, my mother (age 4), and uncle(age 6) moved into the Smith home. My grandmother (who had just turned 21) cared for her two children, plus all the others who were sick in the household, with as many as six people sick at the same time. Only two of the entire household never got sick: my grandmother and my uncle.

Joseph and Jenny Brown with 8 oldest children.

In the photo above is Joe and Jennie with eight of their children. My grandmother is the girl standing on the left. She died in 1984. Sadly both my great-grandparents died before I was born. But my mother wrote about some of the episodes of their lives. I met all of the great-aunts and great-uncles. Pictured above are the eight oldest, and three youngest pictured below. All of them died decades ago.

 

 

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6th Petition of Lord’s Prayer

The pope recently changed the wording of the 6th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. This may cause some to consider how this affects us as Lutherans. In reality, the papal church decision does not affect us at all. Here is the papal statement regarding the change:

The translation of a line in the Lord’s Prayer has been changed by The Pope after he signalled he was frustrated that it implies God might lead people into temptation.

Pope Francis approved altering the translation of the line “and lead us not into temptation” to “do not let us fall into temptation.”

Luther already in 1530 addressed the concern when he wrote his explanation to the 6th Petition in the Small Catechism.

6th Petition: And do not lead us into temptation.

What does this mean? God indeed tempts no one; but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us, so that the devil, the world, and our flesh may not deceive us nor seduce us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice; and although we may be assailed by them, still we may finally overcome and obtain the victory.

Immediately Luther addresses the concern whether God tempts us. He does not. The focus of the 6th petition is to call upon God’s protection against the three spiritual enemies: the devil, the world, and our flesh. Further that none of the three may not deceive us nor seduce us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. With the outcome that we finally overcome all these temptations in Christ’s power, and that we may obtain that the victory in Christ.

So is there any need for us as Lutherans to change the wording of English translation? Absolutely not. The current translation is acceptable and the result does not change even with a wording change.

Rest assured that our praying the Lord’s Prayer is acceptable to God and reflects God’s own desires for our prayers.

Other translation changes:

A final note is that the new translation by the papal church will affect oral recitation by congregations, small groups, and by individuals. In pastoral care to shut-ins, those hospitalized, home visitation, I recite the Lord’s Prayer, inviting the person(s) to join with me. What advantage is a wording change? None. Negatively it will cause confusion, stumbling, uncertainty at a very critical time for the person to be actively praying the commonly known words. Word changes like this are not helpful for pastoral care and private devotions.

Also, note that even when new Bible translations or revisions (NASB, ESV, NIV, etc.) appear, that change never affects the liturgical form used in worship or private devotions.

The pope also changed the text of “The Gloria” in the liturgy. That change will not affect us as Lutherans at all.

“A Liturgical kind of guy”

Still relevant today

“believe, teach, and confess”

On another blog, I was asked what liturgy means. I posted a short response there, and repeat it here (slightly edited) because I think it is crucial for us as Lutherans to state where we stand on this issue.

Liturgy = informally described as what is done in a worship service. Even non-denominational churches that claim to be non-liturgical have liturgy. It is just what you do repeatedly service after service. I taught 10 years ago at a Bible college run by charismatics, held at a cutting edge charismatic church. For the worship class, I asked the class members to notice carefully what happened during each service. They were astounded to discover that they were much more rigid in what happened during their service than what is often caricatured as a conservative Lutheran service.

As Lutherans, we specifically state that the proper term for what happens is Gottes Dienst (“divine…

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Pro-Life — What Does This Mean?

I am a Christian and have been for ~70 years. More specifically I am a Christian who confesses the faith as a Lutheran. I am coming from the pro-life side. My focus today is how does being pro-life motivate us to minister to  and care for people on both sides of the issue. I have done so for the last 35 years. But the current status is such that neither side will probably like what I have to say.

Being pro-life today. As a Christian I am and have been pro-life as long as I can remember. But in the clamor of today with laws being passed about abortion, we have to ask: Are we truly pro-life in all circumstances relative to this issue? For many people involved in the abortion issue would identify themselves as pro-life but they are hurting, struggling, fearful to even talk.

They are in circumstances in their lives with little control, perhaps having had an abortion and now dealing guilt, fear of attack from the pro-life side. Or perhaps the woman/girl was forced to get an abortion. What about the woman who does not get an abortion but the family and church shun the baby/child?

So, if we are pro-life, are we helping, caring for these hurting women and children? Do we hide behind the “Law of the land” thinking it is a settled issue because “abortions are illegal”? Ministry and care as pro-life is so much than abiding by the law of the land or just banning abortion.

These thoughts are not meant to be the end of the discussion but the beginning for us who are pro-life.

If you are pro-life, open your ears and eyes to those who are hurting because of abortion. That is where we can be pro-life for them.

Memory from US Navy

While deployed on USS Oriskany in 1975-6, we had several crashes. This video shows two. The first is an RF-8G (VFP-63 Det 4), my detachment. He had lost one of the main struts on first pass. He was given option to fly around dumping fuel and then ejecting for at-sea rescue, or have the barricade rigged and fly into it. He chose the latter. Uninjured. I was in my office right under the #4 wire. Instead of the usual crush of a landing, all I heard was “tinkle, tinkle, tinkle” from the landing gear sliding down the deck. Immediately ran to ready room to watch the camera.

The second plane was an A-7 on same cruise. Commander of one of the A-7 squadrons was flying. He was coming in too low hit the ramp and exploded. The plane was a fireball, slide down the deck. As it began to tip, he ejected, with one swing of the chute. Uninjured.

In the squadron (F-8 training and 5 detachments) we had 11 pilots who were killed in crashes during the 3+ year period.

Restoration of Peter

In the Gospel reading for today (John 21:1-19) Jesus restores Peter to ministry. He does so by asking Peter three times: “Do you love Me?” Each response by Peter “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you,” is met with Jesus saying, “feed My lambs”; “Shepherd My sheep”; “Feed My sheep.” This parallels Peter’s three-fold denials when asked if He was one who followed Jesus. Peter was forgiven, restored, and called to care for people.

Note how Peter writes about this change in 1 Peter 5:1-4:

1 I exhort the elders who are among you, as one who is also an elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ as well as a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, take care of them, not by constraint, but willingly, not for dishonest gain, but eagerly. 3 Do not lord over those in your charge, but be examples to the flock. 4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of glory that will not fade away.

(1 Peter 5:1–4 MEV)

Chronological CSB #04

Chronological Bible comment: I have noted elsewhere that the CSB Chronological Bible has several commendable features. But I noted that the Act-Scene-Readings structure offers no help to the Bible reader.

Sometimes when reading I may flip through the Bible looking for something specific passage or referent. Unless I have to open it on the Day intro page, I am left with this view (below) with no navigation capability. Nothing on this page indications what book of the Bible is presented; even the chapter number is only marginally helpful. This is confusing (especially for a new reader) because the books in the reading sequence have little bearing to the normal listing of the Biblical books (i.e. Genesis is followed by Job). I think some kind of reference could be given on each page. Thus, on this page at the top instead of “Governance: God rescues His People” they could put “Exodus 18.”