Sunday, July 31, 2005

What Is Islam?

"What Is Islam?" is the title of a class taught by Jon Armajani from the Theology Department of the College of St. Benedict & St. John's University. The free lecture will be at St. John's in Collegeville (Emmaus Hall) August 12. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.; the class concludes at 1:30 p.m.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Modern Day Money Changers

Sadly, the thoughts shared by David Ravenhill are all too true. What do you think?

On-line religious teaching

A leader in online instruction, the University of Phoenix, is moving into religious teaching.

Friday, July 29, 2005

ELCA income

Income for the 10,585 congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) exceeded $2.6 billion in 2004 -- up 1.8% from the previous year. Meanwhile baptized membership decreased by about 1% to 4,930,429.

What can we learn from Pope Benedict XVI's first 100 days in office?

From The Tablet:
Well, his personal style has been good-humoured, to the extent that he makes self-deprecating jokes about being German. He has a penchant for designer sunglasses and white baseball caps. He smokes, plays the piano and likes cats. In keeping with his lack of pomposity he has had the triple tiara, the anachronistic heraldic symbol of a pope as temporal ruler, dropped from his coat of arms in favour of a mitre.

Less comfortable in crowds than his predecessor, Pope Benedict has confirmed only one foreign visit so far, to Cologne for August's World Youth Day celebrations. That trip will be watched closely for his comments on the spiritual perils facing Europe through secularism and relativism, which so vexed him before his election.

The Pope's most significant act to date has been the appointment of Archbishop William Levada, Archbishop of San Francisco, to replace himself as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The American has a reputation as a reconciler rather than a punisher, suggesting that his selection bodes well for other appointments expected later this year.

"Today Gaza, tomorrow Jerusalem"

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia Wednesday said Israel's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip would eventually lead to its surrender of the Jews' ancient capital – Jerusalem. See article from Jerusalem Newswire.

Pastor Crowell's life

A heart-warming account of Pastor Crowell's life.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Pastor Mike Crowell

The airplane accident which took the life of Pastor Mike Crowell yesterday morning during the airshow at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is described in this article from the Seattle Post. Please remember his family in your prayers.


Interested in what's going on in Israel? Check out Bridges for Peace.


The most common mistake Christians make in worship today is seeking an experience, rather than seeking God. They look for a feeling, and if it happens, they conclude that they have worshiped. Wrong. In fact, God often removes our feelings so we wont depend on them. Seeking a feeling, even the feeling of closeness to Christ, is not worship.
- Rick Warren

Death Curse

A group of religious Jewish extremists opposed to the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon reportedly placed a death curse on Sharon on July 21.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Prayer request

Please pray for the family of Pastor Mike Crowell who was killed in a plane crash today at Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

St. Paul's Lutheran School

Check out some recent additions to the St. Paul's Lutheran School web site; click on the buttons for Photo Blog, Students in Need, News Blog, & Prayer Needs.


Larry Norman, Christian rock artist: "I thought Elvis was stealing the church's music. And I thought I should steal it back."


It's hard enough to get people to listen to sermons -- but read them? Nevertheless, I've posted last Sunday's message in the Read section of our site.

Are you supporting Islam by drinking Caribou coffee?

Caribou Coffee announced in an SEC filing that it operates its business according to Islamic principles. Caribou's majority ownership is tied to a Bahrainian investment group.


A Red Wing, Minnesota, woman has been unofficially ordained as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. However, she has also been warned by Archbishop Flynn that her ordination will not be recognized.

Monday, July 25, 2005


Philip Yancey will be releasing a new book on prayer in the fall of '06.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Da Vinci Code

If you have some difficulty in separating fact from fiction in The Da Vinci Code, this site on Mary Magdalene, established by the Roman Catholic Church, may be of help.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


I just returned from a brief retreat at Blue Cloud Abbey with my friend, Pastor Jerry Holmaas. He was working on the Book of Daniel (not the upcoming TV program) which he will be teaching at the AFLC Summer Institute. Between the prayers & psalms with the monks, I was shooting pictures or birds and nature around the Abbey in the morning & working on next Sunday's sermon in the afternoon. I will be preaching on Romans 8:26-39, Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit, at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, 5472 Adams St., in Mounds View. Service time is 9:30 a.m. Hope to see you there!
Map of
5472 Adams St
Mounds View, MN 55112-1449

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Jesus on TV

A modern-day Jesus is coming to prime time TV in a show called "The Book of Daniel." Thanx for the tip, Frankie.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


A good friend recently gave me Gilead, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Marilynne Robinson. The book is full of wonderful quotes which pastors in particular would appreciate. For example:
I blame the radio for sowing a good deal of confusion where theology is concerned. And television is worse. You can spend forty years teaching people to be awake to the fact of mystery and then some fellow with no more theological sense than a jackrabbit gets himself a radio ministry and all your work is forgotten. I do wonder where it will end.

Sunday (cont.)

Thank you for reminding me that I hadn't listed the service time for Cross of Glory in yesterday's posting. It is 9:30 a.m. I will also be preaching there next Sunday, July 24. My sermon title is Come, O Come, Thou Quickening Spirit; it is based on the Epistle text, Romans 8:26-39. See you there!

Friday, July 15, 2005


The Catholic Church may not be able to baptize children of same-sex couples, if both parents insist on signing the certificate of baptism, says the archbishop of Quebec, Cardinal Marc Ouellet: "According to our canon law, we cannot accept the signatures of two fathers or two mothers as parents of an infant." His comment came as the Civil Marriage Act was expected to become law next week.

Benoit Bariteau, associate general secretary of the bishops' conference, clarified later that that the Church would only deny baptism if both fathers, or both mothers, insisted on signing the baptismal certificate. The Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported that Bariteau explained that if one signature is sufficient for both parents, the Church would not refuse to baptize children of a same-sex couple.

And now for something completely different ...


This Sunday I will be doing pulpit supply at Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, 5472 Adams St., in Mounds View. (about 4 blocks west of I-35W on Co. Rd. I) My message, What Shall We Do About the Weeds? is based on the Gospel text from Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43. You are welcome to visit!
[ Yahoo! Maps ]
Map of
5472 Adams St
Mounds View, MN 55112-1449

Daily Bible Verses & Prayer by e-mail

If you would like to receive an Old Testament & New Testament verse and a short prayer each day by e-mail, check out this Moravian web site: By signing up with them I've been assured of at least one good e-mail per day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Evolution & the Catholic Church

Cardinal, Christoph Schönborn, of the Roman Catholic Church, which has supported the theory of evolution, is now suggesting that belief in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with Catholic faith.

The Lutheran Handbook

Boy Scouts & birdwatchers have their own handbooks, why not Lutherans? I picked mine up last week at the Luther Seminary bookstore and had to begin reading it in the car before I left for home. It deftly combines the essence of Lutheran theology with the good and sometimes ribald humor of Martin Luther.

It's published by Augsburg Fortress which has even set up a series of videos to publicize the book. (On my computer, the Quick Time Player was best.)

There is good discussion about the "dangers" of praise songs (glazed looks & hand raisers), dealing with noisy kids & chatty neighbors during the service, how to stay awake, and what to bring to pot lucks.

In a more serious vein, the book includes an abbreviated version of Luther's Small Catechism and many maps & diagrams. Perhaps the most intriguing is "How to become a theologian of the Cross (and avoid being a theologian of glory)." There are also detailed instructions on consoling and blessing people.

I found the sections on comparative religions and comparisons between liturgical and non-liturgical churches helpful to my understanding fellow seekers. For those tempted by heresy, there is even a section on how to avoid getting burned at the stake. (I wonder if this was intended especially for pastors. )

Things I didn't know: (a) Luther's last written words: "It's true. We're beggars." (b) One of Martin Luther's favorite ways to banish the devil:
Break wind. The devil (along with anyone else in the room) might well leave you alone.

I wonder if Fortress would offer multiple copies of the book at a discount; it would be a great way for Lutheran churches to introduce seekers to Lutheranism.

Highly recommended!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church

This morning we attended St. Anthony Park Church in St. Paul where our daughter, Kristine, is a member with our grandchildren. The low point, just before the service started, was a woman looking for a seat while carefully guarding her Caribou latte. Also, I'm not going to get into dress codes, except to say that it seems like it's only old fogies like me that wear ties & jackets on Sunday mornings.

For me the high point at St. Anthony Park is usually the liturgy; today we chanted a portion of Psalm 65. The Epistle lesson from Romans 8, particularly verse 6, was convicting: To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Where is my mind set most of the time?

Pastor Amy spoke on the Gospel lesson from Matthew 13: the parable of the sower. She made an interesting point. We are not to be repotted - we are not to worry about fertilizer - Jesus tells us just to LISTEN. Listen, because there is nothing we can achieve by ourselves. Listen, because there is good news - the good news of the Gospel.

Another view of St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church in St. Paul.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Prayer request

Please pray for my friend, Brother Rene, of Blue Cloud Abbey, asking for a speedy and full recovery from surgery to remove a brain tumor.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

free web hit counter