Happy Thanksgiving 2015


In this world, some imagine “that godliness is a means of gain.  But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”  (1 Timothy 6:5-6, ESV).

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.  In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.  And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only.  Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.  Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit.

I have received full payment, and more.  I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  To our God and Father be glory forever and ever.  Amen.

— Philippians 4:11-20, ESV.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving in every circumstance.  Thank you for visiting, and may God be with you always.

The mountains are calling …


The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.

— John Muir.

John Muir was one of the founding fathers of our national and state park systems.  The mountains called him, and he worked incessantly so that when the mountains called us, we could enjoy them.

God’s blessings.

BoC Drawing, Reformation 2015 Followup


In recognition of the four hundred ninety-eight year anniversary of the beginnings of the Reformation, Light from Light hosted a giveaway of a copy of the Christian Book of Concord, Second Edition from Concordia Publishing House.

Over 140 people entered.  The winner chosen at random was Shelley Z.


The Book of Concord should be in every Lutheran home.  If a person isn’t familiar with this book, he’ll think, ‘That old book is just for pastors.  I don’t have to preach.  After working all day, I can’t sit down and study in the evening.  If I read my morning and evening devotions, that’s enough.’  No, that is not enough!  The Lord doesn’t want us to remain children, blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine; instead of that, He wants us to grow in knowledge so that we can teach others.

Dr. C.F.W. Walther.

Click here for additional reasons why every Lutheran home should have a copy of the Christian Book of Concord.

May God bless you in the upcoming holiday / holy day season.

Autumn leaves in Fall


Autumn leaves in Fall
Rich scents from the earth arise
God’s seasonal gift



a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.



God’s blessings to you.

Blessed Reformation and All Saints Days


Blessed Reformation and All Saints Days!

Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
At Thy speaking it was done.
For created light we thank Thee,
While Thine ordered seasons run.

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
Dark as night and deep as death,
Broke the light of Thy salvation,
Breathed Thine own life-breathing breath.

Thy strong Word bespeaks us righteous;
Bright with Thine own holiness,
Glorious now, we press toward glory,
And our lives our hopes confess.

From the cross Thy wisdom shining
Breaketh forth in conqu’ring might;
From the cross forever beameth
All Thy bright redeeming light.

— “Thy Strong Word,” LSB 578:1-4.

From the cross shines the wisdom of God.  This wisdom is foolishness to the world and the worldly.


The picture is of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Appleton, WI.

God’s Pure Word Alone Brings Genuine Peace

In our day, many Lutherans wish to compromise the pure word of God.  They believe such compromise brings prosperity and peace with the world.  But such peace is only a temporal peace.  And the success such compromises bring is only a temporal success.  It does not last.

God’s word endures forever.  (1 Peter 1:25, Isaiah 40:8).  Therefore, God’s word alone brings genuine peace.  This is because genuine peace is a lasting peace.  It lasts forever.  Christ alone gives us this peace with God in His word of promise.


The excerpt below is from C.F.W. Walther’s “Fourth Evening Lecture” delivered October 3, 1884:

When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice.  That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime.  Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God.  They are regarded as men worthy of contempt.

clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word … in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church

But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace.

Therefore, woe to the Church which has no men of this stripe, men who stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, sound the alarm whenever a foe threatens to rush the walls, and rally to the banner of Jesus Christ for a holy war!

woe to the Church which has no men of this stripe, men who … sound the alarm whenever a foe threatens to rush the walls

Try and picture to yourselves what would have happened if Athanasius had made a slight concession in the doctrine of the deity of Christ.  He could have made a compromise with the Arians and put his conscience at ease; for the Arians declared that they, too, believed Christ to be God, only not from eternity.  They said: … “there was a time when He did not exist,” meaning, He had become God.  But they added: “Nevertheless He is to be worshiped, for He is God.”  Even at that remote time, had Athanasius yielded, the Church would have been hurled from the one Rock on which it is founded, which is none other than Jesus Christ.

Again, imagine what would have happened if Augustine had made a slight concession in the doctrine of man’s free will, or rather of the utter incapacity of man for matters spiritual.  He, too, could have made a compromise with the Pelagians and put his conscience at at ease because the Pelagians declared: “Yes, indeed; without the aid of God’s grace no man can be saved.”  But by the grace of God they meant the divine gift which is imparted to every man.  Even at that time, had Augustine yielded, the Church would have lost the core of the Gospel.  There would have been nothing left of it but the empty, hollow shell.  Aye, the Church would have retained nothing but the name of the Gospel.  For the doctrine of the Gospel that man is made righteous in the sight of God and saved by nothing but the pure grace of God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, is, as everybody knows, the most important doctrine, the marrow and substance of Christian teaching.  Wherever this doctrine is not proclaimed, there is no Christ, no Gospel, no salvation; there men perish, and for such people it has been in vain that the Son of God has come into the world.

bless all the faithful champions who have fought for every point of Christian doctrine, unconcerned about the favor of men

Lastly, picture to yourselves what would have happened if Luther had made a slight concession in the doctrine of the Holy Supper.  At the time of the Marburg Colloquy he could have made a compromise with Zwingli and put his conscience at ease, because the Zwinglians said: “We, too, believe in a certain presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper, but not in the presence of Christ’s corporeal substance, because God does not set up such sublime, incomprehensible things for us to believe.”  By this claim Zwingli made Christianity in its entirety a questionable matter, and even Melanchthon, who was usually greatly inclined to make concessions, declared that Zwingli had relapsed into paganism.  Had Luther yielded, the Church would have become a prey to rationalism, which places man’s reason above the plain Word of God.

Let us, therefore, bless all the faithful champions who have fought for every point of Christian doctrine, unconcerned about the favor of men and disregarding their threatening.  Their ignominy, though it often was great, has not been borne in vain.  Men cursed them, but they continued bearing their testimony until death, and now they wear the crown of glory and enjoy the blissful communion of Christ and of all the angels and the elect.  Their labor and their fierce battling has not been in vain; for even now, after 1500 years, or, in the last named case, after several centuries, the Church is reaping what they sowed.

Let us, then, my friends, likewise hold fast the treasure of the pure doctrine.  Do not consider it strange if on that account you must bear reproach the same as they did.

— C.F.W. Walther, The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel,
Concordia Publishing House, 1929, 1986,
pages 28-30.

Jesus said:

I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.  Do not fear what you are about to suffer.  Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation.  Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

— Revelation 2:9-10, ESV.

Book of Concord Drawing, Reformation 2015


Four hundred ninety-eight years ago, Martin Luther posted ninety-five theses.  Those theses sparked a discussion in the one holy catholic and apostolic Church that is still ongoing.  The first theses said:

When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said ‘Repent,’ He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.

In recognition of this 498th anniversary, I would like to give away a copy of the Christian Book of Concord bonded-leather-cover Second Edition from Concordia Publishing House.  This is similar to the regular hard-cover Second Edition, except it has a bonded-leather-cover with gold trim on the page edges and comes in a gift box.  The condition is new, never used.

If you would like to enter the drawing for a free copy, just fill out the form below.  However, you must be at least 18 years old, may enter the drawing only once, and you must be a resident of the United States.

After the winner is chosen at random, all names and emails will be permanently deleted.  The deadline for entries is 12 noon on All Saints’ Day (Sunday, November 1), 2015 A.D.

Autumn Blessings


The Lord is merciful and good.  So let us fear the Lord in every season.

We have all become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.
We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

— Isaiah 64:6, ESV.

But the Lord is merciful, and sends rain in the Spring and in the Autumn.  Because of Christ crucified and his mercies:

‘Let us fear the Lord our God,
who gives the rain in its season,
the autumn rain and the spring rain,
and keeps for us
the weeks appointed for the harvest.’

— Jeremiah 5:24, ESV.

Every day and every season brings us one ticktock closer to his final return.  For those in Christ, his return will be beautiful.


The picture at the top was taken at Copper Falls State Park in Wisconsin.

How many stars are there?

In the beginning, notice how the video selects a tiny portion of our own sky, then takes merely a slice of that.  It scans an actual NASA photograph of part of the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy.  (We live in the Milky Way Galaxy).

All those points of light in the photograph are stars, not dust.  Dust does not emit light, dust is dark, dust obscures the light from the stars.  Dusty areas are dark areas.  If it glows, it is a star.

“The full image takes you through 100 million stars and travels more than 40,000 light-years.  Each of those white dots is a sun, much like the sun that powers all life on Earth.”

NASA’s Largest Picture: The Andromeda Galaxy.

How many stars are there?  There are too many for us to count.  There are too many for us to count even in our own galaxy.  And there are countless galaxies.  We do not have the ability to count the galaxies or the stars.  Only God knows the true number.

And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below …”  (Acts 2:19, ESV).

The Kingdoms of the World


The kingdoms of the world have their day.  Like the flowers of the field they have their Summer of splendor.


But compared to the eternal kingdom of heaven, they are little more than sand castles.


And like all the treasures of this world, they too shall pass away.

Kingdoms come and go, and most are not even remembered.

There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to be
among those who come after.

— Ecclesiastes 1:11, ESV.

Time marches on.


Only one kingdom will endure forever, and that kingdom will not be built by human hands.  (Daniel 2:34, 44-45).  Jesus said, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV).

Build on the Rock.  (Matthew 7:24-27).  Trust what will last.  Hope in the Eternal.

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare to make no other claim
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

— “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less,” CW 382:1.