Bleak-Speak

One of my daily stops – a commenter of serious repute for his ability to grasp reality and explain it in cogent terms – especially in regards to the devolution America is presently undergoing, seems ready to throw in the towel.  I think it is just a bad day, what with the absolute tripe coming – not from the commie dems and their ilk and sponsored groups, but from the supposed “Right” in our political system, who are little anymore but apologists for the Left.

I, too, have experienced great frustration of late.  Who could have expected the mindless frenzy of the media and the commie dems?  Yet, their death grip of matters political and cultural is genuinely being threatened, not only by a fearless President who won’t take it, but also, and finally, the beginnings of a true right evolving and beginning to take serious form.  I am not speaking of the clowns “on the right” in Charlottesville.   Neo-nazis and the BLM/Antifa crowd are two sides of the same coin of socialism.

But for so long, those aggrieved over whatever slight they perceive being against them, however slight, have been simply permitted to set the cultural agenda.  The whores we call politicians, wishing to retain their power and especially their bennies of power, pander to said groups wholesale.  As history shows, the communists will permit nothing to stop them, and watching the supposed right get shredded and become complacent lap-dogs, echoing their new masters, is revolting.

I have had my niche my entire adult life – one that by definition has enriched and helped form Western Civilization.  The One, Holy Church is a pillar of civilization, and as long as it remains (which it will!), there will be sane, civil souls in this world.  But it is also true the Church falls prey to the very same forces bedeviling society in general.  My task, however humble, and in whatever location with however many or few faithful, is to maintain the Church’s true relationship to the world, and above all, to keep and maintain the rationality and civility of relationships.

Jesus was blunt – in the world we will have tribulation – that is inevitable.  And likewise, we will always have wars and rumors of war.  I see a more sinister force than most behind America’s devolution – simple, but infinitely sinister.  We have lost virtually all understanding of sin and, doubly condemning, of a God Who desires to forgive and make matters right.  If sin is no longer recognized for the destructive force it is, then one has no perceived need for God.  It is crystal clear, and the Lord the only true solution to the problems besetting us.

I doubt very much there will yet another Great Awakening in America – too many churches have been totally compromised, so it is up to those remaining true to the tenets of the One Holy Faith to persevere where they find themselves, and to continue in their never-ending task.

That might not seem “glorious” in terms of fighting back or being ready for revolution, but the task of the Church is not defined in worldly terms in any way, and I am called to continue my tasks regardless.  I will.  As one bright young fellow said a few centuries back when confronted with much the same situation:

“Here I stand.  I can do no other.”

 

At Long Last!

I am enjoying the luxury of unpacking all my own stuff in my own joint, after just short of seven months as a bit of a nomad.  It feels odd being just Da Pug and me, but the Lord has been extremely merciful on that count.  I have had wonderful support from my brother, and three of the bestest friends one could want!

I was “back in the saddle” the last two Sundays, and I know UN-retiring is the right course.  I did what I had to do to protect Sweet Mama Lou, but now, and I know with her blessing, I am getting back in the Lord’s ring and putting on the gloves to duke it out with the devil, so to speak.

How all of that will manifest itself is not my doing, however, so I am content with having landed on my feet with my own joint and room for my “stuff.”  I thought I eliminated all of the extra’s, but sitting in the back of the Explorer, there must have been some reproducing going on or something.  One box left in the truck – but first – the rest of the unpacking inside in the AM.  Then Thursday – stuff out of storage – mostly clothes.  It is a humble abode, to be sure, but within budget and enough for Da Pug and me.  We don’t want for a lot.

I have, I think, successfully fought the urge to go full-blown Kingdom of the Left on the media’s newest misadventure.  But I can’t really muster the effort anyway.  Not yet, anyway.  Let them be the idjits they most always are – I doubt they have ever heard of me anyway!  Such is my fame!  Heh!

I need a nice old, wooden wardrobe, an old but decent fridge, and a kneeler, and I can turn the joint into a mini-monastery.  Having no other concerns, I can be about the things of the Lord without interference.  That is good, right and proper, as we sing opening the Proper Preface each week.  I am not at all sure where I will find a personal kneeler, but I am persistent.  Something will pop up.  I found my tapestry of the Last Supper, too, and can have that in its proper place.  It’ll take shape in short order, I figure.

Can’t find it – but I once saw a picture of an old saint hunched over a medieval desk, writing a sermon with a quill pen by candle-light.  I liked it!  Fits me, too.  Not quite Luther flinging his inkwell at the devil, but hey . . . a keyboard and a printer  – serious bucks and won’t work well.  Guess I’ll have to just fire an unopened can of Milwaukee Spring Water at the bugger.  That’ll work!  Heh!

Sometime later today or Thursday, the “official waiting” shall begin.  My forms done (the Apostles would never been sent out with all the paperwork needed today!) – they will then be circulated.  It “activates” me, so it will be off to all Districts.  That should prove very interesting.  But things along those lines happen rarely on the QT, so I will have to be patient – which is most definitely NOT one of my “spiritual gifts!”  Then again – I just might get everything here in the joint and settled, and I will have to start boxing things up again.  Reminds me of Chesterton’s quip about the Lord’s mirth rarely being seen.  Knowing how things happen my way, the Lord might be chuckling to Himself already.  But it is truly His Call.  All I can do is what Isaiah did, and cry out “Here am I, Lord, send me!” (Is. 6:8)

Whatever happens, He has blessed my goings-out and my comings-in (Psalm 121:8).  A man can ask no more of the Lord than that.

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Facts First, Perhaps?

I forgive the man for his sheer ignorance, but running the second-largest corporation in America, one ought to learn the facts of the matter before going public with an asinine letter.

This – from the CEO of Wal-Mart.

“Doug” – it behooves one in your position, as it does President Trump in his position, to be aware of all the facts before simply spouting off in imagined wisdom or insight.  He did it properly, as we have seen yesterday and today.  You did not, and blundered in where angels fear to tread with your letter and, of course, got most of you facts completely wrong, and took a completely unnecessary shot at your President and mine.  Were you a man of measure, I would expect you to follow-up the tripe of your first letter with one far more measured, and leavened with the facts.

The “white nationalists,” as you painted everyone there LEGALLY with a very wide brush, were not all such as you mislabeled them.  Even the ACLU went to court to assure them of their permit.  The BLM and Antifa that actually initiated the attack did not have a legitimate permit, and as I just said, initiated the attack when the police ushered the legitimate group right into the illegitimate group spoiling for violence, and then pulled back and refused to do their public duty to protect and serve.  Those are the uncontested facts of the matter, which the President wisely refrained from specific accusations save to blame both sides.

You did not, however.  You motored on with your erroneous assumptions, and so you have, for those that pay attention and think, made a relative fool of yourself.

Your verbal hymn about all the diversity to which you must pay attention in running Wal-Mart rings rather hollow – since it is now clear you did not know what you were taking about, and made a blatantly false accusation against the President.

That can be remedied, but it would mean stepping up, and be a real man and apologize for jumping the gun/shark/whatever.

I shall look for said apology, but I shan’t hold my breath.

Sincerely yours,

Rev. Jeff Baxter, Houston

So Now What?

These last two Sundays have been a priceless gift – serving and preaching to a flock that truly gives a rip!  I detest working or thinking backwards in time, so I won’t at this late date.  The past is what it is, and tomorrow has not been written on my calendar, that’s for certain.  So it’s a clean slate, but one with no date written upon it.

Sigh.

It’s paperwork, except electronic, and it will finally be finished sometime on the morrow.

Oh, to work this text, although it always leaves me rather misty-eyed (Matthew 15:21-28):

21  And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon.  22  And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23  But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.”  24  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  25  But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”  26  And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”  27  She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”  28  Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith!  Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

I sold Kirby’s for a living for 8 years.  It’s simple, it just ain’t easy, as we always reminded ourselves.  It was a matter of “attitude” as I remind my son, still toiling in that vineyard.  He’s good – really good – better than his old man, and I cut a pert fair trail doing it myself!

It requires one thing – the same thing the woman in our text exhibited in abundance.

Persistence!

Another of our little sayings was this: “Persistence beats resistance.”  How well Jesus knew that to be a fact.  I fancy he was charmed no end by the woman’s persistence in our text.  She kept him to His many promises – she did not let Him off the hook, and He knew it, but He let her prove herself as an example of faith to the usual cast of characters and dullards called His disciples.

Ah, but that we all had that measure of persistence of faith – to call the Lord on His promises and mean it!  We most often give up or give in to some misguided understanding that if what we ask of the Lord is not suddenly *POOF!* – right there before us at that very moment – well – we just quit!

Not so the Canaanite woman.  She knew she was an outcast in Israel – that much goes without saying!  Jesus told her that in a true Israelite’s eyes, she was as low as dogs.  She didn’t care – the Lord of the universe could call her any name He liked, but she knew only one thing – Jesus could and would heal her daughter!  Single-minded devotion – “persistence!!!”  She simply took Jesus at His word, which makes it obvious she had heard Him before.  She knew in her heart, mind and soul He was God in the flesh, and she was like the proverbial dog with a bone – she wasn’t letting go!

Again – I am positive her words charmed the dickens out of the Lord.  She took Him to task – and He loved it and said so!

“Great is your faith, Woman – be it done to you as you ask!”

What slays me is the conclusion:

And her daughter was healed instantly.

Faith is a most remarkable gift, and like the Apostles, we most often fail to appreciate the wonderful gift we have!  “Ask whatsoever you will!” says the Lord, and we just hope to muddle through the day with whatever the devil has thrust upon us, failing to see what Jesus is all about!

I’ll put it as I would to the little ones – Jesus is about making us believe in the Heavenly things – the things of His Kingdom and getting us outside ourselves,  And we big people?  Unlike the kiddies, we think we know our way out of what are truly hellish and devilish matters and results of satan wreaking havoc in our lives.  Whether due to the failures of our own efforts or not, it is the working of satan that creates all our misery in this life.  And it takes a gigantic faith with a Jesus-proof resistance to petition the Lord and win.  Our hero in today’s text was the woman, outcast as she was, making Jesus hold to His Word!

What faith her persistence proved!  Yet – that is promised to all of us.

I have a Pug.  Pugs are most always a woman’s dog – they are so ugly they are cute.  Conan the Barbarian – McGillicuddy as I nicknamed him, was my late wife’s special pup.  But since her death, I took over as his “master.”  And pugs are just ugly enough it is okay for a guy to have one!  Heh!

A dog, as the woman in our text showed clearly, will take the crumbs that fall from the Master’s table – if “master” granted they fell, it’s fine with the dog.  Christ is calling us, not to a slavish sort of existence, but to a persistence that KNOWS the Lord will keep His Word!  Jesus WANTS us to call Him on that in every trial or tribulation – Everyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved – said our Epistle last weekend.  Those are not idle words or a throwaway figure of speech.  Jesus tests us in the sense of – not judging us – He already knows us inside and out, but that, in the testing, we might “Taste and see that the Lord is good!”  Much as I said last week, He does not do that for His own verification – He already knows us and our state of faith – He permits it that WE might see and hear and in many cases, finally believe Him!

I am sure Jesus didn’t wear socks with his sandals, but if he did, the Canaanite woman charmed them off Him.  He was loving it – she was displaying the very faith and trust He had come to teach us all.  That old, but oh so comforting word –

Compassion.

Jesus lived, and died, to prove His compassion.  But He wanted, more than anything else doing His works, that such a compassion as His would be born and bred in all of us!

Might we have the faith of that woman – to demand that the Lord grant our needs, and EXPECT Him to deliver!

He will, ya know!

Amen, I guess.

Office of the Ministry: What Is It Really?

Office of the Ministry: What Is It Really?

Text – Romans 10:5-17

5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, i“Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

St. Paul takes that a step further in his letter to Corinth:

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court.[a] In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.  I Cor. 4:1-4.

+++

Those who know me well know I have a nickname for us Pastors – it is Weird Collar Wearer.  But you know, once folk outside the Church see my weird collar, they know what I do.  The now sainted Professor Marquart of the Fort Wayne Seminary, at whose feet I sat and learned the finest points of theology and to whom I am forever grateful once said, in his simple but complex Australian/Estonian accent;

“Ah . . . Gentlemen – if you have the johb, weah the uniform.”

I have always taken that bit of advice!  On June 15th, 1986, I was Ordained as a Minister of the Gospel in the LCMS.  Over 31 years and experiences ago, and yet, it seems like last week.

So today I’d like to answer, best I know how, the question:

The Holy Ministry: What Is It REALLY?

One of the more ridiculous notions fed to the Church in recent decades is this one-liner – “Every man a minister.”  Wrongo!  There are ONLY called and ordained Ministers, who hold the Divine Office Christ established when He called His Apostles, and in turn, when the Pastors were ordained they were likewise told to continue ordaining the right men, as St. Paul told Timothy.

Our beloved Confessions, which we celebrate as we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther nailing his theses on the Wittenburg Church door, have this to say about the Holy Ministry – first in the Augsburg Confession, under the title Order in the Church – short, sweet and to the point! –

“Our Churches teach that on one should publicly teach in the Church, or administer the Sacraments, without a rightly ordered call.”  AC, Article XIV

It should be noted that in our Lutheran confession, a rightly ordered call can be both ordination, and/or a call to a congregation.  One can only be ordained once, while one may receive and take more than one “call.”

And more from the Apology under Ordination:

But if Ordination is understood as carrying out the Ministry of the Word, then we are willing to call ordination a Sacrament. For the Ministry of the Word has God’s command, and has glorious promises, “The Gospel … is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). Likewise “So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose” (Is. 55:11).

If Ordination is understood in this way, neither will we refuse to call the laying on of hands a Sacrament. For the Church has the command to appoint Ministers, which should be most pleasing to us, because we know that God approves of this Ministry and is present in the Ministry that God will preach and work through men and those who have been chosen by men. It is helpful, as far as it can be done, to honor the Ministry of the Word with every kind of praise against fanatical people.  (Apology 184-5:11-12)

Part of the work of the Ministry proper can and should be a shared matter, such as evangelism, Altar Guild, Ladies Guild, Men’s groups, Sunday School, etc.  But all of those are done under the direct supervision of the called Pastor.  They are, in the end – his responsibility – no one else’s.

Ordination is the sacramental gift conferred by the Church through the Holy Spirit, by Christ’s command, when a man receives his first Call.  Thereafter – he is forever ordained, and at a new call is only installed – it is not a re-ordination.  Ordination is a one time event.  Retirement does not change that, and one can, as I am doing, come back out of retirement and take a Call.

When a Pastor is called to shepherd a flock, he takes a public vow to preach and teach according to the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions.  He is to administer the Blessed Sacraments.  He is to visit and care for the sick and infirmed, or “shut-ins,”  Make home visitation a priority.  I always set out for yearly visits – but in several of my congregations I could make all the yearly visits in a couple of months.  He is to evangelize in a “proper” sense – for his flock to the public, and  to others that visit or express interest.  He is to counsel those wishing to celebrate Holy Matrimony, and counsel couples both prior and, should the need arise, afterward.  Not the least of matters, he is to pray for his flock constantly, but also for the very best possible construction on every situation and everyone, and to actively practice the same compassion Christ did.  His family must be in order.  It’s a long list of matters to which we vow to commit ourselves.  And none of it is easy.

The old joke about Pastor’s only working one day a week is a joke, and almost blasphemy against the Office Christ established.  I am sure that if Ervin or Earl or whoever handles recordings, checks, they will find my sermon last week of 1702 words was approximately 17 minutes long.  The unwritten standard is one hour preparation for each minute preached.  I will tell you I have never spent just 17 hours on a sermon.  I spend half that alone on Saturdays and into the wee hours of Sunday morning  re-writing it to get it just right before I ever step into the pulpit, and even then, when I am preaching I can see 4-5 things I still could have done better.  I am my own worst critic on my sermons.

It is what it is.

Likewise – I practice the Divine Liturgy all the way through a number of times during the week.  I have done all of them in the hymnal and am comfortable with any of them and will gladly chant – it is the most traditional Lutheran format dating back to Luther and the Confessions, and back even to the First Century!  It is the language of the WHOLE Church down through the ages, and as Chesterton once said – the Church is the only “Democracy of the dead” – that is – the saints who have gone before us all have a say in how we worship!

All of that and even more is in your Pastor’s mind and a part of his Call as he goes about his business for you, the Church – the Saints in this place you call St. John’s, Wharton, as he was called to do.  And I cannot begin to explain all the mental efforts we go through each week thinking of how we can best give you, not ourselves, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified as He called us Pastors to do.

You ask us for faithfulness to our vows – and in all my years I know of only one or two isolated case where that didn’t happen.  But there is the other half of the equation, and that is to remind you, the saints in this place, of your obligations – forgotten in far too many congregations!  It is put well in the Call documents – ask the Elders to see them if you doubt me.  And they are, as follows:

Congregational VowsWhy do we ask the below questions of our congregations?  Because they are a necessary commitment on the part of the congregation: “Will you honor and uphold your pastor as he serves Christ in all his God-pleasing responsibilities? Will you aid him as he cares for his family? Will you be diligent to “put the best construction on everything,” recognizing that “love covers a multitude of sins”? If so, then answer: We will, with the help of God.”   (Call Document)

Let me say this, personally – There are only three questions there, and they are as great a responsibility upon all of you as are ALL of a Pastor’s upon him!  We Pastors stand under double culpability/possible damnation for our failures, and I know I take that eternally serious, as I am absolutely certain Pastor Lutjens does (again – I love his emphasis on the Small Catechism!!!).  This Ministry is not ours to mold and shape, it is given by Christ through the Holy Spirit for both the Pastor and the flock.  Those vows before God are just that – Divine Vows.  Consider them and consider “best construction” when you are tempted to speak in less than complimentary terms of your Pastor.  We will never know until it is too late – but . . . Jesus will know, be sure of that!

A little article I read the last week or ten days ago sums that up perfectly.  It asks: “Who is your favorite Pastor?”  It was very interesting, because everybody has a personal opinion as to their favorite, and how he did this or that.  But the article came to the only Biblical answer possible – “The Pastor called to serve your congregation is the Pastor God considers your favorite Pastor, and he should be to you, too!”

Hmmmm.  Isn’t that interesting?  But Who put your Pastor here in your midst?  The Lord Christ.  So if Jesus thinks your Pastor is His favorite for St. John’s, then he must be yours, too, right?

I say these many things about the Holy Ministry for two reasons.  One – it is easy to be tempted by the devil, who will put all the wrong thoughts in you minds to kill the ministry of a Pastor.  Two – my every impression thus far is that you do love and cherish your Pastor, and I don’t want you to forget.  I can say some things to y’all he probably wouldn’t say for fear of tooting his own horn.  But even I need such reminders, because until I have a call I am under the spiritual care of Pastor Schueler in Rosenberg.  Personally – I love the man.  But I would never dream of uttering a negative word to any other member about his labors, and I would ask the Lord to rid me of the devil if I ever did begin to wonder.  The Office of the Holy Ministry is HOW we and our children and our brothers and sisters in the household of faith receive the Holy Gospel.  Think about that!

And pray for him always.  He, like most all of us weird collar wearers, feel a bit uncomfortable asking for the prayers of our flock, because we are busy praying for all of them – you!

And remember – we must preach the Law.  We don’t like doing so, because we ourselves flinch from the accusations of the Law as much as does anyone else, but we are commanded to do so, so that all of us may see our sins.  Then – we follow the Law with the soul-satisfying and healing news of the Gospel, of the complete forgiveness of all our sins and membership in the Kingdom forever.  Finally we assist all with the exhortations of the Law in a very positive sense to assist us in godly and right living.

It’s what we do, and how we do it.  I could probably go on until Tuesday afternoon, but there you have the gist of it all.  That is why St. Paul blessed the feet of those who carry the Gospel to you – not to elevate us weird collar wearers, but to elevate all of you to the Heavenly reaches forever.

Pray for us . . . please?

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Not My Usual Fare

As a news junkie in addition to my work as a WCW, I am quite aware of the despicable behaviors over at Google.  Anyone still unfamiliar with the term Social Justice Warrior (SJW) needs to purchase this book ASAP.   I am more than aware of the whole issue, and have long employed a “You’re wrong, and it’s not worth a discussion” approach to those who try it on me.

In my case, it is issues in the Church – and none of it new, but merely a newly mixed re-hash of old heresies and the like.  Those can easily be dealt with using Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.

However, it came close to home again these last two weeks, egregious enough to warrant some words here.  But not in or about the Church.

I have a dear, dear friend who befriended me not long after my Sweet Mama Lou died, and I cannot begin to calculate the true Christian charity this man exhibited in helping me past the harsh grief immediately after her death.  I will simply call him “John.”

John is a black man with three children, two grown, a man who is still married to the bride of his youth some 24 years later.  Devoted family man, and a very hard worker.  He worked at one of the chain convenience store/gas stations that are all over H-Town.  He could be behind the register, out doing lot maintenance of any kind, found in the cooler separating and stacking large deliveries of beer and soft drinks, keeping the whole lunch area stocked and ready for the invasion of the lunch-time construction workers in the area.  Once asked him what he got for his many labors.  It was only $8 and hour, but he was soon to get a raise to $9 an hour.

Recently, there was a shift in management at the store.  Apparently the former manager had had enough of the women trying to run the show, and took another job out of the company.  Next in line was the least personable individual working at the store – an extremely overweight, obnoxious and loud Hispanic woman who treated her customers, especially the many men in during the lunch rush, with open disdain.  I was admittedly surprised, and asked John about it, as well as several of the other female employees I had befriended and who had great customer relations.  To a person their faces turned ugly, and they just said “not here.”  I got it.

But with my truck in the shop for this past extended time until Tuesday, John was my Mr. Uber.  Even down to my happy assignment last week as a guest Pastor, where he stayed and joined us in worship.  But his mind has been on his job, and I have been trying my best to keep him in a cash flow as the new boss has begun to exact her price on male employees.

It all started as soon as she took over the week before last.  First to go, Mr. Astro, as I called him, as devoted to the ‘Stros as I am to my Red Sox.  Great discussions.  Older white fellow, willing to work whatever hours.  He was simply given a sheet a paper stating he had refused to do his job and she insisted he sign it so she could terminate him.  He saw it coming, I think, and just walked out.  That left, out of some 20 employees, of which only two were males, and the other, like John, a black man.  I told John to watch his back really close.

Now – John had to work 6 hours, 7 days a week.  Under the old manager, he was often asked to stay over, or cover other employee absences.  No matter to Not-so Little Miss Tyrant.

Sure enough – last week, she presented John with the same printed sheet to sign as she did Mr. Astro.  He refused to sign it, and said he would not resign.  The woman went berserk, then called the police, and when the officer arrived, went off on a rant to him.

The officer, who was a regular in the store at lunch-time, when she finished her tirade, just laughed, and asked her exactly what law John had broken that needed his presence and was wasting his time.  She went nuclear, and the officer just simply walked out, shaking his head.  She immediately reduced John to one hour a day on the schedule.  He dutifully went in for the one hour each day.  Pissed her off – oh, my did it piss her off!  So yesterday, she gave him the sheet again to sign, he refused, and she fired him.

Talking yesterday, he told me I had read the situation exactly from the beginning, and yes, she fired the other male employee yesterday as well, as I had predicted.

Shades of Google.  But worse, an indication of the full flower of the progressives’ agenda for America, and an indication of how dull and weak any conservative response has been beyond individuals.  It is seriously stupid out there, and grown men are fearful for not only their jobs, but their careers.

I myself was very recently on the receiving end of one such woman’s machinations, but she didn’t realize I had planned well ahead and didn’t miss a beat.  She came up looking hilariously stupid to even herself.  Wasn’t my intent at all – she pressed very hard, so I went to plan B.  It cost her some serious cash out of her monthly income.  I tried to stop her, but she knew better.  Okay.  I am no one’s sitting patsy.

Having said that, this little rant is over.  But gents – beware.

Divine?

Most certainly!  Let the sainted Doctor Marquart explain . . .

“How self-evident it seems to modern people that church-going amounts to simply a bit of ceremonial icing on the cake, a matter of parading and saluting! This might indeed be the case if there were no such things as means of grace. If God’s Word and Sacraments really did not do anything but only served as symbols or reminders of spiritual blessings to be obtained in some other way, then of course church services would amount to little more than religious ceremonialism topped with bits of ethical advice. But if Christ’s Gospel and sacraments constitute the very fountain of life and the river of salvation, and if Christians as poor sinners stand in need of these divine mercies, then it becomes quite impossible to maintain a “low” view of what happens in church.”

There really is not a whole lot to unpack from that quote from Kurt Marquart.  He was liturgically and theologically so very spot-on that it was a dream to sit at his feet, as I did at the Seminary, and learn from him.

But his points hold.  If the Word of God preached is not really the Word of God, but the religious talk many see it as; if one’s Holy Baptism is not the mighty work of the Holy Spirit through the water and the Word; if Holy Communion does not become the Divinely Ordained Body and Blood of the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ in the Pastor’s consecration of the elements, then Church attendance is useless.

Why are you even there?

And very sad to say – that is precisely the case for many in our midst as supposed Confessional Lutherans.

Back at it, finally, tomorrow.  For those who know, pray I hopefully can correct some of the nonsense above in those present, or on the airwaves.

If anyone from WordPress is reading this – your “new and improved editor” is none of the three!  Jes’ saying . . .

Pax