Big Ships . . .

Turn slowly.  Apply that to either the Church, or the gummint, and you should get it.  Problem is, in our country, we are spoiled – used to simply stomping our feet, demanding “NOW!” – and willing to get rid of whoever does not give us what we want RIGHT NOW!


It is easy to succumb to such temptation.  But I keep in mind these verses always – for either matters political or theological.


We have a political situation in America that is a good bit beyond verbal description.  True, there are those out there doing a yeoman’s work in trying to explain it to us impatient Americans, and also, cautioning us to be patient.  What the administration and President Trump are facing in terms of criticism and ridicule is unprecedented.  Fortunately, he doesn’t care, which is a cause for hope when the crazies foam at the mouth.  If folks spent as much time actually studying issue as they do running their mouths, or keying comments at various and sundry sites, perhaps more would understand just what has really happened, and what it will take to fix it.


I am not going into a long treatise as to how communism has so infiltrated the left, and partly, the right.  The few that read this site already know and understand.  But as with theology, so with politics.  Unless you study to fully understand, you speak through your hat in whatever venue.  The present vehicle of self-opinionism – as in – “I am right no matter what!” – is simply absurd.  But the counter arguments are often just as weak – not offering solutions, but only condemnations.


We have lost our ability to engage in rhetoric and the dialectic – in the art of logic.  Go do your own searches, but unless we return in honest fashion to such matters, this present idiocy in both the Church and gummint will continue.


As I have said here before – I really do try to avoid commenting anywhere online.  Not because I am of afraid of identity theft – anyone committing such upon me will return it in 15 minutes anyway.  I just truly cannot stand trying to argue – in the right sense of the word – with those countless numbers who demand their opinions are foremost and to be accepted without a shred of proof.  That is to succumb to stupidity.


I am aware I am talking along here in the late night to few, if any.  It’s okay – I deflate from all of the gas of the given day here – which is why I started this site.  No adv’s, no monetization, nor multiple links all over the net.  I was there once.  No – not Drudge-like numbers, but 1000 a day was not at all out of the ordinary.  Now, but a fraction.  Fine by me.  I don’t have to answer all the self-opinionism that might come flying in otherwise.


I suppose there is a sermon in the above, but I will leave that until tomorrow, or a tomorrow beyond, since I will be busy on the real morrow.  Partially with a move, and partially with dedicated reading.  The internet offers many very good things, and as many very bad things, and a day off or two each week has proven to be of immense benefit.


Patience, and learning to think.  Two wonderful human qualities.  The patient, thinking ship’s captain accomplishes the turn.



What Goes Around . . .

We all know that old saying.  It always seems to come around.

My baby half-brother offered me a very decent rent to stay at his joint after my dear Lou died.  It was a good thing.  I could move from the digs that reminded me of my sweetie way too much, culled half our “stuff,” and began the process of moving on.  But the return of his sweetie’s cancer last summer, in her bones, created a terminal crisis, and I had to move on, which I did, and am now quite comfortable.  Da Pug and I have a more than sufficient studio apartment that is all we need.

But life is always more complicated than we want or desire.

He is still stuck with her two sons – both very recalcitrant about going on their own – which they were even before their mother died.  These guys are both 30 or “ish” – but their Mama doted on them, sad to say, and they are poorly prepared for the real world.

Now . . . as I said – I am quite comfortable, living in my small joint and having the bucks each month to pay bills and wants.  But Lil Bro called today and apologized for all the reasons for my pretty sudden departure late last summer, and asked me to come back.  One half of me said okay immediately.  The other half called me to consider why.

The two grown sons are the proverbial pain in the gluteus maximus.  When I was there I saw right through them, which both of them hated, and coupled with Elaine’s cancer caused me to have to move on.  But they have continued sponging off Lil Bro and doing little otherwise, except to denigrate him at every opportunity.  He cannot summarily order them out – he has yet to settle some serious matters with E’s estate, and cannot afford to piss off the family by booting out the two leeches.  Meanwhile, they are quick to tell their side of fam all he says or does, and they also want her quite expensive ring, which he wears around his neck.

So he turned to me, and invited me back.  Long term, if I desire.

Financially, it is a very good move.  But that is not why I am doing it, because I am okay without it.  He needs my help getting rid of the two slugs.  They detest me because I see them for what they are, and they know I do.  And Lil Bro’s thinking, along with my other brother’s thinking, is that my presence there will force their hand and make them move into their own digs, or in with other family.  Lil Bro does NOT need them around.  They are whiny, negative individuals. So . . .

I am going to go for a week – just to see what happens.  That leaves me a bit more than a full week of paid rent (month-to-month) before a complete move, which is more than likely to occur.  A bit of an adventure, but this time, I hold the upper hand.

Since Lil Bro works from home, we could, as he suggested, get our own joint when the  house goes repo – the other major fallout from all of the matters.  It seems the half-life of shyte-gone-wrong is somehow forever, or something.  So I must go do what I can to help my brother.  It is what it is, and I know what I must do.  Sometimes, ya just gotta –

This is one of those times.

Connecting the Whatevers

One used to say “Connect the dots” . . . but that is an old reference regarding children’s puzzles and also used by one PW Herman, who exposed himself in more ways than one.

I am speaking to current events.

Of course, on that subject, one could pretty much answer “chaos” and seem to be right on beam.  One needs only to look at the mess we call “society,” or the “Unity of the Church,” or the lines between good and evil.  There is a craziness that seems to belie rational thinking, and in truth, it does in great part.

When I was a kid, I was one of those who no matter what my folks’ answers to my questions, I would then ask – “But why?”  I have never outgrown the tendency.  The answers, or attempted answers to my “But Why’s” – were intriguing then, and perhaps even moreso – now!

A catch-phrase of recent decades to any questions about things that seem amiss is – “That’s just a conspiracy theory.”  That phrase is intended as a discussion-ender. and for many – even most – it does end the questioning.  Truth is, most folks never ask “But Why?”  They are either uninterested, or too frightened of the answer they might get.


As a side note – I see I had a visitor from Australia.  Welcome!


To say America has been ruled by a cabal is an understatement, and as the facts are now emerging, just how much we have been so ruled is astounding.  And its tentacle stretch into a number of other countries.  As Q likes to say – watch for parallels and too many coincidences.  There is much afoot at present.  Few are “woke” in the right direction – but there will be much coming public soon.


I cannot account for Pope Francis.  I dasn’t call him devious – but I will call him deluded.  He is professedly socialist (communist), and what possible connection he tries to make between that and the One Holy Faith would seem to be far beyond my pay-grade, except it is not.  Unseen by most, and Pope Em. Ratzinger has yet to speak out – but Frank is trying to re-make the Church.

But the same is occurring within my Confession – the LCMS.  I have commented on one site that addresses the very issue, and been discussing it with a friend who was “there” when the negatives were really going down.  It is no better within the Church than it is in politics, and both are in an extreme case of flux.


Solutions?  Return to the radical.  One’s roots. as it were – which is what the word actually means, and not the crap-peddling junkies that clutter up either the political or the theological landscapes.  For the pols – pay attention to the Donald and not the commie dems and their mouthpieces – the MSM.  For the Church – quit trying to play to the culture.  It has never worked before – the expectation that it will magically somehow do so this time is an exercise in nonsense.

Return to the proper preaching of the Law and the Gospel.  They both will greet you on “that day” as Luther wrote of the Parousia.  Their verdict will then be most important to you.



Not Much Has Changed Since

“At the time of the French Revolution it was decided that Christianity should be abolished in favor of the reign of Reason.  Some sprightly and thoroughly modern philosophers of the day devised a new religion which was stripped of everything supernatural, burdened with no touch of mystery, and completely rational.  But their synthetic product received no response from the people.  One of the clever inventors complained to the cynical Talleyrand that no one was interested in his new religion.  Whereupon Talleyrand replied: ‘There is just one way to do it; you must lead a sinless life; you must get yourself crucified; and on the third day you must rise from the dead.  Then perhaps you can found a religion which will compete with the Christian faith.'”  (Frank E. Wilson, Faith and Practice)


Raged Out

Psalm 2

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.  Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.  I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.  Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.  Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.


I was chatting with a dear friend and the subject of the internet came up.  It was not about e-mails or even ads (which we both dislike), nor worst of all – Facebook – but comments.

To read an article, and then go to comments, is to willingly disconnect from what you may have just read.  Matters not if the site is political or theological.  Things just get stupid real quick.  And then feelings get hurt, and matters get worse.  I confess – I do comment at a select few sites, but among very reasonable people who are not condemnatory right out of the box.  Comments remind me of the lyrics to a song I know and can play and sing (if I ever get another guitar again!).

These times are so uncertain
There’s a yearning undefined
People filled with rage . . .


Yet as we see in our text from Psalm 2, such rage is nothing new to mankind.  Jesus spoke of the divisions even among family, and the efforts it takes to be free of them.  It is endemic among we humans in the grip of sin, death and the devil.  That is his intent – to separate us from one another and from God.


God is having none of it!  Instead, as it seems He always does, He turns both us and the kings of the earth toward His only begotten Son – the Christ.  But somewhere along the line of late – we have crossed an unimaginable barrier – or erected one, perhaps.  Bring up “the faith” in politics anymore, and one gets roasted.  But it happens even in what should be serious theological discourses.  Personal opinion has become “the Shibboleth” against which all other words are measured.  As someone wrote somewhere very recently –

“Intolerance of any opinion but our own – rules.”


This season of Lent should help call us all out of such a mindset, but if it does not, the ridicule of the Lord God Almighty in our text should yank us out of it pronto!  The text is both a promise of grace in Christ, and the full fury of the Lord, as we read in Revelation 19:

His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.  And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.  And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.


That is most definitely NOT the Jesus St. John knew during Jesus’ time with the Apostles on earth.  Our Psalm speaks to both – the begotten Son who has come to make all things right, and the absolute, fearful God Who refuses to be mocked a single day longer.  And we?  We don’t know what that day is!


There will be a day of judgment and condemnation, to which Scripture, both Old and New Covenants, attest.  The sweet Jesus of saccharine hymns and silly Bible Studies will suddenly be upon us – without warning.  The fiery eyes and the ultra-sharp, two-edged sword of His Word will define all things, and judge the world and its rage of kings and all of us besides.  There will be no escape from judgment, despite your whatever opinion.


I do not pretend, as a WCW, to have all the answers.  I know the Cross, His shed blood, His life given as a ransom for many.  I do not know, and hope I never do know, the Christ Who WILL come in judgment.  As I said in a most previous post, God has been long-patient and suffering – almost indulgent – in His treatment of those who walk away from Him.  That is His nature.  But He has declared that a day will come, when all is stripped bare.

One can stand, if they wish or so choose, upon their own selves.  Caution:  Not recommended!  But many will do so.  Those of the Faith will beat their breasts and claim the Cross and its benefits, and will know an eternity of peace.  On that day there will be no middle ground.

Be sure of that.  Christ holds out His hands in welcome and full inclusion now – which is called forgiveness.  That is His most heartfelt desire for each of us.  Let us seek the Lord while He may be found, for a day is coming when the Lord we might find, is contrary to anything we might know.

And that, we don’t want to know.



The Transfiguration – Luke 9

28 Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was altered, and his clothing became dazzling white. 30 And behold, two men were talking with him, Moses and Elijah, 31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his departure,[b] which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.32 Now Peter and those who were with him were heavy with sleep, but when they became fully awake they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. 33 And as the men were parting from him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. 34 As he was saying these things, a cloud came and overshadowed them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen One;[c] listen to him!” 36 And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.


For Pastors, scholars, or laymen, grasping hold of this Holy Day of the Transformation/Transfiguration is an immense task.  It is fraught with meaning that lies far beyond us – it IS a glimpse into Heaven.  We know that the Apocalypse of St. John is a much misunderstood book – one which caused John no end of searching for words – and a book which has literally bedeviled countless numbers as to what it is all about.  Peter, James and John were permitted to view what Jesus was trying to teach in its fulfillment, and the three of them missed the whole meaning of the event . . . until later.

I am not going to pretend that I can divine either the Transformation or Revelation.  All I hope to do today is perhaps lend some understanding to both, that we might see Jesus and His Incarnation into our flesh a bit more clearly.


To summarize the text – Jesus takes the “Big Three” to the mountain-top.  Peter – who would himself be transformed and become immense in the history of the Gospel and Scripture; James – soon to become the very Bishop of Jerusalem.  And John – of his most blessed Gospel, Epistles, and Revelation.    Is it Mt. Tabor?  The Scripture does not say, we can only assume.  There, Jesus prays, and the three Apostles promptly fall asleep (Garden of Gethsemane, anyone?).  Suddenly they awaken, and see Jesus in His full glory as God Almighty – with Moses and Elijah.  As an aside, do the saints know what happens here on earth, and hear our prayers?  Interesting question!  Anyway . . .

The Apostles are, in modern terminology – gob-smacked!  They have no clue to make of what they are observing!  Peter spouts off some idiocy about making three tabernacles for worship.  Would we be too very much different – being confronted with the full Divine Nature of Christ?

Consider why He comes in the Holy Eucharist – in a form we can absorb and understand.  If Jesus appeared at the Altar in His full glory as God Almighty, half of us might just have heart attacks on the spot!  The other half might complain –  “God in all His glory?  Will He be done and gone in an hour – we have a bruncheon planned for 11:30am.”

Sadly, those are the terms in which we think.  We, with all we claim to know about Jesus, are not much quicker on the draw that were the Apostles, are we?

Before I am excoriated by one scholar I know, I should get on to matters concrete.  He is the scholar, I am just the old preacher – everything in life is a sermon illustration and all to us old preachers.  But our sermons are supposed to “reveal the real” – are they not?  Having said that . . .


The Latins like to go to their source – their language, as it were, and the primary word of the day is as follows:

Transfiguration – the Latin roots trans – (“across”)and figura (“form, shape”).  It thus signifies a change of form or appearance.

True enough, as it were.  But as an English translation is not sufficient to convey the full meaning of Scripture, neither is Latin.  In the Greek, the original language of Scripture, we grasp (or try to) a fuller meaning of the event:

Mεταμορφόω – metamorphosis . . .

μεταμορφόωμεταμόρφω: passive, present μεταμορφοῦμαι; 1 aorist μετεμορφώθηto change into another form (cf. μετά, III. 2), to transfigure, transformμετεμορφώθη, of Christ, his appearance was changed (A. V. he was transfigured), i. e. was resplendent with a divine brightness; Christians: τήν αὐτήνεἰκόνα μεταμορφούμεθα, we are transformed into the same image (of consummate excellence that shines in Christ), reproduce the same image, 2 Corinthians 3:18; on the simple accusative after verbs of motion, change, division, cf. Bos, Ellips. (edited by Schaefer), pp. 679ff; Matthiae, § 409; (Jelf, § 636 obs. 2; cf. Buttmann, 190 (164); 396 (339); Winer‘s Grammar, § 32, 5); used of the change of moral character for the better, Romans 12:2; with which compare Seneca, epistles 6 at the beginning,intelligo non emending me tantum, sed transfigurari. ((Diodorus 4, 81; Plutarch de adulat. et amic. 7; others); Philo, vit. Moys. i. § 10 under the end; leg. ad Gaium § 13; Athen. 8, p. 334 c.; Aelian v. h. 1, 1; Lucian, as. 11.) (Synonym: cf.μετασχηματίζω.)


Let the scholars debate – I prefer to go with the original Greek – it seems to put more of “the mystery” in “The Mystery.”  It most certainly fits the moment, and especially, the words of Jesus at the end of the Gospel:

“And they kept silent and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.”

That because they knew that much – no one would believe them.  Jesus knew that, and He also knew that it would take His crucifixion and Resurrection to make things clear to them.


The Catholic Catechism gets, I believe, the entire gist of the matter:

Christ’s Transfiguration aims at strengthening the apostles’ faith in anticipation of his Passion: the ascent onto the ‘high mountain’ prepares for the ascent to Calvary.

Christ, Head of the Church, manifests what his Body contains and radiates in the sacraments: ‘the hope of glory’.

I particularly like the second of the two – “manifests what his Body contains and radiates in the sacraments: ‘the hope of glory.”  As the old rock tune put it – “There’s something happenin’ here.”  Indeed there is!


The appearance of Moses and Elijah? Jimmy Akin put it well:

Moses and Elijah represent the two principal components of the Old Testament: the Law and the Prophets.  Moses was the giver of the Law, and Elijah was considered the greatest of the prophets.  The fact that these two figures “spoke of his departure, which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem” illustrates that the Law and the Prophets point forward to the Messiah and his sufferings.  This foreshadows Jesus’ own explanation, on the road to Emmaus, of the Scriptures pointing to himself  (Lk. 24:27, 32).


The entire purpose?  A few verses after our text, we are told:

51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. 53 But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem.


Calvary.  The Cross.  His death.  For the forgiveness of sins.  While we may not understand the Mystery of His Transfiguration, we know the why – for us and our sins, as was every other thing Jesus did.   It was the other side of the coin of His Incarnation.  God and Man – God becoming man, for man.

There are words written by St. Paul, that I hold to be companions to our Gospel today – I Cor. 13:12:

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

We may not be able – any of us – to divine the Transfiguration beyond to say “He showed His full glory as God Himself” . . . but we know why.

Go thy way, thy sins are forgiven thee.


Making Sense of It All

II Peter 3:9

In the last twenty-two months, I did 3 funerals services – my brother, my wife, and my SIL – and buried my beloved Cocker Spaniel.  I spoke to those fairly recently.  And while one can never be sure about such things – I suspect I am the next to go.  I am the patriarch, which means I am the oldest.  I am not about to say I am in any great rush. but given what I know by faith to be my future address,  neither am I at all dismayed.  It’s out of my hands either way.  I have all of the bases covered for the circumstance – costs and arrangements.  My Pug is covered as well, although he is going to be more than a bit confused for awhile if I exit the globe first.

But beyond all of that, which is rather mundane, I look at and read about and listen to a world that seems to have lost its collective senses.  Yet another school shooting – and it all under completely preventable circumstances, yet again.   We have a media that has likewise lost its collective mind – little or no explanation necessary there.  I look at the ongoing disintegration of the Church, under the various methods of the world, and I pray no souls are lost as that occurs.  I could add many more examples – and many opinions, or lack thereof, by a great many – to the pile.

It’s real messy out there.


In all of it I, too, ponder the purpose for all of it.  The living, the dying, the open evil and secret evil, the shrill voices of those who “know it all” – what is it serving?  And I think of the great cry of Israel – echoed in the Psalms and Minor Prophets many times – “How long, O Lord?”


The only answer is found, in Christ, in the words of II Peter 3:9:

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”


The reality is that in the Garden, sin entered into, and corrupted this world originally perfect after Creation.  And despite the best efforts of men to the contrary of accepting that one fact, only the intersection of time and eternity, outside Jerusalem, almost 2.000 years ago – where God fought the ruler of this world and won, is there hope for man.  And because our lifespans are rather short, we have a rather immediate tendency to see God as being slow in His promise.  But as St. Peter tell us, it is we who are “slow” – of mind and at times, faith – and that because – rather than trust the Word of God – we want to push up His schedule.


Such has never worked.  In the Incarnation – Christ in the flesh and His death and Resurrection – God has been absolutely relentless in saving the souls of as many of His beloved children, whom we all are, as is Heavenly possible.  He overlooks our lack of understanding that, or our impatience, because He also knows that “we don’t quite get it.”   A child often does not understand why his father on earth may say “do this” or “think that” – no matter what we all thought at times growing up.  It is “Father” doing what needs to be done and must be done, regardless of what we think.

Even Jesus, in his Humiliation – living in the flesh – did ask that “this cup” (His death) be passed from Him in Gethsemane.  Yet He immediately acknowledged His Father’s will and said for us all

“Not my will, but Thine be done.”


This Season of Lent of the Great Repentance, should call those words of Jesus to mind muchly, and embed them in our minds permanently.  “Not my will, but Thine be done.”  Daily, we forget those words, that thought, and yet Christ, in His great Passion and Death, remembered and said them for us that dismal night in Gethsemane.  That night – God feared and knew the pain of death for Himself, and for us.  He knew no sin, but became sin for us on that bloody tree.  And the Father knew that pain and fear, and is still, to this day, being patient and forgiving with all of us, that none of us be lost.  In Christ, He is NOT being slow, as some might see it.  He is continuing to love us – which is His promise from the beginning – to love us.

His patience is proof.