A Visit from Dr. Martin Luther

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If you will allow me a moment to explain, you may enjoy this moment we shared at church today.

Our pastor, Rev. Judd Ludder, began telling us “We will have a visit from Dr. Martin Luther on Reformation Sunday.”  It was a day to pull out our red for sure, but, knowing that the veil between the living and the dead isn’t that thin, we wondered what he might be up to since he wasn’t known to be an outright fibber.

However, Pastor Ludder is known for great sermons full of insight straight from the Word of our Lord that always succeeds in further enlightenment for our journey as Christians.  I’m saying he always fulfills my weekly need to replenish my soul during worship on Sunday mornings.  Not only does he provide details about the surrounding times of the Scripture, but we are assured of getting the meaningful message God intends us to hear.

Okay, so, how he pulled off this trick of bringing Dr. Luther to us was actually by way of his disappearing and returning in costume.  The congregation loved it.

Could he have just talked about the history of the Reformation?  Could he have reminded us of Martin Luther’s reasons and the path he took?  But, I ask you, “would it have been as absorbing?”  Pastor Ludder put us in the frame of mind of hearing the history as if we were actually hearing it from the man himself.  I heard it anew, myself, in a new light, on a more personal level of understanding of the person Luther was.  It helps to comprehend how the Lutheran church was formed, not to put down the Catholic Church, but to turn it around to be what the Bible intended.  At that time in history the Catholic Church was making a mockery of the religion and preying on the faithful, disregarding God’s true intention for the believers by selling forgiveness.  Today, we are grateful to enjoy a close relationship between our churches, both headed in the direction of God’s intention for us.

It’s always a good thing to learn more about our history and I, for one, am thankful to Pastor Ludder for his “visual aide” this morning.  His messages always inspire me, whether I need scolding or encouraging, he says tells the truth that I’m sure Jesus wants me to hear.  This man is truly led by the Holy Spirit.

God bless Pastor Ludder and God bless Joy Lutheran Church.

Amen!

Hugs to all my friends and followers.  Hope your Reformation Sunday was as eventful in such a positive way for you as it was for me.

Driving Out the Demons

When I travel too far from the teachings I know to be true and sound, I fall into relying solely on my own devices for figuring out how to run my life. This morning I had one of those moments where I wanted to quit life, give up on trying to make things work right, forget about the people I love and all the trouble it was taking to just survive.

I shouted out, “I want to give up!” I got some horrified looks and I stormed off to my bedroom. I didn’t throw anything, didn’t even slam my door, just slipped away. I knew then I needed to regroup – big time.

The first thought that came to mind was to spend some quality quiet time with my Bible. The answers are there and I had let time spent in study of Scriptures slip far away from my daily existence.  I knew answers could be found if I looked inside that book. So, I propped up my big black pillow that supports my back when I sit up in bed, picked up my dusty study Bible from my bedside, and noticed my notebook there too. This notebook is a help of previous thoughts and ponderings. My eyes fell on Scripture from Mark. Here are my thoughts on Mark 9:14-29.

Jesus disciples were unable to drive out a “demon” because of lack of prayer and their lack of trust in God.

Two points: 1) How can I hope to accomplish my goals and dreams if these men – Jesus’ disciples – couldn’t do the task they attempted? They were actually with Jesus! And their faith and trust lacked?! 2) I didn’t have the so called advantage of being in Jesus’ presence but I have a two thousand year advantage of intellectual exposure to Jesus’ teaching. My life needn’t be cluttered with the day to day burden of survival as those mens lives were. At the most they had three years with him – I’ve had a half century.

Lesson: Get my prayer life back in order and stop doubting what I know to be true about the power Jesus – the Son of God – has and makes available to me today.

Key verse: Mark 9:23 – Jesus said to him, “If you can! Everything is possible to one who has faith.”

As a note to understand, in vs. 22 the father of the afflicted boy said “If you can do anything…”  Jesus came back with “if you can!” to make his point – “If” doesn’t cut it. You have to have full faith.

Get this: EVERYTHING is possible to one who HAS FAITH! No ‘ifs’ but a positive yes it is to be true and for real.

So, have faith. We all can build on our faith. I will pray to build my faith. Taking a time out – preferably often – to read sacred Scripture and pray for understanding and direction – and listening – will renew our frazzled existence.  He promises this. And I know it to be so.