Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Some News

Sarah Dawn Slotegraaf and I are engaged!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Another reason why everyone must read Bonhoeffer

"...Bonhoeffer was transferred from one prison to another, the Gestapo prisons in Berlin, Buchenwald, Schonberg, and finally Flossenburh, and all contacts with the outside world we severed. His last weeks were spent with men and women of many nationalities, Russians, Englishmen, Frenchmen, Italians, and German. One of these, an English officer wrote:

"Bonhoeffer always seemed to me to spread an atmosphere of happiness and joy over the least incident and profound gratitude for the mere fact that he was alive... He was one of the very few persons for whom God was real and always near... On Sunday, April 8, 1945, Pastor Bonhoeffer conducted a little service of worship and spoke to us in a way that went to the heart of all of us. He found just the right words to express the spirit of our imprisonment, the thoughts and the resolutions it had brought us. He had hardly ended his last prayer when the door opened and two civilians entered. They said, 'Prisoner Bonhoeffer, come with us.' That had only one meaning for all prisoners- the gallows. We said good-bye to him. He took me aside: 'This is the end, but for me it the beginning of life.' The next day he was hanged in Flossenburg."

The text on which he spoke on that last day was 'With his stripes are we healed.'

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My New Car

I have been so richly blessed as to be able to afford to purchase this great little car:

It is a 98 Honda Accord, 4dr, 5sp, ac, cruise, cd player.

Finally, after all those years of bumming rides and being a burden, I can give rides and lend it to drivers- who have passed a stringent testing system- including written and road tests-, who have paid the rental fee of upwards of $50 per use, and who promise to have it washed, waxed, and the oil changed.

Step right up.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Prayer for the Acceptance of God's Will

O Lord, I do not know what to ask of You. You alone know what are my true needs.

You love me more than I myself know how to love.
Help me to see my real needs which are concealed from me.
I do not dare to ask either for a cross or for consolation.
I can only wait on You. My heart is open to You.

Visit and help me, for the sake of Your great mercy.
Strike me and heal me; cast me down and raise me up.
I worship in silence Your holy will and Your unsearchable ways.

I offer myself as a sacrifice to You.
I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will.
Teach me to pray. Pray You Yourself in me.


~Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Two Kinds of Wisdom

James 3: 13-18

"13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15Such "wisdom" does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. 16For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

Some more of Bonhoeffer

Guilty and in Need of Repentance

'The church confesses that it has not proclaimed often and clearly enough its message of the one God who has revealed himself for all times in Jesus Christ and who suffers no other gods beside himself. It confesses its timidity, its evasiveness, its dangerous concessions. It has often been untrue to its office of guardianship and to its office of comfort. And through this it has often denied to the outcast and to the despised the compassion which it owes them. It was silent when it should have cried out because the blood of the innocent was crying aloud to heaven. It has failed to speak the right word in the right way and at the right time. It has not resisted to the uttermost the apostasy of faith, and it has brought upon itself the guilt of the godlessness of the masses.

The church confesses that it has taken in vain the name of Jesus Christ, for... it has stood by while violence and wrong were being committed under cover of this name.'

Commenting on this passage Wayne Floyd writes: "In his Ethics Bonhoeffer charted the course for the church of the coming generation, beginning with its confession of failures to be church and its need for conversion to its calling: the exist not for itself but for the world...

The church in the next generation- which of course is our own- can begin to be the church again only to the extent that we can confess these trespasses, not just in Bonhoeffer's time but today."

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Bonhoeffer on Cheap and Costly Grace

Cheap grace means grace as bargain basement goods, cut-rate forgiveness, cut-rate comfort, cut-rate sacrament; grace as the church's inexhaustible pantry, from which it is poured out without hesitation or limit. It is grace without price, without costs....Cheap grace means grace as doctrine, as principle, as system. It means forgiveness of sins as a general truth; it means God's love as merely a Christian idea of God....Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without the living, incarnate Jesus Christ...Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which has to be asked for, the door at which one has to knock again and again.

It is costly because it calls to discipleship; it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs people their lives; it is grace, because it gives them their lives. It is costly becuase it condemns sin; it is grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, grace is costly, because it was costly to God, because it costs God the life of God's son-'you were bought with a price'- and because nothing can be cheap to us which is costly to God.
~Discipleship, 43-45.