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62 Responses

  1. Tony says:

    just curious why do the “discernment” crowd hate on Michael so much?

  2. Erunner says:

    A question came to mind this week and I thought I’d post it here. If you have a loved one (we all do) that has died do you visit their grave? Why or why not? Thank you.

  3. John 20:29 says:

    submitted some comments and they disappeared in thin air this a.m.
    changed browsers to see what happens and to say, prayer continues Michael – this TGIF is full of wisdom

  4. Dan from Georgia says:

    Erunner (2):

    My 2 closest loved ones that passed away are interred in MN, and I am in GA. I do make a point to see their burial sites (nearby each other) while in MN. They are my sister and father. Honestly, haven’t really though deeply about why I do visit their gravesite, but my first inkling is that it helps me remember them, mourn the loss, and honor those who survived who loved them too.

  5. Dan from Georgia says:

    Tony (#1),

    Most likely because Michael doesn’t tow their narrower-than-the-narrow-gate belief system.

  6. Erunner says:

    Dan @ 4

    I live near a large cemetary and on certain holidays they are so beautiful with all of the flowers that people leave at grave sites. People maintain the grave sites and seem to visit often. I suspect they visit for reasons that you shared.

    It seems some believers never visit grave sites as in their mind their loved one is with the Lord.

    I’m in charge of things when my mother does pass and I’m trying to honor her wishes that she be buried as were her parents. I was told by one person that was a waste of money and I should have her cremated.

    I imagine there are different views on cremating a body from various Christian denominations?? Thanks again.

  7. Descended says:


    Being a former hater I can say it in two words

    Game Theory.

    It actually cuts both ways.

    I’ve said before we are going to spend the better part of Christ’s millennial reign apologizing to one another.

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    On visiting graves –

    As many of you know, churches were often built over the graves of martyrs. These martyriums became favored places for baptisms. Before the church was built, however, the grave was usually marked with a simple cross. Often, when believers visited the grave to remember the martyr, they would place on the cross a laurel wreath, symbolizing the “victory” of the martyr in death. The custom was especially prevalent in Egypt and North Africa. In time, this style of cross made its way to Europe and especially the regions of Ireland and Scotland, becoming what we normally consider today to be a “Celtic Cross”.

  9. Erunner says:

    Duane @ 8

    Thank you Duane for what you shared. In your life do or would you visit the grave site of a family member or close friend? If that’s too personal no need to answer.

  10. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Speaking of visiting graves – has anyone been to an ELCA church lately?

    Now I like women with spunk as much as the next guy — just not in the pulpit.

  11. John 20:29 says:

    i don’t visit grave sites of those i dearly love who have passed (by this time of life there are many)… as they aren’t there… they are in my memories and i have written some things from those memories – honors theyve deserved – written mostly for the family’s generations that will follow
    i feel compassion for those who mourn at the graves of those they love and see nothing out of line with one visiting grave sites, leaving flowers, whatever one’s heart leads in this regard…
    some of my family has been cremated and some are buried traditionally… i will be cremated and see no problem as it just accelerates the decomposition and the bones are saved as ashes… i would never force someone to do this when it offends or the thought of the fire horrifies… could our Lord have called Lazarus forth, if he’d been cremated? only God knows, but i don’t see why not…

  12. John 20:29 says:

    #10 – Well, MLD, you could have left that one out
    our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made, but corrupted now – John 3:6 it reinforces for me the conclusion that we don’t understand our brains as processors and we allow them to be the governors – we don’t seem to get the instruction to “renew” our minds: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    #9 Erunner

    Yes, I do, both with friends and family. I still take the early Church perspective that although the body that remains is not the person, nonetheless, the Holy Spirit inhabited and touched that body. It is one reason why early Christians were known for their care in burying their dead, regardless of their economic status.

  14. Erunner says:

    John @ 11

    You pretty much summarized how I believe re this topic. What really stuck out to me was you described those who have passed as those you love. Many would have said those who I had loved. Maybe me just nit picking here.

    As my father was cremated I really have no graves to visit. My Grandparents are to far away. At times I wonder if visiting a grave would be good for me. For some reason I feel at peace in a cemetary. I think Jesus could call forth ashes FWIW. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Erunner says:

    Duane @ 13

    Having sat with and viewed the dead I have to admit as you see them it’s hard to process that’s not them. I imagine because I loved them and interacted with their physical being. There’s a natural connection it seems.

    However I do believe that bodies are empty shells after death as the spirit has departed.

    I do grieve for those families where death has taken place and a body was never recovered to help them as they grieve. Thanks for sharing.

  16. dusty says:

    Hi tony, i think it is because he does not take any bc from anyone. He speaks his heart and mind. He doesn’t follow the crowd.

  17. dusty says:

    Mld, that should have come with a warning, thanks.

  18. Duane Arnold says:

    From the 1662 Book of Common Prayer –

    FORASMUCH as it hath pleased Almighty God of his great mercy to take unto himself the soul of our dear brother here departed: we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life, through our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall change our vile body, that it may be like unto his glorious body, according to the mighty working, whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    dusty – em,
    I have been trying to give warnings for the past couple of weeks. This is what we are expected to allow into our churches in the name of ‘love’.

    At the rate we are going – and this is all self inflicted – this will be the norm in the next decade because we are being shamed from many on the inside if we disagree.

  20. dusty says:


  21. Em says:

    KID’s #10 … Perhaps is worthy of some thot…
    At the end of my youth a phrase became the call of the rebels (Scripture declared rebellion witchcraft BTW) – remember “if it feels good, do it?” . .. in MLDs link that poor priest(ess), an embarrassment to the Lutes, I suspect, has taken the old phrase of her parent’s generation to the next level: “if you think it feels good, it must be holy?”
    I’m here to say anathema – praying God confronts her till her knees are as wobbly as her brain!

  22. Em says:

    Okay I typed ML D and this demon possessed little pad thot kid looked. better uggh

  23. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “in MLDs link that poor priest(ess), an embarrassment to the Lutes,”

    She is no embarrassment to the Lutes – she should be an embarrassment to all who think we need to first lead with love. This woman is (I was almost going to say ‘devil with a blue dress on’ a HT to Mitch Ryder) but she is demonic – her seminary is demonic and the ELCA is demonic.

    This is just one slide down the Eugene Peterson defenders slippery slope.

  24. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “This is just one slide down the Eugene Peterson defenders slippery slope.”

    I retract this. but it is that same slippery slope.

  25. Eric says:

    I live across the road from a cemetery and see many people visiting. A few people come quite often. There’s one man who used to come every day and water the flowers at his wife’s grave. The busiest day here is Mothers’ Day. – flowers everywhere.

  26. Duane Arnold says:


    You seem to confuse “love” (in the Christian sense of “agape”) with license. You seem much more interested in voyeuristic hate (I haven’t read “Elle” lately). It seems, however, to fit your profile. Obviously, you do not mean to be taken seriously… and you’re not…

    Offend all, convince no one… brilliant plan of evangelism…. How ‘s that working for you?

  27. Interested Onlooker says:

    He reports on what someone else is doing, and that is hate?

  28. John 20:29 says:

    MLD, not sure i’m tracking with you on this… maybe i am… dunno

    i do know that we, the Church, evidently don’t understand the word love too clearly… “God so loved the the world”… that He compromised nothing and still managed to find a way to pay our sin debt…
    eros, storge, philia and agape… romantic, family, brotherly and God’s divine love, as i understand them are the words dealing with the concept in our Scriptures… the first three deal with response-feelings and the last deals with an absolute, immutable characteristic of God that provided our redemption in Christ Jesus
    this woman who is promoting her ideas is at best mentally ill and her followers (?) dear God in heaven i don’t think their practices fit any of the four…
    sorry to be sounding like i know something here…

    “There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 16:25 … do you really think that Eugene Peterson has entered onto that “way?”

  29. John 20:29 says:

    cemeteries can be bleak, windswept and almost abandoned looking such as the one down the road from where i’m living now (has a beautiful view of the mountains, tho 🙂 )
    then there are those cemeteries which obviously were planned by people of Faith such as the one on the hill where my daughter lives, full of big old evergreens and rhodies – her whole neighborhood walks the hill and thru the grounds – it’s almost a gathering place
    my grandparents’ graves are in the original Forest Lawn on the edge of Glendale, CA and it is a lovely place IMV… one of my uncles was married there

  30. John 20:29 says:

    i’m not sure i concur with Pastor Arnold and Interested… i don’t know MLD’s motive… he loves to stir the pot, no doubt of that… i think he loves God, doesn’t hate man, but does hate sloppy thinking about God and the Faith (as best the poor man can 🙂 just joking)

  31. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Wow Duane, no agape coming my way? You have quite the mean streak. You challenge my thoughts without reading what I posted. If you want to expose you church to such nonsense go right ahead.
    But where is the love brother?

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, that is not my evangelism – that is my protecting the members of God’s family against the wolves who you have no problem with.

  33. Duane Arnold says:

    I indeed have read what you have posted. You take the singular and amplify to the universal – not a good apologetic. Your silliness has come to the point that you simply cannot be taken with any degree of seriousness. I will not say that you are in “grave error” (not my call). I will, however, say that apart from momentary amusement, you cannot be taken seriously. I consider that a pity, as I think you have things of substance that you could contribute in many ways.

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    #32 MLD

    You (the great MLD) protecting the flock… well, now I can sleep soundly. Really, what kind of ego trip are you on? As for “wolves who you have no problem with”, you might want to check with Michael or others on that one….

  35. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You have no problems with a seminary with an active strong LBGTXYZ program? You have no issue with denominations promoting this stuff. You have no problem with’and it’s not just this woman, it is a whole network fooling people like you into normalizing such actions.
    Stay silent – many do.


  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I at least work with those I come in contact with. Yep, I read an article like the pussy pastor and I will speak and I will warn.
    Portray me as the bad guy – it has no influence on me.

  37. Duane Arnold says:


    What is your problem?

    Have no problem… really? I think that I have hardly stayed silent.. but shouting and spitting into the wind, just so we can feel better, accomplishes little… apart from making us look silly.

  38. Michael says:

    Been in the hospital all day again so I haven’t been following this.

    Duane has stood up….the difference being it cost him more than time on a blog.

    If I need say more I will, but I won’t be on much.

  39. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Duane, most people would lead with something like “that article is horrifying” and then comment.
    You led with “MLD is horrifying” and went on from there.
    I find that horrifying.

  40. Em says:

    I don’t like to see folk here disrespecting each other… FWIW and IMNSHO most of us travel this life, not in a bubble, but in a community of people whose focus is somewhat similar – even pastors today work within a community…
    Think about the labels we use to define the folks who are not like us… “Wal-Mart crowd” born of some funny utube videos ‘n such – yet, maybe that crowd really comes close to describing the Church… I shop there cuz it’s handy – Costco is clear at the other end of town and across the river…
    My point? Maybe ML D has been in a position to do some people watching there in So. Calif. and sees something we’re missing … besides it’s hot there where he lives now, his brain just may be overheating 🙂

    I hope Michael in the hospital today was for treatment, but not an emergency… still praying with the pray-ers here … God have mercy indeed, thank

  41. Em says:

    Well, Lord You know I typed thank You
    this tablet changed ‘utube’ to urine, but I caught that

  42. Michael says:


    Thanks for the prayers.
    I was waiting for my head to clear before I updated anything.

    I went back in today because of the pain.
    They did a CT scan this time and discovered that I have both a kidney stone and gallstones.

    I guess if you’re gonna have stones, you might as well have them all.

    They gave me new pain meds and an invitation to come back if need be…

  43. Michael says:

    The most remarkable thing about many of our historical figures is that they had the same afflictions we have without the medications we have.

    I think of Luther and Calvin and the sheer volume of material they put out…while suffering from something that left me utterly incapacitated.

  44. I spent last week in Alaska helping out with the Alaskaman triathlon, billed as North America’s toughest tri. A certain situation made me think about the blessing of grace and faith.

  45. Dan from Georgia says:

    Praying for you again Michael!

  46. Jean says:

    On 22 July, the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

    “The ancient teachers of the Church are, for the most part, of the opinion that Mary Magdalene was this sinful woman of which Luke writes here [Luke 7:36-56]…. We do not want to grow grey hairs over this debate, so we will go directly to the account that has been read….

    How does Mary Magdalene’s repentant heart please the Lord Jesus? The host, Simon, is displeased with Mary and with Christ, but the Lord Jesus shows that there is joy in heaven over Mary’s conversion: ‘the sinner’s tears are the wine and delicacies of the angels.’

    You see, first, He turns to Marry, just as He turned to Peter in His Passion. This is a great honor. Second, He praises her tears, her kiss, and her anointing, and He lets it be clearly understood that with these ‘three courses,’ Mary served a much more glorious meal than the host of the house himself. Of this, Christendom sings, ‘This is the feast that is pleasing to You, O wise Father.’

    From her tears, the Lord Jesus notices a humble heart, troubled by sins committed. From her kiss, He notices her faith and trust. From the anointing, He notices the intention of her heart, that from now on she will use everything that is precious to her for the glory of Christ.

    Moreover, He praises the thankfulness of her heart that she showed through many sings of love; He says, ‘Her many sins are forgiven, on account of which she has loved much.’ (This is how Basil, Chrysostom, and Theophylact explain this passage.)

    You can see from her many agreeing signs of love that her kisses and anointing are her ‘Thanks be to God!’ or her ‘tip’ – not because they are worth so much, but because she has nothing more…. It is not Christ’s intention to say that Mary merited the forgiveness of sins with her love…but rather He shows that through so many sins of love, Mary revealed her thankful heart, thankful that the Lord Jesus had graciously forgiven her so many sins. And this pleases Him very well.”

    – Valerius Herberger, 1562-1627

  47. Jim says:

    I want a viking-type “burial” off shore with tannerite ignited by bikers with flaming arrows or perhaps incendiary rounds fired from full auto AK47s, but I digress…

    I have a loved one who is considering cremation, and the idea sort of gives me the willies.

    Is there a Biblical case to be made for burial or against cremation?

    The graveyard posts earlier brought this to mind.

  48. Em says:

    Hope all are praying seriously now for Michael – the internet would be a dark place without the PhxP

  49. Michael says:

    I got through the night pain free and so far this morning…all is well.

    Bless you all for the prayers….

  50. Em says:

    I am watching the launch of the Gerald Ford and they’re interviewing the Captaiin – he’s taking command of a multi-billion dollar state of the art warship and the Admiral has his hat on crooked – doesn’t bode well for the ship – but is, somehow, indicative of our national state of affairs now. ?

  51. Erunner says:

    I just spoke with a woman who came to our front door. She was carrying nothing and asked if I was a Christian. I stated that I was and she proceeded to give me a prophecy.

    She said God is fed up with the world and he’s going to destroy it. She stated Christians are supposed to be perfect among other things.

    She said she saw Jesus at the nearby park some time ago.

    I tried to speak to her truth from God’s word but she wasn’t interested. She’s almost robotic in her mannerism as I’ve seen her before talking to anyone and everyone with her message.

    It’s sad to think she’s still going door to door with what amounts to untruths and what people will take away from her words.

    I don’t know if she’s mentally ill or a victim of a terrible church that accepts (according to her) people’s prophecies.

    If you might pray for this woman that would be appreciated.

  52. Em... again says:

    Golly, don’t know whether to pray for her or against her, E…

  53. Erunner says:

    Em, it was such an odd encounter I was left with mixed feelings similar to what you expressed. Maybe pray for her to be saved and against the stuff she is doing?

  54. dusty says:

    praying here as well EBrother. May the real Spirit guide her.

  55. dusty says:

    Still praying for you Michael. May your health improve in every area.

  56. dusty says:


    Seems you are getting attacked more than usually…..

    God grant him rest from his ailments and the attacks he is going though. Send Your ministering army to surround and protect Michael. To mend his wounds and give him strength. God bless my brother and hold him up above the strife and turmoil. Be his Strong Tower in the midst of this storm. Show Your mercy strong Lord, please…

  57. Michael says:

    Thanks you, Dusty…blessings on you as well, my friend.

  58. dusty says:

    Michael, my dear friend and big brother, you mean the world to me and i pray for you almost every day. It is not to brag but to let you know how much you are loved, admired and cherished. You are my friend and mentor . Love dusty

  59. Descended says:


    It’s called the Gerald Ford. It’ll probably trip and fall out of the water.

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Its a great Sunday and my mind is renewed – just watched 1 1/2 hrs of Meatloaf videos.

  61. John 20:29 says:

    Descended, LOL… but ships don’t have knees… or feet… 🙂

  62. Erunner says:

    dusty @ 54

    Thank you for praying dusty.

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