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  1. A recent evening of fishing birthed this blog post about dealing with change:

    Happy Friday. I’m heading over to Montana for the day.

  2. Josh the Baptist says:

    Good thoughts Piney.

  3. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I know the good things that fire Michael up enough to make him forget his maladies.

    Michael, I was unpacking my books that were in storage from the pack out after my flooding. You will be glad to know that I found all 32 of my Norman Geisler books. 😉

  4. Michael says:


    That did make me smile amongst the groaning. 🙂

  5. John 20:29 says:

    praying that Dr. Arnold’s friend’s doctor finds Dr. Arnold’s friend at the top of his to do list
    pain wears one down mentally and physically
    God keep

  6. John 20:29 says:

    not wanting to get into politics and war on this blog and certainly not at this time, but we should be seriously praying for our nation and our President no matter the feelings about the man, himself… maybe pray harder if one thinks he’s not a good one, eh?

  7. Dan from Georgia says:

    True Em (#6)…seems like so many people are practicing selective outrage these days. The leaders of the U.S., North Korea, China, Russia, Japan, and South Korea are indeed in need of prayer.

  8. John 20:29 says:

    #7- that’s a tall order, Dan from Georgia…
    i am told to pray for those in authority over us… my boss, my police, my governor (ugh), then, if applicable, there’s the military chain of command, one’s teachers, parents and, of course, the Feds… by the time i’ve covered that list i’m pretty much done…
    you’ve raise a good question – do we pray for Kim Jong-un? for Putin? for the heads of other foreign countries?

    thank the Lord for His mercy to the Canadian pastor who’s been imprisoned in NOKO…
    now then, Lord, about your servant Michael, we all need the mercy of good news here at the PhoenixPreacher – thank You that we know You hear us and Your will be done, but we so want good news

  9. Dan from Georgia says:

    Em (9)…good points….just the thought of praying for those in power in those nations sounds…well…exhausting! I am sure there are believers out there indeed praying for those heads of state.

    Was just thinking of a fairly well-known progressive Christian who has taken to twitter their disdain for Trump and pretty much everything he says and does (not defending him here), and was thinking that perhaps, if this twitter user is indeed a believer, then where is the prayer for Trump? Maybe they are praying for Trump, but they are just not announcing it. Anyways, if we don’t like a person for their politics, beliefs, actions (Trump, etc), then all the more reason to pray for them? Just thinking thru this keyboard.

  10. Jean says:

    I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this? – Jesus

  11. John 20:29 says:

    watching the disgusting display in Charlottesville, Va. this morning it occurs to me that the majority of the players on both sides, that strange man David Duke included, Kim Jong-un, the terrorists out of the Islamic world… they all have their roots in the same evil soil… we don’t have to understand them, we need to understand evil, recognize and condemn it when we see it… did the early Church have sympathy for Caesar? well, maybe… i don’t know, but i have no sympathy for this mindless hatred we’re seeing …

    it’s time for the Church to stand firm in grace and love – how do we do that? how do we distance ourselves from this god and country epidemic? (Kim Jong-un is NOKO’s god… all these rioters and worse seem to rally round a god of some sort)

  12. Dan from Georgia says:

    I am honestly grieved and disturbed by what is going on in Charlottesville, VA today, the anger on display, the violence, the death. I am angry too. Too much death at the hands of angry people in the world today, especially in the U.S.A. where everyone is supposed to have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Too many words here for a Twitter rant. I have to censor how I really feel about those racists and alt-right’ers.

    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the son’s and daughter’s of God.

  13. Duane Arnold says:

    “Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now.”


  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I guess I could Google – so what happened in VA today?

  15. bob1 says:

    What’s going on in our country right now transcends the traditional right/left categories.

  16. John 20:29 says:

    i agree with bob1 – it seems that free speech has swapped ends with hooliganism and our answer is to blame the other guy/side – “my side is exercising free speech; your side is interfering with my free speech” and so? “i have a right to protest by breaking windows or running over you with the car” … or worse
    God help us… truly God help us we are a nation of blind, self serving fools… or so it seems to me this Sunday afternoon

  17. John 20:29 says:

    i’ve been mulling the Bonhoeffer quote at #14 and i can’t seem to see a way for the Believer in Christ to implement his call to action…. ? ….
    the best i could come up with (lame):
    what if the mega churches ended their Sunday morning services with a request that the congregation for the next hour file out of the church and down the street in an orderly fashion carrying placards with appropriate slogans…? how many of those folk would give up their plans for brunch to march? … hmmm … would i? … dunno

  18. Xenia says:

    We can’t really talks about an equality of “sides” when we are talking about Nazis and the Nazi-esque.

    I wish more Germans had stood up to the Nazis when they came to town.

  19. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Sometimes you can’t win. I remember in the early to mid 80s we would come out of church, with the properly worded placards to protest against abortion. Our biggest resistance? Other churches.

  20. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    At some point in time we need to separate from others. We need to make it clear that the alt right is not Christian, Donald Trump is not Christian, this guy Jeffress from First Baptist is not Christian (this is the guy who this week said Trump can do whatever he wants because it is in the Bible.)
    We need to be clear that they have no association with us.

  21. Jean says:

    The President of my denomination has offered an appropriate and biblical prayer in light of the evil of this weekend. I invite my brothers and sisters in Christ to please join in this prayer:


    O Lord Christ, Hope of the World, Savior of the Nations:

    In Your blessed incarnation, You took upon Yourself human flesh [cit. omit], flesh like that of every child born in the history of the world [cit. omit], that You might bear the sins of all humanity on a cross [cit. omit].

    In Your earthly ministry, You served humankind without regard to race, even contrary to prevailing racial views of the day [cit. omit];

    From the first days of Your Church, it pleased You to gather together people without regard to race or origin [cit. omit];

    Through the centuries, Your Holy Word, the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, have borne and continue to bear witness to the truths of both reason and divine revelation—that all people are created by God, that all are equally accountable to God, and that all are equally beloved by God and redeemed by Christ [cit omit.].

    You, O Lord, teach us to “love your neighbor as yourself” [cit. omit], and that my neighbor includes everyone I meet in my daily vocations, and specifically without regard to race [cit. omit];

    Forgive me, O Lord, for my many sins of commission and omission where I have failed my neighbor in thought, word or deed, especially where I have begrudged another Your compassion and love based upon race or anything else [cit. omit];

    Strengthen Your Church, O Lord, that she may be a beacon of joyous unity in the Gospel and a light of blessed forgiveness and grace, calling all to repentance and to trust in Jesus as the only Savior from sin [cit. omit];

    Let Your Gospel flow forth into every crooked, corrupt and hardened heart, to bring repentance, faith in Your Gospel and joy in the manifold uniqueness of Your created peoples—a very foretaste of heaven itself [cit. omit];

    O Lord, grant justice in Your left-hand kingdom, especially in the governments of this nation and of all the earth. Correct wrong. Punish and thwart evil, and especially racist evil. Grant peace that Your Gospel may flow all the more freely, especially to those most blinded by evil. Remind us, O Lord, of Your own prayer for those who crucified You, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” [cit.omit]. Let us not be overcome with anger, but overcome hatred with love.

    Finally, O Lord, grant faith, peace and hope to the bereaved.
    Lord, have mercy;
    Christ, have mercy;
    Lord, have mercy. Amen.”

  22. John 20:29 says:

    praying with President Harrison and the Lutes this afternoon…

    i have no desire to enter into a discussion on the common sense of why black lives matter or why we whites are not supreme or whether Trump is too wishy washy and so on…

    but one thing we seem to be blinding ourselves to is an element (organized or not, i don’t know – i suspect some are)… an element that shows up at marches and demonstrations to foment mayhem or worse…
    if the Neo-Nazis have organized a demonstration in my city park i do have a right, perhaps an obligation to protest their message… however, in the times we’re living in right now i can be pretty certain that my good intentions will present an opportunity for these hooligans to show up… we need to be wise… these are not people who are over enthusiastic for my cause, rather they are out to create death and destruction and the people of my peaceful march have become their useful fools
    i’m not sure what the answer is… for certain it’s not more laws… may God give us wisdom

    God keep the grieving Charlotsville families in His mercy

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    #21 MLD

    For the first time, agreed in full…

  24. Duane Arnold says:

    Tonight, I joined a protest downtown in solidarity with the people in Charlottesville. It is the least we can do. No amateur heroics, just want to put down my marker as to which side I’m on in something that is so clearly a matter of right and wrong. If I am wrong to protest, God forgive me and grant me grace…

  25. David H says:

    MLD – yes.

  26. John 20:29 says:

    since this is open blog and it is the end of the weekend, i confess that i am trying to figure out what marches achieve… Dr. Arnold marched to put his marker down on the side of those against Nazism… those people who think that the white races have given this world the benefits we enjoy today and are the only hope – the intellectuals think that they did…
    i think that today both are godless and egotistically trying by different means, one crude, the other more finessed, to gain the upper hand and rescue the world out of chaos… both are wrong on both counts – the white supremacist and the godless intellectual, not Dr. Arnold 🙂
    man doesn’t have what it takes to save the world from itself and i don’t know the eternal destiny of either President Donald Trump or Jeffress, but…
    i do have to agree that we, the Church, had better be minding our own business as servants of God – we can speak out and join marches (perhaps not demonstrations, tho) as our consciences direct, but our focus must be the Master’s business and fitting our souls for it…
    sounds nebulous, i know, but that’s the job of the pastors and teachers to sort out … sigh

  27. bob1 says:

    Here’s a video that’s making the rounds on the Internet. It was created in 1947 but eerily relevant to today. It was created by the U.S. Military.

    If you don’t want the long version, start at 2:20 and go to 5:07

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    I would only amend MLD’s statement to say that quote by Jeffress is no a Christian thought. I have no idea if the man himself is Christian.

  29. Dan from Georgia says:

    It seems like we fight an uphill battle in regards to separating ourselves out from those voices who abuse the Bible in favor of things Trump does…or doesn’t do. Jeffress, Falwell Jr, and Franklin Graham are paraded in front of the Fox News cameras almost regularly and people start to think that what they say is what a good Christian is supposed to believe.

    Just my daily complaint.

    Must go find my place of peace again.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, we know it’s not a Christian thought. Here is his quote;
    ““When it comes to how we should deal with evildoers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil,” Jeffress said. “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

    This is Jeffress’ Alt-Right blessing to Trump and we must make clear that you cannot be alt-Right and Christian at the same time — even if it comes sanctified behind a once great SBC pulpit.

  31. Duane Arnold says:

    #30 Dan

    Addressing that today in my post… stay tuned.

  32. Dan from Georgia says:

    Duane, looking forward to it!

  33. Josh the Baptist says:

    @31 – I agree, as I said, not a Christian thought.

    The SBC did pass a resolution this condemning the alt right movement,and I am thankful for that:

    I have disagreed with Jeffress many times in the past, and always disagree with his political rants. I do not know enough to condemn his soul.

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I don’t condemn his soul – I have no power to do that. That said, I can only say that byhis actions and words (and this is not to single him out as he is one of many) that I cannot count him as a brother in Christ. This should be our message to a world that wants to lump them in with us.

    and I might add, this is why we build fences and don’t just let anyone in to wander around our pasture.

  35. Michael says:


    While I have some sympathy for what you’re saying, I’m not sure I can go there.
    You and I have mutual friends online that identify with this group, two of which are devout Lutherans, and some others that used to participate here.

    I think it’s more nuanced than this….

  36. Duane Arnold says:

    #33 Dan

    Now posted as promised…

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