Golden and Noble Works

“A wife too should regard her duties in the same light, as she suckles the child, rocks and bathes it, and cares for it in other ways; and as she busies herself with other duties and renders help and obedience to her husband. These are truly golden and noble works."
Martin Luther

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Our Father In Heaven - From Beth

Beth writes:

I thank our heavenly Father for my earthly father, James L. Stamberger, who was called home to heaven on Monday, Feb. 6, 2012.  It had been only eleven weeks prior that he first went to his family physician that eventually led to the diagnosis of brain cancer. My two youngest and I were able to spend seven precious days with him and were there the day he passed away. Even my hubby and two oldest children were able to join us on the Stamberger farm for a wonderful time with Dad/Grandpa the weekend before he died. Life during that week with him at home slowed down to a snail’s pace as I soaked in every minute of being his caretaker. He struggled with walking and needed step by step instruction to what he was doing at the present time, but yet could eat, sleep, and carry on a conversation so well. His sweet, appreciative disposition and witty attitude helped the rest of us to get through some tough days. We talked religion, politics, family and church history, laughed and cried together. He fulfilled his role as father so well in that he continued teaching little life lessons and giving us advice up until the end. When I think of my dad’s love for his family, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with how much our Father in heaven must love us as His dear children to sacrifice His own Son in our place. 

It was only on that Monday, the 6th, that he woke with excruciating pain from headaches. He eventually became nonresponsive and appeared to be able to sleep. We had him transported to the local hospital for a CT scan due to the abrupt change from the night before. The scan showed profuse swelling that was cutting off the flow of blood to his brain. He died there in the ER room with my mom, siblings and me, his sister and brother-in-law, and pastor at his bedside. We had the privilege of reciting the Lord’s Prayer, Creed, Psalms, and singing hymns together before the angels carried him home to be with Jesus.  Looking back on it now, I see how gracious and merciful our God is in all that he spared my dad (and mom, too).  Dad was to start radiation treatments on the day he passed away. We were all so worried what the treatments might do to him. But my dad’s days were beautifully orchestrated by God’s hand and I thank Him for the comfort that brings. I miss my dad so much and can hear his voice throughout the day and all that we shared together. What comfort Christ’s victory over sin, death, and the devil gives us as we look forward to one day joining our loved ones in heaven!
Your thoughts and prayers mean so much to me and I thank you. If you’d like, you can view my dad’s obituary at   

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book: They Will See His Face – Part 4, Chapters 4-5

Kristi writes:

Eyer spends Chapter 4 sharing some wisdom regarding depression and the healing Word of God.

He identifies the difference between moments of depression and clinical depression.  I will not go into detail here lest I lead you astray with my minimal knowledge of the subject.  Know this: depression is not easily explained away.  Healing from depression must come from outside ourselves.  We, of our own accord, cannot walk away from depression or escape its claws.  The liturgy gives voice to our depression, expressing our grief and sorrow.  In the same way, the liturgy also brings healing.  The blessed and comforting Word of God is spoken in its truth and purity to our hurting souls.  The Holy Spirit works faith in us and shows us that Christ brings healing.

No matter how depressed or low I might feel, I have the solid Word of God that reminds me I am God’s child.  Whether or not I feel like being in church, I know that God’s Word is there FOR ME.  When I doubt whether God loves me, I know with 100% certainty that He does.  He tells me so in His Word, and He gives me the sacraments as tangible proof of His love.  When my feelings cause me to doubt God’s love, I cling to His Word and can be confident that He knows me.  What a blessed comfort.

Chapter 5 focuses on grief and the peace that only God gives.  Death is a reality.  I’ve been to numerous funerals, and it’s not easy to say good-bye to those we love.  However, for those who die in faith, death is not a permanent good-bye.  Rather, we can rejoice in the promise of a blessed reunion in heaven.  I am given the peace of God that is spoken at the funeral of a loved one.  The funeral service reminds me of the blessings given to all believers; that promise is sure and certain.

Eyer reminds all believers that we have life in Christ.  Knowing this, it is easier to face death.  There is a beginning after the end.  Christ conquered death, and now eternal life is ours.  Alleluia!

One of my favorite parts in the liturgy is the singing of the “Holy, holy, holy.”  I love that we are singing with “angels and archangels and all the company of heaven.”  I’m singing with loved ones who are enjoying the presence of Christ in its fullness.  As an organist, I play this portion of the liturgy quite triumphantly.  It’s a joining of heaven and earth – how glorious!  I can hardly wait to join that heavenly chorus.

They Will See His Fac
e by Richard Eyer – Preface
They Will See His Fa
ce by Richard Eyer – Chapters 1 and 2

They Will See His F
ace by Richard Eyer – Chapter 3

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Prayer Request From BethAnn

BethAnn writes:

My parents need some prayers right now....due to some things at my fathers work he was forced to take 'personal time without pay' for the whole month of Feb. And before that he was being sent home 'because there was no work for him.' So my father has not had a paycheck in 7 weeks. This is a manner of principal not finances. My dad can not take the stress at work anymore so he is going to take early retirement starting March 1. But since my dad has only worked at this job and security and only has a high school diploma it will be hard in this economy to find part time work. So please pray that my dad finds some work soon and that my parents anxiety will be filled with the promises of God's comfort.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Book Review from Jenny

 Jenny writes:

I'm reading Grace Upon Grace right now, by John Kleinig.

I find it a wonderfully peace-filled book.  It is easy to understand and so full of gems.  I'm reading through it slowly because of that.  Because of the gems.  Kleinig repeats himself often and I find that helpful.  His repetitious intent is, I'm sure, to drive his points home.  If the reader doesn't understand it on page 12, maybe he will on page 15. 

Some of those gems: 

receptive spirituality - " was Christ in the water and the Word of Baptism that worked in me faith and salvation.  And it was the faith of my parents and of the faithful people in my congregation that carried me along spiritually."  "Receptive spirituality embeds the life of the believer in the family of God and the Church."

poor in spirit- the Greek word for "poor" is also a term for beggar.  We are beggars before Christ, asking for what we do not have, and receiving the Holy Spirit.  "Yet that is only half the story.  We may be beggars, but, paradoxically, we also associate with the holy angels.  In the Kyrie,...we join the company of beggars who all appeal for mercy from Jesus as our advocate before the Father.  In the Gloria we join with the angels who stand in adoration and joy before God the Father as they glorify Him."

gradual demolition - I am being demolished, gradually and painfully , by God in order to receive all He has for me.  "He takes away everything that we have in order to give us everything He has in store for us."  "Our whole life as disciples is a process of receiving grace upon grace from God the Father."

meditation - This is what I am reading and digesting right now.  There is so much about meditation.  Kleinig starts by talking about Solomon and having a "hearing" heart.  And then there is Mary who "treasured these things up in her heart."  Right now Kleinig is teaching about the Psalms being the "best practical book on Christian meditation."  Most of the psalms are ones of lament.  We cry out against God along with the Psalmist.  But this crying out turns us right back to the One who can comfort.  Right back to receptive spirituality, back to grace upon grace.

Add this to your "I must read this soon" list.  I highly recommend it.