Sunday, November 07, 2004

loofrin is a Lutheran

What follows is a departure from my usual ranting. I have been thinking going in a different direction with this Blog.

I discovered just now that the bible I use is almost twenty years old. I got it when I was twelve back in '86. Its a Concordia Self-Study Bible, no self-respecting LCMS'er is without at least one. The CSS was published in 1985 or '86. Each church in the Missouri Synod got two as samples. Some how or another I inherited one of the samples from the church my father was then serving. It might be almost 20 years old, but its just starting to look broken in. It is heavily written in, underlined and I have notes written in the margins, the binding is stengthened with duct tape. In the back I have written down verses that have really moved me at some time or another. The inside cover is my favorite part and the most personal. I have a small collage of things I have picked up along the way that I have taped into it. Its sitting on my bed right now. This past summer I decided to read the thing from beginning to end. I did real well for a while, but the last few weeks I have bogged down. I got halfway through Psalms and pretty much stopped. I decided today that I needed to get back into the word. Believe it or not I can feel a distinct difference in my outlook on life and the way I feel about myself when I am in the Word. If nothing else, I sleep better after reading a chapter or even a verse before bed.

The way I look at faith is this: its a pilot light. Sometimes that pilot light burns brighter and sometimes the light dims, but its always burning. I think I need to get the light burning brighter. I'm looking for something, I'm not sure what it is-- answers, maybe, but to what questions? I haven't a clue.

I'm sure you've heard this phrase before "CH_ _ CH, what's missing? U R." Well, I take that a step further: "FA_TH, what's missing? The "I" is." There is no faith with the "I." Faith has always been something I have had to work on. Faith is a very personal thing. I haven't been all that good at sharing my faith. By nature I am a fairly quiet, sit in the corner type of guy. Once and a while I get prompted and talk about it. I have discovered over the years that I do have a talent for "breakin it down" in to real simple, easy to understand, bitesized pieces. My faith story isn't real interesting, but its mine and I'll share it asked, its just not a real, dare I say it, "sexy" story. This revelation is actually kind of ironic, my confirmation verse is this: "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand." (John 10: 27-28) I put a lot of credence in Confirmation verses. As silly as it might seem I have often felt that Confirmation verses often encapsulate a person's life without them even really knowing it. Sadly, we don't realize it until that verse is used as the basis for the deceased's funeral sermon.

I have been a Christian and a Lutheran all my life. I am careful to make that distinction. Christian first Lutheran second. I have discovered over time that it is easier to start with the things we agree on and then slowly take apart the things we don't. If I come at someone with the Lutheran first Christian second that can turn them off. Being a Lutheran is an identity. My screen name for almost ten years has been "loofrin" which is the way Lutheran is pronounced in New Orleans.

I seem to have left my "thesis" in the writing of this entry. I'm not really sure I even had a thesis going in-- just some thoughts that were running around in my head. I'll write more later.

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