Saturday, October 29, 2011

7 Quick Takes!

I said I didn't have energy to write anything, but 7 Quick Takes should be manageable, yes?
Here we go...

--- 1 ---
I'm learning the advantages to homeschooling an eighth grader as opposed to, say, an 8-year-old.  She can come to my room, sit next to me on the bed and read to me.  

--- 2 ---
In a strange turn of events, during this World Series that no Yankees were present, we found ourselves Texas residents flying into Missouri the night of game 7.  We ate at Applebee's in Kansas City and enjoyed watching all the Cards fans (and one or two misplaced Rangers fans) hollering at the televisions.
--- 3 ---
So, we're in Kansas City all week for a Living Waters training conference.  Brian's been putting up with my hacking up a lung all night long at home in our queen-sized bed.  We're now downgraded to a double.  The poor, poor man.  I drove to the nearest Wal-Greens this morning and loaded up my basket with every kind of cough suppressing, sleep inducing remedy I thought I could take together and not die.  Although, that would at least give my husband some peace and quiet.

--- 4 ---
I may or may not have time to blog during this week.  We'll see.  Since the main activity at one of these events is akin to scooping around one's inner organs with a cold spoon, anything I do have time to write should be pretty angsty.  We'll see.

--- 5 ---
While I'm here, I also hope to write a submission for Christ Church's advent devotional.  Only Brian had scheduled activities today so I got all my source books and journal and pens out, arranged them neatly on the desk in the lodge room, took cough syrup and promptly took a four hour nap.  Maybe something of advent -- longing and hope intertwined -- could come from that scenario?
--- 6 ---
My kids spent the day back in Austin handing out doughnuts to strangers on Guadalupe (also known as UT's drag).  When I talked with my daughter afterward, she said it was fun but worried about the diabetics who couldn't eat the sugar.  Hopefully, it's the thought that counts in random  kindness, also?

--- 7 ---
A couple of weeks ago, I told you about the bake sale our small group sponsored to raise money for the Ethiopian mission to widows and orphans, Bring Love In.  The good news is that we raised over $1,100 toward the opening of a new Forever Family home!  I found this video about the mission and thought you'd enjoy it, too.  

Bring Love In from Kurt Neale on Vimeo.

Have a good week!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

sick and tired

I've been sick.  Again.  I'd hoped to avoid seasonal allergies and ever-close companion of sinus infection now that we live in Texas.  Since I've been sick three times in two months, it seems this will not be so.  This means I don't have much energy to write. Anything.  Not grocery lists, not facebook statuses (stati?), not article submissions.  Certainly not blog posts.  I have plenty of material to blog, but no energy.  In case anyone is worried, Natalie is still learning and doing plenty of school work.  I'm just not writing about it.

I'll be back as soon as I feel better because I miss our chats here.

In the meantime, here's a quiet little video for you to enjoy.

credit:  The Kid Should See This

Doesn't it make you happy to know that somebody in the world has enough creativity, ingenuity and time to make a lookout tower for their koi?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Austin Music, Nice To Meet You: Bon Iver

[guest post by Andrew Murphy]

What can I say about the music scene in Austin? It’s booming like business, blooming like bloomers, and thriving like the Thriver, a sector of the human  heart located somewhere between the right atrium and tricuspid valve.  Actually, this is not the best terminology for the scene because it indicates that at some point, the live music circuit here was under the radar, even though part of this city's rich history is the triumphant weight it’s had on live music culture across America and the world at large. 

The Murphs have been thrown into this eclectic environment with little poise or previous knowledge, which has made for some great discoveries in the way of local gigs and attractions since we made our trek to the Alamo state. I’ve gotten to witness a diverse array of style, genre, and status through the shows I’ve attended. With each musical outing opening my eyes to something new, I can honestly say that no act has left me hungry.

 The first real glimpse of this vibrant culture was the night me and my bro caught last second ticks to a Bon Iver performance at the Long Center. And what an introduction! 

For those who are familiar with Justin Vernon's work as the leader of this Indie-cred troupe only  through his  the group's debut LP (the self-titled Bon Iver), let me tell you that his new album has upped the stakes for any mop-headed, emotional girlie-man writing heart-wrenching lullabies for downtown yoga classes and backwoods cabin soul searching. 

While all of those words may sound like backhanded barbs, they’re actually highlights of his sound. He may make the ladies swoon, but behind every glassy-eyed hipster girl is an eager and intimidated guy, secretly wishing he had such skills. Hence, me and my bro sat in the nosebleed section of the expansive auditorium--which held the atmosphere of an evening at the opera—and enjoyed every minute of it, including the insanely talented opening act, Kathleen Edwards

I know her name sounds like one of your mom’s church bake sale rivals, but she’s actually a steadily-rising singer-songwriter who can churn out some kick-ass heartland melodies (that is, if Ottawa can be considered the heartland). In between songs, both she and Vernon would demonstrate their charismatic stage presence, which consisted of stream-of-consciousness asides and likeable humor, all complemented by their unanimous claims that Austin is, indeed, one of the best places for an artist to make their footing in the live music pantheon.

What else--oh right! The music. It was alright, and by "alright" I mean mind-blowingly spectatuloid. "Spectuloid," of course, being a word I just made up to serve as a synonym for really, really...really...awesome. Again, Kathleen Edwards is still a rookie in the bizarro world of ironic indie super stardom, so she and her fellow musicians played it safe and just delivered the goods. The goods, thankfully, were pretty dang good. She doesn't write and perform songs so much as feelings. Each song representing a different mood inside the human spectrum. It wasn't ambient chillwave so much as pop music with moxie and mystery. Think Feist on an existential road trip across the midwest (slash Ottawa). It was the kind of set you could close your eyes to and get lost in.

 Bon Iver, on the other hand, had nothing but eye-opening material in store for their audience. For an outfit that originally made music for the contemporary folk medium, this set reached Bono-in-space levels of spectacle. I'm not even quite sure if I merely watched the show or got punched in the face by it repeatedly, only to be coaxed and befriended by it afterwords. 

The set opened with the first four tracks off of Bon Iver, and while rather anti-climactic in concept, still served the audience a heaping dose of style and swagger. The new album is full of left-field ideas, and Vernon's meticulously-crafted live act only expanded them to more unpredictable terrain. I won't go into all the detail, but there was a dimly-lit alto-sax-bludgeoning solo, a Bjork cover (off her a cappella release!) and a flawless impression of a Wisconsin native, from a Wisconsin native. But for all the beauty and bombast demonstrated throughout, the highlight of the night came with the encore, as Vernon sat on a stool, surrounded by his loyal bandmates providing gang vocals, and the opening strums of "Skinny Love" filled the open room. Easily the quietest moment of the night, but also the most real. The crowd was in adoration from the band's walk on stage to their final bow, and I got the feeling even the begrudging avant-garde naysayers joined in on the closing standing O. 

to read more from Andrew:

Friday, October 21, 2011

the abundance of also

On Silent Retreat with Christ Community Church, September 2011

a journal entry:
Our Saturday Vespers meditation was in the form of lectio devina on John 14:1-13.  The word that caught my attention (especially after the first reading) was the word also. Jesus said to his disciples:

I am the way
Also the truth
Also the life

It may just be that the version of Scripture Christine read was different than I've known and this verse -- being one of the most-quoted verses in the New Testament -- sounded different with the word "also" as opposed to the word "and" with which I am familiar?

Really, though, I wonder why the change? Without a dictionary handy I can't see much difference between the two conjunctions. They both connect one part of a sentence to another, like a bridge or a harness. I'm thinking that also carries a bit more weight than "and". For one thing, it's made up of two syllables, brief snippets of language, yes. But having to push the palate around two phonetic shapes rather than one fleeting breath deems a heartier substance into the subject at hand.  All soAlso.

As for why God spoke this word to me, I do not comprehend. I wish I knew the Greek for also. I think Greek for "and" is the word kai. Another day that word caught my attention with its ability to so effortlessly hold together two tensions:
In sickness and in health.
For richer and for poorer.

The humble word also says to me "but, wait, there's more!" Jesus is the way. This is good news!  He is the road on which we travel.  I am at peace.

But wait, there's more!  Also, He is the truth. Also the life.

Within His being, Jesus holds together many selves.  Jesus is God, one with the Father. Also, He is the Son showing us the Father.  Also the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth living on in us.  Making a way for us to live like Jesus and counseling us to do even greater things.

Also speaks another way -- as an indication of abundance.  As in:  we had chocolate and caramel-drizzled apple slices for dessert last night.  Also we had Blue Bell ice cream!

I spent the first part of this retreat grieving the sin of my own unforgiveness to so many people I love. I listed a whole page of names:  those I'd sinned against and those who'd -- real or imagined -- sinned against me.  I've been carrying this list in  a hidden recess, holding them there hostage to my demands that somebody love me unconditionally, somebody find me valuable enough to not betray me, reject me, forget me. I was holding so many people hostage to my demands I had no room for new possibilities of community, companionship.

So obsessed was I, I took my own self hostage. Denying myself the hope of new life when the old has been so disappointing.  Telling myself I was not valuable enough to deserve another chance at Christ-centered, life-giving,  heart-mending community. I had to hold these names hostage because if I released them I would have nothing else.

I was living in the mindset of scarcity. The belief that I could only love either this community or the other. That the best I could hope was either the old wounds of the past or the unseen wounds of the future.

But Jesus says also.

He redeems the scarcity of my either/or mindset to the abundance of also.  I am wounded, yes. Also I am healed. I have been rejected by friends.  Also, I have been loved.  I am fearful of the unknown in this new community. 

Also, I am delighted about the new possibilities.

*linking with Emily and the imperfect prose community*

*also, linking with Ann today*

Thursday, October 20, 2011

from the book pile, 2011: Todd D. Hunter, Tim Chester

I've been working my way through the tower of books teetering off the antique writing desk that serves as my nightstand.  Working my way through reading and working my way through the thoughts and learnings each title provokes.

When I first started this blog in 2006 one of my goals was to nurture a forum that kept me accountable for the cultural goods I consume.  Of course, I didn't really know then to articulate the goal in those terms.  The truth dawns gradually: as in in worship so as in culture -- I did not make it, but it is making me.

Having also gotten quite clear with the truth that I will never be a professional book reviewer, I've let myself off the hook and changed up the way I document my reading.

Ironically, these books were the next I had lying around waiting for me to journal them here and they're both intricately connected to our move to Christ Church.  Perfect timing, yes?

  Hope you enjoy!


24. The Accidental Anglican: The Surprising Appeal of the Liturgical Church

Author:  Todd D. Hunter 

Genre: non-fiction, personal narrative

Published: IVP Books, 2010

General Impression:  The title of this book intrigued me because I have a feeling it's a handle Brian and I might borrow to describe ourselves someday.  I'd hoped for a little bit deeper unpacking of the title's tagline "the surprising appeal of the liturgical church."  Still, I was reading the book at the same time Brian was interviewing for a pastoral position in an Anglican church.  The timing was kind of perfect.

Hunter, now an Anglican bishop, started his years of ministry leadership in the Vineyard movement, a  fresh-faced member of the Jesus movement.  It's not a turn you'd normally expect, but I'm discovering that the Vineyard movement and the Anglican tradition to be connected in some key ways.  Among other distinctives, both groups have a profound appreciation for the work of the Holy Spirit and both celebrate the mysteries of God.  

Hunter wrote in a simple, very accessible manner his experience of ministry and movement toward the Anglican Mission.  My disappointment with the substance of the book was soon lifted when I realized that his story was comforting because he was addressing many of my unspoken fears.  With every story he told of embarrassing moments trying to figure out some of the more formal traditions of the church (i.e., going to the bathroom before putting on his vestments, being mistaken as a costumed priest when he wore his collar in public on Halloween) I felt more relieved.  Brian and I were moving from 40 years of non-denominational, low-church liturgies and had no experience worshiping in, let alone working in, an Anglican liturgy.  (next time you see him, ask my son Andrew to tell you his funny story of sipping the communion wine our first Sunday at Christ Church!)  I figured if one of the church's Bishops could be so unfamiliar and self-described, bumbling, into the liturgy then we ought to be fine.

I don't mean to infer that there is no depth to the liturgical descriptions in Hunter's writing.  The book is actually written in two parts and the second part ("What I Like About Anglicanism") does give some outline to the teachings and traditions held dear in the Anglican Mission.  Certainly, anyone wanting to read an enjoyable primer on the denomination would do well to start here.

An excerpt from Part 2, chapter 14, "The Spirit of Anglicanism: A Sweet Reasonableness":

"There is a 'sweet reasonableness' about most [Anglican evangelicals]. Historically, Anglicanism does not bully but simply sets itself forth. It invites participation, contemplation and conversation. This is a great gift to the poster-modern, post-Christendom situation.
This spirit is important to me because I have become weary of the increasingly dogmatic, angry, unkind, un-Christlike, argumentative and dishonest spirit in much of the religious debate in America. Rationalized by a concern for the truth, this harmful spirit flows like a devastating oil spill from certain media outlets, churches and conferences. I can hardly stomach it. I have great empathy and patience with the growing number of people who are leaving churches marked by this spirit."  [he goes on to explain he realizes not all churches are marked by this spirit and that, certainly, truth is worth fighting for.  Also that Anglican churches are not perfect.]  

"Some representative commentary regarding the on purpose results within the congregation of the accidental bishop." (the book's conclusion):
  • "I find [the Anglican church] to be a safe place.
  • "The liturgy is vital."
  • "I've never knelt before in church."
  • "I find myself recalling words from the liturgy during the week."
  • "I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit."
  • "Confession is powerful."
  • "The Creed puts words to my core beliefs."


25. A Meal With Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community & Mission around the Table

Author:  Tim Chester

Genre: non-fiction

Published: Crossway, 2011

General Impression:  In preparation for our move to Christ Church, we were listening to the weekly sermons.  We'd heard that we'd be arriving right at the beginning of a sermon series inspired by this book and so I ordered a copy and read it all along the cross-country road trip from New York to Austin.  What a beautiful introduction to our new church family, to the hopes for this community.  

Most of us are aware of the spiritual meaning to the discipline of fasting, but how often do we consider the spiritual meaning to feasting? Chester reminds us of the Jesus who came to seek and save, yes, and also to eat and drink.  He posits that this endless feasting of the Messiah is not random, but full of meaning for us as His followers.  With only a quick reading of Chester's chapter titles, you'd get a pretty clear idea of his hopes for the book:

  • Meals as Enacted Grace: Luke 5
  • Meals as Enacted Community: Luke 7
  • Meals as Enacted Hope: Luke 9
  • Meals as Enacted Mission: Luke 14
  • Meals as Enacted Salvation: Luke 22
  • Meals as Enacted Promise: Luke 24
Sometimes I feel nervous reading Christian books with as specific subject matter as eating meals; I'm nervous about formulas or extra-biblical theorizing.  This does not happen in Chester's book.  He manages to write a beautiful blend of biblical narrative, enlarging our imagination for the life and ministry of Christ, while giving us some practical ideas with the vehicle of story and anecdotes.  

In short, this is one of those books that will become part of my life and understanding from here forward.  

If you'd like to listen to the sermons preached at Christ Church, following the chapter outline listed above, click here (five sermons, 7/31/11 - 09/04/11).

(p.s., sometime I'll write about one of Christ Church's regular events called "Come to the Table"; a meal and conversation about food, justice and grace.)

An extended excerpt:

"Eating is an expression of our dependence. God made us in such a way that we need to eat. We’re embedded in creation; this means that every time we eat, we’re reminded of our dependence on others. Few of us eat food we ourselves have grown and cooked. Even the more self-sufficient among us still rely on other people. Food forces us to live in community, to share, to cooperate, and to trade. In all societies there’s a division of labor, which means we work together to provide the food we need. The division of labor frees us from constant hunting and gathering to develop science and art. A humble loaf of bread expresses the mandate God gave humanity to develop agriculture, technology, society, commerce, and culture.
Above all, food expresses our dependence on God. Only God is self-sufficient. We are creatures, and every moment we’re sustained by him. Even our rebellion against him is only possible because he holds the fabric of our universe together by his powerful word. Our shouts of defiance against God are only possible with the breath he gives.
Every time we eat, we celebrate again our dependence on God and his faithfulness to his creation. Every time. Food is to be received with gratitude. “Taking the five loves … he gave thanks” (Luke 9:16 NIV).
Nobody in the ancient world ever took their food for granted.” Today it’s different. Today we have Walmart. Walmart receives one of every five dollars customers spend on food. If it were a nation, Walmart’s economy would be larger than Argentina’s. In the UK the equivalent is Tesco. According to Andrew Simms, “there is little, now, that Tesco does not promise in terms of meeting your daily needs.” Notice the godlike language. “Not only does Tesco aspire to become the commercial equivalent of the nanny state, providing every product and service imaginable—something that is unhealthy for many reasons—it also aspires to have a store format for every location.” Tesco is omnipresent and omnipotent. Walmart is Walmart Jireh, Walmart the Provider. We may direct our prayers to God, but it’s Walmart to whom we go for daily bread.
Give us each day our daily bread” (Luke 11:2-3). That is how Jesus teaches us to pray. We need to pray for our daily bread not because we’re worried about where our next meal might come from, but because we’re not.
We not only express our dependence on God by feasting, but also by fasting. Just as food points to the goodness of God, so the hunger of fasting reminds us of our need for God. Most of us rarely get hungry before the next intake of food comes along. When we perceive no need, then our self-sovereignty is undisturbed. But fasting brings our need to the fore. Fasting reminds us that we’re creatures. We’re not self-existent. As the hunger pain bites, we recognize with gratitude and prayer our dependence on creation, on community, and on God.
Fasting reminds us that we depend on God for physical satisfaction, but also for spiritual satisfaction. Our hunger for food heightens our hunger for God. We typically become grumpy when we’re hungry. Some of us medicate through food. Our habit when in need is to turn first to food for escape or refuge. Fasting retrains us to turn to God."

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

homeschool daybook: Romeo, Juliet and rutabaga

October 19, 2011

Fitting in a bunch of odds & ends in our lesson plan today:

  • We watched the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Franco Zeffirelli and starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey.  The power of this story always surprises me.  We know what's going to happen, we've seen it happen a million love stories since Shakespeare and still we hope it'll end differently!
  • Natalie chose a portion of Shakespeare's play to memorize, wrote the stanza out on parchment and pencilled in a decorative border.

  • Natalie went grocery shopping with me today, helping to find items, calculating our total (keeping me on budget!) and learning the great skill of couponing.  (her Aunt Kaley will be so proud).

  • We went to a different store for our produce.  Andrew has a job in the meat department at an organic market, Sunflower Farmers Market.  We get our produce and meat here and share Andrew's employee discount.  Before heading in, Nat and I re-read the first part of chapter 1 in The Roar on the Other Side, a guide for student poets.  The first suggested writing prompt is to visit a produce section and observe -- really see -- the variety of fruits and vegetables.  Notice the names and colors and shapes and textures.   She took the camera in the store and enjoyed photo-journalling some of the produce.
  • Natalie selected blackberries to eat at home and then write a descriptive paragraph full of sensory detail.  I love what she wrote but don't have permission to share it here.  :)

This evening we attended Kendra's first concert at Bowie High School.  I didn't tell Natalie this was considered "school" but since we experienced gorgeous music and dance from all over the world, there's no way I could resist adding the activity here.  I was so proud of Kendra and wish you all could have heard her.  The variety of songs, much of it sung in languages other than English, and level of complexity to the rhythms and harmonies, much of it sung a Capella and all of it memorized within the first nine weeks of school was stunning.

For the next few class days, Brian and Andrew will be helping Natalie with her school work.  As I highly doubt any of them will want to update this blog, I'll see you all next week!

Alex is baptized!

Our son, Alex, had planned to be baptized within the last year, but the timing never worked out.  When he realized that Christ Church holds a baptism during the annual all-parish retreat held at Highland Lakes Camp he asked to be baptized this weekend.  

I was baptized in the Susquehanna River at Hickories Park in Owego, NY when I was 12.  I couldn't help but think of that day when we were standing as a congregation on the muddy waterside.  Of course, Owego was not in drought as is central Texas.  For an idea of how bad things are, see the treeline on the far side of the lake?  The water is supposed to be about that height.  Sad.

We found the baptism liturgy to be weighty with meaning.  So I share it here in its entirety.  We've been trying to upload the video we took so you could hear the service rather than read it, but I'm having technical difficulties.  Thank you to our new friend, Heather Hadd, for taking so many beautiful photos for us.

Presentation and Examination of the Candidates

Celebrant: The Candidates for Holy Baptism will now be presented.
Sponsors: I present Alex Murphy for the sacrament of baptism. (Brian and I were Alex' sponsors.  It was a great privilege.  Unfortunately, we didn't practice our one and only line ahead of time to decide if were presenting 'Alex' or 'Alexander' in baptism and sort of botched our one and only line!)

The Celebrant asks the following questions of the baptismal candidate.

Question: Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?
Answer:  I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce all sinful desires that draw you from the love of God?
Answer: I renounce them.

Question:  Do you turn to Jesus Chrsit and accept him as your Savior?
Answer:  I do.

Question: Do you pout your whole trust in his grace and love?
Answer: I do.

Question:  Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?
Answer:  I do.
(Oh, how I wish you could hear the audio of this exchange.  Alex's replies were  profoundly heartfelt.)

After all have been presented, the Celebrant address the congregation, saying:
Celebrant:  Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support them in their lives in Christ?
All:  We will.

Celebrant:  Let us join those who are being committed to Christ and renew our own baptismal covenant.

The Baptismal Covenant (All the baptized join the candidates in the baptismal vows)
Celebrant:  Do you believe in God the Father?
People:  I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant:  Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People:  I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant:  Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People:  I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant:  Will you continue in the aposltes' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People:  I will, with God's help.

Celebrant:  Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People:  I will, with God's help.

Celebrant:  Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People:  I will, with God's help.

Celebrant:  Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People:  I will with God's help.

Prayers for the Candidates, by God's People

Celebrant:  Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and for ever.  Amen.

Thanksgiving Over the Water
Celebrant:  The Lord is here.
People:  And His Spirit is with us.
Celebrant:  Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
People:  It is right to give him thanks and praise.
Celebrant:  We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water.  Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the land of promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us, through his death and resurrection, from the bondage of sin into everlasting life.

Your most dearly loved Son, for the forgiveness of our sins, shed from his most precious side at the Cross both water and blood; and later gave commandment to his disciples, that they should go teach all nations and baptize them in the Name of the Father, and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Hear the prayer of your people; sanctify this water, we pray you, by the power of your Holy Spirit, that those who are here cleansed may receive the fullness of your grace, and ever remain in the number of your faithful and elect children; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen.

The Baptism
I baptize you in the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Celebrant:  Let us welcome the newly baptized.
People:  We receive Alex into the congregation of Christ's flock, and mark him with the sign of the Cross, in token that from this time forwards he shall not be ashamed to confess the faith of Christ crucified, and courageously to fight under his banner against sin, the world and the devil; and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant until his life's end.  Amen.

Thanks be to God!
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