Sunday, July 31, 2005

Of Popish and Judaizing Trouble Makers

"Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you."
Every teacher of work-righteousness is a trouble-maker. Has it never occurred to you that the pope, cardinals, bishops, monks, and that the whole synagogue of Satan are trouble-makers? The truth is, they are worse than false apostles. The files apostles taught that in addition to faith in Christ the works of the Law of God were necessary unto salvation. But the papists omit faith altogether and teach self-devised traditions and works that are not commanded of God, indeed are contrary to the Word of God, and for these traditions they demand preferred attention and obedience.

Paul calls the false apostles troublers of the church because they taught circumcision and the keeping of the Law as needful unto salvation. They insisted that the Law must be observed in every detail. They were supporters in this contention by the Jews, with the result that those who were not firmly established in faith were easily persuaded that Paul was not a sincere teacher of God because he ignored the Law. The Jews were offended at the idea that the Law of God should be entirely ignored by Paul and that the Gentiles, former idol-worshippers, should gratuitously attain to the station of God's people without circumcision, without the penitentiary performance of the law, by grace alone through faith in Christ Jesus.

These criticisms were amplified by the false apostles. They accused Paul of designs to abolish the law of God and the Jewish dispensation, contrary to the law of God, contrary to their Jewish heritage, contrary to apostolic example, contrary to Paul's own example. They demanded that Paul be shunned as a blasphemer and a rebel, while they were to be heard as true teachers of the Gospel and authentic disciples of the apostles. Thus Paul stood defamed among the Galatians. He was forced to attack the false apostles. He did so without hesitation.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:7.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Exciting News!

Today I got a haircut, and bought new sandals. On Monday, we're off to Erie, PA for some time with family we don't get to see much of.

Try to keep your excitement under control, please.

Friday, July 29, 2005

It Might Have Saved Custer's Life

Dr. Gatling invented a rapid firing machine gun in order to save lives.

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Hartford, June 15th, 1877

My Dear Friend.

It may be interesting to you to know how I came to invent the gun which bears my name; I will tell you: In 1861, during the opening events of the war, (residing at that time in Indianapolis, md.,) I witnessed almost daily the departure of troops to the front and the return of the wounded, sick, and dead. The most of the latter lost their lives, not in battle, but by sickness and exposure incident to the service. It occurred to me if I could invent a machine--a gun-- which could by its rapidity of fire, enable one man to do as much battle duty as a hundred, that it would, to a great extent, supersede the necessity of large armies, and consequently, exposure to battle and disease be greatly diminished. I thought over the subject and finally this idea took practical form in the invention of the Gatling Gun.

Yours truly,
R.J. Gatling

Duck this!

You scored as Duck.
You are a duck, a very unstable duck. You like water, so long as no one splashes you, or otherwise gets you wet with it. Your 6 ducklings follow you around, though you sometimes have paranoid thoughts that everyone is following you around, and you're scared of bigger animals, though you're quite capable of harming animals of all sizes, and in an honest to goodness case of self defense, you will strike when the opportunity presents itself, and will relent only when the threat has past. Despite being a duck, you enjoy eating duck. Mmm... juicy. Quack, baby.











what kind of farm animal are you?
created with

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Middle Octorara Meeting House

I mentioned that this past Saturnday we packed up the van and drove a whole hour plus a few minutes on a Covenanted field trip to the oldest Covenanter meeting house in the States (actually, before they were States).

Here's me next to the sign facing the road:


Below, we see (sadly) a far too large of a percentage of the remaining Covenanters in Pennsylvania, in the pews (the pic is taken from behind the pulpit):

The really cool thing about Middle Octorara is that the National Covenant, as well as the Solemn League and Covenant, were renewed there.... right here, IN PENNSYLVANIA! Well, I think it's cool, even if the Reformed Presbytery didn't seem to think it was all that cool. In an Overture on Covenant Renewal published by the RP, it is said, "We merely refer to the Octoraro transaction, conducted by that unstable minister, Mr. Craighead, as being unworthy of anything more than historical note." Oh, well.

Read the account yourself, and decide whether or not this is simply a historical note, or a noble and solemn renewal of the Covenants in the Colonies.

See also Hare Brained Ideas' info on the Middle Octorara meeting house.

Hairy Scary

Somtimes when I upload the pics from my camera, I find some strange things. Usually I find some photos of very mundane things from around the house, as the children, for whatever reason, get a kick of of taking pictures of stuff like a fan or some other appliance. This time I was shocked to find that I seem to have acquired a picture of a freakish creature.

Hmm... kind of reminds me of some things I've seen before:

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Why, the nerve!

Today a woman loudly banged on my (open) office door with her cane -- *BANG!* *BANG!* *BANG!* -- and when I did not turn around, because I was busy working on something, she yelled, "What, are you people deaf?" Again, *BANG* *BANG* *BANG*! "Apparently you ARE deaf!" I turned around and said, "Oh, hi there." She mocked me, "Oh, hi there!" And after inappropriately nosing around to try to find out the work schedule of one of my co-workers, she "thanked" me for being "so personable." I could hear her making remarks to me as she walked down the hallway.

Look, people. I'm generally a pretty nice fella, easy to get along with. If you ain't an idiot, you and me are gonna do fine. And even if you ARE an idiot, we still have a good shot at being ok. But don't come banging canes and making fun of me, or you and me aren't going to be friends. Comprende?

In other news: Since I've been studying/practicing Karate again, I've not done any actual freestyle sparring. So, what's a good way to get Jerry back into the swing of things after a decade-plus off? Spar some high ranking black belts, back-to-back-to-back with no rest in between! Well, in my humble opinion, I don't believe I made a COMPLETE fool of myself, but I must say I have alot of room for improvement.

Felt like sparring the lady with the cane, I'll tell you that right now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sunday, July 24, 2005

If not by force, then by subtilty.

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel."
Note the resourcefulness of the devil. Heretics do not advertise their errors. Murderers, adulterers, thieves disguise themselves. So the devil masquerades all his devices and activities. He puts on white to make himself look like an angel of light. He is astoundingly clever to sell his patent poison for the Gospel of Christ. Knowing Satan's guile, Paul sardonically calls the doctrine of the false apostles "another gospel," as if he would say, "You Galatians have now another gospel, while my Gospel is no longer esteemed by you."

We infer from this that the false apostles had depreciated the Gospel of Paul among the Galatians on the plea that it was incomplete. Their objection to Paul's Gospel is identical to that recorded in the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Acts to the effect that it was not enough for the Galatians to believe in Christ, or to be baptized, but that it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses, for "except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." As though Christ were a workman who had begun a building and left it for Moses to finish.

Today the Anabaptists and others, finding it difficult to condemn us, accuse us Lutherans of timidity in professing the whole truth. They grant that we have laid the foundation in Christ, but claim that we have failed to go through with the building. In this way these perverse fanatics parade their cursed doctrine as the Word of God, and, flying the flag of God's name, they deceive many. The devil knows better than to appear ugly and black. He prefers to carry on his nefarious activities in the name of God. Hence the German proverb: "All mischief begins in the name of God."

When the devil sees that he cannot hurt the cause of the Gospel by destructive methods, he does it under the guise of correcting and advancing the cause of the Gospel. He would like best of all to persecute us with fire and sword, but this method has availed him little because through the blood of martyrs the church has been watered. Unable to prevail by force, he engages wicked and ungodly teachers who at first make common cause with us, then claim that they are particularly called to teach the hidden mysteries of the Scriptures to superimpose upon the first principles of Christian doctrine that we teach. This sort of thing brings the Gospel into trouble. May we all cling to the Word of Christ against the wiles of the devil, "for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:6.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Covenanted Field Trip

Today we went to the old Covenanter meeting house in Middle Octorara (Lancaster County, PA). I'd put up a picture or two, but I need a new USB plug, and that will have to wait until after Lord's Day. Because of a minor accident, and some mixed up communications, we ended up unintentionally ditching our friends. Shame on us.

Good night, and may God bless the Lord's Day to you.

Friday, July 22, 2005

A little taste of Hell

I got this little card in the mail. It says that until August 14th, I can go to a new local convenience shop and get a free coffee every day if I show the card to the cashier. So, this morning, before work, I stopped in for my free coffee. Alas! All of the coffee pots were empty, all the containers with the specialty coffees were empty, and the place was crowded with clamoring, angry, dissatisfied, unstatisfied people, expressing their displeasure and their desire to quickly depart from this place, but they could not leave (for their desire for coffee)! There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. I was very disturbed at the sight. I recall reading that all good things we receive on earth are simply channels through which we mediately enjoy God, and that Heaven is where we shall immediately enjoy Him. In this sense, the good things Christians enjoy on earth are little samples of Heaven. Well, I couldn't help but notice that this scene seemed like a little taste of Hell.

I went to the Cappuccino machine and filled up my cup with a French Vanilla. It was so sickeningly sweet that at work, after I finished half of it, I went upstairs to the cafeteria and filled up the cup with the nasty funky black coffee they make up there, and it was STILL too sweet. I repeated the process another time, and like Goldilox and the Three Bears, the third serving was just right.

In other news, I came home from work to find that the kids, while at home alone as my wife took the littlest ones in for a check up, accidently called the police out to the house, but after my eight year old explained to the officer that they were home alone, the cops left. This reminds me of how much I want one of these.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Covenanters and Cameronians

A Covenanter:
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A Cameronian:
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Huge Shark

Now this just might be the biggest shark I've seen since the 1970's. The brief article notes that the shark is so large that it "could eat you." Yow!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I'd show you pictures of my black and blue elbows, but I can't figure out how to snap a pic of my own elbows. And I'd feel stupid asking someone else to do it.

I can show you the black and blue marks being laid on us over at the Covenanted Reformation Club, however. For whatever reason, our more knowledgeable and able members have left it up to a couple of us noobie scrubs to defend the cause. Oh, well, so we take some lumps.

In both cases, the bruises hurt. In both cases, I'm hoping the pain now will result in greater fitness/toughness/ability later.

Speaking of later, I better get to work sooner rather than later.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Of the Rapid Deformation of Churches

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel."

Paul deplores the fact that it is difficult for the mind to retain a sound and steadfast faith. A man labors for a decade before he succeeds in training his little church into orderly religion, and then some ignorant and vicious poltroon comes along to overthrow in a minute the patient labor of years. By the grace of God we have effected here in Wittenberg the form of a Christian church. The Word of God is taught as it should be, the Sacraments are administered, and everything is prosperous. This happy condition, secured by many years of arduous labors, some lunatic might spoil in a moment. This happened in the churches of Galatia which Paul had brought into life in spiritual travail. Soon after his departure, however, these Galatian churches were thrown into confusion by the false apostles.

The church is a tender plant. It must be watched. People hear a couple of sermons, scan a few pages of Holy Writ, and think they know it all. They are bold because they have never gone through any trials of faith. Void of the Holy Spirit, they teach what they please as long as it sounds good to the common people who are ever ready to join something new.

We have to watch out for the devil lest he sow tares among the wheat while we sleep. No sooner had Paul turned his back on the churches of Galatia, than the false apostles went to work. Therefore, let us watch over ourselves and over the whole church.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:6.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

So here we are...

Our Civil Magistracy knows not how to use the sword to punish a man who is accused of committing uncleanness with his dog.

Hint: Maybe, just maybe, we should seek God's revealed will in such a matter?

In other news, this monster may have escaped the judgment of man, but has fallen into the JUDGEMENT OF GOD.

If this nation ever repents, the list of sins we must confess will be colossal.

Blowing my mind.

This morning Daniel said to me, "I had tea tomorrow."


Friday, July 15, 2005


Well, it was another strange and busy day... but better than other days this week. Some time visiting with friends last night was refreshing, and reading some material has been helpful with some of the religious concerns I've been struggling with.

Below is a picture of a catalytic converter:
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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

That's EIGHT.

I had a rough day today. Came to work @ 9am, not realizing I was on the schedule to come in at 8am. It went down hill from there. Between my struggling with some religious issues, having to carry a refridgerator, and a phone call with someone that gives me urges to load my 12-gauge, I'm kinda worn out right now. I'm going to bed soon, as I notice that on my schedule I'm due in at 8am.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

On Kindness and Harshness

"I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel."

How patiently Paul deals with his seduced Galatians! He does not pounce on them but, like a father, he fairly excuses their error. With motherly affection he talks to them yet he does it in a way that at the same time he also reproves them. On the other hand, he is highly indignant at the seducers whom he blames for the apostasy of the Galatians. His anger bursts forth in elemental fury at the beginning of his epistle. "If any may," he cries, "preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Later on, in the fifth chapter, he threatens the false apostles with damnation. "He that troubleth you shall bear his judgment, whosoever he be." He pronounces a curse upon them. "I would they were even cut off which trouble you."

He might have addressed the Galatians after this fashion: "I am ashamed of you. Your ingratitude grieves me. I am angry with you." But his purpose was to call them back to the Gospel. With this purpose in his mind he speaks very gently to them. He could not have chosen a milder expression than this, "I marvel." It indicates his sorrow and his displeasure.

Paul minds the rule which he himself lays down in a later chapter where he says: "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted." Toward those who have been misled we are to show ourselves parentally affectionate, so that they may perceive that we seek not their destruction but their salvation. Over against the devil and his missionaries, the authors of false doctrines and sects, we ought to be like the Apostle, impatient, and rigorously condemnatory, as parents are with the dog that bites their little one, but the weeping child itself they soothe.

The right spirit in Paul supplies him with an extraordinary facility in handling the afflicted consciences of the fallen. The Pope and his bishops, inspired by the desire to lord it over men's souls, crack out thunders and curses upon miserable consciences. They have no care for the saving of men's souls. They are interested only in maintaining their position.
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:6.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Why does God not consult our wishes...?

We tend to forget that God does not manage the universe according to the principles of democracy. The kingdom of God is not a democracy, but an absolute monarchy; God is sovereign; he has total, absolute, and unchallengeable authority over all his creatures. It is not for us to say whether we like God's commandments and laws; it is for us to obey them whether we like them or not, simply because they are the revelation of God's will. To attempt to place God on the same level with ourselves, as if he were responsible to us, or as if we could criticize or question his requirements, is irreverent, irreligious, and wicked.
~ Johannes Geerhardus Vos, The Westminster Larger Catechism: A Commentary, pages 222-23.

Attention Depressed People

Get off your rump and move! While a relationship between regular vigorous exercise and relief from depression has been known for a long time, a more recent study indicates that 3 hours of vigorous exercise per week IS AS EFFECTIVE AS ANTI-DEPRESSANT MEDICATIONS and THERAPY in helping with depression!

"...the response and remission rates in the (three-hours-per-week) group are comparable to other depression treatments, such as medication or cognitive behavioral therapy."

Of course, consult your doctor and all of that jazz. I'm not responsible for your suicide if exercise don't work for you. I, of course, recommend Karate. Here's why: Other activities like running, jumping rope, weight-lifting, etc. can be so boring because you're doing the same thing over and over and over. But something like Karate, or boxing even, involves doing many many many different exercises (including some running, strength training, etc.), and so the "I got bored of it" factor is not as strong as in the other activities. Plus, it's one of those activities that people of all shapes and sizes can do -- we got buff-athletes, skinny geeks, 80 year old ladies, police officers, overweight guys and gals, and 6 year old kids, and everyone in between, all doing karate and having a blast. And apparently they're all getting benefits equivalent to the benefits of therapy and medication!

Now get up and go do something, would ya?

Oh, and leave a comment letting us know your favorite exercise activities!

Thursday, July 07, 2005


I'm inspired by Amanda's blog. She has such beautiful pictures on it, that I'm going to make my blog look like hers, except.... I'm no good at photography. I forget if I put that on my "things I'd like to learn list" or not. Oh, well. So what if I left it off? The point is, blogger now has it's own picture feature, so it's easier for you to put amazing and artistic pics on your blog like me and Amanda do.
I can do black and whites. Black and whites look super classy, like antique or something. But it's not! It's actually just a computer thing you can do.

Plus, I can also "pixelize," which is cool. And by cool, I mean totally sweet. Almost as sweet as my page layout capabilities. Look, I'm trying, OK? I just want people to dig my blog, is that so wrong? Bah!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


Today a woman was telling me that a man invited her son to go to church with him. The woman told the man that her son was not permitted to go to church, because she was sick of people trying "to shove religion down my throat."

Is anyone else sick of this phrase, "Religion shoved down my throat"? I mean, come on! Being invited to church is hardly shoving something down your throat.

Hey, Jerry, wanna come over for dinner?

No thanks, man. I'm sick and tired of having food shoved down my throat.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


this is an audio post - click to play

My Exciting Day at Work

Unlike all you bums that had off yesterday, I went to work. Let me tell you about how busy the day was. First, you must understand that my work is crisis driven. That is, most of my job is waiting for something bad to happen. So, I guard the phones and wait for the next call, which could be someone on the other end saying, "I have a gun and I'm going to blow my head off," or "My daughter's cutting herself," or a nurse from an Emergency Room saying, "I'm looking for a psych bed for this lady who tried to overdose." Well, yesterday I answered the phone a grand total of once. That's ONE with a "C" in the middle of it. ONcE! As in, one call. It was the front desk receptionist calling to ask if I could unlock a door for some people -- I have a master key. The rest of the time I read, and practiced Seisan, Seiunchin, Naihanchi, Wansu, and Chinto Kata (with the door closed and the blinds down). Then my relief arrived, and I went home two hours early.

And that was my exciting day at work.

In other news:
The new Pope is still the Antichrist, and that Man of Sin.

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Guy Liz is Going to Marry!

Sorry I'm on this kick right now. Humor me, would ya?
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By Request....

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Separated at birth?
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Jerry and Merry.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


"That he might deliver us from this present evil world."

Let us praise and thank God for His mercy in delivering us from the captivity of Satan, when we were unable to do so by our own strength. Let us confess with Paul that all our work-righteousness is loss and dung. Let us condemn as filthy rags all talk about free will, all religious orders, masses, ceremonies, vows, fastings, and the like. In branding the world the devil's kingdom of iniquity, ignorance, error, sin, death, and everlasting despair, Paul at the same time declares the Kingdom of Christ to be a kingdom of equity, light, grace, remission of sin, peace, saving health, and everlasting life into which we are translated by our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. In this passage Paul contends against the false apostles for the article of Justification. Christ, says Paul, has delivered us from this wicked kingdom of the devil and the world according to the good will, the pleasure and commandment of the Father. Hence we are not delivered by our own will, or shrewdness, or wisdom, but by the mercy and love of God, as it is written, I John 4:10, "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
~Dr. Martin Luther, Commentary on Galatians 1:4.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Erica's other side

Just for kicks, here's a symmetrical pic using the other side of Erica's face:
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Can you dig it?

13 things I'd like to learn

This one's getting around, most recently seen on Anne's and Willena's blogs.

13 things you'd like to learn, given enough time and resources (no particular order):

1. Latin -- so I know what Augustine is saying.
2. Greek -- so I know what Paul is saying.
3. Hebrew -- so I know what Moses is saying.
4. Spanish -- so I know what my neighbors are saying.
5. How to fix a car
6. How to build a house
7. Ju-do/Ju-jitsu
8. Play an instrument, like the piano or guitar
9. How to be a chef
10. How to run my own business
11. The Psalms, all of them, forwards and backwards, by heart.
12. How to make wine/beer
13. How to live well.

Friday, July 01, 2005


Have you ever noticed how our faces aren't really symmetrical? For that matter, ever notice that symmetrical isn't symmetrical? The thing is, it's good that our faces aren't symmetrical, because we would look kind strange if they were.

Take Erica, for instance. If her face was symmetrical, she'd look nothing like herself!
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Then again, no picture looks like Erica, now does it?

To be fair, my face ain't symmetrical either, although I'd still be quite handsome even if it were:
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Now, leave it to Josh to smash my whole thesis. His face IS symmetrical. I mean, I can't even tell this is a manufactured picture of him!
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Happy July, Everyone

Hey, it's July already. Wow. We've sure been busy lately, what with Jesse learning to drag himself all over the house, work, swimming lessons for the kids, karate, and what not? Time is flying by.

Not much to say right now, but here's a pic of Calle and brand new cousin Spencer:
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