collect for the 4th Sunday in Lent (2017)

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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collect for the 3rd Sunday in Lent (2017)

We beseech Thee, almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of Thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to be our defense against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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Kierkegaard on winning the crowd

Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd (even though he addressed himself to all). He did not want to form a party, an interest group, or a mass movement, but wanted to be what he was, the truth, which is related to the single individual. Therefore everyone who will genuinely serve the truth is by that very fact a martyr. To win a crowd is no art; for that only untruth is needed, nonsense, and a little knowledge of human passions. But no witness to the truth dares to get involved with the crowd.
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why nude Marines shouldn't shock us

While many people were shocked last week at the revelation of a widely-popular nude photo sharing Facebook group run by Marines, I can't say that this news surprised me even a little bit. General Neller, Commandant of the Marine Corps, is rightly upset. I have no doubt there will be investigations performed and punishment doled out, but ultimately I believe there will always be a next time. Got that? Always.

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learning theology at KFC

Dinner last night was just three of us—Hana, Clark, and me—so I let the kids pick dinner. KFC made the final cut, so in we strolled. As soon as we walked in, we could tell something was wrong. Service at this particular KFC is always a bit slow, but we walked in to a small group of ladies complaining about how long they had been waiting. Up to 30 minutes for one of them. Too long for fried chicken? Certainly, but we placed our order anyway, certain that the huge takeout order being put together just then was the likely culprit.

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on imperfection

Purging the soul is a lifetime effort. There is no reason to be upset by our imperfections, for perfection is nothing more than fighting against them. How can we resist them unless we see them? How can we overcome them unless we face them?
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collect for the 2nd Sunday in Lent (2017)

O God, who seest that of ourselves we have no strength: Keep us both outwardly and inwardly; that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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collect for the 1st Sunday in Lent (2017)

О Lord, mercifully hear our prayer, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy majesty to defend us from them that rise up against us, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
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on ashes and water, sin and baptism

As is tradition in our parish, last night we held Ash Wednesday worship service. Part of this service, of course, includes the imposition of ashes on the foreheads of the penitent. By the end of the liturgy, one thing jumped out to me: 

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prayer for the Lenten season

O Lord Jesus Christ, innocent and spotless Lamb of God, You have suffered the shameful death on the cross for us, and would have us always remember this. We again, from our inmost hearts, thank, praise, and magnify You, that You have redeemed us poor sinners by the price of Your holy sufferings and death, and were obedient to Your heavenly Father even to the death of the cross. You also shed Your life for us, that we might be safe from eternal death. O faithful Savior, how much You have suffered for us! What unspeakable torture and pain You endured in the body and soul, that we might be exempt from them forever. O Lord Jesus, patient lamb of God, You take away the sins of the whole world, we confess that we have caused You all this labor and Your death with our numerous and grievous sins. Be gracious and merciful to us, and do not let Your bitter and painful sufferings and death be in vain for us. Grant us grace that we may be mindful of this all our days, heartily praise and thank You for the same, and that by contemplating Your pains and crucifixion we may crucify and mortify all fleshly lusts and evil desires of our corrupt flesh. And because You have suffered for us, grant that we take up our cross, which we daily and richly deserve with our sins, and follow after You. For You name’s sake, may we patiently endure all things, and in the blessed hereafter be and forever remain with You and all Your elect in heavenly joy and bliss. Amen.
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