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Lost and Found: A Review of Luke 15

Have you ever misplaced something, searched for it intently, and then suddenly found it? Whether it’s a remote, your glasses, a wallet, or countless other things, it makes most people feel pretty good.

This past week, Rev. Jonathan Meraz spoke on Luke 15, which is the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin. The Gospel reading begins with Pharisees grumbling that Jesus associates himself with sinners.

In this podcast, we look at 

- Trying to keep a check our own piety. 
- How do we keep ourselves from looking down our noses at others?
- Proverbs 13:20 says, "Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm," but in Luther said in a sermon on Luke 15, "A truly Christian work is it that we descend and get so mixed up in the mire of the sinner as deeply as he sticks there himself, taking his sin upon ourselves and floundering out of it with him, not acting otherwise than as if his sin were our own." How are the two not contradictory?
- Finally, Lean Six Sigma teaches us to accept that 99 out of 100 is pretty efficient and good. Why is it important for Jesus to tell us that finding one lost sheep is worthwhile?

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Every Sunday:
9 am – Bible Study
10 am – Worship

Prosperity and Prayer

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Whether it’s Hurricane Dorian bearing down on the east coast, another act of gun violence, or some other tragedy, you’re likely to hear a heartfelt comment: “My thoughts and prayers are with you.” Many cynics are saying lately that this is effectively cheap talk. Is it?

Also, with a new school year and our new course “Financial Peace University” about to commence, we’re reminded of this week’s Gospel from Luke 14:

8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Is this a bit of political advice? Does this mean not to pursue knowledge or try to better your station in life with the gifts God has given you for a vocation? 

For more on the topic, also listen to Pastor’s sermon.

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Every Sunday at Trinity: 
Bible Study - 9 am and Worship - 10 am

Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 11, 7 pm at Trinity – Financial Peace University

Tuesday, Sept. 10, 17, and 24, 5 pm at Old Dominion University, Webb Center, 2nd Floor, Rabbi Reich Room – Lutheran Campus Ministry.

Learn more at http://trinitylutherannorfolk.org

Back to School and Worrying

It’s back to school! And, in this podcast, we talk about the students who are going off to college, beginning our own LCMSU chapter (come see us Thursday, Aug. 29, 12-2 at the ODU Fall Involvement Fair), and some of the challenges that face college students.  We point to the recent conversation about self-identified pronouns at Virginia Tech.

The second half of the podcast is about worrying. Is it ok to worry? Is it ok to plan? What’s the difference? What does Jesus mean when he says in Matthew 6:34:

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

There is also Paul who writes in his letter to the Philippians

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Of course, planning isn’t bad. Check this out from Proverbs 21:

"The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty." 

As usual, it comes down to trust in God. For more on the topic, also listen to Pastor’s sermon.

Listen to the show:

Every Sunday: Bible Study - 9 am and Worship - 10 am.

Luther on the Book of James

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In Episode 18, we look at the recent violence in Dayton and El Paso. Beyond turning to God in prayer and having knowledge of evil, what is God telling us to do? Are we being faithful servants before the act is even committed? How do we find or react to those who are lost and considering violence? Is there anything the church can do better? That a Christian can do better?

What about punishment? In the kingdom of the left hand, should there be more deterrence of evil within the law? Does that even matter?

 A listener also asked us to look into Luther's thoughts on the Book of James. Luther once said:

“Therefore St James’ epistle is really an epistle of straw, compared to these others, for it has nothing of the nature of the Gospel about it.” 

“We should throw the epistle of James out of this school, for it doesn’t amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning.”

 But Luther also called it “a good book, because it sets up no doctrine of men,” (AE 35:362, 395-97).

Every Sunday: Bible Study at 9 am and Worship at 10 am.

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God's devil

Episode #17 of The TLC Show reviews the synodical convention of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in Tampa, Fla. No drama – just sticking to Biblical truth. In “Pastor’s Questions”, we look at the devil being “God’s devil” – a deep question that gives us the chance to look at the story of Job and remind ourselves that while philosophy asks “why”, you won’t get many answers doing that with God. #tlcnorfolk



Join us every Sunday:

9 am - Bible Study
10 am - Worship

God Rules

Episode #16 of The TLC Show discusses what is a "synod", the purpose of its president, and how the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod goes about electing the president. Additionally, we talk about God's role in elections, Ephesians 6:12 and how government's can be evil even though instituted by God, and "cheap" v. "costly" grace. #tlcnorfolk




Join us every Sunday:

9 am - Bible Study

10 am - Worship

God in Three Persons


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Episode #15 wraps up our look at the church season. We also share the news regarding the re-election of Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison to his fourth term as president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and a recent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on religious liberty and symbols.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Ascension Day
  • Pentecost. Why does Pentecost, Reformation Day, and Confirmation Day share the color red?
  • Holy Trinity. What is the Athanasian Creed? What is the "catholic" faith?
  • Stump the Pastor: What is the meaning of this phrase in the Athansian Creed: "And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire"? If Jesus conquered death and the devil, how come we still face demons?
  • News: 
    • Supreme Court rules on religious symbols. 100-year old Bladensburg WWI Veterans Memorial, along with memorials like it bearing religious symbols across the country, are permitted based on the ruling in The American Legion v. American Humanist Association. What's the broader meaning? Does it really matter?
    • Harrison's reelection