Stormy Seas

It has been a brutally difficult year, year plus. Personally, for the congregation, and certainly for what has been going on around us. Personally my wife had a very devastating stroke and after months is still not walking reliably. Of course the violence in our cities this past summer sparked by left-wing terror groups has raised tension enormously, especially when efforts by law enforcement are undercut by politicians who are only interested in their personal advancement. This is causing all of us feelings of insecurity whether there will be protection in case of assault, violence and destruction.

What I wanted to focus on in particular is our church. The loss just in the past year has been staggering. Six life-time members, pillars of the church went to be in the presence of the Lord. Certainly we are thankful that they are in the bliss and pain-free comfort of Christ, but it certainly impacts the church at such loss. Quick note, none of them were a victim of COVID. Those who have left: Rich Bower, Jan Kohler, Jack Fernwalt, Anna Lepter, Sam Marcus, Renee Coxon. All in their own right faithful and strong members of Christ’s church in their own right. They are missed. Whenever I preach I especially feel it for those who were so regular in attendance. Even in my short time here I remember where they sat and what they would say and do in worship.

It has been enormously difficult to minister, to even know what to do in the environment of disease. In all this it is easy to believe that the church may be in its last days. I see it more as a way to cull out a lot of “churches” that weren’t really about Jesus and more about numbers and the glorification and benefit of the pastor. Some of those churches have lost up to 75% of their membership. My hypothesis, those people saw that church as a place that simply could not step in times of difficulty. They were more about entertainment than serving in times of crisis and loss. Many have not just rejected the church, but also Christ. I would not want to be the pastor who has to answer to that responsibility at the final judgment. Churches like that set people up to fail and maybe even eternal condemnation. This is usually about pastors who are not sufficiently trained and educated and make very poor choices.

Those who are in Christ and faithful have done their best to be part of worship and fellowship in the Body of Christ, Jesus. Those are the faithful churches that will bring their people through the stormy seas.

The Christian church has, is and will go through enormously difficult times and has not just grown but thrived. Under the humanistic-secularism of the 20-21st centuries, we have seen the secular, leftist governments of the world relentlessly persecuting, torturing, murdering hundreds of millions of Christians. These are people whose only offense is to worship, live in Christ and present Him to others. Those in the humanist, which really means anyone who isn’t Christian and even some who call themselves Christian, are relentless in their mindless hatred and violence towards Christians who simply want to live their life according to God’s guidance.

The good news is that the church has survived much more difficult times and will continue to survive as God lifts up the faithful remnant who continue to serve His Church.

CFW Walther had a really great perspective using the event of Jesus being in the fishing boats during a storm (Matthew 8: 26-27). Rev Dr Walther writes this in the middle of the 19th century, as I said, very little has changed. Dr Walther suffered persecutions in his home country of Germany. He writes:

“Here we have an inexpressibly comforting picture of today’s Church. The world, with its learniing and power, it like a sea stirred up by a strong storm. It attacks the ship of the Church, whose destructin appears to be inevitable, and it seems as if Christ is asleep at the helm. The members of the Church, who are still of little faith, already cry out in despair: ‘Save us, Lord; we are perishing!’ Many, full of doubts, may abandon the ship of the Church and plunge back into the sea of the world. Yet there is no cause for alarm. Christ remains aboard out ship and according to His divine omniscience, omnipotence and care. He does not sleep. When His hour comes, He will rise up, rebuke us for our little faith and say to the wind-driven sea of the world, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the world will be stilled and the ship of the Church will enter intothe harbor of heaven. For Christ has promised, ‘On this rock [He means Himself] I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’ (Matthew 16:18), and ‘Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age’ (Matt 28:20).

So let us not lose heart, even in these last, troubled, times. Let us not forsake the ship of the Church, thinking it will soon sink. We would eternally regret our decision, for outside this ship, there is no salvation, just as there was no rescue for those who were not aboard Noah’s ark. As that ark smoothly navigated through the flood and finally cane to rest, save and sound on Mount Ararat, so too will the ship of the Church pass through the world’s stormy sea and finally rest on the eternal mountains of divine grace. Then we who have remained true n the faith will have our turn to cry out, full of amazement. ‘What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey Him? And we will have all eternity to rejoice in the answer to that question.” ( translated by Gerhard P Grabenhofer “God Grant It Daily Devotions from CFW Walther pp 167-168)

I have been on the sea in very stormy weather. I would venture to guess that I have been on actual stormier seas than I would say that the world is in right now. There is definitely rough seas. We lose relatives, we lost brothers and sisters, those who were so important in our church life. We weather the events of an evil world that is much more interested in abusing each other and others than in any kind of truth or peace. The world mouths the words of “peace, love, safety”, but will have none of it, even after it has enslaved or murdered fellow citizens and stolen all the treasure there is to steal.

The Church of Jesus, the true Body of Christ, the ark of the Church has delivered its people over and over again through the storms of the world. The Ark of the Church will deliver us. If it is to be in the presence of the Lord and shortly afterwards to the eternal resurrection, where we live bodily in the world eternally to live the way God had intended us to live! Well so be it! That is our ultimate and eternal life. But until then the church will be here to provide comfort and defense against the world. We will always have safety in Christ’s church and brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Will you suffer for your wife?

I’ve been reading Jeffrey Hemmer’s book “Man Up! The quest for masculinity” Concordia Publishing House 2017 p 191.

Before you pooh-pooh and dismiss, consider what is really being said. The culture loves to talk love, love. But what does that really mean? This is a discussion when I do pre-marital counseling. Regarding Ephesians 5:24 – 26. “Now as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ya, I know, blah-blah, horror of horrors. The culture is absolutely appalled, anyway. In this we are talking the deepest of love. Does Jesus abuse the church in anyway in submission. If the church wants to leave, so be it, but the church condemns itself. But if we are saved because of what Jesus did, that He suffered and gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for our sins, shouldn’t we honor Jesus for what He has done and submit to Him, knowing that it is for our best interests that He died.

So for the husband, in order to expect to be followed, as any good leader should do, the husband acts in the best interests of his wife, of their family. That means up to suffering and even sacrificing his life. If he fails in that he certainly can’t expect to be followed as we certainly follow Jesus.

Hemmer quotes John Chrysostom, his nickname was “golden mouthed”, he is considered if not the best, among the best preacher in the Christian church:

“Thou hast seen the measure of obedience, hear also the measure of love. Wouldest thou have thy wife obedient unto thee, as the Church is to Christ? Taken then thyself the same provident care for her, as Christ takes for the Church. Yea, even if it shall be needful for thee to give thy life for her, yea, and to be cut into pieces ten thousand times, yea, and to endure and undergo any suffering whatever, – refuse it not. Although thou shouldest undergo all this, yet wilt thou not, no, not even then, have done anything like Christ. For thou indeed art doing it for one to whom thou art already knit; but He for one who turned her back on Him and hated Him. In the same way then as He laid at His feet her who turned her back on Him, who hated, and spurned and disdained Him, not by menaces, nor by violence, nor by terror, nor by anything else of the kind, but by his unwearied affection; so also do thou behave thyself toward thy wife. Yea, though thou see her looking down upon thee, and disdaining, and scorning thee, yet by thy great thoughtfulness for her, by affection, by kindness, thou will be able to lay her at thy feet”

This all means that husband and wife are always to put the others needs first. Does that happen all the time? A lot of times? Many times? No, both sides, then we wonder why the marriage breaks down. Husbands you have to step up and really “Man up”. Wives, wouldn’t you honor that when you see your husband goes to the ultimate lengths to serve you as Christ served the church?

10 Things Genuinely Confident People Do Differently

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  • Published on October 8, 2019

Dr. Travis Bradberry InfluencerAuthor The Seagull Manager, Emotional Intelligence 2.0 & Cofounder of TalentSmart430 articles Following

True confidence—as opposed to the false confidence people project to mask their insecurities—has a look all its own. One thing is certain: truly confident people always have the upper hand over the doubtful and the skittish because they inspire others and they make things happen.

Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right. – Henry Ford

Ford’s notion that your mentality has a powerful effect on your ability to succeed is seen in the results of a recent study at the University of Melbourne that showed that confident people earn higher wages and get promoted more quickly than anyone else.

Indeed, confident people have a profound impact on everyone they encounter. Yet, they achieve this only because they exert so much influence inside, on themselves.

We see only their outside. We see them innovate, speak their mind, and propel themselves forward toward bigger and better things.

And, yet, we’re missing the best part.

We don’t see the habits they develop to become so confident. It’s a labor of love that they pursue behind the scenes, every single day.

And while what people are influenced by changes with the season, the unique habits of truly confident people remain constant. Their focused pursuit is driven by these habits that you can emulate and absorb:

They speak with certainty. It’s rare to hear the truly confident utter phrases such as “Um,” “I’m not sure,” and “I think.” Confident people speak assertively because they know that it’s difficult to get people to listen to you if you can’t deliver your ideas with conviction.

They seek out small victories. Confident people like to challenge themselves and compete, even when their efforts yield small victories. Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases their confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges. When you have a series of small victories, the boost in your confidence can last for months.

They exercise. A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically. They also rated their body image and self-esteem higher. Best of all, rather than the physical changes in their bodies being responsible for the uptick in confidence, it was the immediate, endorphin-fueled positivity from exercise that made all the difference.

They don’t seek attention. People are turned off by those who are desperate for attention. Confident people know that being yourself is much more effective than trying to prove that you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what, or how many, people you know. Confident people always seem to bring the right attitude.

Confident people are masters of attention diffusion. When they’re receiving attention for an accomplishment, they quickly shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help get them there. They don’t crave approval or praise because they draw their self-worth from within.

They don’t pass judgment. Confident people don’t pass judgment on others because they know that everyone has something to offer, and they don’t need to take other people down a notch in order to feel good about themselves. Comparing yourself to other people is limiting. Confident people don’t waste time sizing people up and worrying about whether or not they measure up to everyone they meet.

They get their happiness from within. Happiness is a critical element of confidence, because in order to be confident in what you do, you have to be happy with who you are. People who brim with confidence derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from their own accomplishments, as opposed to what other people think of their accomplishments.

They listen more than they speak. People with confidence listen more than they speak because they don’t feel as though they have anything to prove. Confident people know that by actively listening and paying attention to others, they are much more likely to learn and grow. Instead of seeing interactions as opportunities to prove themselves to others, they focus on the interaction itself, because they know that this is a far more enjoyable and productive approach to people.

They take risks. When confident people see an opportunity, they take it. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong, they ask themselves, “What’s stopping me? Why can’t I do that?” and they go for it. Fear doesn’t hold them back because they know that if they never try, they will never succeed.

They aren’t afraid to be wrong. Confident people aren’t afraid to be proven wrong. They like putting their opinions out there to see if they hold up because they learn a lot from the times they are wrong and other people learn from them when they’re right. Self-assured people know what they are capable of and don’t treat being wrong as a personal slight.

They celebrate other people’s successes. Insecure people constantly doubt their relevance, and because of this, they try to steal the spotlight and criticize others in order to prove their worth. Confident people, on the other hand, aren’t worried about their relevance because they draw their self-worth from within. Instead of insecurely focusing inward, confident people focus outward, which allows them to see all the wonderful things that other people bring to the table. Praising people for their contributions is a natural result of this.

Bringing It All Together

Building confidence is a journey, not a destination. To become more confident you must be passionate in your pursuit of a greater future.

Please share your thoughts on confidence in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

How to Quickly Evaluate a Real Estate Deal Tom Sylvester Real Estate Investor from Rochester, New York

Rich Dad Cashflow 101 Board Game Review

There is a common saying among real estate investors, “Review 100 deals, make offers on 10, purchase 1.”

When I first began investing in real estate, I could not see how this could possibly be true. Who really goes and looks at 100 properties just to get a single deal?

It wasn’t until I was speaking with a fellow investor that I learned my mistake: you don’t physically need to see 100 deals in person, you just need to find 100 deals to evaluate. Obviously it takes time to evaluate 100 deals, so it makes sense to find a way to quickly evaluate deals.

I ended up creating a spreadsheet for quickly evaluating deals. Many of the formulas that I used came from the book “What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know About Cash Flow… And 36 Other Key Financial Measures”. My goal was to be able to enter a few pieces of data and quickly analyze a property using multiple formulas. I then wanted a quick way to determine if the property was worth a further look. Below is the breakdown of the spreadsheet that I currently use.

Property Details

The first section is pretty straightforward. Enter basic information about the property. Orange cells require user entry.


Purchase Details

The second section gets into more of the financials. Again orange cells need to be entered. Gray cells with orange text are calculated and black cells do not apply. This section contains information about the property itself, the funding to purchase it and the cost to renovate it.


Rental Information

This section contains information about the number of rentable units and the going rate for rent in the area. It then calculates various relevant information about the rental financials.


Estimated Financials

Since the point of this sheet initially is to be a quick way to evaluate deals, we use 50% as the operating expenses for the property. This gives us a high level idea of how the investment looks. I like to target at least $100 estimated cashflow per unit.


Calculated Financials (Optional at this point)

As a later step if you want to further evaluate the deal, I have a second sheet where you can break down the operating expenses, which will give you a calculation based on the actual numbers you enter for each line item. I skip this step when doing the initial analysis.


Additional Analysis

This section contains some additional information which may be relevant to you.


Should You Purchase the Property?

And now the magic. The numbers on the page give you a lot of information, but do not make it clear if you should pursue the property. I have determined 3 criteria that I want my properties to achieve in order to pursue them.

  1. Monthly rent (GSI) should exceed 2% of the purchase price (+ renovations)
  2. Cashflow should be $100+ per unit
  3. The debt coverage ratio should be greater than 1.2

Because you entered all of the information above in order to calculate these values, the spreadsheet will now tell you in simple terms if you should purchase the property.


If one of the values did not meet my criteria, it show up as red and provides a different recommendation.


What I love about this spreadsheet is how much data it generates and how easy it makes scanning through potential deals. I have added a ton of additional functionality to provide further analysis if I decide to purchase the property, which I will outline in a future blog post.

Here is what the first tab of the spreadsheet looks like put together.


Original blog located here –

Jerome’s Latin translation of “repent” as “do penance”, leading to unBiblical practices for centuries

Apologetics and Agape

Jerome’s Latin translation of the Greek metanoeo / μετανοεω was a mistake. The Latin was “do penance” and developed into doing external deeds that the priest said, like crawl up steps and say 100 hail Mary’s or give money to the poor or the church for forgiveness. That is wrong. “Repent” is an internal turning from sin to God that includes a godly sorrow that leads to change and salvation.

Also, Jerome’s translation from Greek into the Latin word for justification was wrong also. (the Greek is: “the count righteous / just / right” but the Latin had more the idea of “to make righteous / just / right”. These 2 mistakes in translation and relying upon them (rather than the original Greek) for centuries is just one of the problems of what later became the Roman Catholic Church.

This is a good explanation:

Actually, “TheDen,” you omitted a very…

View original post 740 more words

New Study Links Infidelity to Workplace Misconduct


Diana Bruk


signs your marriage is over

You may have assumed that people who commit infidelity in their personal lives are likely to cheat on more than just their partner. And now, we have proof via a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers out of the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, Austin, investigated four groups of professionals—police officers, financial advisers, white-collar criminals, and senior executives—who used the Ashley Madison marital affair website. They looked at the records of more than 11,000 people in these job categories, and found that those who had accounts on the affair-seeking site were more than twice as likely to engage in professional misconduct. The definition of misconduct varied from colleague complaints to class action lawsuits, financial misstatements, insider trading, Ponzi schemes, and other types of fraud.

“This is the first study that’s been able to look at whether there is a correlation between personal infidelity and professional conduct,” Samuel Kruger, a finance professor at the McCombs School of Business and lead author of the study, said in a press release. “We find a strong correlation, which tells us that infidelity is informative about expected professional conduct.”

It might not seem too surprising to find out that people who are willing to break their wedding vows and also willing to bend the rules at work. But, as noted in the study, there is a “long-standing debate in philosophy and psychology regarding the extent to which behavior and ethics are situational.” As the researchers explain, “it is common to assume that there are different standards for private relationships compared with ‘business ethics.'” But it turns out, that assumption would be incorrect.

These new findings indicate that, when it comes to personality traits like honesty and trustworthiness, the line between the personal and the professional is a lot blurrier than previously believed.

And for other red flags to watch out for, check out 23 Signs of Infidelity That Are Too Easy to Miss.

To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to follow us on Instagram! DIANA BRUKDiana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more

Evangelicals Who Don’t Believe in Christ?


A majority of Americans, 52%, agree with the statement, “Jesus was a great teacher, but he was not God.”   That’s not surprising.  But what is surprising is that nearly one-in-three (30%) of evangelical Christians also agree in rejecting the deity of Christ.

That is one of the findings of the State of Theology study sponsored by Ligonier Ministries, the Reformed ministry founded by the late R. C. Sproul, and carried out by the Baptist LifeWay research group.  It surveys both the general public and evangelical Christians on a wide range of theological beliefs.  You can browse the questions and the findings here.   You can also break down the data demographically.

There is a wealth of fascinating information in this study–some of which is encouraging–but I want to focus on the finding that so many evangelicals do not believe in the deity of Christ.  Even among those who do, a large number are evidently heretics.  In fact, a majority of evangelicals, 55%, agree with the statement “Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.”  The notion that Jesus was created, as opposed to being the eternally-existing Son of God, was a key tenet of Arianism, the heresy dealt with by the Council of Nicaea, whose creed confesses that He is “begotten, not made.”

Evangelicals, however, unlike the Arians, do believe in the Trinity, mostly, with 93% agreeing that “There is one true God in three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”  And yet, a majority, 51%, commit another heresy in agreeing that “The Holy Spirit is a force but is not a personal being.”

Perhaps such inconsistency is just an example of theological illiteracy.  Some of the questions might be taken in different ways and reflect controversies within particular theological traditions, though these responses to the identity of Christ are pretty straightforward.  And getting the identity of Christ wrong should be a serious concern. After all, “faith” requires both trust and belief, and belief requires someone or something to believe in.  So faith in Christ should entail a true belief in who He is.

The State of Theology study has been conducted every two years since 2014, so, though not all of the questions are the same, we can see changes data over time.  There are even some slight improvements on some conservative Christian issues:  a growing awareness of sin, stronger adherence to the Bible, a decrease in the belief in “gender fluidity,” a decrease in syncretism, the view that all religions are equally valid.  But the study also shows lots of confusion and outright doctrinal errors.

One feature of the study that you might make good use of is the free Create Your Own Group Survey.  You can ask your friends, family members, congregation, or church body to take the survey.  A link will be generated and the members of the group can anonymously answer the survey on line, whereupon the results will also appear online, accessible only to the group.

I’d be curious how my fellow members of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod–who would fall under the definition of “evangelical” as defined by the study (see the very end of the introductory report)–would answer these questions.  Many evangelicals don’t use creeds, catechisms, or doctrinal statements, and we see in this report the results of that.  We Lutherans don’t have that excuse.