Good Morning!

December 14, 2018

Pastor StapfThere is a real difference between a mirror and a photograph. They both show an image, but a photo can be touched up to make the subject look good. A mirror shows it like it is. At the Tabernacle, the Old Testament Jewish worship center, there was a bronze basin in which the priests would wash before going into the Holy Place of the sanctuary. To make that basin they collected the highly polished bronze mirrors of the ladies, and shaped them into a large bowl. This basin is symbolic of God's Word, the Holy Scriptures. When we read the Bible it shows fallen human life as it is with all of its warts and blemishes. It shows us our own life with all of its failures and sins. While the bronze bowl of God's Word shows us just as we are, it also holds the water for our cleansing. We are washed in the redemptive waters of our baptism, made clean, and able to walk into the presence of God. In Jesus Christ we are made new, not just touched up. God now sees us through the righteousness of Christ. "It is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God..."(Ephesians 2:8) And we can only bow in humble worship.

Pastor Irvin Stapf

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artin Luther encouraged people to be regular in their daily devotions, and gave some instruction about a pattern they might use. He said that one should begin by making the sign of the cross over themselves. As the Protestant Reformation continued this practice decreased in use, or was considered too Catholic for protestant use. This is unfortunate. Or course, like anything else, it can be over used and misused, but that doesn't change the fact that it can be a very meaningful devotional sign. It is not made as a law that everyone must do it. If it is personally meaningful then it should be used. But more than this, whether one chooses to personally use the sign of the cross or not, we do remind ourselves that as Christians, as believers

A collection of Pastor Stapf's reflections has been published in . . .

Book ImageNot For This Life Only
A Study for Growth Into Maturity
as the Children of God

by Irvin F. Stapf , Jr.

"'What is your purpose in life?' Do you know where to begin in answering this question? If you are searching for a deeper purpose , Not for This Life Only will give you solid biblical truths to help you discover God's plan for you.

This insightful study will establish a firm biblical foundation as you prayerfully seek God's calling for your life. Through all of the circumstances of life, God is seeking to help us grow into Christ's example of sacrificial love. As a topic that can conjure up confusion, discover that God is not silent when it comes to the life he has called you to live.

Irvin Stapf weaves together common concerns such as purpose, family, suffering, and making mistakes and points them toward the focus and purpose in your life. Now is the time to start finding the answer to the question, 'What is your purpose in life?'

Irvin Stapf has been an ordained Lutheran pastor for thirty-eight years and is the Regional Pastor for the Eastern Region of the American Association of Lutheran Churches. Irvin, and his wife, Audrey, have been married for forty-three years and have five children. They currently reside in Mount Airy, Maryland."

148 pages - $11.99 (plus $3.00 S&H)

The book is published by Tate Publishing of Mustang,Oklahoma and can be obtained from the author at Christ Lutheran Church, 13903 Legion Court, Mount Airy, MD 21771.

The book can also be obtained through major book stores.

Copyright 2009

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