Vocation Bible School

Paul McCain tells me that the 2015 Vacation Bible School curriculum from Concordia Publishing House for 2015 will be about Vocation! [Read more...]

The apostolic loser

Last Sunday, our pastor preached on the text about the apostles’ lottery for who would take Judas’s place among the Twelve (Acts 1:12-26).   Joseph-called-Barsabbas-called Justus was the apostolic loser.  Later, he couldn’t even get elected to be a Deacon!  But tradition said that he would die as a martyr to the faith, which was the same fate as that of the apostolic winner, Matthias.  The sermon turned into a profound exploration of vocation. [Read more...]

Music of localism and vocation

Thanks to Hillsdale Professor Korey Maas for alerting me to Emily Dunbar, a Lutheran musician who sings about vocation and a sense of place.  After the jump, what Dr. Maas says about her, along with a links to her music. [Read more...]

A song about vocation–or is it?

Thanks to Dan Kempin for alerting me to this song “Do Everything” by Contemporary Christian Music artist Stephen Curtis Chapman.  It is about vocation, but it is about the Reformed doctrine of vocation, rather than the Lutheran doctrine of vocation.  They overlap, but the Reformed emphasis is that the purpose of vocation is to glorify God, as in this song (lyrics and video after the jump).  The Lutheran emphasis is that the purpose of vocation is to love and serve our neighbors.  What difference does that make, if any?

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Mama tried

Our daughter Mary sent her mother this touching, sentimental musical tribute.  I would like to share it with all of you as a belated Mother’s Day testimonial. [Read more...]

A pastor, a country music artist, & Honky-Tonk Gospel

Some of you know Rev. Eric Andrae, a Lutheran pastor of note in Pittsburgh.  He sent me an e-mail saying, “I have a very good friend who’s a local country musician of some renown,” Slim Forsythe.  “we both just read your book Honky-Tonk Gospel, and we will have a radio appearance together next week [that is, THIS week, tomorrow, Wednesday].” Pastor Andrae adds, “Despite what the Dos Equis commercials claim, Slim Forsythe is actually the most interesting man in the world.”  He’s also a case-study in vocation, someone who gave up a successful law career for a life in music, fronting a Hank Williams tribute band, playing Western swing, rock-a-billy, and gospel, and fulfilling his dream of living over a bar.  Here is the announcement about their radio appearance tomorrow, which can be accessed online:

 Pastor Andrae’s monthly appearance on WORD-FM (Pittsburgh) will be a unique one. . . . Slim Forsythe – well known country/gospel musician, recent inductee to America’s Old Time Music Hall of Fame, and a good friend of First Trinity Lutheran Church – will join him live on the air at approx. 5:10-6:00pm Eastern time on “The Ride Home with John and Kathy.”  Slim will play several songs, including covers of Hank Williams (with Molly Alphabet) and Johnny Cash tunes, as well as an original, with Pastor Andrae offering theological/spiritual commentary.  At 5:10pm on Wednesday, May 7, tune in at 101.5-FM or world-wide at www.WORDFM.com.

That they are going to discuss my notorious book, written with Tom Wilmeth, Honky Tonk Gospel:  The Story of Sin and Salvation in Country Music, makes this interview even more frought with possibilities.   More on Slim Forsythe, including a YouTube performance, after the jump. [Read more...]


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