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Author: Craig Owings

Hymn 400 “Take My Life and Let It Be”

Written by Craig Owings | September, 2016
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What is the greatest degree of commitment you could express toward someone? To say “I would die for you” certainly conveys very great commitment, but it is not an expression of the highest commitment. That would have to be “I would live for you.” There are, after all, many things worth dying for: your family,… Read More »Hymn 400 “Take My Life and Let It Be” Read More

TLH Hymn 85 “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come”

Written by Craig Owings | December, 2019
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING Can you guess what all the following products have in common? Victor Radio (early 1920’s), Hotpoint Appliances electric range (1928), DuMont Electronics television with AM/FM/Shortwave radios (1948), RCA Victor televisions (1963), Kodak Camera (1977), and Godiva chocolates (2016)? Hint: the common element showed up in their Christmas advertisements… Read More »TLH Hymn 85 “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come” Read More

Hymn 64 “Jesus, Thy Church with Longing Eyes”

Written by Craig Owings | December, 2015
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Advent Hymn 64 is an Advent hymn. Advent is a “three tense” season: the past and the future unite in our present worship. In the American Heritage Dictionary, the first part of the definition for the word advent is “The coming or arrival of something or someone that is important or worthy of note.” In… Read More »Hymn 64 “Jesus, Thy Church with Longing Eyes” Read More

I Leave All Things to God’s Direction – TLH 529

Written by Craig Owings | September, 2018
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING (THIRTY-FOURTH IN A SERIES) “What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.”  (Hymn 529 refrain) One of the Christian’s most important attitudes—and also one of the most difficult to achieve and maintain—is conformity of our will to God’s will.  This is not simply a matter of submitting our will to… Read More »I Leave All Things to God’s Direction – TLH 529 Read More

Hymn 226 “Come, Oh Come, Thou Quickening Spirit”

Written by Craig Owings | June, 2017
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING (NINETEENTH IN A SERIES) Think a moment about your daily prayers. To whom do you pray? The obvious answer would be, “I pray to God, of course.” But press the question a bit further, and you might respond, “I pray to the one true God; the God of… Read More »Hymn 226 “Come, Oh Come, Thou Quickening Spirit” Read More

TLH Hymn 485 “Lord Jesus, Who Art Come”

Written by Craig Owings | July, 2021
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING http://lutherantacoma.com/hymns/417.mp3 Bernard of Clairvaux, whom Luther once called “the most pious monk that ever lived,” said that the office of the public ministry is “Sacerdotium non est otium, sed negotiorum negotium.” Fortunately for me, the source where I came across that quote also contained the translation. The first… Read More »TLH Hymn 485 “Lord Jesus, Who Art Come” Read More

Hymn 216 “On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build”

Written by Craig Owings | May, 2016
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING  (Fifth in a Series on The Lutheran Hymnal) Why do we celebrate Ascension Day? Although most Reformed churches today largely ignore the event as a calendar item, we Lutherans do not. Theologians actually have much to say about the doctrine of Christ’s bodily ascension. They use fancy Latin… Read More »Hymn 216 “On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build” Read More

Lutheran Liturgical Reform, Part 1

Written by Craig Owings | February, 2022
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Ever wonder why we Lutherans use the form of worship we do? In this series we examine the depth and meaning of the various elements of our worship service, beginning with the history of Christian worship itself. Because of the lead time for Lutheran Spokesman submissions, the writing of this February issue article is being… Read More »Lutheran Liturgical Reform, Part 1 Read More

TLH 383 “Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way”

Written by Craig Owings | July, 2020
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Hymn 383 is referenced to Acts 4:12: “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Clearly, this Bible passage teaches that only Jesus saves. Numerous other Bible verses teach the same thing. However, many today strongly object to that… Read More »TLH 383 “Seek Where Ye May to Find a Way” Read More

Is This Worm an “Easter Egg?”

Written by Craig Owings | March, 2019
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DEVOTION – LENT “But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people.”  (Psalm 22:6) When the term “Easter egg” is applied to a movie or other such medium, it does not refer to the hard-boiled and brightly colored eggs that some families hide for their children to… Read More »Is This Worm an “Easter Egg?” Read More

Hymn 123 “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past”

Written by Craig Owings | January, 2016
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New Year Last August, a Yahoo News headline asked, “What Causes Plane Crashes?” My immediate reaction was “Gravity?” Can you think of anything else as reliable as gravity? Gravity is so universal in our experience and so unfailingly reliable that we never even consider the possibility that it “may not work this time.” When we… Read More »Hymn 123 “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past” Read More

TLH 128 “Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning”

Written by Craig Owings | January, 2021
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING http://lutherantacoma.com/hymns/128.mp3 “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and… Read More »TLH 128 “Brightest and Best of the Sons of the Morning” Read More

THE COLLECT

Written by Craig Owings | February, 2023
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Ever wonder why we Lutherans use the form of worship we do? In this series we examine the depth and meaning of the various elements of our Lutheran worship service. This quiz is about the Collect (pronounced “KAHL-ekt”). All of you probably recognize the Collect as a short prayer that comes after the Salutation and… Read More »THE COLLECT Read More

“On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build” TLH Hymn 216

Written by Craig Owings | May, 2018
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING (THIRTY-FIRST IN A SERIES) “On Christ’s ascension I now build/ The hope of mine ascension.” (verse 1) When Christ returns on Judgment Day, you, along with all believers, will ascend bodily into heaven, to be forever with Him where there is no sorrow, no tear, and everlasting joy. … Read More »“On Christ’s Ascension I Now Build” TLH Hymn 216 Read More

Hymn 263 “O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe”

Written by Craig Owings | October, 2016
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Thousands would die that day in Lűtzen, Saxony. Everyone on both sides knew it. November 6, 1632.  The Thirty Years’ War between the Roman Catholic Imperial forces and the Protestants had been raging for fourteen years. Camped in the fields of Lűtzen, the Protestant army of Sweden was awakened and assembled. They would attack the… Read More »Hymn 263 “O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe” Read More

Hymn 272 “When All the World was Cursed”

Written by Craig Owings | December, 2017
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING (TWENTY-FIFTH IN A SERIES) God had not spoken to His people for 430 years.  More than four centuries had come and gone since Malachi had declared God’s final Old Testament promise, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet Before the coming of the great and dreadful day… Read More »Hymn 272 “When All the World was Cursed” Read More

Hymn 140 “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now”

Written by Craig Owings | March, 2017
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING (SIXTEENTH IN A SERIES) I recently saw a social media post in which a Christian from a Reformed church disparaged Lutherans for observing what he disdainfully referred to as “forty days of Lent and only one day of Easter.” Perhaps his opinion was influenced by those unfaithful, “pop… Read More »Hymn 140 “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now” Read More

Hymn 464 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

Written by Craig Owings | June, 2016
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It was just a small Baptist church, located in a poor rural area of the country and made up of parishioners who themselves possessed very little in terms of material wealth.  The salary they were able to pay their pastor was barely adequate, often consisting partly of produce grown by the parishioners—which they gave him… Read More »Hymn 464 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds” Read More

Hymn 143 “O Dearest Jesus, What Law Hast Thou Broken”

Written by Craig Owings | February, 2016
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Sin. The Cross. Darkness. Sorrow. Anguish. Scourging. Blood. Crucifixion. Death. A significant number of modern American churches do not dwell on these themes—during Lent or at any other time. Instead, they try to avoid them. Such biblical elements are considered too negative for their members to hear, too much of a “downer.” Read More

“Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er Befall”

Written by Craig Owings | September, 2019
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A HYMN OF GLORY LET US SING What do you think of when you hear the term Christian Education? Many CLC members might answer, “Christian day schools,” or “Immanuel Lutheran High School, College, and Seminary.” Some might think of home schools where both the content and methods of education are governed by Christian parents instead… Read More »“Oh, Blest the House, Whate’er Befall” Read More

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