By Jaime Nava

Growing up playing games on a PC, you learn certain tricks. Some games have console commands you usually access by hitting the “~” key (called a tilde, if you didn’t know). If you’re savvy enough, you can use these console commands in single-player games to give yourself all kinds of goodies. You can add millions of gold to your stash. You can give yourself that item you needed to get past the hurdle in the game. One thing I recall doing in my younger days is playing in god mode. What does this mean? It means that you never get hurt and never run out of resources. You are invincible. You become godlike.

By Jaime Nava

For the forgiveness of sins: that’s why we Lutherans have the Sacraments. We’re not talking man-made ordinances, either, like we’re accused of. Peter twice says that Baptism saves us (Acts 2:38, 1 Peter 3:21). Paul says that we are buried with Christ in Baptism and will also have His resurrection (Romans 6:4-7). He says that Baptism is now circumcision (you know, the thing babies didn’t choose at eight days old), not of the flesh but of the heart, not by man but by Christ Himself (Colossians 2:11-12). Confession and Absolution is also clear in the Bible. Whatever those men placed into the Pastoral Office forgive or don’t forgive has the same effect in heaven (John 20:21-23). This means you can expect to hear that you are forgiven the moment you confess your sins. We are also taught that we have koinonia in the cup we drink and bread we partake of in the Lord’s Supper. We have the forgiveness of sins, as Jesus said (Matthew 26:26-28). So let’s be clear. God gives tangible things that provide forgiveness that is felt, tasted, heard and not some floating mystical holy “maybeness” of emotion.

By Jaime Nava

Is our time outbid by yet one more thing? If you haven’t seen anything about Pokémon Go, then you’re not reading this article, because you live in a gopher hole. It’s literally everywhere. We’ve already had two articles about it on our own Jagged Word. Here’s another one. This game is consuming hours of people’s lives. It’s been involved in a collision with a police vehicle. People are finding dead bodies (and here) playing this game. Two idiots fell off a cliff dashing to find a pretend being. I’m sure you’ve seen all these things in your feeds. It’s flippin’ everywhere.

By Jaime Nava

Voting on mustaches and hearing weirdos compare the benefit of a resolution to a bag of bacon might seem like a waste of time to some people. It’s not. I didn’t expect to laugh so hard from the convention floor this week. Coming to tears with laughter reveals something about our church body. Although we’re doing serious work, we’re not taking ourselves too seriously. I think it’s a reflection of knowing we’re sinners who are forgiven, and that’s pretty cool.

By Jaime Nava

There’s a lot of voting going on this year. For Missouri-Synod members at the Convention, we’ll be voting on a multitude, even a plethora, of resolutions and positions. I’m on my way there now. The deacon thing is sure to be a hot topic. So is that constitutional thing I got all the propaganda about from that megachurch near the Purple Palace. I’m sure every convention has its hot topic. Let’s not forget the circus, err, election coming up for the United States (as if you could). We’ve got Donald Drumpf posing as a Republican, kinda like Gov. Arnold did here in KAH-LEE-FORRR-NYAA. Then you’ve got Hillary, who didn’t get in trouble because she’s basically not an ordinary citizen, I guess? There’re some others, sure, but overall, it looks to be a loser of an election and a loser Supreme Court nomination term, as well. Great.

By Jaime Nava

According to this 2011 report, 0.2 to 0.3 percent of Americans consider themselves transgender. As percentages go, that’s not a big number. Our country loves to lift up the strong minority for the sake of some cause or another. Since gay marriage has passed, folks are now clamoring to support a new and shiny minority. I’m not saying that transgender people don’t face their issues. These are people who feel what is tangible isn’t really real. Anorexics feel the same way, too. They have their struggles and need support as anyone who feels that their body isn’t their reality. Interestingly, many feminists are finding issues with the transgender movement, as well.