By Graham Glover

At any given time, there are less than 0.5% of Americans serving in any capacity in the Armed Forces of the United States. Let that sink in for a moment. Less than ½ of 1% of our population is currently serving in any branch – in any component (Active or Reserve) of our military. That is a staggering statistic! That 0.5% preserves the possibility for our democratic republic to survive for the remaining 99.5% is simply mind boggling.

By Paul Koch

Every congregation is its own unique entity, not completely separate from others but also not a simple reproduction. A gathering of God’s people around his Word and gifts will be impacted by those very people, and so it will display a unique character as the blessings of God impact a particular people in a particular time and place. This means that every congregation will have its own ethos that permeates how it worships, makes decisions, and views itself in the cultural landscape.

By Cindy Koch

Sugar, spice, and everything nice—what are little girls made of? As a mother to four little girls, I have undoubtedly asked this question since the day they were born. Parents are created to encourage and teach their children to the best of their ability. And for years I have asked this question of each daughter: Who is she? Who will she become? What makes this little person?

By Scott Keith

Early Life and Education:

Philip(p) was born to George and Barbara Schwarzerdt in Bretten in 1497. Philip had four siblings: Anna (1499), Georg (1500 or 1501), Margarete (1506), and Barbara (1508). All were born in his grandparents’ house in the Electoral Saxon Residential town of Bretten. Melanchthon’s father, Georg Schwarzerdt, born in Heidelberg, was a master of gunnery founding and was skilled in forging lightweight, durable armor. Because of his skills, Georg was elevated to the office of electoral master of armorer and thus needed to remain in Heidelberg. Melanchthon’s mother, Barbara, came from the wealthy merchant family of Reuter.

By Ross Engel

When Paul first approached me to be a part of The Jagged Word, his initial request was simply for me to run a campaign that would raise money for seminarians to enjoy a drink with their friends and buy them a book or two to help them prepare for ministry. I was excited to be invited into The Jagged Word family and to have a greater share in this brotherhood. Now, the Bell Ringer fund is a rather simple task. I show up at the two seminaries once a year, try to meet as many of the students as I can, enjoy a few drinks, get to know a few of the guys, and then pick a deserving young man to be the beneficiary of the Bell Ringer fund. (By the way, you can still donate to the Bell Ringer Fund for young Gabe! I’m hoping to raise $500 for this great future pastor!)

By Paul Koch

Every now and then, I begin to long for a little anonymity in life. I long to be able to sit in the back, disappear from the conversations, and be a nameless participant whom no one can even remember whether or not showed up. I think it might be nice to keep my head down and keep to myself, not having to worry about what is going on in the Church or how we might best interact with our culture. Isn’t it enough to worry about what I’m doing and how I’m caring for my congregation and not care about what anyone else is doing?

By Caleb Keith

Dear Jagged Mafia,

I let the month of February get the best of me. I was bummed out by some pastoral harassment and overwhelmed by the beginning of a new semester. I let these two things feed into my natural laziness, but it’s time to shake off the slump. With that in mind, I thought it would be appropriate to highlight the last two episodes of the Thinking Fellows podcast. On these two fantastic shows, the fellows and I were joined by none other than the Jagged Word’s very own Pastor Koch. On recording day, we enjoyed fine whiskey and pipe smoke while talking about friendship and preaching the Law and the Gospel. I personally believe that these are some of the best episodes we have ever recorded.

By Paul Koch

When I am asked to explain just what the hell we are doing on The Jagged Word, I usually begin my explanation with some reference to friendship. “It’s a few of my friends and I that write weekly in areas of theology and culture…” Or “My friends get to write freely and courageously as we sort of think out loud and try to encourage a conversation…” Or something along those lines. Friendship is deeply embedded within the ethos of what this is about, and I believe it is why we continue to grow and produce quality posts.