By Tim Winterstein

A couple years ago at the Newport Beach Film Festival, when my brother said I needed to watch a film called California Typewriter, I laughed. I didn’t care about typewriters; I certainly didn’t want to watch a whole movie about them. Maybe you would share that reaction. What could possibly be so interesting about an obsolete machine that would appeal to more than a few collectors and those who feed off nostalgia for obscurities? And that nostalgia itself might be limited, since those who grew up learning to type on typewriters might have been happy to move on to word processors and computers, happy to leave behind correction fluid and replacement ink ribbons.

By Cindy Koch

Its taken me some time to come back to real life. Only less than a month ago, my only concern was how much trail mix was left in my little baggie before 3pm. My husband and I were hiking back in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and there wasn’t exactly a grocery store around every corner. We carried all of our meals, tent, clothes on our back for 24 days as we hiked the John Muir Trail. About halfway through our trip, after days of 8 hour hiking sessions, food because a simple yet vital piece of our day. But at 3pm we could open up the bear canaster and find a protein bar. Just enough to get us through until dinner.

By Paul Koch

“In short: enthusiasm clings to Adam and his children from the beginning to the end of the world – fed and spread among them as poison by the old dragon. It is the source, power, and might of all the heresies, even that of the papacy and Mohammed. Therefore, we should and must insist that God does not want to deal with us human beings, except by means of his external Word and sacrament. Everything that boast of being from the Spirit apart from such a Word and sacrament is of the devil.” (Martin Luther, Smalcald Articles, III, 8)

By Jeff Pulse

The Old Testament text for January 28, 2018, the fourth Sunday of the Epiphany, is from the last book of the Torah, Deuteronomy. The text is Deuteronomy 18:15-20, and we hear Moses addressing the people of Israel and giving them the promise that the LORD will raise up a prophet LIKE HIM from the people. At first, this does not seem to bear much comment, but as we read further into Deuteronomy, we see in chapter 34: 10-12 words that seem contradictory to the words of our text. Chapter 34 says there has not arisen a prophet like Moses who knew the LORD face to face and spoke to Him mouth to mouth.

By Jeff Pulse

The Old Testament text for this Sunday, December 10, 2017, is from the book of the prophet Isaiah. The text is Isaiah 40:1-11, which constitutes the beginning of an entirely new section of the prophet’s writings. This section encompasses chapters 40-55 of Isaiah, a section most known for the Suffering Servant prophecies. Most scholars today would agree with the unity of Isaiah, and they would agree that this section speaks to the Babylonian exile. However, conservative Lutherans would also say that these chapters are also eschatological and point to the salvation which will be purchased by the “Suffering Servant” at His first coming and completed at His second Advent. As R. Lessing writes, “Within the book of Isaiah, chapters 40-55 present prophetic instruction concerning the realization of Yahweh’s worldwide plan of salvation. He has heard the cry of His people, and these chapters intend to get them ready for the new exodus so they can come home to Zion.”

By Paul Koch

“Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.” (Isaiah 45:15)

Commenting on this verse, Luther wrote, “These are the words of the prophet, who had already predicted these words of consolation. Now he is snatched into a trance of the Word of God, as if to say, ‘Dear God, how strangely you deal with us!’ It is a matter beyond comprehension to which reason cannot attain.” In one breath, the prophet praises God as a God who hides and then proclaims him as the one revealed to be the God of Israel and our Savior.

By Joel A. Hess

Often times, my Roman Catholic friends enjoy mocking my reformation allegiances by pointing out all the different denominations. “Luther did that!” they quip.  Perhaps the major criticism of the reformers from the Roman side is their introduction of individual interpretation over and against the official Church interpretation. Of course, if one were to actually read the confessions, there is no support of every man for himself interpretation. Also, having an official magisterium does not guarantee unity of teaching. There are as many ‘little’ church bodies within the Roman community as there are among protestants.