Archive for May, 2021

Happy Mothers’ Day in heaven, Mom!

May 9, 2021
Of all Mom gave her eldest son,
A poet’s bent was only one.
Her words and deeds, with steadfast love,
Instilled the same for God above.

TO THE MEMBERS OF BETHEL LUTHERAN CHURCH
[On the death of my father, by Alberta L. Wetterling]

How do you tell your Bethel friends
How much they mean to you?
How words of comfort gave your strength
And helped to see you through—
A trying time—
A sad time—
And yet a victory!
For one who was among us
Has earned his rest, you see…

THIS THING CALLED SIN
By JD Wetterling

Astounding is this thing called sin,
It makes the God of love and grace
The enemy of men.

Those with the deepest sense of sin
Still can but weakly comprehend
The sinfulness of sin.

But this we know from Holy Writ,
It took the blood of His own Son 
To sate His hate of it.

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, 
And the teaching of her kindness is on her tongue…
Her children rise up and call her blessed…” 
(Proverbs, 31: 26, 28)

See you in church.

THE WONDERS OF GOD’S WAYS

May 6, 2021
O LORD, you are my God;
I will exalt you; I will praise your name,
for you have done wonderful things…
 (Isa. 25:1).

Fifty-two years ago today I last flew F-100 #995—May 6, 1969—my 261st combat mission from Tuy Hoa Air Base, Vietnam, on the beach of the South China Sea. I next sat in that cockpit 48 years and a month later, on June 7, 2017, as did my wife, son, daughter-in-law and 3 grandchildren, when it (out of over 2000 built) was magnificently restored and dedicated at the Georgia Museum of Aviation, the second largest Air Force Museum in the nation. It was a mountaintop moment to be there for the dedication and let my family sit in the cramped, cluttered cockpit where Dad/Granddad dodged and sweat a lot of bullets and fired a lot of his own (4×20 mm) in the Vietnam War. In His amazing grace God gave me a swept wing angel of death who never failed me in 268 combat missions, supplied copious quantities of adrenaline to compensate for paralyzing fear, and put enemy gunners with bad aim in my flight path. But for His mercy in my survival, four of my family members at that dedication would never have been born.

As the sun wanes in the western sky of my brief day, I have few greater pleasures than tracing the wonders of God’s ways in my life. of which the war was just one phase. I share Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones’ worldview: “My whole life experiences are proof of the sovereignty of God and His direct interference in the lives of men. I cannot help believing what I believe. I would be a madman to believe anything else—the guiding hand of God! It is an astonishment to me.”

Were that not enough, even better awaits. If I may borrow from one more saint—Fanny Crosby, in one of her many great hymns: 

“To God be the glory great things he has done…
But purer and higher and greater will be
Our wonder our transport when Jesus we see.”

THE CHURCH WILL STAND

May 2, 2021

“The church will stand at the grave of the BBC.” –Lord North

Substitute any manmade institution or government you can think of in place of BBC and the statement loses not an ounce of truth. Lord North, a founder and director of the BBC, made the statement back in the mid-60’s in response to a suggestion that the BBC should discontinue religious programming because the people were no longer interested in religion and the church was obsolete.

Alistair Begg mentioned it when he wrote for The Gospel Coalition this past week, and included this:

“Christians are increasingly going to be seen as different, and not in a good way. We are increasingly going to have to choose between obedience and comfort. The next decades will not bring apathy to the gospel, but antagonism. And that’s OK. After all, that has been the reality for most of God’s people through most of history.” [Excellent read. Alistair Begg: ‘Welcome to Exile. It’s Going to Be OK.’ (thegospelcoalition.org)

My Men’s Bible Study leader, a first-rate Bible scholar, said it in fewer words: “The days ahead are darker for believers.”


The Apostle Paul can speak with more authority on the subject that anyone else but Christ. He had to deal with a corrupt monolithic government often in cahoots with a large segment of the population working against him. 5 times he received 40 lashes less one, 3 times he was beaten with rods, once he was stoned, 6 years he spent in prison. He suffered shipwreck, starvation, deprivation, and despair. Yet he told the Corinthians, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison…” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Beyond all comparison—let that soak in. When he spoke and wrote God spoke and wrote and his voice still echoes through the ages. When his allotted days were up he got a quick trip to glory, compared to Christ—he died by the executioner’s axe.

Tell me again about your persecution, Christian friend.

“…I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Jesus in Matt. 16:18b).

See you in church.


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