Living With Sheep & Goats
Welcome to my website. As an orthodox and confessional Lutheran pastor, I love sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I study God's infallible, inerrant and inspired Word and its proper exhibition in the Lutheran confessions, I continue to marvel at God's amazing love shown to us through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
“I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended Thee, and justly deserved Thy temporal and eternal punishment. But I am heartily sorry for them, and sincerely repent of them, and I pray Thee, of Thy boundless mercy and for the sake of the holy, innocent, bitter sufferings and death of Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to be gracious and merciful to me, a poor, sinful being. Amen.” (The Lutheran Hymnal, 1941)
I have had a life long relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I am a product of two Lutheran traditions. My father was raised in the American Lutheran tradition (ALC) and my mother was raised in the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LC-MS) tradition. I was baptized and confirmed in LC-MS churches. I was educated in my early years in a Lutheran elementary school. I was married and baptized my three children in ALC or former ALC churches. These dual roots within Lutheranism are what seems to set my theological framework and how I understand my relationship with God.
I am a sinner and in this fallen nature I have a relationship with God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And in this relationship with God, I lament as the Apostle Paul, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:18-19, 24 ESV)
I have a relationship of dependency with God. I look to my heavenly Father to provide for me all that I need to support this body and life. The list is exhaustive and as I survey the many gifts that I undeservedly received, I am duty-bound to respond in this relationship with gratitude and to serve and obey my God. Who am I that the Maker of heaven and earth even cares that I exist, truly cares and provides for me and provides for the ones whom I love? In spite of my sin, my heart constantly breaks out in song, “Oh give thanks unto the LORD for He is good and His mercy endures forever!”(Psalm 136:1 ESV).
I have a love/hate relationship with God. His Law calls me to “fear, love and trust in Him above all things”. I desire to do so but alas I am a wretched man. I do not fear Him as I ought and rebel and I know my name to be “The Prodigal”. I say, “I love Him with all my heart, soul and strength.” and yet my thoughts and my actions speak differently. I know I should trust Him, as He has never forsaken me nor given me any reason to doubt Him and even as a pastor, I call people to truly trust in Him, however, all too often I rely upon my own understanding. “I believe, help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24 ESV).
“Who WILL deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7: 24b-25a) Alleluia! My relationship with God is one who has been bought and owned. Bought with royal blood and though I have been purchased and won, I am free.
When I consider how much it cost my Lord, Christ Jesus to redeem me, I realize how grievous and great my sin is and how bottomless is the love of my God. Thus, my relationship is as one who is subject to a king and He IS my redeemer King and Lord. Because of His righteousness imputed upon me, I desire to serve Him in righteousness, in innocence and in blessedness.
My relationship with God, through Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, is a relationship of peace with God. I no longer have the condemnation of His righteous Law (Romans 8:1). I no longer need to fear His righteous wrath. My relationship with God includes “the peace of God… which surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7 ESV).
Through the waters of Holy Baptism into Jesus Christ, my relationship with God includes “sonship”. God, the Holy Spirit made me a son of God and heir of the Kingdom. Through water and Word, God created a saving faith within me. Through the power of God’s word and His means of grace, He continually reminds me of who I am and whose I am. He speaks to me through His Word and constantly reassures me that in this relationship, nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus, my Lord (Romans 8:39b).
Nevertheless, my flesh, the world and the devil, rail against me. I am accused and my sins are exposed. I hear the lies that IF I was a son of God, I should be perfect and obviously I am not. Therefore, this relationship with God must be fictitious, a fabrication or at best an opium to cope with the challenges in my life.
This is where my relationship of repentance, created by the Holy Spirit is enjoyed. He works contrition in me and shows me how this relationship can’t be just about me but it is all about Christ Jesus. In this relationship, I cry out in faith, “I repent! Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me!” and I hear the sweet Gospel by way of the vocal cords of a fellow son of God just as if it is God speaking Himself, “I forgive you all your sins.” In this relationship, I believe by the power of the Holy Spirit, these words to be true. Once again, I have been freed. I know I do not deserve such treatment from God but through this relationship, I am given the power to take hold of Christ Jesus and believe that I have been made right before a Holy God.
As I said before, this relationship is of dependency. I look to God to feed me one holy food. In the precious sacrament of His Holy Supper, He feeds my faith. Often, I do not realize how empty I am, until I have ate to my satisfaction of His body and His blood which is in/with/under the bread and the wine. In this relationship of dependency He keeps me in the one true Faith. In this relationship of dependency, I know it isn’t about me but it is about Jesus FOR me.
This relationship informs me that I am blessed. I am blessed with the knowledge and faith that I can serve Him wherever He sends me or whatever He calls me to do. I have been created, redeemed and sanctified by the Triune God, whom in this relationship has revealed Himself in the God-Man, Jesus, whom on that great and glorious Day, I will see with my own eyes my Redeemer, for my Redeemer lives (Job 19:25-27)! Amen!
I am the first called pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church of Waseca, founded in 2009. In 2018, I joined The American Association of Lutheran Churches through a formal colloquy process, and in 2020 I was honored to have been voted into the position of Assistant Presiding Pastor. I am truly at home in The AALC.
I am blessed with 37 years of marriage with my college sweetheart, Connie. We enjoy our three daughters, husbands of the older two and three granddaughters. We are blessed beyond our wildest imaginations. Connie and I own five acres and live in a 100 year old farmhouse. We raise Boer goats to breed for prospect show kids and the meat market.
To God be the glory!
 Small Catechism, Part II. The Creed, in Paul McCain, ed., Concordia: the Lutheran confessions: a reader's edition of the Book of Concord (Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 2006), 328.
 SC, Part I. The Ten Commandments in McCain, 317.
 SC, Part II. The Creed, in Paul McCain, 329.
 SC, Part II. The Creed, in Paul McCain, 330.