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Templeton Project: Discipleship in Matthew and Apologetics VIII–Mission to the Gentiles

Back in October 2015 I wrote about the inauguration of the Abington Templeton Foundation (see here).  The project is now underway (see here) and I will be posting our writing here.

Check out the latest piece entitled “Discipleship in Matthew and Apologetics VIII–Mission to the Gentiles.”

See also:


In more than any other Gospel, Matthew uses the word Gentile or Gentiles, referring either to non-Christians or non-Jews.  Gentiles are unbelievers to whom the Christian mission is directed along with Israel.

The Gentiles fall short of those who follow Jesus.  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says, “And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” ((Matthew 5: 47 ESV)  In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus calls on the disciples to a higher righteousness that includes greeting those who are not brothers (Christians).  In Matthew 6: 7 Jesus criticizes the Gentiles for how they pray.  “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (ESV)  The Gentiles’ religious practices falls below the standards of discipleship as described in the Sermon on the Mount.

In the section on anxiety in the Sermon Jesus says that the Gentiles seek after what to eat, drink, and wear.  The disciple is to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.” (Matthew 6: 33 ESV)

Outside the Sermon later in the Gospel Jesus predicts, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”  (Matthew 20: 18-19 ESV)  In the same context Jesus responds to the mother of the sons of Zebedee who requested that they may sit at His right and left hands in the kingdom by saying that He does not grant such a thing, only the Father does.  Jesus then says to the disciples, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Matthew 20: 25-28 ESV)

In the other passages where the Gentiles are mentioned, they are seen as those along with Israel who will be the beneficiaries of the Christian mission.  During Jesus’ ministry the disciples are to go only to Israel.  Mission to the Gentiles begins after His resurrection.  The resurrected Lord says to them on the mountain, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20 ESV)  Here the Greek word translated “Gentiles” elsewhere is translated “nations.”

In the mission discourse in Matthew 10 Jesus warns the disciples: “Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.” (Matthew 10: 17-18 ESV)  Here the Gentiles are distinguished from the Jews.  But, the Gentiles are also to be distinguished from the Christians that will be arraigned before them.

The word, Gentiles, is used in a prophecy from Isaiah that Matthew quotes (Matthew 12: 18ff).  There it says the servant will proclaim justice to the Gentiles, and the Gentiles will hope in Him.

These days we do not call non-believers Gentiles, but the situation is the same as it was during and after the ministry of Jesus.  Many people are non-Christians; some are atheists of which there seems to be a growing number.  The essential task of the church remains the extension of the message of the Gospel to others both in our immediate area and around the world.  Our witness needs to be attended by our defense of the faith.  While this task may turn unpleasant in a hostile world, we as disciples must continue to be committed to it.  An earnest view of our mission affirms the necessity of witness and defense until the end of time.

Michael G. Tavella

November 18, 2019

St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby, 680

NEARFest: Collection of Memories and Photos

This post is in my series regarding the North East Art Rock Festival (NEARFest), more about which you can find here.  You can find all of my posts regarding NEARFest here and I started the series here.

I attended every NEARFest (except the first one), and here is a collection of memories and photographs from each one:

No ‘gay gene’: Massive study homes in on genetic basis of human sexuality

Nearly half a million genomes reveal five DNA markers associated with sexual behaviour — but none with the power to predict the sexuality of an individual.

The largest study1 to date on the genetic basis of sexuality has revealed five spots on the human genome that are linked to same-sex sexual behaviour — but none of the markers are reliable enough to predict someone’s sexuality.

The findings, which are published on 29 August in Science and based on the genomes of nearly 500,000 people, shore up the results of earlier, smaller studies and confirm the suspicions of many scientists: while sexual preferences have a genetic component, no single gene has a large effect on sexual behaviours.

“There is no ‘gay gene’,” says lead study author Andrea Ganna, a geneticist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Ganna and his colleagues also used the analysis to estimate that up to 25% of sexual behaviour can be explained by genetics, with the rest influenced by environmental and cultural factors — a figure similar to the findings of smaller studies.

“This is a solid study,” says Melinda Mills, a sociologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who studies the genetic basis of reproductive behaviours.

But she cautions that the results may not be representative of the overall population — a limitation that the study authors acknowledge. The lion’s share of the genomes comes from the UK Biobank research programme and the consumer-genetics company 23andMe, based in Mountain View, California. The people who contribute their genetic and health information to those databases are predominantly of European ancestry and are on the older side. UK Biobank participants were between 40 and 70 years old when their data were collected, and the median age for people in 23andMe’s database is 51.

The study authors also point out that they followed convention for genetic analyses by dropping from their study people whose biological sex and self-identified gender did not match. As a result, the work doesn’t include sexual and gender minorities (the LGBTQ community) such as transgender people and intersex people.

A need for more data

Scientists have long thought that someone’s genes partly influenced their sexual orientation. Research from the 1990s2 showed that identical twins are more likely to share a sexual orientation than are fraternal twins or adopted siblings. Some studies suggested that a specific part of the X chromosome called the Xq28 region was associated with the sexual orientation of people who were biologically male — although subsequent research cast doubt on those results.

But these studies all had very small sample sizes and most focused on men, says Mills. This hampered scientists’ ability to detect many variants associated with sexual orientation.

In the recent study, Ganna and his colleagues used a method known as a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to look at the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people for single-letter DNA changes called SNPs. If lots of people with a trait in common also share certain SNPs, chances are that the SNPs are related in some way to that characteristic.

The researchers split their study participants into two groups — those who reported having had sex with someone of the same sex, and those who didn’t. Then the researchers performed two separate analyses. In one, they evaluated more than one million SNPs and looked at whether people who had more SNPs in common with each other also reported similar sexual behaviours. The scientists found that genetics could explain 8–25% of the variation in sexual behaviour.

For their second analysis, Ganna and his colleagues wanted to see which particular SNPs were associated with same-sex sexual behaviours, and found five that were more common among those individuals. However, those five SNPs collectively explained less than 1% of the variation in sexual behaviour.

This suggests that there are a lot of genes that influence sexual behaviour, many of which researchers haven’t found yet, says Ganna. An even larger sample size could help to identify those missing variants, he says.

But Ganna cautions that these SNPs can’t be used to reliably predict sexual preferences in any individual, because no single gene has a large effect on sexual behaviours.

It’s complicated

Although the researchers have identified some of the SNPs involved in same-sex sexual behaviour, they aren’t sure what the genetic variants do. One is near a gene related to smell, which Ganna says has a role in sexual attraction. Another SNP is associated with male-pattern baldness — a trait influenced by levels of sex hormones, which suggests that these hormones are also linked to same-sex sexual behaviour.

The results demonstrate the complexity of human sexuality, says Ganna. They also presented a challenge to the study researchers, who knew that explaining nuanced findings on such a sensitive topic to the general public would be tricky.

To ensure that their results are not misinterpreted, the study researchers worked with LGBTQ advocacy groups and science-communication specialists on the best way to convey their findings in the research paper and to the public. Their efforts included the design of a website that lays out the results — and their limitations — to the public, using sensitive, jargon-free language.

Ewan Birney, a geneticist and director of EMBL European Bioinformatics Institute near Cambridge, UK, applauds that effort. “It’s a communications minefield,” he says.

Although some researchers and LGBTQ advocates might question the wisdom of conducting this kind of research, Birney says that it’s important. There has been a lot of sociological research on same-sex sexual behaviours, he says, but this is an incredibly complicated topic. It’s time to bring a strong, biologically based perspective to the discussion, Birney says.


  1. 1.

    Ganna, A. et al. Science 365, eaat7693 (2019).

  2. 2.

    Pillard, R. C. & Bailey, J. M. Hum. Biol. 70, 347–365 (1998).

By Jonathan Lambert and published in Nature on August 25, 2019 and can be found here.

Court Refuses To Order Vermont To Extend Dual Enrollment Program To Catholic School

This is from religionclause.blogspot.com which you can find here:

In A.M. v. French, (D VT, May 29, 2020), a Vermont federal district court refused to issue a preliminary injunction to require the state to allow a student enrolled in a Catholic high school to participate in the Dual Enrollment Program (DEP) that pays for high schoolers to take college courses. The court observed that while those administering DEP advised plaintiffs that religious parochial schools are ineligible to participate, this was an inaccurate characterization.  Instead, DEP is open to students enrolled in public schools, in private schools where a district without a public high school pays tuition, or students who are home schooled. In a prior decision, the Vermont Supreme Court held that the program allowing districts without public high schools to pay tuition to private schools violates the Vermont constitution only when the district reimburses tuition for a religious school and does not impose adequate safeguards to prevent the use of the funds for religious worship. In light of this, the federal district court said in part:

The DEP’s plain text does not impose classifications or disparate treatment based on religion. Indeed, the statutory scheme does not even mention religion…. [A] home study student receiving a religious education from his or her parents may take religious education classes at a postsecondary institution with a religious affiliation provided the home study student can satisfy the DEP Eligibility Requirements. A publicly funded high school student at an approved independent school with a religious affiliation may do the same….

Because qualified independent religious schools are not categorically excluded from the DEP and face no additional burdens not imposed on secular approved independent schools, the DEP Eligibility Requirements are neutral as applied to religion. Plaintiffs have therefore not demonstrated a violation of their constitutional rights giving rise to irreparable harm.

You can learn more about this issue here.

Templeton Project: Discipleship in Matthew and Apologetics VII–Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins

Back in October 2015 I wrote about the inauguration of the Abington Templeton Foundation (see here).  The project is now underway (see here) and I will be posting our writing here.

Check out the latest piece entitled “Discipleship in Matthew and Apologetics VII–Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins.”

See also:


The life of a disciple is one grounded in repentance and the forgiveness of sins.  It is life in Christ that impels the believer to fulfill the imperatives of discipleship.  It is life in Christ that impels the believer to defend the faith when its is challenged and to witness to others so that they too can know the joys of God’s forgiveness.

Jesus tells us that He, the Son of Man, has the authority to forgive sins on earth.  One day the Lord encountered a paralytic whom some people brought to Jesus.  Instead of pronouncing words of healing, Jesus said, “Take heart, my son: your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9: 2b ESV) The paralytic was healed. Christ addresses these words to every son and daughter of His.

At the very beginning of the Gospel in the narrative regarding both the location and the manner of Jesus’ birth, Joseph decides “to divorce her (Mary) quietly,” because she was found to be pregnant “before they came together.” An angel came to Joseph to announce, “She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1: 21 ESV) Jesus’ mission is one of rescue for those dwelling in darkness:  ” . . . the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has shined.”  (Matthew 5: 16)  Then, immediately afterward, Jesus begins His ministry with the announcement, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”  (Matthew 5: 17 ESV)

Near the end of the Gospel, where is recorded the Last Supper, Jesus says over the cup, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.” (Matthew 26: 27b-28 ESV)  The forgiveness of sins is granted through the expiatory death of Jesus Christ.  While Matthew contains large amounts of teaching material in five discourses, the purpose is to advise disciples on what they are called to do in their discipleship, not an encouragement to an attitude of works righteousness.  The foundation of discipleship is the forgiveness of sins granted by Jesus Christ, and by Him alone.

The great irony of the crucifixion is that in not saving Himself, Jesus saves others.  The religious leaders revile Christ with words that actually speak the truth, “He saved others ; he cannot save himself.” (Matthew 27: 42a ESV)  Jesus will not save Himself so that He can save others.  The end of the Gospel returns to the angel’s message to Joseph that the child will save people from their sins.  To save the people is Jesus’ mission.

Forgiveness of sins is accompanied by repentance.  At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus calls people to repentance in preparation for the coming of the kingdom of God.  Participation in the kingdom now means the assurance of forgiveness of sins for those who repent and entrance into heaven.

The life of discipleship is built upon God’s granting of forgiveness.  In our apology and witness we wish others, who have not known the mercy and compassion of God, also to participate in the kingdom Christ brings.

Michael G. Tavella

November 14, 2019

Joe Arcieri Songs: The Burning Mirrors Of Archimedes

Joe Arcieri is a friend of mine who I worked with for many years during my ten years working for Acme Markets.  Joe, when not stocking milk or saving lives as a nurse, is an excellent guitar player.  I have had the privilege, from time to time, of (badly) plunking my bass guitar with Joe as he melts a face or two with a great solo.

As great musicians do, Joe has written some of his own songs and keeps a soundcloud site to post them.  When I have opportunity, I will post his music here as well.

Here is his composition called “The Burning Mirrors Of Archimedes” which you can find here.

Here are the links to the previously posted songs by Joe:

‘Luxury beliefs’ are the latest status symbol for rich Americans

A former classmate from Yale recently told me “monogamy is kind of outdated” and not good for society. So I asked her what her background is and if she planned to marry.

She said she comes from an affluent family and works at a well-known technology company. Yes, she personally intends to have a monogamous marriage — but quickly added that marriage shouldn’t have to be for everyone.

She was raised by a traditional family. She planned on having a traditional family. But she maintained that traditional families are old-fashioned and society should “evolve” beyond them.

What could explain this?

In the past, upper-class Americans used to display their social status with luxury goods. Today, they do it with luxury beliefs.

People care a lot about social status. In fact, research indicates that respect and admiration from our peers are even more important than money for our sense of well-being.

We feel pressure to display our status in new ways. This is why fashionable clothing always changes. But as trendy clothes and other products become more accessible and affordable, there is increasingly less status attached to luxury goods.

The upper classes have found a clever solution to this problem: luxury beliefs. These are ideas and opinions that confer status on the rich at very little cost, while taking a toll on the lower class.

One example of luxury belief is that all family structures are equal. This is not true. Evidence is clear that families with two married parents are the most beneficial for young children. And yet, affluent, educated people raised by two married parents are more likely than others to believe monogamy is outdated, marriage is a sham or that all families are the same.

‘Upper-class people don a luxury belief to separate themselves from the lower class’

Relaxed attitudes about marriage trickle down to the working class and the poor. In the 1960s, marriage rates between upper-class and lower-class Americans were nearly identical. But during this time, affluent Americans loosened social norms, expressing skepticism about marriage and monogamy.

This luxury belief contributed to the erosion of the family. Today, the marriage rates of affluent Americans are nearly the same as they were in the 1960s. But working-class people are far less likely to get married. Furthermore, out-of-wedlock birthrates are more than 10 times higher than they were in 1960, mostly among the poor and working class. Affluent people seldom have kids out of wedlock but are more likely than others to express the luxury belief that doing so is of no consequence.

Another luxury belief is that religion is irrational or harmful. Members of the upper class are most likely to be atheists or non-religious. But they have the resources and access to thrive without the unifying social edifice of religion.

Places of worship are often essential for the social fabric of poor communities. Denigrating the importance of religion harms the poor. While affluent people often find meaning in their work, most Americans do not have the luxury of a “profession.” They have jobs. They clock in, they clock out. Without a family or community to care for, such a job can feel meaningless.

Then there’s the luxury belief that individual decisions don’t matter much compared to random social forces, including luck. This belief is more common among many of my peers at Yale and Cambridge than the kids I grew up with in foster care or the women and men I served with in the military. The key message is that the outcomes of your life are beyond your control. This idea works to the benefit of the upper class and harms ordinary people.

It is common to see students at prestigious universities work ceaselessly and then downplay the importance of tenacity. They perform an “aw, shucks” routine to suggest they just got lucky rather than accept credit for their efforts. This message is damaging. If disadvantaged people believe random chance is the key factor for success, they will be less likely to strive.

‘The key message is that the outcomes of your life are beyond your control’

White privilege is the luxury belief that took me the longest to understand, because I grew up around poor whites. Often members of the upper-class claim that racial disparities stem from inherent advantages held by whites. Yet Asian Americans are more educated, have higher earnings and live longer than whites. Affluent whites are the most enthusiastic about the idea of white privilege, yet they are the least likely to incur any costs for promoting that belief. Rather, they raise their social standing by talking about their privilege.

In other words, upper-class whites gain status by talking about their high status. When laws are enacted to combat white privilege, it won’t be the privileged whites who are harmed. Poor whites will bear the brunt.

It’s possible that affluent whites don’t always agree with their own luxury beliefs, or at least have doubts. Maybe they don’t like the ideological fur coat they’re wearing. But if their peers punish them for not sporting it all over town, they will never leave the house without it again.

Because, like with diamond rings or designer clothes of old, upper-class people don a luxury belief to separate themselves from the lower class. These beliefs, in turn, produce real, tangible consequences for disadvantaged people, further widening the divide. Just as fashionable clothing will soon be outdated, so will today’s fashionable beliefs. In the future, expect the upper class to defame even more values — including ones they hold dear — in their quest to gain top-dog status.

By Rob Henderson and published in The New York Post on August 17, 2019 and can be found here.

Divorce After Death?

Historically, when a husband and wife were in the process of being divorced and one died their status remained as if married, and division of the probate marital property would occur under the probate rules of Title 20.  Effective January 28, 2005, the foregoing changed, and equitable distribution under certain circumstances may now occur even after one of the spouses has died.

            Title 23 now provides that “[I]n the event one party dies during the course of divorce proceedings, no decree of divorce has been entered and grounds have been established as provided in subsection (g), the parties’ economic rights and obligations arising under the marriage shall be determined under this part rather than under 20 Pa.C.S. (relating to decedents, estates and fiduciaries).”  23 Pa.C.S.A. § 3323(d.1).   The Official Note indicates that the primary reasons for the changes is so that parties who are divorcing would need not choose between equitable distribution or electing against the Will of the other spouse.  Indeed, the Official Notes state that “[T]he parties’ economic rights and obligations are determined under equitable distribution principles, not under the elective share provisions of Chapter 22 of Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code).”  Importantly, the change to Title 23 leaves several questions unanswered, that have yet to be clarified by the courts.

            It is universally accepted that a divorce decree cannot be entered, regardless of the approval of the divorce grounds, when one of the spouses in the divorce action dies, because a divorce action abates immediately upon the death of one of the parties.  The changes to 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 3323(d.1) does not alter the foregoing.  Taper V. Taper, 939 A.2d 969 (Pa. Super., 2007), Yelenic v. Clark, 922 A.2d 935 (Pa. Super., 2007), In Re Estate of James A. Bullotta, Jr., 838 A.2d 594 (Pa., 2003).  Therefore, regardless of the approval of divorce grounds, the parties remain married.

            If the parties remain married, regardless of grounds of divorce being established, then any item of property that passes by law to the surviving spouse, because they are the surviving spouse, must supercede equitable distribution.  Of particular note are retirement plans, such as IRA or 401(k) plans that are generally governed by ERISA, which of course is a federal statute that does not fall within Title 20.  Frequently, pension plans stipulate that if a spouse is named as a beneficiary, their name cannot be removed without their consent.  The same might be the case for life insurance provided as an employment benefit through the decedent’s employer.  Likewise, a tenancy by the entireties is created and governed by common law and not Title 20.  Consequently, assets passing outside Title 20 may not be subject to equitable distribution after the death of a spouse.

            23 Pa.C.S.A. §3323(d.1) did not take effect until January 28, 2005.  Left unresolved is whether the change to Title 23 effects parties who separate prior to the effective state of the statute, and whether the change to Title 23 should be applied to parties when one of the parties filed for divorce prior to the effective date of the statute.  Under 1 Pa.C.S.A. §1926, no statute is to be considered retroactive unless it is clearly and manifestly so intended by the General Assembly.  Indeed, “in the absence of clear language to the contrary, statutes must be construed to operate prospectively only.”  Budnick v. Budnick, 419 Pa.Super. 172, 615 A.2d 80 (Pa.Super.,1992.)  citing Flick v. Flick, 408 Pa.Super. 110, 115-117, 596 A.2d 216, 219-220 (1991).  There is nothing in §3323(d.1) that even hints at retroactive effect; therefore the statute may not apply to those individuals who separated prior to January 28, 2005.

            Attorneys who practice in the field of family law should be aware that if the parties separated after January 28, 2005, and one of the spouses is ill, consideration should be made to obtaining a finding of grounds for divorce, depending on the assets involved and how they are held.  Those attorneys who practice in the field of estate law need to make certain they are aware of this change in the law, the need to update wills, and the need to check the records of the Register of Wills to determine if a Personal Representative is appointed.  Consideration should be made to filing an informal caveat to block probate of any will, and a formal caveat then filed and a petition filed to appoint an independent administrator pendente lite to marshal the assets of the deceased spouse’s estate, to ensure that the other spouse is not left with nothing.

Here is yet another an article, by Adam S. Bernick, Esquire, who is of counsel to my firm, providing some sound advice and insight into the estate planning process.  This article was originally published in Upon Further Review on December 8, 2009, and can be seen here.

Templeton Project: Discipleship in Matthew and Apologetics VI–A Sword, Not Peace

Back in October 2015 I wrote about the inauguration of the Abington Templeton Foundation (see here).  The project is now underway (see here) and I will be posting our writing here.

Check out the latest piece entitled “Discipleship in Matthew and Apologetics VI–A Sword, Not Peace.”

See also:


We call Jesus the “Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9: 6) but He said that He brings a sword (Matthew 10: 34).  How can we reconcile these two? Because of Jesus, division will occur, even in families. Christ requires us to make a choice of following Him or not. ” . . . and whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Matthew 10: 38 ESV) No other choice is more important in our lives.  The disciple must place Christ above all things and all others, even at the expense of peace.

Christ’s call is urgent and requires an immediate response.  He tells a man who wished to bury his father before becoming a disciple, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”  (Matthew 8: 22 ESV)  The fisherman at the sea and Matthew, the tax collector, follow Jesus immediately upon their call. “Immediately they (James and John, the sons of Zebedee) left the boat and their father and followed him.” (Matthew 4: 22 ESV) Jesus said to Matthew, ” ‘Follow me.’ And he rose and followed him.”(Matthew 9: 9b ESV)

So in the battle in which Jesus is engaged, and in which we are to participate (See Gregory Boyd, God at War regarding Jesus’ conflict and eventual victory over cosmic and human enemies), we must take up our cross. “Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’” (Matthew 16: 24 ESV)  We bear our own cross of suffering, knowing that the cross of Christ, that only He bears and can bear, is our shield and defense and our weapon against evil (See the hymn, Onward Christian Soldiers). Our commitment to Christ involves a willingness to die in the cause of the kingdom.  “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 16: 25 ESV)

The account of Jesus’ ministry in the Gospels is one of conflict from beginning to the end.  If we would be disciples, we must be willing to face the conflict that arises from our confession of Jesus’ name. Each disciple must bear his/her cross of suffering as he/she serves Jesus Christ in the battle.  Those who would eliminate war and battle language in our hymns are gutting the meaning of the ministry of Jesus and of our discipleship.  We are soldiers in full panoply (Romans 13: 12) in the cause of Christ, in the battle of light against darkness.  We are soldiers who avoid violence!  Our weapons are those of the Holy Spirit (See Luther’s battle hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God).

We are peacemakers, but we do not make peace with darkness and evil.  We do not give up our faith for those who oppose it, even in the family.  We make peace where we can but not at the sacrifice of our following of Christ.  The church is an instrument of God’s peace in the world.  It is important that the church manifests peace in its own life as example to the world.  The Church must also be always prepared for battle, and fight the way Jesus fought.

External peace is not achieved until God through Christ wins the day against the foe.  Complete and utter peace is an eschatological gift; that is, it is established in all its fulness with the full coming of the kingdom.  Let us pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” as we engage in the battle.

Thou wast their rock, their fortress, and their might;

Thou, Lord, their captain in the well-fought fight;

Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true light.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Oh, may Thy soldieer, faithful, true, and bold,

Fight as the saints so nobly fought of old

And win with them the victor’s crown of gold!

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Th (Lutheran Service Book, Hymn 677)

Let us extend the peace of God as soldiers of the Lord.


Michael G. Tavella

Saint Martin, Bishop of Tours, 397

November 11, 2019

Joe Arcieri Songs: Cracks In Time

Joe Arcieri is a friend of mine who I worked with for many years during my ten years working for Acme Markets.  Joe, when not stocking milk or saving lives as a nurse, is an excellent guitar player.  I have had the privilege, from time to time, of (badly) plunking my bass guitar with Joe as he melts a face or two with a great solo.

As great musicians do, Joe has written some of his own songs and keeps a soundcloud site to post them.  When I have opportunity, I will post his music here as well.

Here is his composition called “Cracks In Time” which you can find here.

Here are the links to the previously posted songs by Joe:

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