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Issue 016

Pagan Moontide of Aphrodite 20, Anno Domini 2020

Easter 2: The More Things Change

"Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!" Psalm 33

…the more they stay the same.

There are seasons and times, and they change according to the great orders set by God in the heavens. Sun and stars and moon and more are a grand, quantum clockwork of coming and going, now a little up, now a little down, been there before and going there soon again.

The magnificence of it all continues to inspire us, in spite of the many trials and dangers this life is constantly peppered with.

Births continue to amaze us, no matter what our positions on “women’s health” politics.

Deaths still stun us, and even stop whole civilizations in their tracks, whether in Wuhan or Winnebago.

Every year, we sow from the harvest of recent memory.

Every morning, we reap what we have sown.

We kill viruses and bacteria with soap and anesthetic and prejudice.

We upend whole economies, in order to make sure there is still a time and place that sick people can go to heal.

We watch the stocks break down in catastrophe. A day later, we watch the entire thing build up again.

We don’t know whether to weep in OCD worst-case scenario anxiety-overload, or to laugh hysterically at how silly we must look to any superior life forms who might be looking and wondering what we’re all so afraid of.

We mourn, for our loved ones have just died in our arms.

We dance, for our loved ones have just made full recovery.

The stones you thought were so important to gather and build with suddenly don’t seem all the good you’d thought them to be.

But now you can also see how good it will be to cast old weights away, in order to freely embrace the present for what it is.

There is a time to resist the present, to fight back against the world and call your enemy what he is to his face.

Because sometimes, you’re just going to lose anyway.

Sometimes, you don’t so much need to win, as you need to be found.

Sometimes the LORD gives.

And sometimes Jesus takes away.

Sometimes, he consumes your dross in fire and bleaches your stains in the purging glory of your own suffering.

Sometimes, there is balm in Gilead.

There is nothing sundered that shall not be made whole. There is nothing you have lost which your good King shall not with 100x interest restore to you.

On that day, he will no longer keep silent, leaving his reign to the still small voice of Christian preaching, but with the voice of an archangel and the radiant blasts of heaven’s horn, he will speak to us all, “Beloved, it’s time to get up."

On that day you will love, even though up to that point all your other times and seasons can’t help but have been filled with this cursed world’s hate.

There is, then, after all, a time for war, and a time for peace.

It is always, and ever shall be, called today.


Be strong, and let your hearts know courage,
Rev. Fisk

Quick Hits for the Eyebuds

Take with espresso or a quarantini 

Clickbait Paradise

My religion is essential

We know Christ’s church will always come under enemy fire and in his blog recently, Gene Veith outlined a number of issues facing us now, prevented as we are from meeting together in a time of plague. Dr. Veith points out that "Christianity–with its doctrines of creation, incarnation, resurrection, sacraments, and vocation–is an embodied religion,” and therefore, there are limits to what online worship can accomplish.” 

As they work to prevent the spread of coronavirus, various government agencies are simultaneously shutting down attempts of Christians to meet, in ways that appear heavy handed. Even those who abide by social distancing guidelines and deploy every precaution are often not exempt. The Governor of Kentucky recently threatened to take license plate numbers of any cars in church parking lots on Easter morning and impose a quarantine on the owners. 

But there are also assaults from within…

Pour one out for the church

"Will the coronavirus pandemic hasten the demise of religion?" That’s the heavily loaded question discussed on a recent podcast from The Spectator (UK), by Catholic magazine editor Luke Coppen, and secular historian Tom Holland. Whether it's a product of cabin fever, or too much espresso, this one seemed worth chewing over, as this has become a burning question for many.

Coppen concluded that churchgoing is a habit and once it's broken, it will be hard for people to pick it back up again. Point taken. We are instructed to guard our faith and not forsake assembling together. But the church is more than a habit and suggesting that we won’t need church after the pandemic because we have gotten used to online life is just as flawed as the claim that telemedicine will remove the need for doctors. 

The analogy is limited, but it’s not just the special training of our pastor, nor the special ‘equipment’ in the sanctuary that drives us to meet; it's the lifesaving medicine Christ gives us when we meet in his name, in his Word and in the Supper.

Holland’s perspective was more optimistic. He suggests that throughout history, Christian belief has "not been dependent on Christian practice” and since the welfare state has charity pegged, the church should instead get busy confidently pitching its message. That might not be a bad idea, for while the world puts ‘faith' in a largely ‘therapeutic' category, the message of repentance and the forgiveness of sins is still the only one that saves and the one Jesus entrusted to his Church.

“I disagree” “I hate you"

At the risk of making a meal out of this one question... 

Tom Holland has written extensively about the debt Western culture owes to Christianity and shows that the freedoms we enjoy are the result of the church’s influence. Yet he forgets that we are all incurvatus in se, and that our sin nature would happily step on our neighbor if it was of benefit to us, despite our Western ‘values’. Case in point…

An emergency hospital set up in New York by evangelical mission, Samaritan’s Purse, continues to come under attack from LGBTQ activists. Although New York hospitals have been struggling to meet the demand caused by COVID-19 and despite the fact that the makeshift hospital does not turn anyone away, calls for its closure are coming thick and fast, due to the organization’s stand on marriage. To Rev. Fisk’s oft-made observation that words change meaning over time, it wasn’t that long ago that you first had to disagree to be tolerant.

There are no atheists in foxholes

Googling of the word “prayer” is off the chain in recent days and Rev. Fisk found out this week, that sales of the Bible are way up.

Here’s to the heroes

It doesn’t take much searching to find heartbreaking stories about healthcare workers at the coalface of this pandemic and many heartwarming ones too. Learning the sacrifice some medics are making to help those most in need is humbling, with some even sleeping in their cars to protect their own families. Some happier news came in the form of a photo project, begun during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 by a professor who was concerned that patients suffering from the virus were feeling isolated due to the fact that they could never see the faces of their masked helpers. 

If you have been worried about disinfecting your stuff, Wired has a handy guide.

Your application was successful

If you’re missing the sounds of the office life, the reassuring glug of the water cooler, or the calming zip of the photocopier, then this website will provide some Coronatherapy. While it’s hard to believe anything in the world is proceeding with any normalcy, employers are still hiring and job interviews are still daunting. If you need some advice on how to blitz your video interview, this article will help.

Speaking of a bad day at the office…

Like a nail biting episode of MayDay, a nervous passenger taking a up a joy flight gifted from his coworkers, has accidentally ejected himself from a French fighter jet mid-air. Yes, the story gets better from there…

This sparks joy

We found an app to gamify your life! Not in the awesome Christian LARP wizardry pioneered by Rev. Fisk, but it definitely scores some points on the escapism scale. PUBG has added an arctic mode, introducing the extra headache of surviving the cold. For SMChill Vikings, that should be a *snap.

Boots and cats and boots and cats. Watching this video of a world champion beatboxer explaining the tricks of the trade made us at MM wonder if we’ve wasted our lives, but not this guy, who merged the work of two famous doctors to great affect - Dr. Dre and Dr. Seuss. Speaking of brilliant ideas, this list of things that were conceived of by Nikola Tesla but never made doesn't seem so far-fetched in 2020. Surely every modern country needs the deterrent of a ‘peace beam’?

Although Tesla was pretty smart, he never thought up online haircutting help for the prevention of quarantine hair cuts, nor a toilet roll cake, which saved a Helsinki bakery from being shuttered.

And finally, amidst all the potential for doomscrolling on Twitter, President Trump tweeted a plan to re-open the country. We have no idea what this means, but pray that our leaders will lead wisely!

A Good Word: Rec’s from Rev Fisk

For those about to rock on: Tom Morello’s guitar work in Pacific Rim opening theme will set you up nicely.

Sweetness You May Have Missed...
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Check out Village Lutheran for livestreamed services.  Never before has there been such an opportunity to "visit" so many churches!  Despite Satan's use of the Coronavirus to keep us out of the church buildings, the Word of God continues to be preached.

Don't forget to continue giving to your church- your pastor is worth his wages.

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We have a Dust sighting!

This is not the story. This is “the back cover” pitch to the whole serial and world which hopefully will follow.


It is the After

After What, and When?

No one remembers.

Imperiors rule among the scars of Before. The threat from ferals never rests.
And the flow

The flow is the one thing needful. 

Humanity is but another of the many wretched creeping things on a diseased rock hurtling through a maddening and infinite shadow of space. But such existentiality has little recourse in a world enslaved to the harsh pantheon of survival’s gods, awash with the craving for daily fruect, and in endless search for the right alchemy of tec and farma to take it from others before they take it from you.

This is the only virtue in the real world. You don’t need to remember anything else to see that. Nothing else matters, whether you’re just another pathetic gioe eking it out among the wilds of the Back Half, or one of them ‘murai beyonders and whatever geitzdamd barbarity in the Haywire Barrier churns them out to be the space-eyed syichoes that they are. I don’t doubt for an instant that eves the mythical Silentblessed, sheltering in mystery on the heights of Aurora Zenith, if they even exist at all, still wake up each morn to find they must worship the everlasting flight from desperation with the same inevitability as the day before.

Not today, we each must say. 

Until the day we don’t anymore.

Normally, that’s not a good day.

Images Used:

Parting of the Red Sea

Let us pray: Almighty God, grant that we who have celebrated the Lord’s resurrection may by Your grace confess in our life and conversation that Jesus is Lord and God; through the same Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.