Sola Publishing News and Feedback [Announcements Category] http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/feed.html?category=4 News, devotions and feedback blog for Sola Publishing en-us Merry Christmas http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/merry-christmas/a1416.html Tue, 24 Dec 19 00:00:00 -0600 Online jigsaw

Click image for online jigsaw. • Image  • Index of posts  •  Music

  Click for a recording of the Christmas story from Luke.

Now it came to pass in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first census made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to register themselves, every one to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to enrol himself with Mary, his betrothed, who was great with child. And while they were there it happened that the days were fulfilled for her to give birth. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord was standing by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they feared a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this is the sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is delighted.”

15 And it followed that when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they went with haste and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the matter that was told to them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard marveled at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary stored up each of these things, pondering them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it was spoken to them.

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Customized Catechisms http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/customized-catechisms/a1255.html Mon, 15 Apr 19 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger photo.

Sola has an edition of the Small Catechism that is useful in outreach. Some churches give "The Basics of the Christian Faith" to their visitors, or have copies in the pews for people to take home with them. Other churches use it in new members' packets. I take a copy to first-time visitors. In follow-up visits, I refer to "that booklet" so that the conversation ends up being a Bible study. 

Moreover, Sola offers this version of the Small Catechism in a customized version. Add your church's name, address, phone number or website. Click here for details.

"The Basics of the Christian Faith" includes:

  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Apostles' Creed
  • The Lord's Prayer
  • An Explanation of Baptism and Communion
  • A selection of daily prayers

 

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Merry Christmas http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/merry-christmas/a1166.html Mon, 24 Dec 18 00:00:00 -0600 Online jigsaw

Click image for online jigsaw. • Image  • Index of posts  •  Music

  Click for a recording of the Christmas story from Luke.

1 Now it came to pass in those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first census made when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to register themselves, every one to his own city. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 to enrol himself with Mary, his betrothed, who was great with child. 6 And while they were there it happened that the days were fulfilled for her to give birth. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord was standing by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they feared a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this is the sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is delighted.”

15 And it followed that when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem to see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they went with haste and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the matter that was told to them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard marveled at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary stored up each of these things, pondering them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, just as it was spoken to them.

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Scripture Videos http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/scripture-videos/a1146.html Mon, 03 Dec 18 00:00:00 -0600 Click to download video

These two, free, Scripture videos are a collection of verses from most books of the Old Testament and all books of the New. They are set to music and are suitable for worship (perhaps during the gathering, offering, passing of peace), teaching, and general edification.

Right-click and save each video:

Old Testament Scripture Video (3:03, 110 MB)  • New Testament Scripture Video (3:23, 123 MB)

A YouTube playlist is also available. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates to the collection. 

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a870.html Fri, 10 Nov 17 00:00:00 -0600 Online jigsaw

• Image  • Index of posts

  Click for a recording of today's lesson. 

John 4:23–24

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Mass 

In short, the worship of the New Testament is spiritual. In other words, it is the righteousness of faith in the heart and the fruits of faith. Accordingly, it abolishes Levitical services. Christ says, “The true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). This passage clearly condemns opinions about sacrifices which, they imagine, avail ex opere operato, and teaches that worship ought to be in spirit—with the heart and by faith.

Pulling It Together: In the New Testament, there is no offering or service or work that merits God’s favor ex opere operato—on account of the work that has been done or the service rendered. In later editions of “The Apology of the Augsburg Confession,” it was added here that this idea is “absolutely devilish, pharisaical, and antichristian” because it cheapens the sacrifice of Christ. Our Lord alone has provided the work that avails for forgiveness of sin and right standing with God. Our reasonable response is “spiritual worship” (Rom 12:1) which is a service of the heart that God has filled with faith. It fears God, while loving and trusting him with the whole heart. This is that true, spiritual worship of the New Testament that does not expect a reward from God for their own services rendered.

Prayer: Help me, O God, to worship you in spirit and in truth. Amen.

Receive these Sola Devotions in weekday emails. Click here to fill out a quick and secure subscription form. 

A Discussion of Living Religions is a brief introduction to major world religions that takes a conversational approach as a group of friends talk together about what it is they believe. Each has a chance to speak for themselves about how they understand the fundamentals of reality and faith.

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a801.html Tue, 18 Apr 17 00:00:00 -0500 Click for larger image

Click above for larger graphic  • Image  • Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference

  Click for a recording of today's Sola Devotion. 

John 15:18–20

From the Confessions: The Defense of the Augsburg Confession

Concerning the Marriage of Priests 

To you, most excellent and chaste Emperor, they propose such laws—that no barbarity, however monstrous and cruel, would consider. Because your character is not stained by disgrace or cruelty, we hope that you will deal with us charitably in this matter, especially when you have learned that we have the gravest reasons for our position, derived from the Word of God, which the adversaries oppose with the most trifling and vain opinions.

Pulling It Together: There it is; that is the problem. When we base our positions on traditions, we end up with opinions. When our beliefs come from God’s Word, how can we do anything but oppose human opinions that are contrary to his Word? Sola Scriptura—Scripture alone—being one of the pillars of Reformation thought, helps us remember that we do not interpret Scripture with tradition, nor do we develop doctrine based upon tradition. Lutherans—indeed, Christians—are to use Scripture to interpret Scripture, and to understand life. Scripture must be our worldview. It will make us seem strange to some, and the world will likely hate us, but we will have done as our Lord instructs us, firmly taking our stand in faith through the Word of God (1 Cor 16:13). You can take no stronger stance, as Luther stated at the Diet of Worms in 1521, “A simple layman armed with Scripture is greater than the mightiest pope without it.”

Prayer: Give me the insight and the courage, O Lord, to take my stand in your Word. Amen.

Receive these daily Sola Devotions by email. Write mryman@solapublishing.com with "Subscribe" as your subject. To unsubscribe, send an email to the same address with "Unsubscribe" as your subject.

Holy Families! is an initiative of the North American Lutheran Church provided through a generous grant from the Thrivent Foundation, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation (1517 AD to 2017 AD). Produced by Sola Publishing, this special initiative includes a number of Lutheran discipleship resources for families and congregations, including Daily Family Prayer Resources, Parent Pages, Faith Formation downloadable pages for children/families, Educational Videos, Parents' Video/Discussion Series on Faith Formation, Reformation Bible Study: In the Luther Household

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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/lessons-in-the-lutheran-confessions/a96.html Fri, 02 Jan 15 00:00:00 -0600

From what I can tell as a Lutheran pastor, the great theology of the Lutheran Confessions is lost to the church today and for that reason, I think many Lutherans are rudderless in the ocean of the Word. We may read the Bible but unless we have a guide, we are often inclined to go in any direction and end up on odd shores of interpretation. Historically, our guide has been The Book of Concord. That collection of documents, written in the 16th century, has guided Lutherans for hundreds of years in what we confess the Scriptures mean.

I am convinced that the only way to keep renewed Lutheran bodies from ending up on the reefs is to know why we believe what we confess. So, I have begun a multi-year project of writing new devotional material that teaches the Lutheran Confessions. Sola Devotions begins with a passage of Scripture that relates to a reading from The Book of Concord. That reading, though sometimes only a phrase, is also provided and is followed by an explanation of the Scripture and confession.

Devotions Archive

Index of Scripture Graphics and posts by Scripture reference 

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The New Sola Online Worship Resource Site http://www.solapublishing.com/news_feedback/the-new-sola-online-worship-resource-site/a88.html Thu, 29 Aug 13 00:00:00 -0500 Coming Advent 2013: Sola Online Worship Resource! We are doing something different from other sources out there, in order to provide our congregations with worship-support materials they actually need and use -- grounded in a sound, biblical Lutheran theology, and offered at a reasonable price. As we develop our new Online Worship Resource Site, we have a clear vision for what we are doing and what we are not doing. We're not using automated generic bulletin-making software, nor are we becoming a general music-licensing company. We ARE providing the kind of pre-formatted and flexible worship resources that many Lutheran congregations print every week, including: bulletin inserts, children's bulletins, devotional inserts, weekly lectionary text studies, liturgical clip-art, cover art, service settings, etc. We are also providing a wealth of worship-planning resources, including: seasonal suggestions, weekly hymn suggestions, lectionary summaries, prayers of the church, sermon starters, bulletin templates, powerpoint backdrops, and much more!

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