Thursday, May 31

Homicides in Chicago

This past weekend, Chicago passed 200 homicides for the year. As of Wednesday afternoon, 207 homicides have been recorded so far this year, a 48 percent jump compared to 140 homicides the same period in 2011.

Tuesday, May 22

Alex Trebek Trivia

Here's some info on Alex Trebek, the host on my favorite game show, Jeopardy.

"He reads a lot of books about the Lincoln assassination. Geography is his favorite category. He thinks there’s a damaging sense of entitlement in our society. He has about 100 suits. He used to be a regular at Filene’s Basement. He loved coloring maps as a child. He does not hate Sean Connery. He and Pat Sajak haven’t spoken for months. Unless there’s a Lakers game on, he’ll watch himself on Jeopardy!. He has been asked to be on Dancing With the Stars. He no longer has cartilage in his left knee. His appreciation for music 'ended when Frank Sinatra died.' He votes as an Independent. He would like to be asked to ask questions at a presidential debate. He’s done more than 6,000 shows. He prefers to drink white wine. He is not familiar with the band One Direction."

Behind the Scenes on Jeopardy

Sunday, May 20

True Meaning of Christianity

"Now the true meaning of Christianity is this: that a man first acknowledge, through the Law, that he is a sinner, for whom it is impossible to perform any good work. For the Law says: “You are an evil tree. Therefore everything you think, speak, or do is opposed to God. Hence you cannot deserve grace by your works. But if you try to do so, you make the bad even worse; for since you are an evil tree, you cannot produce anything except evil fruits, that is, sins. ‘For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin’ (Rom. 14:23). Trying to merit grace by preceding works, therefore, is trying to placate God with sins, which is nothing but heaping sins upon sins, making fun of God, and provoking His wrath. When a man is taught this way by the Law, he is frightened and humbled. Then he really sees the greatness of his sin and finds in himself not one spark of the love of God; thus he justifies God in His Word and confesses that he deserves death and eternal damnation. Thus the first step in Christianity is the preaching of repentance and the knowledge of oneself.

The second step is this: If you want to be saved, your salvation does not come by works; but God has sent His only Son into the world that we might live through Him. He was crucified and died for you and bore your sins in His own body (1 Peter 2:24). Here there is no “congruity” or work performed before grace, but only wrath, sin, terror, and death. Therefore the Law only shows sin, terrifies, and humbles; thus it prepares us for justification and drives us to Christ. For by His Word God has revealed to us that He wants to be a merciful Father to us. Without our merit—since, after all, we cannot merit anything—He wants to give us forgiveness of sins, righteousness, and eternal life for the sake of Christ. For God is He who dispenses His gifts freely to all, and this is the praise of His deity. But He cannot defend this deity of His against the selfrighteous people who are unwilling to accept grace and eternal life from Him freely but want to earn it by their own works. They simply want to rob Him of the glory of His deity. In order to retain it, He is compelled to send forth His Law, to terrify and crush those very hard rocks as though it were thunder and lightning."

Luther, M. (1999, c1963). Vol. 26: Luther's works, vol. 26 : Lectures on Galatians, 1535, Chapters 1-4 (J. J. Pelikan, H. C. Oswald & H. T. Lehmann, Ed.). Luther's Works (26:126). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

Saturday, May 19