Posts Tagged ‘Luther’

Trevor wrote this before he passed and we post this now that it is Advent…. 🙂

Hi this is Trevor and today I am writing the blog as dad goes to Church.  It is now Advent and dad loves this religious season most of all.  He told us last night a story about the guy who found the branch of the church Dad attends.  A guy named Martin Luther.  The story he told was very interesting as we collies learned about the Christmas Tree and how the tradition was founded.

It seems, this Martin Luther was one night during the Advent Season  walking outside in the moonlight.  It had lightly snowed that evening and he came upon a bunch of Fir trees with the stars shining in the cold clear sky above, the light snow glowing upon the branches of the Firs, ice hanging down from the limbs and he was deeply inspired by the beauty of God’s creation!  He was so inspired he cut down a Fir Tree and brought it home and put it up with his family.

You see, Luther taught his family the Fir Tree (fir means fire) represents the Holy Spirit (Dad says the Holy Spirit appears as fire in the Bible), the evergreen represents the resurrection of Jesus, the Star on top the Star of Bethlehem, the tree points up to God, and that all creation is represented in the tree.  The Candles or lights represent the coming of Jesus into the world to be our Light!  It was a beautiful tradition that caught on quickly and spread across Europe and eventually the world.

However, while I believe this it true I also know Martin Luther was a very smart, practical man who also was cranky at times and I know he loved Dogs.  So, I Trevor think that instead of getting up on those cold winter nights to let out his Collie, he instead gave it indoor plumbing and the tree got watered at the same time….. good old smart man that Martin Luther was!

So, that is the story Dad told us about Martin Luther and the Tree with my commentary.  I can imagine the collie whining to be let out at 3 am with the fire place just embers, the cold wind blowing  and Luther getting up moaning “Lord have Mercy!”, with Katie Luther sighing “lord Have mercy” as she was awakened from a long winter’s nap and the dog thinking “Lord have Mercy, hurry up I have to go!”  I Trevor think the Lord heard this and had mercy by inspiring Martin Luther to bring indoor plumbing in for the Collie. 🙂  But, what do I know?  After all, I am just a dog…

Luther and his family by the Tree!  I think the Collie is outside and missed out being in the picture!

Thank you Martin Luther for the tradition of Indoor Plumbing during the cold winter! We also say thank you God for EVERYTHING!!!

This is where Dad is this morning.  I hope someday he takes me with him…..

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Not a exclusive collie post.. WARNING!  Ever notice how collies look like John Knox? More about that later….

Sundays are a special day around here. Church! The Lord’s Day!  Yes, this is important to me. In today’s world many people frown upon this part of my life and some even scoff and make fun of it.  But, that is not the point of this post.  This is to give you an insight to who the “Old Guy” as Ginger calls me, is.  Sort of a FYI for those who are interested in such things. I know I enjoy learning more about those who are my blogging friends and thier lives. It puts a face on who they are….. some of you know these things since we keep up a email exchange (I welcome those who would like to do email exchanges with me to do so, for I can always use new friends! Beware, sometimes I get behind and a reply might take a week or so to come… but I always reply.!).  Anyways, onwards.

My faith is very important to me. I cannot in anyways claim to be a good Christian.  I am a awful sinner, one just has to hear me after I hit my fingers with a hammer to figure that one out… LOL.  But, having been a lover of Theology and an explorer of all Religions for years I became a Christian.  Lutheran-Missouri Synod is my denom for those interested.

As you would know Martin Luther is a hero of mine.  His struggle with God, his soul searching for truth and the hardships that involved in some ways are part of my life (in no way does mine come close to his, but the despair of trying to understand, to find the way, to know the truth and to find the True God I understand!).  In now way am I comparing myself to Luther, he was a great leader of the Reformation, I am just a average person who went through some of the things he went through, but on a smaller scale.  So, his interpretation of the Scriptures, of a loving God, of Salvation through Faith ring true with me in a deep way. I love reading Luther and his loving guides, his bombastic replies, his sometimes course and rough language used with righteous indignation towards those who tried to misrepresent what he was saying.  I love the traditions he preserved also.  His wife Katie is special to me, for she truly is the only person who could stand up to Luther and correct him if she thought he was wrong.  Their exchanges make me laugh…. what a wonderful pair who balanced each other.

But, having said that I must state that Jesus is the focus of my faith. But Luther and so many others help me on my spiritual pathway to him. While I may be a Lutheran I have to state that John Paul II is another of my Christian heroes.  What a man of God’s love.  A true representation of what I wish we all could be.  We need more ppl like him.

Another Christian hero is Zwingli.  While I have some deep Theological differences with him, he is a hero fo mine for his faith was deep and he truly represents what a Christian can be in this world. A Priest in more ways than one, a father, a husband, a soldier, a Patriot and a true tool of God’s.  Zwingli had a huge heart but he fought (literally) for that which he believed.  His death in battle shows that sometimes Christians have to do battle….. His wife Anna was a wonderful woman who was a true inspiration to Zwingli and raised her children in God’s ways.  Her help of the poor and needy was extraordinary!

John Calvin I love to read.  While I obviously do have differences with his Theology also, his devout faith is beyond compare!  His wife Idellette was a true treasure who nursed the sick and helped the ppor.  But, Calvin’s works are fabulous!  Although I think sometimes he gets too scientific in his explanations of how God pulled off miracles.  Leave some mystery to it Calvin!  But, what a interesting man he was.  This guy was one deep thinking individual!

Another hero is John Knox!  Blustery, hard core and one tough guy John KNow wrote some fabulous stuff.  He had no fear!He and Calvin and other helped write the Geneva Bible, the Bible the Pilgrims and Puritans brought over with them to the New World.  It is one of my main Bibles I use. Oh, I also love the King James as well as the Douay Rheims and the new ESV Lutheran Study Bible.  The Geneva Bible by the way preceeded the KJV by some 60 years as one of the earliest English speaking Bibles.  John Knox’s grave, believe it or not is under a parking space in a parking lot today.  Look it up! 🙂  But, John KNow is a inspiration to me and since he is from Scotland… well, all things Scottish as you all know are welcome here, especially farm equipment and collies!  🙂  By the way our collies are true Presbyterians for they truly raise up an awesome sound to the Lord when something is not true! LOL….

Another person who really is important to my spiritual pathway was part of the Reformation and a leader in her own right….. thats right.. HER!  Katarina Zell was the wife of a Lutheran minister named Matthew Zell in Strasbourg.  This was on phenomenal woman who exchanged letters and in person discussed theology with Luther, Melanchthon and John Calvin and many other leaders of the Reformation. They all said she was more learned than most who had a doctorate.  But, she was much more…. she took care of the poor, the sick and wrote hymns. She raised a family, helped her husband’s ministry while establishing her own non-pulpit ministry and she also took in all refuges who came to her door. This led her to be amongst the first for religious toleration for she took in Anabaptist refugees. These Christian followers were another branch of the Reformation who were persecuted by the Catholics, Reformed and Lutherans for their theological differences.  Their descendents live in America to this day and drive around in buggies and do not use machinery as well as other denoms.  But, back to Mrs. Zell.  So, her taking in of Anabaptists led her to personally stand up in a meeting to challenge the law to persecute the Anabaptists.  She was partially successful in that they were not persecuted as long as they passed through the territory and did not stay.  Thus opening a safe pathway for them to escape persecution.  Her home was always a safe haven for them. For more information about here go here:


Phillip Melanchthon is another hero of the faith of mine.  Luther’s right hand he was one smart guy who knew his stuff.  But, Phillip was not like Luther in that he would compromise theologically.  This led him to be unpopular after Luther’s death for many of the Church felt he was leaving Luther’s teachings to just lead to fusion with the Calvinist Churches for the sake of Unity.  Phillip was a genius who could not stand his ground for his beliefs… ready to water them down for the sake of unity many claimed. This may be so, but he taught me one thing valueable on top of all his flashed of genius about the faith…. that we should focus on our common ground with others where we can with Christian love while Luther, Knox, Calvin and Zwingli taught me to never give up your beliefs.  Zwingli also taught me this as he truly tried to remain friendly with the Lutherans despite the differences.

Other heroes of the faith who influence me were Dr. Moody, Farel, Bucer, St. Augustine, St. Francis, Pope Leo the Lion, Joan of Arc and the Puritans and Pilgrims who lived their faith (though I disagree with some of their actions!) and their theologians like the Mathers, Winthrop, Matthew Henry and others.  Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t mention C.F.W. Walther who led that little band of German Lutheran immigrants in the St. Louis who has become the Church I am lovingly part of.

As you notice much of influence comes from the Reformed branch of the Church.  I have to admit, I have that strong Puritan streak in me….while I do have differences I do believe they had it right in their outlook of life bringing religion into all aspects of life like work, relationships, society and morals and other areas. This is not popular nowadays.  But, neither is Ginger’s quest for world Domination…… *grin*.  This should give you an insight as to who I am…. and why and how I came to this state in my life.  Bored? Well, I do lead a pretty personal life, but each day is an adventure…..  but now you know a bit about me… the old guy who loves God, but sure wishes he could do better in living a Christian life, but realizes he is a miserable sinner who each day fails, yet always is involved in some abrasive way for standing up for what he believes in, yet always trying to live and let live unless the other side won’t let me live my beliefs…..

Last but not least my other influence are my collies who daily teach me what unconditional love is, how to forgive and to truly love everyone .. they are more Godly than I will ever be…. my Presbyterian Collies…… ever notice how much a collie looks like John Knox? heheh just saying…..


Luther!!!  I can relate to him…..

Jesus Resurrection Mary Magdalene 2

Jesus whom I wish I were like.. Mary Magdalene who I can relate too… I would be remiss to not include Ruth from the Bible whose line “Let your people be my people, let your God be my God!”  The book of Ruth is my favorite….. the conversion of someone to the faith who wants God to be their God…..


Okay, come on….. doesn’t this face remind you of the next one?  I love John Knox… what a heroic figure….


Okay, smarties.. no he doesnt look like the old guy… look at Skylight then look at Knox… come on admit it… John KNox!

a john-calvin

John Calvin….. him and Zwingli, Farel and others of the Reformed faith play a huge role in my faith life…. although I am a Lutheran… go figure right?


The Puritans and Pilgrims whom I really believe we could emulate a bit more without some of the extremes (we all know what that means) and live better as a society…..


No picture of Katerina Zell, but also my collies who teach me daily how to be more like God…..

-Lad here!  We DO NOT LOOK LIKE JOHN KNOW!!!  What do you mean the long nose, the eyes and the hair under our chin?  Coincidence I tell you… what do you mean Scottish?  BOmbastic?  Only when you are wrong…. wait that proves your point?  BALL! BALL! BALL!  If you don’t throw my ball you will burn! What?  Proving the point again?

My favorite hymn……


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Martin Luther in his day had a dog he loved very much.  He was called Tolpel which I have seen translated as fool, numskull and other derogatory remarks. However, others say it is actually clownie and I believe Luther was calling him clownie for he loved his dog mightily.

Luther’s dog is mentioned in the Table Talk  quite often and I thought I would share some of the quotes here…

‘When Luther’s puppy [n. 116, Luther’s dog Tölpel is mentioned again and again in the Table Talk.] happened to be at the table, looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes, he [Martin Luther] said, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.
Luther’s Works, Volume 54, Table Talk (Philadelphia: 1967), pp. 37, 38. May 18, 1532

Here is more….

Dr. Martin Luther played with his dog and said, “The dog is a very faithful animal and is held in high esteem if he isn’t too ordinary. Our Lord God has made the best gifts most common. -Table Talk

Finally he was asked about Dogs in heaven and I love his answer…

Asked about the restoration of all things and whether there would be dogs and other animals in that kingdom, he said: “Certainly there will be, for Peter calls that day the time of the restitution of all things. Then, as is clearly said elsewhere, he will create a new heaven and a new earth. He will also create new Clownies with skin of gold and hair of pearls. There and then God will be all in all. No animal will eat any other. Snakes and toads and other beasts which are poisonous on account of original sin will then be not only innocuous but even pleasing and nice to play with. Why is it that we cannot believe that all things will happen as the Bible says, even in this article of the resurrection? Original sin is at fault.”
[from Preserved Smith, The Life and Letters of Martin Luther, (London: John Murray, 1911) p. 362. ]

So, Martin Luther planned on seeing his Clownie in heaven after leaving this earth which gives me much joy for I hope to be surrounded by a rowdy bunch of collies who will sing heavenly songs in dog tongue….  but I have only one question….

what happens to a collie like Ginger?


What do you mean?  I am going to heaven… after all who is going to slingshot you out your hammock in heaven?  I can smell the fire and brimstone now!!! Muwahahahahah…. what? what do you mean there is no fire and brimstone and sulfur in heaven?  What?  Its where?  Um…. hope you enjoy your stay there for I have a wrecking ball to break through those pearly gates if I need too…. 🙂 After all.. who wants to take over the number two spot when I can try for the top spot. *Grin*

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In the past I have posted what I consider to be signs that animals will be in heaven and on the new earth with us.  Just a quick word for those who dont like religion, tomorrow we get back to collie antics. 🙂  But, for those of us who find this a important question I have the following  excerpt from the bible;

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who His children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us.” Romans 8:18-23

Now if ALL OF CREATION is looking forward to the day of Christ’s return why would they do so if it meant eternal destruction or eternal dissolution of their soul and body?  Coupled with all the references in the Bible of animals mentioned in the future end times I think we have another sign that they will be there with us.

Now, Martin Luther believed animals could be in heaven with us and John Calvin, who is not given to any sort of sentimentality in the area of the afterlife in Heaven on the new earth wrote the following about the above quote;

for all creatures shall be renewed in order to amplify it, and to render it illustrious.


However, just for food of thought…. God not only made covenants with humans he also made them with animals.  Now why would God make a covenant with animals if they are just soulless beings?  Some may have a explanation for that… but I am not buying it.  Here are a couple of quotes from the Bible…

“Behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; and with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth.” Genesis 9:9-10


“And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” Genesis 9:16

Now for those of the beautiful Catholic faith John Paul II said the following;

“the animals possess a soul and men
must love and feel solidarity with our smaller brethren”

Now animals committed no sin…. they just suffered from the fall of humanity and still do.  Humans were not given dominion over them to do as they please but to care and help them and yes use them for help in farming and for food sources but to do so in a humane way.  It is not a reward but a terrible responsibility for you see we are to care for them….. not beat them, kill them brutally for no reason or what have you, but to care for them.

Martin Luther said something that I think will haunt many ppl on the last day.

In one of his Sermons on Romans 8:18-22 Luther wrote in effect that on the last day animals will cry out against those who abused them…….

Think of it…. what a horrible responsibility….. not only for ourselves, our families and friends and other humans but also the animals in our charge…… not such a dominion thing after all is it?

In closing let me say that I’ve read Luther, Calvin, Jerome, Augustine, JPII, the Bible, the Confessions of almost every faith and I learned a lot.  But, none of these things written by the greatest minds of Christendom taught one-tenth as much as those loving collies eyes looking up at me of all my collies who taught me what true love is, what true forgiveness is, what patience is, what hope is, what charity is and above all what it is to be like God in our earthly walk.  To them I owe any success I have had in trying to live a decent life which they so aptly put me to shame in doing….

If in the end, I dont make it to heaven I do hope they are there…. for they deserve it… for they did no wrong, commited no sins and were victims like all animals of the fall of humanity.  Thank You God for bringing my collies into my life…..


-to all the collies past and present, but especially to my Lil’ Hallie who loves me so much more than I deserve and so happily is filling the shoes of those Giants who came before her……

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Inspired by our friends at BongoDogBlog dad has decided to teach us heathen collies a bit about our faith too. He says the way we act our souls may need to be saved also, although we have heard him many times say we were saved by Jesus too since the fall was not our fault….. We also want to apologize to our friend Bongo and his human for while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery this piece probably will not flatter anyone….. Do go visit their much better faith based stories and their wonderful blog at;



So, what are we learning about today dad?  Martin Luther?  What does Martin Luther have to do with saving our heathen collie souls?  What?  If we listen we will learn…. a collie? Listen?  Come on dad we are already bored…….. okay, we are listening… sigh…

Martin Luther was once a monk in the Catholic Church?  Wait, arent you a Lutheran?  What gives with that?  What?  Catholics and Lutherans are both Christians, its just that we believe differently about God?  Okay, we are listening… grumble….

Luther was a very dedicated monk who suffered greatly trying to earn his way to heaven.  Did he do without treats?  Did he not listen to footy on Sundays?  What?  He starved himself?  He beat himself?  Wow, was he into some sort of…. okay we wont say it… sigh….

Luther came to find that it wasnt by works that one got to heaven but through faith…. believing and accepting  that Jesus came to earth, died for our sins and rose again as we will in the end of times.  He also taught that our good works are the result of our faith and do not save our souls… does that mean if Timmy falls in the well we can ignore him and still go to heaven?  What?  We are duty bound to save him as Christians for it is our mission to help those in need…. oh….our actions dont save us but condemn us….. okay so we get it…. we save Timmy for he is dumber than we are and keeps falling in the well and because he is made in the image of God we forgive his stupidity and save him ad nauseum because it is our role on earth?  Okay, you are shaking your head yes but not happy with the answer…

So, Luther and the Church came to differences and Luther ended up leading the branch of the church that later became Lutherans and other wonderful Protestants?

But, what about other beliefs and the other traditions of Christianity who believe different?  Are they dumb like Timmy?  What?  No, they are just as much Christian as we are and we should treat them with love and as brothers and sisters and seek out our common ground?  But, we thought we were heathen collies…… sigh we are listening….

Luther taught God loves us and as such we are to love others.  Sort of like how we collies love you no matter how dumb you are?  Dad, that is not a very Godly word……. neither is that one… gasp…..
yes, we are going to be quiet.

Luther also had a teaching about dogs?  Really?  Tell us it….

“The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”-Martin Luther


Um…… yes we are the most faithful and it seems to us we are much esteemed around here.  But, common?  Collies are not that common…. oh, you are right there are lots of dogs.  What?  You would like to add something to Luther’s teaching….

“Only two things in the universe love unconditionally…. dogs and God and us humans would do very well to learn from both.” -Chuck

Does that mean dad that when we slingshot you out of the hammock you will still love us?  What? You will but we will have some very sore #$%$  Dad, that isnt very Godly of you….. sigh…

We collies like Martin Luther…….-

What do you mean I should be baptized?  The last time you tried that the Holy Water boiled…. what does that mean?

Again, our apologies to our friends Bongo and his human for this…. but you know how those creative moments are…. so for the best faith based teachings on a dog blog do go to BongoDogBlog at


Ginger waves to Bongo!

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