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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In Memory of Marionette Lundwall




Marionette Shuford had a twin sister, Antoinette. The girls were born to William Van Shuford and Martha Helena Young Shuford December 23, 1927, in Winston Salem, Forsyth County, NC. They were premature babies, and Antoinette died at birth. Marionette had an older sister, Juanita Marie, and an older brother, William Russell, who died a few weeks after birth.

Marionette married Edward F. Lundwall, Jr., an Army chaplain. They had 3 children.




Marionette died July 13, 2007 at age 79 in Rossville, Walker County, Georgia after a long battle with cancer. She is buried in Chattanooga National Cemetery in Chattanooga, Hamilton County, Tennessee.

This blog has been the venue for much of the written work of Edward F. Lundwall Jr.  It is to his memory also that this biographical piece has been posted.

Related Reading



Friday, April 13, 2018

Upon this Rock




“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its cornerstone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward – in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed, because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing, the historic Christian Church, was founded on a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.” ― G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Good Friday Reflection



Looking at the Cross

“How do we measure the size of a fire? By the number of firefighters and fire engines sent to fight against it. How do we measure the seriousness of a medical condition? By the amount of risk the doctors take in prescribing dangerous antibiotics or surgical procedures. How do we measure the gravity of sin and the incomparable vastness of God’s love for us? By looking at the magnitude of what God has done for us in Jesus, who became a like a common criminal for our sake and in our place.

When you really come to know the unconditional love and forgiveness of Jesus, then you will also come to know the depth of your own participation in sin. And at the very same moment (this is the glory of Good Friday) you will come to know the true reality, the true joy and gladness, of the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Flemming, Rutledge. “The Common Criminal” from Bread and Wine; Reading for Lent and Easter. New York: Plough Publishing, 2003.



Friday, February 23, 2018

Remembering the Vietnam War (Part 1)



We are thankful for Ed's service to God and Country.

Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
Army Chaplain, Retired


Few people understand the Vietnam war. Most veterans lament the suffering and say with many others: “Why? It was useless!” They find fault with both the leadership and the way the war was fought. Over a million people either died or suffered physically and emotionally.

To understand the Vietnam war the wider picture must be considered. It was as much a conflict with China and Russia as with the Viet Con. The Vietnamese enemy received substantial supplies from China and Russia. Very few weapons were made in Vietnam.

One of the driving emotional forces that made the Vietnamese fight was their resistance to occupying foreigners. Before the French, the Chinese. The Chinese occupation is seen in the remnant Chinese population living in the Cholon area near Saigon. The Vietnamese resisted the Chinese attempts to take the northern portions of Vietnam.

Communism was a tool of those who wanted to dominate and rule. In a sense, the conflict in Vietnam shows that self government won the day in Vietnam. Communism can't be sustained unless it controls the whole world and most nations and peoples seek to have control of their own lives and futures. So the war in Vietnam was a conflict of ideologies, a clash of national self interests, the global ambitions of Communism, and the ideal of democracy.

The Vietnamese have their own language, religion, and national identity. They sought to preserve it during the occupations. Today the economic culture of free enterprise dominates in Vietnam as “market centered” economy.

Even during the war the French rubber company still operated freely. I remember a visit from their company representatives. The came to ask us not to harm their rubber trees with artillery fire.


Related reading: Mercy in the MidstMilitary Service in Vietnam; The Lieutenant’s Godly Prayer

Sunday, January 21, 2018

What is Righteousness?


God is eternal love and perfect righteousness. Righteousness is one of the chief attributes of God and of His Son, Jesus Messiah. Those baptized and walking in faith display the attribute also. For the righteous ones of God in Christ are humble, compassionate, faithful, truthful, and confident of God's love for them.

Here are some Bible verses that help us to reflect on the nature of righteousness.




The Apostle Paul told Timothy to "pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness." (1 Timothy 6:11)

Paul urged Timothy to forsake the things of this world and to pursue the things of the eternal kingdom. This message is found in Matthew 6:33: "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

This is expressed also in 2 Corinthians 5:16-19: "So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation."

Psalm 34:15 speaks of God's attentiveness to the righteous. "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry..."

"For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish." (Psalm 1:6)

Psalm 112:6-8 says, "Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes."

The security of the righteous reflects the fixed and unchanging nature of God and His promises. James speaks of this as the "wisdom from above."

"But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap the fruit of righteousness." (James 3: 17, 18)

We are blessed when we seek the wisdom from above. God promises to give wisdom to those who seek it. Likewise, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matthew 5:6)

"Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun." (Psalm 37:5, 6)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

A Blessed Christmas to Readers of Distinctive Discipleship

Christmas


A SONG OF GIFTS TO GOD

When the first Christmas presents came, the straw where Christ was rolled
Smelt sweeter than their frankincense, burnt brighter than their gold,
And a wise man said, "We will not give; the thanks would be but cold."

"Nay," said the next, "To all new gifts, to this gift or another,
Bends the high gratitude of God; even as He now, my brother,
Who had a Father for all time, yet thanks Him for a Mother.

"Yet scarce for Him this yellow stone or prickly-smells and sparse.
Who holds the gold heart of the sun that fed these timber bars,
Nor any scentless lily lives for One that smells the stars."

Then spake the third of the Wise Men; the wisest of the three:
"We may not with the widest lives enlarge His liberty,
Whose wings are wider than the world. It is not He, but we.

"We say not He has more to gain, but we have more to lose.
Less gold shall go astray, we say, less gold, if thus we choose,
Go to make harlots of the Greeks and hucksters of the Jews.

"Less clouds before colossal feet redden in the under-light,
To the blind gods from Babylon less incense burn to-night,
To the high beasts of Babylon, whose mouths make mock of right."

Babe of the thousand birthdays, we that are young yet grey,
White with the centuries, still can find no better thing to say,
We that with sects and whims and wars have wasted Christmas Day.

Light Thou Thy censer to Thyself, for all our fires are dim,
Stamp Thou Thine image on our coin, for Caesar's face grows dim,
And a dumb devil of pride and greed has taken hold of him.

We bring Thee back great Christendom, churches and towns and towers.
And if our hands are glad, O God, to cast them down like flowers,
'Tis not that they enrich Thine hands, but they are saved from ours.

G.K. Chesterton


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Marks of a True Disciple



Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.


Jesus said “to those Jews which believed on him, . . . then are ye my disciples indeed.” (John 8:31)

What are the marks of a “disciple indeed” according to the New Testament?

1. A “disciple indeed” believes that Jesus is the Christ/Messiah, the Son of God, who came into the world to save sinners. (John 8:31–36)


2. A “disciple indeed” takes up a disciple’s cross to to follow Jesus in His suffering, death and resurrection. (Luke 9:23–25)


3. A “disciple indeed” remains faithful even when others fall away from following Christ. (John 6:66–69)


4. A “disciple indeed” has adopted a disciple’s self concept. This involves profession of faith as a disciple of Jesus and an attitude of humility and repentance. (John 9:27, 28; Matthew 10:32, 42; Acts 9:26) This entails obedience, not admiration. Soren Kierkegaard wrote:
“It is well known that Christ consistently uses the expression 'follower.' He never asks for admirers, worshippers, or adherents. No, he calls disciples. It is not adherents of a teaching, but followers of a life Christ is looking for…Christ came into the world with the purpose of saving, not instructing it. At the same time---as is implied to his saving work---he came to be the pattern, to leave footprints for the person who would join him, who would become a follower…What then is the difference between an admirer and a follower? A follower is or strives to be what he admires. An admirer, however, keeps himself personally detached. He fails to see that what is admired involves a claim upon him, and thus he fails to be or strive to be what he admires…Judas was and admirer of Christ!"

5. A “disciple indeed” is eager to learn and practice what God directs and teaches through the Bible and the Church. “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (Matthew 13:11, 12, 23; 28:19, 20; Hebrews 13:7, 17)

6. A “disciple indeed” is discerning. He or she only has eyes for Jesus and ears that refuse to be tickled by unsound teaching and falsehoods.


7. A "disciple indeed" is dedicated to faithfully reproducing the Lord’s message and mirroring His character in daily life.  (Luke 6:40 NKJV; Romans 8:28, 29; John 20:21). Thomas Merton wrote: 
“To know the cross is to know that we are saved by the sufferings of Christ; more, it is to know the love of Christ who underwent suffering and death in order to save us. It is, then to know Christ. For to know his love is not merely to know the story of his love, but to experience in our spirit that we are loved by him, and that in his love the Father manifests his own love for us, through his Spirit poured forth into our hearts…”

8. A “disciple indeed” maintains an abiding relationship with the Lord Jesus by faith (John 15:1–16) and the power of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit (John 16:13, 14). Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:
“Self-denial means knowing only Christ, and no longer oneself. It means seeing only Christ, who goes ahead of us, and no longer the path that is too difficult for us. Again, self-denial is saying only: He goes ahead of us; hold fast to him.”

9. A truly committed disciple looks to serve others, doing those good works to which God calls each disciple. True discipleship is participatory. He or she is involved in the local church, in Bible study, in the community, and in the world. (Acts 11:26; 13:1–3)


Related reading: I am Persuaded: Testimony of Hope Ellen Rapson; John Stott on Discipleship; Dwight L. Moody on Discipleship; Charles H. Spurgeon on Discipleship; Billy Graham on Discipleship; Oswald Chambers on Discipleship; Evelyn Underhill on Discipleship; A.W. Tozer on Discipleship; C.S. Lewis on Discipleship; Archbishop Michael Ramsey on Discipleship