Holy Baptism Reflections: St. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:5, that we as Christians only have "one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism" (KJV 1611). We must ask ourselves Martin Luther's famous question from his Small Catechism, "What does this mean?" Ephesians 4:5 means exactly, what it says, Christians have "one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism." Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are all one Lord and one God, as "The Athanasian Creed" explains. Our Faith is the Trinitarian Faith, which is taught and confessed in The Holy Bible. There is only one Baptism; not two. Many Low-Church Protestants and Baptists try to separate the Holy Spirit from water Baptism. They say, that we have both a water Baptism and a Baptism of the Holy Spirit. However, St. Paul wrote, that we only have one Baptism; Holy Baptism! Holy Baptism is a Baptism of both water and the Spirit, as Jesus clearly stated in St. John 3:5.
Baptism is tied to Evangelism. Jesus said in St. Matthew 28:19-20, "'19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I Am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen'" (KJV 1611). Jesus challenges us Christians to take His Holy Gospel everywhere, because there are people spread out throughout all the world. Jesus wants us Christians to tell everyone, that He died to save them from their sins. Jesus wants us Christians to take the Trinitarian Faith out to the masses and He wants us to administer Baptism to people in the Name of the Triune God. Jesus taught His Holy Apostles many things and He wants us Christians today to continue on in the work, which they started for Jesus.
Baptism and Faith go together and they are not to be separated. Jesus said in the Holy Gospel of St. Mark 16:16, "'He, that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved; but he, that believeth not, shall be damned'" (KJV 1611). A person can experience Holy Baptism and that person can receive Salvation, but, if that person rejects that Salvation, which Jesus won the True Cross and which Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit freely give in Holy Baptism, then that person loses their Salvation. They can get it back, if they do not resist the calling the Holy Spirit.
Holy Baptism is the greatest bath for humanity to experience! St. Paul wrote in Titus 3:4-7, "4 But after that the Kindness and Love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His Mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by His Grace, we should be made heirs according to the Hope of Eternal Life" (KJV 1611). Holy Baptism is a great bath rich in Grace and Mercy from Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and not a work of man. I was baptized on August 30, 2004 in Stirn's Lake in between Lima, Ohio and Spencerville, Ohio thus being regenerated, saved, and bathed in Grace and Mercy.
Holy Baptism connects us Christians to the Death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus. St. Paul wrote in Romans 6:1-7, "6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that Grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us, as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His Death? 4 Therefore we are buried with Him by Baptism into Death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the Glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His Death, we shall be also in the likeness of His Resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he, that is dead, is freed from sin" (KJV 1611).
Why do many Low-Church Protestants and Baptists say, that there are two separate Baptisms? Both a water Baptism and a Baptism of the Holy Spirit? The confusion is a result of a misinterpretation of St. John the Baptist's words in the Holy Gospel of St. John Chapter 1:29-33:"29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, 'Behold the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world. 30 This is He of Whom I said, 'After me cometh a Man, Which is preferred before me: for He was before me. 31 And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.'' 32 And John bare record, saying, 'I saw the Spirit descending from Heaven like a Dove, and it abode upon Him. 33 And I knew Him not: but He That sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, 'Upon Whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the Same is He, Which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost''" (KJV 1611).
Low-Church Protestants and Baptists think, believe, and confess, that, since St. John the Baptist baptized people with water and he said, that Jesus our Messiah would baptize people with the Holy Spirit, that this is proof, that there is both a separate water Baptism and a separate Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They fail to see the example of Baptism, which Jesus gave us, as the picture of what Baptism truly is. Granted Jesus does not need to be saved, but we do. Baptism is the Word of God coming together with both water and the Holy Spirit. Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit freely give Their Blessings and Salvation in Baptism thus making it Holy Baptism. Holy Baptism is not about us showing our obedience to Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, rather it is about Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit giving us, life, forgiveness of sins, vocations aka callings in life, and Salvation in the waters of Holy Baptism, because They come to us to give us these Free Gifts, which we do not deserve or which we are even capable of earning by our good works. That is, why they are called Free Gifts. St. John the Baptist also said in the Holy Gospel according to St. Luke Chapter 3:16 the following about Baptism, which confuses Low-Church Protestants and Baptists even more: "John answered, saying unto them all, 'I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of Whose Shoes I am not worthy to unloose: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire'" (KJV 1611).
If Jesus is going to go to all of the trouble of winning your Salvation on the True Cross on Mount Calvary and if Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are going to go to all of the trouble of saving you in Holy Baptism, then why would They not give you the power and the passion to serve Them and others in the various vocations, which They gave you in Holy Baptism? They do indeed give us the power and passion to serve Them and others in our various vacations. Vocations are hard and they require our commitment and love for the Holy Trinity and others in order for us to live out our vocations in our daily lives. Being an author, self-publisher, blogger, used book dealer, and small business owner are all tough vocations regardless of our strange and rapidly changing times and they are very expensive, but they are all worth it, because I, James W. O'Flannery, am able to serve Yahweh, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and others in these various vocations.
When people attack my personal books, my website, my blog posts, and/or both of my businesses, Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press) and Ohio Book Mart and More (OBM&M), they not only attack these material things, but they also attack my Holy Baptism and the Holy Trinity. They attack the Triune God and they do not know, what they are doing. They attack my Heavenly Father Yahweh, my Savior Jesus Christ, and my Comforter the Holy Spirit. These attacks are very personal and hurtful not only to me and my Triune God, but they also put their own souls in jeopardy. It is, as though they say, Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are worthless and a waste of both my time and money. These things could not be further from the truth!
I treasure Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, as best as I can and with Their Help, Grace, and Mercy, and I enjoy serving both Them and others. Jesus said in the Holy Gospel of St. Matthew Chapter 6:21, "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (KJV 1611). Let us Christians put our treasure into serving Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit along with our fellow human beings. I focus heavily on my sales for both Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press) and Ohio Book Mart and More (OBM&M), but it is not about the money itself. Rather the sales reflect the countless number of people, whom the Holy Trinity can bless in and through me with my small businesses. The higher my sales are, the more people the Holy Trinity can bless in and through me.
As St. Patrick labored for the Salvation of others in Ireland during the late Roman period and the early Dark Ages, let us too labor for the Salvation of others in our day, because without Salvation people die and go to Hell. Satan and his demons are working just as hard as the great saints and churchmen of the past once did, but Satan and his demons are working hard to get as many people to go to Hell during their afterlives. May Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit help us Christians to work even harder than Satan and Satan's demons for the Salvation of others, as St. Patrick and countless others did in the ages passed. Now channeling Martin Luther's final sermon before his death, there is much more, which I can say about Holy Baptism, evangelizing the lost, and this Salvation of Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but everything, I have said here, is enough, "good, right, and salutary."
Book Signings and Table Sales at The Pony Keg on the corner of 117 and Shawnee Road in Lima, Ohio:
- Brad of The Pony Keg is going to have me come back to The Pony Keg for a few book signings and table sales in the near future. I will be having book signings and table sales on Patriot Saturday (September 12, 2020), Black Friday 2020 (November 27, 2020), Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2020), the Saturday Before Christmas (December 19, 2020) all from 11 AM to 5 PM. I'll be back at The Pony Keg soon for a few book signings and table sales for a few times before Christmas 2020. I will be signing copies of my Christian Romance Novels The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 1, The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 2, and The Rising of The Moon Book 2: Faith, Hope, and Love. I will sell face masks for $5 a piece. I will sell some used books. I will bring my Angel Statues to sell and I might have a few nice surprises for sale as well. The date is July 11, 2020 the time will be 11 AM to 5 PM. Fat Kid BBQ and/or another great food vendor will be outside selling food and I will be in the A/C, so come inside and cool off and get yourself, your friends, and family members some new and used books, face masks, and Angel Statues at The Pony Keg!
August 2020 Book Signings(s):
- I will not be holding any book signings in August, because August is always an extremely slow month for my new books, which I've written and published, and it is usually a good month for the used books, which I buy and sell for resale for my second company, Ohio Book Mart and More (OBM&M). Instead of having book signings in August 2020 due to book signings typically not being successful in August, I will make house calls and meet up with people at agreed to locations in Allen County, Auglaize County, and southern parts of Putnam County. I can be reached by calling or texting me at (567) 712-8026.
September 2020 Book Signing(s):
1. I'll be having a book signing at The Pony Keg on the corner of 117 and Shawnee Road on Patriot Saturday (September 12, 2020) from 11 AM to 5 PM.
2. I'll be having a book signing at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday September 19, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
October 2020 Book Signing(s):
2. I'll be having a book signing at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday October 17, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
3. I'll be having a book signing at the Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show at the Vaughnsville Community Center in Vaughnsville on Saturday October 31, 2020 (Reformation Day 2020) from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show: I will be hosting the 2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show on Saturday October 31, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM at the Vaughnsville Community Center on State Route 12 in Vaughnsville, Ohio. I'm looking for vendors to come and sell their merchandise. I'm pretty much open to anything legal and clean, but homemade baked goods and craft items are preferred. Please see my "2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show: Vendor Entry Form" blog post for more information:
Link to 2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show Vendor List 2:
November 2020 Book Signing(s):
1. I'll be having a book signing at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday November 14, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
2. I'll be having a two-day book signing and table sale at The Pony Keg on the corner of 117 and Shawnee Road on both Black Friday (November 27, 2020) and Small Business Saturday (November 28, 2020) from 11 AM to 5 PM both days.
December 2020 Book Signings(s):
1. I'll be having a book signing at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday December 5, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
2. I'll be having a book signing at The Pony Keg on the corner of 117 and Shawnee Road on the Saturday Before Christmas (December 19, 2020) from 11 AM to 5 PM.
MAILING CHECKS TO ME FOR BOOKS: I am now accepting checks through the mail for $15 for copies of each book: The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 1, The Rising of The Moon Book 1: Changing Tides Part 2, and The Rising of The Moon Book 2: Faith, Hope, and Love. $15 checks will cover the cost of each book and shipping. Please include a note with your check saying, which books you want to buy off of me with your check. Checks may be written out to me, James O'Flannery, and mailed to James O'Flannery 1524 Crayton Avenue Lima, Ohio 45805. I also can meet up with you, if you live in the following Ohio communities, Lima, Cridersville, Vaughnsville, Fort Jennings, Columbus Grove, St. Marys, Delphos, and Ottoville, and sell you books directly.
My Green Irish Angel Statues: My Green Irish Angel Statues are really cute! They are only $1 each and they make great gifts. I have three kinds: 1. Cross-Bearing Angels, 2. Praying Angels, and 3. Angels Holding Butterflies. I like the Cross-Bearing Angels the best, because they are carrying Crosses. Each one bearing a Cross reminds us, that Jesus died on the True Cross to save every single person from death, Hell, Satan, Satan's Demons, Original Sin from Adam and Eve, and their personal sins. They're available exclusively at Jen's Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on the corner High Street and Chestnut Street in between Circle K Gas Station and Zion Lutheran Church (NALC) in St. Marys, Ohio.
Stores Carrying My Books: My books, which I’ve written and published, are also available at the following stores: Brunner News Agency on Flanders Avenue in Lima, Ohio, Jen’s Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on High Street in St. Marys, Ohio, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue behind Beer Barrel in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio, Readmore Hallmark Stores out at Eastgate Plaza and on Elm Street in Lima, Ohio, Wagner’s IGA Grocery Store in Minster, Ohio, and in the Shop section of my website ohioirishlutheranpress.com .
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)
Photo: Baptismal Font, Communion Rail, and Altar at Immanuel Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Lima, Ohio during Christmastime 2019