Happy Easter, Pentecost, and Holy Trinity Sunday, Class of 2020 and everyone else!
Address to the Class of 2020: Let us rejoice, that Jesus our Messiah, Savior, and Lord is risen from the dead. Jesus died on Good Friday to atone for your sins, my sins, and the sins of every single person. Jesus objectively justified every single person, who has ever lived, by giving up His sinless Life on the True Cross on Mount Calvary. Christians are subjectively justified, when they receive the Holy Spirit in the waters of Holy Baptism and the Holy Spirit gives them the Gift of Faith.
Pastor or Lay Assistant: "Christ is risen!"
Congregation (or everyone reading this blog post): "He is risen indeed! Alleluia!"
Let us rejoice in the Feast of Pentecost and in the Season of Pentecost by remembering, that the Holy Spirit came down as fire on the Apostles and the other Disciples and He gave them the ability to speak in foreign languages, and by growing in our Faith in Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit Himself.
Let rejoice in the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity and Holy Trinity Sunday. We have a strange and mysterious and complex and yet even simple God. Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are three Holy Persons in one True and Holy God. There is so much mystery, complexity, and simplicity in that statement. Yahweh is God the Father, Jesus is God the Son, and the Holy Spirit is God the Holy Spirit. They are not three separate gods, rather They are One True and Holy God. On Holy Trinity Sunday, we recite the very long and awesome "Athanasian Creed" to grow in our understanding of the Holy Trinity. We could study "The Athanasian Creed" for decades and the sacred truths would never lack freshness.
So let us also rejoice in the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. You have been working hard in the classroom, working hard in band and/or choir and/or drama club, working hard in your sports, working hard at your part-time jobs, and and working hard making your school clubs a great success during the 2019-2020 school year, but the crowning moment of your high school career, college career, graduate school career, seminary career, medical school career, or law school career has been either stolen from you or scrambled up and turned into something, which you did not ask for nor you did not need. Let me put it bluntly: you got screwed over! It is sadly no secret, that the Corona Virus is taking the world by storm right now.
Life can both messy and beautiful even at the same time. I graduated from Shawnee High School back in 2010 and the economy was really bad. Work was scarce, but the promises of a college education were abundant. The promise was: "Go to college, after you graduate high school, get good grades, and you would be making $10 to $15 in your field no matter what!" I have to chuckle at that now. I earned mostly C's and D's in high school, except for History and American Government classes in which I earned A's and B's. I also earned some A's and B's in German as well and I did pretty good in English too, especially Senior English with Mrs. Fenstermaker, because we read a lot of old British Literature from the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, and the Renaissance and even some Greek plays like Sophocles' plays Oedipus the King (pronounced Ed-duh-puss the King) and Antigone (pronounced An-tig-guhh-knee). Thanks to a lot of stupid government regulations and red tape, I don't consistently earn above $14 an hour.
I loved the European History surrounding the old British Literature and I love Ancient Greek Literature. I enjoyed studying Ancient Greek Literature in my Classics classes with Dr. Scott Fisher of The Ohio State University at Lima and Marion. Ancient Greek Literature focuses on Ancient Greek History and Greek Mythology. Let us look at Antigone (pronounced An-tig-guhh-knee) as an example of someone standing up for what is morally right. Antigone's mother Jocasta (pronounced Joe-cast-stuuh) and her father Oedipus both died tragically leaving her brothers Polyneices (pronounced Paul-nice--eez) and Eteocles (pronounced Ett-toe-cleez) to take turns ruling as King of the Greek City-State of Thebes in Ancient Greece. Eteocles did not want to give up his power, when one of his turns was over, so he would not allow Polyneices to have his turn being King of Thebes.
Polyneices obviously was not going to take this injustice laying down, so Polyneices gathered six Theban heroes with their armies and Polyneices' army. Polyneices, the Six Theban heroes, and all seven armies lay siege to Thebes. Eteocles and his army defended Thebes. Both Polyneices and Eteocles died in hand-to-hand combat. Their uncle Creon became the new King of Thebes and he gave a state military funeral to Eteocles and he proclaimed, that Eteocles was hero and that Polyneices was a traitor, who deserved to rot out in the hot Greek sun. Antigone wanted to follow the law of the Greek gods and goddesses, so she did, what she could to honor Polyneices, and she started to bury him according the Greek custom. This costed Antigone her life. I talk about this Greek tragedy in my Greek and Roman Mythology book called A Survey of Classical Mythology, which I hope to have reprinted around Christmastime 2020.
Like Antigone, sometimes people have to become myrtars for doing, what is morally right and holy. Jesus our Messiah followed Yahweh's Perfect and Holy Law flawlessly, because we as human beings cannot follow Yahweh's Perfect and Holy Law flawlessly. Yes, we can follow it part of the time, but not all of the time like Jesus. St. Stephen was the First Martyr of Christianity, when the angry Jews stoned him on the Second Day of Christmas December 26th, which became St. Stephen's Day. The Roman Emperor Claudius the Goth wanted his people, but especially his soldiers, to not be tied down by marriage, rather Emperor Claudius the Goth want his soldiers and his people general to have sex out wedlock. Both Father Valentine and Bishop Valentine married the Roman soldiers and Roman people anyway, because Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit want people to be married and have children. Emperor Claudius the Goth had them executed by having their beating hearts cut out of their chests and this is, where we get the Saint Valentines' Day Hearts from. The British Bishops persecuted St. Patrick, who was the First Christian Bishop in Ireland, because he was evangelizing in the midst of the Irish Pagans. St. Patrick was not a martyr in the traditional sense, since he was not murdered. However, as Martin Luther taught in his Small Catechism, slandering someone's reputation is just as evil as murdering them. You can learn more about the two main Christian Saints called St. Valentine and St. Patrick in my Christian romance novel The Rising of The Moon Book 2: Faith, Hope, and Love. Everything worked out for Jesus, because He atoned for the sins of every single person, and everything worked out for St. Stephen, Father Valentine, Bishop Valentine, and St. Patrick, because they all went to Heaven, when they died to be with Yahweh and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit led them, guided them, and protected them along their journeys.
Let us read Psalm 46:
"46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: He uttered His Voice, the earth melted. 7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. 8 Come, behold the Works of the LORD, what desolations He hath made in the earth. 9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 'Be still, and know, that I AM God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.' 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah" (KJV 1611).
MAILING CHECKS TO ME FOR BOOKS: I am now accepting checks through the mail for $15 for copies of each books: 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 on 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.
Book Signing and Table Sale at The Pony Keg on the corner of 117 and Shawnee Road in Lima, Ohio Saturday July 11, 2020:
- Brad of The Pony Keg got back with me with the date and we agreed on Saturday July 11, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM for my book signing and table sale. 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 and, if I still have copies of it by that time, then I will sign copies of my Greek and Roman Mythology book A Survey of Classical Mythology as well. 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!
June 2020 Book Signings:
1. I'll be having a book signing at the Eastgate Hallmark Store near my favorite restaurant, China Buffet, in Lima, Ohio on Saturday June 27, 2020 from noon to 2 PM. (Face masks are optional for customers, but I, the manager, and the workers shall be wearing face masks out of respect for others.)
July 2020 Book Signings:
1. I'll be having a book signing at The Pony Keg on the corner of 117 and Shawnee Road on Saturday July 11, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
2. I'll be having a book at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday July 18, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM.
August 2020 Book Signings: TBA
October 2020 Book Signing(s):
1. 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) 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:
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, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue 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 .
Thank you and Happy Easter, Pentecost, and Holy Trinity Sunday!
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)