The Blessing of Each Other

The video version of Pastor Bramwell’s October letter to St. Mark. Following Christ comes with persecution, and clinging to the cross does mean letting go of relationships and possessions. But it is not merely loss. In fact, it is the beginning of GREAT gain! Jesus promises that we will receive a hundredfold what we lose in this life and that receiving it occurs already in this time. Each Christian is a part of the fulfillment of that blessing.

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Governor Newsom is Blaspheming

Governor Gavin Newsom is blaspheming the name of our Lord. He has paid for billboards that read, “Need an abortion? California is ready to help. Learn more at abortion.ca.gov. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.’ Mark 12:31 Paid for by Newsom for California Governor 2022.” (pic below)

Yes, you read that correctly. The man California residents elected to serve as their governor is misquoting Jesus, giving the impression that our Lord and Savior is pro-abortion. This is nothing less than blasphemy.

God forbids the murder of children. Deuteronomy 18:10 or Leviticus 18:21, or 2 Kings 17:17. etc.

Jesus, as the Creator of man, does not condone the murder of man. In fact, Gov, Newsom’s very office was established by God to protect and avenge those who are murdered. Romans 13:4, “For [the governor] is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.”

Gov. Newsom’s message reveals who he is currently serving. As Jesus says in John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” May our Governor repent of his lies. He has revealed to us all that he is not bearing God’s sword as God wills, but has turned the sword against those he has been charged with protecting against wrongdoers. Instead of protecting children, he is guilty of aiding and abetting their murder.

David describes the beginning of life in Psalm 139:13-14. “For You [God] formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Newsom is actively assisting in the destruction of what God has made and now he is using the words of our Lord to do it. He is guilty of blasphemy. As we heard in this week’s Epistle lesson, “God is not mocked,” (Galatians 6:7). These billboards are temptations to sin, and Christ does not stand for that. As he said,

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

Matthew 18:6

If you would like to learn more about the Biblical response to abortion we have a helpful pamphlet in the narthex.


Equality: Satan’s Lie – Cross Defense

September 24, 2022

Is it true that all men are equal or is that a satanic lie? What does Scripture say? Pastor Bramwell turns us to Rev. C.F.W. Walther’s lectures on Communism and Socialism as a springboard into God’s Word on the question. 


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The Gospel Echo of Acts 2 – Cross Defense


September 17, 2022

Christians are saved by the Word of God that the Holy Spirit brings to us. When we look at Acts 2, we see that the sound of the Holy Spirit echos from heaven, delivering the report of Christ-crucified for the forgiveness of sins to the apostles, their hearers, and YOU! Join Pastor Bramwell as he explores the curious topic of Luke’s use of echo in Acts 2:2 and Luke 4:37. 


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Grizzlies & Godlessness

The Ferndale Fortitude (Vol. 2 No. 5, September 12, 2022)

I’m given to believe that if we had a statue of Seth Kinman near Ferndale, there would have been great pressure to tear it down around the same time Pres. Mckinley’s likeness was removed from Arcata. Our frontiersman is everything the woke mob hates: a good-humored white man with an adventurist spirit and a gun he used to hunt bears and fight Indians. That we can still learn about him at the Ferndale Museum without some local journalist or nearby academic having given him the Howard Zinn treatment gives me hope for the future of our cherished community. Thankfully, Ferndale is not woke—not at her core, as you know.

One of his ol’ yarns came to mind this summer when not once, but twice it was suggested that I was “poking the bear.”

The source of the intimation? St. Mark’s sign, which is changed every Monday to reach passersby with timely messages derived from our traditional Christian worldview (click for This Week’s Sign archive). The bear-poking was connected to “Pride Month” as the church’s sign announced my four-part sermon series entitled “Rescued from Sin’s Rainbow,” and then continued to be used to speak God’s Word to a world besieged by LGBTQ sins.

The “bear” I apparently poked is the Leftists in and around town who would prefer Christians be seen and not heard. Historic church architecture is beautiful, but pastors who speak up, who engage sinners in the public square with the ancient truth of God’s Word, both His Law and Gospel? Well, now, we can’t have that, can we? As Charles Spurgeon once noted, “Wor dly wisdom recommends the path of… moderation…. [E]rror is not to be severely denounced… What’s the good of criticizing something when it is so fashionable and everybody does it?”

Or, to put it another way, what’s the point of poking the bear?

Seth Kinman provides an illustrative answer in Meetin’ the Grizzly Face to Face. We begin by first conceding the fact that there are bears, and they can be poked. Kinman came face-to-face with a grizzly. You and I engage with the woke mob, or more accurately, the spiritual forces that have taken human beings captive by evil powers and principalities (Eph. 6:12) and use those confused people to encourage sin, which will result in eternal death for them and those they influence (Jam. 5:19-20). Kinman’s bear was a cub by comparison, wouldn’t you say?

Old Seth’s story describes a time when he left home without his trusty “ol’ gun ‘Cotton Bale.’” He was such a prolific hunter that the bears knew when he had it with him and when he didn’t. On one such occasion, he was hunting small game with a shotgun. A “pesky grizzly heard it and he knew it wasn’t ‘Ol Cotton Bale’ and he came to see what it was.’”

Kinman took one look at the bear, which seemed to be as big as a rhinoceros, and he noted he was armed with nothing better than a child’s popgun.

In the story, our well-known hunter ditches the shotgun in the bushes and pretends to be a bear, his long hair and beard selling the ruse. He survived the day and vowed never to be caught with a toy gun in his hands. It’s Cotton Bale or nothing.

“But you know,” Kinman concludes, “I was terribly afraid [the bear would] find that shotgun, for I knew if he did, he would take me for a spineless city tender-foot who knew nothing about effective shooting and come clear back after me.”

Poking the bear?

Maybe it looks that way to some, but no, Christians don’t mess around with children’s popguns (Eph. 4:11-16). Seth Kinman hunted bear and that required the right armament. We’re face-to-face with godlessness. The Christian’s gun—our ol’ Cotton Bale—is God’s Word (Eph 6:17) and it fires both God’s Law and Gospel. What’s more, now that true Christian shots have been fired, the bears in our area know what our ol’ Cotton Bale sounds like, and they’d like nothing more than to find us without it, spineless and ineffective.

I suppose we could pretend to be one of the bears for a while and try to survive without God’s Word, but I think you’ll find that such encounters only happen in Kinman’s tall tales. In real life, the bear will eat you. The Christians at St. Mark don’t want to see that happen to you or yours. And thank the Lord, not one of them could ever be described by Seth Kinman as a “spineless city tender-foot.”

Your servant in Christ,

Rev. Tyrel Bramwell

2 Corinthians 12:10


The Christian’s Two-Party System and Guarding Against Insurrection – Cross Defense

Listen to the entire episode at KFUO.org, on our home page, or on your favorite podcast app.

Politicians and reporters are talking about insurrection, political violence, and even civil war. Martin Luther admonished Christians to guard against insurrection in 1522. Are his words applicable 500 years later? We review the two opposing parties President Biden described in his recent speech and listen to what Luther teaches about party identities and insurrection.

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Mary Magdalene: A Reminder

Mary Magdalene is a phenomenal reminder of the historical verifiability of the New Testament documents. Eyewitnesses saw the events of Christ’s public life, death, and resurrection. Some of them were followers of Jesus. Some were adversaries. All of them were able to corroborate the claims made by the evangelists!

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” (Hebrews 10:23-24) This video (with its cinematic feel) was created with the above instruction in mind. As we hold fast our confession of hope in the resurrection of Christ without wavering, we’re striving to stir up one another in love and good works.

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Bringing Your Kids to Church – Cross Defense

Listen to the entire episode at KFUO.org, on our home page, or on your favorite podcast app.

The struggle is real, isn’t it? Our children don’t always want to go to church, especially during their teenage years. Pastor Bramwell confirms that you’re far from alone in your hardship, provides encouragement from church history, gives practical instruction from Scripture on how to ease the struggle, and finally offers an excellent resource to aid you in your parental vocation. Not a parent? Don’t think this episode is for you? Not true, friend. Pastor Bramwell’s biblical instruction will help you in your evangelistic witness, too! 

Not near St. Mark Lutheran, Ferndale CA? Find a church near you with this link: https//:locator.lcms.org/church

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