The Lutheran Spokesman (May 1995)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
* L u t h e r a n *
* S P O K E S M A N *
* ----------------- *
* May 1995 *
* * * * * * * * * * * *
THE GOOD SHEPHERD
A Psalm of David
"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters."
In this issue
Your True Voice
Keep Focused on the Life to Come
Ascension Day Meditation
Mother's Day Thoughts
Genesis Chapter 24
What is Confirmation
A New Professor
And I Will Give You Rest
Help the Spokesman Speak
For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:27-
Confusion for the consumer is the order of the day when it
comes to long distance telephone service. Gone are the days
when Ma Bell was the only choice. Now, the competition
between carriers has resulted in a hopeless jumble of calling
plans and discounts. One major carrier has as its musical
motto a claim to be "your true voice." A competitor airs ads
that counter "it just doesn't ring true." The contradictory
claims and complex offers make it seem impossible to decide
Many people are convinced that the same situation prevails
in matters of religion. There are so many different claims,
so many contradictory schools of thought on the subject! the
general public seems to have concluded that there can be no
indisputable truth about God. After all -- one opinion is as
good as another, isn't it?
A few dollars a month in phone charges is nothing to get
overly anxious about. There is not a great deal lost if we
are confused about long distance carriers and we don't have
the time or inclination to sort it all out. But when it
comes to spiritual matters there is an issue at stake that is
of far greater magnitude. The difference between truth and
error with regard to God and salvation is the difference
between eternal life and eternal damnation.
It is true that one human opinion about religion is as
good as another. Thank God that He has given us HIS OWN
truth -- the one "opinion" before which all others must fall!
He has given us a "true voice" that we can follow with
complete trust and confidence. It is the voice of the Good
Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Our Lord said: "My sheep hear My
voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them
eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall
anyone snatch them out of My hand."
In Jesus' day it was common for many shepherds to keep
their flocks penned together at night for safety. In the
morning each shepherd would come and separate his sheep from
the others, simply by calling to them. Recognizing their
master's voice, the sheep would follow him - and him only --
out to green pastors and still waters.
When, by the Spirit's power, our ears are attuned to our
Shepherd's voice alone, we know that He has given us eternal
life! His Word in the Holy Scriptures comes through, loud
and clear, even above the noisy din of this world's
wickedness and idolatry. The true voice of the Good Shepherd
tells us that if God were to give us what we deserve, we
would suffer eternal punishment. But in soothing words of
comfort, this voice assures us that all has been paid, that
the Father's demands for justice were satisfied when the
Shepherd gave His life for the sheep on Calvary's cross.
There are also many false shepherds, imposters, who seek
to imitate the master's voice and lead the sheep to slaughter
instead of to life. That is why it is so important to hear
our Savior's true voice daily, through personal Bible reading
and study. That is why it is so important to gather together
regularly for mutual support in following the voice of the
good Shepherd. We are better able to discern the subtle
nuances of the true voice of Jesus as we grow in our
knowledge of the Bible.
Do you plan to switch long distance carriers soon? If so,
you may need to do a lot of homework before you can be sure
you've found the best deal. When all is said and done,
however, any one of the major services will probably do an
But when it comes to full forgiveness of sins and eternal
life, there is only one choice: "I am the good shepherd; and
I know My sheep, and am known by my own" (Jn. 10:14). The
Word of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, is "YOUR TRUE VOICE" in the
-- Pastor Bruce Naumann
When a Hollywood actor was asked why he had married and
divorced several times, he replied that he could not imagine
spending his entire life with only one partner. How could he
know that there was not someone else more interesting, more
fun, or better suited to him?
Behind the thoughts of this actor is the idea that this
life and this world are all there is. All that matters is
cramming as many experiences as possible into a limited
amount of time. All concerns about hurting other people or
offending God must be cast aside. Life is governed by the
fear of missing out on something. This view of life is
hardly new, yet is seems to be growing ever more common.
People increasingly talk and live like agnostics who expect
nothing -- and apparently fear nothing -- beyond the grave.
This view of life and the world has made modern western
man worse than a pagan idolator. The one who bows down
before an idol of wood or stone is living in darkness, not
knowing the true God. Since he doesn't have God's Word, his
ideas of right and wrong may be faulty. But his belief in a
god who will reward good and punish evil will often keep him
from acting on his evil desires. His conduct is at least
limited by fear. But the man who believes in no god and no
afterlife is limited by nothing by force; he will do whatever
he thinks he can get away with. He may well desert his wife,
mistreat his child, cheat his neighbor, unhindered by fear.
A Joyful Eternity Ahead!
The risen and living Savior has freed us from a selfish
and self-destructive life. By dying for our sins Jesus
revealed the futility of trying to find happiness and
satisfaction by fulfilling the desires of the flesh. He
showed us that those things are works of death that end in
death. By rising to life Jesus won for us eternal life. We
don't have to spend our life scratching and clawing, trying
to pack everything we can into the few years we have, for we
have an eternity of perfect joy ahead of us. We don't have
to take anything from anyone in order to have something good
for ourselves; Christ has given us eternal life as a gift
and in the Gospel offers it to everyone.
Because of our focus on the life and world to come, we
Christians are often accused of despising and neglecting this
life and this world. Far from it. We are the only ones
capable of fully appreciating and making the best use of our
life here. We recognize that this life is crucial -- that it
is a time of grace, given by God to repent and believe in His
Son. We know that the time entrusted to us is a precious
resource, to be used wisely to serve God who gives it.
Though we know all of this, we must confess that the world
still has its attraction for us. Because we have the flesh,
the world looks like a place to stay rather than a place to
pass through. But it only looks good when considered by
itself. It can't stand comparison with the place that Jesus
has gone to prepare for us.
So when this world looks good, and you are tempted to make
it your home, compare it with what Jesus has promised -- a
world without death, sorrow, or pain (Rev. 21:4).
Now that's a place to stay.
- Pastor John Klatt
"While He blessed them .... He was parted from them"
When the Lord of the Church has called one of His
believers home to Himself, and it remains for the faithful to
commit the mortal remains to the ground, it happens sometimes
that the survivors gather first in the cemetery. There they
bury the body of their loved one, and then all go into the
church for the funeral service.
How similar to this ancient custom was the first Ascension
Day! First the disciples took leave of their Lord, or rather
He took leave of them, and then they went back and were
continually in the temple worshiping, blessing God.
Does that seem strange? It surely had not been the
disciples' way forty-three days earlier, when Jesus left them
by dying on the cross. That time they had returned from
Calvary to cower fearfully behind closed doors. But this
time, after losing their best friend, they are in the temple,
blessing God continually!
Why such joy? They could return to Jerusalem with such
joy because Jesus had blessed them. Perhaps we might think,
"If I could only have that blessing, then I could be full of
joy too, even when I am alone!"
But what sort of a blessing was it? We don't have the
words of that Ascension Day blessing, but we do have many
other blessings of the Lord recorded throughout the New
Testament. There Jesus says, through the apostles, for
"Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord
Jesus Christ." (Rom. 1:7)
"Mercy unto you, and peace, and love be multiplied."
The Content of Jesus' Blessing
Grace...Mercy...Peace...Love -- one of these is a part of
practically every blessing spoken in the New Testament, and
all of these are the result of the Savior's work. It was the
unearned GRACE or favor of God that was shown in sending His
only Son to die for us. It was MERCY that saw our needs and
moved to help, and still does, from day to day, for Jesus'
sake. It was in the blood of Christ that we were cleansed
from sin and hostility with God was ended: PEACE. And hereby
know we the LOVE of God, that He sent His only Son into the
world, that we might live through Him.
Grace, mercy, peace, and love -- surely this was also the
content of Jesus' blessing on that day. Paul wrote to the
Romans: "Now the God of peace be WITH YOU all." Jesus said:
"Lo, I am WITH YOU alway, even unto the end of the world."
The disciples could return to Jerusalem without a visible
Jesus, but with great joy, because even as Jesus had been
parted from them, He had raised His hand in blessing. He
could still bless them even when parted from them! We often
trust our own eyes to tell us whether or not Christ is with
us and able to bless us, don't we? But if we stand with the
disciples on Ascension Day and see Jesus parted from u, but
never stopping His blessing of us, then we too will be able
to return to our tasks with great joy and comfort.
The disciples had seen that not even the death and burial
of their dear Lord had stood in the way of His blessing them
with more than they were able to ask or think. They had
seen, and so have we through their testimony, that "neither
death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers,
nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor
depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us
from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"
The disciples could return to a doomed Jerusalem with
great joy because they know, and so do we, that though devils
all the world should fill, all eager to devour us.....
He's by our side upon the plain
With His good gifts and Spirit.
And take they our life,
Goods, fame, child, and wife,
Let these all be gone,
They yet have nothing won;
The Kingdom ours remaineth!
-- Pastor Paul Schaller
"Do not forsake the law of your mother"
Usually a mother has more influence upon the life of her
child than anyone else. That is because it is the mother who
is most involved with the early care and training of a child.
That early training is critical. Scripture bears that out
when it says: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and
when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6).
Since the mother's task is so important, the Lord has
given her strong support by insisting that she be honored and
heeded. The Fourth Commandment requires that she be honored
along with the father. And the proverb counsels: "Do not
forsake the law of your mother."
But the "law of the mother" is not to be of her personal
design or that of others. Many mothers (as well as fathers)
have been taken "captive through hollow and deceptive
philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic
principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Col.
2:8/NIV). That is a continuing disaster.
We look about us in the world and see the results of
children being misguided by parents and others. That is not
new. Luther complained about it: "One fool rears another; as
they have lived, so will their children live after them."
God's Word is The Key!
The world has produced many philosophies by which people
try to lead their lives and to train their children. They
wish to free themselves to do as they please. They want no
absolutes -- no hard and fast rules. they practice situation
ethics -- doing what they think best at the moment.
They can always find some excuse for what they do, or else
someone to blame. Then there is no guilt, no repentance --
and no help for the individual's greatest problem, sin.
Leading children in the world's way is leading them to an
eternal dead end.
When God tells us to "train up a child," it is to be "in
the training and admonition of the Lord" (Eph. 6:4). It
begins with baptism. Then, at an early age, Bible stories
with pictures can be used. Sunday School, the Catechism, and
confirmation class follow. And all the while there is the
example set by the God-fearing mother and father in church
attendance and in daily life.
When "the law of the mother" is drawn from God's Word, the
child does well to heed and not forsake. Then the mother is
training the child, not only for this life, but more
importantly, for the life eternal.
The proverb declares: "A woman who fears the Lord shall be
praised" (Prov. 6:20). When the woman is also a mother, she
should be especially praised -- for her faith and for her
example to her family.
May all of our mothers be thus praiseworthy. And may we
all give them the praise and honor that God would have us
-- Pastor Keith Olmanson
"That We Might Have Hope" (Rom. 15:4)
Genesis Chapter Twenty-four
Two Wrongs Did Not A Birthright Make
Jacob and Esau
In Genesis 24 we are introduced to Isaac's twin sons, Esau
and Jacob. Like Abraham's wife, Sarah, Isaac's wife,
Rebekah, was barren for many years. Knowing the promised
Savior was to come from his seed, Isaac pleaded with God to
bless them with a child. His prayers were answered and
Rebekah became pregnant.
During her pregnancy Rebekah became concerned when she
felt as if a struggle was taking place within her womb. She
inquired of the Lord: "Why is this happening to me?" The
Lord revealed to her that she had "two nations" within her.
He also made known His will that the older child would serve
the younger. Normally, in the society of that day, the older
son had the position of privilege in the family. It was the
firstborn who received a double share of the inheritance and
became head of the clan.
The day of the birth arrived. Esau, a hairy child with a
reddish complexion, was born first. Jacob, meaning "heel-
grabber," was born clasping Esau's heel. Each boy grew up
and developed different interests and personalities. Esau
was an outdoorsman, a skillful hunter. Jacob was a quiet
man, preferring indoor work. Unfortunately each parent had a
favorite child, for we re told that "Isaac loved Esau because
he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob."
Esau, who apparently still believed he possessed the
promises and rights of the firstborn, demonstrated a callous
disregard for them through his actions. Once being famished
after a long hunt, Esau begged Jacob for some lentil stew.
Jacob made Esau swear to sell him his birthright in exchange
for a meal. Esau did so. Esau also put his spiritual
welfare in jeopardy by marrying two heathen Hittite women who
were "a grief of mind to Isaac and Rebekah." He seemed to
attach no real value to the promises of God made to Abraham
In spite of God's clear command, Isaac still planned to
bless Esau as his firstborn. He commanded Esau to go hunting
and prepare a meal for him. Overhearing Isaac's plans,
Rebekah told Jacob to kill two goats which she would prepare
for Jacob to give to his father. To deceive Isaac, she also
dressed Jacob in Esau's clothes and placed goatskin on his
hands and neck. Isaac, being old and nearly blind, was
confused b a person who felt like Esau but sounded like
Jacob. After repeatedly lying to his father, Jacob gained
his father's confidence and received the birthright and
Shortly afterward, Esau returned from hunting and brought
Isaac food, expecting to be blessed. Isaac trembled when it
became clear to him how he had been deceived. Esau wept and
pleaded for a blessing. Isaac would not bless him, but
prophesied that his descendants would lead a rough life and
live by the sword. Blinded by anger, Esau plotted vengeance
against Jacob. Rebekah instructed Jacob to leave and stay
with her relatives until is was safe to return.
Lessons For Us
This story teaches us several important lessons. First,
we should learn from this account that God's will is done
despite sinners who try to prevent it. Both Isaac and Esau
were wrong in trying to prevent the clear will of God from
being done. Isaac allowed his feelings toward his favorite
son Esau to stand in the way of his carrying out God's will.
Esau, who at one time despised his birthright, was willing
later to accept it, despite his knowledge that it was not
God's will that he receive it. How often do we, like Esau
and Isaac, fight against the will of God for us? How often
don't we feel we know better than God what is best for us?
Help us, Lord to say and live: "Thy will be done."
A second lesson we can learn from this account is that
God's will is not accomplished through disobedience to His
will. In other words, the end does not justify the means.
Both Jacob and Rebekah were wrong in using deceit to obtain
the birthright. Rebekah felt that she had to do something,
even if it was wrong, in order for God's promise to be
fulfilled. Jacob, too, felt he needed to "buy" a birthright
that God had already promised him. He felt he needed to lie
to his father so God's promise could come true. This lesson
is especially relevant in today's world where "situation
ethics" is so prevalent; where "right and wrong" is not
determined according to the Ten Commandments, but according
to the situation one is in at the time. Our God is all-
powerful. He does not need or desire for us to sin to
accomplish His will.
So Isaac and Esau were wrong in fighting against God's
will, and Rebekah and Jacob were wrong in feeling it
necessary to sin to accomplish God's will. Two wrongs did
not a birthright make.
However, this account also provides hope to us sinners.
We can see how we often commit the same sins as our spiritual
forefathers. Despite their faults, the birthright and
promise were passed on to Jacob, and through his descendants
a Savior was born. This Savior died to atone for their sins
and ours. Thanks be to our gracious God whose will is done
in spite of us sinners.
Oh, that the Lord would guide my ways
To keep His statutes still!
Oh, that my God would grant me grace
To know and do His will! (TLH 416:1)
-- Teacher Joseph Lau
For those of you who were confirmed in the Lutheran Church
when you were children, or even when you were adults, that
was one day of your life you will never forget!
The rite or ceremony of confirmation is as old as the
Christian church itself. Going all the way back to the time
of the first century believers, confirmation was part of the
baptism ceremony. Whole families and entire groups of people
were being brought into the church, not just children and
babies but many adults. Their baptisms would be held on the
evening before Easter. They would then be "confirmed" with
holy water, prayers, the sign of the cross and the laying on
of hands. On Easter morning these newly baptized and
confirmed Christians would receive their first communion.
As the Christian church grew and became more established
throughout the Roman Empire and Europe, fewer adults were
being baptized than children. Christian parents brought
their babies to the Savior's waiting arms in this sacrament.
With more infant baptisms, confirmation became a separate
rite or ceremony. Sad to say, the idea gradually emerged
that confirmation was a complement to baptism. By the Middle
Ages confirmation was greatly desired because people thought
it actually bestowed the Holy Spirit. Later confirmation was
even considered necessary for salvation, and was made one of
the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.
When Luther reformed the church, he didn't change
everything, but only those things which were contrary to
God's Word and detracted from the Gospel. One thing he
abolished was the Roman Catholic sacrament of confirmation.
He called it "monkey business," "a fraud," and "humbug." The
reason Luther did this was that confirmation did not meet the
scriptural guidelines for a sacrament.
What is it that makes something a sacrament? From your
own days in confirmation class you remember that it had to be
instituted by Christ. It has to have a visible means -- like
the water in baptism, or the bread and wine in the Lord's
Supper. It has to bestow the forgiveness of sins.
Confirmation met none of these criteria.
Yet Luther was vitally concerned about the instruction of
the young in the basic truths of Scripture. So he wrote his
Small Catechism, which we still use today as we teach our
children the love of the Savior and the truths of the Bible.
Originally this book was to be used by fathers in the home --
16th century "home-schooling." With his catechism Luther
wanted to make sure that Christian young people knew what
their baptism was all about, and that they were properly
prepared to receive the Lord's Supper.
After Luther died, most Lutherans wanted nothing to do
with confirmation. As far as they were concerned the very
word itself was Roman Catholic! Yet a great need was
recognized for the instruction of the young, especially
regarding the Lord's Supper. So a new type of confirmation
developed, though it was in no way uniform. There were
actually six types of confirmation practiced from Norway to
Finland to Germany to the New World.
When it comes to confirmation today, the following must be
rejected: any view that gives the impression that baptism is
not complete in itself; any idea that the covenant God made
with us in baptism needs to be renewed later in life; any
idea which suggests that baptism does not produce the faith
that brings one fully into the membership of the holy
Christian Church; and any view that sees the laying on of
hands as having some spiritual value.
Our Practice Today
So what does confirmation mean for us today? There are
three essential elements:
First, our children are instructed in the gospel of Christ
and the truths of Holy Scripture by studying Luther's Small
Catechism. They learn the great biblical truths of sin and
Christ's salvation from sin. They learn how to live a God-
pleasing Christian life in response to God's love. They are
prepared to receive the Lord's Supper in a worthy manner.
But this instruction is merely a complement to the ongoing
instruction that should have been taking place all along in
the home. It is a complement to what has been taught
throughout the children's earlier years in Sunday School and
Christian Day School.
Secondly, our children profess their faith through the
promises they make. In many of our churches we still have
an examination of the confirmands in a service before
confirmation itself. They sit in the front of the church and
are questioned by the pastor. Sometimes the confirmands read
a confession of faith that they have written. The
confirmands then confess their faith before the altar,
promising to remain faithful to their faithful Lord.
The third element in confirmation today is that prayers
are offered for them by their fellow believers. We pray that
the Holy Spirit will keep our young people faithful to their
faithful God and Savior till their dying day.
"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown
of life" (Rev. 2:10). Confirmation should be a very special
time for everyone. We pray that God would keep all of us
faithful to Him and His Word until that day when we shall
sing His praises together in heaven.
-- Pastor Stephen Kurtzahn
In a special service, held just prior to ILC's annual
Christmas concert on December 16, 1994, the Rev. John K.
Pfeiffer was installed as Professor of Theology and Social
Studies at Immanuel Lutheran College and Seminary, Eau
Claire, Wis. The service was conducted by the Rev. Michael
Sydow, Secretary of the Board of Regents. Pastor Sydow's
address was titled: "You Are on the Road Crew for God's
Prof. Pfeiffer was one of seven children born to Pastor
David and Adele (nee Gullerud) Pfeiffer. Born near Boyd,
Minn., he spent most of his childhood in the small
southwestern Minnesota town of Cottonwood. He moved with his
family to Arlington, Mass. (suburb of Boston) when he was 13.
He graduated from Arlington High School in 1958 and attended
Massachusetts State University for one year, majoring in
"Wild Life Management" (preparation for his new occupation?)
before the Lord let him to follow his father, grandfather,
and two uncles into the ministry.
He enrolled at ILC while it was still located in Mankato,
Minn. and was involved in the preparation of, and move to,
the new campus in Eau Claire. It was there that he met his
future wife, Barbara, daughter of Pastor and Mrs. L. W.
Schierenbeck. He graduated from the Seminary Department in
1967, but did not receive an assignment at that time. He
served as campus caretaker until July, when he accepted the
call to serve as Assistant Pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church
In June 1968 he was united in marriage with Barbara, at
St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Austin, Minn. Little did they
know that they would return some 16 years later as pastor and
wife. He and Barbara made their home in Mankato for one
year, during which she filled in on a part-time emergency
basis at Immanuel Lutheran Grade School and he completed his
second year there as Assistant Pastor.
In June 1969 they moved to Valentine, Neb. where they
served Grace of Valentine and Immanuel of Thedford for the
next 4 1/2 years. It was there that they were blessed with
the birth of their oldest daughter, Sara, who is now
completing her final year of the elementary education program
In January 1974 they moved to Hales Corners, Wis. (suburb
of Milwaukee) where they served Messiah congregation for 10
1/2 years. During this time the family grew with the blessed
additions of Nathan (now a senior at ILC High School), Rachel
(a sophomore), and David (a 7th grader at Messiah Lutheran
Grade School in Eau Claire).
In July 1984 they found themselves returning to Austin,
where they served St. Paul's Lutheran Church and Christian
Day School until November 1994, when the Lord let Pastor
Pfeiffer to accept the call to joint he faculty of Immanuel
Lutheran College. There he will be teaching seminary classes
in Old Testament studies, college classes in Hebrew and
Social Studies, and high school classes in Religion.
A part of the Pfeiffers' hearts has been left in all of
the congregations which they have been privileged to serve
during the past 27 1/2 years. The special bond that forms
between a pastor and his congregations is one of the unique
blessings of the pastoral ministry that the entire family
will miss! Thanks be to God, that elastic bond of fellowship
is firmly intact and still stretches over all those miles and
all those years and now has grown to include the students,
faculty, and staff of ILC, as well as the members of Messiah
Lutheran congregation in Eau Claire.
After eight years of sending their children AWAY for the
most important benefits of a Christian education, John and
Barbara now have welcomed them back into their on-campus home
and enjoy the best of both worlds. In looking at the Lord's
guiding hand in the life of this new professor and his
family, it is interesting to note how He has worked out their
lives so that things seem to be ending up where they all
-- ILC News Item
The perfect and eternal rest the Savior promises to all
His believers (see Matt. 11:28-30) received the focus of
attention at the funeral of Karl Brandle on Tuesday, February
21, 1995. The funeral service was conducted by Pastor Mark
Bernthal whom Karl had so ably assisted for many years as
assistant pastor at Gethsemane, Saginaw, Michigan.
Karl J. Brandle was born in Saginaw on February 20, 1933.
He was also baptized and confirmed there, his confirmation
verse being the comforting words of the Savior: "Lo, I am
with you alway, even unto the end of the world." The Lord
led Karl to deepen his understanding of the Christian faith
by attendance at Michigan Lutheran Seminary (high school) in
Saginaw, and Northwestern College in Watertown, Wis. In 1958
he was graduated from the Lutheran Seminary in Mequon, Wis.,
and the same year (June 21) he was united in holy wedlock
with Margaret Larsen.
Karl proclaimed publicly the perfect and eternal rest that
is in Jesus during his years in the ministry. His first
pastorate was at Lake City, Minn. In obedience to the Word
of God he was moved to leave his former fellowship and join
the Church of the Lutheran Confession. After several months
of secular employment he was called to St. Paul's of Winner.
So. Dak. in May 1962. In 1967 he and his family moved to
Saginaw and joined Gethsemane Lutheran Church. He twice
served the congregation as its vacancy pastor. Since 1984 he
had owned and operated a printing business in Saginaw.
Karl was received into the perfect rest that Jesus gives
on Friday, February 17, at the age of 61 years. Left to
mourn his passing, yet also to rejoice in his salvation, are
his wife Margaret; his daughters and their spouses, Kathy and
Dan Barthels (Saginaw, Mich.), Susan and Gary Meyer, and Sara
and Michael Schierenbeck (Eau Claire, Wis.); two sons, David
Brandle, and Michael Brandle and his fiance Kathryn Peterson
of Eau Claire. There are eleven grandchildren. One son,
Timothy, preceded his father in death.
"We give thanks to our Lord for His many blessings showed
upon our brother in Christ during his earthly journey. We
also thank our Lord for the glorious rest and peace that Karl
now enjoys in his heavenly home..." (Gethsemane Church
-- Pastor Paul Fleischer
HELP THE SPOKESMAN SPEAK!
IT'S RENEWAL TIME!
The Lutheran Spokesman is printed in just one language,
but it speaks both near and far. The monthly fun is just
short of 2500 copies. Thirty-four states and seven foreign
countries (Finland, Nigeria, Australia, Denmark, West
Germany, Canada, Japan) are included among the addresses to
which this magazine is mailed each month.
Most issues mailed to foreign addresses, and a few in the
states, are sent "gratis" -- that is, free -- such as to
synodical leaders and religious (mostly Lutheran) college and
seminary libraries. In a few cases another publication is
received in return. The CLC's theological quarterly, the
Journal of Theology, has this exchange arrangement with more
addresses than does the Spokesman. Due to this exchange our
Immanuel Lutheran Seminary in Eau Claire is the recipient of
a variety of religious publications.
So that the editor and the CLC President can help the
Spokesman speak they each receive a few extra gratis copies
each month. So do our college and high school in Eau Claire
and the Lutheran high school in Mankato.
We are happy to supply gratis copies, but we do want, and
need, subscriptions! Help the Spokesman speak by subscribing
for yourself and someone else!
Have you or your congregation considered placing the
Lutheran Spokesman for public exposure in such places as your
local libraries, medical clinics, hospitals, nursing homes?
We do it in Sleepy Eye. We go back each month to leave the
new issue and pick up the old. Lately the old has been
missing occasionally. We are happy for that. Was someone's
heart touched, perhaps, by a Gospel article they read? (It is
a good idea to stamp your church's or pastor's name to the
copies left here and there. The reader might like to make
Reading Without Blushing
In the last few months we have received notes of
From a teacher: "In our house, as always, we read the
Spokesman from cover to cover in one sitting. Our only
problem is who gets it first, my wife or I. We thought the
(last one) was special..."
From a lay-person; "...I want to tell you that I admire
the format of the Spokesman. I think it is a very
satisfactory monthly magazine for a church body. When more
money is available, many unnecessary things are done. I am
trying to say that a magazine with this format would be
sufficient for .... (other Lutheran synods are names)..."
From a pastor who recently joined the synod by colloquy:
"For some time I have told people that the Spokesman is the
only Lutheran magazine I can read without blushing." And
again: "I have thought for years it was the best Lutheran
We know such opinions are highly subjective. We and our
staff have no illusions about our editorial or journalistic
capabilities. No doubt there are ways our magazine could be
enhanced format-wise, though appearance is not a high
priority with us. In fact, though "experts" suggest that
blank space is attractive to the reader, we purposely try to
get as much ink as possible on the 16 monthly pages. Besides
using pictures and highlighted sentences as page-breakers,
our over-riding concern has been and remains the content of
the magazine. We want to print articles which are true to
the Bible passage on the covers of the earliest Spokesman
volumes: "The Scripture cannot be broken" (Jn. 10:35).
On occasion we have received constructive criticism too,
Very seldom, however, regarding content. That suggests to us
that most of our readers receive benefit -- scriptural and
spiritual edification -- from our modest monthly offering.
When the Lutheran Spokesman speaks, we hope our readers
hear the Scriptures speak. We will not need to blush so long
as we achieve that goal.
Spokesman on Audio Tape
While talking about the Spokesman speaking, let us mention
again its availability on audio-tape. Pastor Walter Schaller
of St. Lukes's Lemmon, So. Dak. undertook this monthly task
for the sake of a visually impaired member. He has
graciously volunteered to commit himself to this time-
consuming project monthly for any subscribers beyond his
Another use has been found for the monthly audio-tapes.
Pastor Schaller tells us that some busy folk have ordered
them for "easy listening" in the car on the way to work or on
vacation. Good idea.
Another way to help the Spokesman speak! Consider
subscribing to the monthly audio-tape for yourself or someone
else. The new buy still very reasonable rate is $10.00 for
each audio-tape annual subscription. Order directly from
Pastor Walter Schaller, 100 4th St. W., Lemmon, SD 57638/
-- Pastor Paul Fleischer