The Lutheran Spokesman (May 1997)


Growing in the love and use of God's Holy Word.

In this issue:

"I Do So Intend, With The Help Of God" Power From Above "What Did Your Mama Say?" Credibility Gaps "I Am With You Always..." SMORGASBORD Etubom and Mma Under The Gracious Car Of Abasi Meet: Matt Thurow Announcements For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.


"I Do So Intend, With The Help Of God."

Do you remember hearing those words in a recent church service? Do you remember saying those words at a very big moment in your spiritual life? "I do so intend, with the help of God." That is the response given by the confirmand when he or she is asked, "Do you as a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church intend to continue steadfast in the confession of this Church, and suffer all, even death, rather than fall away from it?" (The Rite of Confirmation, The Lutheran Agenda) The confirmation vow is quite a mouthful for anyone to say, let alone the young teenage Christian who comes before the Lord and the congregation to make this solemn promise. On the day of confirmation, we stand before the holy God and pledge to remain true to His Word and true to Him, no matter what circumstances or afflictions or persecutions we must face! It can be quite unnerving, to say the least, especially when you consider the opposition and the difficulties that always stand in the way. Beware The Devil! When the confirmand promises to hold firmly to the truth of Scripture, the devil is planning to deceive this believer with the error of false teaching. When the confirmand vows to diligently use the means of grace, the devil is hoping to lure the young Christian down the path of spiritual carelessness and neglect. When the confirmand makes it his firm intent to live a life worthy of the Gospel of Christ, the devil has other ideas, namely a hazardous journey thorugh the spiritual minefield of temptation and sin. Satan remembers the moment of success he had with Peter in the courtyard. Perhaps he can topple yet another would-be follower of Jesus Christ. Peter's problem in the courtyard boiled down to one main thing: he had misplaced trust in himself. When he said to Jesus, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You," he was basing his promise on his own strength of character. Peter forgot the last part of the vow. He forgot to say with his heart and his mouth, "I do so intend, with the help of God." The Mighty Means Of Grace The vow of confirmation is never based on human strength or commitment. It is a vow of absolute dependence. While it is the sincere intention of our faith to remain true to our Lord, we express that intention with the knowledge that we cannot make this promise become reality. We are weak. We are under attack by a strong and vicious bully. We are too distracted by the people of this world and too attracted to the things of this world. It's the pesky problem of our flesh, which leaves us with only one way to stand, only one way to remain true to the vow of faithfulness. We look to the dependable "help" of God. We depend on the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit to hold us up. The enlightenment of His Word will keep us anchored on the truth. The mighty means of grace will keep us nourished and growing in the faith. And the power of the cross will keep us on the road of repentance and sanctification, as we renounce the devil and all his works and all his ways and strive to live each day according to the will of our heavenly Father. "I do so intend, with the help of God." How else can it be? If we are faithful to Him, it is only because He has made us faithful to Himself. We look for confirmation sermons to emphasize this truth, even as Scripture makes it clear: "It is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Php. 2:13). Let us make and renew the vow of confirmation with this in mind as our hope and prayer: "May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it" (1 Thess. 5:23-24). -- Pastor Steven Sippert


"More power!" grunts Tim Allen on the set of Home Improvement. The sales person brags, "This new 4X4 has the highest horsepower in its class." There's no question that power impresses. But man's power is puny compared to that of nature. A tornado can pick up a house as though it were a child's toy. A fire can devastate a thousand acre forest. The first Pentecost arrived with the sound of a tornado and the sight of fire, but there was even greater power at work behind these signs. These were the evidence of ultimate power--the power of God the Holy Spirit. This was the fulfillment of Jesus' promise to His disciples; "You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you" (Acts 1:8). By the Spirit's power Peter and the others were able to preach Christ crucified to the crowds in their own languages. This was an unprecedented miracle, something only God could bring about. But the Spirit did far more than give remarkable linguistic ability. He powerfully worked within the heart. He opened the disciples' eyes to see and understand Jesus' mission in a way they never had before. Like so many others, they expected the Messiah to establish and rule over an earthly kingdom which would provide physical peace and prosperity. Even after the Lord's resurrection the disciples asked: "Lord, now are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" But on Pentecost the disciples proclaimed Jesus Christ as the Savior from sin who was raised to life, exalted at the Father's right hand, and who rules in hearts by faith. Not only did the Spirit give understanding, He transformed timid, weak men into courageous witnesses. In the garden when the Lord was arrested, the disciples abandoned Him and ran for their lives. Now they stood up and accused their listeners of crucifying God's Son. They pleaded with the people to repent of their sin and turn to Christ for forgiveness. That kind of power did not come from themselves, but from the Spirit sent by the Lord. Working In You! But do you know what's really exciting? The Spirit is still just as powerful as ever, and He is working in you! Look at what He has done. By nature you were dead in sins, but through the Spirit's power in the water and Word of Baptism, you are now alive in Christ. How is it that you recognize and confess Jesus as the Son of God who suffered your burden of guilt on the cross? It is the Spirit at work within you. Would you like more power for daily life? Would you like to be stronger in your faith, know more about the Lord, be more joyful and confident in your salvation, better able to fend off Satan's temptations? Don't count on your own abilities or strength. Look to the Spirit's power as He works in you through the Word. The more time you spend with the Word, both privately and in fellowship with other believers, the more the Spirit will work in you. Would you like to be a more courageous witness for the Lord -- and yet find yourself reasoning, "I can't do it . . . I don't know what to say or how to say it"? Look to the Spirit. Count on His power to give you the strength to confess Jesus as Lord and Savior to your family, friends, co-workers, and any others whose lives touch yours. Never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit. A tornado can move a house, but the Spirit can move the heart! A fire can ignite a forest, but the Spirit can set a life on fire! As Paul says: "My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power (1 Cor. 2:4-5). That is real power! -- Pastor Michael Eichstadt

In Recognition Of Godly Mothers --

"What Did Your Mama Say?"

(The following is based on an actual event from a retired pastor's ministry.) The young clergyman hesitated a moment, then said a brief prayer before peering into the hospital room where a patient lay dying. In his younger days John had been a womanizer and a gambler, turning his back on his family and his church. Now that he was old he had neither, for his relatives had given up on him and he had long since given up on God. The pastor had received a call from a sister who had no desire to see John, and would not have been welcome if she had tried to visit. But would the pastor go? Perhaps he could do something. A ghastly sight greeted the visitor's eyes when he entered. John's yellow skin and sunken eyes told a tale of decades of self-abuse, for after his youth and vigor had left him the bottle had been his only close companion. It was amazing that his body had held out until old age, but the liquor had finally caught up with John, and now the final stages of liver disease wracked the old man's frame. He appeared to be delusional as he rambled in disjointed German, his mother tongue. "Johann!" the visitor said, also in German. "I'm the pastor -- do you know me?" The sallow man looked blearily into the clergyman's eyes and a flicker of recognition flashed across his face, but then he looked away and merely muttered. "Johann! You haven't got much time! What do you believe?" With a snarl the sickly man tried to take a swipe at his questioner, but could manage only a feeble wave of his arm. "It's a hopeless case; there's no more use trying to talk to this one," the pastor thought. But then suddenly, with a flash of insight, he took the dying man's hand, pulled his chin forward in order to look at him directly, and nearly shouted "Johann! As a boy you learned about Jesus . . . Johann! WHAT DID YOUR MAMA SAY?" At this the old man fell silent for a time. He looked down, then up into the pastor's eyes, but he wasn't looking at the man. He was looking beyond him, far into the past, and soon his hands began to shake and his jaded eyes welled up with tears. With the pastor's gentle reminders, the words that his mother had spoken to him so long ago came tumbling out, from the Bible, catechism, and hymnal: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son . . . He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, purchased and won me from all sins and death . . . Chief of sinners though I be, Jesus shed His blood for me." Within a short time, sorrowful tears of a long- forgotten memory had become tears of joy. That shell of a man who had been broken by his own life of sin was made whole -- by remembering what Mama had said about Jesus. John was dead within days, and the pastor knew that people would scoff when he told them how this prodigal son had returned to the heavenly Father. Too many known scoundrels had been eulogized at funerals in the past for this to be a credible story. But what did it matter? The only important thing was that, in the case of this formerly lost soul, the Scripture passage had rung true: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6). It has been said that the world's most fruitful mission field is found on a godly mother's knee. No doubt this is true. When mothers are honored at this time of year for all that they do, let us thank the Lord for these missionaries to the little lambs, and encourage them to take up this special work with diligence. We may well be surprised to find out just how many will be standing in the glorious company of the saints on the Last Day because of "what Mama said" about Jesus! -- Pastor Bruce Naumann

Studies in Galatians

Standing Fast In The Liberty By Which Christ Has Made Us Free (See 5:1)

Galatians 1:11-24

Credibility Gaps When parents just don't understand their children, or when children just don't trust their parents, it has sometimes been attributed to a "generation gap." When this type of distrust or misunderstanding occurs between men and women, husbands and wives, it is sometimes referred to as a "gender gap." When the public has a hard time trusting a public servant, or some other public speaker, it might be called a "credibility gap." No one wants such gaps to occur in the bond of trust, and when they do, attempts are usually made to "bridge the gap." On the other hand, of course, there are some who deliberately try to create gaps of trust. Some advertisers might hope to make potential customers distrustful of the product they are presently using so that they will purchase the competitor's product. Some may try to stir people to dissatisfaction with working conditions, wages, employers, public officials, or some other condition of life, in order to influence their choice of telephone companies, or employers, or elected officials. Some might even try to stir up distrust between partners and spouses, if they think it might bring some benefit to the "stirrer." Religious "Gappers" There were some in the churches of Galatia who wanted to create such a gap between the members there and the apostle Paul, who had first brought them the gospel. Of course, it wasn't really Paul who was the main target of their attack. It was his message: that a good child/Father relationship with God is freely given to us through the life and death of Jesus Christ in our place. Often such "gappers" may come with faint praise, something like: "Now this Paul fellow really made a good start, and he was absolutely right as far as he went, but now the good news is that you can rise higher! In fact, to be a true Christian you must rise higher." Paul declared that this new "good news" was not really good news at all, even if it was brought by an angel from heaven. It was only a polluting of the gospel with law, giving with taking, salvation with condemnation. What's more, the credibility gap which the false brothers in Galatia were trying to create was not a matter of choosing a cleanser, a spaggheti sauce, a congressman, or a governor. The detractors in Galatia wanted the people to distrust a message from God. Paul emphasizes this in the opening of his letter to them, when he points out that his apostleship was from Jesus Christ; and again in verse eleven, when he wants them to know that the gospel he preached is not something man-made or taught him by man. What he had learned from men was Judaism, and he had learned it so well that he had persecuted the church of God, had tried to destroy it. If Paul did not make keeping Judah's God-given law a condition for receiving the blessings of the gospel, it certainly wasn't because he was unfamiliar with that law. He had learned it well at the feet of Gamaliel. No Gap Here But the gospel, and Paul's apostleship to proclaim it, was not something he had gotten from men. It was entirely God's doing. God had set him apart for this work from his mother's womb and then in time had revealed His Son to him that he might preach Christ among the Gentiles. This was not some hobby of Paul's, and the teaching was not "Pauline" in the sense that he had produced it. Nor was it "apostolic" in the sense that Paul had learned his message from the other apostles, as though he was an apostle "once-removed." No, he had not even consulted with the other apostles until some years after he had been preaching Christ. He had been called by Christ to declare that in Him God had reconciled the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them, and the apostles were as amazed as everyone else when he who once had tried to destroy the faith was now proclaiming it! This message was and is truly from God, and worthy of our total trust also! -- Prof. Paul Schaller

"And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen" -- Matthew 28:20

"I Am With You Always . . ."

Today as the fortieth day after Easter we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord and Savior. In the final verse of the last chapter of Matthew's account, we hear the parting words of Jesus which ring in our ears and hearts even as this is one of the last of our chapel services here, and it is my final opportunity to stand behind this lectern (See footnote - Editor) and remind you of Jesus words: "Look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen." During the past week I have been searching for a special Word to share with you today, and as various Scriptures have floated up and swirled around, this one has come back again and again -- so precious to His disciples, and to me. What did Jesus mean as He departed, leaving behind those friends who could not yet go along into heaven with Jesus? What does this mean when as He left the planet, He nonetheless could say: "Look now, I am not going to forsake you, because I am with you always, even through all the years or centuries until I come again to take you with me forever"? Let us turn our attention to these simple words, one at a time. "Behold," "Look," "See here," no matter that I am floating free of gravity, and I will soon be out of sight. Your eyes are not deceiving you, for I am on My way back home, and you will not see Me again in physical form like this until I return at the end of the age to judge the living and the dead. But "I am with you," He said, and He said it strongly and deliberately. Now we remind ourselves who this is that so spoke to them. He was not a mortal such as they. He was not a hologram or figment of their imagination, but the very Jesus who had been with them for three years as they sat at His feet during their Seminary training. This was the Jesus who had turned water into wine at Cana, who had raised the widow's boy from his casket, who raised Lazarus from his tomb, who had Himself died but rose again on the third day. This was the Lord to whom was now given jurisdiction on earth and in heaven over everything that could ever affect the lives of His friends. So here Jesus reminds them: I am the lord, the master, the CEO of planet Earth. This is your Jesus speaking, who can keep any and all divine promises, no matter what your eyes see or your heart trembles about. This divine Son of God in the flesh, now glorified, promises to never leave nor forsake His friends. I am Savior, says He; I simply cannot and will not leave you in the lurch. When I came down here I gave up My warm and happy home above for you to get you humans safely reunited with My Father. I put Myself through hell on earth in personal combat with your nemesis for you. I reconstructed everything smashed by Adam and all your ancestors for you. For you I regained your lost acceptibility with the Father. You are the reason for my existence as Jesus Christ incarnate. I have loved you with an everlasting love, and I will not turn my back on you now or ever. So, says the Lord Jesus, I hereby promise that I will never stop being with you, and that simply because I hold you close to My heart. And as long as I have My heart and arms and hands, nothing shall take you out of My grip. You have My word on that, and My very life stands behind My word. Dear friends, we may and should claim this promise for ourselves, for He meant it for all His disciples "until the end of the age/eon." He means this for each of us by name, Rebekah and James, Ken and Kelly, Jeff and Jonathan -- you are precious to Him forever. You are God's special person, because Jesus is with you. No matter what comes to you this summer or ten years from now, whether today as you are at the point of entering into life's mainstream, or when you arrive at the point of retiring from a career, you are God's child by right of Jesus' claiming you and loving you and caring for you. As you prepare for your career after graduation, or whether you stay on at ILC or go to school elsewhere, Jesus is with you all the way. That is my comfort also as I leave the ILC faculty. I have Jesus above me and with me. He has told me: "Now look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." He has supported me in my service career at this school of Christian education now swiftly drawing to a close. If you are graduating, He has not finished with your education, your nurturing, your blessing. Under His eye and with His hand of blessing all of us will continue in our God-chosen and Jesus-supported ways until the end of our days. We have a good heritage from the hand of our good Father and our good Lord Jesus. Let this be your graduation memory verse, or your morning devotion and comfort as you retire in the evening -- my Jesus is with me, one of God's children, always, even to the end of my days, because He loves me. -- Paul R. Koch (Since he was retiring from the faculty, this was Prof. Koch's final chapel message to the ILC student body in May of last year. He has consented to share a number of his chapel addresses with our readers.)


Unless otherwise noted, the comments are the editor's. * " . . . MY NIGERIAN DIARY" "The 50 copies that we had ordered disappeared very fast, and people have ordered more copies, so we are considering a larger offset edition." So writes Pastor Norbert Reim regarding his wife Celeste's book which is being reviewed in this issue. Pastor Reim adds: "We are awkwardly between editions now, and do not know just what the price or availability date for the new edition will be." I join with our reviewer, Pastor David Koenig, in his enthusiastic recommendation of the book. I don't have my own copy, but saw one at the home of another pastor. The book was such interesting reading it was hard to put it down. The initial photocopy edition sold for $8.00, plus postage. Pastor Reim says the hope is that the new edition will be printed in sufficient volume so that they can match or improve on that price. The Spokesman and/or your pastor will pass along ordering details as they become known. "Retired" Pastor Reim still serves Holy Spirit Lutheran Church, a CLC mission outreach effort in Albuquerque, New Mexico, making periodic trips by plane to serve the congregation. He and Celeste reside in Sun City, Arizona. They are members at Holy Cross, Phoenix. With the permission of the Reims, we intend to print one or more excerpts from the "Diary" in the coming months. * LENGTHY SERVICE CLC Statistician, Harvey Callies, generally adds some color commentary to the otherwise bare annual statistics he compiles and mails out each spring, calling attention to year-by-year attendance or membership trends. In the report we received in April, Mr. Callies had gone back to the year 1960, the first year synodical statistics were kept. He made this interesting observation: "In looking at the Pastors and Teachers listed, we find the following still active among us today: 14 pastors -- Egbert Albrecht, Leland Grams, Elton Hallauer, Clifford Kuehne, Richard Kuehne, David Lau, John Lau, Bertram J. Naumann, Paul F. Nolting, Gordon Radtke, Norbert Reim, Rollin Reim, Jonathan Schaller, and L. W. Schierenbeck. Then also 4 teachers -- Leroy Greening, Gerhardt Mueller, Robert Rehm, and Alvin Sieg. . . ." To this observation the statistician attached these good words: "Please, when next you see one of these men, greet them and thank our God for their lengthy service in His Kingdom!" We second the motion. We add that though indeed still active in 1997, not all of these men continue to serve publicly under divine call as they were in 1960. In addition, there are some currently serving in the CLC teaching or preaching corps who either were in college or seminary at the time, or had not yet joined the synod. *'APE-WOMAN' STATUE MISLEADS PUBLIC: ANATOMY PROFESSOR (From Creation Ex Nihilo magazine, Vol. 19, No. 1, December 1996-February 1997. Reprinted with permission.) The St. Louis zoo in Missouri, USA, has a $17.9 million exhibition majoring on evolution, which includes a statue, purportedly a reconstruction of the famous australopithecine part-skeleton "Lucy," showing remarkably human-looking feet. Associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology at the nearby Washington University, Dr. David Menton (interviewed in Creation magazine, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 16-19) says that these feet are not based on the fossil facts. The usual artistic license in reconstructing the fleshly features of "ape-men" from bones allows evolutinary bias enormous free rein. However artists do not usually misrepresent the bones. This statue's feet and hands are simply wrong and mislead the public. Menton cites evolutionary sources which show that creatures in this species had hands and feet which were 'not at all like human hands and feet; rather, they have long curved fingers and toes'--even more so than apes today that live mostly in the trees. Canadian school teacher David Buckna has weighed in on the debate by posting an Internet challenge to this 'misleading' statue. He says that if people visiting this exhibition were to see an accurate replica of Lucy in the trees, with features typical of tree-dwelling primates, it would make them question the whole notion of human evolution; Lucy would be seen as just some sort of extinct ape. Dr. Menton, who first complained about it in 1989, says, 'I think the zoo owes it to all the people who helped pay for that exhibit to give (Lucy) an honest presentation.' Bruce Carr, the zoo's director of education, has no plans to alter the exhibit. 'We cannot be updating every exhibit based on every new piece of evidence,' he says. 'What we look at is the overall exhibit and the impression it creates. We think that the overall impression this exhibit creates is correct.' Dr. Menton points out that if Lucy's feet were accurately shown, it would be obvious they could never fit into the famous Laetoli fossil footprints. These are 'exhibit A' for evolutionary belief in upright walking by Lucy's kind, whereas in fact they are identical to bare-foot humans. Professor Betsy Schumann, evolutionist expert at Menton's university, admits that the statue's feet 'probably are not accurate', but when asked whether the statue should be changed, she says, 'Absolutely not'. In other words, it doesn't matter if people get indoctrinated into evolution by wrong evidence, because 'evolution is a fact'. Christians need to realize that we are facing a full-scale religio-cultural war! Deceptive museum displays contribute to the world-wide push to replace the Christian worldview with that of evolutionary naturalism ('everything made itself--we are answerable to nobody'). Sadly, many millions of dollars of taxpayers' money support such museum displays. Based on information From Dr. David Menton and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 22, 1996. * EDITING THE EDITOR Here, in part, is what was written lately to the Sleepy Eye {Minn.} clergy by the editor of the local weekly newspaper: ". . . Isn't it time we focused on what is right within our respective churches and denominations rather than what is wrong with everyone else? . . . If your columns cannot send the message the Lord would send, then I will file it where it belongs, in the trash! I will also edit out any negative references to any other religion or denomination." Via the grape vine I have learned that I am one of the area clergy whose articles may have prompted such a comment (not the only one -- another Sleepy Eye pastor {conservative Baptist} recently shook the local community with an article titled: "The Bible Forbids Women Pastors"). An article critical of the theology of Billy Graham (see the Sept. '96 Spokesman) was originally submitted to the Sleepy Eye paper. It didn't appear there. An editor will acknowledge times when articles need editing. However, when a local newspaper editor (who happens to belong to the ELCA) promises to edit out of religious columns anything he perceives as "negative references to any other religion or denomination," a prophet of the Lord must needs reevaluate his participation in such a forum. What, according to the Sleepy Eye newspaper editor, is the "message the Lord would send"? In the letter referred to above it was put this way: "As our Lord was dying on the cross between two sinners . . . He did not ask if the sinner was Catholic or Lutheran, Islamic or Jewish. Rather, without condition, Jesus simply promised: 'today you will be with me in paradise.'" What is being said, in effect, is that the object of faith is secondary; all that matters is faith's sincerity. Such an idea, popular and widespread as it is, hardly comes from the Bible. In fact, the idea clashes with clear Bible teaching, such as: "Nor is there salvation in any other (name than Jesus Christ), for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts. 4:12). More could be said, but we let the matter rest. This pastor/editor has asked to be excused from further participation in the pastor's column of the local paper.

Book Review --

Etubom and Mma Under the Gracious Care of Abasi*

*Etubom and Mma are Efik terms of honor and love. Abasi is Efik for God. I cannot tell how delighted I was, while visiting in one of my member's homes, to find out that Celeste Reim had written a book about the first three years of her and her husband's (Norbert, "Nubby") life in Nigeria. In a book called "A Peek Into My Nigerian Diary" Celeste recounts what life was like in that field, so fertile back in the post-war years. Nearly fifty years have passed since her concluding remarks were written on June 29, 1948 about their first term in Africa. So many of the village pictures in her book could have been taken yesterday. Many of the hardships and joys of half a centruy ago are much the same today in the "bush." This volume then can serve not only as a nostalgic reminder of the joy in service to Him of those bygone years, but also as a peek into how it is today among our brothers and sisters in the Nigerian Church of the Lutheran Confession. Allow me to whet your appetite for this fine spiritual fare. Pastor Reim received the call to the Synodical Conference Mission in Nigeria on May 12, 1945. Accepting the call, he left for his assignment the following December 2nd without his wife. After delays, Celeste then set sail for Africa on March 8, 1946. Her upbeat attitude that permeates the book is expressed on that day with the entry: "All the waiting, disappointments, and the days of loneliness will be a thing of the past. I am on my way to Africa!!! Nubby, here I come!" At Robert's Field, Liberia, she writes: "I shall never forget this first daylight glimpse of Africa. The morning air was cool and enchanting with all the new and strange sounds of the forest, and the gentle lapping of the water as canoes glided down the river. There was a river in the back yard with native huts on the other side. The natives, awakening for a new day, were calling to teach other." There is a thrill for us too as we read this and realize that through His servants, Norbert and Celeste and many others, there was and is an awakening even more joyful and enchanting as that "strange" sound of the Gospel goes forth and THE Light dawns on the heart. Travel with the author from Lagos as she sees the first of many a scampering lizard and enormous cockroach. Note with her how African time is quite different than back home, for "in Africa one must wait for everything." It is still the same today. Read and learn of: dash, mud wattle, palaver, raffia, fufu, juju, palm oil chop. Smell the must and mildew with her and see the industrious African garbage man, the ant, at work. Come along with her and her husband on the Harley. Sit with them in their modest home as the rain comes crashing down and the insects come swarming in, attracted by that Coleman light. Share with her the experience of caring for little Adiaha. Experience the joy of seeing the twins, John and Mary and Grace and Jacob, baptized. The killing of a twin in those days was still prevalent in the bush. Be with her husband as he comprehends the dangerous seriousness of the costumed Ekpos. Trudge along with one of their hired hands during the dry season as he lugs water from 2 1/2 miles away. And there is so much more: harmattan, dowry, the fattening room, death and burial in Africa . . . . May the following two excerpts convince you that this is a book to read and to pray over that God would raise from our midst more Celestes and Norberts to go where the Gospel is so vitally needed. "The people in the bush are so poor, and we are so rich in comparison. When I see how little they have, I don't miss the few things we must do without, which we took for granted when living in the States. They certainly are not necessary for happiness. For many of these people life is just full of burdens and fears. What a great privilege it is for Christians to lead others to happiness through faith in Jesus Crist their Savior, so that they may also look forward to a glorious life with Jesus in Heaven...." "Sometimes it's hard to realize that we are in 'Far away Africa.' As I go walking outdoors and look up at the sky above, I don't feel as though there are so many miles between us and our loved ones in the States. True, the scenery is quite different. There are no open fields, just 'bush' land and many palm trees and huge cottonwood trees. The road are rough and narrow, and our home is hardly the kind we would want in the States, but it's home, and I love it. We have the same sky above, the same beautiful stars and moon, the same sun, although a little hotter. Above all, we have the same dear Heavenly Father looking down on us, and watching over us. Which makes me think, what is the difference where one lives while on this earth. The important thing is that we are on the road with Jesus, which leads to heaven." AMEN! -- Pastor David Koenig

In Our CLC Classrooms --

Meet: Matt Thurow

Matt Thurow began his teaching career in January 1966 at Gethsemane Lutheran School of Spokane, Washington. Matt attended Immanuel Lutheran High School and College, receiving his B.S. degree in Elementary Education in 1994. He went on to receive a B. S. degree in Elementary Education from Mankato State University. Matt chose teaching as a career in large part due to the influence of his father, teacher Ted Thurow of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and former professor Dean Carstensen. Matt finds sharing the Gospel message with non-member students particularly rewarding. His favorite subjects to teach are history and geography. His favorite recess game is soccer. In his free time Matt enjoys spending time with his wife Traci (nee Schreiber), biking, and reading. May the Lord continue to bless Matt in His kingdom work.


General Pastoral Conference of the CLC June 17-19, 1997 Immanuel Lutheran College Eau Claire, Wisconsin Chaplain: Wayne Eichstadt Liturgist: Mark Berntahl Preacher: John Klatt Excuse Committee: Leroy Dux, Paul Schaller, Robert McDonald Program Committee: Jerome Barthels, Paul Krause, Stephen Kurtzahn Organ Coordinator: John Reim Essays: * A Summary and Critique of the Church Growth Movement -- Michael Sprengeler * Christ's Subordination to the Father (as Pertains to His States of Humiliation and Exaltation) -- John Pfeiffer * Preaching that Makes a Difference -- L. Dale Redlin * New Testament Exegesis -- Bruce Naumann * Old Testament Exegesis - Isaiah 42:1-9 -- Peter Reim * A Study of Veterans' Organizations -- Walter Schaller * Report on Self-Esteem Study * Relationship of and/or Distinction Between the Public Ministry and the Priesthood of Believers -- Thomas Schuetze Completion Of Colloquy Rev. Horst Gutsche, Calgary, Alberta, following colloquy is declared eligible for ministry in the Church of the Lutheran Confession. -- Daniel Fleischer, President West Central Delegate Conference Dates: June 6-8, 1997 Place: Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Jamestown, N.Dak. Agenda: * Devotional Study of 1 John 4:7-12 -- Mr. Gary Wietgrefe * Devotional Study of Philemon -- Rev. Norman Greve * The Work of the Elder (carry over) -- Mr. Bob Ruegge * Righteous Anger -- Rev. David Fuerstenau * The Christian Wedding Service: What is Appropriate in the Light of God's Word? -- Rev. James Shrader * Encouraging Young People to Remain Faithful to the One True Faith -- Mr. Dean Larson * What is the Purpose of Marriage in light of the fact that couples live together? -- Rev. Frank Gantt Conference Chaplain: Rev. Michael Roehl Conference Speaker: Rev. Steven Sippert -- Rev. Steven Sippert, Secretary Great Lakes Delegate Conference When: Begins at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, June 2 (Eastern Daylight Time); closes at 12:00 on Tuesday, June 3. Where: Calvary of Marquette, Michigan Agenda: * The Study of 1997 Coordinating Council Report * Discussion of the Joint Statement on Self Esteem -- Mark Bernthal * Bible Study -- Mark Gullerud Announce: Please announce to Walter Priebe: 548 Co. Rd. 545, Marquette, MI 49855; (906) 942-7472. The congregation requests your cooperation in announcing early enough for their preparations. For their meal and housing preparations please indicate your tentative time of arrival. -- Pastor John Ude, Secretary