"Do you think that the words of Scripture mean nothing when they say that the Spirit who dwells within us jealously longs for us? But He gives us more and more grace. Therefore, He says: 'God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.' Submit then to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:4-8).

Some commercials make outrageous claims. "Lose twenty pounds in two weeks with no exercise." Yeah, right. How about this one: "When the pieces of money in the chest do ring, quickly the souls out of purgatory spring." You don't buy it? Neither did Martin Luther. In 1517 his ninety-five theses challenged the idea of being able to mitigate God's displeasure with money or deeds. "The just shall live by faith" (Hab. 2:4). His position was firmly grounded in GodŐs Word. Thus a line was drawn between those who desired to be faithful to God's Word and those whose desire was something else.

Remission of sins and everlasting life come only through God's Word. Compromise that Word, water down that Word, change that Word, and eternal life is in jeopardy. For Luther that was not an option. Of God's Word he said, "Here I stand! I cannot do otherwise. God, help me." That is the true spirit of the Reformation--holding fast to the Word and allowing nothing and no one to come between us and the salvation won for us by Christ.

In the same Reformation spirit we want to guard against those things that would threaten our possession of the salvation won for us by Christ. That definitely includes false doctrine, but we also need to have our "ninety-five theses" against the perils to salvation that arise within us.

What are some of these? How about--

Worldliness. Really, worldliness? DonŐt we all know that we are to first seek God's kingdom and His righteousness? Of course we do. So, that is not really a problem, is it? Who do we think weŐre kidding?! Think of how much time, energy, and resources are put into things. Compare that to what we invest toward our family's drawing closer to the Lord--such as family devotions and prayers. Do the scales balance out?

Superficiality. People can have a head knowledge of what the Bible says and even be very active in church, but is it really in their hearts? Remember how it was for Luther? He spent years going through the motions until the gospel was finally truly in his heart. From then on he was filled with an unquenchable joy and love for his Savior. He became a man who was a powerhouse for the Lord and who was ready to go and stand before the Diet of Worms even if there were as many devils in the city as there were tiles on the rooftops.

Pride. Quite possibly the most unnatural and unpleasant of all activities is to freely and completely admit our weaknesses, our failures, and our sins. It is natural to deny that we did anything wrong and to defend our actions. "I didnŐt mean it." (Does that make the hurt vanish?) "You shouldn't let that bother you." (It's your fault you're hurt.) We readily blame something or someone else. "I can't help it, I'm tired." (My tiredness absolves my behavior.) "It's not my fault. That's the way I am." (Grandpa was that way, my dad was that way, and that's how I am. Get used to it.) Or, we could go a different direction: "Hey, I know I'm not perfect, but I think I do pretty well." (Aren't you glad I'm not treating you worse?)

Stand Fast In The Word

Whether it's by denial, defense, excuse, or blame-shifting, it is all part of the process of hanging onto at least a shred of self respect, a little ego, while trying to avoid embarrassment. At what cost, though?

"Do you think that the words of Scripture mean nothing when they say that the Spirit who dwells within us jealously longs for us?" Does God talk just to hear Himself talk? No! The Holy Spirit has made our hearts His temple, and He means it when He says that He jealously longs for us. He doesn't want to share us with the world. Our souls have been bought and paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ. He doesn't want us hanging on to the world or making eyes at the world. We belong to Jesus now. We need to act like it, and things like worldliness, superficiality, and pride deserve no place in our lives.

"He gives us more and more grace." We can't make it on our own. We can't even get a clue on our own. That's why He comes to us in grace to enlighten us. "God resists the proud. . . ." Don't expect Him to welcome us so long as we are holding on to our pride. " . . . But He gives grace to the humble." Our humility is His objective, for it is only when we are humble that we are ready for His Good News. The Word goes on to say, "Submit then to God." We follow Him unconditionally, no matter where He leads us.

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." How do we draw near to the Lord? It is through His Word. Only His Word produces repentance--humbly, honestly, completely admitting our sins and owning our guilt. We trust in God's mercy. Renewal comes as the Lord removes every sin entirely. It is through the power of His grace in Word and Sacrament that we are moved to yield, to draw close--yes, to embrace our Savior.

Allow nothing and no one to come between you and the salvation Christ has won for you. Stand fast in the Word and keep the spirit of the Reformation alive!

--Pastor Delwyn Maas

What's In A Name?

This month we celebrate the Lutheran Reformation, celebrating what the LORD God accomplished through a man named Martin Luther.

At Luther's time the Roman Catholic Church had obscured the free gospel of salvation through faith in Christ alone. Instead, they focused man's attention on man's own works for salvation. Through Martin Luther God restored the proclamation of the free gospel of God's grace to sinful men.

We belong to the Church of the Lutheran Confession. We are Lutheran Christians. But what are we saying to the world by our name? Whom do we seek to glorify?

About ten years after Jesus Christ ascended into heaven, people began to call His followers "Christians." We are told that "the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch" (Acts 11:26). The intent of this term originally was to insult the followers of Christ. But the name fit. While the term has become watered down in our day, Christians in the true sense of the term are those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and, in fact, worship Him as God.

Concerning our Lutheran name the president of our church body has written, "[Our congregations] confess the creeds of the Lutheran Church without qualification, as they are found in the Book of Concord of 1580. Scripture itself is the source and foundation of Christian teaching and faith -- The Lutheran Confessions are a faithful setting forth of what Scripture teaches. The name of our church body is a witness to what we believe; it is a continual reminder of our responsibility to be truly Lutheran, and therefore Scriptural in our teaching and in our practice. This principle holds true among us: 'If it is not Scripture, it is not Lutheran!'"

Of the term 'Lutheran' Martin Luther himself wrote, "I ask that men make no reference to my name and call themselves not Lutherans, but Christians. What is Luther? After all, the doctrine is not mine, nor have I been crucified for anyone. . . . I neither am nor want to be anyone's master. Christ alone is our Master. He teaches me and all believers one and the same doctrine." (What Luther Says, Vol. 2, p. 864). But he does go on to say, "Whether Luther personally is a scoundrel or a saint means nothing to me. His doctrine, however, is not his but Christ's own. . . . Let the person go. But the doctrine you must confess." (Ibid., p. 857)

All Glory To God

As Lutherans we don't worship Martin Luther or any other man. We Lutherans have not exchanged a Catholic pope for a Lutheran pope. To worship anyone or anything other than the Triune God is contrary to God's will (Rev. 19:10). Rather than directing people to himself, we have heard Luther try to downplay his role in the Reformation. Luther--and we--have recognized that it was the hand of God directing the events of the Reformation.

We worship only the one true Triune God, for God is our Creator and

Redeemer. When man fell into sin, God our Father had mercy on us, His creation, and sent His only begotten Son into the world to suffer and die to pay for sin. On account of His Son, Jesus Christ, there is forgiveness of all sins for all people.

Through Martin Luther the Lord cleared away the teaching of work

righteousness that had obscured the gospel. In the place of man's works, God redirected sinners to their Savior. Luther translated the Bible into the common language of the people so that they could read God's promises and God's forgiveness for themselves rather than depend on their priests to tell them the truth.

This Reformation Day--and every day--we worship and give glory to God for what He has accomplished for all people, sending His Son to give His body and shed His blood that we poor sinners might have everlasting life. We praise God that through the Reformation He has revealed His saving gospel once again to the salvation of sinners "of every nation, tribe, tongue, and people" (Rev. 14:6f).

To God alone be the glory, forever and ever.

--Pastor Joel Fleischer

"Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, 'Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? . . . '" (Acts 2:7-8)

The wonderful works of God--in our own language!

Perhaps we take for granted the blessing that we are able to hear in our own language the wonderful works of God.

Many of our homes have multiple copies of the Bible. Children in grade school have their own Bibles. We cannot fully comprehend the joy of that first Pentecost when the people gathered in Jerusalem heard the wonderful works of God in their own language or dialect.

This was brought home as I instructed a man born in Mexico. It was reinforced by a kindergarten student whose first language is Spanish. They are able to understand English, but there are times that I wish I could speak to them about Jesus in their own language. It is a remarkable thing not only that God preserved His Word for us in the Bible, but also that God broke the curse of Babel and the confusion of tongues by seeing to it that people are able to hear and read the Bible in their own language.

This began at Pentecost when God the Holy Spirit enabled Peter and the apostles to preach in languages that they did not know or had not even learned. God also provided for the growth of the Word by causing the New Testament to be written in Greek, the language of the Roman Empire. God saw to it that the New Testament was written in the koine Greek (the common Greek of commerce and the streets) rather than in the classical Greek of Plato and Aristotle. In the first centuries of the church, manuscript evidence reveals that the Bible was translated into many languages.

However, by the Middle Ages the Bible had become a closed book for most people. This was due to the fact that many people were not very well educated, and that the Bible was in Latin. Jerome's Latin "Vulgate" was the only translation of the Bible available.

In Luther's day, the people did not have access to the Bible in their own language.

God Restored His Word

God moved mightily to bring about the restoration of the Word to His people. First of all, in 1454 Gutenberg invented movable type, which made possible the printing of books on a large scale. Prior to this, books had to be copied by hand. The first book ever printed was the Bible--an edition of the Latin Vulgate known as the "Mazarin Bible." Thus the stage was set for the Reformation, which was ignited by the posting of the ninety-five theses on October 31, 1517.

One of the earliest convictions of Martin Luther was that the people of Germany must have the Bible, and to this end it must be translated into their own language. Luther had already translated some Psalms into German in 1517 and 1518. At the Diet of Worms in 1521, Luther was declared to be a heretic and an outlaw. Luther's friends "captured" him and took him to the Wartburg for safe keeping.

While at the Wartburg, Luther translated the New Testament into German. The first translation of the New Testament into German was published in September of 1522. The complete translation of the entire Bible did not take place until 1534. Luther was continually revising his translation until his death, so that it might speak to the people in their own language.

What makes this remarkable is that Luther did not know much Greek before 1514 and practically no Hebrew. Also at this time there was no single German language, but only a confusion of dialects. Yet in less than two years, Luther had translated the New Testament into the German language.

Luther's German Bible became the basis for the modern German language. It is estimated that five thousand copies of Das Neue Testament Deutzsch were sold in two months. Luther's translation of the Bible remains the standard by which other translations are often measured.

What A Blessing!

Luther wanted God to speak to his people in their own language. What a blessing that we are able to hear the wonderful works of God in our own language!

It is a sad fact that our age is also one of gross spiritual darkness. This is because, in spite of the availability of the Bible in our own language, very few people make the effort to search the Scriptures. Most families do not have family devotions, and very few people personally read and study the Scriptures. Even pastors tend to read books about the Bible rather than the bare Scriptures themselves.

If God is going to effect a twenty-first century Reformation, it will have to come through a reawakening and a realization of the importance of the searching (reading and studying) of the Bible.

May we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, seek to speak the wonderful works of God to the next generation in their own language. The power of the gospel is in the small still voice of God's Word. May God's Word continue to be our great heritage.

--Pastor John Schierenbeck

A Reformation message from our CLC President (first written by President Fleischer for his congregation in Corpus Christi, Texas as one of a series of bulletin articles)--


Encouragement to an active Christian life is clearly a part of Christian teaching drawn from the Bible. Fruits of faith in Christ are evidence of the work of the Spirit in the heart of the Christian. It is as impossible for the Christian to say, "I choose not to bring forth fruit," as it would be for an apple tree not to bear apples. But everything in its proper order!

What has become the primary focus in the "evangelical world" today is the promotion of the "Christian life." Fine, except that the emphasis on the Christian life with the evident de-emphasis of law and gospel preaching has engendered subtle work-righteousness. It has created an emotionalism and enthusiasm that measures holiness by deeds while showing disrespect for doctrine--Bible teaching. "Deeds, not creeds" is the rallying cry as efforts are made to promote what is perceived to be a more genuine Christianity. The emphasis today is on what one has done or should do, rather than what Christ has done for us and is still doing for us!

For our part as children of the Reformation, we begin with substance, with doctrine. Of doctrine Luther said, "It is true, where doctrine is not right, it is impossible for life to be right and good; for life is fathered and fashioned by doctrine" (What Luther Says, Vol.1, Para. 1229, p. 417). Not any doctrine, but that which is set forth in and drawn from the Scripture.

Absolutely, faith is to be lived. Christianity is not merely a "condition." Genuine faith is not sterile. Christianity cannot be real or faith genuinely fruitful without the Word of God, from which true doctrine is drawn. Again Luther said, "Everything depends on doctrine. Where doctrine is right, everything is right. . . . Where doctrine is not right, everything is vain" (ibid., Para. 1226, p. 416). Thus a blessing of the Reformation was a return to an appreciation of Bible doctrine. From the doctrine of the law we gain an understanding of sin. By the law, sin and its consequence are known. The substance of the doctrine of the gospel is the message of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ. Through the gospel alone is the saving grace of God known for the instruction and comfort of the troubled sinner.

The doctrine of justification is the foundation of the Christian hope in that God the Father has in Christ justified the world--that is, declared it not guilty--for which reason all who by the power of the Spirit are brought to believe in Christ (doctrine of conversion) have eternal life. Without preaching of the doctrine of justification, any encouragement to fruits is simply veiled work-righteousness. The denial or compromise of the doctrine of justification undermines the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8).

It is God's promise that when all the doctrines of Scripture--from the doctrine of inspiration to the doctrine of salvation and the doctrine of the last times, and every other doctrine of Scripture--are taught as our Lord has revealed them, fruits will follow. On the other hand it is equally true that where the emphasis is on fruits without doctrine, there will be neither truth nor fruits of the Spirit.

The strength of historic Lutheran theology lies in the fact that the doctrine set forth in the church and its confessions is Scripture and only Scripture. It was long ago that this promise was spoken, "I solemnly promise before Almighty God that all my teachings shall be in conformity with His Word, and with the aforementioned confessions," namely, those of the Book of Concord of 1580, (Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and its Theology, p. 165). That confession is no longer spoken without reservation in the church in which C. P. Krauth was considered a respected champion of conservative Lutheran theology over a century ago. The Lutheran Church of which he was part has moved consistently farther away from the sound doctrine of Scripture. One may say, "But he lived over one hundred years ago, and we are in a new millennium." To that we answer, "True, but God's Word does not change!"

God's Word, the Bible, is still the source of our doctrine and our confession of faith today. Unfortunately the public press usually headlines reference to the ELCA with "Lutherans . . . decide . . declare. . . join. . . etc." While it probably is not so much a lack of honesty as it is a lack of understanding, the fact is that the ELCA or any other Lutheran Church today does not speak for all Lutherans--any more than the Church of the Lutheran Confession which still treasures the heritage of the Reformation speaks for all Lutherans!

In a day when there is little tolerance for sound doctrine (2 Timothy 4:1), and until the Lord comes, "Give attention to . . . doctrine" (1 Timothy 4:13). The fruits in the Christian's life and the fruit of eternal salvation in Christ will follow.

--Pastor Daniel Fleischer

European Tour

Click here to see pictures of the Spokesman editor's tour of Europe!


* ANOTHER CANADIAN MILESTONE (This report is courtesy of Pastor Em. Bertram Naumann)

On Sunday, July 29th, the Rev. Steven E. Karp was installed as the resident pastor of Resurrection Ev. Lutheran Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Pacific Coast Conference Visitor Robert List performed the rite, assisted by Pastor Emeritus Bertram Naumann. Pastor Naumann addressed the twenty-five people in attendance in German and English on the basis of the classic text from Isaiah chapter 12: "Here am I. Send me."

So far this sounds like so much routine reporting of seemingly rather routine facts. But of course you are aware that between such facts lie both struggles and triumphs too numerous to report with adequate impact. And so it is enough to note here that our Savior-God has blessed this determined group with the zeal to carry out the Great Commission in this vast and burgeoning urban community of almost a million people.

The CLC Board of Missions has granted Resurrection congregation full-time mission status, subject to annual review. Pastor Karp and his wife, Elizabeth, have been able to purchase a home a couple miles from the church property. Elizabeth also serves the group with her considerable talents as an organist.

When sight-seeing in the Rocky Mountain Canadian provinces, you will be warmly received at the congregation's 11:00 a.m. Sunday worship services. The new parsonage address, phone, and e-mail are as follows: 47 Pensville Road, S.E., Calgary, Alberta T2A 4K3 (Canada). Phone (780) 204-9614. E-mail:


Your editor and his wife were privileged to be part of a Reformation Heritage tour which included thirty-two CLC folks. We traveled to Europe July 16-30, 2001. The trip began in Italy (Rome); it continued into Austria (Seefeld, Innsbruch, the Alps!) and Germany (Salzburg, Wittenberg, Leipzig, Eisleben, Eisenach, Erfurt et al.); nineteen of the group continued on to Paris for four more days, visiting and worshiping there with the small group in fellowship with the CLC.

With the exception of the Paris extension, the trip was a "guided" one by an international travel agency, with a helpful English-speaking guide telling the history of areas and sights visited (a wonderful lady who served as "mother" to this family of travelers throughout the duration of the trip), four-star hotels (some meals), "local" guides for the Luther sites (including his birth and death houses, the churches where Luther took his monk's vows and/or preached, such places as the Coburg and Wartburg castles where as the Reformer he spent some time); besides Lutherland sights, the trip included other distinctly European experiences, such as visits to the Neuschwanstein Castle, the walled city of Rothenburg, Rattenberg (the oldest town in the Tyrol renowned for its crystal), and a cruise on the Rhine River.

For one who had never been overseas, it was a most educational and memorable journey back to the "old world." We returned home with renewed appreciation for the many blessings--material and spiritual--we "new world" citizens enjoy under the good and gracious hand of our Creator God.

Sprinkled throughout this issue are photos from our trip.

* THE REFORMATION HERITAGE TOUR AS ONE MAN SAW IT (The following "pastoral reflection" was written for the church bulletin of the congregation we serve.)

On hindsight, it seems particularly good for the tour group to have had its first stop in the "eternal city" of Rome. How amazing just to "see" such things as the Roman Coliseum, the Pantheon, and the catacombs in which early century Christians worshiped in secret and buried their dead. In addition, the sculptured statues, the awe-inspiring museums, cathedrals, churches, paintings--more cathedrals and more churches almost everywhere you look in the area of the Vatican!--it was almost smothering. One couldn't help but come away with an awareness of how "entrenched" has been, was, and is the "establishment" of Roman Catholicism in this "holy city" (as Luther once called it before his visit to the city, which left him totally disenchanted with the vaunted holiness of many of its inhabitants, including many of its priests).

At the same time, Lutheran Christians such as we are can't help but come away with a renewed appreciation for what Almighty God in His grace brought about with the sixteenth century Lutheran Reformation. Just on the face of it, what courage it took for God's instrument Dr. Martin Luther to stand up publicly and call attention to the unbiblical (superstitious!--how often our guides in Rome and elsewhere remarked: "Tradition says that . . . Legend has it that . . .") teachings and practices of the church whose base is in Rome, whose anti-christian tentacles were spreading--and have spread--bit by bit throughout the world. What spiritual courage it took for this young monk in "faraway Germany" to challenge the very institution of the deeply rooted and firmly established church of Rome, and with that to challenge the authority of the Papacy!

One of the most eye-opening parts of our trip through Lutherland was--at least to this observer--an apparent lack of appreciation on the part of many of the locals for what we would consider genuine Reformation Lutheranism. To be sure, there are copious plaques, statues, monuments, and museums to and of Luther in those cities and fortresses which his reformation activity touched. However, with one happy exception (our guide in the Stadtkirche in Wittenberg), most of the "local" guides seemed to have little more than a superficial grasp of and appreciation for Martin Luther, his theology, and the far-reaching and long-range implications of that theology.

Along the same lines, while we were delighted to have a tour-stop in Augsburg (where the Augsburg Confession was read in 1530), we were saddened by a "story" told on the walls of St. Anne's Church in that city. Opposite one plaque calling attention to Luther's visit to the city to debate the papal legate, Cajetan (who sought to no avail to have Luther recant his writings; the date was October 1518), stands a glistening brand-new plaque. This new plaque is dated October 31, 1999 and marks the agreement or reconciliation--signed just two years ago in St. Anne's Church--between supposed heirs of Luther (the ELCA) and the Roman Catholic Church. In our trip-diary we noted: "What a sad 'spin' for any unaware observers, which must be the majority, including non-confessional Lutherans!" (As has been noted among us--as well as in some other conservative Lutheran circles--the supposed 1999 "agreement" on the doctrine of justification was more a sell-out than anything else.)

Still, while observing various Luther sites and hearing different explanations of their historical significance, our tour family was able to keep its orthodox Lutheran stripes in tact--thanks to daily devotions by fellow tourists, Pastors Wayne Eichstadt and Dale Redlin. For example, on the evening of our day in the city of the Augsburg Confession, we noted in our diary: "We were reminded in some detail by Pastor Eichstadt what it really means that we are confessional Lutheran Christians." Lest any misunderstanding be left, the pastor added: "We don't worship Luther, but with him strive only to 'Lift High the Cross' (the hymn we then sang) of Christ and Him crucified."

While much more could be said, we close with these thoughts. You have heard before that the huge churches and cathedrals in Europe, whether Catholic or Lutheran, sit next to empty on the Lord's Day. This was confirmed by our guide in the familiar city of Wittenberg. We were told that the city has a population of about 50,000. Forty percent of these are baptized, three percent being Roman Catholic. Yet on a given Sunday there are only about one hundred people in each of the two city churches (the Castle Church where Luther nailed his ninety-five theses, and the nearby--across the street!--Stadtkirche where the Reformer preached hundreds of sermons). We couldn't help but recall that--as Luther had warned his countrymen before his death--the "gospel shower" passes over those who do not appreciate it, leaving them spiritually bankrupt.

Having recently seen a number of statues and monuments to and of Luther, and speaking of them, we recall a comment of a Lutheran forefather. In our day or any day, it was said, the best monument(s) to the Reformer are churches whose pews are filled--filled with those who love to hear the Word of God and are committed to upholding its sacred teachings.

May God in His mercy and grace grant that each of our CLC churches be such a monument!

--Pastor Paul Fleischer

(After the terrorist attacks on September 11, some questioned whether the annual nation-wide CLC Teachers' Conference should go on as planned. Many teachers had purchased plane tickets for the October 7-9 conference. Yet some sentiment was expressed for changing or canceling the conference. One teacher shared the following thoughts with his colleagues via e-mail. The spiritual perspectives given are, we feel, worthy of a wider audience. The conference was held as scheduled. -- The Editor)

"Return to normal . . . "

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

To be a called worker means to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all aspects of our life. It means to live a God-pleasing life out of love for our precious Savior, Jesus, who laid down His life to pay for our sins. One aspect of this is to set a good example to our Christian brethren in our individual congregations, to set a good example to all Christians both in the CLC and around the world--but also to the unbelieving world.

The Lord says in Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." One way to be a good example to all Christians and to the unbelieving world is to do our duty as good citizens in this country.

President Bush has called for American life to return to normal. He says that we should go about our business as normal and feel as safe and secure as before the tragic events of September 11, 2001. We should not forget the tragedy of that day, but we should not shrink back in fear of carrying on our daily tasks. I believe that we would not be doing our duty as American citizens if we did not return to our lives as normal. One way in which we would not be returning to our lives as normal would be to cancel the CLC Teachers' Conference in Phoenix, Arizona.

If we did cancel the conference, what example would we be setting for our fellow Christians? What example would we be setting for the unbelieving world? If someone were to ask me, "Why didn't you go to your Teachers' Conference this year?", it would be hard for me to make them believe it was anything other than that we were fearful for our safety.

Yes, safety should be a concern, but the events of September 11, 2001 could have happened twenty years ago. It could have happened ten years ago (it did in the bombing of the World Trade Centers in 1993). It could happen tomorrow. It could also happen between October 6-11.

We do not know when our lives are going to be changed by such an event. It is, however, not our place to worry about such things. "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Mt. 6:33-34).

When Moses was ready to die, he sent words out to all of Israel. He said that he was unable to lead them, and he would not cross the Jordan. This was God's command. Joshua, however, was to lead them into the Promised Land and take possession of it. Moses spoke these words to God's chosen people, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (Deut. 31:5).

What wonderful and magnificent words to strengthen us in time of uncertainty and doubt. God says He will never leave us or forsake us. God will be with us if we travel to Phoenix, Arizona. God will watch over us. If it is His will that another incident occurs like that of September 11, 2001, so be it. His will be done. I think we would be doing a disservice to ourselves, the members of Holy Cross, and the CLC if we did cancel Teachers' Conference.

The spiritual benefits of the conference are vast and far-reaching-- not only for the teachers, but also for the members of Holy Cross as well. Who knows what mission opportunity the Lord might present before each one of us as we wait for hours at an airport? What chance to witness to the world might we miss by canceling the conference? What better opportunity do we have to set good examples to the world by telling fellow passengers at the airport of how great and gracious God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is? We can witness to them by the fact that we are traveling such great distances despite current events in our nation. The opportunities that we might have are endless. If we cancel the conference, there might be none.

The apostle Paul had a tremendous attitude that we all should strive for. He was in chains in prison, and he bore witness to Christ. In his seemingly miserable state, he saw the opportunity to witness to everyone he met about the perfect life, death, and resurrection of his Savior, Jesus Christ. No matter what situation we may find ourselves in--at home because Teachers' Conference was canceled, or at an airport waiting for hours on end--we should take the opportunity to serve the Lord by witnessing to all that we come in contact with. After all, isn't that the true meaning of being a called servant of the Lord?

I pray the Lord be with all of you, and that He bless your work in His kingdom as you teach Christ's little lambs and all people the message of salvation.

Yours in Christ,

/s/ Neil Bernthal

Winter Haven, Florida


Heavenly Father, we cannot fathom the depth of meaning this crisis has for us now. We confess that as a people we have deserved to be visited with a heavy hand. We have worshiped too many gods. We have failed to honor Your name. We have turned deaf ears to Your Word. We have not upheld order and equity among men. We have been unchaste and impure.

Yet we pray You to hear our prayer for the sake of Your Son, our Lord. Have compassion and mercy. Set aside our guilt and give us new life through the merits of Your Son. Bring relief to all who suffer this day. Ease the anxieties of those who are distressed. Send help to those who are distraught. Release us from this fiery trial, that we may be free to give You thanks and glory for deliverance from the day of trouble. Amen.


Opening of the 2001-2002 school year at ILC

On August 27 Immanuel Lutheran College and High School opened for business. It's the business of serving our Savior-God, of course. He has His agenda, too, of providing the wherewithal. One hundred and seventy-five students are enrolled; dormitories are filled to overflowing, and classrooms, too.

Faculty now numbers thirteen full-time and two part-time teachers. At the close of the opening service, Mark Kranz was installed (by Bd. of Regents Chairman, Pastor Vance Fossum) as ILC's newest professor. President John Pfeiffer encouraged us to "serve the Lord with gladness" (Ps. 100) as more than a motto for the school year; our worship fills our whole life--on and off campus; in every phase of our life we shout for joy over the Lord.

Biographical data on the back cover of the service folder tell us that Prof. Kranz, born in 1962, received both public and parochial grade school experience; then high school at ILHS of Mankato before arriving at ILC in Eau Claire for his college education. He graduated from his alma mater in 1984 and has served in the teaching ministry (Valentine, Nebr., Phoenix, Ariz., and Fond du Lac, Wis.) for the past seventeen years.

"By the gracious direction of God, Mark Kranz has now come to Immanuel to serve his Savior and the Church on the high school and college levels. Prof. Kranz' family includes wife Beth (nee Nolting) and their two sons, Matthew (age 10) and Ethan (age 9)."

"With thankfulness to the Lord, we welcome the Kranz family to the campus of Immanuel. May the Lord bless this household and strengthen Prof. Kranz with faith, wisdom, zeal, love, and the ability to teach our students." (Quotes from the service folder)

--Paul R. Koch, reporter



In accord with our usage and order, J. D. Sydow, who was called by Gethsemane Lutheran congregation of Spokane, Wash. to be teacher of grades 4-8 in its school, was installed on July 22, 2001. Assisting with the installation were Pastor Arvid Gullerud, Professor Michael Sydow, congregation president Richard Vogt, and Mr. Paul Karnitz.

--Pastor Robert List

In accord with our usage and order, Steven Karp, who was called by Resurrection Ev. Lutheran Church of Calgary, Alberta, CANADA to serve as pastor, was installed on July 29, 2001. Assisting with the installation was Pastor em. Bertram Naumann.

--Pastor Robert List

In accord with our usage and order, James Arndt, who was called by Faith Lutheran congregation of Coloma, Mich. to be Principal and upper grades teacher in its school, was installed on August 19, 2001. The sermon was delivered by his stepfather, Pastor Paul Fleischer.

--Pastor Matthew Gurath

In accord with our usage and order, David W. Bernthal, who was called by Luther Memorial congregation of Fond du Lac, Wis., to be the principal/upper grades teacher for its Christian Day School, was installed on August 5, 2001.

--Pastor David Naumann

In accord with our usage and order, Nathan Wales, who was called by Holy Trinity Lutheran congregation of West Columbia, S.C., to serve as Principal and upper grades teacher in its school, was installed on August 5, 2001.

--Pastor Vance Fossum

Parenting Seminar Materials

The following materials from a 2000 Parenting Seminar conducted at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Mankato, Minnesota are still available from the CLC Bookhouse.

    Seminar Manual -- 500 pages to accompany the seminar, $15
    Four Video tapes -- two hours each, total cost of four is $20
    Laying the Foundation -- Pastor Paul D. Nolting
    Framing -- Dr. & Mrs. James Sydow
    Weather proofing -- Pastor Douglas Libby
    Finishing Work -- Mr. Kevin Hulke

    Eight one-hour audio cassette tapes of the above topics are also 
    available for $8.

--Gayle Stelter, Chairman Board of Education

Minnesota Pastoral Conference

October 23-24


Place: St. John's, Okabena
Time: Beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday
    * New Testament Exegesis of 2 Thessalonians 2:1ff (Pastor 
      James Albrecht)
    * Old Testament Exegesis of Daniel 9:24-27 (Pastor Stephen 
    * Word Study of the "abyss" as used in Luke 8:31 and Revelation 
      20:1,3 (Pastor John Ude)
    * Series on the Lutheran Confessions which might be used with the 
      lay people in mind (Pastor Paul D. Nolting)
    * Homiletical study of an Advent series (Pastor Wayne Eichstadt)
    * The Lutheran Public Confirmation: History--especially its purpose, 
      value, and forms (Pastor Paul Fleischer)
    * A Study of Ahlzeimer's Disease and similar illnesses with the 
      goal of ministering to the patients (Pastor Theodore Barthels)
Chaplain: Pastor David Schierenbeck
Make housing arrangements with the host congregation.

--Pastor Rick Grams, Sec'y