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Month: May 2012

Focus

        I love this picture because these children have books and supplies and even back packs.  Many of the children that we deal with do not have any of these things. Remember the partnerships that we have formed.  Concordia Lutheran Ministries out of Pittsburgh has established 1001 Orphans and we are working with them.  Concordia Gospel Ministries has donated some supplies.  Churches in Minnesota at Elbow Lake and Montevideo have had ingatherings.  Districts are working on building centers. We tend to focus on the speed in which things happen or do not happen.  Some focus on the belief that we should do no mercy or aid work at all.  Others focus on something else.  I like to focus on these faces. Jameson Hardy and James Wolf came back from a trip this week.  They saw work going on at Mawira and Harambee.  They had two others in their party that went up to Womba despite warnings not to go that far North.  They stayed in the homes of the locals.  They came back as Hardy reported “blown away”.  Jameson came back on fire again for the work that we and all of our partners are doing there. Share this on:...

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“We Get Sideways Sometimes”………part 2

“I agree Pastor Seter. Though the ‘foundation’ is strong, our super structure is weak and loose knit organization, glaring to an outsider, which we don’t realize.”  That was the comment on the blog “We Get Sideways Sometimes” posted on May 29th.  Mr Ravi my friend from India is a wonderful Christian witness, a fine churchman and a lay person and to me that gives him a unique perspective that I think all of us should think about.  I think about this a lot because I have the chance to talk with people (there are getting to be more and more of them) who have never had any connection to a church.  The proclamation of the Gospel and the message of Christ crucified for sinners is winsome and the “power of God for salvation”.  It is when we start talking about ‘structural issues’ that problems arise.  Structure is important.  The church as the body of Christ is a structure.  It is built upon the foundation of Christ and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.  All of that is important to remember but Mr Ravi’s statement that it is “glaring to an outsider” is important as well.  What have we added or subtracted from what God has brought into being that is glaring to outsiders who might want to come in?  What happens when a new convert sees power struggles and turf...

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“We Get Sideways Sometimes”………

I took this picture in my garden yesterday.  I tried to set this up with a good foundation and the base is buried deep.  That part is OK.  It is the piece where the building is connected to the base that has issues – it is somekind of a screw that seems to tighten and really doesn’t – not being mechanical I don’t get it.  Any way I thought there was an object lesson here. Sometimes the church seems to be sideways or lopsided.  It seems to function not as the body of Christ but as a loose knit organization of like minded individuals who get along well as long as their minds are alike.  Throw in a difference of opinion or a perceived slight or an issue of power and we, as one of my friends likes to say, “get sideways with one another”.  The base and support is still strong.  We are still “built on the Rock” even though the steeples seem to be falling.  That’s when we need to work on that connection that keeps us all connected to the sure foundation. Share this on:...

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Defiant Comfort

I saw this at a classical radio stations website and thought it was pretty nice. I am speaking at the Memorial Day observance at our  community later this morning.  Memorial day has always been evocative for me because of the memories that come flooding back and old conversations that I had with my Father and his brothers.  They were of the WWII and Korean War vintage.  It was their attitude that I found inspiring and a bit frightening.  It was inspiring because the were thrown into situations that they did not ask for and that they were afraid of but they also were willing and proud to go because they believed that they were ultimately cared for.  That is a Christian response and attitude.  I cannot fathom how an unbeliever might feel being thrown into those situations of life and death.  The attitude was inspiring to me because it shows the best of what this country can produce.  It is frightening because I wonder how much longer we can continue to produce it. Anyway on Memorial Day we think of those that died in service and we honor their sacrifice and their devotion.  Matt Harrison in his book – ” A Little Book on Joy” has a great section on why we can be optimistic in the face of death and dispair and how we who are alive can look forward to...

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Mary Okeyo Scholarship Travelers – Introducing Pastor Giddings

As promised we wanted to get the travelers and a short bio up on the blog – I think we have most of them except the host couple.  I can’t get gidding picture right now but I will have one soon.  Pastor Giddings writes……………… I will finally cross this off my to-do list and reply to the original introductory questions that were sent out as the trip planning emails first began to make their rounds. I’m not sure if we were supposed to include a picture per the instructions, but since I am so late I will attach one and ask you to notice who is smiling in the picture as well as who appears to be combatitive. Name: Mike Giddings Family:  My parents are recently semi-retired and live in northwest Iowa. I have two sisters, a brother-in-law,  and a nephew in Minneapolis and a brother in Kansas City. Home: I currently live in West Fargo, ND and worship at Crosspointe Lutheran Church in Fargo.  I grew up in Iowa and Nebraska and was in St Louis attending Concordia Seminary prior to arriving in Fargo in July 2007. Occupation: I serve as the pastor of Crosspointe Lutheran Church in Fargo.  After spending nixing my plans to go to law school and working as a juvenile parole office for a couple years and then a teacher for a couple years...

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