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Archive for January, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name……………..

After the article about Ugali/Ungali I was informed by Dacia Reinke that in Ghana it is called Fue Fue.  A Rose by any other name……..Music on the other hand is a universal language – I found this recording of singing that we did at Ukunda.  Do you know what it is?


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The Finer Things In Life. How to Eat Ugali.

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Some of our travelers came back from Kenya and said they never got to eat Ugali.  It is a treat and a real communal exercise.  We have shown this video on this sight before but we are doing it again.  We are taking applications for another Mary Okeyo Scholarship fund trip and we think this might lure some of those sitting on the fence.

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Honoring the Least part 2……

I have received quite a bit of feed back on the blog from yesterday concerming the Park River Pregnancy Help Center (January 28) and the bottle that we handed out in church Sunday.  One wag wrote – “it’s empty”.  Well yes it is but, I have until the 17th of February to fill it up.

I also got this response from Maryann Anderson who has contributed before –

We have one (bottle) sitting on our organ for the FirstChoice Clinic West in Bismarck.  The Bismarck/Mandan Chapter of Lutherans for Life have been involved in  assisting this worthwhile cause.  Our LFL numbers are dwindling and I wonder  why.  The need to address the life issue from conception to natural death is  needed now more then ever.  My prayer is that more LCMS members would become members of LFL.  We only have two chapters in the State of ND that I am aware of.  One serving the Fargo/Moorhead area and the one here.  I ask all who read  this to remember LFL in their prayers and also the Pregnancy Centers trying to save lives.

Decline in membership in all of these things from the LFL to the LWML to the LLL to churches in general is a question that we are asking at all levels of the church.  Part of the reason is that the involved  members are getting older and dying.  The other reason is that the younger people simply don’t care.  I’m sure some will try to argue with me that that is not true but……

Anyway I got this off of President Harrisons blog.

march for life


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Honoring the Weakest.

“Annually, the congregations of the LCMS are asked to observe life Sunday during the month of January.  Many of the congregations of our Synod did so last Sunday.  We do so today.  In this morning’s reading from I Corinthians 12, Paul follows up on the passage from last week, in which he assured the Christians in Corinth that God gave His Church the gifts of His Spirit necessary for her to be the Church.  In this morning’s reading he deals with those who are jealous of other’s gifts, as well as with those who consider their gifts to be greater than others.  In his admonition to the Corinthians regarding the body, the Church, Paul touches on a valuable principle regarding life and our responsibility to honor the weakest among us.”

So said Pastor Alan Taylor in a sermon based on the epistle lesson for yesterday from 1 Corinthians 12.

We have talked about the various ways we can witness ot our faith and serve the neighbor up here in the North Country.  Last week officials of our church marched in Washinton at the march for life rally.  The LCMS has long been a voice for the unborn since Roe V. Wade was unveiled fourty years ago.  Year after year our Church calls for the end of abortion and care for the life from conception to natural death and yet some don’t always get the message.  For some reason the folks who run a local pregnancy help center got the impression that I would not “be on board” with their program in assisting women through their pregnancies.  I’m not sure where that came from but I am going to set the record straight today in this blog.

The Pregnancy Help Center in Park River North Dakota came up with a great idea.  They give you a baby bottle and you fill it up with your loose change and give it back to them.  We got ours in church today and will return them in church on Febriary 17th.  the money goes to support their work of helping women and giving them an alternative to abortion.  Great idea and I would encourage everyone to help as they can.

Here’s my bottle………………….

baby bottle

In case you didn’t get the address and would like to help

Pregnancy Help Center

Box 626

Park River North Dakota 58270


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Calling for Applicants

project 24 final

The Kenya Task Force is now accepting applications for the next Mary Okeyo Scholarship Trip to Kenya. The Mary Okeyo trip will take place sometime between May 27th and June 15th, dependent on schedules. We are looking for applications from 18-28 year olds from North Dakota and Minnesota-North District congregations who would like to spend 7-10 days traveling in Kenya with ELCK Deaconesses, visiting Project 24 Rescue Centers (orphanages) and seeing other sites.

Airfare is covered by the Mary Okeyo Scholarship Fund, individual travelers are responsible for cost of their passport, vaccinations, travel within Kenya, food and lodging during the trip. Congregations of selected applicants are encouraged to offer financial help.


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We Have Come Unhinged – part 2

Christmas Nail

Christmas Nail

When I was doing the Chrismon Tree stuff someone sent me a picture of this tree with a nail as an ornament.   We stopped technically celebrating Christmas the 6th of January.  We are still oin hte season of epiphany but this picture of a nail hanging on the Christmas tree was jarring.  This nail hanging from the tree is a jarring reminder of why Jesus was born.  He was born to save sinners.  He saved sinners by dying on a cross.  The chief article of the Christian faith is the Justification of the sinner for the sake of Christ.  Christ came to seek and to save the lost.  The Lutheran Church’s job is to witness to Christ in word and deed and to proclaim that Justification won on the cross.

It seems surpassing strange to me that in the church that has the Justification of the sinner as its hallmark and touch stone I heard an awful lot of excommunication talk in this last year.  Please understand the church must speak judgement on the “wicked and impenitent”, but I don’t consider disagreements with the Pastor over style or managerial issues as being wicked.  Just because someone disagrees with me on the disposition of the plant and the equipment that they are in charge of maintaining it seems a stretch to call them impenitent.

There seems to be a rush to get rid of those that we have disagreements with that is stunning.  Once we have gotten rid of them we find oursleves in the strange situation of not being able to afford doing the things that we have been doing.  Getting rid or driving away those that disagree with us over the way the church building is managed may lead to the inability to maintain the church at all.  I remember an incident in Viet Nam when a village was bombed and completelly destroyed.  The comment was “we had to destroy the village to save it”.  That seems to be the attitude of some of us preachers.  We need to destroy the church on order to save it.  Harrison’s sharing of the Sasse sermon shed light on the idea that we are living in a world that has rejected the idea of a final judgement.  Maybe that is why some preachers feel the need to be “judgemental with extreme prejudice”.

This is a blog about mercy.  I hope that we have some New Year resolutions and some serious theological discussion about Matthew 18 and Matthew 5 and this whole notion of excommunication.  If disagreeing with the preacher is grounds for excommunication we have a lot of excommunicating to do.

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Invitation to an Adventure


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The Kenya Task Force is getting ready to choose young people ages 18-27 from the North Dakota and North Minnesota Districts to go on a mercy experience trip to Kenya this spring or summer.  We are asking for contributions to the Mary Okeyo Scholarship fund to help them go and come back and we are calling for applications from travellers.  The deadline is the end of Fenruary – more on all the details later, but for now here are Stephanie Erlandson and Annie Pietsch’s invitation.

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Crocheted Hats to Mexico?????

A while back we asked for gifts or donated yarn that people wanted to part with and we sent them to Maryann Anderson over in
Bismarck.  She crochets hats and mittens for children on the Standing Rock.  She had enough yarn, thanks to your generosity that she wrote this to me – “If you know who donated the yarn to me you might want to let them know that 80 crocheted hats will be making their way to Mexico. I dropped then off with Pastor Irv and Mary Bruenjes to take along when they go with the St. Andrew Mission Society from West Fargo.”

I remember thinking that it is too hot in Mexico for crocheted hats and then I remembered my trip to the Samburu.  I believe that it was close to 90 degrees that day –

crocheted hat in samburu


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These Things Ought Not to Be!

After writing the story about Davids mother yesterday, I kept thinking that these kinds of things ought not to be.  A seventy some year old women suffering from malaria and typhoid in this day and age ought not to be. This from Wikipedia – Typhoid fever, also known simply as typhoid,[1] is a common worldwide bacterial disease, transmitted by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the feces of an infected person, which contain the bacterium Salmonella typhi“. 

 Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells.

Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines.

Remember we are participating as a church body in the Lutheran Malari Initiative.  Your donation can go along way to making sure that these kinds of things will not be.

You can make a donation to LMI and you can help raise funds –

Visit to download worship resources, fundraising ideas and much more to start educating your congregation and community about malaria.

Team up!

Through LMI’s partnership with the Nothing But Nets™ campaign, $10 buys a net for a family in africa and trains them on its use. Imagine how many families you could reach by teaming up with your friends and family through Lutheran Nothing But Nets. visit to get started.

Remember that Project 24 and 1001 Orphans support the young ones who need nets and education too.


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Request from David


Many of you have met David Chuchu.  He has visited our areas many times. This is David at Motongo Seminary. I got this from him a few days ago –

“Receive many greetings from my family. At this moment, may I request you for special prayers for my Mom Caren Aloo Chuchu, 75years. I got a call four days ago informing me that she was sick. She was rushed to Oyugis town at Matata hospital where was admitted and was found to be suffering from serious Malaria attack, Typhoid and needed also to undergo emergency herniorhaphy surgery. She was transferred to Kisumu yesterday evening and has stabilized from malaria and preparations is underway this morning for her surgery.”

I heard form him again just before the weekend and Mom is doing well and recuperating.  Remember them in prayer.


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