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Archive for the ‘Bill’s Posts’ Category

Isaiah 9 and Our Great Need.

Isaiah 9

I have been looking at outlines from old time Professors on Advent and Christmas Texts.  I was delighted with Professor Hoyers work on Christmas texts and this is a paraphrase of another Von.Rohr Sauer.


We need to be made aware of the darkness, sorrow, bondage, and strife which characterize our human lot, so that we may lay hold on the light, joy, freedom, and peace which Christ brings us and may, in turn, become effective instruments in helping to preserve and expand His kingdom of justice and righteousness.

Darkness is the symbol of ignorance. The worst ignorance is failure to recognize sin for what it is. Bondage points to those habitual sins, those deeply entrenched vices, which quickly become our masters when they are not curbed. Boots and uniforms suggest the bold attitude of those who challenge God’s world leadership and defy Him to bring on His judgment.

The Son is a gift, undeserved by man. God so loved that He gave. The phrase unto us is meaningful. The Son was certainly given, not just for the Jews, not just for the believers, but for all men. All are entitled to His grace and salvation.

Only those, however, who kiss the Son in the allegiance of faith (Ps. 2: 11, 12) can testify and say, “He is given unto us”

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Small Town Ministry

Just got off the phone with a pastor who serves a very small town congregation in ND which used to convinced that they have no children anymore. Last Christmas, they included grandchildren who were visiting grandparents for Christmas in their Christmas service. It took some preparation to identify grandkids ahead of time who would be visiting and get them the material ahead of time. They had one big practice the day before. This summer for VBS they are again intentionally including the grandchildren and grandparents. Even to the point that some of the grandkids are coming to visit grandma & grandpa during the week of VBS. Some of the grandkids are not regular church goers. But, here is an opporutnity to present the Gospel to them. This is a congregation who typically worships 41 on a Sunday. They have 26 kids enrolled in VBS.

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2nd Chance Job Fair

Fargo congregations were one of the sponsors for yesterday’s 2nd Chance Job Fair. Clothes were collected and made available to attendees. Employers were present to take applications. It was an opportunity for several area pastor to meet members of the community. Nate Douglas (one of the employers) who is mentioned in the Fargo Forum article is a member of Crosspointe Lutheran.

Lutheran Hour MInistry’s Project Connect brochures were used as giveaways. Even though ND boasts the lowest unemployement rate in the country. Several hundred people attended the Job Fair.

The link above will take you to a TV news report on the event.  Thanks to everyone who contributed.



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Summer of MInot

The congregations of the North Dakota District entered into a covenant at their district convention that this summer would be the Summer of MInot. They pledged to allocate time and resources to the flood recovery effort. To learn more about volunteering, check out:

A weary Lutheran school teacher told a story recently that following an event very few people pitched in take down the tables and chairs. Folks lingered in the gym to visit. But, acted like they didn’t see those at work. It’s easy to over look those in need when it’s not us. Chirst, of course, did the heavy lifting when it comes to our sins. He didn’t look the other way.

2 Corinthians 1:3 (NIV) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

Remember the people of Minot in your prayers. If you can’t hang dry wall or muck out a basement, maybe you can financially support those who can. Minot isn’t the edge of the known universe. But, some locals have told me that you can almost see the edge from there. Consider a trip to help out as an adventure. The staff at Hope Village will make your stay comfortable and assign your group someone who needs help with their heavy lifting.

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Minot (the forgotten city)

Ceiling insulation being removed

I spent yesterday in Minot.  I was kind of glad it was just one day.  I’m not sure (none of us can be until we are faced with a catastrophe)  that I’d cope well with the mess following a flood.  But, home after home, block after block there is devastation and people are coping.  Coping is a measured word.  It’s meaning is a long way from “thriving”.

The irony (or for flood victims the pain) is that just a few blocks away other people’s lives are pretty normal.  Much of Minot didn’t experience flood damage.  The flood was an inconveience and now they are back to normal.  But for 200+ LCMS families, they are not sure what their “new normal” is going to look like.

Even a few short visits to flooded homes sort of got my nose in a dither from all the crud that was or still is growing.  Peggy told us that she has pictures of 5 or 6 different colored molds.  I’m not sure I could rejoice at the arrival of a FEMA trailer.  But, then, I’ve never been homeless.  Many homes are literally framing and a roof.  Others still need a thorough clean out and sanitizing and to be buttoned up for winter.  Things need to be dried out for months before rebuilding should start.

As someone said yesterday, Fargo is at the edge of the known universe and we are 5 hours past that.  This fall we need North Dakotans to step up and help Minot clean up, sanitize and button up for the winter.  We have

2-3 months before winter slows things down.   Minot is several diasters down the public’s disaster memory list now.  But, the needs are just as big as other places.

Peggy’s home had water up to the roof.  They had hoped to save the ceiling insulation but it became evident that it needed to be removed as well.  This is painstaking work as a life time of memories is left on the street.




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Tulsa & Minot

 Rev Phil Hannemann of St Paul Rugby writes:

From July 23-29 our church fellowship hall was the camp out zone for six adults and seven youth from Good Shepherd Lutehran Church of Tulsa, OK.  They logged in time at Minot from Sunday -Thursday gutting the insides of four homes during the days.  Each evening, they showered at the Rugby Armory, ate food provided by St Paul members and watched videos.  They left this morning after cleaning the fellowship hall.

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More water

This home belongs to Renee Johnson/Minot.  Renee is the treasurer of the ND LWML.  In response to my previous message, Rev. Daryl Rothchild has reported that his home has been similarly effected.  Approximtely 4,100 homes in Minot were evacuated.  In the Bismarck/Mandan area, 695 homes were evacuated.  I haven’t had an update from the Sawyer area.  The water has been lingering at near crest levels for longer than originally forecasted.

Our Savior, Minot’s website has some running updates on flood recovery efforts:

President Baneck will be meeting Saturday at 10am with pastors & church leaders at Our Savior.

There will be a conference call Wednesday morning at 9:30 with pastors & local church leaders with Orphan Grain Train representatives to discuss resources they have to offer.








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Minot flooding

Rev Daryl Rothchild and his family were evacuated from their home today in anticipation of record flooding in Minot.  Rev Rothchild lives in Minot and serves congregations in Upham, Towner and Kramer. It is estimated that 10,000 people living in Minot will evacuate.

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Bismarck/Mandan flooding

21 of North Dakota’s 53 counties are federal disaster areas.  The communities of Bismarck/Mandan are dealing with excessive amounts of water from rains in western North Dakota and eastern Montana in recent weeks.  This water flows through the  Missouri River system and is normally controlled by the Garrison Dam.  This year there is so much water that the dam is releasing HUGE  amounts of water and it is raising a ruckus downstream.  The radio is reporting at least 1000 homes will be flooded.  1500 ND Guard troops have been activated.  Some reports say that it may take most of the summer to move the water downstream. The goal is to fill 4,000,000 sandbags.

As  of this morning, I am aware of two LCMS members of Messiah, Mandan who are sandbagging or evacuating their homes.  I know of one LCMS business that is sandbagging.  Messiah, Mandan has 2 RV’s with hookups (they have 3 hookups available) available for folks to use.  Plesae remember the people of these communities in your individual and corporate prayers.


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Sponsor a Kid

At a lunch meeting last week, it was decided to seek sponsorships for 15 Native American children to attend camp at Shepherds HIll Retreat this summer.  Pastor Joel Brandvold will identify the children.  A week at camp costs about $150. To date, 6 sponsorships are available.  Shepherds HIll has hosted Native American children at summer camps in the past. This is an intentional effort to increase that number.  If you are interested in sponsoring a child, send your gift (for any amount) to: ND District, PO Box 9029, Fargo, ND 58106-9029.  Make a note on the check that it is for : SHRC summer sponsorship.

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