Forward from the editor-in-chief.
What do we mean when we say "Higher Things"? Learn about how Christ comes down and raises us up to Him.
Dying to Live
by the Rev. Harold Senkbeil
A poem to the youth of the church. Word pictures from the Dying to Live Youth Conference, Laramie, WY, July 2001.
Have you ever had your faith shaken to its very core? Julie Stiegemeyer has. Read how this former Methodist Christian found Lutheranism and the clearly proclaimed message of Christ crucified.
Disneyland is called the happiest place on earth because inside its gates reality is masqueraded to portray fantasy and even a trip to hell. But for Lutheran Christians, reality is found inside the church. The reality of font, pulpit and altar. The reality of the words, "given and shed for you." Inside the doors of the church we find THE ANSWER that is just as real and true inside as it is outside.
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by the Rev. David Petersen
You probably memorized the Catechism, but can't quite recite it anymore. Pick it up again. Look at it anew. It is not simply a book of instruction, it also is a book of prayer and faith.
Lutherans are not second- class Christians, but citizens of God's heavenly kingdom.
The question "Where are you God?" is asked and then answered as we struggle to understand God in the face of recent terrorist attacks.
A look at the challenges young Lutherans face when they go off to college for the first time.
Read about Lori Lewis' journey into the world of CCM and how she rediscovered the Lutheran Church.
How would you defend the Christian doctrine of Holy Baptism at summer camp? Adriane Dorr shows us how she did it.
See how Rev. Rast dealt with being a parish pastor in Tennessee in the midst of an anti-Lutheran environment.
by the Rev. Klemet Preus
Rev. Preus critiques the popular Left Behind book series and shows that its message should not be trusted.
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Rev. Petersen describes the vows that are made at confirmation, and how the Catechism serves as a road map to help explain faith to others.
Service to God in the Military
by the Rev. John C. Wohlrabe, Jr. Captain, Chaplain Corps, U. S. Navy, Brunswick, ME
Is the killing and destruction that war brings be justified? Better yet. Can a Christian serve in the military and still be a Christian? Yes. They are acting as God's servant to defend their country and its citizens against violence and injustice in order to preserve peace.
Notes on Islam
by the Rev. Dr. Frederic W. Baue
The Rev. Frederic W. Baue provides a glimpse into the world of Islam and its ever-growing affect on Christianity.
Take a glimpse into the diary of the Rev. Dean Kavouras and see how the love of Christ helped heal and support people in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
God's grace is under attack. Learn how to defend it. It's worth fighting for.
Good question. Find out what the Rev.Todd Peperkorn has to say about these popular books and their role in the Christian life.
As Christians,we all deal with the snake called "sin". Luckily for us,we know the snake's power was crushed when Christ died for us on the cross.
Falsely imprisoned in China for espionage, Dr. Gao Xue describes how Christ and the power of prayer sustained her during this horrific experience.
Every war has its heroes. Read how one Lutheran pastor miraculously survived the ongoing war of abortion by being born.
Find out how a Lutheran pastor, equipped with the Word of God, is making a real difference in the lives of the young people of Sudan.
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Evil surrounds each of us daily. Take heart in knowing that Christ has and will Deliver Us From Evil.
Holy Baptism does not take away the Great Tribulation. It unites us with Christ so we will never suffer hardships alone.
In the 2nd century, St. Polycarp died a martyr's death. As Christians today, we can learn from Polycarp's death and know that Christ will never abandon us.
Jesus has broken the power that death has over each one of us. When we each stop breathing one day, death won't be a defeat, but a means for God to glorify us as He glorified His eternal Son, Jesus Christ.
Results of Higher Things First Annual Writing Contest.
The Cross stands between us and God. When He looks at us through it, He sees the new us clothed in Christ, without a body marked by sin.
by the Rev. Eric Andrae
This new Higher Things column focuses on the people and products that make up our popular culture, but from a Lutheran perspective.
In the darkness of depression the love of Christ is all you have. And as it turns out, you don't have Christ at all until all you have is Christ.
Is there more to Sunday School than just eating doughnuts?
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Pride may seem right, but it really is selfish, self-centered, and, yes, sin.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. Sin shattered that image, but Jesus fixed everything. In Him you see God Himself and God sees you as He wishes you to be. You're back in the image of God for you're in the Image Himself.
Tattoos and piercings are becoming more and more popular with young people today. What are some things to consider before deciding whether or not to go under the needle?
by the Rev. Eric Andrae
What magazines are you reading? Pastor Andrae takes a look at some popular magazines read by teens.
Katie Luther, wife of the Reformer Martin Luther, died 450 years ago this month. Read about a fictional day in her life as she assisted her famous husband during the Reformation years.
Don't drink ocean water. That stuff could kill you. Instead, remember you're in the boat, and the One who drowned to get you there is alive and with you. He'll get you home.
Searching for the Gospel in all the wrong places. Lori Lewis shares her experience in visiting a wide variety of denominations and what she discovers about her Lutheran roots.
What's the world coming to? The acceptance of homosexuality, as an alternative lifestyle, is gaining momentum. Will Christians be willing to hold out a lifeline to those who would otherwise be swept away?
See how something as gross as zits restored a friendship between two long-time friends.
Writing our sins on index cards and burning the cards doesn't take sin away. Instead, forgiveness of sins is found in Christ - in His absolving Word, and in the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper.
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We are reminded that beauty which is skin deep won't last, but beauty in our souls will.
Terri shares the story of her abortion at age 16, but her story doesn't end in guilt and condemnation. We, like Terri, rest in the forgiveness and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
How can Christians approach the controversial subject of cloning intelligently and with compassion? Dennis DiMauro, a Lutherans for Life regional executive, sheds light on this difficult issue.
Christians are people of the Book -- God's inerrant Word. But when you're not reading the Good Book, where do you turn for a good read?
by Adriane Dorr
Adriane's friend suffered from bulimia. How does Christ unravel the twisted messes we make of our lives?
At a school dance, the music is slow, the couples are close, and Kathy has to decide how close is too close for her and Steve.
What if God's Word didn't include the fifth commandment? These poems provide a thoughtful look into how the Scriptures would be different if the Bible was "pro-choice".
Should Christians listen to only Christian music or can we enjoy secular music too? How can teens be discerning in our increasingly secular age?
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Need some counsel on life, love and faith? Check out this new column, which promises to answer all your questions.
Need some counsel on life, love and faith? Check out this issue's insanely fabulous advice.
Sailing on uncharted waters to college this fall? Prepare for the journey with some advice from a campus pastor.
What is college life really like? Rick Baue does undercover work to find the skinny on what college students do in their free time.
Which college to attend can be a life-changing decision. Instead of relying on glossy flyers from the admissions office, search for a great congregation where your faith can be nourished during college years.
College years are not a time to put your Christian life in storage but instead can be time for growth in the knowledge of Jesus.
War Is Hell
by Rev. Scott E. Stiegemeyer
The common phrase "war is hell" describes the horror of the battlefield. But is war as bad as hell gets?
Does God give special blessings to war heros? A Scottish hero's story helps us ponder faith and patriotism.
Are demons lurking behind role-playing games? Rev. Daniel Woodring reflects on spiritual warfare and the victory of the conquering Christ.
An ex-Mormon describes the lure of the cults and the saving grace of Jesus Christ for those who stray.
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What are the marks of a cult? What are different types of occult practices? Rev. Larry Nichols defines the basics, while focusing on God's Word for direction.
What is God's calling for you? Concordia University Professor, Dr. Gene Veith, explores the Lutheran understanding of vocation.
Ever been the topic of a sermon illustration? Pastor Peter Hoft knows the joys and trials of growing up in a pastor's home.
Do sit-coms and romantic comedies shape the way we think about our own romance? A college student considers the price of Christian men and women buying into the definitions of love in a media-driven culture.
Jesus is in the Old Testament, already showing how He will save His people.
Adults sometimes assume they know the needs of teens. But do they?
Kathy's friendship with Molly is threatened when an innocent comment gets blown out of proportion.
Opening around the country at the end of September, this powerful new movie tells the story of Luther, the Reformer.
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Boyfriends, spam-o-rama, and so much more!
God created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. That relationship was shattered in the Fall. But Sunday after Sunday, God restores our broken relationship with Him and with each other in the Divine Service.
Out of Sync
by Dr. Barbara J. Resch
What type of music do teens really want in worship? The answer may surprise you.
What is the "happily ever after" story you are hoping for in your life? Audrey Riojas explores our fairy-tale expectations in her article about faith and life.
Kathy discovers more than just pastor's vestments in the vestry.
What do we get out of church? Much more than you may realize.
A pastor reflects on biblical images and allusions in the talents of J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings.
A group of teens assist in bringing Higher Things magazine to the blind as the largest Christian library serving blind people in North America.
A deeper look into Revelation 14 and worship.
Advice about dressing for church and youth Sundays, plus...will there be animals in heaven? Get ready to fire off those e-mails to Ex Cathedra.
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SpongeBob, the Simpsons, and more - oh my!
"Easter is not for the languid, the lethargic, the indifferent, nor for those who don't care who wins. A wounded but undefeated Jesus steps out of the grave to confound the odds. He's alive, and that's what counts." Read this powerful sermon to find out about the greatest comeback ever.
How do you usually celebrate the Fourth of July? With firecrackers, parades, fun, and parties? Read about Nathan's difficult experience, and lessons about depending on God.
Do sporting events have their own liturgies? Gene Edward Veith discusses this issue and his conclusions give a surprising picture of our culture's obsession with sports.
In this, the latest installment of Kathy's adventures and experiences, a neighbor visits their home with some sad news.
Adrianne Dorr tackles the difficult and heart-wrenching issue of suicide, and explores the Biblical view as well as Luther's thoughts on the topic.
The stupidest church signs ever.
Read about how one youth group has grown closer together by attending Higher Things conferences.
Find out what chili con carne and Christ's incarnation -- as well as your own resurrection -- have in common.
Pastor Andrae, the ultimate sports fan (and who can be found at any given time playing soccer, basketball, or at least watching ESPN), reflects on cultural attitudes toward sport, and some specific shows and magazines.
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Internet theft, dealing with shyness, and drive-thru ATMs with Braille keypads?
Through Holy Baptism you have been clothed with Christ. Will you dress like a wise virgin or a belly dancer?
Sex. Such a little word, but such a big deal. Funny how something can be so wonderful, and in other ways, terribly destructive.
What would convince a twenty two year old recent college graduate to enter into holy matrimony? Hear the story of from David about how he and his fiancée decided to get married.
Read about Jenny, Jacob, and Aubrey, three teens who struggle with mental illnesses. How can a Christian teen respond to family members, friends, and classmates with these difficulties?
Have you ever heard the Gospel's voice? It sounds more familiar than you might think.
I DON'T WANT TO DO IT! Why has Pastor reinstituted private confession and absolution? Is it worth it?
Should you tell Dad when your bad choices cause bad problems? An innocent basketball game leads to a mangled curtain rod, some tough consequences, and some thoughts on confession and forgiveness.
A rumor, a betrayal, and snot-flavored ice creamdon't miss Kathy's latest adventures!
What is God's purpose for your life? Some would suggest that we are here to worship God or to serve Him through our works. Is that how God sees it?
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This issue's issues: believing in ghosts, dating non-Christians, and normal bodies.
Pastor David Petersen, in his column on the catechism, compares American pictures of Christmas to the story of Jesus' birth.
God became flesh in Jesus Christ and was born into this world as a baby to suffer and die on the cross and rise physically from the dead. Are these basic truths of Christianity contrary to popular beliefs today as portrayed in books like The Da Vinci Code? Read Veith's latest column to explore this very important topic.
"Keep Christ in Christmas!" and "Jesus is the reason for the season" are familiar sayings these days that we hear frequently around at Christmastime. But what about keeping the "mass" in Christmas? Pastor Borghardt explains what the other half of the word "Christmas" is all about.
Whoa! Wait a minute, can we refer to Mary as the mother of God? Sandra Ostapowich examines this seemingly small point of theology and finds rich meaning in understanding our Lord Jesus Christ.
An unusual encounter with a vicar's cat leads to some startling revelations late one Christmas Eve.
In a letter from a father to a daughter, Pastor Dwight Hellmers addresses some questions about issues that reflect on women, the Bible, and feminism.
With nearly 1 billion Internet users worldwide, stories of crime and abuse of this tool increase as usage increases. But many also have positive experiences. Read about one pastor's experience and how -- with much care and caution -- the Internet can be the place to meet some wonderful people.
Pastor Chryst explores the definitions of some words that you might already wonder about.
Fieberkorn, a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, shares his experiences as a commissioned officer in the armed forces and reflects on his vocation as a soldier.
In this issue, Ex gives advice on great pick-up lines and how to make plans after graduating from high school. Check it out!
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A Thanksgiving dinner which begins with high hopes and gourmet grandeur
ends up with some lessons about thankfulness and swimming mice.
Issues at issue in this issue: God's will for my life, a presidential speech, and some cat-itude!
What good could come from a horror flick? Can Higher Things really slam CCM and praise horror movies in the same issue? Are we daring to be Lutheran or what?
Our God is a consuming fire -- but what does this mean? In this issue Dr. Veith explores the concept of holiness in the book of Leviticus.
Kathy's autistic cousin visits for the weekend and Kathy reflects on broken minds, broken bodies, and our hope in Christ.
Yes, God even uses donkeys to proclaim His Word! How much more will He speak through your pastor!
Mollie reflects on Contemporary Christian Music and its portrayal of God. Do the lyrics of popular CCM songs convey a Biblical viewpoint?
This Lutheran schoolteacher shares her thoughts on why she treasures this jewel of the Lutheran church: our liturgies.
Celebrities like Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve are examples of prominent supporters of embryonic stem cell research. But is there another way to use stem cells without murdering the unborn?
Can you make a decision for Christ? Or choose to accept Christ as your Savior? Read Rev. Pauls' examination of Luther's explanation of the Third Article of the Creed to find out.
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Spontaneous generation. The missing link. A million-year-old earth. Is the "theory" of evolution fact or fiction?
Pastor Peperkorn looks at issues related to the death of Terri Schiavo and God's gift of a life worth living.
Pastor Dan Woodring takes a closer look at popular sci-fi movies and TV shows and finds echoes of Scripture in unexpected places.
For the summer to ponder: college students and credit cards, the "freshman fifteen", and abortion.
In Dr. Veith's latest column, he reflects on the new pope and the implications of the papacy on Lutheranism.
Fear Factor -- Kathy Luder style! Check out Kathy's latest installment filled with horror movies, strangers in dark cars, and facing our deepest fears.
Pastor Day reflects on the cry of two blind men pleading with the Lord for mercy. Just who is Jesus, this merciful Savior?
Ever been punched for standing up for the Gospel? Read Pastor McCain's story to find out why doctrine matters.
After confirmation day, what comes next for the young Christian? Pastor Peperkorn gives some important tips for the post-confirmation years.
Does it really matter whether you stand or sit to shake hands? Does it matter if we have ceremonies in the way we worship? Pastor Petersen offers some insight on why ceremonies make a difference in the life of a Christian.
Is mediocre music sanctified by pious lyrics? In this follow-up article on Christian Contemporary Music, Miss Ziegler takes a look at at the quality of CCM today.
Myths on Prayer
by Rev. George F. Borghardt III
Can a heartfelt prayer come from the words of a hymnal? Read Pastor Borghardt's article as he delves deeper into thoughts on prayer.
Take a closer look at the Dare to be Lutheran 2005 Conference hymn.
See You at the Pole has become a major back-to-school event in many communities. Is prayer at the flagpole a helpful annual ritual. Stan Lemon takes a look at this fall event.
Has Christianity been taken over by fads? Elizabeth Meckler explores Christian mass-marketing as well as other "trendy" events like See You at the Pole.
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News about professional athletes on steroids is commonplace these days. Do 21st century sports emphasize winning at any cost -- even breaking the law? Read Pastor Pauls' thoughts on winning, losing, and healthy competition.
DTBL rocked!one participant gushed. See
how awesome it was in this photo collage,
and get a taste of the worship life at DTBL by
reading the sermon preached by Dr.Nagel at
the DTBL Divine Service at Concordia Seminary.
Do you come to church with ears to hear what
God will say to you? Or do you plan on power
napping during the sermon? Pastor Cwirla
lends some thoughts on exactly how to listen
to a sermon. Lend him your ear.
Many people are becoming reacquainted with
C.S. Lewiss fantasy world due to the upcoming
movie based on his novel The Lion, the Witch
and the Wardrobe.Dr.Menuge reflects on
some of what Narnia represents.Take a look.
It might be more than you know.
Cosmetic surgery, reality TVs hottest trend,
blends fairytale beauty with ordinary looks.
Darren Elikers article helps us think about
beauty, reality, and finding contentment
Kathy helps her friend Molly with fashion tips,
dating advice, and learns a lesson about letting
In Genesis we read about Josephs long
saga: being sold to slave traders, betrayed by
brothers, falsely accused, and imprisoned
and the Lord was with Joseph?? Pastor Cage
brings these Bible stories into clear focus as
he reflects on Josephs vocations and Gods
Reflecting on the publication of Concordia:
The Lutheran ConfessionsA Readers Edition
of the Book of Concord,Dr.Veith finds that our
Lutheran teachings have stood the test of time
and boldly proclaimed our Savior.
Ex Cathedra readers ask important questions
about making the sign of the cross, being
addicted to Internet porn, and what to do
if you suspect a friend is struggling with
Ever been owned in a video game? If you know
what that means, you might be a gaming fanatic
like Dr. Rast. Read on to see who owns you.
God gives us the law to curb our sin and fight
against our natural tendency to do wrong. But
are there also blessings in obeying the law?
Do you think about heaven and hell? Are you nervous about your eternity? Read the second part of a pair of articles by Pastor Borghardt and Seminarian Fouts to think about eternity beyond the grave.
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Do you think about heaven and hell? Are you nervous about your eternity? Read the first part of a pair of articles by Pastor Borghardt and Seminarian Fouts to think about eternity beyond the grave.
We continually struggle with temptation, just as
our Master, Jesus,was also tempted. And yet we
hold fast to the hope we have in Christ when all
earthly sufferings, including temptation, will
finally be removed.
In this semi-regular column, Higher Things
seeks to understand our distinctiveness as
Lutherans. In this issue, Pastor Alms lends his
thoughts about the Eastern Orthodox Church
and our Gospel-rich Lutheran heritage.
In this Pulse column that reviews several
books on Christian dating,Ms.Dorr reflects
on boyfriends, girlfriends, hand checks, and
Christs everlasting grace.
In Mark 4, Jesus calms the sea and quiets the
waves. Pastor Mosemann reflects on this text,
on our resistance to trust in God, and on the
Gospel promises of our Savior.
Was Hurricane Katrina an example of God
unleashing His wrath? Read about Dr.Veiths
blog wars and Gods wrath, grace, and our
hope in Christ.
Kathys day starts out crummy and goes
downhill from there. At the end of the day,
Kathy flops on the couch, and her perspective
Hipi is the daughter of Rev. Andrew Elisa, the
president of the Evangelical Lutheran Church
in the Sudan. She lends some thoughts about
Gods unceasing blessings in the persecuted
and war-torn country of Sudan.
The Christmas narratives in the Gospels of
Matthew and Luke are favorites of many. Pastor
Borghardt explores one aspect of the story
the angels role in our Lords Christmas coming.
The TGB Society serves up tea, good conversation,
and thoughtful discussion. See what this
college group is all about.
Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization
over fifty years old, has groups at more than
thirteen hundred college campuses. Is this
parachurch group helpful to Lutheran college
students or not?
Dear Pastor, I need some advice. Im feeling so
depressed. Can you help? Is there something
wrong with my faith? Pastor Krueger helps to
clear up the confusion.
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Are praise services the cure for depression? Can
praise music take away your despair? Read this
intriguing article to explore the heartache of
bipolar disorder and the truth of the Gospel.
God joins water and His Word to keep us from
eternal damnation. Read about Gods saving
gifts, which He gives us through the means of
Megachurch or faithful church? Contemporary
Christian music or the liturgy? Video projectors or
hymnals? Mr.Wolf explains the benefits of being
distinctly, and even an old-fashioned, Lutheran.
Do you like the Black-Eyed Peas? Gwen Stefani?
Audioslave? Read this Pulse column to see a
survey of what kinds of music Higher Things
readers listen to the most.
Why are most Christians so reluctant to talk
about Jesus? Are good works more appealing
than our Savior? Dr.Veith outlines the importance
of focusing on Christ and the forgiveness
While reflecting on Lamentations 3, Jeff Hansen
gives insight about God allowing suffering in
Kathy and her mom attend a funeral at church.
While there, she contemplates the similarities
between biological families and church families,
family suppers and the Lords Supper, and
birthdays and feast days.
Your friends, television actors, and maybe even
you misuse the Lords name. Check out Rev.
Chrysts article to see why three little words
say more than you might think.
Are you finishing school this year? Do you feel
unsure of what life has in store for you after
graduation? Rev. Borghardt reminds us of the
hope and promise we have in Christ.
Vicar Lehmann weighs in on Satans anger, our
sin, and Gods gift of Jesus for our redemption.
Over 50 percent of teenagers contemplate suicide.
Read Dr.Yahnkes article to find out how
you can help those who face this temptation.
Prayer in public schools is a good thing. Or is it?
Rev. Pauls discusses multiculturalism, secularism,
and the fine line between church and state.
Accompanying his essay is a compelling article
on school prayer by Mollie Ziegler.
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Who ya calling pond scum?? Were you created
with a purpose or did you evolve from gunk?
Can science and Christianity coexist? Read
Rev. Cwirlas defense of Intelligent Design to
find the answers.
What? Put down my granola bar and fast before the Lords Supper? Are you crazy? Read Pastor Petersens article on why proper preparation before Holy Communion is so beneficial.
by Sandra Ostapowich
Who is the superhero on Superman's lunchbox? Jack Bauer of 24, of course! Tune in to learn more about one of the season's hottest TV shows.
Our Lord brings us from death to life through Baptism. Pastor Days commentary explains how God uses simple means like water to do His life-saving work.
Some days it seems that life just isnt fair. Kathy Luder had one of those days, and she shares a personal story about resentment, forgiveness, and lunch ladies.
Are you tempted by all the shiny, enticing things other denominations have to offer? Pinch yourself to see if youre still alive, and then read Pastor Pauls article on why Lutheran worship centers around Christ crucified and
why that message is all for you.
Before you plop down to watch TV, consider picking up a book first.To find out why Christians need to engage their brain, read on!
Doo-doo has a nasty smell, but what does that have to do with doinggood works? Pastor Donofrio clues us in on why we are completely dependent on Christ for our salvation.
Are you addicted to MySpace? Is your relationship with Facebook a little too serious? Check out Tyler Williams article about online social networks, and discover their advantages and
What do sinners have in common with dry, useless sponges? Read Zack Stuckwischs discussion of our sin, Gods forgiveness, and the blessings of Baptism to find out.
Pastor Rottmann debunks some well-known myths about faith and explains what faith really is and why it matters.
Has God spoken to you lately? Does He still speak audibly to us like He did to Adam and Eve? Pastor Borghardt explains where God speaks to you today.
What if you consider cheating but dont do it? Or what if you actually do cheat, but no one catches you? Was it still wrong? Pastor Harris gives us the lowdown on sin and its consequences.
We've compiled a sampling of some notable blurbs from the Higher Things blogs. Check them out and read more online at http://blog.higherthings.org/.
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Most colleges and universities today are known for being unfriendly to Christians. In this new column, Pastor Zill explores ideas about how you can help restore a Lutheran presence on these campuses.
Get a load of this. The catechism says you're supposed to honor your pastor! Are you surprised? amazed? intrigued? To find a few good ways to show him that you appreciate what he does, start by reading Pastor Petersen's article.
With school back in full swing, teachers and students are bound to butt heads. Our very own Kathy Luder already has, and she shares her story of frustration, fury, and forgiveness - all over homework.
Do you think that Confession only takes place in a dark booth? Or that your pastor tells your parents every sin you just confessed to him in confidence? Pastor Kuhlmann sets the record straight about what really goes on during Confession and Absolution.
Pastor Kuhlmann will be the Law and Gospel catechist at the North Carolina "For You" conference.
College is more than just homework, late nights, and bad cafeteria food. It's also an opportunity to discuss Jesus with those who haven't heard of Him. For tips on how to start conversations about Christ, read Pastor Roberts' article.
There's been a lot about Jesus in the media lately. From movies to books, He's popping up everywhere. But can you trust what the secular world teaches about Him? Read Pastor Borghardt's article to find out what the media has right about Jesus and what it's got really wrong.
Why did Jesus allow Himself to be crucified? How could He love those who despised, rejected, and killed Him? And why are the suffering, death, and resurrection so important to us as Lutherans? Check out Pastor Day's article for those answers and more.
How does God make His love known to us? Pastor Stiegemeyer contemplates this question as he writes about Valentine's Day, warm fuzzies, and what love's got to do with it.
Another Higher Things conference has come and gone. Summer is over. School has resumed. Homework is never ending. The future looks bleak. But cheer up, because we've got tons of pictures and quotes from The Feast!
Higher Things magazine just turned five years old! From the very first staff members to the best-loved articles, we're giving you the finest highlights of your favorite magazine.
Life is all about loving Jesus, right? The sweet, kind, polite Jesus who thinks you're great no matter what? Before answering, read Pastor Wilken's article about how Jesus' death on the cross is more and better than just nice.
Pastor Wilken will be the catechist on Law and Gospel at the Minnesota "For You" conference.
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Animals may be cute and fun, but have you ever considered their place in God's creation? And why did He give us charge over them? If you like animals, Pastor Pauls' article on creation, stewardship, and nature is for you.
God created everything in the universe. But is it just there to look pretty or is there more to it? Understanding God through His creation is called the natural knowledge of God, and while it's no easy subject to wrap your head around, Pastor Petersen will make it all clear!
Menorahs, driedels, and yarmulkes - what is being Jewish all about anyway? If you've ever wondered about the topic of Hanukkah, the differences between Christians and the Jewish, and why they don't celebrate Christmas, this is the article for you.
Tired of not being able to find any Christian-friendly movies anymore? Read the good doctor's propsal that Christian youth start making their own, and find out what his suggestions are for movies that would benefit Lutherans and the world as a whole.
Has it been a while since you've thought about what really takes place during Confession? Susan Gehlbach will refresh your memory by recounting the ache of confessing painful sins, the joy of receiving Holy Aboslution, and the hope that sinners have in Christ.
The courtroom is packed. The Judge isn't in a good mood. And you're the guilty one. How will you plead? And will the Judge be merciful or will He punish you for breaking the Law? For a dramatic fictional account of what the Last Day just might be like, turn to Pastor Pauls' article on judgment and grace.
Because today's secular society seems to think that there is no truth, Christians are often called upon to give a defense of their faith. Craig Parton, a lawyer, summarizes common arguments used against Christianity and then outlines the best (and Lutheran) way to refute them.
E-mails can sometimes bring horrible news. After receiving one from a friend who admitted she was no longer a Christian, Kathy Luder had a frank discussion with her pastor about unbelief and faith. Read her latest account to find out how Kathy reacted to the news and what comfort her pastor had to share with her.
Have you ever talked to someone who wondered what the Bible is about? Yes, it's about wars, sin, angels, and other fascinating things, but it's more than that. It's what Christ has to tell us about Himself. And not only is the Word about Christ, the Word is Christ. And it's all for you!
As surprising as it may seem, not all Lutherans worship in air-conditioned sanctuaries or get to eat coffee and donuts after chuch. Some gather beneath mangos trees to hear the Word of God preached while monkeys swing above their heads. God is building his Church around the world, and Julie Stiegemeyer gives us the inside scoop on how it's happening in one corner of Africa.
Who is the Holy Spirit? What is His role? And what on earth does He have to do with Christmas? To find out the answers to these questions as well as how the Holy Spirit works in you daily, turn no farther than Pastor Borghardt's article.
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Are you fascinated by aliens, ghosts, and haunted houses? Does the devil really command his demons to activley work against you? Read about Pastor Pauls' exprience with a possessed alarm clock and his explanation of what Christ has done to defeat the powers of darkness.
We're always hearing about the Gospel, but what about the Law? Is it good for us? Why should we pay attention to it? Wouldn't we be better off without it? If you're interested in the benefits of the Law, read Pastor Petersen's column to learn more.
Do you have Pentecostal friends who speak in tongues? What do they really believe about the Holy Spirit? They're both important things to know more about, and Zelwyn Heide's done all the research for you.
Many adults say video games aren't healthy because they're so violent. But what about Christian video games that aren't healthy because they're so non-Christian? If technology is your thing, this article by Seminarian Doug Taylor is for you.
Kathy's got herself in a bind. She's told a lie, the cops are involved, and now her guilty conscience is getting the best of her. Read more to find out how it all ends.
Is there a right or wrong way to receive the Lord's body into your mouth at Communion? Should you be given it from your pastor's hand or take it from your own? Is one way more Lutheran? Pastor Day explains the importance of reverence during Communion, what the Church has said about it through the ages, and the gifts we are given by receiving it.
You've gone to church your whole life. You know your Bible and catechism. But now you're in college, and teachers are telling you that Christianity isn't true, the Bible is a sham, and Jesus is no better than Ghandi. Are you ready for this? How do you react? Read this article, and be better prepared.
Aaron Wolf reminds us of the Left Behind books and the trend they started. What do Lutherans believe about the end times? And how do we respond to Christians who disagree with us? This article explains it all.
Because of sin, no one was created with a perfect mind and body. But we know that they will be just right one day in heaven. Until then, what's the best way to deal with mental illnesses like ADD? Read this article to learn more.
Have you ever wondered what it really means to be Lutheran? Are we defined by our beliefs or just our infamous potlucks and Jell-O? To get a more detailed study on the matter, look at Betsy Schroeder's article.
Thinking about the future can be a little overwhelming even scary at times. You may be unsure, and there may not seem to be many answers. But take heart. Your Savior has a plan for you. He'll work it all for your good.
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A well-known celebrity has claimed that Christianity is a dangerous disease. Is it true? What's his proof? And are you in danger of being infected? Check out Pastor Pauls' article for all the answers.
Your friend just got the new Nelly Furtado CD,
and its the same one youve been wanting to
get. He offers to let you have it after school so
that you can burn your own copy. Do you take
him up on it? Or do you fork over the eighteen
bucks and buy your own? Read Jess Nortons
article on music piracy if youre unsure about
how youd answer.
Its summertime. Instead of whining to your
parents that you have no life, pop in one of the
ten films all Lutherans should know and love.
Doktor Luther has outlined several classic
movies that youre sure to enjoy. And if you
dont, well, its better than sitting on the front
porch waiting for the ice cream truck.
While you might have a summer job, were
betting that youre still begging your parents for
more money. But who ultimately gives us all that
we need? Believe it or not, money doesnt grow
in your parents wallets, but it does come from
God who knows just how much you need.
When we think of pastors wives, we usually think
they should play the organ, make coffee for Bible
Study, lead the Altar Guild, and teach Sunday
School, right? Or maybe not. To get an inside
scoop on what its like being married to a pastor,
check out this interview with Julie Stiegemeyer.
by Chaplain Richard Townes
Chaplain Richard Townes saw a lot of things,
both painful and joyful, when he was deployed
to Iraq with a Marine battalion for several
months. Through a series of letters written
home, he shares the struggles and successes of
being a pastor to some of the men and women
who fight to protect us.
Society tells us that sex outside of marriage is
okay, that it wont hurt anybody, and that its a
sure cure for loneliness. But thats not Gods plan
for you. Read Pastor Pauls article to find out why
God wants you to wait and why He loves and
forgives you, even if you do fall prey to
Ballroom dancing is regaining popularity all
across America. Its graceful, classic, and fun. But
Pastor Braaten, a ballroom dancer himself,
believes you can learn more from dancing than
just the cha-cha and waltz. Its a lesson in
leading, following, relationships, and love.
What started out as an innocent drive to listen to
music and hang out with Molly turns disastrous
for Kathy when a drunk driver loses control of his
car. As a result, Kathy is forced to grow up quickly
when she finds herself hurt and in trouble.
The recent shootings at Virginia Tech left many
Americans wondering why and how it
happened. While the thought of such a tragedy
happening in your own school might frighten
you and give you concern about your safety,
Pastor Siems reminds us that Christ has won
eternal security for us in heaven.
God spoke, and things were created. His words
had their intended effect. Sin has tainted that
perfect creation, and now we live in a sinful
world. At the same time, Pastor Day expounds
on why we can wait with eager anticipation for
Christs new creation where we will live with
Have you ever considered that a good
government is one of the ways in which your
heavenly Father gives you your daily bread? Its
true! For a lesson in history, tyranny, freedom, and
liberty, go straight to Pastor Petersens article.
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Weve compiled a sampling of some notable blurbs from the Higher Things blogs. Check them
out and read more at http://blog.higherthings.org/.
The mega-church down the street has cup holders, recliners, and an ATM in the lobby. Your church has pews and a pulpit. Does the way your church looks affect how you worship? If church architecture and stained glass tickle your fancy, Pastor Vogts' article is for you.
Everyone who's someone in your class shops at H & M, and the popular kids say you have to get your jeans at Abercrombie. Even your little sister can't go to the mall without stopping at the Gap. But if you're made in God's image, shouldn't brand names be irrelevant? Your worth doesn't stem from the logo on your clothes, and Julie Beckwith tells you why.
by Rev. Christopher Esget
Christ died for you. He rose for you. He will come again for you. And if that isn't enough, Pastor Esget's sermon from Asheville outlines a whole slew of other things your Lord has done--all for you.
Has anyone let you in on the Secret? Oprah talks about it, millions of people live by it, and it supposedly can change your life. This Secret says thinking happy thoughts can make good things happen to you. Skeptical? Good. If you're unconvinced about the power of positive thinking, you're in the right place.
Your best friend is staying over on Saturday night and plans to go to church with you on Sunday. But she's not Lutheran, and she doesn't understand why she can't go to Communion with you. If you need a refresher course on the Lord's Supper or if you have a hard time discussing it with your friends, check out Pastor Beisel's questions and answers.
Only geeks learn Latin. It's an old-fashioned language. Nobody uses it anymore. Wait just a minute. You've got it all wrong! There are many benefits to learning Latin you may not realize. Pastor Nordling explains why Latin's not quite as bad as you might think.
You hear it everywhere--in the mall, at school, during volleyball practice. Sometimes it just slips out. Other times it's very deliberate. But any way you cut it, taking the Lord's name in vain, blurting out, "Oh my God!" is an abuse of your heavenly Father's name, and Pastor Petersen tells you why it's a dangerous habit to get into.
When Kathy agreed to meet up with friends for some food and fun after the football game, she figured it would just be another average party. But she never imagined the night would end up like it did. Read with caution. This cliffhanger shows how much one decision can change a person.
Heading off to college is pretty exciting, but with that newfound freedom come a lot of questions. From what classes to take to how many weeks you can go without doing laundry, college is full of options. But the most important choice--finding a church where you'll here Christ's Word and receive the Sacraments--is often the hardest to make. But don't worry. Pastor Zill is here to help.
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Information for next summers conferences.
Some religions teat girls with far less respect than they deserve. But how does our Lord view women? How does He encourage them to live? What does he do for them? To see how Christ is at work for girls (and boys too), read Deaconess Carder's article.
by Dr. Peter Scaer
Do you eve feel alone in a crowd? Or like you don't fit in? O that there's no one to sit with at lunch? No worries. You're not alone. You've got the whole magazine staff! Um, we mean that your heavenly Father loves you, and His opinion of you is far more important than what the cheerleaders think. If you're still not convinced, Dr. Scaer just might change you mind.
by Bethany Smith
It's a touchy subject, that dating. And not only is it confusing and difficult, but to make matter worse, no one seems to have any conclusive answers, Is there even a golden rule for dating? Check out Bethany Smith's article for a little clarification.
Forgiveness isn't vey easy. It's much more fun to hold our grudges and our hurt feelings. But thankfully, our Lord doesn't act like us. He forgives us even though we have sinned and don't deserve it. So if you need a little reminder that Jesus' death on the cross is your forgiveness this is the article for you
Growing up in a broken home is hard, but far too many teenagers today are doing just that. How do you deal with separated parents? Is thee any reassurance that things will get better? If you need answers, Pastor Pauls shows just where you can find them in God's Word
by Dr. Adam Francisco
How much do you know about Islam? Is it the world's fastest-growing religion? Is Allah just another name for God? Will mankind abandon the madness of cheap sandwich bags? Oh, wait. Wrong article. Anyway, Dr. Francisco's written up a little refresher course for you on this dangerous religion.
You probably didn't hear this in you U.S. History class during freshman year (you weren't sleeping where you?), but the Lutheran Reformation played a vital role in the formation of America's Constitution. Don't believe us? Dr. Veith has done the research for you already, and you won't even have to buy the textbook.
Ugh. Parents can be so annoying. They're old fashioned, they don't understand you, and they're always trying to run your life. Why don't thy just give it up already? Wait, What? Could it possibly be that God has given you parents because they're good for you? Pastor Peperkorn has an insight that you just might find helpful.
Remember those kids running around in green T-shirts at the Higher Things conferences? Those were Christ on Campus Volunteers (CCVs). If you've ever wondered about the secret life of CCVs, what they do, and how they got the job, Karl Houser gives you an inside look.
The policeman has finished his report. The doctor has sent Kathy home from the hospital. Now is the time for reflection, both from Kathy and the one who was sent to keep her safe.
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Sometimes it's hard to imagine what heaven will be like. Will you know who your grandma is? Will you still have brown hair? Will you be able to crack jokes? Will the magazine staff still be misfits? Pastor Petersen has some reassurance for you. So, don't worry. You will still be you in heaven.
During a recent Packers' game last year, the camera zoomed in on a young girl holding a sign that read, "My mom thinks I'm in church." Yikes! Are Americans really that sports-oriented? Pastor Chryst, a Packers fan himself, clears up the confusion.
Bookstores are full of books on self-help and Christian living, but what does all this mean in the big scheme of things? Mr. Kudes takes us back to the apostles' lives and Christ's words to remind us that our life begins in one death.
You've been there. It's Sunday morning, and you just don't feel like going to church, much less taking the Lord's Supper. After all, you just received it last Sunday. Do you really need it again so soon? Pastor Wieting will fill you in on why you just might.
Ever wished you could shoot off a letter to the editor of Higher Things Magazine, telling him how you really feel about that ridiculous article on ballroom dancing or the absurdity of hearing about antiquated movies? Now you can. We're here to help you pen the most prolific and well thought out response you've ever had.
Is the picture with this article gruesome and gory? Or is it comforting and compassionate? If you're interested in articulating what the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper really is, Pastor Alms' article will help you do it.
Christians sometimes get labeled "close-minded" and "intolerant." But are we really? Or are we just interested in getting at the truth, no matter how hard it might be? Pastor Scarbeary has been told to be more open-minded, and he'll recount his experience first-hand.
Does your dachshund have more jackets than you do? Or do kick your grandma's poodle because it's just so annoying? What's the line between treating animals like people and using them as if they're indispensable? Read Dr. Yenor's commentary to discover a happy medium between the two.
Have you ever considered helping out at church? It's shocking, I know. After all, isn't it Pastor's job to make the coffee, straighten the chairs, and pass out the Bibles? It's not like he does much during the week anyway! But think on this (and we realize it's earth-shattering), you just might have a unique gift to share with the Church.
It's lonely being a Lutheran. Sometimes it seems like you're all alone in a sea of baby Baptism-bashing Evangelicals. So what's a person to do when friends and even family raise a questioning eyebrow at your baptismal beliefs? Check out Pastor Pauls' article, that's what!
Fighting bears, treacherous journeys, and witch clans all join up to make the much-contested The Golden Compass movie. It's clearly an anti-Christian movie, so should you go see it or not? Ask Mr. Wurdeman, and he'll give you his opinion.
Relationships are hard work. It's difficult to find the right person, tough to decide if he or she is the right one, and equally tricky to keep the romance alive. If you think you've found true love (and it's not with a quart of ice cream and Sleepless in Seattle on a Friday night) or if you just have some questions, Pastor Mons will debunk all your relationship myths.
It's getting close to Mother's Day, and Kathy has no idea what to get her mom. Then she saw it in the paper; a contest where the prize was a year's worth of free flowers for Mom. That should be easy enough, she decides. But how can she describe just how much her mom means to her in one thousand words or less?
It's an all too familiar feeling. You've done something wrong, you've repented, but you just can't seem to shake the guilt. Has God rally forgiven you sin? And if He has, why do you still feel remorse? Check out Pastor Petersen's article.
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When Andrew Wurdeman sent in his featured article on the Golden Compass, his dad, Pastor Glen Wurdeman also contributed the following article from his church newsletter. One of the responsibilities of parents is guiding children through literature, and we present this to you for your edification in that task. -Ed.
by Rev. Phillip Zielinski
Hurting people are everywhere. Abuse affects those you'd never expect. It may even be happening to you. If someone is hurting you or if you desire to help a friend in need, Pastor Zielinkski's article will help you find a way of escape.
You just don't get it. Why do bad things always seem to happen to you? You're a good person. It's not like you deserve it. So how come things always seem to go the wrong way? If life just doesn't seem fair, check out Mr. Hein's article on suffering, tragedy, and who can answer all the why questions you have.
A girl's wardrobe can explain a lot about her. (I mean, Kathy Luder wears ladybug necklaces. What does that say?) So how should a Christian young lady dress? Can she war a mini-skirt or does she have to wear a dress the size of a tent? If you're interested in maintaining your modesty, Mrs. Curtis is here to help.
Conference time is here, which means you're either sweating through the heat in St. Louis, on a flight to Irvine, or looking up Scranton on a map. Either way, conference speakers Pastor Mark Buetow and Pastor George Borghardt are here to fill you in on why "Amen" will be the word to know this summer.
Yours the Amen
by Rev. George Borghardt III
Conference time is here, which means you're either sweating through the heat in St. Louis, on a flight to Irvine, or looking up Scranton on a map. Either way, conference speakers Pastor Mark Buetow and Pastor George Borghardt are here to fill you in on why "Amen" will be the word to know this summer.
Your girlfriend's a Methodist. It's no big deal, right? So what? As long as she's a Christian, that's all that matters. Or does it? What's best when it comes to dating people who aren't Lutheran? Pastor Riordan's been there, done that, and has the answers.
Have you ever let a swear word slip out, and then, frustrated with yourself, punched your grandma? Ok, so it's a far-fetched scenario, but is there a difference between intentional sins and ones that just seem to happen? If you're unclear on the differences, take a peek at Pastor Bell's article, which just might help to clarify your bewilderment.
"What's the deal with the Ten Commandments? They're so overrated and archaic. After all, we're not the Israelites. You don't see us roaming around in the desert complaining about our rotten lives, do you?" But could these commands be more than that? Are they God's way of protecting us? Pastor Cwirla will get you up to speed.
He rode into her life on a shiny motorcycle with a smile that could melt butter and a face fit for the cover of Teen People. Was it love at first sight? Did they live happily ever after? Or did he leave her alone and crying after only one summer together? If you're nosy and interested in Mrs. Stiegemeyer's love life, this is the article you won't want to miss.
Facebook is like cyber-crack. Admit it. You can't live without it. You have to sign in fourteen times a day, or you feel like you're completely out of the social loop. Well, who says only teenagers get to have fun? Martin Luther's got a Facebook page too, and he's invited you to be his friend.
It's an eternal struggle between good and evil, right and wrong, light and darkness. The devil moves stealthily about the earth, waiting for a weak and innocent victim to prey upon. Is there hope? Does the devil always get his man? For a lesson in life, read Pastor Pauls' article and see yourself within.
Kathy's favorite teacher is caught lying about his past. She is astonished by what she hears and devastated that he has misled her. He's apologized, but it's not easy to forgive and forget. How is she supposed to trust him from now on? Read Kathy's article for a lesson in forgiveness and faith.
You've heard about the order of creation, but what does it really mean? Are mothers more powerful than children or bosses than employees? Or are we all really just equal in Christ? Pastor Petersen explains the two camps of thought on this issue and the conclusion we can come to as a result.
Information about the 2009 conferences
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Upcoming Retreat Information
It's hard to understand parables. Are they about you, or your neighbor, or Jesus, or Christians, or non-believers? How can you tell? Pastor Wolfmueller helps to sort out the confusion by pointing you back to your Savior.
Swimming is hard work. Sometimes it's fun. Sometimes not. Sometimes it's easy. Sometimes it's hard. Daily prayer, personal devotion, and church attendance are hard work too. Sometimes they're not fun or easy either. So, why bother? Swimmer Kyle Verage talks discipline, grace, and faith.
by Rev. Christopher Esget
You heard Pastor Esget preach at the Amen conference and wished you had a copy of his sermon to read again. Well, now you do! For a little light reading on your salvation and God's mercy, read on.
Have you stopped to wonder why we sing the Alleluia when we do in church? Or what the point of the Offertory is? Pastor Roemke lays out the Divine Service in a few easy steps so that you can understand exactly what's going on on Sunday morning.
Every summer your friends go on missions trips, and they always sound so exciting. They're building houses and doing puppet shows, and you're sitting at home doing nothing. Or are you? Pastor May fills you in on the true meaning of mission work and why it may be something different than what you think.
You see them all the time on the back of cars: a fish with a pair of legs or a fish that says "Darwin" swallowing the Christian fish. But do you know where those symbols come form and what they mean? If you don't, Pastor Jastram has the explanation, and it just might come in handy next time you see one of those cars in the mall parking lot
Many fellow Christians don't understand why we believe that in the Lord's Supper Jesus give us His Body and Blood in, with, and under the bread and wine. We can almost guarantee that you'll be challenged on this doctrine, so read Pastor Pauls' article for a w few of the common criticisms as well as suggestions on how to respond.
All Lutherans have been there. One minute we're talking about salvation, and the next minutes someone's wondering when we asked Jesus into our hearts. We fumble around and finally mutter, "Um, when I was baptized?" If you've been in that spot and don't want to be again, Pastor Woelmer sheds some light on the situation.
Most of us like our pastor. We know his preaching style and understand his sense of humor. But Kathy's pastor is gone for the week, and a different pastor is filling in, a pastor she knows is old and dull. Just as she starts to wonder why she's even bothering to go, Mom Luder sets her straight ...and gets your priorities back in line too
We've all complained about having to memorize the catechism or hymns or Bible passages. It seems pretty pointless. After all, if we need to know something we can grab the book and look it up. But Pastor Peterson wants you to know that when the Word of god is in your heart-- memorized and close at hand--it transforms you. And let's be honest, who doesn't want to be changed from a whiny teenager to a comforted believer?
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Check out some great pictures from the Amen Conferences!
Theyâre mysteries, those pastors.What do they
do in their spare time? Do they all live like
monks? And how much do they really know
about you? In a tell-all glimpse into the secret
lives of pastors, Pastor Pulse divulges the truth
youâve been waiting to hear.
Itâs hard to be mature.Youâre trying to act grown
up, but for now youâre in this middle, awkward
stage.Youâre not a baby,but youâre just not quite
an adult yet. So whatâs a teenager to do? Start by
reading Mr. Pfundsteinâs advice on how to act
To do good works or not do good works . . . that
is the question.Or is it? Do we do them to make
God happy? Or do we do them in service to our
neighbor? And really,whatâs going to happen to
us if we donât do any at all?When it comes to
good works, Pastor Kuhlmann has the answer.
Sometimes itâs more fun to be naughty than
nice. Sure, our parents taught us to be respectful,
kind, considerate, and thoughtful.But do we
have to be perfect all the time? Canât we just act
up now and then? Pleeeease? Dcs.Thompson
knows a thing or two about disobeying parents,
and sheâs ready to fess up.
The elections are over.The political ads are done.
The hype has died down. But through it all,
families of soldiers are still missing their loved
ones and waiting for their return home.You can
help. If you know a family of a soldier, Pastor
Schey will help you help them.
Thatâs right.We said it.Youâre a baboon.Actually,
youâre not.The American Humanist Association
said you were, but Pastor Pauls disagrees.Youâre
not an animal.Youâre a child of God.Youâre
created in His image. So,merry Christmas!
Youâre not a monkey after all.
Peter is the frustrating disciple.Heâs always
speaking out of turn, saying what he shouldnât,
making a ruckus, and being obnoxious (and no,
weâre not talking about your little brother). But,
believe it or not, Pastor Borghardtâs found a time
when Peter actually got things right.Check out
this article for Peterâs confession of Christ that
speaks for us all.
Youâll hear about it from your teachers and
college professors, from friends who are
Christians, and from the society: itâs not a sin to
be gay. But Scripture says differently.To get in
on the conversation, read Pastor Andraeâs
critique of what the culture tells you is okay
College is a time of seeking truth and answers.
Students want to know whatâs right and wrong
and why. But Pastor Zill encourages your
college years to be a time of seeking Christ,
who is truth incarnate, and who can only be
found where He has promised to be: in His
water,Word, and forgiveness.
Maybe Kathyâs been reading toomuch Twilight or
maybe it was a late night out watching it at the
movie theater.But either way, sheâs got vampires
on the brain, and coming into contact with them
turns out to bemore than a deadly nightmare.
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The Eighth Commandment is easy to break.
After all, your grandmaâs purple hair is just
begging to be made fun of. But itâs a
commandment nonetheless. So what happens
now? No worries.You have a Friend
who never gossips about
you, and Pastor Petersen tells
you He is anxious to speak good
things about you on earth and in heaven.
Is there something that makes you uniquely you? Is it your number of IM contacts, your amount of Facebook friends, or how many people sit at you study hall table? Nope. It's none of those. Mrs. Nikki Boyle went through what you're going through, and she's here to help you see that your identity is in Christ, not your clothing brand.
On Thursday nights, Facebook statuses everywhere read "So-and-So is Lost." It's a universal symbol for "Leave me alone. I'm watching Lost. Don't bug me." But is the show more than that? Can it teach you a valuable theological lesson too? Tracey Dann thinks so, and she's ready to fill you in.
Every Sunday, it's the same old thing. The pastor says the Lord's name three times, makes the sign of the cross, and the service ends. But Miss Kimberly Fetz knows that the Aaronic benediction is more than simply a sign that church is over. It is a blessing meant just for you!
Praying isn't easy. You're not always sure what to pray for or if you should really be praying it or if the Lord is actually even paying attention to what you're saying in the first place. But Pastor Pauls is here to remind you that the Lord hears, answers, and works all things for your good (just in case you forgot).
Man was not created to die. Death should be unnatural. But after our first parents' fall in the garden, death and doubt are our way of life. Mr. Michael Fieberkorn helps you understand the consequence of sin, the origin of death, and the hope that is yours in Christ Jesus.
Pastors are great... except for when you have to talk to them. Curtis has gone through some rough times at school, and now his mom is making him meet face-to-face with Pastor Michaels to talk about it. Will Pastor Michaels' words of comfort be able to help? Or will Curtis keep his fears bottled up inside?
Say the word reformer, and most people shout, "Martin Luther!" But there are other reformers too, men who were tried and tested for the faith and who withstood the assaults and attacks of the devil. For the story of one who fought the good fight, see Mr. Di Mauro's article on Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake for his faith in Christ.
What? You don't get tweets from the good doctor himself? What are you waiting for? Sign up for Twitter, people. Chop chop!
by Rev. George F. Borghardt III
It's that time of year again: Lent. The church service is more solemn, the Alleluias go away, and purple shows up everywhere. Is it all sadness, or is there anything joyful about this season at all? Pastor Borghardt wants you to know that there is, and he's pointing you back to your Lord's crucifixion and the forgiveness that's yours because of it.
While some of you were sweating through the St. Louis Higher THings conference a couple of years ago, a bunch of other Lutheran teens were standing on a mountaintop in Siberia taking in the view. They spent the weekend reading Scripture, understanding their Lutheran-ness, hiking, and hang-gliding. And to top it off, Pastor Zayakin's going to give you a sneak peek into it all
Say the word apology, and people instantly think you've don something wrong. But in Christianity, an apology is a defense, explaining why a person believes the way he does. If you have friends who aren't Christians, you need to read Pastor Pacey's article. He'll give you a crash course in apologetics so that you can defend your faith against any attack of the devil's!
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Every good Lutheran teenager knows about the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. In fact, your Sunday School teachers probably explained it to you using apple, baseball baseball player, and egg analogies. It's not that simple though, and Pastor Petersen is here to delve into the mystery with you.
Today's society says that men are no different from women and women are no different from men. Christianity, however, reminds us that both genders are fearfully and wonderfully made but also separate and unique. To read up on why the differences are important, check out Ms. Ostapowich's article.
A lot of Lutheran pastors wear black shirts with a funky little white bands around their throat. Are they just trying to mimic Catholic priests? Or is it more that they have absolutely no fashion sense and they can only match black with black? there's a little more to it. Check out Pastor Bloom's article to see why your pastor isn't wearing mismatched polka dots and stripes. We hope.
Society can lay it on pretty thick. Teens today are taught to think about college at an early age. From sports to band to singing to writing, youth are pushed to do their best at the youngest possible age, all in the hopes of getting into a good college. but what happens then? Pastor Marrs made a few career changes of his own, and he survived. You will too
by Miss Mary Karner
Lindsay Lohan dates girls and drinks Red Bull. Britney Spears shaves her head. Miley Cyrus poses half-dressed for Vanity Fair. All this may have you wondering, "I don't do those things. Is something wrong with me? Am I normal?" No worries. Mary Karner's a normal Lutheran youth, and she'll tell what the media got all wrong
You can hardly get on the INternet without seeing some article somewhere talking about the crummy economy. But it's all pretty confusing. Recessions, stress tests on banks, bailouts... can someone please translate what that means for teenagers? Pastor Pauls to the rescue!
There's a lot of talk about marriage in the news today, maybe in your high school debate class too. Who can get married? Why should anyone? TO help you navigate popular morality and defend marriage, Dr. Yenor lays a strong foundation.
Generations of Germans still suffer guilt for what happened during World War II. Even though these people were not alive at the time and are sorry for what happened, they are still ashamed. Americans today suffer from a different kind of humiliation: the shame of not speaking out against the death of thousands of innocent babies. Want to know how you can stand up and make a difference? See Dr. Siemon-Netto's Article to learn how.
The Twilight series is all the rage. From books to movies to parties, vampires are everywhere. Is this the next Harry Potter? Should you read it? Should you not? Is there anything worthwhile a Christian can learn from a book that deals with evil? Mr. Jess NOrton has read the books and has a few analogies to the Christian life that just might get you thinking
Those goofy Greek letters--the Alpha and Omega--are always popping up around church. What's the point? Nobody but pastors read Greek anyway! Thy look cool, but do they mean anything? Prof. Egger says they mean everything, and he's here to give you a crash course in Greek 101.
School's over, and Kathy's spending a week on the farm with her grandma and grandpa. Grandpa's in the mood to give Kathy a little lesson in what real life is like out in the country, but she thought she was going to the farm for some summer fun. Turns out, Grandpa has other plans, and Kathy's about to get a study in why chickens can do more than just taste good and what heaven will be like.
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You've probably seen the previews for Tom Hanks' new movie "Angels and Demons," You might have even seen you parents reading The DaVinci Code. What's with all these conspiracies about Jesus being married, killing people off, and not really being the Son of God? Who can you trust? Seminarian Mark Pierson sets the record straight.
You might have heard someone say it before: "I know the CHurch opposes abortion, but why exactly? That word isn't even used in the Bible!" So, is that true or not? Mr. Di Mauro breaks down the history of the argument against abortion and gives you some helpful tools in giving a faithful testament to the sanctity of human life.
Is God sexist? After all, He said only men can be pastors. That doesn't seem fair. But is it about fairness, or is God talking about something better? Ms. Ostapowich explains why God gave the Office of the Holy Ministry to men alone.
Let's face it: writing papers for school can be a chore. There's the research, the writing, the proofreading... yawn. But wait. There's Wikipedia and Google and SparkNotes too! After your teacher has read the forty-seventh essay on The Scarlet Letter, will she even notice that you stole a line from a Web site here and there? Mrs. Olson talks frankly about cheating on homework.
by Rev. Tim Pauls
Does saying you're a poor, miserable sinner help your self-worth? A lot of people say, "No! It hurts." But what does God say? After a few tangles with the Ustabe Lutherans, Pastor Pauls tells how, in Christ, you're worth an awful lot.
There's no worse feeling than getting caught by your parents doing something you weren't supposed to be doing. THere goes your car, your phone, the Wii. You are so, so busted. But there's hope. Your parents still love you. And that, as Pastor Borghardt explains, is really just God doing what He does best: forgiving
by Mr. A. Trevor Sutton
"My religious vocation somehow draws the sorority sisters to me." If that quote doesn't make you want to read on, Mr. Sutton talks about what to do when love hurts, life is painful, break-ups occur, everybody knows, and it seems as though the world is over. (Hint: the love of Jesus isn't quite so fickle at all.)
If you've ever wondered, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" your answer probably wasn't, "It's the work of the devil." But Dr. Martin Luther understood just how dangerous and evil the devil is, and he wasn't afraid to say so. He also knew that hearing the Word, receiving the Sacraments, and praying helps to fight the devil. Pastor Murto gets real on just how powerful the devil is and how merciful our Lord is.
by Miss Adriane Dorr
Your confirmation day is supposed to be memorable. There's usually a lot of cake, your smiling family, and a few presents to open. But there's never, ever supposed to be slapping involved... and certainly not by your pastor! Miss Dorr got slapped on her confirmation day. It's true. Read on to find out why.
Pastor Michaels and Curtis are back in the church office, duking it out over what it means to be forgiven. Curtis thinks one thing, the Bible says another, and Pastor Michaels is doing his best to make sense of it all. If forgiveness has been weighing on your mind, check it out. They may just let you get in on the conversation.
Fraternities, sororities, pledges, rush week, Taco Bell, all-nighters: congratulations! You've made it to college. But before you sign your life away to organizations you know nothing about and frat houses you've never been in, know before you pledge. If you're heading out to college soon, you'll want to read Pastor Zill's warning against making oaths that disobey the Second Commandments
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Talking about the Law isn't all that enjoyable. After all, it shows us our sin, and non of us likes to be reminded of how awful we are. But hold that thought. Pastor Peteresen is here to tell us how the Law also reminds us of how worthless are our attempts to win our own salvation and just how badly we need a Savior
Me and JSB
by Mrs. Katie Schuermann
A long time ago in a land far, far away, before Lady Gaga and Kanye West, people listened to music by Johann Sebastian Bach. And, as it turns out, Bachâs music is still loved by Lutherans today. Mrs. Schuermann is dropping the beat with Bach, and you just might want to also.
Itâs true. You know it is. Your pastor is a nerd. Heâs always saying things that are goofy, acting silly, dressing funny, and, well, just plain reveling in his extreme nerdery. Howâs a kid supposed to deal with that? Speaking as a nerdy pastor who knows, Pastor Fiene is going on the record about the dark side of pastoral nerdery.
If youâre a Lutheran teenager with a pulse, youâve probably realized that there are members of the opposite sex in this world . . . and that theyâre fun and even sometimes cute. So, whatâs next? Do your parents pick your spouse? Do you have six boyfriends at once? What a teen to do? Mrs. Jeni Miller went on a date or two in her life before meeting her husband, and sheâs ready to give some advice.
Being in the body of Christ can sometimes be hard to define. Are we part of a special group of people cut out of the exact same theological cloth? Or are we a nation, a big group of random people all united under the banner of Christendom? Pastor Hageman has an answer, and you might be surprised at his conclusion.
Roman Catholics pray to Mary. The Reformed practically refuse to acknowledge her. And Lutherans are right in between. Mr. Lee takes us back to Luther who sliced and diced his way through the arguments of how exactly we should view Mary. Saint? Sinner? Yes.
Why are we here? Youâve probably had a science teacher or two who said that (a) the world was most certainly not created in a week and (b) evolutionary theory is the only logical explanation for the worldâs existence. Mr. Pawlitz recommends something a little different, that we view creation in light of its Creator, and it makes all the difference!
What is it about the dark that makes it so creepy? Letâs face it: itâs a little unsettling. But whatâs even scarier is the thought of life apart from Christ. Mr. Stuckwisch explains why thereâs no need to be afraid of the dark when the Light of the World is there to guide you.
by Rev. Todd Peperkorn
Zombie. Noun. Walking dead. A person that resembles someone who is emotionless and painless.Me. You. Wait. What? Who just called you a zombie? We did. Thatâs right. Without Christ, you are dead in your sins. But, Pastor Peperkorn is quick to note, God has given you grace through Jesusâ death on the cross. No more dead man walking for you!
As young men, youâre under a lot of pressure to choose a college, a career, a first job. But hold up one second. As Lutherans, we are not do-ers. We are receivers. Pastor Curtis wants you to know that God, in His good time, chooses these things for us. And, believe it or not, He may just give you the blessing of marriage and a family! See? That choice wasnât so hard after all.
Raise your hand if you think women are no different than men. What? No takers? Youâre right. And so is Mrs. Curtis whoâs about to tell you what makes women unique and why their vocation in life is so different from that of men.
College is already a difficult time. But, for some students, it's compounded by the loss of a friend, parent, or sibling. If you or someone you know has experienced this kind of great loss, Mrs. Mons' article will give you and them comfort and hope in Christ.
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Weâve got good news and bad news. The bad news is that weâre sinners, and because of that, we never love God with our whole heart. The good news? We are forgiven sinners who live by and through grace, and Rev. Petersen fills you in on why.
The Bachelor Jake picked Vienna instead of Tenley? Ugh. Heâs so unbelievable! Wait. Back up the train. Reality TV . . . isnât. Most often, itâs based on short clips that donât tell the whole story. But Pastor Chryst knows the reality of what Jesus does for us: He frames our thinking about all of reality, even reality TV. Heâs our God, and we are His people. Really.
Do thoughts of Friday the 13th make you shudder? Do you stay in bed that day to avoid mirrors and black cats? If so, call the doctor! You have a severe case of triskaidekaphobia, the fear of the number 13. But thereâs a sure cure for this disorder: a healthy dose of the Gospel! Pastor Leistico is here to remind you of the blessings, not luck or four-leaf clovers, that are yours in Christ.
Wander into an unfamiliar church on Easter morning, and you may hear phrases like,âWe hear the voice of Christ in the stillness of a clear night, in the way our friends call our name, and in a song that brings tears to our eyes.â Say what? Mrs. Dann was robbed of the Gospel last Easter, but this year, sheâs not leaving church until she hears about Jesusâ death and resurrection for her and for you!
Most baptisms take place in a church with sponsors, a baptismal shell, and a beautiful white gown. Mr. Coats, however, performed an emergency baptism to the victim of a random shooting on the streets of Baltimore. Whether in church or in the gutter, we rejoice that Christâs gift of life and salvation through baptism puts death to death.
Admit it. Some Sundays itâs awfully hard to pull yourself out of bed and go to church. You already know what youâre going to hear and see and sing. Why should you have to go again? Dcs. Mumme has a different perspective on the Divine Service, and sheâs anxious to help you see why the delivery of our Lordâs gifts is a great reason not to hit the Snooze button. Again.
Most heresies are pretty obvious, right? Buddha, Muhammed, Tom Cruise jumping on couches . . . those are fairly noticeable. But what about Gnosticism, that sneaky little lie that says anything that is fleshly or material in creation is a mistake? If youâve heard this popular buzzword, check out Pastor Serinaâs article. Christ has redeemed creation, and you are no mistake!
On Sunday morning, you have to fight your little brother for the bathroom. And the front seat. And the last donut. But what if, when Sunday rolled around, you had to dodge bullets, rocks, and police to get to church? Many of your fellow Christians across the globe are in danger, and Pastor Pauls tells you why getting to church is worth risking their life for.
When life hands Pastor Borghardt lemons, he drinks a Diet Coke. Wait . . . huh? As Christians, we know that God is good. But what do we do when it doesnât seem like it? God is, right now, working all things for your good, and we donât want you to forget it.
One of your friends asks,âDo you have any music we can listen to?ââSure!â you say.âMy CDs are over next to the stereo. The Beatles, Bon Jovi, CCR . . . take your pick.âYour friend says,âBut donât you have any Christian music?â Uh oh. Does this make you an impious Christian? Mr. McKinley sets the record straight on the difference between piety and pietism and whether or not Christians can listen to music that isnât straight out of the LSB.
The Feast of the Passover. Unleavened bread. Male lambs. Bitter herbs. What is it with all this feast talk anyway? Pastor Messer fills you in on what this event meant for Christians in the early church and the significance of it for you today.
Christians know all about political correctness. Weâre not supposed to use the words sinners, unbelievers, or hell. And having a discussion with someone about your faith? Fuggedaboutit! Pastor Graams wants you to know that Christ has forgiven your sins and set you free, and that gives you all the freedom in the world to speak Godâs truth in love!
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Gulp. Who? Me, confess? Going to private confession can be scary. After all, youâre talking with your pastor about your sin, and that can be painful, and, well, awkward. Pastor Petersen has heard confession a time or two, and he wants you to know that Christ uses the words of absolution spoken from your pastor to forgive your sins, and thatâs not scary at all.
Suppose somebody plunked ten thousand dollars down in your lap. Would you spend it? save it? donate it? hoard it? The good news is that youâve been given things far more valuable than moneyâfaith, the Gospel, your Baptism, the Lordâs Supperâand they are all yours in Jesus Christ!
Why do bad things happen to good people? Why is there so much hurt in the world? Why does God allow suffering? Pastor Fritsche wrestles with these questions and reminds us that Godâs will is good and best, even when we donât understand it.
Welcome to Tentatio, the reality show thatâs more nerve-wracking than American Idol. Here, we pit your favorite church heroes against each other. Which of our champions will survive the Platform of Salvation? Calvin? Luther? Arminius? Stay tuned to Pastor Paulsâ broadcasting from the sidelines to find out!
Coming to grips with the death of a loved one is never easy. What happens when a person dies? What do the dead do while they await the Resurrection? What will the Last Day be like? Pastor Cwirla wants you to be comforted in your Baptism. Eternal life with Christ is yours!
Everybody who knows Greek raise your right hand. Hello? Tap tap. Is this thing on? Pastor Borghardt wants to teach you the word didomi. Itâs a little Greek verb that means âto give,â and the person who does the giving is our Lord, Jesus Christ.
For most of you, marriage seems a long way off. You have to get through high school, graduation, college, and finding a job. Whoâs thinking about a wife and kids at age 14? Mr. Lemon gives some insight on how marriage works, why you can already be praying for your future spouse, and the gifts Christ gives in marriage.
High school and college present plenty of opportunities to do the wrong thing. Parties that get out of hand, smooth talking members of the opposite sex, parents who seem unable to understand . . . so whatâs a teen to do when temptation rears its ugly head? Rev. Buetow uses a passage from 1 Corinthians to reassure you in the knowledge that Christâs death on the cross is your way out.
If youâve heard it once when talking to a non- Christian, youâve heard it so much that now itâs just getting annoying:âThatâs just your belief.â Just my belief? What does that even mean? If youâre looking for a way to talk to your friends about Christianity using just the facts, Mr. Cochran is here to help you give an apology (or defense) for the Christian faith.
Get out your candles and party hats: Higher Things is ten years old this year! Pastor Zill gives a rundown of how Higher Things got started, what itâs about, and how itâs still going strong today.âHT, you look like a monkey, and you smell like one too!â
When was the last time your mother said,âTell your brother youâre sorry, and say it like you mean it!â? Sin, repentance, and forgiveness are hard concepts to grasp. Nevertheless, the vastness of Jesus answering for all your rot, filth, and gunk is really amazing, and Pastor Kuhlman is here to remind you of just that.
When was the last time your family took a day off of work or school to celebrate something big, like a birthday or a wedding? Imagine enjoying a celebration like that of epic proportions . . . but for seven days! The Israelites celebrated the Feast of Booths, which reminded them of Godâs enduring presence and His gracious activities toward them. Pastor Messer says we get to do the same thing today in the Divine Service! Intrigued? Us too. Read on!
If youâre headed to college this fall, youâve probably applied for a scholarship or two, and most of those scholarships probably wanted to know about your leadership qualities in debate or on the soccer field. But what about being a servant-leader in your congregation? Pastor Bakker wants you to know that more important than leadership is your service to others in the name of God, and Christ on Campus is here to help!
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A saint is not someone who is holy, someone declared to be holy. You canât be a saint unless you are a sinner. You canât be forgiven and declared holy unless you have something for which to be forgiven. Pastor Petersen breaks down what it means to be a saint, what it means to be a sinner, and why salvation is yours in Jesus Christ.
Few Gospel passages have been mischaracterized as much as The Beatitudes. Can you inherit the earth if you're just meek enough? See God if youâre just pure enough? Some would say that, but Dr. David Scaer sets the record straight and brings the focus where it should be with these heavy wordsâon Christ!
âGoing to the mission fieldâ might make you think of some brave soul heading into deepest, darkest Africa. Bet you never thought of Colonial America as a mission field but the Lutheran church certainly did. It sent Henry Melchior Muhlenberg to work with pastors in Pennsylvania on the cusp of the American Revolution, where he found himself stuck in the middle of a massive moral dilemma. Find out more about this influential pastor as told by Rev. Kieselowsky and let his life serve as an encouragement to you.
If you watch most reality TV shows, youâll quickly realize that wisdom is a scarce commodity. It doesnât seem to be valued much today and those who do seek after it often look for it in all the wrong places. Mr. Heath reveals where true wisdom begins and ends, and the good news is that itâs available to YOU.
Do you love music and have talents in that area? Well entertain this cool possibility: Maybe your church needs you and what you have to offer. You might even be able to do it without having to earn your âDoctorate in Church Music at
the School of Hard Knocks,â where Cantor Magness received his credentials.
Nobody was more surprised than Rev.Young after the Nashville conference this summer. To his astonishment, the glory of heaven was revealed at Vanderbilt University, a secular haven, when more than 1,000 Lutheran teens and adults joined together for Divine Service.
by Rev. Larry Peters
Pipes donât have perfect pitch? Sing like a sick cow? No worries! Sing unto the Lord a new song! Rev. Peters will encourage the most timid among you to wrestle with the words of the hymns in your hearts, even if you donât utter a sound. You may discover that you want to sing in spite of yourself.
With pinpoint accuracy, Rev. Fisk zeroes in on todayâs false notion of âspirituality.â Are you open-minded or close-minded? Why is âreligionâ a bad word in our postmodern culture? Be prepared to get a bookâs worth of helpful insight in this article via Rev. Fiskâs pull-no-punches way of communicating Gospel truth.
Thereâs a high likelihood you know someone who struggles with homosexuality. Maybe it is your own personal battle. The author of this article seeks to equip you to speak Jesus to your friend, who may not know where to go with this agonizing conflict, and handles this complex and sensitive subject with wisdom and grace.
âYom Kippurâ shows up on calendars every year, but what is it? Itâs the Day of Atonement, and Rev. Messer once again shows us how the rich ceremonial laws of the feast pointed forward to Christ. Discover how even the smallest details of this feast find their fulfillment in the Cross.
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âDonât eat the forbidden fruit!â Tempting, isnât it? Hence the need for this 6th Petition of the Lordâs Prayer. If sin werenât such a delectable choice, we wouldnât so readily gravitate toward it. Rev. Cwirla artfully reminds us that our arsenal to fight such temptation is overflowing: It is Christ and Him crucified, who perfectly resisted temptation on our behalf!
Warning: Watching The Simpsons may play an unexpected role in the development of your theological discernment. Rev. Wentzelâs humorous presentation of some of the choice theology portrayed on The Simpsons may just help you get a better grasp of your own understanding of Lutheran theology. Maybe you can finally set the record straight for Homer, who has been known to claim that Christianity is âYou know, the one with all the well-meaning rules that donât work out in real life.â Dâoh!
Prominent atheist Richard Dawkins has asserted that the creation account in Genesis is merely one of many mythical versions since the beginning of civilization. For the Christian, however, this first book in the Scriptures is absolutely foundational to understanding the rest of Godâs Word. A fundamental misunderstanding of its account can lead to the compromise of Biblical truth. Rev. Baue shows you how some of the most ârelevantâ questions of our day can be dealt with from the solid truths presented in the Doctrine of Creation.
âThere were this Mexican and a Slovak in church one Sunday...â Sounds like the start of a bad joke but itâs the reality at Rev. Gaugertâs church. Find out the history of Evangelical Church of Doctor Martin Luther in Chicago and how Godâs faithfulness has brought this unique body of believers together and sustained them, in spite of substantial cultural barriers. Itâs an encouraging reminder that nothing can thwart the work of the Holy Spirit.
Do you run and hide when your friendly, neighborhood Jehovahâs Witnesses pop by? Perhaps you politely open the door and listen to them give their earnest spiel, your eyes glazing over. Well try this on for size: Maybe you can equip yourself to handle their claims but more importantly, give an answer for the hope that is in YOU. Rev. Lange gives you some great foundational information and counsel as you consider your response for the next time you hear that knock on the door.
We live in a culture where life is attacked on many fronts. Abortion and euthanasia are two of the most prominent aggressors, but sometimes the attackers are more covert. Rev. Lamb weaves together a warm blend of family accounts and Scriptural truths in this first of four articles dealing with the preciousness of life and how we can protect it by remembering that our true value is found in Christ!
âGo to H-E-double hockey sticks!â Usually this is merely an expression of anger. For Christ, it was a vital part of His mission to conquer sin and death on your behalf. Rev. Kumm carefully handles that somewhat mysterious phrase in the Apostlesâ Creed: âHe descended into Hell.âThe best part is that Christâs descent has given YOU the freedom to tell the Devil where to go with his lies and accusations.
In an era where pastors who wear Hawaiian shirts are seen as in touch with their congregations, itâs important to understand the tradition of vestments. Every piece has a purpose. Itâs not just about the threads, itâs about the theology.
We carelessly throw around the word âmiracleâ all the time. We take it for granted. How many of us have been eyewitnesses to an actual miracle? Itâs no surprise that this is one of the first areas a non-Christian will attack. Mr. Piersonâs training in apologetics (AKA defense of the faith) will help arm you to defend the rationality of believing in miracles.
Over the past few years you have probably caught bits and pieces of the beliefs of Scientology due to some of its more famous followers like John Travolta or Tom Cruise. Think itâs more like science fiction than a religion? Find out by reading Rev. Soundâs thorough summary of the tenets of Scientology and his clear proclamation of the sweetness of the true Gospel.
Discover through the final article in this series by Rev. Messer how type and shadow find their fulfillment yet again in the New Testament. The Feast of Weeks, also known as Pentecost, a celebration of the harvests God provided, led to the beginning of a great harvest that continues to this very day. And we get to rejoice in that each time we are part of the Divine Service.
Does your mouth go dry and pasty when you are asked to pray aloud? Heart thump out of your chest? Perhaps you are deathly afraid of saying the wrong thing. Thankfully, in the name of Christ, we pray to a God who loves to hear what His children have to say. Rev. Cwirla provides some simple guidelines that will free your heart up to bring your petitions, and those of othersâ before your gracious Father in Heaven.
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We have included a simple Bible study in this issue to give you a tantalizing taste of the bountiful study resources available to you online at: http:// higherthings.org/magazine/biblestudies.html.
You can do no other! Itâs trueâyou canât stand alone before a holy God. Thatâs why Jesus does it for you. Let Rev. Borghardtâs words remind you of that glorious reality.
Rev. Sollberger clearly lays out the benefits of a liturgical divine service.This isnât about loving whatâs traditional for the sake of traditional. Find out the rhyme and reason behind such a liturgy.
With Star Wars overtones, Rev. Heinz assures us that our pastors, too, are in need of forgiveness, which is why they are so qualified to speak the words of absolution to us.
A thorough read of Dr. Lambâs article will provide you with specific ways to respond to the popular push for the research of embryonic stem cellsâoften hailed as the holy grail for the treatment of numerous diseases and disorders.
Like all gifts from God, reason is to be used wisely. Find out exactly what that entails in Rev. Parksâ concise handling of this weighty subject.
So what are those things that go bump in the night? Rev. Grams brings Scripture to bear upon this rather unsettling question.
Guilt can often take the helm as you steer your way through lifeâs waters. However, there is freedom from that guilt to be found in Word and Sacramentâgifts from the One who bears our burdens.
âIn the beginning was the Word...â In college there are words everywhere you look. Discover the connection Rev. Burhop makes between âthe Wordâ and these âwords.â
Itâs a sad commentary that many of our science textbooks still insist in promoting some of the original falsehoods of evolution. Rev. Schneider arms you with his deconstruction of these âiconsâ of evolution.
Are you In high school or college and havenât yet figured out your future career? Mr. Engle explains that this doesnât mean you donât already have a vocation...or two...or three...
Not only are we STANDING before God on account of Christ, we are also RECEIVING all of the gracious gifts our Father loves to bestow upon us. Rev. Kuhlmanâs invigorating article makes that crystal clear.
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You canât get more basic than bread, but thereâs more to this staple food than meets the eye. Rev. Cwirla, in his usual winsome way, sheds a great deal of light on this straightforward request from the Lordâs Prayer.
by Rev. George Borghardt III
You can't get through Genesis without noticing the significance of the number 12; that thread continues to be woven throughout the Scriptures. Find out from Rev. Borghardt about an entirely new reason to be intrigued by "12!: (Hint: next summer)
The number of super hero-oriented movies being released this summer is nearly unprecedented. Why do those story lines have such a universal appeal? Rev. Fisk marvels us with his skillful connecting of the Real Ultimate Story dots.
You might have seen his name here and there but have never really known who Herman Sasse was. Rev. Harrison fills in that information gap by providing a rich snapshop of this faithful, Lutheran Hero.
Dr. Lamb gives us a comprehensive overview of another controversial topic in the arena of science: cloning. It's no longer science fiction and the potential ramifications are far too real.
In his usual droll fashion, Rev. Fiene artfully makes the point that all pastors, no matter what their specific responsibility or title may be, share a common purpose: the forgiveness of sins.
Think there's a special cloud floating up in Heaven with your name on it? Think again. We are humans...BODY and soul. Unfortunately the false view that anything material takes a back seat to that which is spiritual, is continuing to seep its way into Christian circles. Rev. Buetow lays out a consistent argument as to why that is such a dangerous way of thinking.
Do you walk the walk? What does that really mean anyway? As Mr. Ritchie begins to unpack that commonly heard phrase, you will realize how vital it is that we apply it wisely.
Sure, you've heard that your Savior, Jesus, makes everything new, but maybe you fear there's one exception: you. Rev. Snyder reassures us that even if we fall prey to sexual temptation, God can bring restoration and a new start.
Rev. Zill's helpful and heartfelt advice will come in handy, whether your college decisions fell like they are breathing down your neck or all still a few years down the road.
Perhaps your youth group plans a mission trip each summer. You've considered going but doubted you'd have anything to really offer. Discover where the real blessing lies.
We have pivotal moments in our lives when God's forgiveness and grace overwhelm us and we learn a lesson we didn't expect to encounter. Sometimes such moments occur in the most ordinary of places
Ever heard the claim that a real prayer is only genuine if it's your words "from the heart?" Using a written guide might be seen as less spiritual. Rev. Erickson persuasively argues that this is not the case, and encourages us to discover the delight in praying through the Daily Offices.
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Rev. Cwirla, with robust clarity, unpacks the Fifth Petition of the Lord's Prayer and lays out the depths of God's forgiveness. Our Lord frees us up to forgive it forward!
Nowadays adoption is often in the spotlight because one celebrity or another has decided to adopt a child. Well, it's always been big news for God! Rev. Fritsche gives you a window into his own rewarding experiences with adoption and shows how precious your adoption in Christ truly is.
Sheep are not known for being the smartest animals in the world, but they have a special place in God's Word. Our Shepherd, Jesus, who cares for us, uses them many times in His parables and illustrations. Rev. Wilken expounds on one such instance, and in doing so, will make you revel in your sheephood.
Someone just gave you a lovely, beautifully wrapped gift. You tear open the paper with enthusiasm and look at it, stunned...it's God's Law? How can it be that very thing that St. Paul calls a ministry of death, is a gift from God? Learn why this is a reality as you read this article crafted in true Rev. Borghardt fashion.
"Hi, I'd like one baby boy with blue eyes, blond hair, and athletic ability on the side." Going through the drive-through to order your baby? That may seem far-fetched, but as Christians, we need to tread lightly when it comes to the topic of genetic engineering. Dr. Lamb carefully navigates through the final part in his series and grapples with the questions: HOw far is too far when it comes to genetic engineering?
Whether it's Starbucks or a 3-mile jog, a protein shake or Good Morning America, nearly everyone has something in their morning routine that they find it very hard to manage without. Christina presents a Christ-centered, compelling case for making time with God an essential start to your day.
Whether you're in college or not, at some point your faith in Christ will be challenged. Scripture calls us to be able to give a reason for the home that we have, so where do we start? Rev. Pacey gets the ball rolling for you as he provides some basics.
For nearly as long as there has been American football, there have been CHristians attempting to use it as a picture of the Christian life. Rev. Hoover has a unique twist on this analogy and shows us that perhaps it has a place after all, which gives us a real reason to celebrate!
As Christians, where do we find that middle ground between apathy toward the environment and screaming obscenities at folks who wear fur, neither of which are acceptable? Rev. Kornacki lays out an approach to being the wise stewards God calls us to be and to care for this groaning creation that awaits the glorious coming of Jesus Christ!
Overachiever. Task-oriented. Hard on yourself. Do these sound familiar? If you find yourself constantly trying to see if you measure up, then Scott's words will gently remind you where your value lies and how that can bring you peace.
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These words in the Lord's Prayer are not some sort of complacent surrender...they are a battle cry, but also a source of great comfort. Rev. Cwirla sweeps away some of our misconceptions about these four words we often tack onto the end of our prayers.
A creed, by definition, is a statement of belief, but did you know that the Nicene Creed is also a wonderful summary of the heart of the Christmas story? Rev. Borghardt enthusiastically takes you on a grand tour of this ancient creed that we so often recite but perhaps, at times, take for granted.
Just when you thought you'd discovered all the layers of the Chronicles of Narnia, Rev. Schuldheisz delights us with yet another rich facet of C.S. Lewis' timeless fantasy series: joy.
Communion. Liturgy. Infant baptism. Sign of the Cross. The list goes on and on. If you haven't wrestled through topics like these with you non-Lutheran buds, you will eventually. Be more prepared by reading Rev. Buetow's wise and very clear counsel so that you can confidently bring it all back to Jesus!
Tamara provides a special perspective as a Lutheran as one who converted as an adult. Lifelong Lutherans will be encouraged to remember how blessed they are and converts will be able to relate to and appreciate her journey. No matter what, gratitude will abound.
Life is a balancing act in so many ways. One tension we Christians find ourselves caught up in is being "in" but not "of" the world. This pendulum can swing too far in either direction, leading either to an unbiblical separation from the world, or a disregard for who we are in Christ. Scott gives us some instruction in spiritual "physics," and provides some helpful tips as we walk this fine line.
As Lutherans, we recognize that it's okay to give Mary the honor she deserves, yet we understand that she, too, needed a Savior as much as we do. Sandra expounds on Mary's response to what God blessed her with, showing how this young girl, the mother of our Lord, was an exceptional example of faith and trust, by the grace of God, even when faced with very unusual circumstances.
Few acts are more profoundly devastating for those left behind than when a loved one ends his or her life. Rev. Preus plainly, but gently, grapples with this heart-wrenching topic, reminding us of where our hope ultimately lies.
In our social networking culture, even the most quirky, pointless maneuvers can become the latest greatest fads. Planking is no exception. Rev. Hoppe gives this popular phenomenon a bit of a Gospel twist that just might lead you to start a relevant trend of your own.
Higher Things Magazine is now including poetry in our lineup. We hope to make this an occasional feature of the magazine, and invite you to enjoy two well-crafted entries.
Rev. Zill gives a step-by-step game plan to launch a college campus ministry. Whether you are a student, pastor, r your average church attendee, his advice can put you well on your way to help serve this increasing need for our Lutheran College students across the country.
Jesus is our King of Kings, so when we pray the petition in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy Kingdom come," what are we really asking for? Rev. Cwirla artfully answers that question by taking you on a whirlwind trip to the four corners of Christ's kingdom.
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Here is a sample of one of our student Bible studies that links up with Rev. Buetow's article on Page 8.
Rev. Borghardt takes us back to the movers and shakers at Augsburg, where defense of the Scriptures was a matter of life and death. Find out how we can learn greatly from these men and appeal to the resulting Confession of Faith in our own apologetic efforts.
Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:19 that we Christians, of all people, are most to be pitied if the resurrection of Christ did not happen. Rev. Fisk Commandingly lays out the historically based argument for the reality of the Resurrection, which is at the very heart of our defense of the faith.
When critics attack the Christian faith, one of the first areas they will zero in on is the New Testament. After all, they say, it's full of errors and we don't have the originals. Rev. Pierson, who has an extensive background in this area of study, presents a compelling argument for the reliability of the New Testament.
Apologetics is a way of life for Pastor Mark Jasa. As you read about God's crystal-clear faithfulness in his life, you'll gain an appreciation for those in campus ministries like University Lutheran Chapel at UCLA, and also gain a few very helpful tips for engaging in apologetics in your own circles.
"Faith is the great cop-out." "Religion is a crutch for the weak-minded." "Faith is all emotions-based." Rev. Cwirla handily debunks those and other notions that attempt to claim that faith and reason are opposed to one another.
We've all either asked or have been asked this question: "Why would a good God allow bad things to happen?" Rev. Pacey, who often has to field questions of this sort in his campus ministry at the University of Arizona, dissects all of the typical arguments and gives you tools to provide an answer
Mormons aren't naive young men in white shirts riding their bicycles around your neighborhood. They have been intensely trained to defend THEIR faith, so it is vital for you to know what YOU believe, so when that inevitable knock on the door comes, you can answer with confidence. Rev. Kuhlman will get you started.
Although you might hear a lot about the Muslim world by watching the evening news, you may no know what Islam really teaches. And because it is an ever-growing religion, and Christians in other countries are already in a position of having to vigorously defend their faith, it is vital that we take steps to understand that religion. Learn from Dr. Francisco how to approach a conversation with aMuslim, and in doing so, share the sweetness of the Gospel at the same time.
College campuses are growing increasingly more secularized. This hasn't happened overnight. Mr. Parton explains this history but doesn't leave it there. By the time you are done reading, you will have resources to draw from and know some of the basics as you endeavor to defend your Christian faith on the college or high school campus or wherever you might find yourself.
Continuing in his backward trek through the Lord's Prayer, Rev. Cwirla clearly explains the First Petition and even manages to cleverly tie it into our theme of apologetics.
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Here are both the student and leader guides for Rev. Fisk's resurrection article on pg. 6, Feel free to reproduce these for use with your youth group
Will the real "sanctification" please stand up? Rev. Buetow pinpoints exactly what this theological mouthful-of-a-word is in the christian life and directs the conversation where it needs to go: toward Christ!
So what does a cool Latin phrase have in common with 21st century computer technology? If anyone can tie them together, Rev. Cwirla can. And in doing so, he brings clarity to our understanding of the battle between Old Adam and New Man.
by Rev. Jeffery W. Grams
It seems like every movie season features a new twist on the old vampire story. Well, it turns out that our fascination with the undead might actually be linked to the greatest redemptive story ever. Rev. Grams skillfully connects the dots throughout his article.
Whether you spend hours a day on Facebook or have sworn off ever signing up for an account, you will find something to appreciate in Mr. Kohlmeier's explanation about service to our neighbor via Facebook. The principles he elaborates on apply to any social interaction we might have.
Although Neo-Darwinism can lend itself to some highly technical lingo, Dr. Helmkamp carefully walks us through the fatal flaws of that theory in this first of a two-part series and shines the light of the Gospel on the discussion as well.
You caught yourself yawning at church last Sunday. Did you look around and make sure nobody noticed? Were you bored? It might surprise many people in today's culture to know that the purpose of church isn't to entertain us. Rev. Voltattorni focuses on what it is about church that is truly music to our ears.
The David and Bathsheba story: adultery, murder, major sinful deeds. There are, however, two players in this Biblical account that you might not have given much thought to before. Rev Lorenz insightfully shows us how important their roles truly are.
Do you really know Jesus? How do you know? Miss Teske shares a personal account about that very challenge someone once made to her and how it firmed up what she can confidently say about knowing Our Lord.
If college is on the horizon for you, it is a wise step to read something from someone who has walked that path already. Miss Dooms eloquently offers great counsel and wisdom for those who are nearing that big step in their lives.
Starting a college ministry in five easy steps! Not! And there's a reason this is unrealistic. Every campus is different but one thing generally remains the same: Students are not naturally clamoring to be a part of a Christ-focused group. Rev. Young's own experience provides encouragement to those who are fishers of men on campus.
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Our Lord desires that we come to Him as children come to their father.. with expectancy, eagerness and trust. Rev. Cwirla reminds us of all the comfort we have to gain as he unpacks these first simple but profound words of the Lord's Prayer.
by Rev. George F. Borghardt
If you've listened to or been around Rev. Borghardt for any length of time, you'll know what "that" is. It actually stems back to one of his most popular conference topics: sex. In his usual impassioned manner, Rev. Borghardt makes the Biblical case for the blessings of putting "that" in its correct context of marriage.
It's one thing to be inundated by all of teh politically oriented arguments regarding homosexuality, same sex marriage, etc. It's an entirely different story when you have someone near and dear to you reveal that they are choosing to live that lifestyle. How on earth does the CHristian deal with this when faced with it? Rev. Ogrodowicz demonstrates how Law and Gospel are the most vital tools to help you minister to your loved one in their time of need
A fine artist herself, Kelly masterfully creates a beautiful picture of the role of art in the Lutheran church. Discover its distinct purpose and history as well as how art in the church is a unique blending of tradition and Christian freedom. It's all about Jesus!
Yes, it's true. The Emperor's new clothes still leave little to the imagination. Dr. Helmkamp directs our attention to the skies as she bolsters the case, using both science and faith, for us to question the most popular theory proposed about the origins of our universe: the Big Bang.
Rev. Schmidt takes us back in time, to his own childhood, when his simple, persistent prayer for a wonderful baseball season set the tone for his future prayer life. Let the four lessons he took away from his own experience encourage you as you pray.
Check out two pages of pictures from the TWELVE conferences
No, that isn't the latest reality TV show you've stumbled across while channel surfing--it's a faith healing service. Tune in to Tysen's article, where he addresses the claims of those who promote such services and explains how God brings true healing into the lives of Christians.
So what's it like to attend a Higher Things Conference for the first time? Read this first timer's enthusiastic review and judge for yourself. A bit of a skeptic at first, Caitlyn discovered that the Twelve conference in Irvine, California was a Christ-centered benchmark in her life as she prepared to start college.
Okay, so you've done your share of studying the catechism, memorized parts of it and may even think that it isn't of any real practical use post-confirmation. Well, think again. Rev. Cwirla handily deals with the most commonly asked questions by Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike about the Small Catechism's origin, purpose and encouraging role in your life.
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Be sure to check out this sample of one of our student bible studies that links up with Rev. Borghardt's article on P. 4
So are we a "Christian" nation? Are was a "secular" nation? Well, maybe there's another choice. Rev. Buetow explains how we can Scripturally view America by understanding the two kingdoms.
No doubt about it: The results of the November 6th election managed to throw many people for a loop. Fear not! Rev. Borghardt brings his pastoral words of comfort and wisdom to bear and reminds us that the great news is God is still good and God is still in control.
Normally religion and politics are taboo topics in our conversations. There are those who go further and believe those areas should never overlap in our daily living. Rev. Cwirla demonstrates how to manage and balance these two areas through the filter of Luther's two kingdom theology.
Is there a place for activism in the life of the Christian? That's a resounding YES! Mrs. Karner carefully explains how Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms compels us that involvement in social activism is not just recommended, it's vital as we live as Christians in, yet not of this world.
We live in a society that clamors around the concept of equal rights. Yet in the scheme of things and if we are truly honest with ourselves, Jesus got the short end of the stick in that game when He took on flesh and died for us. Be encouraged in your vocations at church, at home or anywhere, as Ms. Ostapowich reminds us of the reality of equal rights for the Christian
Rev. Riley cautions us against taking Scripture passages that were meant for the Old Testament nation of Israel and applying them to any other nation or time. Learn how such passages, specifically Psalm 85, apply to His people, the Church, no matter where or when they may be. God's gift of the Gospel has been for His people throughout the ages.
Take a tour through the words of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg with Mr. Ritchie as your guide. You'll soon see what a gifted pastor Muhlenberg was as he carefully navigated the dicey waters of the political climate of his time.
What makes Islam's use of sharia law so diametrically opposed to Scripture? There is no Jesus there. Rev. Ramirez skillfully contrasts Islam's twisting together of faith and government to God's plan for church and state.
Don't public officials talk about God all the time? Sure they often do, but that doesn't mean that they are necessarily spokespeople for God. Magdalena shows through her experience in a college course that this is indeed not the case because they usually lack on very critical message: Our greatest blessing is the gift of salvation in Christ
What's God's plan for your life? It's no mystery, according to Rev. Cwirla, who takes us once again into the heart of another solid catechism study and simplifies what life tries to make so very complicated.
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Be sure to check out this sample of one of our student Bible studies that links up with Rev. Buetow's article on P. 4.
Let a little Latin ďŹy and your friends will think you are an
intellectual heavyweight. Well, perhaps thatâs a bit of a
stretch, but once youâve ďŹnished reading this article youâll be familiar with two Latin phrases that help you focus on whatâs important in salvation. And the good thing is that the focus is not on you!
One of our Lutheran distinctives is the desire to work out that delicate balance we call Christian liberty. This is just what Rev. Borghardt successfully communicates in his capable handling of the some of the principles from Martin Lutherâs work, On Christian Liberty.
The recent commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision brought about a great deal of controversy but it also invigorated those who stand for the unborn. Meganâs account gives you a small window into her life-changing experience at the LCMS Life Conference.
Thereâs something about the supernatural that seems so
magnetically intriguing. Hollywood is clearly enamored with the subject. There are a host of TV series that supposedly proďŹle peopleâs encounters with ghosts, demons, or other supernatural beings and plenty of movies that glorify these things in some way. Rev. Tiews shines the light of the Scriptures on this often distorted reality.
History doesnât have to be a bunch of dry events laid out in
chronological order with a lot of dates your teacher wants
you to memorize that youâll never use. And the same goes
with our Lutheran heritage. See for yourself as Dr. Phillips
provides a quick but thorough summary of the pivotal events surrounding the formation of our foundational document of the faithâthe Augsburg Confession.
Itâs perfectly acceptable to admit to singing in the showerâŚ
we all know the acoustics are the best in there! But whether or not you think you actually have some sort of musical ability, Bethany will persuade you that making a joyful noise unto the Lord is something we can all foster to the glory of God and the beneďŹt of our neighbor.
by Jenny Sollberger
Nothing satisďŹes the appetite during a challenging hike like a handful of trail mix. In the same way, nothing ďŹlls our spiritual hunger on the road of life like the Word of God. And, as Jenny articulates, trail mix is the best when all of its ingredients blend together with each bite, much the same way the Scriptures are.
While various forms of social media have been a positive
development in many ways, they are certainly not without
pitfalls. One of those traps is called the comparison game.
Facebook, for example, can easily become something that
magniďŹes our covetousness or feelings of discontent. Heidi
reminds us that who we are in Christ always trumps struggles like these.
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Youâre a sheep...itâs one of your vocations in the context of
the Church. Your pastor is your shepherd and that is one of
his vocations. How does this play out in the Table of Duties? Rev. Cwirla artfully unpacks yet another part of the Small Catechism.
Your Greek 101 word for the day is: anothen. From above. Get a taste of this yearâs conferences from one of our plenary speakers, Rev. Borghardt, as he sheds some light on Jesusâ nighttime conversation with Nicodemus in John 3.
No matter how brave you are, the thought
of getting a shot for anything is not likely to be something you relish. Thereâs one inoculation, however, that you can rejoice in and look back on as a purely positive experienceâyour baptism! Another one of our plenary speakers, Rev. Buetow, continues the theme of âfrom aboveâ as he focuses on our death as Christians and the resurrection to come.
What? There is something God is not able to do? Surely not! Thankfully, there actually are a number of things God cannot doâthings which are contrary to who He is.Thank heaven for that! Rev. Wilken definitively brings the truths of Scripture to bear against the common fallacy, âGod can do everything.â
As a child of Christ, you will have those days when your own sinful nature, the devil or the world try to force you under the weight of your burdened conscience. Thankfully, your ability to defend against this does not depend on you. Instead, it is through your Savior, Jesus, that you can freely lay your burdens at His feet, because of what He did out of His love for you.
Read Kellyâs moving account of her own terrifying experiences where reality and her skewed perceptions became so blurred she didnât know who she was anymore. This time of crisis for Kelly was one during which she became vividly reminded about the love Jesus has for herâthe same love He has for you, no matter how dark things might become.
A New Song
by Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr.
The mark of a good hymn is a combination of a tune and words that can carry the weight of the truths of Scripture that we so treasure. Perhaps Rev. Kornacki, a hymn writer himself, will encourage you to investigate this avenue of giving to the church for yourself.
Have you ever felt guilty because you believed that perhaps it was your fault your unbelieving friends havenât
yet bought into Christianity? Perhaps your argument wasnât smooth enough.Your case wasnât intellectual enough. Well the good news is, as Rev. Young explains,
you canât persuade someone to embrace Christianity. It is only through the work of the Holy Spiritâthrough Word and Sacramentâthat your friends will come to Christ. Knowing this frees you up to be Christ to your friends who are still in darkness.
Itâs great to be a planner and organized but the danger comes when your happiness and joy hinge on the outcome of your plans. Thankfully, we believe in a God who can do all thingsâwhose plans can never be thwarted (Job 42:2). Sara faithfully reminds us that it all comes back to Christ, in whom we can trust to be there for even the tiniest of details of our lives.
Your freshman year of college will usher in many
things, not the least of which is challenge and growth. Katie seeks to encourage those of you who have yet to experience that first year with some practical advice but more importantly with the reminder that your identity in Christ is the key to getting from the start to the finish, no matter what that year may bring.
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If youâve ever been frustrated by a particular rule that your parents enforce, or wonder why there is a need for a speed limit, you are sure to gain some insight by reading through Rev. Cwirlaâs persuasively written explanation about civil authority and where we as citizens fit in.
Describe your pastor in one or two wordsâŚGo! Geek. Rock
Star. Grumpy. How aboutâŚshepherd? In fact, a shepherd
is the perfect description of your pastor, as Rev. Borghardt
explains. And even though your pastor may have either geeky
or rock star qualities, what makes him someone you should
want to be around is that He is Christâs representative for you,
here to faithfully remind you of the sweetness of the Gospel
through Word and Sacrament.
From the highest peaks to the lowest valleys, life can be a
harrowing journey, but very often, it is simply middle-ofthe-
road ordinary. And itâs at those times when the really
important thingsâBaptism, Absolution, the Lordâs Supper,
ground us and grant us strength for the next mountain or
Thinking about attending a Higher Things conference? Find
out what itâs like for your average, everyday teen. Jared makes
a pitch that just might persuade you to attend Crucified 2014
Enjoy four pages of fun-filled photos and enthusiastic quotes
from our three From Above conferences.
Everyone has a scar somewhere. All you have to do is look at it
or touch it and it will bring back all of the memories associated
with getting it. Sometimes the worst scars are the ones that
God uses to restore us. Rev. Schmidt reminds us that there is
no better example of that than the scars of Jesus: His hands,
feet and sideâall of which will forever remind us of how
precious we are to Him.
Upon completing her first adventure as a College Conference
Volunteer, Alayna was compelled to share her experience in
the hopes of encouraging others to do likewise.
This is the inaugural article of our new regular feature
dedicated to helping and encouraging youth leaders. Sandra
makes the case that Lutheran youth crave the richness and
depth that the traditional liturgy offers, as opposed to the
latest, greatest cultural offerings.
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Rev. Cwirla expands on the occasionally used analogy of a
dance to explain the role of husbands and wives in light of
the Table of Duties, making it crystal clear how this union is a
reflects that of Christ and His bride, the Church, and how that
plays out in everyday lives.