Latest News

April 22nd, 2006

Posted at 12:42pm

Dear everyone,

We had mentioned earlier that we would be sending a snail mailing around thistime.

We have since decided that since every group has a contact person with an e-mail, and we have had such great success with posting information at that will be simply posting the various things that would have been in that mailing as they are available here.

Here is the first such item:

Download a pastoral letter concerning the worship life at The Feast, and specifically how matters pertaining to The Holy Communion are being approached. Please feel free to forward to your pastor, though they will be getting a direct e-mail or snail mail of this letter as well.

Thanks and God bless,

Pastor Marcus Zill
The Feast, 2006 Conference Coordinator

April 19th, 2006

Posted at 1:59am


Today, one our best volunteers turns eighteen!  Anna is our Reflections Content Manager and recently she did a wonderful job compiling our past magazine issues.  Congrats Anna!  Thanks for helping make the greatest Lutheran Youth site on the planet!

In Christ,

Your Friends at Internet Services

April 19th, 2006

Posted at 1:25am

HT Internet Services is very excited to announce a new feature and resource on our web site. You can now find an exhaustive index of Bible studies and leaders' guides for the articles printed in the Higher Things Magazine. The list can be displayed either alphabetically or by issue. You can find the Bible Studies page under our Resources section by clicking here.

Keep looking for more new and exciting things from Higher Things!

A Blessed Easter to you!

Stan Lemon
Higher Things Webmaster

April 17th, 2006

Posted at 12:00am

He is Risen!  He is Risen indeed!  Alleluia!

What wonderful news we heard on Easter Sunday - Christ has died, Christ is risen!  Alleluia!

The Gospel is not that Jesus died.  The Gospel is that Jesus died FOR YOU.  The Good News of Easter isn't that Jesus rose, but that Jesus rose FOR YOU.  On the Cross Jesus won forgiveness, life, and salvation FOR YOU. Then, as if that wasn't enough good news, on the third day He rose FOR YOU.  It's not just a nice idea, it's personal.  FOR YOU makes the Good News very good news indeed!

At Higher Things, we think there is so much Gospel in the proclamation "FOR YOU" that we've decided to make "FOR YOU" the theme for next summer's two conferences.  One "FOR YOU" in Minneapolis, MN from July 24-27, 2007, and the next week, one more "FOR YOU" in Asheville, NC from July 31-August 3, 2007.

Conference themes and worship will focus on the "For You" of the Gospel in Word and Sacraments!  Both conferences will follow the same theme and orders of service, however speakers and preachers will vary.

Because of the overwhelming response to The Feast, Higher Things has decided to offer an opportunity FOR YOU to pre-register your groups for one of the 2007 conferences.  Pre-registration will remain open FOR YOU until until June 1, 2006.  

Download the group pre-registration form HERE.  A non-refundable deposit of $75/person will be required for each group.

Regular registration FOR YOU will open on August 1, 2006.  Those groups with confirmed pre-registrations will be required to submit appropriate group and individual registration forms by January 1, 2007.  Registration will close on February 28, 2007 or when capacity is reached for each conference (MN - 1250, NC - 2100).

A Blessed and Happy Easter to you! 

Mrs. Sandra Ostapowich
MN Conference Coordinator

The Rev. George F. Borghardt III
NC Conference Coordinator

April 16th, 2006

Posted at 11:27pm

Higher Things Retreat 

CHRISTO-CENTRICITY: Christ in the Middle of Everything

with the Rev. William M. Cwirla

August 3-5, 2006
Garner State Park, Concan, TX


Download a flyer of this information in PDF format.

Download Group Registration and Individual Registration forms.

What does it mean to be a “Christo-centric Christian”? How is Jesus Christ in the middle of literally everything? Why is this important? How does being “Christ-centered” effect the way we worship, work, play, witness, think, act? Beginning with Jesus once-for-people, once-for-all time death and resurrection, Pastor Cwirla will guide us from the Scriptures to discover what it means for Jesus to be the center of everything.
Pastor William M. Cwirla was born and grew up on the   southwest side of Chicago. He is a lifelong fan of the White Sox, Cubs, Bulls, Blackhawks, and "da Bears." (In a pinch he'll follow the Angels and the Cardinals.) He attended public grammar and high schools and is a graduate of the University of Chicago (SB - Chemistry, 1978) and the University of California-Berkeley (MS - Chemistry, 1980). After working in biotech industry for 7 years, he attended Concordia Seminary in St. Louis (MDiv, 1990; STM, 1999) and was ordained in 1992 as Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, CA. He and his wife, Karen, live in Hacienda Heights together with their two cats and countless tropical fish. He is the Vice-President of Higher Things, a contributor to Higher Things magazine, and the Blogmeister of "Rev. Cwirla's Blogosphere." Suffering from vocational ADD, Pr. Cwirla is continually distracted by (in no particular order): woodworking, bicycling, hiking, gardening, plantingg freshwater aquaria, guitar, poetry, writing, great food, good wine, and endless home improvement.  
10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Registration
1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Vespers
1:45 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Session I
Afternoon free for recreation, evening meal and other activities planned
11:00 p.m. Compline (at Campfire)
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.  Breakfast
8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Matins
9:45 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. Session II
11:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Recreational Activities (make sack lunches)
5:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. Supper
6:00 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Session III
7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Dance/Hike to Crystal Cave
11 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Compline (at Campfire)
8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:45 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Session IV
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Closing Matins

There are two registration packages available that include registration costs, materials, meals, park passes and parking expenses. Some recreational options will require additional money.

$ 95.00 Cabin Option
$ 65.00 Camping Option

Download Group Registration and Individual Registration forms.

The registration fee can be paid upon arrival. Please make any checks out to “Zion Lutheran Church.” Registration deadline is July 1, 2006.

Upon registration, further information will be sent concerning:
  • Directions
  • More info. regarding Cabin/Camping Options
  • Entertainment and/or Recreational Opportunities
  • Other details pertinent to the retreat
Mr. Landon Reed
% Zion Lutheran Church
907 Hicks St.
Tomball, TX  77375-4125

April 11th, 2006

Posted at 2:28am

The Reverend Michael R. Scudder showed his true colors in Texas this week!

Pastor Scudder is one of the Admission Counselors at Concordia Theological Seminary.  He's also the pastor-elect of Faith Lutheran Church in Mt. Pleasant, IA.

Pastor Scudder also has another unique gift.  For some reason I can't say his name without chuckling to myself!  Scudder... heh heh heh.  Try it, you'll smile too!

On his recent recruiting trip to Texas, Pastor Scudder and his son stopped to play a little softball with us.  I am, of course, sporting my Lenten violet (purple) LSU cap.  But, check out Pastor Scudder wearing his very cool DTBL shirt!

Want a shirt like Pastor Scudder's?  Check out the HT Store. For details on how the game went, check out Bloghardt's Reflector.

April 8th, 2006

Posted at 5:02am

As we draw near to Good Friday and our Lord's Crucifixion, everyone has something to say about Jesus.  In the news lately are those who say that Jesus didn't really die or that His disciples stole His body.

None of this is new.  The Pharisees bribed the guards to lie and say that the disciples stole the body of Jesus (St. Matthew 28). The idea that Jesus didn't really die isn't new either!  St. John says that blood and water flowed from His pierced-side on Good Friday (St. John 19).  The blood and the water is the proof that Jesus was truly dead.  There is no doubt that Jesus did indeed die on the Cross for you.

And if that wasn't enough, everything was abuzz yesterday concerning a "new" gospel from Judas.  All sorts of new "secrets" are said to be revealed - so they say.  For an excellent analysis of this not-so-new "gospel," check out Pastor Cwirla's Blogosphere

The Gradual for the season of Lent says it best:  "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2).  Lent takes our eyes off the news and what "they" say about Jesus, and fixes them on the Jesus alone. 

What is He doing?  What does the Word say?  He's headed to the Cross to die for our sins and the sins of the whole world.  He truly did die for you - no doubt about it.  You died with Him in Baptism.   Don't listen to anyone tell you otherwise.  Fix your eyes on Him.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Rev. George F. Borghardt III
Internet Services Executive
Higher Things, Inc.

April 7th, 2006

Posted at 1:25am

"The tomb is empty.  The grave cannot hold crucified Jesus.  The devil's lie is undone, the ancient serpent's head crushed under Jesus' cross-bruised heel.  A new day has dawned.  The first day of a new creation.  Christ has risen, and in Him all rise. 

'As in Adam all die, so in Christ will all be made alive.'  The grip of death is broken." (Easter Sunday)

Higher Things is very proud to present the daily Gospel Reflections for the 2006 Easter Season.  This season's reflections are written by our very own Vice President, the Reverend William M. Cwirla.  Pastor Cwirla is pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hacienda Heights, CA.

Download the full season of Easter 2006 Reflections here.  You can also read the Reflections every day on this website or sign up to receive daily Reflections in your e-mail Inbox by sending any message to here.  An RSS feed and podcast for the Higher Things daily Reflections is at  Our Podcast is updated daily with an audio version of the Reflections.

A blessed Lenten Season to y'all!

The Rev. George F. Borghardt III
Internet Services Executive
Higher Things, Inc.

March 14th, 2006

Posted at 9:35pm

Ever read a great article in Higher Things magazine and thought you'd like the opportunity to give writing for youth a try? Do you think your blog post would be a blessing to youth? Higher Things Internet Services is looking for writers to volunteer their talents for an upcoming online project.

We're looking for articles of 500-1000 words, dealing with everyday contemporary issues facing teens and college students, and, of course, focused on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Articles are subject to editorial and doctrinal review. No limitations on the number of articles submitted.)

We also need volunteers to serve as additional theological editors and copy editors for this task. Now is the time to get involved with the wacky projects of Higher Things Internet Services!

Here is a list of possible topics you might consider. (This is not exhaustive.)

  • What's Going On at Church - Festivals, Seasons, Rites, Liturgy, Fasting, Alms, Hymns, etc..
  • Everyday Life - Dating, Drinking, Parties, Peer Pressure, Piercing /Tattoos, and Pornography
  • What Other Religions/Denominations Believe - Holidays (Sacred, Secular and Other religions), "Choosing Jesus", Scientology, Cults, Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah's Witnesses, Wiccans, Witchcraft, and Magic.
  • Joining Organizations - Campus Crusade, Campus Life, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Gideons, InterVarsity Fellowship, Oaths, Fraternities and Sororities, Accountability Groups, Fraternities and Sororities
  • Questions about the Bible - The "Great Commission", Mary Magdalene, Mark's Gospel & Snakes, A "Road to Damascus" Experience, Jesus' Genealogy, the Date of Easter, Paul at the Areopagus, Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, The Rapture, Seven Deadly Sins, Speaking in Tongues, and Baptism by Fire.
  • Books and Movies - Theses from Law & Gospel, Religious Movies, Purpose Driven Life, Prayer of Jabez, Self-Help Books, Reality Shows, and Movie Reviews.
  • Games and Computers – Xbox vs. Playstation, Windows vs. Mac, Why Linux?, Reviews of your favorite games, Violence in Gaming, MMROPG, Too Much/Just Enough, Roleplay, D&D, etc.
  • Vocations - Laity, Deacons, Elders, Deaconesses, Serving the Military, Gender Roles, Church worker, What do you Wanna Do When You Grow Up?, Why I am a Lutheran.
  • Tough Calls - Insurance & the 1st Commandment, Cremation, Gambling, Stem-Cell Research, Science & Ethical Issues, Organ Transplants, Euthanasia, and Political Parties
  • Catechesis - Ministry, Conversion, Gifts of the Spirit, Christology, Sacramentology, Natural Law, Law and Gospel, Justification, Sanctification, Holy Baptism, Forgiveness, Holy Absolution, Preaching, The Word, the Lord's Supper, Closed Communion, Infant Baptism, etc.
  • Things Invisible - Demonology, Angels, Ghosts, Things that Go Bump in the Night, Principalities and Powers
  • Suffering - Suicide, Eating Disorders, Racism, Abortion, Divorce, Abuse, Self Mutilation, alcoholism, drugs, sickness, cancer, AIDS, mental illness. 
  • Fun Stuff – Short Stories, Fiction, Top 10 Lists, Silly Songs and Stories, and comics, Why I Love HT, etc.

Interested? Have questions? Email us at

Happy Writing! While your noses are to the keyboard, check out the writers’ guidelines and suggested topics for Higher Things Magazine at

In Christ,

Rev. George F. Borghardt III
Internet Services Executive
Higher Things, Inc.
Assistant/Youth Pastor
St. Mark Lutheran Church
Conroe, TX

March 14th, 2006

Posted at 1:41pm

Higher Things (Spring 2006 Vol. 6, No. 1)

Keep your eyes peeled for the new, hot-off-the-press edition of Higher Things. The spring issue is chock-full of articles discussing all things Lutheran. Within the pages of the newest magazine, you'll find compelling writing on topics that affect Lutheran teenagers everywhere.

Article topics range from intelligent design to post-graduation plans to the well-loved Lutheran green bean casserole. One pastor explores the idea of prayer in public schools and the delicate balance between church and state. In another piece, a Lutheran psychologist gives helpful insight on the topic of suicide. You'll also want to read this issue to learn the truth regarding myths about Satan.

Be sure to check out Kathy Luder's latest article, in which she writes about what she learned from attending a recent funeral. And if you have a bad habit of dropping the G-bomb, be sure to read our commentary on why it's harmful.

But there's still more! A former fan of contemporary Christian music explains why he's come to love and value the historic liturgy. You'll also get in on the results of a recent music survey taken among Higher Things readers. And don't forget to delve into the regular catechism column, which explains the gift of Baptism.

Look for the newest issue to be in your mailboxes soon!

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