Latest News

July 13th, 2006

Posted at 9:22am

Presenting...

HT-Online

Higher Things Internet Services in conjunction with Higher Things Magazine is proud to present to you a brand new premium service, an online edition of the Higher Things Magazine which we affectionately call, HT-Online. This brand new service is available to new and existing subscribers of the Higher Things magazine. Additionally we have been making some upgrades to our online subscriptions form to allow you to pay directly with your credit card on our web site. If you have questions regarding these brand new services please feel free to direct them to our Webmaster.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for HT-Online today!


HT-Online subscriptions may be upgraded to any existing print subscriptions of the Higher Things magazine for $5.00, this subscription lasts for the duration of your print subscription. You may also renew your existing print subscription, or buy a new print subscription for $15.00 for one year, or $25.00 for two and add the online edition for the low cost of $5.00. Additionally the online edition alone is available for one year at the cost of $15.00 or two years for $25.00.

July 12th, 2006

Posted at 7:46am

The Higher Things blogging community continues to grow! Just this past week two new blogs joined our rank, and we'd like to encourage you to check them out and read the good stuff they are writing. Aaron Fenker presents, the Psalmning Padawan, and John Pawlitz presents Pomeranian Bones. Both of these blogs promise to be worth your time, so check them out today and see what Aaron and John have been up to!

July 9th, 2006

Posted at 4:05pm

Dear everyone,

Now that you have a good idea what your housing situation is going to be like you are perhaps wondering how you are supposed to get where you are going once you get out to Colorado Springs.

Well, here you go: http://higherthings.org/files/Feast_Arrival.pdf

I suggest you print off this document and keep it with your stack of stuff (like such things as those medical release forms)

This is your "everything you need to know about how to get to where you register, what you will get when you register, and what you do if all sorts of other stuff happens that you haven't thought through yet and you don't quite make it on time in order to register" document.

Blessings on your travel preparations!

Fraternally in Christ,

Rev. Marcus Zill, The Feast
Conference Coordinator

July 9th, 2006

Posted at 4:05pm

Dear everyone,

As you make your final preparations, I wanted to make sure you had a chance to see the absolute final schedule. This is so final that it's directly out of the absolutely stunning conference handbook itself:

http://higherthings.org/files/Feast_Schedule.pdf

This year in addition to having the schedule in the handbook (did I mention it was stunning? :-), we are also going to provide a mini-sized schedule that you can fold and keep in the pocketed lanyards that will be provided to everyone by Colorado College.

In the past I've been tempted myself to just rip the schedule out of the handbook so I didn't always have to have my handbook with me. Well, not only would you obviously not want to do that (did I mention that these handbooks are very nice? :-), but you won't have to either.

Enjoy.

Fraternally in Christ,

Rev. Marcus Zill, The Feast
Conference Coordinator

July 8th, 2006

Posted at 3:44pm

If you're one of those people that hate cliffhanger endings, Pirates of the Caribbean:  Dead Man's Chest is not the movie for you. Just wait until the DVD comes out to watch it.

That said, I had my suspicions about the end of this movie because they filmed both PotC 2 and 3 at the same time. I figured they would both have something to do with each other. Overall, though, I’d say it was a pretty good movie.

But, don't read this if you don't want to read a bunch of spoilers. ;)

The movie was pretty much like the first one. Lots of jokes, some slapstick humor, and good-looking actors in pirate costumes. I thought that the jokes sometimes made the movie a little bit sillier than it had to be. But hey, it's a movie about pirates with Johnny Depp in it. Who cares?

It starts off with Will being arrested on his wedding for aiding Captain Sparrow (from the first movie), a well known condemned criminal and pirate. The penalty? Death. They soon afterwards arrest Elizabeth for committing the same crime. Captain Jack Sparrow still is on his Black Pearl, pirating across the ocean, without much luck hitting gold, it would seem. Instead, he's searching for the key to Davy Jones locker. Supposedly, if you can find the Dead Man's chest, you can capture and control the "devil himself." Apparently, Captain Sparrow has made a deal with Davy Jones in the past, that, if Captain Jack gets to be Captain for 13 years, then he’ll serve Davy Jones for eternity. Bootstrap Bill Turner shows up to remind Johnny of the debt he owes to Davy Jones in exchange for 13 years of captaining the Black Pearl.

In the mean time, Will must find Captain Sparrow’s compass and return to the island with it. In exchange for the compass, Will and Elizabeth will be pardoned. In this movie, we’re finally told why the compass never points north: it always points to what you desire most.

All of this leads to awesome pirate dueling, wisecracks, and the same fun from the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Throughout the movie, the theme was that selfishness doesn't solve anything. Captain Sparrow wanted the Dead Man's Chest so that he could free himself. Will wanted to have the chest so that he could free himself and Elizabeth. Former Commodore Norrington wanted the chest so that he could reclaim his place among the British Navy.

Such selfishness doesn't get you anywhere among your friends or your enemies. In fact, selfishness is one of the "seven deadlies". It's a sin, and just like any other sin, it’ll get you condemned to a very hot place. Elizabeth tells Captain Jack that she believes there is good in him, and that in the end, he will do the right thing. So, in order to "redeem himself", Captain Jack Sparrow goes back to the Black Pearl as the crew that he abandoned tries to save themselves and the ship. But can he redeem himself? According to the movie, there’s no way to get out of an oath made with Davy Jones.

Thankfully for us, though, we do have someone who has already redeemed us. Jesus. You don't have to try to redeem yourself by killing a Beastie (sin), or by saving a ship. Jesus died for you. He took care of the devil for you and because of that, you’ll be in Heaven with Him some day. You don’t have to worry about the kraken of sin anymore. The debt’s paid in full.

Of course, this doesn't answer what happens to Will and Elizabeth. Is Will finally free of Elizabeth and single now? Will Johnny come back? Why the heck does what's-his-name want Davy Jones heart? Is Bootstrap ever going to be saved by his son? Will his barnacles go away? Isn't Barbosa supposed to be dead? WHAT THE IS GOING ON HERE!? If you’re still wondering about these questions like I am, it’s going to be a while before we find our answers.

In the mean time, rest in the knowledge that the most important questions, like where you're going to spend eternity and are you forgiven for your sins, are already answered. The answer is Jesus.

Anna Joy Holbird is an incoming freshman at Concordia University in Seward, NE.  She serves as the Reflections Content Manager for Higher Things Internet Services.  Check out her blog, Mostly Toomey & Eunice.

July 7th, 2006

Posted at 6:27pm

Don't miss the HT-U Christian Writers' Workshop at The Feast!

Do you like to write? Ever wonder what it takes to write professionally? In this three-session sectional, writer and editor Julie Stiegemeyer and editor Adriane Dorr will lend some friendly advice on being a Christian writer as well as what Higher Things magazine looks for in articles. Since it's a three-part workshop, attendees work hands-on to edit their articles or stories to take them from a rough manuscript to a polished publication-ready piece. **Note: Prior to the conference, please submit a writing sample you would like to work on during the sessions. Interested registrants can contact jstiegemeyer@higherthings.org for more information. Be sure to get your submissions in soon. The deadline is July 10.

Even if you don't have a writing sample, please feel free to join us for the first day of the in-depth sectional. We will cover all the basics of writing, plus tips on writing for Higher Things magazine. See you in Colorado Springs!

July 7th, 2006

Posted at 5:12am

Every now and again, HT looks at a movie.  We call this "Higher Movies."  One of our bloggers, Nathan Fischer, wrote a review of Superman Returns.  Nathan Fischer is a senior at Concordia University Wisconsin, studying Theological Languages and Philosophy.  He also serves as a copy editor for the Higher Things Reflections.  We'd love him to change his blog banner, but he won't listen to us.  Check out Nathan's blog here.

Interested in writing a review for the Higher Things website?  Perhaps something on the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie?  Submit your review to here.  Also, make sure you check out other B.A.M.B.I. topics. 

Have fun and Happy Writing!

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

July 6th, 2006

Posted at 12:28am

Dear everyone,

The long-awaited housing information for each group's assigned residential area is complete. This information is being sent off-list to each group's primary contact leader. This is now possible because all of the housing assignments are complete.

In general, no sleeping bags are needed! Blogger Smiley Whether you are at either place, linens, towels, pillows, blankets, etc will be provided.

Group leaders, when you receive these informational sheets please feel free to pass them along to your group via e-mail, or copy and reproduce as necessary. They will not be posted online.

Also, please note that each registrants' exact room location will be given at the time of registration.

Thank you for your patience. This was a huge logistical task made even more complex by our utilization of two locations and the fact that we have tried to cram as many in as possible due to the overwhelming interest in The Feast.

I trust that the housing information sheets you will receive off list will more than adequately give you the information that you need to know what your residential environs will be like so that you can pack accordingly.

Sincerely in Christ,

Pastor Zill

P.S. I would like to publicly thank my faithful friend, part-time secretary and right hand thinker in the office, Cheryl Hubenthal, who has spent a tremendous amount of time and energy to map out everyone's housing assignments at the last second and with great expense (a quote for you Monty Python folk! Blogger Smiley Yes, we are quite loopy at Higher Things Housing Central!

<grin> Seriously, Cheryl was given a mind boggling number of variables and logistical considerations to deal with and has pretty much devoted her life to this task over the last month. Like all of my team members, she exemplifies what Higher Things is all about. Please thank her and all the Team members when you meet them in Colorado. But for now let me say "Thanks, Cheryl!" I wouldn't trade you for anyone! You are simply the best! And yes, I remember that you like chocolate! :-)

July 5th, 2006

Posted at 3:41am

Some congregations have requested bulletin annoucements for their bulletins.  Try these:

Looking for a youth organization that combines fellowship and catechesis? Higher Things is a Lutheran Youth organization that serves Lutheran youth. Through national conferences every summer, a quarterly magazine, website, a college campus ministry, and weekend retreats Higher Things provides resources for Lutheran youth. If you would like more information check out their website, www.higherthings.org or contact Erika Preus at ecpreus@higherthings.org

Do you Dare to be Lutheran? Then subscribe to the magazine Higher Things! The quarterly magazine for Lutheran youth provides articles on doctrine and current issues. Subscribe online through www.higherthings.org. Group subscriptions are $12 and individual subscriptions are only $15.

Higher Things conferences: Interested in getting to know Lutheran youth from around the country, and learning about God’s Word? Then check out the national Higher Things conferences and weekend retreats. Higher Things will be hosting two national conferences in 2007 in Minnesota and North Carolina, and weekend retreats all around the country. Check out the website at www.higherthings.org.

Higher Things Reflections: Looking for faithful daily devotions for your youth and family? Receive Higher Things Reflections in your e-mail box today! Subscribe by sending any e-mail to: Reflections-on@lists.higherthings.org.

For more bulletin paragraphs, check with our new Development Coordinator, Erika Preus



June 30th, 2006

Posted at 2:06pm

Our look at the HT-U Sectionals at The Feast continues with a short examination of "HT-U:  Retreats and the Web."

You love Higher Things and don't miss a conference.  Don't you?  Can you not wait until the magazine comes out to share with your youth group the great articles inside? But, youth ministry goes on every day in your congregation.  How can Higher Things help you the rest of the time?

Landon Reed, the brand-new Higher Things Retreat Executive, will be leading a breakaway sectional at The Feast to tell you all about HT's plans to host weekend retreats and mini-conferences all around the country.  He's even got resources to help you plan lock-ins!  What a great way to bring a taste of the HT conference experience home and invite kids from other area congregations and the community to spend a weekend or night learning about the Gospel!

And there's more!  Did you know that Higher Things' website has a wealth of resources available for youth and those doing youth ministry every day of the week?  From daily devotions to Bible Studies, interactive discussion forums and insightful blogs, our website is THE place for confessional Lutheran youth ministry online.  Want to learn what BAMBI is?  The Internet Services Team will tell you about all the amazing things already available to you, as well as what's planned for the future!

Retreats, lock-ins, and the website.  Come learn how you can "Dare to Be Lutheran" every day with your Youth Group!

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