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[December 21, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Thomas M. Winger
The story is told of a wrestling match in the ancient Olympics between a wrestler from Ephesus and one from nearby Miletus. The little Ephesian was absolutely unbeatable, and so his Milesian opponent cried foul. On close examination the judges discovered that the Ephesian had six magic words written on a band around his ankle. When these “Ephesian letters” were removed, the Milesian threw him to the ground 30 times in a row! What was the power of these words? Acts 19 tells us that Ephesus was …


In: Feature Stories, Headline

[December 20, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Anita Syens
On October 30, 2017, I had the wonderful privilege of leading a one day seminar for the deaconesses of the Lutheran Church of Nicaragua. Together with our DPS Intern, Lenora Wallden, we met with 24 of the 29 deaconesses for a day of learning, growing, sharing, and caring.
We journeyed through a Bible study that focuses on walking with God through difficult times. Diverse mediums were used, such as speaking Scripture in unison, drama, and visual aids. I believe this made the lessons and truths touch their hearts even …


In: Headline, Mission News

[December 20, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Thomas Prachar
Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Within my heart, that it may be
A quiet chamber kept for Thee.
– The Lutheran Hymnal (TLH) 85:13
This is my favourite verse from Luther’s Christmas hymn, “Vom Himmel Hoch,” or “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come.” In the first five stanzas, Luther has the angel proclaim the message of Jesus’ birth. The remaining nine stanzas contain the response of the shepherds, as well as what this all means for a sinful world.
If one were to speak this stanza instead …


In: District Presidents, Headline

[December 19, 2017 | No Comment | ]

ODESSA, Ukraine – The Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Ukraine (SELCU) has once again welcomed the active involvement of Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) this fall, both at its Convention and in the ongoing teaching ministry of its seminary.
The annual Synod convention met November 21-22, 2017 at Concordia Seminary in Usatovo, a northwest suburb of Odessa. Because of the illness of Bishop Alexander “Sasha” Yurchenko, the Synodical vice-president, Rev. Oleg Schewtschenko, preached at the opening service and presided over business sessions.
In addition to customary reports from the Bishop, Treasurer, and Theological …


In: Headline, International News, Mission News

[December 18, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Robert Bugbee
This Christmas may turn out to be a disappointment for you. It has happened to others before. It may have happened to you in the past. People imagine a picture of what a “good Christmas” ought to be. If it doesn’t end up looking or feeling that way, the season may leave you behind deflated, or even a little disgusted. It can happen if your notion of a “good Christmas” means you have to re-create Christmases you had at some earlier time… when friends and loved ones lived …


In: Headline, Presidential Perspectives

[December 15, 2017 | No Comment | ]

by Paul Zabel
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls (Matthew 11:29).
We are coming upon that time of year when many people often become anxious and begin to worry—even people who normally do not let things adversely affect them. Some of the reasons often cited for this include reduced sunlight and colder weather during this time of year. Then there is the increased difficulty of travelling on the roads that oftentimes become covered …


In: District Presidents, East District News, Headline