aith ellowship - CLB Network

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aith ellowship - CLB Network

GlimpseAll You Need is LoveTROY TYSDALOn June 25, 1967, the Beatles performedtheir hit song “All You Need Is Love” forover 400 million viewers in 26 countriesin the first ever live international satellitetelevision broadcast.The production was titled “Our World”and the Beatles had been asked to writea song with a simple message to beunderstood by all nationalities, and that iswhat they did. Their message of toleranceand peace rippled through the westernworld igniting what is now rememberedas “The Summer of Love.” The messagewas simple, clear, and to the point, but theBeatles found living it out to be far moredifficult. Over the next two and a halfyears the world watched as the Beatles,the most influential rock band on earth,self-destructed.Almost two thousand years earlier,in the midst of attacks on his characterand threats to his life, Jesus, the mostinfluential man to ever walk the planet,delivered his own simple message aboutlove.JOHN 3:16-18Jesus said, “For God so loved the worldthat he gave his one and only Son, thatwhoever believes in him shall not perishbut have eternal life. For God did notsend his Son into the world to condemnthe world, but to save the world throughhim. Whoever believes in him is notcondemned, but whoever does not believestands condemned already because he hasnot believed in the name of God’s oneand only Son.”Jesus is the greatest expression of lovethat the world has ever seen. His life onearth was an example of God’s perfect,pure and holy love in action. You see,there is a difference between the lovethe Beatles wrote about and the loveJesus demonstrated. Love is more than aconcept. It is more than tolerance, morethan “live and let live.” Jesus taught usthat love is serving and obeying God andthat love is an unselfish concern for thegreater good of others.During his time on earth Jesus dinedwith tax collectors, reached out toprostitutes, and took time to investhimself in the lives of those around him.Finally, he was crucified for the sinsof the world. But his story, the story ofGod’s love in action, did not end at thecross. There was an empty tomb, a risenLord, and a great commission. You see,Jesus was more than just a man; he wasGod in the flesh, offering salvation to allwho believe. Before he ascended intoheaven, he said to his disciples, “You willbe my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in allJudea and Samaria, and to the ends of theearth” (Acts 1:8). Let me translate that foryou: Jesus said, “You will be God’s lovein action.”As believers in Jesus Christ we havebeen given the gift of faith, and with thatgift comes a simple message of God’slove for all the nations of the earth. Thetask before us is big, and it can seemoverwhelming. It can cause us to throwup our hands in defeat, not even knowingwhere to begin. But the answer to thatquestion is simple. We follow the modelthat Jesus put in place. Reaching the endsof the earth begins by investing ourselvesin the lives of those around us. It beginsby loving our neighbors, caring for them,and pointing them to the perfect, pure andholy love of God, which is Jesus Christ.When we live as witnesses to the loveof God, we become the body of Christ,God’s love in action, creating a rippleeffect of salvation from person to person,country to country and to the ends ofthe earth, forever changing the lives andeternity of those who hear and believe.Rev. Troy Tysdal is Church Resource Coordinatorfor the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, andserves as Publisher for Faith & FellowshipMagazine.Visit Faith & Fellowship Magazineonline at www.ffmagazine.orgwww.ffmagazine.org 3


Pastor Kristian Anderson outside of 59th Street Lutheran Brethren Church in Brooklyn, NYin a bed in months. The words of Jesusfrom Matthew 25:40 echoed in my head:“I tell you the truth, whatever you did forone of the least of these brothers of mine,you did for me.” I knew that this youngman had not experienced much grace inhis life. He had been abandoned by hisfather, then by his mother, and kickedout of various other temporary livingsituations.God’s command is to love our neighbor.If we truly desire to do this, it means notonly meeting people’s needs spiritually,but also physically. It might meanopening up your home, which is what mywife and I did for this young man for fivemonths.God doesn’t always call us to becomfortable. We often prefer to serve Godin ways that are easy and manageable. Butwhere is the sacrifice in that? Looking atthe way Jesus served, we see he did itsacrificially. He repeatedly put himself inuncomfortable situations.How did Jesus live with Judas for threeyears, knowing what he would inevitablydo? Jesus knew that after all the miracleshe performed, all the great sermons hegave, all the people he healed, Judas—who saw it all—would still betray himand not live in paradise with him. YetJesus spent countless hours with Judas,loving him—a love that would never bereturned. How do we love people whodon’t love us back? What if we servesomeone sacrificially and never see anyfruit from our labor?We are called to love our neighborsas ourselves, but what if our neighboris full of hate? Deep sin issues—such asracism—can be hard to deal with. Whyeven try? But if I give into that feeling,I am whitewashing my own sin. Eventhough my sin does not appear to be asrampant as their sin, I’m still a wretchedman. I’m in just as much need of a Savior.I’m on equal ground at the cross. When Isee my own depravity, I begin to realizehow much I have been loved. I am notabove the mess of homelessness, andlack of education, and ethnic division. Ican get involved in the messiness of thesin in the lives of the people around me,because I know my life is just as messy.And Christ got involved with me.Our lives are not about carrying outour own agendas or being comfortable.They are about expressing toward otherpeople the love Christ has shown us onthe cross. When we see a person whowas full of hate become a child of God,we experience the grace of God and seethe transforming power of Christ’s love.There is no greater miracle.Pastor Kristian Anderson is youth pastor at 59thStreet Lutheran Brethren Church in Brooklyn, NY.Visit 59th Street Lutheran Brethren Churchonline at www.59thstreetlbc.orgwww.ffmagazine.org 7


Traditional Arab home or barn, called a “kuzzi”Back to NazarethPAUL SZOBODYNow, imagine this—Young Jesuswakes up in a small mud-brickroom, his surroundings coloredby Jewish peasantry and poverty. Hehops out of bed, prays, recites hisweekly Torah text, and is off to eat withhis mom, Mary. Then he scurries downstone steps to a lower-level workshop.Joseph is already there. The creaky woodshutters are wedged open to welcome thecool Galilean morning air. Jesus takes adeep breath, smiles at Joseph, and thenmeasures, saws, pounds and sweeps upwood chips.Near noon, Jesus runs to the villagesand lot for a quick game with someneighborhood kids. It’s great fun. But theyall have Hebrew school this afternoon.So, after some dried fish and bread backhome, Jesus walks around the corner tothe local synagogue. There, he recites inunison his Torah text, chants a Psalm,listens intently to the rabbi’s lesson, saysthe prayers, and then he meanders homein the twilight.Suddenly, he remembers: his neighbor’swall was damaged in yesterday’s fiercewinds. This neighbor is like so many—not too religious, sometimes rathercantankerous. Jesus doesn’t give it asecond thought: he’s off to end the daymending a wall. In every fiber of hisbeing, he is conscious of something biggoing on: he’s growing up—in wisdomand stature and in grace before God andhis neighbors (Luke 2:52).Now, take another look at this boy.He’s the eternal galaxy-builder! Yet inNazareth he’s cutting wood, obeyingmom and pop, kicking up sand with localbuddies, singing Psalms, and restoring acranky neighbor’s wall. Majestic graceis there—clothed in perfect modesty.Under the self-effacing garment of thecommonplace is concealed the right8 Faith & Fellowship


“When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law ofthe Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. Andthe child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and thegrace of God was upon him.”Luke 2:39-40arm of the Almighty. Grace eternal takestemporal shape in simple acts, words,gestures and attitudes expressed in everydaylabor, piety and friendships. In everytheater of Jesus’ earthly itinerary, hisgrace draws a picture of what the life andwill of God look like for all human beingsin whom grace operates.Let’s change the scene: I wake up in amud-brick room in a tiny village markedby African peasantry and stark poverty.I’m a guest of the village chief. Alone,I read a Gospel passage from Jesus’ lifein Nazareth. I pray. Then I’m greetedwith rice and tea for breakfast. I’m offnow to work the millet harvest with thechief’s three wives and two other men.I walk across the desert wadi sands tothe millet fields. There, together, we cut,carry in baskets on our heads, beat, rake,then winnow the millet grain in the desertwind. We bag it and load it onto a horsedrawncart. It’s hard work. It makes yourskin itch. And it’s hot (softy that I am, Ican only endure the mornings).But it’s fun. They laugh at my Arabicand are amused that my tender whiteyfeet can take neither the heat of thethreshing floor nor the prickliness ofthe chaff that we stir up with our feet.Regularly goading me on like a bunchof cheerleaders, they call out: “Poll!Chukraan Kattir!” (“Paul! Thank youVERY MUCH!”). We gelled. Affectionssoared, mutual respect blossomed.I stayed for a month. My purpose wasto immerse myself into the village’slanguage and culture, far from big-citydistractions and French-speakers. But itbecame much more. While there, I hadtime to think, read and pray about howChristians might live in a communityeither hostile or somewhat closed totheir faith. How could non-Arab Africanbelievers, or Western missionaries,overcome cultural religious prejudiceagainst them? How could they earntrustworthiness? Why would the hostcommunity even want to welcome themor consider their message?I pondered. I read in the night. I thoughtabout… laughing with my harvestcompanions, playing soccer with thechildren, watching shooting stars witha new friend during nightly vocabularylessons, telling the story of the ProdigalSon from a picture book to inquisitivechildren and reading the Lord’s Prayer inArabic to one of the chief’s wives…Out of my musings came an answer.It was this: in one word, Nazareth! Theway to their hearts is the way the livingWord came from his glory to us: throughNazareth. Before the larger ministry ofChrist in Galilee, Samaria and Judea,he engaged in a thirty-year sojourn ofmissionary life, veiled—at Nazareth.Think about it: Jesus leaves hishomeland to hunker down into what isto him, so to speak, a foreign world andculture at Nazareth. He’s an embeddedmissionary. There, the great missionof the Most High tented-in-the-lowlycreaturehas already begun! From hisconception in a poor virgin’s womb, theSon gives himself as a perpetual offeringof perfect adoration to the Father in lovefor his fallen neighbors. The measureof his self-humiliation is infinite. Theprecarious nature of his assignment ismore than breathtaking.Moment by moment, “grace for grace”is given, as Jesus is patiently preparingfor a future day. In the Father’s own timeand under the Spirit’s impetus, a morepublic preaching agenda will appear. Butfor now, at Nazareth, the kingdom of Godis already at work in a specific, hiddenmanner.Yes, Jesus the Nazarene missionary“grew in grace”—a quiet grace ofpatient humility and hope. He “grewin wisdom”—a genuine, supernaturalspirituality resourced in biblicalcontemplation and prayer. And he “grewin favor with God and people”—the favorthat results in trusting relationships andworks of love that provoke inquiries suchas: Why such friendship? Why such gooddeeds? That’s the missionary’s momentto answer: because there’s Good News!I recently revisited the village with myfamily. As we were leaving, some girlsand a little boy ran up to say goodbye.Quite spontaneously, I kissed each girlon the top of the head. Now, I don’tknow if that’s culturally appropriate—it just happened. As my lips touchedtheir braided furrows, I heard my heartwhisper: “I love you.”At last I came to the lad. We spentmuch time together: there was a sweetbond. He fixed his face foreword withgreat expectation and a smile, awaitingthe descent of his kiss. When the kiss setdown on his newly shaven crown, hissmile dilated with delight, from ear toear… Ah yes, I’ve been to Nazareth.Missionary Paul Szobody and his wife Teresaserve with Lutheran Brethren InternationalMission in Chad, Africa.LBIMwww.LBIM.orgwww.ffmagazine.org 9


Journey to ChadPART 1 of 6In God’s HandsTHE JOURNAL OF DANNY AND MANDY BRONSONIn some ways it feels like Mandy and Iare completing a long journey. At thesame time, we know that the journeyis just beginning. Before we got married,we both felt called by God to serve him inanother country. Both of us were thinkingof Africa. I had been planning for sometime to study at Lutheran BrethrenSeminary toward that end, and when wegot married we began that part of ourjourney. Nearing seminary graduation,we looked for what God had plannedfor us next. We were excited about thepossibility of serving with LutheranBrethren International Mission in Chad,but there was no opening for us rightaway.Eventually, through God’s guidance,we found ourselves serving in BirchHills, Saskatchewan, awaiting thetime when we would be able to serveoverseas. During the last two years, wehave become very close to the peoplehere in Birch Hills. They have becomeour family. Even though we are excitedto serve with LBIM, it’s hard to leavethe friends we’ve found here. It’s hard tosee our kids interacting with the peoplehere and know that they won’t remembermost of this. It’s hard when we see howpeople love us and we feel like we areabandoning them.Of course, they are not the only peoplethat we are leaving behind. We each haveour families that we will not see for a longtime. Even though Mandy and her sisterhave been away from home for over adecade, they and their mom still keep incontact almost every day. Hearing oneanother’s voices helps them get throughwhat’s going on each day. That contactwill become harder, considering thetime zone changes, and eventually verydifficult.My family, on the other hand, is usedto being out of contact for long periodsof time, but we still try to get togetheras often as we can, at least a couple oftimes a year. But now we will be awayfrom them for several years. It’s not ashard for the adults, maybe, but I know itwill be hard for our kids not being ableto see their cousins for that long. On topof all that, we have a dog that Mandy hasowned since before we got married. Itmight seem trivial, but she has spent herwhole life with Mandy, and now we haveto find a new home for her.In thinking about the journey ahead,there are so many unknowns. We knowthere will be training and time for somelast visits before we leave. We knowthat we will go to France for languagestudy first. Beyond that, we know aboutChad, but where specifically will we be?How will the transition go? What are thepeople like who will eventually be ourfriends and neighbors? We have to packup or get rid of everything that we own,and what we keep will not all be in thesame place. How do we figure all thisout? At times we can be overwhelmed bythe details and unknowns, but we thankGod that he has everything in his hands.Rev. Danny Bronson and his wife Mandy havebeen approved for call as missionaries to servein Chad, Africa among the Bilala people.Watch the Video online at:www.clbnetwork.org/journeytochadwww.ffmagazine.org 13


North American MissionThe Pregnant ChurchSTEVE PAULSONRecently I talked with a fellowpastor who wanted to broadenhis church’s reach into thecommunity. He started an eveningfellowship time to which families fromthe community were invited for a meal,fun and games, and some fellowshiparound the Word. It went well for a time,but he got the feeling that it wasn’t goingto be fruitful, and that his energies mightbe better spent elsewhere. Just as he beganto pull his support away from it the Lordblew the breath of life into its nostrils,and it began to grow. He quickly realizedthat the Lord was doing something ofhis own initiative, so he surrendered andsaid, “I am the Lord’s servant.”As we spoke about this, the most naturaland fitting description of the situationwas that his church was pregnant—therewas a new congregation growing upfrom within. It was a part of the church,yet a distinct and growing entity all itsown, with its own order of worship, itsown culture and its own heartbeat. Andhis church is not alone. This wonderfulthing is happening all over the place—churches, even old ones, are findingthemselves pregnant.It doesn’t always look the same. It maystart with someone asking for permissionto use the facility and they invite somefriends that might not otherwise come onSunday morning. Suddenly two or three(or more) are gathered in Jesus’ name, andtheir gathering begins to grow. Maybe ittakes the form of a weekly meeting of20-somethings, or a bi-weekly meetingof young families. Perhaps it’s a monthlymeeting with a mix of generations.Whatever the form, the function is drivenby the Holy Spirit who stirs the heartsof his people to try something new andoutside the box, equipping the churchwith a reach that it does not currentlyhave.It’s an exciting picture, howeveranyone who has ever experiencedpregnancy knows that there is a price tobe paid. The pregnant mom experiencesthe drain on resources that the growingchild consumes. As the pregnancyprogresses she gets increasinglyuncomfortable, eventually wanting thechild to GET OUT so that she can getthe temple of her body back to normal.Pregnancy can be expensive, exhaustingand frustrating! The inconveniences ofthese ecclesiastical pregnancies can benumerous. Messes get left, furniture getsmoved, the audio system settings getchanged. The new folks aren’t tithing,and they’re not coming on Sundaymornings, yet your pastor and others arecontinuing to invest in them and you mayfeel left out. With these and other issuesthe mother congregation may begin tofeel taken advantage of. But let’s bereal—the pregnant mother is alwaystaken advantage of!But is that the right perspectivewhen God is creating life? This newcongregation may represent the futureof the church you have known andloved—a future that might otherwise beimpossible. Sure, there are bound to beinconveniences and bumps along the way.But just as there was great joy in Sarah’ssoul when she found she was pregnant,joyful and worship-filled wonder shouldlikewise be the response if your churchis pregnant. A mother unconditionallyloves and sacrificially cares for her child,through the mess, through the discipline,through the rebellion, over and over again.God showed his love for the church bygiving us “his one and only Son.” Is notthe mess left over after a Wednesday nightworship service simply the evidence ofministry? Is not the lack of funds comingin proof that new believers and seekersare attending the new church plant? TheGospel is being preached, and with theright perspective, a pregnant church willjoyfully clean up the mess, pay the billsand care for her children as they matureand someday give birth to another churchplant.But what about the child congregation?Does it bear any responsibility? It mostcertainly does! If you are one who is partof the child congregation, understand thatyou have a commandment laid out beforeyou—one with a promise attached.“Honor your father and your mother, sothat you may live long in the land theLord your God is giving you” (Exodus20:12).When we release our selfish desiresand look instead to serve—the motherto support and nurture the child whose14 Faith & Fellowship


Canada: www.LBCANADA.orgUnited States: www.CLBA.org“Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarahwas past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought,‘After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?’ Thenthe Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say, “Will I really have achild, now that I am old?” Is anything too hard for the Lord?’”Genesis 18:11-14bfuture is bright, the child to love, honorand serve the mother who has sacrificedmuch for the child—then we begin tolook like the family God designed. Maybeit sounds impossible...but is anything toodifficult for the Lord?Rev. Steve Paulson serves as pastor at Greater GraceLutheran Brethren Church in Portland, OR.church plantingsummit 2013The 2013 Church Planting Summitwas held on April 13 in Fergus Falls,MN. Speakers included church plantersRev. Vern Baardson and Rev. MatthewBuccheri.Available Now!www.clbnetwork.org /churchplantingPresented by the CLB Regional Pastorswww.ffmagazine.org 15


Life at LBSby: Dr. David Veum, President of Lutheran Brethren Seminarywww.LBS.eduLBS President David Veum met Ryan Dittmann and Nick Joyal at Rocky Mountain College three years ago.Free Hot Dogs!Well, almost. Nick and Ryan, first-yearstudents from Canada, walked to theclosest convenience store to buy hotdogs, but the store’s lunch counter wasout of buns.“If I buy a pack of buns, can I get somehot dogs for free?” asked Nick.“Do that, and you’ve got a deal,” theclerk responded.“How many?”“How about four?”So Nick and Ryan each enjoyed a hotdog for supper.Your Word is a Lamp to My FeetWhen Naomi Evan’s physician husbanddied suddenly at the age of 51, her oldestchild was 19 and the youngest of herfive children was only 8. A widow friendpointed her to Psalm 119:105, “YourWord is a lamp to my feet…” God’s Wordwould guide her one step at a time.Six years later that next step led herto enroll in classes at LBS as an openstudies student. What has she enjoyedthe most? “The rich teaching of theWord. My favorite story has become theaccount of the Canaanite woman, a storythat just came alive through Dr. SigurdGrindheim’s teaching. The woman cameWhen I heard this story the followingmorning, they were headed to the dorm tohave their second hot dog for breakfast.The story almost broke my heart.But that’s the kind of sacrificial spiritour students often demonstrate in orderto study the Word of God. Even afterreceiving generous financial aid theystill pay $7,000 per year in tuition. Whensomeone gets excited about the Gospeland is passionate about sharing it withothers, they can even find joy in a hot dogthat’s almost free.Naomi Evans and her family. A grandchild was born since this photograph was taken. “Rejoice in the Lord Always.”to Jesus as a beggar, not objecting tobeing considered less than a dog, butwanting to receive only a crumb from theLord.”God’s Word has carried Naomi throughsome difficult times. In chapel time a fewweeks ago Naomi shared Scriptures onthe theme, “Be Still My Soul.” She notedthat God has placed an amazing promiseright in the middle of the commands inPhilippians 4 to “Rejoice in the Lordalways” and “Be anxious for nothing.”The promise? “The Lord is near.” He isnear through his Word guiding us onestep at a time.Allan and Judy BjerkaasMeet the Director ofDistance EducationLutheran Brethren Seminary plansto offer our full program throughdistance education as soon as we areapproved by TRACS. A year ago, LBSinvested in the technology to offerdistance education and has been usingit for online seminars and for classestaught by off-site adjunct faculty.Allan Bjerkaas has joined LBS asthe director of distance education,bringing with him a wealth ofknowledge and experience in thefield.Allan grew up on a farm nearFergus Falls, MN and attended BethelLutheran Church. He graduatedfrom the University of North Dakotawith a double major in physicsand mathematics. He then earneda master’s degree and a Ph.D. inphysics from the University of Illinoisat Urbana-Champaign. He joined theJohns Hopkins University AppliedPhysics Laboratory in 1973.At Johns Hopkins he led theacademic and administrative aspectsof a graduate program providingevening and online engineering andapplied science master’s degrees toworking professionals.He has recently retired and returnedhome to Fergus Falls where hecontinues to teach engineering coursesonline. He was recently elected as anelder at Bethel Lutheran Church.16 Faith & Fellowship


Loving Your Neighbor“… and the second is like it, love yourneighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).What does it mean to love yourneighbor as yourself? Whatdoes that look like? Theseare recurring questions in CheckPointdiscussions these past few months.We’ve had discussions about lovingour neighbors in at least three differentarenas: friends and family, neighbors whoare in our congregations, and neighborswho are not as close to us.First, there are those neighbors wholive closest to us—friends and family.Right now, my neighbors are thepopulation of nine people living on the40-acre peninsula we call home. Thatnumber does not include the transientice fishing population, of course. Mymost immediate neighbors are the threeother guys who share my cabin. Lovingeach other as we love God, and as Godloves us, is quite a challenge at times. Wehave one bathroom, two small bedrooms,and many quirks to deal with. At timeswe seem to forget to love one another.Sometimes those closest to us are noteven appreciated! Certainly loving ourneighbor must first include loving andserving our closest family and friends.Second we have neighbors in ourcongregations. What does it look like tolove them?Loving our neighbor is not only a wayto reach out, but it is also an importantway to care for the body of Christ. Whenpeople in the Church fail to love eachother, it reveals a level of hypocrisywithin the Church. According to currentresearch, many youth who leave theChurch say they are leaving, in part,because of the hypocrisy they see. Lovingour neighbor may help these youngpeople stay connected to the Church. Ita CheckPoint PerspectiveCheckPointers: Mitchel Nickolauson, Eric Smith, Tory Brue, and Tommy Olsenmay even keep the prodigal from leavingand searching elsewhere to feel wanted,valued and loved.We are called to love all our neighbors,including the ones who aren’t in ourfriendship or congregational circles.Loving our neighbor is more than aconcept to grasp. It ought to be a way oflife. It means actively and intentionallyseeking out people and caring for them.It is about getting to know them andspending time with them in both thegood times and the difficult times—sharing their joys and sorrows. Lovingour neighbors is action, not merelysentimental emotion. It is only by thelove first shown us by God that we areable to truly love our neighbors in a waythat changes lives.The message is the same regarding allour neighbors; I need to love them as Ilove myself. The greatest need I have isfor the Gospel. “For it is the power ofGod for the salvation of everyone whobelieves” (Romans 1:16). In fact, the needfor the Gospel is the greatest need that anyof us have. Telling our neighbor the goodnews of Jesus Christ is important, butwithout love, our speech is only a noisygong or a crashing cymbal (1 Corinthians13:1). When we truly love our neighbors,it helps them hear the Gospel above thenoise and the clamor. It shows them thelove of the Father.Showing others the love of Christ—loving them as he loves us—is what theChurch is supposed to be about. It shouldbe what distinguishes Christ’s followersfrom the rest of the world.This article was written by CheckPointers ToryBrue, Mitchel Nickolauson, Tommy Olsen andEric Smith, and CheckPoint Director TonyRogness.What isCheckPoint?CheckPoint is a leadership and ministrytraining program at Inspiration PointChristian Camp and Retreat Center.The purpose of the program is to trainyoung adults for ministry and leadershipin the church and to help them developcritical life skills. While CheckPointersare engaged in the study of Scripture andissues related to ministry and leadership,working at Inspiration Point provides afield in which leadership, ministry, andlife skills can be developed. The goalis that young adults will develop skillsthat are transferable to other ministrysituations and positions.CheckPoint exists in three phases:The first phase begins in Septemberand continues through May. Phase 1 isthe part of the program where the bulkof the teaching takes place. Teachingwill be centered on five core themes:Biblical study and Christian Foundations,Worldview and Culture, Leadership,Ministry Skills and Service.The second phase is the summer (lateMay through August). CheckPointerswill serve in a variety of ministrypositions on summer staff. The intent isthat this will give them an opportunityto use the ministry and leadership skillsin a familiar environment where they arementored on a daily basis.The third phase takes place following thesummer staff experience. CheckPointerswill be placed in ministry positions inlocal congregations. These positionsmay be part time, full time or volunteer.The congregations will be asked to helpwith housing and living expenses. Thishelp may consist of providing a stipendor salary, providing housing or assistingin finding work. CheckPointers will bementored by CheckPoint staff throughoutthe year and will return to InspirationPoint periodically throughout phase 3 for“CheckPoint Check-Up” seminars.For more information contact:Tony Rogness, CheckPoint DirectorEmail: tony@ipoint.orgInspiration PointPhone: 218-998-4572www.ffmagazine.org 17


A Message from the New Guyon the Council of DirectorsWARREN HALLAt school, you’re the new guy. In sports, you’rea rookie. Surfing, you’re a kook. However youdescribe it, being the newest member of a group canbe intimidating. What do you do, where do you sit, what doyou say? All of these things were going through my mind asthe April 2013 Church of the Lutheran Brethren Council ofDirectors meeting began.I had been asked to consider serving on the Council severalmonths ago and had only recently agreed. I have to admitthat the idea of discussing synodical policy and directionwith pastors, professors and presidents had me more thana little intimidated, but I soon recognized the error of myways. I realized that I sat among a group of very bright andexperienced people, leaders who could be anywhere, doinganything. Yet here they were, quietly and selflessly doingGod’s work, wrestling with CLB issues and concerns thataffect not only them, but all of us. I saw an intensity anddedication in them that had me questioning the depth of myown involvement in God’s Church.What did I learn from my first Council of Directorsmeeting? A new appreciation for the calling God gives toeach one of us. God challenges us to live intentionally forhim each day—to set aside the selfishness that keeps usfrom living in the full grace of Christ’s work on the cross.Are you worried about the CLB? Not enough pastors? Notenough money? The answer lies with each one of us. Ourfaith is evidenced in our heart response to God’s calling. Weneed to support our local churches, pastors and synod bothprayerfully and financially. We need to be that example ofservice for the next generation.Yes, I admit it. I am a kook, a rookie in my daily walk. Iwait for others to show the way. I think of myself first. I fail.But God’s grace is sufficient. He is there, patiently waitingfor us to mature spiritually. Each one of us needs to accepthis challenge for greater service. He’s calling now.Warren Hall serves on the Council of Directors and is an elder at Hope Churchat Silver Lake in Everett, WA.Faith & Fellowship is the official publication of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, 1020 W. Alcott Ave., P.O. Box 655, Fergus Falls, MN 56538-0655, issuedsix times a year (January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, November/December) by Faith and Fellowship Publishing, 1020W. Alcott Ave., P.O. Box 655, Fergus Falls, MN 56538-0655. Phone (218)736-7357. The viewpoints expressed in the articles are those of the authors andmay or may not necessarily reflect the official position of the Church of the Lutheran Brethren of America (CLBA). Periodicals Postage Paid at Fergus Falls,Minnesota 56538.(USPS 184-600) • (ISSN 10741712)SUBSCRIPTIONS: Faith & Fellowship is offered to its readers at no charge. We would encourage your continued support with a donation and if you wouldlike to be on our mailing list, please contact our office. Periodicals Postage Paid at Fergus Falls, Minnesota. CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please give both oldand new addresses and allow four weeks.Direct all correspondence, including submission of articles, to: Faith & Fellowship, P.O. Box 655, Fergus Falls, MN 56538-0655;Telephone, (218)736-7357; e-mail, ffpress@clba.org; FAX, (218)736-2200.POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Faith & Fellowship, P.O. Box 655, Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56538-0655FFwww.ffmagazine.org 19


www.ffmagazine.orgby: Brent JuliotGo and Do LikewisePeriodicals Postage Paid atFergus Falls, Minnesota 56538When Jesus was asked to define “neighbor,” he insteadresponded with a story describing “neighboring”—the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus concludedwith the command, “Go and do likewise.” Do what the GoodSamaritan did.This may be the May/June issue of Faith & Fellowship, but it’sbeen an endless winter in Minnesota. A few days ago, after yetanother snowstorm, I ran my snowblower down my neighbor’ssidewalk, returning one of his many favors. Another neighbor’scar was barricaded against the curb because a snowplow driverhad plowed around it. I blew out enough snow that he’d be ableto drive out easily, smiling to myself to think he’d never knowwho had set him free. Isn’t this what it means to “go and dolikewise”? Yes and No.We think of the Good Samaritan as everybody’s goodneighbor. But the priest and Levite who passed by withoutassisting the injured man—and even the injured man himself—wouldn’t have thought of the Samaritan as being either goodor a neighbor, prior to his act of kindness. He was the lastperson on earth they’d have expected kindness from, or shownkindness to. Thus the story was shocking to Jesus’ hearers, whothought “love your neighbor and hate your enemy” was the wayto live.It’s easy to help the neighbor who helps me. Easy to dosomething nice for a friend. Easy to take pride in assistingpeople I like. But people I don’t like, or who don’t like me?That’s another story.Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend tothem without expecting to get anything back. Then your rewardwill be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because heis kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as yourFather is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36).“Go and do likewise.” To act like the Samaritan of Luke10 means blowing snow for the people next door, and muchmore. It means going to unfamiliar or even unpleasant places,and giving without expecting anything back. It means going topeople groups who haven’t heard about Christ in the last placeon earth you might want to live yourself.The Most High God came, in the person of Christ, to give hislife for ungrateful and wicked people. That’s a real neighbor.Sons and daughters of the Most High will look for ways to “goand do likewise.”Rev. Brent Juliot is Editor of Faith & Fellowship Magazine, teaches mathat Hillcrest Lutheran Academy, and serves as senior pastor at StavangerLutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN.change of address:Faith & FellowshipP.O. Box 655FFForFergus Falls, MN 56538-0655FaithFellowshipChurch of the Lutheran Brethren • May/June 2013 • Vol. 80, No. 3Neighbors1Jerusalem • Samaria • The Ends of the EarthFF $60,000Circulation: 7,300Annual Cost: $60,000Fiscal YearBegins May 1, 2013Ends April 30, 2014Thank You!Your generous gifts help make thispublication possible.Faith & Fellowship is a free magazinefunded by the Ministries of the Church ofthe Lutheran Brethren.Your gifts help pay for pre-press, printing,and postage, easing the expense dividedbetween the Ministries.$45,000$30,000$15,000Contribute at: www.CLBA.org/givingor by mail at: PO Box 655, Fergus Falls, MN 56538www.ffmagazine.org | www.ffbooks.org | @ffmag

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