September 2023 Giving Appeal

“He will command his angels to guard you in all your ways.  They will bear you up in their hands so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”  (Psalm 91: 11-12) 

Dear Friends:

I experienced the truth and power of that promise last month.  I do not have a good sense of balance so I take precautions.  For example, I do not ride escalators, especially in airports when I have luggage and my carry on.  But after I arrived at the Oklahoma City airport on my way to the NALC Convocation, as I left the gate area the escalator down to baggage claim was straight ahead and I did not know where the elevator was, so I foolishly did what normally I no longer do.  I took the escalator. 

As I remember, a little way down the step jerked.  I lost my balance, fell to the side, and badly cut my upper left arm – I believe on the metal edge of the step.  People were so concerned and so kind.  They brought paper towels to wrap up the blood and called the airport fire department triage team, who retrieved my luggage, called an ambulance, and I was taken to the emergency room of a hospital not too far from where the convocation was taking place.  My laceration was treated and I was released. 

Afterwards I was thinking about how fortunate I was that I did not fall forward or fall down the escalator and how much more serious the injury could have been (though the escalator did leave tread marks on my upper left arm).  I was also very glad when I heard the announcement that first aid was available during the convocation at the volunteer central room.  There I found kind people who would change the dressing.  It is hard to change the dressing on your own upper left arm. 

And then I got to thinking about what people can do – show concern, wipe up the blood, retrieve luggage, get me to emergency, treat the wound, and change the dressing – but what only God can do – command His angels to watch over us and give our bodies the amazing ability to heal. 

I am very sad whenever I hear preachers and Bible study leaders reduce the Christian message to what we do – whether it is doing works of compassion, advocating for justice, or what is now the dominating emphasis in some church circles – dismantling systemic racism, white supremacy, and male dominance.  I think of the account of the raising of Lazarus in John 11.  The people could move the stone and unwrap the grave clothes, but only Jesus could raise the dead.  We of Lutheran CORE are committed to preserving and proclaiming the full and pure Gospel message – not of the far-left political agenda but of the gifts that God gives as He forgives our sins, makes us new creations, calls us to service, and commands His angels to watch over us. 

We have promised to keep you posted regarding the work of the commission that will be developing the plan to remake and reconstitute the ELCA.  The thirty-five members of the commission have been appointed and have held their first meeting.  Biographical paragraphs of the members are now available.  We will be analyzing the makeup of the commission and will share our analysis in the September issue of our newsletter, CORE Voice.  The makeup of the commission should be cause for great concern.  As they say, When you know the makeup, you know the outcome.

Also in the September issue of our newsletter a couple members of our young adult group – both of whom are students at the North American Lutheran Seminary – will be writing about their experiences serving as mentors at NEXUS this past summer.  A ministry of Grand View University in Des Moines, NEXUS is a week of Bible study, theological reflection, and fellowship for high schoolers, where they are challenged to become involved in Christian ministry and consider attending seminary.  Thank you for your gifts, which make it possible for Lutheran CORE to be one of the sponsors of NEXUS.  Ethan Zimmerman, one of the seminarians who again served as a mentor this past summer, wrote about his experiences –

“This summer’s NEXUS Institute was the best NEXUS I’ve been to in my five years of being involved!  The Holy Spirit was moving in and amidst everyone, from the high school student participants, to the young adult mentors, all the way to the adult chaperones!  Everyone’s faith was deepened and broadened in such a fantastic way, and speaking for myself, I will forever be changed for the better because of my involvement as a mentor.  The NEXUS Institute is one of the premier places for high school students to grow and learn more about their faith, and to see what a calling and vocation from God truly looks like!”

I am writing this letter the week after the devastating fires on the island of Maui.  Having visited that beautiful island, I have a hard time imagining what it must be like now.  We are continually reminded of tragedies and natural disasters that are happening to people.  But the greatest tragedy of all is what sin, death, and the devil have done to God’s creation.  People need to know and be in right relationship with a God who loves, forgives, calls, empowers, and is with them, and who commands His angels to watch over them.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and gifts to Lutheran CORE, which enable us to continue our work of being a Voice for Biblical Truth and a Network for Confessing Lutherans.  Thank you for your prayers for us.  Please click here to print a form that you can use to let us know how we can be praying for you.

Blessings in Christ,   

Dennis D. Nelson

Executive Director of Lutheran CORE

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