top of page

Search Results

740 items found for ""

Events (10)

View All

Blog Posts (439)

  • Acceptance of Things beyond Our Control

    Adrian Pirness | The Voice of Zion November 2023 - What Does the Bible Say Article -- The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live forever. – Psalm 22:26 Written by King David, this Psalm contains texts suggested for Good Friday. David begins, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me” (v. 1). Jesus cried the same words from the cross on Good Friday. In despair, David speaks a message of hope: “But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted and thou didst deliver them (v. 3,4). In our text, David writes of those who are meek: “The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live forever.” Meekness – A Rich Word As a Christian term, meekness can be described as the opposite of self-will or self-interest. God’s Word indicates meekness as having a humble attitude and patiently enduring offenses. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul highlights meekness as a fruit of the Spirit. Our society today primarily sees meekness as negative: deficient in spirit or courage, to be submissive or even a pushover. Rarely is meekness thought to be a desirable quality, especially when contrasted with individual pursuits and accomplishments. Society encourages, “Create your own destiny, forge your own path.” But another description of meekness is to endure injury with patience and without resentment. God’s Word speaks positively of meekness, encouraging it as a fruit of faith. In His sermon on the mount, Jesus teaches that the meek shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5). David also writes, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Ps. 37:11). Meekness contains an aspect of submission to another. But the question is who or what are we submitting to? Peter writes, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Pet. 5:6). Everything we have is a blessing from our heavenly Father. Faith is offered as God’s grace gift, and He opens the heart to receive and cherish it. God grants the desire to endeavor, to battle against sin with the gospel of forgiveness. The strength to strive against the devil, the world, and our sin-corrupt flesh comes from God. Meekness causes us to acknowledge and accept that our human strength, ability, and understanding are insufficient. We depend on God’s grace and it is comforting to remain in His care. Meekness Is Trusting God On the wilderness journey, the children of Israel found themselves without food. They were hungry and had reason to complain. But God fed them with manna from heaven. They were instructed to gather only enough for each day, except on the day before the Sabbath when they gathered enough for two days. Everyone had enough. They were satisfied and thankful for what God provided. “The meek shall eat and be satisfied.” But later they came to despise the food they once received with joy (Num. 21:5). Are we satisfied with the food God provides in His kingdom today? Sometimes we hunger for more. At festive services, at camp, or even when visiting with believing friends we don’t want it to end. Sometimes at services we listen for a particular message instead of praying that God would open His Word as He sees our need. At those times we may not hear what God had to say. We can be satisfied with what God gives for each moment. When God has protected in faith, we can say it’s always been enough. Let us not despise the food from heaven. God feeds us when we gather to hear His Word. Meekness is calm acceptance of things beyond our control. Even when we don’t understand, isn’t it secure to leave matters in the care of our Father who knows, sees, and allows all things? We were reminded of this during the pandemic a few years ago. Things beyond our control, which we may have disagreed with, were certainly known by our heavenly Father. He allowed them for His purpose. We are slow to thank God for His care and blessings. He provides all that we need for this life, and He gives us hope of eternal life in heaven by faith. “They shall praise the Lord that seek him.” A Battle Worth Fighting The battle is worth fighting! Paul instructs us, “fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Tim. 6:12). Jesus reminds, “Behold, I come quickly: Hold fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown” (Rev. 3:11). Continue battling sin with the power of the gospel. We cannot attain meekness or the other fruits of faith through our own strength or power. On the contrary, aren’t we often impatient and selfish? It’s easy to put our own wishes and desires ahead of our loved ones’ needs and before the things God deems good for us. He only asks us to remain endeavoring, to believe the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. One day we will exchange our cross for a crown. “Your heart shall live forever.”

  • November 2023 Update

    Arvin Pirness | The Voice of Zion November 2023 - News and Notes Article -- November arrives, bearing a subtle touch of winter and signaling the approach of another year’s end. It also brings the conclusion of the church calendar and the commencement of Advent, with holiday preparations just around the corner. Autumn serves as a poignant reminder of the human condition, mirroring the grass that flourishes but eventually succumbs to time’s passage. November 1 is All Saints’ Day, a time for us to honor those who have gone before us and emerged victorious. Their memory resonates in the familiar song text that tells that Saints of God have eternal peace, having striven in earthly battles. Their recollection often kindles a longing within us; we yearn to dwell in heaven with them (SHZ 140:1). As we lay out plans for the forthcoming holidays and look ahead to 2024, let us not forget to count the abundant blessings bestowed upon us by our heavenly Father and to hold onto the hope of a heavenly destination awaiting us at the end of our life’s journey. We have this and much more to be thankful for. Speaking of which, Happy Thanksgiving to all our U.S. readers. Updates on LLC Activities Facilities The camp season is now over. Review of the needs for the facilities and preparation for 2024 camp season continues on through the winter months. We continue to pray that God will bless this planning and preparation. Pastoral An LLC Ministers Webinar/Seminar was held at the LLC office on October 21. Former Phoenix and Prescott Valley pastor Matti Kontkanen gave two presentations related to pastoral counseling. These dealt with the topics of listening and love and respect. Matti, who currently works as a counselor, traveled on the fall mission trip to North America. The fifth LLC Ministers Webinar in 2023 is on November 2. Foreign Mission Work From August through October, mission trips have happened in Ecuador, Ghana, Togo and Kenya. Approximately 30 locations were visited on the Ecuador, Ghana and Togo trips and services were attended by nearly 500 people. The believers in Togo elected a new National Board during the September trip; we wish this board God’s blessings for their work. A confirmation school was held in Kenya with about 90 students. Education Sunday School curriculum review continues. A Bible Camp was held at Stony Lake, October 6–8, 2023. The lessons at camp were recorded and are being edited for posting to the LLC website and possibly to Hearken. The theme of the camp was taken from John 6:38. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” The area of study covered was from Palm Sunday to Pentecost. Print Publications Our seasonal magazine Christmas in Zion is at the printers! Watch for your copy in the mail soon. This year marks the fortieth issue of this magazine, and next year marks 40 years since it was first published. The LLC History book project has entered its final review phase. Much careful work has gone into this project and we look forward to publishing the results in coming months. Digital Communications We recently launched the latest version of Hearken, our publications app. This version features updates to usability and functionality. We continue to receive useful input and feedback from Hearken users. We are grateful that many subscribe to this app to enjoy the regular stream of new content published there. Music We published a new instrumental album titled Quiet Shelter. The album features sacred music played on a variety of instruments by believing musicians. It is available on Hearken, for purchase as a CD, and on other streaming platforms where LLC music is published. Later this month, we will publish Hail the Star, a digital-only album of Christmas music recorded by Seattle congregation musicians. The album will be available on Hearken and other streaming platforms. Opisto Program In August the Opisto Scholarship Committee selected 14 scholarship recipients for the 2024–2025 opisto year from a pool of applicants more than double that size. As is usual practice, we wait until all the recipients have accepted their scholarships before publishing the names of recipients. We wish the following LLC Opisto Scholarship recipients a blessed and happy time of preparing for their departure to opisto next August as well as a wonderful and rewarding time studying abroad! Jämsä Isla Archer, Rockford, Minn. Treagen Klassen, Saskatoon, Sask. Matti Olli, Seattle, Wash. Jonas Mikkola, Lethbridge, Alta. Reisjärvi Kiandra Huhta, Longview, Wash. Sophia Jurmu, Rockford, Minn. Ari Niemi, Toronto, Ont. Kinsey Smith, Glendale, Ariz. Kay Wuollet, Phoenix, Ariz. Kyla Wuollet, Phoenix, Ariz. Ranua Gretta Davison, Monticello, Minn. Jed Davison, Flathead Valley, Mont. Shaina Huhta, Menahga, Minn. Sophia Ylitalo, Menahga, Minn.

  • Hear the Spirit Speak

    Jukka Petaisto | The Voice of Zion November 2023 - Home and Family Article -- How does meekness, a fruit of the Spirit, shine in our temporal lives? As I have pondered this topic and gathered my thoughts, I feel that meekness shines in dear believers around me. I also hear the Word of God that reminds me what meekness is. At a recent Sunday evening service, the minister spoke from 1 Peter 5:5,6. “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” And at Bible class a teacher read from Proverbs 15:1. “A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.” Meekness means many things. Along with a meaning like humility, meekness also can infer that someone is indecisive or passive, not usually a positive attribute. Rather, tenacity is a value in our culture; this value teaches that we should know what we want and go to great lengths to achieve those goals. Individually, we may be tempted to ignore rules, to rebel, or to protest actions our government takes. In recent years the COVID-19 happenings unfolded and they were often discussed. I listened to COVID-19 outrage, frustrations, and strong convictions both for and against gathering, masks and mandates. I shared my thoughts at times and was not immune to these feelings. I have pondered and worried if love was broken between believers. The prayers and doubts were many during those times. I listened to our board members and ministers as they presented and discussed with the congregation what to do next. I heard meekness in these presentations and felt I could trust the Holy Spirit was speaking. On this matter and many temporal matters Romans 13:1 reminds us: “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.” The verses that follow carry further instruction, but I have little understanding. I do feel the overall instruction is clear and simple; God provides government and leaders and we are subject to the laws and rules of our land. When we have differences of opinion on temporal matters, I’m reminded of Luther’s explanation of the eighth commandment. At the end of the explanation Luther says, “Think and speak well of him and put the best construction on all he does.” I want to think that all believers are doing the best they can to navigate through difficult temporal situations. I also want to think that our temporal leaders and neighbors are doing the best they can, although they do not have this great gift of faith and the Holy Spirit to guide them. We can pray and trust that God will give strength and guide our lives. The Bible gives good instruction, and we hear the Spirit speak where two or three believers are gathered. We don’t need to understand, we simply need to believe. The Gospel will lift and carry us until we reach that heavenly home. Earthly Life, Heavenly Goal Andrea Joensuu A healthy self-concept is something believers strive to achieve. Our sense of self underpins our life choices, both good and bad. A healthy self-concept helps us to care for ourselves and those around us, and it protects us from harm. A believer’s highest quest is heaven. But we should also pursue a happy and fulfilling temporal life. Our personal goals and ambitions are balanced with our heavenly goal, and they shouldn’t pull us away from Christian fellowship and the hearing of God’s Word. God created each of us as a unique and perfectly imperfect person and we rejoice in our creation and life opportunities. Today’s culture emphasizes self-actualization: achieving one’s full potential. But for many, the pursuit of self-actualization has led to self-absorption and indifference to others. Our culture glorifies the individual as the maker of gifts and talents instead of our heavenly Father. Nevertheless, self-actualization is healthy and desirable. God gave every person differing skills and talents. His will is that we exercise these gifts, especially in His kingdom. As believers, we self-actualize while striving to keep a good conscience and supporting one another in faith. Exercising one’s voice and personal autonomy are held as admirable indications of strength. But it often requires even greater strength to express oneself in a way that is meek, yet not weak. Christ was meek. Meekness requires both compassion and respect for others. It also allows us to disagree with others when necessary. As believers, we seek to voice ourselves humbly through peaceful and respectful means. For example, we express our position on important issues through the democratic process of voting. God’s Word exhorts us to modesty, and believers shy away from raucous protest movements that can easily entangle our flesh (Rom. 12–13). Believers wish to accept trials as they are given, for they draw us closer to God and help us toward our heavenly goal. Our highest quest is not a perfect life here on earth, but there in eternity. Conversation on Meekness Anita and Briitta Niemi visit with their mother Kyllikki Niemi What does it mean to be meek, and how is it shown as a fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer? Kyllikki: Meekness is being gentle and speaking respectfully to others. It is shown as a fruit by helping one another, being humble, and having forgiveness in the home. Also, this is without expecting anything in return. Briitta: Meekness is being humble, not being pretentious nor overbearing. It is being gentle and kind and asking for forgiveness and forgiving from the heart. It is being obedient to God’s will. He guides and directs our lives, and His plans are always the best. During the COVID pandemic, our lives were reduced to the three of us at home. We were accustomed to frequent visits from the children and grandchildren to Mummula. We struggled with this. We wanted to remain obedient and humble to the restrictions that were mandated. So we started driveway visits. We would help Mom into the car and visit all her children and grandchildren in their driveways. This lifted our spirits. During the first year of the pandemic, we contracted COVID. Mom’s case was very severe, and she was hospitalized. So many prayers rose to God: “Thy will be done”. Mom was left with many health complications that continue today. My vacation time was used for the multitudes of medical appointments with specialists. At the time, I wondered why these trials were given to our household. Acceptance came slowly but what a gift came with it. My nieces and nephews that were confirmation age and older began visiting us weekly when the COVID restrictions were lifted in our province. Peace, contentment, and joy grew with each shared visit. We shared joys and sorrows. These weekly visits brought comfort and so much joy to my life. Anita: Meekness is being humble. I would agree with what Mom and Briitta said about having patience and forgiveness in our home. It is believing our sins forgiven. I am thankful to still have my mom here with me today and for Briitta helping and encouraging me to continue to be patient in caring for Mom. Nowadays in our culture, it’s considered good to stand up for yourself and forge your own path to fulfillment and success. Some favor speaking out loudly on topics on which they’re passionate. What is the believer’s viewpoint on this? Kyllikki: As a believer, we should always strive to remain humble and obedient to God’s Word and authority. Briitta: It is good for one to work at being successful, but one must remain obedient to the teachings of God’s Word and to remain humble. Let God guide your life and remember that He is the best provider. All these gifts come from Him. We are taught to be obedient to authority. Rising up against the government and disobeying mandates was very evident during the COVID pandemic. Although one may not agree to the restrictions and mandates, we need to be obedient. It can be very difficult to remain humble. Anita: As Briitta mentioned, it is okay to strive to be better but to also to remember who our guide is. We must trust in God and let His will be done. How does meekness as a fruit of the spirit govern our home life? We all have our lots in life, given from the hand of God. Kyllikki: We use the gospel freely and ask God for strength in all matters. As an elder, I need to remain humble and ask for help in much that I do. I pray God will continue to give strength to my girls to continue to help me in my daily life. Discussing issues and coming to an agreement keeps the love between us. We need to be patient. In sickness and health, we need to accept all that God gives. At first it was tough to accept, but over time I have accepted my lot in life and realized that I have much to be thankful for: family, travel escorts and that I can still attend services. I am so thankful and blessed that I can live at home with my two daughters who are nurses and so lovingly care for me. Briitta: Anita and I share the care of Mom. We also cared for Dad until he passed away. Disagreements sometimes come up, but we talk about them and forgive one another. We are content with our lot in life. It is a blessing in our lives as we don’t have spouses or children of our own. We are surrounded by siblings and many nieces and nephews, and this fills our lives. While caring for Mom, I feel thankful and blessed. God has given us this time in our lives. While it sometimes limits our travels to Summer Services or other events, we get to have these special times with Mom that our siblings don’t have. We are blessed to be the ones that care for Mom as she once cared for us so lovingly. We are thankful for the online Summer Services. During difficult days, I remind myself, just as Mom always told us: the sun will always rise on a new day. Trust that God will continue to give us strength for each day. I often think of the words to virsi 547. “Every morning there is a new grace. Why should we worry? Shadows and weakness recede. Jesus gives His strength. Thanks be to the Lord for His help along the way. He is with us now and always.” Anita: I am thankful to have the opportunity to care for Mom as I did care for Dad. I have a roof over my head and a career which I enjoy, taking care of the elderly. I am very blessed with having most of our siblings living close to us. Our nieces and nephews bring us great joy. Questions for discussion Look up “meekness” in a dictionary. Which definition surprises you? Give examples of when humans are assertive and fierce and when humans are meek. Discuss Jesus’ life and His character traits as described in the Bible. Jesus was usually meek. Why was this? What do we learn from Jesus’ example? When is the time we want to be meek?

View All

Other Pages (113)

  • CONFIRMATION LESSONS | Laestadian Lutheran Church

    Confirmation Lessons Day 1, Lesson 1: The Most Precious Matter in Our Lives Day 2, Lesson 1: God, the Triune God Day 2, Lesson 2: Faith, a Gift from God Day 2, Lesson 3: The Bible, God's Written Word Day 2, Lesson 4: The Sabbath Day, Keep It Holy Day 3, Lesson 1: Jesus, the Word Made Flesh Day 3, Lesson 2: Jesus, Our Savior Day 3, Lesson 3: Temptation and Sin Day 3, Lesson 4: The Gospel, the Message of Victory Day 3, Lesson 5: Courtship & Marriage, He Made Them Male and Female Day 4, Lesson 1: The Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier Day 4, Lesson 2: God's Kingdom, Our Mother Load More

  • Day 7, Lesson 5: Personal Psalms to God

    < Back Confirmation Day 7: Mission Work: Go Ye Therefore and Teach All Nations Day 7, Lesson 5: Personal Psalms to God Objective Write a personal letter to God Learning Outcome Write a letter to God expressing my joys, sorrows and worries and ask God for His help. Confirmation Exercise Questions None Reference Material Booklet Song: Commit whatever grieves thee / To God’s almighty hands, / To Him who never leaves thee, / Who heav’n and earth commands, / Who points the clouds their courses, / Whom winds and waves obey; / He will direct my footsteps / And show to thee the way. (SHZ 376 v.1) ​ Booklet Text: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE Matt. 6:5-13; James 5: 16-18 ​ CURRICULUM Lesson 9.11 ​ ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS We can approach God with any, and all matters, both temporal and spiritual God has promised to hear our prayers Writing our thoughts often helps us to clarify our thoughts – it is difficult to articulate that which is unclear in our thoughts RESOURCES​ Student will express their personal thoughts Previous Next

  • Day 5, Lesson 3: Internet and Social Media

    < Back Confirmation Day 5: I Need the Word Of Grace Each Day Day 5, Lesson 3: Internet and Social Media Objective God has provided a useful tool to spread His word throughout the world; Believers need to battle against temptations on the Internet and through social media Learning Outcome Explain how Internet and social media support living faith Confirmation Exercise Questions None Reference Material Booklet Song: Our tongue is one, it is quite small, / Yet what it does surpasses all: / A little word can be so great / And cause such pain, unrest, and hate. (SHZ 463 v.2) ​ Booklet Text: But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (Colossians 3:8) Additional Reference Material SCRIPTURE Matt. 15:11; Col. 3:8; James 5; ​ CURRICULUM Lesson 9.1 ​ ADDITIONAL LESSON POINTS There are three parts of conversion identified in the Augsburg Confession. Through the means of repentance narratives in the Bible and real-life experiences, the student will understand that God has established a single means of entering the fellowship of His grace which we call conversion. Conversion happens in only one way; it is not a process of evolving, but is a particular event which happens in the twinkling of an eye. RESOURCES ​ VZ:The Internet – Good and Evil, (4-page spread, several writers), June/July 2017, pages 6-9; Visits and Text Messages, M. Pudas, At the Crossroads of Choosing, pages 143-146 Our Speech in an Electronic Age, A. Pirness, Crossing the Current, pages 84-86 Previous Next

View All
bottom of page