By Nancy Bynum
The youth and chaperones would like to say “Thank You!” to the congregation for offering scholarships to the Bread of Life 2016 Higher Things Conference. We are delighted that so many youth were able to attend including: Nicole, Cassie, and Nathan Demlow; Isaac Glynn; Jake and Joe Henke; Andrew Kind; Katherine, Nathan, and Matthew Vanderhyde; Caleb, and Rachel Walker. Chaperones included: Sarah Rose Battles, Pastor Kind, Karen Henke, Jaclyn Magnuson, Kari Walker, and Nancy Bynum.
Pastior Kind began our trip with Matins and a prayer that the Angel Raphael would accompany us along the way and that we would return to our homes in peace, in safety, and in joy.
After one gas stop and one lunch stop, we arrived at Northern Iowa University in Cedar Falls and picked up our materials. The theme for this year’s Higher Things Conference was “Bread of Life.” The schedule for the Higher Things Conference was full of excellent services, sessions and events. The full details and schedule are here on the web.
The conference opened with the Divine Service. Nathan Vanderhyde neatly summed up what many of our young people thought about this service by saying, “I think the major highlight of Higher Things was having 837 people singing the same hymns and saying the Lord’s prayer. It’s amazing to think that they all pretty much believe the same thing as you do. That’s what really made me want to be there all week.”
The regional team activities were especially noteworthy. Our team, the “VIR”, posted on facebook, engaged groups from other churches in activities, and found the vicar dressed as a unicorn to score points for our team. Matthew Vanderhyde organized several people to form “FEAR THE VIR” on the lawn, scoring several points for the VIR team. https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=1012801285483493&set=a.111431375620493.18332.100002608930261&type=3
Pastor Donovan Riley addressed the first plenary session on the attempt by some to refute that Jesus is God from the text of Scripture itself. Among Pastor Riley’s points were the ‘I Am’ statements by Christ in the New Testament. Christ spoke these fully aware of, and connected to, God’s “I am” statements in the Old Testament.
Some of the points the youth and the chaperones enjoyed pondering were as follows:
- We are far more attracted to the needs of our body than the needs of our soul.
- No more judgement, wrath, or hell: Christ’s life is sustaining us unto life everlasting
- The Lord’s supper is food and drink for the journey, to sustain you
- Compare your decisions to the 10 commandments, table of duties, and the Proverbs. Will your decision give glory and honor to God?
- The boldness and confidence of Christ should encompass all that we are and all that we do.
- The solution to shame is Christ: confessing our sins and receiving absolution
- We are like mirrors. God creates, orders, loves, and speaks to us. We are only able to reflect God’s worth, value, identity, and confidence in His presence. Consequently, when we separate ourselves from Christ we lose our value, our identity, our confidence, and our worth.
- The devil wants us to fear the situation; he wants us to think he has the authority over every situation. Fortunately for us, every battle has been won. Christ said it is finished. Proclaim God’s authority over every situation using His word.
- Pastor Kind can be in a tornado and his hair still would look great.
- In every situation, we always know what to do: PRAY!
- The fact that we never think we need help does not change the fact that God is merciful and gracious and helping us 24/7.
- Some people say they FEEL led to do something deep down in their hearts. In our hearts it is dark, our hearts are incubators for thoughts of murder, slander, and hatred – do we really want to follow our hearts?
- We are to pray AGAINST our enemies by using the psalms of imprectation: Psalm 12 – prays that God word would be kept pure; Psalm 94 prays for the defenseless – aborted babies included. (Other “Go get’em God” Psalms: 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 69, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140)
- The lost sheep, the lost coin, like we, are dead assets, Christ comes to us as “dead assets”, rescues us, and gives us new life.
- Sin is deep corruption of the heart – confessing sin over and over while putting our trust and confidence in Christ alone is the “cure”.
- On Closed communion: Christ taught all, fed all, but the Lord’s supper was reserved for the disciples only. “Just because someone wants to do something does not make it good for them.”
- The Lord’s supper: (1) Ransoms us from death (2) Removes guilt – of sins we’ve done, and sins done to us (3) Resurrection of the body, we cannot live without forgiveness of sin – our sinful mundane lives are interrupted by eternal life. (4) Renews and restores us – (Sanctification) – the old Adam is choked to death, and the new Adam is strengthened (5) Gives us confidence of God’s approval
The trip ended with a pizza party at Green Mill in Albert Lea followed by compline at Luther House. There were 23 opportunities to receive God’s word in the time we spent at Higher Things. Again, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the congregation for their continued support!
I encourage our youth to start saving up for the 2017 Higher Things conference, the choices are:
- June 27-30 – Trinity University, San Antonio, TX
- July 4-7 – Mars Hill University, Mars Hill, NC
- July 18-21 – Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
- July 25-28 – Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
#Breadoflife2016 – #davidkindshair – #fearthevir