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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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The culture factor

I was reminded recently of how even young children are affected by the media and product names. As our family drove home from church, I was repeating lines from hymns we had sung that morning. When I belted out, “O brother, do you love Jesus?” our son Paul (not yet 2) shouted, “Yes!” from the backseat. Delighted, I said, “Paul, do you really love Jesus?” His reply: “Yes, Daddy, yes, I love Cheezits.”

Mark Rigg
Pottstown, Pa.

Just once can't it just be 'the one
“Just once can’t it just be ‘the one that got away’ without it becoming a sermon illustration?”
It was my turn to do children’s church and the story was about Lazarus. I began to tell the story, and when I got to the part where Lazarus died, a little voice piped up before I could finish the story: “And I bet they didn’t have any insurance!”

Della V. Woodward
Brigham City, Utah



My 4-year-old son, Cooper, and I were riding through town when all of a sudden he asked, “Momma, what’s Jesus’ phone number?” I looked in my rearview mirror into those precious, curious eyes and said, “Cooper, Jesus doesn’t have a phone, but you can talk to him through prayer.” He looked down and then up again expectantly: “How about a cell phone?” I asked, “What do you want to tell him?” Cooper’s quick reply was: “Sure wanted him to know about my new dog.” I assured him, Jesus knows.

Kimmy Wilson
Marble Falls, Texas

A group was testing the updated PA system during the Sunday-school hour. Downstairs, a teacher was reading from Acts 4:31: “The meeting place shook and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” And through the PA system came a booming voice: “Can you hear me now?” In the classroom, there were looks of amazement. God works in mysterious ways.

Becki Walz
Tripp, S.D.

And on the matter of a new air conditioning
“And on the matter of a new air conditioning system, the hallelujahs have it.”
Top this!

Each year on or near Father’s Day, the pastor hands out gifts to the oldest and youngest father. Last year a third gift was given to the father who had traveled the farthest. One father was visiting from Louisiana; another said he’d just returned from Atlanta. After another said he was from Liberia and a fourth reminded the congregation he was born in Lebanon, the pastor started wondering what to do next. A young dad from the back of the church shouted, “My wife is from Venus and I’m from Mars.”

Beth Hartfiel
Pearland, Texas

Forgive us this fish story ....

As guest pastor at Iglesia Luterana Jesús Nuestro Refugio (Jesus Our Refuge Lutheran Church) in San José, Costa Rica, I raised the cup and intended to say, “Given for el perdón de pecado” (the forgiveness of sin). What I actually said was, “el perdón de pescado” (the forgiveness of fish). The insertion of a single letter in the words of institution gave new depth to eucharistic theology and new meaning to the term “cleaning fish.”

Mark Wm. Radecke
Selinsgrove, Pa.


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December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

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