Welcome to the Minnesota North District - Brainerd / Baxter, MN

Our Mission:   The mission of the Minnesota North District of  the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is to further the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) and to  assist congregations as Great Commission  churches.

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Next month (April 13-15), our Minnesota North District will be meeting in Convention under the theme: “Word of Truth, to All Truth Lead Us.” Throughout history people have been searching for the truth. Pontius Pilate was staring Truth in the face when he asked Jesus: “What is truth?” He asked this in response to Jesus’ statement: “…For this purpose I have come into the world – to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice” (John 18:37).  There are a lot of voices telling us they’re true including our own deceptive self-talk and destructive pride.

The electronic billboard by the Pettit Ice Center, a U.S. Olympic training facility for skating in West Allis, Wisconsin, stated: “Without ice…Titanic would be a boring movie.”  Clever marketing that invites you to think about ice (skating).

But the truth is that it wasn’t ice that sunk the Titanic 103 years ago April 15. It was simple but strong human pride.  Without pride Titanic would be a boring movie. A safe movie about lives that continued, dreams that remained, and children who lived on.

But pride kills. And the worst of it is, we don’t always realize its happening. We kind of get caught up in the moment and the hype. But all the while we’re deceiving ourselves, living in our own fantasy-made reality. This also happens in our Christian life of faith.

“If we say we have no sin,” the Bible states squarely, “we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…If we say we have not sinned, we make Him [Jesus] a liar and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8 &10). This isn’t always outright denial, realizing I’ve sinned but trying to rationalize it away. Sometimes it’s blissful ignorance to my sin. If I just don’t pay attention to my flaws and failures hide them in the out-of-sight-and-out-of-mind closet, well, then they can’t bother me because they don’t really exist. I’ll put on a happy face, tell everyone I’m blessed, and everything will be okay.

There’s a poem that refers to this:

The range of what we think and do

Is limited by what we fail to notice

And because we fail to notice

That we fail to notice

There is little we can do

To change

Until we notice

How failing to notice

Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

The Titanic couldn’t steer quickly enough away from the iceberg because its rudder was 30-40% too small for a vessel its size. Didn’t somebody notice that before pushing off into the icy North Atlantic? The Titanic had received several transmissions from other ships that were in the vicinity of the ice flow, yet continued to speed ahead at full throttle. And there were only enough lifeboats in the ship’s design to account for 52% of the passengers on board. Why didn’t somebody notice this enough to make a life-saving difference?

The truth is: pride. It’s so strong, so contagious, it seems so sensible and esteeming but yet so dark, as dark as the depths of the North Atlantic’s watery grave.

Our pride leads us to self-talk that says: “I don’t need help…I’m always right… Why are there so many idiots driving on the roads?...Okay, God, I’ve hit my quota of troubles for this month!”

The truth of God’s Word tells us: “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

Pride’s deception keeps us in the dark and leads to hellish consequences. But if we continue in God’s Word, we will know the Truth: Jesus, and His blood that cleanses us from all of our sins. Jesus leads us out of the darkness and into the light.

Jesus has no pride big enough or dark enough to prevent Him from dying for us, rising with us, and forgiving us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9). He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot put it out” (John 1:5).

“…Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that He may teach us His ways and that we may walk in His paths” (Isaiah 2:3).

May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts and minds with a desire to be led by the Word of our Lord as we make decisions at our Convention, and with a willingness to recognize and treat one another as fellow members of the Body of Christ, who are mutually concerned about the well-being of the church. May He teach us His ways that we may walk in His paths!   

President Don Fondow