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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Dear Friends in Christ,

Jessica Chambers was 19 years old.  She said she was going to clean out her car and then grab a bite to eat.  Within minutes, someone called 911 to report that she was walking down the road engulfed in flames.  Authorities reported that someone had forced lighter fluid down her throat and up her nose and then set her on fire.  The Mississippi teen died with burns over 98% of her body.

When I heard that report on December 10, 2014, I thought – “what is this world coming too?”  Who would be so cruel and heartless to set someone on fire?  For what?  Anger?  Curiosity?  Or just plain evil?  

When I hear of these reports I wonder – What if I were the pastor to that family; what would I offer to bring them comfort?   Is there any consolation in circumstances like this?  I know I question; “Why would God allow this to happen?”  I want the culprit caught and I want to see them suffer in a similar manner.  My sinful flesh wants vengeance.  I want the Dirty Harry character that Clint Eastwood played to pull out his .44 caliber handgun with the 8-1/2 inch barrel and blow that perpetrator away.  

But to what end?  Jessica is still dead.  Her parents will never get to hold her in their arms again.  Jessica will never bring them a grandchild, her room will remain empty, and her dad will never walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.   

Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)  That was the answer Jesus gave to Paul when he experienced the thorn in his flesh and asked for it to be removed.  This is the answer God gives us when we face the struggles we face.  God’s grace IS sufficient for us.  God’s grace is God incarnate going to the cross to lay down His life for us.  God’s grace takes the punishment of our sins on Himself so that we can have life and have it in abundance.  We live in a world that is darkened by sin.  We reside in flesh that is corrupt and stained with sin.  The devil is prowling about like a lion looking for whom he may devour.  In all of this – God sends His Son, born of the virgin, to take on our sinful condition, to stand firm in the face of the devil, to smash the chains of death and cleanse us from every stain of sin and corruption by His own precious blood.  

Living in the all sufficiency of God’s grace, Paul says that he will boast in His weaknesses that the power of Christ would rest on him.  It isn’t my might.  It isn’t my power.  It isn’t my vengeance.  It isn’t anything that I do.  It is Christ in me that brings me the joy of my salvation and frees me to live to His honor and His glory.  God’s Grace is sufficient for me.  It is His grace that lifts me out of the corruption of this world and this flesh, to be clothed in His righteousness.

As we enter 2015, may we remind each other to live in the all sufficiency of His grace that we may boast in our weaknesses that the power of Christ would rest on us to His glory.  

In His Service,

Rev. Jeffrey A. Lee