Viewpoints

Wed
14
Feb

Word for Word 2/14/24

Pastor Abraham Faugstad
Pastor Abraham Faugstad

Grace Alone

Sometimes people ask me what Lutherans believe. That’s a good question. I normally begin by saying, just as there are many different types of Christians, there are also many different types of Lutherans. Our church is a Confessional Lutheran church, which means that we hold to the teachings expressed and confessed during the Lutheran Reformation in the 1500s. Yet these teaching were nothing new even at that time. They were the same teachings taught in the Bible and believed by the Apostles. A good summary of the Lutheran Confessions could be made with three important teachings from the Reformation - which are sometimes referred to as the three Solas. They are: Grace Alone, Scripture Alone, and Faith Alone.  Today, I want to talk to you about what it means to believe that we are saved by grace alone.

Wed
14
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by John Carver

To the Editor:

Some of the arguments on speed cameras are mostly nuts. There are two sides to every story, but in this case, I think there’s only “one good side.”

First off, the issue of cities making too much money on speed cameras doesn’t hold water. The companies that provide them are making money and that’s what this country is about - capitalism. The state short-changes cities in numerous ways and this revenue helps fill that void.

The unfortunate side of this story is those drivers breaking the law by speeding and running stop signs. Make it the law whereby tickets exceeding a certain number cause a license suspension. No need to speed if you can’t drive. The humane aspect of this issue respects those who are now free to get on with their real jobs thanks to the cameras.

The conclusion is “one good side” while the other side is bluster​​​​​.

John Carver
Decorah

 

Wed
07
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Luke Switzer

To the Editor:

Generosity throughout Waukon​​​​​ contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., the project collected 10 million shoebox gifts in 2023. Combined with those collected from partnering countries in 2023, the ministry is now sending over 11.3 million shoebox gifts to children worldwide, including many who are suffering from war, poverty, disease and disaster.

Wed
07
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Arthur Clocksin

To the Editor:

I once had a colorful poster of a little bunny rabbit in a beautiful wooded area. On the poster was written the words, “Life is fragile; handle with prayer”.

Life is indeed fragile, and the daily news proves it. Even in our own town there is a murder, which follows another one not so many years back.

It is so easy to do great damage. A simple click of the trigger finger can end a precious life. An act of vandalism can destroy what had taken years to build. An unkind, angry word spoken to a child can damage the child’s psyche for the rest of his or her life.

In my recent past I had worked at two different factories. At each place of employment there was a man who took his own life. One was age 22 and the other middle-aged. I knew these men on a first-name basis. I can only trust that I did all I could to be a positive influence in their lives when I was with them.

Wed
07
Feb

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Ann Hart

To the Editor:

Iowans share a history of valuing our children’s education. We believe every child has a right to a public education regardless of race, religion, or ZIP code and all children deserve a quality public school education. Unfortunately, Gov. Reynolds and her supporters do not share these values and instead, have chosen to weaken our public schools.

For years, Gov. Reynolds and her supporters have underfunded public schools. Then last year, Gov. Reynolds and her supporters passed vouchers (Educational Savings Accounts, or ESAs) which gives our public dollars to private schools. Vouchers draw money away from public schools in the amount of $7,635 per student.

Wed
31
Jan

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Mark Jacobson

To the Editor:

All humans need somebody to listen. Feeling connected is not just something we want. As humans, it’s a real need. So of course we feel bad when it seems nobody is there for us. Feeling unheard can create emotions  like depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-hatred.

See if anything on the following list speaks to you. These may be signs that you’re not broken or “mentally ill” - you just need someone who will listen.

Feeling Like You’re Worthless. Self-esteem can only be nurtured by deep connection with other people. You can’t totally create it for yourself, alone. So what happens when nobody listens to you and you don’t feel really seen or heard? Naturally, your self-esteem decreases,  and you may feel worthless.

Wed
24
Jan

Word for Word 1/24/24

Pr. James Buckhahn
Pr. James Buckhahn

Who Am I?

Hello again from Pastor Buck here at Lansing UMC.  “Who Am I” - seems to be a hot topic in our world today. I am going to address this topic by telling you who I am and how I came to that conclusion.

Let us begin. I am human, a species created separate and apart from all other creatures on this earth and yes created by God. From Genesis 1:26-27, “Then God said, “Let Us make humankind in Our image, according to Our likeness… So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”   As a human I do share some of the basic biological building blocks (i.e., DNA) with other creatures God created.   But as a human I have what no other creature has, God’s DNA. “Let Us make humankind in Our image”, this is not something biologic but on a higher order. I call it God’s DNA, others may call a soul.

Wed
03
Jan

Word for Word 1/3/24

Pastors in many denominations are heavily encouraged, or required, to participate in some sort of continuing education each year. What this looks like can vary from pastor to pastor depending on their interests, goals, what the growing edges they may want to look at. In November, I, along with Rev. Kim Gates from St. Paul and Forest Mills UMCs, had the opportunity to take a “Civil Rights Pilgrimage” on a small group tour. We started out in Nashville, traveled down to Atlanta, rode over to Birmingham and also spent time in Montgomery and Selma in Alabama before making the loop back up to Nashville.

Now, full disclosure would be admitting that the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s happened well before my time, so while many on the trip could remember what they heard (or didn’t hear) in the news back then, it is all history to me.

Wed
20
Dec

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Dr. Stephen D. Regan

To the Editor:

Having spent most of my life in education as a student, teacher, coach, consultant, professor, and university dean, I am concerned about the lengthy downward achievement trend of Iowa students. Governors Harold Hughes (Democrat) and Robert D. Ray (Republican) took great pride in Iowa’s ranking as #1 in the ACT, SAT, and the Iowa Test of Educational Development, and Iowa Test of Basic Skills. The four assessments were unsurpassed among the statistical evaluations for validity and reliability.

Unfortunately,  Governor Terry Branstad and Governor Kim Reynolds disliked the Iowa State Education Association, most progressive educational endeavors, and many educational experts. Their lack of educational support is easily seen in the data.

Wed
20
Dec

Letter to the Editor: Submitted by Carl Christianson

To the Editor:

The branches of our military have long proven that working together as a team results in positive outcomes. Our Legislators often refer to our Military as “America’s Finest!”

Perhaps our Legislators should glean lessons from “America’s Finest” and earn the same title. Of course, most of our Legislators have never been to “Boot Camp”, and Law School is not an equal substitute!

I saw an inscription on a monument regarding our Vietnam Veterans, and I quote:

“We were the best America had, Brothers who fought without America’s support, Brothers who returned without America’s Welcome, Brothers who will always be the best America had.”
End of quote.

In our future elections, let’s strive to give America our best government leaders so they can be referred to as America’s Finest Lawmakers who serve at the pleasure of and for the people!

Respectfully,
Carl Christianson,
Waukon

 

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