* DAILY DEVOTIONS
“I’d rather read these devotions than the Bible!” — “I like his comparisons!” — “It’s as good as reading Zorn’s Manna or Meditations” — “You don’t know what you’re missing!”
Such are comments we have heard about the daily devotions written by Pastor Roland H. Gurgel. We refer to devotions the writer has been preparing, correlating them with the daily Bible readings and hymn stanzas which appeared in your December 1998 issue as devotional suggestions for calendar year 1999.
At the time it was indicated that Pastor Gurgel would be preparing booklets of daily devotions based on the suggested readings and hymns. While he would be doing this for members of his dual parish (Faith, Nicollet and Faith, New Ulm, Minn.), he offered to make the writings available as well to Spokesman readers.
At least a dozen members of my congregation took up the offer. And their evaluation of “Gurgel’s Devotions” is reflected in the above comments. By the word “comparisons” we know our member meant the timely applications and illustrations the writer uses. Gurgel smiled wryly when we passed along the remark that his writings were to be preferred to the Bible. He and we know, of course, what the speaker meant. Often one’s understanding of Holy Scripture is enhanced by another Christian’s explaining and expounding the Spirit-intended meaning. Pastor Gurgel does this well.
Think about it–a pastor producing a booklet of daily devotional readings (“on the run” as it were) is truly amazing. “I try to write one a day,” says the author. “If I miss a day or two, that means three or four have to be written the next time. You can begin to run out of ideas.” It’s understandable, therefore, that Pastor Gurgel has appreciated the help of his father. The current booklet, containing readings for the dates of May 29 through June 28, are from the pen of retired pastor/professor Roland A. Gurgel.
Whether written by father or son, each of “Gurgel’s Devotions” is thoroughly and refreshingly Gospel-based. In this issue we are including one of them–just a morsel of the rich feast awaiting those who take the time and make the extra effort in these evil days to spend a few quiet moments with God and His Word.
The booklet needs heavier staples, or different binding. The writings sometimes lack editorial polish. Here and there sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar leave something to be desired. That is our own observation (to be expected from an editor?). That being said, only positive comments have come from our members who read these devotions. They “can’t wait” for their next booklet to arrive.
According to Pastor Gurgel, at least seventy people currently use his devotions. If you are not one of them, there is still almost half the year to go, Lord willing. To receive them (for a voluntary donation of $1.00 per month) contact Pastor Roland H. Gurgel, 22 North State Street, New Ulm, MN 56073; phone 507-354-4534; E-mail to email@example.com.
* ‘THE EXPERIENCE OF A DECADE’
The following words explain our title:
We had the experience of the decade when the Tour Choir gave their concert here on their tour of the Northwest. We wish to thank Prof. John Reim for the beautiful and uplifting selections he put together, and the choir itself for its God-praising presentation, and thanks also to God for bringing the choir, director, and us together for the concert! It was much enjoyed by all who attended. We hope to be put on the list of stops in another 5-10 years!
The above was a June 2nd e-mail post to CLC internet subscribers from staff member Pastor Paul Krause of St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Clarkston, Washington. The choir’s tour this year took them there and to other CLC churches in the Northwest and Canada.
We were in attendance as the choir gave its concert at Immanuel, Mankato, Minn. and came away feeling as uplifted as did the brother from Clarkston. We hope you have had the privilege of hearing them too.
* 40th Anniversary At Grace, Sleepy Eye MN
April 18, 1999, father and son, Pastors Paul F. Nolting (speaker) and Paul D. Nolting (liturgist), conducted the fortieth anniversary service at Grace of Sleepy Eye, Minn. Father was pastor of Grace when the congregation was born — for confessional reasons — in 1959. He based his anniversary message “Stand! Armed for Battle!” on Ephesians 6:10-18. 231 members & visitors were in attendance for the celebratory worship service. (Your editor currently serves the congregation as pastor.)