Monday, September 24, 2007
It was a cold blustery day on Saturday September 15th, as 11 Bike-For-Life Riders braved the elements of wind and cold 34 degrees and rode off on a long arduous trip of 100 miles to speak on behalf of the unborn and the defenseless.
On that nasty ear numbing winds cold Saturday morning, riders from across the state of SD., began to gather at Pastor Nour’s house to begin the 10th anniversary of the Bike-For-Life ride. The riders included people from Yankton, Sioux Falls and as far away as Rapid city. They are: Father Albert, Kevin Werkmeister, Troy Ziebart, James and Tara Kinsely, Deb Eilers, P. R. Olson (Yankton) Albert Sutton (Rapid City) Mark Loneman (Sioux Falls), Jim Wynia (Platte) and Pastor Nour.
These men and women started out bundled up with winter coats, gloves and stocking caps, and long pants due to the coldest weather ever. We rode joyfully and with eagerness to our first leg of the journey at Parkston. There we stopped at Faith Lutheran Church and were greeted by a faithful servant—Phyllis Ehler, who has hosted us for the last 10 years with an awesome breakfast. There we were met with another rider Shelly (Werkmeister) Tupper).
Just as we were approaching the Church, one of our riders had a flat tire. After the tire was fixed and all riders fed; we bundled up again and continued our journey on to Sioux Falls. Our next stop was at Junction 81 and 44. There we stopped for our noon meal which was served by another faithful supporters of the Bike-For-Life ministry, Rev. John and Martha Werner from St. Peter in Clayton. They put on a feast for us of Lasagna, garlic bread and 3 types of pies, Apple, Pumpkin and Rhubarb. Yummy. What a wonderful meal and a needed rest we had.
At this location we gained 3 other riders, Adel Valdes from Sioux Falls, and Doug and Lynette Auch who rode that same morning from Yankton to meet us for our noon meal.
From now on we had vehicle escorts for protection. One ahead of us and the other behind us with amber light and sings declaring this is a Bike-For-Life. The lead van was driven by Don Sperlich who is the Treasure for the Lutherans For Life and avid supporter of the Bike-For-Life and the back car was driven by my wife, Jean, who has done that for the last 10 years. We continued our journey bundled up and fought the wind with all of our strength on to Sioux Falls. Our third stop found us at First English Lutheran Church, in Parker. The ladies of the Church offered us a break from the wind, a smile and refreshments and food loaded with iron to help us remain strong.
In Parker, we were met by 15 other riders. One rider Paul Peterson started on his down from Watertown, rode all the way to Brookings, but couldn’t go any further due to the strong southerly wind. He was picked up by another 10 riders who began their ride from Brookings, but after 15 miles they gave up due to the cold and blustery South Wind. We also picked up some riders from Sioux Falls who were friends of Mark Lonemann.
By now the riders have grown in size to 29. We rode to Tea were we stopped for our final break before we headed on to Sioux Falls. The last 7 miles from Tea to Sioux Falls were the easiest because the wind was behind us and pushing us on. Oh, how we appreciated God’s little favors. We arrived at the SD District of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, by 6:30 p.m. All of the riders and support teams of many vehicles got t-shirts promoting the Alpha Center and the Bike-For-Life and rode together on to the final destination which is the Alpha Center right across from the mall on Louise Ave.
Here we were met by a host of people with cheers and balloons and plenty of drink and food.
After 11 hours and 45 minutes we arrived safely, exhausted but rejoicing that the Good Lord saw to it to allow us once again to speak on behalf of those who can’t speak for themselves and to fight the fight that destroys life in the womb—through abortion.
I wish to thank all of those who rode with me, supported me financially and with their donations. So far we have received $1748.00. Other funds are still coming and I am praying that we surpass last years gifts of $10.205.00.
This is my 10th anniversary of the Bike-For-Life. The way it got started was, I received a bike from my three sons—Tony, David and Michael for Father’s Day. That year I wanted to do something that will make a difference. I decided to ride to Sioux Falls and raise funds to help Lutherans For Life purchase an Ultra Sound Machine to be placed at the Alpha Center to help those expecting mothers and fathers realize that the living organism inside the woman is not just a blob of tissue, but rather a true, living, breathing child—a precious gift from God the Creator of Life. Ten years ago, I only had one rider from Sioux Falls, David Olson who made sure through his coaching and words of encouragements that I would make the trip to my final destination. Oh, how I thank God for that man who was a gift to me that year to complete my mission. Had it not been for David, I would have never reached that goal or continued the event year after year. The first year, we raised close to $5500.00. Praise be to God Alone.
I never intended to make it an annual event. Yet, after I arrived to Sioux Falls some people asked if I would do it again? I said, I would think about it. As the next summer started out, I began to ride my bike again, and people encouraged me to ride one more time. The rest is history as they say.
I have gained much knowledge about biking. I have a different and a better bike than the one I rode the first year, which has made a world of difference.
Over the last 10 years, by the grace of God with the aid of the Alpha Center and the Ultra Sound machine we know that over 2000 babies were spared from the butchering mill of abortion. Over $60.000.00 have been raised to keep this ministry going and promoting the preciousness of the Gift of Life.
I still pray and hope that we will surpass last years amount of $10, 205.00 so that we can now aid the Alpha Center in purchasing another Ultra Sound that has a 4 Dimensional imaging.
Thank you to all of the riders, supporters, contributors and prayer partners. Many thanks are due to many different people.
I like to thank my congregation Redeemer Lutheran Church for their constant support of prayers and donations and words of encouragements.
Don Sperlich for his willingness to drive and be of help in any department.
Kevin Werkmiester for getting the word out to many other riders.
For all of the riders from all around the State, who keep joining me year after year to fight the fight of faith.
For Dana and Jen Krull and Krull’s Market for providing us with ALL that we need to make the trip possible.
Pyllis Ehler of Parkston for serving us breakfast.
Rev. John and Martha Werner of Clayton for proving us with a sumptuous meal.
For the Ladies of First English Lutheran of Parker in providing refreshments.
The Armour Chronicle for promoting the event in their papers.
And my wife and son Michael for their willingness to give me all the time I need to prepare for this event.
Above all, I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for giving me the strength that I need to exalt His name and defend the unborn.
If you would like to make this year a great success you may support it with your prayers and financial donations.
Donations might be sent to
Rev. Nabil S. Nour
P. O. Box 158
Armour, SD 57313-0158
Make checks payable to South Eastern Lutherans For Life of South Dakota (SE LFL SD) and in the memo write Bike-For-Life.
Texts: Proverbs 25:6-7; Hebrews 13:1-8; Luke 14:1, 7-14
Theme: “A Powerful Promise!” (Hebrews 13:5).
Faithful followers of the Savior, Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! The text for today’s homily is a portion of the Epistle Lesson: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’” (Heb. 13:5).
Saints in Christ, in the advertising business, the people behind the scene desire to sell you their products. They promise that their products are the best on the market. In the cosmetic area we have many items that don’t deliver what the advertisement states. Examples: There is a product called “TimeWise”, it is an Age-fighting moisturizer. Tell me when was the last time you saw a person that didn’t age even with the use of this product? Oil of Olay has an anti wrinkle cream. Again, those who use it in time begin to show their wrinkles. Colgate has a product called Simply White. You are to brush it on your teeth and they will be whiter than snow. But again, stop using it and the white color fades. Botox and plastic surgery keep their promises only briefly. Before long the wrinkles show, hair color changes, our bodies sag and we feel time ebbing away.
Unlike the advertising world the author to the Hebrews tells us of One who keeps all of His promise—not just any promise—but all of them. The Word of the Lord in our text tells us that this promise is not just a pie in the sky. But rather this promise is a tried, tested and true.
From the beginning of the world our loving and faithful God has proven Himself to be trustworthy. When Adam and Eve fell into sin God promised a Savior to redeem man and restore the broken relationship that man had with God in the Garden of Eden. He also went looking for them, assuring them, even though they have broken His commandments, disobeyed His Word, listened to the devil; He will not forsake them nor leave them alone.
The Apostle Paul in Galatians chapter 4 writes: “But when the time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons” (Gal. 4:4-5). These words from Galatians assure us again and again that our loving and faithful Father didn’t forget the human race nor the promise He made.
Sometimes, we act as if God doesn’t care. Sometimes, we wonder if God really even knows the promises He has made. We doubt His power. We doubt His presence. We doubt His promise. We treat Him as we treat other men who have broken their promises before.
Many a man and a woman have broken the promises they have made. The Native Americans claim that the White Fathers have broken their treaties with them. Doctors take promises to protect life, and yet we have some even here in SD who has forgotten that promise, and instead of protecting life, they destroy it through the abortion mill. Priests and Pastors promise to adhere to a certain confession and doctrine, and soon forget what that promise was. Police officers promise to uphold the Law and keep drugs off the street, but sometimes they close their eyes when money is given under the table. Companies in China promise to make good toys, but now Metal is calling thousands of Chinese-made toys because they have led in them.
But they are not alone. How many of us here have broken our promises? Parents promise at the Baptismal font to bring their children in the ways of the Lord. But soon they forget. Confirmands promise to be in Church, but after confirmation, it becomes graduation from Church. How many have stood before the altar of God and promised, “until death parts us” only to be parted when the flames of passion grow cold.
None of us whether pastors, police officer, or parents are able to keep these promises, because we are selfish and self-centered. We always want what’s in it for me. Though we have the best of intentions, they are not enough. That is why we need always be in the House of the Lord to give us the certainty and assurance that He will care for us and give us what we need.
Saints in Christ, I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit has brought you to His house this morning. Here you will once more learn of the Powerful Promise of God. Paul reminds us of this truth saying: “Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise” (Gal. 4:28). For here the promise becomes evident as we gather around Word and Sacrament for strength and stamina for the journey of faith.
Yet, the devil doesn’t want us to believe these Words of hope. Satan wants us to think that we are all alone. The evil foe always wants us to ponder our sin rather than our Savior and think that He has left us to fend for ourselves. But that is not the case.
A young lady wrote saying, “I am reminded of the verse given to me at my confirmation: ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you’ (Heb. 13:5). This promise from God has been a source of comfort and hope to me in my times of tears. As Christians, when frustration, sorrow, or regret overwhelms us, we look to the cross and remember the tears of Good Friday and the joy of Easter.”
That is a wonderful advice to remember daily. Daily look to the cross of Christ, and you will see a marvel above all marvels. There on the cross you will see the Powerful Promise of God still striving, seeking, and searching for lost man as He did in the Garden. On the cross we hear the promise of Jesus to the dying thief, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise!”
I pray that you will not allow the devil and his cohorts to close your ears to the Powerful Promise given by our good and gracious Lord and Savior. Why do I say that? Because God’s precious Word is filled with His promises. Study the Psalms and you will see that the Psalmist knew of God’s presence and promise in the midst of great adversity. Our God doesn’t allow disease, death, destruction and devastation to be the final word. The Lord hears our cries and will not abandon us, even when all seems futile and lost. God makes a dwelling place with us, right in the thick of our problems, even though we might not feel God’s presence. God has promised to be with us, saying, “Lo, I Am with you even to the end of the Age” (Mt. 28:20). We can certainly and confidently trust this promise.
What do we do with the worries that plague us daily? Take your anxieties to the cross—literarily. Next time you’re worried about your health or house or finances or flights, take a trip to the Hill. Next time you doubt God’s presence, power, peace and promise take a mental trip up the HILL. Spend a few moments looking again at the pieces of the Passion.
Run your thumb over the tip of the spear. Balance a spike in the palm of your hand. Read the wooden sign written in your own language. And as you do, kneel down and touch the velvet dirt, moist with the blood of the Lamb of God. Blood He bled for YOU. The spear He took for YOU. The nails He felt for YOU. The sign He left for YOU. He did all of this for YOU. Knowing this, knowing all He did for you there, don’t think He’ll look out for YOU here?
Is there any more powerful promise than what we have in the book of Hebrews? The Lord Promised, “I will NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU”. Now that is a promise you can take to the bank. Amen.
Now the peace…
In 1977 I married Jean Marie Miedema of Hitchcock, S.D. Into this marriage three lovely sons were given us, Tony, 28, David, 24, and Michael 15. After converting to Lutheranism, I received encouragement to consider the pastoral office from my fellow church members and pastor.
In 1989 I entered Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO. and graduated in the Spring of 1994 with a Master of Divinity Degree. I am now a servant of the most High God and Lord, in His vineyard at Armour, South Dakota. And I am enrolled at the same Seminary for the Doctoral of Ministry Program in the department of Homiletics and also writing a Bible Study for CPH on the book of Ruth.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
Pastor Nour a native of Nazareth, Israel, leads tours to the Holy Land once a year.
This year's tour is scheduled to depart from Minneapolis, MN on October 2nd. We have a total of 35 tourist.
The tour is for 11 days and inclusive of flight and ground transportation. Five star hotels, two meals (breakfast and supper), tips and all entry fees.
This is more than shrine hopping, but more of a Biblical journey in the steps of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I will share with you the rich heritage and culture of the Middle East. Allow your senses to smell and taste and hear and feel the land, its people and the food.
Next Year’s tour is scheduled for May the 11th. The price is $3150.00 per person double occupancy.
For further information contact:
Rev. Nabil S. Nour Pastor
P. O. Box 158
Armour, SD 57313-0158