February 25, 2014

A New President for LFL

We are featuring articles from both outgoing president Diane Schroeder and new president Lynette Auch (who became president this February).


Seasons and Transitions by Diane E. Schroeder

I have had the privilege of serving as president of Lutherans For Life for the past ten years. It has been a time of challenge and growth as well as joy for me personally. As all LFL presidents before me, I have brought my gifts to the position—gifts of organization, development, and management. My goal was simple. To bring LFL to a higher level and build a sustainable organization that could meet the challenges of the future. Plans and goals were developed and problems and issues analyzed. Out of those activities came strategic initiatives such as Teaching for Life®, Renewal For Life®, and Y4Life as well as outreaches to non-LCMS denominations such as the LCMC and the NALC.

In August of 2012 I informed the LFL board that I wished to retire from my position as president effective February 2014 and the board began a deliberate search to find a replacement.

After implementing a well-designed search program and vetting three well-qualified candidates, a new president was chosen: Lynette Auch, President of the South Dakota Lutherans For Life Federation.

Lynette comes to LFL from a long service in the grass roots of South Dakota—teaching, leading, and implementing. She has her own story that has equipped her with the passion and desire necessary to be LFL’s fourth president.

There is no doubt in my mind that Lynette is God’s choice to lead LFL into the future to meet the challenges that will be presented and like all LFL presidents leave her mark on the organization.

As I depart this position, I look forward to serving the Lord of Life in other areas that He will reveal. Like you, once an LFLer, always an LFLer. But now it is time for a new president and I know that you will give Lynette your support and your prayers as she leads the ministry we love, Lutherans For Life.


Whom Shall I Fear? by Lynette Auch

I share Martin Luther’s love of music. He once wrote, “I truly desire that all Christians would love and regard as worthy the lovely gift of music, which is a precious, worthy, and costly treasure given to mankind by God … next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world. It controls our thoughts, minds, hearts, and spirits …”*

In my communications, you may see references to song lyrics. I appreciate many genres of music that serve to drive the love of Jesus Christ and the inerrant truths of God’s Word into the depths of my being.

Growing up on the plains, and among the James River hills of South Dakota, one can sing to their heart’s content and let the imagination grow wild. Such is the case for me with the vivid Bible account of the prophet Elisha in 2 Kings 6.

As the Aramean King’s plans against Israel were continually intercepted by the prophet Elisha, he was determined to capture him. The Arameans found and surrounded the city where Elisha and his servant were staying. Upon waking and seeing the army around them, the servant became frightened.

“‘Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, ‘O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 King 6: 16-17 NIV)

The account continues as the Lord struck the army with blindness. Elisha led the army right into the city of Samaria and was captured.

This narrative reminds me of the song, Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies), by Chris Tomlin, Ed Cash, and Scott Cash. (Due to copyright issues, I cannot include the lyrics, but I invite you to look up the lyrics and song yourself.) The lyrics explain that God hears us when we call; nothing can hide God’s light. He is our sword/shield, surrounding us with His angel army and crushing the enemy. He alone can save and give the victory. Nothing can stand against us, so whom shall we fear.

Elisha knew that there was greater strength in the unseen reality of the heavenly hosts than in the visible reality of the Aramean army. God answered Elisha’s prayer; his servant was able to see the protecting God of angel armies gathered about them.

“The Lord is my rock … and my deliverer; my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation … I call to the Lord … and I am saved from my enemies” (Psalm 22:2-4 NIV).

As a wife and homemaker, veteran home school mom of two grown children, mother-in-law, grandmother to an active grandson, and an obstetric nurse, I have experienced countless times a fear similar to that of Elisha’s servant. God has often heard my call and has gone before me in the different circumstances of my life. I am sure that many of you can relate in some way.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid … Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear …” (Psalm 27: 1,3 NIV)

I remember well the day my then 16-year-old daughter was given the final diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. I felt my family’s world was crashing down before us. As the darkness of the diagnosis sank into our reality, and the thoughts of what it meant for our daughter’s and our family’s future, it threatened to hide the Light. But, we could see the power of God crushing the enemy of fear and doubt through the love of Christian community. Our “spiritual” eyes were opened to see the God of angel armies surrounding us.

What did we have to fear?

“He gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57b NIV)

During my 28 plus years of LFL work in South Dakota, alongside life-affirming friends, I have witnessed, first-hand, God’s victories in our ministry endeavors. One such endeavor was an ultrasound ministry. We believed, if it was from God it would prosper, so what did we have to fear? It did prosper, and within a pregnancy center, twins were among the first to be saved.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31a NIV)

Just as God has been faithful to my family going before us giving hope and direction, and standing behind us to catch us before crashing to the depths of despair, He has you, your family, and the LFL ministry in His hands. We are reminded in Romans 8:31 (NIV), “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Whom shall we fear?