Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Incarnation Explained

Have you ever wondered about what and why you believe as a Christian? There are things that even as a pastor (not that being a pastor makes me super spiritual or all knowing) I sit a wonder "wow." There are things that I cannot wrap my mind around. But I still believe those things to be true. There are a lot  natural things I don't understand fully but I still use them or partake  of them.

I heard a story that was a very practical illustration of the incarnation...God becoming flesh and blood as Jesus Christ.

So here goes:

A young father had just told his wife and kids that he would not be going to Sunday School with them, because to be honest he was just having a problem with the idea of God coming to earth as a man to save his creation. Mom and the kids left and as he sat alone drinking his coffee looking out the patio door a sudden storm blew in and then within moments it started to snow.

The snow was so wet and heavy that what seemed like an entire flock of migrating birds landed in the yard. There were waxwings and robins and some other birds all getting buried in the wet heavy snow, there was just no place for cover. This young dad had an idea. He would open up the door to the shed and all of the birds could get out of the storm and be saved.

No matter what he did they just would not go into the shed. He tried to herd them in, he tried to lead them in, he even got down on his knees to try to be more on their level, but to no avail they would not go in the yard barn. It was getting serious and more and more obvious that these birds needed help. The snow just would not let up. This man was a birder he was really concerned; what could he do?

What could I do to make these birds believe me and believe that I am really trying to help them? Maybe if I could become a bird they would trust me. I could lead them to safety if I was another bird like them. 

The entire conversation with his wife came back to him at that moment.
I guess that is what Jesus did for us. He became a person so I could believe and trust in Him.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

It Really Matters...Significant Christianity

What if you found yourself in a place where nothing you did seemed to matter? It did not matter the sacrifice you made for someones Christmas to be merry, or the comfort that you gave a depressed friend; you could likely name any number of other situations where you felt like your efforts didn't seem to matter.

I just want you to know that if you feel like what you do doesn't matter…well then take heart because what you do for the Kingdom of GOD and others does matter.

Almost 4 1/2  years ago now my wife and I made a drastic move and left a larger stable assembly to assist in a small church to help out on their ministry team. The word drastic is not an exaggeration at all, bear in mind we were content with the security and a sense of comfort in our lifestyle. In our early to mid 50's we were not looking for adventure, we kind of thought we might ride out any difficulties from the safety of our little home in the country. Our finances were doing alright and we as semi-retired empty nesters did pretty much what we pleased.

Riverside Apostolic in Marshfield
However, when we felt a tugging in our hearts by what I can only call a leading of the Holy Spirit we could not just waste our gifts and abilities from a place of security and comfort. When we stepped out in faith from the doors of a large church into a room behind the liquor/tobacco store we found ourselves in a tremendously rewarding place.

Oh sure we might have been able sort through agates on the shores of Lake Superior for the rest of our lives but that would have been wasting our gifts and blessings. Mary and I found ourselves being involved in helping new friends and involved in things where we really felt needed and not just appreciated. We came to the realization that what we had stepped into something really important. We were feeling a little overlooked before but now we were doing things that seemed really important and that brought us a renewed sense of purpose. Everything we did really seemed to matter.

We worshipped in our new church, we gave financially, and helped move into and remodel a new building but most importantly we loved and were loved in return. Loving and investing in people is one of life's greatest accomplishments. I will not be taking any Lake Superior agates to heaven with me but if I changed the eternity of even one person my life has been a total success.

Way to often we wake up early, stay up late and we will do it all again tomorrow, bone dead tired of chasing after things in pursuit of...whatever. What if our lives were spent helping and loving others? I am fairly certain we would find a new sense of purpose and living lives that can make a difference. What we do really does matter.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Alrightnowyoutellme12 (reveal) Cecropia Moth

This big guy is a Cecropia Moth, best as I can tell, I have been wrong before concerning various things. It is North Americas largest native moth. It is a member of the giant silk moth family. I found this one right here on my deck.

According to Wikipedia:
Like all members of the Giant Silk Moth family, the nocturnal adult cecropia moths are designed only to reproduce, lacking functional mouthparts or digestive system. Therefore, they survive a maximum of about two weeks"

For more info check out the links below:



Monday, February 11, 2013


This rather very large winged insect was found on our deck attached to our fire ring (whatever it is).

My only clues are that it was found in Central Wisconsin. It has wings and it flies. This one is pretty easy.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Insignificant Christianity: Never Commit

If a person really wishes to fail in their Christianity and truly be an insignificant Christian, it is vital that they do not commit to anything other than their own happiness and welfare. Oh sure there are concerns and issues that we all face daily that requires stewardship, level headed decision making and prudence and it is important for insignificant Christians to major on those things. Refuse to see the need that others have, and be sure to focus on number 1. You!

Be certain to keep all of your options on the table. Do not commit to regular times of fellowship with other believers; who knows a distant relative may show up and want to chat. What ever you do, only read your Bible and pray when there is nothing else to do; be careful not to add potential conflict to your day by committing to personal devotions with the Lord. Spend all of your money on important things like the latest greatest gadgets, and take your weekend vacations as often as you can, after all you have spent all of your energies on work, internet videos and computer games; you must be exhausted!

I do not mean to sound harsh or preachy but it is important that we allow ourselves to be committed to a vital walk with the LORD. When I allow everything and everyone to trump my Christianity I will be frail and weak as a Child of God. The only eternal entity on the planet is the church of Jesus Christ. The only things in our lives that will matter in eternity is what we have done for the LORD.

We are committed to so many things in our lives. Our jobs, families, civic clubs, the person on the other side of the country that we play that computer game with. Certainly we are committed to our own happiness and well being. Now that we bought the boat or the bike and the only free time it seems that we have to enjoy them is Sunday morning. I am not begrudging anyone pleasure in his or her life, but it seems that folks grow cold in their Christianity when they lose perspective in their priorities. Why cant we just commit, and allow the LORD to fulfill His promise to give us life, and life more abundant than we could work out for ourselves?

Commitment is an action word we can work at a lot of things and none of it get into our hearts. When we become committed to Christ it is not a "works" sort of thing. It must be a transformation sort of thing, Our lives are transformed by the Holy Spirit and we do everything we can to preserve that. We commit ourselves to follow after the life changing power of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Guitar Restoration 2

So this very cool old guitar that appeared to be almost worthless came back home with me from the guitar shop. I was determined to hang it on the wall and have a cool wall decor, rather than sell it for $20. I thought I would check this guitar out out before I did. So I got on the internet and typed in Electra guitars and was sent to a web page that had a nearly complete history of the Electra guitar.

River City Amps

I found out that my guitar was somewhat collectable with a rather (I thought) interesting story. The model 2244 was made for 1 year only in 1973. I was a freshman in High School when the guitar was made and did not play at that time.

 This guitar was imported to St Louis from Japan where it was made. Matsumoku of Japan made quite a few different guitars not only for Electra, but Epiphone, Vox, Aria, and Westone among others. At that time there were a number of guitar companies attempting to tap into the rock and roll fan base and all those garage bands.

Les Paul born in Waukesha, Wi...guitar legend
died at 94 years when he passed in 2009.
The Electra guitar was a nearly exact duplicate of a Gibson Les Paul, who's creator (and also the man who practically the inventor of the electric guitar) was none other than Les Paul. Some feel like the Electra because of certain design features was actually a better guitar.

One reason for the lawsuit was the headstock design; it is called an open book design. The combination design and script was a rip off of the Gibson headstock. Electra was forced to change their headstock design and script. My guitar is "pre-lawsuit" so it is more collectable...not sure to who or whom, so I will attempt to restore it, for myself.

Les Paul and Mary Ford

Les Paul on his 90th birthday

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Grace Like Water

When I was a kid in school we learned about the water cycle. The rain came down and the water fell into lakes, streams and the ever so humble homes of frogs and mosquito larva; the slough. If I were to pour out a glass of water or if it rained a giant storm I know which direction the water is the lowest point. Unless there is a lake on the mountain top the rain is going to try to head down the mountain to the valley below.

I know all of this seems rather simple and if you argued long enough you might be able to explain that not all of the water makes it down hill; I will give you that. The point I want to establish is that water seeks the lowest level that it can. Which brings me to the similarity between water and the Grace of God. Grace always seeks the lowest places and often drips past many of the places that we might expect it to stay.

Paul in the first chapter of 1 Corinthians explains that God has
not chosen the wise...
He has chosen the foolish things
not chosen the strong...
He has chosen the weak things
not chosen the noble...
He has chosen the base and the despised things
So He can...
confound the wise
So He can...
confound the ones who are mighty
So He can...
prove that He can raise up something from nothing

Not many of us are mighty, wise, or noble. Many of us are however weak, foolish and despicable. God is very interested in weakness and frailties; look up, grace is falling like rain and it might be headed your way.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You Are So...Uncommon

I have recently come upon a startling thought...(ok maybe not startling)... but interesting none the less. There is an old saying that says, "there is nothing more uncommon than common sense."

I am so...uncommon

Well, with that being said...

Average, dare I say, common people, posses the potential to be really uncommon and interesting,  simply by being themselves. Not just uncommon and interesting but strong, and self confident. Strong enough to be encouragers, good examples, positive role models, and healthy parents raising kids to rise above the wash of low self esteem.

After all no is quite like you. So stop measuring yourself by other peoples standards. It seems that we are surrounded by people not comfortable being themselves, and they struggle with joy stealing self loathing. People who just never seem to be happy. How sad for them.

You are like a finger print, no one is quite as uncommon as you are. So despite my rather common appearance fishing on the big water, I really am quite an uncommon sort of guy.

Uncommon (adjective)
out of the ordinary...unusual...remarkably great.

Yeah thats us..Our best days are still ahead of us. Repeat after me...My best days are still ahead of me...say it again...My get the idea, tell yourself everyday.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

They Call It Bacon Love

Now thats a lot of love

 I came across this very cool store and could not resist the urge to let the world know. My daughter-in-law works at Nueskes in Wittenberg (no affiliation with Patina's) and Leah is always looking at bacon stuff.  Check this out, it is wild. I have an aversion to live pigs (not my favorite) but I do love Pork.

I love you more than bacon...c'mon thats funny.

Hey man if you are gonna chew gum...this is the stuff.

When you bring home the bacon this is what you put it in...a bacon wallet
For extra kissable lips...what woman could resist that?

You have heard of beef steak on a bruise, well this is  for cuts and scrapes.
There are other items for the truly cultured these are only a few found in the mens dept. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Guitar Restoration

I was leaving work one day about 12 or so years ago and on the way I came across a sign for a Garage Sale, so I stopped. Near the end of the driveway as I was leaving I saw a guitar case. I lifted the lid a little and saw an old guitar with no strings, it was missing a front pickup, and no apparent means to attach the strings to the guitar body. "If you want it you can have it" a guy sitting near the edge of the garage door spoke out. I stared at it for a moment; all of my "junk genes" were screaming at me to pick it up. Trying not to look like a scavenger I picked it up and put it in my car.

Convinced that I was never going to use this for more than a wall decoration or a door stop I put it under the bed for a few years. I then placed it in the bedroom closet for a few more years, then into the basement after that. I thought that perhaps other guitar players might be interested (not so much interest) but honestly it was not much to look at and the idea of it ever being used again seemed unlikely.

I was cleaning in the basement looking for some cassette tapes...(I know I am hopeless). I was looking for a particular Christmas tape downstairs in the closet and there it was, the case that held the old guitar. I pulled it down and looked at it and wondered if it would ever hold tune again, if not maybe I could hang it on the wall in my office downstairs and just look at it. I am not much for having things around that just don't work anymore if I determine it is worthless I will toss it out. I just wasn't sure about this guitar.

I thought I would take it to the guitar shop and get a professional opinion, he never really touched it or expressed much interest and said he would give me $20 for it. If I bought a new guitar from him he would give me $40. I thought for 40 dollars I would just hang it on the wall and tell my lame old story about the junk guitar and the rummage sale.

Still not convinced that it was junk I looked up the guitar on the internet to look for parts...I was very pleasantly surprised...(the story will unfold).