Pastor's Blog

“It gives life meaning”

May 11, 2018

  One of my professors in seminary would assign movie critiques and reviews as a way of requiring theology students to interact with modern culture. When this was discussed as we went through the course syllabus, I was excited that I could watch a movie, write a report, and get graduate level credit. My excitement was tempered when the grading rubric required real interaction with differing world views and biases presented in the film. To this day I struggle to just relax and enjoy a movie. I usually get hung up on a statement or a situation that requires me... View Article

“Things that make you wonder”

May 4, 2018

  It’s been almost a week now and I still shake my head in disbelief and amazement. A quick run to the grocery store yielded a comical story that I will have to put away in the “I’ll never know what was going on” file. The compact four-door car ahead of my wife and I at the stop sign had the rear passenger side door open. There are many reasonable guesses as to why this would be and I didn’t think about it much – until the car proceeded to turn left. The rear door swung all the way open... View Article

It makes you appreciate it

April 27, 2018

        Finally, the weather every Iowan banks on has arrived. This past week had some perfect days with highs around 70, lows in the 40’s, and ample sun each day. These days, both fall and spring, are what make Iowa living grand. I was remarking to a couple this week that these days overwhelm the winter time blues and we feel like some of the most fortunate people on earth.  As you appreciate the glorious weather, take a few minutes to reflect on spiritual matters. Remember those times God’s Word spoke directly to the issue you were... View Article

“Will it ever end?”

April 20, 2018

  This thought has crossed your mind in the last week or two. With snow showing up a couple of times in the last few days, many are asking this question in regards to the winter of 2018. Those nice spring days that make up for a long dark winter seem as resistant to show their face as the daffodils which are usually quite plentiful this time of year. A school district a little bit north of Muscatine was forced to take a snow day on Wednesday. What, a snow day on April 18th?!? There are only like 6 weeks... View Article

Drinking Deeply

April 6, 2018

  As in many rural areas of the Midwest, showing livestock at the county fair was a sort of “coming of age” activity in Schuyler County Illinois. My brothers and I showed cattle in several dairy/beef classes and I have fond memories of those days. The anticipation, crowded wash racks, grooming, hoof polish, and show halters all contributed to great days at the fair. And the nights spent sleeping in the barns with feet propped up on the show box are legend in themselves.  One of my favorite memories is an unusual one. When I was showing crossbred market calves,... View Article

What’s your destination

March 30, 2018

  My family recently got away for a couple of days during spring break. We enjoy picking a destination, renting a room, and exploring the unique touches located there. This has led us to find several out of the way spots offering unique perspective and food. (If you are looking for a great bakery in Indianapolis, feel free to ask Will or Lauren. They can recommend the one we stumbled upon a couple of years ago.) Our spring break trip this year was to Milwaukee. We spent time at the art museum, had a fascinating visit at the Basilica of... View Article

Lessons from the Wheel (Cont.)

March 16, 2018

The class has culminated and our beautiful ceramics are “adjusting” to life at home. I find myself looking at them from time to time and admiring the journey that Lauren and I embarked on. We spent time laughing, talking, and almost crying at our wheels. The smoothness of centered clay, the joys of pulling cylinders and the defeat of watching my masterpiece crumble under its own weight are the memories and challenges that beckon another run. One result that stands out to me is the durability the kiln has brought to our creations. We considered last week that the fire... View Article

Lessons from the Wheel (Cont.)

March 9, 2018

“Hey guys I’ve got the kiln to temp, who wants to come and see it”. This is how the next portion of the pottery class started. The kiln is a fascinating experience to see and consider. For you pottery aficionados, the kiln under discussion is fired to a “cone 10”. (This denotes a certain temp and offers perspective into how the ceramics will turn out.) Our professor spoke with an evident excitement about the process from start up, gassing off, setting the baffles which pushes the heat down into the bottom, and the excitement of opening a cool kiln to... View Article

Lessons From the Wheel (Cont.)

March 2, 2018

  Does anyone like failure? Although I can’t think of anyone I know that enjoys it, some of my acquaintances seem to handle it better than I do. My dislike for it was on clear display last week when I went to retrieve a bowl I had fashioned a week earlier and found the bottom contained a large crack. I turned the bowl over hoping to relieve some of my frustration by finding was only a superficial crack; seeing the fault on the underside I knew this might be a problem. After a consultation with our teacher I disgustingly placed... View Article

Lessons From the Wheel (cont.)

February 23, 2018

Raise your hand if you like easy. Easy suppers, easy relationships, and easy careers are what a lot of us want. We also know that how we handle adversity (the lack of easy) is a product of what we’ve been taught, what we seen work for others, and a bit of determination that stamps it as our own. A lot of people are convinced that adversity and difficulty serve no purpose other than to slow our progress. As I sit down at the potters wheel each week in class, I am amazed at how difficult it is to shape the... View Article