Pastor's Blog

Something so rare

January 22, 2021

There was a noticeable excitement recently when some unusual things aligned and made the infamous Aurora Borealis, also known as The Northern Lights, visible farther south than usual. Speculation was that if everything was perfect, they would be faintly visible as close to us as northern Iowa. The rarity of this made for great anticipation. This past week, our country witnessed something just as rare – a peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another. Research has indicated that although this exercise is a foundational aspect of the democratic/republic style of government, most people who’ve ever lived have... View Article

“How far away”

January 15, 2021

“Good Morning Jim, how are you today” was my standard greeting to a man in the first church I served as pastor. I usually knew what type of response this question would receive based on the weather. My friend Jim especially detested the snow that Iowa winters bring. So when the ground was covered white, his replies weren’t glowing and positive. I remember that he would say he was going to strap a snow shovel on the front of his truck and drive straight south. He indicated he would stop only when someone asked him what was stuck on his... View Article

Banished Words

January 1, 2021

“Banished from 2021” An article with a unique title caught my eye this past week – “University releases annual ‘banished words’ list for 2021.” When you read those words, you have to dig further to find out what words you won’t be “allowed” to say this year. COVID-19 made the top of the list. Other words/phrases destined for the recycling bin included: Rona, unprecedented, social distancing, and we are all in this together. Although this list is new to me, it appears that Lake Superior State University has been hopefully presenting this concept for several years. As I contemplated this... View Article

What’s Your Choice?

December 11, 2020

“If you could be anyone in the world, who would you be?” This thought provoking question has been asked for many years as a great conversation starter. How one answers this question can reveal a lot about their age. The more mature group might answer with John Wayne or Doris Day. People born in the 70’s and 80’s might suggest names like Bill Gates, Margaret Thatcher, or Michael Jordan. Ask a young adult and you’re likely to hear about a “ninja” or “PewDiePie.” (If those names don’t mean much to you, ask your children or grandchildren. For a few minutes... View Article

The Right Recipe

December 4, 2020

  There was a comical holiday cooking incident at the McIntosh house last week when we whipped up a family favorite snack using what we “remembered”. As the ingredients were being mixed together we began to feel like one of our memorized measurements might be wrong. After a quick reassurance that we felt good about the ratio, we plodded on. It wasn’t until the baking cycle was almost half way done that the surety something was wrong set in. The food wasn’t looking like it usually did. When we finally were able to find the recipe it turns out that... View Article

A Veteran’s Bravery

November 7, 2020

A funeral I officiated recently had a uniqueness about it I will not soon forget. I did not know the family but I discovered that he had been a long time Army warrior and finished his career as a Lieutenant Colonel after turning down a promotion to Full Bird because he didn’t want to spend three years abroad. When I was asked to lead the service I was informed the family had requested a Major General to attend and provide the eulogy. This career Army officer knew the deceased personally and provided some amazing stories of how he had earned... View Article

“Looking forward to the end!”

October 30, 2020

A recent look in our mailbox found the regulation size box stuffed full. Included were plenty of catalogs offering seasonal home decor, gifts, and delectable deserts, and a fair share of colleges trying to catch the attention of a certain high school senior. But overwhelmingly the bulk of the room was taken up by political mailers. Two things I’m guessing most Americans can agree on – someone is making a mint on producing full color advertising, and we are excited to see the amount of mail return to normal.  While we look towards November 3rd and the end of campaign... View Article

“A Little Bit of Light”

October 23, 2020

In my library there is a book which recounts the story of six American Navy Pilots in World War II. These pilots launched from a carrier deck in the North Atlantic on a mission to surveil some enemy submarines. While they were away on their mission, the Captain of the Aircraft Carrier was forced to issue a blackout alarm – no visible lights allowed for the carrier to remain stealthy. As the pilots approached the ship, the lead pilot radioed to the ship operator asking him to turn on the landing lights. “Blackout Alarm issued, no light allowed” was all... View Article

Never Alone

October 18, 2020

  I attended a pastor’s conference last week and heard a speaker present some sad data on emotional distress and loneliness which is leading to an increase in suicide. The fallout from the pandemic surely has heightened these feelings and has served to further isolate us from each other. It has taken considerably more effort to gather with friend groups this year than in previous years due to restrictions on how many people can gather and how close you can sit when together. If you are feeling alone, nervous, or anxious, please know that you are not forgotten.  1 Peter... View Article

“What is Life…?”

January 31, 2020

“What is life…?” In the current climate of political division, election year politicking, and a middle east peace plan that seems to be dead on arrival, it is easy to conclude that our country is divided by an idealogical chasm. And along comes an event which, for a moment anyways, overwhelms our collective soul and allows us to see the humanity around us. That awakening happened last Sunday morning when a helicopter went down with nine people on board. Each of the deceased represents a family torn apart by tragedy and left to heal without the love of a significant... View Article