Monday, November 20, 2006

A Break At The Well

Listening to the sounds of Duke Ellington and tossing thoughts back and forth in my mind this morning. It feels somewhat like a tennis match as I watch the flickers of ideas stream through the visions of color on my monitor. Windows Media 10 is installed and functioning flawlessly. Amazing what we can do with these 21st century beasts of entertainment. Cheryl is busy about the task of paying the "bills" which is something I have not done for a long time(at least not so you would notice)and she is having a good day. Our family has grown, as you may have noticed, we now have a "Mexican Healer" which is another term for a little bitty dog that acts like a cat. Sometimes he thinks he is a squirrel, but that is mostly when he's out back eating nuts. My guitar playing friends are not far away from me as I listen to the strident tones of "Big Band" as it was meant to be.
It is that time of the year when we have to put away the cycles and 'hunker' down for the winter. The fireplace in the backyard is seeing daily use, as is the grill on the patio, but it will not be long before the snows encompass us and we will have to dig our way out to the cars. This is the time of the year when one can truly appreciate the convenience of a car. They provide shelter from the cold as well as taking us from place to place in a heated environment that is comfortable. I suppose that is another reason why I really need God in my life. He keeps me from getting too uncomfortable with the circumstances I am presently in. That is cool.
Then, a few days ago, I was talking with a friend on the phone about faith and the thought occurred to both of us that maybe in fact man was not created by God, but God was created by man to fill the void of human experience. Nah! But it does give one pause to thing. In Christ's Love, Preacher. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 26, 2006

No Running And No Hiding

This was last year. Winter hit the Great American Desert with a vengeance. We were pretty tight to the house for a few days. This year we are basking in sunshine and enjoying(that is tongue in cheek)the continuing yardwork. Our spot on God's earth has never enjoyed better "eye" appeal. I feel very good about that portion of our lives. Others that we love are not doing so well. One broken wrist. One interred for the winter. Another with a stainless steel screw that popped out of a knee operated on many, many years ago. Some with severe depression and others with the loss of their lifelong mate. Need I continue? That is the part of life that is hard to get past. We can deal with the winter storms, the summer's heat, and everything else that nature can throw our way. It is the people with whom we suffer that turns life from the never-ending carnival into the....ride that has ended.
I suppose it has always been this way. The ups and downs of life inflicting their pressence on those who are sensitive enough to hear. Last night we had a young possum in the back yard trying to threaten our Mexican Healer. He was so mad! The police and the animal folks came and took the critter away. I informed them that I had a .410 that could have done the job a lot more swiftly, at which they laughed. That's life out here for today. I pray that in your world the snow doesn't get to deep and the animals aren't interfering with the peace of your backyard. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A Reminder For Us

Late night, very little sleep, computer did not cooperate very well, so I did little "combat" naps in between working the programs. I'm smiling! It is all back together(not mine, but a friends)running at full tilt. Cheryl got home this morning earlier than anticipated and what a welcome sight she is! We don't have enough time for just the two of us. Does that remind you of song lyrics?
Today has been a drizzled on mess outdoors. Therefore I can't work the yard or ride my cycles, I have to stay in with the dog. That isn't so bad, though, I get to tap out a message to you. The picture you see above is sent out from the Great American Desert, it's one that my sister-in-law took about six weeks ago. I had a lot of fun with it and sent it via E-mail to about a hundred folks today just the way it is here(well not all of them). I pray the rain is not depressing folks as it oftimes does out here. It will clear, and the sun will shine, and we can once again rejoice in the beauty of God's creation. As if we weren't even now! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Year Number Seven

Nobody told me this was Friday the thirteenth. That's better than it could have been because of some of the superstitious bones in my body. It has been an absolutely wonderful day! I spent the greater part of it raking(again)and then mulching the south side. For the very first time in my life I am experiencing the wonderful feelings of "HOME." I've never been anywhere for this long. Today I found myself redoing the raking task and finding within myself a peace which surprised me. I have another place of peace, that is the one which I share with my Creator. Today has got to be the be-all, end-all, for feelings of belonging, though. I realized that it is up to me to make the very best of my circumstances, and they are sooo good. Yeah, I know, it is only 160 feet by 60 feet, and the house on it has problems, but then what home doesn't?
What I have is a peace of knowing that life is working out as it should. Eleven grandkids, now, and more to come, and a wife that knows me and loves me in spite of myself. A faith that seems to remain unshakeable no matter what, and a sense of belonging to a community of faith inspired folks that love God much in the same manner that I love God.
At the present time I cannot locate a job that allows me to be me and make a living, other than preaching. I play an enormous amount of music, and I could probably enter again the secular world and prostitute my talent and gifts for the sake of monetary remuneration, but that is not necessary, yet!
All any of us really desires is an opportunity to be of use in this world. My Dean of Divinity in the seminary I attended lost his daughter to the world of unbelief. In an instant she was gone, but she knew in her heart, even in the final moment, that she was right. You and I live in a world that has so much that is wrong. We cannot combat it at the level of politics, or censures, we can only stand firm in the faith we have received in Christ Jesus. Think about where you stand in terms of the world today. Is your backyard a place where you can find total peace and harmony?
In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Another Way Of Looking At The Morning

I'm smiling as I tap this out on the 'puter! Amazing as that may sound at 6:21 in the am, I'm happy. We are ahead of the snow out here on the Great American Desert for the first time in 7 years. It was predicted that we could get some today, so for the past two days I have been diligently about the task of removing as many leaves as possible before they get soaked and matted. The pictures depict the sight that awaits our garbage collector this morning. He will look at my stack much differently than I. We don't know one another, but I am so thankful for the job that he and the other members of his crew perform each week. Perhaps therein lies one of the keys to being at peace with the world. An attitude of gratitude!
Here I sit in my warmest robe in an office that will never reach 60 degrees today, with a runny nose and itchy eyes and a scratchy throat(no, I am not ill, it is the result of the past few days in the dust and dirt of fall)and I am happy. The job could have been done better had it not gotten so dark(I worked with floodlights until 10 or so), and if I had more bags to fill. The important part of this is knowing that I did the very best job I could with what I had to work with and I'm satisfied. My wife pointed out that there are still leaves which have refused to fall. Yes there are, but with all the ones that have left the yard they will probably be so lonely here that they will blow somewhere else. It did occur to me as I worked the lawn outback that life would could really be simplified if I could find some way to get inside myself and get rid of the dead leaves and branches and assorted bits and pieces of trash that have fallen from my tree of life. That is why I need a Savior so much. He does that cleanup task for me and carries away the garbage on wings of forgiveness. My job is to bag it for Him, and He helps with that, also! I pray your day is beginning with a smile. If not, you can have one of mine. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Beautiful Days & Wonderful Nights

Time is growing short for the enjoyment of simple pleasures out here on the Great American Desert. Snow is predicted for Tuesday. This may have been the last weekend for just getting out and appreciating the freedom of two wheels on the highway. That was not our plan! We were going to have the best rummage sale ever, and we set up for it with all the strength God could provide. We made it through Friday and sales were slow. Then came Saturday morning at the table with an artist friend and the words of wisdom that came from his adorable bride; "You will only have this day to live once, live it to it's fullest!" It was as though we had both been struck by lightning. We zipped and stripped the tent(everything from the rummage sale was secured inside)and spent the rest of the day enjoying friends, relatives, an occaional baby or two, and the highway that leads to peace in the spirit. We are not opening back up tomorrow! The evening was so pretty that we tore everything down and put it away in the barn for another time. Which means that tomorrow we can relax, pray, worship, love one another, and enjoy the beauty of the fall as it has happened this year. Yeah, there are leaves to be raked, limbs on trees to trim, plants to move in for the winter, and numerous other tasks to perform. We will get them done, but we will not have another day like tomorrow to spend with one another and spend it we will without thought to the cost of hours not given elsewhere. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that God sends us angels to remind each of us of the things that are truly important. Thanks be to God! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Trends & Traffic On The Net

I enjoy communicationg with folks. We're headed into another winter out here on the Great American Desert, and this 'puter thing has been a lot of fun.. I've been using my dialup connection for two years. During the course of that time I have experienced a real awakening as to what the world contends with daily. I did an average thing this past week on my Email receptions. About 10% come from my circle, another 10% come from my christian networks and sources, and then the rest is advertising and that is why tonight's header.
How often do you see a picture such as the one posted above and consider that it may have nothing to do with what you think? More often than not the stuff that comes through our collective 'puters(80% in mine)is garbage! It seems that many minds are wandering around in the gutters of humanity seeking to exploit the baser nature of people. There is a part of that attempt which I resent. I've always been able to find plenty of problems in life without anyone's assistance. So why the push to provide us with temptations? Have you figured it out yet? The answer is money! This is the same reason we have casinos out here on the reservations, open gambling across our state, and a little lottery machine area in nearly every quickstop and popstand across the length and breadth of Dakota land. There is a vote coming up on that this November 7th(my birthday by the way). This year we also face the issue of pro life and abortion along with the same sex marriage question. I didn't know that one was a question. What it comes down to for me and many others is pure idylic thinking. We would like to have the conveniences and technologies of the 21st century with the lifestyles of the 50s. That's not happening! The next best thing we can do is continue to communicate our thoughts and feelings to those who can work with us to make this world a better place in which to live. We can create a future for our children and grandchildren that is better than the one in which we are now living. By God's Grace and with a lot of prayer we will make a difference. We must!
In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Monday, October 02, 2006


We did some very unusual things this past summer. For instance: The collage(I'm really liking these)you see above is of my Brother Richard the day we towed the sail boat down from the lake along with all of it's parts and pieces with our Harleys! This was just prior to Sturgis and we passed a lot of bikers who gave us more than a double take. Not everyone tows a 15 foot sailboat with a bike! There are things we do in this life simply because we don't know for sure if anyone else has done it. Then when we have accomplished the task we can sit back and tell the story with a smile on our faces knowing that nobody is going to believe it unless we have pictures. Tonight I am trying to do a reinstall of a modem that works great if you have the correct drivers in place and they are impossible to find. One young lady has spent 20 odd hours with her 'puter trying to get the thing to come back on line. The 'puter I am hopefully going to have done tomorrow is for Richard, yeah, the guy in the picture. He lives down the road a ways in Wisconsin. The thing is, we don't see each other very often, but we have a relationship that goes far deeper than the motorcycles we ride or the strange things we do with them when we're together. We share the bond of christian fellowship. We have in common our Savior, Jesus. We don't have a lot in common in terms of backgrounds, but we do have a very real love for Ministry, Music, and Motorcycles! That's how we happened on one another about eight years(or was it ten)ago in Sturgis working, together in the Christian Crusaders camp. This Sunday I have spent a lot of time with a room full of 'puters and thoughts about people. I guess the most important part of the day has been the time spent giving thanks for how gracious God has been in my life(that and the canadian honker that I shared with my wife for dinner, but that is another story)and the opportunity to work in solitude as I offer up prayers for those who are desperately in need in our world. I pray you aren't one of the very needy, but know that if you are there is one you can turn to who is ready and willing to share your burdens as He does mine. In Christ's Love, Preacher. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 30, 2006


Every year this time comes around. The colder it gets the more I tend to move in the direction of work that does not expose me to the elements. Except, of course, when I am on two wheels and then we don't have a clue where it's raining as long as we don't get thirsty. (THAT IS A JOKE) As you can see from the collage I've done a few minutes ago, I am in the process of working with 'puters. They're really cool! A bit like children(young)and puppies, they don't always do what we would like, but if we teach them well they will perform. One of my brothers from the Crusaders for Christ sent his 'puter to me via UPS. I'll get it back to him better than new in a few days. The strange part is that this is happening al over. It seems that folks that learned 'puter stuff back when Win98 was new are now really lost for how to keep 98 running. Heaven forbid! I would have liked to stay where I was in '69 forever, but times change and we have to change with them.
In my space I keep as much of the past with me in the present as is feasible. My newest motto is "Ministry, Music, and Motorcycles." The three Ms of life. I go off on tangents. There are days, sometimes weeks, when I don't really get into God's Word as I should. Ever been there? Don't fret it(my guitar playin' friends would love this)'cause we all have our setbacks. Sometimes we have to "setback" to really see where we have been and come to the realization that where we are going is soooo much better if we are alive in Christ!
My prayers go out to a world in need. I'm a bit busy with the stress of our computerized world and helping folks my age stay in "tune" with the times.
Oh if there are any of you psychobabiel people out there, "Home\Inside" has nothing to do with "Homicide."
In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Can It Be True?

I live in a small community out here on the Great American Desert. A few years ago I could walk three blocks west and pick up whatever meat I needed from a local butcher. Six blocks east was the "Econo-Food" supermarket where all the other daily needs could be found. We had a little K-mart, Hy-Vee, and a Walmart. Walmart became a super wally world and the little butcher and the little grocery store are gone. All that remains for a shopper's choice in Brookings, SD is the WalMart or the HyVee. Now, to make matters really difficult I am to understand that WalMart has joined the homosexual agenda by linking itself to the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. I would like it if this were an untrue piece of news, but I fear that it is real. I've got 8 kids, 11 grands, and a whole host of family members who love to shop at Wal-Mart. One of my wife's favorite sayings when we are traveling has always been, "All roads lead to Wal-Mart." I have a distinct hunch that if this turn of events is a fact she will alter that saying to, "All roads lead away from Wal-Mart."
This does not sound like a very good marketing approach to me. But then, I live out here where folks don't really care. Or do they? Perhaps all it will take to turn this event on it's corporate head is a single city that refuses to go the way of the world in collaboration with their favorite retail outlet.
Only time will tell the rolling back of ramifications that will surely follow this major choice of affiliation. We live in America where people have to make up their own minds and make their own choices. What will you choose to do when it comes down to the support you offer this Christmas to those who would inflict upon us their own standards of living? In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Miracles Happen!!!

When the call came in I took a deep breath and offered up a prayer from the desk. One of the sisters out there had a niece in trouble. The thoughts that run rampant through our minds at times like this are so virulent that the very definition betrays our fear. Can faith and prayer make a difference? Are we well founded? Are there others that will accompany us on this particular journey of love exemplified by our Savior?
Macy Marie is alive and well. Her odds were 1 in 7 of making it through the crisis. I always stand ready(very reluctantly at times)to work through issues with families. For those of us who have Christ as our Savior there is nothing better we can do than to submit to God's will. After all, is that not what He did for us?
Macy Marie is one of God's perfect creations.
We are fighting a battle in South Dakota. Yeah, I know, where is SD? Well, it is in the very heart of the Great American Desert, and it has recently become a political hotspot for those who would have us throw lives into garbage cans behind abortion clinics so that everyone may have a "free" choice. While we are in the very midst of praying for one of our "Macy Marie's" it is beyond my understanding that others would choose to throw them away, much like a bag of refuse from the local Burger King that they toss out on the interstate.
Macy is alive, and as you can see from the smile, very happy to be. Let us not throw away the future because we can only see today! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Miracles Happen!!!

When the call came in I took a deep breath and offered up a prayer from the desk. One of the sisters out there had a niece in trouble. The thoughts that run rampant through our minds at times like this are so virulent that the very definition betrays our fear. Can faith and prayer make a difference? Are we well founded? Are there others that will accompany us on this particular journey of love exemplified by our Savior?
Macy Marie is alive and well. Her odds were 1 in 7 of making it through the crisis. I always stand ready(very reluctantly at times)to work through issues with families. For those of us who have Christ as our Savior there is nothing better we can do than to submit to God's will. After all, is that not what He did for us?
Macy Marie is one of God's perfect creations.
We are fighting a battle in South Dakota. Yeah, I know, where is SD? Well, it is in the very heart of the Great American Desert, and it has recently become a political hotspot for those who would have us throw lives into garbage cans behind abortion clinics so that everyone may have a "free" choice. While we are in the very midst of praying for one of our "Macy Marie's" it is beyond my understanding that others would choose to throw them away, much like a bag of refuse from the local Burger King that they toss out on the interstate.
Macy is alive, and as you can see from the smile, very happy to be. Let us not throw away the future because we can only see today! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I submit they I may not have all of the letters in the right order, but then, there are times when everything is just not as it should be. I apologize to the folks that look for my "stuff" for being gone so long, but it has taken me a lot of time to get organized for the future. That does not mean to imply that I am ready now. Only that I am sincerely working on it, again!
The young people that you see on stage with me are some of my favorites in the whole world. From ages 8 to 12 they have come together in a family tradition of music that is astounding. This is one of the highlights of the past summer, and the one that is the most recent(this last weekend)that makes life truly worth the living.
God has truly blessed me....there are times when I soar with the Birds....and times when I must come down to earth, as we all must. My youngest daughter is in Europe as I tap this out, and I would submit that she is having a wonderful experience! Her best friend was with me this weekend as the performances developed and wishes she were there, also, I am sure!
Life is filled with opportunities. Sometimes we see them, othertimes we don't. The best opportunity is always going to be the choice for salvation which is found in my personal Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He is ready for you. Are you ready for Him? In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Friday, June 09, 2006

I Ain't Complaining

It has been awhile since I have been able to use my office. Heat has a little to do with that, but the level of noise occurring on a daily basis has become mind-numbing.
Post grad week began with the guys tearing out the water lines. Since that time they have managed to do it two more times, and the electric! We do have the finest of minds at work on the project, and now I finally see the clever scheme they have so carefully plotted for driving us all out of our homes. I have a hunch they thought many of us would give in and sell out just to be over this particular hump in life's road. What they did a year ago was send out a well-trained team of experts to locate all of the places a construction project might encounter difficulties. They looked through little tripod mounted glasses, they staked red, pink and yellow markers all over. They put up little red, yellow and blue flags. Then as the day neared they spray painted lines in neon orange and yellow on everyone's lawns. Now I know why. That was so the workers wouldn't have to miss cutting a single vital service to our lives. Local joke on our street has to do with how many different hard hats it takes to peer into a hole and decide what has happened. Honestly, they have a tough job to do and it isn't made easier by guys with cameras. They never hit the phone lines, but I assume that is because you just don't mess with those folks. Anyway, our life has yet to return to normal and that is a good thing! Since the front of the home is virtually unused 24\7, we have done some amazing things in the backyard which will be shared as soon as the "stuff" is over.
I suppose the way to look at the whole thing is that, "God never gives us more problems than He has provided patience for coping." Life is good here on 6th Street.
Life is better away from our little piece of the Great American Desert. And life is best when we keep on keeping on and let God take care of the rest. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Creating Memories

Today was way full! Graduation receptions, and friendly visits combined with the opening festivities of a new art show here on the Great American desert, had the time flying faster than we could keep up. It was a great day, and one filled with warm, wonderful memories that Cheryl and I shall treasure long after the photos have faded. Life is good! So good sometimes that we have to keep an eye in the rearview mirror at every turn. Tonight is unlike any other night in our small town. It is the night before graduation and the streets and alleyways are busy with folks driving around from party to party. The police are also out in full force! I did a short drive down to the church for some papers about 10:30 and the traffic was amazing. While at the church I decided that I would offer up prayers for our young people. God may not hear me any better when I'm in the church building than He does when I'm out on the streets, and that's how it is on Sunday mornings, also.
It isn't the where of the prayer that gets our Lord's attention. It's the sincere manner in which we come before Him to humbly ask for that which we need. I'm sure that He listens a little more intently when we're asking for something for someone else instead of the usual begging for our own needs. I'm also certain that he listens more attentively when we gather as a worshiping Body of Christ on Sunday morning and offer up our prayers as a group in agreement. Today I met a greatgrandmother who will always be thought of as a very kindly and understanding lady. I also ran across some folks that were a part of a parish I served 20 years ago. My how time can fly when we're living life. I pray that you have many with whom to celebrate this Memorial Day weekend. I also pray you have many that you will be remembering who are not with us.
Today, my cousin, Clyde(C.R. Huyck)shared his thoughts about really living every moment of this life that we are offered. I was truly impressed at the wisdom he has managed to aquire these past 40 years. Perhaps that's how it is with the people we love, they continue to surprise us even after they are gone. Thanks be to God for all those ancestors of mine who contributed to my being here today.
In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Taking Things To The Extreme

Just a quick reminder to folks that many of us travel on two wheels. Even with 2 dozen bright lights on a red motorcycle that is as large as a small car people often say, "I didn't see you!" Lol...but it is that time of the year and I've got a lot of friends and loved ones out there that need all the help they can get. In Christ's Love, Preacher. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Small Town, Big Loss!

Yesterday morning on their way to school(out here on the Great American Desert that sometimes means driving gravel roads to get to a two lane blacktop, to get to town, to get to school), sisters, Ashley and Amanda, were killed instantly when the 17 year old Ashley failed to stop for a stop sign. Our prayers for the past day and a half have been lifted for classmates, friends, and especially family. So young to be gone so fast! Yet that is a part of the world in which we live. Life is uncertain! The girls were about a mile from home and, according to the news reports, and also the three men traveling in the truck that collided with them, it was over before anyone knew what had taken place.
Our lives are precariously balanced on the very edge of the world in which we live. It is a world in which anything can happen at anytime, anywhere! Young people in this part of the world are, for the most part, connected to a church. This does not make their loss any easier, but for those who knew them well it may provide some comfort to know where they were with our Savior. None of us has any idea from day to day just what may befall us. I suppose that is one of the reasons that I preach, and have continued to preach for a lot of years. Perhaps there is a purpose to everything under the sun. Perhaps there is a reason why innocent young people are taken so quickly. One thing is certain, however, if we are not walking in the light of God's love and grace we will never know the answers.
We live in an age when one can tap away at the 'puter for a few moments and be in the midst of tragedies from all over the globe. I tap away tonight that other young ladies might have an urge to discover the "Way of the Son of God" long before life comes at them too fast, or death, even faster.
In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Graduation Is Happening!

Yes, it is that time of the year again when so many of our young people will receive their first, or second, or even another higher degree. It is also that time of the year when many of our youth will celebrate this momentous occasion and in the process die as the result of circumstances not unlike those we all faced at a similar age. The thing is, if we could foretell the future there are choices none of us would make. I'm assisting a neighbor prepare for her daughter's graduation celebration. This one is High School. My own HS graduation was stained by the vision of those who did not make it past the night. Since that time I have followed news reports, first in our own state out here on the Great American Desert, and then from others. I didn't think it could be like that all over the states. Sadly, I was mistaken. Every year we lose many of these bright young people to the "celebration" that ends all possibilities of future celebration. I pray with parents, I pray with youth, but the one thing I cannot do is change their actions once they are chosen. I praise God that there are so many that survive, and I give thanks for those that have come down the ancestral lineage I carry. I have a lot more graduations to look forward to, but there are many who do not. I would submit to you tonight that we need to be in prayer for those who are about to matriculate. Pray for their choices. Pray for their safety when they make poor chices. But most of all I would like to pray for their salvation to be a reality before realities end on this plane.
Everyone of us, more than likely, has a horror story they could share about personal experiences with graduations. Reflect these coming Sundays on how we as a believing nation can help to impact the number of youth who will not make it back from the "party" that someone provides. We are, every one of us, only as strong in the God whom we serve, as our helplessness we become aware of in the lives of those close to us. Put the ones in your communities on your list, and pray with me, with us, with all the believers in Christ Jesus, that none of the young are ever lost without the knowledge of our Savior. I think that is one of the things my paternal grandmother prayed the most for, that I would live through the "fun" and become what God would have me be for the sake of His Son. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Just Getting Back!

It has been far too long for me to ever wish to be back painting full time. I did a short thing for a friend this past week. We are both pleased with the results. There was a time between preaching and outreach engagements that I worked high(as in on the outside of buildings), up to 20 some stories. I loved those times of being out in the open on a fourteen inch plank riding a "skywalker." We always worked as a two man team and never had to worry about anyone else getting out there with us to examine our work.
During that period of time I had the opportunity to personally experience the super, or should I superstitious side of humankind. My partner and I always did our own rigging. That part goes with the territory. One has to learn\earn a long time trust before letting another person tie your knots! One fellow in particular tied 7 knots on every lashing. No real reason other than he thought 7 to be a lucky number. I must admit I found it to be a good number, also, and I am still here. The thing is, each one of us has numerous choices to make when it comes to our personal safety and our salvation. I believe that I have searched mine out as fervently as one could ever hope to do and have placed my claim on Christ Jesus as personal Savior. What I would like for my readers to do is examine the knots they have tied. Or did you let someone else tie them for you in hopes that they will hold when the final moment of truth arrives? Not a good choice. My Bible teaches that each of us is to work out their own salvation in "fear and trembling!" Scary thought, huh? But, it makes sense. Just like the 7 knots way up high made some sense because even in my own mind I would not have trusted just one, or two, or even three, but ya gotta stop somewhere with tying the knots and go over the side to do the job.
I like painting even less down here on the ground than I did up above. People are always wanting to look over your shoulder to check up on where you're at and how you're doing. Nobody can check on your salvation, though, but you. You have to be absolutely certain that you have gotten things right. Otherwise, it is going to be a very long fall into a most uncomfortable place. By the way, I never wear a safety belt unless I'm under 40 feet off the ground! I'd hate to fall and get hurt! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Wooden Ya Know It!

I love engines! Big or small, I love them all! The internal(infernal)combustion engine is one of the finest inventions of humankind. It powers my Harleys down the road. It gets me around in the winter when motorcycling is not an option. It also powers the small engines that keep our property manageable. What with all of the road construction going on and the endless mornings of buzzing chainsaws(the city removed 8 100 year old trees to make way for the new street)I had the urge to fire up my own miniature(22 inch, 2 cycle)gas powered saw to remove brush from the front. Some of the brush was 8 inches in diameter! I had not used this particular weapon of destruction for a few years so just getting it to run was a major chore. Two days and about 200 pulls on the cord later(plus some dinking around with the screws and stuff)it fired up. Several hours later after felling a dozen of the view(soon to be new)obstructing(we want to be able to see the new street, for sure)it suddenly hit me! After the trees are down, the real work begins, disposing of the small branches and cutting the rest into logs for the fire next year. I think I forgot that part while I was having fun chopping through the timber. That's a thing about living on the Great American Desert. One has the opportunity to hone those early settler skills, even unto the 21st century.
Here we are some 2000 years after the time of Christ, and we are still striving to get it right. Faith is the key, persistence is the stubborn lock that each of us must open in our own inimitable fashion, and the reward that awaits us is uncomprehendable.
The picture above is not of me or anything that I have done. It was sent in by one of my readers on the east coast. From there it is anyone's guess where it may have been taken. The unexpected is what we prepare for and probably what we fear the most. That is life! Unfolding, day to day, fraught with all of it's ups and downs, and the opportunities to surmount the difficulties and persevere. I sort of like that word, "persevere," it is a good portion of what comprises this life we live. I pray this day that there are no calamities the size of this one falling on your ride. Know that God loves you, and He has a wonderful sense of humor. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Something From The Heart! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


A short time ago I mentioned that we were in the midst of change here on our street. Well, it began yesterday with a thunder not unlike that of anything I can remember hearing in recent years. Out here on the Great American Desert farm kids get used to the sounds of heavy machinery at an early age, but dirt doesn't make a lot of noise when you're breaking it up in the spring. A street made of concrete, on the other hand, is a whole different story. I had no idea how thick the street was, or how much sound could be generated by the machinery it takes to tear one apart, let alone the din of the pieces being dropped into the metal dump trucks employed to haul them away.
This also, shall pass. All things will be made anew in the image of the street creaters. In lives, though, there are times when the destruction becomes so complete that folks cannot recover or be made "anew" without the aid of their Creator. That brings us to this evening. Ya know, I never realized how quiet our street could be, or, for that matter, how noisy, until today! We now have 6 weeks of quiet evenings sance traffic. There are some I pray for this night that they might enjoy even one week of peace in the home and the relationship that dwells within. Again, this is where God comes into play in our lives. When we truly find Christ in the center of our being and allow He and the Spirit He brings to dwell within us, life takes on new shape and new form. It may still be fraught with destructive forces, but we are given the needed tools to deal with the frustrations and upheavals in life. I look forward to the completion of the state's little "project" in front of our home. Even more I look forward to helping others to find their way to that place of perfect peace which only God can bring. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

All Us Folks!

None of us is seen from the surface, or even by carefully examining all of the sides. We, like the picture of this iceburg forwarded in from Canada, only reveal a very minute portion of ourselves to those around us. God, on the other hand, knows us and sees us through and through. Perhaps that is another reason getting close to God makes folks somewhat uneasy. I can't imagine the size of the pictured burg, but if one was only looking at it from the surface perspective think of all you are missing. So it is for the people with whom we come in contact each day of our lives. We only see a teeny tiny bit of them, and that, for most of us is hidden as best we can. There is one part of us that we cannot hide when we're with another person one on one, though.
The eyes are the mirrors of the soul, and as such they reveal much more than the outward appearance that is often taken for granted. I suppose this, too, could be overlooked, but if you really want to know who a person it is, it is necessary to get inside their eyes. If they will allow you to do that. Many people hide their eyes and try very hard to not let you see inside them. Books on criminology teach us that a person's truthfullness can be observed through the careful observation of the movements of the eyes. Spiritual leaders from all walks of life can share with us the truth of the "spirit" that shines through. In the circles I frequent that terminology goes something like, "I could just see the Christ shining through his\her eyes!" It's true! There is something about the believer that changes how their eyes shine in respect to their willingness to share the light behind them with others. Also, I might add from years of having worked behind the walls of the South Dakota State Penitentiary, one can see evil, insanity, and a host of other human ailments by simply looking into the eyes of the person.
Out here on the Great American Desert we don't ever get iceburgs like we have pictured here. An occasional pileup of ice on a river or lake, and once in awhile in the spring as the lakes are showing the first signs of "black ice" and large chunks separate from the main body of flow we see a distant mini-scale cousin of the iceburg. I'd like to visit one of these sometime. That way I could prove out one of those old axioms, "There's more to it than meets the eye."
As we roll the road of life that lies ahead it might be a very good thing to remember that "What you see" is not always, "What you get!" Usually what we get is much better than we deserve if we are riding the highway to heaven with the Lord running point and watching our six. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

How Do We Get The Lid Back On The Box?

I've been wondering. Do you suppose that if farmers out here on the Great American Desert had not become corporate entities that life could be better? I'm not doing one of those, "I remember when," things. I'm just continuing to postulate over gas prices. 60 years ago there was a farm about every quarter to a half a mile out on the praire. If they had the electricity that we enjoy today the landscape at night would have been a vision of tiny universes, each showing the location of a family that worked hard. The Pledge of Allegiance was shared in every school every morning by every individual present. Prayers were offered at every school function, and everyone bowed their head.
That was one end of the teeter totter of life. How soon will we push ourselves up from the bottom end to recover what we have lost? Your guess is as good as mine, but I know for certain it is not going to happen until we start pushing together.
In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Giving credit where credit is due is so often very hard for the individual. We all would like to be in the spotlight! A long time ago when I was 12, one of my cousins became a hero to me. The man was phenomenal! He was a football star, All-American, great at baseball, track, and one of the few people I had encountered at that early age who truly had a "philosophy" for living. His every word I hung on and listened with intense pride that he would bestow upon me the wisdom of his life. One of the most famous of his "sayings," was, "Never pass up the chance to be the hero." I quickly adapted this as a part of my own persona and continue to this day to live the echo of those words.
I began driving(tractors, pickups, and grain haulers)at the age of 9. That was common on the farms where I grew up, and none of us ever gave much thought to the cost of the fuel that went into the equipment. We pulled up by a 500 gallon tank and pulled down the hose and filled up. Today I was at the local convenience store and it was time for a fill-up. $46 later I was calculating the most recent mileage figures and being more than thankful that I can range upwards of 30 mpg. I do better on my Harleys out here on the Great American Desert. They can do 50+ mpg!
The thought has struck me that the leaders of America are missing a wonderful opportunity to "be the heros." Instead of letting gas prices soar to the outer limits of the public's ability to pay, they have the opportunity to set precedents and become, for all intents and purposes, the "hero" for the American people. I don't pretend to understand the inner working of politics. I do know that we help everyone in the world with everything they need as much as we can supply. Why is it, then, that we have to pay through the nose for everything we get from the world? Is it out of loving kindness? Is it out of some sense of guilt because life is so good in the United States? I don't think so. Putting everything in perspective economically we are paying the same prices for everything that we did in 1960. That may come as a shock to you, and I know it does to me, but things are relatively the same as they have always been with fluctuations in what the dollar is worth and what it can get you.
What has this got to do with God in my life? That is a good question. Think to the truth that lies within you. God's business is not man' business, and vice versa. God may not choose to change how things are in people's lives, but He can make a difference in how we deal with the workaday world that we live in. He calls us to be the people that we strive to be. Believers in every sense of the word, and ready to "be the hero" every day by how we live our lives and commit ourselves to His Son's teachings.
Noone said it would ever be easy, but quite often we make it harder than it has to be. Look to the Lord and you, also, shall find the answers for dealing with life in the 21st century. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Seeking The Peace Of Understanding

There are times when I feel as though I've got a "handle" on the peace thing, but more often than not I'm wrong. Oh, don't misunderstand me, it's there, for sure! When I'm sitting at the piano working through the movement of God's Spirit dwelling within my being I am at peace. Give me a long winding highway with some distant mountains to conquer aboard one of my favorite HDs and I'm at peace. Sleeping in a tent next to the water, or high in the mountains, is pure peace for the soul in my book. Even amid the raucous clamor of camp in Sturgis during the rally I find a great peace. I believe the common thread that runs through all of this is the closeness that I feel to my Creator. Out here on the Great American Desert we seem to have a little more time to work through the issues of life than folks in urban areas. Maybe that is why when I have the opportunity to do anything I want, I make the choices that I do as a result of the desire to truly be at peace with myself and the world I live in. Wives are wonderful for pointing out those times when we get overly stressed. I give great thanks for the wife I have. She has got to be the most understanding woman on the face of this planet! We've come through some really difficult times lately. The one thing I know for certain is the ever-deepening power of prayer that sustains us in our day to day lives. You see, for us it is not so much how rough things get, it's how much better we can make them by continually solidifying our personal relationship through the excercise of prayer. It really is excercise, ya know. We build our spiritual muscles through our daily walk of faith lived! No matter what the situation we(By The Grace Of God)will persevere. Now, one might ask, do we only do this together? No! We do it individually, as a couple, in concert with our Body of Christ, and with the people we come in contact with in our greater parish, the world!
Prayer is the greatest of all equalizers(although Colonel Colt had a good handle on equalization in the west), and it is the one place we need to go often, be things going great or not so great. God calls each of us into relationship with Himself constantly. The problem becomes one of how well we are willing to listen. One of my favorite hymns is "Trust And Obey," and in that I will close for tonight, praying that each of you out there has a reason to pray every day. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Friday, April 21, 2006

No Pictures Tonight!

Everyone seems to have an image in their mind of what our Savior must look like. During the course of the past few years I have encountered a number of pictures that are purported to carry the "exact," "definitive," and "decidedly" perfect amalgamation of characteristics that make up what must have been the "image" of my Savior. Whoosh! I cannot begin to understand where this comes from other than a personal need for some to put a "face" on the image of "grace." We don't know what Jesus looked like, people!
We have not got a clue! Paintings and statues, carvings and renditions, cannot give us an accurate point of reference from which to discern what my Savior looked like walking around healing folks. Even the photographs(this is a pun)do not really do justice to His persona.
I'm not upset, and I don't have a bone to pick or any thing else, I just want to set some of the record straight. We don't know! And we will never know until He returns, and even that leaves us wondering because when He comes again we shall be like Him. God forbid that my Savior should ever look like me or any one else that I know personally. The thing is, we all have an image in our minds that is wrong(as in we have all fallen short), but it is ours. So, if you have that picture in your mind and it helps you to be more like He would have you be throughout your walk in life, hold on to it. The greatest artists of the last few thousand years have sought to render Christ on canvas so that we might all know Him as He was. Here comes the rub....."Know Him as He is Today!!! The risen Christ cannot be portrayed on the "big" screen, or placed on a poster. There are no snap shots available, and nobody has any idea what He really looked like. Who He is in your life and in your heart is the important part of living and understanding that unfolds within us as we follow the teachings that He gave us.
I like to think of Christ as a simple fellow with a beard and long hair, but you don't have to see Him as I see Him. See Him as you see him within. Look within yourself to find the truth of the Savior that was sent to us in the image of all humankind. The innocent babe that was born in a lowly place to ascend to His Father in heaven and in the process free us from our sins. In other words, "A Hero" beyond our wildest imaginings! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Love That Surpasses Any Other!

This is the love that God offers each of us in the gift of a Savior for all humankind. In Christ's Love, Preacher.


These are just rambling thoughts surrounding the images that one of the folks sent me today. I have this feeling that I'm on to something that has to do with the greater truth that is found in knowing God. What you see in the pictures are the works of(from what I can tell looking at them)two ladies with an abundance of creativity in their spirits. What they are in the process of doing is bringing a new life into the waste of our world. Driftwood is fascinating in and of itself. A commodity I seek often when I'm around water, be it river, lake, or ocean. Something happens within the wood when it has been subjected to the harshness of decay and elements of an earthly sphere. Sometimes subtle, other times dramatic, but the rigors of time shine through the original, bursting forth with the image of so much more. Now, take a gifted person and hand these pieces of flotsam and jetsam over to their imaginations and what we have is "art" in a form I must admit, brings a certain sense of awe! My mother loved horses, I still love them and everything that they give to us. There is a freedom in becoming one with the animal that probably lies at the root of my love for motorcycles. The underlying message in theses pictures, though, is the wonderful way in which God has created each of us. We are all different, and unique, and what one of us cannot imagine another can! We don't all see the same things when we look at a work of art. We don't all see the same things when we look at another person. Thank God that we know He sees us as individuals each with their own gift to give. It has nothing to do with how the gift is received(as any artist can tell you), it is in the creating that we become one with the Creator, and thus our goals are realized, when we know without a doubt that we have done what we were designed to do. I'm not going to go into the details of my theological stances in relation to how this adds up in terms of good and evil. I will say that all good is of God and that the antithesis to it is from the other side. There are times when all that is necessary is for us to realize that we are doing what we have been created to do and in knowing that it is good needs no acclaim from the world, only our personal thanks to the One who has given us the gift we are allowed to share with others.
I told you I was rambling. Maybe now you will believe me when I say, "I don't have the answers, but I do have a clue!" The first clue comes in belief in the Creator and then in His Son and then in the infilling, indwelling power that is found in "The Holy Spirit" He has sent to guide each and every one of us. It is enough to know that when we step back from our labors and gaze at them in unbelief that we were able to do something so great....and then humbly acknowledge our thanks to the One who gave us the gift to do is enough to know that God our our grand children...and this is what life is all about. Each of us marches to the beat of the drum. Not every beat is the same, but when we march with God, realized to the fullest of potentials in Christ Jesus, we are getting closer to the same page. In Christ's Love, Preacher.