Sunday, March 30, 2008


In just a few minutes, I will preach my last sermon (as Senior Pastor) at First Assembly of God, Joliet, IL.

While living and ministering in Seattle, we received a call
to consider coming to Joliet, IL. We prayed, considered and accepted that call.
Now, God has released us from Joliet and we look on this past 10 1/2 years with warm memories.

God has done wonderful things.
So many lives changed.
During that time, the church grew from 720 to over 1400 in attendance.

The mortgage of 1.7 million was paid off and additional land acquired.

At our farewell Saturday night, Pastor Bob Hahn (Family Life Pastor) shared a number of interesting statistics. The one that captured my attention was 5,000 making professions of faith in Jesus Christ during that time. (data was taken from the ACMR's)

The theme verse of my ministry is Ephesians 4:11-13

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.

My mission in life is to
lead God's people to...
To EQUIP God's people, and
ENCOURAGE God's people.

It has been an honor to have been able to lead this fine congregation.
God has great things in store for all of us.

"When I look into the future,
it's so bright it burns my eyes."

Thursday, March 27, 2008


I was looking for a couple of pictures (actually, Jill was looking for me - she is our picture expert)... anyway, some pictures I wanted to use in my last sermon I will be preaching at First A/G, Joliet.

Jill came across this picture of Erik (taken at the Arizona Memorial in Hawaii) and noted how it looks just like Sam.

Happy Birthday Glenda

Today is my daughter-in-law's birthday.
She is a great lady.
We are so proud of her and the great family she is influencing.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I heard of two news items today that can only be described as "STUPID."

I thought of David Letteman and what he started as "Stupid Pet Tricks" and then evolved into "Stupid Human Tricks".

Wikipedia had this about Letterman's "Stupid" stuff.


Late Night with David Letterman on

NBC will feature pets who have been

trained to do unusual things. Pets

must be amateur & owners must be

willing to appear w/ them at auditions

& on the show.

The inuagural segment featured a dog named "Muggsy" who would sneeze on command, and another dog that would answer the phone.

Based on the instant success of "Stupid Pet Tricks," Letterman devised a similar off-shoot: "Stupid Human Tricks," which was identical in nature to the Pet Tricks, except (obviously) that people were now doing the wacky stunts.

Now, back to what I heard about....

Today in Chicago, a gunmen (reportedly 18 years old) went into a muffler shop to rob it. He showed a gun and demanded money. The worker said that all the cash was kept in the safe and the manager was the only one that could get into the safe. AND... if he would leave his cell number, they would call him when the manager got there and he could come then and rob them!!!! HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE?!?!!??!

YUP, he gave them his phone number... a little later he received a phone call and when he returned to the muffler shop, the police were waiting for him. And that is not enough!!! He pulls his gun and the police shoot him in the leg.

I would LOVE to interview that man and ask him, "what were you thinking!?"

Lefkos Hajji of London hid a $12,000.00 engagement ring in a helium balloon to present to his girlfriend, but then accidentally let go of it. "Now she is refusing to speak to me, he said.


Sunday, March 23, 2008


I just received a report that the Easter Bunny froze up on his rounds.

I was thinking about my friends (pastors) who are / were having Easter Sunrise services today. Brrrrr.....

One of my friends is having an Easter Egg drop from a helicopter, hmmm, 28 degrees, snow flurries, spinning blades of the helicopter, downdraft, plummeting plastic Easter eggs... sounds like fun to me!!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Truck

I am REALLY excited
about a new gas gauge
I am going to have
installed in my truck!!!

Now That It Is Spring

I was just thinking.... now that it is Spring, that means yard work and lawn mowing.

I think I will trade in my riding mower and go "GREEN".

Al Gore would be so proud of me!

Spring Arrives

March 20, 2008 12:48 AM
Spring begins.
New Beginnings

Fresh Start

Today is the first day of Spring in the northern hemisphere. Spring begins on the day of the vernal equinox. Equi-nox means "equal night."

On the equinox, the day and night are of the same length. In the northern hemisphere, the short winter days have been getting longer. Today the days are as long as the nights and tomorrow we'll have slightly more than 12 hours of daylight per day.

Now I look forward to June 21 - the longest day of the year. I loved that day in North Dakota. It was light until almost 10PM! Maybe I can experience June 21 in Alaska sometime. Now that would be fun!

I am looking forward to

Monday, March 10, 2008

Red Lobster

Sunday, Joy and I took Glenda to Red Lobster for lunch. We had the nicest surprise... following the meal, our waiter Jimmy said, "Your meal is on us." My first thought was "We didn't complain about anything.... there was nothing wrong with the meal....". We thanked him and he said, "You guys are such good customers, we wanted to thank you."

We called the manager over and thanked her and expressed our surprise.

Isn't that nice?! I don't think that has EVER happened to me before.

Thank you Red Lobster!

Friday, March 7, 2008

You'll Never Be Sorry...

Saw a great email this AM.  
..for thinking before acting.
..for hearing before judging.
..for forgiving your enemies.
..for being candid and frank.
..for helping a fallen brother.
..for being honest in business.
..for thinking before speaking.
..for being loyal to your church.
..for standing by your principles.
..for closing your ears to gossip.
..for bridling a slanderous tongue.
..for harboring pure thoughts.
..for sympathizing with the afflicted.
..for being courteous and kind to all.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Don't Miss Easter

Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20).

This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Based on the above information, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) that is rare.

Here's the interesting information. This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier! Here's the facts:

1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). Hmm, I’d be 280. Just a “spring chicken compared to Methuselah. He reached 969 years of age.

The last time Easter was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).

2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!


You can verify, if you’d like at

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


These past five days following my resignation from First Assembly, Joliet have been unique and interesting.

The outpouring of love, concern, encouragement, positive support, counsel (some interesting aspects to that counsel I must say)...

Phone calls from Alaska to Florida.

Emails from Australia to Ukraine (wow, almost A to Z).

Flowers with a super encouraging note.

Scripture references given to me by people I deeply respect who are quietly, strongly so very godly. Most in the church wouldn't even know them, but these are prayer warriors that heaven recognizes immediately.

Isaiah 45:2

Isaiah 43:18-19

Ephesians 3:20

Luke 12:32

Thank you everyone... It has all given me heart.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I Believe In You

I love dimes. No, I don't have a "thing" for them, but I have been finding dimes on the street or parking lot lately. Pennies are a, pardon the pun, "a dime a dozen". Actually, they'd be 12 to a dozen, but I digress.

Four or five times in the last 10 -12 months, I have found dimes. Either on the parking lot or the entry to Walmart. They say something to me. No, I'm not talking to coins, nor hearing "things" from them.

Several years ago, like maybe 20... I heard a sermon by John Maxwell where he told the story of Bart Starr who was quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

During the 1965 football season, Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr had a little incentive scheme going with his oldest son. For every perfect paper Bart Jr. brought home from school, his dad gave him ten cents.

After a particularly rough game against St. Louis, in which Starr felt he performed poorly, he returned home weary and battered after a long plane ride.

But he couldn't help feeling better when he returned to his bedroom.

There, attached to his pillow, was a note:

"Dear Dad, I thought you
played a great game. Love, Bart. "

Taped to the note were two dimes.

I have used that same illustration twice in a sermon. Each time, I distributed a small card that had a dime laminated to it, simply saying "I believe in you."

Several times over the past 20 years, I have had people say to me or even show me their card, "Pastor, I still have my dime!" I like to say "And I still believe in you."

We all need someone who builds us up and BELIEVES IN us.

For me, each time I find a dime, I hear God saying, "I believe in you."

Friday afternoon, I was walking into Walmart. Heavy on my heart was the thought that I was going to be resigning from the church I had led for the past 10 1/2 years. As I walked through the doors, there all alone on the floor was a dime. I stopped and picked it up. It is going in my journal.
Thank you God for your encouragement.