Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Huge Week For Daniel Cox

Daniel has had a big week!

On Christmas eve Dan asked Maggie Gilliland to marry him and she said YES! Lynn and I could not be happier. We are so excited about the future for these kids.

That was Sunday evening and on Friday the 29th Daniel had his 21st birthday!

Lots of plans for the future - Daniel is a very busy boy!

Pastor Steve

Christmas in Clear Lake

Every year we make the pilgrimage to Des Moines for Christmas and spend Christmas Eve with Lynn's family and Christmas Day with the Cox's. This year we made a CHANGE! Yes, that's right a Baptist that has experienced real change!

We decided to just stay home and have Lynn's Mom up on Christmas Eve and then Daniel and Maggie would arrive on Christmas Day.

Christmas eve began with a huge surprise ... Daniel and Maggie are ENGAGED to be married! No date yet but she has the ring and its on!

After a very nice family time on Christmas morning, we drove to Tom and Doreen Nichols for a three family Christmas dinner with the Kambergers rounding out the trio. Daniel & Maggie arrived and the party was on! Good food and great fellowship was had by all.

Pastor Steve

A Christmas Carol @ the Guthrie Theater

On Wednesday December 20th I had the opportunity to again drive the 9th grade English class from Ventura High school to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The purpose of our trip was to see the live performance of Dickens "A Christmas Carol". This was at least my 5th trip, I've been privileged to drive for all of my kids as well as at least one other time.

Dickens Christmas Carol is my favorite! I love the story and am always interested in the different versions, my favorite is the George C. Scott as Scrooge. Scott is a great Scrooge and the transformation is classic. My second favorite Christmas Carol is the Muppet's version, the only live actor is Michael Caine. The rest of the cast is comprised of the Muppet characters. This a fun and entertaining version and I would hardily recommend it to you!


Pastor Steve

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ventura's Christmas Concert

On December 7th I had the opportunity to attend the annual Christmas concert at Ventura Community Schools in Ventura, Iowa.

As usual this was a fantastic evening. The vocal groups were very good but the instrumental groups were incredible!

The Junior High Band did a wonderful job on the songs they presented. I have been to band concerts for many years in many different locations. Never have I heard a better Jr. High band. Normally, your Jr. High band is a step slow and a step flat. If you have been to a few Jr. High band concert you know what I mean. Not the case at Ventura! On key and on time! Very good preparation and performance.

The High School was next and once again was incredible! I think my favorite part is the percussion section. Those kids really set the "tone" and carry the day. The brass section was crisp and clean, woodwinds smooth as silk. A very enjoyable experience.

The final bit of the concert, not even on the program, was the Ventura High School Jazz Band. What a pleasant surprise! If I'm perfectly honest I must confess two things: 1. I really enjoy good jazz music & 2. I love to hear the Ventura Jazz Band. I was disappointed when upon arrival the program did not contain a reference to a jazz band performance. However, the jazz band was prepared to give us a "jazzy" version of Jingle Bells and then a piece that was played in their Jazz Band Competition. FANTASTIC!

Congratulations and thank you to Nate Benzing and the Ventura Jazz Band on their upcoming appearance at the State Jazz Band Competition. The is the 11th straight year that Ventura will be making an appearance in the State competition. I trust you will do well!

That Is The Way I See It -
Pastor Steve

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Another Deer Season Comes and Goes

In an effort to save a bit of money I decided to forgo the annual trip to Cass County for the Iowa shotgun deer opener. I thought that I could just hunt around here and get my deer and be done. A mistake that I will not make next year!

I was so jazzed for hunting on Saturday, one problem though ... 40 mph north/northwest wind gusts and about 15 degrees made for one of the worst deer openers in years! I hunted all day, froze my tail off and saw only two deer, both across the fence on land I can't hunt. Long story short...Those were the only two deer I saw in five days of hunting. Five days of high winds and very cold temps.

I have hunted long enough that I know the quality of a hunt is NEVER determined by whether or not you harvest your goal. But I have to be honest and say that I'm somewhat disappointed in this hunt. Oh well, there is always next year.

Pastor Steve