Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

The Memorial Day Weekend got off on a bit of a sad note as we celebrated the life of one of our friends father who passed away. Visitation on Friday and funeral on Saturday. Psalm 116:15 tells us "Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints." Thank God for His Word!

Saturday evening was spent fishing on Clear Lake with Philip and the fishing was good! We caught a good number of fish and had a great time together. While on the dock, the special speaker for our Sunday services came by for a chat , we visited for a bit and we headed home to do a bit of fish cleaning.

Memorial Day Sunday was a big day at the CLRBC. Our special speaker for the day was Jason Nightingale of Wordsower Ministries. Jason Nightingale is co-founder of Wordsower International. Jason teaches and exhorts through dramatic recitation of entire books of the New Testament or large portions of Scripture from memory. Their ministry, founded in 1974, donates most of its proceeds to raise support for and awareness of orphans and widows in West Africa.

Sunday in Clear Lake Jason ministered from the Books of 1 John, 1 & 2 Peter as well as the Book of Revelation. 1 John included an allegory of a house that reflected Jason's spiritual journey. 1 & 2 Peter were give in relation to the parable of the sower and the soils found in the gospels. The Book of Revelation stands on its own!

It was a wonderful day and everyone had a great time. What a blessing to sit and HEAR the Word of God in a dramatic way!

Memorial Day for Lynn and I began with breakfast out with friends from the church. We had a blast, we love getting together with folk from the church and just rejoicing in the Lord.

The bulk of our Memorial Day was spent out at the Stephenson's for an all church picnic. We arrived just about 1PM and left for home sometime after 10 PM.

The day was filled with sqinny ball, games and lots of just sitting around and visiting. Jason Nightingale and his wife were able to stick around and enjoy the day with us and they seemed to really enjoy getting to know our folks here.

Dan and I fired the grill about 4 PM and supper was ON! Everything from T-bone steaks, Pork Chops, Venison, Fish, Chicken, Brats, Dogs and Burgers. What a spread! If you left hungry from this fellowship it was your own fault.

Following the meal Jason offered to speak the scriptures to us before they would have to leave and we hardily agreed! Jason spoke the first 5 chapters of the Gospel of John interspersed with commentary and application. It was tremendous!

Overall a great weekend and one that will not soon be forgotten!

That's the way I see it,
Pastor Steve

PS: We also celebrated Lynn's Birthday!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Together 24 Years

This past week Lynn and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary.

This got me to thinking, we met in high school and dated for 5 years before getting married. We've know each other for 29 years. Is that even possible? It truly seems like yesterday that we were playing Frisbee under the 9th street via duct (one of our first dates). Is it possible that I could be married for 24 years and have 4 wonderful children, all of whom love the Lord and desire to walk with Him?

The answer is YES.

But the truth is that it is only by the grace of God. I'm so thankful that God saw fit to bring Lynn and I together. It was through her influence that I heard the good news of the Gospel and received Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. Our journey together has not always been easy or fun, but our goal has been consistent - Walk with and Serve our Lord. She is my best friend and I'm so thankful and blessed to have her in my life.

That is the way I see it!
Pastor Steve

Monday, May 21, 2007

Valley Fish & Cheese Market

One of the side benefits of the hunting trip to NE Iowa is a quick trip across the river to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin and a stop at the Valley Fish & Cheese Market.

The fare of the market is smoked fish, but the menu does not end there. You can get jerky there, carp jerky, catfish jerky and turtle jerky. Another great item is the frog legs! Smoked fish is lead by the catfish and carp but you can also get smoked sturgeon. My favorite is the smoked catfish.

The market is also know for their selection of Wisconsin cheeses. They have about anything that you could need or want, my favorite is the hot pepper cheese. It is great and really snappy!

If you ever get the
chance to get over to Prairie du Chien you have to make a stop in at the Valley Fish & Cheese Market.

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Hunting In NorthEast Iowa

Rolling out of Clear Lake at about 9 PM on the 13th of May, I was headed to a long awaited hunting trip to NE Iowa. The fare of the trip was first and foremost the elusive timber ghost also known as the Eastern turkey, followed closely by a search for morel mushrooms and if time and weather permit, a bit of stream fishing.

I rolled out on Monday morning at 4:15 AM and headed for the woods. Just in the edge when I heard my first turkey and started to close the distance. Being a novice at this discipline I quickly bumped this bird and never heard from him again! So goes the adventure of turkey hunting. Not hearing another bird within 2 miles, I headed for breakfast at about 9 AM. Breakfast on this trip is at as little joint in Garnavillo called Thoma Dairy Bar Cafe. The food here is very good. My standard breakfast is a couple of eggs over medium, sausage patty, toast and sometimes hash browns w/ onions. Of course there is always coffee!

After a great meal and stories of how everyone else did on their morning hunts, it's back to the timber and the patient wait for an appearance of a long beard. One of the keys to turkey hunting seems to be the weather. Monday's weather was not really conducive to good hunting. Very hot and VERY windy. What this did was really make for a long afternoon & early evening. I finally rolled out of the timber at about 7 PM after seeing nothing and sweating profusely.

The highlight of Tuesday's hunt was breakfast! I got up at 4:15 AM to a light rain which continued all stinking day except during the afternoon where is poured for about an hour! Some of the other guys I was with saw some birds but not me ... I saw no turkeys.

Wednesday was another story. Back into the timber at O dark thirty and I began another stalk on a gobbler. After about thirty minutes, this noisy gobbler went silent. So I worked my way back to my regular spot and sat quietly and just watched the hay field in front of me. I saw deer and had one buck walk within about 6 to 9 feet of me, so close that I could hear him breathing! What a rush ... That is a close encounter of the timber kind! I also saw a fox and a coyote as well as a couple of hen turkeys but not long beards.

Because of commitments back home I needed to leave right after breakfast on Wednesday. Following a royal feast, I said my goodbyes to the hunting party and headed West for Clear Lake.

This is my third year and I'm still looking for my first turkey. That's why it is called hunting and not killing! My time will come but in the mean time the trip was great, the company was awesome and I'm already looking forward to next year!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Adventureland Rally 2007

Saturday was the state youth rally at Adventureland for 2007! The rally was sponsored be the Southeast Iowa Pastor's Fellowship and was a great success!

The rally was excellent and the speaker did a great job handling the Word of God. There were many decisions made for Christ and to that I say to God be the Glory!

Adventureland is adventureland ... not much ever changes and I find myself riding less and less rides and doing more and more visiting. I guess I'm old! This year I only rode one roller coaster but the real reason was because of the crowds. There was a lot of people at the park this year!

For the first time in a lot of years the weather was fantastic! Sunny and a high in the upper 80's. In the most resent years we endured cold, damp and rainy weather. This is the first year in I'm not sure how many that I actually wore shorts to the park. I don't bust out these big white legs very often - so it really had to be great weather.

Saw bunches of folk that I know and got in some great visiting time with many. Amy Cox was able to attend and we spent most of the day with her. She and Lynn tried to soak me on the log ride and that little project backfired all over Lynn! HAHAHAHA! Don't mess with the KING!

All in all a great day with good friend just hanging out and having fun!

I'm leaving shortly for a days to go on a hunting trip. Hunting turkeys, mushrooms & getting in some small mouth bass fishing. Report to follow!

I Remain ,
Pastor Steve

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Walking Through the Hard Times with Friends

I was saddened beyond belief on Sunday evening when one of my best friends call to let me know that his oldest son had died in a canoing accident on the Iowa River just south on Iowa Falls. Steve & Cindy are doing well and using this as an opportunity to see God goodness and grace, resting in the peace that passes all understanding.

Jonathan David Hill - April 29, 2007

Jonathan D. Hill, 26, of Iowa Falls, Iowa, passed away Sunday, April 29, 2007, at Ellsworth Municipal Hospital, Iowa Falls. Funeral services for Jonathan Hill will be 1:00 pm Thursday, May 3. 2007, at Bethany Lutheran Church, Iowa Falls, with Pastor James Ackerson officiating. Burial will be at the Union Cemetery, Iowa Falls. A time of Visitation will be from 4:00 to 8:00 pm Wednesday at the Linn's Funeral Home, Iowa Falls. Memorials may directed to the family c/o his parents: Steven and Cynthia Hill, 1015 1st Avenue North, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126. The Linn's Funeral Homes Iowa Falls Chapel has been entrusted with the arrangements.

Jonathan David Hill was born October 11, 1980, at Cedar Falls, Iowa, the son of Steven and Cynthia [Peters] Hill. He graduated from Iowa Falls High School with the class of 1999. He attended Ellsworth Community College for a years and a half. He was employed as a laborer with Mulford Steel Fabricating, Hampton, Iowa. He was a kind and gentle soul who had love for all.

Jonathan Hill is survived by his parents: Steven and Cynthia Hill of Iowa Falls, Iowa; one sister: Sarah Hill of Ankeny, Iowa; two brothers: Luke Hill of Ankeny, Iowa, Matthew Hill of Iowa Falls, Iowa; his maternal grandparents: Marvin and Patricia Peters of Blue Springs, Missouri; and his maternal great grandmother: Louise Peters of Kansas City, Missouri. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents: Francis and Margaret Hill.

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Pastor Steve's Dad & Counselor Training

I wanted to post an update on my blog about my Dad. Dad is doing much better! I stopped by to see him the other day and he was getting around the house very well. He is still very tired and has a long way to go but he is home with Mom and they are very happy.

Thanks to all who were praying for him ... keep it up!

April 27 & 28 were the dates for counselor training at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp. About 150 people showed up for the retreat and it was a very profitable time. The keynote speaker this year was Pastor Bob Fields from Illinois. As always Pastor Fields did a fantastic job with the preaching of the Word. Very convicting and very challenging.

The workshops that I attended were very well done. One that I attended was hosted by Pastor Scott Owen and was on the use of questions in counseling. The idea is that as we talk to people and try to help them work through their problem we should ask pertinent questions. One statement that Pastor Owen made was that "questions tweak the conscious and accusations harden the will". As you think about is I know I would rather have someone ask me a thought provoking question rather than just assume they know my thoughts and motives.

I had the chance to get together with almost all of my Special Camp staff at the retreat. I used it as an opportunity to make sure that we were all on the same page with the teachers, crafts and counselors. As usual everyone was on top of their game and had everything ready to go. My staff makes me look good!

I remain,
Pastor Steve