Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Stinking Headcold

Ok ... Here is the deal, I had a meeting in the Ames area today.

Anytime I get in that area I always try to work out my day so that I can have lunch at Hickory Park!

Hickory Park is a BBQ joint whose smoked meats are just flat incredible. I am a huge fan of the H.P. fare.

Today I got my favorite, the regular rack of baby back ribs, coleslaw and baked beans. The problem is ... I have a stinking head cold and therefore, NO TASTE!

I'm not kidding at all! The only thing I can really tell you is that the meat was warm, the coleslaw was cold and the baked beans were not any better! At one point I put hot BBQ sauce on my ribs and all I got was burning lips!!

What a colossal waste of almost $18.00! Stinking head cold! It is just not fair! But there is always next time!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Saturday, February 20, 2010

"Pet Connection" - Hard Question

This morning as I was waiting for the news to come on the radio I caught the end of a program called "Pet connection", where people call in and get advice on their pets and how to train them.

The call I heard was a woman who was asking about her dog: the dog was born in 1992 (that is the date she gave) that would make the dog 18 years old, the dogs blind, deaf, full of arthritis and as of late the dog has been snapping at the owner. I was waiting for her to say the dogs name was "Lucky"! Her question was if there was anything the vet could do to increase the dogs quality of life.

I'm not trying to be mean or provocative but does there not come a time when the dog would be best treated by being put down. I'm not saying it would be easy and tears might not be shed but it would be the right thing to do.

Before someone asks "would you do that to the elderly people?" The answer is NO! There is a world of difference between animals and humans; animals were not created in the image of God. Frankly, I'm not interested in getting into a fire fight over animal rights vs. human rights.

Life is full of hard decisions ... this is just another.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Goodbye Mama Lacona's

If you follow my blog you know that one of my favorite restaurants in the Des Moines area is Mama Lacona's. As of February 28, 2010 Mama Lacona's will closed their doors and go out of business. You can read about the greasy details on the Des Moines Register web site, just search Mama Lacona's. I'm not a great grease trap mind, so I'll leave the whys and wherefore to the experts.

Mama Lacona's has been a part of my life and family for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid my Dad did sign work for Charlie Lacona and that began a relationship that has continued until now.

In my teen years I took most if not all of my dates to Mama's. I remember taking Lynn there and Charlie called me "little Roger" (my Dad's name) and made us a heart shaped pepperoni pizza. In latter years I've taken many friends there to eat and even introduced Nick to Mama Lacona's and he in turn took his girlfriend there as well. Circle of life thing, whatever, I digress.

Getting older is really no fun. Places you love, places you remember, places and things go by the way. Just gives me pause for thought. Des Moines without Mama Lacona's - Say it ain't so!

Pastor Steve

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Congratulations For Nick & Jessica

Congratulations for Nick Oliver and Jessica Paige for their announced engagement. The special day will be August 14th in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

I'm so very excited for this couple as Nick served as an intern at the Clear Lake Regular Baptist Church and has become a part of our family, my kids know him as the "other brother". We have known Jessica's family for years as fellow family campers at IRBC.

Lots of work ahead for Nick and Jessica as they work together planning their special day.

God Bless!

Valentine's Day & Hot Sauce

I'm not doing a very good job of keeping up on my blog!

Got back from the Biblical Counseling Training Conference in Lafayette, Indiana on Saturday after a stop at the Bethel Baptist Church in Oskaloosa, Iowa for a valentines banquet. That is the church where Daniel & Maggie are members. My friend Jesse Johnston called and asked me to speak at their banquet. We had a wonderful time, great meal serve by the church teens, a rousing version of the "Newly Wed Game" and a wedding cake dessert.

While at the banquet, Lynn and I got to sit with Juan and Sonja Munoz and Juan broke out the hot sauce for our dining pleasure. It was fantastic! For the most part I'm a Tabasco guy. A character trait I picked up from my Mom, but Juan got me started on Valentina Salsa Picante. This stuff ROCKS! I got a couple of bottles as soon as I got home, both hot and regular. I have been using it in my omelets and anything else I can think of... give it a try, I found it a WalMart for about a dollar a bottle. Good Stuff!!!

Sunday was a great day just being back in our church with our church family. I brought a message on God's love for this valentine's day that fell on a Sunday. Then had the opportunity to celebrate the Chinese New Year with  a couple of families in our church by going to a local restaurant. The Hunan was is great form and we ate like kings!

More to come!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Biblical Counseling Training Conference

I'm writing this in a motel room in Lafayette Indiana. I'm attending the Biblical Counseling Training Conference being held at the Faith Baptist Church.

For those of you who are not aware, at this conference there are 6 tracks available for attendees to choose. Tracks 1-4 are the basic core training tracks. Track 5 is for those attendees who are desiring to gain official certification from the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors (NANC). Track 6 is an opportunity to examine case studies and work through them.

Lynn and I are attending Track 5, we are seeking national NANC certification. For the most part this is a very tough Track mentally as you are working on two major tests. The first is a theological exam covering a number of doctrinal/theological issues and the second is a counselor's exam covering the nuts and bolts of the counseling process itself.

It has been a very good week so far although between the long days in class and the weirdness of being on eastern standard time, I seem to be extremely tired all the time. But the end result will be worth all the effort put forth in this intense week.

Like I tell my those who come to me for counsel ... Hard is hard;hard is not bad, hard is not impossible ... hard is just plain hard and we do hard things everyday!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Driving Bus Trips

As of Tuesday I'm done driving basketball trip for our local school district. It has been a good season driving but I'm ready for a break.

Monday afternoon it began to snow, the forecast was for somewhere between a half inch to maybe 3 inches. I had to drive from Ventura to West Bend. The trip over was not too bad but it was clear that this was about to be a bit more snow than was predicted.

The trip back to Ventura was not good. The roads were 95% snow covered and it was very hard to tell where you were on the road. The easiest plan was to just try to watch the center line! But the real challenge was from Garner to Ventura! A trip of only about 10 miles.

The road was completely covered with snow, on the right all you could see was the fence posts and there was solid snow all the way to the left until you got to the fence posts on the left! The snowplows had been pulled off the roads and with the ditches being full of snow, the roadways were a mess.

Traveling at 20 -25 mph, the only way to know where I was on the road was to ease over to the right side of the road until I reached the rumble strips and then ease back to the left. This process was done every so often as too keep me in my lane and out of the ditch!

This was by far the second worst experience driving a school bus. The very worst experience can be found in the blog archives titled "It's A God Thing", you can look it up.

Bottom line ... everyone home safe and that is always the real goal!

At least...That's the way I see it!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Tower Shoot @ Pheasant Haven

Saturday I got to try something that I had never done before, attend and participate in a Tower Shoot for pheasants. The event was held at the Pheasant Haven in Kanawha, Iowa.


First of all– it is not a hunt—it is a shoot. Don’t get me wrong, this does not mean that it puts the shooters at an advantage. To the contrary, it gives the birds the advantage. Europeans think that to shoot a pheasant over a dog when it is just getting up, while moving at a fairly slow speed is too easy. They say that to shoot a high flying bird after it has reached full speed is much more of a challenge. The object of our shoot is to give shooters the opportunity to shoot at a lot of birds in a short period of time.

The 30 foot tall tower is hidden in a patch of timber with 10 shooting stations positioned around it. Each station is approximately 60 yards from the tower and stations are about 60 yards apart. Some of the stations are in the timber, and some are along the edge where the timber and grass fields meet. 10 times during the shoot, shooters rotate to the next station so that everyone gets the same opportunity in the event that some stations are hotter than others. The operator in the tower will release one bird at a time. The pheasants start their flight 30 feet above the ground and accelerate up and over the shooting stations; usually two or more of the stations will have a shot at each bird as it soars out. Shooters must keep their shots between the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions to insure safety. This is fairly easy to do, since birds normally come out above tree height.

Here is a look at the day schedule:

Arrival Time: Anytime after 10:30 A.M.
Check In: 10:30 - 11:15 A.M.
Orientation & Safety Meeting: 11:15 - 11:45 A.M.
Dinner: 11:45 A.M. - 12:45 P.M.
Meet at Station #1: 1:00 P.M.
Half time break & Group Photo: 2:30 P.M. (Approximate)
Finnish: 4:00 P.M. (Approximate)

After the break & group photo, staff will start dressing the birds to avoid a delay for you after the shoot. All birds will be breasted and the birds will be divided evenly between the shooters.

The goal, according to our host, was to make this an experience that you will truly enjoy and remember for a long time to come.

There were approximately 150 birds released and a total of 110+ birds were bagged by 14 shooters. I ended up bringing home 8 cleaned birds ready for the freezer!

What a hoot!   Here are a few pictures:

Myself and John Kamberger

The Full Crew of Shooters