Monday, November 29, 2010

Saying "So Long" To The Hart's

After 3+ years at the Iowa Regular Baptist Camp, Aaron Hart accepted a call from a church in Colorado to serve as an associate Pastor. He and Anna, his wife, moved last Friday afternoon.

Not only did the Hart's work and minister at the camp but they were members at the Clear Lake Church. So for Lynn and I we not only said "So Long" to camp staff friends or church members but to folks that we had cultivated strong personal friendship.
Knowing the truth that we only say "so long" in this life & that we will see each other again ... (here, there or in the air) ... this is still tough on me. However, I'm so very thankful for the time that I have had to spend with Arron and Anna. They will be missed but I'm very excited about God's working in their lives!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Day 2010

Thanksgiving Day was a day of great travel for the Clear Lake Cox's! We rolled out of Clear Lake at 8:30 AM, picked up Philip & Susan in Ankeny and made our way to Grimes for a family Thanksgiving! Returning home at about 9 PM.

Arriving at my sister's, the familiar smells of Cox Family Thanksgivings of years past greeted us, turkey in the oven, there is nothing like that smell anywhere!

More family arrives and then it is time for the appetizers, Roasted Red Peppers & Crostini, Smoked Trout spread w/ crackers, veggie and dip tray and hummus spread. All very tasty!

Now it was time to take the turkey out to "rest".
 What a thing of beauty! My Mom out did herself again; 24 pounds of turkeylicious goodness!

Everything on the table, let the feast begin!

 I hope your day was as incredible as our! God Bless and be Thankfull!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bits & Balderdash - 11/22/10

Here's the Deal:


Best: Harvested a deer on Friday, Saturday Youth Rally in Forest City, Sunday morning 3 people walked forward for church membership and Sunday evening our annual Thanksgiving Supper!

Worst: Hawkeyes & Vikings loses over the weekend, Aaron & Anna Hart's last time at church with us as they are leaving for Colorado soon for a new ministry (Happy for their new ministry but sad they are leaving!)


Pastor Seiler & Family
On Saturday we attended the "Y" youth rally in Forest City. As always we bagan the rally at the church with Pastor Farrell's crazy games followed by our speaker, Pastor Dennis Seiler from Faith Baptist Church in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Pastor Seiler did a fantastic job with a great message on "Bogus vs. Real Believers".

After the message we got some nourishment ... Walking Tacos! Always a crowd favorite. Along with the tacos there were a number if dessert bars and soda pop to drink. Once we piled away all the food we could stand ... We headed off to the Forest City "Y" for a time of fun & games and tournaments!

Wally-Ball (Stock Photo)
Basketball, volleyball, dodge ball & wally ball tournaments were organized and the young people could also use the game room (ping-pong, air hockey & billiards were available there) and the swimming pol was open as well. All of the left over dessert bard and bags and bags of chips were set out along with water and soda pop for everyone to enjoy as well.

We started about 3 PM and the "Y" closed at  9 PM. I think everyone had fun and are looking forward to our next rally!


After a loss to the Packers on Sunday afternoon, the Vikings season is officially DEAD! What a complete buzz-kill! After the great run last year and the incredible potential for this year, that by week 9 of the season the Vikings are dead in the water, fired their head coach, have a 41 year old cripple for a quarterback who can never figure out when it is time to quit and the back-up quarterback whose biggest fan and supporter was just fired!


Congratulations to Jimmy Johnson for his historic 5th NASCAR title in a row! That is an accomplishment!

That's it for now ......

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Archery Season 2010 - OVER!

Doe - Stock Photo
Yesterday afternoon at about 4:15 my 2010 archery season came to an end with a 12 yard shot on a huge doe. After the shot she turned and ran about 75 yards before tipping over.

The shot: 12 yards, slightly quartering towards me. Complete pass through double lung with a Muzzy MX-3 100 grain fixed broad-head.

The Story: I has seen these deer (3 in all) milling around maybe 100 yards away for quite awhile when I noticed they were beginning to make their way toward me in my stand. They followed the field edge and passed in front of me at about 30 yards and I thought that was it and they would just walk on by! However, there was something this big doe did not like, just past my stand she stopped, sniffed the air and began to back up. There had been a house cat in the area earlier but I'm not sure if that spooked her or not. Either way she turned and passed by my stand again at 30 yards but this time she turned into me at a very small opening.

She began to close the distance followed by the two smaller doe. I was able to position my self in my stand, pick my shooting lane and attach my release. I'm ready! When she hit the 12 yard mark I gave a soft grunt, she froze and I released my arrow, arrow hit the mark and the spun and run was on! I actually watched her go down from my stand, after all of the hard hunting & preparation that goes into the archery season - ti is icing on the cake to get to see your prey go down after a well placed shot!
 What a day! An incredible animal, a good shot and a very crisp beautiful day in the deer woods. What a blessing!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Friday, November 19, 2010

My First Venture Into Lutefisk

Last evening I was given a very special ticket, one of only 350 for the Annual Lutefisk Dinner at the Lutheran church in Hanlontown, Iowa. This is my very first opportunity to try this Norwegian favorite, but this was not just about the Lutefisk but about a number of Norwegian/Swedish delicacy's.
Let's start with some notes on Lutefisk. Literally translated, Lutefisk means lyefish, which refers to the early process of soaking where a lye solution made of birch ashes was used in the "luting"   process. Lutefisk is Cod, or stockfish.

Pickled Herring
Arriving at the church we were escorted into the foyer and given appetizers of pickled herring and Lutefisk brats. Yes, I just said Lutefisk brats, now that is a weird combo, a pork and fish brat. However, the pickled herring was incredible!

After being ushered into the auditorium and a word of prayer, we were called by table into the fellowship hall where the feast began in earnest! The first item brought to the table was mashed potatoes followed by a huge platter of Lutefisk, corn, cranberry/marshmallow salad, mashed rutabagas, Swedish meatballs and lefse.

Swedish Meatballs
Watching the others I learned that after putting the Lutefisk on your plate you smother it in melted butter, add salt & pepper to taste and enjoy. And I DID! It was very good and I had a couple of helpings. The rutabagas were okay, they had the consistency of squash. I really like the potato lefse with butter and cinnamon sugar. The mashed potato's and Swedish meatballs were incredible good.

   Following the meal the dessert began to come out of the kitchen. WOW!!! Pastries and goodies that were mouth watering. Those goodies and strong black coffee made for the perfect end of a great meal with good friends & fellowship.

Final thoughts on Lutefisk: Not too bad. I would not want to eat it every day but I it was a surprise to me that it was very tasty! If you get the chance ... give it a try!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve 
Rommegrot (Cream/Flour)


Monday, November 15, 2010

Best & Worst of the Weekend

Well, it's Monday morning and I'm sitting in the hospital waiting room with a family waiting for word on an open heart surgery patient.

So let's cover the Best & Worst of the Weekend:

Best: Philip & Susan came home for the weekend with some other friends from college; Tons of great food; wonderful day Sunday at church!

Worst: Hawkeye's loss; Viking's loss.

How was your weekend????

Pastor Steve

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bits & Balderdash

Time for an up-date on life in North Iowa!

The first major winter storm of the season invaded North & Western Iowa yesterday and last night. There were forecasts of 8 -10 inches of snow. All of this was to stay to the West of Clear Lake ... and it did! All we got was rain, rain and more rain! Someone once told me ... "you don't have to shovel rain!" I like that.

A year ago today one of the most influential men in my life stepped into eternity. Tom Hammond was a friend, Pastor, mentor and leader in my life. After I came to know Jesus Christ as my Savior in 1981, it was Tom who was willing to invest into my life and teach me and model for me what it meant to live for and walk with Jesus. I had not talked with Tom for maybe over a year when I heard he had died in a car accident - If someone had impacted your live DO NOT do what I did ... tell them now while there is still time! Thank you June for sharing Tom with a bunch of college kids - We love you!

This weekend I have 3 college guys, Philip & Susan here. Last night we had "killer" pizza and this morning for breakfast: eggs, bacon, hash browns & onions, biscuits & gravy. There was nothing left after breakfast was over! What a great time with a great bunch of kids!

The Archery Deer Season is in full swing and the rut is on here in Iowa! I'm seeing lots of deer and I'm ready to harvest mine as soon as something come in range (under 20 yards).

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fall Teen Retreat @ Camp Fairwood

I had the incredible privilege and opportunity to be asked to speak at the Fall Teen Retreat @ Camp Fairwood in Westfield, Wisconsin. This was a 3 day retreat beginning on a Thursday and ending on a Saturday. I was to speak five times over the three days.
What a great retreat! There were over 100 teens in attendance and what a great bunch!


Besides the speaking sessions there was free time, organized activities, and a bunch of games and actives from shooting .22 rifles to playing paintball!

Many decisions were made to the glory of God and even one teen guy indicated that he need to know Jesus in a personal relationship. Very exciting stuff!!!

By The Way .... I found my favorite place on the camp ground! In the dinning hall there was a fireplace at one end and I often found myself sitting with a cup of coffee just staring at the fire! there is nothing like a good roaring fire! Brad Dickinson caught me in just one of those moments; enjoying the fire and a cup of coffee!

What a great time! Met a bunch of new friends and got to see God's Word impact the lives of everyone in new and unique way. I am so thankful to be used of God and be counted worthy to be in His service!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve

(PS: Thanks to Brad for the pictures)

Best & Worst of the Weekend

Best and worst of the weekend:

Best: Got my mother-in-law moved to Clear Lake safely! Iowa Wins; Vikings Win! Faith Baptist Bible College Orchestra and Hand Bells in our evening service @ the Clear Lake Church.

Worst: ISU loss by a point - great disappointment!

Sooooo ... How about you?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Quick Update

Just wanted to drop by and give a quick update on life in North Iowa!

Took a marginal shot at a deer with my bow, bad shot = no deer in freezer. Hopefully hunting hard this week with better results.

Lynn's Mom moved in with us for what is to be a short (3-4 months) stay and then looking for an apartment in the Clear Lake area. This is stretching for all three of us but God is good and give grace where needed.

Got a chance to go visit Dan & Maggie & the boys last week! What a great time. They are doing so well and Dan really loves him new ministry in Grinnell.

OK, I'm out for now but hope to be blogging again soon!

Best and Worst of the Weekend coming up soon ... start thinking about your now!

I Remain,
Pastor Steve