Legendary potluck

I consider the potlucks at the churches I serve (Salem and Belmont) to be legendary, but Sunday’s meal was one for the record books…and for a reason you might not expect.

This past Sunday, freezing rain slowed SW MN down to a crawl. Actually…it was way too slippery to even crawl.  Sidewalks, roadways, gravel, everything was covered in a very slippery coating of ice and I have a bruise on my leg and an achy arm to show for it.  My 8 mile drive from Belmont (my country congregation) to Salem was driven at 25 mph, which at times felt very fast for the conditions.  Call me a dare devil if you want, but I had another worship service to lead that morning.

As I inched down the slippery road, in town, going to Salem, I darn near slid right by the parking lot at a whopping 5 mph.  After managing to will my 4×4 Jeep to turn left, I slowly got to my garage.  I then gingerly crept over to the church with my arms full and hoping I didn’t fall again.  Upon entering the secure footing of the inside of the church building, I hurried to get ready.  You see…it was also annual meeting Sunday and I began to wonder if we were even going to have it.  I found my council president and walked to the sanctuary with him to access the situation.  Very quickly we decided to postpone the meeting for 2 weeks.  But what about the food those few people brought for the potluck?

We decided that since we were here and that there was food, why not eat it (following worship of course).  The hot portion of the potluck consisted of a crock pot of BBQ wienies and some corn hotdish thingy.  There were also a few relishes, some homemade bread, a couple salads and a bunch of desserts.  Not the healthiest meal in the world but very yummy.

The “legendary” status of this meal came in the fact that we all gathered together, at three tables, and ate.  Not one person minded the skimpiness of the selection.  There was laughter, conversations, fellowship and safety from the treacherous conditions.  And it was very clear to see that great potlucks are not measured by the quantity of food available for plate heaping but rather the quality of the time that is spent together with the Body of Christ.

Don’t get me wrong…I love those potlucks that force me to strategize my eating (so much food; so little plate and stomach room), but Sunday’s potluck will be one I will not soon forget.  Quantity or not, we had a great time.

Praise be to God!

The pastor -|—

Another crazy week

More winter storm madness on the way…

Christmas week was a crazy week with that nasty winter storm that dumped 20+ inches of snow on us.  It changed plans, canceled/postponed worship services and basically shut down SW MN for a couple days.  Well…round 2 is on the way…but not has big this time (but maybe more dangerous).

Wednesday, Jan. 6 we are in a Winter Storm Warning until Wednesday night and then a Blizzard Watch until Thursday afternoon.  Normally I would be giddy with excitement but I have two funerals this week.  There is family traveling (or trying to travel)…so now my prayers are for safety…once again.  What is it with winter weather and bad timing this year?  I just want to enjoy a snow storm without worrying about stuff going on at church.

In any case…please pray for these families as they travel and I will pray for a snow storm that fits my church (and personal) calendar a little better (I can dream…can’t I).



There are many joys of serving in Minnesota but this morning…joy #124…

…it is 31 degrees BELOW zero…-31…COLD…stay inside.  In Nome, Alaska (right now at 8:15am) it is 1 ABOVE zero.  Got to love it 🙂

Stay warm my friends.


Act of God?

A friend of mine posted this link in a Facebook message to a group of us and it sure got the few of us talking.  I post the link here to see what you link of it.

The Tornado, The Lutherans and Homosexuality

It is John Piper’s interpretation of the tornado that struck during the ELCA CWA in Minneapolis last Wednesday.  Was God sending the ELCA a message?  Check the link out and see what Piper has to say and then let me know here.  I am curios what your thoughts are.

I will let you know what my thoughts are later.


“Nice try”

My Palm Sunday has gotten off to a rocky start…

…first off…my stupid “smart clock” sprung ahead one hour this morning for day light saving time (I normally get up at 5:45am on Sundays…not at 4:45am).   And…”yes, I know”…day light saving time happened a few weeks ago, but my clock didn’t get the memo.  But here’s worst/funny thing about this whole thing…I wrote a post about this a couple years ago about this happening to me except that time it was in the fall and I overslept by one hour.  One of these years I will learn my lesson.

Second…last night an April snowstorm moved into the area.  We were in a blizzard warning, but it never materialized into the storm the Weather Channel was predicting.  But even though this blizzard fizzled out, it was still enough to cancel worship out at Belmont Lutheran Church (my small county congregation).  Roads are still pretty bad out in the country.

Third…because these two events happened on the same Sunday, I am really out of my rhythm.  As I am sure many pastors can relate to, I have a routine each and every Sunday that I depend on.  I know it may sound strange to some, but this routine is important.  Currently I am in my living room watching Fox News instead of preaching at Belmont.  I will be moving over to my office shortly to restart my morning routine (if that is even possible).

But in light of all these mishaps, it is Palm Sunday…the beginning of Holy Week…one of my favorite times of the year.  And even though my routine got thrown off; even thought I got one less hour of sleep last night; even though Satan has thrown a lot at me today already…the Gospel will still be preached.   Even though today got off to a rocky start, I can still say to Satan…”Nice try”.

Have a wonderful Palm Sunday and a blessed Holy Week.


An icy Monday

I live in Minnesota…and I love it.  I love (almost) everything about living here.  I love the changes in seasons; the variety of weather; the many lakes to enjoy; the people; and the list could go on.  But one the of the few things I do not like about Minnesota is the ICE.

On Saturday around 1pm-ish it started to precipitate a little so I decided to go for a quick run.  When my eye lids started sticking closed I decided it was time to cut things short.  By the time I finished my 25 minute run my front side was covered in ice.   What a weird feeling.  Of course…the ice outside stuck around until the next day (Sunday and a little today still) making my drive out to Belmont and back an adventure.  I am not sure how many of you out there have driven on a sheet of ice before but let me say this…”IT IS NOT FUN.”  Stopping was a luxury that forced me to think ahead (way ahead).   I did make it out to Belmont and back without an incident…and I have yet to hear of any in the last couple days (Praise God).  But with the good you have to take the bad I guess.

There’s got to be a lesson in there somewhere…right?

(1) Going through life we need to watch our step; we could slip and fall at any moment.
(2) Christ gives us life, but we still need to deal with sin (The good and the bad).
(3) Sin may be fun, but it’s slippery slope will hurt you and others.

I may be reaching…but leave it to a pastor to look for sermon illustrations in nearly everything.  Stay tuned, though, I have another sermon illustration coming up shortly; something that happened this morning.