Friday, December 24, 2010

Have a Joyous Christmas! God Loves You!

Christmas is all about Love.  The reason Jesus Christ was born was because God is love.  The Bible tells us that God sent His Son to this earth, born of the virgin Mary.  He came to teach, show God, love, heal and help. But above all He came to save!  Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.
Titus 2 (NKJV) tells us:
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works."

Titus chapter 3 tells us more about Jesus' coming-
4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."

So rejoice! Salvation has come!  Believe it, live it, tell it!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Pastor Mike

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christian fellowship NOT BORING!

So many people think the Christian faith is boring! Not so!  I had a great time AGAIN! with my brothers in Christ at our church men's group Bible study.  We laugh and joke and enjoy each other so much. We discusss the deep things in life like the future, our faith and our concerns.  We pray together and  wash dishes together too.  It is the high light of our week for us in the group. We wonder why more guys from our church don't take part?  We know we would welcome them warmly.  We are praying more will come.  We got into a great discussion on healing and praying for healing from Matthew 18 I believe it was. Not a boring time but a very interesting uplifting time! So many never have this with other brothers in the faith. And they are missing out!

Ever do anything you regretted?

I have done alot of things I have regretted. Some of them I won't talk about here. However one thing I regret doing I can talk about here.  In 2003 or so I bought a stock car roller from Camcoupes in Oklahoma.  It was a chevy metric car roller with a 32 Ford fiberglass body.    It had a roll cage and rear end in it. I bought this used with just a few hours on it. It had been raced.  But it was in fine condition. Maybe later I can post some photos of it when I got it. I put a 305 Chevy V8 in it, Chevy automatic transmission (the engine and transmission came out of an old station wagon!) We installed bucket seats, harnesses, speedometer, horn, guages,(I found out after getting a speeding ticket with it that the speedometer was off!) we welded up bumpers out of steel tubing, put a stock car racing gas tank in it, new racing radiator and lights and windshield.  We also installed side pipes with flow through mufflers.  We, I say we, because my good friend Ryan Benson helped by doing the welding!   I had to get it inspected by the State of Iowa to get a title for it.  Here is what is looked like when I was done with it.

This car was so so fun to drive. On a summer's eve, my wife Diane and I would go to Cedar Rapids and drive around. Lots of comments as you can imagine.  We had it painted up to witness to our faith in Jesus Christ. The number 0 stood for our standing in Jesus Christ. In Him we are declared righteous and God sees us just as if we had never sinned (even though we do sin and I am a sinner!)  God does this by the death of His Son Jesus Christ on the cross!  A good friend Diane SyWassink painted on some lettering and a beautiful cross on the front radiator cover.  The car was painted red and white on purpose. The red represented the blood of Christ that washes us from our sin. The white represented the white robes we will wear one day that represent our righteousness that is a gift from God.   I sold the car because I wanted to buy an airplane project. The airplane project ended being sold too because I discovered there was no way I could afford to finish it. The street legal Camcoupe was sold to a guy in California. I wonder what it looks like today? The fellow who bought is said he cut the top off of it...I bet it looks pretty neat!
I have wished on many a day that I had the car back.  It was crude by hot rod standards, but boy it was fun to drive!  Maybe someday I will build another one!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A neat video

Diane and I like to visit the Amish areas of Iowa. We have also visited Amish communities in Ohio and Pennsylvania.  The simple life is appealing to us. And we like to see the farms and animals and the people are wonderful.
Here is a neat video, that I did not take, but found on the net. It shows all the horse power needed to bale the hay there. I have fond memories of baling hay as a boy on the farm. But we never used horses to do it!


We had our first snow of the winter last night. About 1-2 inches. Just enough to get everything white.  I miss the summer time. But the winter time time to dream of what I want to do next summer!  I think I appreciate the summer and nice weather more because I do experience winter. I tollerate the winters better now than I did 20 years ago.  I think it is a combination of several things, gaining weight (not so cold in the winter outdoors) a good winter coat that I have had the last 13 or so years, and having equipment to move snow!  I don't like shoveling!

Friday, November 19, 2010

teens and teen parents

Recently there was a teen suicide in a town near us.  It happened in the school. We forget sometimes just how hard it is to be a teenager.  School mates can be very cruel and mean. Teens are trying to find themselves, and if the high school environment is harsh, cruel and not accepting, it can be a very rocky road for a teen to ride.  As parents of teens we need to listen to our youth and spend as much time with them as we can.  We really need to develop that relationship before they become a teen.   Their is a constant struggle going on in the teens life. They are growing up and should be getting more independent.  But parents know that this time can be a time when decisions and feelings may lead their teen down a path that could be damaging.  So we try to guide and help the best we can. Lots of pray is in order that is for sure. I know I was not a perfect parent,,, just ask my grown children!  Teens want to run their own lives.  They think they know it all, but just ask any adult in their 40's if they knew it all as a teen they will tell you they thought they did, but did not have a clue!  Teens need to know above all that their parents care and wiill always be there for them and take time to listen to them.  Coaching is in order and time spent listening.  Sometimes the best way a teen will learn is to make their own mistakes.  Sometimes they need to guided out of a dangerous path onto a safe one. But parents need to listen and pray so they can be given discernment.  Ultimately, we are dependent on the Lord as parents to guide us in our parenting. 
     Training can also be in order for parents.  There are many good books and resources available.Last year in our church we offered a Sunday School class that was on parenting for about 4 months.  Sadly not too many took the class.  How many times have I seen as a pastor where parents get in a critical situation and wish they would of had some training?  Many.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Stock Car Racing..when the big cars came to the track!

Once a year, the IMCA stock cars came to the Columbus Junction track. It was always during the county fair time.  And it was a big thing for a  young boy like me to see the new big cars! These were not the older cars, but the late models! Ernie Derr ! Ramo Stott! (my family had a Plymouth family car so these were my guys!) Ron Hucherson, Ole Brau, and others.  I can remember sitting in the stand, and Ernie Derr pulled out for time trials in his number 3 Plymouth (the only year I think he drove a Plymouth) and opened up the Hemi motor! Boy of boy did the stands shake! (Yes he did drive a Plymouth- check out this photo-
Note the hauler of the timess this was no semi or no trailer!)
Ramo and Ernie would get after each other!  Oh to see them race again!  I wish! Here is a photo above of them at the Iowa State Fair grounds, I think! Ramo in #0 and Ernie in #1. Oh how I long to see racing again where the stock cars looked like cars people drove on the street!  You could tell who had a Ford, who drove a Dodge or Pontiac!

MVSC Stock Car Racing-Remembering some childhood memories

For lots more on MVSC stock cars see my website:

When I was a child, I was a big fan of stock car racing.  My grandparents and my parents took me and my 3 brothers to "the races" on Saturday nights.  We used to go watch the MVSC (Mississippi Valley Stock Car Club, I think it was) at Columbus Junction, Iowa (Louisa County Fairgrounds 1/2 mile oval) and at West Liberty, Iowa (Muscatine County Fairgrounds 1/2 mile oval).  Each Saturday night they would alternate where they raced. Since we lived closer to Columbus Junction, this is where we went more often. I can remember like it was yesterday the smells, cigarette and cigar smoke, the burned gas and oil, beer and popcorn and the sounds of the engines, and the crowd.  Being so excited over what was happening.  I remember drivers these drivers: Mark Mosier,  Stan Crooks,  Mel Morris, Dave Dodder, Johnny Moss, Pokey West, Ralph Erickson (the leadfooted farmer!),  Mike Neffinger,  John Verrink,  Bill Hop, and many others. 55-57 Chevy's, Pontiacs, Fords, Mercs, Dodges, Olds, those cars were really neat. Here are a few photos courtesy of Iowa Stock Cars website Memory Lane (these photos were given to Iowa Stock Cars by various individuals)
This photo was taken at Columbus Junction.  Mike N. is on top and I think it is Mark Mosier (I remember when he drove that Pontiac!) on the bottom.  Mark was my favorite driver, although I liked many of others too.  I remember a hot summer night at Columbus Junction when Ralph Erickson from Lockridge, Iowa and Mark Mosier from Washington, Iowa were both running fast in the front!  They were running neck and neck!  It was so exciting! And then Ralph went over (or got pushed over)the back stretch was he mad when he came back to the line up after the red flag! The announcer would always talk about Ralphy as the lead footed farmer with baler wire holding things together!  I wish I had a photo of Ralphy's car about that time. I can't remember if it was Pontiac or an Olds or Buick. I think it might of been a Buick.  Below is another car from those days...

This above is Dave Dodder from Letts Iowa, where I grew up, and Dave was a neighbor of ours. We always rooted for Dave! Two others we always watched close-

These two drivers were always on top in the points race. John Moss in #1 and Mel Morris in #32.  Mel seemed to get more boos from the crowd at CJ track.  Great drivers.  Always exciting to watch. Always in contention with Mark Mosier for the season champion.

Above is Pokey West.  My first memories of Pokey was that he had an old coupe when other folks had newer cars.  And he was Pokey!  But then one year he got this car above and we could not believe how Fast he was! He won races! Pokey was no longer Pokey!  Here is a article from speed blitz website-  and it is a flash back to those days.

Pokey West captures MVSC feature event

Columbus Junction, Iowa (May 10, 1970) – After several restarts, Pokey West of West Chester picked up the checkered flag for his first feature win in the Mississippi Valley Speed Club this season on Sunday evening.
Benny Hofer of Rock Island, competing in the MVSC for the first time this season, was leading the 25-lap feature when he went high in turn three and went over the top of the track. Neither driver nor car was injured but Hofer was sent to the rear of the field.
On the 18th lap, Jerry Onnen of Wilton Junction went high in the same turn but he took a couple of hard bumps over the turn and was out for the rest of the event. No injuries occurred.
West took over the top spot and held off a hard-charging John Moss of Iowa City to the checkers. Bud Darting of Columbus Junction, Mark Mosier of Washington and Bill Hop of Muscatine rounded out the top five.
West turned in the fastest time of the evening with 26.56 seconds. Larry Jenkins of Wilton won the 5-lap trophy dash. Hofer, Moss, Bob Helms of Rochester and Ron Perdock of Washington were heat winners.
Feature results –
  1. Pokey West, West Chester
  2. John Moss, Iowa City
  3. Bud Darting, Columbus Junction
  4. Mark Mosier, Washington
  5. Bill Hop, Muscatine
  6. Bob Kleindolph, Muscatine
  7. Gary Redlinger, Wellman
  8. Ralph Erickson, Lockridge
  9. Dan Robertson, Muscatine
  10. Don Morgan, Muscatine

Friday, September 17, 2010

Queen Bee doing her work

This is one of my queen bees. I raised her and she is huge, I think. I hope she is a good queen.
Here is a photo of my bees and friend Mark is the beeman in the photo-

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Blog Spot

My old blog spot web server is closing. So I went looking for a new one and landed here. 

Enjoyed going to Midwest Old Threshers in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa yesterday.  It is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy the old tractors and farm equipment.  Above is old wind generators from years ago.  I took lots of photos of tractors, steam engines and some horses too. We enjoy Old Threshers because we can take Libby our Shetland Sheepdog with us.  She is a great attraction there, and many people stop to pet her.