Friday, August 26, 2016

Thank you, GOD, for…
  • JESUS!
  • The HOLY SPIRIT, who lives within us and moves among us, who convicts, leads, transforms, empowers, heals, encourages, comforts, intercedes, helps, gifts, teaches, bears witness, indwells, bears fruit, fills, influences, invites, renews, …
  • Bringing Patti and Jessica and I to Rochester, MN to live and worship three years ago, August 17, 2013.
  • Rising up seven godly men who have accepted becoming deacons this day, August 28, 2016, in our church family.  As You know, God, we "have not passed this way before" -- appointing deacons in this church family.  Thank you also for our 3 shepherds who were appointed just 4 months ago, April 24, 2016.
  • Bringing so many God-seekers among us in the last 3 years from China, India, Africa, Mexico, Malaysia, the Philippines, America (even Texas!) smile…
  • The 55 adults and children who have come our way since August 2013
  • All the babies and young children in our congregation; the four mothers among us who are now pregnant; all parents passing on a sticky faith to their children
  • The loved ones we’ve lost, who suffered well, and now dwell with You forever.
  • Those whom we love who moved away and left a big hole in our hearts & family
  • Our new babes in Christ (one who shared the gospel with a co-worker, baptizing him before the co-worker went back home to China.)
  • Our older saints and widows in Christ Jesus
  • Weekly guests from our two houses of Compassion and those who serve them
  • Workers from Mexico who come 6 months out of the year and encourage us
  • Mayo residents, nurses, employees and their families 
  • Our unity along with our diversity of race, ethnicity, religious backgrounds
  • Those who have been members here for over 10, 20, 30 or more years
  • All our marriages, ranging from 1 to over 50, 60, and recently 71+ years.
  • Having our own Mayo chaplain who is loving, caring and so qualified to minister
  • Those who volunteer to clean the bathrooms, vacuum the building, provide rides for our shut-ins, fix our frozen pipes in winter, take care of the premises…
  • The different ministries of crocheting afghans, quilting, HOC, providing school supplies in Mexico, housing for the needy, serving those with special needs, …
  • All our grace-gifted servants, givers, mercy showers, encouragers, teachers, song leaders, speakers, exhorters, shepherds, evangelists, administrators, helpers, and those given to hospitality. 
  • Our middle school and high schoolers who are maturing in their desire to seek GOD and serve HIM in a multitude of ways. We're witnessing THE WORD being shared, along with many acts of service, including cutting grass, landscaping, babysitting, cleaning, making cards, etc.
  • Those outside of Rochester who have supplemented Steve's salary and professional expenses budget over the last 3 years.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Below is a letter (I just ran across) that I wrote to God on February 27, 2012.  It’s raw and humbling, but it’s also exactly what I was feeling at the time.

Dear God,
     It’s been a long time, too long.  I repent.  The spray of the waves, the roar of the wind, the turbulence of the waters wrapping around my legs captured my focus and attention.  Interestingly enough, even though drowning, being overwhelmed, and finding myself powerless to save –     I failed crying out to You!  For so long, I have kept trying with all my human resources and inner strength to keep my face above water.

     What kept me from crying to You for help?  My anger.  My frustration and hurt for the pain in my life and family.  The pain in so many families!  So, I judged You for the storm!  Oh my!  Who am I but a worm and not a man?  Forgive me.

     I’m back to square one in need of being poor in spirit and mourning over my own sin!  I know this is to be a continual state of the heart within me but I’ve gone into my “nothing” box so many times instead of before Your throne and into Your arms. 

     I am so prideful and stupid!  I have given up and given in.  I have been greatly tempted to give over to my own wants and desires.  Escape!  Leave the ministry!  Find a solitary place that is best for Jessica and with Patti -- live quietly, peacefully and in solitude!  Oh, it sounds so pleasing to my flesh.  To be completely honest, if I was financially able to do this I daresay it would have already happened!

     However, You just led me to read 2 Timothy.  I needed to hear Your wisdom through Paul to Timothy.  Thank You.

     Paul was abandoned, talked evil of, imprisoned, beaten – yet, he remained faithful to the end.  Not only that – he didn’t lose sight of those You had put in his path to disciple, equip, train, and mentor.

     Who have You put before me?  
Mike; Charlie; Shawn; John; Derrick; Jonathan; Brian; Troy; Tim; Dimitri; Tim; Steve; Bill; Bob; Brian....
     Not my will but Your will be done.  God, have mercy.  You are good.

                                                                                                                               Mr. Steve  

Thursday, August 4, 2016


When someone has gone through as much difficulty as she has and continues to pursue God --  amazing is the word that comes to mind.

Over the years, she and her husband have lost three children due to medical complications.  I said, “THREE CHILDREN!”  I’m not doing very good after the loss of one child.  I can’t begin to imagine losing three!

She’s had multiple surgeries, suffered a stroke, had many tumors removed -- even one that was located on her larynx or “voice box.”  And even now, with a “whisper” of a voice and great difficulty in swallowing,  she continues to praise God and not give up on life.

She and her husband are neighbors with another family who worship with us.  Her sister was here this past week from TN and even brought her granddaughter to witness Thursday night’s incredible event: her sister’s baptism into Christ.

Yes!  Brenda was baptized into Christ last Thursday.  Her spiritual birthday will be easy to remember.  It is the same day as 3 other of our family members physical birthdays! 

Brenda was born in MN.  She married her husband as soon as he came out of basic training almost 43 years ago, September 4, 1972.  Her husband is retired military after being in the Army for over 20 years. 

But again, the most amazing truth about Brenda’s story is her continual pursuance of God, no matter the difficulty.  Brenda has a strong, determined spirit of wanting to do what is right. She certainly did that last Thursday night!

Welcome to the Rochester church of Christ family, Brenda.  God has already taken away your sins (Acts 2:38), given you His Spirit (Acts 2:38; 5:32), and added you to the saved (Acts 2:47).  NOW THAT’S AMAZING... GRACE!
God is good.  Mr. Steve

“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”  Acts 5:32