Random Musings, Volume 4 | Week of December 12-18, 2021

Come winter, virtually nothing stops in the great white north–even fishing. Here’s Travis Hovde, pastor of Eagle’s Wings in Minot, showing off a nice northern pike pulled out of Lake Metigoshe while ice fishing. Life in the amazing North Central Region! Way to go Pastor Travis!

By the way, Lake Metigoshe State Park is a must see when visiting North Dakota.

Jeff Heber, God bless him, first introduced me to Pizza Ranch for a Sunday lunch in Minot a few years ago. They have an amazing concept. They are known for their excellent pizza and fried chicken. How good is that! Then throw in a excellent salad bar, soft ice cream and dessert pizzas and you’re getting pretty close to perfect. One of the things I like about Pizza Ranch is that they are willing to go to small towns. They have kept me alive on my many travels across this vast region I serve. Over the weekend I added another location to my growing list of Pizza Ranch visits. Sonja and I enjoyed dinner with Jeff/Katie Bowman our pastors in Rapid City. We ate at the Pizza Ranch in Sturgis, SD. Thank you Mr. Pizza Ranch! (Whoever you are.) And THANK YOU Pastor Jeff and Katie for the amazing job you’re doing!

Why do I feel like I’ve got to clear all those blue notifications on my Facebook feed. 😦

By the way, if you are using a product for free (Facebook for example), you are not the customer, you are the product. Nothing is for free…at least not in this universe.

I’ve really enjoyed this site, it gives the top ten all-time best selling Christmas albums/projects.

By the way the Evangel is a well written magazine chocked full of interesting and inspiring stories like this one. Click here to subscribe.

There’s the neatest story in the November/December addition of the Evengel. It recounts how a member of the Elberton Church of God sent out requests for assistance towards a building project for his church. He sent it to everyone he could think of–including Frank Sinatra–who sent a check for 5000.00 (23,000 in today’s dollars). Pretty neat huh?


Around 1987 my wife received the “Gerry Award” for being an outstanding employee at McDonalds and was awarded one share of McDonald’s stock. In our younger years we both worked for McDonalds. I did not receive the Gerry Award 😦

Adjusted for splits, it was valued at 3.00. As I type this a share of McDonald’s stock is 265.65 and pays an annual dividend of 5.52 (almost double the original price). That’s the true power of the Stock Market. Ordinary people can become part owner of solid companies they believe in and like and enjoy the profits for the rest of their life. See this link for a good example of solid companies that have raised their annual dividend for at least 25 years in a row.

Sonja and I headed home for Christmas on Friday. Normally we stay in Minneapolis the first night of our journey. Instead, we pressed on another couple hours and stayed in Eau Claire, WI. Since all the sad events that happened last year we haven’t stayed in Minneapolis. When the violence and mayhem occurred in NYC and Chicago…even Atlanta, I was not surprised. But Minneapolis!? It was like discovering that that longterm nice next door neighbor was in fact a serial killer. I know, I’ve got to move on but for now, I’m still processing. I suspect it is going to take awhile for all of us to process 2020.

We ate dinner in St. Elmo, MN at a new (and excellent) restaurant: Machine Shed.

Sonja reads to us when we travel. She’s currently reading an Inspector Allyn mystery. One of the characters is named Nigel; I like that name.

A few standout quotes:

  • “Someone who brags about working seventy or eighty hours (or more) a week probably thinks he is the master of his job—but in reality, he has become its slave.” _Billy Graham, Nearing Home
  • “As a military chaplain’s wife you either are flexible or medicated.” – Tami Gibson / Military Chaplain’s wife
  • “It is true that you cannot change your past…but you can change your opinion of your past.” _Robert T. Kiyosaki, Retire Young Retire Rich
  • “Campbell Morgan expressed it well: It is the crucified man that can preach the cross. Said Thomas ‘except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails… I will not believe’. Dr. Parker of London said that what Thomas said of Christ, the world is saying about the church. And the world is also saying to every preacher: Unless I see in your hands the print of the nails, I will not believe. It is true. It is the man… who has died with Christ…that can preach the cross of Christ.” _John Stott, The Cross of Christ

Book recommendation for the week: Hidden Christmas – The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ, Timothy Keller

  • This is an excellent read for the season.

That does it for this week. Here’s hoping you have a great weekend and a standout new week. If you’re traveling for the holidays next week – Godspeed! If you’re waiting on family to arrive, don’t stress too much. They’re not coming to see how clean your house is. And if you are not traveling and no one’s coming…you’re not alone the moment you turn your thoughts toward Jesus.

Blessings to all…keep Running2Win!

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