Today (January 11) begins my first full day in Bismarck and the NCR for the New Year. Sonja and I arrived back yesterday around 3:00 p.m. from our holiday travels. (Thank God for traveling mercy!) It was also on this same day in 2018 that we first arrived in Bismarck. What a wonderful four years it has been. Such treasured new friends, new ministry, new sights, and lifelong precious memories. I’m looking forward to a great 2022 as we continue to Run2Win.
What for lunch?
- Two pieces of bread (whole wheat is more healthy)
- Put peanut butter on the bread (I prefer crunchy)
- Slice a banana and put slices on top of the peanut butter
- Put the two slices of bread together
- Voila! A peanut butter & banana sandwich!
Can’t get much better than that!
This week I started Mark Batterson’s book: Grave Robber, which is about the miracles of Jesus during his earthly ministry. I liked the title of the first chapter: The Day Water Blushed, (When Jesus turned the water into wine), and I liked this quote, it keeps things in perspective.
“Don’t seek miracles. Follow Jesus. And if you follow Jesus long enough and far enough, you’ll eventually find yourself in the middle of some miracles.”
Like those people who drive around chasing storms in hopes of observing a tornado, many people are more intrigued by the miracles of Jesus than they with Jesus.
Why do we name our cars?
Whatever the reason, I’ve always named my cars but I gave them all the same name—“Ole Betsy”. (I’m not very creative when it comes to naming things. Another example of this is that me, my son, and his son are all named David Lee.)
Why “Ole Betsy”? Beats me, but that has been the on-going name for every car I’ve owned…until now.
With the new Tahoe the Church of God in South Carolina donated to the Region for me to drive, Ole Betsy just didn’t seem right for that beast. So I’ve come up with a new name.
I’ve come up with the perfect Northwest name: Teddy (for Teddy Roosevelt).
I knew little of Teddy Roosevelt until moving to the Northwest but his bigger than life shadow still looms out here.
Honestly, if Teddy Roosevelt were alive today I suspect he would have driven a huge dually four-wheel drive truck most days, but most definitely a Tahoe would have been his Sunday-go-to-meeting drive.
Yelp, I’ve got this one right. Ole Betsy will not do for the Regional Tahoe – it has officially been christened: Teddy.
Something I’ve been thinking about lately.
You will never hear a parent say to their children, “Let me teach you how to play.”
Playing is as natural as breathing to children. Why is that? Share any thoughts you may have in the comment section at the bottom of this blog. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Money Matters: The Stock Market is off to a rocky start this year. But let me remind you of two things…
- Over the entire history of the Market (S&P 500) it has averaged over 10% meaning you doubled your money every 7 years if all you did was buy a no fee S&P index fund.
- On any given year, the odds are that the Market will be up.
For example, from 1980 – 2021 the Market was down only 7 times—on average, less than once every 6 years.
So don’t panic, buying low is the goal. This may be a season when great companies go on sale. And there are several brokerage companies that allow investors to buy fractional shares commission free.
So, there’s no excuse to save a dollar or two each week and become part-owner of some of the greatest companies in the world.
(Disclaimer: My goal with this section is not to be your financial advisor. I just want you to be money-smart for money gives you more options to do good things and live a better life.)
- The Bowdle COG averaged 66 in worship attendance in December—an all-time record! Way to go Pastor Vetch and Bowdle COG!
- Looking for a good opportunity to invest in the NCR? Our oldest Dakota church – New Life COG in Wahpeton, ND (Pastor David Kuhfal) gets hit each year with an “assessment” that they have to pay to the city of Wahpeton. It is pretty hefty. If you’d like to assist this dedicated congregation and pastor you can do so by mailing a check to: New Life, 1021 S. Center St. Wahpeton, ND 58075.
- “On September 11, 2001, four airplanes went down, in New York, in Washington, and in Pennsylvania. I was actually on an airplane when the attacks began. Todd Beamer was on one too. He did what I hope I would do, what I hope my son would do. An enemy was on his plane, using strength to harm innocent people. After secretly phoning people on the ground, Todd learned that other evil men were flying planes into buildings to kill innocent people. Realizing that these men planned to do the same with his plane, Todd wouldn’t—Todd couldn’t—stand for it. Here was a man with the heart of a warrior. It was time. He drew a line in the sand and said, “Let’s roll.” I don’t know exactly what happened on that plane. But one man with a cause greater than his own life made a stand: “I won’t let you kill innocent people. I will take you down, take this plane down. If I go down with it, so be it. I’ll give my life to save others.” That is the heart of a warrior.” — Fight: Winning the Battles That Matter Most by Craig Groeschel
- I highly recommend this book for any man and father of sons or for any woman who wants to understand men or has a son whom she prays will grow up to be a true man of God.
I spoke to my son earlier today (January 15). He and his family had loaded up earlier in the morning and headed out for Baltimore, MD (trying to get ahead of a projected winter storm) where they will depart on Tuesday for a three-year assignment in Germany for the US Army.
It all seems so surreal. Should I live, over the last three years and over the next three years (six years) I will only have been in the presence of my son and his family a very few days.
It is a reminder to treasure every single moment we have with those we love.
I know, in Jesus, we have the hope of being together forever in heaven, but heaven seems a long way away when you’re saying goodbye now.
Well, enough of that…
Here’s wishing you a great weekend.
Hug as many of your loved ones as you can and keep Running2Win.