Saturday, July 28, 2007

Too Many Chokecherries

In North Dakota there was always a tug of war between the bird and me regarding the chokecherries on our bushes out front.

They were up earlier and ate faster than we could pick. Jays, Robins, Gracklings, blackbirds. They all feasted at the Redlin table.

I was superficially irritated but I liked to see the birds eat too.

This year it's different. We have far too few apples, no bees. And at this late date the chokecherries are drying up on the branch. This is a bad situation.

I won't use them. We still have chokecherry jelly and chokecherry syrup (the secret is grind them WITH the pits, it's fabulous).

But there are no birds to eat the fruit ready to harvest. Oh there are birds but not cherry eating birds. Nile Virus. It's sad.

I don't know if other areas are short of birds this summer but I am. Come on you guys. The cherries are free and will never taste better.

Sad but Glorious Loss

Since there is next of kin to be notified I'll not say more than this loss of a man who was a family friend happened yesterday in a sad but glorious way. I know he would have wanted to go like this. At the helm of his beloved airplane. Many pilots who I know think of the time of their stepping from time into eternity at the yoke of their bird as an apt way to go. Beats 2 years at a nursing home.

Here's the story. The Forum hasn't acknowledged yet that a Dakota Pilot is the man in the story.

Hail to you Gerry, You died as you lived.

The Fargo Forum has now published the story.

A local WI TV station has told the story also.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Great Music

A Great Song is Jason Upton's Reason to Doubt from his CD FAITH.

He's a Minnesota Boy who's done good.

The Lyrics are below. If I could find it on line for you to listen to this great song I would. I looked but it's not there.

I lived my life for a while
Asking for signs to believe in
God played defense in my trial
Quietly hanging there bleeding
While i cast lots for his robe
While i point my bloody finger
He pays debts that i owe
He says "Father, forgive them"
I used to ask for a sign to believe in
But he never gave me a reason to ever doubt Him

Give me one reason to doubt He is Messiah
Give me one reason to doubt He is alive
Give me one reason to doubt i am the apple of His eye

Just one reason now
Just one reason to doubt
Ahh ah ah
Just one reason now
Just one reason to doubt
Jesus Christ

I see the faith of our fathers
Abraham, Issac, and Jacob
They never saw what was promised
But they never once felt forsaken
Through fire, famine, and sword
Tribulation and war
They never asked for a sign to beleive in
So tell me how we stand in judgment and ever doubt Him

Give me one reason to doubt He is Messiah
Give me one reason to doubt He is alive
Give me one reason to doubt i am the apple of His eye

Just one reason now
Just one reason to doubt
Ahh ah ah (x2)
Just one reason now
Just one reason to doubt
Jesus Christ

Computer Update Update

Well here it is nearly 3 weeks into it and Kevin hasn't killed me yet. I'm a joy to work with ; -)). We're almost up to full power. He seems not to mind my yelling at him all the time. I don't but I can get a little irritable.

We now have high speed. It works. I'm supposed to be able to download at 6 meg or something. It was the fastest ATT DSL sold.

Meanwhile my email provider went offline regarding outbound emails. I get them but I have to send under another email server. All in all silly.

The new HP computer with 2 gig of memory and 200 gig of drive and dual processors is OK. I could have lived without Vista. After 3 weeks it's still awful. If you have XP hang on to it for 2 more years. Maybe someday Vista will get straightened out. I looked at Office 2007 and downloaded Open Office (Free office suite). It's much better than the gobbledygook Microsoft put out. I had to download Realplayer since windows player doesn't play anything. Windows Mail is a joke. It's supposed to be the follow up to Outlook Express. DUMB is what it is. Good ol Thunderbird was Johnny on the spot.

The new computer is fast. Peggy's is full up to speed too. A new Power Supply (Quiet!) and another 384 MB of memory made it a real computer. The upgrade only cost $80.

So, I blog at lightspeed now. Hopefully I'll do some actual work soon.

I am listening to a great internet radio network. THE WELL.

High Speed has many advantages like listening to great music while working. I need to get a set of good speakers to enhance the experience. This is the kind of music that sooths the soul and causes vision to be recovered. Try it.

What's interesting is I personally know many of the artists on this feed. They are rooted in the House of Prayer Movement which kicked off in the late 90's in Kansas City. Peggy and I were present at the birth of this whole thing. That's where I'm headed, to the house of prayer in about 10 minutes. I do it every Friday Night.

Till Tomorrow.

Five Greatest Influences for Good in my Life

We are all influenced or influence everyone we meet every day.  I have been fortunate to have known 5 men who helped shape me into the man I have become.  I also want to help shape others to become the men or women they can become.   It's a "pass it on" obligation.  It's a debt I can't pay back to them but can pay forward to those yet to come.  So I do what I can do hoping a few men I can have some positive influence on will settle an unsettled debt.
Earl Redlin: I have written much about him but he is a role model and helped shape this man at a young age with humor, joy and the capacity to look past the situation at hand to what can be.  He is the man who never quit in spite of opposition from people all around.  He never quit working even well into his 80s. I learned much about doing the right thing from him.
Dr. Robert Godwin:  He was my Choir director in concert choir at NDSU for 3 years.  An ex-marine he was a taskmaster.  There were no excuses.  There was no failure.  Only better.  His good humor and ability to have fun when fun was to be had and still work at a difficult piece of music made emulating his style of direction a goal in my life.  He dreamed great dreams.  Now retiring in his late 80's he still finds things to challenge his soul.  I Learned about discipline to a task from him.
Clair Hudson:  My first real boss.  He was a top down manager who had a vision and who when he decided to follow it was unstoppable.  There was little democratic about his operating style.  Yet he loved his people.  He cared about them.  It's just that his expectation was that we would do what he said we were to do.  If we found success it was because we took the ball he insisted we take and ran with it.  Sometimes a tyrant driven by too much, he showed that Vision and Determination would overcome much.  I learned to never give up, never give in and keep the eye squarely on the ball from him.  I also learned not to be offended if someone yells at you.  Thicken up the thin places in your skin.  He used to say, "Steers try, bulls succeed, what is the difference?"   He implied in his own crude way that sometimes you just have to have the courage to act and quit talking about it.
Loehle Gast:  He was the man who got me into Dale Carnegie.  I always appreciated his positive attitude.  Eventually he hired me to form and teach classes which I did for over 10 years.  It was a great time in my life.  I learned the skill of standing before people and getting desired results.  But more important from Loehle I learned to find inspiration in everything I touched or saw.  No sparrow fell to the ground without a story.  Under his good hand I became a confident positive person and during my working with and for him taught thousands of people in speaking, sales effectiveness, management ability and dealing more effectively with others.  He took this rough cut piece of wood from rural Dakota and helped form me into someone who believes in himself with the help of God.  That was a part of my life I didn't up till then have the tools for.  He gave them to me.
Pastor Dan Rothwell:  When I first met Pastor Dan in the mid 70's I was impressed with his smile and willingness to be engaged.  I didn't become part of his Church until the early 80's.  I was newly converted from being a nominal Lutheran to a passionate Christian.  I wanted to find a place to grow.  He showed me.  The WOW factor was everywhere.  I had as a Lutheran never seen, heard or experienced anything quite like that.  I saw my first healing in my own body by the laying on of hands thru Pastor Dan.  Faith for health, finance, relationship, mental wholeness and a hundred other things took all the parts of the puzzle and brought them together.  Even when I resisted some of the "New Things" in the body of Christ he dove in with both feet and tested the water.  I became his friend and we spent much time together.  One Monday morning after a particularly way out Sunday Night I called him to ask why we went there.  His answer was a good one.  "If we don't give air to all the things that are stirring in the Body of Christ we will become stale and dry".   He agreed that the guy who has spoken and ministered was way off but that sometimes we need to hear a view that tests our own theology.  I learned much about managing time, managing ministry and the power of managing by expectation.  No one wanted to disappoint Pastor Dan.  If you said you were going to do something you did it.  He wouldn't yell, he'd just be disappointed.  Life in the spirit was for him an adventure to be tested and tried.  Before he was famous Benny Hinn came to our church.  Before he was famous Rodney Howard Browne came to our church.  He allowed people to come and be who they believed God wanted them to become.  He allowed me the same.  I learned from him that God has a call on every one, and we can encourage them to find it and develop it. 
Of course there are influences today in my life I value.  Todd Beery.  Don Lyon.  But today I am now on the other side.  I have a responsibility to pay back what has been deposited in me as best I can.  These formative people are all either in the late sunset years of life or gone on to heaven.  I can only do what I can today for those yet to come.  I hope I can pay it all forward.
 "When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments: tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become."
- Louis Pasteur

"A great man is one who affects the mind of his generation."
- Disraeli

"Nothing in life is more exciting and rewarding than the sudden insight that leaves you a changed person - not only changed but for the better."
- Arthur Gordan

"It is only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth--and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up--that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

"True contentment is the power to get out of every situation what there is in it."
- G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dakota Ghosts

Now and then in the eye of my mind I travel back to a North Dakota that may never have actually been except in the rosy color of my imagination.

Tickle of a breeze thru a tall cottonwood tree shaking the leaves with the spirits of the day.

Thousands of acres producing cattails and ducklings in abundance only God will ever be able to count.

From a high place 25 shades of green are in view, no wait 26; who can count? Huge round bales assembled like marshmallows waiting to be smores for a hungry animal in winter.

Pheasants spring up broods of tennis balls on feet chasing mom across the road. A daddy rooster soars overhead in all his oriental regalia unaware his gene pool scoots along under the canopy of grass just below him.

Wide and far horizons reveal every red purple and gold detail the palate of color sunrise and sunset extends. Infinite distance begs the eye to find the end of it all. We never do.

Vacant farmsteads and dying small towns with structures and populations
collapsing belie the beautiful ghetto that is North Dakota, betraying disappointment and promise.

Sunrises come too early and the dusks exceedingly late. Time doesn't seem to matter as much when there's more than you can spend before being spent. Pelicans gather in white pillows resting on the shore of ponds safely away. It's time to sleep and wake again. North Dakota I loved thee once. Sometimes a stirring at the hand of a better lover than I awakens a lost dream of you. Julie did. Read her post. It's beautiful.

Common Sense Lost Today

I won't go back in time. In this blog 5 days after Katrina hit I suggested that the best thing to do with the low places with empty ruined buildings in New Orleans rather than try to rebuild was bulldoze the whole thing, crush and landfill them. This is historically what people have done for centruies. Build on the ruins of former days. We have a landfill that is now a golf course near me. It works. It's less of an eyesore than the rat infestation that is now New Orleans.

Don't landfill a big mountain, just fill in the low places. New Orleans is lost anyway. It will never be what it was. Only wealthy folks are coming back. Heck they are even going to vote republican. Mayor Nagin is over.

So, once more, with gusto, bulldoze the whole works. Fill in the low spots, grow grass for a while then build on that in 20 years.

Here's a couple resources examples:

Chicago was expanded east into the lake after the Chicago Fire. Pretty much everything EAST of Michigan Ave is fill. Smart move. It needed to be raised.

From Comments to this Post:

It's amazing what they'll build cities on top of. Anything named Tel in the Mideast has probably got a mound of cities underneath it. A big thing in the western US is cities that raised their ground level, so you have everyone's old ground floor becoming the basement, as in "Underground Seattle" and even in my own town of Port Angeles. I know they raised Chicago a good 70' (20m) after the big fire in the 1870s. There are probably some pretty neat basements.
I think underground Atlanta is the same thing after Sherman leveled it. Why are we not doing what we should do in New Orleans and start over? Stupid Politics is why.

Otherwise we will have to do this:

HatTip to Barry Kolb

I disapprove of Bush

I heard an AP dispatch saying that nearly 70% of Americans disapprove of Bush's handling of the war in Iraq. Count Me among those people. I disapprove.

I think there are lots of people in my camp. We disapprove. We wish he would have and would still commit us to all out winning of this war once and for all. Use all (read that all) of the warfare tools, pull no punches. Arrest or kill Al Sadar. Forget the political mess. Crush the murderous insurgency with every tool available. That's why you have to read between the lines of a poll when it's published. Disapproval of handling doesn't mean disapproval of the war on terrorists.

I disapprove of GWB's Walk Soft Manner in conducting this war.

IF I WERE ABLE TO MAKE POLICY I WOULD: (White House I hope you are monitoring this phone call)

Give this notice to the Sunni Neighborhoods where most roadside bombs are (after the area is surrounded): You have 3 days to leave this neighborhood. After that it will be bombed to the ground. Only rubble will remain. You can escape death but as you exit we will interrogate, imprison who we want and in general treat every refugee as a potential criminal. Here are the gates from which you can escape. If you try to escape any other way you will be killed. You will be stopped, strip searched, interrogated, and suspected. Then after those 3 days, level the place. Leave not ONE stone on top of another. If anyone stays behind they are killed. Scorched earth policy.

Do this one neighborhood at at time until all insurgency is crushed. You wouldn't have to destroy every neighborhood. After a couple neighborhoods were crushed they'd be anxious to get the criminals out in the open pretty quick.

Declare free Kurdistan. Put borders up. They aren't Iraqi's anyhow. They aren't even Arabs. They are Kurds who are the Ancient Medes, as in Medes and Persians (Iranians) not Arabs either. Have as part of the freedom a debt to be paid via Oil Revenue to finance the battle in the rest of Iraq. Money after that will be remitted as reparations for a while. Don't ask them what they want, tell them.

Put Chalibi in Charge of Iraq as America's dictator. Empower powerful rich Iraqi-Americans in Dearborn Michigan to go there and take over. It's our country now, we bought and paid for it.

Make universal conscription in Iraq the order of the day. Joblessness is rampant. If an Iraqi doesn't have a Job, he's in the army now. The only exemption is if you have an essential job. We would pay them for their conscription but put them in ranks and if anyone gets out of line in the Military type, shoot them, NOW, publicly. That's how you keep order in the army. A few executions from the ranks will enforce discipline. Tell them, rebel, step out of line and it's up against the wall.

IF ANY Cleric acts up in the country and tries to foment revolution he must be hunted down like a dog and killed. I would start with Al Sadar.

I would FIRE the whole "on vacation" Legislature who didn't come back from vacation in 3 days. NO questions asked. Your credentials disappear if you don't show up for work.

Yes, it would be a dictatorship but I disapprove of allowing people to pretend to rule themselves when they refuse to do so. If Chalibi is half the man I think he is he could carry this out easily. If not him, someone else just as mean would be appropriate.

Sure, money would be stolen, lives lost. How is that different from what it is now? We must get this under control. We need to get the Iraqi's to step up by persuasion or force. Persuasion doesn't seem to be working sooo....

The surge was a good idea and it is working. It just isn't enough. George W Bush is just too nice a guy. That is his weakness.

Those Wretched Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers

The most revered man in the early church by Christians other than Jesus the Christ is the Apostle Paul. We have an image of him as a holy man, pure, devoted, nearly sinless and overflowing with wisdom from God. He is most quoted in the Church. He is called St. Paul. Saintly. Holy.

The problem is St Paul was human. Very Human. If he were alive today he would be pilloried by the press of today and discounted in his ability to hear from or report what God is saying. He would be called a hypocrite.

Read what is said in this article regarding this man who called himself Wretched. When they called him a hypocrite he would probably agree. When people call ME a hypocrite I agree. That doesn't make the Apostle Paul any less a man used of God in Great Things. I hope the same is true of the call of God on my life.

I bring this up because I have become aware of a syndrome that has developed in and outside the church. We have a culture of ridicule that we live in. John Stewart, Don Colbert, Letterman and Leno. They don't tell jokes anymore they make fun of people. No one is perfect (except them).

That has now invaded all our thinking. People who don't believe in God will believe what news media and these jokesters say. They believe that the credibility of the message people bring is measured not by the source of the message but by the character or morality of the messenger. Yet in news reportage it seems to be OK that a reporter can be a moral miscreant and still be able to deliver the truth if his sources are good. Yet in spiritual things it seems like we in the church have bought the lie that our messengers have to be perfect or worse pretend to be perfect. We no longer depend on the credibility of the source but on the nature of the delivery system.

I have a handbook given me when I was credentialed as a minister. It has lots of warnings about how important it is to live a holy perfect life in order to not be disqualified as a minister of God. On the surface I agree with the concept. A preacher shouldn't spend a lot of time in Strip Clubs and then expect his congregation to hear what he has to say on Sunday Mornings. But there is a flaw in this philosophy. No minister of God is sinless for very long. In fact all have sinned and sin. If a minister particularly in the fivefold gifts is going to have a shot at living up to this ideal he must do one of two things:

Pretend to live holy lives. Pretend to have overcome sin. Pretend to be perfect. I have known many men who crumbled under this self imposed pressure collapsed under hidden sin.

Or be transparent and run the risk that people will judge him on his hypocrisy. I have chosen this and get a lot of flack. How can YOU bring God's Holy word when we know you are very human and prone to sin.

I have been working in Church work for nearly 30 years. This has given me the opportunity to get to know the dark side of many men and women of God. I can tell you with authority that I have never ever met even one who can stand sinless before the throne of grace of their own accord. They all need and continue to need the blood of Jesus.

Here's the question I would have of anyone who uses the idea that the person who speaks for God can't be speaking for God because they aren't externally holy or sinless enough. WHO WOULD YOU BELIEVE? The pope? The Dali Lama? Trust me they sin too. Who among any Christian Leaders today are sinless enough that you would trust that if they said to you, "This is the word of the Lord for you" and you would say coming from Him or Her I would believe him.

Using the hypocrisy test the answer has to be I can believe NO ONE. This is a scheme Satan has used to blind people to the truth of the Gospel. Even the very word of God, The Bible is now doubted to be infallible by many. There is no longer truth or light. People are lost because they can't answer the question, who would you believe. IF you are going to get the word of the Lord from anyone it will have to come thru a fellow Wretched Man or Woman.

Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus. This was not a parable, this was a story about real people, Jesus called him a CERTAIN RICH MAN. Lazarus dies and goes to heaven (I know you theologians it isn't heaven in the story, I'm trying to keep it simple). The rich man dies and goes to hell. He sees Lazarus in Heaven. He says, send someone to tell my 5 brothers about this horrible place. Jesus said, "They have the prophets and the scriptures, they don't believe them, they wouldn't believe someone even if he ROSE FROM THE DEAD, speaking of course about himself." The Leno's and Letterman's of the day (scribes and parasites) defamed the messengers and destroyed the message. They poked fun and ridiculed Jesus constantly until they got the people to rise up and say Crucify Him Crucify Him. It's no different today. People called of God are constantly crucified with Christ. We are ridiculed and poked fun at. In a way it's a confirmation of the Call of God on our lives. No one ever kicks a dead dog. If we weren't speaking truth we wouldn't be so subject to the pressure of criticism.

Thinking of that I qualify pretty well. I'm a hypocrite and wretched. So if you will hear from Paul you might be able to hear from others. I have come to trust the word of the Lord from a sold out man or woman of God and look past the fact that they are really human and prone to fall into sin from time to time. One man I most love and appreciate as a Man of God is at his heart one of the most flawed human beings I have ever known. It doesn't take away from the Gift God has Placed in him to carry. He's the real deal.

The world has it's false apostles. News, entertainment folks, celebrities, popular politicians. They live phony lives and they project an image that can't hold up. Yet the world flocks to them hoping to believe.

I would rather get my message from people who are honest with us and with themselves to say, "I'm wretched and I have a good word for you". The Church needs to hear what St John (who I'm guessing wasn't all that saintly either) said in his dying days to people who were believers and were in church and were trying to make life work:
1 John 1:5-10 NLT
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

The reality of ministry is, we are sinners. We have seen light. We are no longer living in spiritual darkness but we still sin. We confess it, we believe for deliverance and we stop living the life of the hypocrite.

I regret to say many are still putting on a mask and pretending to be something they are not. God deliver them. Deliver ME!

I once more think of that robe that Pastor Phil mentioned and why old high church ministers put it on to preach or minister: To hide in the call of God on their lives and to deflect people from looking at the weak human bearing the strong message. I think there is merit in all that.

The BIG Lie

It's hot in the southwest. It's never been hotter. In fact it's so hot it may mean the end of civilization as we know it.

That's what the news media promotes. It's part of the Hitlarian BIG LIE. Tell a big lie loud enough and long enough and maybe you can fool the dummies.

Guess what, it works.

When it's 100+ degrees in North Dakota or 114 in Phoenix the reportage is not that, "Phoenix is having a real heat wave". No, the reportage implies that Global Warming because YOU ARE ALIVE AND EMIT GAS is causing really hot temps this summer.

Then, Explain this. Las Vegas on average is COOLER than it has been in the past 60 years.

I don't know why the earth cycles, it just does. And neither do you or anyone else. Visiting Lake Michigan yesterday I saw the shoreline. I told Kevin that recently they found a large underground forest from 25,000 years ago 2 miles off shore.

That forest was on the beach of what was then Lake Michigan as it dried up during a warm cycle in the climate. It may well do so again.

We were pretty human lean then on the planet.

What can the human caused global warming believers be ingesting to make the mind go bad like that? They believe everything they hear and march lockstep without brains engaged. Liberals never learn to engage in critical thinking, oh they are critical, but it's without thinking.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I wouldn't let them testify either

I heard excerpts from the testimony of Alberto Gonzales before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was disgusting.

A bunch of lawyers playing gotcha. I have been on the witness stand in life. Many times. As a defendant and as an expert witness. Thinking about it all maybe 75 hours total. One thing I know is the attorney from the other side ALWAYS has as his prime purpose in life to impeach the witness. To go thru deposition, past testimony and any other information looking for that one tiny detail badly remembered or badly reported.

Lawyer: Mr Redlin, do you recall in your testimony of 3 years ago you said that the sky was blue on the day in question?

ME: I did say that.

Lawyer: I have here a report from the national weather service which says the sky had a cloud in it. Is it possible you were mistaken and perhaps a cloud was in the sky?

ME: It's possible. I don't know for sure.

Lawyer: Then you are saying that your testimony about the sky being blue is not now your testimony.

ME: I'm just testifying what I remember, I remember it being blue.

Lawyer: But you just testified that it could have had a cloud in it.

ME: That's what your report said.

Lawyer: So your testimony today and that of 3 years ago are different, in which were you lying.

That is the essence of the gotcha game the lawyers (none of whom have ever held actual jobs in life) on the judiciary committee are playing. It's the same as the railroad job they gave Scooter Libby.

And they wonder why President Bush won't send anyone to testify? Why should he? What benefit is there to him or his administration? Making friends? These people are his enemies and he has no incentive whatsoever to cooperaate. If I were him I would give the a big wave off in the most graphic way possible and instructions on where and what to osculate.

Get the Kangaroos out of the court and maybe there's a chance. The good news is what I saw the American People saw. FOOLS. They know why President Bush will and should NEVER allow ANYONE ever to testify under oath ever again about even what they had for lunch yesterday. It's all about gotcha.

OH, and so you don't think for a second that the example about the weather is exaggerated. That is a masked version of an impeachment of testimony from a trial I was an expert in a several months ago. The problem I wasn't the one being impeached, it was the plaintiff and it nearly exactly was the nature of the testimony. Remembering the weather.

We won. I wasn't proud of being part of such a process even if I did get paid.
I don't think a few members of the judiciary committee are very proud right now. I wouldn't be.

Shakespeare was right, "First Kill All the Lawyers".

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Seed, Death and Rebirth - A Prophetic Word

A few weeks ago I was given a prophetic word. I shared it with a few people but hoped it would mature. Some words come because of a quick download from heaven, some are seed and they mature in the spirit. This is one of those words:

I hear the Lord say, "Do NOT Fear Death".

All changes I want to make in your life, all improvement I want to bring, all prosperity I want to produce for you, all new beginnings must begin with a death, a loss, a perceived failure, an end. With pain and a death.

Every time you experience the pain of loss from a situation dying in your life, look up and see the beginnings of a new phase I am bringing. Unless a seed fall to the earth and die it new birth of a new vision cannot begin.

People go thru great financial difficulty, the collapse or failure of a business, the loss of a home by foreclosure, the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, the illness that causes pain and even the tragic death of a loved one. While on the face these are all bad and painful things, they are at their root seed falling to the ground. If you don't keep digging up the seed by hanging on to the past an mourning the loss you will not experience the new life I want to bring to you. Allow the seed fallen to the ground to grow and bloom. There will come a day when that failure or pain will become seed for greatness in your life.

This is MORE than the promise that I will make all things new, this is more than the promise that I work all things together for your good, this is the promise that I will turn your mourning into joy. That I will take the ashes from your life and make them beautiful.

Don't hang on to the old. The new birth of destiny in your life can only come as you release the past. Press on to my high calling, forget what lies behind. Many rob themselves by mourning the past, trying to hold on to the past, trying to keep the past alive and miss what I want to do in their lives.

That is the end of the word of the Lord.

On a personal note, this word came and as confirmation the Lord showed me how in my life there have been many deaths, failures, collapses and loss and how each of them carried in them the seed of greater greatness that I could never have experienced without letting those things go and pressing on.

At 13 I lost my parents in a car accident. I lived for a short time in limbo. But, by the goodness of my Aunt and Uncle, Earl and Ruth Redlin I was taken in and raised in a loving and supportive home. I missed and miss my parents but the question is, would I be the person I am today without that loss? I don't think so. That loss had at it's core the seed for my good education and other opportunities I wouldn't have had without the money set aside for me and my siblings. A fair trade. NO. On the other hand, the pain of that loss carried with it the seed of a new birth.

In my early years of business I formed several business's some of which worked and some of which did not. Northern Data was painful. There was a day when we put it to death. We decided it wasn't worth going on. From that day that we let it go it began to prosper. We were holding on too tight.

There was a cattle farm that failed. There was a Software firm that didn't work out. There was even the Dale Carnegie work that after 10 years ended. In all three of these cases the residual benefit was greater than I could have ever anticipated. My understanding of production agriculture was enhanced. I no longer feared failure. The software firm prepared me for the eventual Presidency of Commodity Communications Corporation. Dale Carnegie Courses where I poured my life for a long time has produced much fruit in ability, relationship and knowledge of who I am.

There was Ag America Radio Network. An apparent Failure. We eventually merged with another organization. The death of that business and the reversal in agriculture in the early 80's meant that I needed to find a new thing. That meant that I moved to Chicagoland to work as CEO of a floundering data communications firm.

In that capacity I rubbed shoulders with the greats, I traveled the world, I lived overseas. Life was good.

Then that ended too. Another death.

However because I had traveled all over the world I had international experience. That meant that I was qualified to move to Europe and manage an international firm in the machine equipment industry.

After a few years that ended. We moved back. Another death. Then I decided to access my ability in Horticulture and at the age of nearly 50 I leaped once again off the pier of life an launched into a new career.

That has been very successful. Then one day a check showed up. The merger of Ag America was paying dividends. Ultimately it paid big time. Big.

I formed another business. The largest one I had ever formed. This one after several years failed. At that point I was in my late 50's and facing near bankruptcy. At this point I had seen the results of the seed of new birth in every failure. Pressing on looking to the future I expected great things. They happened.

At the same time I was pastor of a little church. That closed too. Great pain. Great rejection. Great betrayal.

In that moment to the world it looked like nothing would work out, nothing could be saved, everything was either death or dying. 2002 was a horrible year.

5 years later. I'm in my early 60s. The Lord kisses me in prosperity I could not have imagined. I walk in ministry in places I could never have walked if I would have stayed pastoring that little church, I have lived and traveled the world, in many ways I am among the respected of my generation.

WHY? The seed to every victory in my life began by something falling to the ground and dying. If I had tried to hang on too hard, feared failure, worried about what others would think I could never have become what the Lord is making me.

Death, where is thy sting, Grave, where is thy victory.

I have no fear of you.

In Praise of Tammy Faye

As you know Tammy Faye Messner (Bakker) died Friday after a 10 year bout with cancer of several kinds. Colon cancer got her ultimately. The same cancer that Pastor Dan Rothwell was stricken and died of a few years ago.

I saw Pastor Dan a couple weeks before he died. He looked OK. I saw the Larry King interview with Tammy Faye. She was 65 pounds and looked pretty bad. Same cancer, different effects.

I have great affection for both Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. It was in a Watertown hotel room in 1977 that this lost Lutheran boy after a night of doing things he shouldn't have done that I watched the PTL show on TV. I hadn't seen it much before. It was a breath of fresh air. These people had joy. Jim would say "You can Make It". Tammy would say, "It's not over till it's over". I needed to hear that. I was hungry for hope. So, when the end of the program came and I sat up in the bed with tears flowing down my cheeks and he said, "Let's pray" I did. In a way, I was born in the flesh in Watertown SD and Born of the Spirit in the same town.

I would love to tell you that from that day forward everything was wonderful and all my problems went away. I would like to tell you that but it would be a lie. Life was hard. My business, my marriage, lots of things. In fact the battle seemed to intensify.

The difference was these two crazy people seemed to have joy in spite of the fact they were doing the program at that time from the back hall of a furniture store. They moved out the furniture for the show and then moved it back in for sale.

I know all about all the "SCANDAL". I'm not impressed. There is lots of scandal in lots of other church groups beginning with Catholic and the churches on the south side of Chicago where "Pastors" rip off those most vulnerable. What Jim and Tammy did was far less onerous. Wrong but overblown.

That small step that early morning began me on a journey that resulted in the man of God I strive to be today. I owe much to both of them. A few years ago I had an opportunity to meet with and talk with Jim Bakker. He was smaller than he looked on TV. More frail. Weaker. But, his spirit was intact. It was after he had written the book he wrote coming out of jail. "I was wrong". During our time together I told him that he was at the genesis of the walk I walk today. He gave me as big a hug as he can give. I treasure that memory and that time.

As I saw the Larry King interview on the last day of Tammy Faye's life I was sad for her but happy for her as well. She more than anyone knew where she was and is headed. There is nothing more sweet than the death of a saint. To her last day she proclaimed the goodness of God.

Her faith, courage and hope was a way maker for all of us. Bless you Tammy Faye.

Thanks for "You can make it" and "It's not over till it's over".

Your pain is over, and you made it.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Repost - Two Generations and The Genes still follow

This is a picture of my dad from 1950 when he was about 40 Years old. He was on the hospital board in Ellendale.

This picture of Kevin was taken after Church on Sunday Morning. We posed it. Kind of like I did when I posed the William Rhenquist Photo and me.

Who said that genetics don't count for much. Dad was a good looking man, Kevin has his nose and hairline. People always said I looked like Ralph (my dad). I don't think I hold a candle to the uncanny resemblance Kevin has to him at the basically same age.

You have good genes Kevin, enjoy them. Even if we never learned to grow hair. Aww, hair was overrated anyway.

Oil at $100 per Barrel? YAWNNNNN

If you have read this humble blog for a while you will know that high oil prices have never panicked me for a second. WHY?

Because the cure for high oil prices is high oil prices. Everything is relative.

In 1962 when I was a hot rod hipster riding up and down main street of Ellendale Gasoline (regular) was .27 per gallon. A good car sold for $2500. A house in Fargo of decent function was $12,000. People who worked for my dad made $120 per week with lots of overtime. A candy bar was a nickel. A coke was a dime. You could mail a letter for 3 cents.

In 2007 Gasoline I bought last week was 2.83 a gallon. A good car sells for $25,000, That house in Fargo is now $120,000, People working at the garage in Ellendale with overtime
make $1200 per week, Hershey bars are 50 cents, Cokes from the vending machine are a buck or so, and you need 41 cents to mail a letter.

Overall about a 10X multiplier.

So, when I hear all the arm waving about the price of Oil I only hope it hits $100 soon so it will collapse even faster and further when the get-rich quick-folks try to cash in. Every technology known to man and some not know will be implemented.

Gasoline is a classic bubble.

This bubble WILL BURST. Count on it.

Is There ANY Meaning to This?

I want to think so. This is a type of the subjective prophetic.

Who Needs Israel, Anyway?

I offer this as a reason to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and for the support of Israel. This is more than a spiritual reason which for me is enough, this is a practical set of reasons. Pat Boone speaks for many of us who love the state of Israel.

Read the whole thing.

Who Needs Israel, Anyway?
Pat Boone
Monday, July 23, 2007

The above question, either in word or implication, is being voiced by way too many these days, as people and governments cast about desperately for lasting solutions in the Middle East.

Many Western and European political leaders — having heard the deprecations and the determination to wipe Israel off the face of the earth, from the likes of Palestinian Yasser Arafat, Saudi Arabian Osama bin Laden, Iraq's Saddam Hussein, Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and so many other power brokers in the region — have come dangerously close to deciding that little Israel is the "thorn in the side" of world order.

The next logical thought is "Who needs Israel? Let her be erased, her people dispersed (or whatever), and the Middle East can settle comfortably into a harmonious Islamic community of states. Problem solved!"

What folly. What suicidal blindness.

I just returned from a momentous event in our nation's capital. An organization called Christians United for Israel (CUFI) convened 4,000 people from all 50 states in several days of briefings and strategy sessions, culminating in an exhilarating, rousing rally in the D.C. Convention Center featuring Jewish leaders and top Christian ministers celebrating the things we hold in common and the spiritual bonds that unite us.

The next day, several thousand of the participants fanned out over Washington and Capitol Hill, lobbying virtually every representative and senator on behalf of Israel and its sovereignty.

Why? Couldn't we all see this is an exercise in futility, an unnecessary bother . . . that we'd all be better off if Israel didn't exist?

No, we all see clearly that the world needs Israel. The whole world.

What do I mean? Consider:

Israel, the 100th smallest country, with less than 1/1000th of the world's population, can make claim to an astounding number of society's advances in almost every direction!

Intel's new multi-core processor was completely developed at facilities in Israel. And our ubiquitous cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in the little land.

Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology was pioneered in Israel.

AirTrain JFK—the 8.1-mile light rail labyrinth that connects JFK Airport to NYC's mass transit—is protected by the Israeli-developed Nextiva surveillance system.

Bill Gates calls Israel "a major player in the high tech world"; most of Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel; the Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel; both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the U.S. in Israel; and, with more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of high-tech companies in the world apart from the Silicon Valley.

Get this: Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25 percent of its workforce employed in technical professions, Israel places 1st in this category as well!

It goes on and on.

The Weizmann Institute of Science has been voted "the best university in the world for life scientists to conduct research."

Israeli researchers have:

# Discovered the molecular trigger that causes psoriasis

# Developed Ex-Press shunt to provide relief for glaucoma sufferers

# Unveiled a blood test that diagnoses heart attacks . . . by telephone!

# Found a combination of electrical stimulation and chemotherapy that makes cancerous metastases disappear — and developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer!

# Designed the first flight system to protect passenger and freighter aircraft against missile attack

# Developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill — used to view the small intestine from the inside, enabling doctors to diagnose cancer and digestive disorders!

# Perfected a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with congestive heart failure, synchronizing the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.

These are only a few of Israel's recent contributions to the welfare of the world. There are just too many to list here. Water shortage, global warming, space travel, anti-virus, anti-smallpox, blood pressure, solar power, paralysis, diabetes, data storage — these and hundreds more — are being addressed by her scientists.

They're pioneering in DNA research, using tiny strands to create human transistors that can literally build themselves — and playing an important role in identifying a defective gene that causes a rare and usually fatal disease in Arab infants!

Who needs Israel?

Who doesn't?

She produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin; she has the largest number of start-up companies globally, second only to the U.S.; she is No. 2 in the world for venture capital funds, financing all these advances; its $100 billion economy is larger than all of its immediate neighbors combined; and Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

And while she maintains, by far, the highest average living standards and per capita income, exceeding even those of the U.K., Israel is the largest immigrant-absorbing nation on earth, relative to its population. It is truly an unparalleled marvel of our time.

So what's the point of all this?

Simply that the very idea of eradicating or even displacing Israel from its historic home is suicidal to the rest of the world, not just her Arabic neighbors. Though there are ominous biblical consequences pronounced on those who "curse Israel," there are also wonderful blessings promised those who "bless" her — and we're seeing those real, practical, humanitarian blessings proliferate around the world, blessing all humanity.

Stop just for a second and imagine a world today that never knew Israel. And then go further: Given their living standards, ideologies, and attitudes toward all who dare to disagree with them, imagine what our world would be like if Israel's enemies held sway. Would you rather live in an Iran, Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan? Or an Israel?

Who needs Israel? Let's be honest. We all do.

Action Counts More Than Words

DUH - I hear someone say.

The trouble with many of us is we think we can solve our troubles by words.

Some of that is true. Words matter. God can't confirm a word in our life that we never speak out or hear from the prophets.

Moses didn't lay his staff at the edge of the Red Sea and go to lunch expecting God to part it while he was off at Olive Garden for soup, salad and breadsticks. Moses held his staff and declared the word of the Lord and the Red Sea parted. He was a part of the move of God by showing up.

We have to do more than talk about it. In Ecclesiastics 11:4 there is a verse that says: He who observes the wind won't sow; and he who regards the clouds won't reap.

That means if you are waiting or hoping for just the right time to do something you will miss God. If you wait to do what God has told you to do until you are 100% sure you will be too late.

Some impulsiveness in trusting God for the outcome is appropriate. Some courage of conviction in action is needed. Something other than making our life verse, "God will fight out battles for us" is required. God will fight our battles but we have to show up, take action, do the thing we are called to do.

In 2 Chronicles 20 there is a famous bible story of King Jehoshaphat fighting against an overwhelming army. He seeks the prophets. The prophet says, "don't be afraid, God will fight the battle for you, he will destroy all your enemies".

That was a good thing. What happened next is the issue. They went to battle. Wait! Didn't God say He would fight the enemy and destroy him? Why go to battle?

In fact, Jehoshaphat fielded the army. They marched. They put the praise team at the front of the army.

Then God confused the enemy and destroyed the whole bunch.

Here's the question, what if after getting this strong prophetic word from God, Jehoshaphat and his army had decided to stay in bed the next morning. Not go to the battlefront. Not to show up. Would God have fought the battle for him or not? I mean, God is good as His word, right?

NO, I am convinced that even though it is true that God fights our battles for us we still have to strap on the armor and go to the battlefront every day. He fights our battles only as we engage in the battle.

Those who believe they can stay in bed spiritually, wait for the right time, regard the wind and the clouds will miss God.

If we wait until everything is 100% perfect to act we will be too late.


Consider this a spiritual kick in the pants which I heard last night from Pastor Marla at Faith Center.

I'm just passing it on. You're Welcome.