Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Near Death Experiance

The patient was obviously on her deathbed. Three weeks ago everyone came for a last visit before she passed on. Last week was to be the wake (usually called visitation in these parts), and the funeral would be today. But something unexpected happened on that deathbed. The patient showed a tiny spark more life left in her than anyone had expected. Even though there was at least one person present that seemed willing to administer a lethal injection, in the end it was decided that it would be prudent to put the patient on life support for two weeks to see if she had any real hope of recovery.

During those two weeks of life support, things looked hopeless. I readily admit that a week into that life support my wife and I had given up hope and accepted the fact that the patient would be lost and should be allowed to die with dignity.

As of last Sunday, it looked as though the funeral would be today after all. But mid week, all of that changed. The patient is still very weak, and there is no assurance that she will survive to live to a ripe old age, but there is a great hope that is evident in her that had been missing before.

Of course the "patient" that I have been describing is our own beloved Valley View Baptist Church. Two weeks ago we were to vote on closing, being without a pastor and down to 21 members (or less), However, there were enough members at that meeting who were not quite willing to close just yet. The vote was put off for two weeks until after the yearly meeting of the Minnesota LaCrosse Association of the North American Baptist Conference, in the hopes that member churches could offer some guidance.

Despite the prayers and offers of support from the member churches in the association, Jane and I came to the conclusion (based primarily on being better informed) that perhaps it was for the best that Valley View Baptist close its doors.

But all that has changed now. Dennis Ingolfsland, one of our members, has volunteered to take over as our pastor on a part time basis. Dennis, beside being a professor at a nearby Christian college, has often preached for us when our former pastor was out of town. I am confident that the entire membership at Valley View is delighted at this turn of events. Best of all, I believe that the membership is going into this with the realization that we will all need to be involved in regaining the health of Valley View Baptist. I don't think any of us have any illusions of growing into a large church; in fact I am not sure we really even want to. But we do wish to restore the church to the point where it can survive as a God honoring body of Christ were the gospel is preached!

Please continue to pray for us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Answered Prayers

If you follow this blog regularly you may remember that I asked for prayers concerning the future of ValleyView Baptist since our pastor had moved on, and we were unsure if we could get another due to our small numbers. In the past few weeks we have been on the verge of closing the doors permanently. In fact, this Sunday we were scheduled to vote on disbanding.

But, tonight I received a call from Wyman, one of our deacons, with some very encouraging news. I won't go into detail yet, but if you have been praying for us, then I'd like to thank you from the bottom of my heart, because I do believe your prayers have been answered! And as is so often the case our most gracious Father has chosen to answer them in a most unexpected way.

More to follow....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Man of Galilee

Here's another from my great grandfather, L.J. Schlattman's book of poetry, Gleanings from Life.

Man of Galilee

In the hills of Galilee,
I would follow as He walked,
On the shores of Galilee,
I would listen as He talked;
Always healing human ill,
Always teaching love devine:
Pleading, "Whosoever will,
Come, and comfort shall be thine."

Wonderous man of Galilee,
Face so meek and eye so mild;
Teach me how to follow Thee,
I would be thy loving child;
Teach me how to watch and pray,
Give me hope and faith and love;
In thy footsteps all the way,
Lead me till I land above.

Wonderous man of Galilee,
Thou hast balm for all my woe;
All my ills I bring to Thee,
Thou dost ease them, this I know.
Take and fold my troubled heart,
To Thy bosom warm with love;
Help me ne'er from Thee to part,
Lead me to that home above.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Breaking News - Nostalgia Drag Race at Union Grove June '09

Here is some great news for those of you who are fans of nostalgia drag racing and don't live near a coast. That's right, were finally going to have one here in the center of the country! So mark the date; June 12-14, 2009 at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove Wisconsin.

I will be adding more details shortly, but here is a teaser. They will be running all pre 1972 vehicles; Top Fuel Front Engine Dragsters, Nitro Burning Funny Cars, Blown Gassers and Altereds, Super Stockers, A F/Xers, Jet Cars, Wheelstanders, Hot Rods, and MOTORCYCLES.

Of course, the part about MOTORCYCLES is of particular interest to me. If you have been following my blog, you already know that I have a lot of interest in vintage drag bikes, and have been toying with the idea of building one. This event put me over the tipping point.

The only question now is what combination of parts I will use. I still have the heads and cylinders from my last drag bike, which was a 120 cubic inch Knucklehead. But, I also have a very nice set of vintage dual Linkert Knuckle heads that would look killer on a 50's style Knuck drag racer. The third option is to use a set of single carb Knuck heads (which I also have) with the Scot blower that was once used on a real live '50s drag bike. You can read more about it from an earlier post here.

So, what do you think? I am kind of leaning toward the dual Linkert motor because of it's classic look and simplicity to build. Still, the blower has some great history to it....