Thursday, November 26, 2015

Keeping Christ in Thanksgiving

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Galatians 6:1).

On days like this, when people focus on their "blessings," please remember and honor the Cross of Christ, which includes the resurrection and the entire life of Christ. Don't just focus on the particular blessings you can celebrate as a family or personally.

As Oswald Chambers reminds us in today's devotion: "The effect of the Cross is salvation, sanctification, healing, etc., but we are not to preach any of these. We are to preach 'Jesus Christ and Him crucified'" (1 Corinthians 2:2 and Galatians 6:14) so the Cross of Christ is not emptied of its power (Galatians 6:1).

The Cross of Christ reaches in to embrace those whose relationships and lives are still mostly felt to be under the curse. When we preach (talk about) what Jesus has done for the world we lift them into God's Great Hug too. Love to you all on this Thanksgiving Day.

[The above written a few minutes ago on facebook.]
I'm glad to be back at our home in Roseville after a short week on my regular route routine. Toni has been busy with Thanksgiving preparations. I've done some cleaning around the house and I'll do more later. We're expecting 18 for a one o'clock dinner.

It's an official holiday today so I don't need to drive, through I do drive (different routes) tomorrow. I don't get paid for today but I really having this day off so its okay. Holiday pay begins after 6 months of employment. For me that will be on December 6.

Before I went to bed last night I read something written by Joe Johnson, someone I've heard speak at spiritual meetings and who is a part of the Alliance of Renewal Churches that I've connected with over the past 20 years or so. He spoke truth about holidays, that they amplify relational and emotional pain we carry during the year.

He wrote: "...Watching others enjoy the holidays may trigger loneliness. The family focus of the holidays reminds us of not feeling like we belong. Holidays increase the amount of time we spend around people with whom we have broken relationships. Extra time with our family reminds us how they are more dysfunctional than we wanted to remember. We miss loved ones who are no longer a part of our lives. Painful rejection is brought on by someone else’s addictions..."

Last night I also happened upon a little online conversation that was posted around Christmas time in 2009 with someone who was suffering (at least I think he/she was) like Joe describes.

Joe's reflection, that 2009 conversation, and some chats with a couple people on the bus yesterday who plan on spending the holiday alone brought into focus how much we need Jesus at this time of year. Thankfulness is personally beneficial but when we focus too much on the specific things we're thankful for, and when we don't acknowledge the continued suffering that is in us and around us that same thankfulness can be like salt in an open wound for others.

In response to Joe Johnson's post I wrote this:
Those of us who have intact families can seem uncaring toward those who suffer, and any trouble that's under the surface in "happy" families can be felt especially by those who have those hidden hurts. There's a remedy in the truth of Jesus. Remember and honor the Cross, which includes the resurrection and the entire life of Christ -- and do that remembering and honoring on days like this. As Oswald Chambers says [in today's devotional]: Our "focus tends to be put not on the Cross of Christ but on the effects of the Cross" (the blessings that come from a relationship with Jesus). OC says this is true in "holiness movements and spiritual experience meetings" but it's also true on days like this. Peace be with you. Prayers.
I hope you enjoy this day -- always remembering Jesus and all those who have yet to be swept up in His embrace.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

After Paris

A word for this weekend posted on Saturday morning: "'In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.' When you are tempted to fear and anxiety about anything turn to prayer. Do not react in fear. This applies to any reaction to yesterday's events in France and any future terror. When we know Jesus there is never any cause for panic. God has been teaching me this again in the last few months and it is true. Christians need to be teaching and preaching this as they gather... Watch your reactions and repent if you are speaking or repeating words of fear or self-protection."

On Friday night and Saturday morning I heard and read many concerns from people about the terror attacks in France. I've been interacting some on social media about this, reminding my friends and acquaintances about the danger of reacting in fear. God has given me a new perspective on this that I'm trying to share here today. I am praying specifically that we would not be overcome by any fear.

It's a Sunday morning in Roseville. I'm still working "part time weekdays" so weekends mean something. Two days off in a row! That wouldn't be true if I ever went to full time.*

Just before 6:00 on Friday, between my two PM routes, I stopped in at the Minneapolis "Downtown Market" (on the corner of 2nd Avenue and 2nd Street, just NW of the main post office). Since I've been dropping in there on an almost daily basis (Monday-Friday) since mid July, I've gotten to know a couple of the employees. One in particular, who calls me his friend, is from Iraq. He is there right now to visit his brother and other extended family members. Most of the employees there are from the middle east, I think also from Iraq. In any case, they speak Arabic amongst themselves.

While I was there someone stopped me and another Metro Transit driver as we were talking together in the lobby/hallway to tell us about the Paris terrorist attacks. We don't have any way of hearing the news on our buses so that's the first we'd heard. He thought we should warn our customers. It sounded as if he thought something similar could happen here that night! We told him that we do keep an eye out for anything suspicious. It's a part of our training to watch and report. Bus drivers have eyes out in almost every corner of the metro area.

Later, on the bus, a customer came forward and said something about the attack. Then, when I got back to the Heywood Garage drivers' room, and after I got done talking with others about a different subject, I saw that the television there was tuned to the coverage from Paris. Some conversation was going on there too among the very diverse group of drivers watching. I've gotten to know them well enough to know at least one is a devout Muslim.

to read click here
Through this job I've gotten to know people from different parts of the world and from different religious and cultural backgrounds. I find that to be a great privilege. Each driver and each of the others I meet and talk with has his or her own story. I've heard pieces of many since starting this summer. I can't have lots of extended conversations with people while driving, but I've learned that there are a many people from foreign backgrounds, probably immigrants and refugees, who ride with me. (Also, lots of people with various disabilities. Beginning December 14 one of my routes is one that specifically caters to people with special needs. I explained more yesterday in a facebook post that is here as a photo. Click here to see/read that more clearly.)

I'm thankful that God has provided me with this new job where there are automatic opportunities to get to know people of different backgrounds. Many who read this blog would need to go out of your way to have those interactions. I'd like to challenge you to do that soon.

Going back to what happened on Friday night, when I got home I heard more on the news and read people's reactions. The note of fear I picked up from the first man who told us about the attacks was repeated by others, particularly on the internet. I thought I needed to respond in some way so I made one simple comment. Later, I wrote the item you'll see at the top of this post.

I get the fear people have and I understand and support the need to protect those who are vulnerable. I understand that nations have responsibilities to keep people safe. But the idea that Christians should mostly retreat and protect is not something I see to be in harmony with God's plan or God's Word.

The most clear evidence of this is what we know through Jesus Christ, who came with open arms into the midst of strangers. Jesus lived and loved among human beings who were so filled with prejudices and sins and so dedicated to protecting themselves that they killed him.

Human beings are so concerned about safety and stability that we throw love under the bus! Jesus shows a different way. Will we follow him, or will we retreat?

I believe God would have us reach out instead of backing away. The Holy Spirit burns in me about this. I very much appreciate the work of groups such as "Arrive Ministries" (see video below) that encourages us to "celebrate that God has brought the nations to our doorstep and to welcome into our lives new refugee neighbors who have overcome persecution, trauma and years of struggle." I can't say whether that particular ministry is the one God is calling you to interact with, but we need to get connected in some way.

I think that unless we have personal experience with people who are different than we are, our first reaction when we hear bad news involving those "different ones" is to retreat and protect ourselves. I believe God would have us do something very different. I hope you'll talk about that today at your church.

How will you reach out? How will you put yourself in contact with others? Even taking a ride on the bus could be a way doing that. Give me a call and I can let you know how. I'll also introduce you to my friends at the Downtown Market if you'd like.

I have so much more to learn. I am praying that I will be open to just how God will move me to reach out in these days.

Now is the Time- Arrive Ministries from Bob Oehrig on Vimeo.


*See my "Contentment" post from October 28 about part time versus full time work for Metro Transit.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Bigger and More Real

It's an early morning in Roseville. I'm reading Oswald Chambers' reflection on Second Corinthians 5:17 - "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." You can read it by clicking <here>.

I can say that what O.C. says here is true about the things that "really matter." I am still beset by desires and temptations but they don't rule in my life. They aren't in charge. The Lord, working in me, is bigger and more real than anything else.

O.C. says this: "...When a crisis comes, you are the most amazed person on earth at the wonderful difference there is in you. There is no possibility of imagining that you did it..."

This is most certainly true.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

God's Image at Work

Yesterday evening I made two mistakes* while driving bus. Nothing bad came of either of them (thank you Jesus!), but they were big enough to notice, and, frankly, I don't make too many like that these days. My growing confidence doesn't mean that everything will always go well, but it certainly does help. I'm doing good work... surprisingly so considering how nervous I was to start.

I will learn from yesterday's errors, just like I learn from the experiences that that the Lord provides for me every day, particularly at my job. I'll grow in patience through them too as I am afflicted sometimes by the mistakes of others. Give me a call or write back and we'll talk and pray together about how God can work through the experiences you're dealing with today... mistakes and all.

Human beings are remarkable creatures. We can do so many things. Last night Toni and I and my sister Karen went to a late movie. The Martian is on the big screen now. (I justified spending the money to go because some movies are "big" enough to be worth it.) In the movie the main character deals with problems after having been left alone on Mars. He ends up surviving** with a lot of help from the technology that he has on hand, through his ability as a botanist (he grows Martian potatoes), through the help he eventually finds as he reconnects communications with Earth, but also through the quick thinking and ingenuity that God has built into us.

It's the "quick thinking" and "ingenuity" parts I can relate too, plus the advantages that the modern bus technology puts in my hands. Bus driving isn't rocket science, but dealing with unexpected situations is--sometimes life or death ones--and dealing with them quickly. So quickly that I can really see God at work right there on the road.***

A couple weeks ago I was talking with a Cokato friend who works with large equipment. He said, and I agree, that the big machines become a kind of extension of our bodies. Tiny signals and sensations that come to me through my eyes and hands and feet... and my whole body as I "rock and roll" to see everything... those things combine in a way that is hard to describe. I end up just "knowing" where the corners of the 62 foot long bus are at and what sort of spaces I can get into or get out of. As I gain experience I'm needing less time to consciously analyze what's going on. I just drive. And normally that works quite well. 

I don't know all of what it means that we human beings are made in the "image of God" (as we read in Genesis chapter 1), but these abilities that can grow, even in an old guy like me, are evidence that is true. Who knows... perhaps someday we will go to Mars.

My experience driving bus isn't as awesome as that, but it does teach me that more is possible with us than we might think. God does amazing things in and through us. Wow!


*Two mistakes, that is, that were big enough to remember. There are always little snafus. Every day I'm reminded how much more I have to learn.

**I've that much of the scenario portrayed in The Martian movie, except the wind storms, are quite sound on a scientific level. See this article: "The science behind 'The Martian' gets a NASA 'thumbs up.'"

***This week a passenger remarked with some astonishment about how I had seen, and avoided, a bike rider who rocketed alongside and then turned in front of the bus. As I said to her, "it's part of the job." After awhile, we just see and know pretty much what's going on all around us. That's why I remember certain mistakes like the ones I made yesterday. They're honestly quite rare.

(I continue to be amazed at the ways I've been adapting to this work. By next weekend I'll be two thirds of the way through the 6 month probationary period every new driver deals with. The routes I drive right now are quite easy, but that will change. Next Friday I'll "pick my work" for the routes and trips I'll drive from mid December until mid March. Last night I brought some paperwork home to help me decide. I'm not the last one to pick this time. Others have finished training and have started work since my class did. I think there are about 20 or more drivers with less seniority than me. There are many more ahead of me though, so I won't really know my options until Thursday night.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I got home about 15 minutes ago (it's a quarter to 9 right now) after my first experience driving an articulated* bus with snow coming down. It went fine, but, of course, it wasn't slippery 'cause it wasn't freezing weather. That experience will come later. It's a winter preview. And winter is one of the seasons created by God. I WILL give thanks. It's a part of God's plan for us in this part of the world.

Toni and I made a decision yesterday evening that will impact our quality of life and finances going forward. We decided that I would stay "part time"** for now in my bus operator job. I was offered full time yesterday; only had about 20 hours to decide yes or no. I informed my manager today that I'd be staying with the schedule I have, even though going full time would help pay the bills. Full time also means giving up weekends, holidays and any sort of consistency with daily schedules, and we're not wanting to go that direction. Not at this point.

(As I mentioned earlier we have savings to help us get by. We'll need to be talking with a financial advisor about how best to handle that part of our life going forward.)

It would be good, financially to go full time. Benefits and salary are better, as would be an eventual retirement package. But there are more challenges that come with that which I'm not going to get into right now. Going full time would mean giving up consistent family time and that's something I don't think is worth it.

I read this verse yesterday that spoke strongly to me as I was praying over what to to:
" ... Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."  (1 Timothy 6:6-8)
Just because something is would help us be more secure money-wise does not mean it's a good thing. We'll continue to pray and seek God's best.

Beyond that, it's been a good week so far. We were able to spend extra time with Jon & his family Sunday and Monday nights. I spent part of Tuesday, between my shifts, bringing my dad to the eye doctor and then meeting with Per Nilsen... then dropping in to hear part of Nate Johnstone's message at Communitas. Today I spent some time with Steve Crane, one of the pastors at a local church we've visited twice since Toni got connected there with a women's Bible study group.

Toni, by the way, has been doing well with her business, including dealing with an unexpected possible change going forward... she's looking for a new location in the Roseville area for that.

I just wanted to check in tonight. I have about 8 hours between my evening shift and my morning one, so I tend to get about 6 hours sleep. Then I get a nap or two in during my between shifts time--plus all the other things I want to be able to do... and there are always many of those! The positive thing is that the schedule is consistent. I'm thankful for that.

Have a good night! Give us a call when you can. Or connect with us in another way. We'd love to hear from you.

Peace and love to you!

* An "ar-tic" is a 62 foot long bus with a hinge in the middle

** The "part time" work takes about 9 hours a day when you add in the 20 minute each way commutes for the a.m. and p.m. shifts (four total) and the unpaid time that is necessary for me to get there early and make sure I'm not stressed when I start each shift.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Expanding Family

Late this afternoon and early evening we enjoyed having family here at our home here on Lydia Avenue in Roseville. Naomi & Tim & Dan have gone home now, but it very good to be together for as long as we could be. Jon, Breanna & Lydia are staying the night.

In the backyard right now the student who lives with us here and 7-8 friends are enjoying a little campfire. Another young man will be moving into the house soon. Our landlord is remodeling downstairs to add another bedroom so he can join us.

We so much love having people around here. If we buy a more permanent place we'd like to make it large enough to have others live with us again, maybe renting rooms to young adults like Paul Anderson is doing now here.

With all this we've been taking baby steps to connect with a "church family" beyond our own house. Toni and I are looking for the Lord's way for us in this. We're thankful for those who are praying with us and for us at this time of our lives. Those pray-ers are a part of our family too...

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Never for $

Yesterday morning, over on facebook, a wise younger friend posted verses from First Timothy chapter 6. It immediately resonated with something I've been praying over for a very long time, something that has come even more into focus since I've stopped being paid by churches for my work.

The line that stood out particularly was the last one of verses quoted in the photo I grabbed off facebook early this morning. There's a warning here about Christians who "think that godliness is a means to financial gain."

There are many situations to which that phrase could be applied, but the one that hits closest to home is what I wrote in my comment:
"...some men and women look forward to getting employment with religious or spiritual organizations... for the purpose of financial security."
As I get ready to go to my work today, I think about how much more secure I was in a worldly sense when I was employed by churches. The verse from First Timothy 6 is a warning for me just in case I ever want to go back into the church world in order to benefit financially. Of course, the Lord could call me to service in that way, and in First Timothy 5 we read that elders who labor at preaching and teaching should be paid for their work. But money should never be the reason for seeking that "call."

Time to run!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

On The Ordinary Streets

As I prepare for my regular bus routes today, I read this:
"...We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises— human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God— but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people— and this is not learned in five minutes."
Praying: Father God, I trust you for this ordinary day and this ordinary life you have entrusted me with, but I do expect that you will be doing much more than I can ask or imagine as I follow you.

[Take a look at today's My Utmost for His Highest pray that God would apply this truth to your life... and mine.]

Sunday, October 18, 2015

God's Work Not Ours

I started to write this earlier, before the first time I went to bed tonight. At the time I was writing on paper because I wasn't in the mood to be at the keyboard. Also, because being online connects me so quickly with many others, there can be a sense of not being fully present with the one(s) I'm with physically. Then there's also the possibility of being distracted from my quiet time or tempted by the wide world that's so very accessible on screen. But the fact is that, in my case anyway, the sense of community online normally inspires more than it distracts -- as long as I am writing with prayer and honesty.

After Toni and I got back from her choir concert, I saw a paragraph written (or quoted?) online by Bryan Lowe that reminded me of a subject I've been wanting to address here for quite some time. In the paragraph the word "discipline" is mentioned. Here's the sentence:
"...Believers are holy through their union with Christ and are called to live holy lives and to discipline themselves for the purpose of godliness."
You can read the entire paragraph by clicking <here>. The paragraph is written in the second person plural ("we"). That's why I think Bryan may be quoting rather than writing originally but I don't know. I responded in a comment:
What you wrote here inspired a blog post that I'm writing now. Through our union with Christ, and only through that union, we are inspired and driven by a power that does not come from us. In fact, it's God dwelling in us who drives us toward holy lives and discipline in spite of any "natural" tendency that would stop us. God uses our weaknesses and honest vulnerabilities like a valve on a tire, filling us and making us strong in spite of ourselves.
Many spiritual leaders and teachers use the word "discipline" or the words "should" or "must" as they encourage Jesus' disciples. 

Here's an example I saw in Oswald Chambers (O.C.) yesterday:
"...We must learn to work according to God’s direction..."
Here's a <link> to the context for that quote.

O.C.'s My Utmost for His Highest is full of "musts." I don't know enough about O.C's teaching to know exactly what he means by that, but I know what God says to me in this regard: We are NOT to think of ourselves as in charge of somehow drumming up the discipline or the desire to what God calls us to do.

ALL the work of the Christian life, including any discipline or desire to do what God directs us to is something that comes from Him working within us. And if we find ourselves lacking the desire to discipline ourselves in any area of life, the solution is NOT to try. The solution is to admit our weakness and to cry out to the Lord.

As we read in James 1:5
"If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you."
Whenever I read or hear "shoulds" or "musts" in what a Christian teacher writes or says, it's always good for me to hear that as a call to ask God, not to do anything on my own.

So, today, or tonight, whenever you seem to lack the discipline or the wisdom to act in a way that is helpful and good, don't try. Humble yourself before God. Pray. Ask others to pray for you! (Asking for the prayer of fellow believers is one of the keys to true humility before the Lord! Ask them to pray WITH you!) And then wait. You will receive what you need.

I'm sure Bryan Lowe and Oswald Chambers would agree.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Worry or Prayer?

For the last few days I've felt like I haven't been sleeping long or well enough to feel my best. I'm honestly doing just fine but it's bothersome when I lie down and don't sleep, or when I wake up too soon. And when I don't sleep well I don't seem able to focus as clearly or get things done that I want to do. Normally I look forward to the weekend when I can get extra sleep but I'm making some plans for Saturday that might make this weekend less than restful. And I need my rest to do well each day! Oh no!

As I was feeling and thinking about these things I decided I needed to take some time for quiet with the Lord. The Lord has always spoken to me when I write and He has done so again today. He tells me of the spiritual battle that goes on in my soul. I can either give in to the evil one's temptation to worry about tomorrow, or I can bring my concerns to my Lord in prayer.

So, I will pray and trust God. I will allow him to guide my thoughts toward gratitude and peace.

"...Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. ... and the God of peace will be with you." (Philippians 4:9-10)

What choice will you make today?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sunday Morning Prayers

At the high point on our hike.
Toni and I had a great time yesterday, hiking together alongside the St. Croix River, visiting around the area where we lived for 13 years, and having dinner to celebrate 31 years of marriage. (Our anniversary is coming up in just over a week.)

We came to Taylors Falls when I was called to serve as pastor of one of the churches there. Both of us feel deep heart connections with many of the people there. It's nice now that we're living closer to that community, and still not too far from our dear ones in Cokato and Dassel. Ladysmith and Glen Flora Wisconsin are about an hour nearer too.

Those communities, and the churches that called me to serve, have been places where God not only provided houses to live in but deep friendships too. And now we've been called to an in-between place where we frankly aren't sure just where God wants us to connect on a daily and weekly basis. Beginning in about 2005 God had provided deep connections with a group of Christian leaders in the Twin Cities, but that community has been scattered now for reasons I don't understand.

Receiving prayer at Crossroads.
I feel personally scattered. My heart is pulled in different directions. There's a longing in me for the Great Day of God's promise, when all these and more will be gathered and never be divided again.

Toni and I were talking on the way home about where it is that we will be "going to church" tomorrow. We did make a decision, but just for today. You have prayed for us and we ask that you continue -- as we pray for you. And share any wisdom you may have. Let's hold each other close today -- and each day. I'm confident God will lead us to good connections here... but I just don't know where.

(I still remember with tears the times of parting that we shared in each of our communities. We love you and always will.)


When I woke an hour ago, I was crying out to the Lord about all of this. As I often do, I looked at Oswald Chambers' "My Utmost for His Highest" devotion for today. It's titled "God's Silence--Then What?" I found comfort as I read it. Maybe you will too. Click here

Friday, October 9, 2015

Family Update

It's been a week since I've written or published anything here. I've been doing just fine and my work is going well. We're getting more settled in our house though we're still taking care of things that are connected with our move from Cokato. One day at a time! Tomorrow we'll do something to celebrate our wedding anniversary, though the actual date is still more than a week away. Better early than late!

Toni and the kids are doing great. 
  • Toni is building her Wellspring Massage Therapy business here in Roseville. She's joined a women's Bible study at a local church and is trying to figure out what her husband's new career means for her and our life together. It's sure different than being married to a pastor! Click <here> for her website or <here> for the Wellspring facebook page.

  • We saw daughter Naomi last weekend as her husband Tim was running the Twin Cities Marathon. She's doing really well at Spark House as a resource developer -- and as a freelance writer and editor. She and Tim are very involved in developing and supporting their new church, Roots Covenant in St. Paul.

    On her website (click <here> to visit) Naomi writes: "I am a freelance writer and editor in Minneapolis-St.Paul with a B.A. in journalism and reconciliation studies. My specialties include human interest, faith & spirituality, culture, publishing, books, and travel. I’ve worked as a general assignment reporter, so I am confident reporting on any topic. As an editor I specialize in general nonfiction and memoir."

  • Toni brought son Dan to the airport yesterday. He's off to Spain to spend time with his special lady Shatera and a couple of her friends. Shatera is spending the semester in Europe as a part of her Bethel University studies. Dan teaches me often through what he posts online through his blog and especially on facebook. Connect with him on facebook <here> or on his blog "Indigatio Veri" <here> and learn with me!

    When he's not traveling Dan is leading the youth program at Northgate Church in Ramsey, MN, northwest of Minneapolis.

read the article here
  • Jon and his wife Breanna and our granddaughter Lydia are moving to Cokato. The news story pictured at right is mostly accurate, though Jon is actually the "associate" pastor... the article barely mentions Steve Basney who we are thrilled will be working with Jon. Click <here> for the Crossroads website and <here> for the youth page they published this week.

    Here's what was posted on on the Crossroads facebook page:
    "We here at Crossroads are excited to announce the hiring of 2 new pastors.

    "Steve Basney will serve as interim pastor. Steve is a pastor, a hard working husband and father, and a Partner at Crossroads. Previously Steve served as pastor at Open Arms Community Church in Howard Lake. Both he and his wife LuAnne have been involved with "YWAM" (Youth With A Mission) for many years. Steve and his wife LuAnne have two children, Alison and Natali and live in Cokato.

    "Jon Thorson will serve as Associate Pastor. Jon and his wife Breanna are DC alum. Jon and Breanna have a passion for evangelism and a love for this community. Jon has a vision for teaching, discipleship, family, youth, outreach, evangelism, and worship. Along with those same passions, Breanna has her own for women's ministry, and moms (they are the proud parents of 1 year old Lydia) and for people with disabilities. Jon has a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies with Ministerial Preparation. Breanna has a B.A in Youth Development with an emphasis on Disability Ministry. Jon and Breanna will also be leading the youth programs and Praise & Worship on Sunday mornings at Crossroads.

    "We are very excited to welcome Steve and Jon."
It's time for me to get my uniform on and get out the door. My work takes up almost 9 hours a day Monday-Friday. In the morning I leave home at 5:15 and get back at 8:30. Afternoons I leave home at 2:50 and get back at 8:30 p.m. I'm driving Metro Transit buses based at the Heywood Garage just northwest of Target Field. We're living in Roseville so I drive 15-25 minutes to and from work twice each day. 

I am truly enjoying my work and this new life, though there are many pieces still to put in place. I do want to be somehow active in direct ministry but am not sure how that should happen. 

Yesterday as I was on my first trip of the afternoon, a younger man, probably in his late 20s, got on my bus (downtown) at about 4:00, obviously drunk. He left after a few blocks after realizing it was the wrong bus. Tears came to my eyes and I thought, what can I do to help all these broken people God loves so much? I will certainly pray... interceding before God my Father... but is there anything else God is calling me to do?

Please pray for me as I, and we, discern what's next.