News for December 2009


julekakeJulekake.  Because Norwegians need more butter and sugar in their diet.  I was going to make stollen to embrace my German roots as well but yesterday started with caramel rolls and Jodi put a moratorium on sweet breads.

Posted: December 25th, 2009
Categories: bread
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Posted: December 22nd, 2009
Categories: family
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Live From Bethlehem

Insert a manger, Ben Houge on Piano, Graham Peterson on Drums, Justin Rimbo on Bass, and me with guitar and that’s what Trinity Lutheran in Jeffers MN looked like on Saturday night. 

The altar area was all set up for Sunday morning’s christmas program which made for a fun backdrop for a great night of music and conversation.  We were welcomed graciously and fed well by this incredibly giving congregation.  I had met the Meier family from Jeffers at Outlaw Ranch last summer and when I was looking for a place to play they took us in whole heartedly!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

After playing we drove on to Sioux Falls staying with Pr. Jeff Sorenson’s family – thankfully they were still up to show us to our beds when we arrived.  Sunday morning we did a bit during the service at Messiah New Hope and then did a full concert after a delicious meatball lunch.  Oh, and did I mention there was a bakesale?  Helloooo lefse!  Once again, it was the sunday of the christmas program so once again we played around the manger.  There were a handful of members from the congregation that I had met back in October while leading music at a ELCA Region 3 event.  It was good to see these new friends once again and see what had been percolating in the congreagation since last we met. 

Thank you to these congregations and so many others that support the arts and allow folks like myself to continue doing what we do.  And of course thanks to Ben, Graham, and Justin, nothing beats travelling and working with people you love!

Now I’m going to bunker down and await the Christ child.  If you need me I’ll be by the fireplace.  Happy Advent from Bethlehem to you.

Posted: December 14th, 2009
Categories: music
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bike by popular demand… and by choice

It’s wednesday morning, 15 degrees, and lots of snow.  not a ton of snow, but lots of snow.  If I had to be somewhere miles away i would’ve driven, but since i only had a mile to go, and quite honestly didn’t know if the scion would make it through the unplowed streets i took my bike.  it was not efficient, it was not convenient, but it was fun.  very very fun.  Few things are more satisfying than making the first tracks of the day.  can i get an amen?

Posted: December 9th, 2009
Categories: bike
Comments: 1 Comment.

a hole in the wall

This morning three large trucks and three strong men showed up at our place to put a hole in the wall of our basement and install an egress window.  It’s amazing what skilled laborers with the know how and correct tools can accomplish.   In a matter of hours the window was slid into place.  If I would’ve done this job we’d be looking at a matter of weeks.  And a couple bottles of aspirin.  And marriage counseling.  (A thing that should  probably be factored into most home improvement budgets.) 

But it is not my job to dig holes and bust up cement and operate bobcats.  I don’t know how, I don’t have the strength, and I don’t have the drive.  No, while these guys did their job I went and did mine.  I drove over to Minneapolis, dropped my wife and daughter off for a play date, and showed up at friend’s Joel and Aimee Pakan’s house for a play date of my own.  I got to play a slide part for a version of Amazing Grace they had been commissioned to record.  I had a blast €“ Joel and Aimee are great to work with, I was happy with my part (confidant in Joel’s editing abilities of course) and most importantly they were happy with it too!  We wrapped up by noon, I picked up Jodi and Elsa and we had lunch at Papa’s.  Yum. I had the best hot hoagie of my life!

We got back home and the guys were wrapping things up.  I’m all about home improvement and the diy thing, but I’m thankful that in the last 6 months I’ve gained discernment in knowing what I am capable of and what I need to ask for help with. 

I think there’s a strong connection between discernment, honesty, and humility.  They kind of grow together.  Of course once you blog about growing in humility all bets are off.  Oh well at least I’m being honest.  But enough about how awesome I’m evolving. 

This is the connection I see between the three.  By approaching the situation with honesty you reveal your limitations.  Once you know your limitations discernment gets easier because you’re working with absolutes and not theoreticals.  And with the discernment you turn to others and this dependence and admitting of weakness leads to humility. 

So I’m thankful for all those who embrace their work and do it well.  I’m grateful that some people are good at busting up cement.  And I hope at the end of the day they’re grateful when they turn on the radio and drive home singing along to their favorite song.  When we all work, we all work together.

Posted: December 9th, 2009
Categories: Uncategorized
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