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“God’s Freely Given Love”

February is upon us and I am asking what happened to January?  Yes, it is still cold outside but our hearts should be warm as we think of love – you know, Valentine’s Day!  Valentine’s Day can be heart breaking for some, lonely for some – but there is a love that will always be there for us.  That love is… God’s Love! Sing to the Lord with thanks; sing praises to our God with a lyre! God covers the skies with clouds; God makes rain for the earth; God makes the mountains sprout green grass. God gives food to the animals – even to the baby ravens when they cry out. God doesn’t prize the strength of a horse; God doesn’t treasure the legs of a runner. No.  The Lord treasures the people who honor him, the people who wait for His faithful love.  – Psalm 147:7-11 All of us have known relationships that seemed to have dried up.  Often one of the signs and causes of such a breakup is the failure to express heartfelt thanks and appreciation to the other.  In other words, taking the other for granted.  ... Read More »

Baby It’s Cold Outside

I had been trying to write this article and just continued to have writer’s block when this song came on the radio: Baby, It’s Cold Outside. This particular version was sung by Suzy Bogguss and Delbert McClinton. There is also a Barnes & Noble commercial airing now with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga singing the song. My favorite version of it is sung by Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow. The song was originally written in 1944 by Frank Loesser who premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel housewarming party. Garland considered it “their song” and was furious when Loesser sold the song to MGM. MGM inserted the song into its 1949 motion picture, Neptune’s Daughter. The film featured two performances of the song: one by Ricardo Montalbán and Esther Williams and the other by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett. These performances earned Loesser an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song “debuted” at the Oscar ceremony via a performance by Mae West and Rock Hudson. Did you know this amazing and interesting history? Anyway, this song got me thinking. Yes, it is cold outside! ... Read More »

May It Begin With You – And I

     The last few days have been filled with violence.  Russian plane taken down by a bomb, a Beirut bombing and multiple terrorist attacks in Paris.  Over 400 dead and many more injured.  The media continues to focus on the negative and you just want to be like an ostrich and stick you head in the sand and hope it all goes away!      As you read this, Thanksgiving has passed (hopefully no one was hurt on Black and Blue Friday) and Christmas will be upon us shortly!  But we will be ok because Star Wars is back and, of course, light will overcome darkness.       Whoa!  Is that not what Christmas is about?  Light overcoming darkness.  Sorry Star Wars, but Jesus was there before you and promised to bring peace on earth.       Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.      Whether it is in the world or you personally are looking for peace, the Bible has many verses about ... Read More »

“Leap of Faith”

Have you ever asked yourself exactly what faith is? Merriam-Webster defines faith as: 1) a strong belief or trust in someone or something; 2) belief in the existence of God: strong religious feelings or beliefs; and 3) a system of religious beliefs. Wikipedia defines faith as a confidence or trust in a person or thing or a belief not based on proof. It may also refer to a particular system of religious belief. Now I agree these are good secular definitions but God tells us, in the Bible, the definition of faith in Hebrews: Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen and without faith it’s impossible to please God for whoever would approach Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1-3) Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen! Sometimes what is required in our lives is a leap of faith. Leap of faith in the secular world is defined as an act or instance ... Read More »

Leap Of Faith

Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds.  When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain to pray.  Evening came and he was alone.   Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land.  Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!”  They were so frightened they screamed. Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouaged!  It’s me.  Don’t be afraid.”  Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.”  And Jesus said, “Come.”  Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on water toward Jesus.  But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened.  As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, Rescue me!”  Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith!  Why did you begin to have doubts?” When they ... Read More »


This is new territory for me, but that seems to be the way of life for now- rolling with whatever comes along.  When asked by Pauline what we were doing for the Pastor’s note in the newsletter, I replied, “I have no idea.”  So here I am, giving it my best. Reading again Pastor Duane’s “final comments” from last month and many attended and listened to Pastor Duane’s last service on June 21st memories flowed and so did tears.  (Its our the church website if you missed it or want to watch it again –   God’s house was packed and if he ever thought he didn’t impact people’s lives, he was greatly mistaken. Pastor Duane’s last day at FUMC isThursday, June 25th.  He made a different in Fennimore, at FUMC, and the surrounding communities as well.  He’s done great things at FUMC but we also know how much he is looking forward to retirement, being able to spend time with his bride and he miraculous grandchildren he never thought he would be blessed with.  That alone gives us comfort in knowing he will be busy and enjoying it greatly.  ... Read More »

Final Statistics and Closing Comments from Pastor Andrus

I thought it might be interesting to list a few fifteen year statistics: Baptisms: 154 Funerals: 247 New Members Received: 320 Eagle Pins given by Pastor to Youth: 83   Of course the list doesn’t include visits and various other ministerial functions.  I am ending 47 years of ministry in Wisconsin, and three more in Kentucky, as I served the Lord as an evangelist, and as Pastor of a mission church, supported financially by a U.M. Church near Milwaukee. Upon reading my theological papers, a member of the board of ordained ministry noted that I was poor material for ministry before my ordination.  I didn’t hold a grudge, but did think of that persons opinion, as I received my second Master’s Degree in Evangelism-Church Growth, and as I received the Harry Denman Award, as National Denominational Recognition of Excellence in Evangelism Endeavors.  I also think of it now, as I finish 50 years of faithful service.  Recently an elder in the church said of my fifty years, you are very old, or started very young.  In answer to that question I would have to say both. My longest appointment in ... Read More »


As most of you know, the longest I have ever lived in the same place is the fifteen years I have lived in Fennimore.  But I realize that next month I will move away and in not so many years will only be remembered by a few folks as one of the ministers who served The United Methodist Church in Fennimore.  It makes me ask the question… What Exactly is Home? Home is really not so much a physical place, although many people place much of the emphasis on that.  Actually Home is more a “State of Being.”  Home is a place where you relate and create.  It is a place where you can be yourself, and be free to strive to reach your potential.  It is a place to dream, and laugh and ponder and do.  It is a place where you feel important and needed, and appreciated.  It is a place where you can shed a tear, and dry up someone else’s.  Home is something you mainly feel, and carry around with you, wherever you go.  Home is a place of memories, a place where you know who ... Read More »

Dear To The Heart Of God

Please read-John 3:16 Sometimes we wonder if God really loves us.  There are so many things in life that make us question it.  Disappointment, heartaches, injustices, failures—all sometimes make us doubt the love of God. But when we go to the Bible for an answer to our doubts, the one verse which gives us our assurance, that we are dear to the heart of God, is John 3:16. Martin Luther called this verse the “Little Gospel.”  Well might we write it upon the walls of our minds, engrave it into the innermost precincts of our hearts, and keep it with us in our daily labors. This is the one verse above all others which Christians should commit to memory.  It is our greatest hope. The wonder of this gospel is not that God loved the world, but that God loved it with so great a love, a love which was fully interpreted in the death of an only son.  Through this death we begin to understand God’s great love for us, and begin to see that which can make us whole. Of course mystery shrouds the atonement.  I do not ... Read More »

“Worship, The Way to Power”

Psalm 122:1 states, “I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the Lord’s house.” Some years ago, I preached a sermon on the theme, “Worship, the Way to Power.” One of my confirmation students, who attended worship regularly, wrote the following outline of the high points of that sermon, as an assignment. I would like to share her observations of that sermon. “Worship, The Way to Power” Main Points:Our appreciation of the value of worship needs to be raised.We look at the time that is spent worshiping as lost time, we need to re-evaluate this idea.No believer can read the old or new testament and not believe that worship is a necessity.Worship causes a change of views which is vital.Views are changed when we worship, from partial to perfect.We must realize that Christ gave himself for us, God really must love us.The act of worship is the deep experience of being in the presence of God.Things are different today than they were yesterday, things will be different tomorrow than they were today.We need the challenge of worship because we haven’t been challenged enough.One of the only ... Read More »

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