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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 »

The Lord’s Presence

As we begin the Lenten Season later this month, I pray we will begin to contemplate how important it is for us to truly always be in the Lord’s presence. Many years ago I became acquainted with a very beautiful story. You may be familiar with it also. Even if you are familiar with it, it is worth reading again and again. The author of it is unknown, and I’m not really sure it even had an original title. It is referred to as “Footprints in the Sand.” It goes like this: “One night I dreamed I was walking along a white beach with the Lord, Suddenly across the sky flashed scenes from my life. The expanse of beach seemed to blend with my past. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one set belonged to me, and the other belonged to the Lord. When the last scene of my life had flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. To my astonishment I noticed that many times along the path of my life there was only one set of footprints, and that was ... Read More »

Getting It All Together

Dear Church Family, As I finish my 50th year of ministry, 3 in Kentucky and 47 in Wisconsin, I find myself thinking about many things. My biggest regret in those years has to do with the various people who shut me out of their lives because they didn’t like something I had done or just didn’t like me period. Usually they shut me out by lowering or quitting giving to the church and not coming to worship. These people saw me as the head of the church and shutting me out had to do with undermining the institution. When these people were in the majority, the church ceased to be a family of God. Of course I always have felt that God, and not I, is the head of the church. Undermining the church is only defeating God, and not me. I have always seen myself as temporary, and not permanent, like God is. I will be forgotten, but not God. If I have done anything to encourage people to remember God first, then I was greatly successful. The fact is, that in all those years, I needed people’s encouragement ... Read More »

How Do We See Christmas

“- The Shepherds said to one another, let us go– and see this thing– and when they had seen it-” Luke 2: 15,17 See What? What did those shepherds see that night in Bethlehem’s stable? Did they merely see a poor mother who was forced to make a pile of straw a birthing place, or did they see beyond the manger, and the straw, to the meaning behind the baby’s birth? Simply stated– those shepherds saw Christmas, for Christ is Christmas! What did they see? They saw what was in their hearts to see. That’s true with all of us; we approach every experience of life with our presuppositions, our memories, our prejudices, we see what we bring into the scene with us, and we bring into it what we want to see. Our eyesight depends largely upon our insight. Our reactions tell more about ourselves than they do about an outward event. Our blindness is not because the thing doesn’t exist– not because Christmas is meaningless– but because we haven’t brought the proper insight with us. We only see the things which square with our attitudes and lives, the ... Read More »


Thanksgiving Day, the first of all national holidays to be established in our country, is considered by many to be UNIQUE because it was initiated for the specific purpose of thanking God personally for God’s many blessings. To many Americans, however, “Thanksgiving” is anything BUT THAT. It is largely a day of feasting, football, and festivities; God scarcely rates a few words of grace at the over laden table. Yet I would hope that in every home into which this publication comes there is a more sacred and meaningful celebration. I would hope the giving of thanks is evident every day of the year and not just on the fourth Thursday of November! Of course, the real origin of all thanksgiving goes far back into the ancient world– well beyond the Thanksgiving Day (November 26, 1789). The Old Testament abounds with references to harvest festivals and other special times of thanksgiving: People have always been thankful to God. I suppose Thanksgiving Day means something a little bit different to each one of us, but certainly we would all agree that “Thanksgiving” is more an attitude of the heart than an ... Read More »

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