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Preview: UPBEAT! by PrairiePete

UPBEAT! by PrairiePete

[Updated 04.16.09] Thanks for reading... have a FABULOUS day! [DISCLAIMER - The comments and thoughts contained within this blog DO NOT reflect the people or ministries of Prairie Lutheran Church... they are simply the musings of A CONFUSED MIND, except

Updated: 2018-03-02T11:18:02.712-06:00


Helloooooo Baaaaaaaaaby!


("Let me tell you how it will be... there's one for you, 19 for me... 'cause I'm the taxman...")

OK, so I'm a little ADD!!! Just because I'm interested in a lot of things doesn't make me a bad person, just a bad blogger?
No, i haven't and do not see myself ever getting involved in... Twitter (not that there's anything wrong with that!). Actually, I think there s a lot wrong with that! I don't care if you brushed your teeth with Arm and Hammer Baking Soda toothpaste, I think most everyone would agree that we don't need or want to know when you went to the state fair.
I have discovered the online "community" of Facebook, so I've been spending a lot of time, trying it figure out... 
Anyway, I hope you're well... I hope you dance! Check me out on Facebook... look for the hat!
Ever wondering... 

"This is why we live in Minnesota?"


Well, we're well into the new year... so far, we've lived through two of the coldest weeks in recent memory... for those of you in "sunny climes," how does -40 degrees grab ya? It's so cold... ("How cold is it?"), I had to wear two pairs of long underwear!My relatives in sunny Southern CA can't believe we live through this stuff... of course, they think we have to chop holes in the lakes to go swimming in July! Like the youth guy at Prairie said, "After it gets below 0, it really doesn't matter how much colder it gets... it's all just cold!" You can't really tell much difference between minus 10 and minus eight billion!!!As we enter 2009, we have new president, a world economy that's reeling, a housing market that hasn't hit bottom yet according to some experts, and tension throughout the world... what does all of that mean?It's time to "pray without ceasing, baby!" I sometimes wonder what people without faith think... how do the respond to all the doom and gloom. I know that I couldn't get through all this without a belief in something greater than little ol' moi! It just proves that when left to our own devices, we have a tendency to fail miserably.What bothers me most is the level and amount of greed out there. When I read about executives giving themselves big bonuses for driving long-established companies into bankruptcy, it boggles my mind... how do these people sleep? I get heartburn just thinking about it, don't you?Luckily, faith has no monetary price tag... you can't buy or sell faith (well, maybe the televangelists can)... faith is a funny thing.I wish I could have the faith of a child more often than I do... I wonder where that childlike faith goes as we get older... and isn't it funny, how people who have lived a good long life seem to regain that "faith of a child?" Makes me think that we're trying too hard sometimes.All that being said, the great news is that.. pitchers and catchers report to spring training in less than a month... so you're telling me there's hope, huh? "People will come, Ray, they most certainly will come!"Looking forward to spring... everybody has to believe in something... I believe I'll go to sleep!Continue to pray for peace... see you in church!PrairiePete[...]



Christmas 2008

Better late than never, huh?

Do you remember that Bing Crosby / David Bowie Christmas tune? Turns out Mr. Bowie didn’t want to sing the Little Drummer Boy (“he hated it”), so the music producers for Mr. Crosby quickly wrote the little counterpoint melody… (here’s a link to the article:

I bring this up because the last verse is stuck in my mind.

“I pray my wish will come true; for my child, and your child, too.
He'll see the day of glory, see the day when men of good will live in peace, live in peace again.
Peace on Earth, can it be? Can it be?”

I know this is my prayer, and I think it’s everyone’s prayer… that our children, and our children’s children, will live in peace.

This Christmas, I am grateful to know and work with so many talented, gifted, and giving people. The members of the Worship Arts team are a source of much joy, and I think the group has grown and evolved to be a very important and vital ministry of the church.

Blessings to you and your family this Christmas/New Year/Epiphany/Lenten season… feel free to shoot me an email or drop me a line!

This was too good not to share...


Sometimes I get an email that is too good not to share... hmm... where have I heard that before?I got this in an email from a person who attends Prairie Lutheran, the church I work for (if you knew this person, I think you would be surprised!)... anyway, as I read it, I thought I would share it with you. I don't know if it's true or not, but the message of the story still rings true!OK, have a GREAT day... thanks for looking at this... I appreciate your visit, and I invite you to visit us! Our website is check it out!Blessings to you!PrairiePete= = = = = = =DAD’S STORY On July 22nd, I was in route to Washington, DC for a business trip. It was all so very ordinary, until we landed in Denver for a plane change. As I collected my belongings from the overhead bin, an announcement was made for Mr. Lloyd Glenn to see the United Customer Service Representative immediately.I thought nothing of it until I reached the door to leave the plane and I heard a gentleman asking every male if he were Mr. Glenn. At this point I knew something was wrong and my heart sunk.When I got off the plane a solemn-faced young man came toward me and said, “Mr. Glenn, there is an emergency at your home. I do not know what the emergency is, or who is involved, but I will take you to the phone so you can call the hospital.”  My heart was now pounding, but the will to be calm took over. Woodenly, I followed this stranger to the distant telephone where I called the number he gave me for the Mission Hospital. My call was put through to the trauma center where I learned that my three-year-old son had been trapped underneath the automatic garage door for several minutes, and that when my wife had found him he was dead. CPR had been performed by a neighbor, who is a doctor, and the paramedics had continued the treatment as Brian was transported to the hospital.By the time of my call, Brian was revived and they believed he would live, but they did not know how much damage had been done to his brain, nor to his heart.  They explained that the door had completely closed on his little sternum right over his heart. He had been severely crushed. After speaking with the medical staff, my wife sounded worried but not hysterical, and I took comfort in her calmness.The return flight seemed to last forever, but finally I arrived at the hospital six hours after the garage door had come down. When I walked into the intensive care unit, nothing could have prepared me to see my little son lying so still on a great big bed with tubes and monitors everywhere. He was on a respirator. I glanced at my wife who stood and tried to give me a reassuring smile. It all seemed like a terrible dream. I was filled-in with the details and given a guarded prognosis. Brian was going to live, and the preliminary tests indicated that his heart was OK, two miracles in and of themselves. But only time would tell if his brain received any damage.Throughout the seemingly endless hours, my wife was calm. She felt that Brian would eventually be all right. I hung on to her words and faith like a lifeline. All that night and the next day Brian remained unconscious. It seemed like forever since I had left for my business trip the day before.Finally at two o’clock that afternoon, our son regained consciousness and sat up uttering the most beautiful words I have ever heard spoken. He said, “Daddy, hold me” and he reached for me with his little arms.[TEAR]By the next day he was pronounced as having no neurological or physical deficits, and the story of his miraculous survival spread throughout the hospital. You cannot imagine, we took Brian home, we felt a unique reverence for the life and love of our Heavenly Father that comes to those who brush death so closely.In the days that followed there was a special spirit about our home. Our two older children were much closer to their little brother. My wife and I were much closer to each other, and all of us were very close[...]

The more things change...

2008-11-09T22:26:40.656-06:00, never mind!The nice thing about writing a "monthly" blog is that there usually is something to rant about. Hmmm, let me think... what happened between my last post in the beginning of October 'til now? Something important, I think... I don't think it was weather-related... oh yes, now I remember!I celebrated a birthday... that's the ticket! Whenever someone asks me how old I am, I always say, "92, but I'm in great shape!"I'll just say that I'm older than the President-elect, but younger than his Vice-President!Kinda like Norm from "Cheers"... "Hey, Mr. Peterson, whatcha up to?" "My ideal weight if I were 7' 2"!"I think the best thing I've heard re: post-election America is... isn't it a great country where we can have such a heated campaign, yet at the end of the day, we are all Americans. We need to put aside our differences and pray for our new president. Like I heard one newsperson say, "I wonder if Sen. Obama is saying to himself... now what do I do?"All the speculation, analysis, commentary... do we really need all of the rhetoric?I'm reminded of my dad's mom, who just died last summer at the age of 103... the things she must have seen, all the political maneuverings over all the years... from riding sail-powered fishing boats to watching men walk on the moon... from the joys of motherhood to the pain of having to bury a child and a spouse...My grandma's birthday is November 10th... my birthday is the 7th, my brother's is the 4th, as is one of my co-workers... another celebrated her birthday on the 6th (which is the same as John Phillip Sousa; don't ask me how I remember that!)... there are a lot of birthdays in November!On another note, I've become a YouTube addict... does anyone remember when MTV and VH1 actually broadcast music videos? Back when they mattered? (Oh, sorry... that was kinda political, wasn't it?)Anyway, I was an MTV / VH! addict big time... I was hooked on Thomas Dolby ("She Blinded Me With Science"); I wanted my MTV (Mark Knoffler and Sting); I remember staying up all night to watch Toto, Phil Collins and Philip Bailey, the Police, Foreigner, Journey and Steve Perry, Billy Joel, Elton John, Earth, Wind and Fire, Wild Cherry (hint: "Play that Funky Music...")... remember KC and the Sunshine Band, the Jackson 5 (when Michael had his real nose!)... can you tell I was addicted? What? You say I still AM addicted? No way!Did I mention the Tubes, Todd Rundgren, The Cars, Duran Duran, Mr. Mister, The Fixx, van Halen, Chicago, Pete Cetera, Laura Brannigan, Karla Bonhoff, Nicolette Larson, Robbie Dupree, Roger Vadoris, Bobby Caldwell...I hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving... we head into my personal "crazy time..." Advent and Christmas... lots of services, lots of different styles of music, lots of outside groups coming to perform, lots of inside groups performing as well... we're all givin' glory to the Lord, whatever way we can.As you can tell, I have a fairly eclectic taste in music... some would say a schizophrenic taste in music! I've always felt that variety of the music we do at Prairie Lutheran is one of the reasons people come to worship... they know that they'll probably hear something familiar, but they'll probably hear a new song, or a new soloist or group... there's really never a dull moment!Come and check us out if you're looking for a new church. You can check out our website at to hear samples of our pastors preaching, or to find out more about the congregation, staff and programming.Ok, time to say "Good night, Gracie!" "Good night, Gracie!"Have a GREAT day... we'll see you in church!PrairiePete[...]

"Render unto Caesar..."


So.. is anyone else tired of the whole attack-style political scene? It's driving me crazy!!! He said this, no, he said that... she's not qualified, he's inexperienced... ENOUGH!Is anyone old enough (like me... older than dirt!), does anyone remember a time when we, the people, voted for a candidate because they inspired us, they made us want more for our children than for ourselves, they gave us a vision we could identify with?Now it seems like all we're left with is "the lesser of two evils," because we're so beaten down by the rhetoric that we're voting just to be done with it! People vote based on "what's in it for me?"That's not what made this country great!It's funny, my dad, his parents, his brothers and sisters... all were "re-located" to Manzanar, a "relocation center" in the Mojave Desert during WWII. Yet, I never heard him speak ill towards the US, never talked it down, never suggested that this wasn't the greatest country in the world... his mom, my grandmother, just died this summer at the age of 103... I never heard her say anything bad about this country...We've become a nation of self-centered, self-absorbed "navel-gazers..." all we think about is ourselves and our attention is turned inward.That's one of the great things about being a follower of Jesus... it seemed like he was a pretty busy guy, healing the sick and raising the dead... he did a bit of traveling, and he has a group of followers who looked to him for direction and guidance...But in all the accounts we have, Jesus made time for people... he was always looking out for those less respected, less empowered. He sought out those disenfranchised... women... children. He was outward focused, and he challenges us to be the same.So, how do we change? Take a look at Matthew 25:34-45,... that's enough... I've fallen asleep a couple of time trying to finish this... it's time to go to sleep!Have a great day!Prairie Pete[...]

I know this doesn't count as a posting, but...


...sometimes, things are so cute you just can't pass them up!!!Forrest Gump Goes to Heaven: The day finally arrived. Forrest Gump dies and goes to Heaven. He is at the Pearly Gates, met by St. Peter himself. However, the gates are closed, & Forrest approaches the gatekeeper.St. Peter said, 'Well Forrest, it is certainly good to see you. We have heard a lot about you... I must tell you though, that the place is filling up fast, and we have been administering an entrance examination for everyone. The test is short, but you have to pass it before you can get into Heaven.'Forrest responds, 'It sure is good to be here, St. Peter, sir. But nobody ever told me about any entrance exam & am I sure hope that the test ain't too hard. Life was a big enough test as it was.' St. Peter continued, 'Yes, I know Forrest, but the test is only three questions'. First: What two days of the week begin with the letter 'T'?Second: How many seconds are there in a year?Third: What is God's first name?'Forrest leaves to think over the questions. He returns the next day and sees St. Peter, who waves him up, and says, 'Now that you have had a chance to think the questions over, tell me your answers.'Forrest replied, 'Well, the first one -- which two days in the week begins with the letter 'T'? Shucks, that one is easy. That would be Today and Tomorrow.'The Saint's eyes open wide and he exclaimed, 'Forrest, that is not what I was thinking but you do have a point, and I guess I did not specify, so I will give you credit for that answer. How about the next one?' asked St. Peter.'How many seconds in a year?' Now that one is harder,' replied Forrest, but I thunk and thunk about that, and I guess the only answer can be twelve.'Astounded, St. Peter said, 'Twelve? Twelve? Forrest, how in Heaven's name could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?'Forrest replied, 'Shucks, there's got to be twelve: January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd... ''Hold it' interrupts St. Peter, 'I see where you are going with this, and I see your point, though that was not quite what I had in mind but I will have to give you credit for that one too. Now, let us go on with the third and final question.Can you tell me God's first name'?'Sure,' Forrest replied, 'it's Andy.''Andy?' exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St Peter. 'Ok, I can understand how you came up with your answers to my first two questions, but just how in the world did you come up with the name Andy as the first name of God?''Shucks, that was the easiest one of all,' Forrest replied. 'I learnt it from the song,'ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN.'St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates, and said: 'Run Forrest, run.'Y'all have a WONDER-FILLED day!Prairie Pete[...]

"It's the right time of the night..."


I used to be a night owl... WAIT!

I'm writing this at 12:50 am, Tuesday morning... not as cool as "Tuesday afternoon... I'm just beginning to see, now I'm on my way..."

I think the best thing about this blogging deal is that there's no-one to tell you how to write... I know I drive linear thinkers crazy! (For all you linear thinkers out there who deal with me on an occasional basis, I'm sorry... kind of.)

My bride said I'm childish... her friends say, no... he's childlike, but, we all know my wife is right!

She once told me that I'm the most tangential person she knows... I say I'm the poster boy for ADD...

I know it's not funny... in fact, my friends remind they have medication for what I have... the only problem is... it is kinda funny, don't you think?

Did you notice the cool things I added to this page? The Miro paintings, and the space pictures... I think both of these sites are awesome, baby!

I once received a series of prayers based on the Myers-Briggs profiles... here's mine:

"Dear God,
Please help me focus on one...
...thing today.

For those of you who know me, it kinda fits, don't you think?

OK, well it's going to be a warm fall day here in the Prairie-land... you know, I think Prairie Lutheran is confusing... the name, that is. I mean, I don't know if there has been a prairie in Eden Prairie for several years now!

Whenever I think of Prairie, I think "Little House..." don't you? Come on, you know you do! Ma and Pa Engels, Nellie, Laura, Halfpint (and NO! I DID NOT watch a lot of Little House on the Prairie... well, maybe a little!)... I don't know. don't you think Eden Prairie Lutheran is more descriptive?

Of course, that totally ruins our PLC acronym, which stands for... I forget.

Alright, that's enough rambling, man! (I know, I know... "trying to make a living and doin' the best I can..." I heard it!)

Is it Ritalin that the give to people like me? Did I tell you that when I was in Kindergarten Sunday School, they had to bring in another teacher just to sit with me? That's so difficult to believe!!!

Say goodnight, Gracie!

See you in church...
Prairie Pete

Trying Times...


You know... I like to do this "blog-thing on the interlink...", I really do!It's challenging to come up with something that you think others might find interesting... (oh, oh... I'm doing the "Larry King" column thing... adding ellipses at the end of phrases...)I wonder if the "ellipses" thing is because it forces me to write more?I'm watching a favorite show of mine, "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern," as I'm writing this... that guy is incredible! He'll eat anything! Anyway, if you've been following along, Chef Zimmern resides in Minnesota for large chunks of his time... his hour-long, Bizarre Foods of the MN State Fair was pretty good! He and Anthony Bourdain are two of my favorites!Anyway, he was in China, eating all kinds of funky stuff... he actually got stuck being unable to eat stinky tofu! It's fun to watch when he can't down something, because he usually can eat anything!I'm gonna switch computers... be back in a minute!I think I need to start going to stop blogging at 12:30 in the morning! I need to go to sleep...OK, I've fallen asleep three times since trying to finis this monthy's entry... I'll try to finish tomorrow!============8:20 a.m.Good Morning!Nice post last night, 'eh? (Did I tell you that my mom lives in Canada?) Let's try this again!Oh yeah... trying times! Why, you ask? Well, my Vikings lost pretty handily to the Brett-less Packers, and my Twins are in a terrible slump! I'm not giving up hope for my Twins... we're such a young team... our pitchers are trying too hard, come to think of it, it seems like everyone on the team is trying too hard!Come on, Gardy! Get these kids back to the point... they get paid big bucks to play a game! I know we'll be OK!Alright, time to go... meetings to go to... whoo hoo! Don't you just love sitting in meetings? I know some people love to meet... I guess I'd rather be doing something! Oh well... you can't stop progress!Have a GREAT day, y'all! See you in church!PrairiePete [...]

Life is good...


You know, no matter how my day has been, it's always a good day. I think it was George Burns who said, "When I wake up, the first thing I read is the obituaries... if I don't see my name there, I get out of bed!"

I think the perspective of time is so interesting... the things I thought were important when I was younger don't seem to be such a big deal anymore. The older I get, the more precious and fleeting and whimsical life becomes...

I used to be a night owl... wait, I am a night owl! Anyway, I used to sleep in in the mornings, which I find hard to do anymore. Life is too short... now one of my favorite things is to get out of bed and go get the paper... especially when it's summertime in Minnesota. The air is usually so clean and clear, you can hear all the birds singing... my mom used to say, "Oh, I hear Mr. Cardinal!" Now, that's what I say when I hear a cardinal... must be maternal imprinting.

I know it's hard to believe, but I get discouraged just like the rest of you mortals do... thank God for the internet! My sister sent me a link about an incredible young man named Nick... here's the link:

It's a bit long, but I'm not sure how anyone who watched it can feel sorry for themselves...

I love this line from a James Taylor song... "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time..." That's so cool! 

Then the next verse goes:

"The secret of love is in opening up your heart
Its okay to feel afraid
But don't let that stand in your way
cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since were only here for a while
Might as well show some style
Give us a smile
Isn't it a lovely ride..."

Finally, a few of you may be old enough to remember Dr. Sidney Freedman from the TV show M*A*S*H... Allan Arbus (Dr. Freedman) played an Army psychiatrist... at the end of one episode, Dr. Freedman gave the stressed O.R. staff some advice: "Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice."

Enjoy the journey, my friend... remember, life is a one lap race!

Pray for peace... and passion!
Prairie Pete

I know this doesn't count as a "posting"...


My beautiful bride always sends me things to look at, usually when I'm in the middle of something I think is important. Today, for some reason, I decided to read this one... and I think you should, too!=======I hope you will enjoy it half as much as I have!! Don't start reading this one until you have got 3 or 4 minutes to just 'scan' over it. It deserves some time for reflection.GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night.He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, 'Are you there, God?' he said. 'Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed....’I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room. Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in.He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2); there are few ways in which he is an adult.He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed, that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas, and those airplanes stay up in the sky because "angels carry them."I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life?Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our Cocker Spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed.The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.He does not seem dissatisfied.He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work.He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores.And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watches the planes land, and speculates loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. 'That one's goin' to Chi-car-go!' Kevin shouts as he claps his hands.His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights.And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.He doesn't know what it means to be discontent.His life is simple.He will never know the entanglements of wealth of power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be.His hands are diligent. Kevin is never as happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it.He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure.He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue.Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an ‘educated’ person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion.In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith.It is then that I am most [...]

You know, it's kinda sad...

2008-07-14T00:31:44.948-05:00's kinda sad when you have to look up your login info because it's been so long since you last logged on!

Hi, sports fans! A lot has happened since I last reported to you! Our church had it's annual outdoor worship service... our nation celebrated a birthday, my 103 grandmother passed away... I've been on vacation to "God's country" (Northern Minnesota)... our summer attendance remains steady and strong... my appreciation for the people who volunteer at PLC to help out with music grows each week, and it's finally summer in the Twin Cities!

Speaking of the Twins, I've enjoyed watching and listening to the games for the most part. Some people thought the team would collapse after losing Torii Hunter and trading Johan Santana...

Did I tell you that I emailed the new Twins GM, Bill Smith, just before the Santana trade went down? I told him that I appreciated the difficulty of deciding which way to go, but that as a loyal fan, I still loved he way the Twins do business and the product they continue to put on the field.

Go Go Gomez is a fun but nerve-wracking watch, Livan is questionable, but I still love my Twins! I love watching "the kids" figure out what it means to be a big leaguer...

Do you remember "Angels in the Outfield?" (Yes, I cried at the end of that movie too, just like I did for "The Parent Trap!") When the little kid kept saying, "It could happen!" It could happen with my Twins! (You can't spell Twins with out WIN!")

There's this great little blog/email letter you should check out... it's from a United Methodist Church in Green Bay, WI of all places... but it's still good!

Here's the link: http:\\; Check it out... I think you'll like it.

Another cool deal is my friend Rob Barrett's "Cooking for Dads." It's a YouTube deal where he helps "dads" (and others!) who might be kitchen-aphobic, and helps them make delicious, healthy meals.

Alright, kiddies... time for bed! Thanks for reading, and I'll catch you next time!

Prairie Pete

Three Things to Ponder...


[Sometimes, I get an email that's just too good to not pass it along... even though my good friend "pianomomsicle" says copying emails does not constitute a post!]

Three Things to Ponder:
1. Cows

2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

1) C O W S
Isn't it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic, our government could track a single cow, born in Canada, almost three years ago, right to the stall where she slept in the State of Washington? And, they tracked her calves to their stalls. But, they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe, we should give each of them a cow.

2) T H E C O N S T I T U T I O N
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq. Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

3) T H E T E N C O M M A N D M E N T S
The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post 'Thou Shalt Not Steal,' 'Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,' and 'Thou Shall Not Lie' in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians... it creates a hostile work environment.

Just something to think about.

Hey! My Twins beat the Yankees and split a four game series with the Bronx Bombers... pretty good stuff, Maynard!

Go Twins!

Pray for peace...
Prairie Pete

Whaaat? A new post?


Hard to believe, isn't it?

Well, it's been a ride lately... both of my wife's parents died within 9 months of each other... we just passed mom-in-law's first anniversary of her passing.

To top it off, our poochie, Taylor died in March... then, my 103 year old grandma just passed away in CA on May 19th. It's been a year!

I'm reminded of God's resurrection promise during difficult times like these... the verse that goes through my head is 1 Cor. 13:12-13...

"Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

If we don't love, what's the point?

One of my favorite rock stars is Todd Rundgren... I remember he put out an album called "Something/Anything" where he played and sang all the parts on three sides of a double album... I was blown away...

Anyway, he wrote a song called "Love is the Answer"... one of my favorites! It goes like this....

Name your price
And take it to paradise
I can't stay here any more
And I've looked high and low
I've been from shore to shore to shore
If there's a short cut I'd have found it
But there's no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We're all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It's such a lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

While the lyrics are dark, there is a hope in the words "Love is the answer."

Amen? Amen!

Catch you next time!

Up Late... Watching ANOTHER food program!


Well, I think have everything ready for next Sunday... I just have to put music packets together for the Worship Team (the best team in the world!), get the mics out, and assemble the projection... hopefully it will go smoothly, God willing!

The Twins had the day off... that's Minnesota Twins, for those of you who stumbled across this blog by accident! I'm hopeful that the young pitchers will figure out that they belong in the big leagues, and that our bats will wake up! It's a bit difficult seeing Torii Hunter get a game-winning grand slam... not that he got one, but that he's no longer on the team... the realities of pro ball!

With both Torii and Johan Santana gone, it's a little weird watching my favorite baseball team... I was watching the other day, and 7 of the 9 position players are new to the club this year!

I sent an email to Bill Smith, the new Twins GM, just before the Santana trade went down... I was pleasantly surprised to get a response from him! But it was cool!

I had my credit card number stolen the day we put our pooch down (see the end of my previous blog)... it's under control now, but the interesting thing is... I was getting shipments of WEIGHT LOSS merchandise!!! I got a big box from NutriSystems, I got some weight loss pills... I wonder if the jerk who took my info is trying to tell me something???!!!

My Wild, the MN pro hockey franchise, start the playoffs tomorrow... or today, depending on when I finish this post! They've been playing really well, and it's been fun watching them have some success... they've got some great players!

Like I said, I'm watching a food show... Anthony Bourdain on the Travel Channel. He's really "New York" edgy... but I love the show! The other guy I like is a local guy named Andrew Zimmern... this guy is totally out of his mind! And I'd love to meet him!

Zimmern hosts a show called "Bizarre Foods"... I think I've mentioned it before. Let me warn you... if you've got a weak stomach, DO NOT watch this show! It's like a one man "Fear Factor!" Worms, tarantulas, cockroaches... he'll dig out the eye from a cooked sheep head and spread it on a cracker and chow it down!!! I think that fact that he now lives in MN is the big draw for me... hey, he's even eaten lutefisk on the show! Food Network may have their "Iron Chefs," but Mr. Zimmern has an "iron stomach!" Amazing stuff...

Here's a link to "No Reservations," Mr. Bourdain's show:

And here's a link to "Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern":

Like they always say on "Iron Chef"... ENJOY!

See you in church!

"He is not here...


...where is he?"(That's one of my favorite religious-type jokes! OK... maybe us religious-types don't have the best sense of humor... sorry about that!)I just found out that Larry King used to use a lot of ellipses (these things "...") in his newspaper column in USA Today... cool! I guess us great literary people really know how to fill space!Well, it's been awhile since I last posted, but I figure I should try to post again...On the work front, you know what time it is, don't you? "IT'S TOURNEY TIME, BABY!!!" "PRIME TIME, PRIME TIME, PRIME TIME..."OK... actually, it's Easter... did you know that this is the earliest Easter will be in our lifetime?Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20). This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.Based on the above, Easter can actually be one day earlier (March 22) but that is pretty rare.Here's the interesting info.This year is the earliest Easter any of us will ever see the rest of our lives! And only the most elderly of our population have ever seen it this early (95 years old or above!). And none of us have ever, or will ever, see it a day earlier!Here are the facts:1) The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now). The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you're 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).2) The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now). The last time it was on March 22 was 1818. So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!WOW! That's pretty cool, huh?On a sad note, our 14 year old West Highland White Terrier, Taylor, went to that grassy knoll in the sky this month... we got him as a puppy, so it's been a long time. He was really sick though, and couldn't move much, so we said good bye and good night. That's a pic of the old boy at the top of the page, back in his younger days... [...]

Touching words from the mouth of babes...


What Love means to a 4-8 year old . . . Slow down for three minutes to read this; it is so worth it!A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"The answers they received were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." – (Rebecca, age 8)"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth." – (Billy, age 4)"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other." – (Karl, age 5)"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs." – (Chrissy, age 6)"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired." – (Terri, age 4)"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK." – (Danny, age 7)"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss." – (Emily, age 8)"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." – (Bobby, age 7)"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate," – (Nikka, age 6)"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday." – (Noelle, age 7)"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well." – (Tommy, age 6)"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore." – (Cindy, age 8)"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night." – (Clare, age 6)"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken." – (Elaine, age 5)"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford." – (Chris, age 7)"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day." – (Mary Ann, age 4)"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones." – (Lauren, age 4)"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." (what an image) – (Karen, age 7)"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross." – (Mark, age 6)"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget." – (Jessica, age 8)And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry."When there is nothing left but God, that is when you find out that God is all you need. Take 60 seconds and give this a shot. All you do is simply say the following small prayer for the person who sent you this.Heavenly Father, please bless a[...]

Happy Valentine's Day!


I love my wife! She emails me the cutest things... here's a sample of what I got today!
(I should probably add the disclaimer: "She got them from her brother.")

When a man steals your wife, there is no better revenge than to let him keep her.
Sacha Guitry

After marriage, husband and wife become two sides of a coin; they just can't face each other, but still they stay together.
Hemant Joshi

By all means marry. If you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.

Woman inspires us to great things, and prevents us from achieving them.

The great question... which I have not been able to answer... is, "What does a woman want?
Sigmund Freud

I had some words with my wife, and she had some paragraphs with me.

"Some people ask the secret of our long marriage. We take time to go to a restaurant two times a week. A little candlelight, dinner, soft music and dancing. She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays."
Henny Youngman

"I don't worry about terrorism. I was married for two years."
Sam Kinison

"There's a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It's called marriage."
James Holt McGavran

"I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me, and the second one didn't."
Patrick Murray

Two secrets to keep your marriage brimming:1. Whenever you're wrong, admit it,2. Whenever you're right, shut up.

The most effective way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once...

You know what I did before I married? Anything I wanted to.
Henny Youngman

My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.
Rodney Dangerfield

A good wife always forgives her husband when she's wrong.
Milton Berle

Marriage is the only war where one sleeps with the enemy.

A man inserted an 'ad' in the classifieds: "Wife wanted". Next day he received a hundred letters. They all said the same thing: "You can have mine."

First Guy (proudly): "My wife's an angel!"
Second Guy: "You're lucky, mine's still alive."

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Prairie Pete

These are cute!


Every once in awhile, someone sends me something, or I happen to run across it while I'm looking for something else on "the interlink," and it just makes me chuckle...

Here are a few gems that relate to my "bidness"... have a GREAT day!

A Sunday school teacher was telling her class the story of the Good Samaritan, in which a man was beaten, robbed and left for dead. She described the situation in vivid detail so her students would catch the drama. Then, she asked the class, "If you saw a person lying on the roadside, all wounded and bleeding, what would you do?"
A thoughtful little girl broke the hushed silence, "I think I'd throw up."

A Sunday school teacher asked, "Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark?"
"No," replied Johnny. "How could he, with just two worms."

A Sunday school teacher said to her children, "We have been learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a higher power. Can anybody tell me what it is?"
One child blurted out, "Aces!"

Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday school.
"Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then, he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved."
"Now, Joey, is that really what your teacher taught you?" his mother asked.
"Well, no, Mom. But, if I told it the way the teacher did, you'd never believe it!"

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible; Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse. Little Rick was excited about the task, but, he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.
On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

The preacher's 5 year-old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head, for a moment, before starting his sermon. One day, she asked him why.
"Well, Honey," he began, proud that his daughter was so observant of his messages, "I'm asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon."
"So, how come He doesn't do it?" she asked.

A rabbi said to a precocious six-year-old boy, "So your mother says your prayers for you each night? Very commendable. What does she say?"
The little boy replied, "Thank God he's in bed!"

Happy New Year!


Well, it's been over a month since I updated... kinda busy, with lots of stuff to do... did I mention I work in a church? Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years... the most challenging thing about this job is... you have a GREAT Sunday am experience, people's hearts are touched... great! Now, what are you going to do for us next week?

Sometimes it gets to be a bit much... but like the Japanese-Americans used to say during the internment of WWII... "shikatata ga-nai," which translated means, "It can't be helped."

I hope your New year is filled with joy, health, prosperity and happiness!

Catch you soon!

"Walkin' in my Winter Underwear..."


Well... Well, it’s been a long time since I updated my blog… how are you two doing? (I think there are two people reading this, although it could be just me!)

I hope you all made it through the lovely snow this weekend here in Minnesoooota… as for me and my house, we’re looking for property in AZ!

Some of you may be old enough to remember the Quantas (Australian) Airlines ad… the little koala bear who was angry that Quantas was bringing all these people to Australia… he would end the ad by saying… “I hate Quantas!” I guess hate is not politically correct nowadays, but it mad a memorable ad… I can still hear that voice… “I hate Quantas!”

Now, imagine me, hanging up in a tree, watching the snow fall all around… “I hate snow!” (OK, so I know that was a stretch, and the picture of me hanging up in a tree is worth the price of admission, but… you get my drift! GET IT? Snow... Drift!!!)

SNOW! HUUH! GOOD GOD, Y’ALL… WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! (I know, I know… time to go take my meds!)

Christmas season... it comes up and leaves more quickly each year. I think it must be Einstein's theory of relativity or something. I know that when I’m with my family, time flies!

So, what’s new? Our family went on a trip to the East Coast for Thanksgiving, and had a great time visiting relatives.

Our home remodel is almost done.

My daughter passed her behind the wheel driver’s test… if I were you, I’d park your car in the garage and ride the bus… better for the environment, too!

We’re heading into Advent here at work… We’ve got the North Shore Brass on December 9th, Jolie Berg on violin on the 16th, and Sara Renner will join us December 23rd. I’m even thinking we’ll do the Hallelujah Chorus as a special number that day!

Have a safe and blessed Christmas season… if that doesn’t work for you, have a blessed holiday season! If that doesn't work for you... sorry, I'll be praying for you!

A New Month, a New Blog Entry


So, I'm very jealous of all "youse guyz" who have the time to blog your little brains out every day... let me know when you get a job!

Speaking of jobs, have you read the "Fake Steve Jobs" blog? Pure gold... I love it when the FSJ (think about it... think about it...) tells his tales of dealing with Al Gore, or Bill Gates, or any other noted celebrities... I rarely laugh out loud, but the "Fake Steve Jobs" blog made me chuckle!

So then, I was reading the comedian Steven Wright's blog... can you say, stream of conciousness? Either that, or great mood-altering chemicals!

Hey, did you see the article where someone, and I think it's Merriam-Webster, is dumping the hyphen because nobody knows how to use it anymore? Thank you, txt msgs!

Anyway, I wanted to share a few of Mr. Wright's "observations..." Do you remember in "Cheers" where Fraser turns to Cliff and asks, "Cliff, what color is the sky in your world?"

Dude and dud-ettes, I can totally relate! That's right where I live... OK, here are some Wright-isms... enjoy!
  • I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
  • When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
  • Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
  • I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
  • Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?
  • If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
  • The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.
  • I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.
  • I spilled spot remover on my dog. Now he's gone.
  • I went to the museum where they had all the heads and arms from the statues that are in all the other museums.
  • Smoking cures weight problems... eventually...
  • In school, every period ends with a bell. Every sentence ends with a period. Every crime ends with a sentence.
  • I went to a fancy French restaurant called "Deja Vu." The headwaiter said, "Don't I know you?"
  • When I turned two I was really anxious, because I'd doubled my age in a year. I thought, if this keeps up, by the time I'm six I'll be ninety.
  • Sponges grow in the ocean. That just kills me. I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be if that didn't happen.
  • Ever notice how irons have a setting for *permanent* press? I don't get it...
  • I put instant coffee in a microwave oven and almost went back in time.
  • Tinsel is really snakes' mirrors.
  • If God dropped acid, would he see people?
  • I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, "Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours." He said, "Yes, but not in a row."

That's all for now... pray for peace!


P.S. - Come and join us at Prairie Lutheran Church - 11000 Blossom Road in Eden Prairie, MN 55347 (phone: 952-829-0525). Our services are at 8:30 (trad.) and 10:45 (cont.), with education in the middle.

Once a month...


(Look closely at this picture... I'll tell you all about it in a minute!)I'm not sure why I started this blogging thing... I'm usually such a quiet guy... nothing to add to a conversation... shy... OK, OK! I'm just either lazy, or busy, or I guess I don't have anything important to say!Thanks for visiting my blog... my daughter told me about a funny website that her teacher pointed out to her.Now, I don't know if you've seen my pic, but if you have you know that I'm not Scandinavian in background (not that there's anything wrong with that)! As a matter of fact, both my parents are Japanese... my dad's parents came from Japan, which makes me third generation Japanese (or Sansei).(from Wikepedia)GenerationsJapanese-Americans have special names for each of its generations in the United States. The first generation born in Japan or Okinawa, is called Issei. The second generation is Nisei, third is Sansei, fourth is Yonsei and fifth is Gosei. The term Nikkei was coined by Japanese-American sociologists and encompasses the entire population across generations.Pretty cool, huh?Anyway, my dad's family was in a relocation center during WWII, and after the war, my dad went to Japan as an interpreter for the U.S. Army, where he met my mom and convinced her to come to the U.S and get married. So, that makes me Nisei from her... no wonder why I'm so confused!ANYWAY, back to my daughter (who is either Sansei or Yonsei!)... she showed me this website called ""... now, I know some of you might be offended by this, but personally, I think it's a riot! I don't feel like this site is mean spirited in any way... it just points out the peculiarities of translating English to Japanese, and vice versa. (I think we're getting much to "PC" nowadays anyway, don't you?)I sold electronics for many years, and I remember a Mitsubishi VCR with a wireless remote. The directions on the back of the remote said something like "To Record, pless Red Button." I loved it!As a matter of fact, my own mother, who has lived here and in Canada for over 55 years, still gets her English a little mixed up.Back when my kids were little, my wife and I had moved into a new house... first single home dwelling... I know many of you remember that move from your last apartment to your first house... it's a BIG deal!So my mom came to visit, and my grandma, my dad's mom, came to visit from California. Now, if you've ever been to CA, you know that they have Lucky's, a big grocery store chain. Well, my uncle had worked for Lucky’s for many years. We started talking about my uncle and my mom said, “Oh, so he still works for Rucky’s?” and my grandma (88 years old at the time… she’ll be 103 this November! Go, Grandma!) said, without skipping a beat, “It’s Lucky’s, not Rucky’s!"During that same visit, my wife was trying to take a nap on the couch, but still awake, and my daughter was in a high chair, watching my mom make dinner.My daughter said, “What are you doing, Grandma?”Grandma said, “Oh… I’m just chopping cerry (celery).”My daughter said, “What?”Grandma: “Cerry.”“What?”"Cerry!”My wife said she was almost crying, trying to keep from laughing out loud!Finally, after one more “What?”, my mom said, “I’m cutting vegetables!”OK, back to “”!I was looking at a few pages on their website, and I came across the picture of the CD cover that just cracked me up and I had to share it with you! Oh, and by the way, when I[...]

It Must Be Time for a New Post!


Wow! Where did the summer go?
I think it's a good idea to change up your blog once in a while... I'm amazed at all of you who jot things down once a day, sometimes even more than that... don't you guys have anything else to do? Just curious...
Tomorrow kicks off the Labor Day weekend (if you're going any place, drive safely, please!)... school starts next week, and I can't wait... our fall schedule at PLC starts up (that's Prairie Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN for those of you who are not hip to all the cool and groovy acronyms we use around here: DEC, PLC, JAM, etc.; if you want to know more, you'll just have to come and check it out!)...
Here at PLC (see above), we move to our fall schedule with two worship services on Sunday... a more traditional service at 8:30 a.m. (piano, special music, Lutheran hymns and liturgies from the LBW, WOV, and ELW... confused? Again, see above)... our 10:45 a.m. service is more contemporary with a worship band, vocal team, etc. We also have "Education for All Ages" starting at 9:30 a.m.
ALL I KNOW is... I'd rather be fishing!
Have a GREAT weekend, and I'll see you in church!
Pray for Peace!
Prairie Pete

Let us pray for...


people who have been directly affected by the 35W bridge collapse here in Minneapolis...

those who have loved ones or know people who were affected...

the loved ones of people who are still missing...

the people who responded to the call and offered comfort and aid to those in need...

the people who will be involved in the inspection and evaluation of what happened...

the politicians and leaders of our city, state and country, so they might make wise decisions and not turn this into a political circus...

"I have longed to know you and your tender mercies,
like a river of forgiveness ever-flowing without end.
I bow my heart before you in the goodness of your presence,
your grace forever shining like a beacon in the night.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy on me."

"Lord, Have Mercy"
- Words and Music by Steve Merkel.
Copyright © 2000 Integrity's Hosanna! Music. All rights reserved. Used by permission. CCLI License No. 280843.

...and on all of us. Amen.