Christmas Greetings

It's good to be home in Alabama for Christmas! I had many interesting and rewarding experiences singing my new songs from Jesus Wins! (newest CD completed December, 2016) for many of my fellow believers in Minnesota. But just before I drove to Minnesota I had the pleasure of playing for a mission church at the home town of my childhood, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The church is called "The Vine" and is being daughtered by St Matthews of Spokane which is about 45 minutes away. This was the 5th time they met and they are currently renting space in a local hotel. There were about 60 people there and the group included many old friends who came to see me in response to a local newspaper article placed by Pastor Kevin Schultz. I told him that we might have some visitors if the article were printed, but they would all be older folks! Some of the highlights from Minnesota included a wonderful trip to one of our largest churches, St Paul in New Ulm. They have 5 services per week and I was allowed to sing for all of them. I renewed my acquaintance with several close friends and it was very joyful! I had a lot of fun playing for the St Johns Lutheran Elementary kids of Redwood Falls. That school is a special place, greatly supported by other churches in the area, and they are quickly becoming one of the larger schools in our synod. They've outgrown their latest expansion and are currently at an enrollment of 170 children. A neat surprise in such a rural area. God is blessing them greatly with an energized staff and support of the community. I played at my 775th different church at Peace (ELS) in Mankato and had an enjoyable evening singing for friends new and old. I also sang my 26th prison concert in Moose Lake. These are men that mostly will not ever be released. It was a real joy to meet them and fellowship with them afterwards. Jesus died to forgive their sins and God wants every one of them to come to the wedding feast of the Lamb in heaven forever. These were special moments of grace for us together. For a short time, I forgot where we were. We were just a bunch of guys talking and singing about our Savior.