Saved By Grace

Saved By Grace

Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Almost God" :-)

I had an opportunity on Friday to celebrate a birthday / anniversary of a long time and great example of a "Godly Man". Marvin Martens, he was celebrating his 80th birthday in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of his homegrown manufacturing business, BRAMCO. Marvin's son Brad and I went to school together. In our junior high days, I spent the night at their house several times. I've had many opportunities to observe Marvin up close and personal. I've also been living in the same small town and watching many of the projects that he has initiated, spearheaded, and promoted. Some people are visionaries, able to come up with positive ideas and convince others to carry out those ideas, and we need those types of people. What sets Marvin apart from most visionaries is that when he has a project, not only does he convince others to go along but he is first in line to get his hands dirty and the last one to leave to make sure that everything is done and done properly.
Something I noticed Friday on my tour of his manufacturing facility was the placement of the equipment and the tools. It appears that every workspace was set up and arranged in a precise and specific manner. Most of them were equipped with a peg board set up with the tools specifically outlined and labeled so that there was no doubt as to where each tool was to be stored. (A man after my own heart). I'm convinced that Marvin didn't hire people who already practiced that type of efficiency, but taught each one how to discipline themselves this way in order to get the most out of each day's work. If anyone can produce more in a days work than Marvin, even at this time in his life, they are gifted.
I firmly believe that the reason he is able to do what he does is because he has a very close relationship to the Lord. He is blessed and walks in favor because of that relationship. I consider myself fortunate to know Marvin, his wife, as well as his children and grandchildren. I know that there are many people who feel the way I do, one of them, when referring to Marvin, uses the phrase "Almost God"  :-) 
If you've ever had the opportunity to shake hands with Marvin, then you understand what physical strength feels like. It makes me think of *Samson from the Bible.

I always like to close with humor, even though sometimes I may be the only one who gets it, this one is for Marvin.

*Samson is said to be the best actor in the Bible because he brought down the house.

Much love, Dennis

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Where is the beauty?

I remember a children's sermon from many years ago. It's simple, but can be applied by anyone. First of all the youth pastor held up a rose bud. 

He asked the children if they thought it was beautiful. The reaction was mixed. Then he held up a rose in full bloom and asked again, is this beautiful. 

They all agreed that it was indeed beautiful. He said, "both of these are roses, but one of them has opened up so that we can all see the beauty that was on the inside."
God has put something beautiful in all of us, his Holy Spirit, but if we don't let others see that beauty then we are like the rose bud, hiding all of the beauty that God puts into his children.

At Sunday School they were teaching how God created everything, including human beings. Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs.
Later in the week his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill, and she said, ‘Johnny, what is the matter?’
Little Johnny responded, ‘I have pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife.’

Much love, Dennis

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Aunt Betty

Today is the birthday of my Aunt Betty. She is a joy to visit with, we always find something to laugh about. Some people make you feel comfortable under most any circumstance, she can do that. One of my personal favorite posts was concerning her and my Uncle Jim. I don't remember exactly how it went, but this is pretty close.

Betty and Jim were at the breakfast table the morning of her birthday. She asked him about her gift. Apparently he had forgotten that it was her birthday. She became angry and said


Later that day when she returned, there was a small box in the driveway all wrapped up with a bow on top. Puzzled by the size of the box, she picked it up and took it in the house. When she opened it up, it was a bright red, shiny bathroom scale.  :-)

Please pray for Jim, we haven't seen him in several days. 

Much love, Dennis

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


We had a great celebration at Church Sunday. The occasion was for the final payment of our new church building. We have been in our current location since 2004. The plans for this building have been a long drawn out process. I believe that I've heard some of the elders of the church talk about fundraising for this starting on this as long as 30 years ago. Our old building was small and inaccessible to many people because of the three-story construction.
It served as a place of worship for many people, but our church membership was growing and parking was very limited.
We now have a fantastic building, but "The Church" is not a building, it is those people who worship God, and  believe that He sent his son, Jesus to pay for our sins. I attend a Methodist Church building, but I am a member of God's nondenominational church. Our new building is awesome. We have plenty of space for now, with room to grow as needed.

This reminded me of something I read a while back.

A Pastor goes to the dentist for a set of false teeth. The first Sunday after he gets his new teeth, he talks for only eight minutes.The second Sunday, he talks for only ten minutes. The following Sunday, he talks for 2 hours and 48 minutes.

The congregation had to mob him to get him down from the pulpit and they asked him what happened.

The Pastor explains the first Sunday his gums hurt so bad he couldn't talk for more than 8 minutes. The second Sunday his gums hurt too much to talk for more than 10 minutes. But, the third Sunday, he put his wife's teeth in by mistake and he couldn't shut up...

Sorry ladies, no offense intended 

Much love, Dennis

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April12, 1980

Happy anniversary to my wife of 33 years!
 I knew that God has blessed me with a good woman, but I found out a few years back that He had actually blessed me with a great wife. I could go into detail about all that she means to me and all that she has given up to make my life comfortable, but it would take quite some time to compile that list. I know at times she feels overwhelmed, but she finds the strength to carry on with help from her relationship with Jesus. I'm sure that when we took our vows at our wedding, she would have never expected our circumstances to be anywhere near what they are today. I knew when I married her how beautiful she was and still is on the outside, but today she has a beauty that penetrates all the way through to her spirit.

A man asked his wife what she'd like for her birthday. "I'd love to be six again," she replied.
 On the morning of her birthday, he got her up bright and early and off they went to a local theme park.

 What a day! He put her on every ride in the park: the Death Slide, the Screaming Loop, the Wall of Fear--everything there was! Wow! 
Five hours later she staggered out of the theme park, her head reeling and her stomach upside down. Right to McDonald's they went, where her husband ordered her a Big Mac along with extra fries and a refreshing chocolate shake. Then it was off to a movie - the latest Twilight epic, and hot dogs, popcorn, Diet Coke, and M & Ms. What a fabulous adventure! Finally she wobbled home with her husband and collapsed into bed.
He leaned over and lovingly asked, "Well, dear, what was it like being six again?

One eye opened. The wife said, "I meant my dress size!!" 
      The moral of this story is: If a woman speaks and a man is actually listening, he will still get it wrong. 

Thank You Lord for Cheri 

I definitely have a keeper.
much love, Dennis


Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday

Had an awesome day yesterday. I'm feeling pretty good and the weather outside was great. Church was nearly full. We had 29 for children's church plus several too young to even go up. My great niece Olivia proved that she was going to be a runner, just like her mom Randi Lackey. She went up front with her dad, Oliver and then proceeded to make several trips from the front to the back of the church. Just like a lot of churches people sit in the same area weekly, but I noticed several people in different spots because of the extra's showing up for Easter Sunday. I sat next to a whole row of Carlisle/Wedel's. I really enjoyed pastor Rich's statement as we got started. He said "I realize it's not in the bulletin but we will be having church at the same time next week also." He got a mixed reaction of laughter and guilty chuckles.

I got to see several people that I haven't seen in a while. Kevin Smith is a basketball buddy from back in the 80s until 2006. I see him at church on a regular basis, but I got to see his oldest daughter and her child as well as his son Tyrone. I've always liked the Smith family because, basically, what's not to like. They are all even-tempered, full of smiles and brainiacs; I mean that in a good way. Kevin has a daughter who is a lawyer, one who is a pharmacist and Tyrone who is actually a rocket scientist. If I remember correctly he works for Cessna in Wichita, Kansas. Tyrone is about 6 foot 3 inches tall. He was a good high school basketball player, but a little bit of a late bloomer physically. He would come back from college to play basketball and it was interesting watching him outplay many of the kids who got more time on the court than he did. I played basketball with a lot of kids that fit that mold. My daughter Whitney was in Tyrone's class so I got to tell him that she was now engaged. I also got to meet Tyrone's girlfriend and it didn't surprise me that she was also into aeronautical engineering.

Christmas and Easter are definitely good times to gather to worship, but I believe that we should worship, seven days a week and when possible, gather at least once a week to have fellowship with those who believe as we do.
here's a link to the 4-1-2013 joke.;postID=2800749997329613341
beaucoup d'amour, Dennis