Pastor’s Perspective

April 2023


they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights.” – Job 2:13

I learned something this past weekend. Its not like I didn’t know it already. I know, like you do, it is important to spend time with people. And yet, since we often need to be reminded of this truth, goodness and power of presence, there must be some distinction between knowing and believing.

I went to a family funeral. The deceased was a relative of one of my relatives. They were close. I spent time with my grieving relatives, extra time, not just at the funeral, but after. We chatted, watched basketball, played cards, ate meals. We talked only a little about the deceased relative, or grief, or the funeral. We just were together. When I left and came back home, I reflected on how much joy, encouragement and comfort came to my relatives, not from words, but simply, from time together.

Maybe April is a time when you start thinking about summer plans, trips, adventures, outings. Be sure some of those plans include the destination – time with beloved relatives and friends. Presence is powerfully healthy for your soul and theirs.

Pastor Dan

March 2023

March Madness

God has routine divine appointments for disciples of Jesus. First he invites everyone to spend time with him. I assure you; He has you on his calendar. Sadly, many miss their appointments. I encourage you to check in with God and see what time and dates he has listed so you can put it on your calendar. Please, sit quietly before him with your calendar. Ask, “Lord, I want to spend more time (regular time) with you. When do you think it would be a good time for me to put that into my schedule?” Thoughts will come to mind. Write them in your calendar. Keep your appointment. Some times you will have spiritual mountaintop appointments. Other times not much seems to happen. When that’s the case content yourself with this fact- you showed up, and God is delighted with the effort.

The second type of divine appointment God has for disciples involves other people. When you spend time with God, reflect on what you have received. Thank God for what you have received. This could be an encouraging word from a friend, a well cooked meal from a loved one, or an insight from God through his word, or a calm disposition in a troubling situation. This list is endless. Now, having brought to mind and thanked God for what you have received, you are in a position to share what you have received. God will arrange for your path to cross with others – via an email, a phone call, in person, a text message. In such divine appointments you will have something to share from what you’ve received – joy, encouragement, thankfulness, insight, wisdom, something material, etc.

“But how will I know when I am having a divine appointment?” some will ask, greatly concerned to ‘get it right.’ Does it really matter if you recognize in the moment that you are having a divine appointment? It does not. Isn’t it more important to just spend your life being present to those around you and available to the Lord throughout your day? It is. There will be occasions when it is plainly obvious God has given you a divine appointment with someone. Enjoy. Most of the time you will only realize you just had a divine appointment once it has come and gone. And for those interested in being available for divine appointments, many will occur and go completely unnoticed by you. But not by God. He smiles when a plan comes together.

May your March be a time of mad availability to the Lord. He has scheduled appointments for you.

Pastor Dan

February 2023


I didn’t get a chance to go to Florida this winter to see my folks. But when I do go to Florida in the winter it is a shocking experience. I leave behind the frozen tundra and step into a tropical paradise. I leave behind the color of grey for more colors than I know how to name. I leave behind the busy of deadlines and pressures and recline into rest.

If we think about church as a life giving oasis and the world around us as a bleak and thirsty dessert, the images above can be helpful contrasts as we imagine life in the church and life in the world. Jesus makes it clear – he is the fountain suppling all the life giving water and all that springs from it in the oasis. He also makes the claim that all who come to him to drink become part of the oasis – streams of living water flow from those who come to Jesus to drink (John 7:37-38).

Recently Pastor Christopher Martin came back to OSLC to officiate a funeral after leaving this place 13 years ago. It was such a privilege to encourage him while he was here. It was as if I lifted a ladle full of Jesus to his lips to drink. And though it was some bleak winter weather here in Audubon it was  phenomenal to see his world go from grey to vibrant color as he enjoyed one reunion conversation after another. It was a joy to see him getting a glimpse of paradise as he pointed us in that direction during his sermon. It brought me a sigh of contentment to see him cast his cares on Jesus and find rest for his soul.

It is my fervent prayer that 2023 be the year for OSLC to blossom as an oasis in a desert land. Why? So that this place is, for all who enter, what it was for Pr. Martin and then some. How can you be part of OSLC blossoming in this way? Start with this exercise. Read John 10:14-15. Jesus chose to die for you. Spend time sitting with and pondering this truth. Jesus died for you!


Pastor Dan

January 2023

“Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” –
Jesus (Mt. 25:40)

Today I received the quarterly newsletter from Beacon of Hope Shelter in Fort Dodge. Reading through it was inspiring. I’m reminded how OSLC first became acquainted with Beacon of Hope last August when we sent and delivered much needed items for men seeking hope and healing in their lives. On the front cover is a picture of James who mans the front desk. We met him the day we delivered the supplies. In the brief cover story article, James writes about himself: “The shelter is now my home, where I can heal and become whole again. I strongly believe God made a path for me to get here. I love working at the front desk…..Being at Beacon of Hope has helped me learn a lot about my relationship with God. Now, I want to become more involved with helping and understanding others who stay with us.”

This is the pattern over and over again — when someone in need of God’s healing power and love receives it from those who know it, they first are focused on their own restoration. Then, like James, they move from focusing on their own needs to the needs of others. They want to start helping and understanding others. It’s not just the homeless who need wholeness and healing. People on the receiving end — in need of help, hope, and healing — come in all sorts of different packages. Sometimes people find themselves in need of recovery from a dysfunctional home or relationship. Other times a person is totally lost in life after a spouse dies. Sometimes people need healing from addiction. For others, divorce has left a person lost and confused. There are many youngsters not getting proper, sufficient, or healthy attention from their parents and feel great emptiness. The list goes on and on.

Where are you on this spectrum? Are you in need? Are you in process of receiving? Have you moved with James from a focus on your own needs to a place of being involved with helping and understanding the needs of others?

I hope many of you are receiving hope, help, and healing from the power of God’s love and are now ready to move from receiving to giving. I also hope in 2023 that OSLC will become focused on hearing and heading God’s call to help and understand others in need of practical demonstration of God’s love. I’m inspired by the difference Beacon of Hope Shelter makes in the lives they touch. May God bless OSLC with practical ministry ideas and efforts of our own.


Pastor Dan

December 2022


As we enter the season of Advent we continue to prepare for our soon coming Messiah – our Saviour from the evils of this world – our King to reign and rule with power, wisdom, justice, love, beauty, and perfection – our Redeemer to deliver unto us glorified, resurrected bodies with which we will experience glorified, perfected and resumed relationships with other believers in a renewed, purified, restored creation that fits in perfect union with heaven and The Lord and all the angelic creatures. Wow! This is the hope of Advent!

We are thrilled for the remembrance and observance of our Lord and Master’s advent (coming) into this world through the highly favored Mary. Our faith-confidence is boosted as we reflect on the fulfilling of his promises to come into this world to establish and initiate His Kingdom here on earth. Strengthened then is our resolve to cling to his promises of finishing what was started by the means of his second (coming) advent. Meanwhile, we learn more and more how to access and live in, with and under His Kingdom, His Dominion.

One of King Jesus’ often repeated commands to his disciples (past and present) is, “follow me.” Obedience to this command, “follow me,” requires two things. 1) belief that he is actually leading me down a path. 2) A Holy Spirit enlightenment. Namely, within Jesus command to follow him is the reality that he has first followed us. He has come into this world to follow the path all humans take – a path that goes from birth to death, that travels down the trail of trials and temptations, of joys and heartache, of gains and losses. Jesus followed the human path with perfection. And now he calls you to follow him. The destiny of his path was to clear out all the obstacles present to us, so that we can follow the path he leads us down. All obstacles – the sins others commit against us, our own tendency towards rebellious sinfulness, these he not only clears away, but he collects them and carries them along on his own path to the cross just outside the walls of Jerusalem. He buries those obstacles so deep; they will never be able to keep us from following him on a path through this life and all the way to heaven and all that comes after in the age of resurrection. The cross and tomb was not the end of his earthly path. There was then his resurrection and then more instruction to his disciples, then his ascension into heaven and then his sending from there the Holy Spirit.

May this Holy Spirit empower you to believe Jesus is indeed leading you down a path and calling you to follow. May this Holy Spirit enlighten your path. And may this Holy Spirit fill your heart, and home and Christmas observances.


Pastor Dan

November 2022


I’d like to use this space, this month, to share a ministry update, by means of a story.

Pastor Doug Opp initiated a chaplaincy ministry within the Audubon Fire Department. The Lord has continued to bless this ministry with expanding fruitfulness. What follows is a story I hope blesses your soul, “so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:15).”

On the morning of September 28th the call rang out for a house on Walnut street engulfed in fire. We members on the fire department responded quickly. It took several hours to get the blaze completely put down. Meanwhile some elderly neighbors were feeling guilty, thinking they themselves did not respond and call in quickly enough to prevent such devastation. As things were coming under control and members were taking a recovery break, a few stopped over to encourage those concerned neighbors. The fire chief did the same as well. Since they were still quite upset he explained to this couple how the department had a chaplain on the team who was also a regular member of the department, presently on the back of the house helping put down the fire, but he would soon send to them the department’s chaplain.

Later, as I was inside the home, helping with some of the final checks for hot spots, the Chief gave me a heads-up. With an impish, shoulder shrugging chuckle he said, “I kind of put you on the spot. As I was encouraging those neighbors I told them how at the end of a major event like this, you bring all the members together to pray, and I told them I’d ask you to include them in the prayers. And, that I’d send you over to say hello and encourage them.” It was a great joy to visit and encourage these wonderful and helpful neighbors. It was equally joyful to hear our fire Chief express great confidence in God’s power and grace to bring comfort to distressed individuals.

Fast forward: the house is a blackened mess but no longer smoldering, the hoses and tools have been picked up and stowed away, and the onlooking neighbors, including that elderly couple witnessed an encouraging sight that must have caused “thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” Here is what they saw: In the middle of the street in front of the burned home (and for the whole neighborhood to see) the members of the Audubon Fire Department heeded the call of the chaplain, encircled him, bowed their heads, and gave a hearty AMEN at the conclusion of their kneeling, arms raised, praying chaplain.

I share this story “for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15)

Thank you for all your support and encouragement and partnership in God’s grace as it reaches more and more people.

Pastor Dan

September 2022


Almighty Father, our glorious creator!!

Your wonders of creation bless us with joy and fill us with thanksgiving.

Thank you for lakes and ponds, streams, creeks and rivers. Thank you for creatures of the water; snakes, turtles, fish, otters, birds and many more besides. Thank you for boats and rafts and swimming places. Praise you Father for sending your son, King of all creation, our Lord and Savior Jesus. He knows of lakes and boats and rivers and of baptisms and fishing for men and for fish. Thank you Lord for roads and travel, for going and exploring new places. Thank you Lord for relatives and friends who visit and are visited. Thank you for coming into your creation and exploring it on roads and through travel, for showing us how to meet new people and make friends on our travels.

Thank you Father, for vegetables and flowers, for prairie plants and for animals and crops that grow. Thank you for the joy of sharing in your work of creation, tending to growing things. Thank you for weeds and the lessons they teach us about diligence and rooting out what doesn’t belong. Thank you for how they give us reason to work hard at making things beautiful. Thank you for long days and warm evenings and walks and sunsets. Thank you for the joy of summer and all it’s wonder and beauty, fun, frivolity and good work. Thank you for giving us such a beautiful creation to enjoy and tend to and to work at making orderly and beautiful. You are a great, glorious and good God. The wonders of creation proclaim your praise. Amen.

Peace to you,

Pastor Dan

August 2022


“Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” – Jesus (Luke 12:15)

We see two notable items at the end of this account. 1. large numbers of people were coming (presumably from Jerusalem) to see the man who was dead but was now alive again – Lazarus, and to see the one who brought him back from the tomb – Jesus. 2. the plot to murder Jesus now included offing Lazarus as well.

Now, Jesus warns us to be on guard, to be on the lookout for the temptation of greed, for temptations of any kind. Perhaps, if we imagine a story within the story, we can see how easy it is for temptations to sneak their way past our defenses. The Setting: There are many people already going over to Bethany to snoop around the miracle worker and his latest miracle product. The Chief Priests recognize an opportunity to send a spy. Imagine you are recruited by an assistant to the chief priests to spy on Jesus of Nazareth. They are looking for a way, a time when the crowds are not around, to capture Jesus. You will bring them information to help in this project.

The wall around Martha, Mary and Lazarus’ house is low. The shuttered doors and windows open wide, allowing for air flow. Standing along that wall among numerous others it is easy to both see and hear much of what is going on in the great room especially as it opens to a grand mosaicked patio where guests move with ease in and out of the house proper. This is your story:

I am curious for my own sake as I stand here spying on Jesus. I feel cheap. Because I am. I took this offer from the chief priest’s assistant for two reasons – I was curious about this Lazarus and I needed the money. It’s that simple – and I sense I’m lying to myself. At first there is not much to see. There is nothing remarkable about Lazarus – except for his finances. This is quite a house, quite a party, AND some very potent and expensive perfume that lady just poured onto Jesus’ feet. The fragrance makes it all the way here to the street. I hear Jesus give that protesting man a sharp, stern rebuke. I hear Jesus expound. His comments about his burial sound fatalistic. My task masters will certainly be interested in learning that Jesus is fully aware of their plots to end his life. They’ll be greatly encouraged to learn Jesus seems fully aware that the net is closing in on him and his days are numbered. Maybe a bonus in it for me for that little tidbit. I see the weak link making a show of protesting the waste. That is some EXPENSIVE perfume. The whole bottle, wow! I’ll suggest hiring me for another task – recruiting the greedy one. Even I could tell his words were pretense. He is not a convincing actor. He was obviously more interested in the money than the poor. Maybe it just takes one to know one. Anyway, I am keenly aware of his embarrassment from that sharp rebuke, “LEAVE HER ALONE, you’ll always have the poor.” Much less money for the poor now, huh, Judas? And much less for you also, huh, Judas? This will be easy. I know how to leverage that embarrassment. The chief priests will gladly offer money to one who will put Jesus in their hands. I’ll suggest to the greedy one, Judas, he make a show of contributing to the poor – from funds supplied by an “anonymous” donor. I’ll suggest there is nothing wrong with using some of the funds for himself. In fact, the “anonymous” donor would have it this way if only he will lead the chief priests to a time and place to capture Jesus. They just want to question him, I’ll say. If it gets too unpleasant, I’m sure your master could use his supernatural power and just walk right out from the midst of them, I’ll say. It’s a win, win, win, Judas, I’ll say. A little for you, a little for the poor, a little for the spy. And the icing on the cake, Judas, you will look like a good guy following up your comments about the poor with some REAL action, I’ll say. Oh, he’ll go for it alright, and so will my handlers. Everybody wins.

I hope you can see from this little exercise how powerfully sneaky and twisted and simple it is for temptations to come our way and exploit our weaknesses. PRAYER – Lord Jesus, please protect me. Help me know where my vulnerability lies and help me guard against temptation from that area. Help me to “watch out!” and, “be on [my] guard.” AMEN

Pastor Dan

July 2022

Off to the races: Summertime in Western Iowa

Figure 8 races are part of the Audubon culture. The races are new to me, and lots of fun! Local racers have their loyal fan base. Like Sunday morning the fans seem to always sit in their favorite “pew.” I go to the races as a new fan and a student of the culture. I think about the drivers in the race. They all want to win. I can’t imagine racing one of those cars without an in-the-gut-passion for winning. A racer’s goal may be to come in first, or to improve during the season, gaining experience to win next year, or “don’t come in last this time”. The precise goal of each racer doesn’t matter. The general goal, the drive to drive faster, and better, and to win, is all the same.

When God speaks to us in and through the Bible, He uses everyday things we experience to teach us spiritual truth and spiritual realities and spiritual goals. In the following example I replaced the ancient Greek Games culture (foot races) with Audubon culture (Figure 8 races). 1 Corinthians 9:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the [drivers drive] but only one gets the [trophy]? [Drive] in such a way as to get the [trophy].” At a recent race, I was talking to a fellow spectator who is a former Figure 8 race car driver. He was going on and on about that singular focus a driver has. Everything disappears except for the racetrack and that passion, that drive, that goal to stand next to the car in trophy lane, holding up the trophy and getting a picture taken. His passion for the thrill of the race and the striving for victory was infectious.

Imagine standing in Heaven’s trophy lane at the conclusion of your life’s racecourse. Picture yourself there for the photo op with Jesus at your side holding your hand high in the air – a victory salute. “Well done good and faithful servant,” Jesus yells to be heard over the cheers of angels and saints. With this image in mind, competitively and aggressively about your participation in God’s Kingdom. He wants to ignite in you a burning passion for making disciples, for making a difference, for victory and accomplishments in his name. “[Drive] in such a way as to get the [trophy],” means: Chase after knowing Jesus. Chase after learning to obey his commands. Chase after making spiritual progress. Chase after a growing experience of God in your daily life. Chase after living in the way of Jesus on purpose, effectively and productively. Chase after accomplishments in his name, making a difference in the lives of others. Chase after making disciples.

Do you have a friend or relative out ahead of you doing life in the ways above? Chase after that one as if you were in a race, observing technique, following the line, and when it looks like you are gaining, try to pass, try to excel. In this way, “spur one another on to love and good works” Hebrews 10:24. I have not seen participation awards at the Figure 8 races. So, when it comes to following Jesus, don’t be content with a mere participation award. Drive, race, believe, serve, follow in such a way as to get the trophy!


Pastor Dan

June 2022


“He wanted to see who Jesus was….but could not, because of the crowd.” – Luke 19:3

You might recognize this quote above. It describes a man named Zacchaeus. He had sold out his own people. He had pursued money at the expense of his neighbors. He excelled in extortion, collecting taxes for the Romans from his own Jewish people. By the time we meet him in Luke’s Gospel, he has been promoted to chief tax collector.

What would it have been like to be part of that crowd, watching the scene unfold? Zacchaeus wants to see who Jesus is, but he is short. He can’t see over our heads. None of us have any interest in letting him near the front so he can see. We are unconcerned with Zacchaeus in all ways. He knows he is unwanted, and it is perfectly fine with us he knows it. Yet, looking back on it now, I wonder what it was like for him. Have you experienced being unwanted? Certainly, there is no shortage of unwanted people in this world. I wonder, in what ways do I contribute to others feeling unwanted, unimportant?

The crowd is surprised that Jesus wants to spend time with Zacchaeus. He is surprised. You and I would have been no different. What? – Jesus, a guest of that guy – the man running the extortionist, protection racket for the Mafia? But if Jesus had picked any random on-looker from the crowd wouldn’t we have been equally surprised? It is a huge crowd after all. Why him? Why her? For that matter, Why not me? But that begs an important and revealing question. Would I have been surprised if Jesus singled me out and invited himself to my home? Here is the point: If I am surprised to be wanted by Jesus, and if Zacchaeus is surprised to be wanted by Jesus, then there isn’t any reason to distance myself from Zacchaeus – in attitude or action.

It is fascinating and humbling for any of us to be wanted by Jesus. May the Holy Spirit of Jesus dwell in us deeply so that those who are unwanted find themselves surprisingly wanted – by you, by me, by Jesus.

Peace – Pastor Dan

May 2022


Why is change so difficult? I can think of a few reasons. I am sure many of you reading this have great answers to that question. If several of us put our heads together we could probably come up with a comprehensive list. I won’t pretend to have mastered psychology and list a bunch of reasons people find change so difficult. In fact, I’m not generally concerned about the reasons. It is enough to know that change is difficult for most people, some more, some less. This fact is cause for compassion and patience.

By the words, “compassion and patience,” I do not mean avoiding change, or insulating from change. I do mean intentional effort to help others and ourselves process change. One way we can help one another process change is by remembering this: change, in and of itself is not a bad thing. It can be good, and change is promised and even commanded in the Bible.

God tells us in the Bible- when Jesus returns to establish the fullness of his kingdom, things are going to change. Wrongs will be made right. Creation will be liberated from the present corruption and “we will be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Corinthians 15:52).”

Jesus speaks with all authority on earth and in heaven when he says, “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 18:3).” God changes hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. God changes prideful people into humble people. God changes self-centered people into caring and generous people. As swiftly as Jesus changed water into wine he changes hopeless into hopeful, faithless into faith-filled. God even uses change to change us. If you ask him to show the way(s) you need to change and become like a little child, he will show you. He will also work those changes in you, for your good, because he loves you and delights in you.

Peace, Pastor Dan.