Wednesday, September 28, 2005


restless spirit
frantically flailing in my soul
subdued without notice
traumatized muscles
awkwardly arching against my skin
relaxed without effort
fractured emotions
silently screaming beneath the surface
quiet without reason
mindless thoughts
ruthlessly running over my solitude
exit withour fanfare
i am at rest

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


I passed my treadmill test on Monday. It was interesting how I discovered I had passed. After about 12 minutes on the treadmill at ever escalating speeds and angles, I was told, "You have answered all the questions we have; would you like to stop now?"

The doctor, my personal friend, then proceeded to tell me all the things a treadmill may not show, i.e. other sources of heart trauma, hidden blockages, etc. I was feeling very tense and afraid as he rehearsed all of the other possible scenarios and concluding inwardly, "I must have failed the test..."

When he was all done, I asked, "Well, did I pass the test?"

"Oh, did I forget to tell you? Yes, your treadmill was normal; you passed the test!"

When we come before God each day, He isn't there to discuss all the possible results of our sinful makeup and human nature, frigthtening as those are. Instead, He is there to say, "you passed the have trusted in my Son."

That's the good news of the gospel. Stay on the treadmill, if you must, but I choose to get off and simply embrace the fact that in Christ I have passed the test!

I feel pretty good about my treadmill results. It is good to know my heart is in good shape.

Is yours?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I am sure you agree with me that Milla--full name, Camilla--is beautiful! She is identical in her appearance to her mother, my oldest daughter, Jennifer. When I saw this picture it was as if I had been taken back in time thirty years ago to when Jennifer was just a little girl (I am in trouble...I revealed her age). It is almost as if I am looking at a facsimile of the same person!

In my Christian life my desire is to be like Jesus--so that when others look at me, they will see Christ. That is a lofty ambition--one I have certainly not achieved-- but it is a compelling motivation to resemble my heavenly Father, and in so doing, attract others to Him.

When I see Milla, there are a myriad of happy memories she incites of times spent with Jennifer when she was a little girl.

Is there anything about what God is making me through his mercy and grace that would draw others to Christ? Is there any resemblance to my heavenly Father? It is my prayer.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Grandpa Again

Ten grandchildren makes one proud!

Haaken Case Theule was born on September 8th to Tim and Susie Theule, their fourth child. Beverly, my wife, was able to be with them when the baby was born. It was an exicitng time since the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he had to be rushed to ICU...but he is home and doing fine!

We are rejoicing in the miracle of life. Though I was not present at the scene, I never cease to be amazed at the gift of life, and as Beverly detailed it for me, I could sense the awe and wonder at God's creative power.

We have ten of those precious "grandbaby gifts"--Sage, Eden, Ezekiel and Haaken Theule; Kyle, Julianne and Nathaniel Theule; JJ Barrett, and Camilla and Owen Vlach. I thought they needed some blogsite notoriety!

It is fun to be grandpa again!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Filling in...

My regular secretary is gone today. Pity her substitute. She has to read my handwriting!

Every Monday I generally make a list of some of the missing families and we send bulletins to those who were gone. This can generally be as many as 100 families and my scribbled list has to be discerned by some poor soul.

Mr regular secretary has learned to decipher my scrawl. For that she is grossly underpaid. The volunteer substitutes are doubly-penalized--we don't pay them...and they have to read my handwriting. I always shudder when I think of the subsitute's task--and even though I try harder to be legible--it is oftena futile exercise.

I was thinking about the Hebrews' passage that tells us Jesus is our faithful High Priest. In that position He is never absent, but always present. There is no subsititute standing in His place while He is on sabbatical. He is always there. He already knows my heart, knows my life...he knows how to read me.

It is a good thing no one is filling in when I come to Christ with a plate full of failures and blunders. He knows me, and remarkably, still loves me.

So do my secretaries...I think.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

ATT: Blogsite readers

Let me know if you are reading this blogsite. Dale

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

the building

Please join us for prayer as we construct our building at Grace Fellowship Church.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Ever wanted to do something, you couldn't find a way to do...even though you knew it needed to be done?

I guess that best describes my condition today. I really want to do something for the hurricane victims, but I can't figure out how to do it. As I watched the people milling about in the Astrodome, I thought, "I could go and be a counselor...offer encouragement, share the Word of God". I saw several men walking around with the words VOLUNTEER MINISTER on the back of their clothing, and I thought, "That could be me!"

That's where I am today; in fact, it's where I have been for the last week as I watch the grueling tale of a city under water unfold, and listen to the platiff cries for help.

I am frustrated. I can't go now because I am needed here. I have responsibilities, ministry to faithfully perform to the people I have been called to serve.

I will go, I hope, soon enough to offer some fleshed-out love and service in the next few months (work team planned!). In the meantime, I will do what God has called me to

And I can pray...HERE...NOW.

Monday, September 05, 2005

a work trip

Stay tuned for an update on our plans to send a work team to the New Orleans area when the dust clears and the water recedes....about twelve volunteered to join me on a work team projected for the Thanksgiving holidays. Of course, everything we plan will be dictated by the conditions and ability to get into the area at that time.

Our goal at Grace Fellowship is to designate our charitable gifts at this time for a very specific project. We are in communication with Desire Street Ministries to determine what is the best direction for our funding at this time. For more information, visit "Desire Street Ministries" on line and look for "Hurricane Update".

September 11th will be our first love offering for the victims of Hurricance Katrina. Gifts can also be mailed to Grace Fellowship Church, Box 850, Jackson, California 95642 and marked "disaster relief".

Sunday, September 04, 2005


My wife and I have been deeply-moved by the continuing saga of the New Orleans tragedy. We have friends there and a ministry we support so our hearts have been touched in multiple ways.

Tragedies like this can be forgotten easily because (a) we are geographically distant and (b) we have tendency simply to emotionally detach in time and to "move on".

Bev and I have resolved two things.

1. We will not exchange Christmas presents this year (except gfifts for the grandchildren). We realize we have everything we need--and then some. Instead, we are going to earmark what we would have spent for gifts for Desire Street Ministries.

2. I am going to try to orchestrate a work team response of men to go to New Orleans at the "right time" (Thanksgiving week is my goal) to assist Desire Street Ministries in a meaningful project that will help restore their outreach in the city.

If you're interested in going with me, contact me at the church office (209-223-1971) or right here on my blog site.

Let's resolve to do something together.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Someone told me today that they were considering some changes. The context for those, he expressed, was a brush with mortality that got him thinking.

What he is contemplating doing is getting rid of alot of his "stuff", downsizing to something much smaller, freeing himself from he can do the really important things in life.

I am there, too. I am a little younger, but daily reminders of the shortness of life cause me to ask, "What really matters?" It is a discipline for me because I find it easy to get caught up in "stuff".

I know better. People like the fellow I spoke to this morning are helpful reminders.