Happy Birthday!

by Bryan Bice

I have a theory about birthday celebrations. Just a theory, but based on very limited personal observations. It seems we go full circle in our attitude toward this annual milestone. I have a couple of preschool-aged grandsons, and if you mention “birthday party,” they get pretty excited—even more so if it’s their party! That birthday […]

Clay Pots

by Bryan Bice

You probably have some of these items lying around, maybe stacked a few high in your garage. That’s where ours are. These old clay pots aren’t particularly attractive, are they? But they are functional. We’ve used them to get plants started for transplanting later. A larger one in our collection holds a few flowering plants […]

Fading Flowers

by Bryan Bice

The 16-mile Hennepin Canal Trail begins about ten minutes from our home—well technically, it’s the Hennepin Canal Feeder Trail that connects to the actual Hennepin Canal Trail, which is basically a rail trail running about 100 miles from the Rock River in Moline to the Illinois River in Hennepin. Anyway, we enjoy visiting the trail fairly […]

Beautiful Ugliness

by Bryan Bice

We don’t watch very much TV in our household, but one program we enjoy watching occasionally is Aerial America that airs on the Smithsonian Channel. Each hour-long episode focuses on one state in America, such as Illinois, and gives a bird’s eye view of key places, landmarks, and geographical features of that state. Apparently, the […]

Pennies from Heaven

by Bryan Bice

How many times have you been walking along somewhere and semi-noticed a penny lying on the ground, only to keep on walking—after all, it really wasn’t worth stopping, stooping, and scooping up that little bit o’ copper? I’ve probably bypassed a dollar or so in my lifetime doing just that. But not anymore. Now, I […]

THE Watershed

by Bryan Bice

The Appalachian, the Pacific Crest, and the Continental Divide are the three great long-distance hikes in the United States. Each is over 2,000 miles long and takes the typical thru-hiker 5 months or more to traverse. An interesting feature of each is that somewhere along the trail, the hiker will walk along a ridgeline that […]

A Mighty Fortress!

by Bryan Bice

As you walk in the door at AirPlay in downtown Sterling or at any Starbucks, your attention might be drawn to the bulletin board hanging near the entrance—a community bulletin board where people and organizations can post fliers or notices of just about any kind: a yoga class…a lost cat…a housecleaning service…a local concert…a support […]

Quite the Shelter!

by Bryan Bice

I’m currently looking at options for a couple of backpacking trips this summer. Not sure what I’ll do for one of them, but the other will take me back to the Ice Age Trail in Wisconsin—particularly the Kettle Moraine South section. Actually, Chris is planning to join me for this one, so it promises to […]

Stuck in a Rut…

by Bryan Bice

…or in praise of routine? It may just be a matter of perspective. My wife and I recently returned from a brief vacation in Florida that concluded with a few days attending a conference. In the last Pastor’s Page post, I sang the praises of vacations, taking time away from the routine of everyday life […]

Time to Vacate

by Bryan Bice

Like most people, we look forward to a couple of weeks a year when we can get away from the everyday responsibilities of work and home—“vacation” as we call it. In a matter of hours, we will have left behind the drab, chilly upper Midwest for the warmer climes of the Gulf of Mexico coast. […]