Ministry Notes

July 2020

Kris and I took a motorcycle trip last year to Guttenberg, Iowa. It’s on the river, about 200 miles south. There’s an old button factory that’s been converted to a cute hotel. They still have some of the machines on display-- they used clam shells to make buttons!

We’ve been there three or four times. It’s quiet, affordable, and the roads are perfect for motorcycles. The last time we were there we met our daughter-in-law’s parents from Illinois. They had just bought a new motorcycle… It was fun, we did a lot of riding and sight-seeing.

There’s a little fish house in Guttenberg on the banks of the Mississippi. And you would never know it was there. There are no bill boards, no neon signs, just a little gate with an arrow pointing down. When the gate is open the restaurant is open.

You go down the steps, almost down to the water and there is a screened in porch with tables and chairs. You can’t see any of it from street level. And it’s full of unusual things like bikes and cellos, guitars all hanging from the rafters. At the end of the porch is a cinder block building, which used to be a commercial fishing business.

You walk in that door, and Mike, the owner will assail you with all kinds of banter. He wants to know what you want. He then tells you if he’s got it. And if you’re lucky he’ll even tell you how he fillets it! The special was flat-head cat fish-- Kris loved it. We were there for breakfast so I had scrambled eggs, the best ever, with absolutely everything you can possibly imagine in it.

When Mike brought the food out, Kris asked for some salt and pepper, so he brought out four salt and pepper shakers on a plate, just in case she really needed it… We were the only customers, and he’s the kind of guy that loves to talk and joke around. So, he sat down with us. With a sly grin, he guessed we were from “up-north” somewhere—how did he know?

Mike talked about his restaurant and his philosophy of operating it. He loves people, and he loves to cook, but he doesn’t believe in credit cards. When people realize he doesn’t take cards, he tells people to go ahead and order anyway. He then makes everything for them. And when they’re done eating, he tells them, there’s a free atm machine a couple blocks away, they can get cash and pay if they wish.

He just presumes people are there to eat. And he’s going to give them the best food he can, whether they have cash or not. And he said, ninety percent of the time, people go and get cash, and most of them give a huge tip. He said his employees love it!

Kindness is a wonderful thing. We are a lot like Mike…

Take good care, my friends…   


Church Phone: 651-388-3464

Pastors Email: [email protected]