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Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

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“In Him was life; and the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness;
and the darkness comprehended it not."
John 1: 4-5


Silver Linings
[ Silver Linings ]

·Silver Linings - (October, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (September, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (August, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (July, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (June, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (May, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (April, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (March, 2007)
·Silver Linings - (February, 2007)

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Christian Commerce: Local businesswoman walks in attitude of prayer
Christian Commerce

Susie Wingler brings Christ into the marketplace. Stepping out of her comfort zone and praying with people on the spot has made a big difference in her life and for those with whom she prays.
By Veronica Stoneall, Living Stones News Writer

Susie Wingler and her husband and best friend of 31 years, Gerry, are the third generation to run Shipley’s Laundry and Dry Cleaners in Sioux Falls, S.D. This family business is l05 years old, and is one of a handful of local businesses to reach the century mark and remain in the original family.

A manager at Shipley’s Laundry, Susie Wingler sees the marketplace as a mission field, and through prayer and personal interaction, she introduces Christ’s love to others wherever she goes.

“Jesus Christ is the CEO of our business,” Wingler said. “Christ has laid the foundation for His love to be shared throughout our business, which has resulted in many employees, vendors and customers experiencing life-changing events.”

Wingler can recount hundreds of miracles where God has touched the lives of those around her in numerous ways. Many have experienced physical healing. Others have opened their hearts to Christ, and many people have experienced God’s divine grace and intervention.

“God just keeps opening doors and challenging me. He is limitless, and I have come to always expect the unexpected from Him,” Wingler said.

Wingler grew up in Sioux Falls and still lives there with Gerry and their two daughters, Stacy and Jennifer. Although Wingler was raised Episcopalian, she had never experienced a personal relationship with Jesus until she was 16 years old when Gerry introduced her to the Lord.

“On our first date, we visited his church and discussed Bible verses.” Wingler said.

About a year ago, God convicted Wingler to begin praying for physical healing for others. She has been a witness to the power and grace of God moving in an awesome way in people’s lives. Numerous occurrences of backs, necks, bones, joints, shoulders, knees, etc. have been healed and restored by Christ.

This past summer at a Holy Spirit conference, Wingler was overjoyed when her daughter, Jennifer, was miraculously healed of Crohn’s disease. When people are healed physically by Christ, they are given a burning desire to learn more about Jesus who has healed them.

Becoming involved with the local ministry known as Command 2, a prayer-based organization that strives to bring Christ into the workplace, has been fulfilling for Wingler. From her association with the ministry, Wingler has caught the vision of the marketplace as a mission field. The concept is to use prayer along with personal interaction to introduce others to Christ’s love wherever you go. The marketplace infers that the mission field could be anything from the grocery store to your workplace or even in an airplane. Wherever people are becomes a marketplace.

Every Tuesday the Command 2 ministry hosts a luncheon at the Firehouse Underground. It is a gathering of like-minded Christians for fellowship and discussion about spreading the Good News in the marketplace and throughout the community. Command 2 also dispatches prayer teams to prayer walk businesses. They use a program called “Tread” which involves people who gather in the downtown area to prayer walk the city, often stopping along the way to minister to the prayer needs of those on the streets.

One of Wingler’s goals is to help instill in others the same passion for prayer that God has placed in her heart. It is her belief that she must be obedient to God’s nudging when she encounters someone who needs the touch of the Lord. There is always an opportunity to pray for people.

One such occasion arose when Wingler was visiting her parents in Florida. She had the privilege to pray for and share the love of God with a caregiver who had been experiencing much anguish and grief and as a result she could see no hope for her future. While praying with the caregiver, God imparted a peace to her, which opened the door for Wingler who was then able to share the Gospel message. The lady’s life was changed instantly.

God engineered another encounter when carpeting was being installed in Wingler’s home. The installer was quite late getting to the job and as a result, Wingler was running behind getting to work. However, she felt led by the Holy Spirit to stay and talk with the man. He began to share how for years he has been running from God because of the heartaches in his life. Ironically, while he was on his knees installing carpet, Wingler was able to pray with him. She is always amazed at God’s perfect timing.

“It is great to see how the Lord takes the brokenhearted and restores them physically, emotionally and spiritually. He helps them find true joy,” Wingler said.

“One of the most important things is spending time with the Lord. This results in a friendship that moves into intimacy. That is when God imparts His personality, His ways and His desires into you. I strive to be sensitive to people’s needs so I can discern how to share God’s love for them. Everyone needs love. When you seek it, God will implant in your heart a genuine love for others that cannot be explained by worldly terms,” Wingler said.

Wingler’s favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3.3(NIV): “Let love and faithfulness never leave you. Bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart.”

“I can’t wait to get up in the morning to see what God has planned for me,” Wingler said. “It is a true honor to serve the Lord.”

Posted by admin on Tuesday, September 25 @ 00:10:00 CDT (2553 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)

Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (September, 2007)
Christian Commerce

Auto dealership seeks to give people the best vehicle at the best price.
By Veronica Stoneall, Living Stones News Writer

For two and one half years, Victory Motors has been located at 1305 North Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls, S.D. This small family business is owned, managed and run by Dennis and Belinda Johnson and their son, Jory, also works in the business.

A Christian background helps the owners of Victory Motors to give customers good clean vehicles at reasonable prices.

Victory Motors specializes in selling clean, late-model used trucks, SUVs and cars. They also are an authorized dealer for new ATVs, motor bikes and scooters. They have had good success with the new vehicles as they get 80 plus miles per gallon.

“Even with high gas prices, our biggest seller is ½, ¾, and ton pickups and suburbans. People will pay a little more for comfort. Our prices range from $3,000 to $15,000. Our vehicles are clean, late-models made between l998 to 2003,” Dennis Johnson said. “ We travel to auto auctions to hand pick our vehicles. We carry approximately 22 to 24 vehicles and replace a few each week.”

Johnson has been a born again Christian since he was 9 years old. Two and one half years ago, he had been working as a contractor for a local car dealership. He felt he was in need of a change in his work and his spiritual life. He was being a lazy Christian. He needed to become a commissioned Christian. Hebrews 11:6 (KJ) says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” This verse became real to Johnson.

Johnson and his family decided to start their own dealership. All the papers were ready to sign except for the name of the business. Johnson called his mother for ideas.

“My Mom gave me the name, “Victory in Jesus.” It just rolled off her tongue. Right away we thought of Victory Motors for our business name,” Johnson said. “The word Victory encompassed both the Christian aspect of our business and the secular aspect of the business with Victory in Jesus and Victory as a racing theme.”

“It has been a definite plus to have faith while starting our auto dealership. Faith in the Lord has brought us through the challenge of beginning Victory Motors,” he said. “It has been a joy to own the business. It gives me the opportunity to offer quality vehicles at a reasonable price and it puts me in the position to plant seeds for the Christian faith. We must give to receive. Giving of our tithes and above and beyond because of Victory Motors has been a blessing. Having our own business gives me much more flexibility to do ministry work.”

A year ago the family moved to Elk Point, S.D. They moved to be closer to Belinda’s family and to their church. They felt called into Cornerstone World Outreach Center Church in Sioux City, Iowa. Dennis said that the Bible has become real to him through reading daily. At first it was bland, but now, reading the Bible everyday, energizes him. He believes he must diligently seek God through reading and through prayer.

Victory Motors is located at 1305 North Minnesota Ave. The business is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.,
Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. If you need a quality used pickup truck, SUV or car, come talk to Johnson or his salesman, Nathan Adams. Come check out this Christian auto dealership.

Posted by admin on Tuesday, August 28 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1376 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)

Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (August, 2007)
Christian Commerce

Web-based sports media business focuses on quality photos and Godly principles.
Living Stones News Staff

Photographers Dave Eggen and Richard Carlson joined forces to found Inertia Sports Media, which provides newspapers with quality sports photos of their local high school or college teams in action.

Richard Carlson and Dave Eggen, owners of Inertia Sports Media, work together to provide sports photos to a diverse customer base.

Little did Dave Eggen know that the worst day in his work life would be the catalyst to launch him into his dream job as a sports photographer. In 1999, Eggen moved his family from Sioux Falls, S.D., to Brookings, S.D., to take a job as a newspaper photographer. But less than a year later, he suddenly found himself without a job due to downsizing.

“I was devastated,” Eggen said. “We had just bought a house and now, with no job, I didn’t know what to do.”

At the same time, acquaintance Richard Carlson, an advertising photographer for the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, was in the beginning stage of starting a sports photography business but finding it difficult to proceed while working full time. When Carlson learned that Eggen was looking for a job, he took him out for lunch and explained his idea for a business that would provide quality sports photos of local high school or college teams in action to newspapers across the region.

Two months later, in the summer of 2000, the two men became partners in Inertia. In the beginning, Eggen worked part-time jobs to help make ends meet while working full time building the business. The business has grown steadily, and last year, Carlson quit his newspaper job and now works full time for Inertia as well.

“We provide newspapers across the region with high quality photos of their local athletes without them having to send their photographer; it’s an economical way for newspapers to have better coverage of their local teams and for smaller papers with no photographers to cover those important events,” Eggen said.

Inertia also makes the photos available to parents. Chances are, if you have children in high school or college sports in the area, Inertia has a photo of them.

“As a parent, it’s difficult to get a photo from the stands of your child playing football with a small point and shoot camera,” Eggen said. As a media organization, Inertia has the accessibility to be on the field or on the court with professional equipment and lighting to get the best quality photos. Parents can go to Inertia’s website to view and order action photos of their children.

Inertia shoots nearly every sport the high schools offer and works closely with Augustana College, the University of Sioux Falls, the University of South Dakota and the Sioux Falls Stampede. In addition, they are contracted with NBA Entertainment to shoot the D-League’s Sioux Falls Skyforce. Since most sports are played in the evenings and on weekends, Eggen and Carlson are free during the day to do commercial work.

As a Christian business owner, Eggen tries to look through the lens of Scripture to make decisions. Matthew 7:12 is a guide to customer service: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.”

“Each one of our customers is a blessing to us, and we want to treat them with the utmost respect,” Eggen said. Because the Bible says the borrower is a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7), the business carries little debt, often buying used equipment instead of more expensive new cameras and lenses.

Eggen and Carlson have over 30 years combined photography experience. They contribute regularly to the Sioux Falls Business Journal, Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and the Rapid City Journal. Their work has also appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Sports Illustrated.

Future plans for Inertia include a new Web site which will be unveiled by late summer. To further the goal of being a media resource for the region, the Web site will have stories, press releases and general sports news in addition to their photos.

Eggen is grateful his God-given talent enables him to make a living doing what he enjoys. Though it was hard to see God’s plan through his job loss, Eggen believes Romans 8:28 sums up what he experienced, “We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan.” Whatever the future holds, even when things seem darkest, rest in God’s love and trust his plan for your life.

Inertia Sports Media can be contacted through their Web site:, by e-mail:, by phone: (605) 338-9011, or in writing: P.O. Box 91133, Sioux Falls, SD 57109-1133

Posted by admin on Tuesday, July 24 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1473 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (July, 2007)
Christian Commerce

A comprehensive Christian car care shop
By Veronica Stoneall, Living Stones News Writer
Doug Kooiman started his complete car repair business in 2000. His Christian background leads him to do the best job possible with honesty and integrity.

Owner of All Tune and Lube, Doug Kooiman, not only offers complete car repair, he trains customers how to care for their cars better.

All Tune and Lube, located next to the Eastside Shopko on 4707 E Arrowhead Parkway in Sioux Falls, S.D., is a great place to take your car for regular maintenance or when problems arise. This business does complete car repair including rebuilding motors, engine replacement, fixing air conditioning and anything that your car or small pickup might need.
Doug Kooiman started the business at the Sioux Falls location in February of 2000. He had previously lived and worked in Chandler, Minn., as a mechanic and a repairman for large factory machines. His son started auto mechanics school in Chandler, which led the family to seek a franchise for an auto business. They received the franchise and opened their new auto repair business. The business has been going well. Three years ago they expanded the business and opened a second All Tune and Lube at 3209 South Marion Rd., also in Sioux Falls. Kooiman’s son, Chad, runs the second business. The two businesses employ 10 people.
Kooiman grew up in a Christian home in Chandler, Minn. He had five brothers. The family attended church regularly. His faith has been a very positive part of his life and business. 
“We are here to help people with their cars. I enjoy helping people repair their vehicles. We also train people how to care for their vehicles to keep them running longer,” Kooiman said. “God asks us to do the best job we can and to do it honestly and to the best of our ability. We convey this to our employees, too. It is amazing how the Lord can lead you. He leads us down paths we are unaware of going.” 
Kooiman tells of a tornado that changed his life. In l992 a devastating tornado hit Chandler, Minn. He recalled the frustration and disbelief after his brother and parents both lost their homes in the tornado. Kooiman was a volunteer who went out after the storm. He remembers the shock of the devastation and the loss of lives.
“Many people came to our aid. We received money, food and other supplies. Going through these things draw people closer to God,” Koiiman said. “My parents lived in a camper as that was all they had left. Everything else was gone. I remember my father crying and wondering how they would make it.”
Through a series of events starting at church, God provided them with a new house. His parents were able to live in it until they passed away.
“Going through adversity can strengthen you and bring you closer to God,” Kooiman said.
Kooiman told the story of David and Goliath from 1 Samuel 17 in the Bible. David asked what the Kings would do for the man who would kill Goliath. David had faced adversity before while caring for his sheep. God led him and helped him with his sheep and helped him slay the giant.

"God leads us in the same ways,” Kooiman said.
Kooiman and his wife, Diane, have four children and seven grandchildren. They attend First Christian Reform Church on 26th Street in Sioux Falls. They are active in their church as well as volunteering at other places. While still in Chandler Minn., their church had a Furniture Mission, which Kooiman became very active in serving with them. It was only natural for him to also become involved with the Furniture Mission organization here in Sioux Falls.
“The Furniture Mission provides necessary items to many people. When the furniture warehouse is empty, people are using it. God just fills it up again,” Kooiman said. Whether he is at his auto repair shop or out volunteering somewhere else, he enjoys caring for others.
The All Tune and Lube shops are both open Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come and see them at 4707 E Arrowhead Parkway and 3209 South Marion Road. You will get quality work at a fair price and service with a smile.

Posted by admin on Tuesday, June 26 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1363 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)

Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (June, 2007)
Christian Commerce

Aggressive, progressive internet radio -- It’s TheBlast.FM
By Kent Wigg

Through his Internet radio, TheBlast.FM, Colin “Cruz” Strombeck lives out his ministry dream to reach young people with aggressive Christian music.

Colin “Cruz” Strombeck operates TheBlast.FM webcast from his home, 24 hours a day.

“Get Blastified,” the “Blast.Base” home page invites, giving little advance hint of the Christian message deeply imbedded in the aggressive format of alternative rock and hip hop music.

This is the calling of Colin “Cruz” Strombeck, former DJ and program director at several Midwest and southwestern radio stations, as he seeks to reach the hearts and souls of a unique audience of Web-based radio listeners with the sounds of Christian rock artists such as Cool Hand Luke and Dead Poetic.

His goal is simple: “To reach young people with the aggressive Christian music that the majority of Christian radio stations will not play.”

An outgrowth of his Sioux Falls-based non-profit and donation-based organization called The Blast Ministries, Inc., TheBlast.FM webcasts 24 hours daily, with screen visualizations accompanying the rock. Listeners can also pick up The Blast programming through iTunes radio.

Click on the music or choose your next Blast site: “” will send you to for samples of groups. Click on Blast.Beliefs to read the Internet station’s basis for faith, deeply rooted in Jesus Christ and professed by Strombeck, as TheBlast.FM’s creator, program director and sole employee.

Strombeck first experienced the heart tug of Jesus Christ in 1984 as he listened one Sunday morning to a disc jockey share Christian rock music and his compelling witness of redemption and eternal life that got Strombeck thinking as he lay in bed.

“I was wondering about my own destination,” Strombeck said. “The music turned me towards God.” He then experienced a revelation and calling, to lead other youth to Christ through this type of programming.

Though early college years at the University of South Dakota briefly pulled his sights away from God, Strombeck received a second revelation experience in November 1991 that broke him of party life and placed him back on the road to his earlier calling.

He joined Campus Crusade for Christ and played Christian heavy metal songs on the college radio station. Still seeking his professed calling of reaching young souls through alternative music, he worked at Christian stations in cities such as Duluth, Albuquerque, and Houston.

Yet, Strombeck was not satisfied that he was reaching a segment of listeners that preferred a harder, edgier sound than contemporary Christian radio was playing at these stations.

Strombeck reflected back to experiences related by listeners in Houston that convinced him God wanted him to pursue a format that would reach a special group of listeners.

“God can use any type of music to get the attention of people,” he said.

This brought about the birth of “The Blast”, hitting the Internet Jan. 1 of this year with exactly the music Strombeck felt would finally reach a target of 12- to 34-year olds who preferred the Christian message in a consistently alternative rock format.

Today, after working at a full-time job at HSBC during the day, Strombeck returns to his home, often working until midnight preparing programming and responding to e-mails from his worldwide listening audience.

Among regular listeners is a Marine stationed in an unspecified desert location who e-mailed Strombeck, “The Blast is one of the things that keeps me going, during the week.”

Another listener, according to Strombeck e-mailed from Germany and wrote that The Blast offered, “exactly the kind of music that makes me feel alive.” This is what keeps Strombeck charged up to continue the sacrifice of a non-profit station with limited funding.

“This is very encouraging to see my dream come back to life,” Strombeck said, commenting on the impact that the station has had on his own life. “To see my calling is very satisfying.”

Tuning in to Internet radio itself may not be a daily event for many, but for followers of The Blast, Strombeck’s Internet site has been popular enough to recently rank No. 1 among Internet radio Christian stations in one polling period, by a national Internet station rating service.

Strombeck’s dream will continue on two fronts, as he and his wife are expecting triplets in August, and as he hopes to have The Blast operations refined enough and donations adequate enough for him to work part time and have more time for his family.

Strombeck’s first priority for The Blast remains the outreach to his young market, though he has an ambitious plan for its development. Considering the rapid development of Wi-Fi hotspots and WiMax technology, he feels that the Internet will be the future of radio and worldwide Internet, as reception of programming greatly expands for specialized stations such as The Blast.

“My dream is for a full-blown live 24-hour station with on-air personalities, fun but ministry-oriented,” he said.

And as this dream unfolds, Strombeck and his worldwide audience will no doubt continue to have a “Blast.”

Financial support of The Blast is sought from churches, individuals, and businesses. Contributions should be directed to:

The Blast Ministries, Inc.
PO Box 90809
Sioux Falls, SD 57109
E-mail: colincruz@TheBlast.FM

Posted by admin on Tuesday, May 22 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1377 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 5)

Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (May, 2007)
Christian Commerce

Family Memorials by Gibson – providing personalized monuments for three generations
After the loss of a loved one, Family Memorials by Gibson will provide personalized care and designs for monument needs.
By Veronica Stoneall, Living Stones News Writer

Family Memorials by Gibson is a three-generation business. (From left) Tony, Mike, Mary, Scott, and Betty Gibson.

For three generations, Family Memorials by Gibson have been sharing their knowledge and expertise by providing memories in stone. The company provides monuments, rock carving, diamond etchings by hand, sandblast carving, address stones, pet markers, signs and plaques. The business is located at 5000 W. 12 Street in Sioux Falls, S.D. Scott and Mary Gibson are there when you need them.

“Everything we do is custom made. It is very personal. We design monuments specifically for each customer.” Mary said. “We have three artists who plan and prepare the designs. We buy the stones, but do all the designs and lettering ourselves. Our etchings are done by hand. We import the finest granite from all over the world. We are always open to new ideas for creating the stones.”

Charles and Betty Gibson started Family Memorials and have been providing beautifully crafted, custom-made monuments for 25 years. They wanted to have an ethically correct business that people could trust. It was important to them that people receive the finest workmanship at a fair price. The company uses the Cross-and shaft of wheat for the symbol of their business.

The Gibsons attend St Michael’s Catholic Church in Sioux Falls. Their faith guides them when helping people through the tough times. Giving something to people to help them remember their loved ones is a great service. They help heal the hurt and provide comfort and friendship to the families at a very difficult time. A good portion of the business is working with older people, but they have many young people loose a loved one as well. Whatever the age, Family Memorials is there to serve.

The company works through churches to provide markers for people who are unable to provide for their own.

Memorials are important for remembering loved ones. They are very personal. Old stones can teach you a lot about the person. You may be able to learn about relatives by looking up gravestones and finding full names of lost or forgotten relatives. Years ago, many people did not get a birth certificate so the only record was the church baptism or the gravestone marker. The stones can also tell a lot about the personality of the person as well as helping remember dates of the past. We can learn a lot of history by looking at the stones.

The Gibsons have three children: one daughter who is with her husband in the service and two sons who have chosen to work in the business. Tony works as the sales manager, and Michael is completing school and works as the art coordinator. Each person in the family uses their specific talents to make the business run smoothly along with other faithful employees.

“I used to pull weeds and mow around the stones when I was a kid,” Scott said. “I started working at the business when I was in high school. Our children have done the same work and have been around the business most of their lives. The boys have worked at other jobs, but have decided to come back to the family business. We are happy to have them here with us. Everyone works at what they do best.”

Family Memorial carries an inventory of 500 to 600 stones for people to choose from when the need arises. They are located at 5000 W 12 St. in Sioux Falls.

“Three generations of memories in stone. Life is fragile. We will be there when you need us,” Scott said.

Posted by admin on Tuesday, April 24 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1425 reads)
(Read More... | Score: 0)

Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (April, 2007)
Christian Commerce

David Freestone operates M& D Custom Framing from the basement of his home and has an array of beautiful frames from which to choose.
Picture framing business serves to help others by creating beauty in their lives.
David Freestone, owner of M & D Custom Framing, loves helping people by guiding them in choosing frames that makes the artwork come alive.
By Veronica Stoneall

David Freestone has always enjoyed working with wood and uses his knowledge of woodworking in his custom framing business: M and D Custom Framing – “Where pictures come to life.”

“It’s amazing what happens to a picture when you add the matting and the picture frame. It can make it or break it!” Freestone said. “I never really knew my father, but I understand that he was an excellent photographer. I guess it was natural for me to like photographs and art. My younger brother who died at age 16 was a great artist, too.”

After retiring from the nursing profession due to health problems, Freestone decided to put his knowledge of wood to good use. He has been in the framing business about three years. His studio is in the basement of his home.

“God has given me a gift for framing,” Freestone said. “I love it. I want to be able to frame artwork for people at an affordable price. I want people to be happy with my work. I do the best job I can. It is through giving that I will reap the benefits of helping others. I really enjoy talking to customers as we pick out the frames.”

Freestone has been married to his wife, Vickie, for 27 years. He has been a loving stepfather to her children, Scott and Amy. The family attends church at Abiding Savior Free Lutheran in Sioux Falls, S.D., where Vickie is the office manager.

Freestone became a Christian while in the army in Germany. He was hanging with a tough crowd. A gentleman, Dennis Schepkor, from Astoria, S.D, took him to a chapel service where the word of God was being preached. Freestone accepted Christ that night.

Freestone wants to use his business to the glory of God. Helping others has always been a part of his life whether he was nursing others back to health or framing pictures. God’s handy work and beauty is a true blessing for Freestone and for those he serves.

His favorite Bible verse is: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners. Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

May God bless you in your service to Him through your business, M & D Custom Framing.

M & D Custom Framing, David Freestone, (605) 371-0833

Posted by admin on Tuesday, March 27 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1509 reads)
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (March, 2007)
Christian Commerce

The DeJongh Financial Group serves clients with Bible-based values
By Kandy Bauder, Living Stones News Writer

Virgil DeJongh, a Christian businessman, develops personal relationships with clients as his company helps them build financial roadmaps.

Virgil DeJongh openly and unabashedly leads the DeJongh Financial Group from a Christian perspective.

Every time Virgil DeJongh meets with a client it is an opportunity to be a witness for God. DeJongh is open with the people he works with that he is a Christian and that his business will be conducted in the same manner as he lives. DeJongh uses his own life’s experiences to help build a personal relationship with those who seek his business services. Whether you are saving for college for your children, planning for your retirement or looking for life insurance, The DeJongh Financial Group provides the services you will need to help plan what DeJongh calls your “financial roadmap.”

DeJongh started his career in farming after high school and for the next 15 years DeJongh thought he was in the occupation God intended for him. However, during the farm crises of the 1980s, God closed the door on a career in farming.

DeJongh was left wondering how he would provide for his family. He prayed to God, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” God placed Proverbs 19:21 on DeJongh’s heart: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (NIV).

God also answered by providing DeJongh with a Christian mentor in the financial business. This man saw the qualities DeJongh possessed and invested his time and energy into DeJongh. He took DeJongh under his wing and helped him start on a new career path in the financial planning business.

In 1986, DeJongh entered the Financial Services Industry with a strong desire to be successful. Since that time, he has guided clients in developing financial portfolios. DeJongh maintains an emphasis on building relationships with his clients. As the business has grown, DeJongh still manages to make each client feel unique, remembered and special. DeJongh’s strong Christian faith has guided his steps as a businessman.

The past 20 years has taught DeJongh much about running a successful business. DeJongh believes that he must be “successful in life not just business.”

DeJongh said, “You cannot reflect good values in business if you don’t reflect that in your own life. A good father makes a good businessman.”

DeJongh conducts business with honesty and integrity and that has earned him trust as he aids people in building a financial portfolio.

“My passion is in leadership and mentoring other advisors in the business.” DeJongh said. This is a role that DeJongh takes seriously and is evident by the employees that he has brought into his company.

The financial industry has changed a lot in the past 20 years offering new options for investors to choose from which has expanded DeJongh’s services. One thing that hasn’t changed at The DeJongh Financial Group is the way that DeJongh himself conducts business.

The principle values of the company are Bible based. The DeJongh Financial Group strives to practice “accountability, community, integrity, character, vision and stewardship. They are committed to growing the business and living lives reflecting these principles.

DeJongh said, “Our goal is that when people leave the door they say it was a good experience.”

It is a priority to offer new and better services at The DeJongh Financial Group as they become available. DeJongh recognizes that one constant in life is change, and these changes often affect financial goals as well. By meeting with clients on a regular basis, DeJongh is able to help clients to reassess their financial portfolio and individual goals.

The services offered at The DeJongh Financial Group include investment advisors, estate organization, business continuation, financial business development plans and retirement planning. When a client enters The DeJongh Financial Group, a team of advisors is ready to help develop a financial roadmap that will enable clients to reach their financial goals.

The DeJongh Financial Group is located at 3208 East 26th Street in Sioux Falls and can be reached at (605)332-6242.

DeJongh and his wife, Lavonne, live in Sioux Falls. They have three married children and 11 grandchildren. They are active in their church, serving on various boards and leadership roles.

Posted by admin on Monday, February 26 @ 23:00:00 CST (1509 reads)
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (February, 2007)
Christian Commerce

Handyman Matters operates as a God-centered business

Paul Rowenhorst (34), Christian business owner of Handyman Matters in Tea, S.D., will do the “honey do’s that your honey doesn’t want to do or doesn’t know how to do.” Rowenhorst claims you can get 1,162 different home repairs with only one phone call! These home repairs can range from a one-hour project, such as painting or putting on trim, up to remodeling a basement, kitchen or bathroom.

Paul Rowenhorst manages Handyman Matters with strong Christian ethics.

In business in the greater Sioux Falls area for a year and a half, Rowenhorst employs four skilled craftsmen in addition to himself and an office assistant. He hires craftsmen who are skilled generalists, but “who usually have a specialty.”

Rowenhorst said that there are five qualifications he looks for when hiring people and he describes the qualifications through an acronym: A PACT.

“A” is ‘a’ clean background check on every employee,” he said. ‘P’ is for punctual. We want them to show up on time and that means being five minutes early. ’A’ is appearance. We want the employees to look clean cut, not scary, and that means the job site is to be kept clean as well. ‘C’ is communication with the homeowners as the job progresses. If something comes up, we want the owner to know right away, not at the end of the job. ‘T’ is for talent. I try to hire craftsmen with 10 years or more experience. We have a one-year warranty on all the work we do and a satisfaction guarantee.

The vision statement for Handyman Matters speaks to the Christian ethics with which Rowenhorst runs his business as well: “A family-first team that has honest, expert craftsmen to meet your home repair and remodeling needs.”

Rowenhorst added a list of values on which the company focuses: professionalism, family, fun, trust, God-centered, respect, honest, dignity and giving of their time, talent and treasure to different charities, one being Habitat for Humanity.

“Our management team will always be Christ centered,” he said. “However, we don’t always hire Christian craftsmen. We pray over all applicants. We’ve lead four to the Lord while they worked for us and helped them grow in their walk. We have a ministry on the job and in the job. Every home we go into is an opportunity to minister to them. For example, if a mistake happens, we back it up, and those things are a great witness. I like the saying, ‘Share Jesus. Use words occasionally.’”

Rowenhorst grew up as a farm kid in Orange City, Iowa, He said he was raised in a Christian home but chose to turn away from God.

“I got involved with the wrong crowd,” he said. “I chose every means to bring joy and satisfaction to my life outside of Christ.”

In his early 20s, Rowenhorst entered the New Life Treatment Center in Woodstock, Minn., for “the whole nine yards” of addictions. At the center on June 24, 1 994, 6:30 a.m., Rowenhorst gave his life to Christ.

“I was sitting across from the chaplain, Rev. John Boender, in his little office, when he asked me, ‘So why are you here?’” Rowenhorst said. “With that question, the Holy Spirit came over me and changed what I’d been so proud of – the drinking and that mentality. I realized the amount of hurt I’d caused to my family and to myself. I just sat there and wept for about an hour and confessed everything in my life. I shared the quilt and the shame that was weighing me down. At the end of that, the chaplain asked me if I’d like to receive Christ into my life. I prayed the prayer to ask Christ into my life. From that moment, the quilt and shame and sorrow was replaced with incredible joy. I walked out of that office with a smile on my face and a bounce in my step. I walked out free, and I know the angel choir was singing because I had given my life to Christ. The moment I received Christ was greater than any high or chemical I’d had put in my body. It was the greatest moment in my life.

“Of course,” he added, “marrying my wife and the birth of my son are close seconds.”

Rowenhorst said that what got him into treatment was a lot of prayer of the saints – his mom and dad, friends and many other people. When he left the treatment center, he went back home and lived with his parents and attended a community college. He went on to attend a Bible college in Omaha, Neb., and is an ordained Mennonite Brethren pastor. He has worked as an associate pastor and a youth pastor and particularly enjoys church planting saying, “the rate of conversion in a church plant is greater than an established church.”

Rowenhorst and his wife, Melissa, lead worship at Christ Community Church. They have a son, Stephan, who is almost three years old.

Rowenhorst is willing to share his testimony or help in any way. You can reach him at (605) 368-9983.

Handyman Matters is located in Tea, S.D., and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Posted by admin on Monday, January 22 @ 23:00:00 CST (1397 reads)
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (December, 2006)
Christian Commerce

Ludens Implement honors God’s faithfulness
By Corinne Scott, Publisher
Ludens Implement in Humboldt is run by the Ludens family and unabashedly operates on Christian principles, giving God the honor for His faithfulness over the years.

Landon Luden is the sales manager for Luden’s Implement located in Humboldt, S.D.

Ludens Implement is located at Humboldt, S.D., 16 miles west of Sioux Falls on I-90. The company primarily sells and services trailers and corn heads (attachments to combines to harvest corn) as well as acreage equipment, which includes small tractors, roto tillers and snow blowers.
The company was started by Allen Ludens (59), and today he works with two of his three sons in running the business: Landon manages the store and Jason manages the shop. The whole Ludens family depends on God’s guidance, and they honor his faithfulness throughout the years.
Allen Ludens started buying and selling farm equipment after returning home from a tour of duty in the Marine Corp in 1968. He continued trading farm equipment on a part-time basis while farming and working in Sioux Falls until 1977.
In 1977 he went into the farm equipment business full-time and started Ludie’s Implement, which began on a small acreage just south of Sioux Falls. In 1987 Ludens had the opportunity to move the business to Parker where he renamed the business, Ludens Implement.
In Parker, he continued to offer used equipment and began to focus on the building and rebuilding of John Deere corn heads. This focus brought customers from North and South America. While in Parker, Ludens Implement began to test the trailer market by offering a handful of flatbed trailers. In 2003, the business had an opportunity to purchase their current location at Humboldt. The new location offered an excellent opportunity to expand the trailer lines and continue to offer acreage equipment and used John Deere corn heads.
Allen Ludens said that faith is the reason they are at this location on Interstate 90.
“Back in 2001 I had been praying the “Prayer of Jabez,” Ludens said. “I was looking to expand my horizons. I felt impressed to pray for this location (on I-90) to do business. The idea was shared with some close friends, and within days one of them replied, ‘I have already claimed that for you.’
“About a year and half later, I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit to call the owner of this property and ask if he was interested in selling his real estate. Long story short, in four or five months we were doing business.
“My former business location and farm were sold within that time frame as well. God has been growing the business each year. God is good all the time!
What is it that has helped this family business grow in an ever-changing market? When it comes to selling trailers, Allen’s philosophy is, “…in today’s market, we use volume to keep our prices competitive.” Landon, who manages the store, will tell you that the internet has been a key tool for them.
Ludens Implement had its own Web site since 1999:
“Listing pictures and prices right on our Web site has been invaluable to our customers who are primarily located within a 200-300-mile radius of us,” Landon said. “The Web site lists all our equipment with photos and pricing. It is a way for our customers to shop for new and used equipment. It has definitely aided in expanding our customer base.”
Jason manages the shop and focuses on providing good service for their trailer and corn head customers.
Ludens Implement seeks to incorporate Christian principles and ethics in the way it does business.
Landon said this is a family business and they’ve all grown up in this area.
“Because of our faith,” he said, “we feel a responsibility to sell a good product and to stand behind our products with good service. We believe God honors that. He has been our focus, and He has been faithful.”
Customer Dar Van Essen of Tinklenberg Lumber in Edgerton, Minn., has purchased several trailers from Ludens Implement over the past four or five years
“Ludens is good company, a great company,” he said. “They are honest and dependable. They have good pricing, and the service is excellent. They are friendly people.”
Lon Bratland of “B” Electric in Tea, S.D., has been a customer for six or seven years having purchased three car trailers, a dump trailer and a 5th wheel long trailer.
“They are very easy to get along with,” Bratland said. “They stand behind their products. They know their customers by name and treat you like a neighbor even if you live 30 miles away.”
Landon said that the company tries to let customers know that Ludens appreciates their businesses.
Ludens Implement accepts opportunities to support local Christian events, such as the LifeLight Music Festival in September each year. They also contribute to the local food shelf and to families in crisis.
Allen's wife and the boys' mother, Sharon, passed away in 2001. Allen is now married to Dorthy. All three sons, Landon (36), Jason (31) and Justin (29) who lives in Columbus, Ohio, are married and have a combined total of five children.
Landon said that “all of us are believers.” Allen and Dorthy Ludens attend the First Assembly of God in Sioux Falls; Landon and his family attend Central Baptist Church in Sioux Falls where his wife, Melissa, directs the pre-school; Jason and his wife, Susan, attend the First Presbyterian church in Parker; and Justin and his wife, Debra, attend a Baptist church in Columbus, Ohio.


Posted by admin on Monday, November 27 @ 23:00:00 CST (1103 reads)
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (November, 2006)
Christian Commerce

Real estate firm operates with Christian ethics

Harlan E. TenNapel has been selling real estate for 27 years, and for the past 16 years, his company, Houses by Harlan located at 5900 S. Western in Sioux Falls, S.D., has been one of 13 companies under the AmeriStar umbrella. A Christian since he invited Jesus into his life at a junior high Bible camp, TenNapel operates his business based on Christian ethics and his slogan claims his honesty and caring for his customers and clients.

“We enjoy having devotions at our weekly meetings.”
-- Harlan TenNapel, owner

Houses by Harlan primarily deals with residential properties. There are three employees – TenNapel, recently hired associate Mark Youngberg whom TenNapel used to work with at another real estate firm, and Betty Faber, client care manager.

“All three team members are Christians,” TenNapel said. “We enjoy having devotions at our weekly meetings.”

TenNapel said that his company applies Christian ethics, such as fairness and honesty, in the way they do business.

“I had a customer who was going to buy a house for rental property,” TenNapel said. “He thought he had looked over the house very well and decided he didn’t want a home inspection. I insisted that he get the inspection, which he did, and some major problems were found – the shingles were bad, the basement bowed in severely, and there were a couple of bad windows.”

When asked if it was difficult being a Christian in the real estate industry, TenNapel said that he has to be careful to not preach, but that he can live it.

“I have my slogan on my handouts,” he said, “and I have the Christian fish symbol (ichthus) on my business profile form. It’s one small way to make a comment to those I meet. I get to know my customers pretty well, and I have invited some of them to visit my church. For Mark who has been a mortgage lender for 20 years, the change has been a bit more obvious. In the highly regulated financial world, faith discussions with customers just aren’t allowed to be part of your daily routine.

TenNapel was born in northwest Iowa and raised in southwest Minnesota. He grew up in a Christian home with wonderful Christian parents. For the past 33 years he has lived in the Sioux Falls area. He and his wife, Mona, have been married for 35 years. They have two daughters: Laurie (married to Jeff) who has two children – Jackson and Gabby, and Sherri who is a physician’s assistant in LaCrosse, Wis.

The TenNapels attends Prairie Hills Covenant Church.

“Mark invited me to visit Prairie Hills Covenant Church seventeen years ago,” TenNapel said. “I’ve been there ever since and chairman of the church two times over.”

Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 24 @ 00:00:00 CDT (987 reads)
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (September, 2006)
Christian Commerce

De Hoek ... savoring Dutch traditions
By Kandy Bauder, Living Stones News Writer

Jane Newman’s profits at De Hoek, a café and gift shop in the Dutch tradition, go to support missions at home and abroad.

On the corner of 10th and Phillips Avenue in downtown Sioux Falls , there is a quaint little café with a gift shop that savors Dutch traditions. De Hoek, which means “the corner” in Dutch, is not only unique in the items that it sells, but also its mission. The proprietor, Jane Newman, had a dream that was 12 years in the making, and God has been with her since the beginning.

Owner Judy Newman and her son, Matt, operate De Hoek, a café and shop of Dutch traditions. Newman started the café so she could give the profits to missions work. And, she loves to share her faith with people who come in the door.

On June 1, 2005, De Hoek opened at 200 South Phillips Avenue . The menu includes soup, sandwiches and Dutch pastries made fresh daily. The cafe offers a variety of teas and coffees to go along with the pastries. There is also a gift shop full of items that honor Newman’s Dutch heritage.

However, the food and gifts are not what make this business stand out from the others.

“Twelve years ago I began to dream of opening De Hoek,” Newman said. “She knew that many things had to fall into place for her dream to be realized.

“I wanted my children out of high school when I opened De Hoek so that I could devote the time needed to the project. I even prayed to God for this location,” she said.

I am able to share my faith with people I’d never run into if De Hoek wasn’t downtown.  
–  Jane Newman

When Newman’s youngest child was a freshman in college, the location she had prayed for became available, and she knew God’s hand was in it. The next months consisted of readying the building for their opening. This involved the whole family as Newman has continued to teach part time.

“My husband made all of the tables,” Newman said with pride as she lovingly strokes the Dutch tiles inlaid in the tabletop. “He also made the fencing out front. Everyone helped with the cleaning and painting.”

Newman uses the profit she makes to help financially support missionaries in need. She remembers thinking, “I’m tired of giving $25 a month to the missions offering in church. Wouldn’t it be grand to add a comma and some zeroes to that.” So far Newman has been able to help support missions work in Chicago , Ill. ; Annville , Ky. ; and Las Vegas , Nev. Her gift shop carries items that support families in other countries including some beautiful jewelry made by a family in Peru .

De Hoek also caters desserts and hosts other special events. You can find information about afternoon teas and other activities on their Web site at Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the summer, weekend hours are extended until 10 p.m. Volunteers are also needed to help keep operating costs down, which in turn increases the funds available to help missionaries. For more information, contact Newman at (605) 334-2942.

“We need to get out of our comfort zone,” Newman said. “This is very rewarding. I am able to share my faith with people I’d never run into if De Hoek wasn’t downtown. Its one of the neatest things I could ask for.”


Posted by admin on Tuesday, August 22 @ 00:00:00 CDT (952 reads)
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