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
Christian Commerce: Local businesswoman walks in attitude of prayer
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
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
“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 (2487 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 5)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (September, 2007)
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
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
“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
“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
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 (1332 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 5)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (August, 2007)
Web-based sports media business focuses on quality photos and Godly
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
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
“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
“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
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:
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 (1438 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 0)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (July, 2007)
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
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
“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 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 (1342 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 5)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (June, 2007)
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: “Blast.blog” will send you to
MySpace.com 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
“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
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
Posted by admin on Tuesday, May 22 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1364 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 5)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (May, 2007)
Family Memorials by Gibson – providing personalized monuments for three
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
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 (1412 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 0)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (April, 2007)
Picture framing business serves to help others by creating beauty in their
David Freestone operates M& D Custom Framing from the basement of his
home and has an array of beautiful frames from which to choose.
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
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
M & D Custom Framing, David Freestone, (605) 371-0833
Posted by admin on Tuesday, March 27 @ 00:00:00 CDT (1493 reads)|
(Read More... | Score: 0)
Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (March, 2007)
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
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
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 (1476 reads)|
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (February, 2007)
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
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
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
“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
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
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 (1386 reads)|
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (December, 2006)
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
Landon Luden is the sales manager for Luden’s Implement located in
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
“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
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
“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
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 (1087 reads)|
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (November, 2006)
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
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
Posted by admin on Tuesday, October 24 @ 00:00:00 CDT (957 reads)|
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Christian Commerce: Christian Commerce - (September, 2006)
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
“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,”
I am able to share my faith with people I’d never run into if De Hoek
– 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 (943 reads)|
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