Taste Datsretto Drot

    In the Superman Comics of the mid-sixties, if you could get Mr. Mxyzptlk to say his name backwards . . .

Jesus and the Real World        Jesus and Church of the Divide

  Defend Christianity?  (against Smith and Barney)     Roadside Debate       Luke's Letter        Steve Gold's Letter
                                                                                                                      * note: My only posts are:  pastorob (and Coach)


On 3/29/07,
at 4:23 p.m.


Hey Dick,
I wasn't aware of the letter to the editor. I am not yet a resident of Auburn and am commuting.

Thus, I have not yet subscribed to a paper.

So, who is the church of the Divide and who is Dick Otterstad?

When I get a free moment I'll see if that letter is online.
Thanks for writing.


on 3/29/07
     at 4:47 p.m.


Hey, I replied on your letter, Dick..it may take awhile to post. Hope to meet you soon.


Of course,
Dick never wrote back to tell me who he is and
   what he really
       was up to.... 



    (March 30th)

"Before choir
  last night,

  I received
    this note:

Pastor Rob,

On March 21, the Auburn Journal printed a letter to the editor entitled,
"Local Pastors Should Speak Up to Defend Christianity."

I am still awaiting your response.

Dick Otterstad

To my knowledge,
I had never heard of the man. I have yet to begin reading the Auburn Journal on a daily basis.

He didn't provide a link but I invested the time to locate his letter online.

I then quickly  
    submitted his
    first comment.
  (click here for 
    Dick's letter 
    to the Editor

I wonder why he has the opinion that pastors are fearful, cowardly, and disobedient?

He waxeth with prophetic edge. Most nice people don't like prophetic edge...but I can deal with it.

I mean, I have to--
     it's my job,
           my calling. 
"The name's rob  

 I can see Mary shaking her head, 

   you're so gay..."





  March 31st.

You know, there's a whole lot on my plate right now.

This smorgasbord called 'Abundant Life' can make one's eyes bigger than one's belly.

I figured that I would hold off from much back-and-forth with Dick Otterback until he let me see the character of his name.

Remember, I said that, to my knowledge, I had never heard of the man.

Then, in what seemed like a totally unrelated occurrence,
Pastor Bill Jenkins called me this morning to introduce himself.

Although, I hadn't heard anything about either (or his church), he was very kind in extending the right hand of fellowship to me over the phone.

I was at the DMV waiting as my student-daughter took her written exam. I was sitting in the car practicing the music for tomorrow night's Easter Presentation at BellRoad.

So, anyway,
I come home from the DMV and google
the name
Dick Otterback in order to get some idea of the meaning of his name.

I learn that
  he has made
  a name
  for himself
  on the

     by picketing
     the very guy
  that had just
  been so kind 
  to me.

He picketed them on the day that they were launching their church.

I'm thinking,

"What's up
with that,

"Did you
 talk that over with him or  
  show up

  do it?"

That kinda reminds me of the Westboro Lady (Shirley Phelps-Roper).

If you wanna go on a wild-google chase, there's plenty of name-droppings along the way.
My old buddy, Dave, just wrote me a few days ago to tell me that the Westboro church had just picketed his local church in Colorado Springs.

They called some young teenage girls "whores" as they were heading into church.
These were sweet, tender-hearted girls. Dave was pretty upset about it.

 I wonder if Dick Otterback is a Shirley Phelps-Roper wanna-be?

Well, if he looks hard enough at two years of my journaling, I'm sure that he'll find whatever it is that he's looking for.


I've gotta get
  to Teacher's

      March 31st


     April 3, 2007

Yup. I guessed correctly. Dick Otterstad was coming after yours truly.

What a waste.

Well, anyway, I wrote a reply to his remarks at the Auburn Journal.

I've got so much more important matters at hand but I wanted to at least reply once.

IF you click below and read the comments, please don't forget to read the original article.

It has two pages. I think that some people are missing the meat of the message

(on the
 second page).

Jesus and the Real World

      April 3, 2007


--The Auburn Journal
    Monday, April 9


The most visible member of the maverick Church of the Divide squared off Easter Sunday at the side of an Auburn road in a verbal donnybrook with the pastor of an Auburn Baptist Church.
Church leaders air differences in roadside debate

--The Auburn Journal
  Monday, April 9


    an excerpt
      April 9, 2007

It happened.

The picketers showed up at our short, simple (yet significant) sunrise service. Cathy and I arose at 4:45 and made our way with guitar, flute, and scripture to the three crosses on the hill.

There is some barbed wire fencing which places a boundary line near the crosses.

I stood alone up there--picking the guitar strings--in thought as people began to arrive for the intimate gathering at 6:30. Then I saw the picketers start to show up. It was all a bit surreal.

A newsman, Gus, from the Journal showed me Dick's press release which intended 
    to inform
    the media:

 "Two Churches 
   to have
   a Showdown 
       on Easter"

I went down the hill to meet these guys. Looking over each of their signs, I affirmed those with substance.
I have no problem with anybody holding a sign that reads:

"Judgment must
  begin with 
  the House of God"

However, the sign that said

  "This church
         is dead"

        stirred me.

Dick Otterstad doesn't know these people I have spent two months getting to know.

I got into his face because I wanted to see through his intense stare

  --into his eyes
  --into his soul.

  I was not able
  to penetrate
  the barrier
  he has in place.

During the days ahead, I hope to make 
  s'more valuable use of my time but
  feel that it is important to organize,
  classify, and label the harassment I
  have endured from that fateful day
  when Dick sent me his first
  passively-aggressive email...

Dick apparently had counted the comments on
                my newspaper article: 
      Jesus and the Real World 
       He must have wanted it for himself because he took
       control of it. From there, the plot thickened. 

Dick Otterstad
wrote on April 03, 2007
"Pastor Rob's article and these 62 comments--most from his congregation at his request--exemplify the main problems in today's so-called "evangelical" Christianity. Today's "church" is little more than a business--praising the pastor and some holy event to draw in more customers. It is particularly despicable to use the Resurrection of Christ for such a scam. In Matthew 21:12-13, Jesus drove these business scammers out of the temple. Such "pastors" care nothing about the holiness of the Name of God--that His name be hallowed (sanctified). When Christ's name was attacked again in several letters to the editor, I wrote a letter also, entitled,4 "Pastors Should Speak Out to Defend Christianity." No local pastor responded, as usual, so I emailed Pastor Rob several times personally about the need for pastors to defend Christ's name. His lame response/no-response was then posted under my letter of March 21. Such "shepherds of God's flock" need to read Jeremiah 23 again and do some soul searching."

pastorob wrote on April 03, 2007 11:19 AM:
"Hey Dick, You may be able to count but you are on the 'wrong side' of this one, buddy. You are not the first to try to get me to waste my time and energy by attempting to direct my steps.

I was honest in my response to your lonely letter to the Editor. At that time, I hadn't yet googled Dick Otterstad to discover the real meaning of your name. Dick Otterstad, I'll react to the culture as I am led by the Spirit.

You cannot intimidate me with your self-righteous accusations. Serving several years in an inner-city ministry taught me that if I tried to put out fires started by the Devil, then that would make me a follower of the Devil. I choose to follow the Spirit of Christ--not Dick Otterstad. You apparently haven't done your homework on this one, Dick.

I have wondered
     if you are a "Shirley Phelps-Roper Wanna-Be." Should you show up with your picket signs, we will allow you your freedom to grab 15 minutes of fame for yourself. However, that action would be totally Dick-driven (not Spirit-led). Your time would be better served elsewhere, methinks.

If you are seriously looking for holiness, you should practice what you preach. Why don't you go "Google yourself" and, based upon what you see, try asking the Lord if He knows who you are (Matthew 25).

If you are a believer in Jesus, why are you wasting your life picking on poor, little ol' me? Vanity of vanities.

Let me get back to work, OK?"   


Dick Otterstad wrote on April 03, 2007 7:18
"I hope that the real believers in Auburn will take note that another Christian scam artist now occupies the pulpit on Bell Road. He has no problem aggrandizing himself in asking his flock to write letters to the editor in praise of him and his upcoming Easter sunrise service. That would be "following the Spirit." However, when it comes time for the shepherds to stand up for righteousness when Christ's name is maligned in the Auburn Journal, somehow the Holy Spirit is silent. Go figure! The real reason is that Pastor Rob cannot take the persecution that comes with publicly standing for righteousness. ( Matt.5:10-12) He will join the ranks of all the other silent Auburn pastors that have plenty to say on Sunday morning, but can't seem to be bothered to publicly defend Christ's name when it is publicly maligned. Can you say hypocrits? Jesus had his harshest words for such "pastors". (Matthew 23)."

PastoSause wrote on April 03, 2007 10:02
"Woah PastoRob! You seem a bit condemning of
Mr. Otterstad. If you think Mr. Otterstad's actions in our community are not "Christ-like" - then who are you following? Do you think your comment was "Spirit-led"? It came across as more of an in-your-face, proud, "PastoRob-led", arrogant slam on another brother just because you aren't humble enough to listen to what he has to say. Mr. Otterstad asked for pastors to speak out to defend Christianity (a seemingly ridiculous question because a pastor by definition should be a defender of the flock.) But sadly, in our day, because of leaders like you, PastoRob, he needs to ask the question. You, like the proud, money-loving Pharisees were offended by his statement: "And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." -Matthew 13:57 "

talkischeap wrote on April 04, 2007 12:15 AM
"Talk about cheap marketing strategies. Get your church written up in the local paper and urge your pew-sitters to write in glowing praises of their leader for the sole purpose of getting more people in the front door on Easter. Pathetic. Is this what evangelical Christianity has devolved into? The "pastor" is now "The Coach" who leads "His (Jesus') Team" to a "winning season"? What drivel! After reading the YouTube and website comments of this so-called "coach", I came away with the feeling of listening to someone trying to be "hip" and "relevant", but lacking in substantive Biblical arguments. Neither would John Lennon come to mind as someone to hold up as some kind of "hero" for Christians (inept Christian lyrics nothwithstanding). Lennon practiced everything but orthodox Christianity. But I guess that's the lure nowadays to bring in the customers. What we have here is a wolf in sheep's clothing (Mathew 7:15); sounding "relevant", but saying or doing absolutely nothing for the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. George Barna is right. True Christians are leaving these churches in droves. There is neither Biblical application to confront the wickedness they see all around them,nor are they being built up in their most holy faith (Jude 1:20) and thus, "My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge"(Hosea 4:6). Result: the culture and the 21st century church have become one and therefore, totally useless. "

Elizabeth Braun wrote on April 04, 2007 6:49 "Pastorob, Dick Otterstad has obviously struck a nerve with you, judging by your rather irritated response to him. Rather than attacking him personally, why don't you come clean and admit this? Truthfully consider what he has addressed, rather than trying to change the subject to 'get people off your back' and attacking Dick's personal integrity. The comfortable coffee shop Christianity prevalent in our culture has nothing to do with the the suffering servant, Jesus, proclaimed in all these 'wonderful' Easter Sunday rituals. It's all about friendship with the world, not the myriad of verses proclaiming that persecution, suffering, hardship, hatred by the world, is normal Christian life if you truly seek to walk in Christ's footsteps. Of course, proclaiming such things offends people rather than drawing in the masses/money required to keep the church system going. It's that simple."

B2B wrote on April 04, 2007 12:14 PM:
" Since Dick Otterstad wants to be critical of the local  
     clergy, let's throw a little criticism Dick's way.

    All you need to do is go to 
    to see what Dick and his band of bigots are all about."


wrote on April 04, 2007 12:54 PM:

"The Auburn Journal requested that I write the article being considered here. In keeping with their forum guidelines, please make sure that your comments are connected with this article, please. "Jesus and the Real World" is our topic here (there are two pages...please click on CONTINUED).

Of course, I asked people to check out the Journal Online and leave a comment. It seems like Dick's people have some kind of problem with that.

Hmm...I'm reminded of an old song *given away for free, by the way...

            (click here for "Tender Mercies


PastoSause wrote on April 04, 2007 2:10 PM:
"PastoRob, of course these comments are keeping on the topic of "Jesus and the Real World." Your article addressed "church" and how you'd like to see it go back to how Jesus did it. All I did was comment on "church", as presented in your article, and in particular, your latest comment slamming Mr. Otterstad. But apparently you only want "positive" comments about your article and you actually don't want to deal with the "Real World" where there is constructive criticism of beliefs... instead you want to censor it. Is that what Jesus did? No, instead he spoke out against the sins going on in the "Real World". For example: "When the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation..." (Luke 11:29) That was Jesus' message, as you say "Short, simple, yet extremely significant." I'd have to agree with you, let's go "Back to basics ... the fundamentals" and start preaching the way Jesus preached." ______________________________________

wrote on April 04, 2007 3:17 PM:

"Thank you, P.Sauce, for actually reading the full article."


Eric Seagal wrote on April 04, 2007 3:24 PM:" Thanks B2B. I now understand why people have a very strong dislike for what this man preaches. It makes you wonder when you see the type of people this guy is associated with. People that think that the murder of a doctor is the way of Jesus or that beating up high school kids is cool. Thanks again, it says a lot."

PastoSause wrote on April 04, 2007 4:06 PM:
"P.Rob, thanks for reading my comment as well! Do you have any comments about what I said? Also, I'm still waiting for a response from you on Otterstad's letter to the Editor, "Local pastors should speak up to defend Christianity." http://auburnjournal.com/articles/2007/03/21/opinion/letters/02letters.txt "

David wrote on April 04, 2007 4:51 PM:
" Thank you B2B I always thought Otterstad wasn't playing with a full deck, now I know for sure. He has a lot of nerve being critical of our local pastors when you consider who he runs with and what he has done. "


wrote on April 04, 2007 7:25 PM:
"I agree with Pastor Rob that the posts should be on the subject. The subject is Jesus and the Real World--What Pastor Rob does and his idea of how church should be. Other posts are not germane to the topic and are illegitimate here according to the Auburn Journal guidelines. Now, Mr. Otterstad has raised the question as to why Pastor Rob would not respond to his article, "Local pastors should speak out to defend Christianity." I say this is fair game and would, indeed, like to hear a response from Pastor Rob on this."

BB wrote on April 04, 2007 9:28 PM:"Wow, don't attack the sacred cow, now: we have serious pastor-worship going on here!" z

on April 05, 2007 6:36 AM:"Like Pastosauce, who's dead on with the point on getting 'Back to basics ... the fundamentals', how about these 'real world' Bible verses to incorporate into your worldview, Pastorob: "If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." This is Jesus speaking about the 'real world.' Is this your experience of the 'real world,' Pastorob? "

Andy Conn wrote on April 05, 2007 8:17 AM:"All right you knuckle heads knock off your I Know Jesus better than you diatribes or I'm going to bang some coconuts together. Pastor Rob your Jesus/Lennon video was truly a tribute to Weird Al Yankovich the parody master. Write your own song! Dick you make some valid points but underneath it you seem to have disdain for all but you and your cult. Please open your heart and read Beatitudes without imposing your bigotry on Jesus's most important message. I am not a Christian and yet I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for over 40 years.I do not believe in any of the three interpretations of Original Sin. I believe in personal responsibility for my actions and words. Thus I do not accept Jesus as my savior but pray and meditate on the words of the wise sage that he was. My friend Bill White used to say, " I do not get into a car with anyone that mentions god over 5 times in a conversation".I have found this good advice. Usually someone is looking for ego driven brownie points by trying to save me. Actions speak louder than words."


pastorob wrote on April 05, 2007 10:15 AM:

"I have addressed the Church of the Divide people in my daily journal. www.pastorob.com I hope this will answer all their questions. Maybe we will meet each other at the Good Friday Service tomorrow at FBC Auburn 7:00 p.m."


Beatrice Nelson wrote on April 05, 2007 10:44
" Hmm, it seems Dick Otterstad has some explaining to do. He calls the pastor at Bell Road a scam artist. Dick may not be an artist, but he sure knows how to run scams."

Mr.L wrote on April 05, 2007 10:53 AM:" Oh Liza, attacking Dick Otterstad's integrity. Now that's a novel concept. I would also attack Otterstad's integrity, that is, if I could find it. Obviously you haven't bothered to read the Davis website concerning Dick and his so-called "Church" of the Divide."

wrote on April 05, 2007 11:41 AM:
"Hey, Pastor Rob- Wake up and smell the coffee! Even the Gentile prophet, Michael Savage, can see that your kind of Church is incapable of defending the Christianity of our once-great nation. Your kind of church obviously has no will to live and is on its way out. And leave these guys alone! They are saying some things that need to be said. {Kudos to the AJ for providing this kind of forum.}"

Observer wrote on April 04, 2007 7:25 PM:"I agree with Pastor Rob that the posts should be on the subject. The subject is Jesus and the Real World--What Pastor Rob does and his idea of how church should be. Other posts are not germane to the topic and are illegitimate here according to the Auburn Journal guidelines. Now, Mr. Otterstad has raised the question as to why Pastor Rob would not respond to his article, "Local pastors should speak out to defend Christianity." I say this is fair game and would, indeed, like to hear a response from Pastor Rob on this."

    AND...the comments just continued long after I quit.

    real s'mores are much more fun
than compiling this....


  AND...the comment section was growing 
                at Dick's previously lonely letter to the Editor:

Dick Otterstad wrote on April 03, 2007 7:36 PM:

"Note the self-aggrandizing promo in Pastor Rob's response:

"Where He leads I will follow"---to the community 
 Good Friday service with the other silent Auburn pastors.

   Very pious indeed!

However, somehow God isn't leading him to respond to the attacks on Christianity that my article refers to. So these attacks will go unanswered by the community religious leaders, including now newcomer Pastor Rob.

Of course, Pastor Rob has an excuse--he has to explore the coffee houses, etc. first. And, of course, Pastor Rob is only accountable to the Holy Spirit personally, never mind that he is a shepherd of God's flock!

Sorry, Pastor Rob, God holds his shepherds accountable. Read Jeremiah 23, if you don't think so. As I wrote in the article, if you shepherds in Auburn are not going to faithfully do your job, the young Battle Cry generation is not going to follow your hypocrital example, but they will take another way."

PastoSause wrote on April 03, 2007 9:42 PM:

"PastoRob: how long does it take to respond? 10 minutes? It takes longer to visit a "marketplace" or "bookstore" than it does to defend the name of the God you supposedly serve by writing a short comment or letter to the editor!

It sure didn't take that long for the Apostle Paul to start preaching in Acts 17 when he went to the "marketplace" in Athens: "Therefore disputed he in... the market daily with them that met with him."

You seem to have no problem spending time promoting the business you pastor, yet you haven't had the time to defend the name of Christ? "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." - Mark 8:38"

Elizabeth Braun wrote on April 04, 2007
"Pastorob, can you be a little more ambiguous in your response to this letter? Dick Otterstad raises an issue that requires bold action/repentance on the part of so-called Christian leadership, not commentary that is rather meaningless in addressing the issue raised. The Christianity practiced nationwide is a far cry from 'the faith once for all entrusted to the saints.' Dare we let it continue this way? "

PastoSause wrote on April 04, 2007 2:19 PM:
"PastoRob, could you please tell me how long it took the prophet Jonah to "acclimate himself" to Ninevah? According to Jonah 3:4, Jonah "acclimated himself" in one day: "And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.""

pastorob wrote on April 04, 2007 6:00 PM:

"Dick Otterback's first personal letter was anything but sincere. As I've said before, I'm not interested in following Dick's lead. I no longer need to wonder. He is a Wanna-Be...(Shirley Phelps-Roper is much more entertaining at this sort of thing). No prophetic edge, sadly.

You remind me of a certain man that followed Jesus and made remarks...the one who carried the money bag. I've counted Beth, Observer*, PastoSauce, and Dick. That's about it for the Church of the Divide, huh?

    Why don't you guys all go google yourselves again?

* I later learned that Observer was indeed only an observer.


Dick Otterstad wrote on April 04, 2007
"Your self-serving arrogance, for a so-called "pastor" of God's flock, is simply appalling! You obviously are a man-pleaser and have no real concern whatsoever for God's name. It has been mcoked in this newspaper, I have asked you as a pastor in this community to defend Christ's name, and you could care less.

Instead you write nonsensical babble statments. Jesus and the Real World? No, pastor, you are seriously disconnected from the real world as you carry out your gnostic ritual worship, such as the Good Friday Communion, the Easter Sunrise Service, etc. Meanwhile, in the real world of this newspaper, you are useless salt to Christ.

Shame on you! The Gentiles blaspheme God because of you, as the apostle Paul wrote in Romans. But be assured, God is raising up new wineskins to do what you and your church refuse to do:
      suffer persecution for righteousness sake."

Dick Otterstad wrote on April 05, 2007 8:51 PM:

"I have now read Pastor Rob's blog today that is supposed to "answer all our questions."

This "pastor" is a master of obfuscation.

The question I have had from the beginning for him is, Why do you not publicly respond when Christ's name is maligned publicly in letters to your local newspaper? Answer: No answer.

Rather, more psychobabble about his youth and his older sister, about John Lennon, about the great mercy ministries of the past, etc. By contrast, Pastor Rob does have an intense interest in having his congregation promote him and his Easter Sunrise service in writing dozens of posts to this column. Folks, isn't it obvious that God is judging this kind of useless institutional church? While God commands His church to be "salt and light", Auburn is full of silent churches. I agree with George Barna--the best authority on American churches--that the US churches are under God's judgment, and that 13 million "committed" Christians have already realized that, and have left these useless and hypocritical Sunday morning religious rituals. The real American churches are going underground! "

PastoSause wrote on April 05, 2007 10:12 AM:
"Wow, PastoRob, you really are a man of God by name-calling, then making an irrational, off-topic comment comparing Mr. Otterstad with a lady from Kansas, and then labeling Otterstad as a Judas! All, of course, with no Scripture to back up any of your statements. Doesn't sound too "Spirit-led" to me...

Talk about hypocritical; you're a pastor of a business which is trying a new marketing scheme to get more money on Easter Sunday and you actually accuse Otterstad of being like Judas?

you have some accusations leveled against you,
            and you have yet to answer them.

Instead, you refuse to deal with reality and resort to childish name-calling and blatant refusal to answer simple questions like
     "How long did it take Jonah
       to begin preaching in Ninevah
- as opposed to how
                                       long it takes 'pastoRob' to get acclimated to Auburn."

By the way, welcome to Auburn! I'm sure you'll get the attention you're looking for here. I'll close with some words of Jesus that I thought you might like:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees,
  you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven
  in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will
  you let those enter who are trying to."
(Mattew 23:13)"

James wrote on April 05, 2007 4:37 PM:"I think it actually quite funny that people who do not know Pastor Rob personally keep accusing him of "running a business", or trying to get more money on easter sunday.

I attended the church in Galt that he pastored for about 7 years and one of his main focuses as a pastor had always been overseas missions. In fact he drove that little local church to give and give to very poor church in Liberia. Through his leadership and the church's giving, we helped that Pastor in Liberia to construct a church building, a medical building, and start an orphanage...

[SARCASM]Gee, you're all right about Pastor Rob, he's a total hack and spiritual flop when it comes to doing God's work[/SARCASM].

Weren't we commanded to preach the good word? Weren't we told that whoever helps the poor, widows and orphans is doing God's work? "what you do to the littlest of these you do to me."

Also, after checking Otterstad out online, I can't say that I'd be too thrilled to "stand with him" in his religious battles for fear of being associated with him and his message. Please take note that it is "his message" and not God's that he is preaching.


daily journal  April 7, 2007

About Dick Otterstad and his latest 'outreach' project:

a friend wrote: "I sincerely hope that you stop replying to them.  All it does is fuel the fire. That seems to be exactly what they want you to do. . . .You certainly don't have to answer to this "man" in regards to your character and faith."

No, the Church of the Divide is not going away. This small group of antagonistic bushwhackers has taken over the comment section on my Auburn Journal article.

Ironically, this small persecution fire is so minimal compared to what we will most likely face in the years ahead. This infestation of mosquitoes is truly annoying for me but has worked to bring my flesh-dross to the surface.

(--that's not psycho-babble, it's scripture hidden within.)

I choose to remember that "....all things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

I once heard that Martin Luther said, 'even the devil is God's devil'. Likewise, the Divide can be used of God--even if their motives are wrong. Only God can read the heart of these men. However, their fruit is unsavory to my taste.

John 3:17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

Someday Dick and company will learn that I have, in deed, publicly stood out against the national sins of abortion and sexual immorality (of all types). The next time I testify about such matters definitely needs to be led by the Spirit--not as a result of man-centered pressure to align myself with their 'new wineskin'.

God didn't call me to preach condemnation to Auburn.

I do not have the calling of Jonah on my life. Sorry, Church of the Divide, ...if that's your 'calling', so be it.

Maybe I shouldn't have told those guys to
    go google themselves.
   Yeah, that was an offensive statement.
   It wasn't the direct result of fasting and prayer.

It was probably the prideful remnant of a teenage smart-alec (activated by indignation--righteous or otherwise).

...and if that also sounds like psycho-babble. That's me.

The name's Rob . . . pastorob

It doesn't seem likely that Dick and company will ever seek to make peace with me. Of course, I would be willing to sit down with them--at least, at this point, I still am.

Having been swept up into the midst of their need for drama, I've felt like Peter Parker (knowing that the Green Goblin is watching over my shoulder--planning his next attack). Totally unnecessary drama, by the way.

Since the real power of God is in the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus, that's what I hope to share during the remainder of my days.

I will try to ignore this plague of mosquitoes--knowing that it is preparatory for 'real persecution' that may accompany my Spirit-led footsteps in the future.

Hope to see you tomorrow on Easter ... 

     um, I mean ...   Resurrection Sunday.


real s'mores are much more fun than compiling this....


On 3/29/07,

Church of the Divide  wrote:

Pastor Rob,

 On March 21, the Auburn Journal printed a letter to the editor

"Local Pastors 
 Should Speak  
 Up to Defend Christianity."

I am still awaiting your response.     

Dick  Otterstad


wrote on
March 29, 2007 4:46 PM:

"So, Dick Otterstad sends me an email and says he is waiting for some local pastor to respond.

I have not yet acclimated myself to Auburn but have begun the process of walking around the marketplace, visiting the bookstores, the clubs, and coffee shops.

Dick, I am responsible for what I am personally called to do and to say. All Christians have a calling to be lights in this dark world.

I didn't read the articles that you mentioned but I'm not surprised that the Name of Jesus would be attacked.

As he has directed my steps in the past, I'm sure He will give me direction in Auburn as well. Where He leads, I will follow. Where He sends, I will go.

I also just met some other local pastors and will be participating in a community Good Friday Service at
7:00 p.m. on
April 6th at
FBC Auburn. "

After I had tasted enough of Dick and company's impish ways,
I stopped posting to his letter:

pastorob wrote on April 05, 2007 3:23 PM:

"I have 
  Church of 
  the Divide  
      my daily

www.pastorob.com (April 5, 2007)

     April 5, 2007

Today's entry is more for my friends, family, and local church. You probably won't be edified by reading it. I just wrote to work through my personal issue with a small group of people who are trying to use public-manipulation to exercise control over others.

I grew up as a middle-child (4th of 5 kids). Our mother had died and, for the most part, we lacked strong supervision. My oldest sister and brother were nice enough to me but the sister just over me had a mean-streak. She had it in her to play nice...as long as I did things her way. Since I didn't always do things her way, I had to pay the price. She was bigger than me and had developed skill at delivering a sharp kick, scratch, and succinct slap-in-the-face.

Perhaps that is why I have responded as I have to the guy who wants to preach 'repentance' to cowardly, silent pastors. They are being called 'chicken' because they ignore outside demands to write letters to a local newspaper about contemporary issues (like abortion and gay marriage).

Self-analysis: With my limited comments to the prophets of the Divide, I may have reverted to scrapping with my sister. This is probably why I am stubbornly refusing to give Dick Otterstad what he is demanding.

There are certainly issues which need to be addressed by American Christians. As a growing Christian, I have faced many challenging moments of public witness throughout the years.

Six days ago, Dick wrote me a letter wanting me to read and respond to his letter to the Editor. It had sat there on the Editor's Page for a whole week without anyone accepting his challenge to 'defend Christianity.'

At the time I wasn't aware that Dick has worked diligently to make a name for himself on TV and in print.

Before I did
 the research,

I thought,

'well, maybe
 this is a guy

God raises up certain individuals to challenge his people through unusual means. I hope to always respect that (whether or not
      I fully

(God help me
   if I'm wrong)

 ...but I think  
    that Dick is
    doing his own
    thing and
    calling it

I've seen self-proclaimed prophets before. These are Law-Thumpers who claim that they are operating under the legitimate authority of the Lord, God Almighty.

They misuse the Scripture because they misuse His Name.

They claim that God has sent them. Matthew
speaks to people who live a religious life but who have not been authorized to preach the particular message they're preaching: 

click here, Dick

Instead of taking the path of least resistance, I decided to go ahead and tell Dick that I'm not gonna do things their way.

Now, they are calling me names.

My sister tried that too.

She started her highly-publicized neighborhood torment by calling me


I never thought that I had a big head (but it was obvious that I didn't like it).

She tried calling me "Bug Eyes" but chose to stick with the Big Head theme. Later, she refined her humiliation by reducing my name to "Seedling" and later simply "Seed."

Yup...that's the real world--being called names by little men who carry big signs and say mean things.

My family-of-origin prepared me to face these big, bad religionists who slap others with legalistic, self-righteous proof-texts. It is ironic to hear a wolf in sheep's clothing accuse me of being a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Dick, Luke, Beth, and others are definitely 'purpose-driven.'  Dick's attempts to force others to follow his leadership apparently resonates with the others.

I'm just not playing their game their way...and that seems to bother them.

So go on,
call me names. 

 Try "Watermelon  

It really gets
  me going....

Even with childhood scars, I still enjoy eating watermelon. Likewise, I'm still enjoying being the Coach of a winning team.

Through effective teamwork, we will attempt to impact 21st Century culture. As we seek Him, we will expect God to direct our steps.

"Comfortable, CoffeeHouse Christianity"... 
. . . yeah, that's part of it.

So is traveling to uncomfortable Liberia or Pakistan, going on hospital visitation, preparing for VBS, officiating at weddings and funerals ...and more.

Being a follower of Jesus sometimes isn't going to attract the media. That's fine with me.

Here is a passage that I really need to read today in order to stay on the right track as I walk in the real world.

Click here, Rob.

     April 5, 2007




another excerpt
      April 9, 2007

I really didn't get angry with Dick (though I was demonstratively passionate).

I enjoyed meeting Dick's son,
Luke Otterstad.

Luke answered honestly that he had used a humorous alias
<PastoSauce> to post comments on my Auburn Journal article and his Dad's letter to the Editor challenging pastors to 'defend christianity'.

Luke was holding two signs:

1)  Pastor Rob
     will not speak
     for Truth   and

2)  Pastor Rob will preach for money

That's why I offered to preach him a brief message from
1 Corinthians (free-of-charge). I think he videotaped it.

After the message, I got personal with Luke.  I told him that I had given some thought to the whole situation--about how Joe might feel if someone had called his Dad a 'wanna-be'. I think that he had affirmed that my remarks had bothered him.

I had read the press release they sent out. They didn't like that I had used a wrong last name 'Otterback'. I told Luke that it was simply a mistake on my part.

I apologized.

I told him that I had also re-thunk the heart of this remark:

  "Why don't you 
   guys go google

Luke had been offended by that remark--thinking that it had a sexual connotation.

"Naw, it was just a jab at a perceived desire to see one's name show up in a
google search."