Spent three days going through photos and video this week to try and highlight the light and life that was Mom. Lots of great memories…

How To Say Good-bye

Shawn Michael —  October 5, 2015 — Leave a comment

How do you say good-bye to your mother?

68For me, maybe the hardest good-bye was last summer, when Mom and Dad left my apartment in Denver after hearing of the ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) diagnosis from the doctor. That was hard to swallow. And we all left that day in tears.

It is still hard to understand, and I will not know the answers here on earth, but I can say this because of the spiritual foundation that Mom helped shape in me: God didn’t need another flower in heaven. He didn’t need another angel in the choir. Father God didn’t take my Mom away. Death and destruction is not something that God is in the business of… rather, He is all about life and life abundant. And that is something I can say with full confidence that Mom experienced. It is the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy.

So, instead of dwelling on the loss of this week, I choose to focus on the incredible gift of life. Mom taught me so many things through her example:

She taught me what relentless love feels like. No matter what kind of poor decisions I made as teenager and young man, she always loved me wholeheartedly — always believing the best in me. If you talked to her, you might believe that I walk on water. She really knew how to love.

She taught me how to find a light in the darkest situations. Her faith never wavered. Not even when it got tough. She had a sure foundation, which was very instrumental in my own faith, and the faith of many others. She lived and breathed with a faith that can move mountains.

She spent her life loving God. From as long as I can remember, Mom and Dad got up early to pray and read God’s Word in the early morning hours. She has always had a habit of praying for, not only her needs, but also for the favor, protection and spiritual health of her family and loved ones. She modeled to me the power and importance of prayer and putting God first in everything.

She spent her life loving others. The Gospel in a nutshell. She loved and spoiled my kids like they were her own. Her siblings have shared with me how she cared for them as a sort of second mother. And she cared for her daycare kids like they were her own. Selfless to her core. She was made to love.

She spent her life speaking truth. The seeds she’s sown into my life and the life of my children and loved ones are irreplaceable. One of the more memorable ones she was known to always share was the simple phrase: “Push your love button!” If one of the kids was being grumpy or upset or mean — or even if it it was me — she would remind us all to “push our love buttons.” And if anybody within earshot started speaking negatively about any circumstance she would always remind us to “speak life.” Those two messages alone are deep enough to live our lives by.

Another truth she taught me that has shaped my life deeply: you can choose your attitude. If I were grumpy, mad or sad, she would remind me that I can speak to my innermost being and say, “Why so downcast, oh my soul?!” Maybe that’s why I’m smiling all of the time?

She taught me the value of keeping things clean and organized. I’ve never been as good as staying on top of this as Mom, but it is definitely a value. I’m at peace when the house is clean and things are put away in their place. If you knew Mom well, you know that she would always talk about sorting the toys so the kids would be able to play again.

She was a memory-maker. I have so many great memories of all the places we went and the things we did over the years.

And she was an equipper. She made it her mission to make sure I could reach and live my dreams. And I’m not the only one. There were many others she helped along their journey — the hands and feet of Jesus.

So how do you say good-bye to your mother? I don’t think I can and I don’t think I will.

She is so happy right now. She is so faithful. Loved the Lord so much — with all her heart. And that has shaped me and made me who I am today. And so I will do my best to carry on her legacy of loving God with everything that is in me and loving people as best as I can.

So “push your love buttons”, People. And “speak life”.

LizISABELL (LIZ) SHOUP (SCHERR), born September 1, 1943, passed away of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) at Rapid City Regional Hospital on Monday, September 28, in Rapid City, SD.

Liz is survived by her husband, Dennis Shoup, Summerset, SD; children, Todd Sholey and wife, Helen, Rock Springs, WY; Shawn Shoup and wife, Deanna, Erie, CO; and her step-son, Bryan Shoup and wife, Karen, Cambridge, VT; grandchildren, Autumn Shoup, Erie, CO; Cynthia Shoup, Superior, WI; Isabella (Bella) and Mikella (Kella) Shoup, Erie, CO; Ethan Sholey, Rock Springs, WY; and Zion Shoup, Erie, CO; siblings, LeRoy (Lee) Scherr and wife, Patricia (Pat), Osseo, MN; Clarence Scherr and wife, Betty, Rosemount, MN; Anna Cotton and husband, Roger, Costa Mesa, CA; Alvina (Al) Davis and husband, Frank, Helena, MT; Michael (Mike) Scherr and significant other, Kathleen, Dickinson, ND; Lorraine (Lori) Day, Blaine, MN; Helena (Helen) Bourgois and husband, Tim, Bismarck, ND; Joseph (Joe) Scherr and wife, Kathy, Ossipee, NH; Irene Feist and husband, David, Bismarck, ND; Steve Scherr and wife, Lanet, Dickinson, ND; Judy Pfeifer and significant other, Tim, Strasburg, ND; Elaine Bauer and husband, Brian, Aberdeen, SD.

Liz is preceded in death by her parents, Mike and Helen Scherr; sister, Angeline Scherr; brother-in-law, Walter Day; brother-in-law, Robert Soule; and sister-in-law, Vicky Scherr.

Liz was the oldest child of Mike and Helen (Ternes) Scherr. She was born at the family home with the aid of a midwife in Braddock, ND, where her parents owned and operated a farm. When she was about 3-years-old, the family moved to Strasburg, ND, where her father purchased a service station. Later Liz’s parents bought the family farm from her grandfather, Clemens Scherr, located 15 miles southwest of Strasburg. Liz attended one year of Catholic School and graduated from Strasburg Public School in 1961. She was a cheerleader in high school and the homecoming queen of Strasburg High.

Liz has 13 younger siblings, including one sister, Angeline, who passed away in infancy. Her family has treasured memories of Liz for her tender heart, gentle nurturing skills, cooking abilities and her caring spiritual guidance.

Liz married Thorman Sholey in 1962 and gave birth to her first son, Todd. After moving to Rapid City, she began a long career working as a professional childcare giver and preschool teacher. She then married the love of her life, Dennis Shoup, in 1976, in Rapid City, and gave birth to Shawn. Liz made it a priority in life to care, pray for and teach her children to love and serve God with all their hearts. Her children remember her as an eternally loving, kind and very involved mother who encouraged, equipped and released them to pursue their passions, goals and dreams.

Liz was known for her compassionate love and excellence in childcare, eventually opening up a home daycare business and often being referred to as the “best in town”. She is loved and cherished by many of the children — and parent/guardians of the children — that she loved and cared for over many years.

She was a faith-filled and dedicated follower of Christ who loved spending hours praying and reading God’s Word over family and loved ones. She was a passionate worshipper and deeply enjoyed spending time with her family and grandchildren. She was an active and dedicated member of Destiny Foursquare Church and you would often see her volunteering, serving and giving to various ministries and services at the church.

All are welcome to attend and celebrate Liz at a Celebration of Life service to be held at Destiny Foursquare Church, 927 E. Philadelphia Street in Rapid City, SD, Monday, October 5, starting at 11:00 a.m., Pastors Brent and Tani Parker officiating. A reception and light meal to follow. Preceding the ceremony there will also be a special gathering for family of Liz and Dennis (both sides) beginning at 10:30 a.m. Inform the ushers that you are family and you will be directed to the appropriate area.

Condolences can be sent to Dennis Shoup, 10298 Ventura Lane, Summerset, SD, 57718. They can also be shared in the comments below or on the funeral home guestbook

Our Next Door Blessing

Shawn Michael —  September 23, 2015 — Leave a comment


I came down early to Bayfield, CO, to shadow at my new job and find a house for my family. I drove down this past Saturday night.

I’ve shadowed Pastor Justin and Mikquel a couple times the past few days, and look forward to the rest of my time with them this week and the next. It’s gonna be good!

I’ve looked at countless homes online. Made several phone calls. And stepped foot into three of those houses on Sunday with more planned in the week ahead.

God gave us favor.

My favorite house was one literally next door to the church. It had the most square feet out of any we’d looked at, has a double-car garage, central air, main-level washer and dryer — and just looked and felt like where we were supposed to be from the moment I walked in.

A new property manager friend from our church said of the landlord: “They have been very careful picking a tenant. It’s been available for three months, which is a long time for around here! Many are snatched up in a matter of days.”

The landlord’s mother was the one who showed me the house. I told her that the location was perfect for us and that I’d just been hired onto the pastoral staff at Pine Valley Church next door. She said, “You are the kind of renters we’ve been waiting for — a family with children and people who love Jesus. I’m going to tell my son that. If you are interested, I won’t show the house to anyone else!”

I had mentioned that we had been between jobs for a bit and that we were also hoping for a later move-in date to make it more financially feasible, and she said she thought they could do that, too!


I got a call the next day, from her son, the owner/landlord: “My mom says you are the kind of tenant we want. We want to wave the pet fee for you and offer for you to make payments on the deposit so it won’t be as burdensome for you. Are you still interested?”

*Jaw drops

“Yes! Very much so!”

“And the later move-in date is fine, too.”

*Jaw still dangling



We’ve got a house! Possession date is October 15. They are writing up the lease tomorrow.

I Was Fired For Smiling

Shawn Michael —  September 21, 2015 — Leave a comment

That one time I was fired for smiling…


I worked for a contract security company at the time and was a full-time student at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, TX. I was a Control Room Operator (just under the shift supervisor) at a multi-million dollar high rise facility (7-11 National Headquarters, among other businesses — see picture below). Basically, I was the guy that controlled computer access/security throughout the whole building. And I got to monitor the campus’ 120-ish security cameras and dispatch officers, as needed, to perform various security tasks and duties.


One day, after having just watched an emergency crew drive up on our property (police/ambulance/fire truck), the property manager, who oversees the security department, walked into the control room, saw the flashing lights on the monitor and asked me what was up. I smiled at him — probably with a smile like the one pictured above — and proceeded to tell him that I had immediately dispatched one of our officers to check it out and I would let him know what the issue was as soon as we knew. He had a conversation with my supervisor and left the building. I smiled and waved good-bye.

The next day my supervisor called me at home and told me that the property manager felt that I was “laughing” at him and making jokes behind his back because of the huge grin he saw on my face. My supervisor apologized profusely but said there was nothing he could do about it — the property manger wanted me gone, so they had to let me go.

It was crushing, especially since I really enjoyed working there and I had done nothing wrong. The company I worked for transferred me to another building further away from where I lived and went to school. It was a bummer, but at least I know in my heart that I had done nothing wrong.

Just spreadin’ the love…