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Some things I'm still not used to...

You would think that after 13+ years I would have learned not to do some things...apparently learning is not something that I excel at in this "stroke thing". For instance, sometimes when I get into bed at night I will be on my right side and decide that I am going to roll all the way over to my left side. BIG MISTAKE. Apparently my brain does not know tha after 13 years I should be able to deal with things. My brain is still in the "let me have the whole room spin for a minute, make you dizzy, cause you to close your eyes and get back over to the right side" mode. I will never get used to my knees buckling when I'm at the store. It is always an adventure when I preach on Sunday mornings when I maneuver the stairs on the platform. I try not to complain much but, hey, how many people have had to explain to the office administrator why they just drooled on their desk. Yes, it's been 13 years; yes, I am thankful for where I am now compared to where I was, and
Recent posts

I'm going to re-share a post from April 6, 2016...God has been good to me.

I was sitting in Knoxville, outside of the Knoxville Dance Academy, waiting for my girls to finish up with their dance classes when I had just a little bit of time to reflect on the last 7+ years since me stroke and all that has happened in my life. My stroke has taken my ability to play basketball as well as I used to (which was not very good...) My stroke has taken my ability to play football as well as I used to (see the above statement...) My stroke has taken much of my energy to be able continue as full time Senior pastor, My stroke has made me take medicine to control eye movements, My stroke has made me start taking medicine at night to help me sleep, My stroke has made me much more of an emotional wreck than I ever was before, My stroke has made it so I laugh, nearly uncontrollably, at the wrong moments, My stroke has made me lose the ability to answer people appropriately at time, My stroke has made me nearly choke on water or tea because of swallowing problems, My stroke has

It's been a long time...but here I am back in Stratford

It has been nearly 6 years since I have updated this blog; my apologies. For those that had been following for some time, since I last posted: I stepped down as Senior Pastor at New Covenant church in Knoxville, I moved to Ankeny, Iowa, started a new ministry with St. Croix hospice as Chaplain. I was chaplain with St. Croix for about 4 1/2 years, then in 2020 I moved back to Stratford to pastor First Baptist church. It was a big change going from chaplain work back to the pastorate.  I must confess, when I first came (back) to Stratford I was ready to pastor again! I love preaching; I love the ministry of being a pastor, and I love interacting with people long-term. (Being a chaplain is great, but you only interact with a family for a week or so, for some a little longer, but there was a constant upheaval of people and it was exhausting at times...) But, one thing that I have noticed since my stroke is that I get my feeling hurt easily. For instance, people leave the church all the tim

One more significant accomplishment...

On Tuesday of this week, I finished another major milestone in my progress; I graduated with my certification of one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. The class consisted of 17 weeks of instruction (8 classroom hours every Monday), 24 hours a month of on-call chaplaincy at Methodist Medical center (8pm-8am one day during the week, and 8am to 8pm on one weekend) each month, January - May, and then 300 total hours of clinical work (fulfilled by my work at St. Croix Hospice). For those of you keeping score, that's 140 hours of classroom work (we met 4 times for a 1 hour individual instruction), 120 hours of on-call work at Methodist Medical center (and, by the way, when we were on call we had to be on location, meaning we had to be at Methodist for the entire 12 hour shift), and 300 hours of supervised clinical visitation. I have already been endorsed by the Converge World Wide for chaplaincy; this is one more requirement down. May is stroke awareness month; I am now 7 1/2 years po

What my stroke has taken from me...

I was sitting in Knoxville, outside of the Knoxville Dance Academy, waiting for my girls to finish up with their dance classes when I had just a little bit of time to reflect on the last 7+ years since me stroke and all that has happened in my life. My stroke has taken my ability to play basketball as well as I used to (which was not very good...) My stroke has taken my ability to play football as well as I used to (see the above statement...) My stroke has taken much of my energy to be able continue as full time Senior pastor, My stroke has made me take medicine to control eye movements, My stroke has made me start taking medicine at night to help me sleep, My stroke has made me much more of an emotional wreck than I ever was before, My stroke has made it so I laugh, nearly uncontrollably, at the wrong moments, My stroke has made me lose the ability to answer people appropriately at time, My stroke has made me nearly choke on water or tea because of swallowing problems, My

Sometimes I'm shocked at how good God can be...

I was just reading some of my old posts and have come to this conclusion: only God could possibly do all of things that have happened in my life. Even if we set aside all the "stroke stuff", it is just so improbable that I would be where I am today if God had not intervened in my life. But, this is about the events that have transpired since my stroke; so I will get back to that. So much has happened in the months since I posted last that I feel that I must spend the first few sentences just catching up on where I am now. First, I no longer actively pastor; I told in my last post (which now seems like it was a long time ago...which is because it was) that I had stepped down from full time to part time pastoring. Well, in June, 2015 I stepped down completely and effectively "retired" from Senior Pastor ministry. This was a difficult decision for me; I have known nothing but pastoring for nearly 20 years and now I have to face the reality that it is no longer in m

There are some things so good you could not make it up...

As many of you recall, in September I made the decision to step down from full time ministry. This was a big decision for me, because I have not known anything but full time ministry or preparation for full time ministry for over 20 years. Granted, the decision came with a lot of questions in my mind, but I did not let anyone know what those were, except for my wife. When the decision was made and I officially stepped back it lifted a weight off my shoulders, but I still wondered what I was going to do. I am too young to do nothing, but I don't have the stamina to do much since my stroke.  As many of you who have been following my blog for some time recall, I have been working on my second Master's degree, the MDiv. But, I was thinking that I would not be done for at least another semester, or maybe 2. Well, on September 1 I stepped back from full time ministry, and on September 11 I got an email telling me that my degree was conferred. So, I was officially a Seminary gradua