Ok, so I know more than anyone else that at times people are disagreeable. Since my stroke I have had more instances of my emotions being, for lack of a better phrase, wacky. There are times when my kids are enough to drive me crazy (My wife says that is not a drive, it is a short putt). I am just glad to be here to be driven crazy by them! During those times I try to isolate what causes me to get that way and avoid the situation. What I am doing is not avoiding the situation, I am avoiding the emotions the situation causes. For instance, if I feel myself getting irritated, I simply detach myself from the situation as soon as possible. It reminds me of something Jesus taught on the sermon on the mount. He was talking about sending his disciples as sheep to the slaughter. But, the application is the same: Be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16) Now, I believe that if every person, in every situation would live by THAT verse, it would virtually eliminate all strife. So, the next time you feel yourself, stroke or otherwise, getting into a situation where the emotions are escalating, remember that we are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Can we honestly say that we can be categorized that way in every circumstance?
A few years ago I was presented with the opportunity to come back to Stratford, Iowa, to First Baptist church, as their pastor; for those of you who have followed this blog for some time, FBC in Stratford was my first pastorate. Let's just say I prayed about it as I was jumping at the opportunity. The church has a parsonage, so I could live there and not have to worry about a houe payment; and I needed to slow down, and this was a part time position (which, as a side note, allowed for me to get a greater disability from the VA than when I was working full time with St. Croix Hospice...) We love Stratford, and absolutely love the church; the people are wonderful and accepted us, again, with open arms. This was, for me, the perfect position: I get to pastor a church I LOVE, I get to do life with people I LOVE, and I have already had the opportunity to do weddings and baptism services for kids (adults now) that I have known their entire lives. IT IS GREAT. The longer I have been here,