I met with my deacons the other night, as well as the Administrative Board of my church. I have to say that they were very supportive. They are advocating me taking the morning off on Monday's and then every afternoon off for awhile. They are also in favor of me having my Associate Pastor preach for me once a month if I need him to. It is still hard to adjust. I started my new schedule this week, and I do admit that I feel better, but the emotional is still hard to come to grips with, even though the physical is better. Tomorrow I will go to my first Iowa Baptist Conference meeting since my stroke. I am going on Friday night because the conference recorded a video of my testimony and they will show it Friday night. I am excited about that. I will be excited to get back to "normal". I am really trying hard to be "normal", maybe "normal" will just come naturally if I just relax a little. It is just hard to relax, knowing what I have been through and what lies ahead. I will just try to take every day, and if I struggle, then I struggle. I will try not to allow each struggle to effect the next day so much.
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,