Well, today is the day...it was 2 years ago today that I suffered what, by all accounts, should have a fatal (or at least debilitating) stroke. Although these 2 years have had their ups and downs, I would have to say that I am truly blessed to be alive. My son in completing his first semester of his freshman year in college, my oldest daughter has her 7th grade band concert tonight and my youngest daughter has her first guitar "recital" on Thursday. These are, really, rather menial events; but, when you are faced with the reality of never witnessing them, they become very large events. I have become quite accustomed to answering people this way: when asked how I am feeling, I answer that I feel pretty good for a dead guy! Struggles are my new reality; I have issues with which I will deal for the rest of my life. But, even with the reality of those struggles, I am truly thankful to be alive!
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,