Today I ran into my daughter's 4th grade teacher. As we were chatting, she told me that she was grading a recent test and one of the answers made her cry. In Social Studies, they are talking about planning events and how it might not happen exactly as was planned. On the test, the question asked was "Name a time that you planned something that did not happen the way you expected." My daughter wrote that she had been planning a birthday party, but then her daddy had a stroke so it did not happen. I almost fell apart at the school; I have spent so much time focusing on my own difficulties that I did not take the time to think how others are still dealing with the situation. Yes, it was nearly 2 years ago, but that does not erase the difficulties that some have had dealing with the result of that event. So, thanks Mrs. Kamp for reminding me that, even though I sometimes do not hear about those difficulties, it does not mean they do not exist.
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,