I know that I should not be, given the many doctors that I have seen and the specialists that have looked through my file, but I am still amazed at the ability of God and the great things He has done in my life. I just spoke with a woman whose father had a brainstem stroke; they have told her that there is no hope for his recovery, that there is no hope for any meaningful life. That seems vaguely familiar; they told my family the same thing, they gave absolutely no hope for any recovery at all. But, here I am 2 years later and, though I still have some deficiencies, I am generally very good. I just stand amazed. Please, if you are reading this, pray for a man in Columbus, OH, whose family just heard the bad news that nothing can be done. Please pray that this man will surprise all the doctors, as I have, and recover. Above all, pray for his family that will have to make some difficult decisions in the next few days. As thankful as I am for my recovery, I cannot help but feel sorrow for those who have not experienced such a dramatic recovery. The most important thing for them to remember is that God is still good, regardless of what happens to their father. Just because I had a dramatic turn of events for my good, it does not mean that God loves this man less, even if he does not experience such a dramatic recovery. God is always good, regardless of our circumstances.
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,