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Sometimes I'm shocked at how good God can be...

I was just reading some of my old posts and have come to this conclusion: only God could possibly do all of things that have happened in my life. Even if we set aside all the "stroke stuff", it is just so improbable that I would be where I am today if God had not intervened in my life.

But, this is about the events that have transpired since my stroke; so I will get back to that. So much has happened in the months since I posted last that I feel that I must spend the first few sentences just catching up on where I am now.

First, I no longer actively pastor; I told in my last post (which now seems like it was a long time ago...which is because it was) that I had stepped down from full time to part time pastoring. Well, in June, 2015 I stepped down completely and effectively "retired" from Senior Pastor ministry. This was a difficult decision for me; I have known nothing but pastoring for nearly 20 years and now I have to face the reality that it is no longer in my future. Since my stroke in 2008 it has just become harder and harder to deal with some of the stresses that come with Senior Pastor ministry.

Second, I also no longer live in Knoxville, Iowa. When I stepped out of ministry I realized that it is no longer effective for our family to live in Knoxville when my wife works in Des Moines. I was working part time as a Spiritual Care Counselor for HCI Hospice in Knoxville, but I could not justify a situation in which my wife drives 1 hour each way for a full time job while we live in Knoxville for my part time job. So, in May, 2015 we moved to Ankeny, Iowa. We love it, my kids really love the schools (and they were able to go to New York to march in the Veteran's day parade).

Third, I am now a Chaplain for St. Croix Hospice in Ankeny and Panora. I do what love most: talking to people about their spiritual issues and helping them in their daily walk. I get to use my own experience to encourage people in their daily walk.

What all of these mean: God allowed me to take a terrible situation, my stroke, and use it in a way that helps people in their situation. Let me reiterate a statement from my first post: God is good, regardless of what my situation is!

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