Skip to main content

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!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Making a BIG, but somewhat hurtful, decision...

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,

A stroke survivor's memory is tricky sometimes...

Tomorrow I will preach the funeral for a dear friend of mine. He was the definition of a selfless person. I truly appreciated all that he did, but, when I was meeting with the family on Wednesday a memory came to me suddenly and I was suddenly overcome with emotion. Let me back up a little bit: After my stroke in December, 2008 my license was revoked for obvious reasons and it took me some time and practice before I was able to drive again. I finally got my license back in February, 2009. But, shortly after I got my license back the reality of the severity of my stroke became evident: my stroke had seriously impacted the PONS area of my brain stem, and therefore, a lot of my nerves were negatively impacted. One of the nerves that was damaged was the nerve that controls my eye movements; my left eye would would twitch, at times almost uncontrollably, and that made it really difficult to drive, particularly at night. That brings me to the memory that left me so emotional. Fast forwar

It's been a long time...but here I am back in Stratford

It has been nearly 6 years since I have updated this blog; my apologies. For those that had been following for some time, since I last posted: I stepped down as Senior Pastor at New Covenant church in Knoxville, I moved to Ankeny, Iowa, started a new ministry with St. Croix hospice as Chaplain. I was chaplain with St. Croix for about 4 1/2 years, then in 2020 I moved back to Stratford to pastor First Baptist church. It was a big change going from chaplain work back to the pastorate.  I must confess, when I first came (back) to Stratford I was ready to pastor again! I love preaching; I love the ministry of being a pastor, and I love interacting with people long-term. (Being a chaplain is great, but you only interact with a family for a week or so, for some a little longer, but there was a constant upheaval of people and it was exhausting at times...) But, one thing that I have noticed since my stroke is that I get my feeling hurt easily. For instance, people leave the church all the tim