Retirement continued.

It has been seven months since I officially retired. Many things have gone as planned, and a few things have turned out differently than our original plan.  This reminds me of the statement.”Do you want to hear God laugh? Tell Him your plans!”  Yet, to make a change one must have a plan.  When planning for retirement most people think of finances, and rightly so. So it is time to…

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Friends Along The Way

Yesterday Susanne and I spent a few hours with three couples. It was nice to reconnect and reminisce and, of course, laugh.   As an adult, I had a head start with making friends. I was a pastor and therefore had a congregation full of people who were friends.  As a newly retired person living in places for the first time, we are discovering that you must work on friend-making…

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Blindspots!

  Blind spots, we all have them. I once knew a person who, with a perfectly straight face, said in response to someone reminding him that we all have blind spots replied, “I don’t have blind spots.”  This statement indicated to those of us talking with him that his blind spot was the fact that he thought he did not have any! I know that I have some.  I also…

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Amazing Grace

  Susanne and I agreed to conduct a worship or church service for a few weeks at an assisted living facility in Bradenton, Florida.  The facility is new, and they have not found anyone to provide this service.  Some dear friends of mine from Fort Wayne, Indiana days are residents there, so when the activities director contacted me, we agreed to see if this was something we should do for…

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Pray, Wait, Serve

I have been reading the book A Praying Life by Paul E Miller.  I have enjoyed it, though it has sometimes made me uncomfortable. I do recommend the book.  It has stretched my thinking regarding prayer.  Along with the book, I have been wondering about prayer.  One problem with prayer is that it feels so passive, and most of us are activists.  If there is a problem, we tackle it…

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This is My Story..

These words begin the chorus from the song Blessed Assurance by Fanny Crosby.  Fanny Crosby was a prolific hymn writer, having composed around 8,000 hymns in her lifetime.  This song’s origin differs somewhat from how Fanny usually wrote hymn lyrics.  Her friend Mrs. Phoebe Knapp visited her and went to the piano and played a musical arrangement that she had written.  After playing the song, she asked her friend, “what…

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What A Mess!

How often have I made this statement, “What a Mess?”  I have said this regarding situations personally, professionally, relationally, financially, and nearly every other conceivable possibility.   Messes seem to be a part of life.  My default over the years when facing a mess was to search the landscape for someone to blame.  My thinking has been in this bit of a mess; this has to be the result of…

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On the threshold of a New Year

    How many times have I been in this place?  You know, out with the old and in with the new?  It just automatically calls for reflection.  Often, we remember the bad, the hurtful, and the embarrassing. It is also easy to glide past the joyous, hopeful, and encouraging things that transpired over the last twelve months. I am not in favor of ignoring the pain but not hanging…

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Home for Christmas

  Susanne and I just returned from a nine-hundred-mile four-state trip.  It started when we flew to Madison, Wisconsin, and then drove a few miles to attend a Christmas party with pastors and their families.  We visited with our friend Dr. Kevin Donley who was in hospice care.  We joined up with fellow district superintendents and spouses. The next leg was to visit with our son and Kelly, where we…

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