One man's journey to find the way home
I am an American Baptist ordained minister. I began my life journey in Massachusetts, where I was called to help people understand what it meant to know a loving God. The call came during a time when I was wrestling with how to help my brother Kurt, who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia during my high school years. I was a new Christian by my senior year following trying to understand what it meant for me to care about a person like my brother who others tended to stay away from. |
After twenty three years in Massachusetts, God sent me to the land of Kansas City where I spent about 35 years of my life. I was a pastor, a resident chaplain, a supervisor in training and most recently a caregiver and security. Everything I have done vocationally has been with God in mind. That does not mean that I am totally comfortable with all the movings of the Spirit.
I am now in Erie where I do not know very many people. I came here because of my wife. She is from Erie and coming here was the right thing to do. It just plain made sense. My kids had grown up. I did not like Kansas city in terms of climate and was looking forward to a change. I had become very frustrated vocationally and longed to come to Erie to get a second opinion, because I honestly believed that was what God had wanted for me. I left behind kids and grandkids who I loved!!!! I had two jobs that I enjoyed. They were both very appreciative of my skills and I was making more money with the two jobs than I ever had. I heard more than once. ARE YOU CRAZY?
Well I can only say that I am in love with God's leading. I am starting all over again. It has not been easy. Maybe some of you can offer me some words of support. I am lonely despite the fact my wife is with me. She battles depression and has two siblings that are having similar battles. When it is all said I am in a depressed community with a depressed wife and her family. So I begin the conversation....
|The best way to get past the blues of the holiday is to determine to enter an attitude of wanting to give. One accepts the blessings of God, so that one is passionate about wanting to give so others might catch a glimpse of God's provision in the process. I pray that persons can know this in a manner of abundance, because that is how you accept Christ. We know of how the Grinch becomes giver and how scrooge goes from miser to benefactor to those in need. I pray all of us recover the gift of giving it is what Christmas is about.
|Lately I have been touched by the support of a living community. I have enjoyed the support of all person of ehca, church and lately at harbor Creek, especially the one who prepares hot chocolate in morning and the many that greet me on my walks. I honestly think this chapter will be the best because support is there. That is another gift as I get closer to retire support!!
|As I count down to retirement I consider the second greatest gift I have to offer is time. People know they are valued because I spend time with them.
I often looked at this in the context of my current job. It was what i was doing knowing there was not as much time. I was ending. I might say I was dying to do work with intellectually disabled. In the grand scheme I could feel disappointed because I was not clergy or at least in a power position. I was just a lowly DSP after having been pastor, chaplain supervisor, and manager with another agency. Yet for whatever reason I made more money and enjoyed what I did.
You might say I enjoyed my time! And I plan to enjoy my time in retirement and make many friends because of it. Thanks for the time you have given me!!
|It is hard to believe there are 28 days to retirement. A third gift is the gift of being a caring presence.
I remember well the struggle my mom went thru as she combatted Lou Gehrig's disease. At one point distraught seeking some kind of pastoral counsel, I offered it was not doing anything that could help. It was being the presence of Christ for others that makes the difference.
That is the third gift that will be there when I get to retirement, being a caring presence.
|Thirty-one days to retirement means I will share 31 gift I offer as I ready for ready for retirement.
Live everyday as if it were you last. Bless others as you want to be blessed.
My job at Erie Homes was my dream job. I feel nothing but joy in knowing I was a DSP for over 5 years.
This coming year is the anniversary of my father's death he died to young at about the age of 66. I remember the day we rushed from Kansas City to Massachusetts as family. it was hard to believe this man who visited me in a State hospital, and watched me in the mix of other troubled souls and embraced me. He refused to give up on me armed with A&W root beer and hamburgers he nurtured me back to life. Many of the person with me were intellectually disabled and I longed one day to share the same compassion with them my dad did.
I am so glad to celebrate in memory of my dad a blue collar worker in a factory it happened.
I would go back to Kansas City with my family. Two months later Dad died in a nursing home which was his own wish as not to be a burden to my mother. Mom dreaded places like nursing homes. She visited regularly and then the day happened. As she came to the nursing home she heard their song. "Let me call you sweet heart I'm in love with you" She wished that she could have been with him when he died and yet the song let her know they would never be far apart.
That first gift I offer to caregivers, live everyday as it was your last. Bless as you were blessed.