There are still a few days left in 2009, but I wanted to have one last blog to say "Happy New Year."
This past year has been a full year, one of transitions and changes for me and Sondra. In February I suffered a heart attack, had three-way bypass heart surgery and was forced to be in the hospital for 25 days straight. In the Spring Sondra continued to see doctors concerning her left foot and ankle, as it was deteriorating from an injury many years ago. There is no cartilage left and extreme pain shoots through her foot. With a tempting offer for retirement from the district because of the state's economy and budget, she took early retirement from her teaching job. The amount of income dropped dramatically in our household due to that, but we know without any doubt at all that it was the right decision for her health and for the timing. Our church is doing well in ministry ways, but the finances of the church have followed the path of the current economy of the nation. And that is not a reflection on the spirituality of our people in the church. It is just a fact of life, that the economy of society affects the economy of the church budget. Because of that, I am not taking a salary from the church.
That's why we are faced with many challenges and transitions. And it does not defeat us nor does it hinder our faith in God. It only increases our trust. God has never failed us, has never abandoned us and has never allowed harm to us. We are ever amazed at how he meets every need.
One of the highlights of the year was our vacation and trip to the annual PowWow of my Potawatomi tribe in Oklahoma, and then our trip to Tennessee, and then to Boston and the New England area. It was a trip that Sondra had been wanting to do all her life, to go to the places where the Pilgrims landed and see the history of our nation through the places to see in Boston and surrounding areas. It was fun watching Sondra enjoy the moments as she was taking it all in.
I am certainly looking ahead to a wonderful New Year. I welcome the year 2010. I am excited about what this next year holds. I hope you do too. Happy New Year to you. Be blessed and know "the peace that passes all understanding."