Well, 2017 has arrived and I came along with it. I hope that I can say the same when 2018 gets here. That may sound strange, but then shortly after 2016 arrived, with me in tow, I challenged that. That is, I went into the hospital last January and proceeded to have a very unexpected triple bypass!
I had not had any health problems for, well, all my life! I made it to 61 years old with only one kidney stone that lasted just a day or two some ten or twelve years ago. Aside from occasional poison ivy or a cold or the flu, I had not had any problems. I didn’t even have a regular doctor. I had no medical history to report to the doctors and nurses when I went into the hospital! No problems – no meds – until now. Just basically all of a sudden I had upper chest pains and a little burning when breathing. I passed it off a few times as being old and overweight, but then came the one that did not go away in two minutes. I knew something more serious must be going on in there. A quick trip to the local hospital and then a transfer to a bigger one and a couple of tests confirmed artery blockage!
A few days later I had a triple bypass. A few more days and I was home. Two months later was my first of 7 trips out of state in 2016, including three out of the country! Two of those were to the mountains of Peru! Meanwhile, the church I pastor bought property and totally renovated and redecorated it. We bought the 9,000+ square foot facility in July and moved into it with it nearly redone by the end of the year! Between my trips, working day and night at the new site, overseeing the whole project, becoming the team leader for the Peru missions project, my almost daily workouts to regain my health and strength, and a few book signing events, it has been a very busy and full year. Full of new things. Full of strange emotions. Full of work. Full of muscle pain! Full of blessings! Full of joy! But nonetheless FULL!
I am kind of hoping that 2017 is a little easier. I do, however, plan on two trips back to Peru and a vacation trip or two. And then there is still work to do on the new church building. I have book number three coming out any day, so there will be more book signings. I have a paint job to do for a friend later this month. There are some special family events coming this year. I have my ongoing pastoral duties, as well as the new Bible study I started last week………