This is Me
I consider this to be my “fourth life.” My first life began when I began, in 1957. I grew up in a wonderful Christian family in the Air Force and saw the world and came to know that Jesus loved me, this I knew. I was 8 years old when God called me to be a minister. 55 years later, that calling has remained. My second life began May 29, 1977. It was a Sunday evening after my first annual conference, when in the backyard of the parsonage in Grafton, North Dakota I met Cheri, who, besides the gift of salvation itself, is the greatest gift God has ever placed before me, and the source of my passion for life. That second life brought love, joy and two wonderful sons, and the privilege of serving in ten different churches of all sizes for 24 years. My third life? July 1, 2001, when I began 19 years in appointment to conference leadership and beyond. What a great life!
And now, my fourth life began on July 1, 2020. God is again calling me to a new chapter of life, and I really don’t know what it will be, which is exciting! By the way, the word, “retirement actually comes from the French word meaning “to withdraw” –to go someplace for the sake of privacy, for prayer or study. Sounds like a great future! It also means, a private manner of life – so maybe now it’s time for “no-pants Tuesdays!”
"Why Crosscuts?" you ask. Great question. Actually, first time that title was used was way back in 1977, as I was working as a youth director for Carrollton United Methodist in Farmers Branch, Texas. The church produced a weekly newsletter, and I was asked/invited/directed to write a column that would attract the youth reader. I decided to call it "Crosscuts," and would include as many names of the youth as I could in each column. Later, as I served Faith UMC in Fargo, ND, I would write for the church newsletter, and ended up writing often about the antics of our two sons, Aaron and Adam, and then create the stories into parables about the ways to live faithfully before God. They continued as I served Rapid City First UMC, still using the boys as story fodder. In 2001, when I went to serve in leadership in the annual conference, Crosscuts took a long sleep -- until now, when after 19 years, I still look at the goings on, both current and memories, as an avenue to better understanding God's care for us, and our call to live intentionally and faithfully before Jesus Christ. My simple hope: that you will enjoy reading them anywhere near the level that I enjoy writing them. My gift to you, and to me.