I'm 65 and I've never been happier looking to the future!
I was raised on a family farm in Iowa and did just about everything - raising registered cattle and horses which includes the training, showing and marketing; and digging through a lot of snow and dealing with a lot of bugs, humidity and hard work. My life also included work in heavy construction, college, post graduate work and two very diverse "careers": as a commissioned lay pastor in a small Presbyterian Church and as a marketing/deputy director for a government contractor.
The past six months have been a particular jolt because I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in July, 2016, plus was laid off of the job I had for 30 years with the contractor. My wife of 11 years has always lived 400 miles away from me and we have commuted to be together as frequently as possible, but now are together full time. We have a truly rich life. My unsolicited unemployment from the 30-year job plus the health scare prompted me to reflect on my life along with my definitions of faith and spirituality. These musings led me to create this blog.
I hope that as you read further, you will be inspired to think of your own definitions of "faith" and "spirituality" and to share those thoughts in the various sections of this blog. Thank you for allowing me to open this door for you!
If you want to know more here is some additional information about me.
I spent the most of the first 30 or so years working on or associated with our farm in Northwest Iowa. While we farmed 200 acres the operation was more oriented toward livestock than crop farming. Our main focus was raising registered cattle with a side line in registered horses.
Growing up on the family farm gave me a firm foundation for work. Not that I wanted to work hard but it did teach me how to work and that hard work will make you tired, but it will not hurt you. It was also a rich source of material to develop into sermon illustrations.
A year of college which I passed with about a 1.75 grade average convinced me that there were other fun things to do besides school. After college I traveled a little:
- worked heavy construction as a carpenter/equipment operator,
- freelance writer,
- stringer for a daily paper
- training and trading horses,
- edited a weekly newspaper,
- sold advertising for a daily paper,
- a host of part time jobs.
The next 30 years take place in Nevada where I relocated courtesy of an ex-wife. I found a job operating heavy equipment in a gold mine. I was preparing to quit and go back to college when I was offered a job with a government contractor as a technical writer, which over the next 30 years grew into a series of management and marketing positions. While working for the contractor I developed skills in:
- proposal planning and writing for base operations contracts
- facilities and equipment management
- government contracting
- strategic planning
- program and process development and analysis
- employee development and training and mentoring
While working for the contractor I was able to finish college with a Bachelors of Science and earned a Masters of Business Administration with a major in Project Management. In my last two years working for the contractor I earned Master Black Belt Certifications in Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma.
Attending the local church during the time in Nevada I became an elder and when finances forced the Session to choose between keeping the church doors open or hiring a pastor, I worked with the Presbytery to found a Lay Pastor Program, and became a Commissioned Lay Pastor in the Presbyterian Church.
What an interesting trip the last 65 years have been. Living involves a lot of side trips and bends in the path, but those side trips and beds have made us what we are today, and placed us where we are.
Thanks for reading the blog, and please join the conversations….Rob