Good news, maybe…


I had suggested in an earlier post that there may be some more good news to share in April. The good news is we are not moving any time soon! Interestingly enough that could have gone either way and still have been good news. If you have been following this blog long enough you know that we moved to Iowa with the purpose of serving in ministry. Due to a serious breach of trust and promise by a Pastor that seemed to be off the table. However, last year ministry work continued in the form of pulpit supply. My wife and I met many amazing people along the way and have more Christian connections in Iowa than I thought possible in such a short time. One of the churches we ministered at has been looking at us as candidates for an open Pastor position. That would require about a three-hour move away. We now know that is not where God wanted us.

However, in an attempt to find local churches in need of pulpit supply I came across an ad seeking a Pastor in a nearby Baptist church. This was in early March. It seemed unlikely that they would consider using me for pulpit supply but I answered the ad anyway. In the initial message I asked to speak with someone from the church. The intent was trying to avoid an automatic rejection because of denominational differences. Within a very short time a church elder called me. While I was on the phone with that gentleman I got a message from a lady we know that was excited to hear we were possibly interested in this church. I know news travels fast in small towns but wow!

That phone conversation ultimately led to an interview with several of the church members. I gave them an audio copy of a previous message for their review and felt encouraged to have met this great group of people. It was roughly a week later that I got a call to preach a live message in April. After the service we had a potluck fellowship. At this point they had narrowed their search down to two applicants. The following Sunday I got a call that the church had voted in favor of hiring me as the next Pastor. The position starts in May.

There are several noteworthy events that made this possible. The first one was I had never heard of the website the church advertised on. In fact it was 3 or 4 pages deep on an internet search for open churches. I am not normally that patient in internet searches. Another noteworthy event is the place where I am employed has a solid reputation in the community and the church encouraged me to stay with the job. Along with that the timing of transferring to a day shift position eliminated a concern about being available for pastoral responsibilities. Even the circumstances around the shift change were outside the normal protocol at the company I work for.

Right now I do not feel qualified to lead a church. Maybe God was waiting for me to get out of the way so He can lead me.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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Just one day at a time.


My theme for 2019 is to live one day at a time. There is still some underlying anxiety that I don’t understand. Maybe I’ve just become comfortable about being anxious.

There are plenty of things to look forward to but instead of focusing on the future I am choosing to be in the moment. Later this year we have a scheduled vacation to the Denver, Co. area. There are plans to plan a later vacation as well this year. Currently a church is considering my application for an open Pastor position but I am at complete peace about whatever they decide. As for home improvement projects, well that list is always growing and whatever gets done gets done.

This past week I got some fishing in for the first time this year.

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Caught this personal record size fish on rod and reel. I hope to see it again in another 6lbs. or so.

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This is what I was really after. It is a matter of opinion that Bluegill may be the tastiest fresh water fish in the world. This one had a lucky day but maybe I’ll catch him again to join in a fish fry.

 

Part of living includes working. The Bible teaches us that God wants us to enjoy work. We are even encouraged to work as unto the Lord. Enjoying work is a mindset. As an example, recently approximately 20 of us employees were sent out to pick up trash around the manufacturing plant for two hours. Admittedly those of us who are abdominous find it uncomfortable to bend over repeatedly to pick up anything off the ground. However, the weather was nice and we were getting paid quite well. When we came back inside my supervisor asked how it went. I replied that it was a nice day and a refreshing break from the normal routine. When a coworker was asked the same question he replied it was the worst two hours of his employment.

 

This past week also included some yard work. One small project was preparing a flower bed by the garage. I seem to recall being quietly opposed a year ago but that was then and this is now.

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Immediately after finishing the border and dirt work the inspectors arrived. How could I possibly expect my wife to approve the work before the dogs have thoroughly investigated!

Well there is plenty of daylight left so I’m getting out of this office. Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Week one.


Well this is week one. The first week of being on first shift along with the first week of book sales. Still not quite sure how either one happened but I’ll take it!

The dogs are in the habit of getting up around 2:00 A. M. to be let outside. It’s what they have been used to for the last year. Unfortunately I am not used to sleeping in the middle of the night so we are all in for some sleep adjustment.

At work I am now surrounded by mostly 19 and 20 year olds in their first real job. My boots have more work experience than these kids. But, despite their youth, they work hard and seem to be open to learning. Nothing wrong with that. Speaking of learning it is going to take some time to figure out my new surroundings. At least the parts I now weld are simple enough to figure out. If I could just find the break room and the restrooms my work life would be more comfortable…

As for the book, the sales report looks like a snail on a mission. Not at the 101 sales mark but I am very optimistic about reaching that goal… some day. This will be the last post about this book until the sales goal is reached.

Here are five reasons to not buy this book;

  1. It has no literary value.
  2. It was written and published by an amateur.
  3. It has the word “farts” in the title.
  4. It will make you laugh and that would be undignified.
  5. It is full of one-liners and such that I posted on Facebook over the years and you never had to pay for that.

It’s also the same five reasons to buy this book.

By the way a huge thank you to those of you that have purchased a copy!

I also thank God for the end of a difficult life season. There are several lessons learned along the way and I look forward to sharing them with you in future posts. Enjoy the weekend everybody!

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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Is this a joke?


Somehow I managed to accidently release the paperback edition of my book today. My daughter once called me road kill on the information superhighway. There is some truth in that!

This is a compilation of funny one-liners, quotes, and random absurdities. If you are looking for a serious read this book is not for you. This was written as a project for friends that have encouraged me to write a book highlighting some of my humorous and random posts on social media. I am serious about a few things. However much of life can be viewed from a funny perspective. That is what this book is about. This is not a book meant to be read straight through like a novel. Enjoy it at your own pace. If you are able to read this book in its entirety without giggling, snorting, or laughing out loud then please have your pulse checked.

Available on Amazon. Kindle version soon! (I think)

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Warning: this is an advertisment


book cover

This is the cover of the book project I’ve been working on. It is available for pre-order on Amazon for an April 15 release date. Just to be clear the content is as random as the title. This is a great book to give away to someone with a sense of humor or someone who needs a sense of humor.

Kindle price is $4.29 and paperback is $8.47. Yes, the prices are random it just goes with the book theme! Paperback edition will probably be ready same day as the Kindle edition.

I read somewhere that 80% of books published sell less than 100 copies. My goal is to sell 101 and beat the odds.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Changes


Last week I received exciting news. I have been accepted for a 1st shift position starting April 1. For the past 13 months my work schedule has been 3:30 P.M. to 12:00 or 1:00 A.M. Not an easy shift for me. Every weekend feels short trying to connect with my wife who works day shift. In just a few hours on Saturday or Sunday we try to plan the next week details. Shopping, meal planning, coordinate schedules, and catching up on life is all crammed into one afternoon. Monday rolls around with feelings of frustration and unrest. This has not been a fun life season.

Along with a change of work schedule the weather is changing to Spring. Some flowers are already poking up through the ground. The birds are very active in the yard. There is a hint of life returning to the trees. There is an overwhelming amount of work to be done on our property but most of it is rewarding as well. It seems like a good idea to me to get some more bird houses built and put up on this property. We live on two acres with several trees so a variety of birds and furry critters call this property home.

Flowers appearing

The dogs are pretty excited about the warmer weather as well. Here is a video of Oceana and Chazzie enjoying a nice day outside.

The brown dog is Chazzie. She has mammary cancer and we did not expect her to live out 2017. Somehow bringing Oceana home as a puppy gave Chazzie a new lease on life.  It is amazing to watch God’s creation as seasons change both plants and animals.

There is also another exciting change on the horizon, however, that news will have to wait for another day. Hopefully I can tell you about it next month. Speaking of next month I still intend to get that book published in April.

Have a blessed day!

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Born Crippled


Sermon presented at Oskaloosa First Assembly in Oskaloosa. Iowa on March 17, 2019

Rev. Burt Schwab

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Life’s important stuff.


Another friend passed away yesterday. That makes three in the last two months. Each one left behind a grieving family. They all had unfinished business matters along with projects not done.

The loss of friends and loved ones can remind us of what is really important. Our jobs play a huge role in life, but they are just a means to an end. Hobbies can become a time-consuming part of our life as well as a healthy expression of yourself. Jobs will replace us and hobbies are soon forgotten after we quit them. Memories with family and friends are not easily replaced or forgotten. We can hold onto the memories of loved ones for the rest of our lives.

Find something to enjoy about today. Look forward to tomorrow. Live without regret. Thank God for friends and family.

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

 

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At a loss for a blog to write.


It’s been longer than usual between posts. My attention has been on compiling a book that I started a couple of years ago. The title is ‘Thinking About Beans May Cause Brain Farts (and other absurdities)’. Long title for a book full of one liners and very random thoughts. The content of the book is various humorous posts I put on Facebook over the years.  A few friends, yes I have friends, have encouraged me to create a compilation of funny stuff. I plan to publish in April through Amazon.

Aside from that I have been preparing some new sermons. I am still doing pulpit supply and sometimes sermons are needed on short notice. However, for some strange reason I can’t seem to find anything interesting to blog about. Maybe it’s all this cold weather and snow and ice and now rain. It could be my brain has been frozen by all this climate change. If I quit driving a car maybe the climate and my thinking will clear up. More likely the daily commute to work will become a second job…

There is a glimmer of hope that some day soon the grass and flowers will start to grow again. That should bring allergies, mosquitoes, yard weeds, and pests. Oh the joy of the warm season! For now I’ll continue my semi-hibernation until the motivation returns to write…

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

P.S. I am off social media for a several more weeks so please respond directly to this site. Thanks.

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Can you help me?


I have decided to try a new endeavor of writing a book. Most likely it will be a quote a day type of book that features what some call Burtisms or as I call them Burt’s proverbs. For instance It’s weird being the only normal person.

The book will also have a few serious moments along with humorous stories. After all life has both serious and laughable moments.

Those who know me in the offline world frequently see the less serious side of me. As an example at a recent annual physical my doctor asked how much coffee I drink a day. I replied seven cups is normal. She told me that 3 cups of coffee or less a day is recommended. In a serious tone I asked if there was someone I could write to about this.

If that made you smile then you have my kind of humor. However on a serious note I do not know anything about having a book published. Can anyone give me some insight? Pretty please? I’ll let you read the book when it’s done…

 

Rev. Burt Schwab

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