Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Serving speech, part 2

My dad's speech to the high school students at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School on Monday, October 21, part 2:

God’s direction and teaching me about leadership, allowed me to be a leader in the church, too.  Through life, my involvement in church leadership was always enjoyed.  Chris and I were youth sponsors for many years.  I lead song leading, taught Sunday School, served on and chaired Church Council, was involved with Elders and served for eight years as Church treasurer.
In 2004 I had an experience that taught me a great lesson but once again, God was directing every step of my life.  One morning in March I routinely got up at 5:30AM, did my exercising,  ate breakfast, and stepped in to take my shower only to realize that my right side was going numb.  After kissing my wife goodbye and telling her that something wasn’t right, I was going to try to go to the office, only to collapse after about ten steps.  My wife called the doctor, transported me to Grandview and after diagnosing that my disc between t8 and t9 had slipped against my spinal cord, I was transported to Jefferson Hospital in Phila.  It was humbling not to be able to walk.  After two months of hospital stay and rehab, I progressed from using a wheel chair, to a walker and cane, and finally I learned to walk again.  During my hospital and rehab I did some soul searching as to why me.  My life was good, good job, financially stable, whatever I wanted, I got.  But I found out during this time that God was definitely trying to tell me who was in charge.  I thought I could do it on my own, and I was, but God wanted me to know that in all things, He is in charge, and that I should live my life that way.  My nerves never completely healed so now when I feel sensations in my legs with every step, they are reminders from God, saying, Glenn, I am in charge of your life, just follow me.   Remember what I’ve done in the past and trust me.  I am in control of your life.

Remember how God took me to Illinois during voluntary service, and how He gave me a passion for the elderly?  In the early ‘90’s I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors at Rockhill Mennonite Community which got me back to a passion I developed back in the ‘60’s in Voluntary Service.  I am still serving on that board and enjoying every year of it.  The past 15 years I have served on the Board of Directors for Community Home Services, which was started by the five local Anabaptist Retirement Communities.  Community Home Services has developed a great program to help people in our community who need home care.  It has really been a joy for me to serve on these boards realizing that there is way more involvement then just monthly meetings to attend.  Getting into the mission and leadership of these organizations is an exciting adventure.

Since retiring at the end of 2008 I have really enjoyed being a volunteer.   God blessed me financially so that I could retire and not need to work for financial reimbursement.  Some of my volunteering is at the Care and Share Shoppes’ in Souderton, visiting two elderly person at  Rockhill Mennonite Community.  What a joy spending time with this group of people, they have so much knowledge to offer us.  My only regret is that they die too frequently.  I enjoy going back to Swartley Bros and having lunch with one of my replacements, and just checking in with all the great employees.  Sitting in your seats as high school students, retirement is probably far from your minds.  It was once far from my mind as well.  What I want you to remember, through all that I’m saying today, is to trust God.  Every experience in your life is orchestrated so that you can be the person you were meant to be, now, after graduation, through your work experiences, to retirement and beyond.  Your life is meant to bring God glory.  Trust Him to lead you, and you will be a reflection of Him.
One of my reasons for retiring at age 63 was because I wanted to get involved with mission and service trips.  I had the joy of going to Haiti four times, so far, with Souderton Mennonite Church, teamed up with Water for Life, also to Alaska with a Souderton group to Victory Bible Camp.  And I am hoping to go on a lot more.  I love the adventure and relationships that go along with these trips.  I also had the privilege of going to India with our son, who is a professor of world religions at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN.  He has spent many trips there to learn more about the Hindu religion and has developed a great dialog with Hindu leaders.
I enjoy being a mentor to persons who want advice in parenting, how to be a better spouse, advise in business, and better communication skills.  Souderton Mennonite Church has really pushed their mentoring program with the youth of the church.  I started last year with a seventh grader and I have immensely enjoyed that relationship.  Just spending a breakfastwith these persons who ask for advice or direction has always been a rewarding experience for me.   I find it important for me to offer whatever good I can to these persons.  I feel that I have been truly blessed by God through my life in my  marriage, parenting, church and business  and feel that it is just right for me to share my ideas and believe.  As always, I want people to know that they can trust God through every circumstance and that Christian character and service have to be forefront in everything we do.

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