Uninvited from Church

Earlier this month, a pastor wanted to invite me to speak at his church’s event a few days before Thanksgiving. The event was organized by his and two other churches in the area. He wanted me to share my experiences of keeping hope, faith and believing in miracles during a time that was not just a farmer’s nightmare. People across the country are dealing with foreclosures and it is an ongoing concern for many. The pastor had been following our farm foreclosure for a year and thought my story was one to share with his parish.

To discuss more details we met for lunch in St. Johns last week. The first 30 minutes I shared with him in detail what I have been going through over the past three years, the struggle and the challenges. After I was done, he mentioned that he watched all of the YouTube videos we put on the Peppermint Jim Channel and had noticed, both in the videos and during our conversation, that he hadn’t heard any hatred or grudge against our bank Greenstone Farm Credit Services. I explained that you cannot go through an ordeal this big and this long by blaming others for your mistakes. Nor can you afford the emotions of hatred and revenge because nothing good will come from that. Besides, you need all your energy that you have to just maintain yourself.

The pastor then continued explaining that the church sometimes has guest speakers and how much he wanted me there. However, to make this decision, he needed the green light from the two other pastors. One pastor was unsure of the idea of having me speak at the event at first and wanted to consult with Greenstone employees within the parish. When they came back to him a few days later, their answer was, “absolutely not”. In fact, if the pastor would still invite me, not only would they not come to the event, but every attempt would be made to relocate him from his job or even have him lose his job all together.

I could not believe my ears and the pastor had to tell me the whole story once again, because hearing it twice made it a little more believable. I was completely shocked and disappointed that I couldn’t share my story with the people of these churches. All my lectures and sharing have always been with the intent to help and inspire people. In my lifetime I have had the honor and opportunity to speak and share with thousands of people in groups of all ages and background. I always appreciated the value and contribution that each and every individual has. For me it is all about following your dreams, believing in them and keeping the faith. Each time I spoke to a group, it has allowed me to ask myself one important question: Does doing what you do make you happy? And is that something you want to do for the rest of your life? And the answer I come up with every time is, Yes!! Consequently, when I lecture, I always encourage people to not settle for less and never give up what they believe in doing. Circumstances may sometimes seem to move us in other directions, but these experiences only add to your story, making it better and more interesting. Life is short, it can change within a second. Therefore, live now, do what you love, be inspired and don’t wait for tomorrow.

Very early on, during a time when I truly believed that there had to be other options than complete liquidation of the farm, I also believed that we could work something out with the bank. Showing accountability by providing quarterly reports, we held nothing back while I held myself accountable for everything we did. I had complete faith that we could turn the foreclosure around. Looking back, I have to think how much Greenstone employees must have endured; walking through the picket lines every day for more than a week. I am sure they were constantly asked questions about what was happening and that they had to defend themselves for working for Greenstone. Yet this is what they do and it is their livelihood as much as my job is for me. The whole situation with our farm is not cut and dry. Decisions were guided and made by only four people within Greenstone who also enjoy what they do for a living. Therefore, I deeply apologize to the Greenstone employees for any distress that I, or the farm foreclosure may have caused.

Peppermint Jim.


~ by peppermintjim on November 19, 2009.

4 Responses to “Uninvited from Church”

  1. Peppermint Jim, your words encourage and amaze me. Your strength and fortitude are a shining example of what is missing in this world. It’s called forgiveness. Not only of those around you but of yourself and the situations life places us all in. When God closes a door, he certainly always opens a window. Sometimes it is so hard to remember that, and I struggle with it almost daily myself. Your honesty and heart pours out of you and you strengthen those around you. God Bless you and your Family and please keep touching people’s lives like you do. This truly is your calling. You are a blessing in disguise!!

  2. Want to thank you Jim! I lost our house of 12 years last year, but your faith reminds me that this is not our “HOME”. Thanks for the encouraging words. Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

  3. Bob Etherton
    Wow…that’s a powerful message jim…you know the thing is…I wish I could speak like you…I’ve been studying communications while you’ve been living communication…I think you just have to find the right group.

  4. And this pastor’s commitment is to…what? A life change could very possibly be good for his soul.

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