Emmanuel Press and I asked the Rev. Dr. D. Richard Stuckwisch to write a pastoral response to the chapters of He Restores My Soul that will appear at the end of the book. His words of wisdom are a such a help to me personally. I pray that they will be a help to you as well.
Describe a normal day in the life of Pastor Stuckwisch:
Not sure there is such a thing! But many of my days include e-mail correspondence, phone calls and pastoral visits, reading and study for myself, and reading aloud to my children. I listen to music on my computer and in my car, multi-tasking all the way. Several times a week I’m gathered with Emmaus for daily prayer or Divine Service, and most of my days conclude with a glass of wine with my wife, LaRena.
What three words best describe your personality?
Analytical. Introspective. Shy.
Who do you go to for advice?
Depends on the particular topic, but I probably consult with my wife more than any one other person. I’ve got several go-to guys for computer related questions, all of them friends and members of the congregation. I’ll talk to my married adult children to get their perspective on many aspects of life, because I admire and appreciate their insights, and I enjoy talking to them anyway. There are a handful of colleagues that I rely upon for pastoral conversation and pastoral care for myself.
What do you like to read?
I like history and theology, and I’ve enjoyed various books on personality, psychology, and sociology, though I have to filter those latter selections pretty carefully and consistently. I probably read as much or more fantasy-fiction for my own entertainment as anything else. But one of my foremost passions in life is reading aloud to my children, and that really runs the gamut of children’s literature and young adult fiction.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m still trying to figure that out! I can hardly imagine being anything else other than a pastor, honestly. But there are days when I wonder how my life would differ if I had followed the advice and encouragement of my high school guidance counselors, who suggested that I should be an actuary. At one point I seriously considered the military academies (West Point or Annapolis), but I’m glad I didn’t go that route.
Beverage of choice?
Give me a hazelnut latte or a regular unsweetened ice tea during the day, a good dark beer or a glass of Riesling in the evening.
Mac or PC?
PC all the way.
What do you want to eat when your wife is cooking?
She makes so many good things, and I’ve never been a picky eater. I do enjoy several of her casseroles, and she makes a great homemade pizza.
“My Peace I leave with you, My Peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (St. John 14:27).
Which song do you hum the most?
No way I could nail that down to a single song! My life runs to a pretty varied soundtrack, and music of all kinds is a constant in the background. I love good Lutheran hymnody, so that sometimes becomes my earworm. But I also enjoy country, pop, rock, and heavy metal, so it really depends on my mood and the circumstances at any given time. I more likely to sing along than to hum a tune on my own, but Shinedown is my go-to band more often than not.
If you could name the hero of a fiction book, he would be called:
I’d have to have a particular story in mind to think of an appropriate name. But I did get to name eleven of the heroes in my own non-fiction story: DoRena, Zachary, Nicholai, Monica, Ariksander, Oly’Anna, Justinian, Frederick, Gerhardt, Job, and Katharina.
What is your superpower?
My wife, our children, and our growing number of grandbabies!
What is your Kryptonite?
My grandbabies! They’ve had me wrapped around their fingers before they could even say hello!
How do you use hymns in your daily life?
I often turn to them for inspiration and comfort, and I find myself drawing on their words in my preaching and pastoral care. They are an important part of our family catechesis and daily prayer, as well. But they come to life, for me, in the Divine Service and daily prayer with the congregation.
What scenery do you want to be viewing?
I like mountain views and ocean scenes, though I’m not a terribly adventurous traveler! Honestly, the scene I love the best is pulling up to the homes of my faraway children, which would look pretty nondescript to almost anyone else.
Shoe of choice?
Basic cross-trainers. I’m not devoted to any particular brand.
Favorite movie villain?
Hannibal Lector, maybe? I’m normally not a big fan of the villain! Recently, though, I was impressed with Thanos in the Avengers: Infinity War. He outshone the heroes in that one. Darth Vader was impressive back in the day. Voldemort makes a great villain, but he could never be my “favorite” anything.
Which Psalm do you pray the most?
Boy, that’s a tough one. There’s a dozen or more that I turn to with regularity. I don’t know that I have any one favorite. If I don’t have to narrow it down to one, I’d list at least Psalms 8, 16, 19, 23, 29, 51, 67, 84, 91, 96, 98, 116, 121, 127, and 130. But that’s already 10% of the Psalter!
What is your part in this book?
I had the privilege of responding to the profound stories of these brave and courageous women with the Word and promises of the Lord, in the hopes that they and their readers might be comforted by the Gospel, encouraged in their callings, and strengthened in their faith.
To preorder He Restores My Soul at 10%-off, visit EmmanuelPress.us.