It is considered a cliché to reiterate that truth is stranger than fiction. This book is not a cliché. In the pages that follow you will discover the poignant happenings, the unusual people and the just plain weird things that happened to a real flesh and blood person. I wasn’t looking to live on the edge - the “edgy” and novel and outrageous found me. Perhaps your reaction will be like the young woman who, at a church singles group I spoke with, noted that I had too much experience for her to imagine me as a minister. If you like your understanding of the spiritual life to be black and white, cut and dried, this book may either leave you shaking your head or wondering where I am “coming from.” If you have, however, an understanding that the spiritual life is a narrow way that is high and lifted up, like a tightrope, you might hold your breath as I try to keep my balance and find my way guided only by the Spirit, my conscience and intuition. My goal is to leave you laughing, crying, smiling, chuckling and nodding your head in the realization that you have met some of the same kind of people as I have in my years in the ministry. The church power broker, the suffering addict, the innocent struggling to understand the hard realities of life, the broken and misplaced, the “party girls,” the manipulators of a kid’s game into life and death and those who have had the spark of life beaten out of them. This book represents the journey of a lifetime of serving others. The true events described are widely separated in time. Names and details have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty. I hope you enjoy the trip.
Keith A. Rasey is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Yale Divinity School and Kent State University. He has Bachelor of Science degrees in History and Economics and Gerontology and Long Term Health Care Management. He has a Master of Divinity. Keith has done postgraduate work in organizational leadership and advancement at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He is also a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.
Keith has over twenty-five years of experience in working with patients and families at the end of life. The very first patient to die at home in the United States, while receiving care from hospice, was a member of the parish he served as minister on May 25, 1977. Keith was working with hospice as a volunteer before hospice care was approved for payment by the Federal government.
He is particularly skilled and experienced at Judeochristian and Buddhist approaches and practices for end of life care. He is currently exploring the ways in which traditional healers, aka shamans, practices can inform, enrich and deepen spiritual care at the end of life.
He also understands that, from a family systems' viewpoint, humor, wit and whimsy are ways of being in the world that can create a way for change in organizations and groups that are stuck in a rut. Some of the "crazy" things that traditional healers do may offer us postmodern people a way to live more authentic, centered and whole lives in the sociocultural contexts of our present lives.
"The Landscapes of Our Patients' Journeys" grew out of his interest in both science based or evidence based approaches and spirituality. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services is increasingly requiring hospices to measure the quality of care and the patient/family experience. "The Landscapes of Our Patients' Journeys" offers a method to marry narrative and data that provides a means to assess the patient/family experience of end of life and measure the quality of caregivers' responses.
He is currently formating his newest book, "Polar Bear Angels: Humorous, Insightful and Irreverent Stories from a Reverend," to make it conform to epublishing platforms. It is based on real interactions. As has often been noted, real life is far more unbelievable, outrageous, poignant and humorous than anything that can be made up.
Keith lives with Diane, his wife of twenty years, and two dogs, Benny and Sunshine. He enjoys theater, cinema, travel, reading and jogging his two canine housemates through a five mile route in a local cemetery.read more
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