Friday, December 30, 2011

Year End Look Back

It's been a while since I last posted, almost 4 months. Now I'm writing on the next to the last day of 2011 and this year has been one for the books. This has been a spectacular year with so many things to be thankful for. Without boring you with all the details here are some that stand out:

  • God's faithfulness to our family as we enjoyed safety, good health, great relationships, progress in our goals, and an abiding commitment to the God who has saved us and supplies all our needs.
  • Two month sabbatical that allowed me to cross America on a bike for the second time (1974) in my life. This was a life changer. I survived a health scare on the last day of the trip and have had absolutely no hints of a problem since. Nan drove down to meet me and we enjoyed a memorable trip back from Georgia to visit some Civil War memorials in Charleston, SC, Andersonville, GA, Atlanta, and Look Out Point and Chickamauga in Chattanooga, TN
  • Including the coast to coast trip, I rode over 6750 miles this year and rode 11 centuries (100 miles).
  • I was able to enjoy many good books this year - 18 of them and almost 4600 pages worth. A few of the best were Politics According to the Bible by Wayne Grudem, Bonhoeffer by Metaxas, Decision Points by George Bush and Evangelical Convictions by the EFCA.
  • In July we were treated to the beautiful splendor of Alaska during a two week cruise and land tour arranged and paid for by Nan's mother, to celebrate her 80th birthday. I also added Alaska as another state I have ridden a bike in. That makes 39 states total so far.
  • In October we started a month long kitchen remodeling project that turned our tiny little galley kitchen into an open room with more cabinets, an island and walk in pantry than we ever imagined we could have.
  • Also in October, I played a key role in preparing our church to host our district's annual conference involving more than 250 pastors and delegates. We won rave reviews by our district leadership and attendees for our organization and hospitality. Our church did a great job of serving our many visitors.
  • Over Christmas break, we managed to get all five of us in the family together to fly down to Florida to spend a week with Nan's mom. We figured this might be the last time for a while to be able to do this because of increasingly busy lives and schedules. God treated us to the best weather we have ever had in Florida and Nan's mom did a  great job hosting us.
As good as 2011 was, 2012 is shaping up to be a memorable year as well. Here's what's cooking:
  • Surely the biggest event will be the graduation from Purdue in nursing and the wedding of second daughter Rebecca in May to David Peck. I get to co-officiate the wedding so I am really looking forward to the twin duties of walking her down the aisle and "preaching" to her one last time:). We are very happy for her and David. Of course they will also have to find a place to live and places to work, so they have a lot on their plate.
  • In March Nan and I will celebrate our 30th anniversary. I will officially have been married as long as I was single. However, I can truly say the last 30 years were more enjoyable than the first 30, thanks to my mate!
  • In June I hope to take the next step in acquiring the classwork that I need to gain certification in the field of Church Administration. I will be in Atlanta for two weeks for classes and then will have to come up with a project to write about in order to complete the certification in the next year or two. This is very timely since I hope some of my schooling will help walk our church through the transition of losing our present senior pastor and search for a new pastor. That is coming in late August but the wheels are already rolling.
  • And, of course, I hope to keep putting the pedal to the road in 2012. I'd like to ride somewhere between 3500 and 4000 miles and ride at least one century per month from May to October. All this is again dependent upon God's gracious, supplying hand and granting good health and freedom from injury.
Well, that's a rather short summary view of the last 365 days. I am thankful that through it all we were indebted to a God who is the same yesterday, today and forever! With the assurance that our eternity is with Him, it makes every day a lot less intimidating, stressful and enjoyable. Here's to wishing that you might also experience the wonderful grace of God as we all tick off another year. BLESSINGS!