i’m not one to determine whether an event, day, year, etc. was good or bad through reflection. if i don’t automatically have an emphatic answer to “how was your day/year/the party/dinner/whatever?” then it was probably fine. nothing to complain about. nothing to rave about.
while this is a good thing, i believe, in keeping me from getting discouraged or riding crests of emotionalism, it also can minimize events in my memory that should be reflected upon with more effort. so, with 2008 coming to a close, i’ll try to recount some of the major events that transpired.
in february, grammy (my mom’s mom) passed away. she lived a long, full life and was a believer in Jesus Christ, so it was a sweet time of remembrance for my fam. we laughed, cried, and laughed some more. i was thinking the other day that even though she had SO many kids, grand kids, and great grand kids we probably all have memories and stories about her that are unique to each one of us. i got to ride in a hot air balloon with her several years ago, complete with crash landing! i also had the privilege, at the funeral, of reading something my brother wrote which summed up several memories that everyone in the family could relate to. beyond that privilege, i got to celebrate and proclaim that grammy was in heaven because of grace through faith in Jesus, not because she was a really cool grandmother.
in march, i got to travel to muzquiz, mexico on a mission trip with some of our high school students. half of our group stayed in the states to do construction, while i went with the other half into mexico to help an organization called “share God’s love with all” do some block party evangelism. i’m always surprised by how much spanish comes back to me when several in our group don’t know any at all!
in april, i went to visit my brother and his fam in tennessee. while there i drove up and previewed southern baptist theological seminary in louisville, ky. i liked it a lot. don’t know if i’m headed there any time soon, though, or even at all.
2008 marked the first year in several that we took our high school students to a “camp” camp rather than a “resort” camp. i wasn’t sure how they would respond, but the feedback was really great.
in july i was blessed to go back to africa for the second straight year. this year we went to northern, south africa. i had never been to south africa, but i knew from the many stories i’ve heard that our trip was not the normal experience. we were in northern south africa, ministering to a coal mine and the surrounding community. usually, teams stay in the jo-burg area ministering in schools, prisons, and squatter camps. last year, in kenya, i was convicted and reminded of the simple elements of the Gospel. this year, in south africa, i started out with that mindset and had a great time ministering, laughing, eating, sharing, singing, etc. like i always do on mission trips. ministry is SO good with others, even when it’s hard. i hope you experience that as often as you can.
august is marked by the departure of my bff. my good friend, randy and his awesome wife, jen, moved to dallas so he could attend dallas theological seminary. randy’s family and my family both joined houston northwest church back in 1991. we’ve been friends ever since and both joined the church staff after college. it’s weird that we’re not 15 feet away from each other every day, but he’s in a better place, i guess!
august was also when i started an 11 week series on exodus for the high school students. i REALLY enjoyed studying parts of exodus and seeing God point to His ultimate plan of salvation and reconciliation through Christ, the perfect passover, the complete manna, and the fulfillment of the law.
ike came to visit in september. messed up a lot of stuff. nothing really that affected me, except delaying my vacation to tennessee by two days… jerk. had a good time in tennesse, as always. spent some of the time at my aunt and uncle’s place outside of wartburg. more on that here.
most recently, december has been a time of seeing old friends, visiting family i haven’t seen in a long while, and trying to reflect on the real meaning, power, and impact of christmas. i also applied and was accepted to southwestern baptist theological seminary.
so, those were some of the major events of 2008. obviously, a lot more happened. there were ups, downs, highs, and lows. losses, gains, laughs, and tears. i’ve said goodbye to some great people and made some great new friends.
later, ’08. see ya in a hundred years!