Friday, January 02, 2009

Ten Moments of 2008

Last year, I posted ten memorable moments of 2007. This year I thought I would do the same. It is just a nice exercise for me to look back over the year and see how God has worked and enjoy the memories my family and I have made.

So without further ado, here are my ten memorable moments of 2008.

1. Summit Baptist Church of Wiggins, Colorado calling me as their pastor (December).
Without a doubt, this is the most defining event of the year. Even though it occurred in the last two weeks of the year, the last five years have been building toward this event. I am sure the repercussions of this event will impact my ten moments list next year (like moving, making new friends, starting a new ministry, etc.) but for now, this is the most memorable thing that happened to me in 2008.

2. Rhonda and my trip to Las Vegas, Nevada (April).
In April, Rhonda and I traveled to Vegas so I could preach at a church which was interested in me as their pastor. They put us up in the Plaza Hotel in the penthouse, and we braved Fremont street at night looking for milk (which is harder than it sounds in Las Vegas). They transported us back and forth from the airport in a limo. And we strolled through the Plaza casino in our Sunday-go-to-meetings and got some interesting looks. It was a great experience. While they obviously did not call me (see #1 above), it shaped most of my year.

3. Learning to turn wood on a lathe (beginning in May).
In May, I ordered and received a wood lathe and began a new hobby. Additionally, I began to blog about that hobby as well (see A Turn of Events). It has been fun and relaxing to start this new hobby and I know it will serve me well in the future. This shaped most of my year because now all I think about is, "If I chopped that tree down in my back yard, I bet I could get some good bowls out it."

4. Jessica and my trip to Kansas (June).
In June, my daughter and I traveled to southeast Kansas to see my family. It was a nice trip because I saw each of my siblings and was able to spend time alone with each of them. I also was able to take mom to the Lawrence, Kansas library where my brother's memorial tree is located (click here to see the post regarding Rob's tree). It was a nice time with my family. And it was a good time with just my daughter and I.

5. Working on my in-laws sprinkler system (throughout the summer).
This may seem like an unusual item to make a list like this but working on my in laws sprinkler system throughout the summer was a nice time for this year. I would go over every other day or two (whenever I recuperated from the previous work day) and fix leaks and sprinkler heads on all their seven zones of their yard. It was good physical labor for me, I would get incredibly sweaty and muddy, and my family and I spend a good amount of time with my in-laws. I did not get completely finished and will need to do more when the ground thaws, but I enjoyed working on this project throughout the summer.

6. Studying and working through the Psalms of Ascents (last half of year).
Beginning in June, I began a study of the Psalm of Ascents and posted the results of those studies on this blog (Click here for the overview of those studies which provides links to each post). The posts look like I was focused only on the outline of the passage, but this is not true. However, I posted the outlines in hope that it will help someone as they preach through these important passages. While I have not preached through these psalms, with my new church (see #1 above, again) I am looking forward to sharing these with others. I spend most of the year reading through these psalms, studying them, and working with the outlines to place where I believe I can preach through them. When I think of 2008, I will think about the time I spent with these fifteen psalms.

7. Our trip to New Mexico (July).
My family and I took a short trip to New Mexico to pick up my niece and nephew from Rhonda's side of the family. Rhonda, Jessica, and I went down to Sante Fe, spent the night at a hotel, picked up our niece and nephew at Glorietta the next day, and brought them to their Grandparents house. It was a nice, short, little trip and a great memory.

8. Rhonda and my ACTUAL anniversary (February).
My wife and I got married on Leap Day in 1992, which means we only have a real anniversary once every four years. In 2008, we celebrated our fourth anniversary (16 years for those mathematically challenged). We did not do anything special, but we did celebrate our 16 years of marriage. I posted about that in February and even posted a picture of Rhonda and me (click here to see that post).

9. Introduced to Settler's of Catan (February).
In February, a friend from church introduced us to a new game called "Settlers of Catan." I explain it as a board game of a computer strategy game. It is hard to explain but it is fun (and a little addictive). Here is the website for the game. You can also play it online for free at this website.

10. Teaching online classes for Oklahoma Baptist University Ministry Training Institute (throughout the year).
I taught my first completely online class in 2008. I had taught classes with online components of the in-seat class, but I had not taught a completely online class. I had students in Colorado, Oklahoma, and Montana. I really enjoyed interacting with the students through email and chat. I anticipate doing more online instruction with OBU. Teaching online did not shape my year, per se, but it did keep me busy while I waited for God to provide a pastorate.

Well, there they are: my 10 most memorable moments of 2008. 2008 proved to be something of wild ride. Up and down and all around, but always flying a break-neck speed. I am looking forward to 2009, although I anticipate much of the same craziness.