Two Thousand Eight! It is coming to a close. It has been one heck of a year. What can I say about it...
Well, first, it began in the pits of hell. An 18 year relationship ended like a supernova in the night sky. That sort of set the tone for the rest of the year. With many apologies to many folks 2008 when I learned to cry and cuss. I learned that many folks, preachers in particular, have no clue what divorce is like. To say it any plainer (more accurately) would require a stronger word that some would find offensive. There is no kinder way to put it. Family like the Holts let me live with them when I had no home to live in and the Sterlings gave me a ton's and the Reminders and on I could go. Folks like Jan, Vivian, and Jeff were life savers. I found myself reading books that are not my typical genre: Suzy Brown's Radical Recovery, Dana Hood's I Will Change Your Name, Linda Nielson's Between Fathers & Daughters, Women in Midlife Crisis, Barbara & Allan Pease Why Men Don't Have a Clue & Women Always Need More Shoes and Alec Baldwin's A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce, Larry Crabb's Shattered Dreams ... to name just a few.
On to other matters. The Earth moved millions of miles as our solar system moved who knows how many miles and the galaxy moved even more. Talya and Rachael have developed into young ladies. They both played volleyball and Rachael continues with soccer. Talya sang in her talent show and Rachael was a lady in waiting in a Robin Hood play.
In spite of the beginning of the year God has provided blessings along the way. After one church dropped me from a speaking engagement because I am now stigmatized another ... in Nashville ... wanted me to come for the exact same weekend (I like the irony). I spoke at the Pepperdine Lectures (on the Struggle for the Soul of the Churches of Christ ... my friend John Mark was not able to be there) and the ACU lectures on Walking With the Spirit: The Transitions of K.C. Moser. I have plugged away at a theological biography of Moser and contributed an essay for a memorial volume in honor of Michael W. Casey.
From the pulpit we explored "New Beginnings" (which now that I go back and listen to them were less than works of art!! Honest ... but not art!) then we explored "Blessed are the Shalom Makers. The last half of the year we looked at the Living Word in the Gospel of John. And currently I am teaching "Exploring Our Roots: Snapshots on the Family Tree" which is vignettes on the Stoned-Campbell Movement.
Some other books I've enjoyed this year (some I've placed on my blog). I read through the Dead Scrolls Bible which has all the biblical texts discovered in the caves near the Dead Sea. I read Copernicus On the Revolutions of Heavenly Bodies. Tertullian's works in the Ante-Nicene Fathers. Read the Bible through twice and Psalms at least six times (including Robert Alter's new translation and volume 1 of John Goldingay's Commentary) My copy of the Prymer is falling apart. N.T. Wright's Resurrection of the Son of God was a favorite as was Surprised by Hope. Chris Wright's The Mission of God and Knowing Jesus through the Old Testament. I read a number of Missional and Emergent authors with profit. The two best preaching books I've read this year were by the same author Ellen Davis, Wondrous Depth: Preaching the Old Testament (this is a rich book) and Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament. I also have begun reading the Scripture and Hermeneutics Series edited by Craig Bartholomew ... excellent stuff.
Loved Iron Man and Batman. I suffered through Enchanted. I watched Babylon 5 with the girls. Twilight was ok. The Clone Wars was not quite Star Wars. And I visited the dollar movie frequently.
Palo Verde has been a great haven this year. They have been loving and patient with me and cared for my girls. They have been a gift from God. I visited my former home in Milwaukee.
I took my first "solo" vacation with a trip through southern California and the desert of AZ. It was a great experience but still not what I am used too. I made some new friends this year from all over. I lost one very important friend too. My blog had visits from 101 different countries ... some that I never heard of.
Not much to write about ... From the Tucson "International" Airport ...