It has been quite a journey on the third rock from the sun this 2009 ... personally and for our world. I entered the year still emerging from the dark days of being divorced by Pamella. But 2009 is the year I learned to laugh again.
In January I moved back into my house after a year in exile in an apartment. My focus has been throughout most of the year to be a good dad for Rachael and Talya, this has been no small task. I have learned to loath the custodial arrangements invented by some lawyer and imposed by family courts. But we make the most of the time we have together. The girls and I have gone camping this year in New Mexico, we have visited family in Alabama, we have gone see movies like Transformers, New Moon and Harry Potter. We have traveled to see band performances, volley ball and soccer games. We have rode through the mountains on Ghost and done other things. We have even continued to Learn to Cook with dad ... and on the grill! Hopefully we have had some enduring memories. Rachael entered HIGH SCHOOL this year!! Talya is in middle school!! Rachael excels in her band and Talya at her sports.
Somewhere along the earth's orbit around the sun my path crossed a lady named Tifani. I had gone out with a few other fine ladies prior to Tif but this purple diva sort of put a spell on me. She has burrowed her way into the lives the Gang of Three (Rachael, Talya and me). She has in fact become a major part of our lives. Now we are trying to wait on the Lord to work out the details ...
I attempted to lay out a course for my preaching and Palo Verde where we would discern God's task for us in the world. To do that I envisioned a series of lessons on "Who Needs PV?" with the stress on the communal nature of the Christian walk and it was "ME" that needed PV. The problem with many of us, both congregationally and individually, is that we have no real sense of "identity" in the core of our being. We go through life like an automaton never coming to terms with who we are and what we are hear for. So it was my intent to both help us find ourselves (again individually and collectively) in the Story of God's Love by figuring out who "I" am, who "You" are, and what "Love" means. We confessed to "Things Surely Believed" as a group. Things about God, his Son and Spirit, the church, forgiveness and hope. We tried to understand ourselves and our task by exegete our culture and seeing how we can be a witness in our postmodern world. As the year closed we came full circle by going back to that Story of Love ... spending 120 Days going from Genesis to Revelation asking two very simple but powerful question of every line in the book: 1) What does this reveal about our God; and 2) What does this say about God's People and who we should be.
For the year i have seriously curtailed speaking engagements to focus on other priorities. I have agreed to a few more for this coming year though. I was honored to contribute to a book published in memory of Pepperdine Professor Dr. Mike Casey edited by Tom Olbricht and David Fleer. And i have slowly but surely plodded along on my K. C. Moser research. Currently I am writing a case study on how John 3.16 was interpreted and preached between Moser, Whiteside and J. D. Tant.
Life is never boring as we wait patiently (or IMpatiently) for the coming kingdom of God. Overall it has been a good and exciting 2009. I have been mad. I have been sad. I have been blessed. I have been joyful. I pray that 2010 that God will continue to reveal his will and to bless my family as he has. If the last two years are any clue there is no telling where we will end up by the end of another orbit on the third rock from the sun.
My two most meaningful blogs this year have been ...
Three Crises: An Evening Chat ... World, Church, Life
S.R. Cassius: A CofC Booker T. Washington