What an incredible year! This year I celebrated 25 years at Hillside Christian Church and 35 years since my ordination. It is hard to believe it has been that long. I have had a wonderful life and even though there have been a lot of ups and downs, I have no regrets. Hillside has blessed me far more than anything I could give.
The church has been challenging this year. It seems we have been in an eternal search for a Minister For Faith Development. So many deaths of people that I have grown to love and care about. But there have been good times too. Maundy Thursday Service was a real highlight, with the reinactment of the Last Supper! I finished on the General Board and with service to Disciples Home Missions. While I enjoyed the ministry, I grew tired of the politics. I took the singles in the congregation to Las Vegas. It was fun. If you have never been on Fairmont Street at two in the morning, don’t! Why? Because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
All the family was together for a week in May. Our family journey took us to Louisville, Kentucky for the Kentucky Derby. It was wonderful to be together as a family and it was exciting to be at the Derby to watch the first Triple Crown Winner in a long time. Peter and Nora won $6.00 each on the winner of the Derby. The only bad part of the race was it took three hours to get out the parking lot. Gee, there were a lot of people.
Brooks, Dan, Peter and Nora are still in Portland. Brooks had surgery on her feet earlier in the year and will have to have some more surgery after the first of the year. Something about faulty parenting genes. I had a chance to fly up to Portland and visit for a few days. Peter and Nora are really growing and are sad that their mother won’t let them come and play with Clyde more often.
Jonathan is still practicing law in Wichita and doing well. He was engaged but they called it off. He is now dating a nice young lady, and I think my being clergy scares her to death. Jonathan prides himself on being busy and self sufficient and I rarely get to see him.
Of course, I am planning a trip in 2016 to Spain. My big trip this year was to Thailand. I know, it sounds odd that a Christian and a preacher, wants to see the Golden Buddha. My friend Clay and my cousin Zee traveled with me.
Paul writes (1 Cor 10:12) So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. How many times I have questioned that statement. Yet, each time I have found Paul right. God is good! When faced with challenges, God is faithful to give me a way out. He always seems to know my limit and my ability. Praise God. May this Christmas you realize the ongoing gift that God has given to you. God is present. God is faithful. God is great. Merry Christmas