And now it’s 2009.
I’ve spent a great deal of time reflecting on 2008 and dreaming about 2009. It’s strange how a “drop of the New Year’s ball” seems to bring some things to a close and others to a fresh beginning.
2008 really was quite the year . . .
Here are some of my personal highlights.
*I celebrated my 15 year wedding anniversary!
*We adopted Elijah John Dominic Nettle!
*I visited Graceland. (Okay, not quite as momentous as the first two highlights.)
*I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro (My climbing partner, Tom and I, raised $48,000 to open two new homes for children who have been orphaned as a result of the AIDS pandemic in Tanzania).
*I visited three of our Compassion sponsored children–Bakari and Godfrey in Tanzania and Darwin in Peru.
*I baptized Grant and Austin McClain (Young sons of two of my closest friends).
*I baptized Brandon Blood and Norm Jackson in the ocean of Peru–complete with 8 foot waves!
*I was bit by a Copperhead snake (Still trying to put that behind me).
*I attended the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade in New York City with my family.
*I read 62 books.
2008 was quite a year. But with all of the highlights come the most important questions . . . Did I become more like Jesus? Did I grow in my generosity? Am I becoming a more authentic person? What did I learn? What difference did my life make?
As for 2009 . . .
*I hope to learn to sail (It has been a dream of mine for years).
*I’m looking forward to a spiritual pilgrimmage to Israel (I’ll be going with 15 other Pastors at the end of May).
*I’m excited, and a bit terrified, to deepen my relationship with God.
*I’m hungering to hear from God about His vision for my life and RiverTree (the church He has entrusted me to lead).
*I want to have a date with my wife, Julie, every other week. (It’s been a challenge since we adopted Elijah.)
So, it’s New Year’s Day. Have you spent time reflecting? Time dreaming? Asking questions? Celebrating? Mourning?
God, may we all build upon the past that you have given us so that we may fully live for You in the future You have entrusted us. Amen.
You are going to love Israel. I’m glad to hear that you get to go. Being there makes the Bible come alive and gives you a whole new geographical understanding, especially when you read the Gospel books again after you’ve been there. Be prepared to want to go back as soon as you get home. :)
As I look back at 2008 the year was filled with a lot of blessings and an equal number of challenges.
The top two were sharing in the wedding of our son and daughter-in-law in June in Hilton Head.
Being on three mission trips to Peru and one to Ecuador in 2008. Being in Peru with you for the baptisms of Brandon and Norm was a highlight in Peru. In Ecuador, travelling to all the children’s homes that we sponsor and making a trip to the food market with each was an experience that I thank God for and will never forget.
Thanks for challenging me and pushing me out of my comfort zone.
2009 goal is for my wife and I to go through the classes and training and become respite and short term foster parents.
Greg, What terrifies you about deepening your relationship with God? I think I have that fear as well. And though it has seemed so irrational, I’ve never put it into words. Thank you for giving me something to think / pray about.
Being deeply involved with God is in some ways like riding a roller coaster–I love to do it, but sometimes I’m scared out of my mind.
Really proud to partner with you!
Can’t wait to see the children that are blessed in Jesus’ name as a result of your journey to become foster parents.
I survived my daughter’s 18th birthday.
I celebrated my daughter’s high school graduation.
I celebrated my 50th birthday!
I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary!
I prayed with 3 high school boys about accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior during the midnight basketball league held at Rivertree.
I helped keep treehouse kidz elementary rooms open most weekends.
I am blessed by the best, and he speaks to me when I need him.
I continue to pray that my wife and two adult kids would start attending church.(my wife enjoyed the unplugged venue for the first time 01/04/09 hows that for a start)
I have been carried though many challenges in 2008 as well.