Thursday, January 3, 2008

Happy New Year

Well it's January third and I've yet to post my "new year" blog. I don't really have anything huge to say, butI would like to mention some things that made last year remarkable:
  • Oh the wonderful dates: Both kids are now in school (though kindergarten is only a half-day), and besides having my head spin at all the things the kiddos are learning, it's given my wife and I a built-in date without needing to find child-care. This has been wonderful for us, and when both kids are in school full-time next year it'll just make my weekly day-off even better.
  • Reading: My daughter loves to read, she's already downing Junie B. books by the handful and is currently accepting my, "If you haven't read the book, you can't see the movie" policy with great enthusiasm. She's got some movies she wants to see in the near future, and the books are already on her "to read" list. New Year's day I woke up and she was reading a book someone from our Church had gotten her, The Secret Garden. Needless to say, I'm pleased.
  • My son is like me: After my son's first parent-teacher conference I realized that he's more like me than I already realized. How do I know this? Well, when the teacher started talking about how smart he is, but that they have trouble "getting him moving" I started having flashbacks. Apparently, my son likes to look around the room and start imagining stories up for himself. The teacher through he was distracted so they put him in an "office" (basically it forms a cubicle) and before she could get to the "but" I said, "Oh no, that didn't work." The teacher blinked and said, "That's right, how did you know that?" I replied, "Because he found a spot on the office and started thinking up a story for it." The teacher's eyes bugged out of her head as she exclaimed, "That's exactly what he did! He found a hole and was pretending his pencil was a space-ship flying in and out of it!" The apple does not fall far from the tree, after all I have a hard time looking at my toothbrush and not seeing a spaceship (and the sink and tubs are ancient, abandoned, interstellar harbors - imagination is a blessed curse) - the good news is that, even with all his delays getting started, my son still gets his work done with time to spare.
  • The return of Nintendo: I've never owned any game system other than Nintendo. I played the NES incessantly, and had and SNES for a while as well. I never had time enough to play to justify getting other systems (I even kinda regretted getting a Game Boy Advance), but this year the family took the plunge. First, I got a DS and fell in love. Then my son got one for his birthday and multiplayer came home to our house. Then we got the Pokemon games for the DS, and then my daughter joined the party in the fall. The kids love these things, and I love playing with them. If you read this blog, however, you know that Christmas brought the Wii to our house (I purchased it in August) - and that thing is just plain fun for the whole family. Now we just need some time limit rules, because I've played Twilight Princess more than I care to admit and I'm not even through the first temple yet!
  • The return of friends: The Q's moved back to the area and that's been quite nice for me (now if my daughter could stop mixing up flirting with "poking boys in the back of the head" it might be nice for the kids too).
  • Church got really good, and then the panic started: We had an infusion of new blood at Central this year which was really needed. We also got to the point where many folks began to understand how our structure isn't working and needs to be redone. These were good things. I've noticed, however, that many folks are actually intimidated by the newer folks and it left me shaking my head for much of the fall (when all this started surfacing). I finally came to the conclusion that the problem was that these new folks like each other. That's dangerous for a dysfunctional system, which depends on anger and friction to keep the status-quo. So, even though much of the fall was depressing/stressful at Church that epiphany left me thinking that we're still on the right track.
  • ABCNJ: My friend Frank calls me "Not your typical Baptist" (NYTB) - he's kinda right. I'm not really much of a Baptist as all - I'm more "the pastor of a Baptist church." Even so, my theology of Church requires me to reach out to the body with which we are directly connected, and that's been nothing but a blessing for me. ABCNJ has some wonderful leadership, encourages good theological reflections, and is desperately trying to help churches become living bodies. I'm blessed to be connected with it. I've also been given the privilege of being put on the regional staff dealing with ministry and technology issues. It's been a joy to take up and I'm happy to help Central connect more with it's regional roots (even if I'm not a very good Baptist, or even a Baptist at all).
  • Mac: I finally took the plunge and pointed out to Central's leadership that having me purchase my own laptop made no sense. After all, it's my primary piece of office equipment! Do we make auto-mechanics purchase their own lifts? The leadership got the idea right away, the Church at large didn't get it as swiftly (someone asked, "Don't you have a computer?") - but in the end the budget passed. Today I'm getting my Macbook. I know that Macworld is just around the corner, but it looks like most of the stuff coming out isn't anything I'm interested in. So....I'm making the switch - now I don't need to even have to wipe windows off of my machine. Yea!!!
There's much more, but that's enough for now. 2007 was remarkable for many reasons - I'm sure 2008 will be equally as interesting.

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