As with every year, 2012 contained blessings too numerable to keep track of. Here are some big ones:
January: I underwent surgery that repaired an abdominal hernia. What a way to begin a year! And why is this a blessing? Because the surgeon went in to repair one and found two more to fix. The fact that a doctor can find something wrong and repair it is amazing–and a blessing.
February: I went on a roadtrip to Chicago with Jim Hamilton and a small group of guys from Kenwood Baptist Church. We piled in a van and headed to a conference where Jim had a speaking slot, and lots of fun was had along the way. The whole extravaganza lasted a couple days, and there were memorable conversations and wonderful Chicago pizza. You really get to know people while traveling together!
March: I preached at Kosmosdale Baptist Church for the first time and met the wonderful people I’d eventually pastor. They welcomed us warmly, and we began to pray specifically that God would open a door for us to serve there. The rest is, as they say, history.
April: I subbed for Jim Hamilton in his class “Messiah in the Old Testament.” It’s always a blessing to prepare to teach, especially at Southern Seminary, and I had the privilege of lecturing on “Resurrection Hope in the Old Testament.” The 11:30-12:45 timeslot seemed to rush by, because time flies when you’re having fun. And teaching the Bible is a constant joy.
May: School-wise, this was an important month because I completed all my course work at Southern Seminary. I’m a Biblical Studies major in the PhD program, so finishing my required classes was a huge relief!
June: Logan, our second boy, turned 1 year old. Logan is our introverted and smiley boy who gushes with happiness and adores his big brother Jensen. Also, and quite unexpectedly I might add, the week before Logan’s birthday we found out Stacie was pregnant with Baby #3–who turned out to be Boy #3.
July: We retreated for vacation to Bartlesville, Oklahoma to stay a week with the Schaffner clan, who are our good friends as well as family. A change in our routine was welcome, and we were happy to disrupt their routine for a stretch of days too. Sitting around talking, eating, and playing games is so much fun we never want to leave. We try not to overstay our welcome, but we want to come pretty close and then leave right before that happens.
August: My parents came to Louisville and kept the kids while Stacie and I went to Indianapolis to celebrate her 30th birthday. Later that month, Kosmosdale Baptist Church voted unanimously to make me their pastor, which was great news and a huge answer to fervent prayer. I had been serving for several months as their Interim Pastor, and they moved to the next step without hesitation. We love our church! What a privilege to serve there.
September: I found out I have Celiac Disease, which is a gluten-intolerance. I’m so glad this was discovered because it finally explained why I felt terrible and sick on many evenings. Now that an explanation had been found, the condition could be addressed. Cutting gluten out of my food regimine hasn’t been as burdensome as I imagined, and I certainly feel better as a result!
October: Our family moved into the church parsonage. This is the fifth place Stacie and I have lived in our seven years of marriage, so we’re used to moving in one sense, but we’d never moved with two children and Stacie being pregnant. We only moved from one end of Louisville to the other, so a 30-minute drive with a U-Haul sure was better than transferring our lives across several states like we did two-and-two-months earlier!
November: My second book, Behold Our Sovereign God: All Things From Him, Through Him, and To Him, was released. I’m thankful the project is done and has seen the light of day. My print copy arrived by mail during the week of Thanksgiving. An occasion for thanksgiving indeed!
December: We spent Christmas with my parents, who drove up from south Texas to spend 9 nights with us. But don’t think we’re deluded. We know they came for the grandchildren, and we’re totally okay with that.
God is good and God is great, and that won’t change in 2013.