Here are some of the events/experiences that defined 2005 for me:
1. The Winterfest Accident. I still mourn with the family that lost a child in this accident, and I continue to pray for the child who continues with surgeries in an effort to restore functionality to his leg. But I have also been inspired by the kids and parents who survived the accident – they have continued on their journeys when they could have easily stopped or slipped, trusting that God will be faithful to them even through tradgedy.
2. Into the World. This was a year for our family to start moving into the world more, partnering with others in bringing good news to the poor, feeding the hungry, helping the homeless, and forming relationships with people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. We were only small parts of each of these efforts, of course. But we were surprised, I think, at how much joy can be found even in the smallest acts that are done in the name of Jesus.
3. Rediscovering Revelation. Its been a sheer joy getting a chance to look at and talk about this book again this year. Problem is that, like Al Pachino in the Godfather movies, every time I try to move on to something else, it keeps pulling me back in for more. Sheila and I are now slated to do another seven weeks in this book in another bible class this Spring.
4. Blogging. I’ve posted over 200 times this year – a record for me by far! And I’ve loved watching for and reading your comments. I’m amazed that people actually care about the things I write about. Its been great, not only for developing my writing skills, but as a spiritual discipline. I like having a forum where I can have conversations with my friends about such deep subjects as spirituality, politics, and – of course – television that is worth watching.
5. Speaking of Television – I have loved watching the new Battlestar Galactica every time I get a chance. I also recently discovered that it is now available on iTunes. The TV critic for Time Magazine says its the best show on TV. He notes that some of his readers will think he is crazy for saying that and that the rest of his readers “have actually seen it.” Its that good.
6. Civ IV. The gaming highlight of the year – by a longshot – has been Civ IV. This isn’t just a fun game – it is actually a beautiful thing to play, once you get “into” it. Other great games this year include Battlefront II and The Movies.
7. Several great albums came out this year – including Jeff Deyo’s Surrender, Kutless’ Strong Tower, and Lincoln Brewster’s All to You Live.
8. McClaren. I’ve enjoyed reading several books by Brian McClaren, not so much because he is a brilliant scholar and theologian, but because he has a way of putting into words things that I’ve been observing and thinking (but not articulating) about culture, the story of scripture, and Christian spirituality. He gives a voice to things that I know, but can’t say.
9. Kids Activities. Its been a great year for chess watching, soccer coaching, and attending ballet recitals. Each of my kids have enjoyed some success in their various activities – but, honestly, the best part is just watching them grow and play and have fun. In spite of the occasional headaches that are involved in rushing them around town to various activities, I know that some day I’m going to miss all of this.
10. Revenge and Narnia. What a great pair of movies for nerdy guys like me! I was especially pleased by the way Revenge of the Sith explored not only the decline and fall of Anakin, but the corruption of the entire Jedi order itself. Anakin, it turns out, did not fall as easily as I had expected he would. Instead, he had a lot of help from his friends and mentors, who were all too eager to use him to hang on to their own influence and power.