Monday, January 01, 2024

2023 Year in Review

As has been the case in recent years, 2023 has raced by. I can’t remember if I’ve said this in this blog before, but if so, it is worth repeating. Every lap you make around the sun, you pick up speed.

On the family front this year, we had another granddaughter born early in the year. Children are a blessing of the Lord. It has been a joy to see her grow, along with her other sisters and cousins.

Two of my sons proposed to their girlfriends in 2023. Paton (our fifth child) is marrying this month! (In January). Justin (our fourth) is marrying in June. They have both found nice Christian girls. I’m happy to welcome them into our family. So at the end of 2024 we will have more children married than not. Sarah and Samuel are still at home, for now. Of course, so are Melody and David.

I’m still working from home for the same company. That has been a blessing with the savings of time and gas. Though it has not been without its own challenges, especially in light of another family development. I have lost my dedicated space. My study was taken over by my father-in-law, who has moved in with us. Sheri is working hard to care for him. For now, my desk and workstation is set up in the bedroom. It would be nice to find another working arrangement. But it is what it is for now.

Church is going wonderfully. As I get older, and hopefully more mature, I enjoy the Lord’s Day more and more. The corporate worship of the saints is a blessing. I feel honored when I am given the opportunity to deliver the sermon. I wrapped up a multi-year series on Galatians this year. I started a series on Ephesians that I’m sure will last just as long. It wouldn’t be quite as long if I preached more frequently. I’m sure I could preach more often if I wanted. But I take the preaching of the Word very seriously. So it is a huge time commitment to prepare a sermon. Fitting that in with my employment and family responsibilities is a daunting task. Additionally, I frequently teach Sunday School classes. The latest class I did was on the Attributes of God. The prep time for that class was not intensive, however, as I showed a Steve Lawson video on the subject each week, then facilitated a discussion time. In 2023, I attended the FIRE ( conference in Laurel, Mississippi. It was very good. Plus, those from our church who were in attendance had an ulterior motive instead of being there just for the good messages, and excellent prayer time that we enjoy with other FIRE churches. That motive is to learn how to host one of these conferences ourself. The 2024 FIRE conference will be in Oklahoma City at our church. Just a few years ago the Lord gave us a new, bigger building. We now have the room to host the conference.

Sheri and I were talking the other day and we realized that 2023 marked 40 years that we have known each other. I met her in October 1983 at a homecoming dance at R.L. Turner high school in Carrollton, Texas. We were both freshmen, though not at the same school. I was at her high school with another date. She definitely caught my eye. I managed to find out her last name, and used the trusty white pages to look her number up the following week. The rest is history! We’ve been though a lot together. She is more beautiful today than the day we first met. I love her with a love that has been seasoned over the decades. She is a great blessing in my life.