I look back at the years of watching my children grow with wonder and amazement. Watching them transform from helpless infants to full grown adults has truly been something to see and experience. While there are things I might wish to do differently, I am so grateful for the experience of being a father and for the privilege of being a part of their lives, in the past, the present, and into the future.
Well, as 2011 draws to a close it is time to do the annual, or bi-annual, Christmas letter; attempting to enthrall all of our friends and family with the exciting details of our past year. I would dearly love to tell you enchanting tales of our mission trip to the Congo, the adoption of our new Ukrainian baby and our 3 week adventure in Australia and New Zealand, but alas I cannot. Mostly because in reality our past year has been somewhat more modest.
There are actually two things happening this time of year that are both labeled as Christmas. One is a celebration of the coming of our Savior to begin his work of redemption; and that is meaningful to me. The other is an excuse to give a shot in the arm to the local economy as well as go further into debt; and I’m not overly fond of that ‘Christmas’.
The Sing Off is, I guess, a reality show similar to American Idol, but with one very dramatic difference. The judges are always positive and affirming, even while critiquing a performance; there is no drama or negativity at all. The contestants are all a cappella groups containing at least 5 members who, over the course of the 10 week competition have sung one or two songs a week of different genres with one or two groups eliminated each week.
But finally the final stretch came into sight followed soon by the finish line. I managed to cross in 1 hour 59 minutes and 35 seconds, a personal best by over 3 minutes for this course. I ended up finishing in 1847th place overall and 37th out of the 140 men in my division and that felt pretty good. And even better was that no one over 71 years old beat me this year.
Intellectual assent that God exists and that Jesus died for sins and was raised to life will not bring about my salvation; that is not faith. Faith includes earnestly seeking God and professing Jesus as Lord, both of which involve giving myself to him to do with as he desires. Faith takes me off the throne and puts God on it.