May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Monday, December 31, 2012

My Year in Review for 2012

This past year has been a good one in a material sense for me, intellectually and spiritually quiet if not diminished; actually static. Instead of resolutions, that I gave up years ago, I select the most influential moments of the past year, then reflect on what was experienced or done, and see what can be built on or needs to be taken away. Then at the macro level, there's the reflection of what's happened socio-economically and politically.

Materially I have new computer\monitor\printer, home theater system, iPhone player\speaker unit, fancy Cusinart coffee maker, Kindle Fire HD, and new luxury car. Things that make my life more enjoyable and comfortable, and for which I'm so grateful. These came about because of a combination of a good job and gifts. A nice combination to be sure.

Spiritually I've not challenged myself. Part of that is my reduced religious prayer and study time. Part of it is I've been on sabbatical from the Elders in my church. What has kept me connected is the Bible study group I attend and choir. I'm back from sabbatical and am ready to re-engage in church. Being an introvert and not so much a social person it's always a bit of a challenge, and I recognize the benefits and growth that come about because of it. I have, over this past year, bought a few religious books, read three or four of them, and recognize it's time to immerse myself in the rest. It's also time to get back to increasing prayer and devotions.

Intellectually I've been pretty lazy. I've read only sixteen books this year, mostly fiction, and much of my free time has been watching vids or TV. Having streaming movies and missed TV shows constantly available can be a great time waster (as enjoyable as it is) and mind numbing. It's time to exercise some self discipline and increase my reading and study time. Best non-fiction book of the year was Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics by Ross Gregory Douthat. Best fiction The Road Home by Jim Harrison.

While we're on best movie, well, I can't make up my mind. Looking at my little blurbs I put here in my blog it must have been a pretty good movie year. I saw 26 movies. Six I gave four out of five stars in my little rating system. One I gave five stars, and that was "For Greater Glory" about the Cristero War of 1926 to 1929 in Mexico. The Mexican government declared war on Catholic Church, murdering them wholesale. A history not known by most, and I think a must see movie for all Christians. The movies I gave four stars - "Act of Valor", "Cloud Atlas", "Lincoln", "Skyfall", "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" 3D, "The Hunger Games", “2016: Obama’s America”. 

My blog posts too have fallen off, and writing so much clarifies thinking, organizes it, and puts things in perspective. It also lends itself to learning and expanding how we view things. So more writing.

Out of my sphere of influence,  other than my vote, was the election,. I viewed it as a tipping point; the solidification of a majority of citizens rejecting God, religion, Church, the traditional family, traditional values; the belief system that was the foundation of America. This election was more about how a majority of citizens "felt" than the hard cold reality of a fiscally irresponsible government, that has lead us to a point where our debt and deficient can't be paid off and will negatively impact our children's children's children. I was stunned a majority of citizens think this is a good thing. I read a couple days ago that eleven states have more people on government assistance that there are people working. A portent of things to come.

All I can do is continue with my religious and intellectual life, influence and be influenced by my sphere of family, friends, associates. A line from Gandalf in the latest Hobbit movie, he said the powerful are not so much the difference, but how ordinary people act, especially in difficult or dangerous times. Said many times before, and I pray in these troubled times enough individuals take that idea to heart.

What I take to heart is my love for, and being loved by so many. What I pray for are those that have never heard of Jesus hear of Him and that those that have put Christ out of their lives let Him back in. What I take to heart is love of my church. What I take to heart is love of our military. What I take to heart is love of my country and liberty.


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