Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

It is hard to believe that 2011 has come and gone.  We are now experiencing the beginning of a brand new year -- 2012!

Last week, we went to the hospital to see a young lady named Courtney, a long-time friend of our daughter Crystal.  Courtney was Crystal's roommate when they had an apartment together in San Bernardino some years ago.  Courtney was in Crystal's wedding and has become a friend of our family.  Both Crystal and Courtney work for Kaiser Hospital.  Courtney had a severe stroke three weeks ago, at the young age of 32.  They had to remove part of her skull to release cranial pressure.  She is also scheduled now to have open heart surgery in the next day or so, as they found a benign tumor mass surrounding her heart.  She is married and has a son (almost three years old).  She is beginning to make movements and speak a few words.  We are thankful to see healing begin already.

It just reminds us that we never know what tomorrow holds!

Last week, we took care of the grandkids (Bailey and Brynnlee) a couple of times.  That is always a special time, as Bailey is growing up so quickly (two and a half years old) and Brynnlee is three months old and starting to get personality.  Last Thursday we had them overnight as Shawn took Crystal to see the play "Wicked" at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood.

We went to a couple of movies:  "War Horse" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."  Both were interesting in their own way.

Saturday was New Year's Eve.  We went to dinner with our friends, Lorn and Sharon Harrison, at the PF Chang's restaurant nearby.  Because the next day was Sunday and church, I was in bed by 10:30 pm and did not stay up to watch the New Year come in!  Yes, I am getting old and it's OK!

On New Year's Day, we had church at the regular time.  Attendance was down somewhat, but we had a great service.  There were two baptisms and a wonderful spirit of worship.  I preached on making a new beginning and a fresh start for the year 2012.  Instead of making New Year's Resolutions, I asked everyone to make a "Bucket List" for 2012.  After church, we had lunch at Appleby's with friends Ken and Beifei Edwards and Sondra's brother Alden.  It was relaxing and a fine way to enjoy New Year's Day afternoon.

What do we want to accomplish in this year 2012 only?  Here is the Bucket List 2012 that I suggested at church for us all to consider.  I printed it on an insert for the worship service bulletin, and asked them to mark their choices and place the sheets on the altar at the end of the service.  Here is the list:


   ___  Read the Bible completely through, cover to cover.
   ___  Pray deeply and daily for 15 minutes.
   ___  Attend worship service at least 45 Sundays (out of 52).
   ___  Write out my personal testimony of salvation.
   ___  Give a tithe (10%) of my income to my church.
   ___  Share my story of salvation with 5 people this year.


   ___  Spend more time with family and close friends.
   ___  Guard my talk, by not using profanity or gossip.
   ___  Say encouraging words to those around me daily.
   ___  Be more tolerant with those who disagree with me.
   ___  Invite 10 people to church with me this year.
   ___  Refuse to hold grudges or to remember past hurts.


   ___  Get healthier by losing ____ pounds this year.
   ___  Exercise 4 times a week.
   ___  Maintain a routine for sleep and rest.
   ___  Keep my mind sharp through constant reading.
   ___  See the doctor regularly for checkups.
   ___  Take my medications properly.

   ___  Maintain and share an attitude of thanks each day.
   ___  Be extremely careful with my temper and anger.
   ___  Be pure in sexual matters, in thoughts, reading and activities.
   ___  Quit whining.
   ___  Quit making excuses, for myself and others.
   ___  Quit being negative and pessimistic.
   ___  Be very careful with my spending habits.

Happy New Year 2012!

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