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!