Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016, a year in review......and 2017, a year of the unknown

People have been bemoaning about how bad 2016 was because some self absorbed people, aka celebrities, died. That doesn't affect my year, as I am not much into what celebrities do or say...... but 2016 did have some bad moments. But it also had its good moments. Here is my year in brief:

Good: The Amish Country getaway

1) In February, I took my first 2-day trip by myself. I went to the Amish part of Ohio on a Monday and Tuesday, taking advantage of a package deal by an inn there. For $89.99, I got a night's stay there, my choice of breakfast and dinner at 3 different restaurants, and a lot of free things from different businesses all over the area: cheese, bread, and more. I visited 3 different cheese places, and did a lot of shopping.....it was a blast.

Bad: the hospital experience

2) March brought a surprise stay in the hospital. I passed out at work in the ER - a good place to do it - and was diagnosed with bronchitis and a pulmonary embolism. I also got a bonus diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. It was sooooooo much fun, but I did feel very close to God during that time.

Good: Family vacation

3) In the last few days of May and first days of June, I went to the Outer Banks with my oldest sister, her husband, my nieces, and my parents. Some of my cousins came down and stayed a few days, and we had a blast. I did something I never thought I'd do with my fear of heights - I climbed the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The only thing that would have made it better was if my other sister and her gang could have gone.

Very bad: election 2016

4) Election time was a disaster in my opinion. I still can't understand why and how so many Christians so eagerly supported a man like Donald Trump and passed over some very decent Christian conservative candidates to pick him. I was -  and am - as upset as when Obama won, and figure this will come back to bite Republicans in the butt. I don't see him as any better than Hillary or Obama. I still have a lot of anger over my so-called conservative party losing their minds, integrity, and everything else to nominate a man like him, and what it was like to go through the election as a #nevetrump person.....it wasn't fun, and I dread 4 years of this man as much as I did Obama......something you only get if you couldn't bring yourself to vote for him, even with the scary Hillary monster stories. And I really have had some harsh things said to me, even by people in my own church. I know... I am too outspoken, and God forbid I criticize DT because he has an R behind his name and was considered the lesser of two evils by so many and the Republican Messiah by so many others.........

Good: meeting the authors 

5) In early November, I took a trip over to Amish country to meet two authors: Kimbery Woodhouse and Tracie Peterson. I enjoyed meeting and chatting with these two lovely ladies, and it was a definite highlight of my year.

Good: Christmas

6) I had a difficult time getting into the spirit and mood of Christmas this year. The disastrous and joke of an election has had me down, added to it by the pressure from family and friends to keep my opinions to myself of a president I despise as much as Oabama, but had no one tell me to keep my opinions to myself about him.

 Disappointment over my house deal falling through is still heavy on me, and discouragement and depression have been hitting hard. I did come out of it enough to enjoy Christmas and had a great one with my family.

Mostly good: the new job

7) I accepted a new position that will be with the hospital, instead of being outsourced as I have been. It has its pros and cons, but I am looking forward to it. One of the biggest pros is a $3.68 an hour raise, and 3 days off a week instead of 2.

Bad: house buying

8) One of my many flaws, is I don't deal well with disappointments.... and this house buying has had a lot of disappointments that I am letting bother me more than I should...... but it is very frustrating.

Bad: Sickness

9) I had a cold for a couple of weeks, and then just when I started getting over it, it came back in the form of bronchitis. I was miserable for the latter part of November and much of December with it.

Good: Family time

10) I had a lot of fun times this year with family, and spent a lot of time with the nieces and nephews I love so much.

    I view myself as a realist, leaning a bit towards the pessimist side, if I am honest. As bad as it sounds, I have been looking at the prospect of a new year wondering what hurts and disappointments this new year has in store......not a good way to look at it, I know. We are getting a new president who I don't consider any better than what we have had for 8 years, so I am not even looking forward to Obama leaving office. To me, it is the end of one error, and beginning of another..... made worse by the fact that the so-called conservative party nominated and voted this one in, so I can't blame the liberals for this one.

 I have had it up to my gills with house hunting and disappointments in that area. I have been tempted to just rent a small apartment and cram everything I own into it..... but I don't want that.

 I haven't done New Year's Resolutions for a few years, and don't really like them..... but I decided to make some this year:

1) Buy a house and move into it.

2) Be more positive. (that may be my biggest challenge)

3) Make the world happy by going into my anti-Trump closet...which will mean doing my best to ignore his existence..... and a lot of Facebook posts. I already stopped paying attention the news, and that helps. (check: THIS may be my most challenging)

4) Read more books....my depression has been so bad  this year, it affected my reading habits.

5) Laugh more.

6) Be a better Christian and man.

7) Pray more, and read my Bible more.

8) Lose weight, and watch my diet better.

9) Stop caring what people think of me.

10) Have more fun.

11) Think more on the good things

12) Register as an Independent and get out of the Republican Party. (yeah, I am serious about that)

13) Become more comfortable in my own skin, and find more purpose as a single.

Other 2017 stuff:


I have so many devotionals, that I usually read two per year..... one in the morning and one in the evening. For my morning devotions, I will be reading One Year Worship the King, and for evening The One Year Impact For Living Men's Devotional. Both look very good, but the first is one I have been looking forward to using since I got it earlier this year.


  In #13 of my resolutions, I mentioned becoming more comfortable in my own skin, and finding purpose as a single. I have been doing pretty well on the first part, but not so much on the latter. As part of the latter, I'd like to become even more open about my issues with same-sex attraction, and discussing things related to it. The church needs to learn to deal better and more compassionately with this issue and with those who deal with it..... and maybe, just maybe I can help a little in that area, and even more importantly than that: be a help and encouragement to others who deal personally with this very tough issue, especially those who may not be as far up the road as I am.

 It really can be tough being single at my age, but I am dealing with it far better now than I have in the past. I'd also like to better address single issues in this coming year. The church has really dropped the ball with singles, and emphasizes marriage way too much in my opinion.


  As I stated before, I don't deal well with disappointments.... and it is something the devil uses to discourage me and bring me down. No, I haven't backslidden (a term Calvinists won't get), but I have definitely not been up to spiritual par lately. The election crap, Donald Trump. being told to "shut up" about DT, having a house deal fall through, striking out over and over on houses, depression, being sick for so long and wondering if I was going to end up in the hospital again, missing a whole month of church and having no one check on me other than my pastor and his wife and my Sunday School teacher,  winter, and all kinds of other stuff have piled on til I feel buried in discouragement, depression, and disillusionment . The devil doesn't care how he gets us, as long as he gets us..... and he has found this tool of discouragement a success with me over and over. I am doing better than I was, but I haven't climbed completely out from under the pile yet.

The book:

Country singer Brad Paisley is credited with saying it: that today is the first page of a 365 page book, and to write a good one. I want to do that. Unfortunately, I don't have control over everything in that book, and there will be good and bad, and plot twists that I won't see coming...... but I serve a God who isn't surprised by plot twists, and can use them to make my book a good one no matter what happens. There are still 364 pages unwritten in this book of mine titled 2017. I hope and pray that whether I keep all of my resolutions or not, I will be a better man and Christian by page 365, and that in spite of Donald Trump and his supporters, church, houses, jobs, sickness, or whatever else 2017 holds, I will keep the faith and have a stronger faith when the last page of my year is written.

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