Jan 1, 2011

Thoughts on new year and 2010 memories

2011 has arrived.  Seems like 2010 went by much faster than usual.  However, I think that is what everyone says when they get older to avoid the reality that time on this earth is getting shorter.  My Bulldogs gave me a great start to 2011 by putting a beat-down on the Michigan Wolverines in the Gator Bowl.  Michigan is actually my second favorite team so it was a bittersweet win, but still pretty sweet.  Like most of the MSU family, I am proud of the accomplishments of this team this year.  Going into the season most of my friends asked me what I thought the Dawgs would do.  I said I believed it was going to be much better than most thought.  I believed a 6-6 season was within reach, 7-5 even possible.  It's nice to have an offseason to be excited and ponder what awaits in September.

2011 also will begin with a new arrival soon in the Haines house.  We have a tentative date of January 20th to welcome son #4 - Joshua Lee Haines.  However, Alison wouldn't mind if Josh sped things up a bit.  I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to father 4 boys.  I deeply desire to be a good dad.  I think I do well some days, but have a lot of room to improve.  I feel the deep weight of modeling the Father in heaven and showing them the gospel each day. 

I usually post an end-of-the-year post on December 31.  However, things were a little hectic to give me ample time to reflect and write.  This past year was my first full year as pastor at Sixth Street.  We have seen some progress as a church, but it has been much slower than I would have liked.  I am blessed to serve the Lord amongst a body of great believers.  Many of my church members want to bless their pastor and do so in many ways.  We saw our church take some great steps in missions this year with people attending mission trips to Kentucky, Swaziland, Nigeria, and Dominican Republic.  We have seen several new families join this year. 

I also jumped back into my doctoral work this year.  I attended a workshop in September and subsequently spent 3 months doing little work on it.  However, I hope to have a proposal to turn in by mid-late January.  My postings may continue to be sporadic until I finish my writing and research.

2010 was a pretty good year for my family.  The boys made a couple of new friends in our new neighborhood this year.  They like occasionally walking around in the woods behind the house exploring trails and inventing games.  All three of them had a good year in school and are excellent students.  Nathan played baseball again this year, but had some early struggles in a new league with all new kids.  Their team didn't do very well, but Nathan improved throughout the year and finished as one of the leaders on the team.  John David played t-ball for the first time.  His team lost only 1 game all year.  He really seemed to like wearing the uniform and mostly the snacks afterwards.  He was a target for the ball sometimes and got knocked down a couple of times by line drives or by colliding with kids at the base.  There were some tears, but usually after a powerade he was all good.

In October we went with my brother's family to DisneyWorld for a week.  It was an awesome vacation! (Except that Mom was pregnant, couldn't ride anything, and had a hard time walking around)  Mom was a trooper though.  Disney is one of our favorite things.  The boys loved riding the coasters and eating the big meals.  It was special to spend time with my brother, sister-in-law and niece.  The boys love their cousin Marlee and had a great time walking around with her.  We also went to Orlando in June for the Southern Baptist Convention and an extended vacation.  We went to Wet-n-Wild one afternoon and took in a day at Universal Studios. 

Another thing I like to do at year end is reflect on all the people who left this world.  Each year has its own unique collection of deaths.  Here are some of this year's:
Sparky Anderson - My childhood was spent rooting for the Cincinnatti Reds and the Detroit Tigers.  One thing they had in common was Sparky.  He was the greatest manager I had the privilege of following.
George Steinbrenner - even as a lifelong Yankee hater, I regreted the Boss' passing. 
Nick Bell - defensive lineman from MS State who died of cancer.  Gator Bowl was for you Nick!
Bob Feller - legendary pitcher for Cleveland Indians
John Wooden - greatest basketball coach ever
Ernie Harwell - legendary voice of the Detroit Tigers
Others: Don Merideth, Merlin Olsen, Ron Santo, Bobby Thomson, Manute Bol, Jose Lima

Barbara Billingsley - June Cleaver, Mom of the Beav (watched this show a lot as a kid)
Dennis Hopper - great actor, especially in Hoosiers and Speed (Pop Quiz Jack)
Gary Coleman - What'cha talkin about Willis?
Leslie Neilsen - Airplane and Naked Gun movies
Captain Phil Harris from Deadliest Catch
Corey Haim - 80's teen movie star
Dixie Carter - great Southern actress
John Forsythe - Voice of Charlie from Charlie's Angels
Tom Bosley - Mr. Cunningham on Happy Days
Other Celebs: Peter Graves, Rue McClannahan, Tony Curtis, Blake Edwards, Fess Parker (Davy Crockett), Karl Malden,

Others of Note
Elizabeth Edwards - wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards
Robert Byrd - U.S. Senator
J.D. Salinger - author of Catcher in the Rye
Jimmy Dean - country singer and maker of great sausage
Ted Stephens - U.S. Senator

All in all, I feel blessed by all the Lord has done in 2010.  God is faithful and true.  His gospel is still the greatest story ever and his glory is still worth pursuing.  Hope you and yours have a wonderful year in 2011.


brenda said...

Thanks for sharing. I can see your heart in your writing and I am so very proud of the man you have become. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family and the work that you are doing for God.
I love you,