This is my end of the year running update. 2017 was an interesting year. I got off to a slow start as you can see by the last column which records my running and walking miles. The warm months were good, but since the first time that I started running, I scored a 0 on a month. December was way to crazy. 2017 beat 2015, but didn’t come close to 2016. Overall, I consider this a good year and hopefully we don’t have any repeats of December in any month of 2018. It’s time to put 2017 behind me and look forward to the future!
But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
Happy New Year
Less than six hours remain in 2017. This afternoon, I have been busy posting many of the end of year posts. I have one more to post about my running season. It was a good season until December. More on that in another post.
Winter Has Arrived!
Last weekend it was raining and snowing, but the tide has turned. We are in the middle of a cold snap, the longest cold snap we have experienced here in Eldred. Because the lakes haven’t frozen, we tend to get what’s left of the lake effect snow. We don’t have anything like what Erie has. We have a few inches on the ground. The last couple of days I have swept just a dusting of snow every morning. Welcome to winter in NW PA. We are looking at some sub zero lows over the next few days. It looks like we will get a break by next weekend.
This past week we took a bit of a vacation heading to the Poconos and to Allentown to visit family. We got to eat a Chick-fil-A twice in one week. That’s the first time that has happened since we left Staunton. We also got to eat hot dogs at Yocco’s – one of my favorite places for hot dogs. We ate way too much, so that means it’s time to get back to the treadmill, even though I don’t like it.
This week we get to see our kids and grandchildren and we are really looking forward to that. They arrive sometime tomorrow – weather permitting.
The Consolation of Israel
This morning I led the musical worship and preached. My sermon was called Jesus Saves. We had a good service with the faithful. Being that it was cold and we had a wind chill advisory, I completely understood. It may have been cold outside, but the fellowship and worship was warm and authentic. We did however cancel the plans we had for a New Year’s Eve due to the weather. It’s cold even for hardy NW Pennsylvanians.
From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year.
Every year the major news networks put together a list of their top 10 news stories of the year. I put together what I thought were the top stories of 2017. Interestingly enough, Dale checked my stories with others and we came up with many of the same selections. Whether you agree or disagree – you may be on one side or the other of these stories – these stories made an impact on our culture and country this year.
- The National Anthem Controversy | NFL Players
- Charlottesville | Taking down monuments
- Racial Tensions
- Mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas
- Opioid Epidemic
- Hurricane devastation.
My worship finds list is smaller than in year’s past. But I’d still like to share it with you. Some of the songs that Pam listed in her post are duplicated on this list. Again, in no particular order:
Interestingly enough the last song I found this year is the first. The gospel-tinged “All My Hope” by Crowder.
Your Love Defends Me | Matt Maher
It Is Well | Bethel Music
What A Beautiful Name | Hillsong
Jesus | Chris Tomlin
Awake My Soul (A Thousand Tongues) | Matt Maher
Just As I Am | Matt Maher
The Cross Forever Speaks | Matt Maher
Faithfulness | Matt Maher
You Were On the Cross | Matt Maher
Unbroken Praise | Matt Redman
The Garden | Kari Jobe
King of My Heart | John Mark McMillan and Sarah McMillan
Each year Pam and I put together a list of songs that we have enjoyed from the past year. Now sometimes there is crossover from the year before. The list of songs is in no particular order. First up however is my nomination for Album of the Year
Matt Maher | Echoes
Probably that comes as no surprise. This album is a well crafted album. What I like about it is that Maher has taken the theme of the lyrics from several well known hymns and gospel songs and has redone them with new music and lyrics. Just to give you an idea we have titles like “What A Friend,” “Faithfulness,” “Holy,” “Just As I Am,” “Awake My Soul (A Thousand Tongues). Each of these songs is based on a classic hymn. Some of my other favorites are Your Love Defends Me (which will get listed below) and Least of These.
If I shared all the songs I like from this project you would have the whole album.
Here are Pam’s top choices for songs in 2017:
Even If | Mercy Me
Still | Hillary Scott
The Lion and the Lamb | Leeland
Forgiven | Crowder
Revival | Third Day
Run Devil Run | Crowder
Chainbreaker | Zach Williams
Home | Chris Tomlin
King of the World | Natalie Grant
Jesus | Chris Tomlin
Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
I have not read as many books then I normally do during a year. This year I have been sick and it was hard to read so some of the books I listen.
- William Shakespeare’s The Phantom of Menace by Ian Doescher
- Elizabeth The Queen by Sally Bedell Smith
- Hallelujah What a Savior! By Kenneth W. Osbeck
- Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz
- She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poem selected and introduced by Caroline Kennedy
- Bridge of Spies by Giles Whittell
- Gateway to Freedom by Eric Foner
- Meet Generation Z by James Emery White
- The Photograph by Beverly Lewis
- Shock the Clock by Jeanette Levellie
- The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp
- Small Town Jesus by Donnie Griggs
- I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divored
- When Janey Came Marching Home by Laura Browder
- Ablaze For God by Wesley L. Diewel
- Celebrating Food by NPR – I do not know if this is a real book but the library had it with the audio books.
- Food by Jim Gaffigan
- 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman
- A Slave in the White House by Elizabeth Dowling Taylor
- Finding Life by Jane Rubietta
- I Am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby
- Notaries RBG by irin Carmon
- Turn by Max Lucado
- Immortal Irishman by Timothy Egan
- Into the Storm by Reed Timmer
- A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible Edited Robert W. Wall and David R Nienhuis
- God Rest ye Merry Soldiers by James McIvor
- Settle for More by Megyn Kelly
- I Dared to Call Him Father by Biquis Sheikh
- Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
- Max Factor and Hollywood: A Glamorous History by Erika Thomas and Marc Wanamaker
- White Trash: 400 Years Untold History of Class in America Nancy Isenberg
- Killing the Rising Sun by Bill O’Reily and Martin Dugard
- Letter of a Woman Homesteader by Elinore Paruit Stewart
- American Chronicles: First Ladies by NPR
- My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor
- 11 Days in December by Stanley Weintraub
- The 1972 Flood in New York’s Southern Tier by Kirk W. House
- Out of Order by Sandra Day O’Conner’
- Speak of Jesus: The Art of Not-Evangelism by Carl Medearis
- Portraits of Courage by George and Laura Bush
- Western New York Amusement Parks by Rose Ann Hirch
- The Long Walk: A Story of War and the Life That Follows by Brian Castner
- Legends and Lies The Patriots by Bill O’Reilly
- Remarkable Women in New York State History by Helen Engel and Marilynn Smiley
- Along the Allegheny River: The Northern Watershed by Charles E Williams
- Sister In Law by Linda Hirshman
- Wonder Woman Unbound by Tim Hanley
- Mad Enchantment Claude Monet and the Water Lilies by Ross King
- History Buff’s Guide to World War ll: Top Ten Raanking of the Best, Worst, Largest, Most Lethal People, and Events of World War 2 by Thomas R Flagel
- Square Foot Gardening Answer Book by Mel Bartholomew
- The Story (We did this for Sunday school and I as the other to read it. So I read it.)
- The Problem with Pain by C.S. Lewis
- Preaching to Connect Truth to Live by Benji Kelly
- A History of Christianity In the United State and Canada by Mark A. Noll
- The Four Pages of the Sermon by Paul Scott Wilson
- Preparing for Change Reaction by Bob Whitesel
- The Doctor Will See You Now by Tamer Seckin, MD
- Grandmother By Another Name by Carolyn J. Booth and Mindy B. Henderson
- Call the Midwife Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
- Family Christmas Treasury
- A December Grief by Harold Ivan Smith
- Slave, Women, & Homosexual by William J. Webb
- Find the Messiah by Jane Rubietta
- Building the Body: 12 Characteristics a Fit Church by Gary L. McIntosh and Phil Stevenson