Christmas 2009

Dear family and friends,

Merry Christmas to All! Well, we have reached the end of another year. There is much to be thankful for.

In February I started a new position as the Systems Librarian at the University of North Texas Health Science Center library. It is located in Fort Worth (in the “Arts District”), so I have the “joy” of participating in morning and afternoon traffic on I-35W. At least it has given me the opportunity to listen to some good radio, music and sermons – mp3 players are wonderful!

The new job also required some travel for training. So, I was able to combine with that a chance to do one of my favorite activities. I took a whale watching trip. This one was to the Farallon Islands (or “Farallones”) – about 20 miles off the coast California. The trip departed from San Francisco bay, by Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate bridge and then out to the Farallones. We got to see Humpbacks and (what I really went for) Blue Whales. The Blue Whale comes to the waters around the Farallones to feed even though it is a little cramped for them. Their length is around 80 feet or so and the waters around the Farallones are about 100 feet deep. That doesn’t give them much room for diving. They come to the islands because of an abundance of their food source. I had hoped to also see a Great White Shark too, which also comes to the Farallones, but the waters were too rough (6- to 8-foot swells with some as high as 10 feet) so we probably could not have seen one unless it was right around us.

At church, I am still working with babies at the 9:30a service. It is a little sad when one of our little ones moves up to Babies B, but we get new ones to replace them. And, they are all fun to work with.

In September, my car decided it was time to retire. So, I traded in my 1998 Honda CR-V for a 2009 Honda CR-V. I guess I kind of like those.

For one of our Christmas services, I’ll be reading this passage from Luke 2:8-16:

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.

There are two problems with this: 1) I am used to hearing this in the King James Version, so different words are difficult to say; and 2) no one can do a better job of this reading than Linus!

Keep in touch – there is e-mail, phone, letter, and now Facebook.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,