Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wrapping up a good year

It has been a good 2011 for the family and we are anticipating a great 2012. The highlight was Katie's wedding. We welcomed Bryant into the family and now they are expecting our first grand baby in early July 2012. I named her Olive, but I don't have any idea or preference on who will arrive, our grandson or granddaughter. We keep teasing Katie and urge her to have both at one time. How thrilling would that be?

Rob and Sarah decided on a December wedding in 2012. Plans are well under way for a fun filled weekend in New Orleans. And now it is less than a year away. I wonder, do you have a -1 year anniversary? I would have if I had ever been patient enough to wait that long to get married. Not this kid.

Our Missions work for 2011 was a hard trip to Haiti. I had an allergic reaction to the pillow and sheets and my head swelled up like a melon. The Lord gave Pastor Jeff and Pastor Jason insight to my plight and my ailment began going away after I removed the pillow. The week was very hard for me because of the walking and the hills. Our gracious Lord provided a truck for me for many of the planned walks. My goal for the trip was to be used by God to do good work for needy people in Haiti. Only through His provision was I able to reach that goal. He meets us at the end of our ability, and then He begins to work and get things accomplished.

Our Mission for 2012 occurs in a few weeks in late January. Donna, Will, and I will be traveling to Honduras. Will is going to serve as a VBS worker. Donna and I will be cooking and shopping for the team. I think the walking will be about the same as Haiti, but there are no hills in El Progresso where we will be staying. I also much prefer to have my partner and my children with me when we go on mission trips.

I enjoy the last day of work for a year. Usually, I plan on being very busy because I have a due date for work that requires a quick turn-around in late December. Unfortunately, I must rely on others to provide the work and for the last several turns, it hasn't been available. So I end the year with a clean desk, a fresh new calendar, plans formulating in my mind for what lies ahead.

God's word advises us to count our days. I know we don't know when we will leave this life, but "on average" you can figure out how many days you have until you turn 72 or 82 or 102. Count those days. Remember that none of them are promised to you.

Our prayers for the new year is that God keeps divorce out of our family for 200 years. Our Olive arrives healthy, safely, and easily. Our family continues to grow with weddings and births. And God will continue to greatly bless our family. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Retirement Promises

Don't believe the promises of politicians or bosses. Even if they put it in writing, it does not carry any significance in our days. People will lie to you and sell you on future promises. I think most of them believed the promises. I know that when I interviewed prospective state employees, I told them what the retirement system was and what they could expect in 25 years. I meant it, because it was what I was told the contract was. I don't know how people can go in now and change a promise made 22 years ago for what is going to happen in 25 years.

Therefore, my advise to you is to not believe everything you hear. When you want to retire, make sure you have the money in your control. Don't depend on politicians. Don't depend on bankers or stock brokers. They will steal your money just as quickly. Get you income secured by durable assets such as land and royalty rights to ongoing money making ventures. Spread your investments around 7 or 8 times so no one person will steal all your money.

Be smart. Lay up treasures for yourself in Heaven where moth and rust do not corrupt. Trust in the Lord all your days. Seek to walk humbly with Him, love justice and do mercy. Don't believe it when they tell you your pension will be there.