What a year! This year I've gotten to know responsibility and transition more than any of the previous years of my life. Holly and I are so blessed. God has been so good to us. Here are my top 7 highlights of 2008.
7. Tiger Woods' US Open Victory - While Tiger Woods places this year's US Open victory as second on his incredible resume (to the '97 Masters), it is his best victory and the most incredible sports moment I have ever seen. With a double stress fracture of his left tibia, Tiger dismissed his doctor's orders, downplayed his injury to the media, and grimaced to victory in his fourteenth career major. To be honest, my biggest worry wasn't whether he would win or not. I was most interested to see if he could finish his third round, fourth round, and playoff round still walking. Incredible drama! I can't wait to see how his return goes in 2009.
6. A 30 yard addition to my golf game - Following the golf theme, my golf game improved a great deal this year. While my golf score remained a mediocre "lukewarm," I improved my distance by thirty yards. However, you might be surprised that this had nothing to do with the large size of my biceps. Instead, my thirty yards can only be attributed to the thin air found in mile-high Denver. But I still added 30 yards!
5. Graduating with my Master of Divinity - While this degree conferred on me some level of divinity, I have been upset that people haven't begun to call me master. My dad has his doctorate and people write him letters calling him Dr. Packer, but I haven't been written to as Master Packer once yet. Although, I do like my new name, Pastor Packer. It fits very well.
Graduation was a great moment. I had worked so hard for six years to get my degrees, thus it was great to finally walk across the stage knowing I had accomplished something. However, I didn't learn everything in school. In fact, my most repeated phrase so far in the office is "I didn't learn that in grad school!"
4. Moving to Colorado - Though there is much to love about Texas, the move from Abilene to Littleton was a "step up" (no offense to my Abilenian readers). Even though I haven't experienced a full winter yet, I can already tell Colorado will not take much getting used to. A strategic office facing toward the mountains doesn't hurt too much either. Though I will never outgrow my love for the Cowboys and Longhorns, Colorado is a wonderful place to live and minister.
3. Obama's Election - For anyone who knows me well, you might be surprised by how high this one made it on my list. I've always had an interest in politics, but I am continually convinced that God desires for us to work to bring change through laying down our lives in the kingdom of God rather than taking up power to influence the kingdoms of this world. But regardless of your political affiliation, I hope we can all agree that America has come a long way. We have a long ways to go, but November 4th was a historic day in our nation. Americans have gone from enslaving African Americans to electing an African American as our 44th President.
2. Joining the Littleton Church of Christ - We couldn't have asked for more out of a church family. While Holly and I have had wonderful church families over the years, we love the people at the Littleton Church of Christ so much. I love preaching. I love the people. I love the leaders. And I love that we are a church that wants to reach out to our community in relevant ways. We still feel like we're in the honeymoon phase, but there are some exciting things having to do with vision that are going to take place in 2009. I can't wait to see the incredible things that God is going to do through his church in Littleton.
1. The Pregnancy - While Holly might not put the pregnancy, itself, as our greatest moment of 2008, we would both agree on how excited we are to become parents in 2009. We're excited to find out if we are having a boy or girl in February. We are just so excited! And to share that news with our extended family and our church family was one of the most incredible moments of our year. We are so blessed and excited to be where God has placed us! We have so much to be thankful for and look forward to!
May you all have a blessed 2009!