Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It Was the Worst of Times... 2008 in review

There were also some tough times in 2008, and as I am writing this just minutes before we enter the New Year of 2009, I'll keep it brief.

I've had a pastor I respected denounce my caregiving as not a form of work and tell me to get a job, after I requested a scholarship to go on a Men's Retreat.

I've had people leave our weekly Bible study.

I interviewed for a position at my church and was told that I was not considered because I seemed ...well, arrogant. The job? Working 20 hours a week as a web-site manager. Now, I tell you, I interviewed badly possibly because I was overconfident (I was definitely over-qualified) and the last time I worked for a Christian org, I got smeared by gossip and ruthless social pressures.

I was prompted through the teaching of another pastor to offer my services for free, and I did and it made a good impression. I gave some helpful advice in any case, and it too was very much appreciated. I didn't get the job, but I showed I cared for them.

I've been learning through all this a very important lesson: we can't live with evil in our hearts for long.

In January 2008, Heath Ledger died from a self-inflicted overdose of pills and relaxants. It seems his immersion in the role of the Joker was too complete.

"I'll show you. All these so-called civilized people? When the chips are down, they'll eat each other!"

I would not mention this, out of respect for the actor, except it seems Jack Nicholson himself warned him of the great difficulty he had for months AFTER he portrayed comicdom's most famous homicidal maniac. (See clip below.)

You have to watch out where you live - physically and emotionally - because it takes a severe toll on your soul. The hardest things this year have been as a direct result of dealing with unbelievers and selfish Christians.

In June, after seven years of hanging around a gamers debate forum, I got so angry I simply quit. I came back in July, once I got over it a bit. I mean I know people can be evil, but being slapped and kicked as you apologize was a bit much.

I am keeping better distance now, even enjoying some back-handed compliments.

And learning to forgive worked.

In August, a superhero forum I have been attending for 12 years was summarily closed. It had several incredible posts that many referenced for their favorite superhero RPG. Thankfully, we were given a new home - over side-by-side with the debate forum I left! *sigh*

I had to forgive if I wanted to see my buds. Thankfully, even the toughest guys - the big three I'd say - paid a courteous visit and have kept that area from being "snarky". We may be next door to some rowdy neighbors, but they are being kind.

My older brother refused to celebrate my birthday again, this year.

My father and step-mom abandoned their home to foreclosure after years of overspending.

Another loss specific to this year - we should have had our 25th class reunion this year at Southaven High School. It never happened. But I did find out a few of my old classmates in college came to Jesus and a guy from HS as well. That made it better.

I also wrote my first ten-page comic book story on my immortal disciple of Jesus - it was good, it was praised by my editor - and it was unable to be printed due to raised costs.

Our economy, she went into the toilet, but I who had no money was ready for her.

And Obama won, not the people we had a sign in the front yard for. (I TOLD my landlady to not put the sign out, but she would not listen. *sigh*)

But you know what? I am liking Obama more. I am praying for his wisdom.

His response to Gov. Rod Blagojevich's unethical and criminal actions has impressed me.

So there you are. Those are my disappointments and how I dealt with them. Relatively minor, all-in-all.

What do I do with them? Learn from them and stay on course.

"Many proclaim unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?"

Here's to all of you who have been faithful.

Especially to those who forgive and stay faithful to Jesus Christ, our only hope.


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