1. All I know for certain at the end of the year is the faithfulness of Christ. And that is enough. Enough to evaluate the past and enough to step into the future with a steady confidence.
2. For over two months, I have almost exclusively listened to the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. And it has changed me. I’m not even sure I explain it all. A pursuit of beauty. A desire to escape the shallow pools of pop culture awash in memes and prurient push for anything new. A need for music made “for the glory of God and the refreshment of the human spirit.” It has changed me, I know that. And it’s felt more rebellious than I could have imagined.
3. I don’t understand the desire to take down Christmas lights so quickly. Too much joy for you? When we take ours down, it feels like a lancing of the soul. Which is why we keep the white lights burning bright in the Carolina Jasmine surrounding our front door all year round.
4. I’m about to say something I don’t even understand – I miss work.
5. Go find a recording of Bach’s “A Musical Offering” with Yehudi Menuhin on violin and after all the kids have gone to bed, put that on and turn off everything else. And then listen to it while they are awake so they have some exposure to something enduring.
6. I wish I had read Watership Down long before now.
7. 1) The smell of Bethany, 2) The smell of old books, 3) The smell of old records.
8. I do not doubt our wisdom in spending very little on Christmas presents for our kids. But that can be lonely when they come and tell you what other kids got for Christmas. Our kids handle this fairly well. Probably better than I would have. But it is a peculiarly lonely feeling. I am sure some of you have felt it. The despair of comparing others gifts to your own starts early and never really ends, does it?
9. Get your news from the poets.
10. All I know for certain about the coming year is the faithfulness of Christ. We may face tragedy and pain and disappointment hitherto unknown. But I know the King and he is faithful regardless.