Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

After a tumultuous 2013, this year turned out to be a calm and happy one.  We’re grateful as always for all the really wonderful people that cross our paths—past and present—which means we’re grateful for you!  Here’s an update on the Taylors:

If you missed last year’s update, we moved to Houston and love being near old friends and making new ones.  We joined our neighborhood church--Willow Meadows Baptist—where we are the worst church members ever, only because Trisha is often traveling and Craig is regularly preaching at area churches. 

Speaking of Craig, he continues to love his work at Mission Centers of Houston, serving volunteers, church teams, staff and summer missionaries as they minister in several inner-city neighborhoods.  Go to Facebook and like the Mission Centers so that you can keep up with their terrific work!  He also enjoyed getting to see James Taylor in concert for the first time and the Eagles for the fourth—and has tickets for Fleetwood Mac in March, so 2015 should be another good year!  The highlight of the year for Craig was probably being at the opening BU game at the new stadium--it's hard to believe how far the Bears have come!

McLane Stadium with Old Main in the background across the Brazos

Trisha continues with her counseling practice in west Houston and wears other hats as well.   Working with pastors and congregations as part of the Ridder Church Renewal process, she travels quite a bit:  multiple trips each to Michigan, New York, Wisconsin and Ontario where she gets to be with people who have become dear and treasured friends.  She also continues to serve with Faithwalking and Missional Marriage. 

Just a few Ridder friends:  Scott, Jess and my dear friend and colleague Jim Herrington

The highlight of 2014 for Trisha was the blast-to-your-past central Texas tour that Craig surprised her with for their 29th anniversary.  Starting at the Pizza Hut in Cameron (where they had their first date 30 years ago) and ending at Central Baptist Church in Thornton, Craig and Trisha revisited the special places from their dating, engagement and first year of marriage.  What was really fun was how many of you joined us on Facebook!

Craig and Trisha in 1984 and in 2014

Andrew graduated with his master’s degree from Harvard in May and came home for awhile before leaving again, this time for a year in China where he teaches at Hebei University in Bao Ding, about two hours southwest of Beijing.   Unlike his previous trips abroad, we get to talk to him via Skype on a pretty regular basis and that makes us both really happy.  He seems to love teaching and is very popular with his students. 

Andrew and Rebecca at the park across from our house

Rebecca is thriving as a senior history major at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton.  She worked this summer as a history programs intern at the Dr. Pepper museum in Waco and found her calling (small museums, not Dr. Pepper).  She was also accepted in the school study abroad program and will spend the next 4 months in London, living with other students in a flat near the British museum.  She couldn’t be happier.

Rebecca being official at the Dr. Pepper Museum

It’s been a truly good year for us and our families and we’re grateful that we get to share it with some of the best people in the world—our friends, colleagues and families.  We love you and wish you a happy Christmas and a very blessed new year!

Friday, December 12, 2014

I Had a Dream

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Kingdom known as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  

One day, some people in that kingdom began to sing a sad song, one of the saddest any had ever heard.  A Great Silence fell over the kingdom as each one in his own home listened to the sad song. 

And no one said, “Stop singing that sad song.  It makes me uncomfortable.  Don’t you know any happy songs?” 

And no one said, “That sad song is the wrong sad song to sing; sing another one.” 

And no one said, “Well, it’s your own fault that your song is so sad; you made your bed, now lie in it.” 

Instead, the people came out of their homes and into the street and listened together and their eyes said to one another, “I’m sorry.” 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

In light of recent events, ladies and gentlemen, a poem

Anglo-Saxon Protestant Heterosexual Men

Come, dear brothers,
let us cheerfully acknowledge
that we are the last hope of the world,
for we have no excuses,
nobody to blame but ourselves.
Who is going to sit at our feet
and listen while we bewail
our historical sufferings?  Who
will ever believe that we also
have wept in the night
with repressed longing to become
our real selves?  Who will
stand forth and proclaim
that we have virtues and talents
peculiar to our category?  Nobody,
and that is good.  For here we are
at last with our real selves
in the real world.  Therefore,
let us quiet our hearts, my brothers,
and settle down for a change
to picking up after ourselves
and a few centuries of honest work.

This is one of my favorites from Wendell Berry.