Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fare Thee Well, 2015!





Wow, this year has been something for me!!! So many things have happened in 2015, both personal and public. I want to reflect on a few of them:

Two new nephews!

Okay, one of them was born late last December, but I didn't get to see either of them until this Thanksgiving. Both are adorable, and I love them to death. Now I have five nephews and one niece!!! They all live in Florida, and I live about fourteen hours away in Tennessee, so I don't get to see them nearly as often as I wish.

I became a Benedictine Monk!

This August I made my vows of Obedience, Stability, and Conversatio Morum ("conversion of manners" or "conversion of life"). I and my brothers at my parish pray and help our church with whatever is necessary for the advancement of the Kingdom of God.

I'm...almost done with my undergrad degree!

Okay, I was supposed to graduate this past spring, but work wouldn't allow me to. Unless there are any unforseen problems, I'm graduating the summer of 2016, finishing my degree by taking two classes overseas in the U.K.; of course, I'm VERY excited about that! I just hope I have the finances for it. Prayers would be appreciated!

I launched a new Facebook page!

Yes, this year I decided that I should have a Facebook page dedicated to theology from an Anglo-Catholic perspective, so I started the "Barely Protestant" page. I've made new friends with it, and have had interesting conversations. The page keeps track of how many people view my articles, memes, posts, etc., and I am humbled by just how many people have read what I have to say. My articles have been read in the thousands, now, and my posts have on more than a few occasions reached in the tens of thousands of viewing per week.

There have been some setbacks, as well. I had to quit my job because of how much it impeded my ability to do school, opting instead for another job that is more willing to work with my schedule, but at a significant wage cut. That's not been easy, but God has provided time after time for me, bringing in money at the very last second. He is faithful.

I also had some relationship problems, specifically with three people in my life. Thank God that one of them reached out to me this Christmas Eve to make amends. That relationship may take time to restore, but I am confident that he and I will work it out. Another relationship, related to that situation, is still on shaky ground; pray for that one, that we both do what is right. The third one I see not being resolved, as the other person involved refuses to reconcile.

These three hurdles have retaught me the importance of forgiveness, letting go of bitterness, and admitting my own faults. Do not let pride get in the way of your relationships.

I also had to deal, most importantly, with three close friends who attempted suicide.  Thankfully, all three are alive today, but for one I thought he was dead for two or three days. Those days were horrific.  It's taught me that I need to be there for my friends even more, and not brush aside any concerns I have about their well-being. Two of the three are doing better now; I've not heard from one of them for about three or four months, unfortunately.

I'm continuing my journey through the Christian life, making progress each day. Thanks to my Benedictine Vows, I'm becoming more accustomed to daily prayer. My prayer is to still become a priest, but I want to make sure that I finish my undergraduate degree; this has become my priority.

I plan on blogging a lot more, and possibly starting a Youtube channel (I technically already have: check it out). All in all, I plan on doing a lot more with this, as I find time to; thankfully, I only have two classes this spring, and the two classes overseas this summer. Some of the ideas I have are:

Reviews of books

Critiques of horrible viral videos ("Why Jesus is totes legit okay with, like, just having sex with whoever you want or whatevs"-type videos; or any Buzzfeed videos that even mention Christianity, for that matter.)

Explanations of certain points of theology (Sacramental theology, soteriology, eschatology, etc.)

Answering your questions!!!

I've done a horrible job of that this year; my apologies. I was supposed to do a few articles, one specifically on the belief of Annihilation (as opposed to eternal conscious torment). I plan on making a series of that one, as it will take a while to explain and a few angles from which to do. Anyways, that's what I'm planning on for the coming year.

Thanks for helping make my 2015 memorable!