44 Things I Think

I like to give a lot of backstory to help provide clarity to some of the crazy things in my head before I let them out… usually. It’s safer that way. For me… for you… really for everyone in general. But today, as I’ve done a few times on previous birthdays, I’m forgoing the safety net and sharing a bunch of scattered thoughts – some safe, some not. Enjoy and take it all with a grain of salt, I’m ok… mostly.

  1. If I ever forget the indescribable grandeur of the coastal redwoods… Someone drag me back there as soon as possible!
  2. 25 year Anniversaries don’t happen very often.
  3. They also don’t happen on accident. Want to have one? Commit to your spouse and work to reveal Christ in your marriage to them and the people around you.
  4. Sometimes, you should just climb stuff. It may help you prevent crotchetiness in your old age. (As long as you don’t fall!)
  5. It was truly surreal getting to camp and hike among these giants. I wish I could explain…
  6. Lots of times, you should cross bridges when you get there… even if you don’t know what’s on the other side.
  7. Don’t burn them behind you though… You might need to go back.
  8. I feel like I’m on one side of a whole bunch of bridges right now and not doing a great job choosing which to cross. They all lead to where I can’t see.
  9. One last thing about bridges… Don’t try to cross one until you get to it.
  10. I have written over 950 posts on this blog, but only 9 of them have been this year (including this one). I’m not sure if that discourages me more than the discouragement that’s led to this recent lack of productivity or vice versa, but I have to get better and back into a writing rhythm.
  11. I’m pretty sure I do not own a single set of footwear with actual bootstraps.
  12. I do own a lot of other shoes, though!
  13. I have great hopes and high expectations for Millenials and Gen Z. I have seen what they are capable of when fully given over to God and chasing after his mission with their lives! It is nothing short of spectacular.
  14. This has been a year of car problems for the Andrews family. The glitchy doors and windows are one thing, but the transmission failure(s), valve jobs, two cars that won’t go backwards, etc. are on my last nerve.
  15. My kids are incredible! I know that I am absolutely biased, but they continue to amaze me. Leading worship, solving math problems that cause normal people to seize up, tinkering with stuff, and leading their peers as truly good and dependable friends… I am grateful for the people who will carry my genes across bridges I will never even see.
  16. Good and dependable friends are of more value than we often realize. Be one for somebody.
  17. Friends, I am sorry for how I’ve tended to climb into a hole and lose touch a lot more lately. I don’t know why I am so uneasy letting people into the mess of process in my life. I know I’m not a finished product and you don’t expect me to be.
  18. Some years are messier than others. Grab a mop when it’s needed, get help where you can, and make something awesome out of the mess.
  19. I wear black socks now. But not with shorts – and definitely not with sandals! Come on now; I’m not that old.
  20. Ever notice how trends change? In our meme saturated culture, don’t expect that too slow down. The good side of that is… the trends that are most annoying will be gone soon. Just shake your head and wait.
  21. I haven’t actually seen many Boomers upset about “Ok, Boomer…” But mention it around a Gen X and all the neon and jelly shoes in the 80’s won’t brighten the cloud that’s about to descend. Watch out for lightning!
  22. We got a really good deal switching our internet to another company. We were happy with the old one, but half price for faster speeds was too much to pass up. I think it is the second time I’ve ever purchased anything from door to door sales.
  23. A bonus to the deal was free cable for 3 months. We haven’t had cable or satellite tv for years, but I’ve been able to watch more soccer in the last few months than I have for a really long time and I’m loving it.
  24. “Why don’t you have cable, weirdo?” It’s an expense that just doesn’t make sense in our budget, and I find plenty of other garbage on Netflix and free Roku channels.
  25. Christian Pulisic is not overrated, and it’s been a lot of fun watching him play for Chelsea. I can’t wait to see how he continues to develop and what that will mean for the USMNT. (Some of you have no idea what this means, and I am sorry you are missing out on the beautiful game.)
  26. I’m also excited that Omaha is getting a USL team next year. (Check out Union Omaha!) The crest and name are exciting and seem to fit. Our state is too wide for me to justify season tickets, but I hope I can get out there for a game once in a while.
  27. I don’t get fans calling for the firing of new coaches. Over the last year (or a few years) several teams that I’ve followed have named new head coaches. It amazes me how so many fans can be so self-deluded that they think they are qualified after as few as 4 or 5 games to declare the coach a bust and call for his head on a platter. At every level from college football to NFL to MLS to national team soccer this has been grossly visible. What makes us think we know how to hire a coach or that we actually know who would definitely be a better option?
  28. I have enjoyed coaching soccer for my kids and others. This year was a rough one for Lizzy’s team, but they got better as the season went on, they had fun and built relationships with their team, and gained some skills. They’re 12 year olds… that’s the point.
  29. I’m still not convinced getting rid of Jürgen Klinsmann was a good idea for the national team. Then again… what do I know?
  30. Learning is important. When I cut myself off from the inspiration that comes from connecting with God and connecting with people, I don’t learn much. And consequently I don’t have much to say. You’re probably like that too. Let’s learn some things this year.
  31. Not having much to say doesn’t always stop people from talking. Loudly. And without ceasing.
  32. I did learn a little about the stock market this year by using an app called Robinhood. If you use that link to sign up, we’ll each get a free stock. It lets you buy and sell stocks commission free. Fair warning, though…. there is risk involved. Do not invest money this way that you cannot afford to lose completely – because you could.
  33. Some stocks that I thought would do great have slowly fizzled despite a stream of great news and profits. Other companies that seem like they’re bleeding cash have stock prices on the rise. Do a lot of research and don’t take things at face value.
  34. Commission free stock purchasing used to be impossible. Now it’s not. This is great if you want to buy stocks without paying a stockbroker. It’s terrible (or at least risky) if you’re not good at choosing companies that will increase in value.
  35. You’re probably not as good at choosing companies as you think you’d be. I know I’m not. I had a stock go up 11% today. Last year the same stock lost about 30% in one day, too.
  36. This method of investing has taken up an embarrassing amount of headspace for a modest return. I will be liquidating that account soon to pay for car repairs.
  37. The Solomon Foundation is a much more appealing way to invest. While their returns are pretty good, and their stability is great, it’s not really about the money. It’s about investing in the Kingdom as they use the funds deposited to help build, re-build, and plant churches!
  38. Building the Kingdom is worth everything. All my time. All my attention. All my resources. You can see what they’ve been doing with these churches’ stories.
  39. There is nothing else like the church on the planet. I know we don’t always get things right, but as far as we reflect Jesus and live out our lives with His community in mind, we make a difference in this world no one else can make.
  40. Not everything that calls itself “church” is doing a great job reflecting Jesus. I don’t always either. But I’m thankful for the grace God gives us to get up and do better.
  41. I have so much to be thankful for that I’ll never be able to express all the gratitude I should. I should try anyway.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

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