First, I had probably better clarify something folks find a bit confusing. There are two Blumers actively involved in SharperIron.org. The one on the left is me. The one on the right is my brother, Adam. Adam is the younger and better looking one. I’m the nearsighted, bearded, and nearly bald one. Adam studied journalism. I studied “divinity.” Adam handles the editing and coordinates advertising. I get most of the hate and “other” mail (so far, mostly “other”). Adam is married to Kim, has two lovely daughters, and lives in the north woods in Michigan. I’m married to Marilyn, have one lovely daughter and one ebullient son, and live in west central Wisconsin.
Now that that’s out of the way, merry Christmas!
I can barely remember how to write a Christmas letter, but I seem to recall that the genre involves pictures, News from the Year, and maybe a few Profound Observations Related to the Season. Since the profound part of my mind is out to lunch, here’s some news.
News from the year
The big news for me this year was taking the helm of SharperIron in May. I’ve been spinning like a top ever since. I expected it to be—among other things—a very interesting ride. It has not disappointed.
In other news, my wife started a Bible study with several ladies (from our church and from the community) using Janz’s Alone with God. It’s gone well so far and I’m thinking about trying the format with some men.
In the youngster news category, my son (7) discovered that he really can read. At the same time he discovered the difference between “it’s hard” and “I can’t,” a lesson he still relearns regularly, as do I.
My daughter (10) made it half way through fifth grade and learned that fantasizing about owning and operating a ranch for Arabian horses (before turning eleven) is fine until you start attempting to raise money for the project. (Her mom and I would not allow her do that.) That experience might be a first installment in the lesson that one must always balance dreams with God-given duties. Her responsibility to master math and English does not leave her enough time to run a horse ranch (or raise the necessary capital in these credit-stingy times. A year ago she probably could have gotten a mortgage! Ah, the good ol’ days).
We also enjoyed a short visit with Marilyn’s mom in the spring and a week in the Michigan U.P. in August (my parents’ home).
Unlike ‘07, this year didn’t include time in the ER for anybody in our family. So we’ve already begun to forget again that the best medical care in the world does not come cheaply.
For that, and all the above, and much more, we thank and praise God who continues to lavish grace on us—which brings me to Profound Observations Related to the Season.
The profundity is all God’s. Christmas is another word for grace. It’s one thing to give gifts to those we love—people from whom we gain so much joy. It’s another thing entirely for God to give gifts of incalculable value to sinners like us, who—short of His redemptive work—are worse than useless to Him. Though the Gaithers are not famous for theological depth and precision, I like how they put the matter years ago in one of their songs: “we could never, never outgive the Lord.”
So, with all of you, my family and I rejoice in the incarnation in a special way this time of year. And we wish you the best of times with friends and family!