It’s the last day morning of 2015. Am sitting in the most wonderful B&B, Jay Lee in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. In a bit will visit Fred and Louise Trost in their home…then will drive to Milwaukee Airport Motel, to return to Austin tomorrow morning.
The last two days have been better than any game plan could envision. So touching and joyful, to celebrate Fred’s 80th Birthday, but no less, to affirm Louise. My contention is this: unless you are the spouse of a clergyperson, you have NO IDEA of the daunting challenges to keep the family well together. As a mentor and brother in faith, Fred, on a 1-10 pushes a 14. No less on that scale for Louise. Amazing. Each of their 4 daughters and 1 son are angels impersonating human beings.
To craft my last 2015 blog, I have three images…my version of trinity-affirmation.
The first is this: as we concluded our birthday celebration last night, Simon  and his sister, Clare —Fred and Louise’s grandchildren, walked around the family and friends gathered [in a circle] and said good-bye to each of us! That so struck me with such value—the personal caring, the “glad we are together” mentality and praxis. Joy in the full. Oh yes.
Then, this morning I received a lovely note from a former parishioner, Marilyn Gregory [at First Christian Church in San Marcos]. Marilyn’s a teacher, a teacher of teachers, President of the Teacher’s Association and a dear friend. She sent me this Thoreau quote [guess my passion for fishing reminded her of it]…and now it gives me the greatest insight to the REAL purpose of fishing…which I hope to do in a couple of weeks. Thanks, Marilyn…your perception is on target!
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in.”
Henry David Thoreau
And, finally. It is only relevant and valued I share something from Joanne Carlson Brown…a cherished clergy colleague. In a recent Facebook she reminded me of this vision and truth from Howard Thurman. So. I end this year with each of you…with the “sending forth into 2016”. Grace and peace and light to each of us. Mark.