Top Posts of 2016

For some, 2016 has seemed like a kick to the gonads.

This year e experienced a heated, and at times down right uncivil, presidential election for the entire year. I myself fell asleep on the couch while HRC was ahead in the ballots only to wake up around 2:00 AM and DJT was being declare the winner of the general election. This made for a perfect storm as we headed into Thanksgiving. For some, you had to gather around the table with people who while loving them deeply, now you question their moral integrity.

The outcome of the 2016 Presidential election left many in shock. They didn’t know how they could trust the “other side” again and many are still wondering what the next 4 or 8 years will look like.

We lost celebrities in 2016. More than we could ever count. We all know celebrity deaths come in 3’s which makes their deaths hard to deal with. But on top of celebrity deaths we’ve experienced violence and death around the world in ways we never would’ve imagined.

The image of 5 year old Omran Daqneesh sent shock waves around the world, leaving many of us to question our own humanity. The violence in Aleppo and throughout the Middle East will be haunting us all into 2017.

Police shootings around our country have forced us all to think about the ways in which we not only ask police officers to protect our communities but also our own involvement in repairing centuries of racial disparity.

Oh yeah, and England decided to leave Europe.

 

My friend Fred Schmidt had this to say:

The deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher are a loss, as is the death of anyone, but the death toll in Syria topped 400,000 this year with little or no comment, no effort to avert those deaths, and none of the existential woe that I see on the Facebook feed.

We should ask ourselves why this is the case.

We should ask ourselves what that says about the way in which we prioritize the lives of people around us.

And we should ask ourselves why we agonize over the loss of life that could not be averted and the loss of lives we make no effort to stop at all.

I’ve seen memes and Tweets describing 2016 as the worst year on record. Many are happy to see 2016 go, because after all, 2016 is the cause of all our problems. Right?

But 2016 wasn’t all bad.

Crackers & Grape Juice was officially launched. This was a project Jason and I had been working on of a few years. We finally got our act together, added Morgan Guyton and Taylor Mertins to the mix, and now we are the fasting growing UMC podcast. This project and our listeners challenge me daily to find ways of articulating my faith that is not cumbersome, manipulative, or confusing.

I finished my MTS at Wesley Theological Seminary this year. And if you ask my wife, that is definitely cause for celebration.

The world came together in Rio as we celebrated our own humanity. The greatest athletes on the globe gathered to compete, representing their small part of the planet.

The Cubs broke a century old championship drought as the won the 2016 World Series.

As we close 2016 I want to thank everyone who read, liked, or shared a blog post. The feedback, good or bad, is why I write. I want to grow in my understanding of what it means to be Christian all the while knowing that I don’t know it all. A few years ago I wouldn’t have been able to say that but because of the Tweets, FB messages, and emails from you that has become possible.

To wrap up the year, here is the Top 5 posts you read, liked, or shared this year:

 5. I Just Don’t Understand

4. Disarming the Pulpit

3. Why Youth Ministry Needs Lent

2. Under Attack by Ideas – Part 1 With Rob Bell

1. Reflecting On My Time With the Evangelicals 

2016 couldn’t have been all bad. What were you successes? What was your shining moment this year?