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Reflection of 2006

It has been ten days already of the New Year. Before it gets any longer, I wanted to take some time to reflect on what happened (e.g. uncles immigrating to the U.S. from the Philippines, starting full-time in new job, etc..)in 2006. Like any past years, 2006 had some challenges/disapointments (e.g. Twins baseball team not going further in the playoffs), but also rewards (e.g. expenses paid-trip to Baltimore) or more blessings…

There were some incidents of families being broken apart. However, there were some families that came together-specifically some marriages or weddings (e.g. Randy and Tiffany in Chicago, Illinois- Randy was a fellow college buddy/housemate of mine back at the University of Minnesota-Morris or UMM/Morris; Prince & Patience in Fargo, North Dakota-Prince was another good college/housemate of mine back at UMM/Morris; Justin & Ruth in Morris, Minnesota-both are young "bro&sis" that have grown with the Lord; etc…). Congratulations to all of you who will be celebrating another wedding anniversary this coming year!

As part of the cycle of life, there were some deaths. I’ve been working at this group home for developmentally disabled adults since I graduated from UMM in 1999. A dear friend/brother in Christ of mine that lived at this home past away before the Thanksgiving holiday. I will never forget his smile and laugh. I really enjoyed (e.g. yelling for “cake”) the times taking him to my local church. I know that (Matthew 18:3) he’s with our Heavenly Father, probably jumping and running around now! (what about you?) Congratulations to all of you who had or will be having a new baby!

I bought a house on June of 2006, which was a “big” step in my growth as an adult after college. I’m very thankful to my Heavenly Father how He just provided “everything” to get this house. See story….

I thanked Him for this blessing, which I asked Him how I can use it to bless others. I hope and pray that you too can ask God how you can bless/give to those who are "unfortunate". He has brought many friends (particularly folks from “utter most parts of the world”-Matthew 28)-Toni (ESL student of mine) from Bulgaria- my way to stay and live here for various number of days/weekends/weeks. In 2007, I challenge you all to "Count Your Blessings" before going to bed; no matter what circumstances you faced during each day! Feel free to contact me (e-mail me your own reflections of the past year or keep me updated throughout this new year or even let me know of any particular prayer requests) when you are around the Morris area of Minnesota to visit because "me casa es tu casa"!


  • Morris in 2006: What happened around here?, from Morris Sun Tribune Jan 07' special reflection edition

  • JAN
    "• Visitors to the Morris Public Library might be too involved in their reading or research to realize they’re browsing through one of nation’s best. And that might be the true measure of a good library. The Morris library was ranked No. 4 among U.S. libraries for 2005 in its population classification by the Hennen’s American Public Library Ratings. The Morris library is ranked among the top 100 libraries in the U.S. for the third time in the five years the rankings have been released since 2000.
    "• Garrison Keillor performed his national “Prairie Home Companion” radio variety show at UMM."
    "• Robert Bruininks, president of the University of Minnesota, gave his State of the University address at the University of Minnesota, Morris. The State of the University address in 2006 was the first delivered off the Twin Cities campus.
    "• A group representing the Morris Lutheran Campus Ministry spent spring break pitching in in New Orleans to help recover. The LCM group was based at Peace Lutheran Church in Slidell, La., which also was the base for the New Wine group, which traveled to the gulf region later. The 15 members of the LCM group made the 30-hour trip by van to Slidell."
    "• Several hundred people mingled in the University of Minnesota, Morris’ Oyate Hall to say thank you to outgoing UMM Chancellor Sam Schuman. And Schuman said thanks back. Schuman, his wife Nancy, and family members from the Chicago area attended the farewell picnic organized by UMM students. Schuman retired from the post he’s held essentially since 1998 in June. He began a year teaching at the University of New Mexico in fall 2006.
    • A contingent of Morris and UMM delegates returned from a trip to China, during which they formalized agreements, toured schools and factories and took in the historical sites of a country fast becoming a cultural and economic power. Morris Mayor Carol Wilcox signed Sister City documents with officials of the city of Jiashan. UMM’s official party formalized exchange agreements with Shanghai University and Capital Normal University, in Beijing, opening the door for Chinese students and faculty to study in Morris and for UMM students and faculty to study and work at those two institutions.
    • Jacqueline Johnson was named University of Minnesota, Morris chancellor. Johnson was Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Buena Vista University, in Storm Lake, Ia. Johnson assumed the chancellor’s job Aug. 1. She succeeds Sam Schuman, who retired after the 2005-2006 school year. She becomes the fifth chancellor in UMM’s 46-year history."

    "• The Morris Area baseball team went into the playoffs with a sub-.500 record, 16 years without a state tournament berth and an offense that was averaging fewer than three runs per game.
    • Jason Mueller and his wife, Candra Ruiz, opened their new Italian restaurant, Bello Cucina. The restaurant is in the building that formerly was home to Yeager’s The Floor Store on Atlantic Avenue.

    "• Design plans for the Stevens Community Medical Center’s $10 million expansion were finalized and finances were arranged. SCMC patients and visitors began seeing the physical manifestations of the project this month, as steel arrived on site. The project entails adding a second floor to the existing clinic on South Street for 25 in-patient beds. The new floor would replace, and improve upon, the current in-patient space that was part of the original building. SCMC also is planning for an additional 50 parking spaces in its south parking lot.
    "• Big Cat Stadium, the new University of Minnesota, Morris/Morris Area High School shared-use football facility, opened.
    • Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco appeared at several events at UMM for its Opening Convocation for students who will participate in the 2006 First Year Seminar. Blanco visited classes and addressed the students and public at Edson Auditorium. Blanco was scheduled to address the convocation in 2005 but postponed the trip after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.

    "• Almost 500 people came to the Morris National Guard armory to hear Al Franken give the keynote address for the Stevens County DFL’s annual bean feed.
    "Incumbent Matt Carrington finished third but later was appointed to the seat vacated by Sheldon Giese, who was elected Morris Mayor.
    "• Ken Crandall, head football coach at the University of Minnesota, Morris, resigned Dec. 20. Crandall, who coached the 2006 UMM Cougar football team to its first Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championship and its first conference championship since 1986, assumed the head football coaching position at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan.
    • Morris Area boys basketball player Taylor Witt surpassed 1,000 career points in the Tigers’ 60-56 win over MACCRAY.


  • Special Reports-2006 Year in Review, from CNN

  • "The headlines in 2006 were marked by death, scandal and politics: 12 die in Sago Mine disaster. Former Enron executives guilty. Death sentence for Saddam Hussein. Iraq insurgent al-Zarqawi killed. War in Lebanon. Nuclear saber-rattling in Iran, North Korea. "Crocodile Hunter" killed. Former Beatle in divorce battle. Trans-Atlantic terror plot foiled. Ex-Russian spy poisoned. Megachurch preacher in sex scandal. Democrats win midterms."


  • Top Ten Stories from National Geographic
  • Ten Most Underreported News, from world net daily
  • Top Ten 2006, from Time (e.g. sports moments)
  • Top Ten Stories of 2006, from Christianity Today

  • 1. Sex Scandal Fells NAE President Ted Haggard Shocking admissions of immorality from New Life Church pastor shake evangelical world. Debate ensues over direction of nae and the temptations of high-profile ministry.
    2. Israel Invades Lebanon Hezbollah incursions across the Israeli border trigger a bold military response. Christian voices from Lebanon plead for prayers and protest.
    3. Court Decisions Favor Traditional Marriage State court decisions across the country shift momentum in debate over same-sex marriage. However, New Jersey Supreme Court requires legislature to allow for either same-sex marriage or civil unions.
    4. Muslims Riot over Pope's Comments West shocked by response to Pope Benedict XVI's Regensburg address on faith and reason.
    5. Religious Left Declares Victory in Midterm Election Democrats ride gains among frequent churchgoers and Catholics to take control of House and Senate.
    6. Violence Sends Christians Packing from Iraq Small Christian community shrinks further as sectarian attacks worsen.
    7. Southern Baptists Crack Down on Tongues After the International Mission Board in 2005 banned missionaries from praying in tongues, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary bars professors or administrators from endorsing charismatic practices.
    8. Immigration Debate Splits Evangelicals Advocates swap proof texts on welcoming the stranger and obeying civil authorities as Congress debates illegal immigration.
    9. Ministry Leaders Sign Evangelical Climate Initiative Observers say global warming debate signifies broadening political agenda.
    10. Christians Flock to See The Da Vinci Code Engagement trumps boycott as phenomenon peaks with boffo box office.

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