Micki and I stand on the top of the Rothlisberg (in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland)-- the ancestral home of the Riddlebargers (who, actually are Rotlispergers). This was easily the highlight of the year, and certainly one of the great moments in my life--the culmination of over twenty years of painstaking genealogical research. I know who I am and where I am from, and have the DNA matches to prove it! Rotlispergers have lived here from the 1200's or so until the 19th century. Either the family is named for the hill or the hill for the family, which is now widely dispersed throughout Switzerland.
It was a bittersweet year for the Riddlebargers. My dear mother-in-law, Gerry Nutter, died in November, and so there's a gaping hole in our family Christmas celebration this year. But we press on, thankful for the sure and certain hope of the resurrection.
Blogging has been tough of late as I've been plagued since September by two massive computer hardware failures--including part of a rather new Seagate hard drive melting in my desktop. I lost everything twice (programs and data), but do back-up regularly so I recovered everything I wanted and needed. It takes a Herculean effort (in my case repeated twice) to get everything restored and set-up as I like it, but I am finally good to go. If you happen to have a hardware/computer failure, pray it is on Black Friday, when you can get a new system cheap. If you don't back-up, start! I've never had a hardware failure before (with a host of different computers), much less two failures in the span of three months.
The New Year will be interesting. We will say "goodbye" to the Comptons (Andrew, Pam, and their delightful children), as Andrew takes up his duties as a professor of Old Testament at Mid-America Reformed Seminary in June. We also will say "hello" to a new associate pastor and his family. Change is never easy, but it is always interesting.
We will also watch with disgust and dismay our presidential election process with the spate of boisterous and largely unqualified candidates from both parties seeking the highest office in the land. America chooses its president like the Westminster Kennel Club chooses its annual "Best in Show." Nobody knows why that particular dog was chosen except the spinsterly high-society lady in a way too-tight sequin dress who makes the final pick for reasons known only to herself. I'm thankful my views of God's providence and the distinction between Christ's kingdom and the civil kingdom keep me sane during election season. Although we've seen some of this before, I've never seen presidential politics fall to such a destructive level of ridiculous partisanship. Pox on both their houses as well as on the media who lap this up!
Despite the ups and downs of life, the Riddlebargers wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year! May our gracious God bless you richly with all spiritual blessings found in Christ Jesus.