The State of Efrem

Every year, the President gives a State of the Union address to give a summary of his accomplishments and goals that he wishes to achieve in the coming year.  Tonight, I hope to give a summary of my “state” as I stand on my 55th birthday:

The past year saw great challenges and great blessings for me and my family.  I now have completed two years as a librarian at the Wichita Falls Public Library.  I have learned much in that time and I am pleased that I have been involved in almost all of the workings of the library from reference work to selecting library materials to working the children’s desk.  I wish to spread my love for books in the coming year and after several years of dormancy on the book review front, I hope to write more reviews of books in the coming year.  I hope also to do a few programs for the general public and hope to stress the vital importance of literacy to maintain what remains of our Western culture.

The family has had its ups and downs.  Joseph is doing well in school and is growing bigger than me.  He does OK with Miriam while I am at work, but he gets a bit ornery on occasion.   Do keep him in prayer for direction in his life as he is now just a few years away from setting out on his own.  We were able to go back to California to see my brother Michael get married in Lodi, a small town midway between Sacramento and Stockton.  My brother Edwin is on the mend from a difficult surgery that stems from his diabetes.  He needs prayer for direction and making decisions about his future.

My walk with God has been a challenge which is a good thing as living a Godly life does involve struggle and suffering.  I have read much regarding the early church, books by Christopher Dawson and works of St. Augustine, G.K. Chesterton, Lord Acton and C.S. Lewis as part of the local Christian Classics Society which is hosted by an Orthodox priest that has a local congregation here in town.   I wish to learn more about the Church Fathers and early Church councils as they teach us much about how we should live today in an age of super materialism which is eroding all life in the West.

Aside from my trip to California, I was able to go to Baltimore to hear an address by Dr. Paul Gottfried on the multicultural mess that we are in today.  It was a pleasure to hear Dr. Tom Woods as well.   Travel this year will be limited although I will be going to a library convention in Philadelphia in March.  The city reminds me of 1776, the great cheese steaks, former Mayor Frank Rizzo and a funny sitcom from the late 1970s with Donna Pescow.

I have exercised for most of my life and I am grateful to God for giving me the motivation for exercising since high school and staying in shape.  Even with such efforts, I feel myself slowing down a bit and my heart flutters from time to time.  I am aware that I will not live forever in this body and look forward to the Resurrection and loving the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I hope to work and develop a vision for the coming years that will glorify God and that includes taking care of my family into my dotage.

Fifty-five years.  My how time flies.  May the Lord bless me this year.