Click the Play button to hear "Auld Lang Syne". Depending on the audio plug-in you have installed, however, you may need to click your right mouse button over the player to display a pop-up menu from which to select your playback options. Since this is a MP3 format file, it is 1MB, so it will take longer to load on dial-up connections. Please be patient. You can also listen to more samples of "Auld Lang Syne", purchase a MP3 version of it, or purchase the entire collection on CD at NewYearsEveSong.Com. The MP3 sample used here is by permission from George Reynoso from AllThatMusic.Com.

<BGSOUND SRC="4traditionalsample.mp3" AUTOSTART= "FALSE" LOOP="true"> "Auld Lang Syne" plays in the background.

The Michael L. White Family
Newsletter for 2008

By Rev. Michael L. White

We celebrated the 2008 New Year's Day in the usual quiet way. I meant to watch the ball drop on TV, but I missed it by an hour, since I live in the Central Time Zone, and New York City is in the Eastern Time Zone. Oh, well, maybe I'll remember the time difference in 2009.

2008 has been a good year for us. One of the blessings we got to enjoy this year was the purchase of another car on October 13th, to help us cope better with the gas prices, which had just then begun to decline. Now that gas has dropped so drastically, we're enjoying the reduction even more. Our only crisis this year was when Ellen developed a mega-kidney stone (7mm in size) the week before Thanksgiving. Thank God she is over it now and neither Josh nor I had any health crises of our own. God is good ALL THE TIME!

Celebrating all the Christian holy days this past year was once more very special for me, especially since I was sharing some of them for the first time with my new congregation at Rosinton United Methodist. I conducted an Ash Wednesday Service in February, taught a Lenten Bible Study based on Jesus' final week before His crucifixion, conducted a Good Friday Tenebrae Service (definitely one of my all-time favorite services), an Easter Sunrise Service, and, of course, the annual Easter Sunday Service.

We comemmorated several of the other holidays, too, such as Mother's Day, Father's Day, Independence Day, Veteran's Day, and Homecoming Sunday. In fact, we celebrated 95 years of service this year at Rosinton UMC's Homecoming on October 12th, with the Rev. Dr. John Ed Mathison preaching. John Ed retired earlier in June of this year after 36 years at the mega-church Frazer Memorial United Methodist in Montgomery, AL. He was born the year his father was appointed to serve the Loxley Charge, which included Rosinton at the time, and he was two years old when his father moved to his next appointment in 1940. That made it exactly 68 years since he last visited the Rosinton church. It was quite an event for all of us.

The next Christian holy day service we observed was Thanksgiving, and for the second year in a row, Rosinton joined other churches in the area at Loxley First Baptist Church for the annual Community Thanksgiving Service at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 23rd. It was truly a heartwarming service for all. Later that week, we shared the Thanksgiving Day meal with my parents in Taylor, AL (just west of Dothan) and spent the night with Ellen's parents. I returned home on the Friday after Thanksgiving, because I'm such a home body, while Ellen and Josh remained a little longer and returned home with her Aunt Carolyn (her mother's sister who also lives in Mobile, AL).

The final special service of this year was the Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. As usual, Ellen, Josh, and I lit the Advent Wreath with the Christ Candle as part of the special observance. This is always a deeply touching occasion for us to celebrate our love for and faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Leading and participating in all the holy day services throughout the year always gives me great joy and pleasure.

Since we decided to drive to Dothan, AL, to visit with our parents on Christmas morning, we opened our gifts to each other on Christmas Eve. We took everyone else's gifts up to Dothan or mailed them monetary gifts in their Christmas cards. As usual, I shopped for Ellen, and she shopped for everyone else.

Speaking of Ellen and Josh, they are both doing well. We left Josh in Dothan to visit with grandparents for a few weeks. Ellen is planning another trip there with her Aunt Carolyn for about a week, starting New Year's Eve. For the first time in years, I will spend New Year's Day alone. Talk about spending it quietly; this may be too quiet even for me! Nevertheless, I will find something to occupy myself. I have some reading and writing projects I want to do, so don't feel too sadly for me. :-)

Speaking of writing, I've had more fun than ever publishing Christian books through my not-quite-so-new publishing business, Parson Place Press. It will be three years old in April 2009! I've published six titles in 2008, though one was actually a paperback edition of the first title I published in hardcover in 2007. I'm still not raking in the big bucks, but I'm steadily gaining momentum. Maybe 2009 will be the year of my breakthrough. In the meantime, I have at least two or three titles in mind for publication in 2009, Lord willing. You can browse them all online as they are published in the Parson Place Press Bookstore. If you happen to read this newsletter before the end of the day on January 2, 2009, you can still take advantage of my annual Christmas and New Year's Sale and get a whopping 33% off all titles. Furthermore, if you subscribe to the Parson Place Email List, you can stay up-to-date on all the latest news related to Parson Place and Parson Place Press. Although I discontinued the monthly Parson Place Newsletter with the May 2007 issue, I still send out occasional notices to my list.

Well, that wraps up another year in the life of the White Family. I hope your year in 2008 has been at least as happy as ours, and I wish you all a most Blessed New Year in 2009. Until this time again next year, if the Lord tarries (and I don't think He will tarry much longer), I close with my usual favorite Christmas quote by Dickins' Tiny Tim: "God bless us everyone!"