I am so glad that the holiday season is finally upon us. And as much as I enjoy all the feasts and festivities, what I’m most looking forward to is days of rest and times with family. We anticipate that the next couple of weeks will be fairly low-key, and that’s okay by us.
2023 has been a unique year for me as I completed the great majority of the travel for Worship Round the World. I visited 25 countries, worshipped with a local church in 13 of them, spent time with Christians in a further 7, and recorded hundreds of hours of video. My travel app tells me I flew about 160,000 miles and spent just over 14 days in the air. My body tells me I may have overdone it a little. But I can’t even begin to describe what a blessing it was to meet so many wonderful people and worship with so many beautiful churches. The book and documentary are now both well underway and I look forward to sharing it all with you in due time.
Next year should be significantly quieter, though I do intend to do a little more speaking at conferences. I’ll be at events in Calgary, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Dallas, among others. I’ll also be speaking briefly in Brazil and Albania, and making a two-week trip through Italy, Austria, and Romania. Okay, so maybe next year won’t be that much quieter. Either way, I’d love to meet you at one of those events!
But for most of 2024, I’ll be focusing on the blog—on writing articles just as I’ve done for the past 20+ years. Blogging is still what I love the best.
As for the family:
Michaela is home for the holidays and it is a delight to have her around again. While Aileen and I enjoyed our first stretch of empty-nesting, there’s something to be said for having a little more life and activity in the home! Michaela is taking one course remotely during the break while also working whatever hours she can get from a nearby grocery store.
Nathan and Abby will be making their way up in early January to spend some time here. And, as importantly, they will be doing Nathan’s immigration paperwork (i.e. getting landed). They should both be graduating from Boyce College in May and plan to move this way shortly thereafter. Their first challenge will be to find a place to live in the crazy Toronto-area rental market. We are praying they find just the right work and living situations.
Ryn is living and working in Louisville. We don’t anticipate seeing her over the holidays, but will get some time with her when we visit Louisville in the spring and when we enjoy a family vacation together in the summer.
Aileen continues to work part-time as an administrative assistant for a neighbor who is in real estate. She also gives a lot of her time to overseeing the Early Years Ministry at our church, which includes the bustling nursery and preschool programs.
As we head into the holidays, I plan to maintain a slightly lighter-than-usual blogging schedule, but will still have something for you every day. In the meantime, may God bless and keep you and those who are dear to you through this season of celebration.