I guess the last day of the year is as good as any other day to start blogging again. Another year has ended, and another is about to start. Now is the time to look back and thank God for a great year. In my opinion 2013 was one of the best years ever! Of course, I say that every year. And I mean it every year. Here are my top 10 highlights.
9. Ignite2013: Every Nation Campus Ministries Asia Conference. Nothing quite as loud or as exciting as a few days in a basketball arena with 7000+ students. Change the campus, change the world, and don’t forget to bring your earplugs. Seriously, Deborah and I always bring earplugs to Every Nation Campus Ministry conferences.
8. Asian Pastors Equipping Conference. Hosted by Every Nation Indonesia this year. APEC is always one of our favorite conferences of the year. We get to do life and ministry with amazing leaders who have become life-long friends.
7. Finished 100 Years From Now book. The best part of writing a book is when the final edited manuscript is in your hands. The final edit does not mean all the mistakes are corrected, it just means you don’t have any more time or energy for the project. (above)
6. No More Tuition Payments! In May Jonathan graduated from Belmont University. In June we received our first fund-raising letter from Belmont. Did they really think I would send them a donation after all the money I paid them the past four years?
5. Father, Son (& Friends) Motorcycle trips. Every mile on two wheels is an adventure, but my best ride of 2013 was Manila to Banaue to Sagada to Baguio to Manila. Get your motor runnin, Head out on the highway, Lookin’ for adventure, And whatever comes our way…
4. EN2013: Every Nation World Conference. If you have never experienced an Every Nation World Conference, think big family reunion meets mission conference. Special guests included Wayne Alcorn and Mickey Mouse (below).
3. Traveling the world with my best friend. Six trans-Pacific Nashville to Manila trips, plus Taipei, Singapore, Denpasar, Jakarta, Orlando, Jacksonville, Calgary, Toronto,… I average over 150,000 miles a year on Delta Airlines. I am glad I get to do most of those miles with Deborah. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want to do this job alone.
2. MoJo wedding. Do you believe in love at second sight? They didn’t exactly like each other when Moriah’s parents were missionaries in the Philippines and they carpooled together to Faith Academy. Then her family moved back to Detroit. We stayed in Manila. They met again in Nashville ten years later when 18-year-old Moriah was checking out Belmont University. It was love at second sight. Three semesters later, in February Jonathan proposed. Moriah said yes. In June I had the honor of officiating their wedding. Welcome to the family, Moriah!
1. Best Christmas gift ever! Josephine Kate Murrell, our first grandchild. Life does not get any better than this.
(Note: Jo is the daughter of William and Rachel who have been married for 18 months, not Jonathan and Moriah who have been married six months.)