A Decade in the Life (The 2010s in Review)

What beastly incidents our memories insist on cherishing! The ugly and disgusting. The beautiful things we have to keep diaries to remember!
                                                 -- Eugene O' Neill
The past decade has been a wonderful set of years for me, and my diaries have documented every day of it. Audrey and I spent these years in Alexandria, Virginia, and at First Baptist Church. My preaching covered most of the New Testament and a lot of the Old, too. I conducted 107 funerals and 67 weddings, baptized hundreds of people and "dedicated" hundreds more babies.  Much of the time we were talking about building renovation--and now are finally doing it!

In addition to my ministry at the church, I was privileged to serve on the boards of trustees for HopeTree Family Services and Leland Seminary (for the BGAV) and Guidestone (for the SBC). One year I was moderator for the NorthStar Network (our local association).
Audrey and I did a lot of overseas travel during the decade--on mission trips, preaching assignments, and vacation. In the summer of 2014 the church granted me a six week sabbatical, and the last week of it was spent in Brazil--for the wedding of John Mark and Daniela. Audrey changed careers in 2015, becoming a realtor. Sadly, her mother passed away in May, 2010.

I finally joined Facebook and Twitter in 2012, making it so easy to keep up with lifelong friends and to make lots of new ones, too.
Here's a list of the special moments I am still talking about--
TAKING TO THE STAGE: Narrating a concert at Lincoln Center, NYC, 5/25/15,
And brought onstage to join a young female dancer in Edinburgh, Scotland, 9/7/17
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Le Bergerie (now closed)
ALL IN THE FAMILY: Hosting TLC's Duggar family for dinner at our house--19 kids, total of 30 people in entourage, 10/13/13
UP, UP, AND AWAY: Hot air balloon ride over the Arizona desert, 1/21/13
CONFRONTING HISTORY: Viewing V. Lenin's body in Red Square, Moscow, 10/4/11
SNAKES!: A large pit of poisonous ones in my Fort Worth, TX hotel, 2/28/12
BEST FILM: Midnight in Paris
"THE HILLS ARE ALIVE": evening concert high up at Finkenstein Castle, Austria, 8/3/14
MOST FRIGHTENED: John Mark was in Japan when they had their earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster, 3/10/11
A DELICACY: Eating Amazonian ants at DOM restaurant, São Paulo, 8/25/14
MOST PLEASANT SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Ice Cream shop, Yerevan, Armenia, 8/11/13
THE EVER CONSTANT SEA: Vacations by the ocean in Daytona Beach, FL
FAVORITE BOOK: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
SPECIAL LUNCHTIME: In the White House West Wing, 12/21/18
CZECH, PLEASE: Dining all to ourselves at Hotel Pupp, Karlovy Vary, 2/10/16
BIGGEST OFFERING: $200 pressed into my hands by young women from a 'closed' country who had no church in which to give it, 8/6/18
AN IRISH CHRISTMAS: The Gettys give two performances at FBCA, 12/17/ 16
FIRST AND ONLY TIME HUNTING: With Oliver North, 1/9/10
BEST VACATION: Amazing week in Southern California, 8/12-17/15
NICEST HOTEL STAY: Upgraded to a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria in NYC, 2/18/13
SOME ENCHANTED EVENINGS: Piazza Navona in Rome, 7/22/17, and Old Town Square in Prague, 2/9/16 and then again 9/13/16
FAVORITE COMEDIAN: Brian Regan, 5/18/12, 9/15/16, 3/22/19
WATCHING "THE PRINCESS BRIDE": Performing wedding of John Mark and Daniela in São Paulo, Brazil, with Portuguese translation, 8/30/14
"THE GIRL FROM IPANEMA": Holding Dani's hand and singing the song to her on that world famous beach in Rio, 4/17/15
PAYING MY RESPECTS: To Billy Graham lying in Capitol rotunda, 2/28/18
PASTORAL PREACHING AND VISITATION: Wiesbaden, Heidelberg, and Bonn, Germany, 1/30-2/6/18
MAKING THE ROOM: Actor Greg Sestero as our houseguest, 10/21-27/14
AN EERIE SILENCE: In Nagasaki, Japan, marketplace at 11:02AM, 8/9/12
BINGE-WATCHING FAVORITES: Longmire and The Office on Netflix, and Downton Abbey, of course.
PARTYING WITH THE PREZ: Meeting the Obamas at a White House Christmas party, 12/18/13
UNDER THE TUSCAN SUN: at La Piana, Monticchiello, Italy, 8/14 and again in 7/17
BIGGEST JOY: Serving a remarkable church and getting to do what I love to do every day
Now we are ready to begin a new decade, and we have no idea what this future holds for us. Just that God will be with us, to guide our steps all along the way.

But I like these words from my favorite musical, Les Mis
Tomorrow we'll discover what our God in heaven has in store.
 One more dawn
 One more day
 One day more.
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