Merry Christmas, dear readers, and here’s my short and sweet Christmas letter.
2013 was a full year, and a good one.
Zoe was accepted by Jesus College, Cambridge to read Theology.
We spent a few days in Fflad-y-Brenin, a retreat centre in Wales. Very wet.
Resolve: Do not go on holiday in England in February if you can avoid it.
Enjoyed my church’s (St. Andrew’s, Oxford) weekend away.
Enjoyed Handel’s Messiah at Good Friday at Royal Albert Hall. Foretaste of heaven.
My friend Jules invited me to the revival meetings at Cwmbran, where I experienced God’s presence.
Yeah, it’s been quite a year of God-chasing. I went on a retreat at Harnhill Retreat Centre, Gloucestershire, with powerful prayer ministry.
Zoe graduates from Oxford High School winning the Head’s Award for Academic Excellence, her school’s Award for Academic Excellence in Religious Studies, and a Commendation for Achievement in Philosophy and a commendation for progress in French,
Irene visits First World War battlefields; we stay home
Irene, who is growing in her faith, spends a week at Lymington Rushmore Christian Camp. She starts a baking blog, Life Among the Cupcakes.
I voluntarily took part in the Race for Life, first race since forced to run in school.
Zoe leaves to the School of Ministry at Catch the Fire, Toronto for her gap year. She has heard excellent speakers; has done some preaching; some prophetic evangelism and outreaches; and discovered nascent spiritual gifts of preaching, prayer ministry and prophetic ministry. She believes she would like to do some form of Christian ministry as her life work.
A week in Cornwall, for half term. Loved the beaches, but it was rainy.
Resolve: Do not go on holiday in Britain in October, if you can avoid it.
I was nominated for “Tweeter of the Year” and so attended the Christian New Media Awards Conference and dinner in London. Met lots of interesting British social media people.
And heard Heidi Baker in Birmingham. Heidi has made preaching into an art form (listen to her on Youtube), but listening to her is both utterly convicting and inspiring at the same time.
Zoe home for a week.
Roy, I and Irene have just returned from a week in Sicily. Enjoyed the ancient Greek Temples, and the nature reserves, and the Byzantine mosaics at Monreale.
Other highlights—I’ve lost 11 pounds this year, by eating a whole lot more vegetables and fruits (discovery: green smoothies!!) and a whole lot less sugar and white flour, and longish walks. Total weight loss since Nov. 2012—16 lb.
Doing a bit better with my perennial struggle to balance blogging with its attendant distractions (Facebook, Twitter, emails, comments) with serious reading and writing. Am getting going with my book.
Spiritually, I have reached a calm, settled place, and am really experiencing the love of God. Blogging with its introspection and encouragement to change has been psychologically and spiritually good for me, though since I am trying to write a book, it’s been more haphazard than I would wish.
Zoe will be volunteering in the Bridge, Gadsden, Alabama, in January. The rest of her gap year is still jelling, but we are sure that she and Roy, Irene and I will taste the goodness of the Lord next year too.
And this is my wish for you, friends—“to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13)
Happy Christmas, and very happy 2014