The Isle of Bermuda is a fine place to be between Christmas and New Year’s. It is a plesant 68 degrees outside, the water in the Bay is blue and clear, the sand at the beach pink and clean. We’re stayaing in a wonderful condominium on loan to us from friends for some rest and relaxation. Our family of four has enjoyed leisurely mornings to read, afternoons to walk and explore, and evenings to watch old movies on a wide DVD screen. And lots of down time for shared meals and conversation.

Tonight, we reviewed our busy year of too much travel, and identified some highs and lows. Though it sounds exhausting, as I’m sure it was, the year 2006 was filled with fabulous moments of meaningful ministry and family fun. For the record, since I’m a blogger, here’s a re-cap of the year:

We began 2006 in Times Square on the roof of the Lamb’s Church watching the ball drop and confetti fall on the masses below. The next week Rebecca traveled to sunny Florida to start the course work for her Doctor of Ministry degree. In February, while I was in Korea, Rebecca and the girls took a road trip as far south as Kentucky.

In March Rachel turned ‘sweet sixteen’ and we had a party. Turning 16 also meant getting her learner’s permit with a year to practice before getting her license.

April took us to San Diego to celebrate a bunch of family events: Megan’s coming of age party with the cousins, Grandpa Val’s 80th birthday, and an early college graduation party for Amber, our niece.

In May, Megan played an orphan in “Little Orphan Annie.” For Memorial Day we headed to Denver to witness nephew Jeff’s high school graduation and a Rocky Mountain High 50th wedding anniversary for Rebecca’s parents.

In June, our new Henri Nouwen book, Spiritual Direction, was published by HarperCollins to lovely reviews and good sales. We’ve enjoyed leading groups and retreats on the book. Available at Barnes and Noble or (at a 30% discount) from

In July, Rebecca took an intensive set of classes at Drew, while Rachel and I returned to Bolivia on a church mission trip, and Megan spent two weeks at SBTW Camp in Pennsylvania.

August took us all to Maine for a vacation week with friends. We had some perfect days on the edge of Moosehead Lake swimming, hiking, looking for moose and roasting marshmallows. We stopped in Boston on the way home to visit colleges for Rachel.

Back to school in September. Rachel is a junior, and Megan is in eighth grade. Rachel ran cross-country for the first time. (What stamina she showed.) Megan played soccer and her team had a winning record this year.

Michael started a sabbatical in September and traveled to Malawi, Africa, to train pastors on issues of HIV/AIDS in the churches, and deliver food and medicine to hospitals and orphan care centers. (see Sept Travel Blogs)

In October Rebecca and I were invited back to San Francisco for a gala event at the Westin St. Francis in Union Square to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Golden Gate Community, Inc., the urban mission Michael started on a shoestring in 1981. Now a 4.5 million dollar social service agency, Golden Gate Community still welcomes at-risk youth who find help and hope. We greeted former and current staff and supporters and found the reunion deeply gratifying. (see October 26 blog)

November started with an overnight trip to Washington, D.C. for a second college tour. Then we flew to San Diego where Rebecca and I were each awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Point Loma Nazarene University.
While in SoCal we zipped down to Baja overnight to eat fish tacos and fresh lobster, ride horses on the beach and watch the pelicans dive into the water. (Really, that’s what you do in Baja!) We also had the rare chance to have Thanksgiving with the Christensen clan in San Diego.

In December, Megan got her braces off! She continues taking jazz dancing, piano and is one of the managers of the boy’s basketball team. Rachel is on the swim team and babysitting, and volunteering with the residents of our assisted-living neighborhood facility. I went to Dallas, Houston and D.C. for meetings while Rebecca stayed busy at the church with advent activities. Finally, on Christmas Day, we all flew to Bermuda to rest and relax from a long year of travel.

We know we have a problem, but it’s really, really hard to stop…

What’s in store for 2007?

Our New Year’s Resolution is to travel less and enjoy home more. (We’ll see how it all works out.)

I plan to return to Malawi in March to train youth leaders. If you’re interested in joining the mission team, visit www.worldhopecorps.orgor contact

Rebecca and I have been invited to Korea in April to conduct a 3-day retreat for Methodist Pastor and Wives’ on the Korean language edition of our ‘Spiritual Direction’ book.

We’re also anticipating a two-week family vacation in McCall, Idaho in August.

Otherwise, we think we’ll be home.

Tonight, we are wishing you a joyful New Year filled with many blessings.

If you’ll click on the link below, I know you will enjoy what you see and hear.