In the midst of all that has been going on these past weeks, I have failed to note several days in December that have a deep personal significance for me.

12/10 – Sunday, December 10, we celebrated my sixteenth anniversary as pastor of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. My friend, Romell Williams, who pastors the Lilydale Baptist Church in Chicago, preached our two Sunday morning services. And my pastor, Dr. Melvin V. Wade Sr., who leads the Mt. Moriah Baptist Church in Los Angeles, preached the afternoon service. Likewise, some of the “Sons of Sinai,” my brothers, joined us for the celebration. It was a special day. I was refreshed, encouraged, and motivated by all of the events of the day. I thank the Lord for the wonderful privilege of shepherding the loving congregation of Mt. Sinai. And after all these years, through the good and the bad, our dreams are still greater than our memories.

12/12 – Tuesday, December 12, was the eighth anniversary of my marriage to the former Crystal Moreland. Because we were preoccupied with the upcoming trip to Midland, we didn’t plan any thing major. We simply had dinner together at one of our favorite restaurants, which we only get to go to about once a year. We had a long, quiet dinner. We talked a lot and made each other laugh out loud, exchanging stories. We both really needed that. Then we kind of goofed off for several hours. As we went, we thought of things to do. And we just hung out until we started getting sleepy. This was what it was like when we were dating. We never seemed to have big plans. We just kind of did nothing together. But we were really good at it. Thank God that after these years we are still pretty good at just doing nothing together.

12/18 – Yesterday, December 18, was Crystal’s thirty-second birthday. The kids and I took her out to dinner last night. It was also the birthday of a lady sitting near us at the restaurant. She tried to guess how old Crystal was. And, of course, she was nowhere near it. This is typical. Unfortunately, people I meet often think that I am older than I am. But it is just the opposite with Crystal. Many think she is just a teenager. They find it hard to believe that she is a married mother of two children. This is fine by me. Crystal is just as pretty today as she was when we met in high school years ago. And I can’t wait to see how much more beautiful she will be thirty years from now. Happy birthday, Sunshine!