KING COLUMN: Last year was…

Published 4:54 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

By Bill King
Pastor at Lanier Baptist Church

Well, somewhat unbelievably, here we are again at the beginning of another new year. I have become somewhat of a seasoned veteran at these trips around the sun. Although I’ve been here quite a few times now, the amazing thing about a new year is that we never fully know what to expect because we don’t always know where the coming year may take us. We may be pleasantly surprised by some of the people and places along the way, and possibly even be disappointed by a few. So, having said all that, where have we been this year?

2023 took me through my second full-year of retirement. I must say, I think I’m enjoying this retirement thing too much. I don’t have to work anymore, but I can if I choose. The amazing part is I still get paid, even if I don’t work! 

This past year took me back to Lanett every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening. There I had the privilege of serving as pastor of Lanier Baptist Church for my second year. It’s only a 30-minute drive from my home in Opelika, and I love going there. This sweet church has welcomed us in, and they have become family.This year also took us on the road again. We started the year with a quick trip to Louisiana for a couple of days. Ole Billy Bob did a program for the seniors at First Baptist Church in Covington. Jean and I had wonderful time. It’s always fun when you get that close to New Orleans and crawfish etouffee!I also met David there, who came to Opelika later that year to be my partner in a pickleball tournament. 

During the summer, 2023 took us to Hawaii for nine days. The Land of the Ferrell Chickens, otherwise known as the island of Kawaii, was an amazing place. This island was by far the most beautiful of the three I’ve visited there. We watched in awe as a giant sea turtle came on shore and laid her eggs in the sand, while we sat on the beach and ate Puka Dogs. We closed out the summer with a trip to Kentucky, where we toured a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, and then spent a week driving back down the world’s longest yard sale.  We closed out the year with an unexpected trip. It was the shortest one, mileage-wise, but the longest one in so many other ways. We traveled a few miles to East Alabama Medical Center, where I spent the week before Christmas. They raised my hood, changed my oil, and rebuilt my engine. I’m almost ready to pull out of this garage and hit the 2024 road! When all was said and done, I am so thankful that last year was not my last year. It almost was, or at least, easily could have been. I’m looking forward to 2024 and my eleventh year of writing this column! May you have a blessed year!