1. The Lord Jesus is still the most important person in my life. I am active in my church, teach in a Christian school, fill in for preachers who need a break, and try not to embarrass Him as I live in my home and community.

2. My wife is my rock. After 36.5 years of marriage, Darlene still loves me and tolerates my failures. She has taught with me, been my secretary, and is once again practicing as a nurse in a doctor’s office. In addition to raising our three kids, she now cares for her elderly father in our home.

3. Our kids have grown up to make us proud. Jennifer married a pastor’s son and is a missionary in northern Canada; Beth works as a nurse and is married to an engineer; and Jeremy runs the Late Night program at the local state university. They have given us three grandchildren that we love dearly and see too seldom.

4. My ministry has taken us from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, to Bay City, Michigan; Hallstead, Pennsylvania; Binghamton, NY; Dunellen and Parsippany, NJ; and Norwich, NY, where I currently teach high school English and history. Over the years I have spent 16 years teaching and 14 years in administration. I can still teach effectively, but my management skills were better fitted to an older time and culture.

5. I have written and directed a number of school plays, and one was bought and published by Bob Jones University Press. In addition, I have had journal articles published and a poem featured on the nationally-syndicated “Joni and Friends” radio broadcast. Most recently I published a collection of short stories for e-readers, and the royalty payments indicate that they are fairly popular in the UK. I have started a novel which will be finished in a couple of years if the Lord allows.

6. My physical health has been relatively good over the years. However, my mental and emotional health have suffered. Due to a hormonal imbalance, I suffer from mental illness—clinical depression and all that goes with that. Two years ago I had a breakdown that landed me in the local psychiatric ward for a week, and destroyed my memory as well as my ability to concentrate or tolerate minor annoyances. God has been good, and I am in recovery—but until the physical causes are discovered and controlled, I expect to be in recovery for the rest of my life.

7. I was in Washington, D.C., going through security at the White House for a briefing when the attacks came on September 11, 2001. From the guards telling us to leave the White House and, “Run—you’re not safe here!” to watching the Pentagon burn, and all the rest, it was a terrifying and life-changing day. For years I had a fear of low-flying planes.

8. I have done a lot of research into my family tree, and find that I am descended from European royalty on my mother’s side. My ancestors include Charlemagne, William the Conqueror, and evil King John; and my cousins include Winston Churchill and both Presidents Bush.

9. Although my degrees and certification are in social studies, over the years I have taught English, Biology, Choir, PE, Library, Algebra II, Advanced Accounting, Humanities, Office Procedures, Spanish, Music Appreciation, 5th/6th Reading, Family Life Skills, Typing, etc. in addition to all the social studies and Bible classes. Some of my favorite teaching has come when I led student tours of Washington, D.C. and the Gettysburg battlefield.

10. While I enjoy staying home, my wife and I have come to enjoy cruising the Caribbean; and we regularly make journeys to the Yukon Territory of northern Canada where our oldest daughter and her family are missionaries to the Klingit people.

That’s a little bit about me. You can learn more about me by reading old posts on this blog—I wrote a lot in the months after my breakdown, not so much recently. But now I want to know more about you, my friends. Private messages or emails to rdbowker@yahoo.com would be welcome. (You can send your comments here for me to read, but I will not post them without your specific permission.)

Peace and Blessings on you all.