It’s that time of year again. As I have done in previous years, I thought I would take the opportunity to reflect on the year that was. This post will consider personal matters, family matters, and my church.
The year began with my regular tradition of putting the blog onto autopilot to give me time to reflect, pray, and recuperate. I have a tendency to end the year feeling exhausted and drained, and find the discipline of switching off my blog after the holiday period gives me a real lift. This year I am busier than ever, but I don’t feel as drained. I still plan on shutting down the blog during the month of January, and probably into February, as my book deadline looms closer, but I have set Blogger to republish some posts three times a week, and, as always, the Warnie Box remains to lead you to other great sites.
I felt like the year got off to a slow start, but then in February, I took a lovely holiday with two of my children. Watching all five of the kids grow has been another great highlight this year, with the baby becoming a toddler and our oldest rapidly on her way to becoming a teenager, having started high school.
It’s been a good year for me personally. I found myself thrust into new roles, including writing a book, which wasn’t something I ever expected to do. In spite of the business, and the fact that my annual leave was all burned up by the summer, I don’t feel as if I’m ending 2008 running on empty as much as I’ve felt that way in previous years. I praise God for the way he has sustained me.
One joy this year has been that in the latter half of the year I started the Every Day in the Bible reading plan together with my wife (also available as a podcast or printout). We listen to Max McLean, and it has helped my relationship with my wife and my Lord in one fifteen-minute chunk of time every day.
We have enjoyed a stable year as a family. No pregnancies. No births. No house moves. The same job. The same church. No major sickness. We are so grateful to God. We plan on staying right where we are for the forseeable future, still being convinced God has called us to remain here for at least another couple of decades or so. I stay where I’ve been planted, but I hope I can somehow encourage and support those who do go.
I have been so glad to be part of Jubilee Church this year. Our growth continues, we are often over 400 on Sunday morning now, and are seeing a prolonged period of regular weekly responses to the gospel. God is blessing us in so many ways, and we are all very grateful. The kids love the church too. Over the last year I have preached there eight times, as well as giving other talks to smaller groups of people at different times during the week and continuing to serve in the leadership team. Below are links to the sermons I’ve preached this year. Tomorrow I will give a brief review of the blog in 2008.
- Comfort Like a Mother (Mother’s Day Sermon)
- God’s Gift of Life (Thou Shall Not Kill)
- Work Rest and Play (Sabbath-keeping)
- Philippians 1 – Living for the Future
- Philippians 2 – Living for the Good of Others
- Philippians 3 – Living to Know Jesus
- Nehemiah 3 – Building for the Glory of God
- Nehemiah 8 – Back to the Word