A Review Of The Year 2009

I have reviewed previous blogging years in 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004.

These summary posts really do show something of the history of this site, and hence my life over this time. I sometimes wonder how long I will be able to keep all this blogging up, but to be honest, most of the time I simply cannot imagine life without the opportunity for reflection a blog brings.

This year will forever be known in my mind as the year of the book. It’s the year when all my previous efforts to write this thing came into sharp focus by the ever looming deadline. It’s the year when I often wondered if I would ever manage to submit a vaguely decent manuscript. It’s the year when I realized just how much of a novice I still was at writing, and more particularly, at editing. It was the year I realized how hard it is to let something that feels like your child grow up and leave home as it were. That was an ominous recognition, given that for me letting a real child leave home is not so many years away, and will be much harder than letting a book go!

It was also marked by that surprisingly long time when you submit the manuscript and are not meant to do anything while the publisher prepares suggested edits, then the constant tweaking as different proofs come your way. Not to mention publicity materials to approve, websites to help develop, and the constant wondering whether, when the book finally comes out, anyone will actually want to read it.  The life of a first-time author can be an emotional roller-coaster of being pleased that some people like the book enough to write nice things about it, but then some minor set back or other knocks you back to wondering why you ever tried to do this!

So with all that going on, and my incredibly busy family life, work, and church, is it any wonder that blogging felt like it took more of a back seat than usual this year?

Back in January, I re-ran a series on preaching to begin the year. I also visited my first conference of the year, Together At Butlins. Terry Virgo’s talk there on Jonah was especially notable.

In February, I was able to interview Hugh Palmer after he preached at our charismatic church. Probably a first for a Conservative Anglican like him! I also wrote one of very few truly thoughtful posts this year, when God demands the impossible.

I posted a series of quotes from Jonathan Edwards on TULIP. I also shared a particularly fascinating quote on John Piper’s perspective on the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, and reflecting on my time with Hugh, asked myself “am I a conservative evangelical?”

March saw me sharing two extraordinary sermons by my pastor, Tope Koleoso, one on alcohol and one on sex. His insight, wisdom, and humor made these talks legendary at Jubilee. If you missed them at the time, go back and watch them right now!

You, my readers, also helped to title my book, which felt very strange at the time since I thought I knew what it would be called. I now think you chose well! I interviewed Tim Smith, worship leader at Mars Hill. We were also blessed to have Tim Keller speaking in London.

April was dominated by the New Word Alive conference, which still had me sharing material in June! I also posted about the missing O.

In May you all stepped in again to help me choose the cover of my book. What a great cover it is too. Thanks to the designer.

I also did a series on the Gifts of Spirit which continued into June.

In June I once again attempted to restart my series on the Together for the Gospel Statement. I do hope to get back to that in early 2010. I posted a quote from Tope entitled “Why I should when I preach.” I also shared a video of Terry Virgo preaching on Elijah’s prayer which was later mentioned by John Piper.

In July I was delighted to meet Andrew Fountain again when he visited us at Jubilee to see what God is doing there. Apple gave me a new Macbook Pro, and it was time to start editing my book again. It was wonderful also to be able to bring my wife with me to Together On A Mission for the first time in years.

In August I published a guest series and wrote on the Rich Man and Lazarus. My daughter made her debut as a conference blogger, and I shared some ideas about how anyone can help promote a book they like.

In September I wrote about claiming God’s promises, not believing your own publicity, and a short series on wisdom.

October and November saw me sharing two fantastic sermons from Tope Koleoso on worship, the availability on pre-order of Raised With Christ, as well as a series of endorsements for the book. I found a letter to a soon to be published author to be very helpful. I also was directed to some amazing footage of Billy Graham from the 1950’s. I enjoyed reading about how thirty years ago John Piper responded to the voice of God, and Spurgeon’s belief in Second blessings of the Holy Spirit.

I was deeply impacted by a trip to the Newfrontiers Prayer and Fasting, and I am still feeling that impact today. It was also announced that Logos Bible Software has put Raised With Christ into their pre-publication program.

I shared a rather personal video of an interview between me and my daughter about my experiences of being bullied at school.

December was dominated by the illness of Matt Chandler and the move of this blog to WordPress.

I look forward to sharing 2010 with you, my readers. May it be a blessed time for all of us.

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