Today, I will conclude my review of 2010’s blogging. At the begining of June I shared notes from a sermon I preached, A People on a Mission. I also began some work on a planned online study guide for Raised With Christ. This included video footage and questions for people to consider or discuss in groups as they read the book. Unfortunately I had to put that on hold due initially to sickness, but later due to a season of incredible business which consumed the latter half of my year. I would like to get back to that and finish it off in the new year. Let me know if you are interested in me finishing the study guide, perhaps so you could take a small group of people through the book together. Hopefully I can get to this in early 2011. If anyone has already thought of study type questions for some of the chapters I would be glad to receive them from you as suggestions.
I also reminded people of Pascal’s experience of God, which brings up a subject which I speak of in the book and about which I am very passionate, and which I believe many modern Christians miss entirely. After sharing the second session of the study guide, I was struck down by a return of shingles . I thank the Lord that the symptoms turned out to be much less severe than last time, although I was knocked out for several days. I was still able to attend the John Piper conference and sermon we had at Jubilee. In the run up to that event I shared some classic Piper quotes about how God demands our emotional response, self-forgetfulness, and sleep. I also shared the notes and video of Piper’s fantastic sermon on the gospel and racial harmony preached at Jubilee. Videos from John Piper’s leadership sessions (which included a great Q and A time) are available at 300leaders.org and I also shared notes on my blog.
June also saw the launch of the audio version of Raised With Christ, so people can now listen to the book on their daily commute. I also devoted my blog to a aseries of posts from Phil Moore’s excellent “Straight to the Heart of . . .” series. Phil also has a great blog and I have awarded him a Warnie.
July was obviously dominated by the Together On A Mission conference. Highlights for me included, inevitably, Terry’s sermons on Ephesians 6 (See talks 1, 2, and 3) and I was surprised and deeply moved when he recommended my book from the stage, having heard him recommend other books for decades. After the conference I shared the first of what would be quite a few videos from Terry Virgo being interviewed by others that I would publish on my blog this year. I recommend you watch as many of them as you can to capture something of the heart of this remarkable man of God. May God continue to use him to inspire many thousands of up and coming leaders.
In August, after sharing the video of when I was interviewed by Ed Stetzer, I turned my blog over to a series of guest posts so I could take a rest from blogging. September was dominated by the Faith and Feelings series, which in common with many other series I started over the years was not finished. Hopefully I will come back to that early in the New Year.
October saw the launch of the Confluence Reformed Charismatic Blog , and I was honored to be asked to provide the opening post. That blog has developed well and provides a real resource. I was also able to watch and share a video talk from Rick Warren at Desiring God 2010 – The Battle for your mindwhich happily did not seem to generate as much controversy as I suspected it might.
I shared video and notes from a sermon I preached on Barnabas and his prophetic gift of encouragement, which I believe represents a very important message for the church today. May God raise up many Barnabas-like individuals content to not be the “top dog.” I also wrote a post for Church leaders entitled, 6 Steps to handling church email wisely.
In November I spent some time in Africa, which did have an impact on me that I have not shared about here as of yet. I had a good time, and was so excited about it that as soon as I got home I took the kids to a Family Safari here in England. It got very interesting, especially when our car overheated for the first time in five years in the bear enclosure! I was clearly in contemplative mood, and eager to jump off the rat race a little when I wrote about The value of being alone. Then later in the month, I urged us all to Check our motives, and shared notes from a sermon entitled “The Glory of Jesus” which was somehow a hard sermon to deliver, but seemed to be associated with the hand of God’s blessing.
December’s blogging was dominated by my efforts to reach out to Arminian’s on the web with an olive branch, which had began in November. When I put together the resultant series, The Arminocalvinist Spectrum, I decided to include some earlier posts which demonstrate that the seeds for this latest post were already there a few years ago.
I am sure that you will understand that with a schedule that includes a full-time secular job, this blog, opportunities to discuss my book, church leadership, fatherhood and most importantly being a husband, I am very busy! I am not feeling drained at the moment, but am instead mentally energized. But at the same time, I am sure I will benefit from the blogging rest that will follow one final post tomorrow. In fact, I have been resting for a few days already as I set these posts onto autopilot.