To help new readers get the background to this blog, and as a filler while I take a blogging break I am posting a series of highlights from the ten different years that I have been blogging. Soon I will have my ten year anniversary. So far I have posted about 2011 and 2012. Here is my review of 2010.
The year began for me in Enfield Cineworld where I would of course spend most Sunday mornings, and many other meetings during the year. I love being rooted in Jubilee Church, it helps keep me sane! Tope’s sermon on prayer, and the prayer of blessing which began it helped set the tone for what would be a busy year.
Just a few days into January my first book, Raised With Christ was launched. Response has been overwhelming to me, as I had no idea how it would be received. The publisher tells me that they are very happy with thesales. What interests me, however, is that perhaps unsurprisingly the total sales are still just a small fraction of the number of blog readers I have. That tells me that many of you have yet to buy the book. You know who you are! Don’t put it off any longer, buy it from Amazon.com today!
As the month continued, I did my first radio interview and was greatly helped by some tips from a journalist friend of mine. I also spoke for Newfrontiers North leaders on the resurrection, meeting and interviewing Jeremy Simpkins while there – if you are interested in the role of an apostle today, that is a great place to start. As the month drew to a close, I travelled to the USA to attend the Desiring God conference and a number of other events.
February was dominated by my trip to the USA which I reported on fully, and shared a number of interviews where I was either the interviewee or questioner or both as in the case of Sam Storms. I also made a rare excursion onto the subject of evolution. Towards the end of the month, Tope showed every pastor how it is done by selling 100 copies of Raised With Christ in ten minutes. He could definitely have been a salesman in another life!
In March I seem to have been feeling provocative, urging us to consider if a lack of joy equates to sin, shared a quote about why literal Bible translations are better, suggested we should be preferentially giving out John’s gospel to unbelievers, spoke of the challenges church leaders face from their own congregations, struck a blow for British independence, and told off everyone who doesn’t clap in church yet applauds elsewhere off, and shared a convicting story about an encounter I had on a train, before finally challenging us that our friends might not know what Easter is all about.
Exhausted by all that? Well, a few days into April I was off to New Word Alive in Wales where I reported on sessions and later shared interviews once more. I enjoyed my times at those conferences. I shared some momentous research that showed sex, socialising, and eating dinner with others all make you happier. A big controversy raged online that month, and I firmly pinned my colors to the mast on the side of believing Piper was right to invite Rick Warren to his conference to speak. More controversially still, after sharing an interview with Wayne Grudem on Politics and the Christian I posted a mini-series on why I planned to vote Conservative, listing three main reasons: Social justice, Christian values, and leadership.
During May, I was able to share the rest of my interview with Wayne Grudem. We also had the honor of Matt Chandler coming to Jubilee Church. I got to film an interview and we have preaching sessions as well:
- Matt Chandler on Newfrontiers
- Matt Chandler on being a reformed charismatic
- Matt Chandler on the call to ministry
- Matt Chandler on why he is friends with his “staff”
- The first 300 leaders session with Matt Chandler.
- The second Matt Chandler 300 Leaders session
- Gospel sermon preached at Jubilee
I also attended and live blogged the Dwell 2010 conference and finally met a real friend of the blog, Ed Stetzer. Finally, one of my favorite posts of the whole year was a quote from John Piper on how sentences change lives. Twitter users would be happy!
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 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. We had John Piper speak for us at a conference and sermon. 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.
July was 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!
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, 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.