Here are some thoughts on 2008 and goals or hopes I have for the new year.
Family-In 2007, I came to understand more than ever that the most important thing I can do, for all areas of my life, is that I be the best husband and father I can be. I always knew this, but the Lord really drove the point home to me. Voddie Baucham’s book Family Driven Faith made a big impression on me and instilled in me again that the most important ministry I have been blessed with is that of my family, and no longer will I sacrifice my family on the altar of ministry.
Ministry– The radio program continues to expand and take directions that surprise me. We have done a lot of traveling in the last three months and that will continue during 2008. The book project on the Emergent Church is progressing and I anticipate its conclusion this year (pray it will all come together and a publishing arrangement will come together). Our relationship with Salem Communications has been a very positive thing and while the syndication project has been slow in developing, our association with OnePlace.com has been tremendously positive. The thousands of emails we have received from listeners around the world has been so wonderful.
Relationships– One of the greatest blessings has been the relationships the Lord has placed us in. I won’t name people because it sounds too much like name-dropping, but we have been blessed with the opportunity to know and work with many people and ministries who are so wonderfully committed to the Gospel and it is an honor to serve with them. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for 2008.
Blogging-While our blog has gotten a lot of attention and has proven to be a very valuable tool with everything else we do, it has also become a distraction of sorts. One of the regrets that I have about my blog, and blogging in general, is that many times they are used as tools of attack and conjecture, used many times to go for people throats rather than ministry. I have been guilty of jumping to conclusions, making accusations before knowing the facts, and worse yet, drawing more attention to myself than to the Gospel and that is not what we as Christians should be about. Plus many times I have found myself feeling pressured to post something, anything, on the blog, just because I haven’t written anything lately. Blogging is a wonderful tool and should be used wisely. As Christians who use this medium as a tool of ministry, we should always keep that first and foremost in our hearts and minds. We should be assertive, bold and clear, but if we lack love, compassion and mercy, then something is wrong. Supper with a friend in Dallas not long ago helped me to really understand this.
Personally-I am thankful to our Lord for taking me to the woodshed on many occasions. I am confident in my motives and intentions, but sometimes I lack compassion for the very ones I say I am taking the Gospel too. During my trip to an emergent church conference in Texas last year, I came to understand that many times I have been harsh and unloving, especially when it came to those involved in that movement. While I strongly disagree with many of the views of some of those promoting the emergent doctrines, and I will contend for the faith with fervor and without fear, I am still mandated by my Lord to love those folks and to show it and act it. This is difficult at times, but we must speak the truth in love.
These are just a few reflections, and there is so much more to share. I am very hopeful about the days and weeks to come. I will admit that at times I am so overwhelmed with the tasks at hand, that sometimes I have to just step away and breath. But what a glorious honor it is to be even a small part of what God is doing. Praise His Name.
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