As we wrap up 2013, I’d like to pause for a moment to reflect back on the year, and to express my appreciation for those of you who have helped to make it a notable one for this blog, and a rewarding one for me as a blogger. I’d also like to take a look forward to the year ahead and share something of what I see on the horizon.
As I consider this past year, I see it as a year of deepening friendships, marked growth in readership, and some exciting new developments on the blog.
There are a few folks in particular who have made significant contributions to those developments this year…
To begin with, I’d like to express my sincere appreciation to my dear brother, Sandor Abonyi of Hungary. Sandor and I communicated quite frequently by email throughout the year, sharing the things of the Lord and encouraging one another in His Word and in His work. He also translated multiple posts from this blog into Hungarian and published them on his blog, “keskeny út – narrow way“. These posts were also published on another Hungarian blog, “istenkereso“, from his translations. Next to the United States, I had the most traffic from Hungary this year as a result of Sandor’s translations on his and the other Hungarian blog. Thank you, Sandor, for your friendship in Christ and for your partnership in blogging this year. May the Lord bless and multiply your work in Hungary, and beyond, greatly as you continue to labor for Him!
This past year, a major development on the blog was the launching of a collaborative blogging initiative called, “The WORD in 3D“. This initiative brings together three Christ-honoring bloggers to offer a three-point perspective on Christ, the Living Word, through a selected portion of Scripture, the written Word. The “synergy” of these posts generated the most interest of any category of posts on the blog this year. The first of them, “The Word of Christ Dwelling Richly In and Among Us“, in fact, became the most popular post published this year, and the others followed close behind. These projects also served to foster broader and deeper relationships among those who participated in, and partook of, them. I would like to offer my special thanks to Josh Lawson, Nathan Odell, Tobie Van Der Westhuizen, Graeme Schultz, Erroll Mulder, Jim Puntney, Cheryl McGrath, and Evan Bolton for their wonderful contributions to this endeavor this year. (You may click on their names to see the projects that they contributed to.) It has been a great blessing to work on these projects together with you! I am humbled and blessed by your fellowship and giftedness in Christ! Thank you for “stepping out of the boat” with me to produce these “3D” projects!
I would also like to give special mention to Alan Knox, of “The Assembling of the Church“, for once again initiating another excellent “chain blog” this year on, “Real Relational Unity.” My contribution, inspired by my then recent thumb surgery, “Joints of Supply“, became the second most viewed post published on the blog this year. It was also one that Sandor translated into Hungarian and appears to have been re-published and/or promoted in Romania as well. Thank you, Alan, for initiating these collective ventures. When the Body comes together, beautiful things happen!
Another development on the blog this year came about as a result of a very close friend of mine, Daniel Herrington, making a personal request for me to record some readings of a number of the posts and pages so that he could listen to them while driving, etc.. I took him up on the request and then realized that maybe others in this hectic, digital, smart-phone age might benefit from this format as well. Thus the Audio section of this blog was born. It seems to be rather popular, as the page containing these recordings was the second most visited permanent page published this year. Thank you, Dan, for your inspiration, and most of all, for being such a faithful friend and vital “joint of supply” to me!
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All in all, this year was a very encouraging and enriching year of blogging. The rate of traffic to the blog nearly doubled this year and it reached into over 100 countries. Most of all, it was a year of new and deepening friendships, which is at the heart of this endeavor. Thank you to all who participated in some way in this blog this year. You are the reason I keep “pressing” on!
As we look forward to 2014 now, I am excited with what I see on the horizon. It is my primary goal this coming year to more clearly and substantially roll out what I consider to be the most significant teaching and spiritual understanding that God has built into my life over the past 35+ years. Thus far, I have alluded to it in a number of places, and it has “seeped through the pores” in many more, but I hope to spell it out clearly and directly as this year unfolds. It is primarily for the sake of sharing this teaching that I began blogging in the first place, and continue to press on, though it is difficult at times. Please pray for me, for the “headwind” going forward, and the “kickback” from sharing this teaching, may be substantial. It cuts to the heart of God’s eternal purpose in Christ, and the calling of the Church in relation to it, which the enemy hates above all else… so I covet your prayers!
I also am believing the Lord to continue to develop and deepen “The WORD in 3D” initiative, and have plans to open up a private “Studio” blog dedicated strictly to the production of these posts. They will then be published publicly from there on this blog, and possibly elsewhere.
I believe the best is yet to come, so please stay tuned. I also encourage you to consider signing up as an email follower if you haven’t already done so. That is the best way to stay connected. If there are others who you think would benefit from this blog as well, please pass it on to them. I am very excited about the content of this coming year and would love to expand its audience.
I am eagerly looking forward to the year ahead!
Love and blessings in Christ Jesus,