It hasn't been a great year for me for a lot of personal reasons that I am not yet ready to share publicly. I am desperately hoping for some fresh starts in 2014 and trust in the sovereignty and providence of God that His will in my life will be done. Of course amidst all of this we as a family continue to be blessed. My children have never gone hungry or lacked clothing (even if they need to change the clothes they are wearing more often) or went without a roof over their head. While not rich y American standards, we have so much more than the vast majority of my brothers and sisters around the world. Praying for better stewardship as a family next year.
It has been a rough year on the blog as well. I published half as many posts as I have in any year since 2007. I started quite a few and they fizzled out. Hoping so see more consistency next year. Blogging and other writing projects are an important mode of expression for me, getting out on virtual paper what is bouncing around in my head.
2014 looks from this vantage point as a year of major, even seismic, shifts in my life and for our family. We just added another teen to the mix meaning that more than half of our kids are teens or older. Our youngest is 6 so it has been a long time since we have had a baby in the house. That is pretty unusual for a family that has had at least one baby around for more than 20 years. Even though I am "only" 42 we are already getting that itch for grandchildren and that is kind of freaking me out a bit. With three kids in college classes our family is really moving in a new direction although it sometimes doesn't seem so with all 8 of our kids living at home.
2014 promises to be another year of major changes in the church in America. The pace of the collapse of our Christendom based civil religion is breathtaking and showing no signs of slowing. Just the opposite in fact. Around the world the Gospel is spreading but so is persecution, often in places where American foreign policy intervention has created the environment for renewed hostility toward the church. At the same time, both here in America and abroad, Gospel orthodoxy is under assault. Biblical illiteracy in the church is growing in spite of the incredible access everyday Christians have to the Bible and study materials giving all of us access that twenty years ago would put the finest seminary library to shame. Running in parallel to Biblical illiteracy is a growing undermining of the authority of the Bible as a trustworthy and authoritative revelation. Many voices of heterodoxy on a variety of topics are gathering an ever larger audience seeking to have their ears tickled. Just as the internet is a great source for Christians to converse and occasionally argue, it is also a convenient way for false teaching to get in front of untold numbers of people. Now as much as, or perhaps more than, ever there is a dire need for clear, unapologetic teaching of the crucial doctrines of the church.
Also, if you are looking for some worthy ministries to contribute to as the year comes to a close, please consider The Haiti Orphan Project, a ministry near and dear to my heart. Also for those in Fort Wayne check out A Hope Center or for those in Toledo Heartbeat of Toledo. Both ministries are on the front line in the daily fight for life. You can find your local pregnancy resource center by checking out Care Net's Pregnancy Decision tool. Even better find a way to volunteer your time at one of these ministries, it is life changing for you and life saving for babies!
Anyway, enjoy the final day of 2013. Here's to a better year in 2014!