Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Year in Review

Well, I find myself at the second anniversary of What's in a Name, and I pause to look back on the year since June of 2010 to see what has changed, what I've learned, and what is the same.

Two years ago, when this blog was just beginning, Gillian and I were expecting our twin daughters shortly. Now, as I write these words, our third child and our girls' first sibling, is due to arrive within a week or so. Our daughters are 22 months old and growing so quickly that I can hardly keep up. They are talking and beginning to form sentence structure; they can run, leap, army crawl under things and make a wicked mess at bath time. They are highly affectionate and liberally dispense hugs and kisses to Gillian and I. They know Gillian by "mommy" or "momma", but seem to gravitate between "dadda," "poppa," or even "abba" for me. We had to have our present little one (who we suspect is a boy) turned in the womb so they were head down, and that went well by the grace of God. It's been a full year with our children.

I've become a published author as of December of 2010. My first novel is entitled "The Canticles of Andurun: Dragonsong" and is a Christian fantasy adventure set in the mythical realm of Andurun. It is book one of seven, and is presently available through Strategic Publishing. My wife and I are making ready to launch Dragonsong on Kindle so an Ebook format is also available for a much smaller price tag. God willing, that will be available very shortly.

I have often had a Christian friend and co-worker in my prayers for a long while; I first mentioned them in my first annual review. I am hopeful for their maturing walk of faith with the Lord, but I have failed to see any growth at all over the last year in them. They are living out of wedlock in acknowledged defiance of God's will, and though we have discussed this matter numerous times they are more comfortable with their opinion of what is good for them than what God's word reveals about what it is right. I will never cease praying for them, but my heart aches at how unwilling they are to honor the God they profess. They do not seem to comprehend that their behavior drags their profession (and God's name) through the moral mire they are too comfortable living in. Having been in such a circumstance years ago I know that it utterly paralyzes any spiritual ability or energy. God won't touch you until you are willing to be made clean. I learned the hard way, and I pray that my friend does as well.

The importance of articulating the gospel was also impressed upon me this last year. There is rampant interest among many blogging professors of Christ to add water baptism into the gospel message and making it an imperative to being saved. The gospel however is something that is to be believed, not performed, and comes with the message of Christ crucified, buried and raised to life, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4. The gospel is also an act of condition, not of merit, which God has laid down as the stipulation for receiving eternal life, Ephesians 2:8-9. In this regard I also have come to realize that I reject the tenets of Calvinism and believe Calvin's teachings are a perversion of grace, sovereignty, and depravity. Calvin himself, I have learned, was a brutal man with a bent toward legalism that caused the people of Geneva much grief. A good tree does not bear bad fruit, and if the root is bad, so too will be the branches; therefore I will not accept Calvin's specious teachings about a God of love who loves to condemn for arbitrary reasons hidden in the mystery of His person.

I have two great Christian men who I have come to admire and respect over this last year. Lloyd is a godly man who has a passion for the gospel, and you may find him at Solid Rock or Sinking Sand. Consequently, though Lloyd espouses Calvinism I certainly do not reject his fellowship. Nor will I with anyone who holds to Calvin's teachings so long as they realize and accept that one does need to believe anything Calvin taught to be saved by the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Donald is another great expositor of the word of God, and he may be located at Being a Christian Today. I have followed him through Luke and Acts, and have been edified and refreshed numerous times when I visited. Both Lloyd and Donald have been wonderful brothers in Christ to me, and I hope for many more years of the same.

On the lighter side, Gillian recently started a garden which is very interesting. I have begun a website for my novel and related material, which should be quite enjoyable as soon as I learn how to navigate its construction. I have seen the beginnings of a new church formed locally, and am a member of it. I have also been offered to teach when we have a more stable schedule and happen to be present a little more than we have been; Gillian's pregnancy has been a little trying for us. But God is good and has supplied our needs in Christ Jesus. It's been a good year, all in all, and I pray the Lord for more still so that I may impart the knowledge of His Son to more people. I would pray that my blog and my life be to God's glory. In Jesus' name, amen!

If you want to peruse my first Year in Review, feel free to do so. God bless!

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the effort you have spent on your blog. It will pay off, both for you, and for those you teach, as I Timothy 4:15-16 advises. "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."

    Thanks for the nice comments.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for the encouragement, Donald. Let's continue to pray that the United States remains free enough to proclaim the gospel without hindrence.

    ReplyDelete

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