Today I want to share with you the top five personal posts from 2018. This has been an amazing year. And I am grateful for readers, prayer warriors, encouragers, and financial supporters. I could not do this without you. As I have done every year for more than three decades, I am spending time this month reflecting over the previous year of ministry. God continues to amaze me with the way that he leads, guides, nudges and sometimes shoves me forward.
Next week I will post the top ministry posts from last year. But this week I hope you will enjoy these top five personal posts from 2018. It’s been an amazing year. Thank you!
The start of a new year. January 1. Out with the old. In with the new. It’s always a special day. College football bowl games. The Rose Bowl Parade. Pork chops, turnip greens and black-eyed peas. But this year… Well this year, “It just means more.” Yes, I know that is the slogan for the Southeastern Conference. But for me the promise of this new year just means a little more… Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018.
Memorial Day used to be just another holiday. Not anymore. That changed for me in 2006. For the past twelve years I have paused over this sacred weekend to remember a late-night phone call and a cold January afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery. I pause to remember my nephew, Sgt. Adam Leigh Cann, USMC and the thousands of others who have given their lives on the battlefield for the cause of freedom.
It is a good name. It came to me that way. I hope I have shepherded it well. I’ve tried. Yes, I’ve made mistakes. There is a lot I would like a chance to do over. But that’s not the way life works. Like everyone else, I am a broken human being in desperate need of mercy and grace. Too often I reflect the messiness of the world around me more than the righteousness of Christ in me. But overall I have taken care of this name that my father gave to me, and I have passed it on to another generation.
The truth is we all need to get away from time to time. We all need to rest. I know that I do. And my favorite place to get away is what we affectionately call The Farm. My first visit was in November 1983 when Melanie and I had been dating for a little over a year. The Farm is her maternal family homeplace. In those days Mama Mae and Papa Doug, Melanie’s grandparents, were both living and still working the farm.
Even in the uncertainties of this journey God is blessing our ministry, and I am looking forward to each step along the way – wherever and whatever that step may be. In the next several weeks, Melanie and I will have to make some major decisions. We are also facing some fairly large financial hurdles in the immediate future. Pray that we would have wisdom and discernment. Our desire is to walk in in the wonder of God’s Shadow Step! Thank you for your continued partnership.
If I had known how much fun it is to celebrate life with grandchildren, I would have encouraged my children to get married sooner! Maybe not. Okay. Definitely not. But I am loving this season of our lives. In June we got to celebrate Agnes’ first birthday. Two weekends ago, we celebrated Evelyn’s second. So. Much. Fun. Doc loves his girls!