Nehemiah 2:18b, 20 – They laughed at us and despised us, and said, ‘What is this thing that you are doing?’… So I answered them and said to them, ‘The God of heaven Himself will prosper us; therefore, we His servants will arise and build.
2018 was an uncomfortable year for my family and I. We had a lot of struggles come up that many families have had to face, but we hadn’t…until 2018.
Both my wife and I had job problems throughout the year. For her, the company she worked for shuttered her department and she was laid off. This led to us losing insurance and having to scramble to figure it out. Fortunately, my boss stepped up and set up a plan for us. But then, unfortunately, he neglected to pay the premiums and our insurance was cancelled a couple months later. Then, add to that, the fact that my job went through a financial downturn and paychecks were coming late, and, even those that were coming, we only partials.
This led to a lot of inconsistency in both health and finances this year.
Staying uncomfortable, when kept in front of God, leads to spiritual awakening. That spiritual awakening can lead to all sorts of blessings from God whether they be spiritual, physical, emotional, or mental.
In this case, it was all the above!
Both my wife and I changed jobs this year. My wife changed jobs because she had no other choice. After being laid off, she needed to find something new. This led to her finding a new job in the same industry but in a capacity that is a better fit for her skills. She still works from home. Every day that she works she truly enjoys what she is doing.
He knew that she was unhappy at her last company and provided her, after going through the storm of being laid off, the mercy and grace of a new job that satisfies her emotionally, physically, and mentally.
As for me, I have been seeking to follow my call into vocational ministry. That opportunity came late this year. I started interviewing with a local Baptist church (fcbc.church) around the middle of the year, and by early December, I was able to start as their Director of Ministries. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am that FCBC chose me. Even more exciting is that God granted my call!
As 2019 opens, Mimi and I are in a better place professionally and emotionally. Financially we won’t be making as much as we could have been had I stayed in the corporate world, but God….
Even through the job craziness the past couple months, we have noticed something.
Our bank account has continued to grow.
Even though I am making less and Mimi isn’t making any more than she was before, we are actually banking more money away, and our expenses haven’t really reduced. If anything, because of 3 cars breaking down in the same week, our expenses in the final month of the year increased!
Simply put, but God…
I am always amazed that He knows what we need and provides. I never want to be so rich that I forget about God, but I never want to be so poor that I dishonor Him either.
2 Timothy 4:17 – But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me
As for this blog, I only posted 31 articles this year, my lowest number ever.
This blog had its highest readership this year in its 7-year history!
I averaged 78 views per week with over 4,000 visitors this year!!!
It was viewed in 77 different countries, which is just shy of 40% of the world has had access to this blog! The top 3 countries are the United States (over 70% of the views came from the USA) followed by both China and the United Kingdom. I am really excited to see that the number 2 location for reading this blog was in China!!!
1 Thessalonians 2:7-8 – But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children. So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.
I pray that this blog is an encouragement to the Christians in China! Please stay strong, know that your sacrifice for the faith is seen by God. Your faith and your sacrifice will bring about a harvest for the kingdom. The disciples you are raising up will lead to change in generations to come. The struggles you face right now will see an amazing return in the faith of others.
Of all the stats I have ever read about this blog, seeing that it is being read in China significantly a both humbling and remarkable. I pray that God gives me the words to say that will encourage those who are risking everything for the faith.
As for the top posts that were read this year, I always facepalm when I read that my post “Spiritual Farting” is the top read post. This is now 5 years in a row that this has been the number one post.
If I can, please stop reading about spiritual farting lol. Almost 15% of my viewers for the year read that one blog post!
One key learning I have from reading which posts are the most popular is that series seem to be more popular than single posts. The series about Jesus’ disciples provided the most popular posts of those put up this year.
So, what does 2019 look like?
I have no clue. Considering most of my posts are triggered by something that happens in my life at that moment, I don’t know what I will be posting about. The rest of my life is fairly organized, so I like to give this blog to the movement of the Holy Spirit.
One thing I do know, as I move into the next year, boyradd.wordpress.com will continue to post and, God willing, grow.
Psalm 125:1-2 – Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people, from this time forth and forever.
Thanks for all your support through 2018.