Sharing thoughts about how to live lives that glorify God…
When I was working as the full-time Pastor of a church I was very much involved in the teaching and preaching ministry and to a lesser extent in a writing ministry to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ…” (Ephesians 4:12), although to be honest, there was never enough time to truly commit to the writing ministry.I would often pass on references to the writings of others in books or on the web that I thought would be helpful but I was never able to really dig in like I would have liked.
This changed on June 1st when I officially entered “retirement” (is there really such a thing for Christian people?) and I decided to dedicate a substantial chunk of my time to the development of a blog that would pass on both my own thoughts and the writings of others whom I respect for the sake of Christian people who also live busy lives and don’t have the time to devote to searching out the riches that are out there.
On Aug 28th the Stop and Consider Blog was launched and other than a period early in October when Hurricane Matthew messed with those of us living along the South Carolina coast, I have posted something nearly every day. As of October 22nd I have written 19 long articles (“Just a Thought” and the “Saturday Selection”) along with five “Sunday Sermons.”
In addition I have provided links to more than 125 articles, blogs, or books on the web that I thought were particularly germane for Christian people who want to know more about their faith, who want to grow in their faith, and who desire to honor God as they live out their faith.
- Some of these links were to articles by men and women whose thoughts I very much respect as they seek to help people of faith sort out the Biblical mandate to follow Jesus Christ in the midst of a very confused, and confusing, time in our culture.
- Some of the links were to articles about important moments in Christian history or archaeological finds that help to further illustrate the trustworthiness of the Bible (I particularly liked the one linked to on October 5th about the toilet that was found in a pagan shrine in Israel to defile this place so that it would no longer be used as a place of worship – there is something that makes the Biblical text come alive when you read such things).
- Some were simply about the wonder of the world in which our Creator God has placed us.
The statistics reporter that came with the blogging software tells me that thus far StopandConsider.com has had more than 2,000 visits and nearly 15,000 hits.This affirmed my decision to begin this writing ministry and it tells me that there is a hunger in the Christian community for quality writing and I hope that we might have an even wider audience in the days to come.I know that many of you are praying for me and this ministry and I would like to ask your help in another way.I would invite you to become a Patron of this writing ministry.
The concept of patronage has strong roots in the early Christian church – especially among those who supported the Apostles and other evangelists and teachers.In Romans 16:23 Paul notes his gratitude to Gaius who showed Paul and others tremendous hospitality. In Acts 16 we read of “a certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God…” who was a dealer in purple cloth, was baptized by Paul and who then urged these early Christian leaders to “come and stay” as she helped to provide for them and their ministry. Others who may have provided such patronage include Jason (Acts 16), Artistobulus and Narcissus (Romans 16:10-11), Stephanas (I Corinthians 1:16),Onesiphorus (II Timothy 4:19), Philemon (Phil. 2), and Gaius (III John 1).In his instructions to the church in I Timothy 5 Paul encourages such giving with the pithy sayings that “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the gain” and “The laborer deserves his wages.” The early Apostles, evangelists and teachers relied on the faithful patronage of those who had come to faith.
The website www.paetron.com has done all the work for this.I have set up a page with them and they handle the gifts that are given and then will pass the support on to me.Paetron is not a “Christian” ministry site as such, but it has been developed to assist those who are in the arts or other creative endeavors, including writing.A number of the authors that I read regularly receive some of their support through this website.
Your support will allow you to be a part of this ongoing work – and through my patron-only stream at Patreon you will gain a voice in suggesting articles or subjects that the blog should consider. Funds donated will be used to help me block out more time to enhance Stop and Consider in the days to come. I’m still learning my way around this blogging thing, I find it easy to write but a little more challenging to design the blog that makes it easily accessible. I know that I need to tweak the site a bit and I am currently working on a Facebook and Twitter interface to the blog to more easily let interested persons know what content has been posted, and to encourage them to more easily share these materials with others they believe would benefit from reading them. If I get enough support I may even be able to bring a programmer on board to help me with some of these technical things. It is my intention for this blog to always remain entirely free and patrons like you will help ensure that it always remains that way.
Many of you are already support your church as well as missionaries and other Christian ministries, however, as you are able, I would appreciate your consideration of monthly support for this writing ministry as well. You may also give a one time gift but I believe you would need to sign-up for the monthly donation and after that first month cancel out any further monthly donations.
My initial goal is to reach 25 Patrons in the first month -- and after I reach that goal I will be including all patrons in a monthly drawing for a quality book about the Christian faith, and will offer a stream of patron only posts on the Paetron website as a way of saying thank you.