In the film 'Dr Doolittle', there is a creature called a Pushmepullyou which has the ability to look backwards and forwards at the same time. Today, on the last day of December, we can take a brief look at 2007 whilst looking forward to 2008, both at the same time!
I have found it an exciting year, filled with opportunities to serve the Lord. It has been a somewhat traumatic year for the church that I pastor, with all the problems regarding the huge building project that has been subjected to more on/off moments than the light switch on a busy landing! At first it seemed as though everything was perfect, but then one spanner ater the other was proverbially thrown into the works. As each new point was raised so it was answered, only for someone to raise another. All of this takes its toll from a stress-level point of view, and many people in the church have found themselves stressed out over the issues. However, looking forward, it would appear that work will finally commence in about six to eight weeks, unless, that is, there is another box of spanners lying around somewhere! Most importantly, we know that if it is God's will tyo go ahead then nothing can stop it, but equally, if it His will that it should not go ahead then nothing can make it.
The Voice magazine has gone from strength to strength through the year, and, based upon the print-run and the estimated number of readers per magazine, we estimate current readership at around 2500. The magazine now goes to America, Canada, Finland, Israel, India, Australia, Eire, New Zealand, and across the UK, and circulation is constantly increasing. I hope that we will have doubled our circulation by the end of 2008, and we are looking forward to eventually achieving a print-run of 5000 copies per issue. Please pray for this project as we need to raise funds to achieve results, both from advertising revenue and donations.
In 2007 we released three new CDs through Sheer Joy Music, the music arm of Voice Ministries. In September there was the 'Come & Sing' CD which was recorded at Arddleen Tabernacle in mid-Wales, and featured the congregation singing a selection of my hymns. Also in September I released a meditation CD, 'One Starlit Night, and then in October came the great sound of the group 'Cantoris' who recorded There is Joy, a selection of 15 of my hymns. Lokking ahead to 2008, there are three new CDs being worked on at present, the first of which is 'When I'm With You' by Susan Marrs, a terrific mezzo-soprano, who has recorded fifteen love-songs written by Greg Scheer and myself. Hopefully this will be released about mid-february. Later on, due for release towards the end of March, there is a CD recorded in St Petersburg by the LYRA Ensemble, who have recorded 15 of my hymns in Russian and sing them a capella. The third project, still in the early stages, is to record Charlotte Kerce, a great alto who lives in Tallahassee. The music will be recorded first in Manchester and then sent across to Florida for the final recording, the end product hopefully being released about late October.
Lots to look back on and be grateful for, but lots to look forward to as well, and all to serve the Lord, pointing people towards Him in any and every way possible.
Of course, I cannot complete this review without mention of this BLOG! Since I started it with my very FIRST POST on October 4th, I have tried to post every day, something that I've almost succeeded with, excepting the few days BLOG HOLIDAY that I've taken over Christmas. I posted on all sorts of subjects, some serious, some humerous, and hope that you, dear reader, have enjoyed most of them if not all. For a Blog is a two-sided thing. Without a writer it doesn't exist, but equally, without a reader there's no point in it existing, so together we form a friendly partnership. I LOVE to get your comments, so keep them coming!
One of the things that I've tried to do on my Blog is to use pictures to speak and illustrate, so here is my final picture for 2007: