Today is a very special day. For starters, it was exactly nine years ago today that I was awarded a Doctor of Ministry degree, after having completed a monumental project and dissertation dealing with job loss and how families and individuals cope with career change. Little did I realize at the time that my ministry work would still be going strong many years later and that I would eventually commit to start writing a blog about the transitions in our lives. At first, I had considered writing a book, but the idea of that seemed absolutely daunting and a blog seemed much more realistic to me.
I kept thinking that I would have some monumental idea that would come out of the blue, kind of like the Jews expecting the Messiah to ride in on a big white horse. But instead, I noticed a small Bible my grandmother gave me on my 13th birthday and re-read the verse that she had noted inside the cover. I called that day “a whisper of encouragement” from God and that night I wrote the first article for Transitions by The Book. Now here I sit this evening, almost 4 years later, and the counter tells me that tonight marks the 1000th post I have written about the day to day transitions that I have gone through during that time. During that same time, there are many of you who have joined the ranks of readers along the way.
There have been 1470 comments that you have offered and more than 170,603 attempts to spam the site. And I have written almost 1 million words in the last four years – dedicated to seeing evidences of God in the little things that we each do every day. When I look at it by the numbers, it seems impossible that all this has happened. After all, I just thought I was supposed to write a few articles – and now here we are. I never dreamed that TBTB would last this long, but it has, with encouragement from people representing all walks of life. In all candor, I never thought about writing past number 1000. I don’t know what the future will bring.
What I do know is that there are a number of people who wake up to TBTB each day, considering it their devotional time with the Lord. And to those of you who know us well, TBTB pretty much chronicles the life of the Toussaint family – as I have chosen to use our lives – good, bad or indifferent – to illustrate how God works through each of us day to day.
It is certainly possible that I will take a little hiatus from writing and see if I get another little whisper of encouragement from God about what I am supposed to do next. It may be that I write several nights a week – I really don’t know. But one thing is for sure – I have derived a great sense of satisfaction and closeness to God that I don’t think I would have otherwise experienced. Toward that end, I thank you for all the kind comments and words of encouragement I have received from you.
It seems appropriate that tonight’s verse should be the one that launched this entire ministry. It is the verse inscribed inside the New Testament Bible my grandmother gave me on my 13th birthday. We are told by the writer of Hebrews, in Heb. 13:20-21, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
As you can tell, this is almost a benediction and is, in fact, used to end church services from time to time around the world. My encouragement this evening is that God wants to encourage us and never asks us to do something without giving us the tools to complete the task. That is not to say that it will be easy, but God doesn’t set us up to fail. My prayer is that you will be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit and let God direct your steps so that you can be used for the noble and glorious purposes that you have been created for.It is important to listen for the whispers of encouragement from God. Thank you for being a loyal reader and have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…