Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
- 2 Timothy 3:16
Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea.
- Isaiah 24:15
Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble on the darkening hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it to utter darkness and change it to deep gloom.
- Jeremiah 13:16
Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been, and moved to the threshold of the temple. Then the Lord called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side
- Ezekiel 9:3
The Scriptures above may not seem to fit together, but the first speaks of rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks regardless of the circumstances. The second speaks of all Scripture being useful in instruction. And the last three talk of the glory of God. Those three themes are important in the review of this calendar year, in my blogging and in life in general.
As of this post, this site has posted 588 posts this year. Of those, 49 have been fictional stories about the people in the big city of Tracy, and with the pregnancies that have been mentioned, the big city might get a bit bigger. Yet, the run of six months without missing a Wednesday story may come to a close soon, but not right away. Something always comes to mind, something left unfinished from the previous story. I hope and pray, even in the more gritty or racy stories, we can find some moral lessons to learn.
But that still leaves 539 posts, most of them set up in a weekly schedule of 10 posts per week, not counting the fictional stories. But in doing the math, there were a few extra posts thrown in there. One that stuck out was our April Fool’s Joke, told on ourselves, when on April 1 my wife was admitted to the hospital, her blood count far below the danger line. But as a result, she has been a lot more diligent in sticking to her diet. She has much more trouble with low blood sugar, but never high. But there was a hint of only one diverticulitis flareup since then and no sign of the two bleeding ulcers that they found. Even with that scare, there have been many reasons to praise the Lord.
Another extra post was about my thoughts on Ukraine versus Russia. When we live in relative peace on the far side of the world, we lose track of time. It is hard to realize how many months there have been of those people suffering, and Rev. David Robertson speaks of the aftermath of such wars and how the poor in other places are suffering as a result of the war preventing food from being shipped to poorer nations.
On the blog site, I have reserved several scheduled posts, a lot starting in 2022. With regards to the timing, I am referring to Eastern time, USA when speaking of mornings (8:30am) and evenings (3:30pm). For those on the far side of the world, the posts may come out on a different day and far from the morning and evening that I mention. And to add to that, some people may read the posts days or weeks later. There are posts every evening at 3:30pm, but only on 3-4 mornings, unless a special post. The evening posts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday are not tied to a theme or series, just what is on my heart at the time.
Sunday evenings are my mini-series, focusing on one book that I have read or another. I started the year in the midst of quoting two Dietrich Bonhoeffer books, and I have officially set that slot as mini-series posts, presently using Matt Chandler’s To Live is Christ, To Die is Gain.
Tuesday mornings are reserved for philosophical discussions, presently looking at A Concise History of Christian Thought by Tony Lane, more theology to take a rest from the broader subject of philosophy, at least for a while.
Wednesday mornings, at least for another week, will be reserved for fictional stories in the big city of Tracy. Lately, I have recognized some holidays, including tomorrow morning, with fictional stories that may have some truth in them.
Wednesday evenings are my vesper services. Vespers are usually the last thing before bed, but with this site being viewed in just about every time zone around the globe, I have simply set the posts in a pattern of Scripture related to Catechism questions, the questions, a little discussion, a song, and then end in prayer. A vespers service, regardless of when it is viewed.
Thursday mornings are reserved for Bible Studies. I am presently working through Isaiah, and I will follow with Jeremiah before moving back to something in the New Testament.
Friday evenings are reserved for a study that started on 27 May 2022, Relationships. I have had this idea for over a decade that relationships in the Bible should be explored to see what we should do with our relationships, and with many what we should not do. We are to have a meaningful relationship with Jesus. What does that mean? At the point of writing this, I just wrote about Rehoboam and his advisors yesterday, and I am going to have to do a lot of Bible reading in a hurry to see what is next.
Saturday mornings are reserved for my Bible quizzes.
I was thinking about starting a special Bible study on the Psalms for Friday mornings, but I am comfortable with this 10 or 11 post schedule. When my wife has physical setbacks or she has a series of medical examinations, I can fall behind a little and catch back up without much trouble. I think this has been an answer to prayer, of late, to not venture into an extra post, especially one that will require a lot of additional research. It will happen in God’s timing or maybe not at all. I will continue to pray about that one.
Under the heading of giving thanks, I would like to thank all my readers. I have written recently about the ebb and flow of visitors and views. Over the course of the year, there is only a slight dip from 2021 in views and visitors, but the year had started very strong and then there were many months far below average. I have in the past month seen that pick back up, but that brings me to the last point. Everything is done for the glory of God, so the numbers really do not matter. I know there are people who read these posts that I never see on the stat sheet, all to God’s glory. So thank you all.
And as for the quizzes mentioned above, they have developed a life of their own. Even the Bible studies get spikes in views months after they were written. They were written as a resource when needed and God is showing me that when the stats spike at odd times. Again, all glory to God.
All Scripture is Useful
I wrote quite some time ago about tracking how often I use each biblical quote, at least by chapters and books. I started 2022 having quoted all chapters of the books in the Bible except for 293 chapters. When I read books for pleasure, I have always had a rule to not praise or condemn an author unless I have read more than one book of theirs. The authors that are in that limbo state are my “onesies.” Thus, I started tracking how many chapters of the books of the Bible that I have only quoted once. There were 394 chapters that I had only quoted once at the beginning of 2022.
As of this writing, I have now quoted from all but 82 chapters of the Bible. Getting this number lower means that even more chapters become “onesies” but my “onesies” total is down to 186 chapters. All to the glory of God, showing that the Apostle Paul was right in 2 Timothy 3:16.
Soli Deo Gloria
Early on, I started ending my posts in this manner, except for my short stories. But even in the short stories, I try to convey a moral message.
I read how Johann Sebastian Bach would write SDG on his sheet music, dedicating what he had done to the glory of God. I have also read that on occasion other writers, composers, etc. have done the same thing. But it helps to remind me that God spoke to me and told me to go where people are, on the Internet, and provide encouragement and insight, at least from my perspective, on the things that are going on today.
So when I get to that last line of the post, I must ask myself if this was indeed for God’s glory. In a few cases, I have reached the end and then went back to modify what I had written. I wanted God’s glory to be the main focus. Maybe some of my funnier stuff might not look like it, but I know God has a sense of humor.
The Scriptures quoted above tie in with that. If we rejoice, pray, and glorify God in all that we do, continually, then all Scripture is illuminated within us to be useful, and all for God’s glory.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.
Happy new year, dear friend. Continue pressing on. Our walk to the other side of eternity is winding down, but our words belong to our Creator and only he will bless them. Thank you for yours!
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So well said. Thank you and may you have a happy, joyous, and blessed New Year.
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