Here we are – December 29th! In just a few short days, we will say good-bye to 2016 and welcome in a new year.
Recently, I have found myself being more intentional about the practice of self-reflection at the close of a year. The habit informs me as to the current health of my soul, it highlights strengths and needs, and lays a framework for the year to come.
Reflection, in fact, is a beneficial discipline for all areas of life.
So as we wrap up 2016 and head into 2017, I thought it would be fun and informative to reflect on our 2016 blogging journey.
During 2016, there were 63 new blog posts. Roughly one per week. An increase from 35 posts in 2015, 24 posts in 2014, and 4 posts in our very first year (2013).
The top four “comment getting” posts were:
By the way, I love COMMENTS. They serve to continue the conversation and help to make our connection more personal! Keep them coming!
Finally, and perhaps the most important and most informative, the Top 10 Blog Posts (as determined by the number of views) for 2016:
#10 My Top 10 Thanksgiving Resources – One of the most effective ways to grow in gratitude and increase joy is to GIVE THANKS. I share in this post ten of my favorite “Growing in Gratitude” resources that, by the way, are not just for the month of November.
Praying for our children and grandchildren is spiritual work. And one in which we often engage with no plan. Many times this haphazard engagement causes our prayers to be inconsistent and vague. In this post find 12 of my favorite tools for engaging in the weighty work of prayer.
“We will not believe more than we know, and we will not live higher than our beliefs. The many fronts of Christian compromise in this generation can be directly traced to biblical illiteracy….” –Dr. Al Mohler
There is an epidemic sweeping through the Christian population – biblical ignorance. In this post I share statistics and thoughts on this scandalous problem.
#7 Digging Deeper Kids: An Innovative Way to Reverse the Course of Bible Illiteracy among our Children – “Yes, we live in a culture where the Word of God is easily accessible to many. Most of our children have multiple copies of the Bible available in their own homes. Many attend church regularly where they sit in Sunday School classes or hear sermons. Some even listen to podcasts. Others read devotionals or Christian- authored books. These are all good things, but they are no substitute for PERSONAL BIBLE READING.” Read more…
This blog posts introduces DIGGING DEEPER for KIDS resources which are designed to help children engage independently and/or corporately with the Word of God.
#6 John 17:3 – A Verse Map – Verse Mapping has been one of the top subjects on the blog this year and one of the most frequently “pinned” pins over on Pinterest. Here I share an example of the process of Verse Mapping as I applied it to John 17:3.
#5 Corporate Prayer: Believers Joining Together in Prayer – Much is written and taught about the spiritual discipline of prayer, as it should be. However, I’ve noticed that often the emphasis is on the practice of private prayer. In this post I write about the practice of corporate prayer as modeled by Jesus and the early church in the book of Acts.
“Praying together is important. No matter your age, your gender, your knowledge of the Bible, or your comfort level with praying in public, you have an important place in corporate prayer. Prayer is a work for everyone who belongs to Christ.” Read more…
#4 Digging Deeper Kids: Verse Mapping – During the month of June I had the privilege of sharing Bible engaging methods with the 4th and 5th grade girls at my home church. Here I share some thoughts and examples from our experience with Verse Mapping.
#3 Some Funny and Favorite Grandparent Quotes – In honor of Grandparents’ Day, a collection of images, cartoons, and quotes. This post offered a buffet of humor, encouragement, inspiration, and advice.
“If the objective of living is to pass on a heritage of faith to those you love and to be with them throughout eternity, I suggest that you be intentional about preparing it now.” –Dr. James Dobson
#2 Who Am I? My Identity in Christ – An A-Z reminder of exactly who you are in Christ (including Scripture references).
#1 Verse Mapping – Much of my writing and teaching this year was focused on ways to engage more deeply with the Bible. Out of that focus, I have discovered many various and creative ways to go beyond a quick surface reading of God’s Holy Word, and Verse Mapping is now one of my personal favorites.
In this post, I share what Verse Mapping is, how to do it, and why I adore the process.
THANK YOU for going on this journey with me!
Thank you for reading, for taking time from your busy schedule to be a part of the blog readership. Without you this wouldn’t be nearly as interesting or fun!
You, sweet reader, are precious to me!
I pray that as you reflect upon 2016 and ready yourself to enter 2017, you would be filled with the HOPE and PEACE that is yours through Jesus Christ our Lord!
See you next year!
An INVITATION — into community, growth, and refreshment for your soul
The Nourish Your Soul: 30 Day Challenge begins in just a few days! The Challenge will run from January 1 through January 30, 2017, and I would love to invite you to join us.
This FREE challenge is an opportunity for some intentional soul care. Nourishing Scriptures are posted daily and participants are encouraged to engage with them and each other in a variety of ways. There are no hard and fast requirements. Simply come and engage as you are able.
This time around there are two options for participation. Choose the one that is right for you:
OR if you prefer working in community, click HERE to join our PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP. Beginning January 1, 2017, one Scripture will be posted on the group page each day for thirty days. Here members of the community will be able to receive support and encouragement as they work through the challenge.
Come. Join us for thirty days in God’s Word with daily scriptures that are food for the soul and truth for your mind.