Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011: The Year in Review and a look ahead at 2012

This was a very productive year for me. I (finally) published my book, "This Is My Body:Ekklesia as God Intended" after three long years of writing - and re-writing. So, to say I'm proud of this accomplishment is an understatement. Not only did I receive an endorsment (and a foreword) from my friend Jon Zens, but also from New Testament scholars like Dr. Scott Barthcy (UCLA), and popular bloggers (Alan Knox, Will Rochow), and friends (Kent Williamson, Arnie Adkison, Crissy Brooks). I also managed to score four radio interviews to promote the book with Derek Gilbert (A View from the Bunker), Bruce Collins, and Active Christian Media - a first for me.

In addition to all this, I was also able to offer an actual e-book version of my book, thanks to the kindness of Jon Philpott who not only created the e-book, he also set up a landing page where people could download it, and he offered free tech support for anyone who needed help making it work on their Kindle, Nook, iPad or other e-book reader.

I also published a collection of my interviews over the last few years under the title [Subversive Interviews]. This collection includes my conversations with author Walter Kirn (Up In The Air, Thumbsucker), Dallas Willard, Todd Hunter, John Fischer, Matt Redman, Jim Wallis, Dr. Scott Bartchy, Dr. G.K. Beale and others. 
This year I also used my newly obtained passport to travel down to Ensenada, Mexico to speak to students about the Gospel of the Kingdom and what it means to follow Jesus, daily.

At my work I won a Silver Davey Award for my copywriting and concepting on the 2011 "Spot On" Marketing Symposium video, and I wrote a series of articles for the Sales and Marketing column in Channel Advisor Magazine, some of which were re-published in another trade magazine.

My blog won first place in the "Christ at the Checkpoint" blogging contest, which means I'll soon be the proud owner of a new iPod Touch. So, maybe my posts here can be written and posted via WiFi now. We'll see.

On Twitter I finally passed the 1,000 followers milestone, in spite of being myself. Go figure.

This year, Ken Eastburn (The Well House Church Network) and I also partnered together to host monthly Organic Church Forums at Fuller Seminary in Irvine. This allowed us to invite people like Steve Gregg, David Ruis, Bob Sears, Paul and Lori Byerly, and others to share about New Testament ekklesia, caring for the poor, and what it means to follow Jesus together.

We also got to partner with Ron Wilbur (Saddleback Church) to plant a new organic church at the motel in Santa Ana.
Our house church family got to baptize a few people, help buy groceries for people in need, and learn to love one another more.

On the personal front, I was blessed to spend another amazing year with my lovely and inspiring wife, Wendy, who keeps me grounded and out of trouble (most of the time). I also got to disciple my boys, Dylan and David on how to love God and serve others and live our faith every day of our lives. I've only got a handful of years left to do this so I treasure these opportunities.

Our family also got to visit Washington, DC together and see some amazing things like the Holocaust Museum, the Smithsonian, the Air and Space Museum, Ford's Theater, and of course all the monuments. 
This was also the year that I got to learn more about what God is doing at Isaiah House in Santa Ana, and to partner more with John and Marti Fischer, Thomas Crisp, Chase Andre and Dwight Smith.

It's hard to say what's on the horizon for the new year. I've been playing with a few ideas, like starting a bible study on the book of Hebrews in our house church family, or possibly starting a bible study at my work on the Gospel of John, or Matthew.
I've also got the PACIFIST FIGHT CLUB event coming early in January with Thomas Crisp, Shane Crash, Brandt Russo, Crissy Brooks, Wendy Tarr, Thomas Nixon, and myself. Can't wait for this, actually.
I've also planned a few new publishing ventures such as:
*[SUBVERSIVE UNDERGROUND]  - A "best of" collection of my articles from the now-defunct weekly e-newsletter that ran for about three years.
*THE POWER OF WEAKNESS - This book has been on the back burner a long, long time. Maybe next year it will finally see the light of day.
*THIS IS MY BODY (Hardback edition) - Lulu offers a hardback option and with the e-book version recently topping 3,000 downloads, I thought it might be a good idea to offer a special hardback version. We'll see.

In addition to the books above, I've been in the process of researching my next book. So far the working title is "WAR IS NOT CHRISTIAN" but that could change. The book will probably deal mainly with how the American Church needs to separate her faith from her politics and also how being a follower of Christ should mean we're non-violent. The Pacifist Fight Club event will certainly bleed into this book project, I'm sure.
Beyond all this, who can say? I would love to do more teaching and public speaking. I'd love to write more articles on faith and culture. I'd love to see more people come to faith in Christ through our house church family and our work at the motel. I'd love to see my sons grow in their faith.

Above all, I'd love to go deeper in my daily walk with Christ.

Here's to another great year.



Anonymous said...

I hope to read all of your books in the coming year.

Keith Giles said...

Awesome! Please let me know what you think.

Have a joyous New Year!

Anonymous said...

excited for that new book. it's gonna step on a lot of toes!