When 2018 started for us, we honestly had no idea what God had in store for us. As we launched into January, we knew that God was calling me to step away from typical church ministry and into more of a para-church role as a speaker and evangelist. Yet, that calling came with few guarantees and next to no confirmed dates as the year began. God had clearly called but I had no idea how I would be able to provide for my family.
But God provided for us.
In ways that only God could orchestrate, He provided opportunities to speak and write while also providing the means to care for our family. He also gave us the chance to make memories as a family in our community, on trips and in the church we loved.
I want to share with you, as I look back on 2018, how God created blessings out of nothing. So if you are looking ahead to 2019 and all you see is nothing, know that God can do so much more than you think is possible.
- I spoke 151 times in various events, worship services and conferences.
- Served in locations in 19 different states.
- Spoke to over 25,000 people
- Spoke at four major conferences – Family Fest, Legacy Disciple, FlavorFest & Truth For a New Generation – and I was so grateful to be able to serve with those I deeply respect in ministry like Jackie Hill Perry, Joe Thorn, Josh McDowell and J. Warner Wallace.
- Had a sermon air on Trinity Broadcasting Network as a part of The Encouraging Word Broadcast.
- Signed on with Outreach Speakers Bureau.
- Saw 62 people trust Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
- Released my first book, My Affliction For His Glory, which released as Amazon’s #1 special needs biography.
- Wrote articles for publications like Desiring God, Fox News, The Gospel Coalition, Intersect Project and Gospel-Centered Discipleship.
- Saw my first piece for Fox News get 1.7 million views in the first 24 hours of publication on Apple News.
- I got to edit and write two month long devotionals.
- A few of my favorite pieces that I wrote this year are:
“Different Was His Design” at Fox News
“Glory Amidst The Groans” at The Gospel Coalition
“Disabled By Design” at Desiring God
- Went on a summer vacation to one of our favorite places on the planet – Topsail Island.
- Spent Memorial Day in Gatlinburg where our kids had an absolute blast and still talk about to this day.
- Heather and I traveled to Chicago for the first time where we fell in love with the city, the people…and the pizza.
- We added a dog to our family – a black Great Dane named Atlas.
- We joined the church we love, Christ Community Church in Huntersville, NC.
There’s so many things that I have been grateful to be a part of in the last year and that makes me excited for what a new year will hold. I hope to meet some of you in 2019 while also building relationships with so many of you that I know already. I hope to be able to revisit some of my favorite places and ministries while also taking the gospel to new places and people.