Greetings to all Faith and Conviction Readers.
Grace and peace to you from God, the Father, and our Master Jesus Christ.
First. I want to give everyone an official welcome to the brand new website: Faith and Conviction. This has been a hopeful desire of mine for a long time and is now reality.
Now, for a very brief 2011 Review.
Back in early August, my year-long sabbatical ended. Afterwards, I spent the last part of August, then September, October, November, and part of December praying about my ministry efforts. Should I be a minister? If so, what should I do? In what capacity do I minister? Among a myriad of other questions. I mean I really wrestled with God about ministry. I even considered quitting and going to work in a different capacity.
I spoke with my wife, my kids, my family, my friends, some from the church family, a few work associates and with their help, I believe they confirmed that God’s desire is for me to remain in ministry. That may sound odd, “Why would a minister wrestle with being a minster?” My answer simply stated, the work can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. Even so, I do believe and feel that remaining a minister is what I am called to do, and I believe that God has permitted a situation to test me in that regard.
So, in part of remaining a minister, I believe that Faith and Conviction will play a new role. Some may recall that we went to the website: raymondharris.com, where I used the title “Faith and Conviction”. So, in a sense, I was already ministering under that title, just not officially. In wanting to be in accordance with God’s will, I have migrated some content from my personal website (raymondharris.com) over to faithandconviction.org in order to launch a truly independent ministry entitled: “Faith and Conviction”.
Needless to say, the last few weeks have been quite busy, from purchasing Faith and Conviction URL’s to migrating information, updating both websites, checking links, even establishing a Faith and Conviction Facebook Page.
Additionally, during the last six months of 2011, I have taken the Theology: Nine Part Series into a manuscript and have done some minor rework. Also, I have finished a second manuscript entitled: “A Thesis on the CENI Hermeneutic” which assesses the Church of Christ CENI Hermeneutic “for consistent and coherent interpretation”. Furthermore, back in October, at someone’s request, I was blessed to begin a study of Romans. We took a break for the holidays, but our study is set to resume in January.
Second. I want to give a public “thank you” to Seth Bartley. He is truly great friend, spiritual brother, encourager and support to me and my family. He surprised all of us when he traveled to Texas to visit. He spent several weeks with our family, we visited some various churches, even traveled out to West Texas and the Big Bend. Personally, Seth has been willing to hear my anger and frustration, yet remain a constant voice of reason, direction and encouragement. He truly has been a tremendous help during 2011.
I ask that God protect Seth and bless him, his family, and Seth’s ministry efforts.
Third. I want to give a preview of 2012.
It is in the plans to establish a Faith and Conviction YouTube channel and provide video uploads. It is my hope that this channel will enable me to share things that I have learned and encourage others. I have received support for this effort in several ways. One brother in Christ, a Jewish Brother to be exact, said he would be willing to share some of the Jewish aspects of our faith. Additionally, another brother in Christ said he would like to help with video production. Great thing is, I have already requested and received a jingle from my son’s band Haima Hæron (Blood of Heroes) – hear the song.
As for Faith and Conviction content, beginning in January, I will provide my thoughts to the Romans study. I am thinking the format will be document style, meaning simply that I will provide what I wrote. This allows users to download the content of that study material and share it with others.
While there are some other things I know I will do, this will be the first time that I will be sharing effort between raymondharris.com and faithandconviction.org, so I don’t want an overload of commentments.
As for the manuscripts, both the Theology: Nine Part Series, and “A Thesis on the CENI Hermeneutic” should prayerfully be available at my personal website (raymondharris.com) by April 2012. Additionally, I am working on another manuscript about The Lord’s Supper. This will also be published at raymondharris.com at some point in 2012, prayerfully before July.
I am desiring and will be moving away from clinical sterile Biblical interpretation and doctrine evaluation. Doing the evaluation is critical and allows one’s mind to best understand our faith and why we do what we do. Yet, for me personally, God has given me a much better understanding of the problems, at least in my tradition of Christianity. These problems can be solved and moved aside, but doing so takes willingness of leadership and membership, in essence everyone, to re-evaluate and humbly admit when we are mistaken, and/or completely wrong. None of us can be completely right in our understanding of God, Jesus, the Bible, the Church, and the world, but we can be diligent Askers and Seekers, Knocking at the door of God’s truth (Matthew 7.7-8).
Seth will remain a part of my ministry, and will co-labor with me under Faith and Conviction. His life situation will be changing in 2012; but, unless something unforeseen impedes, his voice and his contributions will continue.
Fourth. I ask everyone to, right now, click the link for the Faith and Conviction Facebook Page, click the “Like” button toward the top of the page, and Like the page. That page will be an additional means to communicate with you about updates and give other messages.
Lastly, I want to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone for being a reader of Faith and Conviction, for being a participant in God’s Kingdom and gracing me with your prayers and concerns. I would like to sound the words of the Aaronic Benediction (Numbers 6:22-27, ASV):
May Jehovah bless thee, and keep thee:
May Jehovah make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
May Jehovah lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
And remember, “The One who spoke, still speaks.”
To all, Blessings and Shalom
Have a blessed New Year.
Faith and Conviction, Administrator, Author, Minister