It is with a sad, and yet excited for the future heart that I announce that this will be my last post for justopenthebook.com. God has led us on an amazing journey since we launched this ministry in March 2010. Through trials, successes, mistakes, challenges and leaps of faith, God has remained reliable, loving and faithful to us every step of the way.
My goal foremost in this site has been to follow and obey God, and to share how real God is with others. I wanted my journey to reflect God’s glory and how reliable He is in His word. God remains faithful.
At various times in our ministry, and much more so lately, God has spoken to me about the importance of work and my vital role in leading my family. I have relied on God to provide for our needs as we worked to fulfill our mission with this ministry. Over time, God has shown me that his plan for me was to return to outside work. As I searched for career opportunities, I had planned to continue my role in this ministry on a part time basis.
But God has other plans. The job offer I have received is in the financial services industry, which was my first calling and where the bulk of my career has been spent. Due to industry regulations, I cannot have a role in any outside business activity, including this ministry.
Of course, I was torn by having to make a decision to take a job that meant leaving this ministry. Rather than weighing out all the pros and cons or worrying or making a case for either side, I turned to God’s word. I prayed that God would lead me by his verses, and opened my bible.
As I read, I was led to the books of 1 Timothy, 2 Thessalonians and Ephesians. Verses about caring for those in your own household, managing your children well, living an upright life, loving your wife as your own body, settling down and working hard, providing for oneself to earn the respect of outsiders, etc, poured out to me. I saw God clearly leading me. My first ministry, above all else, is to lead my family in a manner that honors God. I have been blessed with an amazing wife and four (almost 5) precious children. They are the mission field that God placed in me first and foremost. And while I hope that my life will always lead others to Christ, I must be successful within my family before I can ever expect the privilege of ministering to others.
It was so refreshing to hear God speaking to me in this way. I know without a doubt that it is time for a new season in my life. To love, provide for and train up my family to honor and follow God by putting them first. I will miss the joy of sharing my excitement about Jesus and the Bible in this blog. But I know God will bring opportunities to share my faith in other ways. I am excited to know I can grow as a husband and father, and can invest my time to build up the knowledge of God within my own house.
I am so deeply thankful to God for all the blessings he provided in this ministry. Thanks to all of you who have followed our journey, read our newsletters, prayed for us, supported us, sent in prayer requests and testimonies. My hope has always been that this site would be about what God is doing in everyone’s life, not just in mine. And the many emails, Facebook notes and contacts we’ve received sharing how our work has encouraged others faith in Christ is more than I ever expected.
While I will miss working on JOTB, it is so humbling to know that God has other plans and has led me clearly to them. My greatest hope is that those who have read our site would grow closer to God, trust him more and live with increased faith. And most of all, that those who have not yet accepted Jesus would accept him now and receive his eternal life and forgiveness.
God continues to provide in ways we never anticipated, and has been completely trustworthy and faithful. He will always be that way, for all who believe in him.
As I move on, my wife Kristy will be managing justopenthebook.com. We are looking at bringing on new writers who will continue to share God’s truth, their stories of faith, and words of encouragement to continue this mission. We pray that God will draw you closer to Himself through this ministry for much more time to come.