Housekeeping to do before the New Year:

First of all I want to thank all of you for reading thebeggardanced.com this past year. If all the people who read the blog were in one church we would be one of the largest churches in Canada. I appreciate your input, encouragement and suggestions.

I have been blessed by your friendship and support for the blog. Through the storms we have encouraged each other in our journey and hopefully strengthened each other in our resolve to stay faithful to Jesus regardless of what life threw at us.

This coming year I would like to see thebeggardanced.com grow more in its outreach to others. Though we have a wonderful and faithful reading audience, we are just touching the smallest tip of the iceberg of potential readers. Since this blog is about encouragement it just makes sense that the more people we can reach, the more people we might be able to help encourage on their spiritual journey.

There are a few things you could do to really help us promote the blog more fully. First, if each reader would encourage one other person to read the blog that would be an enormous start.

The second thing you could do to help is distribute business cards for The Beggar Danced. This is easy to do. All you have to do is contact me here at ladd@thebeggardanced.com and provide your address and I will be glad to send you twenty-five to fifty cards. I have been leaving them at a Christian bookstore and every time I check the bulletin board they are gone or nearly all gone. Other people give them to friends or pass them out at church. Some of the most dedicated readers to the blog first came in contact with it through receiving a card.

Thirdly, you could continue to pray for the ministry. It is not the easiest thing to do to write a blog post every second day as well as keep up on and post information about the persecuted church in the world. So, your prayers of support are very much appreciated and encouraged for this ministry.

Now, I have a challenge for you for the coming year. Actually it is a challenge for myself but I pray that many of the readers of The Beggar Danced will be encouraged to join with me in this venture.

In North America we see one new convert to Christ for every one hundred Christians. Somehow, we should be appalled by that statistic. So I think we, as readers of this blog, should change that statistic as far as it relates to us and set a much higher goal for reaching people with the gospel. I know many of you are already doing a great deal to reach people for Christ and over the years have had a powerful effect on people’s lives.

My challenge to myself this year is to be open to the working of the Holy Spirit’s leading and prompting for reaching out to others and encouraging their commitment and renewal to Jesus. I am not an evangelist or high-powered preacher but I believe, by God’s grace, I can be his hands, feet, mouth and heart to touch the life of at least one person in 2015.

Remember, I wrote a few posts back I want my life to matter when it comes to my time here on earth. This is what God has unfolded to me regarding this desire, that what really matters is that we are open to the working of the Spirit to encourage others to come to Jesus. So I want to encourage each of you to dare to let God use you to reach at least one person this coming year for the gospel.

That person might be a son, husband, father, sister, mother, aunt, neighbor, best friend, workmate or the clerk at the grocery store. This is not an invitation to go knocking on doors or anything like that. It is a simple invitation to become a light in your circle of friends. Make this the year you pray through for loved ones and neighbors.

Put yourself into the hands of God and say, “Here I am God, I need you to lead and direct me, but I’m open to be and do whatever you call me to do.” Let us make this an exciting year of witness and wonder for the gospel of Christ. Let’s lift up those around us in prayer and encourage them to walk closer to Jesus.

Remember, I’m not suggesting for a minute that you need to be an evangelist. Some of you will minister to people who will make a decision for Christ, but most of us will be used by God to encourage family members and friends who once walked with Jesus to renew their relationship. Could you imagine your wife, husband, son or daughter coming back to God and walking in the Lord again?

This coming year my prayer is that life will be less about me and my wants and desires and more about Jesus and His desires for me. I believe hard times are coming to this world and we need to work while it is still fairly easy to share our faith and witness.

Thanks for making it a wonderful year for Ruth and I and The Beggar Danced blog. May next year take us all into a more dynamic and exciting year spiritually.

* Please continue pray for the persecuted Christians around the world – they need our support as brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of their stories can be found at  http://thebeggardanced.com/nine-oclock-club/