Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 40: Don't Stop Now!

Congratulations! You made it through our 40-day journey. I hope you have a lot of personal stories that showed God’s faithfulness along the way to reclaiming vital areas of your life. Don’t stop practicing these spiritual disciplines that you’ve developed over the course of our journey because this is where spiritual growth stems from.

One thing that I reclaimed is my joy in writing. Sharing my thoughts with you around a Bible passage kept me in the discipline of writing daily.

In light of Proverbs 12:15, which reads: “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice”, I want to show myself as the wise man by soliciting your advice on the blog.

My heart is to connect with you in an online relationship on a number of levels including the promotion of your ongoing spiritual formation. So allow me to learn from the answers you’ll post to any of the following questions.

1. How can I reinvent the blog so that it achieves the outcome of a deeper online relationship, if it is to continue beyond our journey?

2. How can we make the blog more engaging and interactive without my having to post on a daily basis? (Although I enjoyed writing, I don’t have the time every day to post a devotional, perhaps weekly would work best.)

3. Should the blog stay with its current format?

4. How would you want to use the blog? Is it a Bible devotional you want or something else?

5. If I reinvent the blog, should it reach beyond the walls of Christ Church congregants?

6. Share whatever else is on your heart about the possible restructuring format of our blog.

What I’d like to do is to gather all of your comments, especially knowing that many of you have far more experience than I in blogging, and respond back with a strategy. And, if the consensus is to scrap the blog, I can live with that too. Please post your thoughts.

I look forward to seeing you at tonight’s Power Encounter service @ 7:30 p.m. [6:55 p.m. pre-service prayer] at the East Campus. Remember to bring all those things in your home that reflect a dark part of your past so that we can burn it for the glory of God and your deliverance (Acts 19:18-20). Blessings to you!


  1. Perhaps the blog could continue based on the weekly Sermon Topic and initiated by excerpts from the text. This would allow for depth and discussion among the audiences and congregation.

    I know that I find myself digging into the chapters sited in the messages, not just the passages, and the change to go deeper would be fascinating for many of us. For example, Operation Takeback was opened with a sermon that sited 1 Samuel 30 and Ephesians 6. ! Samuel 30 is a rich chapter with many lessons on leadership, humility, determination, and seeking God for the victory.

    God Bless & see you all tonight!!

  2. Hello everyone,

    Yay!!! We made it, Operation-Take-Back ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I agree with Brian about keeping the blog focusing on the weekly sermon topic. Although the daily devotional is EXTREMELY helpful, I only hope it carries the same enthusiasm as the Operation-Take-Back journey did. My suggestion would be to write beforehand weekly blogs that can be seen daily even if you don’t do an actual live post on your end (like 4 o’clock in the morning, just sayin’…) – we’ll let you sleep a little :-)

    The post that you would write on a particular day could be stored somewhere on your side and scheduled to appear on that day, if possible of course. The current format is good however I would place a link under each blogger’s post so that someone can either respond to them if necessary or add more valuable information to their original post.

    The Bible devotional format is perfect, while I do read scriptures daily, the 40-day journey has allowed me to take an even greater advantage of researching other parts of the Bible for reference – which has proven to be very beneficial because it keeps me engaged with God and the communication is constant not that it wasn’t before (because I always have something to tell Him, ha-ha!!) – My assumption is that the idea behind the devotional format would be to shed light on either issues or questions we might have on certain topics within the Bible. I would definitely encourage you Pastor David to take the gospel beyond the walls of Christ Church – the only thing you would have to put censorship so we can avoid friction from the devil masquerading himself as bignwk, you never know with Satan, he has agents everywhere.

    Besides that, it’s been great reading everyone’s thoughts and share mine as well – I have learned a lot from people and I’m sure some of you have learned quite a few things about me which afterward I wondered why did I place this there. My blessings to all that have participated in the Operation-Take-Back journey and may the Holy Spirit rule everyone’s heart as He has ruled mine.

    Be Blessed!


  3. Pastor David, thank you for blogging during the 40-day journey. What a blessing it has been! I am praying that the blog continues beyond the journey with a weekly devotional post. To make the blog more engaging and interactive, solicit questions and topics of interest from the congregants.


  4. Per Bryan's suggestion, I also like the idea of a weekly entry by Dr. Ireland that is centered around the sermon topic. I think appointing facilitators would also be helpful to (i) lessen the burden of Dr. Ireland, and (ii) encourage more people to respond.

    I think this blog should open beyond the walls of the church in order to continue Christ Church's reputation as being a place that is inviting to all. While I do think that a person should be assigned to moderate what is said on the blog, and in some cases even delete what is said, this should be done within reason. The reality is that individuals are at different points in their spiritual journeys, and someone might say something that sounds "wrong" to a person who is more spiritually developed. If the church's aim is to connect people to God, then I think it is more appropriate to have mechanisms in place to guide that person (i.e., Dr. Ireland's response to bignwk). Outright censorship should not be the answer in every case.

  5. Thank you, Pastor David, for sharing your heart and wisdom with us during this 40-day journey. I am so excited that there is possiblity for the blog to continue; I was dreading the ending of the blog experience. I like the idea of having a weekly blog that focuses on sermon topics. I don't necessarily want a devotional, I am more interested in a vehicle for reflection on Saturday's and Sunday's teaching. And to the question of making the blog more accessible to others outside of Christ Church, I offer a resounding yes! I would love for others to experience the awesome teaching we at Christ Church are so blessed to have. I have learned so much from and about the people who have blogged. Blessings to you all!

  6. I definitely enjoy the blog. I think it would be great if you could do it weekly each week focusing on a different aspect of Christlike character. What does it look like to look like Jesus and to display the fruit of the Spirit. Proverbs 15:30 states that "the fruit of the righteous is a tree of life" We draw people to Christ by our fruit. We could then in turn blog back about how we are implementing this in our lives or how we plan to. Another good topic would be our thought life and taking our thoughts captive to the authority of Christ.

  7. I definitely enjoyed the blog experience. I often wondered how you did it. I would see the time of your posts and say, "wow, does this man ever sleep?" lol. I understand how daily would be a bit much. I like the weekly suggestion. Also, maybe it could be used as a forum for posing questions from time to time. Throughout this journey, I have definitely grown as a Christian and have had many questions but didn't ask because they didn't pertain to that day's scripture. I have definitely appreciated your insight Pastor David and feel like I got to know you a little bit more. See you tonight!!!

  8. said...

    "Outright censorship should not be the answer in every case."

    Hello girasol65,

    That's my weakness and God is working in me by teaching me to be merciful no matter what. I always have the tendency to not show mercy, I'm a one strike and you're out type of person. I'm a work in progress and that goes to show I'm human and have a lot of flaws, thanks for sharing your thought and allow me to see that God gives us several chances and I have to be like Him, right.

    Be blessed,

  9. I loved the blog (sorr for my delay in posting)!

    I agree with everything Bryan said! However, opening up the blog beyond Christ Church I "disagree" with...

    A second option perhaps to switch up from the weekly sermon would be left up to whomever the facilitator is for a particular time period (month perhaps) and that person could post a scripture or topic for all to respond, give feedback or comment on.

    Sometimes people need an avenue to express themselves and this blog could open up a spirtual enrichment of wealth, shared knowledge and experiences as that would help to encourage and give various insights or perspectives. According to What Jesus Would Do...type of scenario.


  10. Do you know how sometimes you don't realize how attached you are to something until you are in danger of possibly losing it? I have participated in Operation Takeback and even though I have read all Dr. Ireland's blogs and many of the comments, I never posted a comment. Now that Operation Takeback has ended, I know that I want the blog to continue.
    I do not live in New Jersey, but my family and I attend Christ Church every Saturday. Due to the distance and family obligations, I am rarely able to make the midweek services, so I get the sermon on CD and listen to that every day until Saturday comes again and I can get a new one. Getting the CD helps me focus on the word and I use it as a base for further daily study, and it also makes me feel connected to my church family. The blog has has helped in my spiritual growth and helped me regain some disciplines over the last 40 days. ( I have decided to complete the book of Proverbs and continue to fast weekly.)
    I also want to thank Dr. Ireland and the pastoral team at Christ Church for their leadership, vision, and commitment to our growth, as well as impacting our world.

    In light of the last piece, I think the blog should be open to people who do not attend Christ Church, as it is the mission of Christ Church to impact the world.

  11. Dear Pastor,
    Thanks so much for allowing us to dialogue with you and to read your thoughts during our 40 day journey. I would love to see the blog continue and be attached to the weekly sermon as others have suggested or to a specific topic of study. While I agree that we should be "open" in light of our mission statement...opening this blog publicly can be quite an undertaking and may lead to a lot of blogging that has nothing to do with the focus of the weekly discussion. If you do decide to open it perhaps you can try to first see how it goes with the family of Christ Church and then consider opening it to everyone who would like to participate.
    Continued Blessings,


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