One can never say “thank you” too often, especially when it is well deserved. I have often thought about how I need to do this more often – especially in relation to my ministry of which CultureWatch is a major part. I could not do what I do for Christ and the Kingdom were it not for the prayers, support, help and faithfulness of so many terrific people.
For ten and a half years now CW has been up and running, with this being the 3,809th article to appear here. Usually when I have reached a milestone number of articles, such as 3000 or 2000, I will again state the rationale for CW, and conclude by thanking everyone who is making this possible.
But I can always be more grateful and more thankful. Indeed, a reader sent in a comment not too long ago about this very thing, asking me to interact more with people and say thanks more often. As I said, I often think about this, so I took his comments as well-deserved friendly criticism.
Indeed, I wrote a comment in reply saying I agree, yet I sought to offer at least a bit of explanation as to why this is not always being done as much as I might like. I said this in part:
Yes, I can always improve of course, and I am rather aware of my many shortcomings here. It does bother me often that I cannot do more of what I should do. Thus I really do covet prayer so that I might do better. Even in finding time replying to others and thanking others, etc. But a few points if I may:
-I do say thanks to people for their comments fairly often. There would be hundreds, maybe thousands, of times I have done this.
– I do have 55,000 comments on my site. That is a fair amount of comments I think! As I state in my commenting rules, I will not be able to reply to every comment that comes in here. Indeed, if I did, I would have well over 100,000 comments. I guess when life is busy, I must prioritise things a bit. So I cannot always reply as much as I might like to alas.
-This website is not the only way I communicate. I use social media and bulk emails as well. In all three I have done regular generic ‘thank yous’ for those who support what I do, pray for what I do, and financially help what I do. I am quite aware that I can always do it more often however.
-CultureWatch is me. Period. I have no staff, no secretaries, no assistants. So I must do everything myself. That includes writing nearly 4000 articles now, and moderating every single comment that comes through. That includes not just the 55,000 that have been allowed on, but the tens of thousands that have had to be rejected (foul language, no name, etc). I do much more than the website, however, including speaking, teaching and travelling regularly. That also eats into my time big time. Plus I try to turn out a new book every year or two.
-And of course I am a husband, a father, and so much more. So Culture Watch obviously can only occupy a part of my time. I think I would be hard-pressed to properly do CW justice even if I were just a free-wheeling single!
So I guess I am saying that I am a bit busy. I am not trying to make cheap excuses here, just lay out the facts. Yes, I know I can do better, and as mentioned, I will try, and I do desire prayer cover in all this.
I hope all that did not just read like a bunch of lousy excuses! I am just seeking to explain my situation a bit. But yes I often think about all those who have been so supportive of this ministry, and how I have not done as well as I can to say a big thankyou to them.
And this support comes in so many different forms:
-those who pray for me and my ministry, either regularly or periodically.
-those who write in supportive comments under my articles, or send me a personal note of thanks.
-those who contribute financially. This is a faith ministry, and it only survives because of those who so kindly and generously give to keep this ministry afloat (which also means helping me be able to feed my family!).
-those who follow up on action suggestions I give, eg., writing letters, signing petitions, visiting politicians, and so on.
To all of you who have done these and other things: Thank you so much! You will never know how invaluable all your support and encouragement and help and backing has been. And in addition to saying thanks, I also need to apologise to some of you.
I am sorry I have not always given the feedback in comments some of you may have been looking for. I am sorry I have not always thanked everyone who has sent in a financial donation (sometimes the gifts are anonymous, but often they are not). I am sorry when my replies to your comments may have been too strong or too ungracious or too harsh.
As I say, I often get it wrong. This is not a ministry for the faint of heart. In addition to the legion of hostile critics who you have to deal with almost daily, there are those who are basically on side who may attack you or give you grief or want to pick a fight with you.
I get this all the time from friend and foe alike. It really can be quite demanding, wearying, and trying. At times one is easily tempted to want to quit in the face of all this. So learning how to properly respond to everyone in a wise, loving and godly fashion is crucial, and something I am still obviously in need of getting right.
Indeed, basically every word I use has to be carefully and prayerfully considered. There are entire websites devoted to attacking me, and they monitor my every word. Plenty of enemies want to catch me out or trip me up. And even well-meaning fellow believers are often on a hunt to find something they can accuse me about or attack me on.
For a guy who just wants to live a quiet and peaceful life, this is a rather odd ministry to be involved in! I would prefer to just sit in the corner and read a book to be honest. But this is God’s calling on my life, so I must seek to do it as best I can by the grace of God and the help of his Spirit.
Which is exactly why your prayers and intercession and spiritual warfare on my behalf are so very crucial. Our spiritual enemy does not want me doing this work, and he uses his foot soldiers to trip me up, wear me down, confuse me, abuse me, discourage me, and mistreat me. All that can take its toll.
So please keep praying for me, my family, and this ministry. Your prayers are more vital and valuable than you may ever imagine. They sustain me, surround me, defend me, encourage me, uplift me, and help me to persevere. So please keep praying.
Thank you again for all your prayers, your encouragement, your support, and your standing together with me in this work. I really could not do it without you.