Volume 15.01 | January 2014

  • 01-New.Beginnings

    New Beginnings

    The new year is a good time to take stock of what we’ve accomplished over the past 12 months, to thank God for the blessings He’s brought our way, and to open our hearts and minds in anticipation of all that is to come in the year ahead. Many people also take advantage of the […]

  • 02-Search.for.Ebenezer

    Searching for Ebenezer

    Toward the end of last year, I was haunted by the word “Ebenezer.” It all began when I heard it on a Christian podcast, but the speaker didn’t clarify what it meant. The word stayed in the back of my mind for days, and I wondered where I’d heard it before. My children identified it […]

  • 03-New.Year.Perspectives

    New Year Perspectives

    What a crazy year I’ve just been through! In the space of 12 months I left a job I’d had for five years, moved to a new country, went on an emotional rollercoaster, spent many sleepless nights worrying, and on it goes… I’ll admit it was tough at times to live through, but now, with […]

  • 04-Blank.Pages

    Blank Pages in an Open Book

    We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. —Edith Lovejoy Pierce (1904–1983) Let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been. —Rainer […]

  • 05-My.Living.China.Doll

    My Living China Doll

    When I was a child, we lived near an apartment complex housing college students. At the end of the school year, the students would give away or sell cheaply whatever they didn’t want to haul home. One day, my brother brought me home a China Doll plant. My mom, who has a green thumb, said […]

  • 06-New.Years.Dawn

    New Year’s Dawn

    It was a beautiful sunrise. The pale light of dawn had brightened into a glorious golden glow, kissing the clouds with tints of pink and orange as it heralded the arrival of a new year. But idyllic new year feelings were the furthest thing from my mind. As I watched the sunbeams dance across my […]

  • 07-The.Change.Equation

    The Change Equation

    This is a time of great change in the world—technological, economic, religious, political, business, and environmental. The results are seen in governments, organizations, and in the lives of families and individuals. Although it’s sometimes more evident and easier to recognize and take stock of at the start of a new year, change is actually constantly […]

  • 08-Forming.New.Habits

    Forming New Habits

    The month of January, when the new year is celebrated in most of the world, is named after the Roman god Janus. Because he had two faces, he could look back on the past year and forward into the next. He was the god of beginnings and the guardian of doors. Making resolutions at the […]

  • 09-Setting.Goals

    Setting Goals. And Reaching Them.

    Some people have been so discouraged when they’ve failed to meet their goals that they’ve given up on having any at all, so that they aren’t disappointed by the “inevitable” failure. There’s a lot of advice available today on this topic, and there isn’t actually anything too tough or mysterious about setting and reaching your […]

  • 10-Imperfectly.Perfect

    Perfectly Imperfect

    I went to the Farmer’s Market this morning and was so pleased to find a good deal on some organic produce. When I got home and pulled the tomatoes out of the bag, however, I realized that some of them were too squishy to use, and I had to cull out the bad ones so […]

  • 11-The.Journey.to.Simplicity

    The Journey to Simplicity

    The other day I was listening to a Christian radio program on the way to the gym. Each day they ask a question for their listeners to respond to, either via phone or their Facebook page, and the topic that day was: “What do you look forward to?” The answers that listeners were sending in […]

  • 12-Onwards.and.Upwards

    Onwards and Upwards Into the New Year

    A quick glance behind… Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) If you feel that you have made mistakes, taken wrong turns, even failed miserably at this or that, you’re in good company. Many of God’s heroes in the Bible did those same things, but they learned from their mistakes. And […]