Volume 18.01 | January 2017

  • 01_The_mountaintop-

    The mountaintop

    In his very last speech, given in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 3, 1968, the day before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King imagined God asking him what era he would like to live in. He goes on to survey all of human history, starting with Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery, goes through Greece […]

  • 02_BUILDING-A-LIFE

    Building a life 

    An elderly carpenter was ready to retire, and he told his boss of his plans to leave and live a more leisurely life with his wife. He would miss the paycheck, but he needed to retire. They could get by. The contractor was sorry to see such a good worker go, and he asked the […]

  • 03_ON-THE-CUSP-OF-THE-YEAR

    On the cusp of the year

    When I come to the end of one year and am on the cusp of the next, I’m generally optimistic about what’s ahead. I like to rejoice in the victories of the past year, the progress made, the challenges overcome, and the joy experienced. I also try to set in the past those things which […]

  • 04_THE-BUS-RIDE

    The bus ride

    One typical rainy spring evening in Rijeka, I was sitting on bus number 18 going home after a long day—at least, I thought it was bus 18. There were about 30 other passengers on the bus, equally tired and impatient to get home. As we reached a crossroads, instead of turning right as usual, the […]

  • 05_CLIMBING-THE-NEW-YEAR

    Climbing the New Year 

    Even the best climbers need guides when they climb unfamiliar mountains. In fact, only a foolhardy novice would try to go without one—a novice like me. Years ago, I was on vacation in Switzerland, and on the last day, a friend and I decided to climb a nearby mountain. It was late afternoon by the […]

  • 06_YOLO-OR-CARPE-DIEM

    Yolo or carpe diem?

    Most people have heard the acronym “YOLO” thrown around for the past couple of years. It stands for “you only live once.” Pop stars and celebrities have made it a catchphrase to promote doing crazy things or taking risks because, hey, “You only live once!” It’s an attractive thought. Why worry about the future? Why […]

  • 07_WHEN-LESS-IS-MORE

    When less is more

    It’s a clichéd résumé line, but I’m a goal-oriented person. For as long as I can remember, I’ve set goals, and in particular New Year’s goals, and then worked to achieve them. A lot of New Year’s resolutions fail because they’re just things people say while caught up in a moment of passion (or guilt), […]

  • 08_THE-POSTMAN-PALACE

    The postman’s palace

    It was a simple, mundane life, the life of Ferdinand Cheval. He was born in 1836 in a village southeast of Lyon, France, where he attended school for only six years until he was orphaned as a young teenager. Throughout his life he worked as a farmer, a baker, and finally a postman. In 1869, […]

  • 09_FIRST-DAY-OF-SCHOOL

    First day of school

    New Year’s Day is sort of like the first day of school. It’s as though God gives us each a spotless new notebook, sharp new pencils, new textbooks full of new lessons, and a fresh start. Whether or not that comes as a happy thought to you probably depends on how well you did in […]

  • 10_STRAWBERRIES-CANDLES-RESOLUTIONS

    Strawberries, candles, and resolutions 

    It was a bright sunny day in South Africa, and the old year was coming to a close. Thoughts had turned from Christmas celebrations to New Year’s resolutions. The farmhouse door clanged behind me as I went into the kitchen. My mother followed my gaze to a heaping bowl of strawberries on the table. “Yvonna […]

  • 11_PAST-AND-FUTURE

    Past and future 

    The New Year is a great time to take stock of the past year and set goals for the next. Here’s a spiritual exercise to that end. (You will need one large candle and one small one.) Begin by lighting the large candle, which represents Jesus, the light of the world. Read and think about […]

  • 12_HAPPY-NEW-YOU

    Happy new you!

    In this coming year, I can help you become more like you want to be. In fact, I can do better than that! I can help you become more like I want you to be. Yes, it will take some effort on your part; it will take a daily yielding to My Spirit. For Me […]