New Year


My new year literally started with a bang! On December 31st, my phone leaped out of my hand in an apparent dive of depression.

I picked it up immediately, not really expecting anything to be wrong. It had fallen on a carpeted floor, and I’d dropped it several times before without damage.

Flowers, Projects, and Dreams for the New Year

I love tending my garden, but I have a problem sometimes with flowers. I love to buy a few each spring and enjoy them through the long summer days, tending them and watering them and admiring their beauty. I just have a hard time letting go of them as they begin to turn yellow and die.

Happy Birthday, Activated!

This introduction page has traditionally served to present the issue’s topics, highlight an article or sometimes to share an anecdote or personal reflection.

In keeping with the calendar, this month’s issue is primarily focused on the challenges and possibilities of the New Year.

But I’d like to also take a moment to let you in on another milestone this issue marks.

How to Grow Spiritually in the New Year

Question:Many of my friends are making resolutions for the new year, most of which involve some physical change such as losing weight or breaking a bad habit. While those are good, I would like to resolve to grow in my spiritual life this coming year. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can accomplish that?

Answer: From God’s perspective, we’re all a work in progress. He wants to see us make as much progress as we can and will help us as much as we let Him. “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”1 Here are five ways to grow and mature spiritually:

Something New

Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018! Another year is behind us, and a brand-new year, brimming with possibilities, lies ahead. If last year was a difficult one, we may be glad to see the end of it, but there are probably many who are peering into the new year with lack of confidence, trepidation, and even worry.

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.

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 brought those over,” she said. “A gift from her family.” 

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 the last grade, last year. If you excelled, you’re probably ready to greet the new year with high hopes and bring-it-on enthusiasm. If you just barely squeaked by, you probably feel something between jitters and trepidation.

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