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Volume 3, Issue 5 - January 2007

""Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
~ Matthew 11:28 NIV ~


Hello, and Happy New Year! Can you believe that we are at the dawn of another 12 months of this, our great adventure in Christ?

This time last year, I remember looking into the misty future and being aware that although 2006 had a good mix of reasonably certain events to look forward to, there was also the much larger "great unknown."

Now, having stepped across the divide into 2007, I can look back and see the rich panorama of life that made up these last 12 months. There have been tears of joy, and tears of sorrow. There have been mountain tops and valleys. There have been times of uncertainty, and times of clear direction. Throughout it all, God has been there, preparing the road ahead so that every step, whether I've been aware of it or not, has led into His plans and purposes.

Did Someone Say "Fresh Start"?
By Jan Ross

Fresh-like fresh tomatoes ripened on the vine?

Fresh-as in fresh footprints in the snow?

Fresh-like the fresh smell of a newly painted room?

Or, Fresh-as in being fresh out of ideas?

Nope! Fresh Start! That's what I'm talking about. After all, it's a fresh new year. The old year has come and gone, and now we have an opportunity to improve on what we messed up last year-and, let me tell you, I need that! Truth be told, we probably ALL do.

Fresh Start Bible Reading Plan:

Beginning this new year, let's make a commitment to begin a concerted effort to read through the Bible in an entire year.

Read Complete Article...

So, once again, here we stand peering into the misty unknown of another new year. What will it bring for you, and for me? I don't know, and to be honest, I don't really want to know. It's enough for me to know that the Lord's plans are perfect, and He is working them out in each of our lives--for His glory. For now, it is enough to hear His voice saying, "This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:21 NIV).

So let's walk with confidence into this brand new year. May it be a time of growth, fulfillment and great joy for you and your loved ones ... and may January be an opportunity for the freshest of starts.

Speaking of which, make sure you read our front page feature this month: "Did Someone Say 'Fresh Start?" by Jan Ross. This was the perfect article to start 2007--full of encouragement, inspiration and wisdom, together with a good challenge to hopefully see our January fresh start last right through to a great December finish.

If you need a bit more wisdom to get you going into the New Year, then we have a double dose for you in this month's Golden Apples section. First of all, Sandra Fischer takes us into the garden with a good dose of wisdom in her article, "Time to Plant." Then, join Edd McGrath for his short devotion, "FWD, FWD, FWD." I know that both Sandra and Edd's articles made me stop and think.

If you are in any form of ministry, then I really encourage you to read Al Boyce's Ripe for the Harvest article, "When the Chips are Down." When we are so intent on achieving success for the Lord in ministry, it can be very easy to feel discouraged by the things that we consider to be failures. However, if we have been serving God and following His direction, then even those things that seem like failures to us, may all be a part of God's magnificent, greater plan. So if you have been feeling a little downhearted regarding the success rate of your service, then let Al help you to see the bigger picture.

Todd Tribble has an excellent message in Teen Truth this month, with his article, "What are You Doing?" Although it is aimed at youth, believe me, it's a message for all ages--for everyone who has let go of their dreams.

I have to admit that I had a few tears sneak into my eyes when I read Debbie Sickler's article in United as One this month. Using the simplest of illustrations, Debbie absolutely hit on one of the greatest "secrets" for a successful marriage. To be honest, it is just as true for any relationship. So, whether you are married or single, take time out to read "The Other Side of the Mug." You won't be sorry.

In the same way, you don't have to be a senior to be blessed by Bonnie Derksen's story in Crown of Splendor. I loved this short story, and found it such an encouragement. I'm sure you'll enjoy "Just Stay Put," too. If you have ever felt that you've sacrificed your hopes and plans for the greater good, then I am sure this will bless your heart.

Well, as always, these are just a few of the highlights in the January Issue of FaithWriters' Magazine. There's plenty more to read and enjoy inside, and you can find everything listed on the Contents page. Don't forget--if you read something that impacts you in some way, please take a moment to write and let the author know. You can contact them through the Letters page of this magazine. I know for a fact that whenever a reader takes the time to do this, it is a huge blessing to the author. So, don't be shy.

Anyway, until next time, may God's love surround you as His hand gently guides you into another wonderful year.

Happy reading!

Deb Porter
Editor, FaithWriters' Magazine