29 December 2017

This 'n' That

I hope everyone had a joyful Christmas celebration this week! If your holiday didn't turn out to be filled with perfect Hallmark movie moments, well, that's okay, as long as Christ was celebrated.

Now we're on to a new year. 2018 looms before us, promising a year of laughter, smiles, friendships, memories, tears, trials, and disappointments. Yes, no matter who you are or what your circumstances, I can guarantee that you will experience all of these in some measure over the course of the next 12 months.

So, as you prepare for the onslaught of all that this new year will bring, remember the truths you know from Scripture. Truths such as, every good and perfect gift comes from above (James 1:17; cf. Luke 11:13), that discipline from God is designed to grow and strengthen us, and is exercised because we belong to Him (Hebrews 12:7-11), that trials test our faith for our own sakes, with the result of praise and glory to Christ (1 Peter 1:6-9), and that Jesus Christ is our wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30), our peace (Ephesians 2:14), our friend (John 15:13-16), and our Shepherd (John 10:11), and, if we belong to Him, we shall never be plucked from His hand (John 10:27-29).

We rest in these and the many other sturdy truths of Scripture every day, but as we approach a new year it is particularly strengthening to meditate on these and the character and nature of our God. Begin today. Tomorrow, repeat. Then repeat again the next day, and the next day, and the next...you get the idea. Something else you should repeat, albeit weekly rather than daily, is the practice of pouring yourself a cup of coffee or tea (or soda or water or whatever) and taking a few minutes to relax and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • For many, a new year means the start of a new Bible reading plan. Michelle Lesley rounds up a collection of plans from which to choose. Take your pick!
  • Some alternate thoughts to following a read-the-Bible-in-a-year plan.
  • There are still a few Christmas-themed articles to share with you this week, and this is one of them, reflecting on the biblical joy of Christmas: "Biblical joy responds to the arrival of God’s gracious gifts."
  • The joy and glory of Christmas go hand in hand.
  • "Hell is not ultimately about fire, but about God."
  • The New England Journal of Medicine shares its top infectious diseases stories of 2017. Yeah, I know, I'm probably the only one who finds some of these interesting, but who knows, maybe one of you readers has a closet interest in ID.
  • This is kind of a neat story.
  • I had no idea Rose Marie had such a long career in show business.
  • Your weekly dose of adorable comes with some resolutions for the new year.
  • If you're looking for a new Bible to start the year, here is a comprehensive review of the Schuyler Personal Size Quentel.
"Visit many good books, but live in the Bible." —Charles Spurgeon

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