A La Carte (December 30)

Good morning. Grace and peace to you today.

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New Beginnings: On God’s Mercy and Grace

“The beginning of a new school year was always one of my favorite times. There was something exciting about seeing unopened textbooks and knowing that by the end of the year, I would have a thorough understanding of that new subject, or at least evidence that I gave it my best effort. It was a time of new beginnings, regardless of last year’s results.”

Jesus Holds Us Fast

Blake rejoices in the simple truth that Jesus holds us fast.

Light and Life for the Year to Come

Sarah Valentour: “This time of year, we make lists, picking our lives apart for small ways to improve. We seek ways to become the ‘best us’ we can be, searching for answers within ourselves. But as the world preaches the salvation of self-care, God calls his people to a life of holiness, emulating him, in order to become children of light.”

Winning Your Child’s Heart with Winsome Words

“Do we understand the impact of our words on our children? We utter words every day in all sorts of situations, often without intentionality. Sometimes, when we are using words to keep order and get things done, we lose sight of the power they possess.” Darby Strickland reminds us of the power of words to build up and tear down.


“So there I was, feeling pretty sorry for myself, and arguing with the Lord. Things had not worked out like I thought they should. ‘Lord, You said that if I looked into your law and obeyed it, I would be blessed. This doesn’t feel much like a blessing.’ There it was in black and white, and yet I did not feel blessed in my doing.”

Flashback: Strength = Good, Weakness = Bad

Consider how God can and will work in you in the year ahead if only you will be weak. Make this the year where you will rejoice in weakness so you can rely on God’s strength.

Nothing should keep our minds busier on earth than this great reality: the Holy One of God was declared unholy, so that unholy sinners might stand unblemished before a holy God. —Mark Jones