Shepherdess: Reflections on a new year

Whatever the New Year means to you, it is a time for beginning again. We don't have to dread the future simply because of the past, nor see in it an escape from burdens and despair.

Dan Matthews is the director and speaker of the Faith for Today television broadcast based in Thousand Oaks, California.

Depending upon who you are, where you've been, or what you have done, the year just closing may have been filled with genuine satisfaction for you, a sense of worth and happiness. If so, you maybe a little reluctant to see it end. At the same time, if 1982 has, indeed, been a good one, you probably face 1983 with keen anticipation and objective joy also.

On the other hand, the passing year may have dealt you experiences that have seemed harsh and cruel; perhaps you've been misunderstood more often than not. If this has been 1982 for you, your thinking may be calloused to dread 1983 as simply the repetition of a hard lot in life. You may see in a new year only the closing of a sad chapter in life without even the possibility of turning a new, clean page.

Whatever the New Year means to  you, it is a time for beginning again. We don't have to dread the future simply because of the past, nor see in it an escape from burdens and despair.

We live in a world that calculates by the calendar, so the Christian would do well to have a balanced account with God and man not only every day, but especially at the New Year. Changing from 1982 to 1983 can provide a reference point of new resolves and happy challenges. New Year's resolutions? Don't include those unreasonable demands that in all honesty you know you can't keep anyway. Resolutions should be made up of real commitments, submissions, relaxations, and surrenders based not on our strength and determination, but on God's grace. Such resolutions carry with them the seeds of peace because we know that with God success is assured. If this is the kind of New Year's resolution we should make, we really don't have to wait till January 1 to begin our New Year! Each new day can be the beginning of a New Year of total surrender into the hands of Jesus Christ. Poet Helen Hunt Jackson wrote:

"Only a night from old to new,

Only a sleep from night to morn.

The new is but the old come true,

Each sunrise sees a New Year born."

Jesus Christ is the One who can make all things new every day. We can awaken to each new morning with a fresh conviction, a new hope, a new ideal, a new vision. Christ's love in our hearts will be reflected on our faces, heard in the language of heaven upon our lips, and demonstrated in a hope that finds its reality in a daily relationship with Jesus Christ.

If ever the world needed such a dynamic demonstration of a really happy New Year, it is now. But such a demonstration can be possible only in a consistent new-life experience in Jesus—a total, unreserved surrender of ourselves. Only then may Jesus Christ become the Master of our lives, guiding us in paths of righteousness. If we will invite Him to, Christ will reproduce His character in us. Then, we are promised, He will return. This is the real goal of every Christian in every New Year.

May 1983 be for you the spiritual experience that you hunger and thirst for as you prepare to inhabit eternity. Soon, when Jesus comes, every believer from all around the world, from every year since He left, will meet in one grand New Year's celebration. In 1983, let's resolve that by His grace we will be there.

Books for Ministers' Wives

During the past year we received review copies of many books which might be of interest to ministers' wives. Rather than review each, we decided to list them and let you choose the ones that might be of interest to you. The fact that a book is listed here is not necessarily an endorsement of its value; it is only our way of letting you know it is available. These books may be ordered through any book store.

Achieving the Impossible: Intimate Marriage. Charles M. Sell, Multnomah, 1982, 230 pages, paper, $5.95.

After You've Said I'm Sorry, Frank Pollard, Broadman, 1982, 160 pages, paper, $4-95.

Between Mother and Daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, Revell Company, 1982, 157 pages, $7.95.

Christian Women at Work. Patricia Ward and Martha Stout, Zondervan, 1981. 240pages, $9.95.

A Deeper Joy. Colleen Townsend Evans, Revell, 1982, 160 pages, $8.95.

Discipline: The Glad Surrender. Elizabeth Elliot, Revell, 1982, 160 pages, $8.95.

Encourage Me: Caring Words for Heavy Hearts. Charles R. Swindoll, Multnomah, 1982. 87 pages, hard cover $10.95, paper $4.95.

For Better or For Best: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding and Loving Your Husband. Gary Smalley with Steve Scott, Zondervan, 1982, 171 pages, $5.95.

Forty Plus and Feeling Fabulous. Ruby MacDonald, Revell, 1982, 236 pages, $9.95.

Frankly Feminine: God's Idea of Womanhood. Gloria Hope Hawley, Standard Publishing, 1981, I50pages, paper, $3.95.

From Word to Life. Perry Yoder, Herald Press, 1982, 287 pages, $12.95.

Have You Hugged Your Teen-ager Today? Parenting with love and without guilt. Patricia H. Rushford, Revell, 1982, 169 pages, $5.95.

Homemaking: A Bible Study for Women at Home. Baukje Doornenbal and Tijitske Lemstra, NavPress, 1982, 77 pages, $2.95.

Home Sweet Fishbowl: Confessions of a Minister's Wife. Denise Turner, Word, 1982, 160 pages, $8.95.

How to Fail Successfully. Jill Briscoe, Revell, 1982, 192 pages, $8.95.

How to Study the Bible. James Braga, Multnomah, 1982, 184 pages, paper, $6.95.

If Only He Knew: A Valuable Guide to Knowing, Understanding, and Loving Your Wife. Gary Smalley With Steve Scott, Zondervan, 1982, 161 pages, paper, $5.95.

In Good Spirits: A Christian psychologist shows you how to live in good spirits with yourself, with others, and with God. David. Ludwig, Augsburg, 1982, 144 pages, $5.50.

It's My Turn. Ruth Bell Graham, Revell, 1982, 190 pages, $10.95.

Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way. Daisy Hepbum, Regal, 1982, 176 pages, $4.95.

Love and Anger in Marriage. David Mace, Zondervan, 1982, 144 pages, $7.95.

A Mother's Heart: A Look at Values, Vision, and Character for the Christian Mother. Jean Fleming, NavPress, 1982, 224 pages, $3.50.

The Pastor's Wife Today (Creative Leadership Series). Donna M. Sinclair, Abingdon, 1981, 128 pages, $4.95.

Personality Plus. Florence Littauer, Revel, 1982, 188 pages, $9.95.

The Private Life of the Minister's Wife. Betty J. Coble, Broadman, 1981, 138 pages, $4.95.

The Seasons of Friendship: A Woman's Search for Intimacy, Ruth Senter, Zondervan, 1982, 160 pages, $7.95.

Some Things Are Priceless, Laura Lee Oldham, Abingdon, 1981, 128 pages, $14.95.

Suddenly Single. Jim Smoke, Revell, 192 pages, $8.95.

36 Devotionals for Women's Groups, Idalee W. Vonk, Standard, 1982, 112 pages.

The Treasury of Christian Poetry. Revell, 1982, 189 pages, $12.95.

What Happens When Women Believe. Muriel Larson, Revell, 1982, 159 pages, $4.95.

Your Best Years: Staying Young While Growing Old. J. Oswald Sanders, Moody, 1982, 137 pages.

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
Dan Matthews is the director and speaker of the Faith for Today television broadcast based in Thousand Oaks, California.

January 1983

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

Avoiding the credit trap

Pastors aren't usually alcoholics; a few may be workaholics; but a great many have become chargaholics. There is a way out of economic bondage, however. Here's how.

The millennium: a revelation of God's character

The millennium results in such a demonstration of the character of God that all created beings in heaven and earth cannot help bowing their knees at the name of Jesus.

1,000 Days of Reaping launched in Manila

Months is of preparation by members and church leaders in the Philippines culminate in hundreds of baptisms as the president of the General Conference leads out in an evangelistic crusade to begin the church's worldwide emphasis on soul winning.

Testimony to my task

I am a pastor. Not by choice, but because God called me. There is no way I can abandon my call, even though I have tried.

Sanctuary of salvation

"But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us" (Heb. 9:11, 12).

Inglish's complete guide to weddings

Suppose you discover, minutes before the service, that the marriage license has expired. What should you do? Or what if the bride and groom want to promise only to be true "as long as we both shall love"? From years of experience come words of wisdom.

Imperatives of New Testament ethics

The New Testament contains many assertions about Christ's historical achievement of salvation. What ethical imperatives grow out of this accomplished fact?

It's our tenth anniversary!

For ten years we've tried to keep you informed on significant events in the world of archeology. We think we've succeeded, but with your help we want to do better in the future.

Recommended reading

Monthly book reviews by various authors

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - AdventTours Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All

Latest Videos

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)