A New Approach

My car was at the dealership service center for a recall repair. Since I was 70 miles from home and anticipated a half-day wait, I chose a loaner vehicle and drove to the shopping center. I did not have a list of gifts to purchase, so I enjoyed the luxury of browsing, taking the time to notice things that may have escaped my attention on a task-driven pursuit.

As you would expect, I found myself in a department store. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed signage that read “a.n.a® – a new approach,” advertising a clothing line designed for women. I smiled as I thought of Ana Cuevas, a delightful team member who has served throughout my tenure and will succeed me in the role of Alliance Women national director, effective July 1, 2023. Yes, Ana will bring a new approach to Alliance Women. Praise God!

As I anticipate this leadership transition in 2023, I celebrate the opportunities that change brings. New beginnings. Fresh ideas. I celebrate the unique perspective that Ana will bring to the ministry of Alliance Women, shaped by her life experience. I affirm her giftings that are different from mine. A new approach, indeed, that will continue to move us forward in our desire to bring all of Jesus to all the world.

As we begin the year 2023 with 40 Days of Prayer, I humbly request that you intercede for both Ana and me as we individually and collectively listen to our Heavenly Father, asking that His will be done and His Kingdom come on earth, in the lives of Alliance women, as it is in heaven.

I am praying Isaiah 54:2 over myself, Ana, and Alliance Women for 2023:

“Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.

Enlarge—Pray for increased ownership and engagement among Alliance women in 2023 as I conclude my tenure and Ana commences hers.

Stretch—Pray for a fresh wind from the Holy Spirit that increases our capacity to welcome and invite women into our personal lives and corporate fellowship.

Do not hold back—Pray for increased faith and boldness. We desire to resist both fear and apathy.

Lengthen—Pray for an expansion of Kingdom impact both locally and globally. We believe that the gospel transforms communities and is for all people.

Strengthen—Pray for unity and an ever-deepening love for Jesus. In Christ alone, our strength and solidarity are found.

I invite you to do the same.

Thank you, Ana, for giving your “yes” to God. May you daily experience His everlasting kindness. God is for you, Ana. He is with you. He is in you. The one who called you is faithful, and He will do it (1 Thess. 5:24).

Read the official announcement here.

New Every Morning

The year 2020 is over—2021 has begun. We have turned the page on our calendar and, although the year is fresh, we face the reality that not everything is new. We are still in a difficult season.

I encourage you on this New Year’s Day to take a deep breath. Settle in.  First, reflect on this eighth day after celebrating Christmas, which has special significance.

Today: Reflect on the Name

In the Gospel of Luke, we read, “On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived” (Luke 2:21). On this day, our Savior was circumcised and named.

Today, take time to reflect on the name given to the Christ child: “Jesus” meaning “the Lord saves.” In every moment of each day, Jesus offers us salvation. In Him we can find release from fear, discouragement, and whatever else that holds us captive.

Speak the name “Jesus” and find freedom for today. “Jesus”—the name assigned by the angel as a sign of our salvation—is also the Name at which every knee is destined to bend (see Philippians 2:10–11).

Today, take the opportunity to renew your intention to live in a manner worthy of His Name throughout this new calendar year

Draw Near

On Sunday, January 3, our Alliance 40 Days of Prayer begins. To participate, sign up here. I encourage you to find ways to travel this road of prayerful meditation with others. During your personal devotion time, consider incorporating the Lord’s Prayer each day (Matthew 6:9–13), reminding yourself of His faithfulness to provide what you need each day (“Give us today our daily bread,” verse 11).

On Wednesday, January 6, The Feast of Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day, is celebrated. On this day we rejoice that those foreign and far away were invited to draw near, believe, and worship the newborn King. Let’s immerse ourselves once more in the story of Jesus, drawing near with eyes to see and hearts renewed so that the light of Christ within us will shine brightly for those around us.

Keep Quarrying

Our journey through 2021 has just begun. God has new mercies for us each morning. Don’t miss out!

In his book of reflections, In the Midst, John Stumbo writes, “To all my friends who are in a trial that God hasn’t yet removed with one toss, keep quarrying.” In doing so, you will unearth treasures that can only be discovered through process (see “One Shovel at a Time,” pg. 118). Take one day at a time with Jesus.

Keep reading. You will find treasure. Here are a few declarations spoken by people of faith throughout Scripture to get you started: Job (Job 1:21); Jeremiah (Lamentations 3:22-26); Paul (2 Timothy 4:16-18, Philippians 4:12-13); and Peter (1 Peter 5:10).

Keep singing. You will find strength. Sing the songs of faith. Here are links to two of my favorites worship songs—one old and one new.

Keep believing. “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50).

Our journey in this New Year. One day at a time; new mercies every morning.