One of the lessons that God has been driving home in my life lately is about joy. Where do you try to find joy? Like many people, I can tend to initially look for joy in the context of the circumstances of my life.

Did 2014 turn out to be all you’d hoped it would be? New Year’s is a time when people review the past year and look forward to the days ahead. Pam and I usually take some time on New Year’s Day to pray through our journals. We consider what God has said and what He has done, listening for His voice of guidance.

Over the past 24 hours, would you say that you were primarily chasing after something (affirmation, a thrill, money, stuff, respect, love) or running from something (fear, failure, relationship, exposure, risk, loneliness)?

Do you want a life that won’t be shaken by every doubt, change, or hardship? Build your life on the hope that we have in the Gospel. The apostle Paul reveals an important truth about this in Colossians 1. Notice what he says about where the Colossians faith and love came from...

The past couple of years, my wife, Pam, and I have become quite acquainted with the importance of foundations. When our home burned to the ground in the 2012 Waldo Canyon fire, we had to figure out if our home’s foundation was even usable again.

Though many houses have been rebuilt, as Pam and I drive roads toward our neighborhood, we still see the starkness of the devastation of the Waldo Canyon Fire. A scar remains: matchstick blackened trees; rebuilding of homes; burned out, flood-vulnerable canyons. Our two year old grandson calls the foothills around our neighborhood the Pokey Mountains. I guess the trees look more like porcupine quills to a two year old! A similar picture could be taken of areas affected by the Black Forest Fire and other areas of the country affected by natural disasters.

In our early-married years, Pam and I received old furniture from family or bought some at garage sales. One piece in particular was a little table that was completely worn out! It had many layers of paint and stain, one on top of the other. The brass handles of this little table were tarnished beyond recognition. We bought it because it was cheap, but later decided to take it on as a refinishing project!

Beginnings tell you a lot about any story. We recently watched an intriguing thriller in which the plot and key characters were laid out in the first five minutes of the show. Try missing the first 15 minutes of a good movie, and you’ll spend the rest of the time trying to catch up! The beginnings of our own lives tell us a lot about our journeys, too.

Henry David Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

Do you have a “song” that is meant to be sung? You bet.

We recently had our Subaru wagon in the shop. It struck me that each season of our lives could be marked by the type of car we drove! The first car I drove after getting my license was a 1970 Ford Pinto Hatchback. You may have heard of them; they were recalled because of the gas tank exploding!