Tag Archives: New Year

Happy New Year – New Adventures Await!


“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.”

“I should think so – in these parts! We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit

You’re casting off from a familiar shore, into uncharted waters. It’s scary and overwhelming. You’re tempted to ask: what if I just can’t handle this? You can handle it. You plus God equals life gets handled. The real question is: will I take advantage of this chance to remake myself, will I discover more of the person God made me to be, and will I have the courage to set out on the amazing adventures God has for me? ~ Unka Glen

It’s a new year full of unchartered adventures! As we experience all that comes with it, may we come to be more fully alive in ways that delight God and reveal His glory to those sharing the journey!


© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.



Filed under Adventure, Christianity, Courage, Glory of God, God, New Years, Religion and Spirituality

Considering what lies ahead

The gifts have been opened, holiday meals eaten, and reheated and eaten again. Relatives are gone, the house and schedules are beginning to return to some semblance of normalcy. Now our minds turn toward a new year and the possibilities that are present as the calendar signals another year on the horizon.

This is a wonderful time to slow down and listen in prayer to what God’s desire is for you in the coming year. In prayer, release disappointments, unfulfilled projects and goals, and any hurts that happened over the last year. Give the Holy Spirit time to speak encouragement and hope to your heart. Give thanks for the blessings and the blessings hidden in the trials and tests you experienced. Surrender any losses into God’s hand and let His love heal your heart. Like each new day, each year is full of the hope to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

~ Excerpted from 365 Days to a Prayer-Filled Life by Germaine Copeland


© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, God, God's Will, Holy Spirit, Hope, Jesus, Reflection

Some new blog stuff for a new year

I’m a big believer that we should all be perpetual learners. To quit learning is to quit living. And since it’s a new year I’m trying out a few new things with the blog; stuff that I’m learning from other bloggers.

  • A Facebook page for the iLife Journey
  • A condensed About page
  • A new The Story page

A Facebook page: One of my favorite parts of blogging is the chance to connect with people from all over the country and even the world. The chance to get feedback on a blog and dialogue about the journey of following Jesus is priceless!

For a while now Eli – my oldest and a junior in college – has been telling me that a Facebook page would allow for more ongoing dialogue between people and would help me reach a bigger audience. So if you do Facebook check it out here. Click the “Like” button to stay updated on new posts and some other things I’m planning to share. And if you want to connect with me personally on FB you can friend me on my page here.

A condensed “About” page: This is no biggie if you’re already following my blog but I’ve condensed and combined personal info and background info about the iLife Journey onto one “About” page. I did this because I tend to get wordy sometimes but primarily to free up space for a new page tab…

A new “The Story” page: The Story is a condensed, chronological Bible that provides the scope of God’s story from Genesis to Revelation in just 31 chapters. Our church is going to be preaching and teaching through this 31 week Bible and I’m going to be doing some specific things on my blog so that others can join us on this unique journey of finding our story in God’s story. You can read more about it on the page tab above.

Feel free to let me know what you think and thanks again for sharing the journey!


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Filed under Bible, Blogging, involvement with the church, Scripture

Don’t put Jesus first this year!*

Here’s my best advice as we head into a new year.

Don’t put Jesus first this year!

No – that’s not a typo and yes – I’m serious. But before you write me off as having lost my mind please hear me out.

It’s fairly common, at the start of a new year, to pause and evaluate the past year. This usually leads us to a renewed commitment to follow after Jesus and it tends to look like this:

1.  God/Jesus
2.  Family
3.  Vocation/work

The problem is that a list like this tends to compartmentalize life in a way that doesn’t fit neatly into a real, ordinary day.

I take calls from my family when I’m at the office and I occasionally do office stuff when I’m home with the family. And separate time alone with God doesn’t always work first thing in the morning when an urgent phone call wakes me up and I have to attend to something related to work or a family member.

The neat and tidy list of 1, 2, 3 seldom fits into an ordinary day and tends to take Jesus out of those places that we most need Him!

As Steven Furtick puts it: “You end up removing Jesus from where you spend the majority of your time and putting Him on an island by Himself. The biggest island maybe, but an island nonetheless.”

Colossians 1:15-20 describes how Christ Jesus is supreme. It spells out how everything – both visible and invisible – was created through Him and for Him. How everything was reconciled through Him and how all of creation is held together by Him and in Him.

Jesus is supreme because He is at the center of everything!

So instead of putting Jesus first, let’s make Him the center of everything in our lives.

Not Jesus first and then my marriage but Jesus in the center of my marriage! Not Jesus first and then my kids but Jesus in the center of my kids! Not Jesus first and then my vocation but Jesus in the center of my work!

What would it look like for Jesus to be at the center of every aspect of our lives?


* The seed idea for this blog came from Steven Furtick



Filed under Choices, Commitment, Discipleship, Family, God's Will, intimacy with the Lord, Jesus, Marriage, New Years, Priorities, Work

The best of 2011 and a “Thank You”

There goes another year! Mom was right, “the older you get the faster time flies.” As my second year of blogging wraps up I’m grateful for everyone who has shared the journey and humbled that my audience has nearly tripled.

The adventure of blogging is still a bit strange and mysterious to me. For example, of the Top Ten blogs from 2011, listed below, the number one blog is actually from last year! Go figure! Anyway, here they are in case you missed them the first time around.

1. My issue with Christmas cards – click here

2. Hannah’s socks – click here

3. Neighbors sign peace deal to end feud – click here

4. Friday Funny! 😉 – click here

5. What does your billboard say? – click here

6. Don’t give in to shallow praise! – click here

7. Black Friday advice from Maxine – click here

8. The Real Jesus – click here

9. Uniquely You – click here

10. Why is it called “Good Friday?” – click here

Thanks for sharing the journey and Happy New Year!



Filed under Best of, Blogging, Christmas, Good Friday, Gratitude, Humor, Jesus, Just for fun, Loving others, Peace, Praise, Serving

A bottomless cup!

I don’t know what it is about the first day of a new year but it somehow feels like a new beginning. Other than the distinction of being the first day on the first month of a calendar it’s a day like any other. But somehow it seems different.

And we like new beginnings, the chance to start fresh, a clean slate. Give it a few days or weeks into the new year and we’ll be ready for another “do over.” The chance for another beginning. But in Christ, every moment of every day is that very opportunity to start fresh.

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
   his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
   How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
   He’s all I’ve got left. ~ Lamentations 3:22-24 (The Message)

God’s love and mercy are not only endless but they are new, fresh every morning. All we have to do is humbly receive them from Him as a gift!

When nothing in life seems to be going right and we struggle with feeling alone, God’s love surrounds us like a warm blanket on a cold winter night.

And no matter how hard we try to “do better” with whatever it is that needs to be better in this new year we can know that we won’t get it exactly right. But that’s OK because God’s mercy is there to lavish us with grace.

I can’t think of two better traveling companions for the new year than God’s love and mercy!

Anyone for a bottomless cup of fresh love and mercy?!

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Filed under Christianity, Grace, Humility, Love of God, Mercy