As we stand on the brink of a new year, we wonder what the future holds. Most of us probably approach a milestone like this with a combination of excitement and a bit of apprehension. We’re excited, hopeful, even dreamy about what 2019 might mean for us. For the same reason, we’re well aware of possible perils, dangers, and difficulties. Any of these reactions are appropriate.

Hoopla, Hype, & Headlines

As I review blogs and newspapers, all the pundits are offering their predictions for the year. It has struck me how little God and the name of His son have been mentioned in all the hoopla, hype, and headlines about the coming year; this, given that our calendar counts the years since Jesus’ birth. As far as we have come technologically and materially, we seem to have drifted remarkably from a belief in moral right and wrong. I pray that next year that will turn around.

In the midst of ringing out the old year and bringing in the new, let us remember that without the Lord, the world would have ended long ago. Everything we have is the grace of His goodness. And only by his grace can we go on from here. Because of Christ, we enter the New Year with the same confidence we have always had. No one knows What the future holds, but we know Who holds the future. That alone is enough.

Shoe Dog

Every new year is both the continuing and the beginning of a new journey. What will the road be like? Wide and easy? Narrow and hard? Contemplating the road ahead got me thinking about shoes. I just finished reading, “Shoe Dog,” the biography of Phil Knight the founder of Nike (a good read for Oregonians and those who like to run). So, that may have something to do with it too. Did you know that Nike makes exactly 50 types of shoes?

Personally, I own dress shoes for Sunday go to meetings. I’ve got a pair of shoes I wear only when teaching. Nice sandals for business casual and beat up sandals for shopping. I have walking Nike shoes for get’n out an about, and a pair of tennis shoes (yes for playing tennis and yes, they are Nike too). I am seeking the Father for which pair I need to put on to walk this New Year’s road. Or do I need to buy another pair of shoes?

As my basketball coaches used to say, No pain, no gain. No guts, no glory. No struggle, no growth. As we begin the new year, God’s word to us is clear: “Forward, March!” And the good news is this: What God demands, He supplies. When he puts us on a hard road, he gives us the right shoes for the journey.

So B4Ters, gear up, (that means put on your shoes) and Forward March!


PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.

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