A Word for 2015: “Faith”

Leap of Faith


“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.”

Hebrews 11:6


The coming of a New Year always inspires me to reflect on all that God has done in my life up to this point, leaving me in breathless expectation of all that He has for me just around the bend.   After meditating on all of this for the past few days, the one word that I believe will define 2015 for my family is “faith.”

God has done miraculous things for me and my family, and has absolutely proved Himself faithful. Surely He has done this for a reason, and I can’t shake the feeling that He has been preparing us to take a wild leap of faith this year, trusting Him completely with our lives and our future.


Faithful in the Past

Here is just a handful of the ways God has proven Himself faithful for us in 2014:

  • Janelle and I stepped out on faith and become foster parents, despite the many people who warned us that this would be “a mistake” and “much harder than we thought.” But God showed Himself faithful, bringing us through the foster system relatively unscathed, and now we have had the profound privilege of adopting two beautiful children whom we can’t imagine living without!
  • Feeling called to pastoral ministry was bittersweet for me, since it required me to drop out of my doctoral program and enroll in a local seminary instead. But God proved faithful once again, and my seminary education is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. Now I’m preparing to begin my very last semester, and am looking forward to that May graduation date!



Faithful in the Future

As we approach the dawn of a New Year, we know that our family will be required to continue stepping out on faith:

  • As graduation approaches, we are praying for a full-time pastor’s position to open up for us. We have no idea which church will call us, but are willing to serve wherever the Lord leads us, even if this means moving out of state. We have no idea where we’ll be living this time next year, but we’re praying for God’s direction and trust Him to keep taking good care of us!
  • There are many “unknowns” in store for our family this next year. Will we be able to sell or rent out our current home? What kind of salary will our new church be able to offer? Will we find a good school for the kids? At this point we don’t have the answer for any of these questions, but we do know this: God is faithful.



Building Faith

As we enter a year where we need a strong, unshakeable faith like never before, we want to do all we can to build our faith. Here are a few “Faith Builders” we’ve resolved to use this year:

  • Daily Prayer – After a long day with the kids, it’s not always easy to make time for Janelle and I to pray together. But we know we can’t do without this daily prayer time.
  • Reading Through the Bible – Yesterday Janelle and I both used part of our Christmas money to purchase the Chronological Edition of The One Year Bible. We wanted to get ahead of the game, and started these daily readings last night. Immediately our attention was drawn to the fact that as soon as God created living creatures, He started to bless them on the spot (Genesis 1:22, 28). This reveals so much about God’s character… it’s as if He wanted so much to bless His creatures, that He couldn’t wait a moment to get started. Already our faith in this generous, loving God has been strengthened, and we know this will continue if we remain faithful to do this reading.
  • Trusting Him in Every Decision – Each time we trust an important decision into God’s hands, He proves that He’s listening and that He’s perfectly capable of handling our lives. If we’ll remain resolved to let Him lead at each bend in the road, He’ll continue to solidify our faith in Him.


None of this is earth shattering news to you, I’m sure, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded of the basics! Thank you for your prayers and encouragement over this past year, and our prayer for you and your loved ones is that 2015 will be a blessed year where God proves Himself faithful in a powerful and unmistakable way!



Happy New Year!



“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

Romans 10:17

22 thoughts on “A Word for 2015: “Faith”

  1. This was wonderful! I feel like in one post I know you better. My word for this year was discernment. My word for 2015 is peace. I can’t imagine living without faith. It is everything to me. I know you will find a church but I also know Satan is going to sit right on your shoulder and whisper doubt. Don’t listen to him. Jesus told Satan to get away from him, you can too. I used to have a Chronological Bible. I probably still do. I will go dig it up. I think the last time I read through it was maybe 1999. God bless your awesome year already planned before the world existed. Treat yourself to joy every day!


  2. I love the Chronological edition … that is the way I read through the entire Bible for the first time. Put everything into perspective for me. Wishing you and Janelle and faith-filled, faith-strong 2015!


  3. I was given a word for this year too- encumbrances. I wrote about it for tomorrow. Gonna start this year out right!! So excited to hear what the Lord is going to do in your family using the word Faith!
    Blessings- and Happy New Year!!


  4. I thank you for sharing John! Our family is facing some of the very same questions as yours! There are more unknowns than ever for us, and like you and Janelle, we hope to use this time as an opportunity to build faith in a faithful God. We were becoming disheartened at how hard it was to spend time in the Bible together due to utter exhaustion by the end of the day… but we have started to do a simple thing where we are reading through the book of Ephesians, just a couple of verses a night. Wow. Just that alone, reminds us that our God can be more than trusted to lead us!


    1. That’s a really great idea…and sometimes reading smaller portions of Scripture gives us more time to meditate on it…

      God is certainly faithful, and we’ll be praying that He leads you and your family in a remarkable and unmistakable way this next year!


  5. The Lord is faithful to all whom He calls.
    In a really tough time twelve years our pastor was struggling with problems in our church.
    One Wednesday evening only a few of us were gathered.
    Before we prayed he said, “God does not call us to mock us.”
    We knew by “faith” that everything had to come from Him.
    From that evening He began to show His working among us.
    2014 was a year for “humility.” 2015 will be a year for “meditation” through His word.
    The Lord bless you, your family, and your new church family, wherever that may be.


    1. Thanks…I really loved this picture too. For me, it captured the joy and wild abandon that comes with trusting God to lead us and leaping out in faith each day…

      Have a great New Year’s Day!


  6. I love how you began with the faithfulness of God in the past to give you the expectation and belief that He will continue to be faithful in the future.

    One of the biggest struggles in my life as an adult has been learning to manage severe panic/anxiety attacks that began to plague me after my first husband unexpectedly left me and our children. Over the past 8 years they have come and gone with varying amounts of frequency and intensity, though I tend to experience them more often during times of great stress.

    For the past year, I’ve been praying that God would completely heal me of these panic attacks, and as a result He has shown me that they are caused by my deep-seated fear that I can’t trust Him, despite His faithfulness to me throughout my life. The “cure” then is to remember His faithfulness and rest in the knowledge that He has never before forsaken me … and never will.

    My favorite verse to help me through those moments when I think I’ve lost my ability to have faith in God to be there with me has been Psalm 126:3. “The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.” You really can’t be glad and anxious at the same time … isn’t that a blessing! 🙂

    I’ll be keeping your family in prayer, as I’m excited to see all the ways He will be faithful to you in 2015. I have a feeling you will have many stories to write and share about that faithfulness along the way.


    1. Thanks for sharing this special verse…I might add this to the list of verses I post around the walls in my office to give me a little daily boost!

      Thanks also for your prayers…I can’t wait to see what stories of God’s faithfulness we both end up with this year!


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