January 2010 Inside this issue
A full listing of features in our January issue
Contents for January 2010
* Listen to your heart and make 2010 a year of possibility
* Feeling unfulfilled? Perhaps it’s time to let go of your own agenda and seek God’s way forward
* Should we ask for healing? Rob James advises on how to pray for the sick
* How to be a good neighbour: Practical advice for building community where you live
*‘I want to be there for my sons’. One young mum’s brave decision to have a bilateral mastectomy
* Be green and clean: Six ways to get a cleaner and healthier home
* We’re hoping for . . . four women reveal their hopes and dreams for 2010
* That doesn’t happen now does it? Debbie Meroff highlights the plight of women and children in the mining industry
* Would like to meet: Hopeful girl gets her first taste of online dating
* My pottery is a dream come true. Meet the woman whose business started with a prayer
* It’s just not true! Veronica Zundel exposes some of the half truths and untruths proclaimed in the name of Jesus
* We did it! From learning to dance to confidently sharing her faith, three women talk about the course that changed their lives
* Saying goodbye to my son. A mother’s poignant account of the death of her son in a motorcycling accident
* A pilgrim in Jordan. The holiday that invites you to meet local people and experience their culture
* Hold onto hope: Andrew Graystone shares what every lower league football fan knows
* Your letters on making changes, Bible study and finding hope
* Agenda: What’s in, what’s on and bright ideas for the month ahead
* Off the shelf : What you’re reading and recommending to others
* Next month: What you will be reading in our February issue
For you to win
* Great giveaways: gorgeous bags, eco doorstop and the Extraordinary Women teaching series on DVD.
* The Cotswold’s Finest Gardens – a coffee table book is this month’s Wordspiral prize
* Book prizes when you share your favourite reads in our bookclub
Joining us this month
Interviews women about their hopes and dreams
It’s been a busy year – work, holidays, housekeeping, families . . and as the ‘noughties’ draw to a close, we may hope that the new year will be a more ‘spacious’ place. After concentrating on a wonderful, but fairly intense, role as a mother for a few years, I now have a little more time to call my own. I don’t have daring plans or exciting ambitions in place – but that may be a good thing. Leaving space in the months to come for some quiet contemplation or prayer is as valid – maybe even more so – than all the other things that call on our time. Of course, with small children in the house, that probably won’t happen as much as I’d like!
Discovers the difference a training course can make
In my ‘previous life’, I worked in further education and teacher training in the UK and southern Africa, as well as being a perpetual student enjoying a large dose of adventurous travel! These days I’m slowly emerging from what feels like a couple of decades, but is in fact five years, of exhausting 24/7 motherhood. So I’m quietly anticipating getting a bit of my life back in 2010. I’m hoping to continue writing, get involved with witnessing for Jesus at my older son’s school, serve in church ministries and hopefully squeeze in a bit of travel with my family, and re-awaken my number one hobby, which is horse riding!
Reports on a visit to Jordan
For some time now I have marked new year with the, probably foolish, practice of setting myself goals for the coming 12 months. These are things I'd like to happen and things I'd like to achieve. One year I wanted to make a patchwork quilt, another year to learn to ride. I have a number of novels I want to read by the end of the year, and there are Bible-reading goals too. Many things I've accomplished, many more I haven't. I can be overambitious with my goals for the future, and looking back on the past year can highlight disappointments and missed opportunities. So this year, I think I'm going to break with my tradition and not write any goals. Instead I'm going to focus on being content with what I have, and enjoying the present.
Also writing for us this month are freelance writers and journalists: Christine Hartley, Caroline Masom and Lara Phegan.
Prayer of the month
Hopes and dreams, by Michele Morrison
Lord, I am poised on the threshold of a new decade. Like a contestant on Stars in their Eyes, I am eager to move into the light. I am ready to step out of the mire of a messy year into what? A perfect year, one without sorrows, disappointments, or failures? Nice dream, but I know that it isn’t reality this side of glory. So I pray that I shall walk in grace and peace through whatever situations I shall face in this new year, depending totally on you.
With you in the centre of my life, Lord Jesus, may this be the year that some of the desires of my heart are realised – the spiritual hopes and the more worldly dreams. May I discover how to delight in you even in the routine. May I reach some of my goals: to be successful in my career; to grow in grace in relationships; to proclaim your kingdom in word and action.
May this be a year of joy, of discipline, of growth and of refreshment. Mostly, Lord Jesus, may my love for you deepen with every day that passes. In your precious Name I pray, Amen.
Next month in Woman Alive
Can God be trusted? Veteran missionary Elizabeth Goldsmith shares what she has learned through her 50 years of service
Small change, big difference. How four women took a step of faith and changed their world
What happy couples know about building a marriage that lasts
Why we should embrace our femininity. Joni Eareckson Tada explores gender roles
Real life: ‘God gave me a fabulous new kitchen’
And bars of chocolate for you to win
“ Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4)
Get more inspiring reading
You can order our printed INSPIRE magazine in bundles of 10 for your church. Get encouraged by stories of God at work in the UK and around the world – and it's great for giving away to those on the edge of church, too! Order FREE* for your church (*we welcome an annual donation towards our costs).