Looking Back, Looking Forward

Photo by jill111

Your regularly scheduled series on the Gospel of Matthew will resume next week, but this morning, as I sit at my parents’ house enjoying holiday togetherness and getting over the annual holiday cold, I’m reflecting on a full year and looking forward to one I expect will be just as full.

A year ago at this time, as I prayed over the year to come, the Lord put several words in my heart for 2015. Most of them had to do with speaking, teaching, and sharing his Word in new ways. One phrase that became a theme for the year was “new wine, new wineskins.”


At the time, restarting my blog with a focus on biblical topics was just an idea … an inkling that maybe this would be a good idea. I didn’t know that it would become the centerpiece of a whole new thrust in ministry and communications for me.

In fact, I would say this year has clarified for me what exactly I am called to do in this world and the many ways I am called to do it. In career and ministry, I have a clearer vision than I’ve ever had.

Which is cool, since what I want to do more than anything is give others new vision, a new way to see–revelation of themselves, of God, of the Bible, and of the world around them.

Going forward into 2016, the “new wineskin” of this blog is something I intend to expand and keep filling. I am hoping to do some video and podcasting as well, and maybe even create a Bible course or two. I’ve discovered new purpose and mission in my fiction as well, so I hope to continue reaching new readers.

I am more grateful than I can say for everyone who has followed along, commented, shared, and shown me that people care and people are listening.

I mentioned a few ideas above of new things I want to do, but I’d love to hear your thoughts as well. What could I create/share/teach/do this year that would benefit you most?

Send me an email or leave a comment with your thoughts.








4 responses to “Looking Back, Looking Forward”

  1. Rachel Avatar

    Awesome! You’re absolutely not alone. Really glad you’re getting some encouragement by looking back through the written record of my own years of bumbling along and figuring things out :).

  2. Carrie Lynn Lewis Avatar


    Thank you so much for your response. It was worth the wait!

    Your blogging journey sounds an awful lot like what I’m wading through right now. False starts. Good ideas that faded fairly quickly. A dash of this, a pinch of that….

    I am thrilled to see I’m not alone!

    I took time a couple of nights ago to browse through your blog. I found the point at which you made your decision–or maybe found your focus is a better term. I looked at what you did before that point and at what you’ve done since and I was encouraged.

    I’m still in search but your comments and the pattern of your blog have been a major help. Thank you!


  3. Rachel Avatar

    Carrie Lynn,

    Thanks so much for the in-depth comment! Gonna try to answer it well :).

    (And yeah, I love the photo … gotta love Flickr.)

    My blog has happened in fits and starts for years. Sometimes I wrote reflections similar to what I’m writing now (though with less focus). Sometimes I wrote random thoughts, sometimes I quoted authors I liked. For a while it had a homeschool focus; for a while it had a writing/editing focus. Nothing stuck.

    For me, getting back to blogging and finally finding my focus was a journey. I knew for years that I hadn’t found it yet. But as I lived the other parts of my life — business, family, ministry, study, prayer — and continued to pursue my passions and learn who I am and what God has called me to, it became clearer and clearer what I really cared about, and that eventually distilled into various themes that I’m really passionate to explore and deliver. Most of these have to do with our perspective on God. That has carried into my fiction writing as well now.

    I’m honestly not sure I could have short-cutted that process, and it’s been years in the making. If I had to sum it up I would say “Listen to your life, listen to God, listen to what really stirs you.” Your best blog focus is probably in there somewhere.

    On a really PRACTICAL level, a marketing course from Tim Grahl and Jeff Goins’s “Intentional Blog” course helped me sort through my target market and what I really care to communicate, and Jeff Goins in particular has a lot on finding your voice and honing your blog focus. I would recommend looking him up.

    I hope this is helpful! Thanks again for asking.

  4. Carrie Lynn Lewis Avatar


    Thank you for sharing this. I’ve been searching for focus for my author blog (which is currently more of a personal blog than anything) for over a year. Nothing seems to stick and since I don’t have any fiction published–a condition I hope changes in 2016–I really don’t know what to write about.

    I only recently found your blog, so I don’t know what it was about before you changed focus.

    But I would be very interested in knowing how you came to change focus. What steps did you take or what was the process.

    I realize that no two of us are the same and that what worked for you may not work for anyone else. Myself included. Knowing what you did is of interest, though.

    Thanks again for sharing your year-end thoughts.

    Carrie Lynn Lewis

    PS: That photo is fabulous!

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