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Here are a few picture highlights from 2015.
Cec and Katariina AACC book signing
Cec and Kat Rosenblatt signing copies of her book, Stolen
Cec reconnecting with friend Martin Burks
Cec reconnecting with good friend Martin Burks at the AACC conference
Cec and Twila with Don and Eva Piper at ICRS
Cec and Twila with Don and Eva Piper at ICRS
Cec at the Writer to Writer conference
Cec teaching at the Writer to Writer Conference
Cec and Twila
Cec and the "wind beneath his wings"
Planning Our Future
"Every January I resolve to get fit," Marty told me in late December.
"So what happens?"
"I fail before the first of February."
Many of us, like Marty, start each January with the decision to defeat the problems that tripped us in the past.
I like that idea—forgetting all the foolish and wrong things we said and did, and uniting our energies to move ahead this year.
Yes, I like the idea.
It's not possible for most people, but it's still a good idea.
The past remains part of our lives. The mistakes of the previous year don't disappear. We resolve not to repeat them, and we can build on the shame of previous blunders to correct our present and future actions.
Think of Marty again. He doesn't really plan for his future because he's still tied to the past failures. It's the cliché, "I've failed every time I tried." He hasn't changed and he'll do the same things this year that he did all the other times.
Most of us don't openly admit it but we figure in the past when we stand in the present and project an elegant future. But the previous failures haunt us and it doesn't take long for most individuals to say, "It's futile." Those old fiascos paralyze us or make us doubt we can change.
My friend Ron Heiber has a saying that resonates with me: "God never consults our past when planning our future." That means our loving God forgives us. And with that is implied, "Go and sin no more."
What if we thought of life that way? What if we were able to start each year as if it were new and unblemished? We wouldn't worry about what we didn't do previously or how we aborted our best plans. We'd be able to focus only on what we can do now—and do it with a fresh start.
"God never consults our past when planning our future," Ron said.
"I don't have to remember my past when I plan my future," we can say.
Personal News
  • By the time you read this I'll be on my cruise to the Eastern Caribbean.
  • February 17-20 I’ll conduct a retreat for the First Presbyterian Church of Sumter, SC.
The Twila Zone--Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
Cec has an article in each month's edition of Book Fun Magazine. For the December issue, he wrote about two special Christmases that stand out in his memory. 
Are you looking for a way to bless Cec this year? It may seem like a silly thing, but posting a book review at Amazon (or other online sites) is something that would mean a lot to him. If you're a blogger, you could feature Cec or one of his books in a post.
February 5-9 I'll teach at the Writer to Writer Conference in Hershey, PA, and participate in book signing events at the Christian Product Expo. Click here for s'more info about the sweetest writers conference around.
I'm working on a couple of new book ideas and have a few speaking and teaching opportunities ahead. With Cec transitioning toward retirement, 2016 will be a year of transition for me, too. I look forward to seeing where my current "unknown path" takes me.  
One of my prayers as I wrote Raindrops from Heaven: Gentle Reminders of God's Power, Presence, and Purpose was that the daily devotions would speak to hearts in personal ways. I'm grateful for the many notes I've received from readers over the past few months. They've greatly encouraged me.
As you may have noticed, Cec writes a lot of pithy sayings and prayers. We call them Murphey's Maxims. Here are a few that serve as good reminders for us at the beginning of a new year. To see others, visit my Murphey's Maxims page on Pinterest. (We have 24 designs available in business-card-sized cards. Contact me if you're interested in learning how to purchase them.)
Maxim - Today I can start again. Maxim - To make change permanent...
Maxim - Never let what happened in the past... Maxim - Today is a new day.
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