Tag Archives: New Years

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year

In the turning over of the calendar every year, we strive to leave behind the strife, the grief, and the hardship of the year that has come before, and to experience both physical and spiritual renewal. May it be so for you, for your families, and your communities in 2017.  Happy New Year!

Ring Out, Wild Bells

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

This poem is in the public domain.

My Favorite Podcasts of 2015

As much as I love interacting with the written word, I found myself listening to more podcasts in 2015. In previous years, podcasts were relegated to family car trips, a way to keep ourselves entertained as we drove across the country. Nice, but limited to what was entertaining (and appropriate) for a family with children. We’ve always had a tendency to load up on audio books prior to vacation, and a few podcasts are always a welcome interruption from youth fiction and children’s stories.

For a variety of reasons, though, I began paying more attention to podcasts this year, and I found a few gems that I thought I’d share here.

Backstory – It’s not a secret that I’m no fan of the short-form news report that takes up most of the oxygen on television and radio backstory-logothese days. I much prefer a deep dive into larger issues, and the American History Guys – Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh – do a great job of looking at a topic from multiple angles to bring light and clarity to current news from an historical perspective. This podcast never fails to entertain and inform.

Freakonomics – If I could go back and do it all over again, I think I’d be an economist. OK, maybe not, but ever since I read the best-sellfreakradiologoing book by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner I’ve been a fan, and I can’t stop listening. I love the sideways approach that this duo brings to topics, and while they may at times take a coldly mathematical view to situations where I’d prefer to bring a spiritual approach, their show is among the best, and I can’t help but listen all the way to the end of every episode..

Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church – When it comes to preaching and spiritual guidance, I rely first and primarily on the pastoral team and my fellow elders here in Maryland at Columbia Presbyterian Church. They are my first line of counselors and teachers, and as Trevin Wax has already noted, your pastor can’t be replaced by a podcast. However, I do
recommend having a good cimg2558-largepulpit or two on your list, and LMPC is on mine. I met Pastor Joe Novensen years ago when he was the featured speaker at a youth conference, and I’ve been listening ever since. The entire LMPC team provides thoughtful, gospel-oriented preaching every week, and now that you can find them on iTunes, there’s no reason you shouldn’t listen, too.

This Is Your Life – As far as leadership podcasts go, Michael Hyaalbum-art-v-2-760x760tt’s is among the best. I’ve only started listening this year, but so far every topic he’s covered has been meaningful to me as a leader. There’s so much in here about productivity, personal development, leadership, and technology that I can’t help but recommend it. And I’m already working on an Annual Time Block spreadsheet to plan my year for 2016.

Coaching for Leaders – Another great leadership podcast. Dave cover170x170Stachowiak focuses on building and leading teams, communication, and leadership skills. He has a knack for interviewing interesting and informative guests, and he and his wife, Bonnie, take the time each month for a Q&A podcast. Subscribing to Dave’s weekly Leadership Guide will also bring additional resources – articles, book recommendations, and videos – to your email inbox every Wednesday.

The Look and Sound of Leadership – Tom Henschel’s monthly Excover170x1701ecutive Coaching Tips are an invaluable resource for me. Pulled from real life executive coaching situations from the team at Essential Communications, this podcast touches on all the major issues that leaders and managers face, and is like receiving a monthly coaching session with a professional. Many of the scenarios Tom describes strongly echo situations I’ve experienced as a leader, and Tom’s advice is always spot on.

I hope that you find something here that you can take away for your own enjoyment in 2016. Each of these podcasts has been valuable to me in the past year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring in the coming year!



Featured Image Credit: Patrick Breltenback, Flickr