Happy New Year – Two Thousand Eighteen • New Beginnings

Maybe this year it can be different.

Maybe we can do away with resolutions and embrace something radical. Perhaps if we do, we could actually end 2018 better than we arrived. If we let the light shine just a bit brighter each day, maybe they would WANT to be in relationship with us, conversations could happen, we could listen to each other, perhaps even walk with each other. Then perhaps, they could SEE…they could see Jesus, the Jesus of the gospel who often acted VERY differently than we do in the name of love. Maybe they could see who Jesus really was, in us.

Imagine that.

Twenty • Eighteen would then be a year of real transformation and not empty resolutions.

It begins.

Let us embrace this new year.

Let us embrace the light that we have an opportunity to shine…Lord knows this weary world and her people need it.


There is a song lyric that tends to replay in my head this season by a little known band named Semisonic, tucked within a song called “Closing Time.”

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end.”

It encapsulates so much in my personal life.

It encapsulates so much of our journey at the Café.

The Café was laid in my lap 11 years ago in a season of transition and it was an indescribable GIFT from the Lord. It was a gift in the midst of a season of saying “yes” and walking obediently in faith. HE alone brought it, cultivated it, moved in it and introduced me to some of the most amazing humans, scattered all over the planet, connected for one purpose…sharing real Jesus in a world where the internet is used and fueled by so much hatred and evil. We have used it as a mission field.

We’ve shared.
Our hearts bled on the screen.
We shared, often not knowing who was reading or how our words ministered.

I also know that, as we are told in Ecclesiastes, there are seasons. A time for everything. We believe, after much prayer, the season has come to lay down the Café.
The season has come to allow this ending, to lead us all into the next beginning.
While the content will remain on the site, there will be no new daily devotional materials.

For those of you who have only been with us a short time…thank you. I know that you anticipated a much longer season with us…

For those of you who have been reading at the Café since the beginning…back in the days when we were a little part of a much larger blog called Christian Women Online, thank you. Thank you for your commitment to this ministry and joining us daily. It is indeed bittersweet, but this ministry has given me more than I could have ever anticipated. We have become connected in a unique way.

Here’s to the New Year and ALL that it holds. May 2018 be a year full of grace and love…godspeed – may God flourish you.


Lori MacMath

Lori's daily mantra includes praying, "I will take it Lord, ALL you have to give," and a commitment to live out Colossians 3:17 daily. It's her prayer that the energy that fills her spirit be with her till her dying breath! Nearly two years ago, Lori traded the sauna of the Deep South, for the snow of Chicago. After 19 years in Atlanta, Lori has bought herself a coat and some winter boots and is ready for the NEXT adventure at Harvest Bible Chapel / Chicago West. She navigates this road with her husband of 26 years and they have 3 children, ranging in age from 17 - 22. She seeks daily to be creative and use the gifts the Lord has given her. With the heart of an artist and a spirit to live intentionally missional, Lori strives daily to see Him in all that surrounds her. Encouraging women on their daily walk with the Lord is her passion! She has recently stepped out into NEW territory with her husband in the inner city of Chicago. She is on staff at Harvest Chicago West, in the Austin neighborhood, where the Lord is opening her eyes to Urban Ministry and Discipleship. Lori and her husband also have a Business as Missions endeavor that helps empower women and missionaries around the world. She would be HONORED if you'd visit Hope Products International where providing HOPE to the world through fair trade and sustainable products. Lori has served in a number of roles over the years, ranging from Camp/Leadership Adventure Coordinator, a mid week Bible club for elementary and upper elementary students in a local public elementary school as well as being on staff at her church. She is excited in this season to watch the Lord unfold HIS plans for the next step on the journey. Helping others, loving others where they are and seeing the transforming power of Jesus is at the heart of all she does. Her heart for children, women and all those on the broken road is at the core of everything she does. She LOVES playing graphically and encouraging others through visual arts, and her passion for Discipleship is at the heart of all she does. It truly inspires her and fills her spirit.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Pinterest


  1. Looking forward to this devotional!

  2. One of my prayers for the new year is for my light to shine. It is humbling that we can be a light in a dark world because God indwells us! It is also a challenge I hope we all embrace in 2017.

    Happy New Year!

  3. Oh my goodness. It’s been 11 years? Unbelievable. You and ICD have touched my life and I’m so thankful. I’ll miss this place and you guys. Know that I’ll be praying for you as God brings you to mind. Hugs all around…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *