New Thoughts and a NEWsletter for a New Year


Newly discovered sea slug: Phyllodesmium acanthorhinum (

Newly dis­cov­ered sea slug: Phyl­lodesmium acan­thorhinum (Live​Science​.com)


As the new year moves for­ward, I would like to share with you a piece I wrote for this month’s issue of a pub­li­ca­tion I con­tribute to each month. The Newslet­ter Newslet­ter is put out by Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Resources, Inc. and is designed to pro­vide tips and con­tent to church newslet­ter edi­tors for use in their own publications. 

Always doing a new thing

In 2015, sci­en­tists dis­cov­ered more than 18,000 new species — some ancient and extinct, oth­ers con­tem­po­rary. They include a cart­wheel­ing spi­der; fos­sils of a “feath­ered dinosaur”; a beau­ti­ful sea slug that pho­tographs in bril­liant blues, reds and golds; a Christmas-colored plant that grows in near iso­la­tion in Mex­ico; and a puffer­fish whose males make intri­cate seafloor “crop cir­cles” as spawn­ing nests.

Newly discovered Christmas-colored plant: Tillandsia religiosa (

Newly dis­cov­ered Christmas-colored plant: Tilland­sia reli­giosa (Live​Science​.com)

Such dis­cov­er­ies — regard­less of how old or new the species are — demon­strate the ongo­ing cre­ativ­ity of God, who both does new things and gives peo­ple new abil­i­ties to dis­cover them.

Recently, we began a new church year with Advent. At Christ­mas, God did a new thing by becom­ing human. Now we launch into a new cal­en­dar year, in which sci­en­tists will surely dis­cover more new crea­tures. The new­ness all around us reminds us that God is always doing a new thing in our lives, too too!

If this pub­li­ca­tion seems like one that would inter­est you, or per­haps your church’s staff, please visit The Newslet­ter Newslet­ter web­site to try it out risk-free. (I don’t get any com­mis­sion off your sub­scrip­tion; I just wanted to share with you what I think is a very well-done and use­ful prod­uct — one to which I enjoy con­tribut­ing, but of which I am, in truth, only a small part!)

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