A Foreword to 2023: Laying the Groundwork Together

I’m from Texas, the land of every type of weather. I’ve experienced tornadoes, flash floods, droughts, sub-zero, and temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. We even get the occasional sleet and snow. We all know it’s not real snow—a mere dusting—but we’ll take what we get. 

When I moved to Bellingham, I experienced real snow several inches deep. This thing I thought I knew—“snow”—turned out to be something different than I expected. When I went outside, I quickly discovered I didn’t know how to walk in it, and I didn’t have the right shoes. I must have been entertaining to watch. Each step was shaky and could end in a bruised backside.

For many believers, the past few years have been like walking in real snow after years of walking on icy dust. I’ve walked with Jesus for almost four decades. I thought my footing was solid, but the stresses of the pandemic and the reckoning within the church revealed how my confidence in my faith had been situational. After all, it’s easier to trust God and believe his promises when you’re on familiar turf. 

I’ve watched many other Christians across denominations experience similar disruptions and relearn how to walk with Jesus, and I believe this is good. As our contexts change, we as followers of Jesus ought to be semper reformanda (“always being reformed”)—always re-evaluating ourselves and renewing our commitment to Christ (1 Cor 3:11). The church is built for such moments as these.

That’s the idea we here at Word by Word (sometimes called the Logos blog or Logos Talk for our longtime readers) are taking with us into 2023. We are zooming out for a panoramic view of the essentials of our faith so each of us (including you, dear reader) can continue or begin the lifelong work of Spirit-led reformation. Our overall theme this year is “laying the groundwork,” which you’ll see reflected monthly by a single concept that permeates the articles we publish. Here’s a sneak peek of what we’re planning for this year:

January

Spiritual Formation 101

February

Biblical Theology 101

March

The Bible 101

April

The Trinity 101

May

Pneumatology 101

June

The Church 101

July

Creation 101

August

Christian Ethics 101 (part 1)

September

Christian Ethics 101 (part 2)

October

Spiritual Warfare 101

November

Salvation 101

December

Christology 101

Don’t be deceived by the 101 labels, brothers and sisters: we will publish material that serves everyone in the church, no matter how far along they are in their walk with Christ. There will be offerings of both milk and strong meat (cf. 1 Cor 3:2).

The monthly themes above primarily help to unite the articles we publish. You can peruse all the articles on our site, or you can find articles that align more with your interests:

If you’d like, we can send you a roundup email of Word by Word articles each Friday. All you have to do is subscribe in the sidebar of any article. And soon, you’ll be able to subscribe to specific sections of our site too.

Along the way, you’ll hear from writers on our team, such as Mark Ward, Mary Jahnke, and Jason Stone, and we’ll introduce you to some new writers who share our commitment to Bible study and spiritual depth. If you’re interested in writing for us, you can check out this page.

In the meantime, I’d like to leave you with a hymn and a few verses for meditation as we begin this new year:

Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: 

“Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, 
a cornerstone chosen and precious, 
and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

—1 Peter 2:2–6

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Written by
Jennifer Grisham

Jennifer Grisham is Content Marketing Manager at Faithlife. She previously served on church staff as director of administration and managing editor and administrator for Doxology & Theology. Her work has been published by The Gospel Project and The Gospel Coalition, to name a few.

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