The ancient Greek historian Herodotus gave an account of the phoenix in the fifth century before Christ. References to the phoenix, a mythical sacred firebird, can be found in many cultures but it universally symbolises rebirth and renewal.The phoenix was chosen in 1888 as the symbol of Atlanta, Georgia because it was ‘reborn’ from the ashes after being destroyed by fire during the American Civil War.

Just as the phoenix represents renewal, so a new year offers us the opportunity to begin afresh – to kick-start those goals that didn’t quite make the action list in 2011, to review the missed opportunities and set a more strategic course in 2012.

2011 was my first year blogging.  Across the 57 blog posts, I sought to focus upon what I term the 3 E’s – empower, enable, equip – seeking to encourage us to greater effectiveness in our lives. 2012 will build on this theme, offering us the opportunity to launch from a solid foundation into whatever new landscapes our future holds.

That is why I have chosen ARISE as the theme of 2012’s first post. This simple word emits power. It is a definitive action word meaning to awaken, to get up, to move upward, to ascend. In no way can ARISE suggest anything but action towards something. A concerted effort moving from a place of rest, commencing a journey.

As the mythical phoenix rises from the fire to bring forth new life, 2012 presents us the opportunity to take whatever we have learned over the preceding 12 months (the good, the bad and the downright ugly!) to build a foundation from which we can arise confidently, excitedly, passionately towards an incredible 2012 for ourselves, our families, our communities.


P.S. I shared a message on this very topic at Life Church Brisbane – you can listen to it here!

Photo: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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