The Power of a Word


power of word

 

In 2014, my good friend Gennie* challenged me to select a word (and a verse) to focus on for the year, a word God would lay on my heart. Within moments God gave me that word – perspective. I prayed and worked on having God’s perspective in all matters and I think the challenge made a difference. I repeated that challenge again this year and selected the word perseverance; Hebrews 12:1 is my verse for 2015.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

I chose the word because perseverance is more than determination. It means “a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose…especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” It also means “continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.” God is full of grace and love – He shows it constantly. Grammatically, perseverance is noun, but to me, it’s a verb. It’s a word that requires action. It means to constantly remain focused on the plan God has for me, and for me to work toward achieving that plan.

My verse for the year, Hebrews 12:1, reminds me that my brothers and sisters in Christ are available to support and encourage me, if I need it. One of the beautiful benefits of fellowship is knowing you can go to your brothers and sisters for prayer. We encourage each other.

Focusing on a theme, or word, is important and helpful because it gives us a clear purpose and direction. If we remain focused on what God has in mind for us we remember our work and trails are for God’s glory, and we don’t spin our wheels focusing on something that doesn’t matter. It also puts the focus of our life back on God and reminds us to pray (without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Focusing on what God has planned for us reminds us that we are not alone in the journey; He is constantly by our side.

Finally, focusing on a word affects your thoughts. Frank Outlaw wrote:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

 The year is still young. You can pick a word or a theme for your year, one that will bring you closer to God. It will give you spiritual refreshment, strength, and peace, and give Him glory.

*Gennie’s blog is “journey to the hills.com.” I highly recommend it.

 

Blessings on your day.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images

Growing Up Is Hard To Do


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Being the youngest has its benefits. Little kids get a lot of extra special treatment from relatives, and when you are little you feel like your routine allows for more “fun.” When my daughter Elianna was small, that “fun” included a backyard fort/swing/slide.

Then came the day she was no longer interested in the fort/swing/slide. My baby was growing up.

This weekend my husband and I made some changes to our backyard. Our old rusty patio furniture was replaced. To improve the view, we decided to give away the fort/swing/slide that had a prominent place in the center of our yard for some seven years now.

My baby had a fit. I haven’t seen her this emotional in a long time. She doesn’t use the fort anymore, but letting go of it meant letting go of a piece of her childhood. Never mind that the family we gave the fort to has 2-year-old twin boys who will get more use out of it than my daughter. The extra room in the back yard will give my daughter room to play more grown up games, games that will help her grow physically and mentally.

There are stages of life and it’s often difficult to move from one stage to the next. It’s not easy to put away the childish things even though we yearn for the more grown up things. Elianna is rapidly becoming a “tween” but some days she would rather be a little kid again.

I think that our Christian life is a little like this. We like the familiar. We’re happy with our spiritual life as it is. We like the idea of doing something more, but we stick with what is familiar. We go to church on Sunday, maybe sing in the choir or volunteer to usher. But our growth stops there. We don’t want to leave the familiar surroundings of the church and venture out to where we will stretch and grow. We don’t want to grow up in the Lord because sometimes that means letting go of something, and doing some hard spiritual work.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

1 Corinthians 13:11

My question today: Is there something in my life that I need to let go of in order to grow my faith? What about you?

Have a blessed day.

STONE JOURNEY


It’s good to be back to my blog after a devastating hard drive crash. It’s just amazing how we come to rely on electronics. When those electronics are absent, we feel totally hopeless. But we can emerge stronger than before. This brings me to a book recommendation.

One of my dearest friends has just published her children’s book. It’s about feeling hopeless. For those who have “tweens” I highly recommend it.

stone journey

STONE JOURNEY STORY SYNOPSIS:

“There isn’t a more hopeless, lonely or panicked feeling than being lost. And we all get lost, in one way or another, sometime in our lives.” These are the words of 14-year old Cheyenne, describing her struggle to survive in the wilderness when she becomes separated from her dad and brother while on a family trip to Yellowstone National Park.
But Cheyenne’s struggles go beyond the daunting physical challenges that nature has in store for her: she’s buckling under the guilt that’s weighed heavily upon her since her mother’s accident. And, since she’s given up on God, it seems that she literally doesn’t have a prayer. Somewhere, in all the darkness and difficulties, though, Cheyenne discovers a path that takes her on the journey that we all must take at some point in our lives… the time when each of us suddenly finds that we’ve somehow gotten lost, and wonder if (and how) we can ever find out way back home again.”

http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Journey-ebook/dp/B00BVWNK6W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1373835432&sr=1-1&keywords=Stone+Journey

A Fork in the Road


When I was stationed in Japan, I drove the way the locals did – on the other side of the road. It was awkward at first, but within a few months, it seemed like second nature. When I came back to the states, I accidentally reverted to my Japanese driving habits and drove down the wrong side of the road here. Fortunately, I still had my Japanese driver’s license and the Officer was former military – he let me off with just a warning. Habits can be changed; we just have to notice the habit, and want to make the change.

Have you ever felt like you were headed in the wrong direction spiritually? How did you get back on the path to serving Jesus? Was there an event that occurred? In Acts 9:1-18, we read the story of Saul’s conversion. In verse 18, we can see the physical change:

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again.

He got up and was baptized, Acts 9:18

Change is usually a long term process, but sometimes it can happen much quicker. I arrived at boot camp with 79 other scared teenagers who, at 3:30 a.m. decided enlisting was not such a great idea. Eight weeks later this rag-tag bunch of self-centered drama queens emerged from an intense training cocoon as poised, respectful and team-oriented sailors ready to face the challenges of a grown-up world. The process was intense and fast.

Is there something you need to change? Read Acts 9:19-30; paying particular attention to verse 27. How “real” is your conversion and faith in Christ? Can others see it and believe it? How do you know?

Perhaps it’s time to take a different path.

(An excerpt from Follow the Light)

Walk in His Light,

Julie