Tag: New Year

believe

Believe. A popular word during the holiday season especially with children and their parents. The elf on the shelf watches and reports to the big guy, so believe.

As the calendar turns to 2018, I chose Believe as my guide word for the New Year. Years ago, I moved passed the struggle of belief in Santa and reindeer. Now, my head and heart engage in a tug-of-war of higher and holier beliefs.

I read and believe God’s Holy Word. I believe in six-day Creation, Noah’s Ark, Moses’ exodus, David’s Goliath, Esther’s and Ruth’s courage, and Elijah’s chariot of fire.

I believe in the Virgin Birth and the Holy Resurrection. I believe in Paul’s conversion through John’s Revelation.

I battle how to live according to these beliefs? How to live a life empowered by the same strength, same courage, same faith as Noah, Moses, David, Esther, Ruth, Elijah, Paul, and John? How to step out and act boldly?

Too often fear, worry, and disbelief cloud and confuse. I waver and doubt. Dare I ask Jesus to show me His nail prints? Jesus isn’t surprised by my struggles. He knows ‘me of little faith’ and loves me still.

In Mark 9, a father with an impure spirit-possessed son asked Jesus’ disciples for healing. They could not, so the father pleaded his case to Jesus.

 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” Mark 9:19 (NIV)

Before Jesus commanded the deaf and mute spirit to leave, the father spoke words of truth.

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (NIV)

Those words are my prayer for 2018:  I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief. 

Help me believe I am loved with an outrageous love of another kind, believe I am here for a unique purpose, and believe I am a chosen daughter of the King. 

When unbelief threatens my belief, I will cling to Jesus’ words. 

“Everything is possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23 (NIV) 

Lead Well – Leave Well

hand turning pageJanuary 3, 2016

Dear Fellow Travelers,

A New Year cannot begin without tearing off the last page of the Old Year. A New Chapter cannot begin without turning the last page of the Previous Chapter. Endings mean something new is about to begin. New can be scary and exciting; a great leap of faith.  What is God going to do next? Where will He lead? What will He write on my blank life-pages?

I just finished another life-chapter. Ready to lick my finger and turn the page. It is time to move on from leading a ministry that God began with a whisper, an idea, a “Why not?” 5 years ago. He planted the seed,  watered it abundantly and blessed the growth. He brought amazingly dedicated team members. He provided finances. His faithfulness was apparent at every phase. I was privileged to be used to do His Work and to watch the maturation.

But just as important to be open to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to step into leadership; it is equally important to be listening  for when He lovingly and gently says, “It’s time to move on. You are done here.” My loving Heavenly Father was nudging me; elbowing me in my side. God had ordained my beginning 5 years ago and now He was orchestrating my departing time. It was time to hand-off and hand-over. Transition time. Ready, set, let go.

Now it is time for someone else to face the challenges and receive the blessings. Now the new leader will have the opportunity to use her God-given gifts to make the ministry what God wants it to be moving forward.

When you understand it is not “my work or my ministry” but His, it is easier to let go and move on. This was never really mine. Transition well. Lead well and Leave well.

I heard a leader once say ( I want to credit Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church but not sure),  that you can finalize leadership transition when your successor has developed 60% of the necessary leadership responsibilities. They will continue to  grow and invent the remaining 40%. No need to wait until 100% is achieved,  because you would never leave. I find this to be true and very freeing. open book

So I am letting go, moving on, turning the page.

Waiting  patiently as the Author of my life pens the next chapter.

It will be exciting!

Let’s Walk Worthy!

 

Build

 

building blocksBuild

That is my One Word for 2016.  I want to be a builder.

Build, as a verb, requires action. It forces me to do something. To Build is to establish, increase or strengthen. Yes, yes and yes. It is constructive rather than destructive.

My first construction site in need of some renovation is my tongue. I want to build up others with encouraging and loving words. I want to heed my mother’s wise advice, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” (My daughters heard that more than once growing up too.) Too often I use my words to tear down and criticize. Pause before speaking. Think and consider, “Will these words build up or tear down?” I don’t have all the answers, so why do I speak to others like I do?

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Ephesians 4:29

Are my conversations construction zones or demolition areas?   Is there cement or dynamite in use? Cement adheres; dynamite destroys. IMG_6467IMG_6465

Besides speaking more kind words, I want to use the tools on my tool belt to write more thoughtful notes, offer more helpful hands, give more loving hugs, and simply smile more. 🙂 Even when a smiley face is not offered in return.

My second site in need of repair is in my relationships; I want to build stronger and deeper ones. I want to know God, my husband, my family, and my sponsored children better. All these relationships need some work and I am the foreman for the job. No hammer or nails needed; instead lots of time, effort and intentionality.

I want to go deeper with God; to approach humbly with open ears and a closed mouth more. May my “quiet time” reflect that I am truly actively listening.

I don’t need a tape measure to prove that I am coming up short in some my family relationships. I have known my husband since he walked into my 8th grade  science class in 1974. But there is more to learn and understand about him. I have only scratched the surface even after 32 years of marriage.

I want my 2016 blueprints to show that I purposefully will spend more time with all my family members; not use distance, driving and schedules as excuses.

I want to write, write, write to my sponsored Compassion children and my correspondent children. I want to ask better questions and pray seriously and persistently for each concern they share. Frequent communication  and creatively employing outside-the-box ideas will build these relationships and speak clearly the message of how precious and loved they are.

I’ve got some work to do. Building takes effort and time and some sweat. But I have an extra day (366) this New Year to start hammering away on these building improvements and I am pumped!

legos

What is your One Word for 2016? One Word that you will revisit throughout the year? One Word that will keep you focused when the world-fog settles in around you? Think ahead to March 16 and June 21 and September 7.  What is the One Word that will guide you back to where you want to be?

In this world of noise overload, pause a moment to sift through the mumble-jumble and find the  golden-nugget of One Word that God has just for you in 2016.  A long list of resolutions tends to depress me and weigh me down. Just too much to get my mind wrapped around. And when I can’t live up to my own expectations, I get in a funk and eat way too much junk (that rhymes).

So let’s keep it simple. One Word. I would love to hear your ONE WORD. IMG_6468

Please shout so I can hear you over all the building noise!