Saturday, December 30, 2017

Set a List of Defining Words for Your New Year

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This lovely meme is courtesy of a Facebook page called God's Love at Work.

Many of my like-minded friends have taken to choosing a word for the year. It's like setting an intention for a way of living. It's a type of resolution for the new year.

I've pondered many words but haven't chosen one. 

I posted the verse above because as I read it, some very good words stood out. 

TRUST, for instance, is a good word I might choose. It's calming to remind myself to trust the Lord.

SUBMIT would be another good word--a reminder to look to God's authority and to keep an ear to the ground to follow His lead. 

A few other words I've pondered include these:

JOY - to find joy, but also to make it my mission to bring joy to those I cross paths with. If I choose this word, I will look at scriptures and read about joy so I will know how to have it and share it. 

WELL-BEING or WELLNESS- Operating out of a sense of well-being would allow me to be a joy- and peace-bearer. It implies a focus on self-care and better health. It's focus would mean keeping my life in balance and taking steps to improved health. 

WILLING - This came to me today after watching a Joyce Meyer video clip. She suggested that to find the will of God we must be willing to try things. I willingly joined a new fitness group in 2017 and I want to be more willing to try new things in 2018. I willingly helped my mother-in-law get sorted to move into a long-term care home. It was a fulfilling (although stressful) way to use my gifts and time. I had to be willing to do it.

PEACE - The Bible says in Psalm 34:14 to seek peace and pursue it. I think focusing on peace would keep the temperature in my home and relationships calmer.

DO GOOD/GOOD DEEDS - The first part of Psalm 34:14 says to "do good." Other verses point out the call of God for us to do good deeds, for instance:

1 Tim 6:16 "Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

This verse is regarding widows, but is important for all women to heed:

"She must be well known for her good actions as a woman who has raised children, welcomed strangers, washed the saints' feet, helped the suffering, and devoted herself to doing good in every way." (1 Tim 5:10)

LET GO - As a mom of grown children, I've been in an ongoing season of letting go. I have to let my children make their own decisions and even mistakes. My letting go also coincides with trusting God with every situation instead of trying to fix things myself.

ACCEPT -  I've learned others have chosen this word. It can encompass many things. I think many women get caught up in striving. They compare their life with others or what they think they should be doing and struggle accepting where God has them. If God directs our path, then where we are is where he wants us. Accepting where we are each day and appreciating God's good gifts will lead to greater peace and satisfaction.

GENEROUS - I've been reading the notes in a Poverty and Justice Bible  (received from our church yrs ago).

It has challenges within it urging readers to be generous and compassionate. It urges us to be kind to the poor and points out the poor are also poor in spirit which may include anything from a depressed or lonely friend or senior, or someone who needs a boost of hope. 

Ungodly individuals may have wealth, but they are stingy in sharing it. They don't live in kingdom principles. God doesn't tell us to store up treasure on earth. He tells us to store up treasure in heaven. As believer's we know that God will bless us with favour. What we reap we will sow. We can be wise and generous at the same time. 

As I've stepped out to be more generous, I've felt the joy of giving.  

Well, this post is getting lengthy. Perhaps I'll adopt all these words. How about you? What do you think of this idea of adopting a word or set of words to live your year by? 

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Live in Kingdom Commodity

Jesus often told us not to worry. He also told us to be careful of the love of money. 

I confess, when I sell a book or article, I get a bit of a rush. I feel validated. It guides me to know I'm doing what I'm supposed to do. It would be pointless to keep writing and publishing on Kindle if nothing sells. It would be pointless to keep writing web content articles or solicit customers if I won't ever reap from my work.

It's pointless to keep this blog going if I have no readers. But I do. I feel guided when I see blog analytics of readers. 

Jesus also has said a worker deserves his or her wages. That's the part I sometimes get hung up on because I never seem to make enough to pay for all the work I try to do both taking care of the home and family and through my writing or good works. 

I get bogged down by scarcity. Low pay, low analytics, few comments or email requests make me wonder if I'm mis-using my time.

But I am aware of Kingdom commodity too. That is, when we obey God and carry out the works he has assigned, though we might not be rewarded on earth, we do lay up treasure in heaven. I'm counting on that.

Another form of Kingdom commodity is God's favor. He might protect our possessions or have blessings flow in other ways. 

Just today my husband opened an envelope listing an update on two of our investments. Each has gone up $5,000 in two months! Perhaps that is how God has chosen to pay me. 

I won't use that money until retirement or old age and I can't take it with me when I die so I don't put a lot of weight on it. Nevertheless, I'm thrilled God is blessing us.

Do you rely on analytics, sales, Facebook likes and comments to keep you going? Yes, they can help you discern your direction. Pray God increases them. But also live in Kingdom commodity. Simply obey what you feel God is asking you to do, and be satisfied, not worried, guilty, or less than.