Monday, 21 December 2015

Grace - OneWord365

It's almost the end of 2015 and I need to choose my word of focus for 2016. This year (as last year) my focus was prayer. I do believe I've grown in that though I've not made near as much progress as I'd have liked. I will continue to work on that, of course, but I can't have Prayer as my word for yet another year ... then it will really be a copout! :)

This time I have really been struggling to find a word of something I'd like to work on. Words that come to mind are: Grace - I'd like to extend grace more freely to those around me, as God extends grace to me; Discipline - I'd like to be more disciplined in many areas of my life, spiritual, health, relationships ... ; Wisdom - increasing my knowledge of God and His word and applying it in a glorifying way; Discernment - goes somewhat hand in hand with wisdom, "It is the ability to make discriminating judgments, to distinguish between, and recognize the moral implications of, different situations and courses of action. It includes the ability to “weigh up” and assess the moral and spiritual status of individuals, groups, and even movements. Thus, while warning us against judgmentalism, Jesus urges us to be discerning and discriminating, lest we cast our pearls before pigs (Matt. 7:16)." ~ ... I want to further develop my strengths in that area.

But I think I've decided on Grace for this coming year. Maybe because I see in myself a rather strong lack of tact that I think I inherited (no disrespect intended to the dear one I inherited that from because she was also a woman filled with grace!) I think I am a rather discerning person and, on a number of recent Spiritual Gifts tests I've taken, discernment came up top either as #1 or in the top 3. But, I think because I have that discernment, I can sometimes be so quick to judge that I forget that I still need to extend grace. So, in 2016, my word will be Grace. I'm signing up with that on Will you help me focus on this word? Will you hold me accountable?

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Season - Five Minute Friday

So I'm a few days late. I relocated my computer which meant I didn't have easy access to my email which meant I missed reminders of Five Minute Friday (and then wondered why I was struggling ... this girl needs her weekly writing!)  So, today, this Tuesday, you get a Five Minute Friday.  The word we've been given is "season". Remember, we have 5 minutes to write on the given word, no editing, no revising, just freely writing.


And when the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”  ~Genesis 8:21-22

Here we have a verse of promise of seasons. An assurance from God of order and consistency. Great comfort in a world that seems chaotic! The intention of man’s heart is evil. You don’t need to tell me twice! Look at the evil that abounds in this world! Even, whether we dare to admit or not, in our own hearts! (No one can claim to be perfectly good and loving all the time … no one but God Himself!) And in the midst of this evil that tempts us to live in fear, to worry, to, well, to freak out! In the midst of all of this, we see an assurance from God – yes the heart of man is evil … but God’s isn’t! And as long as this earth endures, seasons will continue! We will have time for planting, time for harvest; time of cold, time of heat; summer and winter; day and night – literally … and figuratively – a night of the soul, a time of spiritual crisis, leading to redemption, to daylight and union with Christ!  Ah, it is so easy to succumb to fear in this season the world is in, this season of darkness. But the stress, the heartache! Why succumb! Reach for the light of day! Reach for the light of Christ and live in peace and confidence, knowing He holds all in His hands! This assurance from Genesis 8 is echoed in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. Don’t fear the season you are in, rest in the assurance and confidence you have in Christ!