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Archive for the ‘Starting Something’ Category

Do you remember Y2K and the concern being expressed as we entered a new millennium?  Is it as hard for you to believe that another decade has elapsed since that “panic” as it is for me?  As 2010 comes to a close, it is a time to reflect but also to prepare.  There is one certainty we have–in 2011 we will experience change.

We will be different in 2011; we will change.  The circumstances and life events that we will experience may prompt the changes or, after reflecting on this past year, we may make some conscious decisions for our lives that will result in changes.  We can prepare ourselves for change or allow the daily circumstances of our lives to sweep us along and change us haphazardly along the way.  Are there changes you want to make in 2011?

You cannot change others, but you can allow God to change you so that life’s events don’t cause turmoil and stress.    You can like yourself.  You can restore relationships.  Your mind can be renewed through reading God’s Word, the Bible, and asking Him to help you live the abundant life He came to give you.

Heavenly Father, today—just for today, give me the strength and grace to trust you to handle all that is weighing on my shoulders.  Just for today, help me focus on your blessings and walk with a smile and kind word for others.  We will deal with tomorrow when it arrives, but just for today, Lord, I want to experience the joy of your peace and remember the good things that happened in 2010 so I enter 2011 filled with Your Promise of Abundance and Joy.  Amen

Additional Study:  I Corinthians 2:16, Romans 12:1, John 10:10

 

 

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Start something good in someone’s life today.

Sow faith for a healing.  Sow forgiveness for a restoration.  Sow encouragement with a simple kindness—maybe even as simple as a compliment.  Sow hope for a brighter tomorrow.  Pray for someone in need.  Prepare a blessing with your words and deeds.  Remember, God won’t ask you to sow where He hasn’t already prepared the way.  God won’t ask you to sow where the Holy Spirit hasn’t filled you with the grace to give.

Prepare for a harvest of abundant blessings in 2011 by starting something good today.

Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, guide me where I can sow for Your Honor and Glory today.  Remind me of the grace You extended to me on the cross that I might open myself to extend grace to others.  Help me plant seeds in the lives I can touch today without expecting to harvest.  I trust You to harvest or bring others who will water the seeds You guide me to plant today.  Let this be the start of something good in my life and in those I love.  Amen.

Additional Study:  Zechariah 8:12, Proverbs 11:11, Ezekiel 44:30, I Peter 4:10, James 2:22

 

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Did you know God is a planner?  From the beginning of time, God planned.  As we prepare for 2011, we need to reflect and plan.  I have come to recognize that failure to plan means a plan to fail.

Some people plan their day in specific time details.  Others need to just identify all the issues they need to resolve or tasks to be handled.  Whatever your system –it is just important to have one that works for you.  At the end of the day are you able to say you moved toward that mission God has given you with intentional purpose?

Lord Jesus, when I think of You having a plan for me and my life, I am humbled and in awe.  It is a little frightening to think I might miss it.  I don’t want to miss it Lord Jesus.  As the Psalmist says, “don’t let me wander from your commands.” Oh, that my actions my constantly reflect Your principles of love and mercy.  Please shine the light on my path brightly so I know what steps to take.  Reveal the next step for me to take in 2011 to fulfill Your plans.  Amen

Additional study: Jeremiah 29:11, I Peter 1:20, Psalms 119: 10, Isaiah 37:26, Proverbs 12:2, Proverbs 14:22, Isaiah 14:26, Luke 22:22, Ephesians 1:9-10, Ephesians 3:14

 

 

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As vision clarifies where you are going, purpose defines why you are going there.  Purpose alone is insufficient to tell you where you are going.  It is a vision that points us in the right direction.  If asked what Walt Disney’s vision was, we might say to entertain people.  Yet, Walt Disney said, “We are in the happiness business.”  He saw the vision as happiness and his purpose was to bring families and friends together to create memories.

What is your significant purpose?  When you are doing all those tasks that we have to do on a daily basis—laundry, cooking, cleaning, acting as chauffeur, etc.—what is the “why” for you?  Where are those tasks taking you? Is your purpose to serve others so they see God’s love, grace and mercy? Or is it for personal recognition or personal gain?

It is so easy to get caught up in all of the tasks of the day that we fail to reflect on why we do them and count it all joy that we are able to give our best at simple tasks in service to our Lord.  Equally, it is easy to think the tasks we do aren’t worthy of recognition or really special.  When we take that attitude we minimize the role we play in accomplishing God’s plan.  After all, not everyone can be the head of the body—sometimes being the little finger or even a little toe means the body keeps its balance or is better able to grip the job that needs to be done.

Lord Jesus, Like Isaiah sometimes it seems like my work seems so useless; it is so easy to feel that what I am doing is trivial or meaningless.  Help me to reflect today on how the tasks You give me to complete further the mission and purpose You have for me on this journey called life.  Remind me to perform each task as unto You.  You, Lord Jesus, have given Your best for me.  Help me to give my best for Your Honor and Glory.  Amen

Additional Study:  Gen 24:12, Psalms 57:2, Proverbs 1:2-4, Proverbs 19: 21, Isaiah 49: 4, John 6:27, John 10:10

 

 

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Remember the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland when Alice asked, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”  He responded, “That depends a good deal on where you want to go.”  And when she replied that she really didn’t much care, the cat told her, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Do you have a picture of the future—of where you want to go?  A vision is as essential for us individually as it is for our family, our churches, and our community organizations.  The vision must provide a compelling picture of the end result; it cannot be so abstract it is impossible to grasp.    More than 70 verses in the Bible speak of God giving an individual a vision of a mission He was calling them to pursue.

In order to get a clear vision of your mission, reflect on these truths from God’s Word:  1) You are a new creation in Christ, 2) You have been chosen by God to fulfill a calling from Him, 3) God has and will continually uniquely equip you to answer the mission.  Just as the Lord God prepared Nehemiah with the vision to re-build the walls of Jerusalem and then equipped him to do so, God has a mission for you today and for 2011 that is filled with purpose and hope.

Lord God, thank you for creating me for a mission.  There are days when I feel as though I am caught in the spin cycle of a washer.  Give me clarity of my mission and point me in the right direction today for 2011.  If You will help me, I will go to wherever You need me to go.  Amen

Additional Study:  Nehemiah, John 12:26, John 15:1-2, Psalms 119:31-35, Proverbs 13:19, Hosea 4:6

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