Never a minimalist with words (just ask my family), the challenge minister Dave Stone recently issued has confounded me. (Checkout www.southeastchristian.org Dave’s sermon was preached 12/28/14.) Dave cited the book, My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen for inspiration.
Choosing one word to focus on for 2015 is not a novel idea to my friend and mentor in Phoenix, AZ. Naomi Rhode has chosen a different word, each year, to be her theme. She has done this faithfully for years.
Once during a Louisville visit, Naomi proceeded to tell us her word for that year was “Believe”. She delighted and surprised each of us with a lovely gold pin, with the word Believe, and the letter “i” being dotted with a diamond!
Dave reminded us most New Year’s Resolutions we make are us-focused vs. God-focused. What a difference our year could be if we only focused on a word applicable for our Christian walk.
For example, instead of your New Year’s Resolution being, “I want to lose more weight”, why not choose the word “Discipline”? Another Dave suggested is “Grow” as in growing your spiritual walk. (For more on this subject, please click on “A Resolution Worth Your Consideration”…)
Pray about this because it’s an awesome, potentially life-changing concept. My friend Sherry has chosen “Joy”. For a number of reasons (!!!), I’m choosing “Obedience”. I just couldn’t possibly handle “Reduce Chocolate Intake”. Funny, sorta…Mega sigh…
Author Ann Voskamp recently gave us, in lieu of New Year’s Resolutions, SOUL SOLUTIONS. And not just a handful of ideas, she’s listed and explained with gusto, Twenty-five Soul Solutions. (click on www.aholyexperience.com from her 1/1/15 post)
Instead of choosing only one word, Ann gives us multiple ideas. Perhaps one of these will strike a chord in your heart:
I’ll share three of my favorites. (ALL twenty-five are worth your time.)
#1 of 25 – “First things first: Word in. Work out. Work plan.”
Ann explains: “Word in: Get into God’s Word and let it get into you.
Work out: Even five minutes of moving is better than nothing. (baby steps!) Together we can do this!!!
Work plan: Write out the work plan. And then work the plan.”
I would add to this: Ask the Lord to guide you and your steps. Author Ken Blanchard says before his feet ever hit the floor in the morning he’ll say, “Okay Lord, what are WE going to do today?”
#2 of 25 – “What a heart knows by heart is what a heart knows.
Write your memory verses on a sticky note or an index card. Because when you are memorizing Scripture, quiet time with the Lord—becomes all the time. Who doesn’t want that?”
I confess memorizing Scripture has been a perpetual challenge for me that comes and goes. As in verses mysteriously and frustratingly evaporate from my brain. Woosh…
One book I recommend highly, highly, and did I say HIGHLY???… is wonderful to simply read even if you’re stumped to try and memorize. Rob Morgan, in his book, 100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart, coaches us readers, every step of the way.
#25 out of 25: “Rest so you can have the rest of God.
Sleep is more than your friend—it’s your God-given fuel.
Tomorrow always begins with the night before, so turn in early, so tomorrow can turn out well.”
(Well, one could certainly fantasize that one’s breakfast be awaiting…)
While it’s still early in the year, let’s vow to either choose a word or a phrase to equip us for 2015. I believe our world will be better off because of it.
May our lives shine for Christ.
‘Til next time!
P.S. When you commit to a word or phrase, will you let me know it by posting a comment? I’ve loved learning about some of your words and I know our readers will too.