A few weeks ago as I sat down in the early morning with my cup of coffee, my Bible(s), my devotional books, and my notebook, the Lord spoke very loudly to me in the quietness. The scripture for that particular morning was Ephesians 3:14-21. I read it over and over, in two versions: New International and New Living.
What a powerful, powerful prayer Paul wrote in this letter to the church at Ephesus!
As a teenager, I remember many times saying to my father that I “intended” to do this or that. His response was always the same, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”. It sounds a bit harsh but I believe there is a lot of truth in the statement. All the intentions in the world will not get the work done. There must be something more than intention.
I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
When you have a year like 2020, you can lose perspective on everything. I don’t want to continue living in limbo as we have most of the past year. As I prayed about my new One Word, the Lord seemed to indicate that my word should be “confidence”.
Amazingly, when I shared this with my blog partner, Michele, she said confidence was her ONEWORD as well! We are very excited about sharing our confidence with you this year. We hope you will hang around with us by signing up for the newsletter (see blue bar below) or for notifications (see top of page).
Let’s Get Started With Confidence
To start off on the right foot, let’s take a look at a few scriptures that talk about being confident.
This verse encourages me that even when times are tough, God is here with us. He is going to take care of us. He is a good, good Father! I have found this to be true all my life. God is good and He provides for our needs every day. We can look forward into this new year and even if things get worse, God will never leave us alone. He is in control. Look for the goodness of God this year. His goodness is abundant!
He Will Carry It to Completion
God never abandons us. When He calls us to Himself, it is forever. What God calls us to, He provides whatever is needed for us to accomplish it. His Holy Spirit will guide and direct us until the day He calls us Home.
We Are Encouraged by Paul
We can look at the life of Paul and all His struggles and see that God never abandoned him. He always took care of Paul. This gives us confidence that we also can dare to share the Gospel. It’s an important challenge – to share the Gospel. Time is short and we must tell others about Christ so that they too can have eternal life.
We Will Not Be Ashamed
I do believe that the Lord’s return is very close. We must continue to grow deeper in the Lord and share the faith. This is how we will be confident to stand before Him on judgment day.
For years now, I have followed the popular idea of choosing one word for the year. It has done me well, amazingly, for many years. But I have noticed a shift in my search for that one word. That is, to select a verse that will lead me through my year.
Last year, I chose to take small steps. I selected a verse from Zechariah 4:10 that reminded me that small steps are not to be despised. It made it easier for me to breathe in and out. I was able to slow down and remove the pressure of life.
At the Crossroads to a New Decade
So now we stand at the crossroads of a new year, a new decade. What does God have for us? I have a strong sense that this year could lead to something big. (that’s relative, of course, due to my health. But who knows?)
In all truthfulness, I have a great desire to draw closer to God; to refresh the commitments I have already made and strengthen them. I have decided to dig out my old studies on the spiritual disciplines and see where I might have veered away from the old paths.
As I mentioned, I’ll be studying and writing on the spiritual disciplines this year but also want to carry this forward into other areas of my life. A few things, I have been considering to make as goals.
Bible Reading Plan – Chronological reading of the Old Testament Possibly returning to the New King James Version. (Aat times I miss this because I was raised on it and most of my memory work has been done in KJV.
Devotional Reading – Disciplines of The Inner Life by Bob Benson will take me all year. I acquired it years ago when it went out of print, but I noticed it’s back!
Reading – Read biographies, classic works, or books already on my shelves. Starting with Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline 30th Anniversary and Barbara Hughes Disciplines of a Godly Woman. What They Meant for Evil by Rebecca Deng is a biography I am reviewing that will become available later this year. I also just acquired the audiobook for The Pilgrim’s Progress. These will keep me busy for a while.
Movies – Watch some movies based on real-life that I haven’t seen
Travel – I plan to visit my parents in Texas this year which I haven’t been able to do for several years. We seldom leave our own town, but if and when we travel, maybe I can get my hubby to get off the beaten path and take some of the old roads. It would be a way to slow life down.
My Old Paths Make the Difference
These are the thoughts that have been rolling around in my mind. I pray that through these things I can become closer to the God I Love. I truly desire to, as Robert Frost said, take the road less traveled.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
You will find be writing several places this year beyond this blog. Maybe you will search me out.
My Own Instagram [@Mandy_holds_u_up]. I’ll be providing Scriptures of the day each month for all subscribers. In January the theme is #ancientpaths How about joining me and writing a mini gram of your own? Subscribe below for your January Calendar.
Gracefully Truthful is a place to connect, it’s a place to be real, it’s a place to share fears, ask questions, and unashamedly seek out the Father who crafted our hearts to love boldly and bravely as we discover together what it means to truly walk in the fullness of grace and truth. My first submission will appear this month in the Theme Treasure. Come study along with us.
Nazarene Connections [Women’s Ministries] I have written here before but they have recently released this new app for your phone. I’ve written a 7-devo series called God’s Preposterous Promise – God With Us. I’m not certain when these will release, but I will certainly let you know.
He said to me, “Son of man, watch and listen. Pay close attention to everything I show you. You have been brought here so I can show you many things. Then you will return… and tell them everything you have seen.” Ezekial 40:4 (NLT)
Behold! My “One” Word
As a child, I was notoriously unobservant. I believe that my siblings took bets to see how long it would take me to notice major changes on the farm. I remember once, a large fan at the end of the stanchion barn broke. There is no way that a person would not notice it blowing but it took weeks for me to come to the realization that a new fan had been put in. My brothers had a hay day with that one. I was never paying attention because I was often in my own little daydream.
As an adult, I don’t daydream that much but I do tend to get into my own little world studying, writing, reading. Hours can pass by without my ever noticing a thing. Continue reading →
This site uses functional cookies and external scripts to improve your experience.