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!
Welcome to 2022 Time in the Word! I’m glad that you’ve dropped in and I look forward to the adventure that awaits. Whether our lives in 2022 will be white water rafting or floating on the lazy river, we’ve got Jesus to see us through. I thought it was important to get 2022 off on the right foot and form some healthy spiritual habits.
This time of year we hear about “healthy eating” and “forming healthy eating habits”. I think emphasizing healthy spiritual habits needs to be done as well. Healthy spiritual habits are key to growing spiritually. Without spiritual growth, we become stagnant and lose our spiritual edge.
New Year 2021 is here. There are many folks eagerly burning their 2020 calendar, as well as their COVID masks. I always find it satisfying to sit on New Year’s Eve and write down my resolutions for the coming year. What are some of your 2021 resolutions?
New Year’s resolutions
Where in the world did New Year’s resolutions come from anyway? Well, thanks to good ole Wikipedia, I didn’t have to search very far. According to Wikipedia the tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions is mostly us Westerners, but Europeans do some resolutions as well.
Of interest, Wikipedia also mentioned that:
Babylonians promised their god(s) to return items they borrowed, as well as pay their debts.
Romans made a promise to their god Janus (January is named after this god)
Knights would take the “peacock vow“- reaffirming their commitment to chivalry
Christians and Jews parallel each other in New Year’s resolutions as a time to reflect upon the past year’s wrongdoings by seeking forgiveness as well as giving forgiveness.
Most folks do make New Year’s resolutions. Cathrine Cho wrote the article “New Year’s resolution statistics“. In this article, she mentions a recent survey in which “of all the generations, the “Gen Z” has the highest percentage of 91.85 % participating, as opposed to the “Silent Generation” at 46.86% participation.” Personally, I’d be interested to find out what percentage of these “Gen Z” folks have successfullycompleted their resolution(s).
I bet you can guess (just like Brad did) what the top New Year resolution is! Ready? DRUM ROLL… Lose weight! Let’s take a look at the top ten resolutions (in no certain order):
Learn something new
Get more organized
Curb spending/ save money
Spend more time with friends and family (if COVID hasn’t done that for you)
Be more adventurous
Easier said than done
It is easy to write down your resolutions, but much harder to follow through with them. Much of your success is going to be determined by how motivated you are. The Journal of Psychology published a study done on resolutions and found:
Resolvers reported higher rates of success than non-resolvers; at six months, 46% of the resolvers were continuously successful compared to 4% of the non-resolvers. Self-efficacy, skills to change, and readiness to change assessed before January 1 all predicted positive outcomes for resolvers.
Our takeaway here? We must RESOLVE to follow through with our resolutions. This leads us to ask the question “How can I be successful at following through with my resolutions?”
We can be successful in setting realistic goals for our resolutions. A great mnemonic to use is SMART:
S – Specific
A positive attitude and positive self-talk help in following through with your resolutions; making the work of achieving them enjoyable. Ask a friend to help give encouragement and be an accountability partner. Lastly, be flexible. Sometimes life hits some unexpected bumps. You may have to hold off on a certain resolution and restart it at a later date. This is not to be seen as a failure.
YOUR MOST IMPORTANT RESOLUTION
Friends, the time has come. Don’t go into 2021 without making Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. There is no person on this earth that is perfect; without sin. We were ALL born sinners in need of a savior. God sent us his only son Jesus Christ.
Jesus paid the price for our sins by dying for you and me on the cross. His death completely removed any sin from your life, giving you eternal life. You have done nothing to earn it, it’s a gift of grace. You can have the peace of knowing you’re saved by asking Jesus into your life and ask for forgiveness. Simply bow your head and pray this prayer:
The Sinner’s Prayer
Lord Jesus, for too long I’ve kept you out of my life. I know that I am a sinner and that I cannot save myself. No longer will I close the door when I hear you knocking. By faith, I gratefully receive your gift of salvation. I am ready to trust you as my Lord and Savior. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth. I believe you are the Son of God who died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead on the third day. Thank you for bearing my sins and giving me the gift of eternal life. I believe your words are true. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus, and be my Savior. Amen.
Dr. Ray Pritchard
God knows the sincerity of your heart and hears you. Be assured, that by asking him TO FORGIVE YOU (the most important part, we need forgiveness) for your sins, he has heard you and has forgiven you. Find a local pastor or get in touch with a friend who is walking out a Christian life, and they will help you get connected with a church and walk with you on your new journey as a Christian.
We would like to hear about your resolutions and/or your OneWord for 2021. Please linkup with us at Legacy Link-up. And please read/share/comment on at least two other posts. Thank you. If you didn’t write about it, leave a comment.
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.
So, everyone is talking resolutions or #ONEWORD365 so I may as well join in the “fun”. Honestly, it’s getting a bit frustrating to meet any kind of goal these days. I’m coming up on 8 years of chronic pain. As you may have noticed just by looking at my one words I started out with a good attitude but to tell the truth, I’m getting frustrated about it all.
Before Chronic Pain, I tried to set goals that never seemed to accomplish much. Then I learned about ONEWORD365. This challenge is where you choose a word that you apply to your life throughout the year. Whenever you have a decision to make or an issue to deal with, you apply the word and let it make you a better person. I liked the idea so decided to try it out. Continue reading →
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.