My 2020 Challenge for You

 

Happy New Year, my friends and welcome to 2020!  Are you excited about a brand new year with endless possibilities?  I know that I am.  Are there things you want to do differently this year than last?  Me, too.  Let’s work on that together.

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Contemplating the next twelve months, what would you like to accomplish?   Do you have things you really yearn to do or maybe stop doing?  I think some people call that resolutions.

Since I am a list maker, I took pen in hand and began.  My list started and soon became overwhelmingly long.  Immediately I felt discouraged.   I would encourage you to keep yours challenging but still attainable.  Don’t begin the year feeling defeated.  Asking God to hone your 2020 aspiration list will make it perfect for you.

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Tell me, do you have a strategically crafted plan to fulfill your dreams for this year?  The first thing on that list should be to pray for that plan.  Ask God to show you what to do and how to do it.  That is what I intend.  With His help it will be much easier.

Scripture tells us in Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

I find the above bible verse comforting.  God, the Creator, will teach me what I need to know to accomplish my plans.  Really?  Me?  God cares enough about me to do that?  Absolutely, and He cares that much for you, also.  He might place people in my life that will be able to help me.  Perhaps a book or article will be brought to my attention.  The ways He will help you and me are limitless.

My challenge for you for 2020 is to pray.

I want to challenge you to join me this year.  Commit yourself to daily pray over your 2020 goals.  Adopt a system using a prayer jar or journal.  Record your specific prayer requests in a prayer journal or place them in a prayer jar.  As your prayers are answered  and results seen, make notes by the request.

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Besides praying for yourself, add 20 people to your list.  Ask God to place those people on your heart for prayer.  Place these names after your list or in your jar.  Each day lift one or all of these people up to our Heavenly Father.  Maybe you are praying for health, healing, salvation, or financial issues.  Perhaps you don’t even know why Abba brought this person to your mind.  Just intercede for them in prayer.

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Get a Prayer Partner

A prayer partner is someone that will be there for you to take your requests, thanks, and  praises to God.  My prayer partner lives many, many miles away but is ready within a few minutes of a text to pray.  There is a deeper level of prayer coming before Jehovah with another Christian.  She keeps me accountable, too.  If you do not currently have a prayer partner, I would encourage you to try it.  Ask at church or in your circle of friends.  Better yet, ask God to send you one.

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Let me know if you accepted my challenge and how you are doing.  I’d love to hear if you are using a prayer journal or prayer jar.  As always, if you have a prayer request for me, leave it below and I will most assuredly pray.  Thanks for spending some time with me today.

Philippians  4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

 

Hope for 2019

Here we are at the end of another year.  They certainly seem to roll around fast, don’t they?  As you reflect on 2018 I hope you keep the happy memories and discard the unpleasant ones.  There isn’t any need to take bad things into a brand new year.  Let’s hope only good things for 2019.

With the New Year comes hope.  Hope that it will be better than the last one.  More importantly, hope that I will be better than I was.  Are you like me and often think “if I could do that over” or “if I could just say that again” things would be much better.  Unfortunately we aren’t able to go back, we can only learn from our mistakes and go forward and hope we do better.

What things did 2018 teach you?  It taught me a multitude of eye-opening, heart warming things.  Perhaps age has much to do with that.  With age comes wisdom, right?  To begin with, when I ask God to forgive me I need to accept His forgiveness and also forgive myself.  No need to ask again.  It is done.  No dwelling on it.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?

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God places friends in our lives.  He might put them in our childhood neighborhood or school because we will need prayer partners later in life.  Maybe he will gather them in groups or at work.  He knows who we need long before the need arises.  This year I have prayed for and been prayed over by many friends, old and new.  Trust the people God places in your life to help you.

I have learned that I am not too old to try new things and succeed.  Trying something new is a bit scary, but with support from friends and family it was a lot easier.  God blessed the venture and is so good.

I also learned there can be joy through tears.  My precious daughter suffered a miscarriage this Autumn.  My world was devastated.  I mourned the loss of that grandchild fiercely and oftentimes still do.  During my prayers one night I realized that while I won’t see that child here on Earth, she will be waiting in Heaven for us.

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Each year God has been giving me and my prayer partner words for the upcoming year.  One individual and one for us.  Our word is victory.  What a strong, triumphant word.  I cannot even think of it without singing the hymn “Victory in Jesus”.  Yes, He sought me and bought me.  Thank you, Lord Jesus.

My word is hope.  Ahhhhhhhh, hope.  How calming and reassuring.  My mind goes straight to the scripture Jeremiah 29:11:  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Now friends, that is hope.

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What is your hope for 2019?  Peace, health, prosperity, family unity?  Oh, I have so many, but I will be satisfied letting God be in control and directing me.

Happy New Year to you and yours!  I hope it brings you closer to God.

 

A Word for the New Year

Happy 2018!  The new year is here and brings with it possibilities for all types of good things.  Have you done anything to make a change from last year or help this year become better than 2017?  I would like to invite you to do something my best friend taught me to do.  When you are in your quiet place talking to Jesus, ask Him to give you a word for the new year. DesignThat’s right, your very own word that offers encouragement or inspiration for the year. Maybe He will give you more than just one.  Whatever it is you need, He will give.

For 2017 my word was restoration. My husband had been very ill and had an operation. Abba gave me “restoration” as encouragement that things will be better. Throughout the illness a lot has changed and been lost, so restoration gave me hope that what had been taken away would be replenished through God’s grace and mercy.  It would not only be replaced but restored by God which means a full, overflowing measure.  My friend received the word “joy” to remind her of the happiness that abounds all around her.

My word for the year 2018 is “family” and I am eager to learn why.  Could it mean our family is increasing?  The family might not be my immediate family at all but the Family of God.  Maybe I will help lead others into His family.  Perhaps relationships within our family will change.  I have no idea why I received this word, but I am praying about it and the reason.  God will reveal it to me in His perfect time.

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Are you wondering how to receive your word? First you need to ask. Pray to our loving Savior Jesus and ask Him to provide you with a word.  After that be aware.  Watch and listen.  You will see or hear your word.  It might standout in everything you read.  For example, if your word is “hope” you may read “hope” in many scriptures or even a billboard.  Friends might tell you about a book or song they found and love on that subject.  Artwork at a store may have that word in it. A waitress might have a tattoo that says it or even be named Hope. Your word will surround you. Perhaps you will hear your word. In the silence as you chat with Jesus, listen for His voice. It might come as a soft whisper faintly coming to your mind. When you ask and receive, do not worry that you might miss it. If something is meant for you, you will get it.  There are no coincidences, just God at work.

Okay, you have asked and received your word, now what. Treasure that word and watch for the lessons it has to teach you.  Pray about your word. It should bring comfort, encouragement, and hope to you. You might use it to minister or testify to others. This one little word could change your year and your Walk with God making them both better in more ways than you could ever imagine. Happy 2018.  May you find your word, start a new tradition, and have a blessed year.

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Writing Our 2018 Story

We have closed the last page of our life story for 2017.  I hope it was a best seller in your eyes.  A new year brings a new beginning or book.  It comes in with a blank page or clean slate.  Are you hoping the year that begins today is better than the one that just finished? IMG_0181
A new year carries endless possibilities with it. I read posts on Facebook stating that New Year’s Day was the beginning of a blank 365 page book for each one of us, and that we should write a good one. Some claimed 2017 to be the worst year on record for them. Others wrote about the things they wanted to improve upon or change starting today.

Let me challenge you. Get a brand new journal and write down an outline for your 2018 story. I know it hasn’t happened yet, but think about what you would like to happen. For me reconnecting with some old, dear friends is very important and long overdue. My Christian novel remains half written so 2018 is the perfect year to complete it.  Cookbook #2 is a little closer to being finished but needs work.  Any year past, present, and future is the time to deepen my relationship and walk with Jesus. Of course I need and want to get healthier, too. In August 2017 I began a new venture selling a Pampered Chef. It is my hope to improve on that this year. How about those goals? Pages and chapters for me to live and write.

Will you partner with me? We could try it together and encourage each other. Over our blank pages we need to speak and pray positivity.  Begin by asking God’s will to be done.  Thank Him for guiding and directing.  No more “I can’t lose weight, I am stressed and too busy, or it is never gonna happen.” Replace those with “absolutely I will lose weight, there is time, and yes, it will happen!”

Get your inspiration from your Life’s Rule Book or Holy Bible and your Heavenly Father.Design Scripture will give you the help, peace, and strength you need. Remember the verse in Matthew that says “With God all things are possible?” How about in Philippians where it tells us “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  Proverbs gives great counsel “Trust in the Lord with all your heart….”  We need to commit Bible verses to memory and claim the promises they give.

Keep me updated on your happy story. Working together we can make a positive difference in 2018. We will start with each other and see what trickles down from there.  I think it is time to turn a “no” into a “go”!  It is exciting to realize that we have the pen and blank paper for our 2018 story, not to mention the best Editor ever.  I am ready to start my new story.  Are you?

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God Has 2018 and You

Goodbye, 2017 and hello, 2018!  Here we are again. Another year is winding down to a close. Don’t worry. There is a brand new one just waiting to take 2017’s place. Whether this has been your best, worst, or just an average year, it is time to take inventory and plan for the next one. IMG_0113 Do you have expectations for 2018 or yourself? A new year is wonderful. It’s like getting a blank piece of paper to begin a new chapter in your story.  Exciting, isn’t it?!

Do you have a tradition for New Year’s Eve or Day? Many people start the year with a resolution or two.  Not a bad idea, but how many resolutions make it all year?  Grand plans and hopes turn to ashes when someone offers a piece of homemade fudge or favorite cookie. Even a 75% off sale and crash plans for saving more money. My hubby made a resolution a decade or more ago that he continues to keep……”to stop making New Year’s resolutions.” Perhaps I should try that one. My resolutions don’t seem to make it very long.

Let me offer another thing to try along with your resolution.  One tradition that I love to do is to think about my prayer list. DesignOn it is usually one item that seems greater than any of the others. If you have a prayer list you know the one I mean. It is the one you give over to Jesus to handle and take to the Father. Then later that day you start fretting over it again and try to tell Him how to work it out. (How silly!)  You pick it back up and cannot seem to give it away.  The problem is so big and seems unsolvable. Oh, but I have great news for you. God is bigger and more powerful than anything. Period.  He is also in the business of miracles.

This is all I do.  I will take a piece of paper and jot down that problem which has now become a mountain. When I pray about it now, I completely surrender it to Jesus, throw it in the fireplace and watch it burn. DesignAs it is eaten up by flames and disintegrated, I give thanks that the problem is out of my hands and into His. I have totally surrendered it.  He is doing what needs done according to His perfect will.  Before my prayer ends the paper has turned to ashes, tears stream down my cheeks, and my worry has vanished. I am at peace.

Try it with one of your problems that has grabbed onto you and won’t let go. God said not to worry. We can do that only by praying and turning things over to Him. He is good and He is faithful. God won’t let us down. Go into 2018 with one less issue hanging over your head, and with you holding on to Jesus’s hand.  Give it to Him.  Trust Him.  He has this, He has 2018, and He has you!

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