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#Oneword 2017

I believe that God gave me my “one word” and Scripture for 2017. I wasn’t looking for it. In fact, I thought about not having a “one word.” I’m not into fads. 

My precious sis Maria

My precious sister Maria

But as I sought my sister Maria’s counsel on an important matter at the end of 2016 (she’s my sister and a therapist!), she encouraged me about being intentional–doing things on purpose. Here below is what she emailed me:

“My word for the last few days is “on purpose.” We have to do things on purpose – get closer to God and family and friends. Make time to do things. Improve ourselves like health and money management. I guess my question is what can you do on purpose to make things even a little better?”

She also wrote, “I so get feeling like things are stuck in a rut, an endless pit of crap. We can’t control other people, only ourselves. If this was a therapy session, lol, I would try to have you identify three things that have shown improvement in the last month (exercised more, prayed more, went to a workshop, etc), then three things you can do on purpose to improve things. And I am preaching to myself! I love you immensely. Praying God will fill your heart to overflowing!”

Then as I sat in church yesterday in my black dress, cloaked in an emerald-white sapphire necklace and bracelet and many questions about life, our pastor Jeff talked about being intentional in 2017. There’s that word again. When God says something once, I listen. When He says something twice, I sit up and pay much closer attention. Third time, I know He’s a-shoutin’ at me!

2017 One Word Intentional

So my “one word” for 2017 is intentional. 

I didn’t really want the word. It’s tired, overused, much like the word “purpose,” which I’m all over and about in my mission encouraging women to use their gifts for God and doing what they love.

But it’s a word I need in my life. Down to my writing bones. (This phrase came to mind, remembering author Natalie Goldberg’s excellent book, Writing Down the Bones.

The definition of intentional, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online is:

  • done by intention or design; 
  • done in a way that is planned;
  • done in a deliberate way; not accidental.

Synonyms for intentional are:

  • voluntary
  • willing
  • deliberate.

Voluntary implies implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion.

Willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another.

The antonyms (opposite meaning) and near antonyms of intentional are even more intriguing:

  • nondeliberate;
  • nonpurposive.
  • accidental;
  • hit-or-miss;
  • aimless;
  • coerced;
  • forced;
  • casual;
  • impulsive.

As I look over and reflect on these lists of words, I ask myself: am I willing to do what God says to do in 2017? Will I obey Him? 

mule Image source: : http://images.wisegeek.com/mule-near-grass.jpg

mule
Image source: : http://images.wisegeek.com/mule-near-grass.jpg

Everyone who knows me knows that I’m stubborn as a mule. I like to think of it as “being my own person”–independent, a free spirit. But many times it’s just plain defiance and obstinance. No one is going to tell me what to do, by God! Not even God!

Control. Pride. “Stiff-necked” the Bible calls the Israelites. This trait cost many of them their lives in the wilderness.

So I surrender. Thy Will Be Done. https://youtu.be/Dp4WC_YZAuw

Beth Jones Women's Conference Speaker & Author

Beth Jones
Women’s Conference Speaker & Author

My prayer for 2017 is that I’ll be intentional:

  • in seeking God and His Kingdom first;
  • in taking care of my health;
  • in my marriage’s healing and restoration;
  • in spending time with my children and grandchildren;
  • in speaking to empower men and women;
  • in writing more books;
  • in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and lead the lost to salvation;
  • in generous financial giving to others in need;
  • in intercessory prayer and spiritual warfare;
  • in walking in peace, not worry, fear, frustration, anger, stress;
  • in being  a productive, profitable Proverbs 31 woman.

My Scripture for 2017 is Ephesians 5:10, The Message: “Figure out what will please the Lord, and then do it.”

What is your “one word” for 2017 and why? Please leave your comments below.

Have a blessed, happy, and prosperous New Year 2017!

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My “One Word” and Scriptures for 2016

Several years ago I stopped making New Year’s Resolutions because they don’t work anyway; 1/3 of resolutions don’t make it past January because of no commitment.

Resolutions lack a foundation of meaning. Life Hacks’ article on resolutions by Steve Erry says that:

“What you need is something more fundamental, more central and more important to you. What you need is something that comes from the inside, something that’s based on what’s important and what matters to you. That’s the only way to get behind it, have confidence in it and keep the motivation and commitment going.”
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That is why before the beginning of each year, I pray to God for the coming year, for His wisdom, guidance, protection, and blessing over me, my family, our loved ones, the U.S. and Israel.

Several years ago I heard about asking God for a theme or a “one word” for the year. I also pray to ask God for a meaningful Scripture and a song that will carry me through the year.

In December 2015, I attended iBloom‘s Planning Virtual Retreat. It was a wonderful conference that filled me up, encouraged and refreshed me. During team member/speaker Betsy Ringer‘s session on getting a new “theme” for the year, she allowed time for everyone attending to pray to get quiet before God and ask Him for the theme.

While praying, I had a vision from the Lord  A vision is not some woo-woo, out-there-in-left-field, New Agey thing (although they can be if you’re not a true Christian and it doesn’t line up with God’s word). A vision is part of the gift of prophecy, which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You can learn more about these gifts in Lester Sumrall’s book at Amazon, Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit.

I describe visions as like a running picture (like a movie) in your head. Your eyes are open physically but you see it with your spirit.

deer on mountain

deer on mountain

In my mind as I prayed, I saw a picture of a female deer in a grassy field in the woods by a creek. The waters were graceful and peaceful, flowing gently. 

The doe was eating the green grass, and lifted her head. She looked around her alertly,watchful, and listening, with her large, gentle brown eyes. That was it.

I immediately felt impressed that my “one word” for 2016 was “DEER.”

Then I believe God gave me an acronym for it:

D- Do what God says.

E – Each morning God has new mercies, new things for me. (Isaiah 43:19)

E – Enter the land.

R – Rinse and Repeat; Renew. 

When I shared about the picture I received during the prayer time in the chat room, Betsy immediate typed that before iBloom’s virtual retreat began, God had given her a Scripture:

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as sure-footed as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.” (Habakkuk 3:19, NLT)

I believe this is my Scripture for 2016, as well as Psalm 23, specifically verses 2 and 3:

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

Hinds' Feet on High Places

I felt led to re-read Hannah Hurnard’s book, a gift given to me by my friend Wendi and which I read years ago, Hinds’ Feet on High Places. At that time I was bound by many fears, and related much to the main character Much-Afraid.

I confess I still struggle with fear about various things (don’t we all), but God doesn’t want you or me to be afraid–just to TRUST HIM.

With this vision and Scriptures, I feel led to study the deer to learn more about them, specifically the hind that is the character in Hinds’ Feet On High Places. The hind is known today as the red deer.

I’m going to continue blogging as I study Scriptures on the deer (as many as 26 verses are on the deer in the Bible). 

I felt like God led me to this song about the deer, too (As The Deer by Eddie James), and am searching for other meaningful ones for 2016, as part of my 2016 “theme.”

Do you make New Year’s resolutions and goals, choose a theme or a “one word,” or ask God for a Scripture at the beginning of the year? Please share in the comments below.

And my prayer is that you’ll experience a wonderful year filled with God’s wisdom, guidance, protection, blessings, and goodness–your best year yet!

If you’re like me, 2015 was a HARD year and I’m so glad it’s over. Each new year provides a “clean slate,” a fresh, new start for you and me. God has good things planned for us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Go on

Beth Jones, January 2015

Me , January 2015

At the end of 2014, God spoke to me my “one word” for 2015 (mine were 2) – pivot and pivotal.

Pivot means the central point on which a mechanism turns; to rotate; to turn; to revolve.

Pivotal means of crucial importance in relation to the development of success of something else.

God told me that this year is a pivotal (crucially important) year for me. There’s no time to waste.

I don’t want to miss out on God’s purpose and plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11)  While God has done amazing salvation, healing, and deliverance in my life, there still have been some areas where I wasn’t obeying God.

My diet and exercise. I know, it’s so annoying to talk about it. 

I’ve been addicted (emotionally, not physically – like comfort food to some people) to Coca Cola®, sugar (can anyone say chocolate?!), and I like Sonic and Mexican WAYYY too much. This year I made a DECISION, a CHOICE, to obey God. 

To get off the Cokes. To stop eating so much fast food. To eat healthier. To exercise. To drink more water. To take care of myself so that I can fulfill my purpose and calling from God. 

You can read more about my radical LIFESTYLE CHANGE (not just a diet)  here.

I’ve been walking each day at the track. This is a HUGE change for me.

I HATE to exercise. Hate. it. with. a. passion. Here’s reasons why people hate to exercise.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/128541747/trex-hates-push-ups-funny-t-shirt-men?ref=market

https://www.etsy.com/listing/128541747/trex-hates-push-ups-funny-t-shirt-men?ref=market

But I love God, my family and friends, life, and my purpose more. I’m doing this to be fit to fulfill God’s mission for my life (the weight loss is a great side benefit!)

Exercising to lose weight can actually be a bad motivator. Women who exercise to feel better and curb stress work out more.

The scorekeeper billboard at the track in town where I walk has encouraging words on it. It says “To Go On.”

scorekeeper at track

scorekeeper at track

I don’t always want to walk. It’s been really cold here lately (the other day it was 14 degrees!)…plus, I confess, I can be lazy, as far as exercise!

Today was “only” (right?!) 32 degrees, but the wind is blowing hard so it feels much colder. I bundled up again in my coat, hat, fur scarf, and another long, thick scarf to cover my nose and cheeks. It worked fine. No excuses this year!

Me at the track

Me at the track

I walk in the middle lane at the track. It has the number 5 on it. Spiritually, the number 5 is symbollic for God’s grace. I need His grace to go on and to be self-disciplined to continue with this radical lifestyle change. (Chocolate cake is calling my name!)

 

Lane 5 at the track

Lane 5 at the track

After a friend read my post on taking a single action from yesterday, she felt bad.

She’s been taking steps of faith this year by going to the gym and eating healthier. But she told me she can’t do all the radical changes that I’m doing right now. Actually, her words in a private Facebook message were, “UUGGG! You are making me feel guilty!”

That was NOT the result I wanted from my post! I told her this is something I’m doing for God and me and NOT to feel guilty.

She called me yesterday and we talked about it. Everything’s good now. I encouraged her that she is taking steps of faith and to go on.

I need prayers and encouragement, too, to keep on keepin’ on. Would you pray for me to keep it up? (Oh, and I have lost some weight – yahoo!)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9, The Message

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