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Still time for your (God’s) bucket list

pumpkin

pumpkin

This year has sped by, hasn’t it? Again.

The older you are, the faster the years go. You grasp at time, but it rushes through your hands like turbulent rapids in a river, and there’s no stopping it. That’s why it’s important to be present in the moments each day and to savor your time with loved ones. To live intentionally.

rapids

rapids

Christmas is around the corner and the new year. I think it’s important to live each day fully, and there is still time to get things accomplished this year. What things?

Writing a to-do list

Writing a to-do list

Whatever matters most, what is important to you personally–and to God. I highly recommend reading the book What If God Wrote Your Bucket List? 52 Things You Don’t Want To Miss.

family pic

family pic

 

coffee pic

coffee pic

 

fall decos

fall decos

 

For me, that would be:

  • Using my spiritual gifts for God and living out my purpose daily;
  • Working on healing my marriage to Ray;
  • Staying connected with our 3 beautiful daughters and 4 precious grandkids (soon to be 5!);
  • Having my “coffee with God” time each morning, praying, journaling, & reading the Bible;
  • Walking/jogging at the track and eating healthy to become fitter;
  • Enjoying this new fall season (pumpkin scented candles, mm; pretty sunflowers decos);
  • Traveling to new places;
  • Being an example of Christ to all those God brings across my path each day.

What about you? What is left on your bucket list that you’d like to do before this year ends?

fall trail

fall trail

 

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Blog, Faith, prayer, Spiritual Gifts

Refreshing Rain: Repent of your sin

cherry tree after rain

cherry tree after rain

Yesterday we had a sudden thunderstorm here: heavy rain, loud thunder, and lightning. It stopped as suddenly as it started, and reminded me of the thunderstorms in the south where I grew up.

Afterward, everything looked so fresh: the emerald-green grass, the tree’s leaves, and the beautiful flowers like our neighbor’s cherry tree, pictured above.¬† This reminded me of Acts 3:19-21, NIV:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you‚ÄĒeven Jesus.

The word “sin” isn’t very popular today. We like to call it by other names: mistake, weakness, or “I just screwed up.” (If we even admit it; sometimes we blame others, hide, justify, or make excuses for our sin.)

¬†But God, who is holy, calls a spade a spade: it’s sin! And He knows that sin will destroy our lives and hinder your purpose and mine.¬†

Thunder and lightning

Thunder and lightning

God is not an angry Deity ready to just zap you with lightning and send you to hell every time you mess up a little! Hell was created for the devil and his demons, not man. God loves you and has a good plan for your life. (Jeremiah 29:11) God wants you to repent of your sin, so that nothing will stand between you and Him. He wants to be as close to you as possible.

daisies

daisies

When we repent of our sins, we are refreshed. We feel relieved. We don’t carry around that guilt, and worse, condemnation for our sins. Jesus died on the Cross over 2,000 years ago for you and me, as a sacrifice to God and a substitute for our sins, so we wouldn’t have to carry the burden of them. His death and resurrection sets us free.¬†When we repent, we are in right relationship with God and others. We are forgiven–forever.¬†

Today, ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart for any sin. Confess it to God. Ask His forgiveness. Let nothing stand in your way of intimacy with God. and fulfilling your purpose.

woman in rain

woman in rain

Receive the refreshing rain and the beauty, like the flowers after the rain, of His forgiveness, love, and power in your life.

***

Promises In The Dark: One Woman's Search for Authentic Love

Get your copy at:
https://goo.gl/rRQhIC

Do you feel that you have sinned too much and that God can’t and won’t possibly forgive you?

He will forgive if you repent. God is faithful, even when we are not!

Read my¬†encouraging life story about my childhood abuse, adulterous affairs, and three abortions, Promises In The Dark: One Woman’s Search for Authentic Love, and how God forgave and delivered me by clicking here.

 

 

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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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