Operating in Faith walking in God’s Calling

Word of the Year

My chosen phrase for 2020 is “operating in faith”, to begin walking in God’s calling for me. I have verbalized God’s calling easily to others yet haven’t moved as much as I needed to act this out. As I prayed over what my word of the year should be, I felt Him impressing this phrase on my heart over and over.

Working on 2020 plans I began to think how the word “go” is tied to that. When you think about the word go, it implies action. The word begs for forward motion. And as you move momentum builds.

So if I say I feel God’s calling to go and yet remain still, how can I expect God to grant me more when I cannot handle what I have?

Walking in God’s Calling

His word speaks to this in Luke 12:48. To paraphrase, those who have been given little will be entrusted with little and those who have been given much will be entrusted with much more.

To be given more in terms of growing my blog, growing a ministry, and more importantly growing my relationship with Jesus, then I have to go.

I knew I wanted more from life this year. I knew God wanted more both from me and for me.

That last part is critically important. God is FOR me.

Operating in Faith – His love and will

Consider Ephesians 2:4 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us,”.

Or 2 Samuel 23:5. David on his death bed declares the goodness of the Lord. That He alone orders our steps, keeps covenant with us and brings about our salvation and desires.

Desires according to His will for us. What we want needs to line up with what God wants.

The goal is not to go more so I get more. God isn’t an ATM.

His calling makes me move

To succeed in God’s calling for me I have to GO! My answer to Him requires action from me.

But it can be hard and scary to go where we haven’t gone before.

Therefore my phrase for the year, “operating in faith” fits well. My going requires faith that He has my back. And God’s calling will always be backed by His word.

Operating in Faith walking in God's calling

Action Plan for 2020

There are 5 areas I feel God calling me to grow and go deeper with Him. As a result, in 2020 I have committed to “GO” in further in my relationship with Jesus:

  1. By leading more confidently in my women’s group.
  2. By reading specifically selected scripture and devotional to gain more knowledge of Him.
  3. By learning specific blogging tools to expand my ministry.
  4. By praying specific, detailed prayers.
  5. By being mindful of my words with my husband.

I’ll be detailing the how and why of my “GO” action plans to answer God’s calling in 2020 over the next month. My prayer is they will inspire and motivate you to “ GO” with God too!

Prayer

Jesus,

Let us be encouraged and empowered by your Holy Spirit to “GO” in the direction you have chosen for each of us in 2020. Give us wisdom to learn what is needed to live out our calling. Let us not fear or put off your instruction and will for us. Don’t let us be like Jonah. Fill us with a boldness to bring the gospel into every aspect of life and to do so with humbleness. Amen.

4 things I want to leave in 2019

As the decade ends, there are some things I’m ready to leave behind.

As I stare at 2020 I realize there are things I want to leave in 2019. Leave for good. This decade has been a hard one. It has been marked by financial strife, personal health issues, relationship problems and more moves than I would like to count.

As I reflect on what the decade has taught me there are some things that I want to leave in behind and not visit again.

By God’s grace this next decade will be the beginning of my life.

Strange statement seeing as I’m 44.

Obviously not new at this going around the sun thing. However, I have let life drag me along on this journey rather than taking charge and charting my life according to God’s will for me.

I’m done settling for less than God’s best for me.

Here are 4 things I am leaving in 2019

  • Self-doubt. I am a Child if the King, an heir with Christ. As such there is no reason for doubt to enter in. I will trust.
  • Quitting. If you want change and growth you cannot keep quitting those things that are stretching you. Fear is not a reason to stop. Growing weary is not a reason. What others think about it is not a reason. Keep going.
  • Intolerance of others. I expect more from some than they can give. I judge too harshly…not out loud, but in my mind and it affects my ability to love well.
  • Fear. I have lived most of my life in fear. Worry over what I cannot control. I am relinquishing this area to God and trusting in Him that I will overcome.

I’m not going to pretend that there will not be hard things to come in 2020 or even in this new decade as a whole. However, I know that with a change in perspective and a change in attitude that this next year and decade will be better than the last.

Through prayer and planning I aim for this decade to be God focused, kingdom minded, and light filled. How can it be anything else when my eyes are turned towards Him?

I am ready to begin my life now. Welcome 2020!

The World or the Word?

Having the right mindset is a matter of choosing the world or the Word.

The last few years have been a struggle in various ways for my husband and I. Financial hardship has especially taken a toll. Therefore mindset has been negatively impacted.

As a result there have been many things we have wanted to do that have had to be set aside. Home purchase, vacations, replacing old furniture.

None of these things are critical. Yet I have sometimes allowed self pity over my situation to keep me focused worldly instead of diving into the Word. Human nature does that.

Keys to Happiness

In the secular world, material things and business success are supposed to bring you happiness. This is reflected in every aspect of our western culture from movies to music as people are portrayed as happiest when they are acquiring things or career success.

Those barely getting by are not applauded…in fact, they are often portrayed as inferior.

As Christians, we know things are not what makes us happy. The joy of a new home or a job promotion will fade.

We get it twisted

And while we know this to be true our human nature rebels against it.

We want the things. We want success. We want recognition.

When placed in appropriate context these are not necessarily bad. Unfortunately, our perspective is often skewed and we desire more world than we do Word.

The World or the Word?

Kingdom Mindset

Shifting from a world view to a Word view is essential in influencing the culture towards a relationship with Jesus. Looking at the world through the lens of the Bible shapes our lives, our homes, our communities and thus this world.

Satan prefers we remain focused on the world so he attacks with worry, hardships, fear, and the pursuit of power (success) to distract us. If Satan can keep you focused on chasing success and things, then he keeps you from Kingdom work.

Jeremiah 29:13. Psalm 19:14. Isaiah 26:3. Psalm 112:7.

All four of these verses point to peace and joy and a lack of fear when our gaze is turned on God.

Becoming Wordly Minded

Obviously reading your Bible helps get the Word in you. But it isn’t enough just to read it.

Life application and change only happens when you pursue a deeper relationship with God. That requires studying the Word.

Set aside time for prayer and meditation on what God would have you glean from your scripture reading each day.

Be intentional about your studies as you would were you in school. Take notes. Read multiple versions of the Bible. Use a good Bible commentary to enhance your understanding.

Progress not perfection

Give yourself grace in adapting to study of the Word. If this is not something you have ever earnestly pursued, it will take time…like any new habit.

You love others, but do you love you?

If you are anything like me, you love others, but do you love you?

I have always struggled with loving myself. I’ve espoused a poor view of my body image, my abilities and my worth.

It has negatively impacted me, my marriage, friendships and even my work.

And yet I am always complimenting others, championing those who don’t see their value, and trying hard to speak life to dry bones.

About three years ago my world was absolutely rocked in the most unimaginable way.

It was at that lowest point of my life that I began to see the need to take care of myself and learn to love Ammie.

It took the wise counsel of others as well as leaning back into my love affair with Jesus to lift me up.

It will be a life-long journey as trials with chronic illness and anxiety try to have their way. BUT, it is a journey that is worth embarking on.

Here are 10 Things I Have Learned to Love About Me

  1. I am a good leader. I enjoy encouraging and equipping others to be their best. And I’m not afraid to make tough decisions when needed.
  2. I am a good Training/Development speaker. I have been honored to speak at multiple local and national seminars and conferences and always receive great feedback.
  3. I have beautiful eyes. Hands down my favorite physical feature…besides my hair.
  4. I am Beloved. This one thing has helped me the most in loving myself. God, the Creator of the universe, calls me His beloved. He formed me, knows my sinful nature, and still LOVES me!
  5. God has gifted me. I have abilities and talents that God placed in me to bring about Kingdom work. A Gifts Test helped me discover my top 5: Teaching, Exhortation, Discernment, Leadership and Pastor/Shepherd. These are directly related to #1 and #2 above.
  6. I am a great furmom. My inability to birth human kids makes my dogs in every sense my children. And they are spoiled as such.
  7. I am musically talented and sing well. I LOVE, love, love music…and am happy to lift my voice for His glory.
  8. I am an attractive woman. This one might sound vain, but it has taken me more than three decades to even think I might be halfway pretty. I’ve always tied my physical attractiveness to being skinny, having perfect hair, etc. I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been…and I’ve never felt more pretty. It’s the heart change that made this love attribute happen!
  9. I am creative. I write poetry, songs, make pretty floral arrangements, decorate the perfect Christmas tree, and have recently discovered I’m pretty good at creating color books and bookmarks.
  10. I am a good cook. I really enjoy cooking and baking, especially during the holidays. And I get such joy out of people savoring my food!

Loving others well is only attainable when we love ourselves well. Not a self-serving love, but a true appreciation of the beautiful, smart and kind human God has created us to be.

You bear the “Fingerprints of God”. This song says it far better than me.

Click for song

Be blessed and loved sisters!

Hymns that inspire, revive and heal

I grew up attending church. Hymns were part of my childhood, from the simplest “Jesus Loves Me” to “Amazing Grace”.

Having a love for music, I have a great appreciation for those old school hymns.

Hurt in need of healing

Sometimes, when life has gut punched me and I find myself falling to my knees, those old hymns are the only music that will do.

Modern worship is beautiful, however, it doesn’t connect as deep in my soul as these tried and true songs do.

They bring me back to a time when things were simpler, less complicated, less chaotic and less burdensome.

They revive me. They heal me.

Hymns that Inspire, Revive & Heal

One of my favorites has always been “All Hail the Power”.

Memories that inspire

I remember singing this as a child, standing by my grandmother in a small church in rural south Georgia. I remember her slightly off key soprano…tremulous and soft the older she got.

I remember singing not just one stanza or chorus. Oh no, we would sing every stanza, every chorus…each more jubilant than the last.

No fancy organ. No drums or guitars. Just the piano. And the voices of a united congregation lifting up their Savior.

Future of Faith

I remember even then, not wanting worship time to end. I couldn’t have told you a reason why then.

I just knew it felt good to be standing there, holding her hand, singing.

It made me happy. It made my grandmother happy. It seemed it made everyone in the room happy.

And when I hear it now…it still makes me happy. Oh but now I know why!

It is the joy of being saved by grace. It is the grace that flows from His throne to my frail human form. It is awe at how marvelous and excellent He is! These hymns inspire, revive and heal our souls.