A Word for 2019

If you could pick one word to focus on in 2019, what would it be?

A few years back our Pastor gave a New Year challenge encouraging us to consider one word to focus on for the entire year. I had felt the Lord spurring me to trust Him more in unchartered areas of my life so the word I chose was GO.

I wrote GO on my mirror as a daily reminder. It became the filter I processed thoughts through. Every time I contemplated a matter I remembered my word and choose to “go” forward with my eyes on Jesus. It was tough, but soon I became fascinated with the word. It was such a simple word and yet it stretched me in every area of life. When I faced heavy issues I found GO as an invitation to once again place trust in Christ as I proceeded forward.

What surprised me was using GO in small matters. I found myself trying little things I would have otherwise overlooked. It made a huge impact and my world expanded.

By the end of the year GO wasn’t just written on my mirror, it had become a part of me. GO was on my mind and in my heart. It also happened to be the year the Lord drew my husband and me out from one very long and sweet season to an exciting new one in another state.

The beauty and simplicity of one word can impact your life in powerful and dynamic ways.

Consider what your life would look like if one word changed it this year. What would that defining word be for you?

Pray about it and choose your one word. Root it in your heart and mind. Write it on your mirror (dry erase marker), write it on your calendar. Weave it into your vocabulary. Take an hour to write 12 simple, separate notes using your word. Seal them and open one each month.

Then, allow every area of your life to be filtered through that word. Look for Christ to magnify His will and His very self through the meaning of that word applied in your life.

Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12 (NASB)

Some starters to get you thinking:

Give                            Grow                           Legacy                        Wait

Simplify                      Forgive                        Humility          Fortify

Phonto

People Are Watching

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Brad and I love to “people watch”. Downtown is a great for this place because there’s always something going on and plenty of people.

This weekend we went to Acacia Park downtown. Immediately, we saw three young men doing flips. “Brad, look!” One would flip. Then the other flipped and then the next. They paused a moment, caught their breath and repositioned. Then bam, bam, bam; they each did it again, and again and again.

Mesmerized, we got out of the truck excited to see more. And we did. All over the little park young men were running, jumping and twisting into the air doing complete arial somersaults. Some were hanging in trees and a few were jumping from the trees to other objects. A young man climbed onto a four foot wall bordering above a playground. He stood like a diver ready to make a complex dive. Suddenly he sprung off the wall tucking, twisting and arching to spin wildly in the air before landing in a soft bed of mulch.

Nearby, a group was gathered by the small amphitheater where a semi-circle obstacle course was arranged. This was the competition ring for the Jump Fest Event Parkour Festival; a ‘Tranquil Movement’ event.

Every couple of minutes a new heat started in which two men laid flat on their backs –the official start position. At start, they sprung from laying on their backs to jumping up, on, over, thru, under and around large crates, parallel bars, over-size tires and monkey bars.

These athletes were strong, elegant, daring, fast and fluid. We watched, in awe.

A few came close to falling. “Oh, no, no!” My mother instincts had me wanting to halt the event with a shout of “Hey! Wait a minute guys. This just isn’t safe.” Somehow I managed clench my teeth and flinch quietly instead. It was fascinating to see the smooth flow of body over fixed objects. These guys moved like liquid.

More gathered and watched. The competitors watched as well. They watched one another and they looked to see who was watching them.

This was a competition; a show of their best. They had come from all over the country so the judges could watch them. It was evident; they’d trained hard honing their skills.

Then something else caught my eye. “Brad look!” Coming up near our heels was a small child, a baby actually. He had just mastered crawling and was proudly conquering the soft green grass on little hands and knees.

Obviously he had been watching as well because he wasn’t just crawling. This baby crawled a bit then tucked and twisted. He’d crawl again and arch and roll. He used his body to imitate the fascinating acrobatic athletes all around. “That’s awesome!” His parents chuckled proudly as they watched on their picnic blanket nearby.

The little guy had watched, studied, internalized and was now duplicating.

That’s what we do isn’t it? We watch. We learn. We do. We teach. It seems we’re either learning, practicing or teaching.

Others are watching. I wonder… What do others see when they see me? What about you? What do people see when they watch you? Are they inspired, encouraged or motivated?

Matthew 5:16 reminds us,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”(NIV)

When you head out today, consider –people are watching. Who will see you? What will they see? Think about it and have a great week my friends, and SHINE!

got Light?

got light shellybusby.com3Got Light?

Lights shine all around us, but there remains a constant Greater Light.

Yes, there’s the sun, the moon and the stars, but there is a Greater Light still.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will HAVE the Light of Life.” John 8:12 (caps added)

Jesus not only said He is the light, He’s called us to be light as well. True, we are lesser lights, but think about His words;

You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus created the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies. He’s far more powerful and radiant than the sum of them.

The sun is like Christ; burning bright, a constant source of brilliant power. Jesus is constant. He doesn’t turn away or dim.

Still, to function well, we use additional light to help us go about life; night and day.

Try to imagine life without light. We can’t fully grasp what that would be like.

Just as a lightbulb offers additional light to daily life, we are called to be lights, to a world oppressed with darkness.

Our two-fold purpose is to:

  • (first and foremost) Glorify God
  • Bear light that others will be drawn to the Greater Light of Christ.

A light only illuminates when it is routed to a power source. In the same way, you can only shine when you are routed in, connected to the power source; Christ.

The cross of Jesus is like the electrical system for lights. When Christ rose from the dead, He made Himself accessible, once for all to any who would choose to link into Him.

The power is always available or “open”, but the SWITCH determines whether or not the bulb will shed light or not.

Caution: Just because you have tapped into Christ as your source, remember, sometimes we get “tripped up” (pun intended) and need to make sure that our connection is clear and our switch is open to the power and Spirit of God.

Sin works as a stop gate blocking the flow of Christ’s power in us.

Is your light dim?  Check your power line and;

confess your sins, Jesus is faithful and righteous to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (personalized)

Keep your switch in the ON position. Next time you flip a light switch “ON”, check yourself.

Take up your light and go light your world!

 

 

What if…

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This whole writing and blogging thing drives me crazy.  Every day I have something to write, but I’m always blowing it off, rationalizing that nobody cares what I have to say and I’m not much of a writer and I have no TIME.whatif2

I am continually compelled to write, and yet I’ve hardly written “Jack Squat”.

I was talking with God about this and two words kept popping in my mind.  WHAT IF.  Here’s how the conversation followed.

God: “WHAT IF, Shelly.  What if you’re right, and you’re not a good writer, but I want you to write anyway?”

Me:  “But God, I don’t want to make a fool of myself.”

God:  “Hmmm. OK.”  Silence.

Then it hits me.

Me: “Is there anything more foolish than ignoring what God calls you too?”

… and how many times have I declared I would do anything for God?  But write?   Ugh.

I’m an unsophisticated writer.

Me: “Really God?”  Deep within, His Spirit stirs a rumbling in me.

“Okay… so what do I write, there are so many writers and bloggers and greats and who am I?”

God:  “You’re MINE.”

Again!  He’s says that ALL THE TIME.  (And I need to hear it.)

me: “What about time?  I’m so busy.”

God: “Oh, you mean like spending time on Pinterest, doing puzzles and projects or watching tv?”

I know He’s not telling me these are bad.  He’s just pointing out that I could manage my time better.

 me: “Okay.  So here I am.”

God: “Okay.   So there you are.  So write.”

Me:  “but God, You didn’t answer my question.  What do I write?”

God: “Anything child.  Write our conversation.  Write anything.  It’s not about your talent or ability.  It’s about Me.  You and Me and LIFE.”

Me:  “I know this God, but I don’t understand.  It doesn’t make sense.”

God: “Does it have too?  What if it does make sense to Me, and you simply are unable to understand?  What if it’s just about you being MINE and doing what I’ve called you too, just because you are Mine?”

Silence.

God: “Shelly, what if I call you to write every day for the rest of your life and no one but Me sees it or likes it or cares?  Would it all be a waste?”

Me:  “Oh God.  I know the right answer.  But…”

God:  “but what?”  (as if He doesn’t already know my thoughts!)

God:  “My child, you are called by Me for MY PURPOSES.  It’s not for you to understand, but simply to listen to Me and follow Me.  No one except ME is asking you to fulfill a purpose.”

You are called to be a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a servant.  Those are an important part of My plan, but more than that, your purpose is OUR RELATIONSHIP.

I want your heart.

And I want you to write that and share it, and not to be concerned with what anyone else thinks about how you do that.

Are you seeking the approval of man or Me?”

Me: “It’s been man.”

God:  “I know.  But it’s time love.  My giftings and calling are irrevocable.  It’s okay if you’re not good at using it.  But child, it’s up to you to use it.”

What if.  What’s your “what if”?

Do you know that which you are called too, and are you walking in it?

We all have something God places deep within us; a key ingredient He placed in you when He designed you.

Do you recognize it?  Do you use it? Have you forgotten it or has the business of life snuffed it out?

What if? God says that His giftings and callings are irrevocable.  They’re not conditional on our ability, just our availability.

What if there’s something hidden deep in you, which you’ve forgotten for a long time.  What if it’s not too late?  What if now is your time to draw near to God and embrace that special something he wove into your very being?

Just remember, it’s not about the gifting or calling. It’s about Him and you.  The gifts are a means and a unique expression of Him in you.

“for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Romans 11:20 (NAS)