2018 is soon to become a memory as 2019 approaches, so here’s a short version of my year of following Abba/Father.
In Mid-January as I started this blog, another blogger suggested her readers choose a word for the new year’s theme. Choosing Abba/Father for my word began a year of experimenting with ways to carve out more time to focus on the Lord, drawing nearer and experiencing increase of Abba’s presence. I found abundant relief in choosing to forgive others as I’ve been forgiven, finding new power in The Lord’s Prayer. This led to letting go of fear and replacing it with truth. I began declaring truth, applying the Blood of Jesus, calling angels to do their jobs, and experiencing healings in my body, soul and mind. I stumbled discerning how to manage the increase in finances, but the Spirit was faithful to give me resources that spoke right to my needs. New outlets have opened up for the fruits of the Spirit developing in me to be used .
I took opportunities to plant seeds & water God-things in friends, loved ones, and family and was blessed to help a granddaughter ask Jesus and Holy Spirit in her life and mentor her. Another blessing: to connect with a former Pastor when he came to our area to lecture on Charles G. Finney in the heart of the area where he was saved and began his ministry. It was wonderful to catch up with Pastor’s work & family and to share what the Lord is doing in me and my family. Also, I’m again mailing out encouraging notes/cards; a ministry I laid down for a bit. Wonder of wonders – in October I experimented with the Business Card template on Word Publisher and developed a contact card to hand out. My blog tag is so long and our address so new, it’s hard to keep writing it out for people and the cards are a good help.
Yes, I’ve missed opportunities and blown chances this year, so I’m glad the Bible says so much about restoration!
Looking toward 2019, I’ve chosen Shalom for my theme word. I plan to finish my Psalm 91 study over the next several weeks. I’ll join our church fast from January 2-22, reading Jentezen Franklin’s book & journal The Fasting Edge in preparation/support for my fast. I’ve chosen the Moravian Daily Texts 2019 for my devotional which includes a passage from the Old Testament, Psalms & Proverbs, New Testament and a hymn for each day.
Jentezen Franklin compares fasting to sharpening an ax, using this story taken from Tony Evans Speaks Out on Fasting (p.5-6) (I’ve condensed it) a strong, young lumberjack challenged a respected veteran lumberjack to a contest to see who could chop down more trees in a day. They started out early in the day, the young man confidently swinging his ax at tree after tree over the day, confident in his own strength, seeing the veteran lumberjack taking several breaks. At the end of the day, the young man was astonished that the other had felled more trees. How? “The older, wiser man kindly replied,’Son, what you don’t understand is that every time I sat down for what you call a break, I was sharpening my ax. A well-sharpened ax makes for a lot less work, so trees fell faster.’ ” (Jentezen Franklin The Fasting Edge p. 2-3)
What do you think? As you prepare for the new year, is it wise to set aside time to seek the Lord and pray, denying your flesh, especially if you notice your “edge” is a bit dull? I challenge you to join me along with our congregation, to cut something out of your life for 21 days – denying your flesh – to devote time to seek the Lord and lay down your plans before Him so He can guide you through 2019. Happy New Year!