Friday, June 19, 2020



Living with a pandemic these past few months has changed so much about our lives. I imagine for many of us it may have changed how we have interacted with our word of the year and the intentions or goals we set at the beginning of the year. That is what we are exploring this month in our Living Your Word of the Year group. This week we are specifically going to explore the intentions or goals we set early on and see if they are still relevant in our "new normal". My original post about my intentions can be found here.

A while back I read a quote by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that has become the basis for my prayers lately. Bonhoeffer said,
"May God in His mercy lead us through these times; but above all, may He lead us to Himself."
Times like these can test us. They can test the depths of our faith and may force us to ask deep questions about our walk with Christ. Has fear of the virus or the economic changes it has brought caused fear to shake our trust in Jesus? Or have you been surprised to find your faith is greater than you had previously thought; that the years of time in God's Word and prayer, of faithfully walking with Him day-by-day have resulted in a foundation of trust that is not being shaken? Or maybe you're somewhere in between. As Bonhoeffer said, we can make a choice at any point in life to ask God to "lead us to Himself" and filter how we see life and our current circumstances through His lens of faith. We can ask God to "lead us to Himself for the first time or for a mid-course correction at any time.

I want to encourage you to spend some time reviewing the intentions or goals you set for your word. Reflect and pray. Our question/prompt this week is:
Has my connection with my word or my intentions changed as a result of current situations?
Here are a few more questions to help in reflection: 
  • In light of the changes we have experienced over the past few months, do I feel God moving me away from any of the intentions I originally set for the year? 
  • Do I feel Him moving me deeper into any of my intentions?
  • Do I need to make any mid-course corrections to my intentions for the year?
  • What do I want for my word in the last half of the year?
My word is fruit. I started out the year wanting to focus on the fact that fruit is a by-product of something else. Spiritually, fruit is the result of walking in the power of the Holy Spirit. Fruit, such as those listed in Galatians 5:22-23, is not something we can produce ourselves. It comes as a result of positioning ourselves under Christ and practicing spiritual disciplines such as Bible study, sacred reading, prayer, meditation, solitude, journaling, etc., in order to live a life that is led by God's Spirit.

But fruit is also something that can be borne through our lives into the lives of others as we live that Spirit-led life. As we love and serve and have a heart that seeks good for others  prompted by the call of Jesus through His words throughout Scripture. As I reflected on the changes in life brought about by the pandemic over the past few months, and more recently by issues of racial injustice, I found a resolve in me to continue serving in the community as I have been. To be wise in how I practiced in order to stay healthy, but to not back down on serving or being generous, and in this way to continue to bear fruit even though serving looks different in many ways now. And so, I feel just as connected, and maybe even a little more connected, to my word and my intentions. I find encouragement in the stories of our Christian heritage in centuries past of how Christ-followers acted and served in times of plague and famine, or in times of war and injustice as in Bonhoeffer's days. They are the "great cloud of witnesses" as Hebrews 12:1 calls the lives of those before us who lived by faith. So, while many things are different, and the ways in which we are able to do them have changed, for me, I find that I am to press on. My intentions of positioning myself before God and practicing spiritual disciplines that tend my soul and produce the fruit of faith within still serve to lead me through the rest of the year. As well as diligently serving that resolve I feel to bear fruit by serving in the community and using what God has planted in me and blessed me with to be used as an instrument of His blessing to others.

How about you? Where are you at right now? We are all at different phases in our spiritual journey and in our life situations, and it's fine wherever you're at.

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Living Your Word 2020 Opportunity!

My friends Bernice Hopper, and Valerie Sjodin, and I share insights through blog posts for creatively living a word of the year. In our Facebook group, we encourage one another by posting questions and prompts to inspire living out a word focus, keeping a journal etc. It is a safe place to ask for prayer and support. If you would like to connect with others in creative ways about living your word, you can ask to join our Living Your Word of the Year 2020 by clicking on the link below.

Hashtag for Instagram:  #livingyourword2020
Check out their blogs:

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