Bible School
Welcome to part two in a three part series on how to make the most of 2018. Today's memo continues with our theme of purpose. It's an updated repost suggesting how powerful the focus of a single word can be.

Two years ago around this time, I wrote a post entitled Focus & Transitions. It was based on something I read by someone on the pastoral team at Pioneer Memorial Church in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Who had gotten the idea from Pastor Dwight Nelson. Who had read it in some other blog. Anyway, it resonated enough with me, that I posted my own version. Then I posted it again near the end of 2016. And now I'm posting it again.

The idea is to pick a single word that will inspire you to do your best, something specific to the coming year. Then create a picture based on the word, and put it where you can see it--to remind you of your word.

Some suggested words were INTENTIONAL, MOTIVATION, and PURPOSE. The blogger I read, chose the word FINISH. It came quickly to him as he had two big projects he wanted to complete that year.

I had been doing a lot of praying about my goals and plans for 2016--and my word came to mind quickly as well: DEVOTION. I ended up creating the following graphic and put it in a small frame on my desk. I kept it there the entire year.

That picture helped to remind me of the importance of personal devotion to the causes I pursue. And my life became been more focused and committed as a result. I also made serious efforts to grow in my personal devotion to Christ. It was a good word!

Last year, I considered several words for 2017. I thought about "fitness", "wellness", and "wholeness" as I felt a real need for that in my life. I ended up choosing the word JOURNEY. And not just because we launched a program by that name in 2017!

I wanted to remind myself life was a journey. The destination is important (our goal), but so is how we get there. To stay faithful over the long haul, we need to maintain balance in key areas. And we need to remember the loved ones closest to us, who share life's journey with us. And to avoid making wrong turns, we need to check in daily with God through prayer and study. JOURNEY ended up being a good word for me. Here's the image I put on my desk at that time:

This year, I'm in a very different place in my life. I've made a big transition from busy pastoral life, to doing FAST alone, something I've wanted to do for many years. I now have the freedom to pursue whatever God puts on my heart. We also purchased outright a small home in a quiet town in North Dakota. And for the first time since launching into ministry, we live close to family. I have a lot to be thankful for!

As a result I've chosen a new word for the coming year. It came to me quickly as usual, and expresses the life of praise and worship this new freedom makes possible. It also captures what I want to cultivate in my relationship with God. And for that matter, how I want to relate to family, friends, and even the FAST community. All these things I want to celebrate.

Anyway, here's the picture I've chosen for 2018:

What about you? What are your goals for the coming year? Can you boil it all down to one single word that will help bring focus to your life through the coming months? In past years, members came up with many great words: PEACE, COMMITMENT, REVIEW, TRANSFORMATION, etc. And I'm sure each person had great reasons for choosing the words they did.

Why not give it a try yourself for 2018. What word will you pick, and why?


What about you? Have a word that comes to mind? What word is it? Why did that word stand out to you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Posted by Dan Vis on 01/01/18 - Coach
So many great words everyone! And I love reading all the reasons why you chose your words.

Great to see you online Thérèse! What a great sis. :)
Posted by Thérèse Gauvin on 12/31/17
(Surrender) is my word. Having enough faith in God to surrender all to Him. When I say all, I literraly mean all.. all my worries, cares, projects,problems, troubles , but most of all, my Will.
Posted by Sarita Mayhawk on 12/31/17
Surrendered is my goal always.
Posted by James on 12/31/17
Thanks for the opportunity to share and trusting is a very special word to me, trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding .Faith in God will move a mighty mountain. God bless. James
Posted by Raquel Reyna on 12/31/17
The word I have finally chosen is "TRUST" along with the song "TRUST and Obey" and the verse in Proverbs 3:5,6Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. . . . In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.. I want to TRUST in the Lord with ALL my heart and lean on HIM, not trusting to my own understanding. I don't know about everyone else, but I tend to be self sufficient and forget to let the Lord lead. So I want TRUST as my word for this year. I can see how God has made us all special with many needs and on different steps on the ladder leading upward. May God grant us the desires of our heart as we use these tools to continue to grow in Him in 2018. Jesus is coming soon!
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/29/17 - Coach
Wow, what a powerful word Nena! May God give you not only a great heart to give, but guidance and wisdom to know when and how. Quite a challenge...
Posted by Nena on 12/29/17
My word is Give.I want to remind myself that what I have is to give
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/28/17 - Coach
Hey Ron, no worries. The picture was a little wild for me too. Just something I through together quickly. :)

Love your word! So important! All the best in the coming year...
Posted by Ron Beaton on 12/28/17
Greetings Brother Dan and Everyone Else,

I finally got back around to viewing the website. Nothing personal Dan, but your word picture for 2018 reminds me of the “Psychedelic 60’s.” It’s interesting how our perception of things can be different. Anyway, this “one word resolution” sounds interesting. Without giving it too much thought I came up with the word “overcome.” A few verses of Scripture explains it for me:

Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”--John 16:33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world..

“And they overcame him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”-- Revelation 12:11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death..

Jesus also said, “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”-- Revelation 3:21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne..

Blessings to everyone as we step into a new year!
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/28/17
You're welcome, John. :-)
Posted by John Gilmore on 12/27/17
Thank you, Fiona.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/26/17
I have prayed today, John, that God may well guide you to make the right decisions. Sometimes decisions are very important, and it is crucial to make the right choice. May you be guided ...
Posted by John Gilmore on 12/24/17
Thank you, Fiona. I so need that verse fulfilled in my life.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/24/17
Loss, Joy, is such a small word for such a huge emotion and time. I so empathise with you ...
May our heavenly Father fill us with His Presence and Love. What are we told? - "Jesus is my Comforter - this I have proved Him to be." Hugs, friend Joy.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/24/17
I use Google Images, Joy, if you want another website to try. I think most of the pictures are free to use. Dan would probably know about that ...

That's a good word, John. May God guide you as you make decisions. I love that verse that says, "and thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it..." (Isaiah 30:21And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.).
Posted by John Gilmore on 12/22/17
"Stewardship" seems to be sticking in my mind. I'm working toward retiring early next year from the position I've held for 15 yrs, and I'm praying that God will help me know how I may best serve Him.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/18/17 - Coach
Great word Elizabeth! And you are right, the secret to success in our various roles/projects is making sure we keep our eyes fixed on Him. Reminds me of Psalms 123:2Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.. Powerful verses you might enjoy learning...
Posted by Elizabeth on 12/17/17
my word is focus. towrads the end of 2017 the lord has been saying to me that its by his power and his ability alone that i can do all things. i raise the kids, do a commendable job at work, be a Godly wife and many more. i feel God has more in store for me than i am able to imagine. and therefore i have to keep my FOCUS on him. i desire for him to take his place as i yield totally to hi.
Posted by Joy Hank on 12/17/17
Thank you.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/17/17 - Coach
This is not an area I'm really strong in Joy. :) I just do a quick google search for an image and a simple graphic editor. There are several web-based ones out there that make it really easy. One program you might try is I think it is free for personal use.
Posted by Joy Hank on 12/17/17
Fiona Thank you. This past November it was 8 years but as the Koreans say, "You bury your parents in the ground and your children in your heart!" I really miss him whenever I'm busy with anything new and exciting, as he was such an encourager! Dan thank you. I really wish I had your ability to create such beautiful pictures to highlight my chosen word! God bless you and each one as we focus on our one word resolutions to the glory of the Father!
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/14/17
Dan says it so well - my deep sympathies too, for your loss, recent, or a while back, Joy.

I can empathise, Joy ... At the beginning of this year I chose the word "Trust", as my life had been one of change and loss and stress, and I needed a word to help carry me through the year to come, and to trust that God really was with me, despite the turmoil that was happening around me. The word did carry me through! I am grateful for God's mercies for the past year. For His carrying me through with His everlasting arms underneath me. It is so comforting to know that He is there.

For this coming year, I think I will choose "Choice". Sometimes I waver as to what to do - which is right, wrong, do nothing, do something - but what?, etc. ...   I know that in the year to come, God is giving me Choices. May I be guided in making the right ones, is my prayer.

Lovely words, everyone.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/13/17 - Coach
Wow, more great words everyone!

A three word phrase is ok, Clarris. :)

Your word is especially compelling Deborah. I think you are a step or two ahead of me! I don't think I'm quite ready for that word... :)

Joy, I don't know if your loss was recent, but my condolences too you. What a treasured memory. And a powerful word...

Carlota, I think sometimes we do need to retry a word if we don't make as much progress as intended. Don't forget to put a small picture on your desk, nightstand, or kitchen window sill--so you can see it every day. It will help! :)
Posted by Carlota Belmo on 12/13/17
I’m going to use the word “Intentional” again for 2018, I had purpose in my heart to be intentional in 2017 with witnessing, but that didn’t go as I planned. God had other plans for me, He knew I needed to focus on the Word, to hide them in my heart, to get closer to Him, to focus on my relationship with Him, before I went out to share with others, He wants others to not see me, but Jesus Christ in me. Yes, I will use intentional again and allow the Holy Spirit to teach and direct me this time.
Preserve me, oh God: for in Thee do I put my trust. Psalms 16:1Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust..

Peace & Love
Posted by Joy Hank on 12/12/17
FOCUS. I've decided that has to be my word for 2018. I often joke with people that I always thought I was ADHD but I've come to realise that I am just ED - easily distracted! Virtually the last words of my son to me before he was killed in a car crash was: We must keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. He is all that matters! So I really want to be fully focussed on Jesus that I can reflect Him in all I hope to do and accomplish in 2018. So help me, God. Hebrews 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. My version reads: Now stay focussed on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. (The Voice)
Posted by Pamela Kendall on 12/12/17
I'm considering the word Steadfast - but haven't decided for sure. I want to be steadfast in my walk with God not inconsistent... I've been wondering how to be steadfast, but I don't want it to be something I'm striving and stressing about in my own strength.

Just found some great verses about being steadfast: Hebrews 3:14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; steadfast in confidence ; Hebrews 6:19Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; steadfast hope ; I Peter 5:9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. steadfast in resisting the devil (by faith!); Colossians 2:5For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the stedfastness of your faith in Christ. - steadfast faith ; Acts 7:55But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, Stephen steadfastly looked up and beheld Jesus and his glory ; I Corinthians 15:58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. - steadfast & unmovable - the more I look at these verses the more I like this word. I'll see how God leads.
Posted by Deborah Gutierrez on 12/11/17
I've been thinking of the word "others"....

"In forgetfulness of self, they will grow in grace." – {DG 19.2}

I want this experience and feel God is leading me in this way.. last year my word was "surrender" and it was a wonderful word for me I want to continue to think on it even in ththe coming year..

God's sweet blessings to all of you!
Posted by Nathaniel C Nwazue on 12/11/17
The word I treasure is relationship. As my friend, I want to maintain a daily walk with Jesus in 2018.
Posted by Clarris Magadza on 12/11/17
The one lesson that God has been reminding me a lot in my devotions and other bible lessons is that it's not about me, but about Him. That all glory and honour belong to Him. So what I have now now is a phrase "all about Christ" and I am still trying to figure out a single word to use instead of the phrase.
Any help will be greatly appreciated, even if it's a word in another language.
Posted by Leslie Caza on 12/11/17
Dan, I like your flexibility to change mid year. Gotta keep the tools that work. :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/11/17 - Coach
Wow, what great words everyone! So exciting to read your comments. This is one of my favorite posts each year because I get the chance to see how God is working in our various lives.

Leslie, thanks especially for sharing your word last year and how you are transitioning to a new word. Now that I am on my 3rd word (I actually chose a different word half way through 2017, which makes it 4) I can see the process God is leading me through in my life.

Blessings to everyone: Max, Ann, Marieanne, Betty, Valerie, Shanthi, Konni, Carole, Zewdi
Posted by Carole Bliss on 12/11/17
As I think about a "word" to live by, in 2018, two come to mind.
Abide and Faith. When we abide, we will have faith. If we have faith, we will abide. They go together.
I will settle for Abide. HE has told us, to Abide in Him.

Posted by Konni Plue on 12/11/17
"Wait" is the word that I choose for 2018. Isaiah 25:9And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. and Isaiah 64:4For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. come to mind. I "will" to have my eyes fixed on Him watching His every move, waiting intently for the fulfilment His glorious promises. I see in my minds eye a dog with fixed attention staring into the face of its master waiting!
Posted by Shanthi Solomon on 12/11/17
The word that comes to my mind is “Redeem”. I believe that I need to redeem the time God has given me as in Ephesians 5:16Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.. The days are evil and the time we have is short. It is my prayer that the prioitizations I make will be led of God.
Posted by Valerie Wise Burrell on 12/11/17 - Coach
The word that comes to mind for me is "Complete". It is the meaning of "perfect" that is used so often in the Bible. Christ said that we are to be perfect (complete) even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. I understand that to mean I am to have completion in everything which I begin. This is important to me for two reasons: 1) I want to be like Christ who finished all that He was to accomplish; 2) I have left too many things undone and incomplete which is not a reflection of Christian character. By God's grace and strength, I intend to be complete in all that I accomplish for Him.
Posted by Leslie Caza on 12/11/17
I like all of the word choices above! Last year my word was "Why?" Why was I doing/saying/choosing ?
I decided I needed to pray about this word choice since it was going to be my guiding word for a whole year. I think the Lord lead.

This year I earned my certification in Christian life coaching and so my mindset is to ask questions to stimulate thinking. Maybe that's why I felt lead to have another question for 2018: "Outcome?" I guess that's sort of like "Why?", but thinking about the consequences of all of my choices in words, thoughts, and deeds will help me to focus on the positive outcomes that God has planned for me and for those whose lives He wants me to touch. If I'm too timid to speak when the Lord says, "Speak," what might be the outcome? If I choose my comfort over my calling, what might be the outcome? BUT the flip side is exciting! If I choose to go/do/pray/speak/etc as the Lord directs, what could be the outcome?! :)

May God bless Max, Ann Marieanne, Betty and all of you as you design your word and then let God work!
Posted by Betty Rayford on 12/11/17
My word is Abide. It is my prayer for 2018 that I will abide in Christ and that Christ will abide in me.
Posted by Marieanne on 12/11/17 - Coach
Loyal, there are so many distractions in this world that Satan brings before us to take us away from the preparation and the work that we are to be doing in these last days. My prayer is that the Lord will keep me loyal and faithful to Him till the end.
Posted by Ann Lavenburg on 12/11/17
Commitment, my word is commitment. I want to follow through, be committed to seeing several things through to the finish AND, of course, total commitment to God's pain for my life.
Posted by Max on 12/11/17
My word is Abound- I want to pray for growth , to abound daily until that day.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/10/17 - Coach
Fascinating word Janice! Don't forget to make a picture of that and post it somewhere with the words on it, so you can see it and be reminded of it throughout the year!
Posted by Janice Hill on 01/09/17
Thank-you all who are willing to share. My word for this year is BE STILL. I like to be in motion most of the time, so this will be interesting to see unfold.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 01/06/17
So many beautiful stories and words. I have been blessed reading them all. :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/03/17 - Coach
What a beautiful word, Mercia! Forgiveness is so powerful, and so important. Happy this post could be a blessing to you.
Posted by Mercia Goredema on 01/03/17
Thank you Dan for the forum.. I am going to use the word Forgiveness. A lot has happened in 2016 and I need to forgive as the Father forgave us. For Jesus taught on the Mount of Sermon about anger, we should reconcile with everybody before we offer sacrifices. What happened to me in 2016 should not be blamed on anybody but myself. Thank you Dan
Posted by Terri Garnett on 01/03/17
Thank you Dan. I know the enemy doesn't want any to gain the abiding relationship with Jesus that we have access to and there will be a false revival as well as the true. I recognize FAST uses Spirit of prophecy and Bible mostly which I trust so sometimes I get thrown off with other methods. Day 3 was such a blessing this morning with the many posts as well. It was very encouraging with tools for growth spirituality in my walk with Christ. Thanks again for this forum
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/03/17 - Coach
Yes, this is a good question Terri. And we do have to be careful about adopting mystical practices not in harmony with Scripture.

Spiritual formation has become a catch phrase for a bunch of questionable practices, but it is also sometimes used as a synonym for discipleship--which is vitally important. The goal of "developing religious maturity that leads to Christian devoutness" is certainly good, but we just have to make sure the methods used are biblical.

I have found having a single word focus for the year personally helpful, and just offer it as a suggestion to others. Nor does it seem to violate any specific principles. Actually, it reminds me of verses like Psalms 27:4One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. and Philippians 3:8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,, which both show single-minded focus.

Anything can be misused, of course, but to me being spirit-filled is akin to being purpose-filled. See Colossians 1:9,11For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; . . . Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;. That's certainly my desire--to live a life filled with a strong and clear sense of mission.

Hope this helps some!
Posted by Terri Garnett on 01/02/17
I have a question that has popped up on my mind since doing this exercise and day two of revival 2017. I know pastor Dwight Nelson practices spiritual formation and the one word resolution is taken from his ideal. Not knowing much about it I looked up what it's about and question is this not spiritual reformation practice. Definition is Spiritual formation is an intentional Christian practice much like that of Eastern Mysticism, which claims as its goal the development of religious maturity that leads to Christian devoutness which has it roots in the ancient practices found in those of Catholic religious orders, Ascetics and others.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/02/17 - Coach
Qing, Christine: Qing is officially starred!

Karen, good word, and amazing story! We do need the peace of God to rule in our hearts, don't we? Colossians 3:15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful..
Posted by Karen I Woodall on 01/02/17
The word that comes to mine is Peace where as from 2012 up to present there has been termoil and I have gave it to God. For God gives us peace and understanding as we walk by faith and not by sight. It had affected me until God sent an angle to tell me to let it go in which at that very moment I did just that.
Posted by Qing Ling on 01/02/17 - Coach
Hehe. Never was one.I'm sure @FAST4god will get around to it eventually. Not urgent;)
Posted by Christine on 01/02/17
No worries Dan, thanks for fixing the link feature and tidying up my posts!
Qing, yes the coding works for both internal and external links. You are now a link graduate, haha!
BTW your coach star has disappeared from under your name..?
Posted by Qing Ling on 01/01/17 - Coach
Love the Coach star, Dan. You have been relentlessly busy behind the scenes!!!
Love your word Transformation, Sonia. Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. is a powerful verse to pray with Jesus. You might find Dr Leaf's content useful in studying more into this verse.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/01/17 - Coach
Amazing all the different words that have come up! Reminds me how God relates to each of us in a unique and individual way. Almost a different word for every person. Astonishing, really...
Posted by Sonia Sterling on 01/01/17
I have been blessed by the various postings. My word for 2017 is transformation. I have asked God to fully transform me into His likeness, into the person He desires me to be. I have claimed this change in my life and I am praying and expecting this marvelous change. As God transforms me, I have asked Him to let me be a light and encouragement to many others. Enlarge my territory Lord, I least.
Posted by Dan Vis on 01/01/17 - Coach
Great link Qing. Will rework the article to highlight it.

Christine, sorry for the glitch in the comment boxes. I cleaned it up, but need to fix it correctly. Won't be hard--know what it is. :)
Posted by Qing Ling on 01/01/17 - Coach
Hahahah no worries Christine. I do know how to use that link icon now.I wasn't sure if it applied to external websites but now you have confirmed it does. :)
Check this out :)
Posted by Christine on 01/01/17
Thanks so much Qing for sharing about Mark 13:37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.! Just had a look at the context and it's full of *WATCH* words.. That's one great passage on my list of WATCH texts to read and dig this year. I must also find a picture... some sentinel I think.

Love your choice of FREE. :D What an awesome GOD who wants to make us FREE by presenting the Truth to us. I am SO hungry for it!! I hear you on deep truths, this past year God guided me to an abundance of points of truth, spiritually and health wise especially, which have been so liberating.
I wonder what pic you'll come up with for FREE.. (A big NO sign... ha ha!)

Just a techie tip for posting web page links:
. Copy the URL link
. In the comment box, click on the hand icon by the red cross
. [ [ paste you URL address here
Posted by Qing Ling on 12/31/16 - Coach
Desiree - I HEAR you!!!*high five*
My inspiration for "FREE" as my 2017 WORD is John 8:36If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. and John 8:31-3231 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
God has been teaching me DEEP truths this year, and I love how JESUS who is the TRUTH, is the only one who can truly make us FREE - and free INDEED!! What an uplifting promise.
And I think also of the saying - our 'yes' can only be truly 'yes', if we are also free to say 'no'.
This year, I want to practice being FREE to say YES in a very true way; not out of fear or obligation, but to invest my time and energy and thoughts in things that only uphold God's truth for my life. This means say NO to whatever God teaches me to. This also means that 2017 will be a year where I seek MORE of God's truth, by continuing in HIS WORD, cue: The Journey :)

Christine - I have been memorising Mark 13:37And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch. this week! :)

Dan - I have been doing One Word since 2015 and I'm so glad to see you promote it here at FAST ;) YouVersion does a cool devotional series on this concept for those interested:
Posted by Christine on 12/31/16
I'm delighted to come across this topic and read everyone's comment. I was wondering what happened to your Devotion theme last year Dan and I appreciate your following up on this. REVIEW was my word last year and by God's grace I kept at it with Bible memorisation and assessing my life and catching up on lots of things.

This year WATCH is the word that the Holy Spirit has been whispering hence learning Matthew 26:41Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. during BMC 2016. It's good to fast and pray but watching is as much important to discern appeals from God and traps from the enemy. It is about waiting actively, being vigilant either to prevent or to alert in my personal life and in my witnessing as Peter admonishes -I Peter 5:8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/31/16 - Coach
Another good word FRANK! Amazing how we are all in different places in our life. Learning to wait on the Lord for guidance is a tough one. :)

One of my favorite Psalms is Psalms 131:1-31 Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me. 2 Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. 3 Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and for ever.. The whole chapter is only 3 verses, but it is very powerful. I remember when I first memorized, but that's another story...
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/30/16 - Coach
Ah, another good word, Linda. Especially seeing you have signed up for the Journey this year. Lot's of opportunities to grow all year long!
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/30/16 - Coach
Nice Luina. Very similar to my word for last year: Devotion. A wonderful desire to be wholly consecrated...
Posted by Luina Rivera on 12/30/16
Consecrate is my word fort the
next year. Because I want to be consecrate to the Lord with all my heart.
Lev: 20 :7
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/30/16 - Coach
Hi Sherry. Glad to hear you know my Aunt. She's an amazing lady. Maybe you can get her to sign up for REVIVE! :)

As for focus, I love your word. I actually thought about picking that one myself--but my tendency is to be overly focused so I chose a word to help balance me out.

Glad you will be in both REVIVE and The Journey!
Posted by Sherry Olson on 12/29/16
Hmmm, Focus is the word that came to me as I was reading your post Dan I tend to multi-task and I have a hard time staying focused on things that I start. And I want my "focus" to be on God's Word and the transformation it will give me this year. I want to keep God my focus (definition: center of interest or activity) for this year, for we are living in the end times. Thanks for the inspiration. (your Aunt Marcy told me to tell you hello, we go to the same church!)
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/29/16 - Coach
Always great to hear from you Stephen! You have been a tremendous blessing to me personally! Say hi to Deborah.
Posted by Stephen Gutierrez on 12/29/16
I think My theme for this year is going to be victory. I don't imagine a guy with his hands in the air, like he conquered a mountain on his own, but rather through humility, and reliance on our Creator -- true victory through Jesus. In fact, I'm going to be preaching on this on Sabbath. I'm going to be giving examples from the life of Joseph, as I have been reading through Genesis for my devotions. Please pray that it's a blessing all around. Thanks for the great idea!!
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/29/16 - Coach
Wow, great words everyone: freedom, diligent, overcomer. Desiree, Diana, Connie.

Don't forget to take the next step and get some picture with the word on it and post it where you will see it often. I also like to put the year under it. That way I am constantly reminded that it is my goal word for the entire year.
Posted by Connie Sunderland on 12/29/16
Overcomer. I want to overcome every obstacle that separates me from God, by His grace!
Posted by Diana Sexton on 12/29/16
Diligent is my word this year. I want to be diligent in everything I do. That is the plan. Diligent about my morning watch, updating my prayer journal regularly and diligent in my commitment to memorize scripture throughout the year. I will be praying that I can live up to the goal I have set and then be diligent enough to follow through.
Posted by Desiree Dunomes on 12/28/16
The word that comes to me is Freedom. The past few months, I have been going through a process of understanding the true nature of man and what that means. I have learned that we have to look at people the way God sees them and not get caught up in what we see them doing. Our behavior demonstrates who is master in our lives at that moment. When we see people behaving un-Christlike, we must ask the Father to forgive them and give us the power to demonstrate His love to them. This was hard to take at first because I wanted people to accept responsibility for how I felt or what they had done to me. But when I realized that our hearts are carnal sold under sin and that this heart is not subject to the law of God nor can it be, I understood what was really going on. Only in Christ can we treat each other with love. God is love. When people treat me with kindness, I can look at them and say, "You have the heart of God! Thank you for letting His love flow through you!" When others aren't loving or when I am not loving, I can ask God to change their heart and mine. I have found so much peace and freedom in this. This is also impacting other areas of my life as well such as knowing that Christ's love for me will empower me to take care of myself and meet committments in my life.

This is so powerful Pastor Vis! Thank you for this blog and for your journey. May God continue to richly bless you, your family and ministry.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/27/16 - Coach
John, great word! I like the two aspects of the meaning to it. And yet they are definitely connected, aren't they?

Joy, another good word. Especially when we know the coming year involves several important projects.

I hope focusing in on these words for the new year proves a blessing to both of you!
Posted by joy cavins on 12/27/16
PERSEVERE is my word.I have several projects that need completion. But it goes beyond finishing because each of them will be used in ministering to the needs of others.

So, I have to continue even in the face of difficulty or with little or no indication of success.
Posted by John Gilmore on 12/26/16
"Reflect" came to mind. It is one of the key words in my mission statement (from several yrs ago) which includes the phrase "reflecting His character". I want so much that others may see Jesus in me.

"Reflect" also brings to my mind my need to meditate on His word, to find it's meaning and application for my daily life.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/26/16 - Coach
Great word Arlene. That something all of us can really pursue, isn't it? A year of really intense memorization. Glad you are keeping up with your verses since the Breakout Memory Challenge!
Posted by Diane Castanon on 12/26/16 - Coach
Though I am committed to my spouse, my family, my responsibilities, my job, I find that I am not always committed to bible memorization, I want God's word hidden in my heart. I'm ready for a new journey.   
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/26/16
I, too, enjoyed reading everyone's comments. Thank you all for sharing. :)

Posted by Arlene Webb on 12/26/16
That is a great suggestion for the new year. I enjoyed reading what the others have suggested and thought them all good choices. For Christmas my son-in-law gave me a 365 Bible Verses a Year calendar. Each day has a beautiful picture illustrating the verse for the day. Since taking the memorization class I've been trying to add a verse a day. I want to focus more on God's Word so my word is BIBLE and I will have a picture a day for each verse.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/26/16 - Coach
Praise God. Commitment is such a huge part of the Christian life. Giving a year to really cultivating this quality is definitely a worthwhile effort. I like the quote by Abraham Lincoln.

So glad God could work through FAST to speak to your heart like this. Let's all keep pressing forward!!!
Posted by Christine Godfrey on 12/26/16
Your One Word Resolution inspired me very much Dan the word 'commitment' came in strong for me and when browsing for pictures I came across lots of great sayings. Here are a couple. "Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, long after the mood you said it in has left." And this one was by Abraham Lincoln "Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality." I like this one because we need to do and live the promises we are memorising." I really sense the presence of God here at the moment because I was just sending up a prayer/plea, a longing to become more time managed, and unmoveable in my daily schedule. I know he organised me to click into FAST for this message right now. Thanks.
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/25/16 - Coach
Wow, big change Dan! All the best in your new adventure. I also like your word. Unique, but meaningful. :)
Posted by Dan Pratt on 12/25/16
Speaking of staying, we will not be staying in Korea much longer. In a couple of weeks we will be moving to Rwanda. But we plan to stay there for a while. I want to have our church there become a training center, too.
Posted by Dan Pratt on 12/25/16
Great idea, Dan. I think I will choose a simple word, STAY! Stay in God’s love, stay in God’s Word, stay in God’s will, stay where God wants me. Isaiah 26:3Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. I have trained both dogs and horses and teaching them to stay where you want them when they want to be somewhere else is difficult, but also very gratifying. I want to glorify God by staying where He wants me. I also want the Lord to be my Stay. II Samuel 22:19-2019 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 20 He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.; Psalms 18:18-1918 They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay. 19 He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me..

Perhaps I can find a picture of a dog staying when all his being wants to go.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/23/16
Me again, Dan.

I have chosen my picture! After going through cute baby animal pictures, and beautiful nature pictures, God reminded me of the story of Blondin. You will probably know the story of the man who was a tightrope walker over the Niagara Falls, and who carried a man on his back on the tightrope, over the thundering Niagara with only a long pole to balance them. This, is a true symbol of TRUST! :)

I have put the photo, a black and white one, as it was taken a long while back, on my laptop as a background picture. I will be reminded of my TRUST theme for the coming year, 2017, every time I use the laptop. :)

Thank you for the idea - it has been inspirational.
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/23/16
I like the quote. I have found this to be true in my life - God does not ask us to move mountains, only the pebbles. And a thousand pebbles might just make a mountain.

The quote would make a good motto for the Journey class. :)

I think, Dan, that I am going to choose the word TRUST as my word for this coming year. At present, when some things seem overwhelming, I am constantly reminded by my heavenly Father, that He knows all about the things that I struggle with. As my earthly father says, "Nothing that happens in our lives surprises our heavenly Father." We think this is an unnecessary statement, because we KNOW that God knows everything, but when times are tough, we think that He has forgotten about us, when this is anything but the case. We forget that nothing happens in our lives that God does not know about. In fact, He even tells His prophets BEFOREHAND of things to come, so that we do not need to be surprised when they happen. God is constantly reminding me to TRUST Him, trust Him. I am learning.

So I think TRUST will encapsulate my aim for this year. I am off to find a lovely picture to go with it. :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 12/23/16 - Coach
Both are good words Fiona. Hope you are able to settle on one and really keep it in focus through the coming year. Reminds me of the quote that goes something like: Most accomplishments are the result of many small steps taken in a single direction." I like that. Fits in well with the word Journey! :) Maybe I should make that the motto for the Journey class!
Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 12/23/16
I love the picture, Dan. I am one for beautiful pictures. Your article has struck a chord with me. A picture paints a thousand words ... A beautiful picture speaks volumes. I am pondering what word to choose for my life this coming year ... perhaps PERSEVERANCE or TRUST. I shall look for a beautiful picture to go with the word I choose. Your choice of the word JOURNEY is a good one.

I have typed church bulletins and newspapers (albeit small ones) before, and choosing the pictures was always the fun part of the typing!

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