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.
One Word ResolutionsBy Dan Vis
December 21, 2016
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?
CommentsWhat 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.
|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 Suzi Woods on 12/31/17|
|My word is Transformed .Romans 12:1-21 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And 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. I want to be transformed into the image of God mentally emotionally physically and spiritually !|
|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 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 12/26/17|
|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 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 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 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 Leslie Caza on 12/11/17|
|Dan, I like your flexibility to change mid year. Gotta keep the tools that work. :)|
|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 Betty 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 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 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!
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