Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My theme scripture


Hopes and Dreams for 2006

In Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion, December 2005, an article about the New Year is titled “Hopes and Dreams.” Hopes and dreams aptly describe some resolutions I’ve made at year end. By mid-year, they were more dreams than reality.

A resolution is a “firm decision to do something.” At the beginning of a new year, I often pledge to make “me” improvements. Like highway zero-mile-markers, like baptism into Christ, a new year beckons with opportunities to travel a new path or an adjusted one.

I’ve found these three helps to carry out New Year resolutions: a memorized theme scripture, breath prayers and God’s involvement. At the end of December, I meditate on the year ahead. God is invited to this soul search as I look at the known appointments for the next 12 months. Also, just as King David wanted to build a better place for God to dwell, so do I. My life, his temple, often needs renovation, home improvements.

One year, God and I worked on my communication skills, and Paul’s wisdom words became my unifying scripture. “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders. Let your conversations always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” I wrote the scripture and the year on many index cards and placed them where I saw them every day.

That year, besides the scripture, I memorized breath prayers, a few simple words uttered to God for immediate help to reach my goal. “Zip my lips” became a favorite. “Sprinkle my words with grace” I said often.

This year for present needs, I’ve settled on this theme scripture: “O LORD, listen to my cry; give me the discerning mind you promised (Psalm 119:169 NLT). Amid the tugs of life, I need discernment to make wise decisions.

Psalm 119 is a favorite because throughout its 176 verses the principles of ask, seek and knock are presented again and again. Some days, I get bogged down in details, surrounded by paper work, and clamored by noise. For those type days in 2006, I plan this breath prayer, repeating the psalmist’s plea. “Come and find me” (vs 176).

Personal improvement is at least two-fold, to better represent Christ to seekers and to please the Lord. An aside is becoming more pleasant in the presence of others. Family, friends, fellow Christians, church committee members and coworkers will thank you!

Hopes, dreams, resolutions—make them a reality. This year include God, his word and heartfelt “Come and find me” prayers. Give God permission to ask, seek and knock in your life.


1 comment:

  1. Cathy,

    I love ask, seek, and knock! Each week in my Bible study class we give our A.S.K. and pray throughout the week for one another.

    Because this is so aptly repeated in the Bible, there must be something important here!

    Love your blog and column. Keep up the good work!