Day 20: “Put It Into Practise”

intentionalEat less. Exercise more. That’s how you lose weight. Spend less, save more. Have a nest egg for retirement. Doing things with purpose means accomplishing your goals. Your time of prayer and fasting was calculated. You were intentional in your sacrifice. You spent time praying specifically over these last three weeks.

Considered meditation on the things near to your heart has brought you closer to Jesus.

Let the rest of 2018 be a continuation of the progress you have made. Keep putting into practise what you have begun. Let the nourishment you have received for your spirit propel you forward and become the floor for your next layer of growth. Exercise your spiritual muscles by concentrating on what you’ve learnt.

Don’t fall into neglect, rather launch yourself into everything God has for you.

You’re just getting started!

“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practise what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies” (Philippians 4:8-9).

 

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Willie, Cowboys, and 2014

willie

I had the privilege of seeing a legendary country music star at an iconic venue while I was in Texas last month. Willie Nelson has transcended generations with his music and many of his country ballads have famous one-liners everyone could sing whether he likes country music or not and no matter whether she grew up in West Texas like me. One of those classics entitled, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys” describes a cowboy much like many of us could be labeled:

“Sadly, in search of, but one step in back of, themselves and their slow-movin’ dreams.”

As I look ahead at my 2014, I don’t want to be in search of myself but always one step behind. And as much as I love a good cowboy, I certainly don’t want my dreams to be “slow-moving.”

A lot of us live this way, though. We really don’t have an expectation of this year to be any greater than last. We don’t have any new goals. Fridays are the only thing we have to look forward to and we seem to have more worries than we have wishes. Our lives are lived the same year after year, just getting older each time.

Personally, I’m thrilled about what 2014 has in store for my family and our church. I expect God to bring more people to Lift; I believe we are going to move ahead with our dream of a community centre and pregnancy resource centre; my kids are going to accomplish more, growing wiser and stronger with more purpose and fervor behind their relationship with God.

I believe our roots in Australia will go deeper and our relationships will thrive and multiply. God is in the business of changing lives and I expect to be right alongside him impacting our city and neighbourhood and school. I want to look back at 2014 and see a compression of time that only God can do! That we will accomplish more in one year than years past combined.

I’m praying and believing the same for you and your families. In the words of Willie, let’s “insist the world keep turning our way” in 2014 and live more like this than a lonely cowboy:

On the road again

Goin’ places that I’ve never been.

Seein’ things that I may never see again

And I can’t wait to get on the road again.
On the road again –
Like a band of gypsies we go down the highway
We’re the best of friends.
Insisting that the world keep turning our way.