This week we have a good word from Jo Ann Whitaker. We would like to encourage you to follow and share these posts. You never know who needs the encouragement or wisdom others have found in their studies / prayer life.
Here’s Your Sign!!
By: Jo Ann Whitaker
I’ve chosen one word to focus on over the past two years. I started with JOY!
I picked up a little wooden sign for my desk to remind me to focus on being joyful and to rejoice. And as things go, once you focus on something, you are sometimes challenged by it and other times, your word will jump out at you in unusual places. I learned joy wasn’t so much something you focus on as something you embrace and learn to choose. Life isn’t always easy and things don’t always go the way you’d think, but you can come to look at any situation through a different lens.
The word joy became so powerful to me that I decided to keep it as a focus for a second year.
A quick biblical word search of joy and rejoice gave me lots of ways to think about joy and what it can mean in everyday life. Two things happened over time. I learned that praise and worship play an important role in keeping one joyful. Most every morning I play praise music while getting ready for work. It’s a great way to start the day!
Secondly, I learned that working on controlling the tongue, also brings joy. Taking thoughts captive and thinking about how I speak/post to others became very important to me. And, I became more aware of what I was allowing in my thoughts and life. That resulted in a lot of changes. I’m also learning to let go of many things I can’t control.
This verse is powerful!
To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is! Proverbs 15:23 ESV
Apt means relevant, fitting, and appropriate. Once I began focusing more on Christ, His word, being joyful, rejoicing, praising, then my mouth started to follow suit. This change and focus is still a work in progress, but it has definitely changed what I say and how I respond.
In early January I thought about what my focus word should be for 2019. My initial thought was truth. The next day I shared from the heart a list of hopes for my friends and family on Social Media. Hope! That kinda floated around my thoughts for a few minutes and then I forgot about it.
As I drove into work the next morning, I missed my normal turn. As I drove along, I couldn’t help but feel refreshed and hopefully as the sun peaked through the clouds after days of dreary rain. I remembered the promise that His mercies are new every morning.
I decided to turn through an old neighborhood I used to short cut through instead of continuing down there four lane road. As soon as I made the right, I saw a flashing neon sign, on the side of a house! It said HOPE and I immediately pulled over to capture a picture!
So, there was my sign, in flashing neon!! Hope it is for 2019. Let the journey begin!
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalms 119:114 ESV
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