Tag: fruit

One (Boring) Word

Have you guys chosen One Word this year?  I know it’s halfway through January and I’m late to the party, but give me a break…It’s been, well…complicated.

First, I asked my family members what word they would choose for me. Big mistake. I asked so I needed to listen, but not only did I get a bit of variety, but they weren’t words like “joy” or “adventure” – you know, the kind I wanted to hear. Ahem.  My daughters gave me “perseverance”, and “patience”. REALLY?? That’s the last time I play THIS game!

Next, I prayed and reflected, but the word the Lord seemed to impress on me was also not one I was crazy about.

BO-RING! Right?

It made sense because I’ve been working hard on some different things and I need to not lose sight of the eternal purpose of each, but I thought (again), “REALLY? Blah.” So I tried to think of more exciting alternatives that wouldn’t violate the intent, but I came up empty.

And then the Lord did that thing where He kind of freaks me out. I could almost see Him rolling His eyes, saying “This daughter of mine is a little slow. I’d better connect the dots for her.”

Here are a few of the verses He put in front of me to stumble over…

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruitfruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16

 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7

Maybe part of the fruit He wants to produce in me is patience and perseverance?

But there’s more.

My husband, John,  (before I ever landed on “fruit”) said, “I’m not sure which one word it would be, but I want you to be able to celebrate the fruit God is already producing through you and enjoy it.”

Soooo maybe God uses a village? If you’ve chosen One Word for the year, what is it and what led you to choose it? If you’re commenting for the first time, don’t freak when it doesn’t show up immediately (it will, soon)

If you don’t have One Word yet, consider praying and asking your family.

P.S. This isn’t about working harder…not about doing more. It’s about paying attention and cooperating with the work God desires to do in your life to make you more like Him.

 

 

 

What are You Noticing This Holy Week?

Are you joining me in fasting from social media, and entering into the last week of Jesus’ life? Great! If not, no worries. Maybe you are doing other meaningful things. I’d love to hear!  My goal has been to make as much space for Jesus as possible. To enter into His death so I can better understand the resurrection.

Here’s the thing…I love the movies with inspiration and uplift, and PROFOUND TRUTH.  I love the big movie music that convinces you there is good in the world and you can be part of it. But the soundtrack to this week so far has been more like The Shawshank Redemption than Rocky.

As I’ve read each day I’ve asked, “Lord, what do you have to show me about Yourself and what do you have to show me about myself?” Additionally, I’ve tried to put myself in the place of the disciples. The thing that strikes me is that the disciples loved Jesus and like kids looking up to a hero, they were anxious to please, but it was so confusing.

Holy Week was confusing because they assumed Jesus’ agenda was their agenda. Just like me.  Here’s some of what I’ve been noticing and asking…

Sunday

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey instead of a horse like a conquering military hero (kind of like driving into New York in a Mini Cooper), everyone cheered even though His mode of transportation was weird. They were still hopeful that He was going to be “their guy”.

John Ortberg says,

Palm Sunday represents all the times that we get really excited about Jesus because of what we think He can DO FOR US rather than who He really is, and what He really offers.

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Surrender is acknowledging that there is a God and it is not me.  So most of disciples are wrestling with this confusing process of bringing their agenda in line with Jesus’.

Monday

Jesus curses the fig tree and clears the temple. The fig tree, like me, like many, looks green and healthy from a distance, but up close is not bearing fruit – the true mark of submission and discipleship.  Are we about looking fruitful or actually bearing fruit through the power of Jesus? Where’s the fruit?

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Tuesday

Each day Jesus leaves Jerusalem and goes out to stay in Bethany with His “home team” – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Mary, in spite of the confusing events, is in tune enough with Jesus that she quietly anoints Him with expensive perfume.  Do we have a rhythm of engaging and withdrawing? Do we have a community of support and partnership? Is there enough stillness in our life that we are sensitive to the acts of devotion Jesus might ask of us?

Wednesday

It’s possible to be close to Jesus but not give our heart to Him, not bear fruit, not embrace His agenda. Judas wants Jesus for what He can do for him. Judas holds onto his own agenda.

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In our family, both my husband John and I like to drive. We like to be in control. We’ve come to the agreement that I drive during the day and he drives at night, but that’s only because I have night blindness.

I have no depth perception. Things are NOT as they appear to me at night! I had to learn the hard way – accidentally driving through stop lights, over curbs, and getting lost – that I need to surrender the keys at night.

I surrender the keys to John at night because I trust that he sees things more clearly than I do.

When we surrender to God we’re saying “I admit that things may not be as they appear to me. I trust You to know better.”

I can’t surrender my agenda to God unless I trust He has my best interest at his heart.

Those are a few of my thoughts as I’ve read. What is proving to be meaningful to you this Holy Week?

 

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