Have You Heard?

Debbie Macomber wrote a book about it.

Ann Voskamp has advocated it for several years.

Several bloggers recommend a this book to read about it.

Yesterday I found a whole organization to join in this pursuit.

INSTEAD OF NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS,

all these folks suggest selecting One Word.OneWord

I’ve already jotted down some resolutions for this year (actually they came to me during last Sunday’s sermon!). But it occurs to me that I had One Word last year. My One Word really started when I began this blog.JoyBirdIMG_0820

So how do I choose this one word? It seems quite a commitment to announce that I’m focused on One Word in 2014. But, there is a word that has been popping up frequently. It all began with a study of spiritual gifts in our Sunday School class. Nila led us in a 13 week exploration of spiritual gifts. We used this book by Lindsay Garmon. At the end of the study is a Spiritual Gifts Survey to help identify your gifts. My survey showed six areas that seem to be my strengths in ministry. One of the gifts is new for me, but in the last year or so I can see that God keeps nudging me that direction.

In the Romans Project (memorizing Romans 1, 8, and 12) I’ve been learning these verses this week about spiritual gifts. “We each have different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying then prophesy in accordance with your faith; . .  if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Rom. 12:6-8)

By the way, I’m so happy to say that I’ve made it through to the last verse of chapter 12 (woohoo).

Martell's One WordSo here’s my One Word for 2014: Mercy reminds me of God’s mercy — he has shown me over and over, but it also reminds me to look for opportunities to show mercy to others.

I’ve had opportunities recently to show mercy, and God has truly surprised me.

  • I didn’t know that I could rush to a friend’s house when I heard that her son died in his sleep.
  • I didn’t know I could just be with her and give her some comfort with one of the clay crosses I made.
  • I didn’t know God would give me the heart of compassion without swallowing me up in my own memories of grief.
  • I didn’t know He would give me the words as I prayed with families who came to our church for much-needed box of groceries.
  • I didn’t know how blessed I would be by these experiences.

I am thankful for 

  • this new year and fresh beginnings
  • this warm house while the wind whistles around us 
  • relief for arthritic knees — no cane, no crutches, no walker for weeks!
  • God’s grace that extends to all of us sinners

JoyMartell

OneWordMercy

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