#oneword · OneWord365 · Pondering

Diligence ~ OneWord ~ June 2022

“DOING YOUR DUE DILIGENCE”

Due diligence has been used since at least the mid-fifteenth century in the literal sense “requisite effort.” Centuries later, the phrase developed a legal meaning, namely, “the care that a reasonable person takes to avoid harm to other persons or their property”; in this sense, it is synonymous with another legal term, ordinary care. More recently, due diligence has extended its reach into business contexts, signifying the research a company performs before engaging in a financial transaction. This meaning may also apply to individuals: people are often advised to perform their due diligence before buying a house, signing a loan, or making any important purchase.”

This set of two words seems to be a way of using ‘diligence’ in common language today. Even as an individual, doing my ‘due diligence’ would be researching thoroughly all that would be involved in making a serious transaction such as purchasing a home, moving to a new city, starting a business, etc. I was watching the new television season of “Home Town Kickstart”…six small towns in America were given a kickstart, hoping to draw people to their small community as it has struggled to survive amidst economic and cultural downturns. All involved with the HGTV/Magnolia TV show “Home Town” have done their ‘due diligence’ to research which towns could benefit the most right now, whose home to remodel, where to place a mural and a bench, and which business to kickstart first. Plus, which other HGTV remodeling stars were to be brought onboard to help out. Lots of ‘due diligence’ goes into these shows far ahead of the actual filming for us, the viewer.

So where does this bring me today in looking at June 2022 and my ‘due diligence’ with my OneWord?

I rarely have been one to make waves, to get involved, to become ensnared in political or arguable narratives but it is truly hard for me these days regarding so much going on all around. I am writing, journaling, pondering, and tearing up/deleting/shredding pages, yet…maybe…maybe not.

My voice seems drowned out and overwhelmed. I have been at a loss for words because I did not want to cross anyone, to say something that would offend someone…anyone, to cause even more divisiveness than there already is in this world…in my world. But I find thoughts turning to words, words needing some outlet. Maybe not! Maybe! See…this is how my mind and heart seem to be of late!

My words will be measured, I pray. My words need to mean more than just letters on a page.

We need something light to close this post! Watch “What is Diligence?” for kids! and for me! …

Thank you for walking alongside me as I lift my words unto the Lord.

Your words were found, and I ate them,
and Your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart,
for I am called by Your Name,
O LORD, God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16

May my words be edifying to You, my God. May they be truthful and obedient unto You, my Lord. May they be filled with Your heart, O God. These things I pray, sweet Lord. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

#oneword · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

I Have Very Few Words…Today

There are six things that the LORD hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:

haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,

a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,

a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19

I see these, all of these, TODAY, RIGHT NOW, ALL AROUND ME! Everywhere I look, so much of what I hear is that which God hates, that are abominations to Him. These stir up conflict, strife, hatred, violence, vitriol. I have been trying to write a post in this space for two weeks only to find I have no words…only to find things unfathomable in my mind, my heart, my soul.

I have been unable to write anything cohesive, but I shall, Lord willing.

I do not want to write and end up with a page filled with vitriol coming from myself regarding all I see and hear and feel. So I am silent. God’s Word speaks to my heart and says, “Be careful with your words, Linda.”

Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Psalm 34:13

I said, “I will guard my ways,
that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will guard my mouth with a muzzle,
so long as the wicked are in my presence.”
Psalm 39:1

Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue. Psalm 120:2

So I am quiet. NOW!

But I am here having thoughts about my OneWord 2022 ~ diligence.

I am being diligent as to the words which God desires from me. I am being diligent as to words to say to others. I am being diligent as to the ways in which I represent Christ in and to this world.

I am being still so that I can know my God.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
over the man who carries out evil devices!
Psalm 37:7

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10

Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

For by me your days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
Proverbs 9:7-12

Lord, I desire to speak out. I desire to be open and honest. I just do not know how to do that these days. Guide my tongue and my mind and my heart, that I will be true to You, and You alone. In Your Beautiful Son’s Name, I pray. Amen.

#oneword · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

Diligence ~ One Word 2022 ~ April

photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

“Diligence” ~ I have been pondering and doing diligence, being diligent. Amidst this word in the background of my days, I still am totally interrupted, taking me way off course. Yet, my days and weeks are orchestrated by the Lord.

But I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Psalm 31:14-15

I find that focusing on God’s Word using the “Sweeter Than Honey, A 365-Day Devotional Journey” by Patsy Burnette has been such a fine way to spend time in the Word daily. Not just five days a week but seven. Plus, I like Patsy’s daily place from which to jump off and into the Word. We are reading the Bible chronologically. Patsy shares space with daily readers on this Facebook page.

I have just completed Community Bible Study for 2021-22/online with a local group of women, studying “suffering” through the books of Job, James, 1 and 2 Peter, and, finally, Colossians. I did not enter the study until after Job and James were completed, but have the study books, planning to complete those over the summer. I have also signed up to join the next study in September for “Red Sea to the Jordan River” following the Israelites in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers. Community Bible Study groups are all over the world. If you are interested, click on the link above to see about a group in your area.

My Bonnie-Girl, my tuxedo cat, my 14- year-old, 3 years ago adopted senior is gone from this earth. She died Tuesday, April 19th. I loved her so; she was my little buddy. She came into my life six months after Kenneth died. I was mourning the loss of my husband, as well as enduring COVID lockdowns and necessary cares and concerns for myself and others. Oh, my sweet girl.

In looking over OneWord prompts, I decided to look for quotes using “diligence” in them.

“Diligence like any other virtue in life can be developed if lost in the cause of time. One can start slowly and gain momentum on things that help in developing diligence.” 
― Dr. Lucas D. Shallua

What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.” 
― Samuel Johnson, The Life Of Samuel Johnson, Vol. 4

Diligence overcomes difficulties; sloth makes them. Benjamin Franklin

Prefer diligence before idleness, unless you esteem rust above brightness. Plato

“I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate myself on one subject at a time.” Charles Dickens

Ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results. David A. Bednar

Lord, please steer me along this journey of diligence in this earthly sphere, while I walk towards my eternal life. I am so grateful that You have given me this word along with some tools that teach me more about being diligent. Your desire may be to grow me more and more, so please show me the way. And…

Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for You have been my Refuge,
a Strong Tower against the enemy.
(Psalm 61:1-3)

In the Beautiful Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

@ Lisa Notes / https://lisanotes.com
photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor
#oneword · OneWord365 · Pondering

Diligence – One Word 2022

Lisa (@ LisaNotes) suggests each month a few ways to blog our OneWord. After pondering the ones given plus more from the whole list (Lisa Hite, available here) I decided to see how creating a collage with my OneWord in many different languages would create something new for March. I must say it was quite interesting, has given me more questions rather than a better understanding of ‘diligence’ but was fun anyway! Wordclouds.com

No matter what language my OneWord for 2022 is written or spoken in, it still means basically the same – “to seek, seek early or earnestly, look early or diligently for …” with minor cultural and actual language differences.

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 2 Peter 3:14

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Romans 12:10-13 NKJV

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. ESV

in the diligence not slothful; in the spirit fervent; the Lord serving; YLT

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. NLT

My month has been rather constant regarding diligence in my walk with God:

  • I continue to read the Bible daily along with “Sweeter Than Honey, A 365-Day Devotional Journey” by Patsy Burnette. We are reading the Bible chronologically which I really am liking. Patsy has a beehive of readers on this Facebook page.
  • My Community Bible Group just began Colossians which is our last book of study. We are on a week’s break right now and then will complete the year by the end of April. I hope to be back with them for the next year’s study beginning in September, I believe. Next year’s study will be “Red Sea to the Jordan River” following the Israelites in the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers.
  • With Covid numbers decreasing well below the norm since I moved here over six months ago, I have returned to a church I had attended once awhile back. Because of Covid I am going to just go to this one church for now rather than visit unknown churches. And for two Sundays, it is just right! Thank You, Lord.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

I pray that His grace and knowledge will, indeed, penetrate my soul and my heart so that I may praise Him for always. In Your Name, sweet Jesus, I pray. Amen.

@ Lisa Notes / https://lisanotes.com

Diligence One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

WordCloud for diligence in many languages @ Wordclouds.com

One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

#oneword · Devotionals · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

Diligence – One Word 2022

I love those who love Me,
and those who seek Me diligently find Me.
Proverbs 8:17

שָׁחַר

šāḥar

to seek, seek early or earnestly, look early or diligently for

This verse in several other versions:

CSB – “I love those who love me, and those who search for me find me.”

NLT – “I love all who love me.
Those who search will surely find me.

KJV –  I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

God is so wonderful and amazing…wonderfully amazing!! During this past month, since I last wrote on “diligence,” I began the Community Bible Study (similar to Bible Study Fellowship, I believe) via Zoom with a group of women…local to my new place of residence. I contacted them just to find out about them and the study for next year, 2022-23. I did not want to join the current study midstream. But God had another plan: the current study is on and around ‘suffering’ using five different Books of the Bible. They had just begun 1 and 2 Peter with Colossians yet to go, having missed James and Job already. I would be more than welcome to start midstream, I was told. I could join the whole group plus any small group, and that they have one online. So I did…joined three weeks ago.

Last month on OneWord2022 I shared the Scriptures (from 2 Peter) that I am using for the base of this 2022’s study and direction for ‘diligence.’ AND…we have just begun 2 Peter in Community Bible Study. I love this dovetailing Craftsman that is our God. In His wisdom He knows just where I must go in order to be on the path He has set for me.

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8-11

Walking in diligence is to follow all that God has for me. It is so desirable by me because I do not want to fall or become ineffective or unfruitful. I do not want to stumble. I do not want to be turned to the right or to the left. I want only that which my God desires of me. But I must seek His face and not be blinded by that which is of the world. Satan is so ready to pounce:

Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Those qualities that I am to pursue are:

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 1 Peter 1: 5-7

Diligence is a rhythm that I am learning more this year than in many, maybe any. I am being diligent about posting twice a week on Being Woven, and reading the Bible each and every day. I am following Patsy Burnette’s “Sweeter Than Honey, A 365-Day Devotional Journey.” I find that the routine is giving me such strength in this desire of diligence. I press on toward the goal:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14

God knows I may fall but that is not my wish. I also know He will pull me up and set me back on the path should I fall, should I lose my way and become unfruitful and ineffective. I will seek Him and not run away which is a reaction I am very capable of doing…maybe not running physically these days, but my heart and mind still can for they have, and taken me with!! I truly do NOT want that.

Lord, please protect me from the temptation of the evil one.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Father God, thank You for loving me and providing this Scripture from Jeremiah just now for You show me that You have the reins. I trust you with all of my being. Continue to guide me and guard me on the path of diligence. Please show me how to seek Your face in all I am and all I do. I pray for Your protection of all that satan would rather I be doing or being. Hold me near as I draw near to You, my Lord. I love You and pray all of this in the Name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen.

Diligence One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

“DILIGENCE” @ 1st-Resource.com

One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

#oneword · Devotionals · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

Diligence – One Word 2022

Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 2 Peter 3:14

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-11

σπουδάζω

spoudazō

to use speed, i.e. to make effort, be prompt or earnest:—do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavour, labour, study.

While still in 2021, I sought a word for 2022 which would bring glory to God as I pursued Him, thirsted after Him, drew near to Him, and hungered after Him. In ‘diligence’ I am able to bring all these under one umbrella. In ‘diligence’ I feel delight in the ability to learn more about my God, to grow in Him and become more and more like His Son, my Christ Jesus. Yet, in a similar token, I feel a weight to pursue Him consistently so that those outcomes will be more obvious when others look upon me, and, hopefully, will see more of the Light of Jesus in me rather than me.

I also feel a burden of sin for it is all impossible to do in my own strength. I must truly depend upon the One to Whom I am being diligent about. The heaviness I feel is that I am spun down into a darkness I have not felt in such a long time. I do not like it. I want it to go away. It is over me and in me. I feel overshadowed. I feel as Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah. I find so much of this world disgusting. I find so many of my Christian friends walking in ways that seem not as Jesus called us. Not that I am walking rightly, but I am trying to understand just how Jesus has called us to walk in His light.

…and if He rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment,…. 2 Peter 2:7-9

To me, being diligent in all I do and am is what I feel is my calling this year of 2022. Diligence in the pursuit of God. Diligence in the hungering and thirsting after the One Who has given me life, Who has forgiven me. I desire to be relentless in these things although that makes me out of breath just saying and typing those words!

I do not wish this upon myself nor anyone else, yet it is very possible that things such as these may be near:

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD,
“when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the words of the LORD. They shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD,
but they shall not find it.
Amos 8:11-12

“They shall not find it.” Oh, my!!! Walking in ‘diligence’ is my journey this year and for always!!

LORD, please guide my steps. Please show my Your way for my life. Hold me up while I walk these steps.

From the Commentary on 2 Peter 3 by Matthew Henry:

Follow after holiness as well as peace: and even spotless and perfect; we must not only take heed of all spots which are not the spots of God’s children (this only prevents our being found of men without spot), we must be pressing towards spotless purity, absolute perfection. Christians must be perfecting holiness, that they may be not only blameless before men, but also in the sight of God; and all this deserves and needs the greatest diligence; he who does this work negligently can never do it successfully.”

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to His promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 2 Peter 3:11-13

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:17-18

As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for You, O God.
Psalm 42:1

O, Sweet Lord, I want to be pleasing in Your sight. I desire to be a sweet aroma to You. I know that I am struggling right now so draw me near and teach me what I need to know, what I need to be. May this year of ‘diligence’ be a journey where I grow as I walk with You. May I approach areas of change and growth in this new place seeking You at every turn. I may not always be pleasing to You, Lord, but I want to grow in holiness and purity with each step. I bow before You in praise and humility, Lord. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

“diligence” One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

Matthew Henry: Commentary on 2 Peter 3 by Matthew Henry

One Word 2022: photo at Pixabay; graphics added by me @ Pixlr photo editor

Psalm 42:1-2 @ Heartlight.org

Devotionals · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

Decrease – One Word 2021

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Isaiah 53:2-3

Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:15

Isaiah prophesied about Jesus Who seems to resemble very little of interest to us in the world then. Yet, by the time God reveals Jesus to John (the Book of Revelation), Jesus is everything. Interesting to me is that during those thirty-three years that Jesus walked this earth, He was the One Who was sent to save us all. He healed; He taught; He prayed. He became so much to so many in actually three years of His thirty-three. And He is All to all if we would only seek His face. He came with the answers to all of our needs and concerns. Oh, that it took me forty-five of my seventy-four years to desire Him as my Lord and Savior. I sought one such as the Israelites were seeking: the king, the rider upon a horse to rule and reign, their Messiah. Most missed Him then as I did for so many years. My seeking was longer than Jesus’ lifetime. Yet, I praise Him NOW and for always for He is worthy of all praise.

In this final month of 2021, I am reminding myself of the word I chose to ponder upon for this year. My writings have been sporadic yet the word never departed from my lips, nor my mind.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

I have chosen to be less of me so that He can be more of who others see in me. I do not want my family nor friends or strangers passing by to see this Linda of the world. I want less of the world in me and more of Jesus to shine upon these others.

Oh, that this may continue to be so.

This has not been an easy year by any means. So much has been about me: selling a home, moving to another state, establishing a new place to live, reacquainting with my cousin, Donna. All amidst COVID-19. Yet my desire has been to decrease despite all of this.

Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you across the Jordan, to Whom you bore witness—look, He is baptizing, and all are going to Him.”

John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before Him.’ The One who has the bride is the Bridegroom. The friend of the Bridegroom, who stands and hears Him, rejoices greatly at the Bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.

¶He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what He has seen and heard, yet no one receives His testimony. Whoever receives His testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For He Whom God has sent utters the words of God, for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. John 3:25-36

Jesus calls us to new heights as we decrease. Oh, YES, He does.

Upon taking a break while writing this, I picked up John Pavlovitz’s Advent Devotional, “Low.” This very day, Week 3/Monday, the title is “The Lowest Places.” God has orchestrated such wonder in my heart, mind, and soul. Here is a piece of this day’s devotional:

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

…. Jesus has a way of stretching us. Over and over again in the gospels, the message he has for those who would emulate him in the world, is, in essence, “I want to show you something new. Whatever standard you once used for how to live and treat people and find meaning, I’m asking you for more–(or rather, for less).” Regarding anger or motive or religion or revenge or comfort, he continually invites us to the low places: to a greater humility, to a deeper forgiveness, to a shrinking ego, to a bigger generosity. We almost always resist such things because initially they feel like loss, like we’re giving up too much, like we’re letting someone else get away with something. But we always find a better version of ourselves in the low places and that is why we need to keep going there.” *

Father, I am humbled by Your love and Your guidance in and through my life. This 2021 word has resonated more with me than most. It has, indeed, stretched me and rocked me as well. It has allowed me to grow closer to You for which I am filled with gratitude. How could that be when the worldly Linda wants the opposite? But this woman, headed Heavenward, wants to draw near to You more than anything, Lord. I desire to pursue You and be diligent about it in this coming year. I want to be steadfast in my ways of searching You in Your Word. Thank You, Father, for being my God. In the Precious Name of Jesus, I humbly pray. Amen.

As the year comes to an end, 2022 is just beyond that corner. Those of us joining with Lisa @ Lisa Notes, we are announcing our new word for this new year. For many of us, this one word replaces New Year’s Resolutions. I am finding that it plus the community accountability has really helped me focus on what God has in store for me over each year via this One Word study/challenge. May God grant us each and all a willingness to persevere, be challenged, and be grown as we study, pray and meditate upon this new word.

One Word 2022 and ‘decrease’ graphics: by ~ linda @ BeingWoven.org

* Pavlovitz, John, “Low, An Honest Advent Devotional,” ChalicePress.com, 2019, 9780827221932. JohnPavlovitz.com

John 3:30 Greater Than @ Pinterest

“diligence” One Word 2022: photo @ pixabay; graphics by me done on Pixlr photo editor

Devotionals · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

One Word 2021 – July (+ Where I Have Been)

Where in the world have you been for the past seven weeks?…you might be asking!

Well, I am getting ready to move. AGAIN! Yes, I know I moved into a new home just last October. I have precious people in my life here but this COVID-19 year has given me time to know that I need to be near family. One day, I was just meandering on the internet looking at the places Kenneth and I had dreamed of moving before we landed in Lufkin. While perusing those places, I found a being-built senior cooperative condo building in Grand Junction, Colorado, where two cousins live. As I looked further into this option, I have come to know that Grand Junction is where I am headed. I have been at peace throughout the research on what a senior cooperative meant (I knew about farm coops, electrical coops, and homeschool coops but not senior living coops!). I also spoke with many people on all ends of this project plus my family. It is very affordable and in a place that I want to be, near people I want to be near. Yes, Covid is there too. I am vaccinated. God will carry me through whatever is before me.

My sisters live where the prices are so high that my income will not afford me the opportunity to live on Kauai nor in San Diego. My nephew lives in Indio (Palm Springs area). I have no children and am a widow. My cousins are delighted that I would move near them. I am too. Donna and I have stayed in touch most of our 70+ year lives. I went to GJ a few weeks ago and know that God has gone before me in all. My Lufkin house is on the market as of today. It is being shown tonight for the first time. I have been approved for an apartment in GJ as of yesterday. God is raining His beautiful peace upon me through it all. Thus…I have not been writing. But I am still here!

So…as all of this is happening, I am still desiring to …

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

Lisa @ Lisa Notes / One Word 2021 (on FaceBook) reminds us each month to link up with her and others regarding our “One Word 2021.” This month she has given us a special task in order to ponder our words:

WELCOME TO PART 2!  You’ve made it to the second half of the year with your One Word! 

Can you choose 3 days from the next 30 days to sit for a few minutes to pray and/or meditate over what God wants to do with you and your word for the remainder of the year?  
Specifically, you can pick one of these three areas per session: 
Your word and your relationship with God
Your word and your relationship with others
Your word and your relationship with yourself 

I will make room and time during three days during these next 30. I want to continue to grow in my relationship with God in all ways. As I learn to become less, my relationship with my Lord and Savior is becoming more. Life is less about me and so much more about Him. That is so what I wanted in January when I began with this word. God continues to grow me, yet I am becoming less and less. Odd, isn’t it?

Oh, my Sweet Lord, make me more and more like You, less and less filled with myself. You created me. Keep growing me to be just the way you want me. Amen.

Jesus prayed three times, almost the same prayer, as He spent time alone in the Garden of Gethsemane:

And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Matthew 26:42

So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Matthew 26:44

Three times…yet we know that God’s will overarched all. Jesus prayed for another way, a way other than the Cross, to receive the outcome that God wanted. There was no other way. Jesus submitted to the Father for He loved us so much that He paid the enormous price of death on the Cross for me, for you, for us all.

Jesus decreased for me as He was nailed to the Cross. I love Him and want to decrease for Him. I want others to see Him, yet not me, when they see my face, my eyes, even my heart.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s words: “What matters is participating in the reality of God and the world in Jesus Christ today, and in doing so in such a way that I never experience the reality of God without the reality of the world, nor the reality of the world without the reality of God.”

I live in this world. I walk with God. The closer I am to Him, the further I feel from the world, yet I am still that sojourner in it. May I always know which is which.

Lord, may I always be decreasing while You are increasing. You became nothing in order to abide in Your Father’s Will. You show me Your humanity as You asked for a different way rather than the Cross. Yet, You stayed the course. I pray, Lord, that I will be even a fraction filled with Your faithfulness and Your humbleness as You trusted Your Father in all that You did on earth and that You continue to do for us, for me. I thank You from the deepest place in my heart. I love You so. In Your Holy Blessed Name, Jesus. Amen.

Moving Day 1920s Photo: http://unioncitypostcards.blogspot.com/2011/10/moving-day-in-union-city-early-1920s.html. The Union City Bicentennial 1976 booklet in the UC Public library, the picture is titled “Ed Lincoln and his truck”. 

Down Arrow/Graph: Icon made from href=”http://www.onlinewebfonts.com/icon” Icon Fonts is licensed by CC BY 3.0

Devotionals · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

Decrease – One Word 2021

“Decreasing” has NOT been what I have been doing this month. I seem to be “increasing” and barely recognizing that Christ is in my life lately. Definitely NOT the way I anticipated I would be headed almost half way through 2021. My growth in Christ is backwards.

I have been seriously pondering a major change in my life in the very near future. I have been praying. I have been reading God’s Word. I have been quiet before Him. Or so I thought.

But amidst the ways God wants me to go, I have been researching the change, dealing with banks, looking into options, sorting through things. Doing STUFF! All of the stuff I do before making a change. So when Lisa (@ Lisa Notes) posted that the 21st of May was coming up, time to link up our One Word 2021, I had not even thought about my One Word. Not even once! So today is the 22nd of May and I am typing these words of how my month has certainly looked to God while I have ignored this whole desire which I had purposed from the beginning of this year.

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

Today, the 22nd of May, is the day I married Kenneth 28 years ago. He went to be with the Lord almost three years ago on June 7, 2018. We had just celebrated our 25th anniversary as he was dying from cancer. We knew his death was imminent and very soon, by his condition. We just did not know the exact date and time, of course. Only God knows those facts. The doctors had originally given him 7-10 days in mid-January, 2018. God had blessed us with these months instead of days, for which we were so grateful. We felt that God knew we needed this time together. Kenneth helped me prepare to be living alone…how I needed to care for our house, what tools I needed to keep, and which ones I should sell on eBay, which ones were to garage sale. He was so fine to prepare me like that. We prayed together and we shared spiritual Truths together. Oh, the time was so sweet. I am ever grateful. At this moment, my eyes have welled up with God’s little wet blessings that go into a bottle in Heaven. I am humbled by this day, these memories and my sweet Kenneth. I miss him so. So very much!

And these memories draw me back to the One Who saved me. I know that one day I shall see my Lord and dear Kenneth for we both know our Jesus the Christ. And He is the One to increase…not me! Thank You.

May His name endure forever,
His fame continue as long as the sun!
May people be blessed in Him,
all nations call Him blessed!

Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
who alone does wondrous things.

Blessed be His glorious Name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with His glory!
Amen and Amen!
Psalm 72: 17-19

I seek to be found with humility today. He is my Lord and my Lord forever.

Of the increase of His government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over His kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.
Isaiah 9:7

I seek to be on my knees praising God in all His glory and releasing all of this STUFF that it would only be minutiae for me while God handles it as I obey Him.

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:31-32

I know that You, Lord, are handling it all, only that I let You. May I be as small as the mustard seed and may Who You are in me show to be that tree. May I be so tiny and You be just so vast, Christ.

Lord Jesus, I seek Your forgiveness in trying to handle things myself. You have allowed things to go differently that I had “planned” or had “hoped.” You are showing me this day that You have this in Your hands. You also have me in Your gentle and yet strong arms. You reminded me of my beautiful marriage with Kenneth and how we sought to depend upon You in so very much. Thank You, Lord. You are guide me. You know my heart. Thank You for Donna’s words last night on the phone, especially her sweet words at the end, that I will entrust my plans, my life to You. Thank You for caring about her and drawing her back to be near You. I am ever grateful for Your Love. I lay this whole change at Your feet, my Christ. I want to be obedient to Your call upon my life. If I am to change, You will make it so and if not, You will make it so! You love me no matter what I do for which I am so thankful. May I continue to learn to decrease so that You increase. I desire others to see You in me and not me in me. In the Beautiful and Increasing Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

John 3:30: photo/graphic @ Pinterest

Psalm 72:19: photo/graphics @ Pinterest

Isaiah 9:7: photo/graphic @ Knowing Jesus

Mustard Seed on fingertip: “page not found” for photo

Devotionals · God's Word · OneWord365 · Pondering

Audible

We know “Audible” as a membership from Amazon to listen to books read by the author or someone else rather than read them ourselves. But the “audible” I am writing about today is the voice of God actually heard. Not only could Jesus hear the Voice of God but at three points in the life of Jesus, the people around Him could also hear God’s Voice in some manner. God had something to say to those around Him on those moments. We know these because they are written in the Word of God. Yes, God spoke many other times in the Bible but these are the New Testament audible moments that are written down for us.

At the baptism of Jesus

And when Jesus was baptized, immediately He went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on Him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17

φωνή

phōnḗ – (fo-nay’)

  1. a sound, a tone
    1. of inanimate things, as musical instruments
    2. of wings, of wind, of thunder, of waters
  2. a voice
    1. of the sound of uttered words, (of declarations from heaven, heard though no speaker is seen)
    2. of crying, shouting, lamenting
  3. speech
    1. such as language tone, a tongue

I love the Greek word for this audible sound. Our English word telephone is rooted in this word as are phonetics and phonics, cacophony, symphony, saxophone, microphone, xylophone, megaphone, etc.

Matthew Henry on Matthew 3:17 in his Commentary on Matthew: “To explain and complete this solemnity, there came a voice from heaven, which, we have reason to think, was heard by all that were present. The Holy Spirit manifested himself in the likeness of a dove, but God the Father by a voice; for when the law was given they saw no manner of similitude, only they heard a voice (Deu. 4:12); and so this gospel came, and gospel indeed it is, the best news that ever came from heaven to earth; for it speaks plainly and fully God’s favour to Christ, and us in him.

Think about how often we have prayed to our God asking Him for an answer. We hope to hear from Him. We hope to get a sign. We want to know His will so that we do not stray. And often there is silence, but He hears us in our prayers, in our hearts and minds and souls.

And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him. 1 John 5:14-15

We may rarely physically hear, see, or feel an answer from God yet He provides it at the appropriate time…His perfect timing.

Yet, God spoke audibly:

At the transfiguration of Jesus

He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with Whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” Matthew 17:5

Matthew Henry on Matthew 17:5 from his Commentary on Matthew:

  • There came a voice out of the cloud, and it was the voice of God, who now, as of old, spake in the cloudy pillar, Ps. 99:7. Here was no thunder, or lightning, or voice of a trumpet, as there was when the law was given by Moses, but only a voice, a still small voice, and that not ushered in with a strong wind, or an earthquake, or fire, as when God spake to Elias, 1 Ki. 19:11, 12. Moses then and Elias were witnesses, that in these last days God hath spoken to us by his Son, in another way than he spoke formerly to them. This voice came from the excellent glory (2 Pt. 1:17), the glory which excelleth, in comparison of which the former had no glory; though the excellent glory was clouded, yet thence came a voice, for faith comes by hearing.
  • What this testimony from heaven was; This is my beloved Son, hear ye him. Here we have, (1.) The great gospel mystery revealed; This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. This was the very same that was spoken from heaven at his baptism (ch. 3:17); and it was the best news that ever came from heaven to earth since man sinned. It is to the same purport with that great doctrine (2 Co. 5:19), That God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. Moses and Elias were great men, and favourites of Heaven, yet they were but servants, and servants that God was not always well pleased in; for Moses spoke unadvisedly, and Elias was a man subject to passions; but Christ is a Son, and in him God was always well pleased. Moses and Elias were sometimes instruments of reconciliation between God and Israel; Moses was a great intercessor, and Elias a great reformer; but in Christ God is reconciling the world; his intercession is more prevalent than that of Moses, and his reformation more effectual than that of Elias.
  • This repetition of the same voice that came from heaven at his baptism was no vain repetition; but, like the doubling of Pharoah’s dream, was to show the thing was established. What God hath thus spoken once, yea twice, no doubt he will stand to, and he expects we should take notice of it. It was spoken at his baptism, because then he was entering upon his temptation, and his public ministry; and now it was repeated, because he was entering upon his sufferings, which are to be dated from hence; for now, and not before, he began to foretel them, and immediately after his transfiguration it is said (Lu. 9:51), that the time was come that he should be received up; this therefore was then repeated, to arm him against the terror, and his disciples against the offence, of the cross. When sufferings begin to abound, consolations are given in more abundantly, 2 Co. 1:5.

Before the Last Supper

“Now is My soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify Your Name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to Him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not Mine. John 12:28-30

In these verses from John 12, God speaks for the sake of those around, for my sake and your’s, even today. We are to glorify the Father in all we are and in all we do. A real reminder! Jesus reminds those around Him that He does glorify His Father and we are to be imitators of Christ. This is not some light and fleeting statement. This is what our walk with the Lord is all about…to glorify Him.

Matthew Henry writes of this glorification in his Commentary on John:

  • 1. How this answer was given. By a voice from heaven. The Jews speak much of a Bath-kól-the daughter of a voice, as one of those divers manners by which God in time past spoke to the prophets; but we do not find any instance of his speaking thus to any but to our Lord Jesus; it was an honour reserved for him (Mat. 3:1717:5), and here, probably, this audible voice was introduced by some visible appearance, either of light or darkness, for both have been used as vehicles of the divine glory.
  • 2. What the answer was. It was an express return to that petition, Father, glorify thy name: I have glorified it already, and I will glorify it yet again. When we pray as we are taught, Our Father, hallowed be thy name, this is a comfort to us, that is it an answered prayer; answered to Christ here, and in him to all true believers. 
    • (1.) The name of God had been glorified in the life of Christ, in his doctrine and miracles, and all the examples he gave of holiness and goodness.
    • (2.) It should be further glorified in the death and sufferings of Christ. His wisdom and power, his justice and holiness, his truth and goodness, were greatly glorified; the demands of a broken law were fully answered; the affront done to God’s government satisfied for; and God accepted the satisfaction, and declared himself well pleased. What God has done for the glorifying of his own name is an encouragement to us to expect what he will yet further do. He that has secured the interests of his own glory will still secure them.

The Father’s answer to this address; for he heard him always, and does still. Observe, 

Three times, the voice was heard from above, speaking to Jesus, speaking about Jesus, speaking to and for the hearers of the Word. God came in ways that were not understood by some standing nearby. The voice was heard as thunder, as an angel, and in words telling those around just Who this Man was and is still today.

So often, we want to hear from God, know the exact answer, the exact moment, the exact person, etc. It is a rare communication we audibly hear with the physical ears that God, our Creator, gave us. Yet, our spirit hears. Our heart hears. There is communication by the Holy Spirit to our spirit from God. It reaches the very depth of our beings. It may come when we read His Word or when we pray or when we are silent before Him. God communicates with us by many paths. Our “inability to hear it cannot invalidate it. Our inability to understand it cannot void it. God’s phōnḗ sounds within His Son’s followers, saying, ‘You are known. You are heard. You are loved. You are mine. I, your heavenly Father, keep My promises.'” **

Jesus, the Son of God, heard His Father all of the time. Jesus is always with the Father. The two communicated continuously and directly with one another.

No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. John 1:18 KJV

Dearest Father, Christ is my life as He is my Lord and Savior. Please open the ears of my heart because I want to hear You. I want to know You more and more. You know all about everything. You touch every piece of Your creation for always. You know the number of hairs on my head. You know where I am to be when. You know where every sparrow is and when they fall from the sky. Your Providence is magnificent. I want to be close to You that I can know and understand Your will for me. I desire to be obedient. I desire to be submissive to and for You. Guide me in the ways that You want me to go. If Your voice is not to be audible to my ears, please let me understand the inaudible sounds, the quiet words, and the silent guidance. Through Your Word, through silence, through others’ voices, through the beauty that surrounds me, through the love for and from those many ‘one anothers,’ I ask You to make Your message clear to my spirit by Your Spirit. Please block the many sounds of this world, Father, so that Your voice reigns in strength in my being. I want to hear You, Lord. I want to know You. I desire You and You alone. Continue to help me ‘decrease’ as You ‘increase.’ I bow before You this day, oh Lord. I love You so. I pray all in the beautiful Name of Jesus. Amen.

audible colors @ byjus.com

audible range @ yourwidlife.org

*root meaning of “phone” @ etymology.com

Photo/graphics of Matthew 3:16-17 @<a href=”http://Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@sotti?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>Shifaaz shamoon</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/s/photos/sea?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>Unsplash Shifaaz shamoon on Unsplash / graphics added by me @ Pixlr

Photo/graphics of Matthew 17:5 @ Heartlight.org

Photo of Thunderstorm @ <a href=”http://Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@noaa?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>NOAA</a&gt; on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/s/photos/lightning-brandon-morgan?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText”>UnsplashNOAA on Unsplash / graphics added by me @ Pixlr

Luke 11:28 photo/graphics @ bible.com

**from “40 Days of Decrease” by Alicia Britt Chole