My word for this year – inspire others – DISCIPLE

So I had such success with my word of the year last year that I had to choose one for this year.  I started in December waiting for a song to clue me in –nothing….crickets…  Nothing inspired me, nothing came to me.  I tried to find my word by reading the Bible, looking on Pinterest, Etsy, Googling….searching and searching.  NOTHING    – no – that is not my word.  I began to think that Patience may be my word but I still wasn’t sure.  I would write down words that seemed to spark something inside me but I couldn’t find the perfect word.  Oh no – it was mid-January –and I still did not have my word.  Our athletes of our nonprofit ministry was going to each choose our word of the year and discuss at a meeting and I didn’t have mine.  Wait – I was in charge of the meeting and I had nothing to share, nothing to inspire.  I kept feeling that my word had something to do with the person in front of me.  No – not a specific person but to focus on the person I was with; when I was with them.  Well – so what word describes that?  I prayed even more and decided that God would give to me if I TRUST (my word last year) him.  I sat in the quiet and listened.

My word came – it was DISCIPLE.  Again – not a word that I would necessarily have chosen on my own but this was my word for the year.  I liked this word – it is a noun – DISCIPLE.  It can mean – a follower of Jesus; the chosen ones, Jesus’ inner circle – how cool is that?  Yes -that is my word!

Oh – it is a verb too – it is an action word – it can mean to teach or train others to be disciples. Oh that means I am committing to disciple to others and help them become disciples.  I am not sure about this now.

I quickly turned in my Bible to the Great Commission from Jesus. I knew it was about disciples.

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)

19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,

 baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It seems pretty clear to me that Jesus wants us to reach people all over the world.  He wants us to share his love and that he died on the cross, and they should be baptized in his name.  We should teach them to use their story, share their talents and follow the Bible which says they need to go.  This is where I see my calling this year – I want to help others determine how to serve, what their talents are and how to share the gospel.  I am praying for the right way to share and encourage others to serve God – not just go to church but to have a real relationship and a real servant heart.  Some people want to do those things but they just need a little coaching.  That is where I feel God is leading me.

So funny thing – I got my confirmation of my word DISCIPLE the very same week at church.  Our pastors announced that the word for the year at church is “Discipleshift”.  We are going to focus on this very thing!  I love when God winks at me and I can feel him saying – I have a plan for you…  I also heard the word DISCIPLE and read it several times and every time I got that feeling of confirmation!  (Still haven’t heard a song with it in it like last year…)

I sometimes feel that I think too much of myself – why would God choose me to minister and disciple others?  This is where I get confused – why me?  But then I think – why not me?  I can share through my blog, I can work in our nonprofit ministry with the teens, I can serve in our kid’s ministry, I can lead small groups and I can be an example.  I can find lots of excuses not to disciple, but I am not going to this time – I am committed to follow Jesus.  I am excited!  You know I looked at the background of the first twelve disciples and they were nothing extra special – just plain ordinary folks.  Fishermen, tax collectors, tradesmen; they were doubters, liars, followers – and they did amazing things for Jesus!  I want to do that too!  I searched more in the Bible about how to become a Disciple and found these tips in Matthew and even in Psalms.

Matthew 16:24-26 The Message (MSG)

24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?

Psalms 34:19 The Message (MSG)

Disciples so often get into trouble;

still, God is there every time.

So I am focused on my word for the year – DISCIPLE and I intend to live it through my personal, spiritual, physical, mental and family life.  My goal is to help others become disciples too – I would love to help anyone that needs support and help in finding their gift to serve God.

Let’s go make disciples!

Leigh

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Why my word for the year changed my life– TRUST

Last year was the first year that I had ever chose a “word of the year”.  In my Small Group – we all chose one word – a word that would inspire, encourage and impact our lives. A word that would help us focus better in our spiritual, mental, physical and family life.   I chose “TRUST”.  It is so funny how that word became so important to me – I thought it was a strange word for me but I got confirmation from God over and over.  I heard a song on the Christian radio by Lauren Daigle called, “I will Trust in You”.  (Funny story I thought it was Adele and I started researching what the song was called because it affected me so much!)  I dealt with trust issues with my daughter during the year – she was almost 18 years old and was going through the “I am an adult today – treat me like one…to I am still a kid and I don’t know what I’m doing.”

I also felt God calling me to do things for him but I wasn’t always clear what they were.  It wasn’t drawn out and it wasn’t the right time for me. However, I would hear “I Will Trust in You” song on the radio and I would feel this deep intense feeling it was God talking to me.  I wish he would just talk to me clearly – I am not always great at picking up on clues.  I would hear God telling me to TRUST him.  He gave me this desire to quit my job and start a nonprofit ministry.  Well funny how things work out but one of my best friends and I decided that we should start a ministry.  (That’s another blog topic soon).  I had a great job and was good at it but I became unsatisfied and wasn’t as productive as I have always been. Something was going on!  I thought it was my health issues but I knew that I was beginning to feel like I should make a change.

I wrestled with God and prayed and talked to my husband.  I still wanted confirmation from God because why would he want me to quit my job?  I still had some credit card bills and needed to save some money for daughter’s college and retirement.  I would get sign after sign from God through that one song and through conferences that I would attend – one session was about Trust.  I received recommendations from friends to read books such as, “The Speed of Trust” by Stephen M.R. Covey.

So I made up my mind to quit my job and started preparing.  I received a phone call from a friend and he wanted to talk to me about a position with his company – it was a company that I admired so much.  He wasn’t going to approach me but when he described what he wanted – he even said someone like Leigh Christian.  The two people he was talking to suggested he call me.  We worked out a plan and I was able to maintain a job with complete flexibility and salary that I could work with.  So what I am trying to say – once I followed GOD and trusted him – something great came along.  One year later, I am still working for that company and have expanded and started a consulting business as well.  Am enjoying my life but most of all enjoying my time with God.  Letting him manage my life and trusting him has been great.  I still make mistakes and still am not the Christian that I want to be, but I am trusting more!

I found a verse (Well a passage) in Proverbs 3 that just guided me through last year.  I try to read it as often as I can – even this year.  It is a great reminder.  I need it.  While I still think I know more about what I should be doing instead of relying on God ALL of the time, I am making progress.  Trust is so hard.  Funny thing is that GOD has never let me down.

 

Proverbs 3:5-12     The Message (MSG)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;

he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.

Run to God! Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,

your very bones will vibrate with life!

Honor God with everything you own;

give him the first and the best.

Your barns will burst,

your wine vats will brim over.

But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;

don’t sulk under his loving correction.

It’s the child he loves that God corrects;

a father’s delight is behind all this.

 

Encouraging you to TRUST….GOD.

Leigh

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