“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
As often happens to me, I read the first devotional this morning in Daily Guideposts, and I was inspired to choose the word for my blog today. EQUIPPED!
Then when I opened the next devotional, “All God’s Creatures,” the March/April Daily Devotions for Animal Lovers, and the word “equipped” showed up twice on that page.
What are the chances, you ask? Pretty good batting average, I’d say. There it was again:
Ephesians 2:10 (a)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”
The story in “All God’s Creatures” was about a woodpecker who was “beautifully equipped for his unique purpose in life…” as he aggravated the writer with his incessant tapping on the tree trunk outside his window.
The writer, Terry Clifton, mused that he, too, is “a result of God’s handiwork – equipped with talents and skills that have meaning and purpose for [his] life.”
What has God equipped you with? What unique gifts and talents do you possess that allow you to let God’s workmanship shine through you to fulfill His purpose in your life?
On the Daily Guideposts’ page for today Jerusha Agen wrote, “All I have to do is walk with God through each day, confident He will provide all I need to accomplish His work.”
It all sounds so theoretical, doesn’t it? About as solid as that sand in the hand. But, what scripture is telling us is that our hearts are not made to be solid.
We are not expected to look at tasks from our earthly perspective. Tasks are formed for us beforehand by our Maker in Heaven.
Don’t eliminate the second part of the Ephesians 2:10 scripture: “…which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Like a skilled woodworker Who sees the image inside the log, God chiseled our lives and purposes Before the world saw us.
The tasks placed before us Are designed with us in mind. Look at them with Jesus glasses And see their infinite possibilities.
Do not be overwhelmed by the world’s naysayers. Walk with God through each day Confident you are equipped.
He’s gotcha in the palm of His hand. He directs your path – and hears you. He sees your needs and equips you. Rely on Him – and step out in faith!
What tasks are you equipped to accomplish today? “If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.”
Let love pour from your heart like sand from your hand.
I’m off for a walk in faith. Join TazE & me?
See ya tomorrow (God willing) Love to you, JanBeek
Do you ever doubt your niche? Yesterday I posted excerpts from Gottfried’s Banter, a blog whose niche is humor. No, I wasn’t suggesting that my blog should try to fit that niche. Humor like Gottfried’s doesn’t come naturally to me like it does to him.
No, it’s not numbers, It’s my purpose that dictates My niche and my style.
It’s my gifts that spell The reason for my blogging. How about your niche?
What’s your intention? Do you need one hundred one Questions to find out?
The Art of Blogging, Cristian Mihai, has questions Yes, one hundred one!
What is your purpose? Has anyone asked you that question recently? Have you asked it of yourself?
Another way to ask the question is: What is my life’s goal?
When I asked my husband Bob, yesterday He responded, “To give God credit for everything.”
We talked about the difference between Internal and external purposes.
Internally we live a life filed with gratitude to God.
Externally, how do we show or express it?
Bob responded, “Accept your lot without complaints” and “Be His hands and feet – Extending His Kingdom on Earth.”
Like these mountains, Life and purpose have so many layers.
What is God’s purpose for me?
This is the prayer I pray each morning before I leave my sanctuary to begin my day in the world:
Guide my feet in Your Way today. Help me meet who You want me to meet. Tell me what You want me to say, And keep me out of Your way!
Help me be who You made me to be. And teach me to be still So I can know what You want me to do. Help me walk in You Will.”
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
In today’s These Days, Daily Devotions for Living by Faith, the message resonated with me as I contemplate my purpose:
“I pray and ask God to give me the words I need. The time to share is now so that everyone will know the Love of God.
By speaking and writing about God’s love and glory, we are passing this knowledge on to future generations.
Whether singing worship music, reading devotionals aloud, or writing about God, I am given opportunities to help the whole world know and develop a closer relationship with God.”
That’s my purpose! Share the love, joy and peace that are mine through Christ.
I want everyone to feel it!!
Father, please give me the words to share so everyone will know you.
In my Mornings with Jesus devotional today, the message fit this topic perfectly. Cynthia Ruchti, wrote
“A recent project at our house has tested our mettle as a couple…”
She went on to explain how their old 1913 house is crooked. Trying to “install straight, factory-squared windows into an opening that is anything but perfectly square has been cause for… discussion.”
“What a telling picture of the reasons Jesus was so adamant that … the foundational layer of our souls has to be built plumb and true, more meticulously than anything that will come after.”
“Jesus said that JOY is foundational to our lives as Christ followers. If joy is solid, anchored well, and secure because of our trust in His promises, anything else we build on top of that will have much greater chance of aligning with His purpose for us.
We won’t be ‘half a bubble off’ if His joy bubbles inside us.”
I aim to be inspired by His Word, His Life, His Love, His Gift of Grace, and His Purpose for my life.
(That’s the internal purpose)
Externally, my purpose is to share that love, joy, peace, faith and unity that are mine… with the hope that you are inspired to share it, too!
Is anything in your house noticeably crooked? When you pass that spot, don’t straighten it! Look up!
Use it as a reminder of the importance of building your life of faith on Jesus and the meaning of the cross. Jesus is plumb and true, and by His death on the cross, you are, too!!
What is your purpose? What inspires you to live according to your purpose?
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today. See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Embrace your passion – Figure out just what it is, Then LIVE your passion.
Yesterday I lived – I lived passionately – But I did not blog.
Even though blogging Is an important passion, I did not write it.
Sometimes you need to Set aside pen and paper – Set aside writing –
And LIVE your passion! I listened to the Spirit And followed its voice.
My most important passion is what this blog’s sub-title spells out: spreading love, joy,peace,faith and unity.
In the process of living out my faith, I spend time every morning in my “SanctuAiree” among the angels, Bibles, devotionals, birds level with me in the trees, and the Holy Spirit alive and well. surrounding and in me. I listen for that still small voice – and try to obey its directives.
As the contact person and secretary for our Pastor Nominating Committee, I have worked consistently for over a year – collaboratively with my wonderful, dedicated team – to find the pastor we think God has in mind for us. We see a light at the end of the tunnel … and are praying for wisdom and discernment. Yesterday I worked on that project. I am passionate about helping to find the “right” person to lead our congregation into the future. It is a huge responsibility – and we take it very seriously.
Do you have a project about which you are passionate? Are you living that passion? Do you see a light at the end of your tunnel? I’d love to hear about it.
Have you defined your purpose in blogging? Are you feeling like your purpose is being fulfilled? Are you passionate about it? Cristian Mihai in “The Art of Blogging” tells us often that unless we are writing about things we are passionate about, our messages will fall flat.
Sometimes I feel that my messages are not resonating with my readers. When I get that feeling, I have to back up and ask myself, “Who are you writing for?” If one or two of you respond, if I have reached into the heart of just one other blogging friend out there, that has to be enough. It’s not a numbers game! YOU are the only reader who matters. I am sharing my passion with YOU.
My passion is to LIVE in such a way that at the end of the day, I can say to myself, “I did what the Holy Spirit called me to do today, and I did it with gusto. I did my best – and now I can rest.”
This quote came in the mail today from Billy Mills, national spokesperson for “Running Strong for American Indian Youth” – a project associated with Christian Relief Service.
The synchronicity of the arrival of this in mailbox today was not lost on me. I already had spent my hour up in my sanctuary reading my Bible, devotionals, and praying for you – and other family and friends on my prayer list (yes, you are there!). Among the names on my list is “Native American Youth.” Lord knows their needs and yours.
The word that was my “Take-Away” from that time upstairs today was “Perseverance.” And that’s BEFORE the mail came with this gift! Go back up and read it again… “Collective Perseverance…” and HOPE …Resilience and Certainty in tomorrow – – – Tomorrow: a better day!
It’s perseverance That changes maybe’s to YES. Chase the doubt away!
To make an impact Just practice perseverance. Keep your dreams alive.
Being persistent As you work to problem solve: The road to success!
I can’t just sit here Expecting success to come. Gotta go get it!
It’s perseverance – Working to make it happen That completes the goal.
What are you working To complete with great success? Live with that purpose.
But tenacity Ain’t easy when we don’t see The results we need.
Positivity Is hard to always maintain When we keep failing.
But unless we fail, We’re not trying hard enough! Gotta fail to learn.
3 “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance,character;andcharacter,hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.…”
Don’t let the fact that There’s certain failure keep you From taking chances!
Folks who developed The vaccines we are using Failed many times.
Before succeeding, They conjured up their courage And kept on trying.
That’s the way it is! So Embrace Perseverance And live your purpose.
1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” Hebrews 12:1
Look at that runner; He did not win his first race! But perseverance paid off.
What race are you in? What’s marked out for you to do? Step out and do it!
Long term marriages like ours don’t happen accidentally. Takes lots of perseverance. Believe me!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Before you click out, leave a comment below, will you? What is the “race marked out for you” today?
Being flexible: A sign of a healthy soul! It’s well with my soul.
Rigidity means There’s inflexibility… Like old, wrinkled skin.
Rigidity lacks The ability to spring – Spring up and bounce back.
Flexibility Is living life on the edge – Edge of Adventure!
When Bob & I were much younger, we were living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I was happy in my teaching job, but Bob was restless. He had been coaching wrestling and teaching drivers’ education for about nine years. He’d had the “Seven Year Itch” for a couple years… looking for a way to feel compensated for the tons of extra hours he put in as a coach. But, coaches don’t get paid more than a measly $500 stipend for the gajillion extra hours. They watch the guy who comes and goes with the bells. In at 8: am and out at 3:00 pm. It was discouraging after a while. Love his students as he did, it was not “well with his soul.” He wanted the freedom to be compensated fairly for his efforts. So, he left teaching and returned to the family farm. Farming allowed him the flexibility he was craving.
He went back to the family farm … almonds, walnuts, and mainly – beekeeping. Producing honey, selling his bees’ product, scheduling his own time… Ah yes, the flexibility was good for his soul. He thrived!
Flexibility Is important for your soul. Keeps your life limber.
The freedom to fish Or go four-wheeling with friends: Retirement JOY!
Are you flexible? Can you readjust your life When it feels too stiff?
Do you feel you’re trapped In a spot not fulfilling? Make your soul feel well.
Listen to your heart. Life’s too short to be rutted – Stuck and unhappy!
Just dig yourself out. Uncover many options – Start digging today!
There’s a world waiting For the flexible and strong To step out in faith.
Know you are not stuck In an unfulfilling place. Exercise options!
Do some exploring. Embrace flexibility. You have just one life.
Look for your purpose Find it in your prayer-filled time Embrace Flexibility.
You were born to start The work set out just for you. God bless you today!
Just live your own dream – Not the dream of someone else. Step out in faith now!
Yup, that’s right – Flexibility means JOY – Jump into it NOW!
We’re living in joy! Thanks for visiting JanBeek See ya tomorrow.
Talented musician and poet, Laura Sullivan, can look at her stats and know they spell SUCCESS. No doubt about it! When you earn your living as a musician – and you play to be heard, getting two and a half million listeners has got to be a rush. Don’t you think?
How About You?
How about you? Do you care how many followers you have on WordPress? Do you count a successful post by how many likes you get? Or by the number of comments? Or by the viewers the stats show?
Looking at your daily stats can reveal patterns that give you clues about what titles or numbers of posts per day can do.
BUT, they can be very discouraging.
What? All that effort and only 16 likes or comments?
When I look at my stats by the years instead of weeks or months, Wow! How encouraging! What a lot of improvement I made after I decided to post on a regular basis!
Hmmm, do those stats define success for me?
No! I won’t let numbers define me! But, look at those likes and comments for this 2020 year. Now, that can get my blood rolling through my veins at a quicker pace, can’t it?
Is it Numbers?
Oh no, wait! Are numbers why we do this? Are we motivated by our ability to reach out? Do our world views show us what we’re about?
Beware the Comparison Game!
When Cristian Mihai (The Art of Blogging) shows us his world map, every continent is colored in. It’s easy to play that comparison game – and decide you’re never gonna be good enough. Don’t fall into that trap!!
Define Your Purpose
Why do you blog? Is it for numbers? I doubt it!
Some people do it for money … they are full time bloggers and stats mean income. I understand that. But, my guess is that the majority of us are in it for the joy of being inspired and being an inspiration.
That’s my purpose! To spread positivity and optimism and to help us all just “Love One Another” more unconditionally.
When I get a response like the one below, that’s what makes it all worthwhile. That’s what makes my heart swell.
I want to be a “Beacon of Light and Hope.” Don’t we all??
Yesterday I receive this comment:
Yes, I want to be a beacon of hope and light … and be unafraid to tell you where that light originates! I can’t fulfill my purpose alone! Only as I am connected to my source am I authentic enough to inspire. It’s not a candle that keeps burning on its own!
The flame is “This Little Light of Mine” and I don’t intend to hide it under a bushel! Let it SHINE!!!
Who or what electrifies your light? What prompts your posts? Is it to inspire?
Let the stats speak… But don’t let them be your only motivation. SHINE!
Mark Collins‘ prayer in Daily Guideposts today spoke to me. He wrote:
“Lord, let me repurpose my own life toward Your will and not mine.”
What is your life’s purpose?
What have you determined to be your life’s purpose? Has it always been so?
Seems to me this pandemic has given us time to pause and reconsider what our life’s purpose is! This virus has been like a stop light – a red signal – “Wait here!”
As I paused and considered my life’s purpose this morning, I decided my purpose has shifted with each quarter century of my life. Have you considered how age, the passing of time, and the changing of circumstances have impacted your life’s purpose?
Maybe my purpose SHOULD always have been “to glorify God” – but did I know that? Did I live according to that calling? No!
In that first quarter of my life, the innocence of childhood helped me see others with a purity of heart, but most of my purpose was pretty self-centered.
To be honest with myself and you, most of age 0 to 25 was devoted to serving self.
Then in the second quarter, my life’s purpose shifted from self to family. With marriage and children, it was important to turn the focus from myself to my husband and our children.
These were the years when my career flourished and I spent a lot of time devoted to my job. But even as I did so, it all came back to bringing in the resources to provide a better life and more opportunities for us and our children.
Age 25 to 50 my life’s purpose was mostly devoted to serving family.
In the third quarter of my life, I moved from being a mom with kids at home, and being a teacher in the classroom working with children, to being a cheerleader for my young adult children and a leader for teachers.
Even after I retired, my role as a cheerleader for my children and grandchildren and as a leader in various organizations where I volunteered was focused on how I could reach out to help.
My purpose in life from age 50 to 75 seemed to be to serve others.
And then came this fourth quarter of my life. The period from 75 to 100 is when I have come face to face with the purpose God intended for me all along: to glorify Him.
Everything I do these days is intended to fulfill the purpose the Lord intended for me: to serve God.
I look for ways to BEE what He made me to BEE… to use the talents He gave me … and to use them for HIS PURPOSES.
I look for ways to DO what God needs me to DO to BEE His hands and feet on earth.
I find places where the love, joy and peace that are mine are lacking… and I try to spread those Fruits of the Spirit wherever I go.
What Really Matters
How much more meaningful my life would have been if I had spoken this prayer by Mark Collins years ago:
“Lord, let me repurpose my own life toward Your will and not mine.”
Don’t wait until the fourth quarter of your life to repurpose! Ask God today to help you discern what He has in mind for you. You can serve family and others more effectively if you:
1) Pray for God’s guidance 2) Listen for the Holy Spirit to guide you, and 3) Use your gifts, talents and time to serve God first.
In so doing, God will bless you in ways you can hardly imagine!
By using your time, gifts and talents for the glory of your Creator, you will find true joy, a true sense of fulfillment, and an REAL answer to: What is my life’s purpose?
Score what really matters NOW. Don’t wait until the fourth quarter!!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.
A comment below telling me what you have defined as your life’s purpose would be so interesting to me. Do consider commenting!