Sick of making New Year’s resolutions? I was. I knew all the formulas, made lists of SMART goals, and set schedules. But I found myself more tired than inspired. And that’s when someone shared the idea of choosing one word. This word can represent a goal, a state of living, or simply an inspiration for how you want to grow in the next year. I usually spend a little time thinking over some options, and once I choose one, I search in the Bible for a verse containing my chosen word that can become a theme for the year. The more I dig, the more implications of what that might actually look like present themselves. Some of the words I’ve chosen in the past were ask, choice, and wholly.
This year the word that has found me is reach. As usual, there are a number of interpretations I can think of. The first is that I’m a person who likes to make goals and plans. I like to dream and connect ideas together. But following through? Not so much. Reaching requires effort, and I want to be someone who is willing to make a little extra effort to live the life I want. Reaching also implies stretching or leaving my comfort zone. This definitely applies to the relationships in my life. I want to reach out to others and meet them where they are. I want to reach out a helping hand, and reach to connect even when it might be more comfortable to hold back.
The first verse I came across when I looked into the Bible was from Deuteronomy 30:11: “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you, and it is not beyond your reach.” This is the reminder I’m going to need come February, and May, and November. It reminds me that God is the one that reaches first down to me (2 Sam 22:17), and guides me with His hand. God has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), thus whenever I’m tempted to give up and get discouraged, that’s when I need to reach even more.
As a start, I’ve reached out to my fellow Bold Cup bloggers to see what words they would choose. We’d also love to hear from all of you if you decide to give it a try! // Charlotte O
Every year I sit and think about what I could have done better in the past year. What I should focus on in the up coming year. What I think my short term and long term plans should be. I Spend extra time in deep thought about this during the later part of this year because I turned 25 in November. I wanted to evaluate where I am. I was posed the idea for this joint blog and the first thing I thought was, “Yes, and this year I will write more for Bold Cup.” I was gifted three beautiful journals this year for my birthday and I was so busy during the holidays I decided to wait until the new year to break them in. When I went to grab one today I payed extra attention to the engravings. It says small things become great when done with love. I was asked to pick a word to describe where I want my 26th year on this planet to go. When I read that I thought, 'Love'. Love is the word. I want to spend more time nurturing people with love in 2015.
While contemplating what that will look like for me it seemed so glaringly simple. Jesus. I need to work more on loving people like Jesus. Openly. Looking for nothing in return. To love on them exactly where they are in life. Not where I think they should be. To support them with unselfish love. While reading the Bible about it I found “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another” John 13:34 So While my word started as Love. I will be focusing more on loving in a Jesus way. Even on myself. Taking more time for myself, to find out what I want next. Even just to set aside enough time to sleep. Loving on people and myself in the best and most open way I possibly can.
So while I also have the list of putting all my clothes back on hangers in my walk in closet, and to wash the dishes immediately after I'm done with supper, to read more books for knowledge and not just for fun. To go somewhere new, to stick to my new work out plan. I also join the ranks of all the others who makes lists about who they want to be. But I do know that for myself, walking straight into 2015, this year is all about the Love. All about the love and still all about Jesus. // Ashley Elizabeth Petryshyn
I've never really been big on New Year's resolutions. I don't necessarily have anything against them; I'm just probably lazy. I'm a student though (which may have something to do with the laziness), so for me, my New Year starts at the beginning of September.
One of the books I read over the summer had an interesting illustration discussing a survey of older people close to the end of their lives. They were asked the biggest things that they regretted doing or not doing through their lives. The most common answers that came from the survey were put into these three themes: risk more, reflect more, create a legacy. Even though they may seem pretty general, it convicted me to put them into a life motto for my 2014-2015 year. Over the next twelve months, I want to risk more, reflect more, and begin to create a legacy.
The first one has been the hardest throughout my entire life. I'm kind of a wimp, so I don't like to mess up or hear "no" or do anything that I'm uncertain of. Whether it be in my schooling, extra-curriculars, romantic relationships, casual relationships, or faith, I've felt convicted to risk a little more than I usually would. (Before you get worried, let me just reassure you that I'm not going to move across the world, get hitched, and gamble all my money away. Remember, I'm still pretty lazy.)
The other two will inevitably stem from the first. I'll have more to reflect on, more new ideas to ponder, if I put myself in scenarios and positions that I wouldn't necessarily be in otherwise. And eventually, through reflection, I'll be able to find ways to begin creating a legacy, first and foremost for my (future) children but always stemming from the expansion of the Kingdom of God on Earth.
So watch out, 2015, because Cole Benton Hatchard is going to do some crazy stuff that even he can't believe he's going to do. // Cole Benton Hatchard
I really have a huge appreciation and respect for a certain type of person. These are type of people who have a few miles on the odometer of life. They have been around enough to know the road sometimes gets bumpy, but know how drive regardless of the road conditions. They have travelled to soaring mountain tops and through winding valleys and yet consistently they arrive safely to the next stop on journey- the journey of life. The type of person I speak of is perhaps best summed up in the word perseverance.
In this new year of 2015 I want to continue to become a person of perseverance. Perseverance is steadfastness despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Perseverance is endurance. It is standing firm when it takes everything within you to stand firm. To have perseverance is to prepare for the long haul on the journey. It is the well seasoned traveller who knows when to rest, and also when to make a mad dash.
When I was a younger fellow I did not have the same appreciation for perseverance. I wanted an unhealthy level of intensity. I wanted a round the clock revivals and emotional roller coasters. I thought that true spirituality looked like a fury of activity, non-stop services, and the next big event. I knew nothing of burn-out or balance.
I am convinced that a big part of how to persevere is to connect myself to the practices of the travellers that have gone before me. I am studying their maps. I am rediscovering old markers on the trail. I am asking questions like,How did they pray? How did they process trials and tribulations? How did they prepare for the long haul? I’ve discovered that in order to persevere I must have a received faith, or as theologian Stanley Hauerwas puts it: “We don’t get to make Christianity up. We receive it through the lives of those who have gone before and that just becomes crucial for us to be able to survive in the age in which we find ourselves.”
A passage of Scripture that comes to mind is from wisdom of the book of James. The brother of Jesus encourages us to let perseverance grow and fully develop within us in order to lead us to maturity. The book of James presents the testing of faith. As the follower of Jesus encounters opportunities to walk in wisdom, and endures through the Lord’s help, genuine growing faith will be evident. So we read:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” - James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Praying for perseverance in 2015, // Paul Douglas Walker
As I start 2015, I want to start my New Year by going deeper and getting to the core. I want to ask the hard questions that get to the root of the kind of person I want to be and the kind of person God is forming me to be. I also have my short lists of things I want to focus on as well, but more importantly, I want to go under the surface and see what is under the hood. I want to start asking some hard question, like...
What kind of person/community do we want to become? What kind of person/community is God calling us to be? What kind of person/community does the world need us to be? What kind of world do we want to live in?
I believe it is in this place that the real exciting things happen, the real change and the lasting impact in our lives and the world. We start to get to the root of who we are as people and who we are meant to become. It is letting the LIGHT o Christ shine in and reveal what is genuine and counterfeit in our own lives and lead us to a better way--a way filled with HOPE and possibilities.
But, HOPE has a cost. It cost God and it will cost us. But, like most things worth their weight in gold, it is worth the cost needed to see change effected. Wanting is rarely enough to materialize anything. Hard work, sacrifice and determination are ingredients that lack in unfulfilled dreams. So, are we willing to be the change the world so desperately needs? Are we willing to ask the hard questions, letting His light reveal to us what is genuine and counterfeit? Will we peel back the layers and see what is under the surface? I hope you will and join a movement of people who make their resolution to be a #PRISONEROFHOPE, who dream big and as Kid President says, "make the world more awesome!"
As you read this post and reflect over the year past and the year ahead, don't be overwhelmed by all that needs to happen or how far you still need to go. We are all a work in progress and are continually being formed and reformed into something new. For today, simply pick a word that captures your next step (take one of our words if need be), to guide to you forward, one step at a time--a sort of anthem for 2015 and let us venture forward together, DIGGING DEEPER and RISING HIGHER. // Drake De Long-Farmer
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