I have just started a new season. Today.
It’s not just about Labor Day demanding that all my white pants and shoes be pulled out of the closet and stored away for Memorial day 2012.
It’s not about starting on my 36th year of married life.
It’s not about celebrating 25 years of Full Time Ministry.
It’s about starting a new JOURNAL!
I have been keeping a daily prayer journal for 27 years.
A few journals back I started a new thing that a prayer partner of mine showed me. As I write my last prayers on the last pages of a simple spiral notebook I begin asking God what the next season of my journey with Him should be focused on. Then I pull out all my old magazines, some scissors and a sheet of sticky cover paper and I create a cover for my next journal based upon what I hear Him say. It’s really fun. Julianna joined me yesterday and created her very first Themed Journal.
It has been amazing to see how God brings those themes to pass.
Last season, my words were things like Peaceful-Quiet-Behind the Scenes. Those things have been major for me.
My new journal, next season themes began to unfold in my heart as flipped through magazines and wrapped the sticky cover around my cut-outs yesterday.
Somethings were obvious. Things like Imagine (our next conference is just around the corner), Sunflowers (Duh), Books and BLOOMING (the working title of the Bible study I am writing) FAMILY (another pretty obvious word) and SIMPLIFY (NOT so obvious).
As you can see, I did add a picture of a little Retreat cottage idea I am dreaming of, just in case God needed help from me 🙂
I started my morning prayer time doing some research and word study on the word SIMPLIFY. I knew God pointed the word out but I wasn’t sure I knew all the reasons why. I am certain I still don’t but I gave it a shot anyway.
My research of the word SIMPLE, particularly Concordance research, did not always yield good images and not what I had in mind as I cut the word out.
Here is some of what I found.
Websters Dictionary Definition
1) To make less complicated, clearer or easier
2) to reduce, regroup
A Great Quote from a Book
The focused life is the simple life God never complicates what can be done simply. The focused life is the powerful life.The saints I have read seem to have a unified priority system. They are chiefly single-agenda individuals with purity of purpose. Actually, this is what I look for in business—people who are cause-oriented. Those with double agendas are like those with double-mindedness, against which the Scripture warns. When we focus and screw down the nozzle, we increase the force of the water. Recently I was discussing decision-making with an investment banker. He had good advice: “Once you decide what you want to do and the strategy that will accomplish it, then decision-making becomes simple. You do the things that advance the strategy and avoid the things that hinder it.” If, however, you’re unsure or tentative about where you want to go, it is much more difficult to find the right road. Our hidden agendas can poison the simplicity of a situation. The desire to do a work for God is simple enough, but I greatly complicate it when I add the hidden agenda of wanting to be recognized and appreciated while doing it.
Leading With Integrity, by Fred Smith, Sr.
Biblical/Scripture References from my Logos computer program
simple, term with the connotation of ‘unsuspecting’ (Heb. tom; 2 Sam. 15:11) referring to someone who is naive, foolish, easily deceived, and led into evil (Heb. pethi; Job 5:2; translated by different expression in Deut. 11:16; Hos. 7:11; Prov. 20:19). It is also used to refer to persons whose innocence makes them an easy target for deceit (Rom. 16:18).
SIMPLE, SIMPLICITY Very similar to sincerity. A simple person is one who is open, honest, and direct, without hypocrisy. Sometimes there is the idea of uneducated, inexperienced, or unsophisticated. Simplicity is associated with ideas like integrity (2 Sam. 15:11), without evil (Rom. 16:18), generosity (Rom. 12:8), a life of devotion to God (2 Cor. 1:12), and simply believing the gospel truth (2 Cor. 11:3). God is said to “preserve” the simple (Ps. 116:6). Proverbs is filled with sayings about the simple, both good and bad (1:22; 14:15, 18; 21:11). See Sincerity.
I finished off todays prayer time with some SIMPLE Steps that I think help SIMPLIFY my life.
1) Clarify—Define what really matters and what is just fluff, clarify direction and day to day priorities.
2) Communicate—learn when to say YES and when to say NO and keep your Yes….Yes and your No….well, NO. Don’t vacillate .
3) Cut Down—-on the number of people you are trying to please, battles you are trying to win, scores you are trying to keep and accomplishments you are trying to claim.
4) Cut Out—Unnecessary THINGS, unprofitable HABITS, unhealthy CRAVINGS, unGodly agendas like Mr Smith mentioned above of wanting to be recognized and appreciated. THAT may be the very focus of my next season. Oh goody.
How about you? have you mastered the SIMPLE LIFE? Is so, please tell me how and if NOT, what are your thoughts?