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January 2019

The Lord's Prayer Remix

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The Lord's Prayer Remix

A New Start: Part 4


For this week I wanted to encourage anyone reading this to take a little time to ponder on the Lord’s Prayer. It is a powerful model that gives us a deep insight into how we can and probably should converse with God. Try to take some time to make it your own and see what comes of it.  I’ll include a of copy of the Lord’s Prayer below with a copy of my own rewrite. After you’re done, feel free to share yours with us. We’d love to see your version of this consequential prayer.


“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.


Give us today our daily bread.


And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.


And lead us not into temptation

but deliver us from the evil one.”

 

Dear Heavenly Dad,

I need to stop and recognize just how holy and amazing You are.

Our relationship is special and different in a way that makes me realize how hard it is to truly represent you. Help me keep your character at the front of my mind.

I have many plans for today but I know the day may need to go differently than I have planned. Make sure your plan supersedes mine.

Help me to remember that whether my fridge is full or empty that you are the One that fills it. I need things today, lots of things and I can’t provide them so I need Your help.

Let me also ask for forgiveness where I have not respected You and my friends. Help me to want to forgive all those that have hurt me too.

Keep me away from all my weaknesses. Arrange my day and environment so that I’ll want to walk away from temptation. No more victory for the evil one, I choose You today.

 

Love,

Johnathan


Johnathan Coker is one of the founders of Enspire Productions. He is currently a teacher at Chisholm Trail Academy.


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Resolutions with a Purpose

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Resolutions with a Purpose

A New Start: Part 3

“I will lose 50 lbs this year!” “I will be debt free this year!” “I will travel the world this year!”

All wonderful resolutions. But how many times have I said these words on January 1, completely pumped and high on life, and the next thing I know, it’s June 1st and I have actually gained more weight, added a couple more bills to the list, and my “traveling” consisted of a  weekend getaway visiting family about an hour away. Obviously, I didn’t hit my goals, and there was no evidence I would reach them anytime soon.

What happened? Why did I not achieve my resolutions? Maybe I didn’t put a plan in place to reach all my goals. Maybe I didn’t practice self-control or I focused too much on material things. Maybe my priorities changed.

Or maybe I took my eyes off of what really matters.

It seems we tend to make resolutions that may or may not be attainable, but fail to acknowledge that regardless of what our goals are, we cannot do ANYTHING in this world without God’s help and guidance.

I have seen evidence of this in my life lately. I have to change my mindset in order to make my goals for this year a reality. “I know I’m tough.” “I can do this.” “I don’t need anyone’s help.” “I’ll show them.” These are words that are all too familiar. We are humans who are not perfect. We make mistakes, sin, lose control (more often than we’d like), have bad habits, and are selfish. But we have a wonderful, caring, forgiving, guiding, loving, and all-powerful God who sees all the bad we have in us, but also knows our potential.

Yes, change can be a slow process, but it can definitely be done. Whether our goals are physical, emotional, or psychological, it is important that we tackle them with God’s help.

Besides the obvious (personal Bible study and prayer), I have found a few of the following tips to be helpful when making resolutions a reality:

  1. Make sure it benefits others as well. When I think about a certain goal that I have, I pause to think if that goal only benefits me or if it also benefits my family. Everything I do affects others around me, even if that goal/resolution is a personal goal. “I will be the healthiest version of me that I can be so I can enjoy a long lasting happy life with those who surround me, especially my husband and kids.”

  2. Set short-term AND long-term goals. Short term goals keep you motivated for the big long-term ones. Be realistic in what you ARE or ARE NOT willing to do to accomplish that goal. But also, don’t be afraid to challenge yourself.

  3. Give yourself little incentives for reaching your short-term goals and go big when you accomplish the long-term ones. Go ahead! You’ve earned it!

  4. Take it a day at a time. Everyone has bad days. Forgive yourself when you didn’t get what you wanted done in time, didn’t follow through, or fail. Tomorrow is a new day. Get up, start fresh, and onward to your goal!

  5. Take time for yourself to be silent. Five minutes of silence a day is enough time for you to allow God to speak to you. You will feel his encouragement or words of wisdom telling you how you can conquer that fear that is impeding you from fulfilling that resolution.  

  6. Make sure your goals are “I will” not “I want.” “I want’s” have room for just dreaming about your goal. Instead, make them a reality by the determination that “I will” instills in your mind.

  7. Write your goal down on paper. Just thinking about it isn’t enough. There’s something powerful in writing it down on a piece of paper, a post-it note stuck somewhere you can always see it, or creating your own vision board and hanging it up by your front door so it’s at the forefront of everything you do and everywhere you go. Read them aloud several times a day, if needed, so it just naturally becomes a part of you.

In short, it’s 2019 and we have hundreds of opportunities to make sound realistic resolutions that benefit more than just ourselves. Choose wisely what you want to accomplish this year and how you can shine God’s light with others. These are the things that help build our character and ultimately, that is the only thing we are taking with us to Heaven.  Make a difference in this world, inspire others, and be a blessing. Make life beautiful!


Krystal is a stay-at-home mom of 2 boys (ages 5 and 7), with 2 dogs and a loving husband. She has a background in Education, but is currently running a Beauty/Health & Wellness business from home while homeschooling her youngest in Pre-K.

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A New Day Everyday

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A New Day Everyday

A New Start: Part 2

A new year is upon us. For many of us around the world this means different things; for some it is exciting and readily accepted, for others it’s scary, the future so uncertain, and for some it will hardly make an impact on the day to day life they have grown accustomed to.

Whatever the case may be for you, I encourage you to pause for 15 minutes to look back on 2018 and remember how you got to this point.

Even if this past year has been an uphill battle, you’re still here with the rest of us watching the sun fall below the horizon. When you consider how much has happened this past year, it is a miracle we are all standing here.

Now that we have said our last farewell to 2018, it is time to look to the future filled with new beginnings. Many people have started the year with New Years resolutions, some that will be kept, and others that will be forgotten by February.

For every new year, people put a pressure on the change that will come, the next year of triumphs and failures, but really, new beginnings should be something we look forward to every day. We have the ability to sing and laugh and cry every day and we should, not just as one year fades into another.

The dawn of every new day should feel like New Year’s, with the excitement that we have so much potential, the fear and uncertainty for the coming day, and the thankfulness for a new day to be alive. We are given the chance to hit reset and have a clean slate every day, but so many treat New Year’s as that great reset. We must not forget that with God among us, we have grace and forgiveness and companionship every waking moment of our lives. So as the sun rises each day in this new year, give thanks that we have not only a new year, but a new day with God but our side. 

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”

1 John 4:16 NIV

Henry Gomez is currently a freshman computer science major at Tarrant County College. He has been with Enspire productions for two years.

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