Welcome to November’s Matthew 5:16 Project!
If you remember, the idea behind this year-long project is to challenge us to live intentionally and in such a way that our actions point others to God… resulting in His PRAISE.
- January’s project – Replacing lies with the TRUTH of who we are.
- February’s project – Learning about God’s active love.
- March’s project – Owning our sin and receiving His forgiveness.
- April’s project – Using our words for good… to bless others.
- June’s project – Making the right choices in life.
- September’s project – Choosing joy.
- October’s project – Taking every thought captive.
November’s project is a reminder to refocus our cluttered calendars on what’s important. You’re gonna love it.
By the amazing, Amanda Barnes…
November is upon us which means the end of the year is quickly approaching. The days keep flying off my calendar faster than the leaves are falling off my trees.
And I am aware… very aware… that Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. They are by far my favorite holidays because the offer:
- Familiar traditions
- Yummy food
- Fun celebrations
- Time with family and friends
But I know that with these holidays comes the potential for chaos and madness. Especially if I don’t get in front of it… now.
So this year – in an attempt to keep a very intentional perspective on God throughout the rest of 2012 – my family has joined me in deciding to put God and family first this year.
We want the holidays to be about the holidays… not about every possible activity and event that we run across. Even though there are lots of good stuff out there, like school programs, parties, shopping, events, fundraisers, etc.
You see.. all of those thing have the ability to steal our focus.
And when that happen, we see changes at home.
- Our conversations are interrupted by distractions.
- We don’t make time for each other.
- We don’t connect with God as a family.
It’s not how we want things to be.
So, we had a family meeting so we could set expectations for this coming holiday season now rather than find ourselves frustrated later. And we have declared the month of November as a month of WORSHIP.
We want togetherness in heart and spirit and mind.
We want to be a family who will intentionally PRAISE our God – together.
And we feel that in order to stand strong against the pull of our culture to be all and do all to everyone … we need to be united at home.
- United in what we believe.
- United in who (or what) we will worship.
- United in FAITH in The ONE True GOD.
- United by prayer and worship.
- United by intentionally putting God at the head of our home and dinner table.
So this month, as we prepare to offer thanks with our country, we will offer thanks to God for what we have… today.
The big and little things.
We will Praise God for WHO He is and WHAT He has done for us.
WE will share testimony of HIS GOODness.
We will read scripture chosen by a different family member each day.
We will read the scripture in various translations for deeper understanding.
And we will sing and worship out loud together, offering up PRAISE to God.
Now we realize it might not look Norman Rockwell-ish – but God knows our heart and our intentions. And we intend to put HIM first.
You see, we want to slow down and simplify life so we can keep our EYES on the PRIZE.
We want to enter into the Christmas season with softer hearts and spirits hungry for JESUS.
And we know if we don’t pause and really look around… we can get caught up in the glitter and glitz of it all. We can get sucked into the busyness of the season.
I invite you to join us.
- Will you invest in the relationships of those who sleep under your roof?
- Will you offer sacrifices of praise to The God who made you?
- Will you put your family above all of the other voices that will clamor for your attention?
- Will you say no to the requests and ‘demands’ of the world so that as a family you can pause for reflection on what this LIFE is really all about?
This won’t be easy, because saying “no” is hard sometimes.
But we’ve decided we want a simpler version of the holidays. And as a family, we want to focus on Jesus and each other.
It’s our HOPE that as we draw in close, we’ll end the year with a more refreshed and contented family.
So here’s our plan:
Each day, our family is going to spend time together reading scripture… praying… and worshiping.
We’re going to get back to the basics.
Need scripture ideas? Check these out:
Need worship song ideas? Try these:
Undignified – David Crowder Band
Good Morning – Mandisa
Only One – Jaye Thomas
No One Like Jehovah – Kelanie Gloeckler
He is Faithful – Bryan and Katie Torwalt
All Consuming Fire – Jesus Culture
Holy Ghost Party – Cory Asbury
I Love Your Presence – Bethel Live
The Word of God has Spoken – Travis Cottrell
Wounded One – Davy Flowers
Friends… may you find peace in the journey of intentionally fighting for what matters. May you be blessed as you press into God’s heart and may you rest in knowing God is pleased with our humble attempts to teach the next generation that nothing matters more… than LOVING God with ALL that is within us.
© 2012 careyscotttalks.com, Amanda Barnes
Check out my resources HERE.