Through my interaction with the folks at Five Minute Friday I also discovered Hope*Writers. Their goal is to help “writers balance the art of writing and the business of publishing without feeling lost, discouraged, or overwhelmed.”
I decided to dive right in by participating in their 7-Day IG (Instagram) Writing Challenge
By following the daily prompts, I came up with the seven “articles” below. How did I do?
1/11/21 – New You
Just over 6 months ago I began my “Journey to a Healthier Me”. I have lost over 100 lbs. I have participated in three Virtual 5k’s (with plans for at least one 5k per month for the rest of 2021). I have not done this on my own. I have an amazing medical team including a monthly support group. My biggest cheerleader is Michael, my husband. But above all, it has been the strength and guidance from the Holy Spirit that has brought me this far!
1/12/21 – Progress
What is progress? Is progress good or bad? Is progress biblical?
Dictionary.com defines progress as “a movement toward a goal or to a further or higher stage”.
With that in mind, let’s answer the questions above. Progress can be good if we’re talking about keeping up with your plan to read through the Bible in 2021. Conversely, progress is bad in the light of a tumor that contines to grow despite the best efforts of the doctors. God calls us to “…run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” – Hebrews 12:1b-2a NIV.
So yes, my friends, I urge you to take bold steps in 2021 that will move you closer to the goals that your Heavenly Father has set for you AND leave all wordly pursuits in the rear view mirror.
1/13/21 – Shine
Would you consider yourself successful? Is your success measured in dollars & cents, trophies on a shelf, or perhaps the placard outside your office door?
By earthly standards perhaps, but God’s benchmarks are different.
When you show love to others, even when you don’t “feel like it”… Christ’s light is shining through you. When you obey the Holy Spirit’s whisper in your ear or when you are a champion of the helpless or down-trodden, others see the light of Christ in you.
That my friend is when you truly SHINE!
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:14–16 ESV
1/14/21 – Twenty-One
Ever since I saw that today’s prompt was the number 21, I pondered which way to go with it. Do I talk about the “magical” day when we wake up and can be finally considered an adult? Or perchance the hopes and dreams that many pinned on the new year?
I decided instead to share part of an article that I found on biblestudy.org:
How is the number 21 related to sin?
In 2 Timothy 3 the Apostle Paul writes of 21 sins which show the exceeding wickedness of self and sin. He begins the chapter with a warning and then starts his list with the words “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will . . .”
- Selfishly love themselves
- Love money
- Brag quite a bit
- Be proud of themselves
- Disregard and disobey their parents
- Not be thankful for what they have
- Reject being holy
- Will not have natural affection
- Falsely accuse others
- Lack any self-control
- Will be fierce
- Hate anyone who does good
- Betray others
- Will act hard-headed
- Will have exalted, selfish views
- Love pleasure
- Reject loving God
- Will look from the outside as being Godly
- On the inside they will deny God’s power (2 Timothy 3:1 – 4)
Paul’s ultimate advice to Timothy, after listing all the above sins, is “turn away from all these” (2 Timothy 3:5)
1/15/21 – Fresh
When I hear the word fresh I usually think of things you can purchase at a farmers market like produce, flowers and baked goods. But today, I want to use this 5-letter adjective to talk about another 5-letter word, faith. You see, spiritual growth does not happen when we let our spiritual practices (like prayer) get stale. How long has it been since you heard from God? If it has been a while, it’s most likely because you have been neglecting your quiet time. When we regularly spend time alone with God, he grooms us for our next calling and shows grace in unimaginable ways. What are you going to do TODAY to make sure that your walk with Jesus does not grow stale?
1/16/21 – Rythmn
Rythmn is so much more than “a strong, regular, repeated pattern of movement or sound”. It is the pattern of our lives, our habits & eccentricities.
Do you have rhythms (bad habits) that need to be extricated from your life….pray. Have you been sloppy about spending time alone with God….get up earlier, stay up later, watch less TV or spend less time online. Are you falling behind in a project….speed up the tempo by eliminating distractions.
Whatever rythmn your life is in at this moment, ask your Heavenly Father to guide your patterns and shape you into who He created you to be. Then enjoy the beautiful melody that is created by your obedience.
1/17/21 – Celebrate
Today’s prompt “celebrate” has been the hardest one for me to even consider putting pen to paper to expound on. Our family suffered two tragic losses just before Christmas. The grief is still very raw and causes emotions to leak from our eyes fairly often. BUT we can celebrate that JP was ushered immediately into the waiting arms of Jesus.
#HOPEWRITERLIFE #BGBG2 #BIBLEGATEWAYPARTNER