Before going into my One Word for 2017, I want to give you a glimpse of what God reveal to me with my One Word for 2016. Around this time last year, I felt like God was leading me to focus on the one word, begin. Weird word to focus on right? I thought so too. But as it turns out, that word completely sums up my 2016 to a T. When God revealed the word begin to me, He was revealing a new way for me to view life. In fact, God was revealing a new chapter of my life… a new beginning.
Here’s a little snippet of what 2016 held for me…
- I Graduated from Liberty University!
- I began working on my first worship album (Check out my demo video below)!
- I moved away from the incredible Lynchburg, Virginia.
- I took on a temporary interim worship position to help out my home church out.
- I explored the possibility of working at some of the most INCREDIBLE churches in which God is moving immensely in. (It would have been an honor to serve at any of those churches)
- I accepted the full-time worship pastor position at Ringgold Church in Hagerstown, Maryland.
- I took on the next step in my education and began my masters degree at Liberty University Online.
This past year has been one of new beginnings in which God was used to build and shape me for the next chapter of my life. I won’t lie, This past year has been a crazy busy, exhausting year to say the least! There were a lot of changes, and challenges that came along with those changes. But I wouldn’t change a thing if I could!
One year ago, I said that “For me, the word “begin” focuses around the future and calling the Lord has placed on my life. For those of you who may not know, I feel called to go into worship ministry and artistry. With this calling, I have prayerfully made my mission in life to expose worship for what it truly is through songs, music, teachings, and personal life.”
Looking back, my word means all of this and so much more. I now wake up every morning with the mindset to simply begin. I began chasing my dreams daily. I began actively taking the next steps towards my calling in life. I began each day pressing into God more and more, seeking His guidance. I continue to do all of this to this day, and because of that, I feel closer to God than I have ever felt in my entire life. I feel tuned to His calling and guidance. I know He is leading my ministry, I am just a willing vessel.
2017 - “A New Year, A New Me”
I have always hated the phrase, “A new year, a new me.” I have always hated it because it is an empty promise. Lets be honest here for a second, how many of us have said those words and NEVER CHANGED? We fill ourselves up with this promise of change with New Year's resolutions, and then most of us are disappointed with ourselves by the end of the year. This is exactly why I personally love the My One Word Challenge. Instead of focusing on broad resolutions, My One Word “provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus. Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future. So, we invite you to join us and pick one word for the next twelve months.” My One Word brought success and clarify to my life in 2016, so I am excited to carry it over into 2017.
God has begun some of the most incredible journeys in my life this past year, and I am excited to carry the mindset of my word “begin” into the new year. However, as I move forward and begin this new year, I feel that God is also leading me to focus on a new word…. and that word is Devoted.
The word devoted came to me while I was reading Mark Batterson’s book, All In. Batterson writes, “If Jesus is not Lord of all then Jesus is not Lord at all. It’s all or nothing. It’s now or never. Kneeling at the foot of the cross of Christ and surrendering to His Lordship is a radical act of dethroning yourself and enthroning Christ as King. It’s also an act of disowning yourself. Nothing belongs to you. Not even you.”1 So what does it mean to to be devoted? It means to be ALL IN for Christ. I want to be a fully devoted follower of Christ.
As a pastor, worship leader, and worship songwriter, I never want to fall into the trap of leading people and not being fully devoted. How can someone lead if they are not all in? How can you challenge people to be fully devoted followers of Christ if you are not? When I stand before the throne of God, I want to know without a shadow of a doubt that I was all in, and did everything with the mindset of kingdom growth.
I am not saying I am not already fully devoted to Christ. I believe with every ounce of who I am that I am fully devoted to God’s call. I am simply ready to take the next step. In 2017, I want to press even more into God. I want to know what the next step of being “fully devoted” means and looks like. And lastly, I want to do everything in my power to help lead other people that that place as well.
Everyday has it’s challenges, but every day is also an incredible blessing from above. God is wanting to do something incredible in you every single day, all you need to do is to press in to Him. It’s amazing what God can reveal to you in one year when you
So I want to ask you to join the One Word Challenge. Prayerfully choose a word, and devote your life to that word this coming year, it’s not too late! Use this word as a way to view life. Use this word to grow in your relationship with others AND your relationship with Christ. In fact, find a way to remind yourself of this word every single day! Last year I bought a Giving Key with the word "begin" engraved into it and I wore it everyday (scroll back up to see a picture of the key). I cannot emphasis how this simple challenge can powerfully impact your life.