2018: The Year of Open Doors

As we approach the mid-point of the year, most New Year’s resolutions are a faint and distant memory. High hopes for 2018 smacked into overloaded schedules and the realities of our daily To Do’s. Many of us are slogging into summer, yet we still muster hope for new opportunities and renewed purpose.

What if the remainder of this year could become a doorway to new opportunities for each one of us? What if 2018 could still become “The Year of Open Doors” for you?

The idea of a year possessing special meaning is nothing new. In Chinese culture, each year is themed on one of twelve zodiac animals, and many people still believe the characteristics of each animal impact the years and people they’re associated with.

Jewish culture too is rooted in “special years,” although today many of the customs have been set aside. According to the Old Testament, every seventh year was celebrated as a sabbatical year in which fields were left dormant and all debts were released (can I get an Amen!). And every 50th year was a Year of Jubilee––an entire year with no agricultural work (in an agricultural society), and a year during which all land reverted to its original owner and all indentured servants were set free. Now that’s worth celebrating!

In Western culture, we don’t corporately assign specific meaning to one year or another. Instead, we ring in each new year with a countdown, large gatherings with lots of good eats and drinks, and the annual resolution of better choices to induce new habits. Many of us also include prayers for new opportunities leading to new direction. But often we keep our prayers to ourselves as we wait on God.

Over the last few months, my prayers for “new doors of opportunity” to open have intensified.

I’ve been knocking, knocking, knocking but they remain closed. My doors are associated with my work in the “faith and work” space, and these are God-size doors that only He can open. Although I cannot do anything to open these new opportunities myself, the way I join God in this effort is to continue networking/equipping/knocking as I faithfully seek Him and lay these doors before Him.

A month ago, I enlisted several friends to begin praying with me.

I gave them a list of specific doors I’m knocking on and I asked them to join me in prayer for these doors to open. Then last week, my friend shared an article about 2018 being “the year of the open door.” Although I do not readily espouse contemporary prophesy, what came to mind was the idea of corporately recognizing this year as a “special year” and praying for open doors together as a community of Christ-followers. Even the apostle Paul recognized the significance of open doors when he wrote, “I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost, because a great door for effective work has opened to me” (1 Cor 16:8–9).

So what if, as the Body of Christ, we pray in unison each day for new doors to open––doors which, when opened, will bring glory to God?

What if we rejoice in God’s goodness and power, and His ability to open doors we can’t? What if we delight in God, His strategic plan, and the good work He prepared specifically for each one of us (Eph 2:10)? What if together we lay our requests for open doors on the altar as we worship Him? What if we faithfully approach the throne of grace each day together in prayer, and intercede for one another? What if each time we knock on one of our doors, we use our knocking as a prompt to pray for others who are also knocking on their doors?

What if 2018 becomes “Our Year of Open Doors”––a profoundly special year in the calendar of our lives? Are you in? I am!

I realize that confidentiality is often required when praying for our closed doors. But we can still be praying in unison because Jesus and the Holy Spirit, who also intercede for us before the Father (Rom 8:26, 34), know all the details! So, for anyone who wants to kneel together and inter-lock shields of faith, please let me know how I can be praying for you. For me, please pray for the 8 closed doors I’m laying before God.

Thank you, sisters and brothers, for jubilantly celebrating “The Year of Open Doors” through corporate prayer. I expectantly anticipate our joyful festivities at the end of the year––not to ring in another non-descript annum, but rather to praise God for all of the amazing new doors He opened June–December in “Our Year of Open Doors.” I can’t wait to share our details of all that God did!

Until then… PRAISE and AMEN!!!

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Sit Among Your Weeds

Today I start with a confession: I’ve been struggling. Weeds are the straw that broke the camel’s (my) back, so to speak. The last little burden that became unbearable. But from my weeds emerged a transformative message from God…

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Consider My Bluebonnets

Bluebonnets are to Texas what tulips are to Holland, azaleas are to Augusta, and cherry blossoms are to Washington DC. But what makes bluebonnets so remarkable is that they’re WILD. These words came to mind: “Consider how the wildflowers grow…”

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A Promise from God

Whether our requests are big or small, at some point we all wonder if God hears us. Does the Creator of the universe care about our prayers for a new job, loneliness, a persistent cough, or help paying bills? In a word: Yes! Not only does He care, He promises so much more.

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The Intersection of Faith and Work

We all work. Our workplaces may look different, but they share a commonality: intrinsic value to God’s Kingdom. Your work has eternal value.

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Which Way Did He Go?

We can’t focus on both Jesus AND circumstances. It’s impossible! If we choose to focus on circumstances, suddenly it’s as if Jesus is gone.

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Why “Do Good” For No Reason?

We genuinely want to help others. But it hurts when there’s no response or, worse, a bad response to our good efforts. So why keep trying?

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When Enough is Never Enough

When was the last time you had everything you wanted? Splurge to lift your spirits. Save for something big. What is enough, really?

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Cross the Starting Line - Just Start!

Is it harder to cross the starting line or the finish line? We often don’t move forward because we’re too afraid of the unknown. Just start!

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Getting What You Ask For and More

If a fairy godmother was standing in front of you right now tapping her glittery wand, what would you ask for? What’s your #1 wish?

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What Would Your Last Words Be?

If you knew you were going to die and you could speak to a group of people, what would you say? This is the story of Rachel Barkey, age 37.

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I Am Second

We push hard to be first but we’re broadsided by reality. Life can stink! New life is possible once we stop trying to control our destiny.

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Treasures in the Lost and Found

Have you lost something you loved and couldn’t replace? Favorite things are too precious to easily let go. That’s how God feels about you.

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Who is Jesus?

Around the world, people today are laying down their lives to talk about Jesus. Who is He?

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Love Notes from God

Until recently, I never realized how many love notes God sends us every day. He speaks. We have to be ready to look and listen.

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Wallenda’s Praise & Prayer at 1500'

Nik Wallenda crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. No net, no harness. Wallenda’s peace and courage came from Jesus. Ours does too.

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Not Everything Happens for a Reason

“Everything happens for a reason” suggests there can be a good twist. Even terror, murder & abuse? No! Not everything is good or from God.

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When Plans and Dreams are Shattered

When our lives come to a screeching halt because of bad surprises, how can we hold onto faith? We can’t just pretend everything is fine.

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Want to be Happy? Practice “Happy”!

Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do.” So do this: Practice being happy this holiday season – and it will carry on to next year!

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Past Scars: Stepping Stones to Purpose

We can find purpose if we realize our past struggles allow us to help others who are struggling. No shame and no fear of our past in Christ!

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What Happens To Us When We Die?

Many of us aren’t sure what’s next when we die, so we don’t think about it. But in a crazy world like ours, people are starting to wonder.

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What Are You Doing With Your Dash?

When we die there will be 2 numbers: the date we were born & the date we died. Neither matters as much as the dash––our life––in between.

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Your Life Story in 6 Words

Ernest Hemingway’s shortest story- “For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn.” Wow! In 6 words can you spark hope? Yes! Tell us your 6 word story!

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Sweet Friendship Refreshes the Soul

Sweet friendship refreshes our soul, like beautiful aromas that engage our emotions and warm our heart with good memories.

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On the Road to New Beginnings

No matter where we’ve been, no matter where we are, we all can experience the joy and richness of new life! I’m living proof.

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Eye of the Storm

Eye of the storm: Place of peace where truth & courage meet. No matter what storm we’re in, we can survive & be stronger on the other side.

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Church: Hospital or Country Club?

A healthy church community is for people like you and me – who want to turn from the brokenness of our past as we walk forward to new life.

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Mud Puddles of Life

Where are you stuck? Fear? Isolation? Shame? Depression? Worry? Mud puddles of life bring hopelessness. But one new step leads to new life!

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This Changes Everything!

We’re stuck. In past hurts, loneliness, dead relationships, debt, no hope… But don’t despair, there’s something that changes everything!

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Who is God?

We have our own thoughts about God. But it’s hard to think about having a daily relationship with the Almighty God. He wants that to change.

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Feeling Fruity: It's a Good Thing!

Everyone’s life produces something. How do we get out of the weeds and live a joyful life even in the midst of trials? We grow good fruit.

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Take Your Stand

No one wants to be attacked, but we are. Self-worth cracks. Shame and regret haunt us. But God gives us armor and weapons to take our stand!

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Breaking Free and Staying Free

We’re stuck in circumstances or bound by guilt, regrets and wounds of the past. We don’t believe we can break free. But we can! Here’s how.

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5 Steps On the Right Path Forward

When it comes to life, most of us aren’t where we think we should be. But there’s a path of life marked out for you – and you can find it.

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What Will God Really Do For You?

Does God care? If the creator of the universe is busy with wars, famine, asteroids, floods and tragedies, how can He have time for us?

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