Monthly Worship

Monthly Worship

It’s been five months since I’ve started participating in the worship calendar I made based off of Numbers 28. Today is the 2nd day of September, so I got to enjoy participating in the Monthly Worship event. In short, I make a special meal, reflect on the past month and how God has worked, anticipate the next month and its challenges, write down who needs prayer, and what I’m looking forward to. It has been such a rewarding event on my calendar.

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The meal in the picture above, is an example of the type of meals I like to make on Monthly Worship day. When people are available, I love inviting them over to share in the blessings God has given me. He is generous and always provides me with more than enough food. It’s a pleasure and joy to share it with others!

I write in my journal daily, so one of my strategies at the first of the month is to read through the past month’s journal entries and write down how God provided during that time. I had ten things on my list of how God provided for me in August! And not just little things like, I-made-it-to-the-gas-station-on-fumes (which is a blessing btw), but big financial, codependency recovery, ministry, professional, and spiritual provisions! God is good and I was able to praise Him all over again today by reflecting over this past month.

Provisions are followed by anticipation of the upcoming month. This part has been great because I feel like I’m walking into the next month prayed up. I look at the foreseeable challenges and surrender them to God. I acknowledge that He has been faithful the past month and will continue to be faithful in the next. He is a great God! This month I have quite a few intimidating tasks coming involving ministry prep, art, and tuition fundraising. It gave my heart peace to think on those things ahead of time and give them to God.

After eating and reflecting, I get to turn my attention to others. The next step of Monthly Worship is writing down who needs prayer. Many times, I find myself praying for those that are closest to me. I don’t know why this is, but I end up praying for people outside of the home more than I do for those right around me. Maybe it’s because I see my close friends and family more so I take them for granted? I’m not sure, but every month, I am reminded of the needs those closer to me have and get to bring them to God.

A blessing from all of this reflection is the gratitude that comes. My spirits are always lifted after celebrating Monthly Worship, so the last step ends it all perfectly! I close the celebration by writing down what I’m looking forward to in the next month. It helps me start out on a positive note. This month, I’m looking forward to school, hanging out with family and friends, and seeing ministry ideas develop. It’s all quite exciting. 😄

I hope this summary encourages you as you start out September. If you decide to celebrate Monthly Worship or join in on the Worship Calendar, I’d love to hear how it goes! Have a wonderful Labor Day and enjoy the goodness of God! ✨

 

Week of Reflection: How’d You Do Last Year?

When things go dark, our natural desire is to use the world as a coping mechanism. We sleep and watch tv to ignore depression, we eat away stress, and relish in negative thinking. I know these things sound obviously unhealthy, but in the moment, sleeping, binge watching, eating, and obsessive thinking seem to be quite enjoyable methods to pass time. We can be self-destructive like that.

Romans 12 warns the reader to not conform to the world but be transformed. The Christian life is begun by a rebirth. When you accept Jesus as your savior, the Holy Spirit indwells in you and gives you a new life. Once you have the Holy Spirit, you have the opportunity to ground yourself in God’s word everyday. It is through the Bible that you find knowledge of who you are and what your purpose is.

This is what Paul would call a “renewing” of your mind. You filter out the worldly tendencies and fill up with spiritual renewal. By seeking God everyday, you continue to deepen your understanding of what He finds to be “good and acceptable and perfect”. God brought you new life to fill you with light, joy, and hope. Through hard times and phases of peace, you walk through this life and learn what it is to have joy in every circumstance. You learn the depth of gratitude.

Reflection is part of the renewal process. It’s an important piece of growth as an individual. If you are not working through your successes and failures via the lens of the Bible and the Holy Spirit, you are not learning the lessons that God is teaching you. Therefore, you’ll be taught the same lessons over and over again. You won’t be able to move on to the next one. Some people will go their whole lives without moving past a particular struggle!

To reflect is to pause. Our culture has made it very difficult to do that. Even when you have a moment to yourself, there’s the temptation – addiction, I may even say – to take the phone out and keep your thoughts from bringing unpleasantries to the surface. When you are in constant distraction, you’re not going to be talking through life with God, asking Him questions, and waiting for Him to respond. Keeping life experiences to yourself like that will sink you further into isolation. We don’t want that to happen!

So, being a few weeks away from daylight savings coming to an end, spend some time in reflection this week on how you handled shorter days last year. You can use the exercise below as a guide through your reflection.

Week of Reflection Exercise:

  1. Schedule time this week to sit down and reflect over last year.
  2. During your reflection time:
    1. Ask God to show you how you did last year.
    2. Write down what comes to mind:
      1. How did you feel last year when it got dark early?
      2. Did you develop any habits during that time that were self-destructive?
      3. Are you still feeling the effects of those bad habits right now?
    3. Ask God to reveal to you healthier ways to cope this year.
    4. Ask God for forgiveness if you feel you placed something over Him as a comfort last year.
    5. Thank God for what He is going to do for you this season.
  3. If you were not affected by the shorter days last year, ask God to show you others that may need your help during the winter months.