Sunday, December 18, 2016

Embrace opportunity in 2017

By Ada Brownell

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Sixteen-year-old Jim White rode his horse through New Mexico’s prairie in 1898, looking for cattle, when he noticed a plume of bats rise into the sky. He investigated where they came from and discovered Carlsbad Caverns.

The huge hole in the rocky hill from which the bats boiled drew Jim back a few days later. He brought a rope and tools he needed. He made a crude ladder, took his kerosene lantern, and carefully descended into the cave. The next day he returned to the caverns with a fifteen-year-old friend.
Extensive explorations began in 1901, and Jim White was there. He helped construct the first trails, stairs, and lights.

Jim had no idea that day when he mounted his horse he would discover one of the largest and most specular caverns in the world. Like Jim, we never know what opportunities will come, but often they do appear because we’re looking for them or expecting God to lead us to them. But frequently that takes time.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Even if I knew tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”[1]

Behind every apple you eat is someone who looked into the future with hope and imagination because an apple seed takes more than ten years to produce fruit.
Today is the time to work on our tomorrows.
You don’t need a fortune teller to reveal your future. The truth is, you are the person who determines who you will be, what your life will be like, and how your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled. Today is the time to seek the Lord, grow your talents, look for opportunities, and create an action plan for your future.

Do you know what should be included in your action plan? Here are some things to think about:

1.      Harness your will and seek God’s will.  Daily spend time with God and His Word.

2.      Make valuable deposits into your mind and detoxify harmful things you’ve been taught or experienced by using scriptures that apply, and believe them.

3.      Capitalize on your talents and what you already know.

4.      Connect with someone who can help, such as someone who has succeeded in what you’d like to do.

5.      Avoid traps that can jeopardize your future.

6.      Keep track of the things you’ve learned and what you want to learn.

7.      Live one day at a time in faith, believing God is working things out for your good. Believe in yourself and things greater than yourself, and don’t get weary with the journey.

PRAYER: The Apostle Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Help me to believe I can fulfill great things with your help and strength.

[1] Frank Lutz, Words That Work (New York: Hyperion, 2007).

Note: The above is an abridged version of a chapter from Ada Brownell's book, Imagine the Future You
Copyright Ada Brownell 2013.


A motivational Bible study by Ada Brownell

Ready or not, you’re going into your future.

If you continue to do what you do now, what kind of future will you have? This Bible study will help you discover evidence for faith; how to look and be your best; who can help; interesting information about dating, love and marriage; choosing a career; how to deposit good things into your brain you can spend; and how to avoid hazards that jeopardize a successful life on earth and for eternity, all mingled with true stories that can make you smile.
Review:  How I would have loved to sit at Mrs. Brownell's knee when I was a teen. This wholesome book resounds with sage, Godly advice and could be picked up again and again as needs arise. Worthwhile for parents too. Much fodder for family discussion.

            Also available in Audio. Read or listen to first chapter free! #Teens #Family #Devotions