Power words

Life is like a camera

I love taking photos with my phone.  The settings on my phone camera has an adjustable focus option.  I can make the lens focus on a particular object, the foreground or on the background.  This causes all the rest of the photo to became out of focus or blurry.  The purpose of adjustable focus is to draw the eye to a specific area of the photo that the photographer wants to highlight.  Our minds will naturally try to make sense of what we are seeing and be drawn to what it sees is in focus.

This such a great metaphor for our lives to.  What we focus on and what we choose to highlight in our worlds is what our mind will be drawn to and what it will ‘see’.  We know this is true, as we have all had that experience like if you decided to buy a red Honda and you would start to see red Hondas everywhere, when before you saw none.  It is not that there is suddenly more red Hondas on the road coincidentally at the same time you purchased one. It is now you are aware of red Hondas and you are focused on them, your mind now sees them.  They were always there, but now they are your focus.

It is the same with our feelings as well.  Have you ever had one of those days when everything went wrong?  Really, did everything go wrong or were you choosing to focus on the negative parts of the day, so it just seemed like everything went wrong.  In fact, there would have been good things that happened but because you where only focusing on the negative, the good became blurry and out of focus. 

Alternatively, we all know people who are focused on the positive all the time and they could have a car accident and be happy about it because they made a new friend.  They have trained the lens in their brain to only focus on the positive in every situation.

This is not just positive thinking or manufacturing positive experiences, instead this is choosing to focus on what is already good in your life and what is important.  Let the negative and unimportant became out of focus and blurry and it will have less impact on you.  The Bible encourages us to focus on what is righteous, good, and true and the dwell on these things and not let our minds wander into unhelpful and hopeless areas. 

To be happy, to be productive and free, we need to choose to focus on what is true and helpful.  Set your lens to focus on the good and let the rest blur out and your experience of life will be quite different.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8

Why I never make New Year Resolutions

I am a very goal focused person and always have something I am working on or working towards, but I never make New Year Resolutions.  I have a few reasons

Studies have shown that less than 25% of people stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them.  The chances of your sticking to a New year’s resolution is very low.

New Years Resolutions tend to focus on what you want to do or not do.  They are performance-based goals.  Making goals like this when you are on holiday, sets you up for failure.  Either because you can not start until you get home, or it is easy to do on holiday but difficult to incorporate into everyday life.

It is easy to get carried away on New Years Eve and make wide, sweeping declarations which are not realistic or achievable.  I will NEVER eat chocolate again or this year I will exercise EVERYDAY. 

Instead of New Years Resolutions I like to focus on what do I want to BE or what do I want MORE of in my life.   What I want to BE is to what God created me to be.  Every year I want to be more my true self, the person God made me to be and I want MORE of God in my life.  That is all.  I want to be more me, and I want more of God each and every year.

All my goals, achievements and aspirations flow from that.  Every step I choose in the new year take me closer to God and closer to the person God created me to be, my best, authentic self.

Many years ago I listened to a great audio book called ‘My One Word – Change your life with Just one word’ by Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen. I love this book and it changed the way I look at a new year.  In this book, the authors suggest finding one word to govern your year, kind of like a theme for the year.  So instead of setting resolutions use one word to direct your bible reading, your prayer life, the skills you seek and your development.  I have followed this for about 10 years, and I love the process of God revealing my word to me and watching as God breaks down and teaches me all the aspects and variations of this one word.  Words I have had in the past have been revolution, restoration, healing, freedom, soaring and surrender.  The word for 2020 was CLARITY. During the year I sort to clarify who I was, what I believe and clarifying my purpose.  Although many unexpected things happened in 2020, my word and my mission of pursuing Clarity did not change, and God revealed so much of my character, His character and our relationship in that one word. 

When considering your word for 2021, reflect on these questions…

  • What kind of person do you want to become this year?
  • What drives your desire to be this kind of person?
  • Describe the characteristics of this kind of person. Make a list of words based on this description.
  • Reduce your list to ten words or less and research those words. Use the dictionary and your Bible, perhaps a thesaurus.
  • Choose one word from your list to be your one word for this year.
  • Also choose a Bible verse that speaks to you about your chosen word and memorize it. This will provide a foundation of truth you can continually return to and will fuel your hope to change.
  • What initial expectations do you have regarding the impact of your word?

“My One Word provides us with a lens, with a new way of seeing. It’s a tool to train our eyes. It helps us frame the way we process the world around us and what happens to us.

Mike Ashcraft


I was saved but I was not free for many years after I became a Christian. I was unhappy, joyless and filled with shame. I had allowed myself to still be held captive by my guilt, my past, fear and unforgiveness.

Jesus came to free us from death, sin and anything that enslaves us, yet often we walk straight back into the clutches of oppression and captivity. This is NOT God’s plan for us.

Freedom is to be valued, treasured and fought for. Do not let yourself be held captive, but protect your freedom and use it wisely.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36


The dictionary defines BOLD as ‘showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous’. I love that.

I chose this photo for the word BOLD because it showed bright, strong colours. These are colours that want to be seen and not faded into the background. To be bold we also need to be willing to stand up and be seen, be confident in our beliefs and be highly visible. That can be scary and feel risky. It is easier to stay in the background and not draw attention, but being pastel instead of bold limits our effectiveness and our impact.

Be BOLD, be in full colour, be courageous.

The righteous are as bold as a lion. Proverbs 28:1


Beauty, there are so many ideas about what makes something beautiful, such as beauty is the eye of the beholder, beauty is self-confidence, beauty comes from the heart, beauty is a face covered in makeup, beauty is a natural face, beauty is our imperfections, beauty is a certain body shape, beauty is a glow.

No wonder some many of us struggle to feel beautiful. Beauty by human definition is ever changing and is heavily reliant on trends so completely unreliable. It is a socially constructed ideal that does not exist. Something that is considered beautiful today might not be next year, so do not peg your feelings about your own beauty on that.

Instead real beauty, is in all of creation because it is the reflection of the creator. Beauty is pleasing and delights. We are all beautiful, because God created us and He delights in us and loves us. God created nature, so spectacular, stunning and beautiful, much more than necessary because it delights and gives joy and that same creator made you and me, beautiful in his sight and beloved.

Rethink your idea of beauty and instead see yourself as the beauty God sees you to be.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27


Peace is not just the absence of conflict or strife on the world stage or in our individual lives.
The biblical concept of peace goes another step further, peace is a state of security, calmness, completeness or wellbeing that is not reliant on our current circumstances but comes from knowing and trusting God.

The peace promised to us, is not a life just getting by, but a life that is overflowing with hope and joy even in times of struggles, a peace ‘which transcends all understanding’ Philippians 4:7.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13


Reach or stretch out an arm in order to grasp something new.

Reaching for something that is a little bit out of our current experience requires courage and imagination. When we reach we are often reaching for the unknown based on a desire for more.  If you don’t reach, you will not grow or find new opportunities.  You will never know what could be without reaching.

Waiting for your dream to fall into your lap just where you are sitting is futile.  God wants us to reach, to stretch our arms out in faith and in trust in his plan and his purposes. ‘You will never reach your true potential living life in comfort and routine’. Kylie Francis


Courage is not the absence of fear but taking action despite your fear. To be courageous is to be willing to deal with the dangerous, the difficult and the unpleasant things in life. 

I love the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz. He was afraid of everything, because of his fears he thought he needed the Wizard to give him ‘Courage’, yet when it came to protecting his friends he was willing to pounce into danger even though he was terrified, he had the courage all along.

Courage stands up for the people we care about and for our values and what we believe. ‘I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ Nelson Mandela