Two Words

As the calendar year draws to a close, I want to spend a few days in prayerful appreciation for all that’s taken place in the past twelve months. It might be a little more challenging this year as Diane and I have three little friends staying with us. That just means I need a different time to escape to my “quiet place.” Perhaps I’ll rise earlier, play Jim Hendricks’ Country Mountain Hymns in the background, and lose myself in my extended “God time.”

The concept of “two words” has been on my heart for several weeks now. In recalling all that’s happened in my family’s life, each memory is triggered by two words. As 2019 rolled around, and my dad’s night terrors returned with vigor. I remembered through the words “Touch Me.” When his blood pressure skyrocketed, his pulse quickened, and his breathing became difficult, it was a gentle hand on his leg, arm, or torso. Touching him, I offered reassurance by reciting the 23rd Psalm over and over. Remove my hand, or silence God’s words, and his vitals would start increasing right away. I thought, the power of God on display.

When the doctors diagnosed dementia, my worst fears were becoming a reality. Two words stirred my memory, “Have Faith.” How many prayers for guidance, understanding, patience, and peace did I submit? As the medication helped and symptoms subsided, my two words turned to “Gracious God.”

When circumstances dictated the need for others to care for my dad, my feelings of incompleteness and failure had two words, “Going Home.” Months earlier than planned, with God’s help, it proved the right move as his return to more family and familiar surroundings helped bring him a restored sense of peace. As my own surgical procedures experienced delays, resulting in mounting frustration, my two words were “Seek Peace.” It was in asking the Holy Spirit to help me return to center I could find the peace and patience needed to resolve over three years of bureaucratic nonsense.

After becoming an “award-winning” writer at the Carolina Christian Writer’s Conference, my two-word memory was “Made It.” Receiving validation that peers viewed my Christian writing as noteworthy among peers helped me to see the results of my efforts to learn this craft. While I still have a lifetime of learning left to achieve, I thank God I’m able to share what I’m learning with those who follow.

Following my shoulder surgery, my two words became “Let Go.” With a rehab that is continuing, God has used this time to humble me. I’ve had to learn a whole new level of dependence upon God, and others. Letting go of my pride and allowing others to help me has taught me a wonderful lesson. It’s showing me how my need blesses others as they use the gift of helps the Holy Spirit has given them. I never realized how selfish my pride had caused me to become until this year. Satan convinced me how my independence was a good thing. In reality, he hid my pride from me. Thank you Abba for helping me to learn how to let go by letting others also serve your kingdom.

When I learned my manuscript didn’t make the final selection for publishing, I was surprised at how the news didn’t cause pain, depression, or any signs of grieving. Instead, I felt a great peace as God gave me two words weeks before for just this moment. Those two words were “God’s time.” As much as I yearn to have my name plastered on the cover of a published work, I want more to impact someone’s life for God’s kingdom. In response to my months of prayer about this manuscript, my Christian writing career, and other writing guidance, I kept receiving the same message; “God’s time.”

This isn’t to say I’ve resigned myself to not learning more, improving, and growing as a writer to improve my manuscripts. Instead, the peace within me tells me I am on God’s path for my Christian writing. I need to focus on those things I can control and trust that God is preparing the blessings to come. Improving my skills, growing my platform, pursuing representation; these are all things I can work on. Placing the words God has called me to write at the right place and time, to reach the target He has planned it for in His hands? I’m okay with that.

So now we come to the two words I want to share with you this week. Well, actually two sets of two words. The first is “Thank You.” I can’t tell you how much I’ve appreciated everyone’s comments and encouragement this past year. I pray my blog posts improve each week as I endeavor to both enlighten and inspire you with the lessons God is teaching me out here on the Cross-Dubya. The second set is “Merry CHRISTmas.” There’s no way I could afford to send a stamped card to everyone who has followed, commented, or shared my blog. I pray this holiday brings you lots of wonderful memories and a year full of blessings.

As my final post for this year, I want to close by asking you to think about the most important two words you can ever say. Please pause for just a moment and think about the greatest gift any of us can ever receive. It was a gift offered for all mankind. That gift arrived over two thousand years ago in a simple manger, in an insignificant town, under an unlikely set of circumstances that fulfilled prophecies claimed centuries before it happened. It is a gift none of us can earn; we must simply ask to receive the greatest blessing. That gift is salvation through Christ Jesus.

How do we repay all that God has blessed/will bless us with? #TwoWords Click To Tweet

The most important two words we can ever say; and the ones I pray each of you reading will say many times in your Christian walk are “Yes Lord.” Join with me in preparing for 2020 by making these two words the most important words in our vocabulary.

God’s blessings,

36 thoughts on “Two Words

    1. Until the day Ms. Cathy; I join you in a chorus of “Yes Lord!” God’s blessings; and Merry CHRISTmas sweet lady. Thank you for the wonderful blessing of making your acquaintance this year.

  1. My two are similar, “Yes, Jesus.”
    Thanks for the heart-warming post. I still have to deal with that old pride that says I can do it myself! So my secondary words might be “Let go.”
    None of us knows what the new year will bring. I hope I can still “go” on mission trips, be physically strong, keep my mind steady. But if not, then “Yes, Jesus, I’ll let go, if You’ll go with me.”
    The best to you and all yours for the New Year,

    1. You and Mr. Lynn make this ol’ world just a little brighter with the light of God’s love each day Ms. Jackie. May 2020 be filled with lots of blessings and opportunities for you dear friend.

  2. Beautiful words, my friend. Simple words but dynamic and powerful and so needed by so many, and especially me. This year has been an whirlwind for me with some life changing events. May God richly bless you and yours this coming year. Merry Christmas.

    1. Awwww… I pray you can feel how warm they are my sweet friend. I’ve been covered by them this whole past year. I wear each one to provide the warmth, strength, encouragement, and desire to keep moving forward in hopes of making an impact for God’s kingdom. I pray also you know how much your blog posts, comments here, and prayers have bolstered me this year Ms. Ann. Merry CHRISTmas and God’s blessings to you and your dear family ma’am.

  3. J.D. I love so many of your two words. Because when specific words are strung together, it makes for such beautiful and powerful thoughts. Reading through these spoke to me: God time, touch me, let go, and especially, “God’s time.” I’m in a waiting period right now on a book proposal. While we’ve heard “no” or “not a fit” from several publishing houses, there are some we are still waiting on. Then, my author friend, Dianne, who mentored me for a time in writing reminded me of her great line: “I’m not waiting on a publisher, I’m waiting on God.” This perspective changed my heart and brought me peace. Merry Christmas!

    1. I love Ms. Dianne’s perspective. For what it’s worth, He’s worth waiting on. Am so very glad you enjoyed the post Ms. Karen. Merry CHRISTmas to you and your entire family ma’am.

    1. And a very Merry CHRISTmas to the Sargent family also my friend. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve already asked God for a better year than 2019. As great as it’s been; as many blessings as He’s bestowed; I pray He understands that sometimes His children get weary.

    1. “Trust God”; what perfect words Ms. LuAnn. If we can do that, then everything will take care of it in His will won’t it ma’am. Merry CHRISTmas to you, Mr. Kenn, and all y’all Edwards’. God’s blessings my friend.

    1. Oh but to one day live up to the level of faith you have me on my friend. Please know that I will always strive to be the man you believe I can become. Thank you so much for all your encouragement and support. It means the world ma’am. God’s blessings; and Merry CHRISTmas Henderson family.

  4. Amen. JD. Excellent post. Love your heart. Probably two of my most often whispered prayers this year are, “Create in me a clean heart, Oh God, and “Thy Will.”
    You are a blessing, JD. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. As are you my sweet friend. I too pray that we allow His will to be done through our lives as we live for Him. God’s blessings to you and your family; and a very Merry CHRISTmas ma’am.

  5. Love this! What a testimony of faith and trust your year has been. I think my two words would have to be “Let God.” I need to give up trying to control my life and let Him have the wheel.

    1. Thank you Ms. Candyce. You always offer such encouragement ma’am. “Let God” are two wonderful words to hold close in the coming year ma’am. Difficult ones for me, as I have a tendency to always want to “drive the bus”, but learning to let go and let God is a wonderful thought. Prayers and blessings in the new year ma’am.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your father, and your manuscript not being selected. I greatly admire your positive attitude during these difficult times. You inspire me.

    1. That is so sweet Ms. Robin. Please be assured, there is no grief or sadness for my Dad’s failing health, my manuscript’s non-selection, or regret for any of the challenges my family and I have faced this past year. Please know I think 2019 a great year of personal learning and spiritual growth. I’ve learned that when you’re “in the moments” of life, our human emotions can often take precedent. Our emotions seem to try and control our thoughts and actions. I am learning, though admittedly it’s taken me decades, that the spiritual gift of self-control, joy, faith, goodness, long-suffering, and so many others actually work to allow us to control our emotions instead of them controlling us. With that comes great peace my young friend. Thank you for your kind and heartfelt words. I am humbled and honored ma’am. God’s blessings.

  7. J.D., your well-written call to look back and look forward reminds me of a keynote I heard Bob Hostetler give at BRMCWC. In it, he suggested four words, and these four have resonated in my writing soul, my professional life, and my personal life: “Thy will be done.” So much comfort in those four words, and while it’s hard to pray them sometimes when we fear God’s will is different from our own, there is great peace in yielding our will to His, because we know His will is the best for all eternity. As we move into a new year, may God’s will be done in all of our lives, for His glory.

    1. Wow! To even be mentioned in the same post with Mr. Bob is a great honor for me. I’ve enjoyed hit wit and humor for years; and his sage advice to writers since before that. Thank you for thinking anything I might write or say can cause someone to think of Mr. Hostetler is a blessing to me Ms. Lori. “Thy will be done…” What a simple prayer we each should remember to utter each day. Thank you for this blessing ma’am.

  8. This year I think my two words might have been “free indeed” that exemplify my activities/ministries that have blossomed in my retirement. I’m thinking next year, it could be “we’ll work” which reminds me of the old hymn. I’m sure you know it. With God’s direction, we have much to do.
    You are truly an inspiration to me as I encountered some discouragement as to whether or not to keep writing earlier this year. I think my two words indicate the resolution!

    1. You better not stop writing Ms. Karen; you’re too good to quit ma’am. Don’t make me come to Birmingham to lecture you ma’am; I’ll do it! 😀 Am so pleased to know you are going to stay on the course God has placed you on my friend. Who would’ve thought they would have led me to a funny, sweet, inspiring organist who brightens the days of those around her with her musings. I’m glad they did. God’s blessings and prayers for all your endeavors in the new year. I thought my wife Diane was silly when she announced less than a year after retiring that “she can’t imagine how she ever had time to work.” I laughed at that thought; until I retired. 🙂

  9. Thank you for saying Yes Lord. Because of your willingness to follow God’s plan in His time, you are inspiring many of us along the way. I truly appreciate the many “two words” reminder that I will carry into 2020. Blessings to you!

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