About the Book
In these troubling times, Carol Round’s writing offers readers an inspirational lift through hope in our Lord. Without preaching, she uses everyday experiences to draw readers closer to our Heavenly Father in an upbeat style and without sugarcoating a believer’s walk with God. In “by FAITH Alone,” the third collection of her self-syndicated faith-based column, Ms. Round once again captures daily life through the lens of faith, leaving readers with a glimpse of what it means to have a daily walk with our Abba Father.
A sample devotional from “by FAITH alone”
What’s Your Word?
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” —Psalm 119:105 (NIV).
Guideposts is my favorite magazine. This monthly inspirational magazine, designed to help readers achieve their maximum personal and spiritual potential, contains stories written by people from all walks of life. In the January 2012 issue, author Debbie Macomber shared her New Year’s tradition and one I have since adopted.
At the beginning of each year, she reflects on the words that have appeared repeatedly in her life. By writing in her journal, she watches for patterns to develop. For example, in 1979, “hunger” was her word. Although she wasn’t sure why she chose that word, she came to realize that, in part, it had to do with her lifelong struggle with her weight.
However, as that year unfolded, she realized that her physical hunger for food wasn’t the only struggle she faced. She says, “There were other hungers as well. With four children in a tiny house, I was hungry for more room to spread out, hungry for some quiet and a little time to myself.”
Macomber says she was also hungry to learn, which led to her enrollment in writing classes at a local college. She wanted to be a novelist so badly she could taste it. She kept writing and receiving rejections but soon came to realize that her deepest hunger was spiritual. She was reading scripture each morning. However, she acknowledged to herself that she was only skimming the surface of what it means to live a Christian life. Because she wanted more, wanted to go deeper in the Word, her “hunger” pushed her forward into seeking a deeper relationship with God.
A recent Facebook post by one of my former students touched my heart. Krista’s husband is a police officer who has faced the horrors of teen suicide one too many times. Krista is now on a mission to educate young people that suicide is not the answer. I think Krista’s word for the New Year is “mission.”
As I have thought about, reread Macomber’s magazine article, and responded to Krista’s posts on Facebook, I chose “focus” as my New Year word. I have commented to several friends in the past months about my struggles to stay focused on God’s leading because there are so many distractions in life. I have posted the word “focus” throughout my house on notecards and on my computer to remind me that my focus is on what He is doing through me and in my life.
Because it’s so easy to allow the outside world to distract us from what is important in life, I challenge you to choose a word for the New Year. Macomber’s past words have included trust, brokenness, prayer and hope. This year, she has chosen the word “listen.”
If you feel led to explore the possibilities God has for your life, ask Him to reveal the word He has for you. When you trust Him, He will take you on a journey of discovery you never imagined.
What is your word for the New Year?
About the Author
In 2005, God led Carol Round on a journey she never envisioned for her life–a journey that would lead from her retirement as a 30-year teaching veteran to a self-syndicated weekly column that runs in more than a dozen Oklahoma newspapers, two national publications as well as two international ones. She has three published collections of her weekly faith-based columns and two other books, “Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God,” as well as the companion workbook, “The 40-Day Challenge.” She is also a workshop leader and inspirational speaker for women’s retreats. Currently, she is working on a Christian novel as well as a children’s book.