Category Archives: One Word: Intentional

How Intentional is Your Health?

Intentional Health


One Word 365 is an alternative to the long list of New Year’s resolutions that North American’s often make on January 1 of each year, and forget or fail at by January 2nd. With One Word you choose to instead focus on one word for the entire year. This provides the core of what you’d like to be the main emphasis and motivation.

One Word_Intentional

For 2015 I chose the word ‘plan’ and then after about a month I realized a better word for my goals and desire would be ‘intentional’.

To be intentional is to have in mind and/or make plans with the purpose of attaining specific end goals. I came to the awareness that my life needed to be intentional. I wanted to know what my real intentions were for engaging in various activities in my life: work, volunteer, religious practices, making purchases, everything. In the beginning it was difficult to stop and ask myself, “Why am I doing this? By doing this, what am I expecting?” Over time these simple, yet deep questions help me to add and remove many things from my life.

In the area of food and fitness I realized my impatience and desire to achieve quick results were the reasons why I wasn’t progressing towards my goals. I was looking into eating plans that would get me the fastest results instead of the healthiest results. I devised physical schedules that I knew would take off the most inches of fat in the shortest amount of weeks. However, by being intentional I was able to stop and honestly evaluate the motivations for my choices.

Throughout this year I’ve been able to prevent myself from making my injuries worse. What made this year different from the past was being able to discipline myself enough to pause and self-evaluate. When you are making healthy changes in your life an important question to ask yourself is, “Why have I made this choice?”, followed by, “What do I think I’ll personally gain from this choice?”, and finally, “Is there a healthier way to achieve the desired result?” You’d be amazed at how these three simple questions coupled with prayer and quiet meditation can reveal so much.

Whether it is a food plan or physical fitness goal, stop and ask yourself serious questions about your true motivation. If your reasons are not good for you, don’t beat yourself up, simply take time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help move you towards a way to achieve your goals without causing physical and emotional hurts to yourself. The answers may not come quickly, but if you want to become or remain healthy, you will accept the fact that anything that is good for you takes time.



Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why have I made this choice?
  • What do I think I’ll personally gain from this choice?
  • Is there a healthier way to achieve the desired end choice?

ACTION: Take time to look at some of the activities in your life that you find emotionally or physically taxing. Stop and ask yourself the three questions above or similar self-motivational questions.


Additional Resources:

101 Thought Provoking Questions to Ask Before it’s too Late

How Self Motivated are You?


Planning for Failure: Hopeless Prayers

messy life

I love to plan. I have many day planners sitting around my place, all of them partially used, but filled with many lofty goals like: do laundry, run club @ 6p.m., meal prep on Sunday, and plenty of other intentions of great achievements. The app Todoist has been great in helping me keep track of what I need to be doing; what has been completed and what still remains to be addressed during the rest of the day.

For 2015 I chose ‘Plan’ as my One Word, and as I had expected, this is a word that is on my mind quite frequently. I wasn’t sure what role this word would play in my life for this year, but four months into 2015, I have noticed a planning habit that I hope to break. I realized I often bring my plans to God in prayer when I am of the belief that something might fail. My prayer often resembles something like this, “Dear God, I want to achieve this-and-that, please help me not to fall flat on my face. Help me not to fail at this!” Wow, how powerful is a prayer like this? I realized that I continually approach God like a failure. I’m not actually asking God to help me succeed at something, what I’m doing instead, is asking God to help me as a failure.

I wondered how many people approach God as a failure. How many of us know God’s plan for our lives and instead of approaching Him in the power of prayer, we turn to Him in the weakness of prayer? As Christians we have often been conditioned to approach our LORD with a sense of insecurity masquerading as humility.


The word humility signifies lowliness or submissiveness and it is derived from the Latin humilitas or, as St. Thomas says, from humus, i.e. the earth which is beneath us. As applied to persons and things it means that which is abject, ignoble, or of poor condition, as we ordinarily say, not worth much. Thus we say that a man is of humble birth or that a house is a humble dwelling. As restricted to persons, humility is understood also in the sense of afflictions or miseries, which may be inflicted by external agents, as when a man humiliates another by causing him pain or suffering. It is in this sense that others may bring about humiliations and subject us to them. Humility in a higher and ethical sense is that by which a man has a modest estimate of his own worth, and submits himself to others. According to this meaning no man can humiliate another, but only himself, and this he can do properly only when aided by Divine grace. We are treating here of humility in this sense, that is, of the virtue of humility.”

There is no need for us to bring our prayers to God in a boastful or haughty manner, but when we approach Him, let’s remember that He has, “…plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” With this knowledge and promise from God, we can pray about His individual plans for our lives with the faith and trust of knowing He has the best of intentions with our lives. Our God isn’t the type to give you a calling and make plans for your lives so He can sit back and watch you fail. There will be failures, false starts, detours, and many other forms of distractions along the way, but these are all part of the process of God’s plan for you. Human error does not make you a failure, it makes you human.

happy people plan

QUESTION: Do you sometimes find yourself approaching God in prayer with a failure mentality? When you pray, do you do so with the mindset that God is caring enough to help you succeed at your plans? How do you often react to personal failure?

APPLICATION: Over the next week, pay close attention to the words you use during your personal prayer time. Reflect on whether or not your words are reflections of trusting the LORD or show doubt in God’s abilities.

God and my Smartphone

OneWord 2015

For 2015 my OneWord is “Plan” and my verse for the year is Jeremiah 29:11-13. We’re already 6 weeks into the year and planning has given me a good whooping. You know that expression, “Fail to plan, plan to fail”? Well… for the month of January I got an A+ in FAIL! My already faulty Executive Functions were further challenged by lack of sleep, fighting off an impending head cold, and shift work. After having a few 10 hour sleep sessions I remembered that a life of chaos and disorder is a sign that you’re off track with your God time.

too busy

O.K. God, you’re going back into my smartphone!

People say God can be found in nature, in the beauty of a newborn, and anything else that makes us happy, but I have realized that God can also be found in my smartphone. For whatever reason some people are not comfortable with mixing God and technology, but for me, I don’t have any ambivalence about combing the two.

I have several bibles on my e-reader which is synced to my mobile phone and my laptop. Without such technology I would have more of a challenge with being able to do daily devotions, meditations, and bible reading. Recently I have made peace with reading devotionals while riding city transit. The amount of time I spend riding on public transportation no longer feels like a complete waste of my time.  I have anywhere from a 20 minute to 1 hour one way commute. When times are extremely busy it is a relief to be able to take out my e-reader and read words inspired by God, be it straight from the bible or from someone sharing what God has revealed to them in their own life. I always prefer to have an actual book in my hand, but there is no way I want to return to the days of lugging around 3 or 4 books in my over sized handbag.

Challenged for God time?

If there is some type of modern technology that allows you to engage in quality God time, be blessed and utilize that item. In other parts of the world there are places where people’s lives are at risk if they are caught reading a bible in public; therefore, I encourage people to make use of the freedom we have. I have an emotionally draining job which comes with a 1 hour lunch break. I’ve recently begun using this time to eat alone, do some online Christian meditation and read works of biblical edification. This use of my break time has made my work days much more bearable and the time feels more like a break rather than a gathering of disgruntled employee and gossipers.

I’m a firmer believer in the idea that if something is important to you, you’ll find time for it. So if you’re still having trouble making intentional time to be with God, consider looking at how technology can help you with this struggle.

Source: Projectinspiried. com
Source: Projectinspiried. com

Where to find the technology:

The Apple app store: apps for such things as bible verses, daily devotions, reminders to pray

iTunes: you can purchase electronic books and audiobooks , listen to podcasts, watch TV sermons

Google Play: Similar to the Apple store, here you can purchase and download the same types of items as listed above

Kindle and Kobo: e-reading tablets allow you to download thousands of books for a lower cost than a physical book; this is also reduces the weight and bulk of having to carry multiple reading items with you

Smartphone and iPhone: All of the above are available on your phone





Whoa, Slow Down Christians!


This year my One Word is “Plan”. I prayed and meditated for the right word to focus on for 2015. I wanted a word that would help me further develop spiritually. The word Plan doesn’t sound spiritual, but I’m keeping the word and it is with excitement and curiosity that I actively wait to see how it unfolds in my life throughout the year. What God has in store for me I do not know, but I do know what my goals are, and all I can do is live my life in a manner that will cause the two to synchronize.

For the past several months I’ve had to deal with a Christian leader who is not yet in his mid 20’s. He has taken on a very difficult and serious role that affects the lives of hundreds of people each day. He was thrust into a role that he was not skilled, trained, or well prepared to manage; as a result of this, many have been negatively effected.  Despite being offered help and assistance from those with much more experience and applicable skills, this leader has opted to allow pride and arrogance to be his right-hand man and mentor.

good leader ants

As Christians it’s important to be humble enough to admit when we’ve taken on more than we can handle. There is nothing wrong with saying the words, “please help me” or “I have failed”. Pride takes away our ability to see ourselves as flawed human beings in need of correction and guidance. It creates the inability to admit to being in the wrong, and eventually the prideful person will spend more time pointing out the flaws of those he is leading and spend less time in necessary self-reflection. A leader who can’t bring himself to engage in critical self-reflection can easily develop a dictator style of leadership or the opposite, that of being a leader who has a blatant disregard for the needs and concerns of those he is leading.




With God, timing is everything. Your time to be a leader may not be now, it might be a month, a year, or over a decade from today. Leadership is not something God takes lightly, He wants us to be patient and wait our turn. As we wait peacefully be assured that our time is never wasted (Psalm 37); God has assured us of this.  As we wait we can use that time to develop some of the following:

The virtues listed in the Fruits of the Spirit

Healthy listening skills

Meaningful relationships with your peers

The habit of praying over the dreams and goals of yourself and others

Encouragement towards others so as to avoid jealousy and envy

These are only a few of the many ways that you can be a slow-down Christian instead of a hurry-up Christian. Don’t rush God, He knows what you need to learn and experience before being promoted into leadership positions. He is not looking for perfect people, but He is definitely looking for quality people. God does not call leaders who will cause damage to His people. Remember, Jesus didn’t reveal his purpose and mission until he was approximately in his 30’s. What was he doing during all that time? Waiting peacefully. Jesus revealed himself as a leader after much preparation and learning. If the Son of God can take the time to wait peacefully, then I think we can afford to do the same.