Give It a Year

By Linda Tancs

Jesus told his followers a parable about a fig tree that hadn’t yielded any fruit for years. The owner of the garden wanted the tree cut down, but the gardener asked for one more year to make it fruitful (Luke 13:6-9). How many times have you given a situation one year to change? It’s a popular marker. An aspiring entertainer gives his or her career one year to show promise. A worker gives a new job one year before evaluating the situation. Someone may move to a new locale and not like it right away but wait one year before deciding whether to move on. What are you willing to do while you “give it a year”?

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

I’ve Got Good News

By Linda Tancs

There have no doubt been times in your life when you’ve thought, “I could use some good news.” Maybe you’ve suffered from a physical malady or a dry spell at work or some other life circumstance has you seeking more positivity. We all yearn for a good report. Proverbs, too, reminds us that good news is like cold water to a weary soul (Proverbs 25:25). And, of course, this time of year we rejoice in the proclamation of the angel Gabriel to the shepherds of good tidings of great joy on the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:10). He is the ultimate Good News, both the bearer of the message and the message Himself!

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Small But Mighty

By Linda Tancs

Jesus’s parable concerning the mustard seed (see, e.g., Matthew 13:31–32) explores the theme of growth from small beginnings. Indeed, the choice of a mustard seed is instructive, not necessarily because of its smallness but rather because it results in a tree that reaches a height (and even width) of 20 feet or more. The key to its growth, though, is attention and cultivation. God gives the seed to the sower and expects it to be cultivated. Good things often start small and grow over time, so maintain confidence in His plan for you (Zechariah 4:10). He’s planting seeds of greatness that you may cultivate months, even years, from now.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Don’t Sit This One Out

By Linda Tancs

We’ll all familiar with sitting things out. It might be on the dance floor. Or the sports field. In one way or another, we opt out of something, or some things, in life. There’s a faith-filled song called “I Hope You Dance” that exhorts us not to sit it out but to dance. As physicist Sir Isaac Newton said, an object in motion stays in motion. Press on and persevere (Philippians 3:14) and God will meet you there (Proverbs 13:4).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Failing Forward

By Linda Tancs

John Calvin Maxwell is an American author and pastor who has written many books on leadership. He exhorts his readers to “fail forward.” Failing forward means, in essence, to learn from your mistakes. Do you learn from your failings or define yourself by them? Do you break down or break through? (See, e.g., James 1:2-4; Psalm 145:14). How you react to failure is like the difference between being “thrown under the bus” and driving the bus.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

You’re Not Taking Up Space

By Linda Tancs

Have you ever felt like you’re just on planet Earth taking up space? It’s easy to succumb to that kind of thinking when you’re feeling powerless, defeated, despondent. Maybe you feel like you haven’t lived up to your expectations or those of others. Consider Jesus’s Parable of the Talents (see, e.g., Matthew 25:14). In that parable, a master puts his servants in charge of his goods while he is away on a trip and, upon his return, he assesses their stewardship. Every servant has a role to play; no one is excluded. In the same way that the master put his servants in charge of his goods, God has entrusted His life to you. In other words, He’s placed His gifts and talents on the inside of you. With such a priceless conveyance, you could never be here just taking up space. You have a mission, a destiny (Jeremiah 29:11). There’s no room for doubt, but there’s plenty of room for you.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Again and Again

By Linda Tancs

Pop star Britney Spears recorded the hit song “Oops I Did It Again.” Among other things, it’s a sort of self-admonishment for playing with someone else’s heart again and again. We can all sing our own version of “Oops I Did It Again.” Oops, I gossiped again at the office. Oops, I used foul language again. Oops, I missed another school play. How many versions could you sing? The apostle Paul could sing it as well. He famously recorded his own frustration over doing the very thing he didn’t want to do (Romans 7:15-20). Sometimes, temptation gets the better of us; we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). But as another, much older song reminds us, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

More Than Loaves

By Linda Tancs

The Bible relates two instances when Jesus fed multitudes with just a few loaves of bread (see, e.g., Mark 6:31-44; Mark 8:1-9). These stories about multiplying bread to feed thousands are more than just miracles, though. There’s something deeper going on than Jesus’s desire to feed throngs of followers and his ability to do it on meager rations. Indeed, these stories represent Jesus’s desire to feed us with joy, hope and strength to face the challenges that prevent us from growing—mentally, emotionally or spiritually.

What are your challenges? Do you have undeveloped skills, stalled projects or strained relationships? Don’t despair. Jesus is waiting to feed you.

Then and Now

By Linda Tancs

You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “That was then. This is now.” We use it to describe changes in people or circumstances as time progresses. Biblically speaking, it relates to the concept of changing from glory to glory—that is, being transformed bit by bit into Christ’s image (2 Corinthians 3:18). We grow as our relationship with Christ grows.

What does your “then” look like? How about “now”? You’re not done, though. We’re like children, graduating from baby’s milk to solid food (Hebrews 5:12-14), all the while perfecting our faith (Ephesians 4:13-16).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

The Power of Seven

By Linda Tancs

The prophet Elisha’s healing of the Syrian commander Naaman from leprosy is a familiar story for many (2 Kings 5:1-15). In short, Elisha commanded Naaman to dip his body into the Jordan River seven times to be healed. It’s important to recognize that seven is not an arbitrary number selected by Elisha; biblically, it’s the number of completeness and perfection. We all need healing in some respect. Maybe it’s a physical malady or a vexing problem. It may not miraculously disappear. Like Naaman, you may need to exercise persistence until the issue resolves to completion. Practice makes perfect.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.