This is the seventh year we, as a church, have participated in the One Word year focus. What is “One Word?” One Word is the Pantano alternative to New Year’s resolutions. While New Year’s resolutions are good, we know they are not as effective as focusing on one thing for a whole year.
As we begin 2021, ask yourself these questions. What does God want me to focus on in 2021? How will I let God use me to make a difference in 2021? What one word would capture the change God wants to make in me or through me?
We prayerfully pick one word that represents the change or the focus God wants for us. It should be more than a good thing or idea. It should be a God thing or idea. Don’t get a good word, get a God word.
When we focus on one word, our mind and heart are more open to how God is at work in ways we might have otherwise missed. Once we choose one word and intentionally focus on it, then we see more of the ways God wants us to embrace that word or the idea that word carries. One word is a powerful way to focus our thinking. Focused thinking and praying rewire our brain as we cooperate with God to experience real transformation. A better 2021 is possible…with God and with a focus.
We focus on our word for the whole year. God’s transforming work often happens over time. We might not see a huge change in January. But if we’ll keep focusing and praying about our one word, we’ll see God, over time, do powerful things in us and through us.
We’ve created a One Word resource page to help you discover your one word. That page also gives you access to a four-day one word Bible reading plan as well as some social media graphics. Once you find your one word, go to that page and let us know your one word for the year. As I write this, 50 folks have recorded their one word. Here’s the link to our #ONEWORD site: https://pantano.church/oneword/. Or you can text “one” to 31996 to access the page.
My one word for 2021 is “neighbors.” I want to love my neighbors to Jesus. I want to connect with my neighbors, love them through genuine service, and pray for opportunities to have natural spiritual conversations. That’s my focus this year. That’s how I want to make a difference. What’s your One Word? Let us know at https://pantano.church/oneword/#share.
Happy New Year! 2020 is here. Many have noticed an interesting twist to the year 2020 and it’s the idea that our new year parallels the idea of 20/20 vision. If you have 20/20 vision then you have a normal visual acuity, clarity, and sharpness of sight. I have 20/20 vision… when I’m wearing my glasses!
We want to help you start 2020 with a clear vision for what God wants for you. We want to help you focus on what God wants for you in this new year. So, we started a new series last Sunday called One. If you missed it, you can watch here.
There is power in the idea of one – focusing on one thing. Somehow, what’s important tends to get lost in the “many”. A person can get lost in a crowd. A great idea can be drowned out among many distracting thoughts. A good intention can be weakened in the midst of too many good resolutions. The idea and power of one is focus, and in a world of ever-increasing noise and distractions, we need to recapture the power of one and focus on what is truly important.
Last Sunday, in case you missed it, we looked at how we can focus on one change God wants to bring into our lives in 2020. And while New Year’s resolutions are good, we know they are not as effective as focusing on one thing for a whole year. As we begin 2020, ask this question: What does God want you to focus on in 2020? Then prayerfully pick ONE WORD that represents the change God wants you to experience. It should be more than a good change. It should be a God change. It should be more than a good word. It should be a word from God.
When we focus on one word, our mind and heart are more open to how God is at work in ways we might have otherwise missed. Once we choose one word and intentionally focus on it, then we see more of the ways God wants us to embrace that word or the idea that word carries. One word is a powerful way to focus our thinking. Focused thinking and praying rewires our brain as we cooperate with God to experience real transformation. A better 2020 is possible…with God and with a focus.
Here’s the digital link (https://mypantano.church/oneword) so that you can access the One Word card download and a social media graphic. Share your one word on social media using #oneword. The site also has the basic steps to discover your one word for 2020.
God’s Word has the power to change us. I encourage you to find and even memorize a verse that goes along with your one word. As we begin a new year, I also strongly encourage you to engage in regular Bible reading. When we are consistently in God’s Word, it gives God a much greater influence in our daily lives. There are lots of plans available. Download the YouVersion Bible app which has numerous plans. We have a Pantano Bible reading plan that is one chapter a day for five days a week. Go to https://pantano.church/biblereadingplan/ and you can subscribe to get the daily reading delivered to you. We also have printed bookmarks at Guest Services at both campuses.
Every January, for the last five years, I’ve encouraged our congregation to prayerfully adopt a One Word to focus for the entire year. This replaces the well-intended New Year’s resolutions that are usually forgotten by the end of January! If you are new to Pantano since the beginning of this year, you can watch the message from January 6th that explains the One Word idea. The basic idea is to ask God to guide you to one word that you would focus on for the year. Your one word could represent a goal, or a character quality you want to develop or grow, an attitude you want to be more prominent, or even something you want to stop doing.
It was just six months ago that many of us sought God and discovered the one word in which we would focus. So, how’s it going with your 2019 one word? Maybe you forgot about it. That happens and that’s why I’m writing about it – to remind us! You still have six months to give that One Word real attention.
Maybe you haven’t forgotten, but find yourself a little stuck. This has happened to me in the past also. Well, this is a reminder to reconnect with God about your one word. Ask him to help you get unstuck and take your journey deeper or further than you have over the last few months.
The value of this one word idea is that we keep asking God to reveal new or deeper ways to embrace or live out our one word. Don’t be discouraged, but use the reminder as a way to get back into the conversation about your one word with God. Remember, this is a year-long journey. We want to use our one word to connect with God in order to seek growth and transformation.
My one word for 2019 is the word “present.” I’ve been trying to focus more on the folks around me at the moment. I’ve tried to listen more and be more attentive to what’s being said and not being said. To better connect with people, I’ve tried to notice how people are feeling using their non-verbal cues. I’ve had some success, but I still miss too many opportunities. So, I took my focus in a different direction last month; I took some time to be alone (I did a short road trip and went camping and hiking) to be more present with God. I’m looking forward to seeing where God will take me as I continue to focus on this word in the second half of the year.
I’m a part of a wonderful life group. I hope you are part of a group of folks that you share life with. Our group shares our one word with each other at the beginning of the year. Then we review it with each other a couple times during the year. If you are a part of a group, I highly recommend this. It’s not too late to start! Or, find a good friend that you can share your one word. Or, you might think about giving an update through your favorite form of social media. The point is this – keep it alive!
Christmas Eve Offering
Wow, Pantano, you gave $73,213 for our Christmas Eve offering. That will help make a huge difference in getting the Gospel Rescue Mission’s Center of Opportunity to become a reality this spring. In addition, over 250 folks showed up on Sunday, 12/23 to help with the remodel and upgrade. Thank you all for your generosity. That’s making a difference!
We launched our fifth year of doing One Word on Sunday. One Word is a way to replace New Year’s resolutions. You ask God for one word to focus on for the entire year. Pick a word that will challenge you toward transformation. If you missed Sunday, we’ll have One Word cards with instructions available at Guest Services. You can watch the message here. Post and share your One Word – #oneword.
Feed My Starving Children
It’s coming back to Pantano on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd – Saturday, Jan. 26th. We’ll be packing 280,000 emergency meals this year. We shifted our focus to engaging schools with 23 schools joining us this year. We are going to have two public packs (Friday night and Saturday morning); we have dropped the price to $15 per person, and you can sign up here. We are hosting over 1,000 students from 23 schools, so we need many volunteers to help – check out the FMSC table in the courtyard on Sunday.
Pantano Classes, Wednesday PM Children’s and Students Resume
Classes start this week on Wednesday – 6:30-8pm! Go to mypantano.church or click here to find out what classes to join and sign up. Check out our great Bible, parenting, marriage, financial classes and more!
Red Cross Blood Drive – Sunday, January 20th
Pantano Christian Church and the American Red Cross have partnered in a joint effort to help save lives by hosting a blood drive on Sunday, January 20th from 8 am – 1 pm. It will be located by the main west gate entrance. To schedule your appointment or for more information, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and use Sponsor Code: PCC.
Live Service Rebroadcast
In case you miss a Sunday, did you know that we rebroadcast the full Sunday service Monday through Friday each week at 6 pm? Go to http://live.pantano.church
Sunday, December 30th
Well, this is my last blog for 2018. The year is coming to a close and we are looking forward to 2019. This Sunday, December 30th, Brian and Mandy Lucas will bring an incredible message about the rhythm of looking back and looking forward. I’ve heard their message and it’s terrific – it’s practical and encouraging. With them speaking in our adult services, I’m freed up to get to speak to our students! I love having that opportunity. It’s important that I get to connect with our students every once in a while.
On January 6th we’ll start a new teaching series called Transform. God is in the business of transforming what currently exists to become something that has his imprint. He wants to transform us to become more like Jesus. But, he doesn’t stop with us. He wants to use our church to transform our city in unity with and through other churches of all kinds. In this series, we’ll look at God’s transformative work in us, through us and with others in our city. We’ve got a great series planned, with something special each week. Come each week open to God’s Spirit. If you do, you might find yourself being transformed!
Transformation happens best when we focus on one thing at a time, so we’ll start the Transform series by looking at the use of “one word.” This is the fifth year we’ve done this project. We seek God and ask him for the one word that captures the most important change or transformation he wants in our life. One word allows God to do his laser-focused transforming thing in us. You’ll get to hear a story of one person God transformed last year through their one word. I’ll guide you through discovering and then living out your one word for 2019.
Serve Our City
In my first blog for 2019 as well as during service on January 6th, I’ll update you on our Serve Our City event that happened on Sunday, December 23rd. As I write this, about 1,000 of us have signed up to Serve Our City on December 23rd. Way to go, Pantano!
I truly hope for all of us a blessed New Year as we follow Jesus.