Monday, January 16, 2017

Keeping that Focus

by Pamela Heemskerk

Courtesy of  luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


I’ve been through three computers in the last three months - enough to make any writer remove their hair in handfuls!! So I’ve turned on today and gone back through the last few CWD blogs. And I am blessed to know so many people who write from the heart in ways that have changed my life. Thank you.

I know many who had a difficult 2016 – my annus horribilis was 2015.   So last year I was confronted with all the baggage from the year before. (Such fun!) My relationship with God deepened last year, and He gently and persistently placed my reactions, thoughts and feelings from 2015 to the forefront of my life to sort them through from His perspective.

He showed me where I reacted out of fear and failed to trust Him – fear undermines our belief in God’s sovereignty. He showed me where I had harboured anger and resentment; where I’d clung to my position of ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’. But most of all, He showed me where I had lost my focus on Him. Instead, I had focussed on all the issues surrounding me and on trying to solve them.

You see, our Father has a goal – to make us into the image of His Son, so that we reflect His holy and loving nature to the world. Our lives become the story of His goodness, mercy and power working through us. He will do whatever it takes to strip away anything that detracts from this goal of changing us to be like Him.

The one thing that will most effectively accomplish this change is our deliberate and sustained focus on His Person through worship, prayer, reading, meditation. Even when we don’t want to.
So 2016 for me, was a year of cleaning out and of changing focus. When we focus on the things that bother us, it shifts our focus off God and His purposes, and onto ourselves. It ‘muddies the waters’ and we cannot see where we are meant to be heading.  When our focus shifts back onto worship, it changes our perspective. The ‘big issues’ become little in the light of God’s glory.
So how does this apply to writing?

As God’s royal priesthood, we reflect His nature to the world in our lives and our writing. We have a goal, a focus for our words. We want to convey something clearly to our readers. Our editors, beta readers and writing friends can often see where we’re straying away from our goal. They help us to clean-up and restore focus.  No detours, no distractions, no red herrings – just good writing with a clear end-point. Part of our walk towards perfection.

Pamela is a non-fiction writer who has had a number of short pieces published. Her booklet on hearing loss – Rather a Small Chicken…A guide to hearing loss for family and friends - was launched last year, and she is now on a (slow) journey of discovery into the marketing world.

Email – pgheemskerk1@gmail.com

16 comments:

  1. Great reflection Pamela. Thank you. I'm really sorry to hear about your travails with technology. 3 computers in 3 months? Wow! I do hope the current computer is working well? I loved this para in your blog "You see, our Father has a goal – to make us into the image of His Son, so that we reflect His holy and loving nature to the world. Our lives become the story of His goodness, mercy and power working through us. He will do whatever it takes to strip away anything that detracts from this goal of changing us to be like Him."

    Indeed - He's been revealing the truth of it to me too and the scales have been falling off about what's most important in my life. It's so encouraging to have it confirmed through your sharing.

    May we stay focussed on Him and on our calling and on those in our world who need Him. May He use our hearts and our words to bless the world. The very best to you in marketing your book in 2017 dear Pamela.

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  2. Thank you Anusha. I'm learning a lot about God's nature this year. R.T Kendall describes our God as a jealous God - jealousy is often seen as a 'bad' trait, but in God it becomes beautiful. He wants our hearts and love so badly that He will remove other things from our lives so that He has our undivided attention - then He can lavish His love on us even more. He is incredibly focused!
    He must be the originator of New Year Resolutions - bet He has more success in meeting them than some of us!!

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  3. It's wonderful how God uses the difficulties and problems to build us - though not always easy.Great message. Thanks Pamela

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    1. Yes, He is so totally 'other'.
      I find when i take the most time with Him is when i accomplish the most in my life. In the natural, we would put that time into working on that project, but somehow He changes the 'efficiency quotient'. There must be some physics term for this.... Totally other!

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  4. Great word, Pamela. It's so easy to lose that focus on God. I started last year with a clear idea of where I was headed and some strategies to help me get there. But it unravelled and I was left in a bit of a non-productive heap by year's end.

    God's been speaking to me lately about regaining my focus. Bill Hybels' book 'Simplify' has been a big help. If we can stay focused on God this year in the midst of problems and busyness, who knows what He can accomplish through us. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I think that's the secret - maintaining focus and not looking at the mess all round you... easier said than done! Really focussed people accomplish h-u-g-e things! (You're pretty focussed, Nola) (can't get used to US spelling!)

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  5. Thank you, Pam, for your lovely, honest post. I really appreciated the following reminder in particular: 'When we focus on the things that bother us, it shifts our focus off God and His purposes, and onto ourselves.' So helpful for me to hear this week in particular as I prepare to speak twice this coming Sunday! I hope you see much fruit in 2017, flowing from that refocussing you did last year.

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  6. Hi Jo-Anne. Thank you. Yes, i am hoping there will be some changes in my life this year too - makes all the learning worthwhile! I just need to keep my focus on God...
    Will pray for your speaking on Sunday.

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  7. Fabulous truth Pamela, well done you.

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  9. Hi Teresa, there are some fabulous posts on the CWD blogsite. Enjoy!

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  10. With so much negativity being thrown around regarding last year, it's good to read a story of someone going through the healing process after a difficult year.

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    1. Thank you Adam. It can be tough, those tricky years, but if it helps strengthen someone else, I'm glad. God is good and faithful- I'm learning to trust Him more.

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