Season: 4 Episode: 057
Shanda winds up 2020 and talks about how she’s facing 2021. What mindset should we have as we go into a new year in a pandemic and uncertainty? No different than any other year except more determined to do it with the Lord.
“When you pray for your marriage, your loved ones, your country, the souls of the lost … you have entered into the eternal and you are activating the armor of God in your life.”
“If we try and change the world before allowing God to change us, we won’t get far at all or we won’t be taken serious.”
“Be someone’s Aaron. Be someone’s Jonathan. You may not stand in the spotlight with them but you’re the reason they’re there.”
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How to study the Bible like a scholar REGISTRATION
Hey guys! Welcome back to Her Faith Inspires podcast where we take cultural issues and align them to biblical truth. We are in the countdown of 2020. Some of you may be so happy to see 2020 go. Some may be apprehensive about 2021. Either way, it’s here and 2020 has been a doozy!
I want to remind you of all of the online classes coming in 2021. If you go to shandafulbright.com/2021-online-courses-landing-page and sign up, you will be the first to know exactly what classes are launching and when. The first one is going to be a repeat class on How to Study the Bible Like a Scholar on Saturday, Jan 30th.
All links will be in the show notes.
So get signed up asap!
Today, we are going to talk about out with the old and in with the new.
We’re saying goodbye to 2020 and welcoming in 2021. Will it be better than 2020? No one knows. So how do we face this coming year?
I was talking with a friend the other day who told me she doesn’t welcome the New Year. It’s not her favorite holiday because she wonders what the new year will bring. What if something bad happens? Life is good now, what if it ends up being a terrible year and someone she loves dies?
I feel the same way!! I always ask myself, “Is this gonna be the year that my life starts to tank?” I’ve never heard anyone share that fear before so I wasn’t about to admit that’s how I think of the new year, no matter what year it is.
Sometimes I get sad around the new year, anxious an apprehensive.
The song ‘Auld Lange Syne” is terribly sad. I mean, who wrote it? I want to know who’s responsible for this. Every time I hear it I want to cry because I don’t want to forget the old acquaintances. And actually, it’s auld …whatever that means. I always thought it was old acquaintances and we should forget them. What do I know?
But she said as she pondered on this thought of being afraid to face a new year, that the Lord reminded her that tomorrow itself is not promised so why fear a new year?
And as she told me, it was as if the Lord said it to me Himself. Shanda, you are giving too much power to a year, and not only that, you forget that your days are in the hands of God anyway. Every day is a gift whether it be 2020 or 2021.
With that said, 2020 has had some wonderful things come out of it.
Her Faith Inspires podcast began in December of 2019 and by the end of 2020 we will hit 57 episodes total and over 10,000 downloads which was my goal for the first year of this podcast.
For those of you who come back each week and listen, thank you! I really do appreciate you being here and I love hearing from my listeners because as a teacher, I love to connect with my students. That was my absolute favorite thing about teaching. I told my students every year that they would end up loving me because I always love my students. I feel the same way about you because I use this podcast to teach and hopefully you hear my love for the Lord and my love for His people as you listen.
I promise to keep pushing out episodes that keep you culturally up to date but biblically aware of how to handle each situation.
We must go into 2021 alert, watchful and on guard intellectually and spiritually. And that is my prayer for me and you.
In fact, the bible tells us many, many times to watch and stay awake. The times we are in call for wisdom and there is no time to lie down on the job. Again, I am offering lots of online classes next year and if you want to learn apologetics and other courses … even how to study the Bible like a scholar, please get on the “to know” list.
With that said, I contemplated what to talk about with you on this New Years episode. I thought about goal setting. I talked about smart goals last year and I always set new goals each new year … hence the 10,000 download goal.
I thought about new year resolutions. Anything we want to change? Work on?
But the truth is, we are facing new challenges as we head into 2021.
We’re go into it with COVID, an inauguration on Jan 20th and our country is in dire straights with the division of political parties and ideologies.
Do we stick with the same mode of operation each new year brings, or do we change things up a bit because we don’t know if 2021 is going to be 2020 on steroids? Oh, God … please don’t let it be.
I’ll be honest with you … I think we need to do both. I think we make goals, but we also do things differently. I think we look at making changes, but not the same “Oh, I want to lose 20lb by February” goals.
I’m talking about mental, spiritual and physical goals that make 2021 your best year yet. So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How to get ready and equipped for 2021 in the midst of uncertainty and craziness.
Because I’ll be honest … the future is not for the faint of heart, but we don’t fear it either.
It’s for those who are tired of allowing circumstances to give you swings of highs and lows.
It’s for those of you who want a real commitment with the Lord and to make sure you read your bible and grow in wisdom, knowledge and understanding with Him and His word.
It’s for those who want to create disciplines that mean you show up every day and prove faithful to the cause of the Lord in this life … whether that be in your home, at work, in your relationships and to impact culture as you live a life on fire for the Lord.
Who’s with me?
And that’s what we’re going to talk about today:
1) How to create spiritual disciplines and remain committed to the Lord
2) How to create mental goals and strengthen your mindset
3) What it means to show up and impact culture.
In order to make any lasting changes in our lives, we have to start with the spiritual.
Now remember, works do not get us to heaven, but spiritual disciplines are things you do. Sometimes bible reading and study can feel like a chore and it shouldn’t. There’s a fine line between reading and studying and checking boxes and then doing it to know the Lord and seek Him.
I’d be lying if I said I don’t get caught in this trap at times and have to remember that works do not save me or make me better than anyone else. So be mindful of that as you create spiritual disciplines, but there is no way to know the word of God unless we read and study it.
Spiritual disciplines take time to develop but they are:
Reading and studying the Bible. Obviously one is easier than the other. I share on my highlights on IG (under studying) that reading is passive and active. Digging deep in the word takes you deeper with God.
I don’t put a time limit on my studying. If I study for 15 minutes one day, then that’s 15 minutes of digging deep. Sometimes it’s longer. It just depends on where I’m going with it and what my search consists of.
Don’t get into the legalistic part of reading and studying. Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you and teach you as you study.
Another spiritual disciple is prayer.
I dedicated an entire episode to prayer. It’s episode 10: “One way to thrive in your walk with God”. Prayer is a discipline that directly inserts us into the spiritual battle happening around us. Prayer moves the hand of God in our lives.
One of the examples in the bible is when Daniel prays and doesn’t get an answer for 21 days. The angel who finally gets to him says the Prince of Persia withstood him and hindered him from getting to Daniel to deliver the message, so the angel had to call Michael the archangel to come help him fight.
When we pray, God puts angels into motion. Heavenly hosts are at war in the heavenly realms, per Ephesians 6 and we are part of the spiritual battle.
1 Cor 13:9 says we see dimly right now. This physical realm we are in is only a part of what’s truly going on in the world. There is a spiritual realm all around us that we do not see and it is more alive than we are because the battle is not for physical things but for eternal souls.
When you pray for your marriage, your loved ones, your country, the souls of the lost … you have entered into the eternal and you are activating the armor of God in your life.
Prayer is a discipline we must not neglect, and let me tell ya … prayer is something I have to make time for or it gets neglected. I have said many times, and if you’ve listened long enough you heard me say, I have a prayer journal … many of them … because I pour my heart out through a pen sometimes more fervently than I do verbally.
But I adjure you not to neglect the discipline of prayer. It’s your communication with the Lord. It’s your open line of communication anytime, anywhere, no matter what is happening.
Another discipline is tithing.
We put our money into what’s important to us. Just take a look around at how the world operates. Ticket Master came out with an announcement a couple of weeks ago that said they would require negative COVID tests or a vaccine before they let anyone into concerts. They got so much pushback from it they came back out with an announcement and said “Well, that’s not what we meant.”
Yeah, right it’s not. I read the article dude. But when money talks, people change their tune real quick.
That’s human nature. Churches are hurting right now, especially where we live in California since many of them aren’t meeting. Remember to give back to the Lord the first fruits of your increase because it shows faithfulness to what God has entrusted us with.
Fasting is another spiritual discipline.
Now, fasting can be done in different ways for different durations so I don’t want to hang out here too long today. Just know that if you are seeking the Lord for answers or want to cut out the desires of the physical for a bit so that you can give the Lord much of your attention, fasting is something to consider.
When we get our spiritual disciplines in priority, God will begin to do amazing things in our lives. It’s a trickle down effect.
God works on our hearts and we don’t try and change the world before going to Him to change our hearts. And when He does, our relationships are affected, our mental health is strengthened, and our outlook is not controlled by circumstances but by our time spent with the Lord.
And that brings me to mental goals and strengthening our mindset.
One of the episodes coming up in January is “Is there power in positive thinking” and I’ll get into the meat of the mind and transformation of the mind.
One of my go-to verses for the mind is Romans 12:2 and I share it often. Paul says, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind; so that you may prove that which is perfect and the acceptable will of God.”
Minds are either conformed or transformed.
One of my friends told me the other day that I am not going to change people’s minds when it comes to spiritual things. I said, “Of course I won’t. But I will put a pebble in their shoe.”
What does that mean? It means I’ll get them thinking until they either forget what I said or search it out for themselves.
I shared a quote by wrath and grace the other day and I love it. It says, “The word of God can be in the mind without being in the heart, but it cannot be in the heart without first being in the mind.”
Everything is filtered through the mind.
Why do you think the media manipulates what they show you? Why do you think the public education system chooses to read books on gender non-conformity to 10 year olds?
They are trying to mold the minds of the people. Molding is conforming. And God’s word says do not allow your mind to be conformed.
Transformation is what we’re after and that is only done by the word of God. The Holy Spirit takes the word as we get it into our minds and He deals with us, sanctifies us and strengthens our minds to make us more like Christ.
We begin to think like Him. We reason like Him. We philosophize like Him because our minds are transformed so that …. Notice the rest of what Paul says in this verse … so that we may prove the perfect and acceptable will of God.
How do you know what 2021 will bring?
You never will, but you will know how God wants you to handle every situation 2021 presents when your mind is transformed by His word. And why would this happen? Because you’ve created the spiritual disciplines that make the transformation of your mind possible.
And for a practical tip on mindset: enjoy the little things in life. If 2020 didn’t teach me anything else, it’s that things can change in an instant.
One day my kids are at school, life is busy and maskless, and the next minute you get a text from the school saying it’s canceled for two weeks. All events came to a screeching halt. The last sporting event I was at was a tennis match for my oldest and I thought he was going to have his senior year to play and so far, we got nothing here in Cali.
My kids are supposed to go back to school in January after 10 months!! I miss watching them play sports. I miss going to church like normal. I miss church community and church family. I miss Christmas programs where I take lots of pics of my kids singing songs they don’t want to sing. I miss putting on Christmas outreaches at church.
I don’t want to take the blessings of God for granted.
You now that song “Let Her Go”? It’s a secular song but I like it. It says, “You only miss the light when its burning low. You only miss the sun when it starts to snow. You only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low. Only hate the road when you’re missing home.” What he’s saying is you only miss what you have when it’s gone.
Don’t let that be you and me. I cherish my family time right now. I absolutely love being with my family and I tell myself to take a mental snapshot. Life is short and my life is made better when my family is in it.
When we think about what we have and are thankful for it, our minds stay in the right place.
I’m going to mention this on the podcast episode on power in positive thinking, but it takes work to keep our minds in the right place. The saying, “keep your mind out of the gutter” is so true. But this year, resolve to be the one behind the wheel when it comes to your thoughts and your mental strength. God’s word can and does strengthen our minds.
What it means to show up and impact culture:
More people need words of hope in 2021. But more than words, people need action. When it comes down to it, people can talk a good game. When what you say and what you do align, there is influence, and that means showing up.
What does that look like? Again, if we get these priorities and goals out of order, we’re actually not going to go any further than our own spiritual strength and maturity. Why? Because everything we do flows from our hearts and our hearts can only be changed by God. So, don’t skip that part of you truly want to impact culture.
It always starts at home first. It always starts in the heart. Jordan Peterson says, and many people hate him for it, that if you want to change the world make your bed first. What’s he saying? If you can’t take care of your own house, how will you change the world?
This may make some people angry, but angry or not, it’s true and if we try and change the world before allowing God to change us, we won’t get far at all or we won’t be taken serious.
I have to remind myself often that the things I do in my own home mean more than anything I do outside of it. The people I live with our my first ministry. I am here to serve my husband and children above all others. The dinners, dishes, laundry, rushing around town to doctor appointments, homework, and all of that are my priorities as a mom. Those things honor God more than anything I do in public because those are the little things that make a big difference.
I truly believe that God loves the small things. God cares more that I serve Him with my whole heart in my home before I ever stand on a stage or record a podcast episode because my true heart is revealed in my home when I’m tired or when I don’t feel like cleaning another dirty toilet seat.
Just know that when you show up in life an with your family, you are making a huge difference. Show love to those around you because everyone needs it.
We are a people and a culture that places value on what we see.
We think having a platform is where we make a difference and although it can, it doesn’t make the greatest difference.
You know who makes the greatest difference in your life? The ones who pour into it intentionally. You make the greatest difference in the lives of those you pour into intentionally.
We want to be elevated. It is in our nature. It was one of the lies the serpent sold to Eve, “You can be like God …” We will war against it. But it’s not those with platforms, fame, beauty or money that impact.
It’s those who have allowed God to change their hearts and lives and then go out and tell others about Him.
I tell God all the time …
if having followers and listeners causes me to fall, I don’t want any of it. I admire the small town pastor who knows his congregation and does life with them. He makes a difference.
The mama who takes care of dirty diapers and children with runny noses and sacrifices being home with her kids or even to home school them is making a huge difference because she is impacted the next generation for the Lord.
I love the behind-the-scenes people that are Aaron’s to Moses’ or Jonathan’s to David’s because I believe with my whole heart that those people will be rewarded by God far greater than those who stood in the spotlight.
Be someone’s Aaron. Be someone’s Jonathan. You may not stand in the spotlight with them but you’re the reason they’re there.
Moses wouldn’t go without Aaron. Jonathan stepped aside to let David have the throne.
What the world looks at and calls foolish is the very thing God uses. God doesn’t look with the eyes of men.
And when it’s all said and done …. I pray … I hope and pray that someone can say of me, “She cheered me on and she’s the reason I stood in the place God called me to stand because she was always in the background.”
That is how we impact the world. It’s not with podcasts, blogs, social media posts, or stages. It is in the day in and day out routine of life when we show up and tell someone to keep going.
And we cannot and will not do this if we skip the first priority …. Our own spiritual condition laid bare before the Lord.
This is the final episode of 2020. This year has come like every other year and it is gone. God has done some amazing things this year, and I anticipate great things for 2021 because He doesn’t allow any experience to be wasted. He works it for our good.
I have some exciting plans for you all for 2021. We will be offering online apologetics courses and Albert will be joining the teaching team and he is a wonderful and scholarly teacher. All of those classes will be posted shortly. The best way to find out info is to subscribe to the online course list so you’re notified as to when they drop.
I hope you all have a settled heart in the Lord and are determined to focus your attention to what God wants to do in your life as we move forward.
I am praying for you, for our with country and for the hand of God to be upon us mightily in the coming year.
We are taking no breaks, so next month we start season 5 where we’ll talk about freewill verses predestination, is there power in positive thinking, how to suffer well, and many, many other topics that I’m excited about.
So happy new year and I’ll catch you on the next one!