CULTIVATE 2021 – SIX UNIQUE MONTHLY PROMPTS
To cultivate community through prayer, service, creativity, movement, and generosity.
Community is foundational to who we are. As the Body of Christ on earth, we are called to love and serve one another, to sacrificially put each other’s needs ahead of our own. We were created in and for community, and are called to community by the One who is community Himself – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Cultivate 2021 Prompts are for every member of the Chronic Joy community.
Cultivating community is a courageous, creative, slow, and intentional work of the Spirit. These unique prompts will extend a beautiful invitation to our community to take their first brave steps of this brand new journey.
Because “…in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” Romans 12:5
6 UNIQUE MONTHLY PROMPTS
Below, you will find 12 (or more) monthly prompt ideas for each of the six Cultivate 2021 Prompts. We want to leave these as broad as possible to encourage as much creative application as possible. For example, in the Intentional Kindness Challenge, you’ll find Be Intentionally Kind – 30 Creative Ways. Number 3 says, “Celebrate someone and tell them why.” If that idea catches your attention, you could choose it, do the prompt then write about the experience. For example:
- Why did you choose the prompt?
- How did you prepare for it?
- What kindness did you choose?
- How did the experience feel?
- What did you learn?
- What happened in your relationship with God or the recipient of your kindness?
- Is there another of the 30 Creative Ways that’s now tugging at your heart?
ACTIVATING THE WHOLE YOU!
This is a creative #StepRepPray Movement Challenge. For this challenge specifically, we want to encourage movement, but always within the safe parameters of each individual medical professionals’ advice.
Our hope is to design 12 prompts that inspire movement across wide-ranging needs and abilities, in step with the Spirit, and always at the pace of grace.
Included are 13 prompt topics as well as some possible ideas to get you thinking. If you feel led to run with a topic, but in a different direction, definitely follow wherever God leads. The suggestions below are just a jumping off point.
Please don’t hesitate to include book titles, blogs, websites, articles, or other source materials you found helpful in preparing the prompt if you think they would benefit our community.
- Creation: days (time), seasons, years, tides, phases of the moon
- “To every thing there is a season …” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
- Days/Nights in Genesis
- “Cycles” by Jonathan McReynolds
- FITT Formula: F – Frequency (how often you will do the activity), I – Intensity (how hard you will perform the activity), T – Time (how long you will go) T – Type (kind of physical activity you will do)
- Cycling, spin classes, fitness in phases or cycles
- CIRCLE/ROTATE (Karin)
- Creation: halos, rotation of the earth, Haley’s Comet, an acorn cup, a sea urchin, a slice of bamboo, ripples in water, rings in cedar wood
- “He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth …” Isaiah 40:22
- “… He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep …” Proverbs 8:27
- “He has inscribed a circle on the surface of the waters / At the boundary of light and darkness.” Job 26:10
- Leg circles, arm circles, hip circles, shoulder rolls (circles), wrist circles, ankle circles
- Push/Pull by Hillsong Young and Free
- “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” Psalm 37:23
- “Direct my footsteps according to your word” Psalm 119:133
- “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him” Psalm 37:23
- “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9
- Walking Subhead at – https://www.silversneakers.com/blog/worst-senior-exercises/
- 12 Benefits of Walking (Arthritis Foundation)
- “Bend my heart toward your instructions …” Psalm 119:36
- “Bend down, O LORD, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help.” Psalm 86:1
- “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!” Psalm 116:2
- STRETCH (Karin)
- Objects: a spring, rubber band, elastic
- “I stretch out my hands to You; My soul longs for You, as a parched land. Selah.” Psalm 143:6
- “Then He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand!’ He stretched it out, and it was restored to normal, like the other.” Matthew 12:13
- “Thus declares the LORD who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him …” Zechariah 12:1
- “And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers!’” Matthew 12:49
- DANCE (Karin)
- Honeybees use dance to communicate. It’s called the “Waggle Dance”
- Peacock Spiders have one of the most elaborate courtship dances in the animal kingdom.
- Cockatoos, parrots, elephants, and harbor seals have the innate ability to dance to the underlying beat in genuine music (ie: “Boogie Wonderland” by Earth Wind and Fire and “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” by The Backstreet Boys (The Beasts That Keep the Beat, The List of Animals Who Can Truly, Really Dance is Very Short. Who’s On It? Ten Dazzling Dancers of the Animal Kingdom)
- “Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp.” Psalm 149:3-4
- “…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,” Ecclesiastes 3:4
- BALANCE (Karin)
- Night and Day
- Seasons: spring, summer, winter, fall
- “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
- Good balance helps to prevent falls and injury. It supports mental clarity and can ease anxiety. Research has shown that balance exercises lead to greater cognitive gains, and can help us stay present in the moment.
- See how long you are able to stand on one foot.
- Walk heel to toe for 20 steps.
- Balance helps us with proprioception – the ability for the body to know where it’s limbs are in space.
- Balance helps with neuromuscular coordination – the brain’s ability to tell the appropriate muscles to fire at the correct times producing stable, quality movement.
- Balance assists with joint stability – protecting multi axial joints (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders)
- Balance helps the body to quickly correct, but not over compensate in response to a stimulus or the environment.
- Balance helps increases strength.
- Balance aids in agility – the power to move quickly and easily.
- Balance helps to prevent falling as we age.
- “Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.” Psalm 26:1 (KJ21)
- “The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide.” Psalm 37:31 (NKJV)
- “The mountains will melt under him like wax in a fire. The valleys will break apart and slide like water rushing down a hill.” Micah 1:4 (ERV)
- Slide Exercises improve core strength working the transverse abdominis, a deep internal core muscle that wraps around your spine and is crucial for keeping your trunk stable in most exercises and everyday movements.
- Slide Exercises increase cardio
- Examples of Slide Exercises:
- Body Saw
- Slider Mountain Climber
- Slider Single-Leg Knee Tuck
- Slider Plank Jack
- Slider Knee Tuck
- Slider Plank to Pike
- Slider Plank to Pike to Knee Tuck
- Slider Plank Knee Tuck Twist
- Slider Arm Circles
- Glider Single-Leg Slide
- Glider Single-Arm Wheelbarrow
- “The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.” Numbers 6:26 (CEB)
- “Then you will have delight in the Almighty, And you will lift up your face to God. Job 22:26 (AMPC)
- “To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” Psalm 25:1 (AMP)
- “Fill your servant’s heart with joy, for to you, Adonai, I lift my heart.” Psalm 86:4 (CJB)
- “Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice. They have lifted up their pounding waves.” Psalm 93:3 (NIRV)
- Always get your doctor’s consent before beginning to exercise.
- hurricanes, tornados, whirlwind, whirlpools, DNA
- “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind …” Job 38:1
- Wood Chops (Twist Exercise) https://yurielkaim.com/abdominal-exercises-for-seniors/
CALLED TO CREATE • JOURNEY OF SURPRISES
We hope to inspire both those who already see themselves as creative artists as well as those who haven’t yet stepped into this brave new space.
For this prompt, we hope guest writers will choose a prompt, do it, then share their personal experience, giving wings to possibility.
Monthly prompts will be two-word prompts that can be taken in any direction you feel God move.
- Courage/Patience (Karin)
- Grief/Hope (Gayl)
- Breath/Fire (Michelle)
- Pain/Silence (Anna??)
- Wander/River (Michelle)
- Wait/Vision (Karin)
- Empty/Still (Karin)
- River/Soul (Michelle)
“… [the] first step as creative artists … is to … simply listen, let the silence introduce itself to us anew … for … silence is never empty, but is precisely the space in which we perceive the Word in the world, speaking to us with that still, small voice.” Joel Clarkson
HEARTBEAT OF HOPE • A GENEROSITY CHALLENGE
This is a different kind of creative opportunity, a progressive giving challenge asking the repeated question, “What’s in Your Pocket?”
Our first reaction is often money, but it can also be prayer, time, patience, a listening ear, a skill, resources, or kindness. Our hope is to help others think creatively about this question.
The monthly images are:
- $2 for a water bottle
- $3 for 1½ oranges
- $4 for 1 bunch of fresh asparagus
- $5 for 1 bag of your favorite chips
- $6 for 1 pint of fresh blueberries
- $7 for 1 pancake breakfast
- $8 for 3 organic bananas
- $9 for 2 fresh berry sundaes
- $10 for 1 bag of almonds
- $11 for 1 bottle of fresh squeezed juice
- $12 for 1 new book
- $20 for 1 gourmet pizza
The idea is to choose a month, #3 for instance, because you love asparagus, then work with a favorite recipe using fresh asparagus, by substituting something else.
If the water bottle (#1) intrigues you, brainstorm ideas for sharing a bottle of water with a delivery driver or sanitation worker, mail carrier or a local road construction crew. Be creative. Think outside the box. And get our community thinking too.
Or maybe you love humor and would love to weave a generous portion into a an amusing guest post challenging others to give.
We are always #BetterTogether when we “Excel in grace-filled generosity!” (2 Corinthians 8:7 TPT)
INTENTIONAL KINDNESS • A REVOLUTIONARY KINDNESS CHALLENGE
Pause. Seek. Notice. Allow yourself to be inconvenienced by the will of God then take a single intentional step forward and see what He will do.
- Send a #PenToPaper note to a friend or neighbor, someone who is sick or hospitalized, some who is lonely or isolated.
- Make a sweet treat for your neighbors and drop it off topped with A Touch of Kindness gift tag.
- Celebrate someone and tell them why.
- Take the time to really listen to someone’s story.
- Donate blood. One pint can save up to three lives.
- Pray for the cashier while you wait in line, for person in front of you in the drive-thru, for someone waiting near you for a medical test or appointment.
- Surprise a good server with a great tip!
- Record a book excerpt or magazine article for someone who is visually impaired or too sick to read right now, or record a favorite children’s story. The Voice Memo app on your phone makes it quick and easy!
- Donate to your favorite charity and tell them why.
- #PayItBackward and treat the person in line behind you to a “free” order today on you.
- Text someone an encouraging image. Chronic Joy® has thousands to choose from!
- Catch up with a lonely family member or friend via phone, Facetime, or Zoom.
- Share a virtual coffee with a friend or loved one anywhere in the world.
- Pray for the last person you texted, for your mail carrier, trash collector, or medical receptionist.
- Stand with someone who is struggling in 30 Days of “Do No Fear”. Each day, email or text them a verse for the two of you to lean into together.
- Write a great review for your favorite restaurant or local business.
- Pray for each of your neighbors by name today.
- Write a review for your favorite local or online small business.
- Write a LinkedIn endorsement for someone who’s work and character you genuinely appreciate.
- Spread a little cheer. Smile at everyone you see today.
- Venmo a friend $5 for coffee and include an inspiring quote.
- Give Freely – go through a drawer or closet today and decide what you can give away to bless another.
- Be a “Connector-or-People.” Introduce people to each other and to organizations that would bless both.
- Leave a copy of your favorite book at a Little Free Library.
- Fill a gift bag or box with brightly colored paper plates, napkins, and utensils, a gift card for pizza or take-out, and a note that says, “For the days when there’s not enough energy.”
- Give three honest compliments to those you know and love.
- Spread the Word about good people doing good work who are self-employed.
- Send a handwritten thank you to a doctor, nurse, or medical professional who cared for you with dignity and compassion.
- Call a friend and really listen to their heart.
- Inspire and encourage others online – share stories of hope and touching kindness.
“…kindness is for absolutely everyone. As we intentionally show kindness each day, may we shine the light of Christ to a dying world in need of a savior, a generation in need of love and grace. Be Jesus to someone today and every day; make Him your role model and kindness your lifestyle.” Olivia Forton
LORD, HEAR OUR PRAYER • JOURNEY DEEPER INTO PRAYER
14 MONTHLY SCRIPTURE VERSE PROMPTS
“Each prayer is like a seed that gets planted in the ground. It disappears for a season, but it eventually bears fruit that blesses future generations. In fact, our prayers bear fruit forever.” Mark Batterson
Prayer is the heartbeat of Chronic Joy®. As the fragrance of the Spirit breathes the Word of God into us, Jesus meets us where we are, strengthening and deepening our faith, changing and enriching us, equipping us, and developing in us Kingdom-born-rhythms and consistency.
Pray through the following 14 Scripture Prompts and when the Spirit nudges, study those verses. Read them in a variety of translations. Let the Spirit speak to you. Then write about your thoughts, ideas, questions, and personal experience with these verses in a prayer prompt for our community.
If a different translation speaks to you, please use it. Just let us know so we’re sure to update it on our end.
- EPHESIANS 1:16-18 (NLT) I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
- EPHESIANS 1:18-20 (TPT) I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination, flooding you with light, until you experience the full revelation of the hope of his calling—that is, the wealth of God’s glorious inheritances that he finds in us, his holy ones! I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm!
- EPHESIANS 3:16-19 (NIV) I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.(Gayl)
- PHILIPPIANS 1:9-12 (TPT) I continue to pray for your love to grow and increase beyond measure, bringing you into the rich revelation of spiritual insight in all things. This will enable you to choose the most excellent way of all – becoming pure and without offense until the unveiling of Christ. And you will be filled completely with the fruits of righteousness that are found in Jesus, the Anointed One – bringing great praise and glory to God! I want you to know, dear ones, what has happened to me has not hindered, but helped my ministry of preaching the gospel, causing it to expand and spread to many people.
- 1 THESSALONIANS 3:12-13 (TPT) And may the Lord increase your love until it overflows toward one another and for all people, just as our love overflows toward you. Then your hearts will be strengthened in holiness so that you may be flawless and pure before the face of our God and Father at the appearing of our Lord Jesus with all his holy ones. Amen!
- 2 THESSALONIANS 1:11-12 (TPT) With this in mind, we constantly pray that our God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience. And we pray that by his power all the pleasures of goodness and all works inspired by faith would fill you completely. By doing this the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you will be glorified in him, by the marvelous grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 THESSALONIANS 3:5 (ESV) May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.
- 1 PETER 3:8 (TPT) Now, this is the goal: to live in harmony with one another and demonstrate affectionate love, sympathy, and kindness toward other believers. Let humility describe who you are as you dearly love one another.
- COLOSSIANS 3:15 (NIV) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. (Dena)
- HEBREWS 6:11-12 (ESV) And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
- HEBREWS 12:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such as great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- PSALM 119:18 (TPT) Open my eyes to see the miracle-wonders hidden in your word. (Anna Smit)
- PSALM 86:11 (AMP) Teach me Your way, O Lord, I will walk and live in Your truth; Direct my heart to fear Your name [with awe-inspired reverence and submissive wonder].
- PSALM 90:14 (TPT) Let the sunrise of your love end our dark night. (Bettie)
Break through our clouded dawn again!
Only you can satisfy our hearts,
filling us with songs of joy to the end of our days.
CREATIVE WAYS TO SERVE • LOVE ONE ANOTHER
“Service … it’s a building block.” Alonda Tanner
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of our time – one of the most valuable gifts we can give.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of our energy – a precious and finite resource.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of our finances – giving to meet another’s need.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of our talents – How and where can you be the hands and feet of Jesus today? (Gayl)
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of our plans – sometimes the greatest sacrifice we choose to make.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of serving – when we choose to “wash feet,” we serve and give from a heart of compassion.
- We’re invited to offer the sacrifice of forgiveness – a sacrifice of pride that builds a bond within the Body of Christ.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of prayer – a powerful gift of blessing.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of encouragement – planting little seeds of love nurtures God’s revolutionary Kingdom on earth.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of listening – taking the time to listen to someone’s heart is often more important than any “act of service” we could give. (Sarah Z.)
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of care – slowing down to enter into someone’s story, building a relationship little-by-little over time.
- We’re invited to offer a sacrifice of humility – the courageous vulnerability of asking for what we need and allowing others to graciously serve us.