Thursday, January 13, 2011

Commit Your Plans

So what is it you are hoping will change for you in 2011?  What's the goal you've outwardly set or inwardly longed for?

And what reality has to be redefined for you to see that come to pass in the space of the next 12 months?

Francis Frangipane writes, "Humans are cocooned, insulated against change by the familiar. When we work all day only to come home, watch television, then collapse in bed, our lifestyle becomes a chain of bondage. These things may not necessarily trap us in sin as much as they keep us from God."

My pastor is fond of saying, "In order to do what we've never done before, we have to be someone we've never been before." So what kind of person do you need to be in 2011?  And what does that mean you have to do today to get there?

For the last 5 or so years our church has done New Year's resolutions a little differently. We've individually chosen one word to focus on for the entire year. Just one word to encapsulate what it is - after giving it some prayer and careful thought - that we are aiming at. It's sort of a one word goal/lens/reminder/prayer.

Maybe you'd like to try that too.  Maybe you already heard my pastor, Mike Ashcraft, talking about it last week on K-Love when Lysa T. was guest hosting, and you've already picked your word.  For more info on that go to our site  And if you've chosen a word, I'd love to hear what it is!

Regardless of if you've made a resolution, or chosen a word, or just cried on your pillow begging God to help you make some changes ... let me ask you again, what do you have to do today to see that mountain move and your desired outcome come to pass? 

And more importantly, how will you commit those plans unto the Lord, and plug into His power to accomplish them?

That, my friends, is more than just food for thought - more than a cinnamonon bun and cup of decaf - it's training in godliness. Speaking of food for thought though, I'm off to the university for the first day of class this morning in the new course The Psychology of Religion.  Hum ... should be interesting!

Blessings ~ Rachel


  1. My word for this year is MORE...more of everything Jesus!

  2. Good food for thought. My one word is obedience.


  3. My one word is determination. Determine to seek God and pursue him in every area of my life. I need to find the time to sit with Him each day, that's the hurdle I need to clear to achieve my goal. Please pray for me that I will not only find the time but will make the time.

  4. This quote "When we work all day only to come home, watch television, then collapse in bed, our lifestyle becomes a chain of bondage." describes my life. Changes have to be made. Please pray I will hear God and obey.

  5. I love getting my Prov 31 devotional in my inbox each day! Thank you for challenging me to put God and His word first this year....please pray for my son Ben, that he will be open to hearing God's voice in his life and to be obedient to Him.

  6. Thanks for this great post. This is definitely something to think about. You are so right that we do have time...

  7. Praying right now for you, Danette. And for Anonymous, and for Dawna's son ... for each of us!

  8. I heard Lysa talking about this while on KLOVE last week. I have also recently heard conversations about claiming a verse for the year. I have never of of these two things but like the thought of both.

    Giving time, thought and prayer to both of these.

  9. This is a little hard because there are so many words out there that I would like to use....So many changes that I need to make, lasting changes. But I think my one word is surrender. I want to surrender all I am, all who I want to be, to God. To yield everything over to Him. Please pray for me!

  10. God actually gave me two words to focus on. Stillness and simplicity. I am so amazed at what he has shown me so far. Things I had been missing for quite some time. I am thankful that He has opened my eyes to take very small and I do mean small steps to becoming who He would like me to be.

  11. Rachel,
    I read your P31 post today and it was refreshing...and convicting. I'd been considering flaking on a weekly Bible Study, despite my intentions to draw closer to God. Thanks for the words that reminded me the Study really is where God wants me to be right now.
    And my word for this year is PEACE. Peace amid chaos, anxiety, and fear. Peace in our Lord. Thanks, Rachel!

  12. My word is "GIVE"! Giving back to the Lord! The Lord has blessed me way beyond anything I deserve. I fell like God has spoken to me to minister to people about His word, and dooing what I can for people in poverty, especially children, therefore, by applying my gift for the purpose of our Lord I will be able to "GIVE" back!

  13. This truly spoke to me as it is my heart's desire and due to a recent family death, it's the first "Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today" that I've read this year. God is so amazing!!

  14. DILIGENT is my word! I havent set up my page yet, but wanted to thank you for sharing this! I am working on trying to loose weight without having surgery, I have Crohn's disease and am unable to have weight loss surgery, I know it can be done without I just need to be diligent in keeping at it!! Thank you

  15. Hi there! My word is expectation (as I wait on God). :) I'm interested in what your church is doing--I think it's awesome that y'all are doing this! I picked my word not knowing anyone else was doing the same. I love it when God does that!

    By the way, how do you like writing on those little blocks (in reference to the pic you posted)? Does it help keep things nice and neat?

    Prayers and blessings,

    p.s. Are you teaching or taking the class? Sounds very interesting!

  16. Wholeness is my word for 2011.

  17. Thanks, Rachel. I was feeling very overwhelmed this morning:
    ...want to be a good mom
    ...good wife
    ...good employee
    ...good child of God by reading my bible and praying but often times it's not easy. I know 15 minutes with God is not enough for me. Your suggestions will help.

    God bless you.

  18. Hi Rachel,

    I belong to Port City Community Church here in Wilmington as well, and I think my word for 2011 is actually going to be Crave! I've been praying about it alot and talking it over in my small group. I'm a follower of P31 Ministries, and Lysa's Made to Crave book kind of fits what I'm needing and what I think God is wanting from me perfectly - to crave Him above all else. Above food, love, money, etc. Pray that it goes well! I'll be praying for all of us that God really uses our words to work in us this year.


  19. Hi Rachel!
    My one word is thankful. I want to stop grumbling and have an attitude of gratitude. My phrase for this year is "Be still and know that I am God." To quiet my soul and listen to His voice.
    The scriptures you shared were just right. Thank you for your encouraging words.
    God Bless

  20. I claimed the word "Less" for last year and God opened areas that I did not know I needed less in! So I can look back on last year and know there is less but now I want to call last year HEALED! PRAISE GOD! Healed of bondage I did not know I had!
    SO this year I cling LESS again...
    Less me
    Less weight
    Less stuff
    Less distractions
    Less Debt

    and praying that this is the year that we are able to make ONE LESS orphan!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

  21. After 38 years of marriage, my husband walked out with someone who pretended to be my friend so she could be with him. I have tried to "take the high road" to protect my children and grandchildren from feeling like they have to choose and be pulled apart. This is tough, however, because I hold a lot in. When you mentioned one word, the one that popped into my head is "forgiveness". Unless I can truly forgive, and not just outwardly forgive, I cannot grow in the Lord. I will pray that this is the word the Lord has given me.

  22. My word for 2011 is 'Better". It is not that I want things around me to be better, I want to be better, a better wife, a better mother, a better sister, a better follower of our Lord.

  23. Rachel, I found your P31M devotion
    today to be so on target....for me
    specifically. I love to keep my
    house's just my husband
    and myself now and I find myself so
    often laying an item down where I
    happen to be, be it scotch tape, a
    pen, a tablet, a book, a glass, or
    a book. An area where I have been
    is usually marked by a plethora of
    items. It is beginning to bother me. I feel like I am in training to
    become a baglady! I will think
    about this today and come up with
    a word, and add it to my daily vo-
    cabulary. When you wrote that it
    takes 8 seconds to typically put
    something back into it's place, I
    groaned. I always talk to God in
    and through my day...I am a letter
    writer, actually. That's my form
    of communication with Him. And, one reason is because it prompts me
    to think of words that describes to
    Him how I feel. I recently started
    a blog, sharing my letters "outloud". God bless you
    Rachel for your devotionals and your commitment to encouragement for all of us!

  24. I think I've finally got a word for this year - REST. Seems so simple, but it is so hard for this girl to take time out to rest. After hearing a sermon from my pastor last week and then after reading the chapter in It's No Secret about rest, it hit me. That's exactly what I need to work on this year. I need to be free from the burden of being busy, busy, busy. My prayer today was asking the Lord to help me because I honestly don't know how to rest. And there written on the page in black and white was this verse from Matthew 11:30 (MESSAGE) "...keep company with me and you'll LEARN to live freely and lightly." I love the answers we get through God's Word and how he shows us the way.

    I also loved something else you said in that chapter, "Rest, rise, work . . rest must be the fuel and motivation for the work rather than merely recovery from it." I need rest to effectively walk in this purpose He has designed just for me. I'm excited about what God is going to show me this year. Thank you for the nudge in choosing a word : )

  25. COMMIT is my one word. A small word with serious depth. Commit to God, Myself and my Family. I believe if I can do these things my internal longings will come to past!


  26. What a reminder to always praise God regardless of our circumstances, and to live life with a joyful Christ-filled heart.

  27. matilda adjeiJanuary 27, 2011

    This article has insight well im a single mom with two young adult sons,what you wrote has given me some direction that you should not allow someones shortcomings to affect the way you act or not act.Because abigail did it with the help of God we also can. thanks God bless you Matilda Ghana,West Africa


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