Ready for Anything & Equal to Anything on God’s “To Do” List

Check out Philippians 4:13 in the Amplified Bible:

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Yesterday, while I was waiting for an appointment at the doctor’s office, I meditated on this verse, which is part of the “Power Pack” of scriptures to go with the power thought, “I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ.”  Philippians 4:13 in other versions had become so familiar to me that I never really took the promise to heart as I should have.  I memorized the scripture years ago, as “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”  As I read over the Amplified text, I zeroed in on ready for anything and equal to anything.  Wow!  I imagined someone speaking those words to me:  “You are ready for anything and equal to anything in Christ.”  In the past, I have often used the excuse, “I’m not ready for that,” or “That’s too hard for me.”  Well, here’s the verse to refute that type of thinking.  I am ready for anything and equal to anything.

This verse also has important meaning to me because as I was writing in my journal and thinking about my plans for the day, I realized that I want to as much as it is within my control, always say “yes” when my husband or another family member asks me to do something, issues an invitation, or just wants me to listen.  I also have a rule that I always answer my cell phone whenever a family member calls.  If it’s not possible for some reason, I call back as soon as I can.  I want to be ready and equal to anything they might need or request.  My husband asked me to go with him yesterday afternoon to look at some cattle he is considering buying, and I told him I would let him know.  I was in another town for my doctor’s appointment, and I wanted to browse the January sales, and do some work of my own since classes start next week.  I decided that everything would wait except for the opportunity to spend time with my husband.  I am trusting God that the other things will also be completed in due time.  I had a similar experience this morning.  My “to do” list for today was beginning to reach into Thursday and Friday, and I had no sense of where or how to start on the long list of tasks today.  I went to bed, trusting God to show me when I woke up.  This morning, I remembered that my mother-in-law needed a ride to work so that she could pick up her car which she had worked on, without having two vehicles in town.  My husband told me he could take her to get it Thursday or Friday, and I didn’t say anything.  While I was drinking my coffee, the Lord brought this to mind, and I felt compelled to get myself ready and take her to get her car.  I am trusting God to lead me through the day, even though it means that not everything on my list may get marked off.  I would much prefer to do the things on his list.

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Singing Out on the Back Row

     Sunday, and I am still power-thinking away. On the spur of the moment this morning, I decided to go to church; this was scary for me and put my trusting God to the test.  Why is going to church scary?  Well, beside the usual nervousness about going to a new place, and going alone, I was concerned about how my husband might react.  He does not have much interest in church at this point, and Sunday is his only day off work, so I felt bad about going off on my own.  He said it was fine, so I was stripped of my “excuse” and off I went.  It was a good experience, and I felt very at peace being in God’s house on the Sabbath Day.  I was welcomed and enjoyed the service.  Afterward, the lady who occupied the back row with me invited me to a women’s Sunday school class, and the pastor invited me to attend choir practice.  Apparently he had a good view of me singing my heart out on the back row.  Isn’t that just the cliché?  The back-row Christian?  Well, it was a step in the right direction for me.  I did have the thought in my head that I would go to church, but that I would try to find one big enough so that I could “hide.”  Not very sassy, spunky, and spirited of me, huh?  Aside from the back row thing, this actually was an s-cubed moment.  It took a lot of courage for me to go, introduce myself, and sing out.  I am glad I did, but it still feels uncomfortable.

     I don’t want to let past church experiences affect my life now.  I am nervous about getting pulled into something, becoming involved too fast, or becoming over-involved.  I am not sure if I will go back, if I will try the choir practice or the Sunday school class.  I still feel unsettled about being away from my husband too much.  All of that has been swirling around in my mind today.  I am not going to worry about it though.  I am going to trust God to get me to where I am supposed to be.  I am going to trust God with my schedule.  I am going trust God to orchestrate how much I’m gone and how much I am home.  I am going to trust God with where I go to church and with how involved or uninvolved I am. I am going to trust God to move me from the back row, or not.   I am going to trust God with my husband’s feelings and attitudes.  I am going to trust that God will show me what to do and help me to do it when the time comes.

      Ah…Enter peace.  Peace comes from trusting God.

Choosing Trust and Stepping Away from Stress

So, my usual M.O. for New Year’s Eve is to panic.  Why?  Typically, I have a list of goals and ideas and resolutions that I want to start on January 1st that is as long as my arm.  I know I won’t be able to do it all, but I cling to the thought that it’s possible, and that maybe I can worry it or reason it into coming to pass!

This year, things are different.

This last couple of days, I have been preparing for tomorrow.  Oh yeah, I know tonight is New Year’s Eve a.k.a. Party Night, but my heart is on tomorrow.  Confession:  I have been a little stressed about it, and even though my sole/soul intention is to trust God, I have felt the pressure of all of the other stuff as well.  What am I talking about?  Well, I am talking about the usual resolution stuff—losing weight, exercising more, reading in a different genre, writing more, keeping up with my blog when the semester starts…All of these goals and ideas spin around in my head and can overwhelm me. 

Still, I am trusting God.  I am trusting God to teach me how to do this trusting thing.  I am trusting him to give me the grace to enter 2011 calm and at peace instead of frantic and high-strung.

Anyway, in the midst of the overwhelm, or perhaps a little outside of it, I have been making my plans and preparations for the big day.  I am excited about the new possibilities and very much looking forward to the Power Thoughts Program.  What else?

Wednesday, I signed up for some classes at our local quilt shop.  I enjoy sewing and making things, but I am usually hesitant to commit to classes.  Well, I said “yes!” to something I wanted to do, and I am now committed to a block-of-the-month club that meets one Sunday per month for sewing and dessert, and I am committed to a Paula Party each month for the first three months of the year.  A Paula Party involves sewing a small project and eating a meal together made up of all Paula Deen recipes.  Did you notice the food + creativity theme?  Those are my kind of classes.

Yesterday, I bought small poster boards and markers (fun!) so that I can make and hang the signs I’m going to use to help get each power thought into my head, heart and spirit.  I also bought a little notebook to use as a gratitude journal.  I love keeping gratitude journals—I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t do it.  Today, I boxed up the 2011 files and made new files for 2011.  I plan to make clam chowder for supper, and when my sweetie gets home from work, we will eat and relax, watch movies, and greet the New Year together.

The Power Thoughts Program

     This last week, I bought and read Joyce Meyer’s book Power Thoughts.  This books is about taking responsbility for your thoughts and attitudes and thinking good thoughts on purpose.  I was drawn to the book because it flows with the direction that I am going in–ending worry and trusting God.  Power Thoughts deals with twelve powerful thoughts that line of with the Bible that I feel I would greatly benefit to have firmly ingrained in my mind.  This is how I am going to approach my goal of trusting God completely.

     Beginning the first week of the year, I will take one power thought each week for twelve weeks and work on making it a part of my mind.  This is the an important part of the process that all Christians need to do–renewing the mind.  See Romans 12:1-2:  “Therefore brothers, in view of God’s mercy, I urge you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices to God.  Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”  Transformation?  Isn’t that what the new year is all about?

Since there are twelve power thoughts, I plan to repeat the process four times over the course of the year, and I will choose my focus for the last four weeks of the year, a little closer to that time.

With each power thought, I will:

  1.  Reread the chapter in the book and answer the questions in writing.
  2. Write the power thought on signs (post-its, posterboard, etc.) and place the signs where I will see them.
  3. Meditate on the thought.
  4. Say the thought out loud often.
  5. Meditate on and memorize one of the scriptures pertaining to the power thought.
  6. Journal and/or blog about my personal experience with the power thought.
  7. Talk to a friend about what I am learning through my week with the power thought.

That’s my plan for learning to trust God and renewing my mind!  I can’t wait to get started!

2011 Word(s) of the Year: Trusting God

     I have been thinking a lot about my Word of the Year.  I am sticking to my guns and avoiding resolutions and putting my focus on a word or phrase instead.  By doing  this, I will focus my efforts and my mind on living my life to achieve that one phrase or word in all areas of my life.  The intention I am setting for 2011 is trusting God.  You don’t have to look very far to see that many, many, wonderful things come from trusting God.  Check out Psalm 37 verse 3 and 4:

Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord

and he will give you the desires of your heart.

So, countless benefits come from trusting God.  That, however is not my main goal in setting this intention.  What I struggle with most, I believe, is worry.  Worry and stress, and a type of worry called “reasoning” that involves me trying to figure things out.  Nothing robs me of my joy and my peace and creativity and clarity like worry.  Yet, I find it much easier to move away from a negative action like worrying if I have something positive to move toward–trusting God.  I don’t think it’s possible to trust God and worry at the same time.  It’s pretty freeing, trusting God.  I think I am going to have lots of new space in my mind (formerly filled by worry) to be creative, to be clear, to be at joy and to be at peace.  Yay! 

     I know I am early in posting this.  I want to get my intention firmly in my mind and start practicing trusting God.  I think that 2011 is going to be an exciting year.  Who knows how far-reaching the power of trusting God will be?

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