Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Consistent Consistency

I want to get married someday, speak Spanish, write a book, travel the world, and know God and make Him known.  These desires seem so big and far away at times.  These things are all good things, but they require smaller steps of consistency over time to accomplish them.  If I were to make more friends, study my Rosetta Stone for thirty minutes a day, write for thirty minutes to an hour a day, save a few dollars a month for traveling adventures, and study and share the Word of God over a period of time; I would most likely be a whole lot closer to accomplishing the desires of my heart.  My dreams need to become goals, and in turn my goals will become accomplishments.  The bridge between my goals and accomplishments is a consistent consistency of  little steps of action that align with the direction of my goals.
My Dreams are the roles in which I seek to become.  My dreams will not be fulfilled and handed to me on a silver platter or delivered by the postal service delivery man.  God will not just hand me a husband, or allow me to speak Spanish fluently.  I won't wake up the next day with a best-selling book on the shelves of every bookstore.  I won't be able to hop on a plane tomorrow and go overseas.  I won't be spiritually mature ever this side of heaven, I will always be growing into the disciple and missionary God wants me to be.  There will not be this magical day where all of these desires are automatically fulfilled.  Every role or aspect of my life requires work on my part.  This is where my dreams must become my goals.  If my goals are to be a wife, a fluent Spanish speaker, an author and so on.  Then I need to break down these roles into small actions that can be executed consistently over time to get me to my goals.  These steps of completed consistency are the stepping stones for my goals to become accomplishments.  Once these goals turn to accomplishments, the journey is not over.  The role of wife will bring on new dreams such as mother and the steps of consistent consistency begin again just with another goal in mind.
My dreams turn to goals when I PLAN action steps to turn them into accomplishments.  My goals become accomplishments, when I EXECUTE those action steps consistently in accordance to my goals.

Dream BIG. Turn your dreams into goals and accomplish them!  Small steps lead to great accomplishments.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Worthy of Love



"Worthy"--to be deserving of effort or respect. "Love"--a deep and tender affection. Worthy of love--to be deserving of deep and tender affection. My name "Amanda" means "worthy of love," yet I feel as if I have tried to earn love and the admiration and praise of others. I was always focused on helping others to get from them what I thought I needed rather than giving with no expectations in return.

Today I felt like I am finally worth it. I "know" that I am, but for some reason, I doubted. I "know" God loves me so much so He sent His son to die for me. For ME. That is where the "worthy" part gets me. Who am I to be worthy of such a sacrificial love? I am just little ol' me trying to please God. I don't feel deserving of His love, therefore I try to earn it. Therein lies the problem. I don't deserve God's love on my own. I am never going to be able to earn His love. God makes me "worthy of love" through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Christ, I am able to know love and experience His love for me. I in turn am given the opportunity to share that love with others.

For some reason I have felt like I have been running away from that love and trying to offer my version of love. I am tired of running and exhausted from seeking approval. God freely gives me His love and shows me that I am worthy on a daily basis. It is time for me to believe it. Today, right now, I believe that I am worthy of love. God is love, and I want to share His love with others.

"Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."
~I John 4:7, 8

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This is the Stuff!

Have you had one of those days, weeks, or even months where nothing seemed to be going right and everything drove you crazy? Well I have been having several "This is the Stuff" moments as Francesca Battistelli so poignantly puts it. I got a new job, and I jumped into a new health and wellness company called Herbalife. Since then my water pump went out in my car, my second paycheck was messed up (but fixed), several unexpected or rather unaccounted bills came up, and my car insurance was due. I used my credit card a bit too much. I also made a "mud pie" decision to step a little too hard on the gas pedal which resulted in half of a "Reese's cup" consequence of a lesser fine for my ticket. I have also committed myself to an Herbalife training event with no way or money to get there. All of a sudden, I feel like I have been slammed with so many things all at once. I got a job to make a difference and also have some money to call my own to a degree. But even in this mess, I can see the blessings. My tax refund hit my account with perfect timing. My car insurance is paid. My life has been forever changed through Herbalife with new friends and an awesome, positive community (Oh yeah, I am also 10 pounds lighter and have more energy also). Because of my lead foot and speeding ticket, I changed directions and was blessed to see one of my kiddos from my first harvest of kiddos at my old church. Not so great things can happen but still lead you to some great things.
I have some choices to make.  Do I quit?  Do I give up?  NO! The bills will still come.  I have the choice to get up and do something.  I can either wallow in self-pity, or I can share my story and make something awesome happen.  With Herbalife, I can help others lead healthy, active lifestyles and turn their goals into accomplishments.  In the end, the stuff that gets to us most is what we benefit from most.  I will survive these setbacks and persevere to get out of my rut.

For anyone interested in my Herbalife story, here goes.  Before Herbalife, I was super stressed out, looking for a job, gaining weight from home cooked meals, facing some health issues, and exhausted.  I found Herbalife through an old high school friend.  I was skeptical at first.  I began with attending the FREE Fit Camps and getting to know all of the people.  My first shake was Cinnamon Roll, amazing!  My tea was cherry limeade, delicious!  This was the best tasting shake and energizing tea I had ever had in my life.   I learned a whole lot about myself, and that I am capable of completing something such as a Fit Challenge.  I participated in the January Fit Challenge and completed it 30 seconds faster on my mile, and I lost several inches.  I am now down 10 pounds and have so much energy.  I have signed up for the April Fit Challenge, and I look forward to finishing strong.

 For the Glory of God,

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Challenge Accepted (Part 3)


"...If you'll remember from Genesis 22, God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to take his baby son Isaac and bring him up to the top of the mountain to sacrifice him to the Lord. Abraham agreed and was about to do it when the Lord stopped him just in time and said that he had passed the test and proven himself to be faithful. Now, here's the question and challenge to all you fundamentalists.
IF you lived in the time of Abraham, and God had asked you to take your newborn child up to the mountain, and slay him with a knife or something, would you have done that? ...
Answer YES or NO!  Do not deviate or change the subject, just answer YES or NO, that's all I want to hear."
Please check out my last two posts (Part 1) and (Part 2) for the context of this challenge.  First off let's get some facts straight.  According to Genesis chapter 21, Isaac has been born and weaned which means Isaac was definitely more than a baby.  At the end of the chapter it states, "And Abraham sojourned in the Philistines' land many days." (Genesis 21:34)  I could be wrong but I am pretty sure Sarah and Isaac were with him.  This would mean that Isaac has grown a bit.  According to chapter 22, Isaac went with his father Abraham.  One of them carried wood, so that implies that he was not carried as a newborn.  There are several mentions of Isaac as a lad which would indicate that he was a young boy possible a teenager.  As they walk on their long at least three day journey, Isaac starts to think about the sacrifice and questions his father in verse 7, "And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" This stands to reason that Isaac is definitely not a newborn baby.  He is of an age where he can think and reason.  Another thing to make note of was Abraham never doubted God's promise. Yes, the request sounds outrageous.  But for a guy who just up and left his hometown not even knowing where he was going except for the fact God said go, this was just another mountain to climb, literally.  Abraham's faith is seen in verse 5, "And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you."  Abraham knew God would provide a way, whether or not he would actually kill his son or not.  God made a promise to Abraham, and Abraham knew God would never break it and that it would be fulfilled through Isaac.
So with all of that being said, and I imagine myself in the time of and situation of Abraham, my answer is YES.  There would be no other choice because my relationship with God is strong, I look back and realize God hasn't failed me yet nor broken any promises.  I am sure there would be questions at first, but the peace of God would override the fear of killing my child.  God's plan is the best plan.
This statement "So if you answer YES that you would slay your own child in cold blood, then you would appear to be the most indecent person in human society.  What kind of a person would want to make himself appear that way?" only takes into account people.  God gave up His Son, Jesus Christ to be crucified on a rugged cross in order to pay the payment for the world's sins, the atrocities of innocent babies lives included.  God the Father killed His Son, Jesus so that we could live eternally with Him if we choose to do so.  Does that make Him indecent or gracious?  I serve a loving, merciful, and just God. I have enjoyed this challenge, and I hold to my answers.  I will always defend my faith at every opportunity.
 For the Glory of God,

Challenge Accepted (Part 2)


QUESTION 2: (An Unbeatable Challenge)
"Christians Visualize this: Suppose you lived in the Old Testament era, and God commanded you to capture a city and then afterward he commands you to take the babies and dash them against the walls or rocks.  Now try to visualize yourself going into one of the captured cities' homes and doing one of the following:  1) From a warm crib, you pick up a LIVING BREATHING flesh and blood baby who is smiling :):):) at you, and then taking it and with all your strength throwing it against the wall as hard as you can!!!!!!  Or, 2) imagine taking the warm LIVING BREATHING flesh and blood smiling :):):) baby and carrying it outside to the edge of a cliff with rocks below, and then purposely DROPPING the warm blooded baby right off of it!!!!!!"
In the context of the first question found on my previous post, Challenge Accepted (Part 1), Babylon was the subject of God's wrath for the most part.  Israel was mentioned as another recipient of such descriptive judgment.  According to the history books, Babylon was captured by Persia, another non-believing, pagan empire.  Israel faced God's judgment, so God's judgement would most likely come from another pagan country well-rooted in a lifestyle of sin.  
With all of this information, I visualize myself as an Israelite in this time period.  I see Israelites in captivity to Babylon.  I see evil being commited among the Israelites.  IF God did indeed ask of me, to take the land in warfare including the women and children specifically by dashing them against the stones, then that would be what I would do.  Joshua  and the Israelites (that listened) anihilated the  residents of the Promised Land with God as commander.  In warfare today, children are used as death traps to play on the emotions of the troops.  There are accounts of children strapped with bombs and commands given to run them over because of the possible threat they could be. Running over an child may not be easy, but you must listen to your commander for the sake of the safety of many.
God is sovereign, and knows everything.  His judgements pour forth with that foreknowledge.  There is much in the Old Testament that doesn't make complete sense about His righteousness and His wrath, but it happened. We must take that in faith that because of God's righteousness and hatred against sin.
Now lets bring this to current events.  Would God command around 53 million "legalized" murders of innocent babies in the United States by way of vacuuming out their brains and bodies while still in their mother's womb?  No, but it happened and is still happening today.  God will not condone the atrocity of abortion.  It is the sin of murder for sake of convenience, and God's wrath will reign down at the appointed time.
Therefore, I believe God's plan is bigger than we can ever imagine.  It is not always pretty, but ulimately God's righteousness, love, and grace prevail. The violence of the verses discussed was God's judgement poured out for sin.  The violence today is for both teachable moments and judgment.  God is holding back until the time is right to unleash His complete and justified fury upon the world for His appointed time.  So in the meantime, I must be a watchman and sound the warning for any and all people that don't know Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord.  I must give them the opportunity to choose Christ's death as payment for their sin or warn them that they will pay the price for sin themselves through separation from God and eventual spiritual death in Hell and the Lake of Fire.  These verses and today's sacrifices of millions of innocent lives to the god of convenience have activated an empathy and rekindled a flame of passion and love for unborn children that are never given the chance to speak for themselves.  I hope and pray this will drive me to action in some form or fashion to assist in saving the lives of these innocent children.  It is time to do something.
For the Glory of God,


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Challenge Accepted (Part 1)

I was perusing the great world wide web in search of something that would challenge Christians, help them grow, move from their comfort zone, and perhaps suffer for Christ's sake a bit.  In so doing, I ran across an article entitled "An Unbeatable Challenge to Christians".   The purpose of this article was to back Christians into a corner and get them to pretty much deny their faith in God.  The weapon was the Bible, of course. The book that all Christians should be familiar with and "know" cover to cover.  I do admit, there were verses brought up in this challenge that I was not familiar with and nearly did a double take at the brevity of meaning stated.  But that in no way shook my faith, it only caused me to research further to discover meaning and context for these verses and how they were being used in this "unbeatable" challenge.

Question 1~Do you AGREE with your God that the innocent babies and infants living in the cities that God wants to punish should be dashed against rocks and walls and floors so that they die instantly?
First off, if this question was asked to a random 'average' Christian with no context or frame of reference, then yes, most Christians would DISAGREE that God would want babies to be "dashed against rocks" or murdered in such violence.
But because the author gave several examples from God's Word, I now know the context by which the author has misinterpreted to fit his own ideology about God or His non-existence (pretty much a trap tactic).
Psalm 137:9-This Psalm refers to the Israelites' captivity in Babylon.  The Israelites were praying they would not forget Jerusalem.  This verse in particular refers to the destruction of Babylon.  Babylon was an instrument of God's wrath against the Israelites and ultimately would get destroyed.  God gives everyone and every city the choice to follow Him.  Babylon was not doing this and his judgement would pour forth. The verse says, "Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones."  This simply says in the context of the chapter that "he", a fellow Israelite would be pleased or happy IF the Babylonian little ones or babies were "dashed against the stones."  The inferred meaning could be that young Babylonians would grow up to be big Babylonians who would continue to conquer more of the known world.  The vulgarity of the statement clearly expresses the dislike of the Babylonians.
Hosea 13:16-This chapter states the sin of the Israelites, specifically Ephraim.  Idolatry and molten images were some of their trangressions.  God states His previous deliverance from Egypt and then prophesies the wrath to come for their sinful behavior.  God gave them opportunity after opportunity to repent and turn back to Him.  They failed, so they had to suffer the consequences.  In this particular instance, the consequences were severe.  Their children would be dashed against the rocks, and women with child would suffer the loss of their child and possibly their own life.
Isaiah 13:15-16, 18-This chapter is a prophecy-a foretelling of God-about His judgement on Babylon.  Babylon was a wicked city that did not follow after the God of the Israelites.  This is a very descriptive account of what was to come for the Babylonians.  God gives everyone the opportunity to choose Him or not.  Babylon chose not to follow God, so the consequences for not doing so were severe including dashing children to pieces.

AGREE or DISAGREE?
NEITHER-The question is flawed because it asks my opinion about something God already has done or had a part in doing that would be repulsive to most people with any amount of feeling. The past is the past, God did it, and I stand by Him.  His ways are not my ways.  I do believe in a righteous, just, and loving God.  Sin deserves major consequences (Romans 6:23).  God can't stand sin.  Sin is paid for by death.  It can be through the blood of Christ Jesus or the impending wrath of God for those who don't choose Him which ultimately ends in physical and spiritual death separated from God.

Part 2, Visualize yourself "dashing children against the rocks" will follow shortly.

For the Glory of God,




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tangled

Have you ever been in a place where your heart was tangled up inside of itself with no way of controlling a situation and its outcome.  You feel helpless.  You want to do something.  Help in whatever way possible, but circumstances prevent it.  What can you do?  Where can you go?  What can you do?  This was made real for me this past weekend.  A dear friend of mine went through an extensive surgery.  I wanted to help.  That is my nature to help.  I went to the hospital and met a family member I didn't know and we chatted about my friend and life in general.  It was an interesting time.  I handed him a card to give to my friend, and that was all the help I could give.
I wanted to do so much more. But in my limited access to the family and my friend, I turned to the only thing that I could do.  I prayed.  I prayed often.  I don't think I prayed near enough or with as much passion as I could have, but I prayed nonetheless.  As the situation progressed, my prayers began to change.  I prayed that God would get the glory and that His will would be done.  I don't think I have ever valued prayer-communication with God-as much as I do now.
Prayer is an intimate conversation with the Creator of the this world and us.  He is our Father, Savior, and friend if we have trusted and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ who paid our debt for sin with His life.  He is our Beloved, the Lover of our soul, He is "The One" that everyone seeks, but only some find.  Prayer is our connection to Him.  He listens to the longings of our hearts.  He answers them with a perfect answer in His timing.  We may not always like the answer, but God's thoughts are higher than ours and His ways are not our ways.
This weekend was a huge reminder that I can take everything to the Lord in prayer.  When I feel helpless, alone, or even joyful and happy, I can take whatever burden or news to God in prayer.  I know I don't pray often enough, and I want to pray more and for others and not just myself.  Remember that in all things, you can pray.  God is just a prayer away, and he wants to hear what you have to say.

To God be the Glory,


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Heartblown!

Within a day or two of my previous post, God expanded my understanding even more on the matter of transformation for the believer.  God showed me that the soul is made up of three parts as well; our mind, will, and emotions.  Our mind produces thoughts, our will produces choices, and our emotions produce feelings.  Our mind has been deceived by this sin-ridden world, our will has become rebellious, and our emotions become controlling.  At salvation, our spirit becomes alive and the Holy Spirit indwells us.  We become new.  Our thoughts, choices, and feelings want to change.  The Holy Spirit desires to work through our soul to bring fruit to the body.  The spirit and fruit of the body is God's part.  Our part is to renew our minds and surrender our will and emotions.  We have to make those changes and allow God to rewire our thinking to please Him and glorify Him.  WOW!  What an incredible concept.  It is amazing how everything works together for a purpose.  I am thankful for the love He has shown us just so we can know Him.  I am so excited learn more, and ready for God to reveal what I need to change next.  It won't be easy, but it will be worth it.

 For the Glory of God,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Be ye transformed..."

Have you ever had a light bulb moment where something finally clicked and made sense for the very first time?
I have.  This particular moment occurred during a message at church over Ephesians 2:1-3.  This passage speaks of how a Christian is made alive in the spirit when he accepts Christ as his Savior.  My wheels get to turning as man is described as body, soul, and spirit.  Pictures start flooding my mind and I start writing down what I see.  The end result looks similar to the diagram above for a non-Christian.  A non-Christian's body and soul are alive while the spirit is not, yet the spirit still has needs that need to be met.  Those needs are filled by the body or the soul.  When a non-Christian becomes a Christian, the spirit is "quickened" or made alive, and can now its needed can be properly fulfilled (see diagram below).  The problem is that because the spirit's needs were improperly fulfilled, the improper patterns and beliefs are set in place.  It will take a lot of trust, and effort to reprogram or "renew" the mind to reset the patterns originally created.  Salvation is an immediate and free gift, but renewal of the mind is a constant process.  God gave us His Son as payment for our sins, but the consequences of our sin are ours to bear.  We must seek to know God each day, and ask God to reveal the "stinkin' thinkin'" that we learned before Christ in order to be transformed.  Transformation speaks of change.  Change is never easy, but it is inevitable.  God also promises to be with us through every up and down that we face.   Let's hold on tight and trust the process of God's transforming grace (Romans 12:1-2).

      For the Glory of God,



Saturday, March 8, 2014

Never Say Never...Again

I never in a million years thought I would be a "product pusher" for any of the trendy health or beauty products out there.  Guess what? I'm still not.  I am an Herbalife Distributor (soon to be Supervisor/World Team Member...dream big, right?).  I help others achieve their health (or wealth) dreams turning their goals into accomplishments.  Herbalife gets results, builds relationships, and rewires your thinking.
I have been hanging around my Herbalife Crew since December at FREE Fit Camps, who says no to FREE, right?  I was skeptical at first, not too sure about everything.  I tried my first shake, Cinnamon Roll, and tea, and was in love with the taste and energy I recieved.  The Fit Camps are awesome because I can't afford a gym.  After hanging out at Fit Camps, I started making friends even though I am not good at it.  In January, I joined and COMPLETED the Fit Challenge (6am, bright and early), and lost inches and got results on my mile and sit-ups.
Products aside, I gained a bunch of new friends, a positive environment to accomplish goals, a growth mindset, and positive energy.  Everyone wants to help each other.  I am excited and looking forward to getting my own results and sharing my story with everyone I know and don't know.  I am official now, and I am ready to rock my two week Spring Break and beyond.
The thing I love most about Herbalife is their emphasis on "Personal Development".  As a teacher, I have heard of "Professional Development" (which is usually followed by a groan of obligation).  "Personal Development" was a new concept to me about listening to successful people helping others become successful.  The awesome part is that most of what they say applies to life across the board and not just in business. You can learn the easy way or the hard way. Work smarter not harder.
As a Christian, "Personal Development" and "Discipleship" are nearly interchangeable.  The sad fact of the matter is that Herbalife invests more time into developing and training leaders than most churches do in training Christians to go out and reach others for Christ.
One of my goals is to use this "Personal Development" concept as a motivator to get others excited and motivated to bring the Good News of Christ to the world.  I want to reach the world for Jesus, and if Herbalife can be my tool, so be it.

Why? 
For the Glory of God,






Friday, February 21, 2014

Laborers of the Harvest

Labor (noun)
1. a. Physical or mental exertion, especially when difficult or exhausting; work.
    b. Something produced by work.
2. A specific task.
3. A particular form of work or method of working: manual labor.
4. Work for wages.

Labor (verb)
1. To work; toil: labored in the fields.
2. To strive painstakingly: labored over the needlepoint.
3.a. To proceed with great effort; plod: labored up the hill.
   b. Nautical To pitch and roll.
4. To suffer from distress or a disadvantage.

God has given me my new Harvest of Kiddos, and I now know what it means to be a laborer. Labor is hard work, exhausting, painful at times, but ultimately rewarding.  My kiddos are a tough group, but I love them.  I am laboring in nearly all of the sense of the word for the glory of God.  I hope and pray that I am sending that message.  I will come up with some daily measureable goals such as reading my Bible each day before work. Journaling and praying daily.  Prayer can happen anywhere; I can pray on my way to work as long as I don't close my eyes while driving.  I can seek God in the moment rather than asking forgiveness after acting in the flesh.

Today in fact, I had to calm myself down with my own advice that I had given to a student earlier this morning.  I was getting emotional over something very little and insignificant in the big grand scheme of things.  God has called me to labor specifically with kids, but as a disciple, I am called to make disciples unto Christ.  Because labor is exhausting, hard, painful, physically and mentally demanding; I don't think many people want to be laborers. 
 Jesus states, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." (Matthew 9:36-38, emphasis added).
The laborers are few 
Few. As in not very many.  A little.  There are few people that want to labor for much of anything.  Of that few, there aren't many that want to labor for Christ by bringing lost souls to a saving knowledge of Christ and a transformed life as a disciple of Christ.

Pray ye therefore...
We can pray for laborers.  We can pray for each other and hold each other accountable as laborers for Christ.  I seek to be a laborer in the harvest for eternity's sake.  As of right now, God has given me a ripe harvest of kiddos with hearts that are breaking with the desire to be loved and understood.  I pray I can be the laborer to till the hearts of these kiddos and plant some positive seeds of love, Christ's love, and acceptance in their hearts.

Are you a laborer?
Are you working for the Lord in the harvest He has prepared for you?  Are you working the land and planting the seed in the hearts of those around you?  God never said it would be easy, but He did promise to be there through it all.


 For the Glory of God,

Saturday, February 15, 2014

"She Shall be Praised"

The Valentine's day hooplah is now coming to an end,
candy hearts and overstocked sweets are now marked down and greet you at your local grocery store like sad rejected misfits that weren't chosen to brighten someone's special day.

I am sure there are people that may feel the same way after this over the top day to celebrate love. Discounted and rejected because that special someone has not yet entered their life or they have loved and lost.  The desire for romantic love can choke out any happiness or joy in life if you allow it.  Being single doesn't have to equal sad, alone, and hopeless.

This has been a struggle for me, but I am learning to trust God each day.  God also has some wonderful advice for women on this very issue.We are to be wise and build up (Proverbs 14:1) we are to fear the Lord rather than be concerned with the favor and beauty of this world (Proverbs 31:30) Single women, care about the things of the Lord seeking to be holy in body and in spirit and serve the Lord without distraction (at least that is what we are supposed to do) (1Corinthians 7:34-35).

Wisdom~Women are to be wise, so where do we get wisdom?  We get wisdom from the Lord.  How do we get wisdom?  We get wisdom by fearing the Lord. According to Proverbs 9:10,  "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."

Fear the Lord~How do we fear the Lord?  The Instistute in Basic Life Principles defines it this way, "To fear God is to desire to live in harmony with His righteous standards and to honor Him in all that you do." Easier said than done, right?  First it begins with the desire.  When we desire to live for God we will begin to put some action behind that desire and find out what His standards are and how we can honor Him.

Cares for the things of the Lord~When we fear God, we get wisdom and will begin to care for the things that matter most to God such as serving others and reaching them with the Good News of the gospel.

Holy in body and spirit~God is holy, and as we seek Him we will want to become like Him.  I think it is interesting to note that we will become holy in body and spirit.  Our body is from God and needs to reflect His glory just as much as our spirit.

Serve the Lord without distraction~According to the Word of God, single women can serve the Lord without distraction.  The distraction of a husband, I assume.  This is not to say marriage is inferior or wrong or singleness is a higher form of holiness.  Singleness just affords a specific opportunity to serve God (if one so chooses) that doesn't come with marriage.  The key is to actually take hold of it and serve God in your singleness.  Singleness is not a place to put your life on hold waiting around for the one that will sweep you off of your feet.  It will have moments of waiting, but ultimately you should be living your life to the full in accordance to God's will.  Distractions come in all shapes and sizes.  In today's technology-driven and fast-paced world, it is easy to get lost in all of the things that are constantly grabbing for our attention.  TV, computers, phones, social media, and that constant desire to be plugged in and not out of the loop. This makes serving the Lord without distraction that much harder.  It can be done, and God is there for us every step of the way.  We just need to seek Him and learn how to fear him.

For the Glory of God,






Monday, February 3, 2014

My New Harvest!

I returned a call to a principal on Friday after chatting with my adopted grandma.  The principal informed me that I got the teaching assistant position.  I was so excited.  I said something like this: "Yay! I would love to have the job."  She informed me the process of which I am no stranger would take some time.  The excitement of knowing I now have a job after over four months without employment was a major answer to prayer and a big blessing.  I was at the point to take any employment outside of ministering to children and even risk working on Sundays.
Children are my heart and calling.  I love the opportunity I am given to love on and teach them life principles as well as reading, math, history, and so on.  I look forward to shine the light of Christ and His love through my life and example.  God is so amazing.  He has blessed me with another harvest of kiddos.  I am looking forward to meeting them, and I hope I will make a difference for eternity's sake.

For the Glory of God,


My Best Effort is NEVER Good Enough

Filling out a job applictation:  "Were you ever terminated or discharged from a previous job?  Why?"
I think long and hard on my answer.  My best effort didn't measure up.  My best effort...
As I ruminate how to answer this question, I hear the lyrics to Matthew West's song "Strong Enough" float around me and my answer hits me like a ton of bricks.  My best effort.  I can't do it on my own.
That is kind of the point...I can't do anything without God.  The days are a little fuzzy now.  I remember the stress.  I remember wanting to do everything well. I neglected God till the stress was overwhelming.  It was a different kind of stress...it wasn't a defensive kind.  It was a balance thing.
The stress of a more than full time job stopped.  The struggle now became what to do with my time. Yes, I have job searched.  Nothing.  I have been able to serve more at my church, go to women's Bible study, help out neighbors, make new friends, and more.  There is a certain flexibility with not having a specific job.
My best effort will never measure up in a job, a fitness and food program, or in church service.  I can't do anything on my own.  I am only good and can only do good through Christ.  Apart from Him, I can do nothing.  It is a daily surrender~a heart, mind, and spirit matter.  This is easier said than done.  I hope and pray that I will surrender each day, each moment, and each breath to my Lord.

For the Glory of God,


"To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"
~Colossians 1:27

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Identity Statements

Identity.  What is it?  Well, I checked out the tried and true Webster's 1828, and that really didn't help.  Something about sameness out of much diversity or something like that...  Anyways, I have been confronted with specific issues of accepting myself for who I am and learning who I am.  Sounds to me a lot like my identity.  Who am I?  What are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? What do I like to do to relax? What pushes my buttons? How do I express emotions? Why do I react the way I do?  These are tough questions, but in reality they need an answer.
In the past few months, particular circumstances have led me down a path of "personal" development (kind of like professional development, but different...haha).  I have been introduced to successful people that now teach others how to be successful.  I have looked at it through my heavily, guarded Christian worldview.  I am not into get rich quick schemes or my way of living.  As I listened and researched, I noticed that everything they were saying made sense.  Saying positive things to yourself outloud long enough, you start to believe them.  So all of the negative self-talk that we say in order to justify our 1behavior can be retrained by inserting the positive things.  
So on this Made to Crave journey. the best thing to know is not just my identity, but my identity in Christ.  When you team up with the Lord and know what His opinion of you is, nothing else matters.  He has some pretty awesome things to say about each one of us.
Personally, my list would begin like this:
Amanda~You are worthy of love (That's what "Amanda" means)~Matthew 6:25-26
God feeds the birds and dresses the flowers; are you not of more worth than these? (my paraphrase)
Amanda~You are loved. (Romans 5:8)
Amanda~You are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139)
Amanda~You are a living sacrifice. (Romans 12:1-2)
Amanda~You are a princess or co-heir of the kingdom. (Romans 8:17)
Amanda~You are a new creature. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Amanda~You are praised. (Proverbs 31:30)
Amanda~You have a purpose. (1Corinthians 10:31) Do what you do, eating or drinking, for the glory of God (my paraprase).

I ran across this post Who I am in Christ which lists many more identity statements in Christ.  I plan to print these statements and full verses and say them aloud every morning.  It sounds like one more thing to the "To Do" list, but from what I have heard it is worth it.  We can't be like Him, if we don't know Him.

For the Glory of God, 
The best way to renew your mind and experience inner transformation is by knowing, thinking, and speaking who you are in Christ.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wrapping my Mind and Heart Around This

I have taken many online college courses. I paid for them.  I had homework that was graded.  I enjoyed the flexibility of not having to come to a classroom and be taught by a professor.  But there is a whole lot lost when you open up your 19 page syllabus for an 8 week class.  I remember looking over it and the tears that where shed and the overwhelming feelings of "it's going to be a long summer."  As I organized myself and prepared for the assignments, I calmed down a bit and dug in to the work.
Photo: Alamy
I signed up for the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study well in advance to it's arrival knowing in my mind that this was something I needed to do for real. I have struggled so long with my weight and thought this would be interesting.  Well there was no syllabus per se; there is a schedule of sorts which I like. There is no grade for doing the work.  There are now over 40,000 people signed up to do the study.  That is one big "classroom." This is now the middle of week two, and I behind on my homework so to speak.  I have just finished chapter one, and I am supposed to be on chapter 5.  As for craving God more than food, I have done my quiet time more frequently.  I have joined a 4 week fit challenge and am exercising a bit more.  I know that food is where the biggest battle is, and I struggle daily on making beneficial choices.
So now as the overwhelming feelings of the enormity of this study start to subside, I can look at the schedule and see what I am available to accomplish (I see that there are many optional options-I don't have to do it ALL!).  It is time for me to commit to this study and allow it to transform my life.  That is what I plan to do right now.  I will get my supplies (journal, book, Bible, pens, and cards) together.  I will read from God's Word and then catch up on my "homework."
In that online college class, God orchestrated an awesome experience just for me while I was out of town.  I had the pleasure of locating an object that I was currently studying in the very town I went.  It was so awesome.
For the Glory of God,

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Trust~Delight~Commit

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.  Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
~Psalm 37:3-5

Picture:http://ad-for-god.blogspot.com/2011
/02/trust-delight-commit.html
I am stepping out into new territory.  I have joined the Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study with over 36,000 people signed up.  Wow!  That's a lot of people!  The book focus for this study is Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  I am excited to see what this study will bring.

God is so good.  My favorite verse is Psalm 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."  Delight is described as "pleasure, joy, happiness."  When I enjoy or take pleasure in God, he will give me the desires of my heart.  To be very honest, I struggle with enjoying God.  It has not been until the past few years, that I have really put forth an effort to know my Lord.  I can tell you the more I get to know Him, the sweeter and more enjoyable He becomes.  My desires begin to shift into "How do I get to know God more?" "What does God want me to do?"

When looking at Psalm 37:4, you can't help but read the verses that sandwich it.  Verse three says to trust and do good.  The promise for doing so is food.  How cool is that?  When we trust God, we will be fed.  We won't go hungry!  So we trust, then we delight, and now we commit.  We must commit our way to the Lord.  Our way.  This requires surrender.  We must surrender our plans for God's plans.  Trust Him.  Double trust.  If God repeats something, it must be important.  Trust God, and He will bring it to pass.  He will bring His plan to pass.

This seems like a simple enough recipe for life: Trust~Delight~Commit

These three words are so rich and powerful.  They are nothing until I apply them in my life. I truly want to trust my Lord, enjoy Him, and allow Him to lead me in His plan for me.  Joining the Proverbs 31 Bible Study is one step towards that, and I commit the next few weeks to Him for the purpose of enjoying and delighting in Him.  I want to Crave God rather than food or anything else.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Choose Your Consequences Carefully

I have noticed some beliefs floating around about God that are FALSE.  The idea that God is a loving God, and everyone should love everyone and accept them for "who they are no matter what they have done or are doing."  This is completely untrue!  You must love the sinner, but NOT the sin.  Yes, God is Love, but God is also just.  Because God is love and just, He can't stand sin.  Sin has to be paid for.  Sin is a debt that each person owes, and it must be paid.  The payment is death. His judgement will pour over all mankind in the near future.

Another thing people don't seem to understand is sin.  Most people have a sense of right and wrong. There are a few that believe everyone is good in the world, which I find nearly laughable in light of the events of this world and the evil reported each night on the evening news.  As for the majority with a knowledge of right and wrong, they know wrong is sin.  Simply put, sin is anything you think, say or do that breaks God's laws.  Yes, we could get into a debate as to what God's laws were and justify ourself out of nearly anything.  

Using the Bible as the source and standard for truth, God's laws are clearly found within its sacred pages.  This definition clearly addresses three areas where we sin.  It begins in our thoughts and moves out toward our speech and how we say things on to action, where we willfully take action against God's laws.  All of this can happen within seconds.  Sin is sin.  There is no sin bigger or smaller than another.  Let me say that again, Sin is sin.  There is no sin BIGGER or smaller than another. Sin is equal; the consequences are different.  Did you catch that?  Sin is equal; the consequences are different.  

Telling a lie and extramarital sex/homosexuality are sins.  One is not better or worse than the other.  The consequences are different.  A lie could result in other sin or if confessed immediately, the consequence is minimal such as parental discipline or such.  Extramarital sex could have a variety of consequences such as parenthood, STDs, emotional damage, strained relationships, and more.  Homosexuality has similar consequences such as STDs, emotional issues, broken relationships, social issues, and more.

There are many other examples of sin and its varying consequences, but there is good news.  The sin payment was paid for us.  God, out of His amazing love (that is where love comes in), sent His only Son, Jesus to die on a cruel cross as our sin payment.  Death was the required payment, so God arranged for us a alternate.  Because Jesus died on the cross, we are now given the choice to identify with Christ's payment or take the payment ourselves and live in separation from God forever in Hell.  It is your choice.  God is waiting.  

Churches are not to condone sin.  Their role in ministry to sinners is to love and assist them in making the neccessary changes from sin and towards Christ.  God is love and just, and so must our churches.