Thursday, April 1, 2010

Waiting

Waiting....it's not the easiest task to accomplish, yet it does have its pay-off. Living in a day and age where we can microwave almost any meal, have access via the web to any information, or have a hamburger our way within five minutes doesn't help matters. Instead of waiting for a letter through the Postal Service, we have email. So it's no surprise that it's a challenge to most people to wait, myself included. I even get frustrated when my internet or the e-mail is a minute slower than I think it should be. The word wait is throughout the Bible. One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 40:31..."But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint." Isn't that great?
Admittedly this is hard to apply in day to day life. I've been in the process waiting for about five months now. Believe me, it has been tough. I received a job last November(after searching a long time) and have been waiting ever since then to truly get started. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful I have a job. It will be nice to get started and actually see the income come in for it. Several times I have doubted and even wanted to find something else, but yet I waited. I actually started looking for another job one day, and had prayed to God and asked for guidance on what to do. The very next day, I got an email from my employer and she explained everything to me and said she hoped I hadn't changed my mind about working with them. I hadn't contacted her recently, and hadn't heard from her in a couple of weeks. To me, that was my answer, wait...it was the encouragement I needed. Today I am getting closer to getting stared,but still waiting a bit more. Doubts come and go, but I am still waiting. Things take time, even jobs. 1 Peter 5:7 says "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time" (bold mine). I am expectant and excited that after waiting this long, this job must be bringing great things! It may not be perfect, but definitely worth the wait. God has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11), it just may not happen when we think it should. We have to trust God and wait.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Accepted.


After focusing on the people that have rejected me in my lifetime, I was impressed upon to make two lists. One of the people I know that accept me unconditionally and the other of the people that I know have rejected me. I discovered that after I was done with both lists, that I had way more on the accepted side than on the rejected side. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to focus more on those that accept me than on those that reject me. However, I should pray for those that have rejected me. Isn't it just like the enemy to want us to focus on the few people we don't have in our lives than on the many we do?


Jesus was rejected by many (Is 53:3) and to this day is still being rejected all over the world. However, He is accepted by many believers and most importantly God the Father! Everyone wants to be accepted but we don't have to compromise in order to be accepted. Look at Jesus. Many people rejected him, but He still spoke the Good News and died and rose again for us. He didn't stress over the ones who rejected Him but had Compassion and Mercy for those who freely accepted Him. Some people that rejected Him at first eventually accepted Him, like Saul(Paul). Maybe in time, like Saul(Paul), once they've seen God's love shining through, they may accept you, maybe not. God never compromises on His word, and neither should you and I. Lead a godly life, pray for those that reject you, and cherish the ones that freely and unconditionally accept you. The ones that reject you do not know your worth and are missing out on tremendous blessings. The ones that accept you are truly blessed and see your worth and true potential. They love you without condition. Don't live out of others' heads, just live according to God's word. If you are worth nothing to anyone else on this earth, you are worth a lot to God, the one who divinely created you! Like my pastor says: "When you're accepted by the Best, who cares about the rest?" This is not a license to be a jerk, but one to live a life according to God's plan and word without fear of rejection. Remember God SO loves you
(John 3:16)!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Do it Anyway

While reading Luke the other day, I came across something that really stood out to me. It has been on my mind and heart ever since that day. Luke 22:47 NKJV says: And while He was still speaking, behold a multitude; and he was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him.

The part of that verse that really stood out to me was While He was STILL speaking... Ever since then I have been pondering that first bit. The reason it stood out to me was because Jesus knew (John 18:4) what was going to happen, yet He was still speaking to His disciples. I'm not entirely sure what He was saying to them, but you know if it was coming out of Jesus' mouth, it was important. That really struck a cord with me because, I look back and see how many times I knew something was going to happen or something that was happening and allowed that to stop me in my tracks. Notice it didn't say while Jesus was still fretting or while Jesus was still worrying, but While He was still speaking. He went on with the mission His(Our) Father had given Him, and accepted it freely. How easy is it to let pending or current circumstances stop us from doing what we should or what we need to be doing? I know it is for me at least. Sometimes it is difficult to press towards the mark (Phil. 3:14). Even though it is difficult that doesn't mean we shouldn't do it. After all, you know it had to be very difficult to endure the cross! Many times I tend to focus on things too much and it stops me from making progress. Instead of focusing on the fact that it will happen or has happened, I need to accept it and move on with my life. Often, I have sat there and dwelled on every minute detail, letting it reel in my head over and over. What am I doing? I am sitting there and developing the Whoa is Me syndrome. However, God does not want us to do that. He wants us to stand up and move on, pressing toward the mark. Even though it may be difficult we need to do it anyway! Sometimes situations are difficult and may feel like more than we can bear, but if we push though it, we will come out on the other side stronger and our faith flourishes.

I can give a perfect example (since after all this blog is about me being transparent, right?) I was searching for a job for a long while. I would apply to job after job, and either get no response, or would get an interview and not get a call back. At times I allowed that to become a hinderance for me. I would wallow in self-pity, thinking and sometimes saying, "Oh I will never get a job." I knew the road to finding a job was not going to be easy. I let my unsuccessful attempts get the better of me. Sometimes I didn't even clean or read the word, but would sit there and wonder if I would ever get a job, or I would try to do something else to get my mind off of it(other than something productive). At one point, I even stopped looking, because nothing was turning up. It was so easy to give up. However, we all know that doing what we need to do is not always, or even some of the time easy. Once I was over my bout of pity partiness(making it up as I go folks), I got back on that wagon and started looking again through the encouragement of my husband and friends. (A side note here: I am so thankful God has put these people in my life! Praise God!) After a few failed interviews and being turned down even before I got an interview, I was finally pointed in the right direction. A very awesome lady pointed me to my current job, for which I am extremely grateful. I now have a job, and know that God will give me favor in it (Psalm 5:12). In fact, when I read Luke 22:47, I was at a training for my new job (that I had arrived early for).

Jesus knew what was laid out before Him and He continued to do His(Our) Father's work. That made such an impression on me, just that simple phrase. I want to be like Jesus and do what I am called to do, even when it is difficult. Wow, God is so awesome. God Bless!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Resist!


Have you ever noticed how the flesh wants to hold on to pain? Whether it be emotional or physical, the flesh just wants to hang on and nurse it. If we let it, the flesh will be a hindrance to us. The enemy would like nothing more than for us to give into the flesh. Instead of giving in, we should resist such things James 4:7.

This week, I have been resisting a "cold" and negative thoughts. It's a challenge to resist these things. While sick I "felt" like just lying around and being "poor old Amanda." While doing daily tasks such as washing dishes, I have found my mind wondering to past events where I felt I was done wrong, or to things that I may have done wrong. However, I would not give my flesh the satisfaction. Instead of lying around, feeling sorry for myself, I got up and exercised, and went about my daily activities. Instead of harboring negative thoughts/feelings, I simply reminded myself all was forgiven, and let it go. Since I am talking about emotional pain, I will like to say that unforgiveness hurts. If we have unforgiveness in our hearts, it hurts. We are reminded of this and that that happened to us and refuse to let it go. If we don't forgive someone, it is only hurting ourselves, not the person that hurt us. Harboring unforgiveness will keep you from progressing both spiritually and in life. The person(s) that hurt us are not thinking one minute about how they hurt you. They either don't care that it hurt you or they didn't even know to begin with that you were hurt by their actions. Holding onto it is pointless. It is imperative that we forgive and give it to God. Yes those hurt feelings will be there for a while, but if you let God help you, He will. We should forgive freely because we are forgiven freely though Jesus Acts 13:38, Matthew 6:14. Throughout life we will have to push past things that hurt us. We should give it all to God and trust Him to take care of it. When physcial pain comes up we should speak 1 Peter 2:24, By His stripes I WAS healed. When emotional pain comes up we should speak 1 Peter 5:7, Cast ALL your cares upon Him, for He cares for you. I give God all the glory for helping me push past these things this week. If it were not for His strength, I would have been on the couch being angry and feeling sorry for myself. Let's push past the flesh and thank you Jesus for being the Author and Finisher of our Faith Hebrews 12:2.


*I would like to give a big shoutout to my friend Alicia who designed my lovely header for this blog!*

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Studying for Life's Test(s)





















Throughout high school and college I was not a big studier. I made decent grades, but could have made better grades if I really would have applied myself. When it came to studying for the big test I would usually study the night before, trying to cram in a whole two or three chapters of material. On test day, I would go in the classroom flustered, vowing that I would not do that again. Upon receiving my test, I would answer a few questions with confidence. However on other questions, panic would set in because I did not remember the answer. When the test would get back, I would barely scrape by, or do fair, but could have done better. Instead of a B, I would get a C. Other times, I may not have passed the test at all.

As a Christian I have found myself in similar situations. Due to my lack of studying(the Word), when a test would come my way(from the enemy, James 1:13) panic would start to set in, because I didn't have the word in my heart. I hadn't studied enough. So here, I am scrambling to look up the word and get it into my spirit, and at the same time I am being attacked by my circumstance(s). It's harder to learn when you are being attacked, wouldn't you agree? Since I have realized what the Word has in it, I have had to make a real conscious effort to study it. I won't lie, it has been tough. As I sit down and open the Bible, my mind wonders, and I begin thinking about other things, like what to cook for dinner. It has gotten easier, but sometimes I find myself very distracted and I have to tell myself to focus(yes, I say it aloud). However, when I gain victory in an area of my life, and I know that it was because of the Power of God's Word, I feel temendous! Occasionally in high school/college, I would be prepared for a test, and boy did it feel good to pass that test with flying colors. That's what I want to do, I want to pass life's test(s) with flying colors. I want to be prepared, and not barely get by. Though it may take some discipline on our part, in the end we will be thankful.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Stand Up for Your Conviction(s)

Do you remember that song, Stand By Your Man? I know those who are reading either have no idea or that song is playing in your head right now. Okay, enough singing, pay attention. :) Perhaps, there should be a sequel to that song, called Stand Up for Your Convictions. What do you think? When thinking of standing up for one's conviction, a story from the college years come to mind. Picture it..., wait wrong beginning (I've watched way too many Golden Girls episodes). Back in junior college I had several dorm-mates that I hung around the dorm with at night. All of them smoked, so we always hung out outside, for obvious reasons. One particular incident comes to mind when thinking of standing up for my conviction(s). I recall one night one of the young ladies made a statement to the effect that I would probably start smoking too, because I hung around them. I remember at least thinking "no I am not." I don't recall if I said it aloud or not. Now, before I go any further, I would like to take the opportunity to say I am not condemning anyone who has or does smoke, that's not the point here. On the other hand, I am not condoning smoking either(don't worry, this is not a say no to drugs speech). I stayed true to my conviction to not smoke. I could have just as easily said "Okay, pass me one now, I'll get started." However, I made a choice to refrain, and it wasn't really a hard choice(I've never been a "smoker," although, my parents smoked and I did once put a cigarette to my mouth to blow on to light a firecracker). I said all that to say this, we can do the same against the enemy when it comes to our health, finances, relationships, etc. We can stand up for our conviction(s) and say No! I am not going to give in to this circumstance, I am going to resist. I am claiming God's Word over this and standing on it!(Of course it helps if you have the Word in your spirit.) I said no to smoking, because I knew what it could do to me(we won't get into all the second hand smoke I probably inhaled, unintentionally of course. That's beside the point). How many times have we sat back and allowed the enemy to take over, forgetting that he is already defeated and is under our feet(Ephesians 1:22)? We can't sit idly by and watch, we have to stand firm on God's promises. After all, He has good plans for us!(Jeremiah 29:11) I would much rather have God's plan than the alternative!

Sign me up for AAA

My name is Amanda and I'm an Approval Addict. For as long as I can remember, I have been an approval addict. This is the part where I am supposed to say how long I have been "clean" but I am not, it is a daily struggle. I so bad want to please others, and certainly don't want someone to be mad or think ill of me! *Gasp* Oh this is a dirty little secret. Even now my mind is thinking: "Oh what will they think?" "How will they view me now?" However, in my journey to be more transparent, I feel it is necessary to share with everyone this deep dark secret(a little dramatic? Maybe...). I'm Not Perfect. There I said it. Yes I am a big time people pleaser and find it extremely hard to say no. When I do occasionally say no, I am plagued with guilt. I over analyze EVERYTHING. This blog has been a while in the making, I've been pushing it back and pushing it back, but I know God knows better than I. Now it is out in the open and I feel exposed. However, in order to overcome an addiction, one has to admit he/she has the problem. In typing this I am holding myself accountable. I will overcome this entirely. I am not in total despair, I have found some help through reading Joyce Meyer's book on Approval Addiction. I have overcame some of this addiction. In my quest to be free, I am going to sit down and read it again. Obviously, I didn't absorb it well enough when I read it the first time. Sometimes one just has to read something over and over to get it to sink into his/her spirit, especially scripture(Romans 10:17). When it comes to growing spiritually, I am a slow learner, and a bit, okay a lot resistive. I do know that I can do all things through Christ(Philippians 4:13), and there is no condemnation in Christ(Romans 8:1)! These are a couple of the scriptures, that I am going to really meditate on, along with Joyce's book(which is full of scripture references). If there are others out there that are overcoming this/or have already overcame this addiction, please post a comment or email me via facebook. It's a journey, and we can all make it to the finish line together triumphantly.


2009_07_12_people_pleaser

Doodle by Lee. The code for this doodle and other doodles you can use on your blog can be found at Doodles.

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Amanda has been writing since her teen years. As a teen, a poem she wrote was published. This inspired her to write more. With each passing day she becomes more and more passionate about creating works of art with her words. When inspiration hits her, God puts new words in her heart. Ultimately, she hopes her words inspire and touch the lives of others as much as it does hers. Amanda believes the desire to write was put there by God, and she wishes to develop her skills in the days, weeks, months, and years to come.