Mind · Spirit · truth

The Jig is Up!

I’ve never told this story on a public platform before…. Three years ago, mom, Bridget and I were sitting in Shreveport, La waiting for our house to sell.

Art… Art wasn’t selling. Our finances were nonexistent. And, we had sold everything of significant financial gain to pay bills on time.

Meaning, life… Life was dark. And, our future… Our future was bankruptcy.

Of course we all three went through a wide range of emotions during that time. And… God was silent for the most part, but He promised me we would not file for bankruptcy. So… I held Him to His word EVERY SINGLE DAY.

Once we sold our last piece of gold and paid our mortgage on time, the jig felt like it was up! So we surrendered the future to God. The miracle we needed was in His hands. There was no more we could do. He would have to uphold the promise He made.

And then, about a week later, we received our first and only offer on the house. It came in the number 5, signifying God’s grace. We were in complete awe and so grateful God made a way. He took us to our ends… To a place where we had to completely and totally rely on Him to see His promises fulfilled.

But the story doesn’t end there… You see we still didn’t have the finances to pay the mortgage until we moved. So AGAIN, we held God to His promises.

And then out of NOWHERE, someone contacted my sister wanting to commission a 5 foot painting of Jesus (again signifying Gods grace). He said, “Name a price.” And so we did, and the finances completely covered us, paid for mom’s move and moved us to NYC.

The best part… We NEVER filed for bankruptcy. God held true to His PROMISES. The miracle came when we least expected it, but when we were most prepared for it in our hearts because we had completely surrendered everything to Him. No man or woman could fix our situation. He had to do it.

And I don’t know who this resonates with right now. However, I want you to know, God is NOT short in finishing what He started. If He made a PROMISE, He will fulfill it in His timing. And… He might just fulfill it in such away that even nonbelievers will see that Jesus is King and God is sovereign. 🌱⚔️🛡#cultivatelife 

death · Spirit · truth

Reliability

Corey Rives Visual Arts

After I lost my dad, one of my biggest challenges was the reality that I felt like there wasn’t anyone there to take care of “me” anymore.

For 25 years he was ALWAYS there… In my corner… Watching out for me… Protecting me from potential harm.

So it was challenging to say the least to lose him. And then to lose my grandparents. And then mom was in a serious healing phase, so at times it felt like she couldn’t be there for me either because she had to be there for herself.

And you know, those feelings… They were dark. So dark that I’d sit and cry a lot! I’d cry about my loss. I’d cry about my lack. And more than anything I’d cry about HOW in the world I’d ever feel like someone was looking out for me again.

And I knew in my heart it was possible to fully rely on God, His love and His kingdom for protection and support. I knew in my heart that He was the One that was always designated to fulfill that role inside of me; however, I didn’t believe it because I didn’t “need” it.

In my head, that role was rightfully filled by dad.

But gosh… I was wrong. You see I learned through experience that I needed God’s reliability more than I ever needed dad’s. Sure dad’s was superb, but God’s is unmatched!

And so this is where I stand today… My entire world has shifted. I no longer feel the innate need for a human being to be there for me because my heart believes in and relies on God’s ability to always be there for me. Over the past 6 1/2 years, He’s stepped in and showed me that I can constantly  rely on Him for ALL that I need. And honestly, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Would you? 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife

authority · dominion · power · Spirit · truth

That is Your Superpower

“You need to stay focused on Me. That is your superpower. I AM your superpower.”

And this superpower isn’t anything I’m aiming to keep a secret… My ability to remain focused on God, His goodness and His kingdom is the most vital thing I can continue to do right now.

Why?

Well because the kingdom of darkness is trying its very hardest to usurp the Kingdom of God. But, it won’t. Why? Well because the Kingdom of God is much, much stronger. How? Well because Jesus rules & reigns; and He has given us power, dominion & authority so that we may rule & reign with Him.

And I do realize I have been writing about this a lot lately. But… You see it’s just so important that I keep expressing this truth. It’s so vital that we live from a place of power, dominion & authority over the death and darkness that’s pushing its agenda on mankind.

It’s not enough in the least bit anymore to stand around and proclaim faith in Jesus, but then to sit back and not operate in all He has equip us with.

Because I believe… I believe when our human spirits are healthy and active we have the ability to become like superheroes in the unseen realms of life. I believe… Actually I live from this place on the regular. A place of power. A place where I am praying and speaking into matters of the unseen, so that they may change in the unseen and then flow into the seen.

And so… As always, I want to encourage you to continue to focus on God, His goodness and His Kingdom. I want to encourage you to live from a place of divine alignment (spirit, soul, heart and body) with His kingdom so that you may rule & reign as you operate in power, dominion and authority. And, most importantly I want to continue to see the kingdom of darkness squelched by the life of Christ that’s flowing through each one of us that believes in Him. 🌱⚔️🛡 #cultivatelife #ruleandreign

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Are You Ready for It?

When I write, I try to give the most accurate view of what’s happening in my heart in that given moment. I mean… That is the goal of this blog. To stay as vulnerable as possible with the ups and downs of my life as I follow Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit’s lead.

So today… Well today my heart as been focused on how grateful I am for 2020.

And I know a lot of people might disagree; however, this year has been a good one because my strength to withstand the waves is found in Him.

You see the past 7 years of my life have felt like a constant and at times violent push from God. He’s single handily walked me up and down mountains and valleys of life and into a place where I can’t rely on anything but Him for everything. Which means my life, my family, my career, my ministry, my finances, my entire world has landed in His hands for protection and provision.

He’s actually allowed the past 7 years to become a place where the waves of life have knocked me down, drug me under and forced me to learn how to get up and stand firm and strong in the face of death, darkness, turmoil, chaos, adversity and division.

And because of this… Because of His training, molding and refinement… Well I’ve been able to truly and heart-fully say, “God is at my right hand. I will not be shaken or fear anything dark that comes into my spiritual realm and dimension of space and time.”

Because you see I believe the shaking and transition that’s happening is good. I believe, beneath all of the politics and opinions, God has a plan to bring repentance, restoration and healing to our broken nation and world. And as people begin to wake up and focus their attention on Him… Not on political parties, disasters that have overtaken us or arguments that divide us… I believe we will begin to truly see a new world that reveals the Kingdom of God and the glory of His Kingdom on this earth.

And so… The question is, “Are you ready for it?!”🌱 #cultivatelife

Spirit · truth

The Thrill of Peace

You might oppose me when saying this… But there’s something so thrilling about darkness. Yes, it’s uncomfortable and intolerable. Of course it can feel like a constant circus of chaos and a cave of deep despair. However, in the midst of the darkness, I’ve learned that it is COMPLETELY possible to be fixated on peace and immense joy.

You see I’ve learned surrendering our current darkness to God in exchange for His peace is possibly one of the most powerful things we can do.

We’re literally saying, “Hey God, I am not smart enough, wise enough or understanding enough to carry or solve what I’m experiencing… So I’m gonna give it to you. I’m gonna leave my current circumstances in Your hands. And every time I think of them, I’m going to remind myself that I’ve given You the reins to craft up a solution.”

And sure… Sure sometimes His solutions take many moments to become tangible and complete; however, His solutions always offer up abundant life, light and immense amounts of joy.

And it’s also so comforting to lean into the truth that a being far greater than us loves us, cares about us and is willing to stand up for us when life is caving in at every corner.

So, if you are or have ever experienced darkness so black that you can’t see your hand in front of your face, then be encouraged. Be encouraged because you’re not alone. Many people have walked this road before, and I’ll bet that the ones who’ve trusted in God’s ability to provide solutions have found peace and immense amounts of joy in the midst of the chaos. 🌱 #cultivatelife

Confidence · soul · Spirit · truth

Two Trees

I left social media. I didn’t deactivate my accounts, but I left… Promising myself I would return when I felt I could consume without being burdened by pride, hate, bitterness, anger, jealousy, grief and shame.

That’s what social media does to me. I pick it up with the idea of “connecting” to “share” my world and the truth I’ve experienced while following God, but then I usually leave feeling worse than when I entered.

You see over the past decade I’ve learned how to connect to God. And… through this single, significant connection I’ve allowed Him to lead me as I’ve learned how to cultivate life.

Actually, He’s emptied me of the dying, decrepit life I was living, restored my broken pieces and parts and then filled me up with grace, love, peace, patience and endless joy.

So… when I sit down and begin to eat the fruit of social media, well my seemingly healthy vessel becomes completely overwhelmed. My insides begin to fill with endless, sometimes useless knowledge of good and evil. And, a lot of the time, what I consume begins to pull my human spirit and soul down as it leads me astray. It begins to probe at my heart, in an effort to cause unneeded division, confusion, jealousy, anger and death in me and with those I choose to share it with. Also… somehow, I become like God because I begin to feel the need to shoulder up the burdens of my world…. As if I even have the understanding and wisdom to solve anything outside of what He’s given me.

It’s not supposed to be like that though. God didn’t create us to carry death and decay. He created us to connect to Him through His Son Jesus, and then point others to that same connection so that they might be made well and new too!

Because… You see when we connect to God and Him alone our souls don’t feel burdened anymore. He gives us exactly what we need when we need it, rather than us pridefully, greedily and selfishly taking from other sources. When we humble ourselves and meet with Him on a moment-by-moment basis, He hands us life-giving skills in increments because He never wants to overwhelm our refinement, development, maturity and growth. 🌱#cultivatelife

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Sharp Objects

I had a dream about a month ago… I was standing in my living room and from the kitchen a dark figure was standing at my counter throwing knives, swords and other sharp objects at me. In the moment I didn’t know what to do…. So I reached my hand out and surprising caught each one of them by the handle on the other end.

I had a vision this morning… I saw glass and shards of metal coming at my heart… Trying to really penetrate and tear apart this whole and complete substance God’s placed inside of me.

When the vision began, I immediately thought of the dream… So I asked Holy Spirit about both of them. He said, “Amanda, the dream was a foretelling of you handling the shards and metal in the vision. For too many years you’ve allowed manipulation, deception, fear, lies and toxic behavior to tear you down and penetrate your heart. But that’s over now. Now it’s time to stand firm and confidently and courageously catch every sharp tool darkness throws your way. It’s time to be the fortress, in this area of your life, I’ve created you to be.”

And with that… Well I just felt peace. Peace that showed me this chapter is coming to an end because I will no longer be stunned with pain, rejection, fear and confusion of the past.

And I don’t know why I’m sharing this… This is kind of deep and very personal to me on several levels of life. However, I do want you to know, we weren’t created to live in darkness, pain, fear and rejection. Yeah…. Sure we can become so familiar with the darkness that it seems like we should lie down and embrace it as home. But I believe what’s stronger than the darkness that incases us is the light that comes out of us when Jesus truly steps into our story, heals our pain and restores us to full capacity.

And I don’t know about you…. But who wouldn’t want that? 🌱 #cultivatelife

soul · Spirit · truth

Holiness?

To struggle inwardly and not know or understand it’s true purpose leaves one feeling emotionally exhausted and completely overwhelmed.

And I know there’s a purpose to the struggle I’ve been experiencing for the past few weeks. But… Honestly… Honestly, I can’t begin to tell you what it is. And God seems to be so mysteriously greedy with the details of it all. “Just keep moving forward and trusting me. Be holy as I am holy.” He says.

Holiness… All of this for holiness God?! Really now?!?!

And I get it… Holiness sounds SUPER religious and outdated. So, for just a brief moment, let’s think about it like this…. When I choose to let God empty me of more darkness, it brings more light right? And with that light, I have more space for Holy Spirit right? Okay, so if there’s more Holy Spirit in me because darkness has been let out, then I am holy as He is holy. Right?

Seems simple. Feels… Well the process is a damn struggle on the inside.

But ya know… If darkness never comes out to fight, then how will it ever be conquered by light? And… How can what’s inside of me ever be transformed into true holiness if I’m not willing to surrender and just allow the light to incase the challenge that I feel? 🌱🧐 #cultivatelife #justlive

death · soul · Spirit · truth

Thanks Death

I’m not one to wallow and get down about life and what I’ve lost, but lately I’ve found myself missing my dad more than I can explain. It’s sometimes unsettling the way he’s constantly on my mind, and then I’m forced to think about my reality. My mind begins to remind me that death happened, but that life has continued to go on around me.

And though it is so challenging to understand why he died so young. And though I miss him and the life my family had before he was taken from this earth… Well I am still so grateful to have experienced death.

You see there’s just something so motivating to me about death. I believe death is a being, and I believe anytime we experience him we must respect him even though he’s been so seemingly disrespectful to us.

You see death left an imprint on my life. He left an imprint so wide and so deep that it sometimes felt unbearable to breathe again.

However, since my dad’s death I’ve been thrusted into this place of living. A place that’s forced me to stare down death and decide that I will not allow my experience with him to define me in a negative way, but in a positive one.

Because of death I live freer. I love harder. I think more in-depth. I take risks. I consider others. And though he’s helped toss my world upside down, I give more. I’ve gained more. I stop and think of others and where they might be in life because there is a compassion inside of me that wasn’t there before I met him.

And… Although it’s so challenging to not become angry and bitter with God, I’ve found myself more connected to Him than ever before. He’s shown me what true love is. And within that true love I never feel truly broken or without.

And though I don’t know where you stand today, what you’ve lost or how utterly broken you may feel… Please know this. I believe it’s very healthy to feel every ounce of death. But then I also believe it’s so healthy to live life to it’s very fullest. To love with every part of our hearts we can love with. And though it’s challenging to forgive and not become angry with God, I’ve found that He will fill in the broken and battered pieces when we’re ready to let Him in again.

Confidence · Spirit · truth

Just a Prince

Yesterday I was on the train heading uptown to SoHo… My stop, “Prince Street.”

Right before the train came to a stop, a new thought jumped on board… “If Satan is just a prince of this world, then why are we letting him reign over it?”

Immediately my mind started to ponder the reality.

You see I believe when we accept Jesus Christ we are invited into the Kingdom of God to cultivate life… Funny thing, the life around us (or the world) is ruled by an insecure, yet very crafty prince of darkness. But then God asks us to take on our royalty and to reign over this prince.

Because I believe God’s view of us is higher than the view He has of Satan. It’s kind of like the monarchy in England. Harry and William are both princes. Both respect their grandmother. They do not try to overthrow her. And they also realize William will be given the power and authority to reign over the people after his grandmother and father pass away. And then Harry knows and understands, and hopefully respects his brother’s anointing and given authority too. He would never overstep it or overthrow it.

So then my question is, “Why do we allow Satan (who is just a prince) to overstep our God-given power, anointing and authority? Why do we casually sit back and allow him to reign over our lives and decide what rules and reigns in the world? Why have believers in Christ become insecure, pathetic losers who just sit in a corner and cry, when we could just take back what’s rightfully ours?”

As a body of people who are supposed to represent Christ… I believe we are lame. I believe we are trying too hard to be relevant and hip with the culture of Satan when God says, “UMMM, Hello! I called you to stand out and be different and actually make a freaking impact because you have been given the power and authority.”

You see I believe our power, authority and anointing through Christ should actually set us apart. Not the way we dress or the things we have or the messages we preach… But the glory of God we walk in through the Spirit in every moment.

So if you half-way see what I am saying… Then please, wake up and take back your God-given power and authority back right now.