God Needs An Army

My heart cries for a clear foundation of freedom and wholeness for people. My passion and purpose propel me to move forward as I follow the Holy Spirit’s lead every moment of every day. And while I might not be the best at following through with every detail, I’m learning that the follow is the way of life for us as believers.

You see the battle between good and evil is at an all time high in this world. The war over our minds and souls is being pressed like never before. And I believe it’s time for us to rise up and cut out the bullshit. We don’t have time to be lazy believers in Christ anymore. We don’t have time to be people who are poor in spirit. God needs and army that marches to the beat of one word, and that word is Jesus.

Because I believe as a society we don’t really realize what life will be like if we don’t cut out the crap and pursue Him with our whole hearts.

So please, please hear the cry of my heart and soul that is so pressed towards freedom and wholeness through Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY way to the Father and eternal life. All the other ways are a smoke and mirror show, created by the enemy of our souls. And I say this again, with every pure intention in my heart, do not be deceived… Press into the Holy Spirit… Pursue freedom and wholeness at all cost… And never stop cultivating a healthy lifestyle through the Kingdom of God.

Are You Empty?

Over the years I’ve talked very openly about following the Holy Spirit, and how important it is to be led by Him regardless of what I’m feeling.

Now… Truthfully, following Him is a challenge. And just when I think I’ve got the hang of it, He takes a turn down a path I never saw coming.

And well, I guess I say it’s a challenge because allowing Him to lead my life opposes my human will. You see there’s a constant battle on the inside of me, one that requires me to choose His will for my life over my own.

Before this year began I would’ve told you I was very good at following the will of God because I thought that I had completely given all I had to Him. However, I’ve learned that as long as I’m full of myself and the ways of the world around me, I’m not completely sold out to the follow and the journey He has for me.

You see to completely follow the will of God for our lives means we have to become empty on the inside. Someone very wise once said, “If you have a glass filled with water, emptying the water doesn’t empty the glass. The glass actually becomes full of air. It’s only emptied of the unneeded.”

I find this statement very true. Because, I constantly find my life full of trash. I fill myself with too much social media, gossip and judgement the Spirit has clearly asked me to not be a part of. Instead, He’s asked that I stay empty. That I only fill myself with the things of Him. Because, in doing so, the follow is much easier. Life is much simpler. And my head and heart are a lot clearer to hear His voice and follow His plan for my life.

And I get it… It’s a challenge to live a lifestyle that promotes peace and the purposes of God; however, if we aren’t willing to empty ourselves to follow Him (even if it’s the smallest bit), are we truly cultivating a life?

Grown Up

“Ok… So here’s the plan: we’re gonna come home, help mom, sell the house and move on with our lives. This will take three months tops!” I firmly believe God laughed at my plan that day. To think, after everything my family had been through, that it would only take us three months to help mom. I was ridiculous to think such a thought.

You see over the last year and a half, I’ve had to grow up. There’s no other way to explain what I’ve experienced. Has it been painful? Yeah, parts of it have been extremely painful, confusing and altogether frustrating. Has it been fun? Sure it’s been fun! I mean have you met my sister before? She is THE entertainment.

But you know, I wouldn’t trade this time of growth for anything. Because in this time God has truthfully taken so many broken areas of my life and my family’s life and healed them. And He’s also pushed me really, really hard to be where I am today.

Now, I didn’t really appreciate the dark moments. I didn’t really prefer the moments when I thought money was going to run out and we were going to have to file bankruptcy. But, gosh I wouldn’t trade those experiences for the world. Because in the midst of them I learned how to truly rely on God for everything… I learned how to trust Jesus for restoration in areas I didn’t believe could be fixed… And I had to follow the Holy Spirit, even when I couldn’t see.

So where do I go from here now that the house is sold and mom is settled? Well in this moment, I just choose to believe, listen and follow where ever He leads me… Stay tuned to see 😉!

Upside Down Kingdom

What happens when you realize you’re wrong? How do you move forward when you see that the picture… The truth… The reality was upside down from what you imagined it to be?

That’s where I stand… Again realizing that my ideals and opinions have been upside down in so many ways…

You see for close to three months God’s been telling me, “Let go of your opinions Amanda. Let go of them and then you will move forward with me.” Funny thing is it’s a challenge to let go of my opinions in an opinionated culture. But I’ve tried, really I have…

And then yesterday something hit me like a school bus going a million miles an hour. Because I realized that I’ve been viewing Him all wrong. You see I set out on this quest to gain a clear and pure perspective of God, but then my ideas of Him are that He’s high and I am low because He is a King on a throne in Heaven somewhere. And, using the world’s ideas of monarchy, well they are high society. So reaching the heights there kingdom is nearly impossible. However, I’m realizing that God isn’t the kind of King we see in movies and on thrones around the world. No, instead He is a King that stands at the foundation of the mountain, or the entrance of His Kingdom’s gates. He’s not on some lofty hillside making Himself incredibly difficult for us to reach.

Now, His knowledge, understanding and wisdom is definitely more sophisticated and complex, but His heart for us is simple. It’s to the point. It’s almost one dimensional in a way because it’s right in front of our face at all times. He loves us and there’s nothing less to that. There’s no judgement or hate or condemnation or spite or even confusion. He just loves and cares for the condition of our heart.

And I know in my heart there’s so much more to discover from this point! However, this is an understanding I’ve needed because the wiring in my brain was off. My opinion led me to believe I’d get to this place in following Him where I’d discover the “top.” But really, what I’ve discovered is that the “top” is relational. And that He isn’t a King waiting for me to climb high and come into His throne room… No instead He is a King that is humble enough to stand at the foundation of His kingdom and say, “I’m right here Amanda. Come as you are into my Kingdom so that we may cultivate life together .”

Unwanted Soul…

There’s something incrediblely fascinating to me about feeling alone…

I think it’s the reality that sometimes our experiences cause us to feel separated from others… Like we don’t belong because life happened and now we feel less than unwanted and undesirable…

Like we have to put up a shield of protection every time we enter a room… Because, if people see how alone we feel, well we’ll be judged and marked as a flawed person…

So, rather than show people how alone we feel, we do things to cover that pain… We turn to things that cause death and destruction in our lives… And those substances, they produce more darkness, more pain and more trouble for us…

For years I turned to food… Because food gave me a sense of being wanted… I felt comforted to a degree…
And I thought once I began to eat healthy and exercise some of this feeling of being alone would fall away… That I would lose weight, become more attractive and then the sense of feeling alone would leave…

But it didn’t…

It only got worse…

And from that spiraled the addiction I had to sugar… And that addiction made me feel out of control… Out of sorts… Even more flawed, undesirable and unwanted…

And the aloneness I felt increased and multiplied…

I was driving myself, my family and close friends crazy… Because I constantly obsessed about not being able to conquer this addiction to sugar…

Of course I left out the feelings I had of being alone… It was unimportant to share all of that in detail…

I mean, who really wants to say, “I feel alone! I constantly feel alone and unwanted at my core… and it’s killing me!!!”

But that’s how I felt… That’s how I felt for years…

And the truth is, it’s no ones fault… It’s not my parents, grandparents, friends or sisters fault…

No one is to blame…

We live in a flawed world…

Seeking acceptance, that I believe, can only truly come from one source…

And I’ve said it before, but I believed that souce is Father God… He is the only source I can go to and feel whole and complete…

And, when I spend enough time in His presence… I can then live my day with a loved, wanted and accepted feeling…

Because the inside of me no longer feels the need to be intangibly loved by my family, friends and peers…

The love I am receiving goes beyond what they can provide for my soul… And so I feel good… I no longer need an addiction to cause me to “feel” better… I just need the love flowing from His heart, and His heart alone…

So if you’re going through a hard time… If you feel alone, unwanted, undesirable and out of control with an addiction… Please be encouraged to know, Father God and His love are the power that will bring you out and away from what you’re experiencing…

Because everything else, our relationships with people, our things, what we do, say and think… To me they are a facade… Seeming to make us feel loved, accepted and wanted… But intangibly, in the depth of our soul, never actually giving us what we truly need… Which is just basic love from and connection to Father God…

Quality of Life…

The day after my grandmother died, a comment was made to my sister… “Well, you know Bridget, it’s really about the quality of life”…

If you knew my grandmother’s story, you know that she was healed 41 years ago in August… But before that day, her quality of life wasn’t that great… In a body cast and neck brace for 19 ½ years, she just wanted to die… Simple… Right?…

But that night, well her quality of life, it increased…

Because she was given a completely restored body…

Some say, her healing was the greatest healing of the 20th century…. And I don’t disagree…

But aside from her physical healing was what she intangibly gained that night…

To me… Physical healing is kind of a smoke and mirrors show… Like God’s way of getting our attention… So that then we can learn what’s truly invaluable and important…

So, she spent her life focused on the Holy Spirit… Focused on how His influence and individual, intimate relationship in each of our lives brings on a greater quality of life… And how, because of the grace of God through Jesus, well we can all gain that relationship… We can all walk with Him on a day-to-day basis…

I believe, so often, we are drawn to God because of a message on eternity, Heaven, life after death…

But what about life on earth?…

My grandmother lived for 89 years…

Was she healthy?… Was she whole?… What does that even mean?…

To me, to me it means that our spirit, soul and body are in health… Of course we aren’t going to be perfect… No one is… But we can keep them balanced…

So, do we have a relationship with Father God?… What about the Holy Spirit?… And do we know who’s blood is responsible for our ability to have these relationships so freely?…

And what about an identity?… Before this year, well my identity was founded in people, places, things, ministries, organizations… Things that can and have failed me… Things that are fragile, here one moment and gone the next…

So, are we firmly rooted in the things of God, so that when tragedy hits we will not be shaken or moved?…

And what about our thought lives?… Our emotions?… Do we try to stay positive under pressure?… Or do we crack and become a sea of emotion?…

And then there’s our physical body… The vehicle or vessel we live in?… How do we treat it?… Do we eat really unhealthy?… Or do we fill it with things that encourage our spirit and soul to perform better?…

I say all of this because to me… To me, this is life in a nutshell… Because health, spirit, soul and body, is the foundation of life… So that we can pursue what God has given us to it’s very fullest…

And it’s not always easy… Sometimes life happens and we get bitter and angry… Sometimes we think about things that we shouldn’t… Sometimes we eat the whole bag of cookies…

But the reality is, I believe, God is about our quality of life… And that He sent Jesus so that we could have that quality of life… And then He sent the Holy Spirit to help us maintain the quality, and then increase life beyond our wildest dreams…

Of course it doesn’t happen over night… It takes time and effort… Because… Well… Life is a journey… A process… A continual climbing of mountains and walks through valleys, with a lot of highs and lows…

But… The good news is, we all have the capability to cultivate the best quality of life possible…

Curve Ball…

When we live… When we just live… Moment by moment… A lot of times curve balls come out of nowhere… Or so it seems…

And right now… Well a curve ball that seems to be the size of a house just came flying into my life…

And maybe it was there all along… Maybe it was always meant to happen…

But regardless… Well I feel all sorts of ways… And in the midst of feeling all sorts of ways, I find myself protecting my emotions… Keeping them on lock down…

And it’s simply out of fear… Fear of failure… Fear of shame and embarrassment… And of course lack of control…

But I guess that means it’s time to grow… It’s time to learn… It’s time to be the woman I’ve been working so hard to become…

And when I think in that way… Well that’s when the Holy Spirit reminds me… He reminds me that the things I am afraid of are dead… That they’ve died off in the last two years… And that I’ve become stronger and more qualified…

He’s reminding me and speaking truth into my life… Saying if I’ll just be the woman I’ve been for the last 6 months… Well then I’ll be fine… Because that woman… The woman that I’ve become… She looks nothing like that girl that was afraid and ashamed two years ago…

And with that truth… Well I have the option to just believe… To just have faith… To just live… Because just living has helped me get this far…