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Amanda's Blog (327)

Just as barren and just as forgotten ...

Saturday, my husband had the day off and one of our excursions included making a short trip to the indoor and outdoor flea market at a…

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Added by Amanda on April 25, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

What's normal?

When I tell someone I feel abnormal, the person generally laughs and says, "What's normal?"



To me, those people who have enough self confidence and self esteem to feel comfortable in social settings are normal.



Those who feel secure and unthreatened around others are normal.



Normal people feel good about themselves. They're also productive. They do useful things, make a difference, waste no time.



But, I think most of all, normal people are able to… Continue

Added by Amanda on April 17, 2016 at 9:06pm — No Comments

Only trying to be normal ...

Her name is Sheree, and she is a Christian. She received an M.S. degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from a Christian University and is currently working on a Ph.D.



I met her yesterday for the first time.



She is trained in the family systems approach to therapy and helps clients recognize how their behavior impacts the rest of their family members. She also uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy. Her goal is to assist people in reaching… Continue

Added by Amanda on April 15, 2016 at 8:00pm — 2 Comments

But it won't take away the pain and it won't heal.

I've never been able to stay in therapy for very long, but just long enough to focus on getting help with immediate problems and stresses.



And, so, I've decided to talk to someone once again, for a short time, hoping to learn to cope better with the recent deaths of my oldest sister and one of my older brothers, as well as with the chronic stress of having autoimmune illness.



I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I need a deeper understanding of the feelings that I've been… Continue

Added by Amanda on April 3, 2016 at 7:09pm — 2 Comments

What do I think about You, Jesus?

I spent a good part of Good Friday entertaining our three year old granddaughter.



During her…

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Added by Amanda on March 29, 2016 at 8:00pm — No Comments

It's true I don't feel like going to church.

I don't have a church family.



I started visiting a church in February and for four Sundays I was able to push through the effort to go, but then I missed the next two, and I probably wouldn't have gone this morning if the minister hadn't left a voicemail on my husband's phone a few days ago, saying he was thinking about us.



So, even though I'm not feeling well, I forced my way through it.



And, of course, after getting there, God spoke to me through the prayers,… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 27, 2016 at 9:30pm — No Comments

It's just that there are times when I want Jesus to say, "I am willing."

It's almost mesmerizing. It's falling so softly.

As I sit here very quietly on the sofa, looking through the patio doors at the snow and watching it fall, I feel almost mesmerized.

I've had so much on my mind. I've needed a respite, a little rest and relief from things that have been…

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Added by Amanda on March 3, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

I often found myself thinking, "God, I wish You would ..."

For a few years before I married and several years afterwards, I didn't read the bible or attend church or think much about God or even want to, and if I talked to God any at all, it wasn't really in prayer, but, more or less, was just a form of wishful thinking, mostly centering around trivial things, or things, at least, which I was taught were too trivial to talk about to God ... "consider the lilies" things, such as food, clothing, shelter, ... things which Jesus said not to set your heart… Continue

Added by Amanda on March 1, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

What made me leave church

"You can bounce back from defeat." That's what my daily reading said this morning. I'm reading a devotional on YouVersion called Risen

( http://bible.com/r/a8 ) and I'm planning to see the film this weekend with my husband and our son.



Today's reading went on to ask, "If Christ is alive and if I show up at church, am I going to find forgiveness or are they going to condemn me? Am I going to be accepted or am I going to be rejected? Do I have a… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 26, 2016 at 9:30am — 4 Comments

Jesus is our peace

This morning, the letters on the sign in front of the church said, Jesus is our peace.



I went inside and turned to the right and kept walking down the aisle until I found an empty pew. It was in the middle of the sanctuary. The projector screen hanging above the pulpit had an onscreen timer that was counting down the seconds ... 0:31, 0:30, 0:29... We were just in time... 0:02, 0:01 ... Worship service began.



I looked at the bulletin that a greeter had quickly handed me at… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 21, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The bad survivor is the one who isn't healing

I still have the nightmares and I guess it's not unusual.



The impact of different types of trauma, whether occurring in childhood or as an adult, can have far reaching repercussions on a survivor.



Survivor.



I always stumble over that word.



Ironically, it's not a label I like to use to describe myself, and the other word is much more worse in my opinion.



Victim.



But, it's either survivor or victim.



And I think both… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 19, 2016 at 9:30am — No Comments

Fear of one another relationships in God's flock

I think I'm ready to try again. I hadn't visited any churches since moving here last June, until yesterday evening. It's a church that I'd been considering visiting for quite awhile. It's only a few miles from my house and is on one of the main routes leading downtown. I've looked at it every time I've passed by it,…

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Added by Amanda on February 15, 2016 at 10:00am — 2 Comments

He's brought others through trials

It's been bitterly cold the past few days, and I've dreaded being outside for any reason, trying to shield from the cold air. 



But I can't say I have cabin fever because, although I've wanted to stay inside, I can find things to do.



This afternoon, I convinced my son and husband to play… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 13, 2016 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Are You watching from above?

Do you need a little grace? Forgiveness? Understanding? Are you lost in your own grieving, feeling as if you may be hurting worse than anyone even though you know it's impossible to know how much others are hurting? But the same is true of you, too. No one else would know your pain. 



James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” It's easy to say, "That's what we have to do," especially… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 10, 2016 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments

No one deserves that kind of suffering!

I understand the temptation to think God is cruel. 



I've wrestled with it often, having suffered from childhood abuse and neglect, humiliating assault, anxiety and depression as an adult survivor, illness and many other painful experiences and losses. 



Most recently, I was tempted to question God after my oldest sister was diagnosed with incurable, inoperable lung cancer that had quickly spread throughout her body before ever being detected. 



The treatment for… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 5, 2016 at 1:30pm — No Comments

No one can say it's not really so bad

She had a beautiful funeral, my sister. I was glad to get the opportunity to watch it, and a holiness minister, whom my mother requested to officiate, gave a wonderful message about Jesus raising Lazarus. He said we can talk about God all we want but when we mention Jesus, that's when people start becoming offended. But, he said, he was living to praise Jesus everyday for all that Jesus has done for him. Then he told about a future promise being fulfilled one day of Jesus coming back and… Continue

Added by Amanda on February 1, 2016 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

I haven't said goodbye

One of the childhood memories I have of my oldest sister is of her singing and reciting songs and nursery rhymes to me, such as There's a hole in the bottom of the sea, There's a hole in the bottom of the sea, There's a log on the hole in the bottom of the sea, There's a log on the hole in the bottom of the sea, There's a bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea ... and Do Lord, O, do Lord, O do remember me

Do Lord, O, do Lord, O do remember me

Do Lord, O, do Lord, O do… Continue

Added by Amanda on January 23, 2016 at 10:30am — 7 Comments

Take her hand and make Yourself known, Lord

My youngest sister has been sharing her grief with me for our oldest sister whose health is deteriorating day by day by day.



Last night she contacted me, saying our oldest sister has gotten much worse. "She can't turn side to side now and is having pain. She's also had a few outbursts of agitation, raising her arms to heaven and screaming that she can't take this anymore; crying hysterically. She's on oxygen now."



Yesterday was the birthday of my youngest sister's late… Continue

Added by Amanda on January 11, 2016 at 1:24pm — No Comments

Will I feel His joy?

It's winter.



Drabby, gloomy, colorless winter.



And I'm in the doldrums.



And I know that feeling down in the doldrums is common for many this time of year.



I saw it as I sat in the food court at the mall last night. I noticed that there was quite a bit of difference between the present atmosphere and the one that was there before Christmas.



Technically, it's still Yuletide since the twelve days of Christmas run from Christmas Day to January… Continue

Added by Amanda on January 4, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Lord, bring your hope, truth, and light into my darkness.

When you're going through difficult things, it can seem that God is anything but your shelter from the storm or your victor -- the one who defeats the enemy -- or surely, if God were, you wouldn't be suffering in these ways.



Yet, Jesus said we'd have troubles while living in the world.



But for some reason having all the troubles often makes me think that God isn't really with me and then hopelessness sets in.



You see, I know that those who are spiritually dead… Continue

Added by Amanda on December 24, 2015 at 8:30am — No Comments

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