Tuesday, August 21, 2007
conviction & forgiveness
Over the last few days, starting with the weekend, I have had this feeling that God was dealing with me on something. I always know when He's trying to get my attention, especially when there is something I need to confess or seek forgiveness on. Sunday, during worship, I figured it out pretty quick. I needed to ask forgiveness regarding my attitude towards the church and towards my fellow Christians. The Lord really convicted me about things that have been going on in my mind and the negative mindset I have taken on. I came to the harsh realization that instead of verbally tearing down what I don't agree with, that I need to pray for understanding and I have to make sure that I am not making the war between fellow Christians worse than it already is. We are ALL on the same team.

Honestly, I am sick of the things I hear people say about Christians. I'm starting to take offense and want to defend my fellow brothers and sisters, as I should! How dare I walk into a church and criticize their message, their music, their vision, their programs and even the wording in their bulletin! That's what I have been doing for a few years now and in a strange kind of way, the Holy Spirit allowed me to feel that judgement I have placed on others as I took part in worship on Sunday. Saturday afternoon, I kept struggling with feeling judged by others. I could not figure out why it was so heavy upon me but I could physically feel it. Then on Sunday morning I felt like the Holy Spirit was revealing that what I felt is exactly what I have been doing to others. And when I am full of judgements, I'm pretty much useless. May sound funny, but I felt dirty, I felt convicted, I felt ashamed by my attitude.

Right now I am trying to find balance and understand what it is God truly wants me to "get" right now. One of the things I am wrestling with is the serving aspect, which I have written a lot about lately. Serving my neighbor, serving my friends, serving my community, serving strangers. I've been thinking about how I have crammed that down your throats in my blog posts and how me talking about serving the community, serving my neighbors, etc. really means nothing to all of you unless I am honest about my own, real life struggle with that word, SERVE. So if I am honest, I can tell you that serving is not the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. Or at night while my head is resting on the pillow trying to go to sleep, I am not thinking "Who can I serve tomorrow?". I'm not thinking about the meals I can cook to take to a neighbor, cookies I can bake to take to the firehouse in town or signing up to do childcare for Bible study! Instead I am thinking about me, my kids, my husband, my home and all the things I need to get done. And I'm sad to say but I am not thinking about who I can pray for either. I've got a husband and three kids that I need to be praying for and I already feel like I don't do that enough as it is. My kids alone could consume my entire 24/7.

After a talk with my husband and some conviction I've been feeling, I want to ask my readers to forgive me. I think as believers in Christ, if we are truly communing with Him, we are serving. It really is a natural thing. We serve our church, our families and our friends. Maybe some of us need to get better at serving strangers and serving others without trying to get them in church but for the most part, I think we are all pretty much on the same page. Some of us are a little more self absorbed and need to do less talking and more listening as we connect with old friends and new but a lot of us are trying to find value so we are not sure how to let others shine. I, for sure, need to become a better listener and ask my friends and family more questions about their life and their families. That is a HUGE way to serve and I think I've pretty much sucked at that!

I've been beating myself up so much lately thinking about how much I lack in the "serving" area. But Jeremy brought out some really good points about how I have served the church and served my friends. It's funny because I did not look at those things as serving because I enjoyed it! I have always looked at "service" as a dreaded event. The thing is, I do believe that God has called me to minister to others and the way I do it will be different that the way you do it. I'm trying to get back to the basics and not worry so much about thinking outside of the box. I love people, I really do. I thrive on people and I am energized by them so I'm going to keep focusing on people and sharing Jesus in whatever way He shows me.

Please forgive me if I have hurt or offended any of you with prior posts. I pray that God will reveal to you my heart and I pray that He can use this blog to reach ALL kinds of people. I pray that He can use me to speak to new Christians, seasoned Christians and non Christians. If I am true to the woman He has called me to be, I can't help but to be a vessel.

Philippians 1:6, 9, 10 "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus."And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ."


  posted at 11:32 PM

At 3:01 AM, Anonymous Tiffany said...

One of the most touching, honest and lovely posts I think you've ever written, Amanda.

Your heart is BEAUTIFUL...

I love you,
Tiff ;)

At 4:41 AM, Blogger According to HIS Power said...

This has been on my heart so much lately, MY ATTITUDE. Thank you for writing such heartfelt posts. I am praying for you.


At 5:10 AM, Blogger V. said...

well done.

Again - Oswald hit the nail on the head today (Aug22) See this link: http://www.rbc.org/utmost/index.php

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Gwen said...

I think your sincerity and your love has always shined through. I thank you as always for your honesty.

At 8:34 AM, Blogger Shelley said...

That post was something beautiful.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Christina said...

I think you're awesome! :-)

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Munchkin Land said...

Oh Amanda... as Tiffany said, that was one of the most touching and vulnerable posts you've ever written. =) You have not offended me... ever! In fact, you have given me much "food" for thought. You are human, just like the rest of us, and as such, we fall short. That's why we have God and His grace. The only thing we can do is our best.

I so enjoy your writing, your honesty, and that is why I keep coming back! =) Don't be too hard on yourself!

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

You said " I think as believers in Christ, if we are truly communing with Him, we are serving" and I agree with that 100%. I believe the realm in which we can truly serve Him is larger than we can ever imagine.

At 9:59 PM, Blogger Amy said...

You've never offended me, but I really appreciate this post. You show humility...the work of God in you.

Thanks again, Amanda! It is always good to get back to the basics.

much love... Amy

At 7:58 PM, Blogger Liz said...

What a beautiful post!! You have such a humble heart. I have never been personally offended by you at all. I really appreciate your honesty!

I have so enjoyed reading your blog and seeing Christ at work in your heart and life. Thank you for sharing!


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Mommy, Mama, Mandi, Amanda, Babe and whatever else you want to call me! How do I have time to blog with three kids under the age of four? I'm up until midnight and usually later!

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