Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Isn't it funny how you "preach" things only to be slapped with what you preached about shortly after? I had posted my blog post about being humble and, surely, the next day I exploded. Talk about humbling....
It happens to all of us. We try to help others and we end up feeling like we got the short end of the stick. Or, we sacrifice something in some way and we feel as if it was clearly not appreciated. We all have had these scenarios happen to us but, when they do, how do we stop from harboring bitterness? Because we all know how UGLY bitterness really is.
In Joyce Meyer's Beauty for Ashes series she says:
“First, let me say that it is not possible to have good emotional health while harboring bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die! Unforgiveness poisons anyone who holds it, causing him to become bitter. And it is impossible to be bitter and get better at the same time!”
Let me tell you firsthand, those words are SO VERY TRUE!
When you become bitter, everything changes you....the way you feel about all circumstances, the way you feel about others and, more damagingly, the way that you feel about yourself. It is a downhill spiral and you HAVE to find a way to let it go and let it go quickly!
We have to understand that FORGIVING does not mean that you are condoning what has happened. It just means that you are letting go of the strain that is slowly killing your heart and soul. You have to forgive the action. I mean, you REALLY have to forgive! Forgiving does not mean that you are a doormat now that you have forgiven. It just means that you are giving others the grace that God gives us on a daily basis. Think about this Bible scripture:
Mark 11:25-26: “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.”
And, don't forget about the verse that states:
Matthew 18:20-21: "21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."
That's forgiving someone 7 x 70 times, which means keep forgiving until you have found true forgiveness!
We have to keep in mind that the enemy (Satan) is after our happiness, after our hearts. He wants us to be broken. He wants our lives to be lived in chaos and distress. He wants us to not enjoy one single minute of this glorious life that God has given us all. He is out to kill, steal, and destroy. When he is able to do this, this will put a huge wedge between ourselves and God and we surely do not want that!
Take a long look in the mirror. Sincerely look at yourself and see if your heart has hardened, check to see if you have been living under an enormous amount of unneeded stress, see if you feel bitterness towards others. If so, it's time to lay it all down at the altar, lay it down at the feet of Jesus. He wants to forgive you but you need to forgive others. We all do.
Love always wins!
Saturday, July 11, 2015
In today's society, if you are humble, people view you as being weak. Today's world you are supposed to have a tough exterior and interior, you are supposed to venture around like you are the most important person on this earth, and you are supposed to act like that you just do not care....about anyone or anything besides yourself, right? So. Totally. Wrong.
In my opinion, that is the problem in today's cultures. It is a me/me world. What can you do for me? How will this help me? You get the picture? I am sure certain people have already popped up in your mind haven't they?
The truth is we all need to humble ourselves and look beyond the reflection in the mirror. There is so much more that can be gained if we look beyond ourselves and look towards others.
If we could humble ourselves to our spouse, just think of doors of love and respect that would open! How can I be humble to my spouse? Here are a few ways:
- Put your spouse FIRST! Besides God, your spouse should come before ANYONE else and they need to know, without question, that they are always first. This gives a huge sense of security to the relationship.
- Admit when you are wrong and ask for forgiveness. We all have battles in our marriages, and that will always be a part of any marriage or relationship, but we have to learn to humble ourselves and sincerely apologize when we are in the wrong. Apologize, ask for forgiveness so you can move on.
- Asking and accepting forgiveness. This goes in hand with the above statement. When you truly ask for forgiveness, learn to accept it!
- Don't be prideful! Pride is one of the seven deadly sins and it can be a major destroyer in anything! You two are a team - no one should portray to be better than the other one....at all. Accept each others weaknesses and lean on each other's strengths but do not make your spouse feel like they are not good enough. Ever.
- Do not ever put your children down; instead, build them up and encourage them. If they do wrong, handle it in the right way. Show them where they are wrong and how they can change it.
- Be a true role model for your children. They will hear what you tell them but they will see what you do. Actions are much stronger than words! Remember - they are always watching!
- Teach them to serve others and take the focus of themselves.
- Get them in a good church, make them aware of prayer and sacrifice.
Humble Yourself Before the Lord:
- Jesus is the perfect example of humility - look at humbleness He portrayed out of obedience to His father to the point of death on the cross! Now that is a true example of humbleness and humility!
“And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” –Philippians 2:8-11
- Remember - we couldn't even have a relationship with God if it wasn't for what Jesus did for all us.
- Pray a lot.
- Follow God's instructions instead of depending on your own thoughts.
- Be willing to make sacrifices for others that will be pleasing in the Lord's sight.
What are ways that you can be humble?
Thursday, July 9, 2015
***FACEBOOK ONLY GIVEAWAY!***
I have a copy of Lifelong Love Affair by Jimmy Evans (who is absolutely wonderful and gives GREAT Christian advice to marriages and spouses...if you have never listened to him, YouTube him or find him on your local Christian network). I am going to be running a Facebook giveaway for this wonderful book.
- You have to "like" Amy's Journey on Facebook and share the contest post anytime from now until the end of the contest date, which is Saturday, July 17th at midnight.
- You can share this as many times as you want to throughout that time period.
- For each new "like" on my page, have your friend tag you in a comment on that post to tell me that they sent you.
- The person with the most friend referrals will win this awesome book.
Are you in?
It's that time of year again....picnics, church gatherings, weddings, family reunions. So that means it is time for.......dessert! YUM! I am not too big on sweets (I know, that is crazy), but I do enjoy these "candy bar brownies" and they are always a HUGE hit wherever I take them!
My family and I were sitting in church the other night and our Vacation Bible School is coming up next week and they had mentioned that they would be needing everyone to make brownies to give out on the last night of VBS. My husband was on my right side elbowing me and then my oldest son was on my left side elbowing me.....to make sure I heard that so I could make these delicious brownies! Okay guys, I got the picture. I will make the brownies!
This is a very simple recipe. And, let me just say, you should wait a bit so they will set right and firm up in the middle, but they are oh so very good when they are just out of the oven, hot with a huge scoop of ice cream on top! Okay, I am making myself hungry and I am thinking I need to go to the store and buy some Hershey bars!
Hershey Bar Brownies
- 2 Family Size boxes of brownie mix
- 3 Large-Sized Hershey Bars (the big, big ones that they sell separately)
- Eggs, oil, etc. all of the ingredients that you use to make the brownies
- Spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Spray generously.
- Mix each box of brownie mix in a separate bowl.
- Pour one whole brownie batch in the 9x13 pan.
- Place the 3 Hershey Bars side by side on top of the brownie mix.
- Take remaining box of brownie mix and pour on top of the brownies.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Take them out of the oven and TRY to resist digging in. Give them time to set up and firm up. And then enjoy a piece of chocolate Heaven!
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Is this not stunning?
I recently found a group on Facebook about Bible Journaling and let me just say that I am so intrigued! Once I stumbled upon it, I just kept Googling even more information and pictures. To me, it is amazing and, also, I wonder WHY have I not heard of this until now?!?!?!?!
What is Bible Journaling? Well it appears that you can buy journaling Bibles (if you can find them - it seems like they are hard to find) and these Bibles have large margins on the side of each page to "journal" your thoughts but, as an example from the picture above, people are picking their favorite scripture verse on that page and making art with it...inside of their Bible. Now I know some of you will think that a Bible should not be used for this purpose and that is okay. We are all adults here and we are entitled to our own opinions but I think Bible journaling would be an EXCELLENT way to spend time in devotion because you would be meditating on that particular scripture and you are allowing to be creative with how it is laid upon your heart. So, to me, it is a win/win situation! I think this would be an excellent way to get your children involved too with buying their own journaling Bible.
I am going to go to my local Christian bookstore and see if they offer any journaling Bibles. I am so excited to start doing this!
But what if you don't have a journaling Bible? Well, I have researched that as well and I have seen some people draw their scripture on a piece of paper and place it in their Bibles in the area of the scripture. And some try to incorporate the journaling part on any found blank space in their Bible. It really depends on what you want to do and your preference but I thought this was such an awesome, awesome way to spend reflecting on favorite verses, and also wouldn't something like this be so heartfelt to leave to one of your children when they become grown? So many possibilities!
What are your thoughts?
***The above picture was from a member of a Bible Journaling Facebook group. Her name is Meredith Jordan. I think she did a FANTASTIC job! Such an inspiration! ***