Author Archives: Amanda

About Amanda

I love to encourage others to grow in love for God through writing and song.

Do Gossip and Negative Speech Grieve Our Hearts Like They Should?

Recently I was talking with someone and they begin to speak negatively about someone we knew. It grieved me and stirred my heart to pray for the person saying these things.

Both the speaker and the person spoken about are made in God’s image. Both are loved by Him—whether they know Jesus or not. Because of this, I want to know the heart of Father God for them because this is what my heart should reflect:

  1. God made them and saw that it was good.
  2. God sent His Son for them as well as you and me, providing a way for restoration and forgiveness of sin.
  3. God wants to do a transformational work in their lives too.

We have all sinned and needed Jesus to redeem us. This is no time to compare failures and sins. All need Christ every day to grow in holiness, and He calls us to love, share truth and pray.

At some point, every one of us has done someone wrong–whether against God, ourselves or others. It could have been by mistake or done by choice, yet consequences still come. Everyone has areas that need transformation. None of us is capable of true good without God’s inspiration and enablement.

When confronted with negative speech, I try to get God’s heart on the manner. What could have led to the person’s hurtful behavior. And I aim to avoid harboring offense, anger and unforgiveness.

Hurtful situations, hardship in their life or lack of self-worth may have led them to speak this way. They might simply be anxious, depressed, insecure or hopeless. They could be starved for genuine help, support and affection. Maybe they simply had a bad day or week. The possible scenarios are endless.

Sin and ugliness of any kind are never excused (even by having a bad day). Regardless, when someone wrongs us it can be a sign that they need love, kindness and prayer. You may be the only one praying for them besides Christ Himself.

We can take part in God’s work in someone’s life. We can join our prayers with His, seeking to love and be kind even if they’ve done wrong.

Negative speech about others should grieve our hearts as it would God’s, whether we hear or speak it. Gossip and slander are not necessary. This type of behavior is sin. It does not align with the heart of Jesus. Instead it shows where we lack His love for ourselves and others.

An important aside: This also includes our unkind actions and reactions as well.

Before we respond to such situations, we could pray through the following:

  • Have I have ever spoken in a way that does not reflect the heart of Father God?
  • When I or others have done this, how does it make me feel? Am I grieved when I or others do this?
  • Because they also need Christ, will I choose to show love and forgive them? Will I ask God to help me see them through His perspective?
  • Will I decide to pray that they will come to know the One who meets every need gives us true worth and identity?
  • Will I pray for God to heal every hurt, giving them a desire to let Him transform their hearts?

Like me, does it grieve you when someone speaks hurtful things about another person? Perhaps this is nothing new to you or was a good reminder. Know a friend who needs this message? Don’t forget to share it!

Did I miss anything? Do you have something to add? I’d love for you to leave a comment.

I pray this article sparks a revolution in our hearts to respond as Jesus would!

The Life-Giving Season of Lent: Giving More of Ourselves to Christ

The season of Lent consists of the forty days (minus Sundays) before Resurrection Sunday. Lent is a time of examining our hearts toward God, and of fasting or abstaining from something in order to give more of ourselves to Christ. The days of Lent also remind us of the time in which Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days and was tempted by the devil.

Examining Our Hearts

Giving God more of ourselves should always be part of our relationship with Him; however, Lent is an ideal time to examine our hearts regarding our pursuit of God. One way to do this is through the Examen Prayer, which can be used as a daily guide either as you begin or end your day.

We can also begin by asking ourselves a few of the questions below, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance in answering them. These questions can include:

  • Am I putting God first in my life, or simply trying to fit Him in?
  • Is there anything in my life that is or has the potential to distract me from God and living for Him?
  • Is there anything in my life that has a hold on me other than or above God and His will?

As we face the truth of our hearts and repent where necessary, we experience greater life in God. In the next section, you’ll find some helpful thoughts related to the last two questions. Continue reading

The Search for a Godly Definition of Success

The winds of the world’s ideas of success swirl around us: the pressure to create and to do, to earn more, to be productive, to be successful. People and families alike have definitions of what it means to be successful: major in that field, get that job, be married by xx age and having children.

When we accomplish only some of these things or feel led by God down a different path, people may deem us unsuccessful or misguided, even pressuring us to do something different. Or perhaps we’ve walked those paths and feel disillusioned by the result. Even the world around us is filled with calls to find our niche, push for popularity, make a six-figure income, hustle unto productivity and more, and it’s everywhere!

How we define success in life is crucial. It affects the trajectory of our entire lives and even colors our moods, mindsets and attitudes. How we define success affects everything! Nonetheless, we who are disciples of Christ should be seeking to walk out our journey with God in His ways of success.

How should a disciple of Christ pursue success? What defines success for those endeavoring to live a godly life? And in discovering a godly definition of success, what should we do to achieve it?

Let’s aim to define success God’s way. Below are three keys to a godly definition of success. Continue reading

How I Use Trello as a Digital Prayer Journal

Trello is a versatile app for organization, team work, planning and more. It has a myriad of uses: planning a wedding or special celebration; organizing a move or trip; lesson plans or sermon prep; collaborating with a team for work or ministry; and many more!

It’s one of my most used apps! My uses for it include:

  • A Weekly & Monthly Planner
  • Meal Planning (including checklists for ingredients and cost)
  • Worship Planning (new song rotation, song lists, etc.)
  • Social Media Management
  • Work Project Management

You can even find lots of Trello Board “templates” to copy to your own account as a new board, or just to get ideas for ways you can use the app.

Trello is available for phones and tablets, and has a web-based interface for computers. It syncs across all your devices as well and the best part: It’s free for most features you would need.

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Satisfy My Soul: Book Review and eBook Giveaway!

Satisfy My Soul: A 40-Day Worship Devotional is a book written by worship leaders, singers and musicians from the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Featured worship leaders in this book include Justin Rizzo, Laura Hackett Park, Jon Thurlow and Matt Gilman.

These worshipers spend their days adoring Jesus in worship, studying His Word and seeking to become more like Him in their character and actions. Like all of us, they have experienced challenges in their lives. From the depths of God’s faithfulness to them and their hearts after His, they write these pages.

Though many of the devotions will appeal to worshipers who sing, the writers want all believers to know and experience the power of singing to God and singing His Word over ourselves, and the effect of music on our hearts and on our relationship with God. I am firmly convinced that any believer can be inspired by this book to pursue God more and use the topics within to stir them to behold Jesus and the beauty of who He is.

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