He still washed Judas’s feet

1 John 4:19 (AMP) We love, because He first loved us.

Not two days after I finished reading Unmerited Favor by Joseph Prince and starting on The Root of Rejection by Joyce Meyer did I get a blow to my heart. I already knew it was coming. God had told us about it almost a year ago, but it still hurt. The timing was perfect for the enemy to use. Why? I had just come out stating that I was going to remind myself daily that “I am His beloved.” When I read the Word and meditate on it, the revelation knowledge that I get is because, “I am Jesus’s favorite disciple.”

A little back story of what it feels like to be a favorite. My sisters (twins) and I are about twenty two months apart, me being the oldest. When I was four we lived in Kentucky and I remember there being a special drawer for me with gum in it…Bubblicious gum. My sisters were too young to enjoy treats like that, but I got to! It made me feel special. When we moved, I have another memory of one of my aunts bringing treats for all of the little kids (she having two herself). We all closed our eyes and held out our hands and they put candies in everyone’s hands but mine. I was told that I was too old (at the age of six) to receive any. In my gut I knew that it was because my grandparents had a special bond with me and she was jealous.

So when I was told that I was not who they wanted to speak into their life (even though we pastor), that “this person is my leader,” it took me back to the pain of being rejected at six years old. I had to realize that the enemy was jealous, he is not His favorite, I am! It took me a few days to get over that blow to my heart, but it was a distraction. It was a distraction from me walking in freedom and the power that wherever I go miracles follow because the Holy Spirit dwells in me!! Do you know what Jesus’s favorite disciple gets to do? They get to walk around everywhere they go knowing they are loved. The Holy Spirit will bring back all that transpired and say, “you did what I told you to do, they still have free choice.” I have to continue to walk in love even though it was wrong, why? In my wrongness, He loved me first! Even in being rejected and knowing He would be betrayed, He still washed Judas’s feet. I love, because He loved first!

My love is not wrapped in this one person who rejected me. God showed me, look at all of these that see you as a gift. You know He does that with His beloved. I am His favorite disciple, so that I can point others back to Him. I want to tell you that you are His favorite disciple too. He will make Himself as personal to you as you desire Him to. I often like to call them “Daddy Moments.” Remember, He first loved us. He knows what it is like to love so deeply and still be rejected, but He first loved us (the book of 1 John was written to people who rejected Him).

James 1:2-4 (AMP) Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials.  Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace] And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

The enemy is going to test that Word inside of you. Count it as a joy because it will produce something great inside of you. Do not let the enemy try to get you to go into hiding, as it did me. We need to experience this life. I do not want to lack anything that He has planned for me. I may get hurt again, that is okay. Just like He did this time, He will do it again, He will let me know just how loved and wanted I am. I pray He does the same for you.

Psalm 138:3 (NLT) As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.

Say ‘no’ to carpenter ants

Ephesians 1:18-19 (AMP) And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength.

I do not know about you, but when something is bothering me I mull over it. This is a good moment for me to call on God and ask for a home inspection (since we are the home of the Holy Spirit). My husband and I have purchased two homes since we married. The first one was a bank repossession and was basically as is. The second home we were making a large investment in and had some money, to put down from the sale of the previous home. Let me add that when we bought our second home I was well into my third trimester with our second child. We physically went and looked at and toured nearly eighty homes (I know, I was exhausting).

We were running short on time and we had settled on a home not too far from our church location at the time. I was not crazy about the schools that we would be district for and the layout of the house was a little weird, but the closets were good and they had just remodeled the kitchen. We paid for a home inspection as we had made an offer. We wanted to make sure the home we were going to buy was solid. A home inspection is a detailed report of all the potential problems the home may have. This home had a lot of problems. First off, those appliances were not even hooked up in the kitchen and they were a long way off from getting to where that was even possible (electrical issues). Those cute gas logs in that nice fireplace were just there to look at, there was nothing hooked up and the fireplace was not usable. Then there were the carpenter ants that had built nests all in that brand new deck they put in, but did not treat, and now had infected the rest of the house. How can something so small cause so much damage! That house was a big no after the home inspection.

Our inspection for His home within us is the Holy Spirit and His Word. God has given us these so that I can clean myself up (a different clean up from that sin life I lived), but a clean up of the years of neglect, hurts, fear, shame and other spiritual baggage that I have been carrying around. These “life problems” can do some serious damage to this home, just like those small carpenter ants did to that home. I do not like that I mull over things so much. Overthinking and over analyzing things robs us of our peace and our joy. It will rob us of our sleep and our confidence of who we are in Christ. Christ purchased this home and paid a high price for it. I am forever grateful and know that I cannot do this life without Him.

Praying for you as you begin this week. Know and cherish this hope, that He sees us as the riches of His glorious inheritance. We ask Him to search within us and open the eyes of our hearts. He who began a good work within us will see it to completion. We are worth the investment!

Martha, Martha, Martha!

There is a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World written by Joanna Waver. I own it but have never read it. I think I have pulled it out a couple of times. I usually decide on something else instead. What made me think about this book was this past Easter Weekend. This year we had a fundraiser to send out kids to youth this summer. We took orders for eggs, filled with candy, to be delivered the night before Easter. We ended up with an order of two thousand eggs and twenty nine houses to go to. Awesome! With only a few hiccups…a shortage of plastic eggs in the city and having to find four hundred eggs on Friday, my son being directional challenged and took him way longer than it should to do the houses on his route, and that one of my youth thought it would be funny to do some prank eggs (teenage boys). It went great and we did not have to wash cars!!

On top of this fundraiser I am also helping to plan a Girls Night In and Guys Night Out event. The ladies are coming to my house to watch Joyce Meyer’s Girls Night In and the guys are going to go axe throwing and dinner together. Sounds fun right! Remember my last post that I usually like to know the answers to questions that people are going to ask me. So I became a little overwhelmed.

Then there is Easter Service. We had a regular church service with communion. I just could not bring myself to plan an after fellowship event. I did not plan anything special for the kids. We had a new song prepared and that was just all I could bring myself to do. You see, this Martha World is exhausting. Not because I want to be Martha, but sometimes it seems that is all people see me as. I do not want to plan everything! I do not want to do the order of service, but I do it because people have come to depend on me to do it. I do it because I have been told, you are the only one who can. Why is that?

I long to have people come up beside me and train them up to do the things that I do. I long to mentor those that are in awe of how much I am able to accomplish. Jesus sent His disciples out two by two (Luke 10:1-23). They went out and reported, He did not micromanage. He sent them out and was able to trust that they were doing what He sent them out to do. I long to be able to lead like that!

Do not get me wrong, I love serving! If I did not have anything to do I would probably go nuts. Sometimes I ask myself, “Amanda, are you doing too much?” “If you did not do it, is it really necessary?”

Before service Sunday I prepared a large meal for my family for when we got home. It was their favorite…schnitzel and spaetzle with peas and deviled eggs. All made from scratch. The only thing I had to do when we got home was make the jager gravy, because you know gravy will get congealed if it gets cold. We ate our Easter dinner together. I washed the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen and then go rest on the couch. Rest means I fell asleep. I slept hard! Finally allowing myself to relax, I slept nearly twelve hours that night (getting myself up and going to my own bed a few hours in).

On top of Easter functions that weekend we also had small group and a family gathering on the same day. I volunteered to buy and bring one of the main parts of the family dinner. That took some planning. Plans for Saturday was orchestrated to fit everything in (pick up crawfish, help in the garden at small group, get to my mother’s, drive back home and finish plans for egg deliveries, execute plan when time came). I had to take a forty five minute power nap Saturday too.

Sunday morning I wake up from a nightmare. I had been ridiculed in front of the church for orchestrating too much, planning too much. I just felt a heaviness in my heart, I did not ask for this. Have you ever felt that way? God, I did not ask for this? I thought I was doing this because you wanted me to. I felt like Martha when she went to Jesus to tell Mary to help her (Luke 10:38-42). I had to think on this. God created Martha will a love language that was different than Mary’s. Martha’s was acts of service and it frustrated her to see her sister not having the same love language as her. I realized the way I show love is also acts of service. I was probably running on empty and not receiving mine because I was pouring out so much (check out Gary Chapman’s books on the Five Love Languages).

Then I am reminded of a special moment that Jesus and Martha had after Lazarus had died. She ran out of the house to meet Him on the road and they had this exchange in John 11:21-26 (AMP), Then Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give to You.Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise [from the dead].”  Martha replied, “I know that he will rise [from the dead] in the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in (adheres to, trusts in, relies on) Me [as Savior] will live even if he dies; and everyone who lives and believes in Me [as Savior] will never die. Do you believe this?”

I have conversations like Martha did right here with Jesus. I am usually in the midst of doing something and talking to Him. This is when I receive deep revelation from the Word that I had been mediating on, or a question that has been on my mind. One of Jesus’ “I AM” statements was revealed to Martha!

I am continuing to pray that I let things go. I am praying for God to send the helpers and if the helpers are there to allow my eyes to be opened to not limit their abilities. I get too caught up in not wanting people to think I am taking advantage of them. I need to give them the ability to be blessed by putting their hands to the work of the ministry. It is okay that I am a Martha, because He still talks to us Martha’s even in the midst of us serving. The qualities we see in Martha we also see in Rebekah, Ruth and the Proverbs 31 woman, so I am in good company.

Who do you relate to more, Martha or Mary? I am comforted to know that God created me with a special way I show Him love. There is nothing wrong with it and not everyone will understand it. My love tank was just running a little on empty. I had to get close to the source again (John 15).

Go get your daddy

1 John 4:18 (KJV) There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

This Sunday we had a guest speaker at our church and he ministered on anxiety being the start of fear. In my personal studies I have been reading on the root of rejection, which in turn happens to be rooted in fear. I loved how he brought out this verse in particular, Proverbs 12:25 (AMP) Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good (encouraging) word makes it glad. In the King James Version it says the it will make our heart stoop. When I become anxious my chest will become heavy and the first thing I do is start to breath different. My husband will often ask, “Why you breathing so heavy?” Of which I cannot answer because in that state I do not make any sense.

1 Peter 4:7 (AMP) The end and culmination of all things is near. Therefore, be sound-minded and self-controlled for the purpose of prayer [staying balanced and focused on the things of God so that your communication will be clear, reasonable, specific and pleasing to Him.]

All I can do at that moment is just pray in the Holy Spirit. What brings on anxiety? For me, it is when things happen that I was not prepared for. It could be a change in plans. My biggest one is questions that I was not prepared to answer and they expect me to know the answer when they ask the question. Or so I think. If I have to reply that I do not know, I feel like I have let them down. It’s a perfection mechanism that I put in place so that I would not be rejected, but really it is a bad one.

So why did 1 John 4:18 hit me a little different this Sunday? I mean, I do not hate anyone.

Saturday we held a yard sale, at our home, to get rid of some inventory that has been piling up in my husbands online store. A woman walked up with her grandson and he wanted to look at the Skylanders we had for sale. She asked if they could remove the ones from the bundles, because he had some of them already and she did not want to buy them again just because they were bundled. I explained to her that this was inventory from our online store and there was a lot of research done to create the bundles by my husband and that I could not remove them from the bundles. She scowled and replied, “So you can unbundle them, you just don’t want to.” I looked at my youngest and told him, “Go get your daddy.” My husband came up and she explained what she wanted, he told her he would work with her. When he tried to leave, I looked him in the eyes and said “Stay.” They left with over seventy dollars of Skylanders from us and the little boy left happy.

She exposed a part of my love walk that needs to be perfected. So when I heard perfect love casts out fear, anxiety is the root of fear, the root of rejection is fear…oh, Amanda, you have not conquered fear. How can I get to perfect love? I do not know if I will ever get there, but one thing I do know is that I am making progress. Then I remember the words of Paul in Philippians 3:12-15 (AMP), Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you.

I may not achieve perfection in my love walk here, but that does not mean that I do not need to keep pressing towards the goal. My prize with be waiting for me in heaven where I want to hear “well done good and faithful servant.”

How does anxiety show its signs in you? How do you deal with anxiety? I would love to hear from you and pray with you. Please contact me at amanda@desiringformore.org.

Walls of Protection?

Matthew 6:33 (AMP) But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Have you ever had a week, a month or even a few months that you became off focused because of words someone said to you? More than likely the transaction you had made you feel rejected, as to why you became off focus. This happens to me. My first reaction is to withdraw. I want to put up wall of protection. I want to put policies in place so that I do not hurt like that again. It is a distraction, because all my thoughts are on how that hurt. It distracted me from being able to write on Monday. The sad part is that I gave it the power to do it. What I learned yesterday is that I cannot beat myself up about that. During that week of distraction I was still aware of my need for my Father. I cried out to Him knowing that I needed His help to take control of my mind. Does that mean He is disappointed? Should I scold myself to get over it? Definitely not!!!Although I had a week of distraction, He still is not mad at me. That brought me comfort and peace. My mind was still focused on Him.

2 Chronicles 16:9a (AMP) For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His.

Isaiah 26:1-4 (AMP) In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up salvation as walls and ramparts. “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, The one that remains faithful and trustworthy. “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation]. “Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

He is my fortress and my shield. I do not need to erect walls of protection because He is my protection. Our purpose is too great to shut ourselves in. It takes great faith to allow God to tear down your walls…it was by faith that the walls of Jericho fell. It takes great faith to keep your gates open to relationships. His is the best relationship. When we put up walls because of hurts and rejection, we inadvertently put up a wall to not allow access for the Father in that area of our life. We are saying that we have to protect it because we do not trust Him to protect it. It takes great faith to trust Him with your heart. It took about a week this time. The time periods are getting shorter and shorter. I celebrate in that progress!

Do you struggle with rejection? I would love to hear from you and share some tools that I have used to help me in this area. You can message me at amanda@desiringformore.org.

One Year Later

It has been a year since the Stay at Home Order in Alabama. We were told that we should only go out of our homes to get the essentials (i.e. groceries, toiletries, home repair, etc.). Masks were not mandated yet, but you saw people wearing them in public, as well as, gloves of all sorts. There was toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and spray shortages.

Our kids were on spring break at the time. Since my kids are athletes, and how else are we suppose to get teenagers away from electronics these days, I made them run every morning. We lifted weights together, at the house, every day. I tried to keep them as active as possible. It brought me back to the days when I was growing up and my grandmother would keep us outside during the summer so we would not just watch television all day. We would ride our bikes to a friends house or they would all come over to my grandmother’s and swim. It was too cool for the pool to be open, so one rode his bike all over the neighborhood and the other learned to climb ladders and hang out on the roof.

What made me want to write about this was because as pastors my husband and I had to adjust, but we did not want this to change the core of what we believed the church should be. There was a quote being posted around Facebook, it said, “Your Pastor has never pastored a church through a Pandemic before. When he opens people are going to say he should have closed. When he closes people are going to say he should have opened. When he shakes hands people are going to say he has faith. When he shakes hands people are going to say he’s foolish. He’s going to make some difficult decisions to protect the flock considering everything from your spiritual growth to legal liabilities that you aren’t even thinking about. He has the incredible responsibility of looking over the well being of his flock. Remember this:No one wants things to go well at church as much as your pastor. Your pastor needs your prayers and support right now. And although you can’t touch him, give him an air high 5. 😄 support your pastor in prayer.”

Ephesians 4:11-13 (AMP) And [His gifts to the church were varied and] He Himself appointed some as apostles [special messengers, representatives], some as prophets [who speak a new message from God to the people], some as evangelists [who spread the good news of salvation], and some as pastors and teachers [to shepherd and guide and instruct], [and He did this] to fully equip and perfect the saints (God’s people) for works of service, to build up the body of Christ [the church]; until we all reach oneness in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God, [growing spiritually] to become a mature believer, reaching to the measure of the fullness of Christ [manifesting His spiritual completeness and exercising our spiritual gifts in unity].

This is our calling and our role. It breaks my heart that the body was separated during that time physically, but we should not have been separated spiritually. There have been many things that have happened in the past year. A real shaking occurred. The shaking could have gone two ways: 1) it could have shaken us awake and brought us closer together to unify, or 2) it could have shaken us to divide us. Whatever you are going through in your life right now, I pray that things were shaken to draw you closer to Him. That is what I chose to do this past year.

It breaks my heart that the body was separated during that time physically, but we should not have been separated spiritually.

Yes, my family did get hit with COVID-19. It effected me different than everyone else in my home. Both of my grandparents passed away this past year. Both of my husband’s and my parents have had long term effects of the virus. They are coming out of it, it has taken a few months. We know of those that have been put on a respirator and recovered. It has been a year that changed our world. So please continue to pray for us (your pastors and leaders) as it has been a year of not knowing what to do and still doing it. We did not give up on you. We are here wanting to see you grow in His spiritual completeness and exercise your gifts in unity.

Construction Zone

Living in a construction zone

Philippians 1:1-6 (AMP) Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed), To all the saints (God’s people) in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, including the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in every remembrance of you, always offering every prayer of mine with joy [and with specific requests] for all of you, [thanking God] for your participation and partnership [both your comforting fellowship and gracious contributions] in [advancing] the good news [regarding salvation] from the first day [you heard it] until now. I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

What is your view of a construction zone? They are often not the places of peace and contentment. They are chaotic and dangerous. Most people say that they are slightly messed up places, dangerous places and often times unsightly places to look at. Construction zones have falling hazards. They are dirty, noisy, disorganized, confused, untidy, hectic and disgusting places.

What is your view of a construction zone?

To the architect’s perspective, they will say that the construction zone is beautiful despite all of the chaos going on. They envision the end product. They know what they are looking at is the process of progress.

1 John 3:2 (AMP) Beloved, we are [even here and] now children of God, and it is not yet made clear what we will be [after His coming]. We know that when He comes and is revealed, we will [as His children] be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is [in all His glory].

I am under construction and so are you. Contrary to what we may look like on the outside, we do not often times have it all together. You may look at me and my beautiful family and think that I have it all together. What you do not see and you do not understand is what you are seeing is a work in progress, a real live construction zone. There may be some hazardous materials that fall of with all the hammering and drilling going on. Be patient with me, God is not through with me yet.

Seven years ago a leak was found behind the wall of my kitchen sink. The sub-floor had gotten so wet that a complete gutting of my kitchen had to go under way into the adjoining eating area. They had to tear the sub-floor out and replace it. We were without a kitchen for nearly three months. The end result was a total transformation of what my house looked like when we bought it. That leak exposed areas so that improvements could be made.

Getting to the issue

It is okay to be in the process of progress. It is okay to be under construction. I am better than what I was, but I am not yet where I want to be. Truthfully, we are all in the process of progress. We are at different levels in the process. Our progress is going to be different!

Going back to our first scripture. Verse six, I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. I know that I know that I know, that you will make it. You are going to be finished. We are under construction now, but we will be completed. It may seem like a long way off, but be encouraged that you will be finished. It does not appear yet what it will be. We have this promise, that is will appear, we will be like Him. We will see Him as He is. He has begun a good work in you and He will see it to completion!

Do you need prayer during this construction process you are at? If so, please message me at amanda@desiringformore.org. I would love to encourage you and pray with you.

After three months of construction!

Friendship Strained

Hebrews 10:24 Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love.

Have you ever had it happen where you knew someone and you did things together, but all of a sudden they dropped off from your life? Being a pastor, we have it happen quite often. It is one of the hardest relationships with people to navigate, but it is also the most rewarding. Like anyone else, if I did not get joy out of seeing the light come on (fresh revelation being revealed to them personally) then I would not be doing it.

Yesterday, my husband and I were walking around a local thrift store. He is a big thrifter and likes to find items to resell. My kids and him have a Youtube channel called Bama Pickin’ and Grinnin (click on the link to see what they have been up to). I saw someone out that I had not seen in years. I went up to them and said hello. I was met with, “I did not know you were in here,” as their eyes darted in all directions but me. I complimented her on some things and then went on my way. I wondered, what had I done to muster such a look of discomfort from an old friend.

My question was, did I offend them? What stronghold are they holding on against me? Then my heart hurt for them. I never want to spur others to anger. I want to do what the above scripture says. I prayed their hearts would be softened to the Holy Spirit and prayed Luke 6:36-37 (AMP) over them and myself: Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful. Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change].

There are always two sides to a story (more than one perspective). When we do sit down and talk to each other, really listen to each other. Just because a person has a different perspective than you does not mean they are your enemy, or that they are wrong (this is not talking about the Word of God). The body of Christ is stronger when it is unified and not divided in an issue. So let us (Ephesians 4:32 in the amplified) Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.

Is it really worth holding onto something for so many years? Is it really worth losing compassion? Is it really worth hardening your heart? Christ forgave me, therefore, I need to be readily and freely ready to forgive others.

Happy International Women’s Day

I am a woman in ministry that is allowed to speak to the whole congregation on a Sunday. It is not an opportunity that I take for granted, because unfortunately there are many churches that do not allow women to speak outside of a women’s event or a youth/children’s ministry. This is quite sad because there were many disciples of Jesus, that were not men, that He sent out. It is sad still that today in mega churches (not all…Elevation Church and Transformation Church, well done!) that do not have a woman speak in a main service. The body of Christ is really missing out on this gift.

John 4:7-38 tells the story of Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman at a well. For those of you who do not know this story, I urge you to read it.  I will paraphrase it for you right now.  Jesus and his disciples are traveling and his disciples went to buy food in the city.  Jesus sits down at “Jacob’s well” and he asks this Samaritan woman for water (a woman, culturally, His people would not be seen talking to).  He goes on to talk to her about there being a water that she could drink that she would never have to thirst again.  This woman was out at this time of day, that no one else would be drawing water, was because she was living with a man that was not her husband, and had had five husbands before that.  Women were property back in that day and if this woman had been married and divorced so many times, culturally they thought something was wrong with her.  Jesus reveals to her that He is the Messiah and she receives what He says.  His disciples come back and are astonished.  Jesus talks about having food to eat, but they hadn’t given him any yet.  What food was He talking about?  John 4:34-35 (MSG) Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

Jesus sits down at “Jacob’s well” and he asks this Samaritan woman for water (a woman, culturally, His people would not be seen talking to).

Here is the adventure the Samaritan woman and the harvest that Jesus saw.  Historians have discovered that the Samaritan woman’s name was Photina.  She was at Pentecost.  After her encounter with Jesus at the well, she did not stop spreading the Word of Jesus.  It completely changed her life.  She spoke so much of Jesus that she got the attention of Nero.  She was responsible for converting Nero’s daughter and many of his servants.  How fascinating to know that Jesus saw that harvest at the well. He saw the value of this woman!

Some may argue that is woman was a missionary and that was why she could lead in that capacity. It is often glossed over that the day that Jesus was presented to the Temple, as customary after eight days of His birth, there were two in the room that blessed Him, Simeon and Anna, a prophetess. God does not see less of a value on women, as being the physically weaker sex, He sees great value in them as why He chose Deborah to lead the nation of Israel.

My husband and I co-pastor our church. I am submitted to my husband as He is the head of our home, but that does not mean he dominates me or has a greater voice than I do. When we presented the verses on Ephesians 5 on how a marriage is modeled to the congregation on Valentine’s Day Sunday we presented this verse first: 1 Peter 3:7 (NLT) In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.

When we start seeing women in ministry as equal partners, there is so much more that can be offered to the Body of Christ! Women, you have value! You are a gift to the body of Christ!! Lisa Bevere posted today, “God would have never GRANTED WOMEN A VOICE if He intended for them to remain silent.”

Willing Vessel

When you love someone, or something, you are willing to make an investment into it. You will take time and resources into making it successful. They want to see their dream a reality. When they have a set back they do not give up!

I never pictured myself as someone who would willingly get up and speak in front of people. I was quite reluctant and not at all good when I started doing it. Moses was the same way.

Exodus 4:10-16 (NIV) Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” But Moses said, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him.

Check out the grace God gave to Moses. I would like to point out that they were still under the Abrahamic Covenant. The Mosaic Covenant of the law had not been established yet. So even in Moses imperfection, God put steps in place for Moses to be able to fulfill what He called Him to do. We will eventually see, later on, that Moses was bold in his speech.

(If we apply our life to the way things manifested from the time of the Mosaic Covenant and to the cross, then we are not walking in the fullness of this New Covenant. We need to read those passage now through the eyes of the cross. They should speak about the great need for the cross and not what we have to go through any more).

In the past, I was satisfied with setting up the church events. I did all of the prep work. I would do the research for particular people for them when they taught. I would come up with the themes for the events and do all of the preparations and then hand it over. I liked being in the background. I still do. Before church on Sundays I am there thirty minutes before my teams. I walk through the building setting up areas, making sure their tools are ready to go before they walk in the door.

What I love though is that God calls inadequate people so He can work through them. He in turn will receive the glory that is only His. I am a vessel, but I have to be a willing vessel. He uses imperfect people! I just love that. I love that in my desire to see His Kingdom established, I get to be a part of it. I am not waiting on the sidelines for Him to put me in. You may be asking, when do I get to be a part of the game? Now!

What I love though is that God calls inadequate people so He can work through them.

1 Peter 4:7-10 (NKJV) But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 4:11 (TPT) For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking his words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to him belong the power and the glory forever throughout all ages! Amen.

When we start to do the works of the ministry as it talks about in Ephesians 4, we will start to grow. God knew that if He could get Moses to start, Moses would start to grow. He is not asking you to have it all figured out. He is asking you to start. When we keep waiting, we are putting it on pause. I understand and know that in the Word it says to be still, or when you have done all then stand. This is not a physical reference though. This is talking about your inward, spirit being. We can become anxious in the waiting, that is what He is telling us to be still. Be at peace.

I love this verse and I will speak it over myself and you continually: 1 Corinthians 6:11-13 (MSG) Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively! Please hear my heart! I want you to live!! He wants you to live!!!

If you need prayer or someone to talk to, please message me at amanda@desiringformore.org.