preparing for new normal…

A while back I wrote about “returning to normal”. If you haven’t read it, I pray you’ll take a quick minute and read it as the prayer still remains from me and it will help you understand where the following is coming from now…

In keeping with that same prayer through all that we have participated in thus far this year, I believe Andy Stanley has said it best in this latest from him. I pray you will give it a listen and prayerfully consider these questions he gives each of us in an effort to make the most out of this time period we are all in!

Preparing For The New Normal by Andy Stanley

What have I been doing that almost led to my undoing?

financially, relationally, personally

COVID-19 will only serve as a “wake-up” call to you, if you wake up!

Rushing back to normal will only allow what’s bad to get worse!

All of this pain with no gain, would certainly be a shame.

How can I be better for it?

What will help me remember?

Your Move with Andy Stanley | Digital Spotlight | Preparing for the New Normal

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want this time to have been for naught. I want to have learned something through these months of uncertainty. I want to embrace the transformation I have been desperately seeking all my life.

What about you? Regardless of which side of the “faith aisle” you find yourself, you surely have to have gained some insight from the past few months – of yourself, of your life, of your destiny.

We have talked several times at Anchored HOPE group regarding the importance of remembering. God repeatedly told people in the Bible to remember and to use an item of some kind as a tool to remember specific things, events accordingly.

When all the nation had finished passing over the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Take twelve men from the people, from each tribe a man, and command them, saying, ‘Take twelve stones from here out of the midst of the Jordan, from the very place where the priests’ feet stood firmly, and bring them over with you and lay them down in the place where you lodge tonight.'”

And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.’

And he said to the people of Israel, “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”

Joshua 4:1-3, 5-7, 21-24 NLT

The problem with things in our lives is that we tend to go through them, whether we want to or not, and then we may or may not learn from them…and even more importantly we may or may not share it with others so they too can learn.

It would be an utter waste to have gone through all that time in the hospital in 2001-2002, the hell I put my family through, and not tell a soul how God used it for good! I know what helps me remember — this group God called me to faithfully lead in spite of my struggle with depression and anxiety!

I can’t wait to hear what helps you remember COVID-19. You may not be able to see it just yet, but I promise, you will some day. And I pray you continue to tell your children, and they tell their children, and so on and so on, til Jesus returns that glorious day!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

remain…

WARNING: this post may be a trigger for some.

Please read only if prepared and with caution.

I always try to be as transparent as possible with you all. Any of you that know me closely know that this has been a difficult year in so many spiritual ways (totally nothing to do with a pandemic the world is experiencing might I add). The spiritual warfare is real and so is the transformation…though it does come with suffering. God has reminded me time and time again of THAT word He gave me for 2020…

R E M A I N.

We will suffer when we are being transformed, when we stand with Jesus, and yet we have no inkling of what real suffering even looks like– yet.
Our suffering fails in comparison to those around the world that risk their very life and life of loved ones just to worship Him, just to have His Word! So I do not ever want to compare my suffering to theirs.
But there is coming a time friend when we will experience great suffering for our love and devotion to Him. And THIS is what He is preparing us for!
So in an effort to keep that transparency with you in my struggle of being transformed, in the very breaking of my heart and soul for my loved ones that still do not choose to live for Him as if they truly LOVED HIM…here goes!

Yesterday was a very dark day for me. It seems when physical pain and our own sinfulness, coupled with loved ones living life as they always have, ends up leaving a gap in my mind for satan to waltz right on in.  I can spiral without even knowing I have begun the spiral, in literally no time at all.
The thoughts the enemy put in my mind were more vivid than I believe they ever have been…so real that God knew I needed more help, and help He sent at precisely the time satan was having me mentally blowing my brains out. (I told you it was vivid.) I was so blinded that I could only think of the ones that would be left behind.

BUT GOD had a huge prayer warrior, that obediently listens to Him, send me a sermon from the very same person HE used long ago when I sat in the hospital bed isolated after over a year of suicide attempts.

My friend, ONLY a LOVING GOD, an ALL-KNOWING GOD can do exactly that and at exactly the perfect time!
THAT is the GOD I serve, THAT is the God I love with ALL my heart!

As I say at nearly every group meeting we have had since 2015, I would LOVE to tell you HE has healed me from ALL of this – depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, physical pain, rhumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia (that most people think is all in a person’s head anyway), degenerative disc disease all through my spine, etc. BUT He has not. What HE has chosen to do is to allow me to suffer in similar ways as others do so that I can truly understand, so that I can come alongside you and share His BEYOND AMAZING LOVE for us in that while we were still sinners HE LOVES US!!!

So I say all of THIS to say, it is crucial for us to have God-loving people within our lives at all times. It is crucial we do not leave a gap for satan to be able to walk into our lives. Our mind is one of satan’s most valuable places. Beware of that fact and be alert at all times! You better believe I was studying The Word of God and praying and the gap was still enough that the enemy could do his bidding within my mind.

But THANK GOD HE IS MORE POWERFUL AND ABLE TO DO FAR MORE!!! God has already beaten satan. We need only stand firm. And with the help of GOD Almighty, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit praying on our behalf at all times, as well as strengthening us and sustaining us, we will stand as we remain in HIM.

“Therefore put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.”

Ephesians 6:13 NLT

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

HOPE in the midst of depression…

There is HOPE in the midst of pain, in the midst of depression. Psalm 77:1-3 says it so well:

“I cry out to God; yes, I shout.

Oh, that God would listen to me!

When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted.

I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for His help.”

Psalm 77:1-3

The Psalmist continues for several more verses of the despair we know all too well. He knew what it felt like to be in the pit of depression and yet not feel the comfort of the Father.

But – just as he gives weigh to his despair, he recalls all God has done in verses 11 through the rest of the chapter…

“But then I recall all You have done, O Lord; I remember Your wonderful deeds of long ago.

They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about Your mighty works.”

The Psalmist takes his focus off himself, his problems, his feelings and begins to worship Our Heavenly Father! Our God is ever faithful! Even when we can’t see it, even when we can’t feel it…He is always on the throne and in complete control – even when…!

Satan would LOVE for us to keep our focus on ourselves, our pitiful lives.

DO NOT GIVE SATAN THE CHANCE TO DECEIVE YOU ANY LONGER!

Psalm 86 reminds us to keep calling on God constantly! He knows what our pain feels like. He knows how weary and tired we get. He knows how our troubles and pain can be so great that all we can do is cry out to Him. Even when there is no relief in sight, He wants us to trust Him, acknowledge His greatness and trust Him as we wait for better days ahead. We have the assurance of Him answering our prayers. We need only trust in His will and His perfect timing.

CHOOSE today Whom you will serve! CHOOSE today to remember ALL He has done in and through your life! And commit to telling it to your family, your children, their children!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

mundane

What do we have to be thankful for in the mundane of every day life? Well let’s face it, though we go through everyday life, doing the same old thing, day after day — we do have an opportunity to make the most of every second of our time. And it is in those very seconds that we are able to grow, learn, and strengthen our relationship with God so that when the highs and lows of life come along, which they always do, you are prepared. You are equipped to handle them with His strength, His power. You are able to see the highs and lows through a different lens. You aren’t completely drained, empty, or void of all He is.We must choose each day, regardless of how busy we are going here and there, to be still and know that He is Lord. Psalm 46:10 We must choose each day to get alone with God and position ourselves in a manner where He can speak truth to us, where we can hear His voice! Let’s face it, we all live with way too many hurts, lies that have held us in bondage for far too long! I don’t know about you, but I’m for one tired of living to please everyone, knowing that I will never be able to please anyone! But I do know The Creator of the world, and He knew me before I was ever formed in the womb, Jeremiah 1:5. He created me for a specific purpose…and guess what — He created you for a specific purpose too!So in order to understand more fully what that purpose is, why we are even here in this world, we must choose to be still and allow God our full attention. It’s in the mundane of life that we must choose to be proactive so that we won’t be reactive. When everything in life is out of the ordinary it can be too much. Because mundane isn’t of the ordinary, we can and should take advantage of every second to be still, draw near to God. That’s when He speaks to us, preparing us for the road ahead, the highs and the lows.I’d love the opportunity to talk with you about how God continues to use the mundane in life for me…and prayerfully come alongside you as you too make the most of the mundane!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

this TRUTH will set you free!

The TRUTH will set you free! I’m sure you’ve heard this all throughout your life…or at least I have. Yet there is soooo much more to this than you could ever begin to imagine!

You see when I was in the beginning stages of trying to get well after my last hospitalization in 2002 for all the suicide attempts and ending the ECTs that weren’t working anyway, God took me in a direction, a direction I never knew would actually circle back around at this time in life. A time when my everyday life has proved doctors wrong time and time again, in spite of the chronic pain and health problems I endure. A time when I’ve been obedient to His calling to share my horrific experience, embarrassing story among not just anyone, but among other Christians, here God brings me back to where He took me well over 15 years ago! Ok…enough thinking back, are you ready for me to get on with the story? Okay, okay…but I am just beyond words! I’m just so completely overwhelmed at His amazing goodness, His amazing grace, His love and joy unspeakable…and all in spite of me and my efforts to end it all, to refuse to trust Him, to choose, even today, everything except Him!

Hold on friend – here we go!

God blessed me with a pastor, mentor and friend that I never fully appreciated as much as I have these past few years, Rev. Don Winn. He never failed to come and visit me in the hospital during that long, drawn out year…though I turned him a way time and time again, though I repeatedly tried to take my own life. Bro. Don was always there, always pointing me back to God and His love and forgiveness. I am beyond grateful for people just like him that God has brought into my life, and at the most critical times in my life!

You see Bro. Don introduced me to Bill and Anabelle Gillham through Lifetime Guarantee which opened me up to the life changing truths that I had never fully grasped all my life, truths that I never grasped even though I was raised in the church — everyday those doors were open! Now, whether that is because of me, my stubbornness, God’s timing, I don’t know and at this point I’m just beyond thankful for God’s grace to finally get it to stick – in my heart… not just my head! I highly urge you to check out their ministry…and especially the book – it was the beginning of the transforming of amanda, and the journey is continuing on even now! Lifetime Guarantee

Bro. Don took us through The Life study Bill and Anabelle Gillham have, The Life DVD Series FREE on YouTube. I highly recommend this series, though it was just the beginning for this journey in my life, I pray you aren’t as stubborn as I. At HOPE I like to take on a more positive view of myself, determined, rather than stubborn!

Once finished with that study, I had many a talk with Bro. Don and all the therapy sessions with professionals in Nashville, both Christian and non-Christian, medications, etc. — yet that hopelessness still loomed over me. But my hunger for God was more alive every day, so I asked Bro. Don if there was a better Christian counseling I could go to, and he pointed me in the direction of Grace Life in Brentwood. I remember it was a most unusual and surreal environment…yet similar to every counseling office I had ever been in before. This is where I was introduced to something so amazing, life-changing…Transformation Prayer Ministry. This method of counseling took me to a place I never knew existed, a place where things I held deep within my heart, and in the recesses of my mind would come to the forefront, a place where God would reveal His truth about the things I had come to believe that were not true at all. I had no idea the potential this type of prayer could do in my life until God has brought this back around, now 15 years later!

When we listen to God, that still, small voice, we never know what we are in for until we obey! And last week was one of those occasions as I was cleaning up the countless emails, delete, delete, spam, trash, etc. But there was one, one God clearly, but ever so quietly said, ‘Open’. I hesitated for a few seconds then went back to it and opened it. A free seminar by the author and his son on the revisions they had made to the original counseling model, Transformation Prayer Ministry. I hit the link, sought out the nearest location to me, and wouldn’t ya know they had recently added a Bowling Green, Kentucky, seminar! So in obedience, I signed up!

I was nervous, jittery, and restless the closer it came time for me to go to this seminar. I even found every excuse in the book, in my mind, ultimately in my heart to not go. But in all of that, I continued to pray for God to help me do exactly what He had called me to do at this time in life…regardless of the doors it opened up from the unknown lies within my mind and the fear plaguing my entire being.

You see last year I went through Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend. If you’ve never read this book, as every counselor, therapist I have ever had had instructed me to do since I was 13, I highly recommend you pick it up and read it, study it with a group and put the practices of this book into your every day life…but that’s a story for another day. I told my friend that I didn’t need to go through this as my boundaries were all good, but there again God spoke up and said “take it” so I did…thinking now with a new season in life with adult children and them beginning to get married, I’m sure I could learn some new boundaries! And toward the end of that study, that’s when it all opened up…worse than the mystery container in the refrigerator that has been pushed to the back far too many times– stinking, rotting, and oh so painful…but more than any of that – fear – yeah fear rose up in me at the very thought of there being something hidden deep within the recesses of my mind, my heart that needed yet to still be worked on, that needed still yet God’s truth applied – more than any band-aid has ever been needed…this was an outright cancerous growth that had to be dealt with once and for all!

Gosh! I got mad, irritated, and the suicidal thoughts returned out of nowhere! I hadn’t had any of those in soooooo long! But now, here, at this specific time, here they came…even more clearly and plaguing moment by moment than the past 15 years! I prayed asking God where in the world these were coming from, recognizing they were not of me, my sound mind I had come to learn and live by and now teach to others week after week, for over 3 years now! “Untruths that needed His truth applied,” God said. And then I remembered back to my time in counseling, the transforming prayers that had replaced the lies within my mind, with truths from God Himself! I was so afraid! I was afraid of whatever was in my past that still remained, that even after it all was said and done and I had come so far, yet still lingered within the recesses of my mind and held my heart hostage like no other! I prayed God would help me come to grips with it…that He would give me the courage to allow Him to do what only God can do! Weeks later, I finally gave up, I surrendered to God Almighty and said, “Ok – I’m ready Lord…let’s do this.”

A year later…yeah remember our time is never God’s time! And He is such a Gentleman! He never forces us into anything we aren’t truly ready for! So He gave me a full year my friend before the journey back to it all!

He is still revealing piece by piece, day by day, lie with truth…and I’m sure He’ll continue to do so til the day I meet Him face to face…but I trust Him and with His help I will remain in His will as He continues to transform me ever so gently! Though I’m sure, like you, I wish He’d hurry up and get it over with…but then I have no idea what lies are to be dealt with — He knows…and guess what? HE knows exactly how much I can handle through His Helper and in just the perfect timing!

Friend, I pray you will Join Me on this journey! You see God doesn’t want this kept a secret! He wants this healing, this truth revealed, shared with every person that is held in bondage to their past, bondage to their pain, bondage to the lies they have come to believe and live by…as this is the only way they will ever begin to live in the hope of healing only He can bring!

Piece by piece, lie by lie, He will heal every one with His healing truth!

Heart-of-Stone

This
TRUTH
will
set
you
free!

More information will be coming soon as we begin to setup times for teaching and training Transformation Prayer!

For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.

Shared Encouragements…

Be sure to take a look at some of these shared encouragements as you go through the healing process. Remember God is doing a work in you, focus on Him and He will see you through even this depression!

Just select image from below listings of shared content. Remember – there is always hope!

How to Be Patience and Wait on God's Timing
0deabb9b48a5d891abba8eb0224b3fc7
1986dbf209acba94b96d49ccd07fca6f


For more information regarding Anchored HOPE please contact us.