THIRSTY

One of the most entertaining parts about leading a life group full of high school girls is learning what all the new cool slang words are..fyi…cool is not a cool slang word anymore…here are some examples:

  1. “RT” as in retweet from twitter is used as a synonym for ditto or me too
  2. “YASSSS” is like your very best and most excited “yes”
  3. “ooooo kill em’” is typically used to tell your friend that whatever they are doing, they are doing awesomely or you think they look really hot or you think they are super funny, etc
  4. “Baecation” in case you all have missed out on the term (bae-like your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc) and I know…how original…you add bae and vacation and you get baecation.
  5. And finally, and the subject of this post…”thirsty” which in the nicest terms possible means too eager to get something and the not so nice definition is well….you know, the not so nice words for “eager” girls

I dropped the no dating for year a few weeks ago in this post http://runningonfaithandsugar.com/2015/04/10/women-of-valor/ and I know everyone has been dying to know so I’m going to attempt to explain in this post.

A wise man…aka Andy Stanley…once said “you are the common denominator in your failed relationships.” But whoever believes that? We are a society of blame-shifters, and I am just as guilty as the next, so I always attributed my relationship problems to the other person. Even the ones that tended to pop up in different relationships. And full disclosure…the main one is…..attention. I love attention. I love to be the needed and valued girlfriend….and who doesn’t love to feel needed and valued (just as a disclaimer, I think your partner should definitely make you feel needed and valued) But, my problem is that I wasn’t finding enough of that in one person. I hung on to old relationships until new relationships developed, or I stayed “friends” with ex-boyfriends while in new relationships. At the heart of this common, so so so common situation in my life, was a heart that found her identity in how much someone else needed her. In the back of my mind, I just kept thinking once I found myself with someone I could see a real future with, he would fulfill all my desires for attention. But then I did meet someone I could see a future with and SHOCK OF ALL SHOCKERS, I did not change.

See, I discovered I am “thirsty” too, maybe not the super eager or desperate kind of thirsty, but the thirsty like in John 4 when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well.

Small background into this story: Jesus and his disciples were traveling through Samaria and Jesus stopped by a well in the middle of the day. At the well he saw a woman there trying to get water from the well. This is the Middle East, folks. It is hot in the middle of the day and most women went to get water in the morning or in the evening when it was a smidge cooler. But not this woman. She came at a time smack in the middle of that hot Arab day and that’s probably because she didn’t want anyone to see her. There’s speculation about why she didn’t want anyone to see her…maybe she ran out of dry shampoo the day before, or she was breaking out, or she just ate three hot dogs at Keeneland and was feeling super bloated, but more than likely she was an “immoral” woman.

So here’s this “immoral” woman (and aren’t we all immoral women to one extent or the other, but for another day) and Jesus. And the exchange they have in John 4 is one of the most beautiful passages of scripture. Jesus tells her, “13 Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I was thirsty.   I was using these relationships as a way to quench my thirst. But I never felt satisfied. No amount of sweet text messages, romantic dates, planned weekend excursions (because if you know me, you know the way to my heart is making weekend plans on a Monday. Holla), etc., was going to quench my thirst when I really needed living water.

So fast forward a few months, a few more failed relationships, a lot of being reallllly thirsty, and here we are IN December 2014. I had listened to Andy Stanley’s sermon about taking a year off of dating at least three times and finally on my fourth go-a-round, it clicked (because apparently third times a charm is not the case in my world). http://northpoint.org/messages/the-new-rules-for-love-sex-and-dating I saw my thirst for what it really was…not me being unable to find the “right person” but me trying to find my value and identity in things that were never intended to hold my value or identity. So here I am…six, beautiful and hard, months into turning from my previous wells and seeking my identity in Jesus.

Another disclaimer, I don’t think everyone needs to take a year off of dating. But as my friend Claire has told me before… I tend to operate better under extremes, ha!, I really felt like this was/is the best way for me to focus on Jesus, no distractions, and hopefully change the dating patterns I have created for myself. I’ll be posting more on the topic as I continue, including a post honoring David Letterman “Top Ten Reasons To Take a Year off of Dating”

Because every post about marriage should include a girl in a wedding dress
Because every post about marriage should include a girl in a wedding dress

All the Single Ladies (and Fellas)

If you’re like me and you’re single (by single I mean unmarried) on Valentine’s Day…this post is for you. What can a single person do on Valentine’s Day? Well, we can ask ourselves the following questions…We’re single, so we should have the time:)

1. Are you the person you are looking for is looking for?

I know…you’re like “Amanda, that question doesn’t even make sense. Valentine’s Day has you talking all crazy.” But seriously, think about it. The number one thing I need to be doing while I’m single is to become the kind of person I want to marry. The world we live in puts all the focus on chemistry. Ohhhh he’s so hot, his brown eyes are dreamy (I guess no one says dreamy anymore expect for me, hw for the week: use the word dreamy), I get butterflies when I’m with him (my personal favorite…seriously? Butterflies? Maybe you’re stomach just hurts and you need to take a trip to the bathroom), we have sooooo much fun together AND I loooove him. Doesn’t that description sound pretty typical? And all of those things are great, don’t get me wrong. I’ve dated hot boys. I’ve dated boys with dreamy eyes. I’ve dated boys that I had fun with and I’ve even been in love before….but guess what all of those chemistry things didn’t sustain the relationship.

Andy Stanley, a Pastor in Atlanta, said it best when he said, “when I counsel people going through marital problems, it’s never because of a chemistry problem. It’s always because of a relationship problem. People think love will keep them together.”

Chemistry isn’t going to sustain a marriage. Chemistry isn’t going to solve the issues in my life. Lonely, insecure single people become lonely, insecure married people. How many ladies out there (be honest) think the answer to all of your problems is just to get married? Men you probably don’t view marriage that way, if you do, call me (I kid, I kid). Reality….marriage is not going to solve my problems. Marriage is going to amplify whatever problems I already have. I have a problem with patience. I’m very impatient. When I want something, I get tunnel vision about it. My dad says I’m like a bulldog. So am I suddenly going to become patient because I get married? Hardly. I’m going to bring that patience problem into a marriage and unless I’ve been actively fighting it before marriage, it’s going to be a monster.

The Bible tells me….

Genesis 2:18 “I will make a helper suitable for him.” That’s what God said when he created Eve. So, would I make a suitable helper? If God gave me to a man(or woman if you’re a guy), in your current condition today, would I help him or hurt him in his walk with Christ? That’s a hard question. I know. Answering that question requires me to honestly examine myself…the good and the bad.

So, you’re pretty much saying I have to be perfect

No, no that’s not what I’m saying at all. We don’t have to have it all together. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus and walk with him every day. If we’re walking with Jesus then we’re walking away from sin and progressing spiritually because each day…we’re taking a step.

2. Why is your mate the peanut butter to your everything?

fyi…people always say peanut butter to your jelly, but I love peanut butter on everything. Peanut butter makes everything better.

Why are you attracted to that person? Cause they’re a dime? Well, guess what…they won’t be. He’ll lose hair, you’ll quit fixing yours, etc. Cause they make you laugh? Hey, watch Bridesmaids (funniest movie.ever.). Think about some of the people you were attracted to in middle school or high school. This is not mean-spirited but just to illustrate my point…I briefly dated a guy (let’s call him Mike) in high school. Mike had a tribal tattoo (another fyi, Mike also convinced me to get a tattoo. Unfortunately, I thought Mike was so cool that I got that tattoo), smoked cigarettes, fought in the DQ parking lot (while we were in the drive thru), had a massive exhaust pipe on his truck (like seriously, I knew when he was like 5 mins away from my house because I heard his truck), AND one time while we were on a “date” riding around in said truck (don’t judge, that’s what you do in Mt. Sterling) he saw a deer in a field, stopped the truck, pulled out his gun….and shot the deer (Knowing what I know now…I’m pretty sure that’s illegal). Seriously, Amanda? What was I thinking? Why was I attracted to him? If not for my own benefit but for the benefit of the eggs inside of me saying “Mom, give me a fighting chance. Mike is not what we need.” (I’m not responsible for that joke. Heard it somewhere. Hilarious though).

Sit down, right now, and make a list of the reasons why you like the person you’re with OR even better, make a list of what you want in a mate.

Take that list and use it. Use it to compare to a person you might date. Do they meet your list? Of course, no one is going to be perfect, but the things at the top of your list should be the most important things to you…does that person meet the major things? Do they love Jesus? Do they pursue him above all else? Does your mate bring chaos or disorder into your world? God brought the world from chaos to order and a Godly partner will do the same.

Side Note: if you’re with someone right now and you know deep down that it isn’t going to work with that person , break it off. Don’t go down a road that leads to more emotion and more pain. In the long run, that person will appreciate you letting them move on.

For your viewing pleasure:  In the 9th grade, my mom made me list all of the qualities I wanted in a boyfriend.  By the way, 12 years later I still like the tall boys with dark hair.
For your viewing pleasure: In the 9th grade, my mom made me list all of the qualities I wanted in a boyfriend. By the way, 12 years later I still like the tall boys with dark hair.
fyi...this is what 9th grade Amanda looked like...I don't know how I made it out of the house in that outfit
fyi…this is what 9th grade Amanda looked like…I don’t know how I made it out of the house in that outfit

THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION:

3.Are they God’s best?

Perry Noble shared a great illustration of God’s best. His daughter loves Cracker Barrel biscuits. He came home with a bunch of them one day and she started tearing into one biscuit. All of the sudden he sees her going under the table and he looks and she’s eating the biscuit crumbs off the floor. He tells her, “Baby, do you want another biscuit? We have tons of fresh biscuits on the table. You don’t have to eat the crumbs.” That’s what God is telling us…we don’t have to eat the crumbs. We can have the fresh biscuits.

We all need to believe that God wants great things for us. God is a good God and he wants good things for his children. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”

Ladies… Perry Noble addresses us when he says “He is the King and you are the princess and all He wants is a man that is going to fight for your heart and pursue you for the rest of your life.” Don’t settle.

Ask yourself this question Is this the kind of love God meant when he created Adam and Eve, the kind between two people that truly reflects His love for us (the 1 Corinthians 13 kind,) or are you settling for less than God’s immeasurably more than anything you can ask or imagine?

The Secret to Having The Best Relationship…Ever

THE BEST KEPT SECRET!

By:  Jeff Perkins

I cannot express in words how proud I am of my daughter Amanda for the beautiful, inside and out, young woman she has turned into.  The choices she is making in her life on a daily basis in the midst of her challenges and struggles, have inspired me to a more passionate pursuit of Jesus.  It is an honor for me to be asked to write this blog for her.

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May 21, 1983 was one of the most exciting days of my life.  It was the day I stood in front of a packed church and in front of God, our families and friends, looked straight into the eyes of the most beautiful woman in the entire world and I lied.  That’s right I lied.  I repeated all the vows, I answered, “I do” to all the questions, we exchanged rings, we kissed and were pronounced husband and wife, but it was really a big lie.

Kathy and I...almost 30 years later!
Kathy and I…almost 30 years later!

Oh, it wasn’t a well thought out, planned and explicit lie.  It was much more subtle, covert, and hidden.  In fact, I am pretty sure that I was the only one aware of the deception.  But I do believe I am safe in saying that the chicanery I pulled off on my wedding day is one that is perpetuated in wedding ceremonies across the country on a regular basis.

So, what was the lie?  The lie, the ruse, the sham I carried out on my wedding day was this:  everybody at the wedding thought we were getting married to be a team, to work together, to share our lives, to meet each others needs, and to be dependent upon one another.  However, the truth was, at least in my mind, that this relationship, this marriage, this blending of the two lives into one was really all about this one:  THIS ONE BEING ME.  In other words, I was marrying my wife so that she could primarily meet my needs, be there for me, take care of me, serve me, get on my agenda, and skip to my beat.  Our theme song would be:  WE DID IT MY WAY!!!

Now, make no mistake about it, I would have never admitted how selfish I was to anyone, not even myself.  In fact, don’t laugh out loud yet, I considered myself to be a pretty good guy.  In my mind my wife was getting a good deal.  I figured I was decent looking, fairly nice, likeable and kind of humble.  Sidebar:  when you think you are kind of humble you are in major denial, full of pride and ready for a fall.  Well, all three of those things were true in my life and in my marriage.

The fact of the matter is that for most of the almost 30 years Kathy and I have been married I have been selfish.  It has all been primarily about me.  My career, my agenda, my plans, my desires, my needs have come first in just about everything we have done.

Now ask me the Dr. Phil question:  “How has that worked for you Jeff?”  It hasn’t.  It doesn’t.  And it never will!  My selfishness has resulted in pain, heartache, disappointment, and distance.  And guess what?  Selfishness always does.  Think about it.  Who among us ever want to move closer, become more intimate, loyal and dedicated to someone who is self-centered and always looking out for number one!

Selfishness never works because it is ultimately not the way God intended for marriage, or any relationship for that matter, to work.  In fact, the exact opposite is true.  God says the recipe for success in marriage is not found in being selfish, but being selfless; is not found in maneuvering and manipulating to be served, but in looking for ways to serve.

Jesus said it like this:  “Whoever wishes to save his life (look out for #1) will lose it, but whoever loses his life (puts others first) will find it” (Mark. 10:45).  My paraphrase of this verse for marriage or any other relationship goes like this:  “If you are always looking to put yourself first, you will never find fulfillment; but if you put your spouse, or significant other first, and always seek to serve them, then you will find deep satisfaction and contentment.

I guess what I have used a ton of words to say is this:  it has taken me 30 years to realize that the “secret” to a great marriage or relationship is really no “secret” at all.  The way to a woman’s heart is to serve her, put her first, build her up, and seek to help her become everything God created her to be.  And guys please take it from a man who has had to learn the hard way, when you serve her and put needs ahead of your own, she responds with more love, grace, mercy, respect, and passion than you ever dreamed would be possible, even in your most selfish of dreams!

My challenge to every man out there is this:  begin today to put the needs of the woman in your life ahead of your own.  But remember this:  you can’t truly serve her, unless you first of all are serving him (Jesus)!    Think about that!!!

My Family on Amanda and Evan's graduation day.
My Family on Amanda and Evan’s graduation day.

What Is Happily Ever After?

At the end of the movie Cinderella you watch the beautiful new bride and her prince charming ride off in a carriage. As they drive off into the beautiful landscape the words, “and they lived happily ever after” appear on the screen.

What is happily ever after? Did Cinderella and Prince Charming ever have an argument? Did Prince Charming forget to send a text message if he was going to be late? Did they argue about the frequency of “boys nights” or how to spend holidays?

When I was a young girl movies liked Cinderella greatly influenced my expectations for the reality of dating and marriage. Happily ever after gave me the expectation that I would met a handsome prince and he would whisk me off on his giant steed. I had the expectation that happily ever after was free of conflict. I completed the story with what I pictured happily ever after could be.

In my envisioned happily ever after Prince Charming would never do anything wrong and he would sweep me off my feet again and again. We would always have googly eyes for one another and we would hold hands and frolic off into the sunset until we were too old to frolic.

Almost seven years of marriage and three children later I have come to realize the above image is not reality. Even four weeks into marriage I realized how unrealistic this expectation was.

Happily ever after is a phrase, it is left up to the audience to infer what the rest of life was like for Cinderella and Prince Charming. I used clues from the story and other cultural pictures of marriage to influence my ideas about what it meant to be a good wife and what a good husband looked like. I dismissed any images I saw that reflected marriage in a negative way.

I wonder what Cinderella and Prince Charming’s marriage was like around year two. Were they still gazing into one another’s eyes and dancing all night? Maybe. Or maybe Cinderella just didn’t feel like picking up Prince Charming’s socks off the floor.

Maybe Cinderella snored like a wild boar so the couple had to sleep in separate quarters. Or maybe Prince Charming and Cinderella had trouble conceiving a child and they had to learn to love and support one another in the midst of trials and heartache.

Maybe the stresses at work or pressures from people in the kingdom caused Prince Charming and Cinderella to actually have arguments and maybe they went to bed angry.

In my favorite book on marriage, When Sinners Say I Do, Dave Harvey writes about how every Jane Austen movie is the same. The stories all end at the altar, just when reality is about to come knocking. Romance movies are about the dizzying tornado of romantic love picking you up in its whirling funnel and setting you down at the chapel doors all giddy and beautifully dressed. (paraphrased from page 136)

It seems no one makes romantic movies about being married. Is it because marriage in real life isn’t romantic? Even the marriages shown on reality TV seem to crumble within a season or two. How many of the Real Housewives are happily married or even married?

Has marriage lost all its romance or is the problem actually us? Does the problem lie in the fact that we have a picture of Cinderella and Prince Charming frolicking off into the sunset and therefore have an unrealistic expectation for ourselves and our spouses?

I believe marriage and relationships can be a broken cistern. Marriage can be a good thing that we use to satisfy instead of finding satisfaction in Christ alone.

220cistern

When Michael and I were first married I found myself drinking from the perfect marriage cistern. I was working so hard to be an excellent wife worthy of praise.

Proverbs 31

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life.

I was discouraged because I just wasn’t an excellent wife; it did not come easy for me.

I was thirsty. The idea of this happily ever after that I made up was not satisfying.

The marriage cistern cannot hold water.

Jeremiah 2:13

for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.

I still find myself digging the broken cistern of a perfect happily ever after. I depend on my marriage to keep me happy. This means if we aren’t frolicking, I am not happy. It seems I value the gift of marriage more than the Giver of marriage.

In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller writes, if we look to our spouses to fill up our tanks in a way that only God can do, we are demanding an impossibility. (page 52)

Here I am 29 years old, married to a wonderful man that loves me with three beautiful and interesting children. There are days I provoke my husband to anger and fail to love him and honor him. But there is grace. And I am thankful that I am married to a man that believes in extending grace.

For now, happily ever after looks like changing poopy diapers, cleaning up crumbs and dates on the couch with a 5 dollar bottle of wine. We have no time to frolic. We barely have time to shower. But we do have time for grace. And in eternity, when all things are made right, I believe we will frolic; loving one another deeply because of all the imperfect moments and opportunities to give and receive grace.

Shatter the broken cistern of happily ever after and don’t expect your spouse to fill your tank in a way that only God can.

family

Find more at onewiththepastor.blogspot.com

Rachel, thank you so much for the encouraging and wise post.  Rachel has a great blog onewiththepastor.blogspot.com that is so encouraging for women.  You can tell from her posts that she has a heart for connecting with women.  I’m not sure Rachel even knows this, but her faith has had such an impact on my life.  Rachel was a Kappa Delta at EKU and graduated the semester before I joined the sorority.  She had a relationship with some women from Campus Outreach that led to those women holding a bible study for girls in my chapter.  I would pass this bible study that met in the KD dorm on my way out for Thirsty Thursday or whatever date night party we had planned that week. I thought, “I’m in college, I have time for that stuff later.”  I’m so glad God saved me sooner and not later and by my sophomore year of college I started attending some bible studies led by these women.  I am so thankful that women like Rachel, Jessica Duncan, Carrie Pepiot and Danielle Witherington were faithful and invested in the lives of young women like myself.  Rachel, you are truly a blessing. I think this quote is very applicable to all of you, “you are planting seeds for shade trees that you do not expect to sit under”

Jesus Wants the Rose!!!

The Second Lie:  I’m Not Worth The Pursuit

Once again, this post is the product of a fantastic sermon by Perry Noble of Newspring Church.  Here is the link.  I encourage you all to watch or listen. http://newspring.cc/series/eveandadam/two-lies-that-women-believe-part-2/

Women, let’s be honest…at the core of our being, we all want to be pursued and fought for.

Think about it…why do we love “chick flicks?” They’re all the same. Man meets woman.  Some kind of obstacle/conflict comes up between them.  The man continues to pursue her and fight for her through that conflict.  The end:  he wins her heart.  We love them because deep down we all want to be pursued and fought for.  We want someone to love us so much that they crush every obstacle and come after us. It’s not wrong to feel that way.  The challenge is just to submit your emotions of how you feel to what God says.

So what does God say?

God created Adam and he created all the animals.  But…God said something wasn’t good.  Genesis 2:18 “It is not good that the man should be alone.”  This is the first time God said something wasn’t good. Not only did God create Eve, he pursued a relationship with her and not just because she was good (remember, God knew what Eve would do and created her and pursued her anyways). God doesn’t pursue us because we’re good.  He pursues us because he’s good.   “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). We have a God in heaven that is fighting for our hearts. “The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent” (Exodus 14:14)

That concept of God pursuing us and fighting for us is hard for some to believe.  It’s hard because we compare God to the men in our lives and some of us have had some pretty crappy men in our lives.  You always hear the term, “daddy issues.”  I have been blessed to have an earthly father that strives to love me like my heavenly Father does. But some of you haven’t…maybe you had an abusive father, so you think God is abusive.  Or maybe you had a father that didn’t show you affection, so you see God as cold and distant.  Some of us have had so pretty stinky men that we’ve dated or been married to.  I have a very loving earthly father, but I have been in some relationships where the man gave up on me and our relationship.  I struggled through feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.  Perry Noble says, “Don’t compare God to the men in your life; compare the men in your life to God.”

Man Message:

Adam pursued Eve.  Think about it…Adam was in the Garden of Eden.  He saw sunsets, mountains, oceans, beautiful animals BUT he didn’t say word.  The Bible tells us that Adam didn’t speak a recorded word until God brought Eve to him.  Eve was that beautiful that she moved Adam to words.  When he saw her he was bursting with emotion!

Since Adam pursued Eve, what does that mean for you? Perry Noble says, “The number one thing a man can do to pursue a woman is GET A JOB!” Adam had a job because Eve did not want to live in your parent’s basement or your car.

You need to pursue women. Go after her like a man!! Let me tell you, pursuit is not a text message that can be taken either way.  I love what Perry Noble says about those types of text messages, “that is you (men) trying to inflate your male ego and you’re toying with the emotions of a daughter of the King and He’s not happy about it.”  I can probably speak for most dating women when I say if you want to go after me…do it like a man.  Don’t send me some weak sauce text message “maybe we can hang out tonight…my friends are coming over…you can come too” Take me to dinner.  Open the car door for me.  Get to know me. Be intentional with me. Spend time with me.  Fight for my heart.

What happens when we don’t feel pursued and fought for:

When we don’t feel pursued and fought for we typically compromise. In Genesis 3:1 Satan tempted Eve by feeding her lie that God was holding out on her.  Eve had everything you can think of…perfect fellowship with God, perfect relationship with her husband, she was in the Garden of Eden AND she was naked and it didn’t bother her (aka she didn’t feel fat. Bingo!).  Eve took everything that God had for her and turned her back for a piece of fruit.

What a bad trade, right?  I will be the first person to tell you that I’ve been Eve.  I’ve turned my back on God to date a piece of fruit.  Some of you are still dating a piece of fruit (sorry, men…if that made you nervous it’s probably because you’re a piece of fruit).  Love what Perry Noble says, “If God gave some men to some women in here today, the woman would not say thank you Jesus, but why me God”  In his sermon, Perry says the reason why women compromise in this area is because we find our identity in that relationship and its success instead of in God.  I think he was really just directing that comment to me.  I know that I am the guiltiest of finding my identity in relationships instead of in Christ.  I try to find happiness and fulfillment in that guy instead of in God and let me tell you, that guy is always going to fail you because he is an imperfect human being.  Unfortunately, I’ve had to learn this the hard way, but I am thankful for the pain because it has brought me true contentment in Christ. Success in a relationship always comes in surrender to God first.

YOU ARE WORTH THE PURSUIT OF A MAN WHO FULLY LOVES JESUS AND WHO WILL TREAT YOU LIKE YOU ARE A TREASURE AND DAUGHTER OF THE KING AND NOT AN OBJECT TO BE CONQUERED AND PUT UP ON THE SHELF (thank you Perry Noble)

Jesus is Proof That I’m Worth the Pursuit

A blood-stained cross and an empty tomb are proof enough.  Perry says, “When we look to other places we are just putting an emotional experience over a biblical one.” After Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord pursued them to bring them back.  Genesis 3:9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

Please, please, please watch this clip from Matt Chandler’s sermon.  It is such a vivid picture of God’s pursuit of you.

The Cupid Series: Part One

The Cupid Series

For the next week, I’m going to post a series of blogs written by myself and others on everyone’s favorite topics:  love, dating, sex, marriage, the dynamics between men and women, and what the Bible says about it all.

All the Credit

All the credit belongs to Pastor Perry Noble at Newspring Church. He did a sermon series titled:  Eve and Adam.  The first two blog posts will be from two of his sermons.  These are his thoughts with my crazy words.  (I’m attaching the links to the sermons at the bottom of this post.  I knew that I wanted to share with y’all what I had learned from these sermons and my own study and what time is better than at the height of Valentine’s Day fever.

 So the first post of the series is about the first lie women believe how that affects our relationship with God and men.

This whole post should be prefaced by the fact that us women, we are emotional.  I mean…seriously, emotional.  Ask any boy/man that has ever dated me, my brother, my dad, and they all would say, “Amanda is emotional.”  And emotions are not a bad thing, but the key to emotions is taking the emotional to the biblical.  Take what you’re feeling and submit it to what the bible says.

LIE ONE:  “IM NOT GOOD ENOUGH”

How many of us have ever thought, “I’m not good enough?”  I will be the first person to say that I’ve had that thought…I’ve had that thought a lot and I’ve had that thought recently.  Let me start this off by telling you that you are good enough.  The Bible says you’re good enough.

Let me show this to you.  Did you realize that women were the first living thing that God did not create from dust?  Look at Genesis 2.  Adam was created from dust.  Giraffes…dust.  Lions…dust.  Women…not dust.  (Random tidbit…God had Adam name all of the animals before he created Eve.  Our God is so smart.  Could you imagine how long it would have taken for Adam and Eve to agree on their names?  We’d still be waiting!). So what does this mean, we are special and uniquely designed by God.

Look at Eve and God’s relationship further.  She was special to God.  He made her different.  Not only that, but look at Genesis 2:21, “So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.”  Don’t miss the significance here.  Adam was asleep when Eve was created.  So Eve’s very FIRST relationship was with God.  Eve’s identity is first found in a relationship with God.

So if Eve’s identity was first found in God, where did it all go wrong? Why did she eat the fruit?  Women, Satan attacked Eve’s identity.  Satan came to Eve and said, “Hey Eve, did God really say you couldn’t do that? I mean, c’mon Eve, forgiveness is better than permission, right?  And God just doesn’t want you to eat that fruit cause he knows you’ll be as smart as he is.” (Author’s paraphrase…clearly Satan did not use contractions like c’mon).  How did Eve respond to that?  She began to focus on the one thing she perceived to not have and she thought she needed it.  Eve bought into the lie and let her emotions take over.  Remember what I said about women and our emotions…they are cray.  And Eve let her emotions go cray and she focused on how she was feeling instead of facts found in God’s word.

Ok, so what?

 Ok, so what does this mean for you and me?  I mean, we can eat whatever fruit we want…pretty irrelevant, right? WRONG.  Satan still tempts women like he first tempted Eve.  He tempts us to find our identity in things over than God.  Perry Noble gives seven common areas where Satan tempts us and where we try to find our identity:  (1) appearance (2) our homes (3) their kids (4) our relationships—Listen girls, you need to quit feeling miserable because you are single.  Singleness is a gift.  You could lower your standards and find a guy, but then he’d be forbidden fruit and we see where that leads us (5) career (6) their religion (7) their past

So Satan is attacking our identity…how do we respond?  Well, I have a very simplistic answer…remember these two truths: (1) In Christ I am priceless (2) In Christ I am complete.

Psalm 139:13 “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. “ You were custom designed by the Creator of the Universe Psalm 113:16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” AND God knew every foolish, sinful, crazy, self-centered decision you were going to make before He made you AND HE MADE YOU ANYWAYS and then he arranged payment for that sin to be made through the blood of his son, Jesus Christ. You know why, because he LOVES YOU!!!

If you only read one thing…READ THIS!

So to directly quote Perry Noble and leave you with this thought…”Never stand in the shadow of a blood-stained cross, stained with the blood of Jesus Christ, and tell God you’re not good enough.” 

http://newspring.cc/series/eveandadam/two-lies-that-women-believe-part-1/

And because I know y’all like me to leave you with something funny…I bet Regina George didn’t feel good enough