A Poem: The Song of Mankind (As Told By Eve)

  

Happy Tuesday, world! I hope you’re having a wonderful day. Now, I’m not feeling very well today and I don’t have the energy to write a full post, but I still did not want to leave y’all in a lurch waiting for a Tuesday post. So without further ado, here is a poem I wrote from the point of view of Eve and the rest of mankind after. Enjoy!

The Song of Mankind (As Told By Eve)
It all started in the garden
Oh, I was so naïve
Everything so beautiful 
Everything to believe 
That serpent started talking
Oh, he seemed so kind
Talking about that fruit
He seemed to read my mind
Before I knew it 
I bit in
I disobeyed God
I understood sin
I cursed mankind 
I caused the fall
Destroyed perfection
Brought sin to all
But God told of a savior
One who was to come
To forgive me and everyone
By pouring out His love
Mankind rejected Him
But even still He came
To conquer death, sin, and the grave
Though not deserved, He took my blame
He forgave all sin
And we’re all free
No more lies
He rescued me!
*aj
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Life as a Teen in This Crazy World

  

I think that being a teen is just so crazy. 
We’re supposed to look and act like adults, but really, we still have the minds of children for the most part. (At least I do sometimes.) Life is a roller coaster, and we’re standing up on the loop-de-loop. (Or something like that. I’ve never been great with analogies.) Anyway, I wanted to talk about our crazy lives, and what we can do about them.
1) Stress.
Life is stressful…there’s no denying it. School, pressure from everywhere, freedom, tragedies…you name it, we feel it. Life is hard. The older you get, the more you understand and are told.
It’s hard to deal with, you know. One of my many comfort verses is Psalm 4:8.


“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

God is my peace. I’ll rest in Him. His embrace makes my stress disappear. I have peace in the crazy.

2) Love. 
Yet another crazy thing. There’s all this pressure coming from the world, saying, “Being single is bad. You need someone to satisfy your every need. How can you get it? Start dating! With countless [easy] payments of BHS (Broken Heart Syndrome)! You’ll never realize how hopeless you were once you have a significant other.” But…that leaves us confused. I mean, who doesn’t want someone to love them for them? Hold them and comfort them? Save them? We all want that, but it can’t be satisfied by a human relationship. It comes from a relationship with God…and if we don’t realize this, we are gonna be lost.
3) School.
Yup. School. I don’t like it any more than you…but we gotta do it. Sometimes I get so frustrated and freaked out over it. But it’s so small in the grand scheme of life, so here’s a verse that helps me through.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to GodAnd the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 4:6-7, ESV)

We will make it. Really. (I’m going to save this post to my favorites so I can read it every day and be reminded of this.)
4) Everything Changing.
Everything is changing. It’s not really fair. Lives change, friends move away, life. is. insane. The one thing that I have to hold onto is this — Jesus never changes. Ever. 
Hebrews 13:8 says that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” 
He never changes, even when everything else does. I can stay secure in that!
5) Pressure — From EVERYWHERE.
Social pressure. Emotional pressure. Physical pressure. Family pressure. Everything says “GO HERE! DO THIS! DON’T SO THAT!” And it’s hard. Need I say it again? IT IS HARD! Who do I please when I’m being torn in fifty bazillion directions? Well, here’s who. 
But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.” (1 Thessalonians 2:4, ESV)

We need to live to please God, not man. That takes a lot of pressure off, doesn’t it.
Life is crazy. But not impossible. 
Being a teen is hard. But we have the Creator of the Universe on our side!
We don’t need to worry. God’s got this. 
It will be okay. We will survive our teen years…and by following God, we will THRIVE. 
*aj

Who Am I, Really?

Hey guys! So…I’m still on this Easter kick thing. Yes, I know that today is Saint Patrick’s Day, and yes, he was a pretty cool guy (he was a missionary, not a leprechaun by the way). But Easter just makes me SO happy! I mean really. Forgiveness! Love! Hope! Acceptance! Joy! Peace! I have all these things because of the cross. So enjoy, reflect, and rejoice this Easter because of what’s been done for you.




“Who am I, really?” The piercing words echo in my head. I’ve known myself for almost fifteen years and I’m not always convinced that I know the true AJ. 

Who am I, really?


People say I’m beautiful. But I don’t feel beautiful. 
People say I’m smart. But I feel like a failure. 

know who I am. 

I’m a sinner. I am broken in pieces that I could never fix. I’m not always loving, joyful, or peaceful. My words are not always patient, gentle, or kind.  I am unfaithful. Good does not always define me. Self-control isn’t exactly one of my strong suits either. 

Why am I like this?!

Welcome to Planet Earth. I’m human. I’m an ordinary citizen here, which means that I’m a sinner.

I look at myself in the mirror, and half the time, I don’t even recognize myself. Who is that girl? What makes her who she is?

I don’t want to live behind a mask, trying to be someone I’m not. “Because,” I’ve heard someone say, “the more you live behind the mask, the more the mask defines you.”


Wow. I don’t want to be living behind a mask. I don’t want the mask to define me! I don’t care what people think about the real Amanda, all that matters is that who I am is the real thing. 

So what defines me? Who am I really? Well, there’s a dozen things I could think of…my guitar and piano, my surfboard, my blog, my bookshelf…you get the picture. But those things aren’t really who I am on the inside. 

I am defined by The Cross. 

What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve struggled with not letting my performance define who I am. It’s all fun and games until I get a C. Until I remember I *still* can’t play “that chord” on the guitar. Until I realize I just can’t catch the wave I’ve been trying to. I realize that I’ll never measure up on my own…and I forget who I really am. 

I am defined by The Cross. 

Because of what Jesus did at the cross, I am who I am. I am blameless in God’s sight.

I’ve fallen into the trap in my (actually pretty short) life of making achievement an addiction. When I can’t achieve “that thing,” I forget who I really am. I’m a child of God, because of The Cross. 

Grace covers Amanda. The Cross has forgiven AJ. The love of God has been lavished on her. 

Conditional things – popularity, beauty, money, talent – cannot define me. Because once I fail (which I do), then who am I? What makes me who I am? Popularity dies down. Beauty fades. Money gets wasted. Talent eventually fails too.

Just one thing will stand. 

Who I really am. 

I am a child of God. 

I am pure in His eyes.

I have been counted blameless. 

I am truly, 100% forgiven. 

I am defined by The Cross.

*aj

Where Is God?



Happy Tuesday everyone, and happy early Easter! Because of the undeniable-yet-almost-unbelievable fact that Easter is right around the corner (despite of the three feet of snow on the ground right now), I have decided to do an Easter-themed post again. I love Easter because of what it means. I hope you find the same thing!

Many people are taught to think that God is “over there”. That He doesn’t care. That He wound up the world like a clock and then stepped away. That He couldn’t really be involved with us. 

But that, dear friend, is a very sad and misleading lie. 
God is love. How do we know what love is? We get to know God, because we CAN, and what God (through Jesus) did for us. 
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16, ESV)

Why would Jesus lay down His life for us? Because He loves us.

Greater love has no one than thisthat someone lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13, ESV)

We sinned and broke our relationship with God. Sin equals separation from God. So why again did Jesus come?

To show us love. To lay down His life for us. To restore our broken relationship with God.

We need to lay aside the facts of our past and what we’ve done to think that we could never accept love from God. 
It’s true that we don’t deserve it. But that is how we know true love, that he reached out to us when we had run away…far away…too far away to be found by anyone accept God.

God wants to know us. And we can know him too. We know God because we accept His amazing love that He has shown us. 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)

God is not “over there”. He is here. And His love reaches far…no matter how far you are, you can always come back. 

I know this post is extra short today, but seriously, what more is there? 
Love is here because God is here; God is Love. 

Thank you Lord for your amazing love.

*aj

Category: From The Bible
Tags: love, Jesus, Easter, amazing love, God’s love, God

What Does The Cross Mean To Me?



Happy Saturday everyone! Today we have a special treat. On Monday, this post will be featured on my friend Rachel Schaus’ blog, Notes From My Corner Of Creation. Enjoy this sneak peek in honor of Easter!


What does the cross mean to me?


For me, the cross means acceptance.

 

The cross is the place where I was counted blameless and accepted in the sight of God. Not because of what I did, but because of what Jesus did for me. He took my place in death and shame and gave me the right to be a child of God.

 

John 1:12-13 says,  “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor the will of the flesh nor the will of man, but of God.”

 

I am accepted. I do not have to be perfect. I do not have to earn my way to the love and acceptance of God. I do not have to do a certain number of good deeds to be cherished by God. Because I am not accepted by what I do-I am accepted because of what Christ did at the cross for me.

 

All I have to do is believe in His name! Accept the love he has for me! I am a child of God. Nobody can take that away.

 

The cross means acceptance. I think that we’ve all chased acceptance in our lives. We want to be loved, accepted, a part of the “in” group. Because, we think, maybe that will make us better people. Maybe we will have more privileges, our problems will all go away, or we will be satisfied…But our only perfect satisfaction by acceptance can come from God’s acceptance of us. Through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

 

Stop trying to be accepted in worldly terms. Accept the acceptance of God. He loves us no matter what.
He knows we are not perfect. He knows that we will fail. He knows all this, and still loves us and accepts us.

 

Never once will we walk alone. Never once will God turn his back on us. Never once will we lose the love of God. Rest in the embrace of the Almighty – by what was done at the cross – FOR YOU.


*aj

What is True Love?

What is True Love?
Where does it come from? Is it Prince Charming sweeping Cinderella off her feet? Is it a romantic moonlit stroll on the beach? Is it chocolate and roses on Valentine’s Day?
 Is it getting the attention and affection that a girl wants? Is it getting the appreciation and respect that a guy wants?
How do we know what love really is?
Let me start out by saying that I want to be loved. Like really and truly loved. (Not that I’m not loved by my family. I *truly* am. But I mean that I want to be loved by someone who has absolutely no obligation to. I think most people seek after this love.)
I want someone to look deep into my eyes and say, “Amanda, you are worthy of love (which is actually what ‘Amanda’ means) and I love you with my whole heart.”
 Deep down, don’t we all want that in one way or another? I know that I do. (Maybe that’s just because I’m a girl. Whatever.) Acceptance. Love. Respect. Affection. Appreciation. We all want it! But – you’ll never find that PERFECT satisfaction in a person.
There is a love that I have found – true love – it goes deeper than any human love. Regardless of my performance, I am reached. Despite my everyday failures, I am pursued. This love died for me and is the only love that can satisfy. What love have I found? The perfect love of God.
We’ll never be truly satisfied until we set our hearts in the love of God. We can even be Christians and not do this! (Bad scenario, by the way.)
Our ultimate love and satisfaction should come from God’s love. I know this might sound cheesy, but I’ve learned to say, “I know how to be content in all circumstances, whether in a relationship or single, because my relationship with God is TRULY ALL I NEED to be satisfied.”
Last year, I sought to be noticed. I don’t think I understood then how useless that would prove to be! This year, I’m focusing on more important things – like loving my Heavenly Father and loving others. Why get into a dating relationship now? I have all that I need to be content…and even more, full of JOY.
Disclaimer: I do NOT know everything about love. And NOT AT ALL am I saying that a serious relationship or marriage is not fulfilling. From all the people I’ve talked to, marriage is truly wonderful (and personally I’m really looking forward to it!) but only God can satisfy our craving for love. Marriage is an expression of God’s love, not the fullness of it. The fullness of God’s love – Jesus’ death on the cross for us and therefore forgiveness, love, and acceptance – is truly satisfying.