God’s provision

11 Feb

Someone asked me last week how I have managed to afford school and all my expenses. My reply was: “I honestly don’t know. I just sort of take it day by day.” I wish I was better with money and budgeting, but I really do tend to fly by the seat of my pants… and some how it all works out.

Some how it all works out? It all works out because of a gracious and loving Savior. It all works out because of the generosity of the Father’s children and His church. It all works out because through others, God takes care of me. All the glory goes to God!

I took some time this morning to write down and reflect on the ways God has provided for me and, to say the least, it is humbling. It also motivates me to be a better steward of what I do have… because I am blessed beyond measure and I do not want to take that for granted.

Thank you, Jesus. And thank you friends & family for your love and generosity!

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overwhelmed

11 Nov

The last week I have been completely overwhelmed. Life is hard. Things suck for so many people. As I listen to others and learn of what some are facing or going through, my heart breaks under the weight of it all.

    Yet, that’s not what overwhelms me. In the midst of the sad state of our world, I’m overwhelmed by God’s goodness, by His love.

There’s so much that happens that we can’t understand or explain. Yet, as I study the Bible, I see a pattern that proves His character. I KNOW that He is faithful, that He is trustworthy, that He sovereign, that He is good. He loves us deeply. And while we can’t understand many things this side of heaven, knowing Him and His character makes it bearable… and more than that, because He’s a God of redemption, He makes something intensely beautiful out of this mess.

Thank you, Jesus! My heart cries out and sings Your praise. Thank you for all You are and all You do.

this semester

14 Sep

I’m in my third week of my third semester at Dallas Theological Seminary. This is my first semester as a full-time Biblical Counseling student and I am constantly amazed by everything the Lord is doing.

Since beginning classes two weeks ago, I have been struck by what a privilege and honor it is to study at DTS and to be studying the things of God. Of course, the more we learn, the more we realize we don’t know. The more I learn, the basics of Christianity become more amazing, such as the fact that God loves us, that we belong to Him and He to us.

One of my favorite things about this semester is that while I’m in class and studying, my whole being is occupied with the things of God. I’m not able to multitask and think of everything else as I normally do. I’m wholly consumed and it’s awesome!

In addition to that, the combination of counseling, bible and theology courses is having a profound effect on me, and to be quite honest, it’s difficult. I’m learning things about myself that aren’t easy and, if this makes any sense, I’m realizing sources of hurt that I never gave credit to in the past. Since I never allowed myself to feel certain things before, I’m feeling them now and that’s tough. Yet, God has used the last year to set the stage for me to process and feel these very things and it’s good.

Please pray for:
1. Courage (to be weak)
2. Discernment
3. Healing
4. Time management
5. Financial provision for school

Thanks for being on this journey with me, for your prayers and support.

blessings

14 Jun

I am continually amazed by the Lord and His blessings. Please rejoice in and pray with me for the following things:

    1. The Lord has provided me with an incredible opportunity for my living arrangements. In about six weeks, I’ll be moving in with a very kind and gracious woman from church who is letting me live with her at very little cost to me. Amazing!

    2. I’ve had several interviews for short-term Summer jobs. Unfortunately, I was not selected for any of them. I believe it’s because God has something greater.

    3. I’m seeking part-time employment beginning any time after July 5th. Please pray I would land in the place that brings God maximum glory.

    4. I hope the part-time job can cover miscellaneous living expenses, such as health insurance, transportation costs, groceries, etc.

    5. I owe $5,635 for my tuition for the Fall. Praise that $1,800 is covered by a scholarship. I’m praying for the remaining $3,835 +books to be covered.

    6. As I enter into this new stage of life, my constant prayer is for God’s maximum glory–through me, my life, my relationships, the decisions I make, everything! All I want is His maximum glory. Please join me in this prayer.

So far, my faith is strong and I believe the Lord will provide. I’m beginning to wonder, however, what He may carry me through as He proves Himself faithful. I do know I need to go forward in faith, taking things one day at a time, step-by-step and I’m prepared to live on the edge of my seat and trust the Lord fully. With that said, I’m both excited and slightly nervous for the journey that lies ahead and am ever more grateful that the Lord Jesus Christ is faithful and trustworthy. I couldn’t do this without the blessing of the incredible community that supports and encourages me through prayer and fellowship.

If you would like to contribute financially toward my seminary education and help me complete my degree debt-free, you can send a check directly to Dallas Theological Seminary with “Amanda Lindquist – 900651” in the note section. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal (alindqu@gmail.com). Thank you!

catalyst… a follow up

25 May

My last blog post, Catalyst, seemed to generate a lot of discussion, so I wanted to follow up to clarify a few things.

Let me first say, I am not discounting Catalyst and I recognize that God uses it to reach and encourage thousands of leaders, and I am all for that! My last criticism was much less about the money spent and much more about the method. Allow me to explain: I’m afraid we attempt to create an experience where we can meet God, and be encouraged and affirmed, and people become dependent on these experiences. I’m afraid so many have grown accustomed to the awe inspiring man-made show where they are spoon-fed, that they don’t know how to connect with God without it.

After the conference ended, I spoke with someone who has had a role in it for years and they quite frankly said Catalyst is like crack… you get your high and it only lasts a short time. It’s only a matter of time before you need your fix to feel right with God again; people begin wondering, “what’s wrong with me? Why can’t I always feel that way?”

I’m afraid these “experiences” are creating more problems than they are solving. It’s no different from other conferences, summer camps, and short-term mission trips where people gain a spiritual high, but shortly after, return to their normal lives. These things are valuable but unless we know how to maintain that in our daily relationship with Christ, their impact will quickly fade. Please note: I recognize that there are ups and downs in everyone’s faith and I am not coming up with a recipe for your daily spiritual high, but what I am saying is there should be a greater balance.

A friend said it well earlier:

    “I don’t have a spiritual buzz because there is no such thing as a spiritual buzz! The ‘buzz’ is a new piece of my spiritual walk with God, He means for it to last forever and all the time. He doesn’t want this nearness to leave. We are the ones who let this new piece of our spiritual lives dull or fade. It’s not a spiritual high, it’s a gift! And too often we all allow ourselves to fall away from this closeness with our Father when we should be living in the ‘buzz’ all the time!”

I’m no expert in the Bible, but as far as I know, Jesus retreated when He needed to be recharged, encouraged, and communicate with the Father. As far as I know, He removed the distraction and went to a quiet place where He could be with God one-on-one. The more I talk about this with others, the more I hear that people don’t know how to connect with God in this simple, stripped-down way that Jesus modeled, and that is what concerns me.

There is a time and a place for the “experience,” but the experience must be built on the foundation of one-on-one intimacy with the Father through the Word and prayer, where nothing is required except an open and undistracted heart. Experiencing God and connecting with Him is far simpler than we’ve made it out to be.

catalyst

12 May

Catalyst has taken over my facebook and twitter feeds, not to mention my friends lives. I had an opportunity to go for free, and perhaps I should have taken it so I could be writing a more educated response right now, but to be honest, I don’t want to see a show. I want to experience Jesus, pure and simple… and all that takes is a focused (not distracted) heart that’s in the right place.

I don’t know much about the conference, other than the fact that it’s a Christian leadership conference that is being held at my church, Bent Tree. I’ve seen their flyers, videos, and advertisements… and from what I can tell, a lot of money goes into it. It seems to be all about the pomp and circumstance. It’s all about the show.

I gather, based on the definition of the word “catalyst,” that the goal of the conference is to bring about change. “Catalyst” is defined in the following ways:

1. A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change
2. A person or thing that precipitates an event

As my twitter and facebook was overwhelmed by inspiring quotes from today’s speakers, especially surrounding courage and bravery, I couldn’t help but wonder: how many people will actually change the way they live their lives as a result of this? What is the follow up process after such a conference? How do they know it’s effective? What are the stats? I can’t help but feel like the majority of the people who are currently so inspired and excited as a result of this conference will not change one thing about their lives long term. I’d be willing to bet that one week from today, the majority will go back to life as it was before.

To be fair, I would also bet that at least one life is changed forever by something that is said these few days at Catalyst, and it will forever impact the Kingdom of God. And don’t get me wrong, that alone is worth all of it! With that said, I can’t help but feel like the conference caters to our spoon-fed generation.

If you’re currently participating in the conference or have in the past, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

an exciting shift

7 May

I am thrilled to report that I will be going to school full-time this Fall (Lord willing)! I have officially reclassified at Dallas Seminary as a Biblical Counseling student and am enrolled in 13 credit hours for the Fall. I received a scholarship from the seminary that covers the difference it costs for me to go to school full-time and I couldn’t be more excited!

Since I’ll be going to school full-time, that means my last day at my job will be June 30th. I’ve been working for the same organization for over four years, so needless to say, it will be a big change.

Other than my last day of work and my school schedule for the Fall, everything else is unknown. I don’t know where I’ll be living after July since my lease will be up and I don’t know what kind of part-time job I’ll get while in school. I don’t know how I’ll afford my living expenses or my education… and while that’s absolutely terrifying, there is this strange and incredible excitement in anticipating what the Lord will do!

I invite you on this journey with me and the first step is to rejoice in the Lord who is faithful! Please rejoice and pray with me!