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Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ~Proverbs 4:23

"Amanda brings a positive spirit, laughter, and a soul-to-soul message!  Her talk at our Life Recovery Conference revealed how recovery has radically changed her life and ministry.  Amanda will encourage, inform and provoke your audience."                                               ~Becky Brown, Director of New Life Counselor Network

All Our Leaders Have Issues: 7 Steps to Leading Authentically, Just as You Are

Just as there are in friendships, there are inherent risks we take when we join a leadership team, because all our leaders have issues. We are all flawed people with blind sides, quirks, and bad habits. The same pitfalls, fears and insecurities that can harm our friendships can affect our leadership teams, creating unhealthy dynamics that create competition and hurt feelings. By modeling healthy and authentic relationships on our teams, we create safety for the attendees in our groups. Our humility and willingness to own our issues, our extension of grace to one another, and our commitment to live our values out loud are keys to leadership success.

The God of The Twelve Steps

What is the essence of Christ-centered Twelve-Step recovery? Surrender. But in order to surrender, we have to confront the ways in which we struggle to trust God. In each step, we are allowed to ask and wrestle with these questions: Is God really good? Is God really powerful? Does God really want to restore me to sanity? Amanda examines God's character through Psalm 103 and other scriptures, pointing to a God that we can trust to forgive our sins, heal our diseases, crown us with love and compassion, redeems our life from the pit, and restores our hope and strength. This topic also addresses the ways and the "why's" that specifically cause us to doubt God's goodness and power, including childhood trauma, abandonment and unhealthy past relationships.

Rebellion and Recovery

In Amanda's favorite Tom Petty song, he sings, "Everybody's got to fight to be free, but you don't have to live like a refugee." Every one of us who struggles with addiction -- indeed anyone of us who struggles with sin -- has a desire to be free. The Bible says we all have rebelled against God, but we have also rebelled against those in our lives who asked us to be someone we are not, who have said that who we are and how we feel are not acceptable. Desiring to break free, many of us chose unhealthy behaviors that instead led us into more bondage. In this talk, Amanda will explore how our desire to express our authentic selves is God-given, and how to channel our rebel spirit into fighting for our recovery, fighting for our freedom, and fighting our Enemy. We also learn that surrendering to God, who is good, is our ultimate source of freedom. 

What Can Anxiety and Depression Do for You?

Here’s what depression did for Amanda: it taught her that she is lousy at being God, but that God is really, really good at it. It taught her that our thoughts can sometimes lie, and it is accurate thinking, not positive "Polly-Anna" thinking, that can restore us to health, wholeness, and sanity. And it also taught her that without the ability to face life and my emotions as they really are, she can never escape addictive behaviors. This topic is ideal for care and recovery groups, taking the shame and stigma away from depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders, which affect more than 10% of Americans. Guilt and shame are a huge part of depression, and people who love God need to extend grace to people who struggle with mood disorders, especially themselves. This talk includes action steps on how to overcome depression by trusting God’s prescription for a healthy brain, which are confirmed in secular clinical research.

All My Friends Have Issues: Real Thoughts on Real Friendship in Real Recovery

1 John 1:7-8 says, “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” We need John’s message in our friendships and in our recovery. God passionately desires for us to be in authentic relationship with him and with each other. In this talk, we’ll examine the "enemies" of authentic friendships (competition and comparison, perfectionism, unwillingness to be vulnerable), and "friends" of authentic friendships (honesty, mutual encouragement, and the willingness to learn from one another's differences). Big secrets break relationships, so let’s bring our real selves out into the light.

​A High-Performance Machine: Self Care as a Spiritual Discipline

For years Amanda thought of her body (and the brain housed in it) as kind of a utility vehicle: an old clunker that was requiring a little too much maintenance. And then through a series of events and a loving encounter with God, she began to think of her body and brain working together as a high performance machine. High performance vehicles are sensitive! As with a Ferrari, it takes a team of experts and high-quality fuel to keep human beings running at maximum potential. We are a delicately-balanced creation of nerves, heart and soul that science can't fully explain. In this talk, Amanda helps audiences embrace the unique way they are made -- with both strengths and weaknesses -- and encourages them to practice self-care as a way to increase their faith. In an age where we are all stressed out and disconnected, and many of us see a nightly glass of wine as our only "me" time, we'll address the hard issue of finding healthy ways to find comfort, not just escape.